Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly feature hosted at That Artsy Reader Girl. Each week you compile a list of ten books which coincide with that week’s theme. You can find everything you need to know about joining in here!
This week’s theme is ‘Upcoming Releases I’m On the Fence About’. To be honest I don’t usually compile a huge list of forthcoming releases (although I did do just that last year – and barely read any of them) so I don’t always have a bunch of titles I’m not sure if I’ll pick up or not, because if I want to then I will and if I don’t then I won’t. Which is true for every reader, I know, but I guess what I’m saying is I don’t tend to tear my hair out about it.
So today I have four 2019 books that I think I want to read but I’m a little unsure of, and four 2018 releases I didn’t read last year and am unsure if I should reach for or not. If you have read any of these, do let me know if you’d recommend them or not!
The Ruin of Kings by Jenn Lyons: I’m very wary of high fantasy that claims to turn traditional fantasy on its head, because I find it rarely does? Game of Thrones is often called original and yet the ‘revelation’ (we all saw it coming) about Jon in the last season is the oldest trope in the high fantasy book. It’s not fair of me to compare this book to Game of Thrones of course, because they sound completely different, but when publishers tell me something is SO DIFFERENT, I’m immediately suspicious. Maybe that comes from working in publishing…
The Beautiful by Renée Ahdieh: Vampires seem to be making a comeback, and while I was never a big fan of vampires outside of the Twilight books when I was younger, I think it’ll be interesting to see their rebirth in fiction. I do love the sound of the setting of this one. I’m being very generic here and I don’t mean to be, but I do wish more YA authors would go back further than the 19th century when they tackle historical fiction. Having said that I love the sound of the New Orleans setting and this one, in my mind, has the potential to either be really fun or really awful.
Sherwood by Meagan Spooner: I LOVE the premise of this one. Robin Hood is dead (and he better stay dead, don’t pull some ‘back from the dead’ crap on me here) and Maid Marian finds herself taking his place. I’m very wary of books set during this era, however, as a lot of them treat Robin Hood as more of a fantasy (which he was, so I understand why) without exploring the state of Medieval England at the time of the Crusades. I don’t expect a Robin Hood-inspired novel to turn into an essay on the reign of King John, but I’d love more stories to draw on the historical context rather than just write modern day teens wearing medieval costume. I’ll be keeping my eyes on the reviews for this one!
Sorcery of Thorns by Margaret Rogerson: I haven’t read An Enchantment of Ravens, something I’d like to change this month for Faebruary if I find time between my F/Fantasy F/February reads, and I think that’s going to give me an idea of whether or not I like Rogerson’s work. I love the premise of this one, and the cover is gorgeous, but the reviews of Rogerson’s debut were fairly mixed which I think is what’s making me a little unsure. I shouldn’t judge her by her debut, however! Authors grow and change with each book.
A Blade So Black by L.L. McKinney: Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland is one of my favourite classics, so I should have gobbled this one up, but I think because it’s one of my favourites I’m always wary of retellings. I’d love to know your thoughts if you’ve read this one!
The Unbinding of Mary Reade by Miriam McNamara: This has queer lady pirates in it, and I wouldn’t be very true to my brand if I wasn’t drawn to a book about queer lady pirates, but sadly I’ve seen a lot of fairly poor reviews of this and I don’t think I’m interested in reading it anymore even though I want to support as much f/f fiction as I can.
The Price Guide to the Occult by Leslye Walton: Have I mentioned that I love witches? I have? Oh good. The only thing that put me off picking this up was that I DNF’d The Strange and Beautiful Sorrows of Ava Lavender, and then I don’t think I saw it on any blogs throughout 2018. Again, if you’ve read this one I’d love to know your thoughts!
Fatal Throne: The Wives of Henry VIII Tell All by Candace Fleming, M.T. Anderson, Stephanie Hemphill, Lisa Ann Sandell, Jennifer Donnelly, Linda Sue Park and Deborah Hopkinson: Have I also mentioned that I love the Tudor era? I just don’t know if this one will be for me or not; I’m not sure if the stories of all six of Henry’s wives can be slotted into a 300-400 page book. I am still tempted to give this one a go, though!