State of the ARC: December, 2020

State of the ARC is a meme hosted by Avalinah’s Books in which we round up our ARCs and attempt to wrangle them into something approaching order. Sometimes it’s like herding cats.

I’ve had a nice break from reading ARCs lately, and while I found a few more to add to my NetGalley shelf, I restrained myself and didn’t go crazy requesting all of the nonfiction books that were available. But because it looks like 2021 is going to be a great year for nonfiction, I’m sure I will be requesting more.

Upcoming Releases:

In this second book in her Medieval Queens series, historian Alison Weir details the lives of five extraordinary queens who ruled their countries in uncertain times of war and treachery. One became a legend in her own right, but all of them changed history in one way or another.

  • The Councillor by E.J. Beaton
    Expected publication date: March 2, 2020, from DAW

In this Machiavellian fantasy, scholarly Lysande Prior investigates the murder of her friend, Queen Sarelin Bray, ruler of Elira, even as she is the one who must choose the next ruler from the ruthless city rulers. Though she is of a scholarly bent, Lysande cannot let go of a hidden addiction or her growing taste for power as she engages in ruthless strategy with the city rulers. But far away, the magic-wielding White Queen is raising an army and becoming an ever-growing threat to Elira.

Until the introduction of the printing press in Europe in the late 1400s, books were some of the most precious and most beautiful artworks of the late medieval era. In addition to holding the knowledge of the ages, they contained intricate illuminated pages and beautiful illustrations. In 1400s Florence, Vespasiano da Bisticci became one of the most prolific booksellers in Europe, whose clients included kings and popes. Called the ‘king of the world’s booksellers’, his literary empire would face its greatest challenge with the introduction of the printing press in 1480. The Bookseller of Florence is an ode to the world of books and bookmaking, as well as a memorial to a literary titan of the early Renaissance.

  • Dance with Death (Barker and Llewellyn #12) by Will Thomas
    Historical Mystery
    Expected publication date: April 13, 2021, by St. Martin’s Press

In the summer of 1893, the young Tsarevich Nicolas has traveled to London to attend a royal wedding. He has brought with him his ballerina mistress and his security forces, for his life has been threatened by an assassin known as La Syphide. Though Nicolas is protected by forces from both Russia and England, an attack on Prince George proves that they need more help. Enter Barker and Llewellyn, who are hired to track down the assassin. Their investigation brings them face to face with old enemies, high society, and motives both political and personal. While facing attempts on their own lives, Barker and Llewellyn must solve this case before the greatest royal families in Europe fall victim to the crime of the century.

Long beloved for their shimmering feathers, hummingbirds have long held a special place in the imaginations of people all over the world. But these tiny birds life on a knife’s edge, fighting for survival in myriad places– some of them being among the harshest ecosystems on the planet. Acclaimed nature writer Jon Dunn travels around the world, from the southern Arctic reaches to Antarctic islands in search of hummingbirds in all their varieties.

Lacking in essentials like air and water, the little planet of Gora is an unremarkable place, though its convenient location makes it a popular stop on the way to somewhere else. When a freak occurance halts all traffic in and out of Gora, three travelers of different species– an exiled artist with an appointment to keep, a cargo runner at a crossroads, and a mysterious traveler doing her best to help those on the fringes– must face where they’ve been, where they’re going, and what they could come to mean to one another.

  • The Kingdoms by Natasha Pulley
    Expected publication date: May 25, 2021 by Bloomsbury Publishing

In an alternate history where England is a French colony, a man named Joe Tournier is suffering from amnesia. The only thing he knows about his identity comes from a century-old Scottish postcard, written in the forbidden language of English, signed only as “M”. Joe goes in search of M in order to discover more than one identity, and in so doing, will change the course of history forever.

All of these books look fascinating, and I’m looking forward to reading them. But not until 2021. I like to start with a clean slate on January 1.

4 thoughts on “State of the ARC: December, 2020

  1. I’m always drawn to books that seem to be about books, so The Bookseller of Florence caught my attention. And I love reading about nature and all the amazing wildlife of the world, so The Glitter in the Green sounds like one I might enjoy (and I love the title).

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