July TBR and Buddy Reads

July TBR and Buddy ReadsI haven’t made a TBR in over a year because I’m such a mood reader. I’ve had a really hard time personally lately and after coming back from my hiatus I was in some dire need of some motivation. So this month I joined a challenge on Goodreads group I’ve been a part of for a while, planned a lot of buddy reads and got back on bookstagram. It’s wonderful to be surrounded by the book community again. I really missed you guys!

I really love reading books with other people, so I’m super psyched for these upcoming buddy reads that I have planned! Hopefully we enjoy the books and I make some bookish friends along the way! Feel free to join in any of the buddy reads on Goodreads, they’re all linked if you click the words “buddy read”. If you’re interested in reading something else with me you should check out my list of books releasing in July that I’m excited for!


Senlin Ascends by Josiah BancroftSenlin Ascends by Josiah Bancroft

Buddy read starting July 1st with Quirks and Bayan

The first book in the stunning and strange debut fantasy series that’s receiving major praise from some of fantasy’s biggest authors such as Mark Lawrence and Django Wexler.

The Tower of Babel is the greatest marvel in the world. Immense as a mountain, the ancient Tower holds unnumbered ringdoms, warring and peaceful, stacked one on the other like the layers of a cake. It is a world of geniuses and tyrants, of airships and steam engines, of unusual animals and mysterious machines.

Soon after arriving for his honeymoon at the Tower, the mild-mannered headmaster of a small village school, Thomas Senlin, gets separated from his wife, Marya, in the overwhelming swarm of tourists, residents, and miscreants.

Senlin is determined to find Marya, but to do so he’ll have to navigate madhouses, ballrooms, and burlesque theaters. He must survive betrayal, assassins, and the long guns of a flying fortress. But if he hopes to find his wife, he will have to do more than just endure.

This quiet man of letters must become a man of action.

I’m on Orbit’s blogger list and when they sent out their latest newsletter they were offering copies of the previous books in The Books of Babel series so that readers could catch up for the upcoming release of the fourth book this fall. I’ve seen a lot of my friends mention this book before, but I had no idea what it was really about, and when I read the blurb I thought it sounded kind of interesting, but I wasn’t completely sold. But then I checked out the reviews for this book and I knew I had to check it out for myself. I’m already almost halfway through Senlin Ascends, and so far I’ve loved every minute of it! This might just wind up being a 5 star read for me!

Among Thieves by M.J. KuhnAmong Thieves by M.J. Kuhn

Publication Date: September 7th, 2021

Buddy read starting July 1st with Dannii and Aly

A thrilling fantasy debut—a high-stakes heist novel set in a gritty world of magic and malice, and perfect for fans of Six of Crows!

In just over a year’s time, Ryia Cautella has already earned herself a reputation as the quickest, deadliest blade in the dockside city of Carrowwick—not to mention the sharpest tongue. But Ryia Cautella is not her real name.

For the past six years, a deadly secret has kept her in hiding, running from town to town, doing whatever it takes to stay one step ahead of the formidable Guildmaster—the sovereign ruler of the five kingdoms of Thamorr. No matter how far or fast she travels, his servants never fail to track her down…but even the most powerful men can be defeated.

Ryia’s path now leads directly into the heart of the Guildmaster’s stronghold, and against every instinct she has, it’s not a path she can walk alone. Forced to team up with a crew of assorted miscreants, smugglers, and thieves, Ryia must plan her next moves very carefully. If she succeeds, her freedom is won once and for all…but unfortunately for Ryia, her new allies are nearly as selfish as she is, and they all have plans of their own.

No one in the buddy read has started this one just yet, which is probably good since I’m still reading Senlin Ascends. Among Thieves looks really cool! It’s a heist fantasy filled with criminal gangs and the story centers on a band of misfits who have to work together. If that’s not my jam I don’t know what is! This book has so much potential and I really hope that I love it!

The Godstone by Violette MalanThe Godstone by Violette Malan

Publication Date: August 3rd, 2021

Buddy read starting July 7th with Sibil

This new epic fantasy series begins a tale of magic and danger, as a healer finds herself pulled deeper into a web of secrets and hazardous magic that could bring about the end of the world as she knows it.

Fenra Lowens has been a working Practitioner, using the magic of healing ever since she graduated from the White Court and left the City to live in the Outer Modes. When one of her patients, Arlyn Albainil, is summoned to the City to execute the final testament of a distant cousin, she agrees to help him. Arlyn suspects the White Court wants to access his cousin’s Practitioner’s vault. Arlyn can’t ignore the summons: he knows the vault holds an artifact so dangerous he can’t allow it to be freed.

Fenra quickly figures out that there is no cousin, that Arlyn himself is the missing Practitioner, the legendary Xandra Albainil, rumored to have made a Godstone with which he once almost destroyed the world. Sealing away the Godstone left Arlyn powerless and ill, and he needs Fenra to help him deal with the possibly sentient artifact before someone else finds and uses it.

