It’s Tuesday, and that means new book day! Here are some of the sapphic books coming out today.
Ink in the Blood by Kim Smejkal (YA Fantasy)
A lush, dark YA fantasy debut that weaves together tattoo magic, faith, and eccentric theater in a world where lies are currency and ink is a weapon, perfect for fans of Leigh Bardugo and Kendare Blake.
Celia Sand and her best friend, Anya Burtoni, are inklings for the esteemed religion of Profeta. Using magic, they tattoo followers with beautiful images that represent the Divine’s will and guide the actions of the recipients. It’s considered a noble calling, but ten years into their servitude Celia and Anya know the truth: Profeta is built on lies, the tattooed orders strip away freedom, and the revered temple is actually a brutal, torturous prison.
Their opportunity to escape arrives with the Rabble Mob, a traveling theater troupe. Using their inkling abilities for performance instead of propaganda, Celia and Anya are content for the first time . . . until they realize who followed them. The Divine they never believed in is very real, very angry, and determined to use Celia, Anya, and the Rabble Mob’s now-infamous stage to spread her deceitful influence even further.
To protect their new family from the wrath of a malicious deity and the zealots who work in her name, Celia and Anya must unmask the biggest lie of all—Profeta itself.
[bisexual main character; gay, lesbian, and non-binary side characters]
The Unspoken Name by AK Larkwood (Fantasy)
What if you knew how and when you will die?
Csorwe does — she will climb the mountain, enter the Shrine of the Unspoken, and gain the most honored title: sacrifice.
But on the day of her foretold death, a powerful mage offers her a new fate. Leave with him, and live. Turn away from her destiny and her god to become a thief, a spy, an assassin—the wizard’s loyal sword. Topple an empire, and help him reclaim his seat of power.
But Csorwe will soon learn – gods remember, and if you live long enough, all debts come due.
[f/f romance; sapphic main character; lesbian, bisexual, and gay characters]
Stormsong by CL Polk (Fantasy)
After spinning an enthralling world in Witchmark, praised as a “can’t-miss debut” by Booklist, and as “thoroughly charming and deftly paced” by the New York Times, C. L. Polk continues the story in Stormsong. Magical cabals, otherworldly avengers, and impossible love affairs conspire to create a book that refuses to be put down.
Dame Grace Hensley helped her brother Miles undo the atrocity that stained her nation, but now she has to deal with the consequences. With the power out in the dead of winter and an uncontrollable sequence of winter storms on the horizon, Aeland faces disaster. Grace has the vision to guide her parents to safety, but a hostile queen and a ring of rogue mages stand in the way of her plans. There’s revolution in the air, and any spark could light the powder. What’s worse, upstart photojournalist Avia Jessup draws ever closer to secrets that could topple the nation, and closer to Grace’s heart.
Can Aeland be saved without bloodshed? Or will Kingston die in flames, and Grace along with it?
Ceremonials by Katharine Coldiron (Fiction)
Ceremonials is a twelve-part lyric novella inspired by Florence + the Machine’s 2011 album of the same name. It’s the story of two girls, Amelia and Corisande, who fall in love at a boarding school. Corisande dies suddenly on the eve of graduation, but Amelia cannot shake her ghost. A narrative about obsession, the Minotaur, and the veil between life and death, Ceremonials is a poem in prose, a keening in words, and a song etched in ink.
The Mercies by Kiran Millwood Hargrave (Historical Fiction)
After a storm has killed off all the island’s men, two women in a 1600s Norwegian coastal village struggle to survive against both natural forces and the men who have been sent to rid the community of alleged witchcraft.
Finnmark, Norway, 1617. Twenty-year-old Maren Bergensdatter stands on the craggy coast, watching the sea break into a sudden and reckless storm. Forty fishermen, including her brother and father, are drowned and left broken on the rocks below. With the menfolk wiped out, the women of the tiny Northern town of Vardø must fend for themselves.
Three years later, a sinister figure arrives. Absalom Cornet comes from Scotland, where he burned witches in the northern isles. He brings with him his young Norwegian wife, Ursa, who is both heady with her husband’s authority and terrified by it. In Vardø, and in Maren, Ursa sees something she has never seen before: independent women. But Absalom sees only a place untouched by God and flooded with a mighty evil.
As Maren and Ursa are pushed together and are drawn to one another in ways that surprise them both, the island begins to close in on them with Absalom’s iron rule threatening Vardø’s very existence.
Inspired by the real events of the Vardø storm and the 1620 witch trials, The Mercies is a feminist story of love, evil, and obsession, set at the edge of civilization.
THE SACRAMENTO OF DESIRE links the vulnerabilities of the body with the economies of assisted reproduction, landscape disasters, and language itself. Julia Bloch’s poems catalog temporal objects–lunar charts, basal calendars, office cubicles, freeway metering–to imagine the possibilities of a queer future beyond the edges of ruin. In interlocking, essayistic prose poetry, Bloch’s third full-length collection mimics the way time skips and lingers in feeling, questioning the norms of reproduction we attach to mandates for social value.
Citrus+ Vol. 1 by Saburouta (Manga)
A NEW SEASON OF LOVE!
High schoolers (and stepsisters) Yuzu and Mei have gone public with their relationship! The two are happy to be dating out in the open, but friends and family keep trying to butt in with advice. Can Yuzu and Mei figure things out on their own? The return of the modern yuri classic!
KASE-SAN AND YAMADA GO TO COLLEGE!
Yamada is in heaven at her school’s horticulture department, and Kase-san is training hard at the sports university. With classes and a long train ride to keep them apart, hanging out together is tough. Can they beat their busy schedules and find time for one another?
LIVING SIDE-BY-SIDE WITH THE ONE I LOVE
High schoolers Nanaya and Minori are classmates, best friends, and roommates. Though the two are as different as night and day, they do just about everything together! But what drew them together in the first place? Find out in the second volume of the sweet slice-of-life yuri series, Our Wonderful Days!
Check out more LGBTQ new releases at:
- Lambda Literary: New in February
- LGBTQ Reads New Releases: February 2020
- Bookish Heights Anticipated LGBTQ+ 2020 Books: February Releases
- Women and Words: New Releases & Coming Up