Dark Fantasy, Dragons, and Secrets // April Wrap-Up & May TBR

April Wrap Up & May TBR. Blazewrath Games. Black Water Sister. The Space Between Worlds.

Hello everyone! I hope you’ve all had a great April, and if you haven’t I hope that May is a better month for you. This month has been a little all over the place for me. Things are opening back up here in the UK and it’s been lovely being able to see some of my friends again, but also it’s also overwhelming! I’m not trying to complain about things getting better but I always find it stressful when change happens.

Writing slightly less posts on here has gone really well! I’ve been writing an essay for my Masters this month and I’ve actually had time to do it without getting super stressed! I hope you’re enjoying what I’m putting out and don’t mind that you’re seeing slightly less of me.

Bookish news wise I’ve reached 300 followers on my blog! I’m so excited to have hit this goal, especially because it was my goal for the year and we’re not even half way through yet! I’ll be doing a giveaway over on Twitter related to this soon!. Also, over at Celestial Book Club which I co-host we’re reading The Wolf Of Oren-Yaro by K.S. Villoso, so if that sounds like something you want to join in on, come and check us out.

Without further ado, here are the books I read this month!

Book covers for books listed below.
  • The Midnight Bargain by CL Polk – This book is a magical, historical that takes place in a deeply misogynistic setting, following two women who want to be free. I really enjoyed the worldbuilding, but I found the characters and romance difficult to connect to. – Recommended for people who love historical fantasy, people who love books with interesting worldbuilding, people who love books that focus on misogyny and rejecting it.
  • A Burning by Megha Majumdar – Although I don’t often read this genre I really enjoyed this audiobook. Tackling a lot of heavy and important themes, and with characters who range in likeability, it was a very interesting read. – Recommended for people who like political contemporary books, people who don’t mind books being pessimistic, people who enjoy themes of justice, corruption, and political extremism.
  • The Helm of Midnight by Marina J. Lostetter – I absolutely adored this book, it blew me away. It has everything I love from a detailed, dark fantasy world, interesting characters, a murder mystery, and mind-blowing hidden secrets. – Recommended for people who like detailed, slightly slower paced fantasy, people who love learning about the secrets of a fantasy world, people who love reading about murder and cults.
  • Dread Nation by Justina Ireland -I don’t think I’d ever considered a historical zombie book as something I’d ever read, but this one was great. I especially loved how it tied in real U.S. history and how there’s casual bi and aroace rep! – Recommended for people who love zombies and want something new, people who are interested in books set around the U.S. Civil War, people who want to read a book with a black, bisexual protagonist.
  • The Space Between Worlds by Micaiah Johnson – Parallel universe sci-fi is hit or miss with me, and this book was definitely a hit. The way it examined real world political issues, the shocking plot twists, the complicated sapphic relationship? This book fucked me up. – Recommended for who love twisty-turny reads, people who love complex characters, people who love the idea of a sci-fi that covers privilege and identity.
book cover for books listed below.
  • A Court of Mist and Fury by Sarah J. Maas – I went through a fantasy romance phase this month as you can see. I liked this one more than the first, especially what it tried to do with abuse, trauma, and healing, even if it wasn’t always completely successful. – Recommended for people who like fantasy romance, people who like fae, people who like stories that focus on healing from trauma.
  • A Court of Wings and Ruin by Sarah J. Maas– This was fun and exactly what I expected. I’m not biggest fan of Rhysand but I do like the found family vibes. Also enjoyed that it was slightly more plot focused. – Recommended for people who like fantasy romance, people who enjoy big battles, people who like character banter.
  • A Court of Frost and Starlight by Sarah J. Maas – Don’t have much to say about this other than it being a fun little slice of life. – Recommended for people who like the trilogy and want a little more, people who like slice of life books, people who want a fanfic-vibe book about this series.
  • A Court of Silver flames by Sarah J. Maas– I had really mixed feelings about this read. I like Nesta as a character, and her healing and relationship to the other women in this book was good. I also enjoyed how she remained dislikeable and wasn’t sanitized. But the romantic relationship and Rhysand’s actions in this book weren’t it. – Recommended for people who like fantasy romance, people who enjoyed the rest of the series, people who like grumpy, dislikeable characters.
  • Master of Crows by Grace Draven– I like this authors other work so I’m disappointed this one didn’t do it for me. I didn’t care about the characters or background plot or worldbuilding. – Recommended for people who like fantasy romance, but her other books are better.
book covers for books listed below.
  • The Beautiful by Renee Ahdieh– This was so interesting, slow, evocative and beautifully written. I’d say the atmosphere and aesthetic are the strong points of this read, it’s also got a hint of vampires so I’m happy. – Recommended for people who like beautifully written, atmospheric reads, people who like themes of power and freedom, people who like gothic vibes.
  • Harrow the Ninth by Tamsyn Muir – It was a choice to make this book completely confusing until right near the end, and to be honest, I did enjoy it. It was a ridiculous, gothic, meme-fest and y’know I’m here for the vibes. – Recommended for people who loved Gideon the Ninth, people who don’t mind being incredibly confused, people who enjoy unreliable narrators.
  • The Ones We’re Meant To Find by Joan He – This book was beautifully written with some amazing secrets and twists, I loved the focus on sisterhood alongside a setting that faces ecological disaster. – Recommended for people who like slow paced, puzzling books, people who love sisterhood in stories, people who love soft sci-fi tackling environmentalism.
  • The Impossible Resurrection of Grief by Octavia Cade – This is set in a world where widespread extinction and the impacts of climate change are strongly felt. It was beautifully written, uncanny, and fairytale-inspired.. – Recommended for people who love cli-fi, people who love weird short stories, people who love to feel a little bit unsettled.
  • Blazewrath Games by Amparo Ortiz – I loved this read, I always need more dragons in my life. It was even better than expected and I loved the fast-paced plot and all of the characters so much.- Recommended for people who love dragons, people who love fantasy sports, people who love found family.
book covers for books listed below.
  • Wings of Ebony by J. Elle – This book was so raw and unflinching in the way it tackles racism, poverty, and cultural erasure. Definitely a young adult more people need to read! My only criticism is I wish that the relationships between characters had been strengthened a bit more.- Recommended for people who love secret, magical societies, people who love fantasy with dystopian elements, people who love books that incorporate real world issues.
  • The Never Tilting World by Rin Chupeco – I absolutely loved the worldbuilding and the characters in this book, but I wish more had happened in it. It was mainly focused on a journey, but I’m hyped to read the second book. – Recommended for people who love journey fantasy, people who love goddesses in fantasy, people who love books with a diverse cast.
  • Boyfriend Material by Alexis Hall – I’m disappointed that I didn’t enjoy this one, I had high hopes! I didn’t vibe with the humour, none of the side characters were well developed, and I didn’t like that it brought in a new conflict right at the end and didn’t wrap it up in a way I found satisfying. – Recommended for people who like this type of humour, people who don’t mind on-again off-again relationships, people who don’t mind side-characters with lack of development.

