My Most Anticipated SFF Reads of 2023 | Months 7, 8, & 9 🐚☀️🍁

So, this post is a few days later than I’d planned, but once again, I was super busy this past week as well as ill. But I’m posting it today.

It’s quarter three of 2023 now, so it’s time to do that thing I’ve done every quarter again. I’m gonna go over the books that are coming out over the next three months that interest me the most.

This time I have five. For real this time. I’m genuinely interested in five different books releasing (or re-releasing) this quarter.

Without further ado, let’s be off!

Gods of the Wyrdwood by R.J. Barker

RELEASING: July 18th

NOTE: The physical copy has already been released, but the digital version hasn’t yet, so I’m listing it here on a technicality. 😆😅

Ours is a land of many gods, and we are a people with the ability to pick the worst of them.

Cahan du Nahare is known as the forester – a man who can navigate the dangerous Deepforest like no-one else. But once he was more. Once he belonged to the god of fire.

Udinny serves the goddess of the lost, a goddess of small things; when she ventures into the Deepforest to find a lost child, Cahan will be her guide. But in a land where territory is won and lost for uncaring gods, where temples of warrior monks pit one prophet against another – Cahan will need to choose the forest or the fire – and his choice will have consequences for his entire world.

Gods of the Wyrdwood is book one in an evocative new fantasy trilogy from RJ Barker, the British Fantasy Society Award-winning author of The Bone Ships and Age of Assassins.

Masters of Death: Revised Edition by Olivie Blake

RELEASING: August 8th

From the New York Times bestselling author of The Atlas Six comes Masters of Death, a story about vampires, ghosts, and death itself.

*Now newly revised and edited with additional content, this hardcover edition will include new interior illustrations from Little Chmura and special illustrated endpapers from artist Polarts.*

There is a game that the immortals play.

There is only one rule: Don’t lose.

Viola Marek is a struggling real estate agent, and a vampire. But her biggest problem currently is that the house she needs to sell is haunted. The ghost haunting the mansion has been murdered, and until he can solve the mystery of how he died, he refuses to move on.

Fox D’Mora is a medium, and though he is also most-definitely a shameless fraud, he isn’t entirely without his uses―seeing as he’s actually the godson of Death.

When Viola seeks out Fox to help her with the ghost infestation, he becomes inextricably involved in a quest that neither he nor Vi expects (or wants). But with the help of an unruly poltergeist, a demonic personal trainer, a sharp-voiced angel, a love-stricken reaper, and a few mindfulness-practicing creatures, Vi and Fox soon discover the difference between a mysterious lost love and an annoying dead body isn’t nearly as distinct as they thought.

Thornhedge by T. Kingfisher

RELEASING: August 15th

From USA Today bestselling author T. Kingfisher, Thornhedge is the tale of a kind-hearted, toad-shaped heroine, a gentle knight, and a mission gone completely sideways.

There’s a princess trapped in a tower. This isn’t her story.

Meet Toadling. On the day of her birth, she was stolen from her family by the fairies, but she grew up safe and loved in the warm waters of faerieland. Once an adult though, the fae ask a favor of Toadling: return to the human world and offer a blessing of protection to a newborn child. Simple, right?

But nothing with fairies is ever simple.

Centuries later, a knight approaches a towering wall of brambles, where the thorns are as thick as your arm and as sharp as swords. He’s heard there’s a curse here that needs breaking, but it’s a curse Toadling will do anything to uphold…

City of Bones: Updated & Revised Edition by Martha Wells

RELEASING: September 5th

Before Martha Wells captured the hearts of MILLIONS with her Murderbot series, there was Khat, Sagai, and Elen, and a city risen out of death and decay…

The city of Charisat, a tiered monolith of the Ancients’ design, sits on the edge of the vast desert known as the Waste. Khat, a member of a humanoid race created by the Ancients to survive in the Waste, and Sagai, his human partner, are relic dealers working in the bottom tiers of society, trying to stay one step ahead of the Trade Inspectors.

When Khat is hired by the all-powerful Warders to find relics believed to be part of one of the Ancients’ arcane engines, he, and his party, begin unravelling the mysteries of an age-old technology.

This they expected.

They soon find themselves as the last line of defense between the suffering masses of Charisat and a fanatical cult, bent on unleashing an evil upon the city with an undying thirst for bone.

Sandymancer by David Edison

RELEASING: September 19th

A wild girl with sand magic in her bones and a mad god who is trying to fix the world he broke come together in SANDYMANCER, a genre-warping mashup of weird fantasy and hard science fiction.

