Best of 2021

The Bronzed Beasts – Roshani Chokshi

Following the events in the Sleeping Palace and the revelation that Séverin alone is capable of playing the Divine Lyre, he now plays a dangerous game as he balances a delicate alliance with Ruslan, the Patriarch of the Fallen House to discover the location of the temple where the lyre can be played. Meanwhile, Séverin’s seeming betrayal has driven a wedge in the team even as Laila, Enrique, Zofia and Hypnos make their way to Venice to find him with only the barest of clues. Laila has only ten days before she expires and the crew must set aside their doubts to reach the temple in time. Playing the Divine Lyre in the temple promises divinity, which for Séverin, would be the power he needs to keep his friends safe. But will they be prepared to pay the price this apotheosis demands?…

Iron Widow – Xiran Jay Zhao – ARC Review

The land of Huaxia has been at war with the Hunduns and mecha aliens beyond the Great Wall for many centuries and the only way to fight them are using Chrysalises, giant robots that require a boy-girl pair to activate and pilot. The girl of the pair often dies of the mental strain involved in the process, but the harshly patriarchal and misogynistic society sees them as acceptable losses. When Zetian’s sister is killed by one of the most famous male pilots, she enlists as a concubine-pilot to gain vengeance. And on the field, a shocking and unprecedented event occurs – instead of dying from the strain, she instead overpowers the male pilot through the psychic bond, killing him and taking control of the Chrysalis to return unharmed. Labelled an Iron Widow, the army is eager to silence her and pairs her up with the strongest pilot in Huaxia. But while this was initially about vengeance for Zetian, the taste of power she has gained has her seeking more and more, determined to break down the skewed pilot system and stop any more girls from being sent to their deaths.…

A Court of Silver Flames – Sarah J. Maas

Following the war with Hybern, Prythian is slowly healing and returning to normal. But Nesta has far from adjusted to becoming High Fae and is headed down a very self-destructive path. The horrors of the battle, seeing her Father die and being forced into a Cauldron still haunt her. Sent to train with Cassian by Feyre and Rhysand in a last attempt to help her, Nesta sets out on a difficult journey of healing and acceptance. But the mortal queens who returned to the Continent are plotting, and have formed an alliance with an ancient enemy, and Nesta’s unique powers, which she has kept buried deep, might very well be the key to defeating them.…

Chain of Iron – Cassandra Clare

It’s time for James and Cordelia’s wedding, but only a few know the truth of the matter. This marriage is a ruse, contrived to protect Cordelia’s reputation, for James is in love with Grace Blackthorn. On top of that, her father, Elias Carstairs has returned home a very different man and Cortana inexplicably burns Cordelia’s hand when she tries to wield it. Meanwhile, Lucie is set upon bringing Jesse back to life by any means possible, and James begins to realize that he is far from free of Belial’s influence. When a murderer begins to target London’s Shadowhunters, the Merry Thieves, Cordelia and Lucie begin to follow the clues and must find the killer before it is too late.…

We Free the Stars – Hafsah Faizal

Zafira, Nasir and Kifah have survived the battle on Sharr. Heavy with the guilt of having to leave Altair a captive of the Lion of the Night, are heading for Sultan’s Keep with four of the hearts of the Sisters of Old to restore magic to Arawiya. The Arz is gone, and the various issues that plagued the caliphates are starting to wane – but with it, the curse that bound the inhabitants of Sharr to the island has fallen too and the Lion is free to return and wreak his vengeance. The zumra is on the path to completing the final steps in Altair’s plan, but each of them is contending with other threats too. Nasir struggles with his magic, knowing that he will need to use it not only against the Lion, but also to free his father who has been under the Lion’s control all these years. Zafira’s battle is within her own mind – bound to the Jawarat, she quickly realizes that it has a mind of its own and will not hesitate to use her as a conduit to unleash its power.…

The Rose Code – Kate Quinn – ARC Review

The year is 1940, and three women answer a mysterious summons to the country estate of Bletchley Park in Buckinghamshire, learning upon arrival that they are to join teams that work to break codes in intercepted German military communications. Wealthy Canadian born debutante Osla has everything, but longs to prove herself as more than just another society girl, and gains the opportunity when her proficiency in German lands her a position translating decoded enemy messages. Mab has worked hard to give herself an education and a brighter future than the poverty she grew up in. She works the codebreaking machines, even as she looks for the security a husband will bring, all the while concealing a dark secret. Then there is meek Beth, the village spinster, who has been cowed by her domineering mother all her life and made to believe she is worthless. But Osla and Mab see potential in her talent for puzzles and when she becomes one of the few female cryptanalysts at Bletchley, her true genius begins to shine through. With the extreme secrecy that the job requires, the three of them soon become close friends. Fast forward to 1947, the three women, once close friends are now enemies, torn apart by secrets and betrayal, but they meet again reluctantly when Beth, who has been confined to an asylum under false pretences, manages to reach out at last with critical information she was shut away for knowing. There was and still is a traitor among the group at Bletchley Park, and they must get back together to break one last code to find the evidence.…

Good Girl, Bad Blood – Holly Jackson – ARC Review

Although she successfully solved the Andie Bell case, Pip is still quite shaken up by how things ended and has decided she is done with detective work, turning her attention back to normal life and a true-crime podcast about how she solved the case. But when Jamie Reynolds, her friend’s brother, goes missing and the police refuse to do anything about it, Pip realizes she has no choice but to help. She knows it will be risky, especially now that she has people actually watching, listening and judging her actions to see if she will succeed or fail, but time is running out fast and with each day that goes by, the chances of finding Jamie safe and sound continue to decrease.…

Lore – Alexandra Bracken

As punishment for a past rebellion, every seven years, nine Greek Gods are forced to descend to earth and live for seven days as mortals. During these days, the descendants of ancient heroes hunt the mortal gods, seeking to kill one of them and gain their power, immortality and eternal glory in a lethal hunt known as the Agon. Lore of the House of Perseus fled that dangerous life following the brutal murders of her family by a rival house, but as a new Agon begins in New York City, she finds herself drawn back into that world when on the first day, two participants seek her out – Castor, a childhood friend she believed long dead, and the goddess Athena, one of the last original gods still alive. Severely injured, Athena asks for her help and in return, offers her an alliance and what she has long sought: revenge against Wrath, the new Ares, and the man responsible for her family’s deaths, and possibly a way to stop the cycle and end the Agon forever.…

This list will be updated throughout the year. Check back later for new additions!

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