Tag: Wicked Saints

10 Dark Fantasy Books to Read During Those Cold Winter Nights

The nights, they are growing colder. Trees are becoming skeletons, the air is starting to bite with razor-sharp teeth, and the snow is beginning to onslaught the ground with flurries. The world will soon be a blanket of white and the cold will start to rattle our bones to the core. We will be forced to retreat behind closed doors and seek shelter from the bitter wind knocking against our windowpanes. Before we know it, the outside world will be almost a mere memory as fuzzy socks, fireplaces, and good books become our reality.

Of course, many avid readers during this spectacular season will favor books about summer. They will try to recreate warmer days by reading contemporary fiction and books about falling in love under a sultry summer sun. These books might cure a summer hangover, but they will not keep a reader in touch with the season. Dark fantasy screams winter. It reflects the weather bellowing outside houses’ front stoops and will keep readers’ chest warm as they read about magicians, monsters, and assassins that slink in the darkness. Here are ten dark fantasy books meant to entertain and to read during those cold winter nights. I promise they will keep readers wishing for more days filled with adventure and dangerous forbidden love.

 

 

These Violent Delights By Chloe Gong

 

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For as long as anyone can remember, the Scarlett Gang and the White Flowers have been at each other’s throats. The established rival gangs have gone to extreme measures to try to undermine their competition and, in the process, have painted Shanghai’s street red with blood. Shanghai’s frightened citizens always assumed that the Scarlett Gang and the White Flowers would be their city’s demise, but something monstrous is lurking in the city’s shadows – something even more prominent and sinister than either of these gangs combined. This entity might destroy Shanghai before the Scarlett Gang and White Flowers can hammer the final nail in their city’s coffin and the rival gangs cannot let that happen. In light of these unforeseen circumstances, an alliance between the gangs is formed and the two heirs and former lovers Juliette and Roma are forced to put their guns down and work together to save the city they both one day want to rule.

These Violent Delights occur in 1920s Shanghai and is a retelling of Romeo and Juliet’s classic story. The 2020 release is dark, violent, and takes place in a historical fantasy world where a monster stirs up trouble in the depths of the Huangpu River.

 

Kingdom of the Wicked by Kerri Maniscalco

 

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Emilia and her twin Vittoria are Streghes, witches who live secretly among humans. They stay out of the limelight to avoid notice and persecution, hiding in plain sight. However, their parlor tick of hiding amongst the mundane does not fool the eye for very long. One night, Vittoria fails to show up for dinner, and before Emilia knows it, she is finding her sisters’ body mauled and desecrated beyond belief. Overcome by vengeance, Emilia unpeels herself from the comfort of the shadows and goes on a journey with a Prince of Hell to find her sister’s killer before any other lives are lost. The only thing Emilia is not sure about is if she can trust this dashing prince. Is he truly on her side? Or is he really the killer that took her sister’s life?

 

 

Three Dark Crowns by Kendare Blake

 

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Every generation on the island of Fennbirn, a set of triplets are born into the royal family. All three girls are queens, equal heirs to the crown, and possessors of powerful magic. The girls, although gifted with extraordinary abilities, cannot all rule as one colloquial body. Only one can be the true crowned monarchy of Fennbirn and the title of her majesty is not given thoughtlessly. If a girl wants the crown, she has to fight for it and ultimately use her magic to eliminate her sisters from the picture.

In Three Dark Crowns, only one sister will survive to rule over Fennbirn. The other two will sadly perish for the circle to continue for generations to come and for three more triplets to be born and rule over the island they call home.

 

The Merciful Crow by Margaret Owen

 

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In the brutal, plague-ravaged world of Sabor exists Fie, a Crow; a member of a group of mercy killers whose obligation is to put to rest anyone unlucky enough to contract the plague. Fie, bound by a duty she cannot escape, lives stuck at the bottom of Sabor’s strict caste system. She breathes, day in and day out, the nasty plague-ridden air and kills with a straight, even face. She believes that her life will always remain this way, but things start to change for Fie when her band of wayward Crows is summoned to the royal palace. Of course, Fie believes that she is just there to scavenge the bodies of the plague’s next victims, but finds herself enlisted on a crazy plot to smuggle the Sabor’s prince to safety before he is killed by the queen, who is attempting to take the throne for herself. In just a blink of an eye, Fie’s entire life changes as she embarks on an incredible journey to save her fate and a prince’s life.

 

 

The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern

 

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The Le Cirque des Rêves. It comes without warning, wading through the fog on an unforgiving night. Within hours, the tents rise under the glow of the stars and the show prepares to open its doors for just one night of entertainment. If one misses the grand opening of the magical exhibition, they are out of luck. The circus is open for one night and one night only before it disappears into the darkness, leaving nothing behind in its wake.

