The Pond Book News #29 – A Busy Week of New Releases: Dragon Eggs, Sapphic Witches, and Revolutions

issue #29

Welcome to Issue #29!

The trees are whispering…

Friends, welcomeSprout the sparrow, doing a curtsy with their eyes closed and a smile on their face. Their cape swooshes in the wind with their arm extended in their curtsy. to another exciting week of The Pond Book News! Every Sunday, The Quiet Pond brings you a fresh issue of book news to catch you up on the week’s lineup of diverse book releases, cover reveals, book news, and sometimes more! We also feature three incredible people in the book community every week, to highlight the important work that readers do in celebrating the books they love. Onward to the news!

Book Releases This Week [March 1st – March 7th]

The Kingdom of Back by Marie Lu

Two siblings. Two brilliant talents. But only one Mozart.

Born with a gift for music, Nannerl Mozart has just one wish—to be remembered forever. But even as she delights audiences with her masterful playing, she has little hope she’ll ever become the acclaimed composer she longs to be. She is a young woman in 18th century Europe, and that means composing is forbidden to her. She will perform only until she reaches a marriageable age—her tyrannical father has made that much clear.

And as Nannerl’s hope grows dimmer with each passing year, the talents of her beloved younger brother, Wolfgang, only seem to shine brighter. His brilliance begins to eclipse her own, until one day a mysterious stranger from a magical land appears with an irresistible offer. He has the power to make her wish come true—but his help may cost her everything.

Whoa, what a premise! This looks like such an interesting blend of alternate history and fantasy, and I’m so so curious what Marie Lu is going to do with the setting. Who is the mysterious stranger? What are the stakes? I need to know! I’m always fond of books about historical characters that have slipped through the selective legacies of oppression, and I’m very interested in picking this up.

Releases on March 3. Add this book on Goodreads!

Wicked As You Wish by Rin Chupeco

Tala Warnock has little use for magic – as a descendant of Maria Makiling, the legendary Filipina heroine, she negates spells, often by accident. But her family’s old ties to the country of Avalon (frozen, bespelled, and unreachable for almost 12 years) soon finds them guarding its last prince from those who would use his kingdom’s magic for insidious ends.

And with the rise of dangerous spelltech in the Royal States of America; the appearance of the firebird, Avalon’s deadliest weapon, at her doorstep; and the re-emergence of the Snow Queen, powerful but long thought dead, who wants nothing more than to take the firebird’s magic for her own – Tala’s life is about to get even more complicated…

I recently (finally) got to reading the first book of Rin Chupeco’s Bone Witch trilogy, and I have so much love for how sweeping and descriptive her writing is. I love that this book is so unapologetically Filipino, too, I long for more Southeast Asian-inspired fantasy! I’ll definitely be looking for this book next time I head into the bookstore.

Releases on March 3. Add this book on Goodreads!

Only Mostly Devastated by Sophie Gonzales

Summer love…gone so fast.

Ollie and Will were meant to be a summer fling—casual, fun, and done. But when Ollie’s aunt’s health takes a turn for the worse and his family decides to stay in North Carolina to take care of her, Ollie lets himself hope this fling can grow to something more. Dreams that are crushed when he sees Will at a school party and finds that the sweet and affectionate (and comfortably queer) guy he knew from summer isn’t the same one attending Collinswood High.

Will is more than a little shocked to see Ollie the evening of that first day of school. While his summer was spent being very much himself, back at school he’s simply known as one of the varsity basketball guys. Now Will is faced with the biggest challenge of his life: follow his heart and risk his friendships, or stay firmly in the closet and lose what he loves most.

I’ve heard so much gushing and praise for Only Mostly Devastated leading up to its release this week: its handling of serious themes: grief, queerness, while still managing to balance a good old-fashioned high school romance—and that is certainly no small feat! Excited to see this on shelves very very soon.

Releases on March 3. Add this book on Goodreads!