Along the way they encounter Elvanyn Karamisk, an old friend whom Arlyn once betrayed. Convinced that Arlyn has not changed, and intends to use Fenra to recover the Godstone and with it all his power, Elvanyn joins them to keep Fenra safe and help her destroy the artifact.

This epic fantasy is one that I wasn’t sure if I wanted a review copy of, but after looking at it three days in a row I decided that I might as well give it a shot. I tend to procrastinate reading epic fantasies, even though it’s my favorite genre, just because the beginnings tend to be a little slow, so I’m really glad to be reading this one with someone else for some extra motivation. The plot sounds like there are webs of betrayal and the concept sounds pretty cool. There aren’t any reviews for this one yet, so I don’t really know what to expect.

The Jasmine Throne by Tasha SuriThe Jasmine Throne by Tasha Suri

Buddy Read starting July 12th with Robin

Author of Empire of Sand and Realm of Ash Tasha Suri’s The Jasmine Throne, beginning a new trilogy set in a world inspired by the history and epics of India, in which a captive princess and a maidservant in possession of forbidden magic become unlikely allies on a dark journey to save their empire from the princess’s traitor brother.

Imprisoned by her dictator brother, Malini spends her days in isolation in the Hirana: an ancient temple that was once the source of the powerful, magical deathless waters — but is now little more than a decaying ruin.

Priya is a maidservant, one among several who make the treacherous journey to the top of the Hirana every night to clean Malini’s chambers. She is happy to be an anonymous drudge, so long as it keeps anyone from guessing the dangerous secret she hides.

But when Malini accidentally bears witness to Priya’s true nature, their destinies become irrevocably tangled. One is a vengeful princess seeking to depose her brother from his throne. The other is a priestess seeking to find her family. Together, they will change the fate of an empire.

Tasha Suri’s first book Empire of Sand is still on my TBR, but I couldn’t resist picking up an ARC of The Jasmine Throne. I have been procrastinating reading this one because I was in the middle of a terrible reading slump last month, but now I think it’s the perfect time for me to read this book! So many of my friends have absolutely loved this book and I am SO excited for it, but at the same time I’m intimidated by the help. I’m super grateful to have a buddy to read this one with because I need the extra motivation to finally pick it up!

The PariahThe Pariah by Anthony Ryan

Publication Date: August 24th, 2021

Buddy read starting July 15th with Vippi

From the international best-selling author of the Raven’s Shadow and Draconis Memoria series comes the spectacular first novel in an all-new epic fantasy trilogy.

Born into the troubled kingdom of Albermaine, Alwyn Scribe is raised as an outlaw. Quick of wit and deft with a blade, Alwyn is content with the freedom of the woods and the comradeship of his fellow thieves. But an act of betrayal sets him on a new path – one of blood and vengeance, which eventually leads him to a soldier’s life in the king’s army.

Fighting under the command of Lady Evadine Courlain, a noblewoman beset by visions of a demonic apocalypse, Alwyn must survive war and the deadly intrigues of the nobility if he hopes to claim his vengeance. But as dark forces, both human and arcane, gather to oppose Evadine’s rise, Alwyn faces a choice: can he be a warrior, or will he always be an outlaw?

I love a good epic fantasy and this one looks really good. I have Anthony Ryan’s Raven’s Shadow trilogy on my TBR and have heard tons of great things about it. I picked it up and read a few chapters and really enjoyed the writing, but at the moment I just wasn’t in the mood for an epic fantasy, so decided to set it aside for a little bit. The main character is in a band of outlaw thieves and from my experience with the first few chapters I really think this could be a 5 star read. I’m looking forward to buddy reading this one because I’m probably going to want someone to gush about it with!

City of Iron and Dust by JP OakesCity of Iron and Dust by J.P. Oakes

Publication Date: July 6th, 2021

Buddy Read starting July 20th with Sibil

In this fast-paced dark fantasy debut, the Fae seek to rebel against their Goblin oppressors over one long bloody night.

The Iron City is a prison, a maze, an industrial blight. It is the result of a war that saw the Goblins grind the Fae beneath their collective boot heels. And tonight, it is also a city that churns with life. Tonight, a young fae is trying to make his fortune one drug deal at a time; a goblin prince is searching for a path between his own dreams and others’ expectations; his bodyguard is deciding who to kill first; an artist is hunting for her own voice; an old soldier is starting a new revolution; a young rebel is finding fresh ways to fight; and an old woman is dreaming of reclaiming her power over them all. Tonight, all their stories are twisting together, wrapped up around a single bag of Dust–the only drug that can still fuel Fae magic–and its fate and theirs will change the Iron City forever.

This beautiful cover drew me and the blurb had me sold. The plot sounds fun and entertaining and I have really wanted to read more books that included goblins ever since finishing The Blacktongue Thief. It sounds like it’s filled with dark humor and it sounds like it’s a bit different than what I normally read, but while it’s a bit out of my comfort zone it does look like something I could really enjoy.

The Maleficent Seven by Cameron JohnstonThe Maleficent Seven by Cameron Johnston

Publication Date: August 10th, 2021

Buddy read starting July 22nd with Dannii

When you are all out of heroes, all that’s left are the villains.