Celia and Marco, two of the circus’ magicians, are accustomed to traveling and performing for the masses, but they are also used to competing against each other in a duel of magical wit and talent. Unbeknownst to them, Celia and Marco’s rivalry is a game, where only one talented magician will survive and continue to perform on the circus’ stage. For the fate of the circus and everyone involved, this competition of survival must play out between the two magicians, even if Celia and Marco have fallen completely and utterly in love with each other amid their battle.

 

The Obsidian Tower by Melissa Caruso

 

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Ryx did not think her life could get any worse. She already has been gifted with broken magic that takes life from everything she touches and has disappointed the entire Vaskandar empire as the mage-marked granddaughter of their ruler. Now, she has accidentally killed a visiting dignitary in self-defense and activated a mysterious magical artifact sealed in an ancient tower in the heart of her family’s castle. Ryx is unsure what has become of her life or her purpose in this world until she comes across a group of unlikely magical experts after fleeing her home as a result of the destruction she has caused. Upon meeting these individuals, Ryx discovers that her family is in grave danger and the magical artifact she brought to life could destroy the very fabric of her world. As a result, Ryx must return to the family that has blacklisted her if she has any chance of saving them and the world from her accidental wrongdoings.

 

 

NeverNight by Jay Kristoff

 

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The Red Church is home to the deadliest assassins in the entire Republic. These assassins that live in this cathedral of darkness are merciless and bloodthirsty. They are gifted in the art of killing and their canvases are the ones unlucky enough to find themselves underneath their knife.

Mia Corvere is the newest assassin, ready to live within the Red Church’s walls and be inducted into the Blades of the Lady of Blessed Murder. She is bright, fearless, and vengeance is the only thing on her mind when joining the assassins’ order. She craves to take down the forces that destroyed her family and she will stop at nothing to achieve the Republic’s demise. However, Mia’s hellbent plot of mass destruction and death might have to be put on hold. A killer is loose in the church’s halls and the whole congregation is at risk of being unraveled from the inside out. Not to mention, the secrets Mia attempted to kept buried unearth themselves from the ground and threaten to ruin her before she can make a career for herself as the next great assassin. Mia’s world is on the entire brink of collapse before her brutal final initiation has even begun. Will she be able to save the Red Church before her new home crumbles before her eyes or will she fail and be killed just like her father – as a traitor?

 

wicked saints by Emily a. Duncan

 

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In a land filled with obscurity and torment, a girl that can speak to gods must find a way to save her people without killing herself. A dashing prince who hangs between life and death must figure out who he can trust in this cruel, twisted world. And, lastly, a boy with a terrible secret awaits his destiny in the wings as the world crumbles and bends around him. These three individuals live in a world soaked in blood and death as a century-old war warps their reality and lives. However, when they meet, a spark of hope ignites in their hearts as they go on a dark, thrilling quest to save their reality and lives before it is too late.

 

 

the young elites by Marie lu

 

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When the blood fever overtook Adeline Amouteru’s body, she was supposed to die. All the children that come down with the fever succumb to it. They deteriorate and wither before their parent’s eyes and eventually die a horrible death. Adeline’s parents expected their daughter to become nothing more than a sack of skin and for her soul to leave her body like the other children, but she did not fall victim to the fever. She overtook it. She beat it. Adeline rose from her very ashes like a phoenix, but her surviving the fever came with a price. Her hair turned alabaster, a jagged scar marred her face, and she was able to wield a dark power that scared grown men. Adeline Amouteru became a Young Elite; a child reborn from the fever. Her very existence became illegal – for Young Elites are hunted and killed by the king and his Inquisitions.

For a while, Adeline avoided being persecuted for her “crime,” but when she accidentally kills her father with her newfound abilities, she finds herself about to be burned at the stake. Upon her last breath, she is saved by a member of the Dagger Society – a group of Young Elites who strive to overthrow the reigning monarchy. Grateful for saving her life and with nowhere to go, Adeline joins the Dagger Society and in the process, ventures down a dangerous path that could lead to her destruction.

 

the prince of thorns by Mark Lawrence

 

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Prince Jorg Ancrath used to be a loving child with a bright smile before darkness took hold of his reality and crushed it in the palms of its hand. When Jorg was just nine years old, he watched his mother and brother get killed before his eyes. By the time he was thirteen, his attitude had soured, his heart had turned cold, and he had a band of outlaws at his fingertips to do his bidding. Now, at fifteen years old, the prince wants to return to his castle and retake everything swiped from underneath his feet. Life and death mean nothing to him at this point. Revenge is all that is on his mind. He will do anything in his power to become the king of his realm and spread chaos across his vast lands if it means he can get retribution for his fallen brother and mother’s death.

