My anticipated reads of 2024 - Part 1: Trad Publishing

29 Dec 2023

Not going to lie, as a book devourer, sometimes planning the year doesn't go longer than screaming chaos into the void. However, there are several books that I would like to read in 2024 (and review), so in these two posts, we will be taking a look at them.

Let's start with the traditionally published ones!

Saints of Storm and Sorrow, by Gabriella Buba (25th June, 2024)

Saints of Storm and Sorrow, by Gabriella Buba (TitanBooks)

In this fiercely imaginative Filipino-inspired fantasy debut, a bisexual nun hiding a goddess-given gift is unwillingly transformed into a lightning rod for her people's struggle against colonization.Perfect for fans of lush fantasy full of morally ambiguous characters, including The Poppy War and The Jasmine Throne.

Maria Lunurin has been living a double life for as long as she can remember. To the world, she is Sister Maria, dutiful nun and devoted servant of Aynila's Codicían colonizers. But behind closed doors, she is a stormcaller, chosen daughter of the Aynilan goddess Anitun Tabu. In hiding not only from the Codicíans and their witch hunts, but also from the vengeful eye of her slighted goddess, Lunurin does what she can to protect her fellow Aynilans and the small family she has created in the her lover Catalina, and her younger sister Inez.
Lunurin is determined to keep her head down - until one day she makes a devastating discovery, which threatens to tear her family apart. In desperation, she turns for help to Alon Dakila, heir to Aynila's most powerful family, who has been ardently in love with Lunurin for years. But this choice sets in motion a chain of events beyond her control, awakening Anitun Tabu's rage and putting everyone Lunurin loves in terrible danger. Torn between the call of Alon’s magic and Catalina’s jealousy, her duty to her family and to her people, Lunurin can no longer keep Anitun Tabu’s fury at bay.
For the goddess of storms demands vengeance. And she will sweep aside anyone who stands in her way.

Redsight, by Meredith Mooring (27th February, 2024)

Redsight, by Meredith Mooring (Solaris)

An imaginative new space opera filled with sapphic romance, space pirates, a blind witch and powerful priestesses.

Korinna has simple stay on the Navitas, stay out of trouble, and stay alive. She may be a Redseer, a blind priestess with the power to manipulate space-time, but she is the weakest in her Order. Useless and outcast. Or so she has been raised to believe.
As she takes her place as a navigator on an Imperium ship, Korinna’s full destiny is revealed to blood brimming with magic, she is meant to become a weapon of the Imperium, and pawn for the Order that raised her. But when the ship is attacked by the notorious pirate Aster Haran, Korinna’s world is ripped apart.
Aster has a vendetta against the Imperium, and an all-consuming, dark power that drives her to destroy everything in her path. She understands the world in a way Korinna has never imagined, and Korinna is drawn to her against her better judgment.
With the Imperium and the justice-seeking warrior Sahar hot on her heels, Korinna must choose her side, seize her power and fulfil her destiny--or risk imperiling the future of the galaxy, and destroying the fabric of space-time itself.  

The Last Phi Hunter, by Salinee Goldenberg (9th April, 2024)

The Last Phi Hunter, by Salinee Goldenberg (Angry Robot)

Ambitious Phi Hunter and perpetual lone wolf, Ex, finds his road to glory interrupted when a heavily pregnant runaway enlists his help to escape through the ghost-infected forest…

Ex, the youngest member of the Phi Hunters Order, has spent his life slaying the ghosts and demons of Suyoram Kingdom. While he takes great pride in his mystical trade, collecting dwindling bounties and peddling butchered spirit organs lacks the glory he craves. He’s determined to hunt down Shar-Ala, a demon of nightmares, of madness – who has eluded even Ex’s masters.
In a provincial village along the way, Arinya, a charming muay-boran champion, saves him from an ass-kicking, despite being nine months pregnant. In return, she asks him to escort her through the dangerous, spirit-filled forest, where ghosts salivate over the scent of the unborn.
But as more of Arinya’s secrets emerge, and the elusive demon nears, Ex must face dangers from both men and monsters, or lose not only the respect of the Phi Hunters, but the Hunters themselves, along with the woman he’s trying not to fall in love with.  

