Empire of the Vampire by Jay Kristoff

Ever since daysdeath, when the Sun did not rise, vampires have waged war and in the process created an empire of the dead.  Over twenty seven years that empire has expanded, blotting out the last vestiges of humanity.  

Now Gabriel de León, the last remaining silversaint, the order dedicated to hunting down creatures of the night, has been imprisoned.  This is where we join him, as he regales us with the stories of his past, of his glory in legendary battles, his lost faith, and of how he let’s humanity’s last hope, The Holy Grail, slip through his fingers.

This is one of those books where I was hooked immediately and have moved straight onto the sequel without hesitation.  Think Rothfuss but with significantly more bloodshed, foul language and where generally, good things don’t happen.  It’s great! – Henry

The Warm Hands of Ghosts by Katherine Arden

I didn’t expect to love The Warm Hands of Ghosts as much as I loved Bear and the Nightingale, but I absolutely did. The characters, the atmosphere, the haunting setting have crept into my memory and won’t be leaving any time soon!

Laura, a Canadian war nurse, has returned home after sustaining shrapnel in her leg. It’s not long before she receives her brother’s uniform and dog tags. Logically, she knows he must be dead, but the war veteran in her has to know what happened to her little brother on the ridge. When she returns to No Man’s Land, she finds herself linked to the uncanny…a mysterious fiddler who lures soldiers into his hotel with warmth and free wine. But rumour is…if you drink the wine, you’ll always pine for the place. Even go mad with longing.  

The Warm Hands of Ghosts is rich and dark and gorgeous and hard and haunting in all the best ways. It is a story of mastery that I wish I could read for the first time all over again. – Hannah

12 Birds to Save Your Life by Charlie Corbett

Grateful and unquestioning that his life is always on an upwards trajectory, Charlie’s world was broken by his mother’s terminal illness. The grief rips the out the heart of his family and leaves him feeling that he cannot trust the world again. Crippled by helplessness and anxiety, for a time, Charlie loses the joys and confidence that he once took for granted. 
 He grew up in an opinionated and often obstinate family. Home and holidays were immersed in countryside: dogs running off at dinner time, stressful lambing seasons, a hair-raising school commute down country lanes. Adult life and modern aspirations separated him from the comforting familiarity of rural life. 
 Through twelve species of bird, Charlie explores how much his grief overwhelmed him, and how much his reconnection these animals taught him life lessons about resilience and joy. – Katrina