 

 

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Get Excited For These Spring Releases

If you are currently stuck inside, feeling like you’ve run out of books to read, then these books will keep you satisfied. Released this Spring, these books are guaranteed to keep you entertained during this tough time.

Where Dreams Descend

Where Dreams Descend by Janella Angeles is a magical new series that is perfect for fans of Caraval and The Night Circus. Kallia has always known that she has had magic and with the powerful magician Jack she has been able to harness her magic, making it into something powerful. The only problem with this arrangement is that she is forever stuck at Jack’s estate, rather than on her own in the world. After finding a flyer for a magician competition Kallia knows that this is her ticket away from Jack and to make a star out of herself. After her escape, Kallia learns that as a female magician she will have to work twice as hard as the rest. Once other competing magicians begin to mysteriously vanish from the competition, Kallia releases that leaving her old life behind isn’t as easy as she thought it’d be. With the help of handsome magician DeMarco, Kallia fights to win the Magical competition and figure out the mystery of what is going. This new series is the perfect escape for readers that want to go on a magical adventure. You can read Where Dreams Descend when it comes out June 2!

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Ruthless Gods

Ruthless Gods is the highly-anticipated sequel to the book Wicked Saints by Emily A Duncan. In the aftermath of the events of the cathedral in Wicked Saints, Serefin, Nadya, and Malachiaz all search for answers to what it is that they are to do next. Serefin is trying to understand what is happening to him. Nadya does really know who or what she is anymore. Malachiaz is finding it hard to grapple with who he has become.  This book was truly electrifying, one that I most certainly could not put down! If you liked Wicked Saints than you are guaranteed to love Ruthless Gods. Somehow Emily A. Duncan sucks readers right back in to a sequel that is even better than the first book, leaving readers impatiently wanting more! For fans of dark fantasy, adventure, and romance this series is the perfect one to dive into. You can read Ruthless Gods when it comes out on April 7!

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Of Silver and Shadow

Of Silver and Shadow by Jennifer Gruenke was WONDERFUL! Once I started to read I just could not stop until I eventually finished it. If you are looking for a book that is full of action, romance, fantasy, and surprisingly comedy then this is the book for you! This story is about a silver named Ren who wields power and what makes her even more special, is the fact that she is one of the last silvers, despite the King and his family. The great thing is that this book is not just about Ren, but rather connects us to three other different characters point of views. We have Darek, who is the handsome and fierce leader of the rebellion, Kellan, the humorous Prince that is different from his family, and Adley who is a child of the king just trying to make her way in the life she was dealt. All four of these characters collide to orchestrate a beautiful story. I loved this book and I think that if you love fantasy and a little bit of romance then you will love it as well! You can read this book when it comes out May 26!

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 Jack Kerouac is Dead to Me

This book is like nothing I have read before. It takes you through the life of JL as she writes an open letter to her used-to-be best friend Aubrey. I think the thing that I liked the most about this book is that it is very real and raw. It explores mental illness, which is something that a lot of authors struggle to write about, but I believe that Polisner approaches it flawlessly. Another aspect of the book that I think Polisner tackled well is friendship, the strength that they once had and how broken they can become over time. If you are looking for a book that tackles real world problems, with a flawed, but relatable character like JL, then this is the book for you. I enjoyed it and thought that it was a good read! You can read Jack Kerouac is Dead to Me when it comes out April 7!

Jack Kerouac is Dead to Me: A Novel by [Polisner, Gae]

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These books have been some of my favorite reads for this spring! I hope you enjoy them as much as I have and that they keep you entertained during this tough time!

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5 Mystical Novels For Fans Of Shadowhunters

 

 1. Hush, Hush by Becca Fitzpatrick

The book Hush, Hush by Becca Fitzpatrick follows the life of Nora Grey who is someone that usually keeps to herself. Once Nora is partnered up with Patch, the charming and handsome transfer student in her biology class, her life is forever changed. Once the two begin to grow closer, Nora quickly realizes that things in her life are not as they seem. For readers that are fans of romance, adventure, and angels, this book is the one for you.

 

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 2. Serpent and Dove 

Serpent and Dove by Shelby Mahurin takes you into a magical story between witches and witch hunters. Lou is a witch that has escaped her old life in her coven, now living on the streets trying to survive the day. Reid is a witch hunter that has promised himself to the Church as a Chasseur (witch hunter). The lives between the two become intertwined when they are both forced into marriage. The story between these two characters is very compelling, it left me unable to put the book down until I finished reading. If you are looking for a book with magic, forbidden romance, and delightful characters, then Serpent and Dove is the way to go.

