The Bird King by G. Willow Wilson

Rating: 4/5 stars

Published: 12 March 2019 by Grove Press

Genre(s): Histrical fiction-fantasy

Pages: 440 (Kindle)

From award-winning author G. Willow Wilson, The Bird King is an epic journey set during the reign of the last sultan in the Iberian peninsula at the height of the Spanish Inquisition.

G. Willow Wilson’s debut novel Alif the Unseen was an NPR and Washington Post Best Book of the Year, and it established her as a vital American Muslim literary voice. Now she delivers The Bird King, a stunning new novel that tells the story of Fatima, a concubine in the royal court of Granada, the last emirate of Muslim Spain, and her dearest friend Hassan, the palace mapmaker. Hassan has a secret—he can draw maps of places he’s never seen and bend the shape of reality. When representatives of the newly formed Spanish monarchy arrive to negotiate the sultan’s surrender, Fatima befriends one of the women, not realizing that she will see Hassan’s gift as sorcery and a threat to Christian Spanish rule. With their freedoms at stake, what will Fatima risk to save Hassan and escape the palace walls? As Fatima and Hassan traverse Spain with the help of a clever jinn to find safety, The Bird King asks us to consider what love is and the price of freedom at a time when the West and the Muslim world were not yet separate.

Source: Goodreads
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The Psychology of Time Travel by Kate Mascarenhas

Rating: 4/5 stars

Published: 12 February 2019 by Crooked Lane Books

Genre(s): Speculative science fiction; Time travel mystery; Women’s fiction

Pages: 336 (Kindle)

In 1967, four female scientists worked together to build the world’s first time machine. But just as they are about to debut their creation, one of them suffers a breakdown, putting the whole project—and future of time travel—in jeopardy. To protect their invention, one member is exiled from the team—erasing her contributions from history.

Fifty years later, time travel is a big business. Twenty-something Ruby Rebello knows her beloved grandmother, Granny Bee, was one of the pioneers, though no one will tell her more. But when Bee receives a mysterious newspaper clipping from the future reporting the murder of an unidentified woman, Ruby becomes obsessed: could it be Bee? Who would want her dead? And most importantly of all: can her murder be stopped?

Traversing the decades and told from alternating perspectives, The Psychology of Time Travel introduces a fabulous new voice in fiction and a new must-read for fans of speculative fiction and women’s fiction alike

Source: Goodreads
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Wild Irish Heart (Mystic Cove, #1) by Tricia O’Malley

Rating: 4/5 stars

Published: 12 September 2014 by Park & Stowell

Genre(s): Paranormal Contemporary Romance; Magic

Pages: 258 (Kindle)

From New York Times Bestselling author, Tricia O’Malley, comes a romance series set on the rocky shores of Ireland.

It is time…

An ancient book, a power untouched, and a heart unloved lead Keelin O’Brien from her graduate studies in Boston to a small village on the coast of Southern Ireland. Determined to unearth the secrets lying hidden in the enchanted waters of the cove, Keelin has little time for a surly Irishman who infuriates her during the day and haunts her fantasies at night.

Inexplicably drawn to the woman who has stepped from his dreams and into his world, Flynn fights a stubborn battle against his increasing attraction for Keelin. Forces unknown have better plans for the two.

Only the secrets of the cove can show Keelin who she really is, the beauty of her mysterious power, and a love that will break the bounds of what she knows.

Source: Goodreads
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Lost Library (#1) by Kate Baray

Rating: 3/5 stars

Published: 14 April 2014 by Marty Thornley

Genre(s): Paranormal Romance; Urban Fantasy

Pages: 262 (ebook)

Lizzie led a normal life…until the Book arrived.

Author Kate Baray begins her new paranormal romance series with Lost Library, a tale of werewolves, magic, adventure and romance.
John Braxton arrives unannounced on Lizzie’s doorstep. Little does she know that when she invites him for a drink on the porch, Lizzie opens the door to a secret world of Lycan, magic, spelled books, and a power hungry mastermind. Caught up in one man’s search for power, Lizzie soon begins to uncover surprising secrets about her own past and powers—but not before stumbling upon a library like no other. And romance with a serious but sexy Lycan? It might just happen…

Take a romp through the life of the quirky and well-meaning Lizzie as she discovers exactly what it means to live with magic.

Source: Goodreads
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Saints and Misfits by S. K. Ali

Rating: 5/5 stars. Highly recommended!

Genre(s): Realistic Fiction; Contemporary YA, Feminist

Published: 13 June 2017 by Listening Library

Format: Audiobook (8 hours 30minutes)

There are three kinds of people in my world:

1. Saints, those special people moving the world forward. Sometimes you glaze over them. Or, at least, I do. They’re in your face so much, you can’t see them, like how you can’t see your nose.

2. Misfits, people who don’t belong. Like me—the way I don’t fit into Dad’s brand-new family or in the leftover one composed of Mom and my older brother, Mama’s-Boy-Muhammad.

Also, there’s Jeremy and me. Misfits. Because although, alliteratively speaking, Janna and Jeremy sound good together, we don’t go together. Same planet, different worlds.

But sometimes worlds collide and beautiful things happen, right?

3. Monsters. Well, monsters wearing saint masks, like in Flannery O’Connor’s stories.

Like the monster at my mosque.

People think he’s holy, untouchable, but nobody has seen under the mask.

Except me.

Source: Goodreads
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The Peithosian Gift by Cristina Archer

Rating: 3/5 stars

Published: 31 July 2018 by Rowanvale Books

Genre(s): Supernatural fiction; Fantasy

Pages: 420 (eARC)

The Peithosian Gift is a speculative fiction novel about two warring clans with the power to control the minds of others. 

Since ancient times, the Morgans and the Kanes have violently disputed the right to use their gift. The present-day Morgans are outnumbered and persecuted by the Kanes for using their gift; most are in hiding, while others avenge the slaughter of their kin. The Kanes hunt and assassinate Morgans to prevent a mind-controlled world. While one clan seeks a ‘saviour’ to restore the imbalance, the other fears the birth of a too-gifted child. 

Radha, born of a third, lost clan, has superior powers that she is scarcely able to control. Events lead to a clash of clan leaders and key players, forcing Radha on the run with both sides hunting her.

Source: Goodreads
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Map of Shadows (Mapwalker, #1) by J. F. Penn

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Goodreads

Rating: 5/5 stars

Published: 12 December 2017 by Curl Up Press

Genre(s): Fantasy Thriller

Pages: 210 (eARC – Kindle)

A map of skin etched in blood.
A world under threat from the Borderlands.
A young woman who must risk the shadows to save her family.

When her Grandfather is murdered under mysterious circumstances, Sienna Farren inherits his map shop in the ancient city of Bath, England. Once there, she discovers that her family is bound up with the Ministry of Maps, a mysterious agency who maintain the borders between this world and the Uncharted.

With the help of Mila Wendell, a traveller on the canals, Sienna discovers her own magical ability and a terrifying place of blood that awaits in the world beyond.

But when she discovers a truth about her past and the Borderlands begin to push through the defenses, Sienna must join the team of Mapwalkers on their mission to find the Map of Shadows – whatever the cost.

In a place written out of history, a world off the edge of the map, Sienna must risk everything to find her father … and her true path as a Mapwalker.

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