Hey, everyone! I am soooo late with this, but things have been crazy for me since the July 4th holiday, but I’m still going to post this July book release list because it’s still relevant! Yay!
For this list, you can find books about crows, terrible wizards, and Mayan gods of death, but what book reigns supreme as my most anticipated choice for July?
“If I were to serve the Empire, you would command my allegiance.”
Such was the promise Grand Admiral Thrawn made to Emperor Palpatine at their first meeting. Since then, Thrawn has been one of the Empire’s most effective instruments, pursuing its enemies to the very edges of the known galaxy. But as keen a weapon as Thrawn has become, the Emperor dreams of something far more destructive.
Now, as Thrawn’s TIE defender program is halted in favor of Director Krennic’s secret Death Star project, he realizes that the balance of power in the Empire is measured by more than just military acumen or tactical efficiency. Even the greatest intellect can hardly compete with the power to annihilate entire planets.
As Thrawn works to secure his place in the Imperial hierarchy, his former protégé Eli Vanto returns with a dire warning about Thrawn’s homeworld. Thrawn’s mastery of strategy must guide him through an impossible choice: duty to the Chiss Ascendancy, or fealty to the Empire he has sworn to serve. Even if the right choice means committing treason.
Why I Want to Read This: It’s a Thrawn book! By Timothy Zahn! Thrawn’s allegiance with the Empire pitted against the allegiance with his people! I know I say this about every Thrawn book, but this might be my most horny adventure with my favorite alien strategist to date! I am beyond losing it for whatever Zahn is going to do to me!
They came to earth–Pestilence, War, Famine, Death–four horsemen riding their screaming steeds, racing to the corners of the world. Four horsemen with the power to destroy all of humanity. They came to earth, and they came to end us all.
The day Jerusalem falls, Miriam Elmahdy knows her life is over. Houses are burning, the streets run red with blood, and a traitorous army is massacring every last resident. There is no surviving this, especially not once Miriam catches the eye of War himself. But when the massive and terrifying horseman corners Miriam, he calls her his wife, and instead of killing her, he takes her back to his camp.
Now Miriam faces a terrifying future, one where she watches her world burn town by town, and the one man responsible for it all is her seemingly indestructible “husband”. But there’s another side to him, one that’s gentle and loving and dead set on winning her over, and she might not be strong enough to resist.
However, if there’s one thing Miriam has learned, it’s that love and war cannot coexist. And so she must make the ultimate choice: surrender to War and watch humankind fall, or sacrifice everything and stop him.
Why I Want to Read This: I LOATHE THE COVER SO MUCH!!! But Pestilence was amazing, the exact kind of Problematic™, enemies-to-lovers romance with a well-written heroine and interesting plot line that I crave. And now War is next! War has to be even worse, right? Right?? And for me, “worse” means “even better.” This is already downloaded to my Kindle app, and I’m dying to get started.
A future chieftain
Fie abides by one rule: look after your own. Her Crow caste of undertakers and mercy-killers takes more abuse than coin, but when they’re called to collect royal dead, she’s hoping they’ll find the payout of a lifetime.
A fugitive prince
When Crown Prince Jasimir turns out to have faked his death, Fie’s ready to cut her losses—and perhaps his throat. But he offers a wager that she can’t refuse: protect him from a ruthless queen, and he’ll protect the Crows when he reigns.
A too-cunning bodyguard
Hawk warrior Tavin has always put Jas’s life before his, magically assuming the prince’s appearance and shadowing his every step. But what happens when Tavin begins to want something to call his own?
Why I Want to Read This: Well, one character is part of a caste of undertakers and mercy-killers, and that sounds metal. One character is an on-the-run crown prince. And another is the prince’s cunning bodyguard who can turn into the prince? And he starts to want something for himself? Honey, you just created a perfect storm of trouble for me. Also, crows are awesome.
In the second Adventure Zone graphic novel (adapted from the McElroy family’s wildly popular D&D podcast), we rejoin hero-adjacent sort-of-comrades-in-arms Taako, Magnus, and Merle on a wild careen through a D&D railroad murder mystery. This installment has a little of everything: a genius child detective, an axe-wielding professional wrestler, a surly wizard, cursed magical artifacts, and a pair of meat monsters.
You know, the usual things you find on a train.
Hot on the heels of “The Adventure Zone: Here There Be Gerblins”, the smash hit graphic novel that launched the series, “Murder on the Rockport Limited” picks up the saga where volume 1 left off. Both books are based on “The Adventure Zone,” a tabletop RPG comedy podcast with downloads numbering in the tens of millions and an army of passionately devoted fans. With art and co-adaptation from Carey Pietsch, the McElroys are once again turning their raucous freewheeling D&D campaign into some damn fine comics.