 

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 3. Crown of Coral and Pearl

Crown of Coral and Pearl by Marie Rutherford takes place in the village of Varenia, but this is no ordinary village. Every few years a prince of Ilaria selects his future bride from this village, wanting the most beautiful girl that he can find. Nor and Zadie are identical twins, but everyone knew that Zadie would be the one to be selected as a bride. When an accident occurs, leaving Zadie injured, Nor is forced to take her place as Prince Ceren’s bride. Once in the palace Nor quickly realizes that things are not as they appear. Deeper and deeper she dives into the secrets of the palace trying to figure out a way to save her village and learn the truth. During her stay she gets closer to Ceren’s brother, Prince Talin, becoming torn between her duty and her heart. Crown of Coral and Pearl is full of romance, mystery, and fantasy, and is all over good read!

 

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 4. Wicked Saints

Wicked Saints by Emily Duncan focuses on the lives of three power people that are forever intertwined. Nadya has the power to talk to the gods and is currently being hunted by the king and his men for her power. Serefin is the prince of the kingdom who is hunting Nadya and trying to protect his kingdom. Malachiaz is a young man who is hiding his true self from everyone around him. These three characters are set on a journey to end the war that is plaguing their kingdom. This book takes readers on a magical and adventurous ride that will leave you wanting more.

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  5. The Beautiful 

The Beautiful by Renée Ahdieh takes readers back to 1872 New Orleans. The book follows Celine Rousseau, a young woman trying to start anew, running away from her dark past in Paris. Celine is swept up into the lavish world of New Orleans, completely entranced by Sébastien Saint Germain. Celine soon realizes that there are dangers that are lurking in the shadows, she must be careful of what she doesn’t know, and of what lurks in the shadows. Murder is committed on the streets of New Orleans and Celine must figure out who has committed them before she is next. For fans of romance, mystery, and vampires, The Beautiful is the book for you.

 

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Top Genre Picks This Week: Young Adult

Each week, Bookstr will be offering a look at some of the best novels in a particular genre for your continued reading list. Today, we’ll be recommending five recent young adult books for your reading pleasure. Young adult novels are generally written with a twelve-eighteen age bracket in mind but over half of the audience for YA novels is adults (as our audience can attest!) Young adult novels are often just as sophisticated as their adult contemporaries, with a lot of themes about growing up into adulthood and dealing with the perils of being a teenager mixed in. Below, are some of our favorite recently published YA must-reads!

 

5. The Cold in her bones by Peternelle van Arsdale 

 

A young woman stands in a grassy field, fixing her hair

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The Cold in Her Bones is a richly atmospheric, scary piece of work that functions as both a horror story and a mystery. The story follows a young girl called Milla who lives on the outskirts of a village she’s never allowed to visit. This is because a demon prowls the village, stalking and possessing young girls. However, another girl from the village comes to Milla, staying with her and giving Milla a glimpse of the outside world. When the demon takes Iris, Milla must leave her sheltered life and track down the demon to save her new friend at great personal risk to herself.

 

4. Wicked Saints by Emily A. Duncan

 

The cover to Wicked Saints, featuring a gothic city

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In this gothic tale, a kingdom besieged by war centers around three misfits who must band together to assassinate the city’s dark king. Wicked Saints is full of action, twists, and a backdrop of gothic romance. With shadowy characters around every corner, this is a thrilling debut novel sure to please any fantasy fan.

 

3. Descendent of the Crane by Joan He

 

A young woman in traditional Chinese clothing stands before a towering crane against a moonlit backdrop

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In this Chinese inspired debut novel, Descendent of the Crane centers on Princess Hesina, whose father has been murdered, forcing her to inherit the throne under stressful circumstances. A murder mystery begins to unfold, as Hesina is forced to turn to illegal means to find her father’s killer. She first consults a soothsayer, despite magic being outlawed, then to an investigator with a criminal past. A compelling read for sure and a nice break from European inspired fantasy.

 

2. Sherwood by Megan Spooner

 

A young woman dressed in Robi Hood regalia looks over a forest

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A feminist reimagining of Robin Hood, Sherwood tells of a world where Robin Hood himself is dead. Maid Marian is left to go on without him, unsure how she will even begin to function without her true love. But the people of Sherwood Forest need a champion and Maid Marian is forced to step into the famous shoes of Robin Hood. Taking up a bow, she becomes a new legend to the people and fights against the Sheriff of Nottingham to free her people from tyranny.

 

1. The Waking Forest by Alyssa Wees

 

A forest shrouded in blue light with several wolves milling about

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The Waking Forest tells the story of a young woman called Rhea whose dreams are haunted by someone or something waiting in the attic for her. One night, she decides to confront the thing but is drawn into a spiraling murder mystery, where she is drawn into a forest she thought was a hallucination. Full of witches, feral children, and dark monsters, this is a modern fairy tale where stories collide into a dark fantasy tale.

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