Posted in Fun Lists

Books I Recently Added to My TBR: Wyrd and Wonder Edition (Part 1)

“The market coiled like a colored snake through the streets of Dale, patterned with the brown of the stalls, and the yellows and greens and reds of the things they sold.”

First line in The Ash-born Boy by Victoria Schwab

Hi, guys. I don’t know about you, but Wyrd and Wonder has officially made my TBR into a murder weapon. I can’t imagine it won’t be the death of me. I’ve added so many books to it this past month that I had to make this into a 2-part thing so not to overwhelm you.

Just quickly want to mention that not every book on this list has been found in actual Wyrd and Wonder posts. It’s really a list of all the fantasy books I added to my TBR during May. Let’s get started!

The Golem and the Jinni by Helene Wecker

Chava is a golem, a creature made of clay, brought to life by a disgraced rabbi who dabbles in dark Kabbalistic magic, created to be the wife of a man who dies at sea on the voyage from Poland. Chava is unmoored and adrift as the ship arrives in New York harbor in 1899.

Ahmad is a jinni, a being of fire born in the ancient Syrian desert, trapped in an old copper flask, and released in New York City, though still not entirely free.

Ahmad and Chava become unlikely friends and soul mates with a mystical connection. Marvelous and compulsively readable, Helene Wecker’s debut novel The Golem and the Jinni weaves strands of Yiddish and Middle Eastern literature, historical fiction and magical fable, into a wondrously inventive and unforgettable tale.

Why it sounds awesome:

  • Historical fantasy set in New York but with Middle Eastern vibes
  • From reviews I can gather that it has sort of a whimsical writing style with a focus on characters
  • It has been nominated for several awards including a Nebula.

The Gods of Jade and Shadow by Silvia Moreno-Garcia

The Jazz Age is in full swing, but Casiopea Tun is too busy cleaning the floors of her wealthy grandfather’s house to listen to any fast tunes. Nevertheless, she dreams of a life far from her dusty small town in southern Mexico. A life she can call her own.

Yet this new life seems as distant as the stars, until the day she finds a curious wooden box in her grandfather’s room. She opens it—and accidentally frees the spirit of the Mayan god of death, who requests her help in recovering his throne from his treacherous brother. Failure will mean Casiopea’s demise, but success could make her dreams come true.

In the company of the strangely alluring god and armed with her wits, Casiopea begins an adventure that will take her on a cross-country odyssey from the jungles of Yucatán to the bright lights of Mexico City—and deep into the darkness of the Mayan underworld.

Why it sounds awesome:

  • A historical fantasy set in Mexico is not something I’ve ever read before
  • Any time the fantasy element is based on floklore, I’m in.
  • The three words in the synopsis: “strangely alluring god”. Need I say more?

A Gathering of Ravens by Scott Oden

To the Danes, he is skraelingr; to the English, he is orcneas; to the Irish, he is fomoraig. He is Corpse-maker and Life-quencher, the Bringer of Night, the Son of the Wolf and Brother of the Serpent. He is Grimnir, and he is the last of his kind–the last in a long line of monsters who have plagued humanity since the Elder Days.

Drawn from his lair by a thirst for vengeance against the Dane who slew his brother, Grimnir emerges into a world that’s changed. A new faith has arisen. The Old Ways are dying, and their followers retreating into the shadows; even still, Grimnir’s vengeance cannot be denied.

Taking a young Christian hostage to be his guide, Grimnir embarks on a journey that takes him from the hinterlands of Denmark, where the wisdom of the ancient dwarves has given way to madness, to the war-torn heart of southern England, where the spirits of the land make violence on one another. And thence to the green shores of Ireland and the Viking stronghold of Dubhlinn, where his enemy awaits.

But, unless Grimnir can set aside his hatreds, his dream of retribution will come to nothing. For Dubhlinn is set to be the site of a reckoning–the Old Ways versus the New–and Grimnir, the last of his kind left to plague mankind, must choose: stand with the Christian King of Ireland and see his vengeance done or stand against him and see it slip away?

Why it sounds awesome:

  • It’s partly set in my own country (Denmark)!! I guess mostly people from other small countries will understand my excitement lol. I just need to read it!
  • It’s too reminiscent of the tv show Vikings to pass out on.

