Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl.

I’m so behind on reading goals but, somehow, I managed to read read seven of my spring TBR books. I’ll call that a win. My summer TBR is mostly review copies I need to hurry up and read. Brain, please cooperate!

Titles marked with * are review copies provided by the publisher.

daughter of the merciless deep

Daughter of the Merciful Deep by Leslye Penelope*

I enjoyed Leslye’s debut, The Monsters We Defy, so I’ve been looking forward to seeing what she does next. This fantasy is inspired by the drowned Black towns of the American South.

Goodreads | StoryGraph

Jane Edwards hasn’t spoken since she was eleven years old, when armed riders expelled her family from their hometown along with every other Black resident. Now, twelve years later, she’s found a haven in the all-Black town of Awenasa. But the construction of a dam promises to wash her home under the waters of the new lake.

To save her community, Jane must journey into a sunken world. A land of capricious gods and unsung myths; of salvation and dreams made real. But the flood waters are rising and to gain the miracle she desires, Jane will have to find her voice again and finally face the trauma of the past.

this is why we lied

This is Why We Lied by Karin Slaughter*

A new Sara Linton and Will Trent book always goes onto my TBR, and I can rely on Karin for a quick read. This sounds like a closed-circle mystery, which I tend to enjoy.

Goodreads | StoryGraph

Welcome to the McAlpine Lodge: a secluded mountain getaway, it’s the height of escapist luxury living.

Except that everyone here is lying. Lying about their past. Lying to their family. Lying to themselves.

Then one night, Mercy McAlpine – until now the good daughter – threatens to expose everybody’s secrets. Just hours later, Mercy is dead.

In an area this remote, it’s easy to get away with murder. But Will Trent and Sara Linton – investigator and medical examiner for the GBI – are here on their honeymoon.


echo of worlds

Echo of Worlds by M.R. Carey*

Infinity Gate was such an interesting look at the evolution of AI through multiverses, so I am excited to see where this series goes next.

Goodreads | StoryGraph

Two mighty empires are at war – and both will lose, with thousands of planets falling to the extinction event called the Scour. At least that’s what the artificial intelligence known as Rupshe believes.

But somewhere in the multiverse there exists a force – the Mother Mass – that could end the war in an instant, and Rupshe has assembled a team to find it: Essien Nkanika, a soldier trying desperately to atone for past sins; the cat-woman Moon, a conscienceless killer; the digitally recorded mind of physicist Hadiz Tambuwal; Paz, an idealistic child and the renegade robot spy Dulcimer Coronal.

Their mission will take them from the hellish prison world of Tsakom to the poisoned remains of a post-apocalyptic Earth, and finally bring them face to face with the Mother Mass itself. But can they persuade it to end eons of neutrality and help them? And is it too late to make a difference?

Because the Pandominion’s doomsday machines are about to be unleashed – and not even their builders know how to control them.


the last song of penelope

The Last Song of Penelope by Claire North*

The final book in Claire North’s trilogy focused on the women of Ithaca. I know what’s coming, and I’m dreading it!

Goodreads | StoryGraph

A beggar has arrived at the Palace. Salt-crusted and ocean-battered, he is scorned by the suitors – but Penelope recognises in him something terrible: her husband, Odysseus, returned at last. Yet this Odysseus is no hero. By returning to the island in disguise, he is not merely plotting his revenge against the suitors – vengeance that will spark a civil war – but he’s testing the loyalty of his queen. Has she been faithful to him all these years? And how much blood is Odysseus willing to shed to be sure?

The song of Penelope is ending, and the song of Odysseus must ring through Ithaca’s halls. But first, Penelope must use all her cunning to win a war for the fate of the island and keep her family alive, whatever the cost . . .


not for the faint of heart

Not for the Faint of Heart by Lex Croucher*

Gwen and Art Are Not in Love was so much fun, I jumped on the ARC for this Robin Hood inspired story.

Goodreads | StoryGraph

Mariel, a newly blooded captain of the Merry Men, is desperate to live up to the legacy of her grandfather, the legendary Robin Hood. Clem, a backwoods assistant healer known for her new-fangled cures, just wants to help people.

When Mariel’s ramshackle band kidnap Clem as retribution for her guardian helping the Sheriff of Nottingham, all seems to be going (sort of) to plan . until Jack Hartley, Mariel’s father and Commander of the Merry Men, is captured in a deadly ambush. Determined to prove herself, Mariel sets out to get him back – with her annoyingly cheerful kidnappee in tow.

But the wood is at war. Many believe the Merry Men are no longer on the right side of history. Watching Clem tend the party’s wounds, Mariel begins to doubt the cause to which she has devoted her life. As the two of them grow closer, one thing is clear. They must prepare to fight for their lives – and for the lives of everybody in the greenwood.


long live evil

Long Live Evil by Sarah Rees Brennan*

Villain stories seem to be all the rage right now, and I’m here for that. This was on my Wyrd & Wonder TBR too, but I didn’t get round to it last month.

