It’s Tuesday, which means it’s time for a bookish favorites post. Top 5 Tuesday is hosted by Meeghan over on Meeghan Reads and is quite simple: check out the topic and write a post with your picks.
Today, we’ll talk about some books I meant to read in 2020. Considering that my tbr-pile on Goodreads is currently over 300 books high, there are a few novels I can think of! However, I’ll specifically talk about some subscription box books I never got around to. I always feel a little guilty ’cause those editions are so pretty and now they are on my shelf accumulating dust. Although I managed to read quite a lot of my backlog on that front, there are still several I didn’t get to. And since I haven’t read the books yet, I’ll leave you with the info provided by Goodreads, so you’ll get an idea of what they are about!
#1 A Brightness Long Ago
In a chamber overlooking the nighttime waterways of a maritime city, a man recalls his youth and the people who shaped his life. Danio Cerra’s intelligence won him entry to a renowned school even though he was only the son of a tailor. He took service at the court of a count–and soon learned why that man was known as the Beast.
Danio’s fate changed the moment he recognized Adria Ripoli as she entered the Beast’s chambers one autumn night, intending to kill. Born to power, Adria had chosen, instead of a life of comfort, one of danger–and freedom. Which is how she encounters Danio in a perilous time and place.
Unforgettable figures share the unfolding story. Among them: a healer determined to defy her expected lot; a charming, frivolous son of immense wealth; a powerful religious leader more decadent than devout; and, affecting all these lives and many more, two larger-than-life mercenary commanders, lifelong adversaries, whose rivalry puts a world in the balance.
#2 Girl, Serpent, Thorn
There was and there was not, as all stories begin, a princess cursed to be poisonous to the touch. But for Soraya, who has lived her life hidden away, apart from her family, safe only in her gardens, it’s not just a story.
As the day of her twin brother’s wedding approaches, Soraya must decide if she’s willing to step outside of the shadows for the first time. Below in the dungeon is a demon who holds knowledge that she craves, the answer to her freedom. And above is a young man who isn’t afraid of her, whose eyes linger not with fear, but with an understanding of who she is beneath the poison.
Soraya thought she knew her place in the world, but when her choices lead to consequences she never imagined, she begins to question who she is and who she is becoming…human or demon. Princess or monster.
#3 The Gilded Ones
Sixteen-year-old Deka lives in fear and anticipation of the blood ceremony that will determine whether she will become a member of her village. Already different from everyone else because of her unnatural intuition, Deka prays for red blood so she can finally feel like she belongs.
But on the day of the ceremony, her blood runs gold, the color of impurity–and Deka knows she will face a consequence worse than death.
Then a mysterious woman comes to her with a choice: stay in the village and submit to her fate, or leave to fight for the emperor in an army of girls just like her. They are called alaki–near-immortals with rare gifts. And they are the only ones who can stop the empire’s greatest threat.
Knowing the dangers that lie ahead yet yearning for acceptance, Deka decides to leave the only life she’s ever known. But as she journeys to the capital to train for the biggest battle of her life, she will discover that the great walled city holds many surprises. Nothing and no one are quite what they seem to be–not even Deka herself.
#4 Descendant of the Crane
Tyrants cut out hearts. Rulers sacrifice their own.
Princess Hesina of Yan has always been eager to shirk the responsibilities of the crown, but when her beloved father is murdered, she’s thrust into power, suddenly the queen of an unstable kingdom. Determined to find her father’s killer, Hesina does something desperate: she engages the aid of a soothsayer—a treasonous act, punishable by death… because in Yan, magic was outlawed centuries ago.
Using the information illicitly provided by the sooth, and uncertain if she can trust even her family, Hesina turns to Akira—a brilliant investigator who’s also a convicted criminal with secrets of his own. With the future of her kingdom at stake, can Hesina find justice for her father? Or will the cost be too high?
In this shimmering Chinese-inspired fantasy, debut author Joan He introduces a determined and vulnerable young heroine struggling to do right in a world brimming with deception.
#5 The Girl and the Stars
In the ice, east of the Black Rock, there is a hole into which broken children are thrown.
On Abeth the vastness of the ice holds no room for individuals. Survival together is barely possible. No one survives alone.
To resist the cold, to endure the months of night when even the air itself begins to freeze, requires a special breed. Variation is dangerous, difference is fatal. And Yaz is not the same.
Yaz is torn from the only life she’s ever known, away from her family, from the boy she thought she would spend her days with, and has to carve out a new path for herself in a world whose existence she never suspected. A world full of difference and mystery and danger.
Yaz learns that Abeth is older and stranger than she had ever imagined. She learns that her weaknesses are another kind of strength. And she learns to challenge the cruel arithmetic of survival that has always governed her people.
Only when it’s darkest you can see the stars.
Are there any books you meant to read last year but didn’t get around to? Let me know in the comments!