Why I Want to Read This: Because I utterly love The Adventure Zone podcast, and the second arc, “Murder on the Rockport Limited,” is one of my favorites. I cannot wait to see what Carey Pietsch has done to bring Angus McDonald, boy detective; Graham the Juicy wizard; and Jenkins, the worst wizard ever because he never uses any spell slots 😥 to life. (Not to mention, all those good, good Tom Bodetts.)
The Jazz Age is in full swing, but Casiopea Tun is too busy cleaning the floors of her wealthy grandfather’s house to listen to any fast tunes. Nevertheless, she dreams of a life far from her dusty small town in southern Mexico. A life she can call her own.
Yet this new life seems as distant as the stars, until the day she finds a curious wooden box in her grandfather’s room. She opens it—and accidentally frees the spirit of the Mayan god of death, who requests her help in recovering his throne from his treacherous brother. Failure will mean Casiopea’s demise, but success could make her dreams come true.
In the company of the strangely alluring god and armed with her wits, Casiopea begins an adventure that will take her on a cross-country odyssey from the jungles of Yucatán to the bright lights of Mexico City—and deep into the darkness of the Mayan underworld.
Why I Want to Read This: This caught my eye instantly because, hello, Mayan gods and the underworld! I’m currently reading an ARC, and it’s been an enjoyable experience so far, full of Mexican culture and a wonderful heroine in the form of Casiopea. So far, I have no idea where we’re going, and that’s part of the adventure. Also, mortal/immortal relationships in any capacity continue to be the best thing.
Having gone from kidnapped faux princess to the legitimate heir to an intergalactic throne, an impulsive, sarcastic teen must take charge of her own destiny in this epic YA novel.
On Earth, Delaney is a normal teenager who recently graduated high school with a fantastic best friend and a loving boyfriend.
But Delaney isn’t on Earth. She’s on Xenith, a war-torn planet half a galaxy away. Originally mistaken for an alien princess, Delaney has gone from kidnapped imposter to the recognized heir to an alien throne. Oh, and she’s engaged to the prince of an enemy nation whose ruthless father is on the warpath.
Torn between two planets, two fates, and two loves, Delaney is finally ready to choose her own destiny in Within Ash and Stardust, the stunning conclusion to Chani Lynn Feener’s Xenith Trilogy.
Why I Want to Read This: Hhrrmm, I hate the cover, it’s so much worse than the other two have been. Now that I’ve got that out of my system! I have been unabashedly enjoying this alien/human/alien love triangle so much because it’s done so incredibly well and just makes for a fun and entertaining read. I get my bodyguard trope and my evil alien prince falling in love trope, and the main character/love interest is actually super down-to-earth and level-headed.. I really can’t ask for more. (But if Trystan/Delaney isn’t endgame… I’ll make peace with it because I’m an adult, but omg.)
In the tropical kingdom of Rhodaire, magical, elemental Crows are part of every aspect of life…until the Illucian empire invades, destroying everything.
That terrible night has thrown Princess Anthia into a deep depression. Her sister Caliza is busy running the kingdom after their mother’s death, but all Thia can do is think of all she has lost.
But when Caliza is forced to agree to a marriage between Thia and the crown prince of Illucia, Thia is finally spurred into action. And after stumbling upon a hidden Crow egg in the rubble of a rookery, she and her sister devise a dangerous plan to hatch the egg in secret and get back what was taken from them.
Why I Want to Read This: Sisterhood! Elemental crows! Evil empires! ArRaNgEd MaRrIaGe?? More sisterhood! Yeah, let’s do it!! Also, remember how above I said that crows are awesome? They still are!
It’s been eighteen months since the Raxter School for Girls was put under quarantine. Since the Tox hit and pulled Hetty’s life out from under her.
It started slow. First the teachers died one by one. Then it began to infect the students, turning their bodies strange and foreign. Now, cut off from the rest of the world and left to fend for themselves on their island home, the girls don’t dare wander outside the school’s fence, where the Tox has made the woods wild and dangerous. They wait for the cure they were promised as the Tox seeps into everything.
But when Byatt goes missing, Hetty will do anything to find her, even if it means breaking quarantine and braving the horrors that lie beyond the fence. And when she does, Hetty learns that there’s more to their story, to their life at Raxter, than she could have ever thought true.
Why I Want to Read This: That cover is so metal, I’m screaming! The synopsis is even more so. A deadly disease killing adults and turning student bodies “strange and foreign.” A bunch of girls trapped on an island, Lord of the Flies-style? And it’s LGBT?? This is going to be, dare I say, wild. [cue booing]
Maia Tamarin dreams of becoming the greatest tailor in the land, but as a girl, the best she can hope for is to marry well. When a royal messenger summons her ailing father, once a tailor of renown, to court, Maia poses as a boy and takes his place. She knows her life is forfeit if her secret is discovered, but she’ll take that risk to achieve her dream and save her family from ruin. There’s just one catch: Maia is one of twelve tailors vying for the job.