Every Reason We Shouldn’t by Sara Fujimura

Warning: Contains family expectations, delightful banter, great romantic tension, skating (all kinds!), Korean pastries, and all the feels.

Fifteen-year-old, biracial figure skater Olivia Kennedy’s Olympic dreams have ended. She’s bitter, but enjoying life as a regular teenager instead of an athlete… until Jonah Choi starts training at her family’s struggling rink. Jonah’s driven, talented, going for the Olympics in speed skating, completely annoying… and totally gorgeous. Between teasing Jonah, helping her best friend try out for roller derby, figuring out life as a normal teen and keeping the family business running, Olivia’s got her hands full. But will rivalry bring her closer to Jonah, or drive them apart?

A cute contemporary romance with diverse Asian leads! Joce and Cuddle mentioned this book in their lineup of most anticipated releases of the year (which you should totally check out if you haven’t for more stellar recommendations), and I’m excited for an adorable romance surrounding figure skating and roller derby and ALL the feels!

Releases on March 3. Add this book on Goodreads!

The Dragon Egg Princess by Ellen Oh

In a kingdom filled with magic, Jiho Park and his family are an anomaly—magic doesn’t affect them.

Jiho comes from a long line of forest rangers who protect the Kidahara—an ancient and mysterious wood that is home to powerful supernatural creatures. But Jiho wants nothing to do with the dangerous forest.

Five years ago, his father walked into the Kidahara and disappeared. Just like the young Princess Koko, the only daughter of the kingdom’s royal family. Jiho knows better than anyone else the horrors that live deep in the magical forest and how those who go in never come back.

Now the forest is in danger from foreign forces that want to destroy it, and a long-forgotten evil that’s been lurking deep in the Kidahara for centuries finally begins to awaken. Can a magic-less boy, a fierce bandit leader, and a lost princess join forces and save their worlds before it’s too late?

When I first saw this book on Goodreads, dear reader, I was elated. Nobody told me that Ellen Oh was writing a middle-grade fantasy about princesses and dragons! I am SO SO ready for this book, and definitely diving in the first moment I can.

Releases on March 3. Add this book on Goodreads!

Witches of Ashes and Ruin by E. Latimer

Seventeen-year-old Dayna Walsh is struggling to cope with her somatic OCD; the aftermath of being outed as bisexual in her conservative Irish town; and the return of her long-absent mother, who barely seems like a parent. But all that really matters to her is ascending and finally, finally becoming a full witch-plans that are complicated when another coven, rumored to have a sordid history with black magic, arrives in town with premonitions of death. Dayna immediately finds herself at odds with the bewitchingly frustrating Meiner King, the granddaughter of their coven leader.

And then a witch turns up murdered at a local sacred site, along with the blood symbol of the Butcher of Manchester-an infamous serial killer whose trail has long gone cold. The killer’s motives are enmeshed in a complex web of witches and gods, and Dayna and Meiner soon find themselves at the center of it all. If they don’t stop the Butcher, one of them will be next.

This novel promises witches and Celtic mythology, and I am already sold. It looks to be a sort of fantasy murder mystery featuring a bisexual protagonist who struggles with mental illness, which is such a fascinating premise to weave into witch politics. Definitely putting this on my TBR for when I can get a copy of this!

Releases on March 3. Add this book on Goodreads!

When We Were Magic by Sarah Gailey

Alexis has always been able to rely on two things: her best friends, and the magic powers they all share. Their secret is what brought them together, and their love for each other is unshakeable—even when that love is complicated. Complicated by problems like jealousy, or insecurity, or lust. Or love.

That unshakeable, complicated love is one of the only things that doesn’t change on prom night.

When accidental magic goes sideways and a boy winds up dead, Alexis and her friends come together to try to right a terrible wrong. Their first attempt fails—and their second attempt fails even harder. Left with the remains of their failed spells and more consequences than anyone could have predicted, each of them must find a way to live with their part of the story.

More queer witches!! This is a niche that has somehow slowly taken root in YA fantasy in recent years, and my heart is growing with every book that promises gay, witchy, complex girls. This looks like such a fun adventure!

