Bring Me Their Hearts by Sara Wolf

Bring Me Their Hearts by Sara Wolf

Zera is a Heartless – the immortal, unageing soldier of a witch. Bound to the witch Nightsinger ever since she saved her from the bandits who murdered her family, Zera longs for freedom. With her heart in a jar under Nightsinger’s control, she serves the witch unquestioningly. Until Nightsinger asks Zera for a Prince’s heart in exchange for her own.

Crown Prince Lucien d’Malvane hates the royal court as much as it loves him – every tutor too afraid to correct him and every girl jockeying for a place at his side. No one can challenge him – until the arrival of Lady Zera. She’s inelegant, smart-mouthed, & out for his blood.

So begins a game of cat and mouse between a girl with nothing to lose and a boy who has it all. Winner takes the loser’s heart. Literally.

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Trigger & Content Warnings:

  • Ableism
  • Classism
  • Persecution for witchcraft (theme)
  • Fatmisia & body shaming
  • Child abuse
  • Arranged marriage
  • Alcohol consumption
  • Alcohol abuse & alcoholism recounted
  • Graphic blood & gore depiction, including dead bodies
  • Cannibalism
  • Emesis
  • Grief & loss depiction
  • Death of a sister
  • Death of a mother & father
  • Death of a child mentioned
  • Murder & attempted murder
  • Torture
  • Knife violence & stabbing
  • Explosions
  • Fire
  • Kidnapping
  • Loss of autonomy (mind control)
  • Death from a fall mentioned
  • War themes (central theme)
  • Animal death and dead bodies
  • Death by animal attack mentioned
  • Bullying
  • Poverty themes
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Heart of Thorns by Bree Barton

Heart of Thorns by Bree Barton

Heart of Thorns by Bree Barton book cover

In the ancient river kingdom, where touch is a battlefield and bodies the instruments of war, Mia Rose has pledged her life to hunting Gwyrach: women who can manipulate flesh, bones, breath, and blood. The same women who killed her mother without a single scratch.

But when Mia’s father announces an alliance with the royal family, she is forced to trade in her knives and trousers for a sumptuous silk gown. Determined to forge her own path forward, Mia plots a daring escape, but could never predict the greatest betrayal of all: her own body. Mia possesses the very magic she has sworn to destroy.

Now, as she untangles the secrets of her past, Mia must learn to trust her heart…even if it kills her.

GoodreadsThe Story Graph

Trigger & Content Warnings:

  • Misogyny (central theme)
  • Homomisia, coming out themes and hate crimes
  • Rape (mostly recounted, one graphic on-page scene) and sexual assault
  • Forced non-consensual arranged marriage
  • Physical abuse
  • Suicide and suicidal ideation (mentioned)
  • Blood and gore depiction, including dead bodies
  • Grief and loss depiction
  • Death of mother & wife recounted
  • Death of a father & husband recounted
  • Emesis
  • Graphic physical injuries and illness
  • Torture (secondary character, off-page)
  • Murder & attempted murder
  • Poisoning
  • Imprisonment
  • War themes
  • Graphic animal death, animal bodies, and hunting
  • Mind control discussed
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A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini

A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini

A Thousand Splendid Suns is a breathtaking story set against the volatile events of Afghanistan’s last thirty years – from the Soviet invasion to the reign of the Taliban to post-Taliban rebuilding – that puts the violence, fear, hope, and faith of this country in intimate, human terms. It is a tale of two generations of characters brought jarringly together by the tragic sweep of war, where personal lives – the struggle to survive, raise a family, find happiness – are inextricable from the history playing out around them.

GoodreadsThe Story Graph

Trigger & Content Warnings:

  • Sexism
  • Arranged child marriage
  • Child and domestic abuse
  • Rape and sexual abuse
  • Suicide
  • Miscarriage & abortion
  • Mutilation
  • Cancer
  • War themes
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Annie’s Song by Catherine Anderson

Annie’s Song by Catherine Anderson

Annie's Song by Catherine Anderson book cover

Annie Trimble lives in a solitary world that no one enters or understands. As delicate and beautiful as the tender blossoms of the Oregon spring, she is shunned by a town that misinterprets her affliction. But cruelty cannot destroy the love Annie holds in her heart.

