After my Anticipated Books for Summer/Fall 2013 posts of the past few weeks, today I bring you the fifteen books I anticipate reading the most in the coming six months. As usual it’s a list of fifteen, as there are just too many good books to choose from and I always have a hard time getting the list down to the more usual ten books. There are a lot of books I’m really anticipating reading that I excluded right off the bat, such as all the next books in series I’ve been reading. If I loved a book last year, you can bet that I’ll want to read the next instalment. Examples of these are Lou Morgan’s Blood and Feathers: Rebellion, Mark Lawrence’s Emperor of Thorns, Elspeth Cooper’s The Raven’s Shadow, Emma Newman’s All is Fair, and Chris F. Holm’s The Big Reap. I’ve also left off any duh-factors, such as Scott Lynch’s The Republic of Thieves, because honestly, who isn’t looking forward to that one? So below in alphabetical order by author is my list, with a little explanation of why I really can’t wait to read these books. Do you agree or would you have chosen differently from the lists I posted recently?
Mark Alder – Son of the Morning (Gollancz)
One of the books that have been languishing on my TBR-pile is M.D. Lachlan’s Wolfsangel, a historical fantasy that really drew my attention and which I bought during the great London Book Blow-Out of 2011. Due to the fact that I was already behind on the series when I got the first book, I kept not picking it up. This start of a new series by the same author (under a different name) gives me a chance to finally introduce myself to his writing. Besides, that blurb sounds awesome!
Jo Baker – Longbourn (Transworld Books)
Pride and Prejudice was the book that inspired me to choose to study English language and literature at university. I read the book due to the (in)famous BBC miniseries featuring Colin Firth as Mr Darcy and I’ve read the book about ten times since and re-watched the series a half-a-dozen times as well. To say I love this book is an understatement and as such, the premise of Jo Baker’s retelling from the servants’ point of view inevitably intrigues me. Luckily, I already have an ARC for this one so expect a review for this somewhere in August.
Rosie Best – Skulk (Fantasy, Strange Chemistry Books)
A YA fantasy, again set in London, with shape-shifting foxes and other shape-shifting animals? This story sounds like it could be an awesome book filled with shape-shifter mythology.
Gwenda Bond – The Woken Gods (Fantasy, Strange Chemistry Books)
I adored Gwenda Bond’s debut Blackwood and I’d been looking forward to her next book ever since. And when I finally read the synopsis: re-awakened gods, mysterious societies, missing relics and conspiracies? I was sold completely. This is another book I already have the eARC for on my iPad, so expect a review for it around its release date.
Laure Eve – Fearsome Dreamer (Fantasy, Hot Key Books)
Set in what seems to be a post-apocalyptic England, with an intriguing form of dream magic this book sounds amazing. Coupled with the awesome cover and written by the ever elegant Laure Eve, this debut was a shoe-in from the moment I knew it was to be published.
Susan Fletcher – Falcon in the Glass (Fantasy, Margaret K. McElderry Books)
My medieval ancestors hailed from Murano in the 15th or 16th century and were glass blowers who brought their trade to The Netherlands in the 16th century. Because of this, books about glass blowers and books set in Venice always grab my attention. As did Susan Fletcher’s Falcon in the Glass. Coupled with its Venice setting and its glass-blowing characters, the bird-kenning magic that marks the children in this book really had me excited and I really hope I can get my hands on this book soon.
Kate Forsyth – The Wild Girl (Allison & Busby)
Earlier this year I read Kate Forsyth’s Bitter Greens, a retelling of the fairy tale of Rapunzel mixed with the story of the Frenchwoman who wrote the version most of us know. The Wild Girl is the story of the Grimm Brothers and the girl who inspired them to start collecting fairy tales and folk tales. As someone who loves fairy tales, this book is right up my alley and if The Wild Girl is as good as Bitter Greens, it should be amazing.
Daisy Goodwin – The Last Empress (Headline)
When I was a small girl, every Christmas holiday saw the reruns of the Sissi films starring Romy Schneider. And I loved them; to me the story was magical. Once I grew older and read several biographies of Empress Elisabeth, I learned that her life was anything but the idyll it seemed and was actually rather tragic. Still, she has a fond place in my heart and this story of her travels to Britain is one that I’m not that familiar with and which I find very intriguing.
Thomas Keneally – The Daughters of Mars (Atria Books)
Thomas Keneally is perhaps best known for his novel that inspired the film Schindler’s List. But I’ve only read his novel Bettany’s Book, which was published in 2000. This new book about two Australian nurses on the Western front of the First World War sounds fascinating and while I’m quite familiar with the history of the Second World War in Europe, my knowledge of the First World War is rather limited, so this novel seems made to fill that gap a little for me.
Jennifer Laam – The Secret Daughter of the Tsar (St. Martin’s Griffin)
The last Tsar of Russia, and his family, has long been a grateful subject for historical novelists, especially the subject of his ‘lost’ daughter Anastasia and his wife’s connection to the sinister figure of Rasputin. Laam’s debut seems to head away from most of this and gives us an entirely new tale, one that seems as intriguing as any story about the rumour of a long-lost Romanov heir.
Tom Lloyd – Moon’s Artifice (Gollancz)
Like Mark Alder above, Tom Lloyd is an author I’ve been following for ages and I’ve had his The Stormcaller on my TBR-pile for ages. Having come to this series late as well, with the start of a new series in Moon’s Artifice, this seems like the perfect time to hop on board and acquaint myself with his writing.
Kristen-Paige Madonia – Fingerprints of You (Contemporary, S&S Books for Young Readers)
This story about breaking the chain of repeating history and the decisions facing a young girl when she finds herself pregnant, grabbed my attention. It seems like a story not just of self-discovery but also about figuring out what it means to be a mother. No longer a teen myself, the struggle to figure out how to be the best mum you can be, is still quite familiar. Add the great cover and I’m sold on the book.
John Matthews – Letters From a Murderer (Exhibit A Books)
Criminal Minds Avant-la-lettre? A seeming link to Jack the Ripper? Historical crime fiction set in New York? Here, take my money already!
Lavie Tidhar – The Violent Century (Hodder & Stoughton)
While I’m not 100% clear on what sort of fantasy book this will be – gritty? Supernatural? – what I’ve read makes it seem really cool. Tidhar always brings interesting stories and The Violent Century is bound to be as well.