The Branded, by Jo Riccioni (11th June, 2024)

The Branded, by Jo Riccioni (Angry Robot)

An epic, high-concept speculative novel with explosive ideas around gender and class, served up with romance, conflict and quick-fire narrative pace.

Isfalk is divided into two classes – the Branded, who are vulnerable to disease, and the Pure, who are bigger, stronger and immune. Orphaned twins Nara and Osha are sequestered in the citadel, where their unbranded skin entitles them to a life of privilege, but as precious breeding stock.
Nara itches to escape her confines and return to the wilds of the Fornwood where she and her sister grew up, but when she is forced to run, she discovers there’s much more at stake than her own life. The Branded are on the rise, and the girls are caught up in prophecies that foretell of a savior who can realign the world.
Forced to accept the help of a mysterious southern Brand known only as the Wrangler, Nara discovers the latent power lying dormant in her uncanny abilities that she’s had since childhood. But in a world where women are traded as commodities, who can she trust in the lands beyond the Fornwood? And why does the Wrangler seem to know more about her life than she does? Two sisters without a past hold the weight of the future in their hands.

Mistress of Lies, by K. M. Enright (13th August, 2024)

Mistress of Lies, by K. M. Enright (Orbit Books)


The daughter of a powerful but disgraced Blood Worker, Shan LeClaire has spent her entire life perfecting her blood magic, building her network of spies, and gathering every scrap of power she could. Now, to protect her brother, she assassinates their father and takes her place at the head of the family. And that is only the start of her revenge.
Samuel Hutchinson is a bastard with a terrible gift. When he stumbles upon the first victim of a magical serial killer, he's drawn into the world of magic and intrigue he's worked so hard to avoid - and is pulled deeply into the ravenous and bloodthirsty court of the vampire king.
Tasked by the Eternal King to discover the identity of the killer cutting a bloody swath through the city, Samuel, Shan and mysterious Royal Bloodworker Isaac find themselves growing ever closer to each other. But Shan's plans are treacherous, and as she lures Samuel into her complicated web of desire, treason and vengeance, he must decide if the good of their nation is worth the cost of his soul.  

Long Live Evil, by Sarah Rees Brennan (30th July, 2024)

Long Live Evil, by Sarah Rees Brennan (Orbit Books)

Her fictional crush is the villain.
And he's about to meet his match...

Rae is a bookworm who prefers fictional men over real life boyfriends. But her life takes a strange turn when she is trapped by magic inside her favourite fantasy series, and she finds herself pitted against her suddenly living and breathing crush, the 'Once and Forever Emperor'.
In a palace on the brink of war, she has become the villainess in his tale, and she needs to take control of the narrative before it, and the Emperor, take control of her... fatally.
This adult epic fantasy debut from Sarah Rees Brennan puts the reader in the villain's shoes. Expect a cast of dilettante aristocrats, knights-in-armour, magic-wielding warriors, sarcastic servants and one particularly murderous, if annoyingly handsome, bodyguard.

The Daughters' War, by Christopher Buehlman (25th June, 2024)

The Daughters' War, by Christopher Buehlman (Tordotcom)

Enter the fray in this luminous new adventure from Christopher Buehlman, set during the war-torn, goblin-infested years just before The Blacktongue Thief.

The goblins have killed all of our horses and most of our men.
They have enslaved our cities, burned our fields, and still they wage war.
Now, our daughters take up arms.
Galva ― Galvicha to her three brothers, two of whom the goblins will kill ― has defied her family’s wishes and joined the army’s untested new unit, the Raven Knights. They march toward a once-beautiful city overrun by the goblin horde, accompanied by scores of giant war corvids. Made with the darkest magics, these fearsome black birds may hold the key to stopping the goblins in their war to make cattle of mankind.
The road to victory is bloody, and goblins are clever and merciless. The Raven Knights can take nothing for granted ― not the bonds of family, nor the wisdom of their leaders, nor their own safety against the dangerous war birds at their side. But some hopes are worth any risk.  