All Caralee Vinnet has ever known is dust. Her whole world is made up of the stuff; water is the most precious thing in the cosmos. A privileged few control what elements remain. But the world was not always a dust bowl and the green is not all lost.

Caralee has a secret―she has magic in her bones and can draw up power from the sand beneath her feet to do her bidding. But when she does she winds up summoning a monster: the former god-king who broke the world 800 years ago and has stolen the body of her best friend.

Caralee will risk the whole world to take back what she’s lost. If her new companion doesn’t kill her first.

As always, thank you for reading, and have a wonderful day/night!

See ya ~Mar

Monthly Wrap-Up: June Reading 2023

June 2023 Reading

Hey, look! I’m super early with my reading wrap this month! June 2023 Reading statistics incoming!

Anyway, before I get into it: June… I’m not at all  happy with how much I read last month. My statistics were pretty bad on The StoryGraph. It was the least amount of reading that I’ve done yet this year. I don’t even have the excuse that stuff went down, like in May. I just had the worst reading slump ever.

Anyway, I’ve talked enough. On with the stats!

June 2023 Reading Stats

I read 2 books and 885 pages

😐 MOODS: Adventurous was the biggest slice of pie once again. There aren’t a lot of Moods on this graph though. The only others are Mysterious and Emotional, which are equal.

👢 PACE: Unlike last month every single book I read was medium-paced. I think this is the first month where medium-paced was the entire graph, though.

🔢 PAGE NUMBER: I read a lot of shorter books in June, similar to what I read in April and May. 300 to 499 was the only kind of pie here.

📖 FICTION/NONFICTION: All fiction once again this month.

🎭 GENRES: Fantasy was the biggest part of the graph this time, as per usual. The only other genre on the bar graph, though, is YA. So it’s much less colorful than usual.

📄 FORMAT: This little StoryGraph pie chart is actually correct for once! All the (two) books I read were physical print copies.

⭐ RATING: My median star rating for the month of June was 3.5. I rated one book 3 stars and one book 4 stars.

📉 PAGES READ DAILY: I read some during the first week, but dipped down a ton in the middle, particularly in the last third of the month. During the last couple of days of June though, I read a lot.

The Books I Read in June

Witch King by Martha Wells

★★★☆☆

Song of Silver, Flame Like Night by Amélie Wen Zhao

★★★★☆

Wrapping Up the Wrap-Up

So June was not what I had hoped it would bet be. I hate reading blocks. Ugh! But, I’m very hopeful that July will be better. I seem to be out of the slump, so I’m hoping for good things.

I haven’t had the time to really read yet, but I’ve already got a book cued up – one that I’ve been wanting to read for a long time. So yeah, the June 2023 Reading Wrap-Up comes to a close.

Thank you so much for reading, and have a wonderful day/night!

See ya ~Mar

WWW Wednesday: 6/28

Ugh, so I’ve been kind of AWOL on and off lately, and I’m sorry about that. Yesterday, I was totally sick though, so that’s my excuse for the one.

Anyway, let’s discuss happier things. (Like how my reading slump seems to have ended. *cough*) Like WWW Wednesday, for instance.

WWW Wednesday is a weekly meme that used to be hosted at A Daily Rhythm, but has been taken over by Sam @ Taking on a World of Words. Now, without further ado, let’s get into the 3 Ws!

The 3 Ws of WWW Wednesday:

What are you currently reading?

What did you recently finish reading?

What do you think you’ll read next?


The Thing I’m Currently Reading

Song of Silver, Flame Like Night by Amélie Wen Zhao

Song of Silver, Flame Like Night by Amélie Wen Zhao

CURRENT STATUS: 40%

CURRENT FEELS: 🌞 (loving it so far, even though it had a slow start and I have other gripes with it)


The Thing I Recently Finished Reading

Witch King by Martha Wells

Witch King by Martha Wells

★★★☆☆ • 3 / 5


The Thing I Might Read Next

Kingdom of the Wicked by Kerri Maniscalco

Kingdom of the Wicked by Kerri Maniscalco


As always, thank you so much for reading, and have an amazing day/night!

See ya ~Mar

WWW Wednesday: 6/21

Here we are again! WWW Wednesday, one of my favorite weekly posts to participate in!

WWW Wednesday is a weekly meme that used to be hosted at A Daily Rhythm, but has been taken over by Sam @ Taking on a World of Words. Now, without further ado, let’s get into the 3 Ws!