Alex Montgomery is horrified to learn his wild younger brother forced himself on a helpless “idiot girl.” Tormented by guilt, Alex agrees to marry her and raise the baby she carries as his own. But he never dreams he will grow to cherish his lovely, mute, and misjudged Annie; her childlike innocence, her womanly charms and the wondrous way she views her world. He becomes determined to break through the wall of silence surrounding her; to heal… and to be healed by Annie’s sweet song of love.

GoodreadsThe Story Graph

Trigger & Content Warnings:

  • Ableism and misogyny
  • Rape resulting in pregnancy
  • Forced marriage and parental abuse
  • Loss of hearing from fever
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Parable of the Sower by Octavia Butler

Parable of the Sower by Octavia Butler

Parable of the Sower by Octavia E. Butler book cover

In 2025, with the world descending into madness and anarchy, one woman begins a fateful journey toward a better future.

Lauren Olamina and her family live in one of the only safe neighborhoods remaining on the outskirts of Los Angeles. Behind the walls of their defended enclave, Lauren’s father, a preacher, and a handful of other citizens try to salvage what remains of a culture that has been destroyed by drugs, disease, war, and chronic water shortages. While her father tries to lead people on the righteous path, Lauren struggles with hyperempathy, a condition that makes her extraordinarily sensitive to the pain of others.

When fire destroys their compound, Lauren’s family is killed and she is forced out into a world that is fraught with danger. With a handful of other refugees, Lauren must make her way north to safety, along the way conceiving a revolutionary idea that may mean salvation for all mankind.

GoodreadsThe Story Graph

Trigger & Content Warnings:

  • Child sexual assault, sexual abuse and rape, including statutory rape
  • Abusive relationships, adult-minor relationships, arranged/forced/coerced marriage, domestic abuse, dubious consent, estrangement, parental abuse and neglect, physical abuse
  • Addiction, drug abuse
  • Blood and gore depiction, cannibalism, dead bodies and body parts, physical injuries
  • Death of a child, friend, parent/guardian and sibling, disappearance of a loved one, grief and loss depiction
  • Gun violence, knife violence, murder, police brutality
  • Bushfire, earthquake, home invasion, homelessness, sex-trafficking, child-trafficking and human-trafficking, slavery and indentured servitude
  • Poverty themes
  • Hunting

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The Secret Sky by Atia Abawi

The Secret Sky by Atia Abawi

The Seret Sky by Atia Abawi book cover

Fatima is a Hazara girl. She was raised to be obedient, to be dutiful, and to honour the traditions of her family, her village, and her religion. Samiullah is a Pashtun boy. He was raised to be a landowner, to increase his family’s power, and to defend the traditions of his tribe, his village, and his religion.

They were not meant to fall in love.

But they do.

GoodreadsThe Story Graph

Trigger & Content Warnings:

  • Racism, slut-shaming and terrorism
  • Forced and arranged marriages
  • Child abuse and physical abuse
  • Physical injuries and graphic burns
  • Murder
  • Poverty themes
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The Bear and the Nightingale by Katherine Arden

The Bear and the Nightingale by Katherine Arden

At the edge of the Russian wilderness, winter lasts most of the year and the snowdrifts grow taller than houses. But Vasilisa doesn’t mind—she spends the winter nights huddled around the embers of a fire with her beloved siblings, listening to her nurse’s fairy tales. Above all, she loves the chilling story of Frost, the blue-eyed winter demon, who appears in the frigid night to claim unwary souls. Wise Russians fear him, her nurse says, and honor the spirits of house and yard and forest that protect their homes from evil.

After Vasilisa’s mother dies, her father goes to Moscow and brings home a new wife. Fiercely devout, city-bred, Vasilisa’s new stepmother forbids her family from honoring the household spirits. The family acquiesces, but Vasilisa is frightened, sensing that more hinges upon their rituals than anyone knows.

And indeed, crops begin to fail, evil creatures of the forest creep nearer, and misfortune stalks the village. All the while, Vasilisa’s stepmother grows ever harsher in her determination to groom her rebellious stepdaughter for either marriage or confinement in a convent.

