The final May T5T post is a freebie, so time to…get a little grim?
I missed the Books About a Death topic back in April, and since I struggled with most of April’s topics save this one, I figured it was worth revisiting. When you read lots of a fantasy and mystery, there’s bound to be some books about a death floating around!
And as ever, shoutout to Meeghan @ Meeghan Reads for running Top 5 Tuesday! She rocks at choosing topics, and if only I were as on top of it on Tuesdays as she is!
Three Parts Dead by Max Gladstone (The Craft Sequence #1)
Normally, books about lawyers aren’t really my thing. But in Three Parts Dead, the lawyers are more like fantasy lawyers, and in this particular case, they’re tangled up in the murder of a god. It’s big stuff, it’s intricately plotted, and I still wish I could read it for the very first time all over again. The final few chapters? Stunning, show-stopping, truly flawless in every way!
Sorry, freshman year roommate, for possibly waking you up at 3am when I gasped at one of the final twists.
Cemetery Boys by Aiden Thomas
Yadriel’s quest to prove himself starts entirely because of the death of his cousin; if only he can summon his cousin’s ghost, he can prove he really is a brujo. Except things go sideways when he summons Julian Diaz’s ghost instead. From there, it’s a sweet, queer paranormal romance with a hint of danger around every shadowy corner. After all, someone has been killing in Yadriel’s neighborhood, and they haven’t been caught yet…
The Bone Maker by Sarah Beth Durst
The Bone Maker is one of my favorite adult fantasy standalones for a few reasons. Most importantly, though, is that it’s about what happens after you’ve saved the world. The protagonists in this book are dealing with the aftermath of becoming heroes, which includes not only fame, but the loss of one of their own.
And since Kreya is willing to break laws and bend the rules to reverse that loss, to bring her husband back, our heroes find out that maybe there’s still some world-saving left in their tired old bones…
Gravemaidens by Kelly Coon (Gravemaidens #1)
While Gravemaidens is more about a death in progress than a death that’s already come about, it still fits the topic for the day. The king of Alu is dying, and it’s up to Kammani to save his life. In doing so, she aims to save her sister’s life as well, since Nanaea has been chosen as one of the sacred maidens to join the king in the afterlife. For Kammani, healing is about more than just saving one person. Her actions in the palace could save three girls from a death sentence disguised as an honor…and maybe cut to the heart of something even deadlier.
Deeplight by Frances Hardinge
The gods died 50 years ago, changing the Myriad forever. And now, Hark holds one of their hearts in his hands. Only with this heart can he save the life of his best friend, Jelt, but there’s more to the dead gods than Hark ever imagined. The many islands of the Myriad keep their secrets close, and perhaps there is a good reason the gods tore one another apart decades ago…
If that isn’t enough to tempt you, though, keep in mind this is a Frances Hardinge novel. Her work always has this incredible mastery of younger YA blended with a curious and sometimes uncanny approach to fiction. I recommend pretty much anything she writes because she always makes it work in the strangest, most delightful ways!
Look at that! I didn’t even take the easy route and fill this with murder mysteries. But do we share any books on this list? Or do you think there’s a major bookish murder staple that I’ve missed? Let’s chat! 💀