Releases on March 3. Add this book on Goodreads!

The Midnight Lie by Marie Rutkoski

Where Nirrim lives, crime abounds, a harsh tribunal rules, and society’s pleasures are reserved for the High Kith. Life in the Ward is grim and punishing. People of her low status are forbidden from sampling sweets or wearing colors. You either follow the rules, or pay a tithe and suffer the consequences.

Nirrim keeps her head down and a dangerous secret close to her chest.

But then she encounters Sid, a rakish traveler from far away who whispers rumors that the High Caste possesses magic. Sid tempts Nirrim to seek that magic for herself. But to do that, Nirrim must surrender her old life. She must place her trust in this sly stranger who asks, above all, not to be trusted.

If you’re a fan of sapphic fantasy romances, you’ll definitely want to keep an eye out for this release. I’ve heard so many good things about this: how the romance was beautifully developed and how unique the worldbuilding is, and I’m so intrigued to learn more.

Releases on March 3. Add this book on Goodreads!

Run, Rebel by Manjeet Mann

When Amber runs, it’s the only time she feels completely free – far away from her claustrophobic home life. Her father wants her to be a dutiful daughter, waiting for an arranged marriage like her sister Ruby.

Running is a quiet rebellion. But Amber wants so much more – and she’s ready to fight for it.

It’s time for a revolution.

This is a ownvoices novel in verse about an Indian girl who has parents who don’t speak English, and tries to  make a life of her own away from the stifling expectations and abuse of her family. The themes sound so powerful: privilege, patriarchy, and generational trauma—and I’m so interested to pick up a copy of this once it releases this week.

Releases on March 5. Add this book on Goodreads!

Book News

Cover Reveal: Court of Lions by Somaiya Daud

This book… is truly a wonder to behold. I paused for a full minute to take in the glory that is that cover, and I still don’t think I’m fully over it. There truly are no better words than if you witness it yourself—the illustration is breathtakingly stunning, and fully encapsulates the legacy of the first book in this series. I can’t wait to pick Mirage up!

Cover Reveal: Queens of Noise by Leigh Harlen

What a cover. A queer novella featuring a non-binary protagonist, punk bands, and werecoyotes sounds like an absolutely wild adventure, and the cover just lends so much bold and spunky energy to the story already.

Cover Reveal: Once and Future Witches by Alix E. Harrow

If you’ve been around me lately, you’ll probably know that I’ve been obsessed with The Ten Thousand Doors of January, ever since I finished reading it in late January. Alix E. Harrow has steadily snuck her way into my list of favorite authors (that only seems to grow longer and more unwieldy by the year), and I absolutely cannot wait to read what she’ll bring to this incredible feminist and witchy story premise. That cover only draws my excitement further in, and I just want to time travel to when this book is out in the world, okay.

Book Announcement: Marvel’s Silk gains new life under Maurene Goo!

Silk! Our beloved Korean-American web-slinging teen! I have no doubt that she will be in good hands under the loving pen of an ownvoices writer, and I absolutely love love love that more diverse mainstream comics are being written by authors who get the characters’ identities. I really want to try and follow along the series now myself too!

Book Announcement: A picture book about being bilingual forthcoming from Alexandra Alessandri and Courtney Dawson!

How adorable does this sound? I genuinely love to see more bilingual representation in children’s literature, as I grew up speaking multiple languages myself. I know I would’ve  really appreciated representation like this as a kid, so this book pitch just makes me smile. I can’t wait to see how this book turns out!

Book Announcement: A queer YA fantasy with blood magic and undead guardians forthcoming from A.M. Strickland

Ohhhh, what a lush description already! Fans of darker queer fantasies should absolutely snatch this up! A.M. Strickland was the author of Beyond the Black Door earlier in 2019, which got a lot of praise last year for its stellar ace representation. I’m so excited to see what becomes of this!