Black Herran was a dread demonologist, and the most ruthless general in all Essoran. She assembled the six most fearsome warriors to captain her armies: a necromancer, a vampire lord, a demigod, an orcish warleader, a pirate queen, and a twisted alchemist. Together they brought the whole continent to its knees… Until the day she abandoned her army, on the eve of total victory.

40 years later, she must bring her former captains back together for one final stand, in the small town of Tarnbrooke – the last bastion against a fanatical new enemy tearing through the land, intent on finishing the job Black Herran started years before.

Seven bloodthirsty monsters. One town. Their last hope.

As soon as I read the blurb for this book I knew I needed a copy. A villainous cast trying to save the world? Sign me the hell up! I love morally grey characters and have enjoyed several stories where an old group gets back together to try and save the world. My favorite being The Bone Maker, now since that has been my favorite read of the year of course I’m chasing anything that sounds even semi similar. I’m thrilled to be reading this one with Dannii!

The Grimrose Girls by Laura PohlThe Grimrose Girls by Laura Pohl

Publication Date: November 2nd, 2021

Buddy read starting July 24th with Tricia

The Descendants meets Pretty little liars.

Four troubled friends, One murdered girl… and a dark fate that may leave them all doomed.

After the mysterious death of their best friend, Ella, Yuki, and Rory are the talk of their elite school, Grimrose Académie. The police ruled it a suicide, but the trio are determined to find out what really happened.

When Nani Eszes arrives as their newest roommate, it sets into motion a series of events they couldn’t have imagined. As the girls retrace their friend’s last steps, they uncover dark secrets about themselves and their destinies, discovering they’re all cursed to repeat the brutal and gruesome endings to their stories until they can break the cycle.

This contemporary take on classic fairytales reimagines heroines as friends attending the same school. While investigating the murder of their best friend, they uncover connections to their ancient fairytale curses and attempt to forge their own fate before it’s too late.

This book grabbed my attention as soon as I first saw it. It sounds like a fantasy meets a YA thriller. I am also OBSESSED with books that take place at boarding schools, so that factor alone would probably have me requesting an ARC. It’s a modern fairy tale and has a diverse cast. This just sounds like it will be a quick and thrilling read and I really need to fit more books like this into my life.

Seven Deaths of an Empire by GR MatthewsSeven Deaths of an Empire by G.R. Matthews

Buddy read starting on July 26th with Danni

A new grimdark fantasy for fans of Anna Smith-Spark, GRR Martin and Mark Lawrence.

The Emperor is dead. Long live the Empire.

General Bordan has a lifetime of duty and sacrifice behind him in the service of the Empire. But with rebellion brewing in the countryside, and assassins, thieves and politicians vying for power in the city, it is all Bordan can do to protect the heir to the throne.

Apprentice Magician Kyron is assigned to the late Emperor’s honour guard escorting his body on the long road back to the capital. Mistrusted and feared by his own people, even a magician’s power may fail when enemies emerge from the forests, for whoever is in control of the Emperor’s body, controls the succession.

Seven lives and seven deaths to seal the fate of the Empire.

While I have yet to really venture into grim dark fantasy, I have wanted to for a long time. This sounds like it has a lot of potential with assassins, thieves and a brewing rebellion. It sounds like there is a lot of political intrigue and while I haven’t read a book like that in a while I really love them!

The Empire's Ruin by Brian StaveleyThe Empire’s Ruin by Brian Staveley

Publication Date: July 6th, 2021

Buddy read starting July 30th with Sibil

Brian Staveley, author of The Emperor’s Blades, gives readers the first book in a new epic fantasy trilogy based in the world of his popular series the Chronicle of the Unhewn Throne, The Empire’s Ruin.

The Annurian Empire is disintegrating. The advantages it used for millennia have fallen to ruin. The ranks of the Kettral have been decimated from within, and the kenta gates, granting instantaneous travel across the vast lands of the empire, can no longer be used.

In order to save the empire, one of the surviving Kettral must voyage beyond the edge of the known world through a land that warps and poisons all living things to find the nesting ground of the giant war hawks. Meanwhile, a monk turned con-artist may hold the secret to the kenta gates.

But time is running out. Deep within the southern reaches of the empire and ancient god-like race has begun to stir.

What they discover will change them and the Annurian Empire forever. If they can survive.

I have to admit that this book intimidates me. I don’t feel like I really know what it’s actually about because the blurb is kind of vague and doesn’t mention specific characters. This book is set in the same world as the author’s previous books, but is a completely new series. It’s over 700 pages and while a lot of my favorite fantasies are really long, they always intimidate me. I definitely need some motivation to pick this one up, so I’m really glad to be buddy reading it. The early reviews are incredible, so I am excited, but nervous at the same time.


Let’s Chat!

Do you make a monthly TBR? Do you ever stick to it? Have you ever done a buddy read before? Have you read any of these books or are they on your TBR? Make sure to comment below so we can chat about my July TBR and planned buddy reads!

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