As I am writing this post, it is snowing outside, so I am not feeling the May vibes quite yet, but I am excited about all of these books I hope to read in May!

One human. One immortal. Will their alliance save the kingdom, or will their forbidden love be a death sentence?

When Cassia seeks out a Hesperine, he could end her mortal life in a heartbeat. But she has no fear of his magic or his fangs. She knows the real monster is the human king, her father. If he finds out she’s bargaining with his enemy, he’ll send her to the executioner.

As a Hesperine diplomat, Lio must negotiate with mortals who hate him. Cassia is different, but politics aren’t why she captivates the gentle immortal. He wants more than her blood, and if he can’t resist the temptation, he’ll provoke the war he’s trying to prevent.

Blood and Ash fans will love this slow-burn, steamy romance with classic fantasy worldbuilding. Follow fated mates Cassia and Lio through their epic love story for a guaranteed series HEA.

I have been getting more and more into fantasy romance lately, so, of course, Blood Mercy is on my radar. Not only is the cover stunning, but so many people also rave about this entire series. However, it is over 750 pages, which seems too long to me, so I haven’t picked it up. That will be changing in May because I am buddy reading it with friends who will hold me accountable!

A young royal from the far north is sent south for a political marriage in an empire reminiscent of imperial China. Her brothers are dead, her armies and their war mammoths long defeated and caged behind their borders. Alone and sometimes reviled, she must choose her allies carefully.

Rabbit, a handmaiden, sold by her parents to the palace for the lack of five baskets of dye, befriends the emperor’s lonely new wife and gets more than she bargained for.

At once feminist high fantasy and an indictment of monarchy, this evocative debut follows the rise of the empress In-yo, who has few resources and fewer friends. She’s a northern daughter in a mage-made summer exile, but she will bend history to her will and bring down her enemies, piece by piece.

This will be a reread for me! I originally listened to The Empress of Salt and Fortune on audio but have always said I wanted to reread it physically because I think there was a lot I missed. I have been meaning to buy a copy but it is such a short book and I couldn’t justify the price. That is why I am so happy that I won a giveaway hosted by Bethany for Beautifully Bookish Bethany! Even though I adore Nghi Vo, this is the first book of hers I own physically, so I treasure it!

Paama’s husband is a fool and a glutton. Bad enough that he followed her to her parents’ home in the village of Makendha, now he’s disgraced himself by murdering livestock and stealing corn. When Paama leaves him for good, she attracts the attention of the undying ones – the djombi – who present her with a gift: the Chaos Stick, which allows her to manipulate the subtle forces of the world.

Unfortunately, not all the djombi are happy about this gift: the Indigo Lord believes this power should be his and his alone, and he sets about trying to persuade Paama to return the Chaos Stick.

Chaos is about to reign supreme…

Redemption in Indigo is the May book club pick for the Book Check Out Book Club. What I love so much about our book club is that it is constantly introducing me to books I have never heard of! Redemption in Indigo is under 200 pages, so it will be a quick read, and I have been told that the audiobook is excellent. If you choose to join us, we will be discussing it in June!

From an award-winning team of editors comes an anthology of thirty-two original stories showcasing the breadth of fantasy and science fiction from Africa and the African Diaspora.

A group of cabinet ministers query a supercomputer containing the minds of the country’s ancestors. A child robot on a dying planet uncovers signs of fragile new life. A descendent of a rain goddess inherits her grandmother’s ability to change her appearance—and perhaps the world.

Created in the legacy of the seminal, award-winning anthology series Dark MatterAfrica Risen celebrates the vibrancy, diversity, and reach of African and Afro-Diasporic SFF and reaffirms that Africa is not rising—it’s already here.

Africa Risen is a short story collection that I have been curious about since it came out. It is the May book for a book club that I follow but I also think that with the Hugo Awards coming up, now is the perfect time to read it. I have a feeling a few stories in here will be nominated! I want to be someone who reads short story collections because they always intrigue me, so we will see how I do.

Salama Kassab was a pharmacy student when the cries for freedom broke out in Syria. She still had her parents and her big brother; she still had her home. She had a normal teenager’s life.

Now Salama volunteers at a hospital in Homs, helping the wounded who flood through the doors daily. Secretly, though, she is desperate to find a way out of her beloved country before her sister-in-law, Layla, gives birth. So desperate, that she has manifested a physical embodiment of her fear in the form of her imagined companion, Khawf, who haunts her every move in an effort to keep her safe.

But even with Khawf pressing her to leave, Salama is torn between her loyalty to her country and her conviction to survive. Salama must contend with bullets and bombs, military assaults, and her shifting sense of morality before she might finally breathe free. And when she crosses paths with the boy she was supposed to meet one fateful day, she starts to doubt her resolve in leaving home at all.

Soon, Salama must learn to see the events around her for what they truly are—not a war, but a revolution—and decide how she, too, will cry for Syria’s freedom.

