The months seem to be going by at a weird pace. I haven’t found myself reading much and just finally got out of a reading slump. However, some of these books make me want to order them from my local bookseller.
The Mermaid, the Witch, and the Sea
Dealing with issues of colonialism threaded with magic a desperate orphan turned pirate and a rebellious imperial lady find connection on the high seas.
Abord the pirate ship Dove Flora, the girl, takes on the identity of Florian to earn respect and protection from the crew. Flora is a former starving urchin and the brutal life of a pirate is all about fitting in. But on this voyage she finds herself drawn to Lady Evelyn Hasegawa. Evelyn is headed to an arranged marriage she dreads. Flora doesn’t expect to be taken under Evelyn’s wing and Evelyn doesn’t expect to bond with Florian.
But the unlikely pair has an adventure ahead of them as they set in motion a wild escape that will free a captured mermaid who is hunted for her blood. They will also involve the mysterious Pirate Supreme, an opportunistic witch, double agents, and the all-encompassing Sea herself.
In her debut novel, Maggie Tokuda-Hall discusses the all-important themes of love, identity, and wanting to control your destiny. Tokuda-Hall is of Japanese ancestry and writes about the importance of colonialism in the book.
An interesting interview with Tokuda-Hall can be found here We Need Diverse Books: The Mermaid, The Witch and the Sea
The Mermaid the Witch and the Sea Releases May 5th.
The Henna Wars
Nishat must make a choice between family and identity when an old crush comes back into her life. Flávia is beautiful and charismatic, and Nishat falls for her instantly.
When a school competition invites students to create a business both Flávia and Nishat create henna business future entangling their lives. But Nishat isn’t sure what to do especially since Flávia seems to like her back.
As the competition heats up, Nishat has a decision to make: stay in the closet for her family, or put aside her differences with Flávia and give their relationship a chance.
Adiba Jaigirdar is a Bangladeshi/Irish writer and teacher.
The Henna Wars Releases May 12th.
House of Dragons
Someone described this as The Breakfast Club but with a mix of Three Dark Crowns and with some dragons thrown in, so it had to end up on the list. When the Emperor dies five people from the five royal houses will hear the call to compete in the Trial for the dragon throne.
A liar, a soldier, a servant, a thief, and a murderer will answer it. Who will win?
House of Dragons Releases May 12th.