The year is 1779, and Carlo Morelli, the most renowned castrato singer in Europe, has been invited as an honored guest to Eszterháza Palace. With Carlo in Prince Nikolaus Esterházy's carriage, ride a Prussian spy and one of the most notorious alchemists in the Habsburg Empire. Already at Eszterháza is Charlotte von Steinbeck, the very proper sister of Prince Nikolaus's mistress. Charlotte has retreated to the countryside to mourn her husband's death. Now, she must overcome the ingrained rules of her society in order to uncover the dangerous secrets lurking within the palace's golden walls.
Music, magic, and blackmail mingle in a plot to assassinate the Habsburg Emperor and Empress--a plot that can only be stopped if Carlo and Charlotte can see through the masks worn by everyone they meet.
I've been excited about this one for MONTHS. I am both encouraged (music! magic! blackmail! Hapsburg!) by the blurb and wary (please don't be more romance than historical/supernatural pleaseeee) of it. However, Pyr rarely steers me wrong so I'm going in cautiously optimistic.
Seven Ways We Lie by Riley Redgate
Paloma High School is ordinary by anyone’s standards. It’s got the same cliques, the same prejudices, the same suspect cafeteria food. And like every high school, every student has something to hide—whether it’s Kat, the thespian who conceals her trust issues onstage; or Valentine, the neurotic genius who’s planted the seed of a school scandal.
When that scandal bubbles over, and rumors of a teacher-student affair surface, everyone starts hunting for someone to blame. For the unlikely allies at the heart of it all, the collision of their seven ordinary-seeming lives results in extraordinary change.
This one pubs early in March so I plan to read it very soon. I hadn't heard of it before Dahlia came in like a recc'ing ball but it sounds very naturally inclusive and different and I'm very intriiiigiued.
The Crown's Game by Evelyn Skye (The Crown's Game #1)
Vika Andreyeva can summon the snow and turn ash into gold. Nikolai Karimov can see through walls and conjure bridges out of thin air. They are enchanters—the only two in Russia—and with the Ottoman Empire and the Kazakhs threatening, the Tsar needs a powerful enchanter by his side.
And so he initiates the Crown’s Game, an ancient duel of magical skill—the greatest test an enchanter will ever know. The victor becomes the Imperial Enchanter and the Tsar’s most respected adviser. The defeated is sentenced to death.
Raised on tiny Ovchinin Island her whole life, Vika is eager for the chance to show off her talent in the grand capital of Saint Petersburg. But can she kill another enchanter—even when his magic calls to her like nothing else ever has?
For Nikolai, an orphan, the Crown’s Game is the chance of a lifetime. But his deadly opponent is a force to be reckoned with—beautiful, whip smart, imaginative—and he can’t stop thinking about her.
And when Pasha, Nikolai’s best friend and heir to the throne, also starts to fall for the mysterious enchantress, Nikolai must defeat the girl they both love . . . or be killed himself.
As long-buried secrets emerge, threatening the future of the empire, it becomes dangerously clear . . . the Crown’s Game is not one to lose.
Russian historical fantasy I cannot have more grabby of hands (except maaaaybe if it had kept the original title of The Tsar's Game?) But it's over 400 pages and has a lot of potential to be fantastic. I just hope it's more Shadow and Bone than Burning Glass.
Boston, 1933. Maeve Fanning is a first generation Irish immigrant, born and raised among the poor, industrious Italian families of Boston’s North End by her widowed mother. Clever, capable, and as head strong as her trademark red hair suggests, she’s determined to better herself despite the overwhelming hardships of the Great Depression.
However, Maeve also has a dangerous fondness for strange men and bootleg gin—a rebellious hunger for experience that soon finds her spiraling downward, leading a double life. When the strain proves too much, Maeve becomes an unwilling patient in a remote psychiatric hospital, where she strikes up a friendship with an enigmatic young woman, who, like Maeve, is unable or unwilling to control her un-lady-like desire for freedom.
Once out, Maeve faces starting over again, but armed with a bottle of bleach and a few white lies, she finally lands a job at an eccentric antiques shop catering to Boston’s wealthiest and most peculiar collectors. Run by a retired anthropology professor and an elusive English archeologist, The Pandora is a haven of the obscure and incredible, providing rare artifacts as well as unique access into the world of America's social elite. While delivering a purchase to the wealthy Van der Laar family, Maeve is introduced to beautiful socialite Diana Van der Laar—only to discover she’s the same young woman from the hospital.
Reunited with the charming but increasingly unstable Diana and pursued by her attractive brother James, Maeve becomes more and more entwined with the Van der Laar family—a connection that pulls her deep into a world of social and political ambition, deceit, and ultimately betrayal. Bewitched by their wealth and desperate to leave her past behind, Maeve is forced to unearth her true values and discover just how far she’s willing to go to reinvent herself.
A rich, universal story of ambition, transformation, desire, and betrayal, Rare Objects is acclaimed writer Kathleen Tessaro’s finest work to date.
I really loved Kathleen Tessaro's novel The Perfume Collector back in 2014 and I'm excited to see what her next novel does. I don't read a lot of American historical fiction but this plotline seems promising and I think the author will make it really work.
These are four of the books I am most excited to read but there's quite a few books coming out I've got my eye on!