When I really love a book, I become fully immersed in the lives of its characters: their personalities, their relationships, and how they interact with their world. That’s why book series hold such a special place in my heart. I get to revisit the characters I loved so dearly, as they take my mind on ravishing literary adventures. Fortunately, the coming months have an array of books all set in their predecessors’ world. Before they publish, be sure to check out the first books that debut the characters’ journeys. These are a few series you won’t want to miss.
6 Books with Memorable Characters to Devour Before Their Journey Continues
I know a lot of us readers are excited about book two of The Lost Queen series. The Forgotten Kingdom, publishing this fall is the continuation of Languoreth’s story, introduced in the first installment of the series, THE LOST QUEEN. Languoreth is one of the most powerful medieval queens in British history, ruling at a time of enormous disruption and bloodshed. Alongside her twin druid brother, Lailoken, the duo are plunged into a world of unrest and danger. As the war unfolds, Languoreth meets handsome warrior Maelgwn. Although a passionate connection is evident between the two, Languoreth is promised in marriage to Rhydderch, son of the High King who is sympathetic to the followers of Christianity. As Rhydderch’s wife, Languoreth must assume her duty to fight for the preservation of the Old Way, her kingdom, and all she holds dear. Be sure to check out The Lost Queen to start Languoreth’s story before THE FORGOTTEN KINGDOM publishes in September 2020!
England is in the grip of a bloody civil war, and is experiencing heightened witch hysteria. Alinor’s neighbors have always whispered about her sinister beauty, not to mention her ambition and determination, which mark her as a woman who doesn’t follow the rules. One evening, Alinor sits in a graveyard hoping to find the ghost of her missing husband to confirm his death and her widowhood. Instead she meets James, a young man on the run. She shows him the secret way across the treacherous marshy landscape of the Tidelands, not knowing she is leading a spy and an enemy into her life. By the end of the book, we were hooked on Alinor’s story. Lucky for us, it continues in November of this year with the second installment in the Fairmile series, Dark Tides.
This New York Times bestseller from “one of the great storytellers of our time” (San Francisco Book Review) turns from the glamour of the royal courts to tell the story of an ordinary woman, Alinor, living in a dangerous time for a woman to be different.
On Midsummer’s Eve, Alinor waits in the church graveyard, hoping to encounter the ghost of her missing husband and thus confirm his death. Until she can, she is neither maiden nor wife nor widow, living in a perilous limbo. Instead she meets James, a young man on the run. She shows him the secret ways across the treacherous marshy landscape of the Tidelands, not knowing she is leading a spy and an enemy into her life.
England is in the grip of a bloody civil war that reaches into the most remote parts of the kingdom. Alinor’s suspicious neighbors are watching each other for any sign that someone might be disloyal to the new parliament, and Alinor’s ambition and determination mark her as a woman who doesn’t follow the rules. They have always whispered about the sinister power of Alinor’s beauty, but the secrets they don’t know about her and James are far more damning. This is the time of witch-mania, and if the villagers discover the truth, they could take matters into their own hands.
“This is Gregory par excellence” (Kirkus Reviews). “Fans of Gregory’s works and of historicals in general will delight in this page-turning tale” (Library Journal, starred review) that is “superb… A searing portrait of a woman that resonates across the ages” (People).
Anyone keen on the famous story of the Owens family from PRACTICAL MAGIC must read the prequel, RULES OF MAGIC. In this enchanting novel, Franny, Jet, and Vincent Owens are learning about the dark curse put on their family back in the 1600s, after their family matriarch fell in love with the wrong man. Now, no one in their family can fall in love. Hundreds of years later, in 1960s New York City, this generation of the Owens family is coming to terms with who they are, dipping their toes in the world of magic, and tempting fate with their longing for love. Pick up this magical tale before MAGIC LESSONS publishes in October 2020—the Owens family origins story, which will transport you even further back in time to the 1600s, to the cursed love that started it all. Any of these books within the PRACTICAL MAGIC series can be read out of order—you’ll be enchanted by their love and powers no matter which generation’s story you pick up.