The 3 Ws of WWW Wednesday:

What are you currently reading?

What did you recently finish reading?

What do you think you’ll read next?


The Thing I’m Currently Reading

Song of Silver, Flame Like Night by Amélie Wen Zhao

Song Like Silver, Flame Like Night by Amélie Wen Zhao

CURRENT STATUS: 4%

CURRENT FEELS: 😊 (excited)


The Thing I Just Finished Reading

Witch King by Martha Wells

Witch King by Martha Wells

★★★☆☆ • 3 / 5


The Thing I Might Read Next

Kingdom of the Wicked by Kerri Maniscalco

Kingdom of the Wicked by Kerri Maniscalco

(I know, I know, I flipflop around a bunch… 🤷‍♀️)


Thank you all so much for reading, and have an amazing day/night!

See ya ~Mar

Weekly Wrap-Up: 6/12 – 6/18

I was a lot more productive this past week than I was the week before, and I’m super happy about it. I posted a bunch more and I finally finished another book and reviewed it. So yeah, got a lot more done.

This week, I’m aiming to be just as productive – but hopefully even more so – but we’ll see how that goes! I’m just so glad that last week was better.

Anyway, let’s get on with the wrap-up!

Tuesday 6/13: June 2023 Birthstone Book Covers

Last Tuesday, I not only did a rare Tuesday post, but I also participated in June 2023’s Birthstone Book Covers. Birthstone Book Covers is a monthly post created and hosted by Leslie @ Books Are the New Black.

Birthstone Book Covers: June 2023

Wednesday 6/14: WWW Wednesday

Wednesday I participated in WWW Wednesday, as I usually do. WWW Wednesday is a weekly feature currently hosted by Sam @ Taking on a World of Words.

WWW Wednesday 6/14

Friday 6/16: First Line Friday

On Friday, I once again participated in another weekly thing – First Line Fridays. First Line Fridays is a weekly feature for book lovers (formerly) hosted by Wandering Words.

First Line Friday #18

Sunday 6/18: Witch King Review

Witch King by Martha Wells

Yesterday, I finally got around to posting my book review for Witch King by Martha Wells. It’s a recent fantasy release, and it was probably my most anticipated book coming out this year. But, unfortunately, I thought it fell a bit short. I ended up giving it ★★★☆☆.

Witch King Review

Books I Read Last Week

Witch King by Martha Wells

Goals for 6/19 – 6/25

This week, I definitely want to make sure and post two book reviews. I’ve been really slacking on that sort of post lately, and I really wanna do better. I also, of course, want to participate in my usual weekly posts, as well.

As for other stuff to post on the blog… I want to do another popular books that I’ve never read post. It’s been a while, so I think it’s definitely time. (I also kind of want to do a Majestic Monday, but I’m not sure I’ll have enough time before the day ends.)

Anyway, thank you all so much for reading, and have an excellent day/night!

See ya ~Mar

“Witch King” by Martha Wells | Book Review

“A demon is not afraid of a beast, no matter how big. What are you afraid of, Kai?”

Witch King by Martha Wells

Witch King by Martha Wells

LENGTH: 426 pages

GENRES: Fantasy, Fiction

PUBLISHER: Tordotcom

RELEASE DATE: 30 May 2023

BOOK DESCRIPTION:

From the breakout SFF superstar author of Murderbot comes a remarkable story of power and friendship, of trust and betrayal, and of the families we choose.

“I didn’t know you were a… demon.”
“You idiot. I’m the demon.”
Kai’s having a long day in Martha Wells’ WITCH KING….

After being murdered, his consciousness dormant and unaware of the passing of time while confined in an elaborate water trap, Kai wakes to find a lesser mage attempting to harness Kai’s magic to his own advantage. That was never going to go well.

But why was Kai imprisoned in the first place? What has changed in the world since his assassination? And why does the Rising World Coalition appear to be growing in influence?

Kai will need to pull his allies close and draw on all his pain magic if he is to answer even the least of these questions.

He’s not going to like the answers.

WITCH KING is Martha Wells’s first new fantasy in over a decade, drawing together her signature ability to create characters we adore and identify with, alongside breathtaking action and adventure, and the wit and charm we’ve come to expect from one of the leading writers of her generation.

My Review

When Kai returned, Sanja was explaining about Menlas and tell- ing Ziede what had happened in the tomb below. “He said he was going to enslave a great demon, make him a familiar.”

“Yes, that’s what all the idiots think,” Ziede told her.

