Bookseller Recommendations: London Bookseller - Chiara

Bookseller Recommendations: London Bookseller - Chiara

We're back with more bookseller recommendations!

Today, London bookseller, Chiara, shares some of her favourite recent reads and some of her highly anticipated upcoming releases. Discover something new to add to your bookshelves and TBR lists below.

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I have always been an avid reader, my love for reading started with Caroline Lawrence and her Roman Mysteries books. These were the first books that I read and I fell in love with the characters. I guess this has always made me slightly biased towards Ancient Roman/Greek stories. 

The main genres I enjoy reading now lean towards fantasy and historical fiction.With Christopher Paolini being one of the authors that got me into reading fantasy as I was so engrossed in the Eragon world - I remember rereading it as soon as I had finished it. 

Saltblood by Francesca De Torres 

This is Francesca de Torres’ historical debut novel which centres around the life of Mary Read. I had never heard of Mary Read before and even though this is a fictional retelling of her life, the main plot is derived from events that are known to have happened during her lifetime.

The story begins when Mary’s half-brother Mark dies at a young age. She then must become Mark in order to inherit money from Mark’s grandmother. Her mother then finds her a job as a footman because it is easier and less dangerous for men to find work. As a footman, Mary soon learns how to behave and act like a man. She uses this knowledge to her advantage when she finally decides to join the Navy as war breaks out. 

This novel is incredibly fast-paced and fascinating. You will be totally immersed in Mary’s world as she negotiates life as a man whilst trying to keep her secret hidden from all those around her. If you ever watched Pirates of the Caribbean and then immediately wanted more, I would highly suggest picking this up. 

 Order a copy of Saltblood here!

 

The Shadow of the Gods by John Gwynne 

As a self-confessed fantasy fan, I must admit that this was my first John Gwynne novel. With the release of the third book in the trilogy coming out this year I was keen to read this. 

This novel is based on Norse mythology and is a multiple POV story that centres around three main characters as they each journey through this world: a huntress on a dangerous quest, a noblewoman who has rejected privilege in pursuit of battle fame and a thrall who seeks vengeance among the famed mercenaries known as the Bloodsworn. 

John Gwynne’s characterisation is definitely where his writing shines. I genuinely cared about Orka, one of the three main protagonists. She is one of the few older female main protagonists I have come across. She embodies the epitome of a strong, independent woman. Orka is fiercely loyal, a wonderful mother and she will stop at nothing to protect those she loves. 

We are sold out of The Hunger of the Gods. Please note we are currently working on securing an edition of The Fury of the Gods with the publisher - more news to come soon!  

 

The Silverblood Promise by James Logan 

I had the opportunity to read an early proof copy of this novel before publication and this debut blew my mind. It has all the classic fantasy tropes that I love; morally grey main character, found family, heist elements and a trial too. What more could a reader want? 

You follow the main character, Lukan, as he goes to Saphrona to find answers to his father’s murder. I loved being with Lukan in Saphrona as it was very much like Ancient Rome. The city itself almost becomes one of the main characters in the book and it helps the reader inhabit the world Logan has created. The humour in this book was also excellently done, there was a real sense of comedy amongst all the carnage that is thrown at the characters. 

Overall, I fell in love with the characters and the world they live in. I can’t wait to see what happens to Flee and Lukan in book two.   

We are fully sold out! 

 

The Fellowship of the Puzzlemakers by Samuel Burr 

This was our May 2024 PREM1ER pick. The story centres around a mystery surrounding the character, Clayton. Clayton was left on the doorstep of the Puzzlemakers when he was an infant and was brought up by members of the puzzlemaker community. 

This book has two different timelines, one in the present day and the other follows the founding member of the Fellowship of Puzzlemakers, Pippa Allsbrook, through the late 70’s and early 80’s until the timelines converge. 

Burr has created a story that has a special place in my heart as Pippa is a very inspirational woman. She acts as a mother/grandmother to Clayton as she brings him up in the society which in many ways mirror the relationship I had with my grandmother. 

If you are in the mood for a good mystery novel that feels very nostalgic and cosy, I would recommend this wholeheartedly. If you enjoyed the Thursday Murder Club because of the sleuthing pensioners but want something unique, this book is for you.  

We are fully sold out!  

 

Blue Sisters by Coco Mellors 

As an only child, this book has given me an insight into the family dynamic between four sisters and the roles that each of them plays in the others’ lives. Each sister struggles to cope with their own grief, after the tragedy of losing one of the sisters, in different ways. 

Avery, the oldest sister, seems to have the perfect life but all is not as it seems. Cracks start to appear the more time you spend in her POV. Bonnie is now the middle sister, and she is the mediator of the group, always trying to keep the peace. In her own way she also has an addiction. Lucky is the youngest sister; she is a top model yet she struggles with how she is perceived. In order to navigate this cutthroat world she turns to drugs, much like her sister Avery. 

I found it fascinating how the oldest and youngest sisters had so much in common yet still being total opposites. The book is very raw and brutal. The sisters are very complicated and broken individuals each with their own flaws and attributes. However, they only seem whole when they are together. This book really highlights how much we are tied to our family. 

 We are fully sold out! 

Anticipated Releases:

Babylonia - Costanza Casati

I’ve recently started reading and I am only 100 pages in, but so far this story is living up to my expectations. I can see this quickly becoming a favourite as much as Clytemnestra was. Who doesn’t love a bit of female rage? 

Order your own special LIMITED edition of Babylonia here! 

 

Blood over Bright Haven - M.L.Wang

From the same author who wrote The Sword of Kaigen. This is a dark academia novel set in the city of Bright Haven as we follow our female protagonists as she tries to become the first female high mage with elements of mystery and tragedy. 

 

Costanza - Rachel Blackmore 

Another historical fiction novel that I'm eager to get to. This centres on Costanza Piccolomini and her affair with famous sculptor Gianlorenzo Bernini and how she deals with the fallout as Bernini reveals her as his lover.

Order your own special LIMITED edition of Costanza here!

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