Title: The Midnight Lie (The Midnight Lie, #1) Author: Marie Rutkoski Genre: Fantasy, LGBTQ+, Romance, Young Adult Release Date:11 May 2021
Set in the world of the New York Times–bestselling Winner’s Trilogy, Marie Rutkoski’s The Midnight Lie is an epic LGBTQ romantic fantasy about learning to free ourselves from the lies others tell us―and the lies we tell ourselves.
Where Nirrim lives, crime abounds, a harsh tribunal rules, and society’s pleasures are reserved for the High Kith. Life in the Ward is grim and punishing. People of her low status are forbidden from sampling sweets or wearing colors. You either follow the rules, or pay a tithe and suffer the consequences.
Nirrim keeps her head down, and a dangerous secret close to her chest.
But then she encounters Sid, a rakish traveler from far away, who whispers rumors that the High Kith possess magic. Sid tempts Nirrim to seek that magic for herself. But to do that, Nirrim must surrender her old life. She must place her trust in this sly stranger who asks, above all, not to be trusted.
Title: House of Bastiion (The Haidren Legacy #1) Author: K.L. Kolarich Genre: YA/NA High Fantasy/ Adventure Release Date: 19 January 2021
BEHIND THE MASK OF DUTY AND POWER, NO ONE IS WHO THEY SEEM…
Centuries after the Forgotten Wars ravaged the world and turned it to ash, the Houses of Pilar, Darakai, Boreal, and Bastiion forged an accord with the royal line of Thoarne, founding a Quadren of advisory to the throne of Orynthia. Every generation, a single Haidren from each of the four Houses is appointed to this coveted chair.
Upon her Ascension to adulthood, Luscia Tiergan takes her seat at court as al’Haidren to the House of Boreal and is quickly drawn into a maze of political traps and dark secrets. As she adjusts to her new life, Luscia uncovers a pattern of forgotten children, slain in the streets of Bastiion.
Raised on superstitious rumors about Boreal’s penchant for sorcery, Zaethan Kasim, al’Haidren to the House of Darakai, inevitably clashes with Lusica when she arrives in Bastiion. But when his position is threatened by an old rival, Zaethan is forced to set aside his hatred and form an uneasy alliance with the Boreali al’Haidren to secure his claim.
Following a disturbing stream of innocent bloodshed across Orynthia, Luscia and Zaethan discover their ideals are far more aligned than they might have imagined. But in a land of war and deceit, the path to peace should never be trusted.
Title: Day of the Horn (The Faun Quartet #1) Author: Chris J. Edwards Genre: Fantasy Release Date:15 October 2020
A kidnapped princess.
A reluctant mercenary.
A shamed prince.
Far in the west, isolated from the weary world beyond, lies the sylfolk kingdom of Céin Urthia – a woodland realm of ancient forests and sunlit meadows. But this kingdom cannot remain secluded forever; for Princess Dawn, heiress to the throne, has been
mysteriously abducted. Not even her kidnapper, a mercenary battle-mage, knows who ordered it – or
why. A fevered pursuit begins as the High King commands every servant of the crown to rescue
her, even the disgraced and imprisoned Herace the Shamed. But even as he and his companions follow in wild pursuit, Princess Dawn herself must decide – does she even want to be saved?
Meanwhile, powers beyond the sight of the court plot under cover of darkness – for not all wish
to see the princess safely home…
As civil war darkens the horizon, will Princess Dawn save her beloved home, or will unseen enemies win the day?
Abney Kelly & the Yuletide Shenanigans by SamiJo McQuiston
Title: Abney Kelly & the Yuletide Shenanigans Author: SamiJo McQuiston Genre: YA Fantasy Release Date: 09 October 2020
Abney Kelly seems like your typical thirteen-year-old trying to find her place in the world. She’s shy, awkward, has no friends, and is bullied constantly. However things are not always as they appear, after being pushed into a clover patch, a creature who says he’s her assigned guardian whisks her off to a school in Tìr na nÓg, called Yule.
Turns out she’s a Changeling, and it’s time she learns what that means. Between making new friends, discovering that all the monsters in her nightmares are real, and starting at a new school, Abney didn’t think life could get any harder as she splits her time between the human and Fae realms.
That is until her house matron warns them about Nicholas Kringle. He is stalking his prey throughout realms and collecting the hearts of those on his so-called nice list. At a New Year’s Eve party, Abney and her new gang use an Ouija board and discover that one of their friends is on Kringle’s list.
Determined to stop their friend’s death, Abney and company set off on a chilly adventure, to try to change fate, but only one thing is for certain… This year they’ll end up on the naughty list or die trying.
Title: Of Heart and Wings (Dragon King #1) Author: Debbie McQueen Genre: Fantasy Release Date: 11 October 2020
Raiden is the firstborn son and heir to the throne. When his father is injured, the weight of the crown is heavier than ever. At seventeen years old, Raiden isn’t sure he can live up to the king’s legacy.
Egan is a dragon who appears human. He works for his family as a blacksmith. The secret he must protect keeps him from getting close to anyone.
After a chance encounter, Raiden discovers Egan’s secret. They form a friendship forged by trust, it soon blossoms into something neither of them expected. The strength they find in each other may just help them rise up to meet their destinies.
Title: Nightmare Thief Author: Dara Kent Genre: Adult, Fantasy, Occult Fiction Release Date: 06 April 2021
If you do bad things for a good reason … are you still a villain?
Remy Novem is the not so ambivalent caretaker of the dreamscape Somniare, the place where all creatures go to dream. Her job is to keep the barriers strong between worlds, so nightmares stay where they belong, and no one ends up dead or worse. Her magic feeds off of terror, sweetened by the little bit of torture she enjoys doling out to unsuspecting dreamers. Nocturnal suffering in exchange for safety, not a bad deal as far as Remy is concerned. But not everyone is pleased with the current status quo.
When a mystery foe starts springing nightmares from Somniare, causing havoc in all the worlds, Remy will find out exactly how wrong she was about … everything.
Title: Faust University Author: M. Dalto and Laynie Bynum Genre: Fantasy, Paranormal Romance My rating: 3 of 5 stars
Faust University is an assemblage of so many Academy Reads; I don’t know where to start comparing. The book, tongue firmly in cheek, compares it’s invite process to Harry Potter; we can knock that one out. Then I was stuck thinking of Magicians by Lev Grossman, Wonderland Academy by Melanie Karsak, Celestial Academy by Sarah Biglow and Molly Zenk, and Vampire Academy by Richelle Mead as I read it. There were many times Faust Academy picked up on other Paranormal Academy novels before it. Still, when something works, it works for a reason, and the plot of Faust Academy has a lot of real estate. While I was often distracted by the similarities to previous novels I read, I enjoyed the narrative.
Eve gets an invite to a private university, and like magic, she is whisked away to this strange place. Upon arriving, she finds it bizarre and secretive, and even more discussions of sorcery are taking place, summoning and beast mastering, to name a few. She has an instant connection with her new friend, and all goes awry when the two find they have an even more substantial relationship.