So like, I was uber excited for this book. Like, when Witch King was announced last May, I was here for it. I absolutely couldn’t wait. I loved The Murderbot Diaries, and I really wanted to see what else Martha Wells was capable of with her writing.

And then I read The Cloud Roads. And I… didn’t like it all that much. But! I was still excited to read this book when it came out!

But I found that Witch King fell short of expectations as well. I dunno if I just don’t like the way Wells writes fantasy, or if it’s her style in third person, but I haven’t liked any of the fantasy books that I’ve read by her. Yet.

(And yes, this is why the Witch King by Martha Wells book review took so long.)

The Stuff I Liked

Ziede’s turned inward. “How did it come to this, Kai? I remember how we started. Now you’re all razor barbs and I’m an angry shrew.”

“No,” he said, stung by that description of herself. “You’re righteously furious. You’ve always had the high ground, Ziede. Don’t let them say you don’t.” She was still looking away into the dark. “You’re right about me and the razors, though.” Most of the time Kai felt like he was made of razors, bleeding from the inside.

She reached over and squeezed his hand. “I’ve always liked your razors, Kai. They’ve cut us out of a number of tangles. But it would be good if one day you could stop bleeding.”

I’ll definitely give her credit where credit is due though. Her characters are once again, fantastic. I love Kai, and I love his little team. They’ve all just got an instantly likeable dynamic, and you can just tell what kind of people everyone is in just a couple of sentences. Martha Wells writes characters extremely well. And the dialogue was once again *chef’s kiss.*

Also, I really liked the magic system in this book. Magic drawn through pain? So cool.

All the Stuff I Didn’t Like

Expositors didn’t draw power from pain in their own body, like Kai did, or by forming relationships with the spirits inherent in the different levels of the world, both living and otherwise, like Witches. Expositors drew their power from life: new life, stolen life, life on the point of death. It was why they were so dangerous, why greed was their driving force. It was why their power was so susceptible to a true demon’s ability to steal life from anything living or once living. But that was something the Saredi hadn’t realized until it was too late.

But other than that, I didn’t really care for pretty much everything else about the novel. Yes, it has a strong start; but I don’t feel that it kept up the momentum.

Part of this is because the book pretty much constantly switches back and forth between Then and Now type chapters. Yes people, this is one of those kinds of books. It’s a 2-in-1 story. And yeah, I sometimes like those, but that’s only when the past chapter ratio is very low compared to the rest of the story. I’m sure that this is a personal preference thing on my part, but I just couldn’t get past the storytelling here.

Another thing about this book was that I found it to be somehow boring. Like, stuff is constantly happening, there’s really never a dull moment. But at the same time, it’s boring?!? I don’t really know how to describe it, honestly.

I also normally would’ve DNF-ed a book like this, but since I was anticipating it for so long… I wanted to know how it ended.

Kai stepped close, circled to face his prey, and wrapped his hand around the ghoul’s throat. “Do mortals just walk into your charnel house all the time? Am I one? Am I stupid?”

The ghoul choked out. “I didn’t know you were a…”

“Say it,” Kai smiled.

“…a demon.”

“You idiot,” Kai leaned closer to whisper, “I’m the demon.”

And one last thing: I found the plot summary to be extremely misleading. And the quote from Witch King included with it is in the book a completely different way in which it’s presented there. It’s also, like, halfway through the novel, which is someplace that I didn’t expect it.

Final Thoughts

But yeah, that’s my book review for Witch King by Martha Wells. I really wanted to like it, but I just couldn’t. Heck, it only gets another half star than it otherwise would’ve gotten because Martha Wells wrote it. (Otherwise I would have rated it two and a half stars.) And yeah, I don’t really know if I can recommend it because of that.

Anyway, thank you so much for reading, and have an awesome day/night!

See ya ~Mar


MY LINKS:

The Murderbot Diaries Review


WWW Wednesday: 6/14

Here we go! One of my favorite weekly posts to participate in!

WWW Wednesday is a weekly meme that used to be hosted at A Daily Rhythm, but has been taken over by Sam @ Taking on a World of Words. Now, without further ado, let’s get into the 3 Ws!

The 3 Ws of WWW Wednesday:

What are you currently reading?

What did you recently finish reading?

What do you think you’ll read next?


The Thing I’m Still Reading (I’m Almost Done, LOL)

Witch King by Martha Wells

Witch King by Martha Wells

CURRENT STATUS: 82%

CURRENT FEELS: 😐 (kinda neutral)


The Thing I Most Recently Finished

The Stardust Thief by Chelsea Abdullah

The Stardust Thief by Chelsea Abdullah

★★★★★ • 5 / 5


The Thing I’m Gonna Read Next

Song of Silver, Flame Like Night by Amélie Wen Zhao

Song of Silver, Flame Like Night by Amélie Wen Zhao


Thank you all so much for reading, and have an amazing day/night!