I quickly want to shout out and thank Alex from Space and Spellships for bringing this book to my attention. It was featured in the Europe-part of his SFF World Tour, which I highly recommend you check out, especially if you’re on the lookout for books set outside your typical European setting.


Midnight Never Come by Marie Brennan

England flourishes under the hand of its Virgin Queen: Elizabeth, Gloriana, last and most powerful of the Tudor monarchs.

But a great light casts a great shadow.

In hidden catacombs beneath London, a second Queen holds court: Invidiana, ruler of faerie England, and a dark mirror to the glory above. In the thirty years since Elizabeth ascended her throne, fae and mortal politics have become inextricably entwined, in secret alliances and ruthless betrayals whose existence is suspected only by a few.

Two courtiers, both struggling for royal favor, are about to uncover the secrets that lie behind these two thrones. When the faerie lady Lune is sent to monitor and manipulate Elizabeth’s spymaster, Walsingham, her path crosses that of Michael Deven, a mortal gentleman and agent of Walsingham’s. His discovery of the “hidden player” in English politics will test Lune’s loyalty and Deven’s courage alike. Will she betray her Queen for the sake of a world that is not hers? And can he survive in the alien and Machiavellian world of the fae? For only together will they be able to find the source of Invidiana’s power—find it, and break it…

Why it sounds awesome:

  • The Tudor period (no, you don’t need further explanantion)
  • The fact that I had to Google the name “Walsingham” to see whether it was a real name/person (it was)
  • Behind-the-scenes-politics and mixing it with fae

Tigana by Guy Gavriel Kay

A masterful epic of magic, politics, war, and the power of love and hate—from the renowned author of The Fionavar Tapestry and Children of Earth and Sky.

Tigana is the magical story of a beleaguered land struggling to be free. It is the tale of a people so cursed by the black sorcery of a cruel despotic king that even the name of their once-beautiful homeland cannot be spoken or remembered…

But years after the devastation, a handful of courageous men and women embark upon a dangerous crusade to overthrow their conquerors and bring back to the dark world the brilliance of a long-lost name…Tigana.

Against the magnificently rendered background of a world both sensuous and barbaric, this sweeping epic of a passionate people pursuing their dream is breathtaking in its vision, changing forever the boundaries of fantasy fiction.

Why is sounds awesome:

  • An evil king and people on a quest to save the world
  • Kay seems to be considered a must-read fantasy author

The Mirror Empire by Kameron Hurley

On the eve of a recurring catastrophic event known to extinguish nations and reshape continents, a troubled orphan evades death and slavery to uncover her own bloody past… while a world goes to war with itself.

In the frozen kingdom of Saiduan, invaders from another realm are decimating whole cities, leaving behind nothing but ash and ruin.

As the dark star of the cataclysm rises, an illegitimate ruler is tasked with holding together a country fractured by civil war, a precocious young fighter is asked to betray his family and a half-Dhai general must choose between the eradication of her father’s people or loyalty to her alien Empress.

Through tense alliances and devastating betrayal, the Dhai and their allies attempt to hold against a seemingly unstoppable force as enemy nations prepare for a coming together of worlds as old as the universe itself.

In the end, one world will rise – and many will perish.

Why it sounds awesome:

  • Diverse world
  • A cast of several interesting characters

Making these lists always makes me wish I was able to read a 100 books at once. Why have I not mastered that skill yet?!? I can only hope that I’ll be able to read all of these books soon. Do any of these books also appear on your TBR? Or are you lucky enough to have already read them?

5 thoughts on “Books I Recently Added to My TBR: Wyrd and Wonder Edition (Part 1)

    1. Still not quite sure what to think of Tigana except that I know I must read it. It’s great motivation to hear it’s amazing 😀

      Like

  1. Great list! It’s June and I’m STILL adding things to my Wyrd & Wonder shelf. I’m going to steal The Gods of Jade and Shadow and Midnight Never Come for my TBR. I already had The Mirror Empire and The Golem and the Jinni. I once read Guy Gavrel Kay’s Sarantine Mosaic books, and it kind of soured me to everything he did after that (not bad, just..forgettable. Made me wish I had spent time reading something else.) His name keeps popping up everywhere though, especially with Tigana. Might have to look into it.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Steal all you want 😀 And yeah, saw your list over on Twitter the other day. Just gotta say good luck and hope you love them.

      I’ve never read Kay’s books before so I really have no idea what I’m getting myself into. But as you say, his name keeps popping up.

      Like

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