Pub Day Picks // November 24, 2020

Happy Pub Day! I can’t believe we’ve reached the end of another month of great releases. Of course, November isn’t going out with a bang. Here’s the three books I’m excited are being published today. What else is publishing today that you’re excited about?

The Princess Knight by GA Aiken

For a while, I’ve been considering reading more paranormal fantasy romance. It’s apparently a subgenre that I haven’t really explored very much of, but many of the books I’ve picked up in this genre are quite interesting. This one in particular sounds funny, but also endearing. I’m also assuming there’s a large romantic component as well, but we shall see. I’m excited to get into this one.

Gemma Smythe dedicated her life to the glory of battle. With her fellow War Monks, she worshipped the war gods, rained destruction on her enemies, and raised the dead when the fancy took her. Until her sister Keeley became the prophesied Blacksmith Queen, and Gemma broke faith with her order to journey to the Amichai Mountain and fight by Keeley’s side. The Amichai warriors are an unruly, never-to-be-tamed lot, especially their leader-in-waiting, Quinn. But when the War Monks declare support for Gemma’s ruthless younger sister Beatrix, the immaturity of her key ally is the least of Gemma’s problems. She has to get to the grand masters, dispel their grudge against her, and persuade them to fight for Keeley and justice. If her conviction can’t sway them, perhaps Quinn’s irritating, irreverent, clearly unhinged, ferocity will win the day . .

Ruinsong by Julia Ember

I recently signed up for a promotional book tour for this novel, but reading the synopsis has me really intrigued and I want to read this sooner than later. I love stories with difficult decisions especially if it’s filled with royal intrigue. OMG! Yes! Bring it all to me.

Her voice was her prison…
Now it’s her weapon.

In a world where magic is sung, a powerful mage named Cadence has been forced to torture her country’s disgraced nobility at her ruthless queen’s bidding. But when she is reunited with her childhood friend, a noblewoman with ties to the underground rebellion, she must finally make a choice: Take a stand to free their country from oppression, or follow in the queen’s footsteps and become a monster herself.

The Thirty Names of Night by Zeyn Joukhadar

I had this great opportunity to interview Zeyn Joukhadar a few years back when he published his first book, The House of Salt and Stars. I remember reading that book and really loving the storytelling. Now he’s returned with his next story and I think it’s going to be an excellent one. It sounds a bit different than his first book, but I think it’ll be filled with tons of great heart and another intriguing journey.

Five years after a suspicious fire killed his ornithologist mother, a closeted Syrian American trans boy sheds his birth name and searches for a new one. He has been unable to paint since his mother’s ghost has begun to visit him each evening. As his grandmother’s sole caretaker, he spends his days cooped up in their apartment, avoiding his neighborhood masjid, his estranged sister, and even his best friend (who also happens to be his longtime crush). The only time he feels truly free is when he slips out at night to paint murals on buildings in the once-thriving Manhattan neighborhood known as Little Syria.

One night, he enters the abandoned community house and finds the tattered journal of a Syrian American artist named Laila Z, who dedicated her career to painting the birds of North America. She famously and mysteriously disappeared more than sixty years before, but her journal contains proof that both his mother and Laila Z encountered the same rare bird before their deaths. In fact, Laila Z’s past is intimately tied to his mother’s–and his grandmother’s–in ways he never could have expected. Even more surprising, Laila Z’s story reveals the histories of queer and transgender people within his own community that he never knew. Realizing that he isn’t and has never been alone, he has the courage to officially claim a new name: Nadir, an Arabic name meaning rare.

As unprecedented numbers of birds are mysteriously drawn to the New York City skies, Nadir enlists the help of his family and friends to unravel what happened to Laila Z and the rare bird his mother died trying to save. Following his mother’s ghost, he uncovers the silences kept in the name of survival by his own community, his own family, and within himself, and discovers the family that was there all along.

Featuring Zeyn Joukhadar’s signature “magical and heart-wrenching” (The Christian Science Monitor) storytelling, The Thirty Names of Night is a timely exploration of how we all search for and ultimately embrace who we are.

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