This time of year brings summer weather and a whole new month’s worth of debut fiction. There are some exciting titles by new authors that came out in May and, as always, you can find a longer list of debut titles in our catalog.
“Song of Blood and Stone” by L. Penelope
The magical barrier—known as the Mantle—separating the enemy lands of Elsira and Lagrimara is about to fall. Both countries face the threat of impending war, but also that of an ancient evil known as the True-Father which seeks to conquer them both.
Gifted with the power of Eathsong, Jasminda is an outcast in her homeland of Elsira where her dark skin marks her Lagrimaran descent. Jack is an Elsiran spy who is trying to warn Elsira about the eminent collapse of the Mantle and the threat of the True-Father. As Jasminda and Jack work together to protect their home and reinforce the Mantle, their professional alliance becomes personal even as they are faced with political and social opposition.
“The Honey Farm” by Harriet Alida Lye
In order to keep her honey farm alive during a severe drought, Cynthia offers up her farm as an artists’ retreat in exchange for labor. Her advertisement attracts several artists across Canada, but in the end only two young artists, Silvia and Ibrahim, stick with the exhausting labor of working on the farm.
But soon the idyllic atmosphere of the farm turns ominous as sinister occurrences plague the farm and Silvia and Ibrahim uncover more about Cynthia’s past—and the disappearance of her partner.
“All the Ever Afters” by Danielle Teller
Amidst rumors of Cinderella’s cruel childhood after her marriage to the prince, Agnes, her so-called evil stepmother, recounts the truth of their story.
Agnes had a difficult childhood, separated from her family and forced into servitude at a young age. After the birth of her daughters, she finds herself a wet nurse to Ella and eventually becomes her stepmother. The relationship between Agnes and Ella is complicated, as Agnes struggles to love her new stepdaughter while at the same time unconsciously projecting her own cruel treatment onto Ella.
“The Map of Salt and Stars” by Jennifer Zeynab Joukhadar
11-year-old Nour has synethesia—a condition that allows her to taste and hear colors. After the death of her father, her family leaves New York City and returns to her parents’ native Syria. But the Syria her parents knew is lost to a war that threatens their new home and forces them to flee across Africa searching for safety.
Interspersed with Nour’s story is a tale her father used to tell her of a young girl named Rawiya who, more than 800 years before Nour was born, disguised herself as a boy and apprenticed herself to a mapmaker. Rawiya has fantastic adventures as she travels the world with the mapmaker, and her adventures often parallels Nour’s own difficult journey as a refugee.