Mini TBR

book covers of books listed below.
  • Son of the Storm by Suyi Davies Okungbowa – Adult Fantasy Danso is a scholar in the city of Bassa, but he doesn’t want to be. He wants to chase forbidden stories about what lies outside. When he stumbles across a warrior wielding magic that shouldn’t exist he’s put on a course that threatens to destroy the empire. – If you’ve been around for a bit you know I hear the words forbidden magic and immediately need to pick up the book.
  • Black Water Sister by Zen Cho – Adult Contemporary Fantasy  Jessamyn Teoh is moving back to Malaysia, and when she starts hearing voices she chalks it up to stress. It claims to be the ghost of her estranged grandmother who is determined to settle a score against a gang boss who has offended the god – and Jess is going to help her.–  I need more books about being haunted by a grandmother, and this one seems so interesting.
  • Blackheart Knights by Laure EveAdult FantasyIn a city where knights ride on motorbikes instead of horses a young, magic-touched bastard becomes king, and a girl with a secret trains to become a knight in order to get her vengeance. – This is queer fantasy and I can’t remove the image of a knight on a motorbike from my mind, I am hyped.
  • The Jasmine Throne by Tashi Suri Adult FantasyMalini is imprisoned by her dictator brother; Priya is a maidservant tasked with cleaning her quarters. When Malini witnesses Priya’s true nature their destinies become tangled. Together they will change the fate of an empire. – Sapphic princess x priestess in an Indian-inspired fantasy world, fuck me up.
  • The Unpopular Vote by Jasper Sanchez Young Adult ContemporaryWhen a manipulatively charming candidate for student body president inflames dangerous rhetoric, Mark decides to risk his low profile and insert himself as a political challenger. – This book was my first physical arc and I’m hyped to read about this trans man fighting to become student president!

Here’s some of my favourite posts I’ve written this month!

You Need To Read This Series // Cute Mutants Vol 4: The Sisterhood of Evil Mutants

10 Spectacular Queer Sci-Fi Books

Magical, Murderous Masks & Dark Secrets // The Helm of Midnight

Ableist Tropes 101: The Disabled Villain // Discussion

May’s New Book Releases I’m Excited For

Favourite Instagram Picture I took this month! @luminositylibrary

How was your month? What was your favourite read? Have you read any of these?

7 thoughts on “Dark Fantasy, Dragons, and Secrets // April Wrap-Up & May TBR

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