This Golden Flame by Emily Victoria

This Golden Flame by Emily Victoria

Orphaned and forced to serve her country’s ruling group of scribes, Karis wants nothing more than to find her brother, long ago shipped away. But family bonds don’t matter to the Scriptorium, whose sole focus is unlocking the magic of an ancient automaton army.

In her search for her brother, Karis does the seemingly impossible—she awakens a hidden automaton. Intelligent, with a conscience of his own, Alix has no idea why he was made. Or why his father—their nation’s greatest traitor—once tried to destroy the automatons.

Suddenly, the Scriptorium isn’t just trying to control Karis; it’s hunting her. Together with Alix, Karis must find her brother…and the secret that’s held her country in its power for centuries.

GoodreadsThe Story Graph

Trigger & Content Warnings:

  • Amnesia
  • Nightmares
  • Nonconsensual branding & scars
  • Medical experimentation
  • Death of a mother & father recounted
  • Murder
  • Knife & sword violence
  • Explosion
  • Disappearance of a sibling
  • Kidnapping
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Ruin and Rising by Leigh Bardugo

Ruin and Rising by Leigh Bardugo

Ruin and Rising by Leigh Bardugo book cover

The Darkling rules Ravka from his shadow throne.

Now the nation’s fate rests with a broken Sun Summoner, a disgraced tracker, and the shattered remnants of a once-great magical army.

Deep in an ancient network of tunnels and caverns, a weakened Alina must submit to the dubious protection of the Apparat and the zealots who worship her as a Saint. Yet her plans lie elsewhere, with the hunt for the elusive firebird and the hope that an outlaw prince still survives.

Alina will have to forge new alliances and put aside old rivalries as she and Mal race to find the last of Morozova’s amplifiers. But as she begins to unravel the Darkling’s secrets, she reveals a past that will forever alter her understanding of the bond they share and the power she wields. The firebird is the one thing that stands between Ravka and destruction—and claiming it could cost Alina the very future she’s fighting for.

GoodreadsThe Story Graph

Trigger & Content Warnings:

  • Classism
  • Victim blaming
  • Facial difference discrimination
  • Persecution for witchcraft (mentioned)
  • Rape and sexual assault (recounted)
  • Parental abandonment (implied)
  • Trauma and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
  • Suicide attempt as self-sacrifice (recounted)
  • Alcohol consumption
  • Blood and gore depiction, dead bodies, eyeball trauma and branding
  • Physical sickness and scars
  • Death of a brother, son, girlfriend and friend (recounted)
  • Murder and attempted murder
  • Explosion, knife violence, physical assault and poisoning
  • Captivity, blackmail, hostage situation, exile and banishment
  • War themes
  • Animal death and bodies (recounted), hunting
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The Project by Courtney Summers

The Project by Courtney Summers

The Project by Courtney Summers book cover

Lo Denham is used to being on her own. After her parents died, Lo’s sister, Bea, joined The Unity Project, leaving Lo in the care of their great aunt. Thanks to its extensive charitable work and community outreach, The Unity Project has won the hearts and minds of most in the Upstate New York region, but Lo knows there’s more to the group than meets the eye. She’s spent the last six years of her life trying—and failing—to prove it.

When a man shows up at the magazine Lo works for claiming The Unity Project killed his son, Lo sees the perfect opportunity to expose the group and reunite with Bea once and for all. When her investigation puts her in the direct path of its leader, Lev Warren and as Lo delves deeper into The Project, the lives of its members it upends everything she thought she knew about her sister, herself, cults, and the world around her—to the point she can no longer tell what’s real or true. Lo never thought she could afford to believe in Lev Warren . . . but now she doesn’t know if she can afford not to.

GoodreadsThe Story Graph

Trigger & Content Warnings:

  • Grooming and incestuous child sexual abuse (implied)
  • Parental abuse recounted, physical abuse and gaslighting
  • Panic attack/s and amnesia
  • Suicide and self-harm
  • Death of a parent
  • Branding
  • Car crash and cults
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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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The Impossible Contract

The Impossible Contract by K.A. Doore

Thana has a huge reputation to live up to as daughter of the Serpent, who rules over Ghadid’s secret clan of assassins. Opportunity to prove herself arrives when Thana accepts her first contract on Heru, a dangerous foreign diplomat with the ability to bind a person’s soul under his control.

She may be in over her head, especially when Heru is targeted by a rival sorcerer who sends hordes of the undead to attack them both. When Heru flees, Thana has no choice than to pursue him across the sands to the Empire that intends to capture Ghadid inside its iron grip.

A stranger in a strange city, Thana’s only ally is Mo, a healer who may be too noble for her own good. Meanwhile, otherworldly and political dangers lurk around every corner, and even more sinister plans are uncovered which could lead to worldwide devastation. Can Thana rise to the challenge—even if it means facing off against an ancient evil?

GoodreadsThe Story Graph

Trigger & Content Warnings:

  • Racism, slavery & colonialism themes
  • Sex work shaming & slurs
  • Self-injury for blood magic
  • Graphic blood & gore depiction, including dead bodies
  • Physical injuries & illness
  • Emesis
  • Nonconsensual branding
  • Murder & attempted murder (central theme)
  • Poisoning (multiple scenes)
  • Knife violence
  • Graphic strangulation & garrotting (multiple scenes)
  • Severe dehydration depiction & water scarcity
  • Graphic fire & result loss of property
  • Animal murder discussed & animal death
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