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Mix & Match #4 Fantasy TBR Edition (Book Haul)

Happy Sunday everyone! Today is, as usual, book haul and/or TBR day. I have chosen a fantasy theme to my TBR update as it seems to be a genre that I am failing to read more of. I receive so many brilliant fantasy titles from publishers like Gollancz and Titan Books; so I thought I would share some. First of all let’s get to the book haul. This week has been fairly light on book post. WW Norton were kind enough to send me their autumn catalogue from which I have chosen a few review copies from. I also received an exciting new fantasy (yay!) from Gollancz. Then I shall move on to ten of my most eagerly anticipated fantasy reads from my current TBR. Thank you as always for stopping by to check out what I am reading and I hope you leave this post with some great books in mind.

(Disclaimer: I do not own any of the synopses or cover art used in this post. They belong to the publisher which I have linked to each book).

Book Haul

016El Paso by Winston Groom

Published by: WW Norton

I love the look and sound of this novel. I can’t wait to get into it as it seems like a complete departure from the type  of books I seem to be reading at the moment. Deep, rich and extensive historical fiction.

Book Synopsis: Three decades after the publication of Forrest Gump, Winston Groom returns to fiction with a sweeping epic.

Long fascinated with the Mexican Revolution and the vicious border wars of the early twentieth century, Winston Groom brings to life this period of history in a saga of heroism, injustice and love. El Paso pits the legendary outlaw and revolutionary Pancho Villa, against a thrill-seeking railway tycoon known as the Colonel whose fading fortune is tied up in a colossal ranch in Chihuahua. When Villa kidnaps the Colonel’s grandchildren in the midst of a cattle drive and absconds into the Sierra Madre, the patriarch and his adopted son head to El Paso, looking for a group of cowboys brave enough to hunt the Generalissimo down.

Replete with gunfights, daring escapes and an unforgettable bullfight, El Paso, with its blend of history and legend, is an indelible portrait of the American Southwest in the waning days of the frontier.

16Something In The Blood by David J. Skal

Published byWW Norton

Dracula is one of my all time favourite books and Bram Stoker, to me, is a complete legend. I have already had a flick through this and I am seriously looking forward to reading this in its entirety. Not very much is really known about Stoker but DJS has done well to create this in-depth venture into his life and work.

Official Synopsis: A ground-breaking biography revealing the haunted origins of the man who created Dracula.

Bram Stoker, despite having a name nearly as famous as Count Dracula, has remained an enigma. David J. Skal, in a psychological and cultural portrait, exhumes the inner world and strange genius of the writer who conjured an undying cultural icon. Stoker was inexplicably paralysed as a boy and his story unfolds against a backdrop of Victorian medical mysteries and horrors: fever, opium abuse, bloodletting, quack cures and the obsession with “bad blood” that inform every page of Dracula. Stoker’s ambiguous sexuality is explored through his acquaintance with Oscar Wilde, who emerges as Stoker’s repressed shadow self—a doppelgänger worthy of a Gothic novel. The psychosexual dimensions of Stoker’s correspondence with Walt Whitman, his punishing work ethic and his adoration of the actor Henry Irving are examined in scholarly detail.


Blackwing by Ed McDonald

Published by: Gollancz

Look at that cover! Beautiful! Gollancz have been bringing out superb fantasy fiction for as long as I can remember and I am 100% sure that this is going to top them all. The concept, in my opinion, sounds top-notch and especially dark/complex.

Official Synopsis: The republic faces annihilation, despite the vigilance of Galharrow’s Blackwings. When a raven tattoo rips itself from his arm to deliver a desperate message, Galharrow and a mysterious noblewoman must investigate a long dead sorcerer’s legacy. But there is a conspiracy within the citadel: traitors, flesh-eaters and the ghosts of the wastelands seek to destroy them, but if they cannot solve the ancient wizard’s paradox, the Deep Kings will walk the earth again, and all will be lost.

The war with the Eastern Empire ended in stalemate some eighty years ago, thanks to Nall’s ‘Engine’, a wizard-crafted weapon so powerful even the Deep Kings feared it. The strike of the Engine created the Misery – a wasteland full of ghosts and corrupted magic that now forms a No Mans Land along the frontier. But when Galharrow investigates a frontier fortress, he discovers complacency bordering on treason: then the walls are stormed, and the Engine fails to launch. Galharrow only escapes because of the preternatural magical power of the noblewoman he was supposed to be protecting. Together, they race to the capital to unmask the traitors and restore the republic’s defences. Far across the Misery a vast army is on the move, as the Empire prepares to call the republic’s bluff.