When putting together the post where I shared my quarterly stats, I noticed that I have neglected historical fiction, which is a shame because my top two books of 2022 were historical fiction. I am determined to fix that starting with As the Lemon Tree Grows. I am not exaggerating when I say every friend I have on Goodreads who has read this has given it five stars. I know it is going to break my heart!

In this romantic new fantasy series from author Hannah Whitten, a young woman’s secret power to raise the dead plunges her into the dangerous and glamorous world of the Sainted King’s royal court.

When Lore was thirteen, she escaped a cult in the catacombs beneath the city of Dellaire. And in the ten years since, she’s lived by one rule: don’t let them find you. Easier said than done, when her death magic ties her to the city.

Mortem, the magic born from death, is a high-priced and illicit commodity in Dellaire, and Lore’s job running poisons keeps her in food, shelter, and relative security. But when a run goes wrong and Lore’s power is revealed, she’s taken by the Presque Mort, a group of warrior-monks sanctioned to use Mortem working for the Sainted King. Lore fully expects a pyre, but King August has a different plan. Entire villages on the outskirts of the country have been dying overnight, seemingly at random. Lore can either use her magic to find out what’s happening and who in the King’s court is responsible, or die.

Lore is thrust into the Sainted King’s glittering court, where no one can be believed and even fewer can be trusted. Guarded by Gabriel, a duke-turned-monk, and continually running up against Bastian, August’s ne’er-do-well heir, Lore tangles in politics, religion, and forbidden romance as she attempts to navigate a debauched and opulent society.

But the life she left behind in the catacombs is catching up with her. And even as Lore makes her way through the Sainted court above, they might be drawing closer than she thinks.

I do not want to fall behind on my Fairyloot books, so I would like to get to The Foxglove King in May. I quite enjoyed For the Wolf by the same author, so I am curious to see what she does with adult fantasy.

After her perilous quest to free her mother, Xingyin thrives once more in the tranquility of her home. But her fragile peace is threatened by the discovery of a strange magic on the moon and the unsettling changes in the Celestial Kingdom as the emperor tightens his grip on power. While Xingyin is determined to keep clear of the rising danger, the discovery of a shocking truth spurs her into a treacherous confrontation.

Forced to flee her home once more, Xingyin and her companions venture to unexplored lands of the Immortal Realm, encountering legendary creatures and shrewd monarchs, beloved friends and bitter adversaries. With alliances shifting quicker than the tides, Xingyin has to overcome past grudges and enmities to forge a new path forward, seeking aid where she never imagined she would. As an unspeakable terror sweeps across the realm, Xingyin must uncover the truth of her heart and claw her way through devastation–to rise against this evil before it destroys everything she holds dear, and the worlds she has grown to love… even if doing so demands the greatest price of all.

Daughter of the Moon Goddess was such a surprise for me and I don’t know why I have been putting off Heart of the Sun Warrior for so long. I want to be back in this world and see where the story goes! I really need to be better about finishing duologies!

Pull three people out of prison–a disgraced paladin, a convicted forger, and a heartless assassin. Give them weapons, carnivorous tattoos, and each other. Point them at the enemy.

What could possibly go wrong?

In the sequel to CLOCKWORK BOYS, Slate, Brenner, Caliban and Learned Edmund have arrived in Anuket City, the source of the mysterious Clockwork Boys. But the secrets they’re keeping could well destroy them, before the city even gets the chance…

The Wonder Engine is the last book in the Clocktaur War duology. I read the first book last summer and I should not have put the sequel off this long because this does read more like one book that was split into two parts. I want to get to this one because it is the first duology in a wider series of books all set within the same world.

In a bid for more power, the Shadow Queen of Haradis has unleashed a malignant force into the world. Her son Brishen, younger prince of the Kai royal house, suddenly finds himself ruler of a kingdom blighted by a diseased darkness and on the brink of war. His human wife Ildiko must decide if she will give up the man she loves in order to secure his throne.

Three enemy kingdoms must unite to save each other, and a one-eyed, reluctant king must raise an army of the dead to defeat an army of the damned.

A tale of alliance and sacrifice.

I read the first book in the Wraith Kings series in April and adored it! I fell in love with these characters, so I need more of them and cannot wait to read Eidolon. I have heard that this one leans more into the fantasy and less into the romance, which makes me a little sad but I did really like the fantasy elements of the first book, so I am intrigued.

What books do you plan on reading in May?

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9 thoughts on “May TBR

  1. I’ve heard nothing but glowing reviews for As Long As the Lemon Tree Grows too! And I agree with you on Empress of Salt and Fortune, I’m definitely doing a reread with a physical copy as there are things I missed with audio book.

  2. Sounds like a fun list; I hope you enjoy them! I do think that the Clocktaur War duology could be seen as one really big book split in two, and yet there are also distinct enough bits in each book that to me it did feel like a duology.

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