Late March Reviews (2024)


Welcome to the Books That Burn Fortnightly Roundup! Releasing every two weeks (one week early for Patrons).

News and Events

I've been sewing my own clothes for a little over a year and a half now, and I've made a site for that. You can find my sewing at, which will include progress photos, finished pieces, and a form for orders and inquiries, in case any of you are interested in hand-sewn garments or other items. Usually when I read something as an audiobook, I was sewing the whole time.

I track upcoming book releases by authors we've previously covered on a shareable google calendar.

Notable April Releases:

  • A Witch's Guide to Magical Innkeeping by Sangu Mandanna

  • Orphia And Eurydicius by Elyse John

  • To Gaze Upon Wicked Gods by Molly X. Chang

  • Blood Justice by Terry J. Benton-Walker

  • Heavenly Tyrant by Xiran Jay Zhao

Signal Boost

If there's no ceasefire in Gaza by the time you read this, please use resources like Ceasefire Now to contact your representatives and ask them to support a ceasefire in the crisis in Gaza. The link includes information on planned protests and demonstrations, and has information for people internationally on what they can do to get involved.

Recent Reviews

THOSE BEYOND THE WALL by Micaiah Johnson is Sci-Fi/Dystopian/Literary, with queer character(s), marketed as Adult. Scales is an Ashtown enforcer who is tasked with finding and stopping the source of a series of bizarre deaths. Told in First Person with Single POV.

SOULTAMING THE SERPENT by Tar Atore is Fantasy, with queer character(s), marketed as Adult. Jun leaves her village for the first time at age sixty and finds a young man in the woods. Told in Third Person with Ensemble POVs.

BLIND MAN'S WOLF by Amelia Faulkner, book 1 of Tooth & Claw is Romance, with queer character(s), marketed as Adult. Ellis is a werewolf with night-blindness, and Randall is a werewolf hired to retrain Ellis's guide dog. Told in Third Person with Ensemble POVs.

THE SORCERER OF THE WILDEEPS by Kai Ashante Wilson, book 1 of The Sorcerer of the Wildeeps is Fantasy, with queer character(s), marketed as Adult. Demane is the sorcerer who follows the Captain. Told in First Person with Single POV.

CAROLINE'S HEART by Austin Chant is Fantasy/Romance, with queer character(s), marketed as Adult. Roy is a cowboy who meets a witch and gets wounded protecting her, then he recovers at her home. Told in Third Person with Dual POVs.

WOLF, WILLOW, WITCH by Freydís Moon, book 2 of The Gideon Testaments is Horror/Romance, with queer character(s), marketed as Adult. Tehlor raises Lincoln from the dead, fixes a wolf head on his shoulders, and binds him to her. Told in Third Person with Single POV.

Reviews forthcoming for THE AFFAIR OF THE MYSTERIOUS LETTER by Alexis Hall and THREE KINGS by Freydís Moon.


There were a lot of DNFs this fortnight, most of which were because the book had lingered on my TBR for a while, and it turned out that was for the best. I've been feeling for a while that I'm no longer able to get into new YA (and will therefore no longer be looking for ARCs of YA), which led to a DNF of MOONSTORM by Yoon Ha Lee, and of SELF-MADE BOYS: A GREAT GATSBY REMIX by Anna-Marie McLemore. I'm no longer the target audience, and I'm far enough away from that time in my life that while books I read as a teen can still hold my attention, I have special difficulty getting into new YA fiction.

There were a few others that I just didn't like and didn't get very far into them:

  • STEAL THE SKY by Megan E. O'Keefe


  • ILLUMINATIONS by T. Kingfisher (see the YA explanation)

  • A FATE OF WRATH & FLAME by K.A. Tucker

  • KILL THE FARM BOY by Kevin Hearne and Delilah S. Dawson

  • OF MYCELIUM AND MEN by William C. Tracy

There were a few more where I got much further in before accepting I didn't like them for some reason:

  • THE EARL OF BRASS by Kara Jorgensen (I like some of her other books, just not this one, apparently)

  • AMBERLOUGH by Lara Elena Donnelly (I have trouble with books that feature lying in a relationship, perhaps I should have realized a book featuring double agents in a relationship would be especially taxing)

  • THE HENCHMEN OF ZENDA by K.J. Charles (I detest the love interest)

  • LOVE & MONSTERS by Max Walker

No Review (Nonfiction, Graphic Novels, etc.)

For Trans Rights Readathon, I read a bunch of works by trans authors, not all of which were in my usual genres. One such was Don't Call Us Dead: Poems by Danez Smith. It's very good, and the audiobook was excellently performed by the author.

Rereads and Older Reviews

I first read ONE NIGHT IN HARTSWOOD by Emma Denny so recently that when I desperately needed to re-read it, I still had the ebook out from the library. It's great, I can't praise it highly enough as a gay, historical romance which feels like a checklist of things I love in fiction (it even has wound care). My review hasn't even posted and I've already re-read it, that's how much I love this book.

I re-read THE BONE SHARD DAUGHTER by Andrea Stewart. It's still great, definitely one to try if you haven't already and you like second-world fantasy trilogies.

Current Reads

I haven't made more progress in A CROWN SO CURSED by L.L. McKinney, probably because it's a hardback book and I have trouble with those, I need to find where I left it in the apartment and resume reading soon.

I'm still early in THE WINGS OF ASHTAROTH by Steve Hugh Westenra, but also it's 1000 pages long, so I don't feel bad about my slow pace.

Following up my re-read of THE BONE SHARD DAUGHTER is a re-read of THE BONE SHARD EMPEROR.

I'm re-reading THE HUNGER GAMES by Suzanne Collins because I have an essay percolating which relates to this series (more specifically, the prequel) and I need the re-read to make sure I'm operating more on dim recollections of books I last read when we covered them on the podcast several years ago.

Finally, there's A LAKE OF FEATHERS AND MOONBEAMS by Dax Murray. The amount of lying is a bit stressful, but I'm surviving so far and I think I'll likely finish it. If not, I'll know by next fortnight.

In Case You Missed It

This time last year I read CRIER'S WAR by Nina Varela, the first book in an excellent YA duology.

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.

Speaking of Bookshop, I've put together top picks lists for 2021 onwards. Books are included based on the year they were published, so occasionally older lists might get new titles. To be in the Top Picks list a book needs to get a five-star rating from me, and be published in the year of the list. You can find the 2024 list here.

As for the podcast, hopefully you're enjoying our most recent episode discussing the anatomy of sequels from my perspective as a reviewer. If you'd like to receive episodes early, as well as bonus content, please consider supporting us on Patreon. Patrons receive this newsletter one week early, as well as a list of upcoming podcast episodes and even more planned reviews.

Patrons pledging $20 or more each month receive a bonus episode. Patrons pledging $50 or more can vote once per month on what we'll cover in the podcast. You can find all of those polls here. Patrons at any level receive the booklist with our planned episodes for up to three months at a time.

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


Co-host of Books That Burn


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