Mid March Reviews


Welcome to the Books That Burn Fortnightly Roundup! Releasing every two weeks (one week early for Patrons). Remember to head to Transcripts That Burn for all available transcripts of the podcast.

News and Events

Apologies for the wonky podcast release schedule lately, we're working on being more regular and we appreciate you bearing with us.

You may notice the higher-than-usual number of reviews for books from HarperCollins, that's because a small pile were pending until the strike was resolved and now can be released.

Recent Reviews

Reviews forthcoming for HEART OF THE SUN WARRIOR by Sue Lynn Tan, A RESTLESS TRUTH by Freya Marske, and PTOLEMY'S GATE by Jonathan Stroud.

A TREASON OF THORNS by Laura E. Weymouth is Fantasy marketed as Young Adult. Violet loves Burleigh, the Great House whose magic fills everything with mortar. Her father was sentenced to death for trying to free Burleigh, and now Violet must decide how far she's go as Caretaker. Told in First Person with Single POV.

FOUL LADY FORTUNE by Chloe Gong, book 3 of Secret Shanghai Universe is Fantasy/Historical, with queer character(s), marketed as Young Adult. Rosalind is now an assassin, but is reassigned to deeper cover as a spy, working with Orion. Told in Third Person with Ensemble POVs.

THE AMULET OF SAMARKAND by Jonathan Stroud, book 1 of Bartimaeus is Fantasy marketed as Middle Grade/Young Adult. Bartimaeus is summoned by a magician's apprentice to help him get back at a magician who bullied him. Told in First/Third Person with Ensemble POVs.

DAUGHTER OF THE MOON GODDESS by Sue Lynn Tan, book 1 of The Celestial Kingdom Duology is Fantasy/Romance marketed as Adult. Xingyin escapes the moon where her mother is imprisoned. She becomes a respected warrior and dares to ask for her mother's freedom, but the price might be too high to pay. Told in First Person with Single POV.

THE QUEER PRINCIPLES OF KITT WEBB by Cat Sebastian is Historical/Romance marketed as Adult. Kitt Webb has retired from being a highwayman, but a young noble tries to hire him to rob the person Kitt hates most. Told in Third Person with Dual POVs.

THE GOLEM'S EYE by Jonathan Stroud, book 2 of Bartimaeus is Fantasy marketed as Young Adult. Bartimaeus is summoned once again and helps Nathaniel deal with a Golem and the Resistance. Told in First/Third Person with Ensemble POVs.


There were several quick DNFs this fortnight. I tried TWISTED PRETTY THINGS by Ariana Nash but couldn't get into it. I also attempted FOREST OF SOULS by Lori M. Lee, LAST EXIT by Max Gladstone, THE SEVENFOLD HUNTERS by Rose Egal, and AN ARROW TO THE MOON by Emily X.R. Pan, but abandoned them almost immediately. Most of those were because the descriptions were too visual for me. I made it over halfway into WHITE TRASH WARLOCK by David R. Slayton, stopping only when the copaganda became explicit and pulled me out of the story.

I wrote a formal DNF review for WICKED LOVELY by Melissa Marr.

No Review (Nonfiction, Graphic Novels, etc.)

I've started The Chronicles of Prydain, reading both THE BOOK OF THREE and THE BLACK CAULDRON this fortnight. They're older books and are pretty quick reads (especially as audiobooks on 2x speed), so I'm not writing formal reviews for them.

Rereads and Older Reviews

I re-read REVENANT GUN by Yoon Ha Lee, completing my re-read of the Machineries of Empire trilogy. As a bit of a comfort read, I then went for THE WICKER KING and THE WEIGHT OF THE STARS, both by K. Ancrum.

Current Reads

I'm in the middle of several things at the moment, including two non-fiction books. One about recent court decisions, and another about drugs and esoterica in the 1970's. I'm still working my way through SHE IS A HAUNTING by Trang Thanh Tran, with re-reads of KING OF THE RISING by Kacen Callender and THE VEILED THRONE by Ken Liu.

I started INTO THE WINDWRACKED WILDS by A. Deborah Baker (aka Seanan McGuire), but it's feeling a bit slow.

In Case You Missed It

This time last year I read A MEMORY CALLED EMPIRE by Arkady Martine.

Pluggables and Podcast News

If you're looking for a place to buy any of the books I've reviewed, please consider our Bookshop page (if you use our links to purchase any books we get a small commission). Let us know if there's a category you'd like to see curated and we'll see if we can get some titles together.

The 2023 prompts are now available from the annual reading challenge! It runs from January 1st to December 31st this year. Find info and links here.

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Thanks for reading, the next roundup will be in two weeks!


Co-host of Books That Burn


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