An instant New York Times bestseller and Reese Witherspoon Book Club pick from beloved author Alice Hoffman—the spellbinding prequel to Practical Magic.
Find your magic.
For the Owens family, love is a curse that began in 1620, when Maria Owens was charged with witchery for loving the wrong man.
Hundreds of years later, in New York City at the cusp of the sixties, when the whole world is about to change, Susanna Owens knows that her three children are dangerously unique. Difficult Franny, with skin as pale as milk and blood red hair, shy and beautiful Jet, who can read other people’s thoughts, and charismatic Vincent, who began looking for trouble on the day he could walk.
From the start Susanna sets down rules for her children: No walking in the moonlight, no red shoes, no wearing black, no cats, no crows, no candles, no books about magic. And most importantly, never, ever, fall in love. But when her children visit their Aunt Isabelle, in the small Massachusetts town where the Owens family has been blamed for everything that has ever gone wrong, they uncover family secrets and begin to understand the truth of who they are. Yet, the children cannot escape love even if they try, just as they cannot escape the pains of the human heart. The two beautiful sisters will grow up to be the memorable aunts in Practical Magic, while Vincent, their beloved brother, will leave an unexpected legacy.
Alice Hoffman delivers “fairy-tale promise with real-life struggle” (The New York Times Book Review) in a story how the only remedy for being human is to be true to yourself. Thrilling and exquisite, real and fantastical, The Rules of Magic is “irresistible…the kind of book you race through, then pause at the last forty pages, savoring your final moments with the characters” (USA TODAY, 4/4 stars).
Copenhagen police detectives Jeppe Korner and Anette Werner are assigned to a brutal murder case. The victim is a young woman murdered in her own apartment with an intricate pattern of lines carved into her face. The detectives find a suspicious link between the victim and her landlady, Esther de Laurenti, who is an avid drinker and partier with her artist friends. It also just so happens that Esther is in the process of writing a mystery. When this unfinished novel turns up, the link between the murder and her fictional tale is alarming. But Esther’s role in this twisted scenario is not quite as clear as it first seems. Is she the culprit—or just another victim? THE BUTTERFLY HOUSE, a follow-up story including the same sly and intelligent detective duo as in THE TENANT, publishes in January 2021. So if you’re captivated by Jeppe and Anette in THE TENANT and looking to follow along as they uncover more mysteries, look out for this new novel coming soon.
An Indie Next Pick
An O, The Oprah Magazine Titles to Pick Up Now
A People Book Pick
A New York Post Best Book of the Week
A Parade Most Anticipated Books of Early 2020
A Bustle Most Anticipated Books of January 2020
A CrimeReads Most Anticipated Crime Books of 2020
A She Reads Most Anticipated Thrillers of 2020
An electrifying work of literary suspense from internationally bestselling author Katrine Engberg, The Tenant—heralded as a “stunning debut” by #1 New York Times bestselling author Kathy Reichs—follows two Copenhagen police detectives struggling to solve a shocking murder and stop a killer hell-bent on revenge.
When a young woman is discovered brutally murdered in her own apartment with an intricate pattern of lines carved into her face, Copenhagen police detectives Jeppe Korner and Anette Werner are assigned to the case. In short order, they establish a link between the victim, Julie Stender, and her landlady, Esther de Laurenti, who’s a bit too fond of drink and the host of raucous dinner parties with her artist friends. Esther also turns out to be a budding novelist—and when Julie turns up as a murder victim in the still-unfinished mystery she’s writing, the link between fiction and real life grows both more urgent and more dangerous.
But Esther’s role in this twisted scenario is not quite as clear as it first seems. Is she the culprit or just another victim, trapped in a twisted game of vengeance? Anette and Jeppe must dig more deeply into the two women’s pasts to discover the identity of the brutal puppet-master pulling the strings.
Evocative and original, The Tenant promises “dark family secrets—and a smorgasbord of surprises” (People).