GoodreadsThe Story Graph

Trigger & Content Warnings:

  • Misogyny (theme)
  • Religious persecution (theme)
  • Ableism & ableist language
  • Rape (multiple, off-page), martial rape & sexual assault
  • Adult-minor relationship and forced arranged marriage
  • Physical child abuse
  • Suicide (self-sacrifice)
  • Pregnancy & death from childbirth
  • Abortion discussed
  • Alcohol consumption
  • Grief & loss depiction
  • Death of a wife & mother
  • Death of a father
  • Graphic animal death & hunting
  • War themes mentioned
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The Year of the Witching by Alexis Henderson

The Year of the Witching by Alexis Henderson

The daughter of a union with an outsider that cast her once-proud family into disgrace, Immanuelle does her best to worship the Father, follow Holy Protocol and lead a life of submission, devotion and absolute conformity, like all the women in the settlement.

But a chance mishap lures her into the forbidden Darkwood that surrounds Bethel – a place where the first prophet once pursued and killed four powerful witches. Their spirits are still walking there, and they bestow a gift on Immanuelle: the diary of her dead mother, who Immanuelle is shocked to learn once sought sanctuary in the wood.

Fascinated by secrets in the diary, Immanuelle finds herself struggling to understand how her mother could have consorted with the witches. But when she begins to learn grim truths about the Church and its history, she realises the true threat to Bethel is its own darkness. And if Bethel is to change, it must begin with her . . .

GoodreadsThe Story Graph

Trigger & Content Warnings:

  • Racism & colourism
  • Misogyny
  • Slut-shaming
  • Ableist language
  • Persecution for witchcraft
  • Physical, verbal & emotional child abuse
  • Sexual assault
  • Rape & statutory rape recounted
  • Paedophilia & child molestation recounted
  • Forced nonconsensual marriage*
  • Exile & ex-communication
  • Alcohol consumption
  • Suicide recounted
  • Self-harm & self-inflicted injuries
  • Pregnancy & child pregnancy (secondary character)
  • Death from childbirth (two on-page scenes), and mentions of miscarriage & stillbirth
  • Graphic blood depiction & menstruation discussed
  • Plague (multiple)
  • Seizures & stroke (side character)
  • Nonconsensual branding
  • Emesis
  • Death of a mother & father recounted
  • Death of a son recounted
  • Death of a best friend (on-page)
  • Strangulation
  • Drowning
  • Being burned alive
  • Earthquake
  • Imprisonment & captivity
  • Murder & attempted murder
  • Knife violence & stabbing
  • Animal death & sacrifice

Note: This book portrays a cult which uses its beliefs to justify abuse, torture, misogyny, racism & paedophilia, including the marriage, rape (‘bedding’) & impregnation of multiple children (not graphic or on-page, but mentioned & discussed by secondary characters).

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Cinderella is Dead by Kalynn Bayron

Cinderella is Dead by Kalynn Bayron

It’s 200 years since Cinderella found her prince, but the fairytale is over.

Sophia knows the story though, off by heart. Because every girl has to recite it daily, from when she’s tiny until the night she’s sent to the royal ball for choosing. And every girl knows that she has only one chance. For the lives of those not chosen by a man at the ball are forfeit.

But Sophia doesn’t want to be chosen – she’s in love with her best friend, Erin, and hates the idea of being traded like cattle. And when Sophia’s night at the ball goes horribly wrong, she must run for her life. Alone and terrified, she finds herself hiding in Cinderella’s tomb. And there she meets someone who will show her that she has the power to remake her world.

GoodreadsThe Story Graph

Trigger & Content Warnings:

  • Misogyny (central theme)
  • Racism
  • Queermisia, specfically lesbomisia & homomisia
  • Nonconsensual and coerced marriage of teenage girls to adult men (theme), including ‘corrective’ marriage & nonconsensual polygamy
  • Sexual assault (on-page) & sexual harassment
  • Physical & financial domestic abuse (on-page & off-page)
  • Child abuse
  • Implied suicide
  • Food deprivation mentioned
  • Blood & gore depiction
  • Grief & loss depiction
  • Death of a friend
  • Murder & attempted murder
  • Knife violence
  • Explosion
  • Imprisonment
  • Fire
  • Animal death & animal attack
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All That Entails

All That Entails by E.M. Hamill

A gender-fluid prince finds an unexpected ally in an arranged marriage with a transgender man.

Prince Darian is willing to give up his penchant for gowns when he must wed for the sake of the kingdom. However, his intended bride has a secret of their own. A marriage of convenience may bring something neither expected—acceptance, and all that entails.

GoodreadsThe Story Graph

Trigger & Content Warnings:

  • Ableism
  • Transmisia
  • Misgendering & deadnaming
  • Arranged marriage
  • Domestic abuse
  • Child abuse