Book Announcement: A YA novel in verse about music, #MeToo, and the dark side of the music industry

Friends, how incredible does this premise sound? I’ve always adored poetry, and I can already tell that this has the potential to become such a powerful book. These stories are always heartbreaking to read, but also so vital for today’s social climate. I know I’ll be keeping an eye out for this one specifically as more news rolls in.

From Page to Screen: Ever’s Taipei adventures to come to life on the big screen!

I had the privilege of reading this book last year just as it was being released, and I can’t tell you how excited I am to see Taiwan come to life on the big screen through Ever’s eyes. It’ll be so interesting to see how they’ll adapt some of the more mature elements of the books, and I’m cautiously optimistic as the film looks to be in good hands so far!

Book Community Spotlight

Book blogger: Charvi at Not Just Fiction

Charvi is a teen Indian book blogger who creates some really stunning content, from the book reviews on her blog to her genuinely beautiful photos on bookstagram. I’m so in awe of her prolificness! Her review of The Sound of Stars, along with cover-inspired makeup and moodboards is such a fun post to read and get into, and she also did a fun little Q&A with Sandhya Menon for Of Curses and Kisses that’s worth a read too!

Follow Charvi on her book blog, Twitter, and bookstagram!

Bookstagrammer: Zyra at bookhoarderproblems


View this post on Instagram

⚡️💖FLASH GIVEAWAY💖⚡️ Hello, Book Hoarders! What’s your favorite love story? I’m so excited to partner with @flatiron_books for a giveaway of Anna K by @jennyleewrites! . At seventeen, Anna sits at the top of Manhattan and Greenwich society usually sailing gracefully above any drama. That is until she meets a young man who is everything she is not. Dazzlingly opulent and emotionally riveting, Anna K is a brilliant reimagining of Leo Tolstoy’s timeless love story, Anna Karenina. . SIX winners will receive an ARC copy of Anna K as well as a pair of these fun sunglasses! (disclaimer: 3 colors are available, and you’re unfortunately not guaranteed the pink ones, but the other colors are just as pretty!) . 💖RULES: ⚡️Like this post ⚡️Follow me @bookhoarderproblems and @jennyleewrites ⚡️Tag 2 friends in the comments ⚡️US only ⚡️Ends Wednesday (Feb. 26, 2020) 11:59 pm EST ⚡️SIX WINNERS WILL BE CHOSEN . What classic love story would you like to be retold in a modern setting? ••• #flatironbooks #bookhoarderproblems #annak #booknerd #annakarenina #bookstagrammer #nycblogger #booknerdigans #vscobooks #bookstagram #bhpoutfits #giveaway #denimjacket #bookishoutfits #leotolstoy #jennylee #bookblogger #booklover #fromabove #bookishflatlay #booksbooksbooks #yabooks #lifestyleblogger #youngadultbooks #bookphotography #yacontemporary #lifestylephotography

A post shared by Zyra 🇵🇭 (@bookhoarderproblems) on

Look at how vibrant and creative this photo is, friends! Zyra’s Instagram aesthetic is so wonderfully colorful, and I’m in awe as to how she comes up with so many different compositions for her photos! (Also her collection of funko pops is truly a wonder in itself.) The book featured here is also one that I’ve seen get a lot of love lately, so fans of diverse romance should definitely take a peek at the giveaway if you’re living in the US!

Follow Zyra on bookstagram and Goodreads!

Booktuber: Simone at Chasing Pages

Simone is a black booktuber I knew I wanted to follow the minute I saw her excellent video thumbnails. Her aesthetic is on point, okay. I love that this video of her top ten books of 2019 includes both Girls of Paper and Fire and Every Heart a Doorway, which are two of my personal all-time favorites! We stan booktubers with TASTE here at the Pond. If you’re looking to watch something more recent from her channel, you can also follow along with her March TBR with some very solid picks as well!

Follow Simone on booktube, Twitter, and Instagram!

3 thoughts on “The Pond Book News #29 – A Busy Week of New Releases: Dragon Eggs, Sapphic Witches, and Revolutions

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