WAITING ON WEDNESDAY: New/Upcoming Fiction Releases

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme originally hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine (though it seems as though it’s been a while since she updated that particular blog, so if you know of the current host, if there is one, please let me know) that highlights upcoming releases that we’re impatiently waiting for. This week I’m featuring upcoming/newly released fiction titles I’m excited to read!  As usual, pub dates change without warning, so keep that in mind!

Kaikeyi, by Vaishnavi Patel – Based on Hindu mythology, Kaikeyi appears to be in the same vein as Miller’s Circe, in which Kaikeyi is the story of a vilified woman in Hindu mythology, the mother of Bharat and the stepmother of Ram. In Ramayana, Kaikeyi holds strong ties to her maternal side of the family, exiles her stepson to lift up her own son. Kaikeyi sets out to explore her side of the story, and I have been loving the mythology reimaginings, especially focusing on the female characters who have been historically villainized. (April 26, 2022)

Bronze Drum, by Phong Nguyen – This is about two warrior sisters in ancient Vietnam who raised an army of women to overthrow the Han Chinese and rule over a united people. The copy says it’s for readers of Circe and The Night Tiger, but stories about women who overcome immense odds and choose to lead tend to be some of my favorites. (August 9, 2022)

The Undertaking of Hart and Mercy, by Megan Bannen – This looks like a fantasy romance with grumpy/sunshine and enemies to lovers tropes, pen pals, and zombies??? One of the early reviews draws comparisons to Howl’s Moving Castle and anime, so with everything I’ve heard about this so far, I am definitely interested in reading this. (August 23, 2022)

A Lullaby for Witches, by Hester Fox – Fox has written a few gothic novels that I’ve enjoyed, and this one has the added twist of a present-day narrative as well. Augusta takes a job at a house and finds herself enthralled with a painting, leading her to want to discover more about the subject of that painting’s life. Secrets unfold, because how could they not, and I’m hoping for that spooky atmospheric vibe I’ve come to enjoy from Fox’s previous works. (February 1, 2022)

Lapvona, by Ottessa Moshfegh – This one’s a newer one on my radar, and I still have not read anything else by Moshfegh yet (though I’m sure that will change soon), but Lapvona looks like a pandemic novel, set in medieval times, with all the weirdness that comes with a medieval setting. (June 21, 2022)

Are any of these on your TBR? What romances are you excited to read?

BOOK REVIEW: The Witch of Willow Hall, by Hester Fox

BOOK REVIEW: The Witch of Willow Hall, by Hester FoxTitle: The Witch of Willow Hall by Hester Fox
Published by Graydon House
Published: October 2nd 2018
Genres: Historical, Fantasy
Pages: 368
Format: eBook
Source: Netgalley
Goodreads

Two centuries after the Salem witch trials, there’s still one witch left in Massachusetts. But she doesn’t even know it.

New Oldbury, 1821

In the wake of a scandal, the Montrose family and their three daughters—Catherine, Lydia, and Emeline—flee Boston for their new country home, Willow Hall.

The estate seems sleepy and idyllic. But a subtle menace creeps into the atmosphere, remnants of a dark history that call to Lydia, and to the youngest, Emeline.

All three daughters will be irrevocably changed by what follows, but none more than Lydia, who must draw on a power she never knew she possessed if she wants to protect those she loves. For Willow Hall’s secrets will rise, in the end…

The Witch of Willow Hall is a perfect fall read to me. It’s got just the right amount of thrill and spooky vibes, unlikable but compelling characters, a heroine to root for, and a little dash of romance that you’ll root for.

The first few chapters were a little bit of a slow start for me, but it’s a slow start that builds suspense and wonder about the Montrose family backstory and why they’ve had to leave Boston. It’s not solely for one obvious reason or another, and once pieces of Lydia’s story began coming together, I needed to see how everything played out. The Witch of Willow Hall is a delightfully gothic story involving witchcraft, forbidden forests, and a large and spooky house holding all sorts of secrets.

Fox’s world-building reminded me a lot of Guillermo del Toro’s Crimson Peak in the way it presents the reader with an assumption that soon reveals more truths than initially expected. If you’re looking for a fall read that’s not too spooky but with the right amount of atmosphere, twists, and historical fantasy, then check out The Witch of Willow Hall!

I received a digital review copy from Netgalley in exchange for my review. All opinions are my own.