Backstabbing and lies run rampant as the tailors compete in challenges to prove their artistry and skill. Maia’s task is further complicated when she draws the attention of the court magician, Edan, whose piercing eyes seem to see straight through her disguise.
And nothing could have prepared her for the final challenge: to sew three magic gowns for the emperor’s reluctant bride-to-be, from the laughter of the sun, the tears of the moon, and the blood of stars. With this impossible task before her, she embarks on a journey to the far reaches of the kingdom, seeking the sun, the moon, and the stars, and finding more than she ever could have imagined.
Why I Want to Read This: I’ve actually already read Spin the Dawn in ARC form, and aside from a few things, I super loved what I experienced. Maia is a great protagonist, Edan is hot, and the setting is rich and unique. Also, the fashion, the fashion! It actually outshone the magic for me. I think people are going to have fun with this one.
People are weak, and the poorer and more oppressed they are, the weaker they become–until they can’t take it anymore. And when they rise up…may the gods help their oppressors.
When Tomas Piety returned from the war, he just wanted to rebuild his empire of crime with his gang of Pious Men. But his past as a spy for the Queen’s Men drew him back in and brought him more power than he ever imagined.
Now, with half of his city in ashes and the Queen’s Men at his back, the webs of political intrigue stretch out from the capital to pull Tomas in. Dannsburg is calling.
In Dannsburg the nobility fight with words, not blades, but the results are every bit as bloody. In this pit of beasts, Tomas must decide once and for all whether he is truly the people’s champion…or just a priest of lies.
Why I Want to Read This: I read Priest of Bones last year and had a great time meeting these street-gang-members-turned-war-heroes-turned-back-to-criminals, especially their leader, army priest Thomas Piety. His voice and the way he tells his story stands out from so many other narratives I’ve read. He reminds me a lot of John Silver from Treasure Planet, not because their character’s are similar but because of the feel and cadence of their voices. I really just loved reading it, and I want to see where Piety’s story goes.
Magic is poison. Secrets are power. Death is . . . complicated.
Outlaw wizard Corcoran Gray has enough problems. He’s friendless, penniless and on the run from the tyrannical Mages’ Guild – and with the search for his imprisoned grandfather looking hopeless, his situation can’t get much worse.
So when a fugitive drops into his lap – literally – and gets them both arrested, it’s the last straw – until Gray realises that runaway slave Brix could be the key to his grandfather’s release. All he has to do is break out of prison, break into an ancient underground temple and avoid killing himself with his own magic in the process.
In theory, it’s simple enough. But as secrets unfold and loyalties shift, Gray discovers something with the power to change the nature of life and death itself.
Now Gray must find a way to protect the people he loves, but it could cost him everything, even his soul . . .
With the humour of V.E. Schwab, the scale of Trudi Canavan and the deftness of Naomi Novik, Lord of Secrets is a heartwarming fantasy novel about saving the people you love without destroying the world (or yourself).
Why I Want to Read This: An outlaw wizard and a runaway slave teaming up against a tyrannical mages’ guild! Sounds like a fine match to me. The tagline about death is intriguing me above all. I love books that aren’t afraid of playing with the nature of it. And comparing this book to the “humor of V.E. Schwab” and the “deftness of Naomi Novik,” well, that is ambitious, certainly, but I’d be lying if it didn’t hook me.
Raised among the ruins of a conquered mountain nation, Maren dreams only of sharing a quiet life with her girlfriend Kaia—until the day Kaia is abducted by the Aurati, prophetic agents of the emperor, and forced to join their ranks. Desperate to save her, Maren hatches a plan to steal one of the emperor’s coveted dragons and storm the Aurati stronghold.
If Maren is to have any hope of succeeding, she must become an apprentice to the Aromatory—the emperor’s mysterious dragon trainer. But Maren is unprepared for the dangerous secrets she uncovers: rumors of a lost prince, a brewing rebellion, and a prophecy that threatens to shatter the empire itself. Not to mention the strange dreams she’s been having about a beast deep underground…
With time running out, can Maren survive long enough to rescue Kaia from impending death? Or could it be that Maren is destined for something greater than she could have ever imagined?
Why I Want to Read This: Girlfriends saving each other! Maybe a girlfriend being forced/corrupted to join the bad guy team?? Dragons and dragon trainers! A lost prince, prophecy, and rebellion? Yep, these are oldies but goodies. Sign me up. Take me to the familiar and let me see what’s new.
We made it! And we did it together, as a family.
I hope you enjoyed this post! What books are you looking forward to in July? Have you gotten any of these already? What else are you looking forward to? I wanna know!