As most avid readers could tell you, the pre-order is both a blessing and a curse. On the one hand, it’s absolute torture having to wait for the next book in a series, or a book you’ve been dying to read. You know eventually it’s going to show up, but it feels like it’s been years, decades even, since you ordered the book; when will it finally get here?! But then, the day comes; a package suddenly appears on your doorstep, and for a moment, you wonder, “Wait, did I order something?” And then it all comes together and it’s like Christmas all over again!
This is what I’m going through with the four books I have waiting on pre-order (and another that arrived earlier this week). After I saw the amazing BookBum’s pre-order post, I decided I’d pull a copycat and let you guys see the books that I’m currently waiting for…
Topping the list is The Valiant by Lesley Livingston:
Goodreads summary: Lost to history, the story of the female gladiator has never been told. Until now.
Fallon is the daughter of a proud Celtic king and the younger sister of the legendary warrior Sorcha. When Fallon was just a child, Sorcha was killed while defending their home from the armies of Julius Caesar.
On the eve of her seventeenth birthday, Fallon is excited to follow in her sister’s footsteps and earn her place in her father’s war band. She never gets the chance.
Fallon is captured by ruthless brigands who sell her to an elite training school for female gladiators owned by none other than Julius Caesar himself. In a cruel twist of fate, the man who destroyed Fallon’s family might be her only hope of survival.
Why I pre-ordered: Lady gladiators, potential Celtic lore/culture, and a dash of romance? What’s not to look forward to? In all honesty, I just love bad-ass female protagonists, plus this book has high ratings and reviews on Goodreads, and it settles right in my happy little niche of historical fiction about women. Amazon assures me it’ll be here on Valentine’s Day, but three days already seems unbearable.
Next on the list is Given to the Sea by Mindy McGinnis:
Goodreads Summary: Khosa is Given to the Sea, a girl born to be fed to the water, her flesh preventing a wave like the one that destroyed the Kingdom of Stille in days of old. But before she’s allowed to dance – an uncontrollable twitching of the limbs that will carry her to the shore in a frenzy – she must produce an heir. Yet the thought of human touch sends shudders down her spine that not even the sound of the tide can match.
Vincent is third in line to inherit his throne, royalty in a kingdom where the old linger and the young inherit only boredom. When Khosa arrives without an heir he knows his father will ensure she fulfills her duty, at whatever cost. Torn between protecting the throne he will someday fill, and the girl whose fate is tied to its very existence, Vincent’s loyalty is at odds with his heart.
Dara and Donil are the last of the Indiri, a native race whose dwindling magic grows weaker as the island country fades. Animals cease to bear young, creatures of the sea take to the land, and the Pietra – fierce fighters who destroyed the Indiri a generation before – are now marching from their stony shores for the twin’s adopted homeland, Stille.
Witt leads the Pietra, their army the only family he has ever known. The stone shores harbor a secret, a growing threat that will envelop the entire land – and he will conquer every speck of soil to ensure the survival of his people.
The tides are turning in Stille, where royals scheme, Pietrans march, and the rising sea calls for its Given.
Why I pre-ordered: The Goodreads ratings are a mostly good, and when I read the synopsis, it sounded like one of the main protagonists might be asexual, which interested me because 1) There are so few books with asexual characters, and even fewer with well-written ace characters, so I was curious about how this one turned out and 2) Many novels that lack romantic elements get a fair amount of criticism, a lot of people feeling so-and-so should’ve gotten with whatshisname, etc, but I’m excited to see a book that doesn’t depend on romance for character development. I hope it lives up to my expectations. Amazon estimates an April 11th delivery.
Number Three is A Flame in the Mist by Renee Ahdieh
Goodreads Summary: The daughter of a prominent samurai, Mariko has long known her place—she may be an accomplished alchemist, whose cunning rivals that of her brother Kenshin, but because she is not a boy, her future has always been out of her hands. At just seventeen years old, Mariko is promised to Minamoto Raiden, the son of the emperor’s favorite consort—a political marriage that will elevate her family’s standing. But en route to the imperial city of Inako, Mariko narrowly escapes a bloody ambush by a dangerous gang of bandits known as the Black Clan, who she learns has been hired to kill her before she reaches the palace.
Dressed as a peasant boy, Mariko sets out to infiltrate the ranks of the Black Clan, determined to track down the person responsible for the target on her back. But she’s quickly captured and taken to the Black Clan’s secret hideout, where she meets their leader, the rebel ronin Takeda Ranmaru, and his second-in-command, his best friend Okami. Still believing her to be a boy, Ranmaru and Okami eventually warm to Mariko, impressed by her intellect and ingenuity. As Mariko gets closer to the Black Clan, she uncovers a dark history of secrets, of betrayal and murder, which will force her to question everything she’s ever known.
Why I pre-ordered: The Goodreads ratings are pretty good, but to be honest, I didn’t even look at them before pre-ordering. Mulan was my second favorite Disney movie as a kid (second only to The Lion King), and this book seems like a more awesome retelling! With the possibility of a lady samurai, and a near guarantee of Asian cultures and settings, I was drawn in immediately. Amazon promises it’ll be arriving on May 16th.
Last, but certainly not least, is And I Rise by Kiersten White
Before I post the summary, let it be known that this is the second book in its series, and I just don’t want anyone to spoil the first book for themselves. Now that that’s out of the way…
Goodreads Summary: Lada Dracul has no allies. No throne. All she has is what she’s always had: herself. After failing to secure the Wallachian throne, Lada is out to punish anyone who dares to cross her blood-strewn path. Filled with a white-hot rage, she storms the countryside with her men, accompanied by her childhood friend Bogdan, terrorizing the land. But brute force isn’t getting Lada what she wants. And thinking of Mehmed brings little comfort to her thorny heart. There’s no time to wonder whether he still thinks about her, even loves her. She left him before he could leave her.
What Lada needs is her younger brother Radu’s subtlety and skill. But Mehmed has sent him to Constantinople—and it’s no diplomatic mission. Mehmed wants control of the city, and Radu has earned an unwanted place as a double-crossing spy behind enemy lines. Radu longs for his sister’s fierce confidence—but for the first time in his life, he rejects her unexpected plea for help. Torn between loyalties to faith, to the Ottomans, and to Mehmed, he knows he owes Lada nothing. If she dies, he could never forgive himself—but if he fails in Constantinople, will Mehmed ever forgive him?
As nations fall around them, the Dracul siblings must decide: what will they sacrifice to fulfill their destinies? Empires will topple, thrones will be won . . . and souls will be lost.
Why I pre-ordered: So, here’s the thing: I’d love to be able to tell you that I read the first book and loved it so much I needed the next one ASAP. But, unfortunately, that would not be true. The truth is that the first book came very highly recommended by my good friend and fellow book nerd, Tricia. I bought it, and because I lean slightly to the lazy side, it has been sitting on my TBR shelf for about two months now. I pre-ordered this book because Tricia raved about the first one, and, if I’m being honest, I love reviewing series because I can go a little deeper into characters and settings and such. On Goodreads, I also saw it described as “A teenage Game of Thrones set in the Ottoman Empire” or something similar, and how could I say no to that?
Thanks for powering through my book nerding!! Those are all my pre-ordered books (for now). Let me know if you plan on reading any of these books or if you’ve pre-ordered any of them for yourself. If not, what books are on your pre-order list?