The books on my TBR this month have turned out to be quite a varied set of titles spanning several genres. There are several long awaited titles that I’m really excited to get my hands on to start the summer with, as well as a few surprise additions to this list that I didn’t even know were slated for release this month until quite recently. Let’s take a look!
Ballad and Dagger (Outlaw Saints #1) – Daniel José Older
Almost sixteen years ago, Mateo Matisse’s island homeland disappeared into the sea. Weary and hopeless, the survivors of San Madrigal’s sinking escaped to New York.
While the rest of his tight-knit Brooklyn diaspora community dreams of someday finding a way back home, Mateo – now a high school junior and piano prodigy living with his two aunts (one who’s alive, the other not so much) – is focused on one thing: getting the attention of locally-grown musical legend Gerval. Mateo finally gets his chance on the night of the Grand Fete, an annual party celebrating the blended culture of pirates, Cuban Santeros, and Sephardic Jews that created San Madrigal all those centuries ago.
But the evil that sank their island has finally caught up with them, and on the night of the celebration, Mateo’s life is forever changed when he witnesses a brutal murder by a person he thought he knew.
Suddenly Mateo is thrust into an ancient battle that spans years and oceans. Deadly secrets are unraveled and Mateo awakens a power within himself – a power that not only links him to the killer but could also hold the key to unlocking the dark mystery behind his lost homeland.
Book of Night – Holly Black
In Charlie Hall’s world, shadows can be altered, for entertainment and cosmetic preferences – but also to increase power and influence. You can alter someone’s feelings – and memories – but manipulating shadows has a cost, with the potential to take hours or days from your life. Your shadow holds all the parts of you that you want to keep hidden – a second self, standing just to your left, walking behind you into lit rooms. And sometimes, it has a life of its own.
Charlie is a low-level con artist, working as a bartender while trying to distance herself from the powerful and dangerous underground world of shadow trading. She gets by doing odd jobs for her patrons and the naive new money in her town at the edge of the Berkshires. But when a terrible figure from her past returns, Charlie’s present life is thrown into chaos, and her future seems at best, unclear – and at worst, non-existent. Determined to survive, Charlie throws herself into a maelstrom of secrets and murder, setting her against a cast of doppelgängers, mercurial billionaires, shadow thieves, and her own sister – all desperate to control the magic of the shadows.
With sharp angles and prose, and a sinister bent, Holly Black is a master of shadow and story stitching. Remember while you read, light isn’t playing tricks in Book of Night, the people are.
Elektra: A Novel of the House of Atreus – Jennifer Saint
The House of Atreus is cursed. A bloodline tainted by a generational cycle of violence and vengeance. This is the story of three women, their fates inextricably tied to this curse, and the fickle nature of men and gods.
The sister of Helen, wife of Agamemnon – her hopes of averting the curse are dashed when her sister is taken to Troy by the feckless Paris. Her husband raises a great army against them, and determines to win, whatever the cost.
Princess of Troy, and cursed by Apollo to see the future but never to be believed when she speaks of it. She is powerless in her knowledge that the city will fall.
The youngest daughter of Clytemnestra and Agamemnon, Elektra is horrified by the bloodletting of her kin. But, can she escape the curse, or is her own destiny also bound by violence?
Eyes of the Void (The Final Architecture #2) – Adrian Tchaikovsky
After eighty years of fragile peace, the Architects are back, wreaking havoc as they consume entire planets. In the past, Originator artefacts – vestiges of a long-vanished civilization – could save a world from annihilation. Yet the Architects have discovered a way to circumvent these protective relics. Suddenly, no planet is safe.
Facing impending extinction, the Human Colonies are in turmoil. While some believe a unified front is the only way to stop the Architects, others insist humanity should fight alone. And there are those who would seek to benefit from the fractured politics of war – even as the Architects loom ever closer.
Idris, who has spent decades running from the horrors of his past, finds himself thrust back onto the battlefront. As an Intermediary, he could be one of the few to turn the tide of war. With a handful of allies, he searches for a weapon that could push back the Architects and save the galaxy. But to do so, he must return to the nightmarish unspace, where his mind was broken and remade.
What Idris discovers there will change everything.
The Last White Rose: A Novel of Elizabeth of York (Tudor Rose #1) – Alison Weir
Elizabeth of York is the oldest daughter of King Edward IV. Flame-haired, beautiful, and sweet-natured, she is adored by her family; yet her life is suddenly disrupted when her beloved father dies in the prime of life. Her uncle, the notorious Richard III, takes advantage of King Edward’s death to grab the throne and imprison Elizabeth’s two younger brothers, the rightful royal heirs. Forever afterwards known as the princes in the tower, the boys are never seen again. On the heels of this tragedy, Elizabeth is subjected to Richard’s overtures to make her his wife, further legitimizing his claim to the throne. King Richard has murdered her brothers, yet she is obliged to accept his proposal.
As if in a fairy tale, Elizabeth is saved by Henry Tudor, who challenges Richard and kills him in the legendary Battle of Bosworth Field. In recognition of his victory, Henry becomes king and asks Elizabeth to be his wife, the first queen of the Tudor line. The marriage is happy and fruitful, not only uniting the warring houses of Lancaster and York – the red and white roses – but resulting in four surviving children, one of whom, Henry VIII, will rule the country for the next thirty-six years.
As in her popular Six Tudor Queens series, Alison Weir captures the personality of one of Britain’s most important monarchs, conveying Elizabeth of York’s dramatic life in a novel that is all the richer because of its firm basis in history.
Rivals (Americal Royals #3) – Katharine McGee
Beatrice is queen, and for the American royal family, everything is about to change.
Relationships will be tested.
Princess Samantha is in love with Lord Marshall Davis – but the more serious they get, the more complicated things become. Is Sam destined to repeat her string of broken relationships…and this time will the broken heart be her own?
Strangers will become friends.
Beatrice is representing America at the greatest convocation of kings and queens in the world. When she meets a glamorous foreign princess, she gets drawn into the inner circle…but at what cost?
And rivals will become allies.
Nina and Daphne have spent years competing for Prince Jefferson. Now they have something in common: they both want to take down manipulative Lady Gabriella Madison. Can these enemies join forces, or will old rivalries stand in the way?
Are any of these books on your May TBR? Let me know in the comments below!