Butcher of the Forest, by Premee Mohamed (27th February, 2024)

Butcher of the Forest, by Premee Mohamed (TorDotCom)

A world-weary woman races against the clock to rescue the children of a wrathful tyrant from a dangerous, otherworldly forest.

At the northern edge of a land ruled by a monstrous, foreign tyrant lies the wild forest known as the Elmever. The villagers know better than to let their children go near—once someone goes in, they never come back out.
No one knows the strange and terrifying traps of the Elmever better than Veris Thorn, the only person to ever rescue a child from the forest many years ago. When the Tyrant’s two young children go missing, Veris is commanded to enter the forest once more and bring them home safe. If Veris fails, the Tyrant will kill her; if she remains in the forest for longer than a day, she will be trapped forevermore.
So Veris will travel deep into the Elmever to face traps, riddles, and monsters at the behest of another monster. One misstep will cost everything.  

Key Lime Sky, by Al Hess (13th August, 2024)

Key Lime Sky, by Al Hess (Angry Robot)

An alien invasion hits the town of Muddy Gap, but a disgruntled pie aficionado is the only one who seems to remember it…

Denver Bryant’s passion for pie has sent him across Wyoming in search of the best slices. Though he dutifully posts reviews on his blog, he’s never been able to recreate his brief moment of viral popularity, and its trickling income isn’t enough to pay his rent next month.
Driving home from a roadside diner, Denver witnesses a UFO explode directly over his tiny town of Muddy Gap. When he questions his neighbors, it appears that Denver is the only person to have seen anything – or to care that the residents’ strange behavior, as well as a shower of hail-that-isn’t-hail, might be evidence of something extraterrestrial. Being both non-binary and autistic, he’s convinced his reputation as the town eccentric is impeding his quest for answers. Frustrated, he documents the bizarre incidents on his failing pie blog, and his online popularity skyrockets. His readers want the truth, spurring him to get to the bottom of things.
The only person in town who takes him seriously is handsome bartender, Ezra. As the two investigate over pie and the possibility of romance, the alien presence does more than change the weather. People start disappearing. When Denver and Ezra make a run for it, the town refuses to let them leave. Reality is folding in on itself, and it’s suddenly a race against time to find the extraterrestrial source and destroy it before it consumes not only Muddy Gap but everything beyond. Denver’s always been more outsider than hero, but he’s determined to ensure that a world with Ezra – and with pie – still exists tomorrow. 

Where the Dead Wait, by Ally Wilkes (23rd January, 2024)

Where The Dead Wait, by Ally Wilkes (Titan Books)

The Terror meets Yellowjackets as a disgraced Arctic explorer sets out on a voyage to track down his former crewmate, only to be confronted by the ghosts of his cannibalistic past; from the Bram Stoker Award-nominated author of All the White Spaces. Perfect for fans of Michelle Paver and Stephen Graham Jones.

William Day should be an acclaimed Arctic explorer. But after a failed expedition to find the fabled Open Polar Sea, in which his men only survived by eating their comrades, he returned in disgrace. A cannibal. A murderer.
Thirteen years later, his second-in-command, Jesse Stevens, has gone missing in the same waters. Perhaps this is Day's chance to restore his tarnished reputation by bringing Stevens – the man who's haunted his whole life – back home. But when the rescue mission into the frozen wastes becomes an uncanny journey into his own past, Day must face up to the things he's done.
Aboard ship, Day must also contend with unwanted passengers: a reporter obsessively digging up the truth about the first expedition, and Stevens's wife, a spiritualist whose séances both fascinate and frighten. Following a trail of cryptic messages, gaunt bodies, and old bones, their search becomes more and more unnerving, as it becomes clear that – for Day – the restless dead are never far behind.  

