Reading Round-up: November 2021

Happy belated Thanksgiving! I was traveling a lot in November and also getting back to dayjob things, so my reading fell off slightly. That said, I got to enjoy some lovely stories, and here they are.

Paladin’s Hope by T. Kingfisher

I’ve been reading this series since it started. Set in the same world as The Clocktaur Wars and Swordheart, this is the third Saint of Steel book, and the first to have a gay main character. Each of these books follows a specific couple, one paladin of the mysterious dead god the Saint of Steel and one soon-to-be spouse of said paladin. There’s generally a murder mystery or other plot baked in, and this book’s main characters, Galen and Piper, find themselves investigating a series of bodies washing up on the riverbank with mysterious wounds. Things devolve from there as you might expect. I really enjoyed this book, and the final scene is definitely a cliffhanger but in the best way. I can’t wait for the next book. (Romance, Epic Fantasy, LGBTQ+)

A Spindle Splintered by Alix E. Harrow

It’s not like I’m the only one talking about this book. With interior illustrations by the ever-talented Kathleen Jennings and truly lovely layout work, Tor.com obviously has thrown a lot of weight behind this book. But I can say that the story matches the hype. It’s a perfect uplifting afternoon read, and an original take on Sleeping Beauty that is aware of the dark history of the original. If you love fairytale re-imaginings I think you will enjoy this one. (Contemporary Fantasy, Portal Story, LGBTQ+)

A Dark and Starless Forest by Sarah Hollowell

I read a lot of horror or horror adjacent books in 2021, but this is the book that kept me most on the edge of my seat. It’s a story about a group of girls on the edge of the lake and the edge of the forest, all raised as sisters, being watched over by one questionable man. Things start when one of the girls goes missing — but who is responsible for her disappearance? What ghosts haunt the forest? What is at the bottom of the lake? If you want found family, tons of tension that kept me guessing, and great fat and disability rep, this is the book. The horror is largely psychological, but there are character deaths in this book, so be prepared for the ride. (Horror, Dark Fantasy, LGBTQ+, Contemporary Fantasy)

The Beautiful Ones by Sylvia Moreno-Garcia

Sylvia Moreno-Garcia is one of my favorite authors right now for a lot of reasons, not least of which being that everything she writes is distinctly her own. This is an author who has a subtle but powerful voice, from vampiric Mexican drug cartels to dystopian science fiction to a Victorian-adjacent secondary world novel of manners and intrigue. If you, like me, really freaking loved Jane Eyre and have read it multiple times, you might enjoy this book. (Fantasy, Romance)

That’s it for this month, folks! You are getting a whole bunch of year-end posts the same as every year, however, so I’ll see you all next week!


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