My monthly new releases posts usually, if not exclusively, focus on authors whose books I’ve read previously. Not surprising, because, you know, there’s a reason why I keep an eye out for their books…
However, here are two new-to-me authors whose books are making me curious:
Mary Robinette Kowal’s “Shades of Milk and Honey” (out 3 August) – it’s touted as “the fantasy novel that Jane Austen may have written”, and the title intrigued me enough to read the first chapter. I ended up liking both the style and the concept far more than I expected, so this is now very much on my radar. It is a hardcover release though, and for a new-to-me author, that may be a bit of a stretch for me.
From the author’s website:
Shades of Milk and Honey is an intimate portrait of Jane Ellsworth, a woman ahead of her time in a version of Regency England where the manipulation of glamour is considered an essential skill for a lady of quality. But despite the prevalence of magic in everyday life, other aspects of Dorchester’s society are not that different: Jane and her sister Melody’s lives still revolve around vying for the attentions of eligible men.
Jane resists this fate, and rightly so: while her skill with glamour is remarkable, it is her sister who is fair of face, and therefore wins the lion’s share of the attention. At the ripe old age of twenty-eight, Jane has resigned herself to being invisible forever. But when her family’s honor is threatened, she finds that she must push her skills to the limit in order to set things right–and, in the process, accidentally wanders into a love story of her own.
Beth Bernobich’s “Passion Play” (out 12 Oct) is another hardcover being released by Tor. It has an excellent blurb by Patricia Briggs and said to appeal to fans of Jacqueline Carey. What more could I ask for?
The fact that the title is somewhat similar to Nalini Singh’s “Play of Passion” November release could be slightly confusing, though having said that, they have very different covers.
Book description from Amazon:
Ilse Zhalina is the daughter of one of Melnek’s more prominent merchants. She has lived most of her life surrounded by the trappings of wealth and privilege. Many would consider hers a happy lot. But there are dark secrets, especially in the best of families. Ilse has learned that for a young woman of her beauty and social station, to be passive and silent is the way to survive when Ilse finally meets the older man she is to marry, she realizes that he is far crueler and more deadly than her father could ever be. Ilse chooses to run. This choice will change her life forever and it will lead her to Raul Kosenmark, master of one of the land s most notorious pleasure houses…and, who is, as Ilse discovers, a puppet master of a different sort altogether. Ilse discovers a world where every pleasure has a price and there are levels of magic and intrigue she once thought unimaginable. She also finds the other half of her heart. Lush fantasy. Wild magic. Intrigue, seduction, and treachery, with a kingdom at stake.
I’m looking forward to seeing these two books on the shelves and also finding an excerpt for the second (anyone have a link to one?). The hardcover factor, on the other hand, may mean I don’t actually get them at this point – I’m trying to figure out if releasing these first novels in hardcover a sign that the publisher is massively confident that they’re going to be big sellers or whether it’s just standard practice for Tor.