“We should agree on some passwords.”First line in Half Lost by Sally Green
From the title you can probably guess what I’m attempting again. That’s right, I have found five new books that I expect will be 5-star reads for me. I’m notoriously bad at predicting this but practice makes perfect as they say so here we go.
The Fountains of Silence by Ruta Sepetys
Madrid, 1957. Under the fascist dictatorship of General Francisco Franco, Spain is hiding a dark secret. Meanwhile, tourists and foreign businessmen flood into Spain under the welcoming promise of sunshine and wine. Among them is eighteen-year-old Daniel Matheson, the son of an oil tycoon, who arrives in Madrid with his parents hoping to connect with the country of his mother’s birth through the lens of his camera. Photography–and fate–introduce him to Ana, whose family’s interweaving obstacles reveal the lingering grasp of the Spanish Civil War–as well as chilling definitions of fortune and fear. Daniel’s photographs leave him with uncomfortable questions amidst shadows of danger. He is backed into a corner of difficult decisions to protect those he loves. Lives and hearts collide, revealing an incredibly dark side to the sunny Spanish city.
What intrigues me: Ruta Sepetys! I’ve read her Salt to Sea so I know she does historical fiction well. I also find that period in Spanish history very interesting.
Sistersong by Lucy Holland
535 AD. In the ancient kingdom of Dumnonia, King Cador’s children inherit a fragmented land abandoned by the Romans.
Riva, scarred in a terrible fire, fears she will never heal.
Keyne battles to be seen as the king’s son, when born a daughter.
And Sinne, the spoiled youngest girl, yearns for romance.
All three fear a life of confinement within the walls of the hold – a last bastion of strength against the invading Saxons. But change comes on the day ash falls from the sky, bringing Myrddhin, meddler and magician, and Tristan, a warrior whose secrets will tear the siblings apart. Riva, Keyne and Sinne must take fate into their own hands, or risk being tangled in a story they could never have imagined; one of treachery, love and ultimately, murder. It’s a story that will shape the destiny of Britain.
What intrigues me: Do I need to answer this? Did you read that synopsis? This sounds like all I could hope for in a book, and I might cry if I don’t love it.
The Bone Ship’s Wake by RJ Barker
(The Tide Child #3)
(leaving the synopsis out because of spoilers)
What intrigues me: This is going to destroy me…
Piranesi by Susanna Clarke
Piranesi’s house is no ordinary building: its rooms are infinite, its corridors endless, its walls are lined with thousands upon thousands of statues, each one different from all the others. Within the labyrinth of halls an ocean is imprisoned; waves thunder up staircases, rooms are flooded in an instant. But Piranesi is not afraid; he understands the tides as he understands the pattern of the labyrinth itself. He lives to explore the house.
There is one other person in the house—a man called The Other, who visits Piranesi twice a week and asks for help with research into A Great and Secret Knowledge. But as Piranesi explores, evidence emerges of another person, and a terrible truth begins to unravel, revealing a world beyond the one Piranesi has always known.
What intrigues me: The number of people who seem unable to explain what this book is. The synopsis makes it sounds like something similar to The Starless Sea by Erin Morgenstern but there’s also something about it that makes me think of The Betrayals by Bridget Collins. Both of those books were 5-stars for me, so I’m tentatively putting Piranesi on this list.
Echo Cycle by Patrick Edwards
Fleeing disaster, young Winston Monk wakes to find himself trapped in the past, imprisoned by the mad Emperor Nero. The Roman civilization he idolized is anything but civilized, and his escape from a barbaric home has led him somewhere far more dangerous.
As the European Union crumbled, Britain closed its borders, believing they were stronger alone. After decades of hardship, British envoy Lindon Banks joins a diplomatic team to rebuild bridges with the hypermodern European Confederacy. But in Rome, Banks discovers his childhood friend who disappeared without a trace. Monk appears to have spent the last two decades living rough, but he tells a different story: a tale of Caesars, slavery and something altogether more sinister.
Monk’s mysterious emergence sparks the tinderbox of diplomatic relations between Britain and the Confederacy, controlled by shadowy players with links back to the ancient world itself…
What intrigues me: Time travel, Ancient Rome, the EU and Brexit? I cannot stress how much I need this book to be good. It only has 37 ratings on Goodreads when I’m writing this, so I’m a bit nervous, but please be good!
I might as well put it out there that I’m going to be devastated if all of these books aren’t 5-star worthy. If you’ve read any of them, let me know what you thought.