Blackwing is a gritty epic fantasy for fans of Mark Lawrence, Scott Lynch and Daniel Polansky.


Forever and a Death by Donald E. Westlake

Published by: Titan Books

I received this at the last minute but had to throw this in the post as I love the Hard Case crime series. I read Sinner Man last year and has a blast. This is a novel written by a man hired to come up with a new James Bond plot idea. The plot seemed to risky so it was shelved and is being release as part of Titan Books amazing new crime series.

Official Synopsis: A formerly rich businessman thrown out of Hong Kong when the Chinese took over from the British decides to fix his dire financial problems and take revenge on the Chinese by tunneling under Hong Kong’s bank vaults and stealing all their gold, then using a doomsday device to set off a “soliton wave” that will turn the ground to sludge, causing the whole city to collapse. Only the engineer on his staff who designed the soliton wave technology (intending it for good purposes, to help with construction projects) can stop him, working together with a beautiful young environmental activist who gets caught up in one of the soliton tests and nearly killed. From the deck of a yacht near the Great Barrier Reef to Australia and Singapore and finally Hong Kong itself, it’s a deadly game of cat-and-mouse as our heroes first struggle to escape the villain’s clutches and then thwart his insanely destructive plan.

Fantasy TBR


Firebrand by Kristen Britain

Published by: Gollancz

I am not a fan of entering a series at #6 but the cover of this novel just grabbed me. I am certain that Firebrand will blow my mind. I just need to set myself some time to power through it as it is a rather large volume!

Official Synopsis: Karigan G’ladheon’s adventure continues in the much-anticipated sixth installment in the NEW YORK TIMES bestselling series.

Green Rider Karigan G’ladheon, not yet recovered in heart or mind from her unexpected trip through time, is assigned a new mission. She must seek out the legendary creatures called p’ehdrosian to renew an alliance of old in the face of dire threats from enemies who seek to destroy Sacoridia using dark magic.

Each step on her journey northward grows more perilous as she faces attacks from groundmites, encounters with ghosts, and, ultimately, the threat of the necromancer and leader of Second Empire, Grandmother, as they approach the enemy encampment in the Lone Forest.

Meanwhile, King Zachary of Sacoridia has been kidnapped by an ice elemental who is allied with Second Empire. Can Karigan free her king from captivity with just two allies by her side?


Arcanum Unbounded by Brandon Sanderson

Published byGollancz

I have had this book forever and still haven’t reviewed it; sorry Gollancz. It is so intimidating and BS is know for his deeply immersive writing. I will eventually get to this but if anyone has any words of encouragement then that would be great!

Official Synopsis: These wonderful works, originally published individually, have been collected for the first time and convey the true expanse of the Cosmere. Telling the exciting tales of adventure Sanderson fans have come to expect, Arcanum Unbounded include the Hugo Award-winning novella ‘The Emperor’s Soul’, an excerpt from the graphic novel ‘White Sand’, and the never-before-published Stormlight Archive novella ‘Edgedancer’


Runelight by Joanne M. Harris

Published byGollancz

I read the previous novel Runemarks when Gollancz re-released it last year and it was truly epic. It didn’t occur to me that they may be re-releasing the sequel but they are and the cover art looks gorgeous. A Viking inspired re-birth of our world, yes please!

Official Synopsis: The squabbling Norse gods and goddesses of Runemarks are back! And there’s a feisty new heroine on the scene: Maggie, a girl the same age as Maddy but brought up a world apart – literally, in World’s End, the focus of the Order in which Maddy was raised. Now the Order is destroyed, Chaos is filling the vacuum left behind… and is breaching the everyday world.
Six hundred miles apart, two girls each bear on their skin a runemark: a symbol of the Old Days when the known Worlds were ruled by the gods from their sky citadel, Asgard.

Now Asgard lies in ruins, and the power of the gods has long since been destroyed.

Or so everyone thinks.

But nothing is lost for ever, and the gods haven’t given up yet (nor stopped squabbling!) and they want the power of the runes borne by Maddy and Maggie – these new runes, which carry huge potential, their runelight shining out as a portent to the future.


Wintersong by S. Jae Jones

Published by: Titan Books

I have heard nothing but great things about this series so I am looking forward to seeing for myself.

