Book cover: Empire of Wild - Cherie DimalineJoan and Victor were two souls united against the world until the night Victor stormed out after a fight and never came home. When Joan finds him leading a prayer meeting a year later, he’s a stranger with her husband’s face, who claims not to remember her. What happened to Victor out in the dark?

It’s been a tricky year to release a new book. Few signings, no cons, libraries and bookshops closed half the time so fewer opportunities for eyes to snag on display copies. If it was bad for established names, think how much harder it was for authors putting their very first book out into the world. So today I’m looking back at some of the fantasy debuts since last year’s Wyrd And Wonder.

Welcome to the Wyrd And Wonder read-along! This year, we’re buddy reading The Bone Shard Daughter by Andrea Stewart, with discussions over the next four weeks. This is a fantasy of magic and revolution, set in an island empire whose citizens donate their bones – and their life force – to power the strange creations the Emperor uses to govern them. Intrigued? Let’s get to it…

Book cover: The Obsidian Tower - Melissa CarusoIn Vaskandar, everything boils down to power. As a Witchlord’s mage-marked granddaughter, Ryx is undeniably powerful. But her magic is flawed: it kills everything she touches. When she accidentally kills a visiting dignitary, she gives an ambitious neighbour a pretext for war… which is about to be the least of her worries.