See ya ~Mar

WWW Wednesday: 6/7

WWW Wednesday is a weekly meme that used to be hosted at A Daily Rhythm, but has been taken over by Sam @ Taking on a World of Words. Now, without further ado, let’s get into the 3 Ws!

The 3 Ws of WWW Wednesday:

What are you currently reading?

What did you recently finish reading?

What do you think you’ll read next?


The Thing I’m Currently Reading

Witch King by Martha Wells

Witch King by Martha Wells

CURRENT STATUS: 50%

CURRENT FEELS: 🫤 (unsure)


The Thing I Just Finished Reading

The Stardust Thief by Chelsea Abdullah

The Stardust Thief by Chelsea Abdullah

★★★★★ • 5 / 5


The Thing I Might Read Next

The Never Heir by Courtney Millecam

The Never Heir by Courtney Millecam


Thank you all so much for reading, and have an amazing day/night!

See ya ~Mar

WWW Wednesday: 5/31

This past weekend! Again! The power went out, and I couldn’t get any reading done because all of my reading spots were too dark! Argh!! So I still haven’t made a lot of book progress, unfortunately. (But that’s gonna change this week!)

Anyway, WWW Wednesday is a weekly meme that used to be hosted at A Daily Rhythm, but has been taken over by Sam @ Taking on a World of Words. Now, without further ado, let’s get into the 3 Ws!

The 3 Ws of WWW Wednesday:

What are you currently reading?

What did you recently finish reading?

What do you think you’ll read next?


The Thing That I Still Haven’t Finished Reading

The Stardust Thief by Chelsea Abdullah

The Stardust Thief by Chelsea Abdullah

CURRENT STATUS: 70% (planning on finishing it tonight!)

CURRENT FEELS: 😍 (absolutely loving it)


The Thing I Most Recently Finished Reading

The Frugal Wizard's Handbook for Surviving Medieval England by Brandon Sanderson

The Frugal Wizard’s Handbook for Surviving Medieval England by Brandon Sanderson

★★★★☆ • 4 / 5


The Thing I’m Definitely Reading Next

Witch King by Martha Wells

Witch King by Martha Wells

(Ahhh!! I’m so, so, so excited for this! I’ve been wanting to read this ever since it was announced last year!)


Thank you all so much for reading, and have an amazing day/night!

See ya ~Mar

Can’t-Wait Wednesday: “Witch King”

There’s a book that’s coming out next week that I’m extremely excited for – actually, no, beyond excited for is more accurate – so I thought I’d participate in another Can’t-Wait Wednesday.

Can’t-Wait Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Tressa @ Wishful Endings (and was previously hosted by Jill @ Breaking the Spine where it was known as Waiting on Wednesday) to spotlight and discuss the books we’re excited about that we have yet to read. They’re usually books that have not yet been released.

This week’s book is:

Witch King by Martha Wells!!

It’s a new book from the Murderbot Diaries genius herself!

Witch King by Martha Wells

Witch King by Martha Wells

LENGTH: 432 pages

GENRES: Fantasy, Fiction

PUBLISHER: Tordotcom

RELEASE DATE: 30 May 2023

BOOK DESCRIPTION:

From the breakout SFF superstar author of Murderbot comes a remarkable story of power and friendship, of trust and betrayal, and of the families we choose.

“I didn’t know you were a… demon.”
“You idiot. I’m the demon.”
Kai’s having a long day in Martha Wells’ WITCH KING….

After being murdered, his consciousness dormant and unaware of the passing of time while confined in an elaborate water trap, Kai wakes to find a lesser mage attempting to harness Kai’s magic to his own advantage. That was never going to go well.

But why was Kai imprisoned in the first place? What has changed in the world since his assassination? And why does the Rising World Coalition appear to be growing in influence?

Kai will need to pull his allies close and draw on all his pain magic if he is to answer even the least of these questions.

He’s not going to like the answers.

WITCH KING is Martha Wells’s first new fantasy in over a decade, drawing together her signature ability to create characters we adore and identify with, alongside breathtaking action and adventure, and the wit and charm we’ve come to expect from one of the leading writers of her generation.

Thank you all so much for reading, and have a wonderful day/night!

See ya ~Mar