Fathomfolk, by Eliza Chan (27th February, 2024)

Fathomfolk, by Eliza Chan (Orbit)

From one of fantasy’s most exciting new voices Eliza Chan comes a modern, myth-inflected story of revolution and magic set against the glittering, semi-submerged city of Tiankawi, perfect for fans of Jade City and The Bone Shard Daughter.

Welcome to Tiankawi – shining pearl of human civilization and a safe haven for those fleeing civil unrest. Or at least, that’s how it first appears.But in the semi-flooded city, humans are, quite literally, on peering down from skyscrapers and aerial walkways on the fathomfolk — sirens, seawitches, kelpies and kappas—who live in the polluted waters below.
For half-siren Mira, promotion to captain of the border guard means an opportunity to reform. At last, she has the ear of the city council and a chance to lift the repressive laws that restrict fathomfolk at every turn. But if earning the trust and respect of her human colleagues wasn't hard enough, everything Mira has worked towards is put in jeopardy when a water dragon is exiled to the city.
New arrival Nami is an aristocratic water dragon with an opinion on everything. Frustrated by the lack of progress from Mira's softly-softly approach in gaining equality, Nami throws her lot in with an anti-human extremist group, leaving Mira to find the headstrong youth before she makes everything worse.
And pulling strings behind everything is Cordelia, a second-generation sea-witch determined to do what she must to survive and see her family flourish, even if it means climbing over the bodies of her competitors. Her political game-playing and underground connections could disrupt everything Nami and Mira are fighting for.
When the extremists sabotage the annual boat race, violence erupts, as does the clampdown on fathomfolk rights. Even Nami realises her new friends are not what they seem. Both she and Mira must decide if the cost of change is worth it, or if Tiankawi should be left to drown.  

Foul Days, by Genoveva Dimova (25th June, 2024)

Foul Days, by Genoveva Dimova (TorDotCom)

The Witcher meets Naomi Novik in this fast-paced fantasy rooted in Slavic folklore, from an assured new voice in genre.

As a witch in the walled city of Chernograd, Kosara has plenty of practice taming rusalkas, fighting kikimoras, and brewing lycanthrope repellent. There’s only one monster Kosara can’t defeat: her ex the Zmey, known as the Tsar of Monsters. She’s defied him one too many times, and now he’s hunting her. Betrayed to him by someone close to her, Kosara’s only hope is to trade her shadow―the source of her powers―for illegal passage across the Wall to Belograd, where monsters can’t follow.
Life in Belograd should be sweet, but Kosara soon develops a fast-acting version of the deadly wasting sickness that stalks shadowless witches―and only reclaiming her magic can cure her. To trace her shadow, she’ll have to team up with the suspiciously honorable detective investigating the death of the smuggler who brought her across the Wall.Even worse than working with the cops is that all the clues point in a single direction: one of the Zmey’s monsters has found a crack in the Wall, and Kosara’s magic is now in the Zmey’s hands.
The clock is ticking, the hunt is on, and Kosara’s priorities should be clear―but is she the hunter or the hunted? And in a city where everyone is out for themselves, who can Kosara trust to assist her in outwitting the man―the Monster―she’s never been able to escape alone? 

Road to Ruin, by Hana Lee (14th May, 2024)

Road to Ruin, by Hana Lee (Saga Press)

An electrifying, gritty fantasy from debut author Hana Lee that takes a royal messenger on a high-speed chase across a climate-ravaged wasteland, featuring motorcycles, monsters, and magic.

Jin-Lu has the most dangerous job in the wasteland. She’s a magebike courier, one of the few who venture outside the domed cities on motorcycles powered by magic. Every day, she braves the wasteland’s dangers—deadly storms, roving marauders, and territorial beasts—to deliver her wares.
Her most valuable cargo? A prince’s love letters addressed to Yi-Nereen, a princess desperate to escape the clutches of her abusive family and soon-to-be husband. Jin, desperately in love with both her and the prince, can’t refuse Yi-Nereen’s plea for help. The two of them flee across the wastes, pursued by Yi-Nereen’s furious father, her scheming betrothed, and a bounty hunter with mysterious powers.
A storm to end all storms is brewing and dark secrets about the heritability of magic are coming to light. Jin’s heart has led her into peril before, but this time she may not find her way back.  

