The Grief of Stones by Katherine AddisonStarring: Thara Celehar, the mild-mannered Witness for the Dead whose job involves gathering the testimonies of the deceased.
What happens: Celehar gains an apprentice, loses his ability to talk to the dead, and investigates mysteries both large and small.
Series alert: Set in the world of author Katherine Addison's The Goblin Emperor (where readers first encountered Celahar), this contemplative and melancholy novel is the 2nd book in Cemeteries of Amalo series, after The Witness for the Dead.
The City Inside by Samit BasuIntroducing: Joey, a Reality Controller, who manages online celebrities known as Flowstars in a dystopian near-future Delhi that arose after the tumultuous Years Not To Be Discussed.
What happens: Joey hires reclusive gamer Rudra, and both become embroiled in conspiracy and intrigue as they discover the rot beneath their society's sleek façade.
Why you might like it: Originally published in India under the title Chosen Spirits, this intricately plotted cyberpunk novel immerses readers in a chilling world of surveillance capitalism and government censorship.
Wrath Goddess Sing by Maya DeaneWhat it is: A "tour de force debut" (Publishers Weekly) that reimagines The Iliad with legendary warrior Achilles as a trans woman.
Want a taste? "When Achilles first came to Skyros the year before, she had looked utterly different: gaunt from the overland and sea voyages, hollow-cheeked from the starvation she had used to stave off manhood, and feverish with a terrible, foolish hope that on Skyros everything would change, that on Skyros she would become everything she longed for."
For fans of: Madeline Miller's Song of Achilles, Shelley Parker-Chan's She Who Became the Sun, or Nicola Griffith's Spear.
The Final Strife by Saara El-ArifiIn a world... where the color of one's blood determines one's position in society, prizefighter Sylah, switched at birth and trained as part of the failed "Sandstorm" resistance movement, comes face-to-face with the girl whose life she was meant to have.
Why you might like it: This opening volume of the Ending Fire series offers a high-stakes competition, lots of political intrigue, and romance.
You might also like: C.L. Clark's The Unbroken or Suyi Davies Okungbowa's Son of the Storm.
A Mirror Mended by Alix E. HarrowOnce upon a time: Erstwhile "Sleeping Beauty" Zinnia Gray traveled through the multiverse, fixing fairy tales by liberating princesses.
Mirror, mirror: Now, summoned by so-called "evil queen" Eva, Zinnia enters the world of "Snow White" to rescue a woman who no longer wishes to play the role she was assigned.
Series alert: This inventive fairy tale mashup marks the 2nd installment of the Fractured Fables series, which begins with A Spindle Splintered.
The Ballad of Perilous Graves by Alex JenningsWhat it is: a "stunning" (Publishers Weekly) debut set in Nola, an alternate New Orleans where music and magic are "one and the same."
Starring: Perilous "Perry" Graves, his sister Brendy, and their friends, Peaches and Casey, who must track down nine escaped songs that comprise the fabric of the city before an evil force destroys them.
For fans of: N.K. Jemisin's The City We Became; atmospheric Big Easy-set contemporary fantasy such as Veronica Henry's Mambo Reina books or Brian Camp's Crescent City novels.
Ordinary Monsters by J.M. MiroThe Talents: Charlie Ovid, a Black biracial teenager from Mississippi who cannot die; and Marlowe, a white British foundling whose "blue shining" gives him the power to hurt or heal, as he chooses.
The Cairndale Institute: a residential school in Edinburgh, Scotland, for gifted orphans such as Charlie and Marlowe, who -- unbeknownst to them -- are being hunted by a malevolent being made of smoke.
For fans of: Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs.
Juniper & Thorn by Ava ReidWhat it is: a loose retelling of "The Juniper Tree" by the author of The Wolf and the Woodsman.
Starring: Marlinchen, youngest daughter of Oblya's last wizard, who defies her abusive father by pursuing an illicit romance with dancer Sevas.
Is it for you? Like Elana K. Arnold's Damsel or Margo Lanagan's Tender Morsels, this dark fantasy novel puts the "grim" in Grimm with its traumatized characters and graphic depictions of sexual violence.
For the Throne by Hannah WhittenWhat happens: Neve, First Daughter of Valleyda, dies and wakes up in a glass coffin in the Shadowlands -- and discovers that her rescuer is her former adversary, Solmir, who now needs her help.
Can you start here? This conclusion to the Wilderwood duology resolves the cliffhanger at the end of For the Wolf, which focused on Neve's sister Red.
For fans of: complex sibling bonds, slow-burning enemies-to-lovers romances, and redemption arcs for villains.
Contact your library for more great books!
Manatee County Public Library System
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Bradenton, Florida 34205