Official Synopsis: All her life, Liesl has heard tales of the beautiful, dangerous Goblin King. They’ve enraptured her mind, her spirit, and inspired her musical compositions. Now eighteen and helping to run her family’s inn, Liesl can’t help but feel that her musical dreams and childhood fantasies are slipping away.

But when her own sister is taken by the Goblin King, Liesl has no choice but to journey to the Underground to save her. Drawn to the strange, captivating world she finds―and the mysterious man who rules it―she soon faces an impossible decision. And with time and the old laws working against her, Liesl must discover who she truly is before her fate is sealed.

Dark, romantic, and powerful, S. Jae-Jones’s Wintersong will sweep you away into a world you won’t soon forget.


Nevernight by Jay Kristoff

Published by: Harper Voyager

Another book that everyone seems to have read but me. I don’t usually go anywhere near YA but this sounds borderline adult fiction so I am sure I will cope. Gorgeous cover!

Official Synopsis: Destined to destroy empires, Mia Corvere is only ten years old when she is given her first lesson in death.

Six years later, the child raised in shadows takes her first steps towards keeping the promise she made on the day she lost everything.

But the chance to strike against such powerful enemies will be fleeting, so if she is to have her revenge, Mia must become a weapon without equal. She must prove herself against the deadliest of friends and enemies, and survive the tutelage of murderers, liars and daemons at the heart of a murder cult.

The Red Church is no ordinary school, but Mia is no ordinary student. The shadows love her. And they drink her fear.


A Pocket Full Of Crows by Joanne M. Harris

Published by: Gollancz

Yes! Joanne M. Harris is one of my all time favourites. I am going to devour this in one sitting when it arrives in October. October! So far away…

Official Synopsis: A perfect autumn and Christmas read, this combines the harshness of nature with the spookiness of a ghost story and the comfort of a great folk tale, in one beautifully told novella

I am as brown as brown can be,
And my eyes as black as sloe;
I am as brisk as brisk can be,
And wild as forest doe.
(The Child Ballads, 295)

So begins a beautiful tale of love, loss and revenge. Following the seasons, A Pocketful of Crows balances youth and age, wisdom and passion and draws on nature and folklore to weave a stunning modern mythology around a nameless wild girl.

Only love could draw her into the world of named, tamed things. And it seems only revenge will be powerful enough to let her escape.

Beautifully illustrated by (TBC), this is a stunning and original modern fairytale.


The Ninth Rain by Jen Williams

Published by: Headline

A few bloggers I follow have read this and loved it. I really appreciate their opinions so if it is great for them then I am sure I will love it too. This could be a trilogy I could get into for the long haul.

Official Synopsis: The great city of Ebora once glittered with gold. Now its streets are stalked by wolves. Tormalin the Oathless has no taste for sitting around waiting to die while the realm of his storied ancestors falls to pieces – talk about a guilt trip. Better to be amongst the living, where there are taverns full of women and wine.

When eccentric explorer, Lady Vincenza ‘Vintage’ de Grazon, offers him employment, he sees an easy way out. Even when they are joined by a fugitive witch with a tendency to set things on fire, the prospect of facing down monsters and retrieving ancient artefacts is preferable to the abomination he left behind.

But not everyone is willing to let the Eboran empire collapse, and the adventurers are quickly drawn into a tangled conspiracy of magic and war. For the Jure’lia are coming, and the Ninth Rain must fall…


Strange The Dreamer by Lani Taylor

Published by: Hodder & Stoughton

This has popped on my lists before. It is still here. I will get to it soon!!!!

Synopsis: The dream chooses the dreamer, not the other way around – and Lazlo Strange, war orphan and junior librarian, has always feared that his dream chose poorly. Since he was five years old he’s been obsessed with the mythic lost city of Weep, but it would take someone bolder than he to cross half the world in search of it. Then a stunning opportunity presents itself, in the person of a hero called the Godslayer and a band of legendary warriors, and he has to seize his chance to lose his dream forever.

What happened in Weep two hundred years ago to cut it off from the rest of the world? What exactly did the Godslayer slay that went by the name of god? And what is the mysterious problem he now seeks help in solving?

The answers await in Weep, but so do more mysteries – including the blue-skinned goddess who appears in Lazlo’s dreams. How did he dream her before he knew she existed? And if all the gods are dead, why does she seem so real?