Goodreads | StoryGraph

When her whole life collapsed, Rae still had books. Dying, she seizes a second chance at living: a magical bargain that lets her enter the world of her favorite fantasy series.
She wakes in a castle on the edge of a hellish chasm, in a kingdom on the brink of war. Home to dangerous monsters, scheming courtiers and her favourite fictional character: the Once and Forever Emperor. He’s impossibly alluring, as only fiction can be. And in this fantasy world, she discovers she’s not the heroine, but the villainess in the Emperor’s tale.

So be it. The wicked are better dressed, with better one-liners, even if they’re doomed to bad ends. She assembles the wildly disparate villains of the story under her evil leadership, plotting to change their fate. But as the body count rises and the Emperor’s fury increases, it seems Rae and her allies may not survive to see the final page.


the undermining of twyla and frank

The Undermining of Twyla and Frank by Megan Bannen*

I think this is set in the same world as The Undertaking of Hart and Mercy, which was exactly the right mix of romance and fantasy for me. By the cover and title I’m assuming there’s going to be dragons and mining?

Goodreads | StoryGraph

The town of Eternity was shocked when widowed, middle-aged Twyla Banneker partnered up with her best friend, Frank Ellis, to join the Tanrian Marshals. Eight years later, her career remains a welcome change from the domestic grind of mum life.

Fortunately (or unfortunately) the job is a lot safer these days. . . and a lot less exciting. So when Twyla and Frank find a glitter-covered body near a dragon-sized footprint, they’re ready to be back in action.

Soon, a handsome scientist arrives to assist with the investigation. To Twyla’s delight and Frank’s consternation, Dr. Quill Vanderlinden finds Twyla as fascinating as the newly discovered dragons.

As Twyla and Frank are drawn deeper into a nefarious plot with more twists than a Tanrian mineshaft, danger closes in on all sides. Will their easy friendship survive the adventure or is it about to ignite into something more?


the black bird oracle

The Black Bird Oracle by Deborah Harkness*

I didn’t love the previous All Souls book, but this one is returning to Diana and Matthew’s story, so I’m hoping the series is back on form.

Goodreads | StoryGraph

The first shadows fall on a Friday afternoon when a single, dying raven lands on the pavement in front of Diana Bishop, harbinger of an invitation that reads, ‘It’s time you came home, Diana’.

Diana is a witch and scholar; her husband Matthew Clairmont, a vampire. Their intense love for one another awoke the dark powers within her and dissolved the Covenant between the three species – Witch, Daemon and Vampire – that live alongside humans. Now, the governing Congregation has decided it must test the magical powers of their seven-year-old twins, Pip and Becca. Concerned with their safety, Diana decides to forge a different path for her family’s future and travels to Ravenswood, the Proctor family home.

There, Diana begins a new era, becoming her great aunt Gwyneth’s pupil in higher magic. It’s time to confront her family’s past – and her own, inescapable desire for greater power.


mirrored heavens

Mirrored Heavens by Rebecca Roanhorse

The finale of the Between Earth and Sky trilogy. I hope it is as good as Black Sun.

Goodreads | StoryGraph

Serapio, avatar of the Crow God Reborn and the newly crowned Carrion King, rules Tova. But his enemies gather both on distant shores and within his own city as the matrons of the clans scheme to destroy him. And deep in the alleys of the Maw, a new prophecy is whispered, this one from the Coyote God. It promises Serapio certain doom if its terrible dictates are not fulfilled.

Meanwhile, Xiala is thrust back amongst her people as war comes first to the island of Teek. With their way of life and their magic under threat, she is their last best hope. But the sea won’t talk to her the way it used to, and doubts riddle her mind. She will have to sacrifice the things that matter most to unleash her powers and become the queen they were promised.

And in the far northern wastelands, Naranpa, avatar of the Sun God, seeks a way to save Tova from the visions of fire that engulf her dreams. But another presence has begun stalking her nightmares, and the Jaguar God is on the hunt.


fourth wing

Fourth Wing by Rebecca Yannos

Yes, I’m finally going to see what all the fuss is about…

Goodreads | StoryGraph

Twenty-year-old Violet Sorrengail was supposed to enter the Scribe Quadrant, living a quiet life among books and history. Now, the commanding general – also known as her tough-as-talons mother – has ordered Violet to join the hundreds of candidates striving to become the elite of Navarre: dragon riders.

But when you’re smaller than everyone else and your body is brittle, death is only a heartbeat away . . . because dragons don’t bond to ‘fragile’ humans. They incinerate them.

With fewer dragons willing to bond than cadets, most would kill Violet to better their own chances of success. The rest would kill her just for being her mother’s daughter – like Xaden Riorson, the most powerful and ruthless wingleader in the Riders Quadrant.

She’ll need every edge her wits can give her just to see the next sunrise.