An Easy Death is Book #1 of the Gunnie Rose series, starring main character Lizbeth Rose. In this dystopian version of the United States after the assassination of Franklin Roosevelt and the Great Depression, magic is prevalent but highly mistrusted, and Lizbeth Rose has a wildly fearsome reputation as a gunslinger. When a pair of Russian wizards attempt to locate a low-level magic practitioner believed to be a direct descendant of Grigori Rasputin, they are desperate for a partner like Lizbeth. She accepts the offer, but as the trio journey through the altered version of America, it's clear there is a force that does not want them to succeed. The second book of this series, A LONGER FALL, published earlier this year, and the third installment, THE RUSSIAN AGE, is set to publish in February 2021. Start off the series and catch up with Lizbeth’s journey with AN EASY DEATH!
From the beloved #1 New York Times bestselling author of the Sookie Stackhouse series, the inspiration for HBO’s True Blood, comes “a gripping, twisty-turny, thrill ride of a read” (Karin Slaughter, New York Times bestselling author) following a young gunslinging mercenary on deadly mission through the American Southwest.
In a fractured United States, a new world where magic is acknowledged but mistrusted, a young gunslinger named Lizbeth Rose takes a job offer from a pair of Russian wizards. Lizbeth Rose has a wildly fearsome reputation but these wizards are desperate. Searching the small border towns near Mexico, they’re trying to locate a low-level magic practitioner believed to be a direct descendant of Grigori Rasputin.
As the trio journey through an altered America—shattered into several countries after the assassination of Franklin Roosevelt and the Great Depression—they’re set on by enemies. It’s clear that a powerful force does not want them to succeed in their mission. Lizbeth Rose has never failed a client, but this job may stretch her to her deadly limits.
“Immersive, involving, suspenseful and intriguing, with a main character you’ll love” (Lee Child, #1 New York Times bestselling author), An Easy Death is a fast-paced thriller of the highest order.
Janet Evanovich’s series starring Stephan Plum is always a fan favorite. The first novel that debuted this bounty hunter with an attitude is ONE FOR THE MONEY. For Stephanie, toxic waste, rabid drivers, armed schizophrenics, and August heat are all part of the great adventure of living in Jersey. Now, out of work and out of money, Stephanie decides to blackmail bondsman cousin Vinnie into getting her a job as an apprehension agent. Her first assignment: nail Joe Morelli, a former vice cop on the run from a murder charge. Back when she was sixteen, Morelli charmed Stephanie out of her virginity. Because of this, there’s still powerful chemistry between them, so the chase should be interesting . . . and also extremely dangerous. The twenty-seventh book starring Stephanie Plum, FORTUNE AND GLORY, is set to come out November 2020. You don’t need to read these books in order, but once you read once, you’re going to want to devour them all.
Discover where it all began—#1 New York Times bestselling author Janet Evanovich’s first “snappily written, fast-paced, and witty” (USA TODAY) novel in the beloved Stephanie Plum series featuring a feisty and funny heroine who “comes roaring in like a blast of very fresh air” (The Washington Post).
Meet Stephanie Plum, a bounty hunter with attitude. In Stephanie’s opinion, toxic waste, rabid drivers, armed schizophrenics, and August heat, humidity, and hydrocarbons are all part of the great adventure of living in Jersey.
She’s a product of the “burg,” a blue-collar pocket of Trenton where houses are attached and narrow, cars are American, windows are clean, and (God forbid you should be late) dinner is served at six.
Out of work and out of money, Stephanie blackmails her bail-bondsman cousin Vinnie into giving her a try as an apprehension agent. Stephanie knows zilch about the job requirements, but she figures her new pal, el-primo bounty hunter Ranger, can teach her what it takes to catch a crook. Her first assignment: nail Joe Morelli, a former vice cop on the run from a charge of murder one. Morelli’s the inamorato who charmed Stephanie out of her virginity at age sixteen. There’s still powerful chemistry between them, so the chase should be interesting…and could also be extremely dangerous.
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