In this sweeping and breathtaking new novel by National Book Award finalist Laini Taylor, author of the New York Times bestselling Daughter of Smoke & Bone trilogy, the shadow of the past is as real as the ghosts who haunt the citadel of murdered gods. Fall into a mythical world of dread and wonder, moths and nightmares, love and carnage.


City Of Circles by Jess Richards

Published by: Sceptre

Another repeat appearance! But City of Circles doesn’t get released until later in this year so plenty of time. I love the concept so I will try not to let this slip through my fingers.

Official Synopsis: CITY OF CIRCLES is an entrancing love story between Danu and Morrie, two circus performers, and Danu’s Lewis Carroll-esque odyssey through the magical city of Matryoshka, that ends with a heart-warming yet bittersweet twist.

Danu is a tightrope walker who is mourning her parents, after a disease has ravaged the circus where she grew up. Her mother has entrusted her with a locket that hides a secret.

Over the years, Danu pushes away her grief and develops elaborate and successful high-wire acts with Morrie, a charismatic hunchback who wants to marry her. When the circus returns to Danu’s birthplace, Matryoshka, Danu is enchanted by the temples, spice mists, and pleasure seekers within the intoxicating outer circle district.

Here, she finally gains the courage to open her mother’s locket, and discovers the name of a stranger who lives behind the locked gate of the Inner Circle. Fated to remain in Matryoshka, Danu attempts to resolve this mystery . . .

Will she and Morrie ever be reunited, or will something far more unexpected be waiting for her in the mysterious heart of the city?


Lost Boy by Christina Henry

Published by: Titan Books

I have a copy of this on route to me as we speak. I am on a bit of a fantasy re-imagining fix at the moment. Lost Boy is a new and darker re-telling of the classic Peter Pan tale. Can’t wait 😀

Official Synopsis: There is one version of my story that everyone knows. And then there is the truth. Once I loved a boy called Peter Pan.

Peter brought me to his island because there were no rules and no grownups to make us mind. He brought boys from the Other Place to join in the fun, but Peter’s idea of fun is sharper than a pirate’s sword. He wants always to be that shining sun that we all revolve around. He’ll do anything to be that sun. Peter promised we would all be young and happy forever.

Peter will say I’m a villain, that I wronged him, that I never was his friend.

Peter Lies.

Thank you as always for popping in to check out what books I have on my radar this week. Any books take your fancy? Have you read any of these already? Please let me know in the comments. I appreciate all the support everyone gives me on this blog so thank you in advance for sharing and caring. Until next time, very happy reading to you all!


24 thoughts on “Mix & Match #4 Fantasy TBR Edition (Book Haul)

  1. Blackwing looks awesome, hoping my copy from Gollancz comes soon (it was on the same press release as Rhyming Rings so fingers crossed).

    The Ninth Rain is awesome, I hope you enjoy it. And Nevernight isn’t Y-A, I read it last year and it’s nowhere near being Y-A at all.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh right, maybe I heard a couple of people refer to it, incorrectly, as YA. Looks awesome though and I hear Jay Kristoff is a great writer so should be good 😃.

      Yeah me too as you do the most influential fantasy reviews of all the bloggers I know. If it passes your criteria, I will know to pick it up!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. The writing is different in Nevernight, I really enjoyed it though the footnotes can be slightly annoying as some take up more than the story. Especially in the first half of the book there’s alot but less in the second.

        Alot of people classed it as Y-A when it was released due to the MC being young and Kristoff writing Y-A books but, a young MC in fantasy doesn’t make a book Y-A, otherwise lots of fantasy would be as they start with a young character and they grow through the series.

        But, no, definitely not Y-A, I like grimdark and read dark fantasy and a couple of the things that happen in Nevernight are far worse than in grimdark books.

        Liked by 1 person

      1. I saw another blogger received a copy too. I’m guessing mine will arrive tomorrow (hopefully) or early in the week. I only live in a small town with poor postal services and tend to receive books later than some others.

        I got the paperback press release from them, so many books on it! I didn’t request any as there’s another fantasy book by them out soon.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. OK… you’ve got some seriously interesting titles here… Bram Stoker and Blackwing look like awesome books… and The Lost Boy, as well…
    I’ve read The Ninth Rain and Nevernight and both were amazing!!! Can’t wait to hear your thoughts on these… all of them really! XD Happy reading! 😉

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Titan Books is easy enough as they have a page on their website where you can request to be put on the reviewers list. Gollancz is a little trickier but Stevie Finegan who deals with the review copies is a true legend and she will most likely add you to the list straigh away too.


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