To Gaze Upon Wicked Gods, by Molly X. Chang (16th April, 2024)

To Gaze Upon Wicked Gods, by Molly X. Chang (DelRey)

In this magical epic fantasy, a young woman cursed with the power of death must decide if saving her family is worth betraying her country—the first installation of a gripping new series.

Heroes die, cowards live. Daughter of a conquered world, Ruying hates the invaders who descended from the heavens long before she was born and defeated the magic of her people with technologies unlike anything her world had ever seen.Blessed by Death, born with the ability to pull the life right out of mortal bodies, Ruying shouldn’t have to fear these foreign invaders, but she does. Especially because she wants to keep herself and her family safe.
When Ruying’s Gift is discovered by an enemy prince, he offers her an impossible deal: If she becomes his private assassin and eliminates his political rivals—whose deaths he swears would be for the good of both their worlds and would protect her people from further brutalization—her family will never starve or suffer harm again. But to accept this bargain, she must use the powers she has always feared, powers that will shave years off her own existence.
Can Ruying trust this prince, whose promises of a better world make her heart ache and whose smiles make her pulse beat faster? Are the evils of this agreement really in the service of a much greater good? Or will she betray her entire nation by protecting those she loves the most?

The Honey Witch, by Shidney J. Shields (14th May, 2024)

The Honey Witch, by Sydney J. Shields (Orbit/Redhook)

A delicious debut that combines the swoon-worthy romance of Bridgerton and the whimsical sorcery of Practical Magic, with a dash of The Secret Life of Bees thrown in for good fun.

Marigold Claude is entering another season without any intentions of accepting a proposal. When her eccentric grandmother Althea visits and finally provides an explanation for Marigold's strange magical abilities, they return to the Lake Isle of Innisfree where she begins training as a Honey Witch-an apothecary and alchemist who uses her magical connection with the bees to create enchanted honey for her spells.
While this lovely power leaves her especially adept at helping others find love, it also comes with an ancient curse that none have been able to no one can fall in love with the Honey Witch.
When Lottie Burke, a notorious grumpy skeptic who doesn't believe in magic, accompanies her best friend to the cottage for a love spell, Marigold can't resist the challenge to prove to her that magic is real. She invites Lottie and her best friend, August Owens, to stay with her for the summer to prove her abilities, but Marigold begins to care for Lottie in a way she never expected.
She longs to break the curse and escape her lonely fate, but when darker magic awakens and threatens to destroy her home, she must fight for much more than her freedom-at the risk of losing her magic and her heart.  

The Silverblood Promise, by James Logan (7th May, 2024)

The Silverblood Promise, by James Logan (JoFletcher/Tor)

Set in a city of traders and thieves, monsters and murderers, this fast-paced epic fantasy debut is a must-read for fans of Joe Abercrombie, Nicholas Eames, and Scott Lynch.

Lukan Gardova is a cardsharp, academy dropout, and—thanks to a duel that ended badly—the disgraced heir to an ancient noble house. His days consist of cheap wine, rigged card games, and wondering how he might win back the life he threw away.
When Lukan discovers that his estranged father has been murdered in strange circumstances, he finds fresh purpose. Deprived of his chance to make amends for his mistakes, he vows to unravel the mystery behind his father's death.
His search for answers leads him to Saphrona, fabled city of merchant princes, where anything can be bought if one has the coin. Lukan only seeks the truth, but instead he finds danger and secrets in every shadow.
For in Saphrona, everything has a price—and the price of truth is the deadliest of all.  

