Some books I’ve read (cont’d)

More books I’ve read recently! I was NotBlogging for so long I’ve built up a backlog, so here’s the rest of the list.

The Trans Space Octopus Congregation by Bogi Takács

This is a collection of Bogi’s fiction. I enjoyed it a lot! Which is hardly surprising–when I was editing GigaNotoSaurus, I bought one of eir stories. It’s collected here!

The Four Profound Weaves by RB Lemberg

Two transgender elders must learn to weave from Death in order to defeat an evil ruler–a tyrant who murders rebellious women and hoards their bones and souls–in the first novella set in the award-winning queer fantasy Birdverse universe

Wind: To match one’s body with one’s heart
Sand: To take the bearer where they wish
Song: In praise of the goddess Bird
Bone: To move unheard in the night

The Surun’ nomads do not speak of the master weaver, Benesret, who creates the cloth of bone for assassins in the Great Burri Desert. But aged Uiziya must find her aunt in order to learn the final weave, although the price for knowledge may be far too dear to pay.

Among the Khana in the springflower city of Iyar, women travel in caravans to trade, while men remain in the inner quarter, as scholars. A nameless man struggles to embody Khana masculinity, after many years of performing the life of a woman, trader, wife, and grandmother. As his past catches up, the man must choose between the life he dreamed of and Uiziya – while Uiziya must discover how to challenge the evil Ruler of Iyar, and to weave from deaths that matter.

In this breathtaking debut set in R. B. Lemberg’s beloved Birdverse, The Four Profound Weaves hearkens to Ursula Le Guin’s The Left Hand of Darkness, and offers a timeless chronicle of claiming one’s identity ina hostile world.

This is one of R’s Birdverse stories, which I’ve recommended before. Their writing is lovely, their worldbuilding wonderful, their characters real and resonant. If you haven’t acquainted yourself with Birdverse yet, by all means do, and then be ready for this novella to come out next year.

Gods of Jade and Shadow by Silvia Moreno-Garcia

The Jazz Age is in full swing, but Casiopea Tun is too busy cleaning the floors of her wealthy grandfather’s house to listen to any fast tunes. Nevertheless, she dreams of a life far from her dusty small town in southern Mexico. A life she can call her own. 

Yet this new life seems as distant as the stars, until the day she finds a curious wooden box in her grandfather’s room. She opens it—and accidentally frees the spirit of the Mayan god of death, who requests her help in recovering his throne from his treacherous brother. Failure will mean Casiopea’s demise, but success could make her dreams come true.

In the company of the strangely alluring god and armed with her wits, Casiopea begins an adventure that will take her on a cross-country odyssey from the jungles of Yucatán to the bright lights of Mexico City—and deep into the darkness of the Mayan underworld.

This is currently in hardbound, but the paperback will be out next February. This is an excellent book, and you should check it out, along with her other work, which is also excellent.

Floodtide, by Heather Rose Jones

The streets are a perilous place for a young laundry maid dismissed without a character for indecent acts. Roz knew the end of the path for a country girl alone in the city of Rotenek. A desperate escape in the night brings her to the doorstep of Dominique the dressmaker and the hope of a second chance beyond what she could have imagined. Roz’s apprenticeship with the needle, under the patronage of the royal thaumaturgist, wasn’t supposed to include learning magic, but Celeste, the dressmaker’s daughter, draws Roz into the mysterious world of the charm-wives. When floodwaters and fever sweep through the lower city, Celeste’s magical charms could bring hope and healing to the forgotten poor of Rotenek, but only if Roz can claim the help of some unlikely allies.

Set in the magical early 19th century world of Alpennia, Floodtide tells an independent tale that interweaves with the adventures.

This is, I think, the last volume of Jones’ Alpennia books. Which, if you haven’t started this series, I strongly recommend you head over to your favorite bookseller or library and get your hands on a copy of Daughter of Mystery. These books are super enjoyable.

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