Goddess of the River, by Vaishnavi Patel (23rd May, 2024)

Goddess of the River, by Vaishnavi Patel (Orbit)

A powerful reimagining of the story of Ganga, goddess of the river, and her doomed mortal son, from Vaishnavi Patel, author of the instant New York Times bestseller Kaikeyi.

A mother and a son. A goddess and a prince. A curse and an oath. A river whose course will change the fate of the world.
Ganga, joyful goddess of the river, serves as caretaker to the mischievous godlings who roam her banks. But when their antics incur the wrath of a powerful sage, Ganga is cursed to become mortal, bound to her human form until she fulfills the obligations of the curse.
Though she knows nothing of mortal life, Ganga weds King Shantanu and becomes a queen, determined to regain her freedom no matter the cost. But in a cruel turn of fate, just as she is freed of her binding, she is forced to leave her infant son behind.
Her son, prince Devavrata, unwittingly carries the legacy of Ganga’s curse. And when he makes an oath that he will never claim his father’s throne, he sets in motion a chain of events that will end in a terrible and tragic war.
As the years unfold, Ganga and Devavrata are drawn together again and again, each confluence another step on a path that has been written in the stars, in this deeply moving and masterful tale of duty, destiny, and the unwavering bond between mother and son. 

Masquerade by O.O. Sangoyomi (4th July, 2024)

Masquerade, by O.O. Sangoyomi (Solaris)

Òdòdó's hometown of Timbuktu has been conquered by the the warrior king of Yorùbáland. Already shunned as social pariahs, living conditions for Òdòdó and the other women in her blacksmith guild grow even worse under Yorùbá rule. Then Òdòdó is abducted. She is whisked across the Sahara to the capital city of Ṣàngótẹ̀, where she is shocked to discover that her kidnapper is none other than the vagrant who had visited her guild just days prior. But now that he is swathed in riches rather than rags, Òdòdó realizes he is not a vagrant at all; he is the warrior king, and he has chosen her to be his wife. In a sudden change of fortune, Òdòdó soars to the very heights of society. But after a lifetime of subjugation, the power that saturates this world of battle and political savvy becomes too enticing to resist. And as tensions with rival states reveal elaborate schemes and enemies hidden in plain sight, she must re-forge the shaky loyalties of the court to her favor, or risk losing everything―including her life.

Loosely based on the myth of Persephone, O.O. Sangoyomi’s Masquerade takes you on a journey of epic power struggles and political intrigue that turn an entire region on its head.  

A Botanical Daughter, by Noah Medlock (19th March, 2024)

A Botanical Daughter, by Noah Medlock (TitanBooks)

Mexican Gothic meets The Lie Tree by way of Oscar Wilde and Mary Shelley in this delightfully witty horror debut. A captivating tale of two Victorian gentlemen hiding their relationship away in a botanical garden who embark on a Frankenstein-style experiment with unexpected consequences.

It is an unusual thing, to live in a botanical garden. But Simon and Gregor are an unusual pair of gentlemen. Hidden away in their glass sanctuary from the disapproving tattle of Victorian London, they are free to follow their own interests without interference. For Simon, this means long hours in the dark basement workshop, working his taxidermical art. Gregor's business is exotic plants – lucrative, but harmless enough. Until his latest acquisition, a strange fungus which shows signs of intellect beyond any plant he's seen, inspires him to attempt a masterwork: true intelligent life from plant matter.
Driven by the glory he'll earn from the Royal Horticultural Society for such an achievement, Gregor ignores the flaws in his plan: that intelligence cannot be controlled; that plants cannot be reasoned with; and that the only way his plant-beast will flourish is if he uses a recently deceased corpse for the substrate.
The experiment – or Chloe, as she is named – outstrips even Gregor's expectations, entangling their strange household. But as Gregor's experiment flourishes, he wilts under the cost of keeping it hidden from jealous eyes. The mycelium grows apace in this sultry greenhouse. But who is cultivating whom?
Told with wit and warmth, this is an extraordinary tale of family, fungus and more than a dash of bloody revenge from an exciting new voice in queer horror.