Assassin’s Apprentice by Robin Hobb

Assassin’s Apprentice by Robin Hobb

In a faraway land where members of the royal family are named for the virtues they embody, one young boy will become a walking enigma.

Born on the wrong side of the sheets, Fitz, son of Chivalry Farseer, is a royal bastard, cast out into the world, friendless and lonely. Only his magical link with animals – the old art known as the Wit – gives him solace and companionship. But the Wit, if used too often, is a perilous magic, and one abhorred by the nobility.

So when Fitz is finally adopted into the royal household, he must give up his old ways and embrace a new life of weaponry, scribing, courtly manners; and how to kill a man secretly, as he trains to become a royal assassin.

GoodreadsThe Story Graph

Trigger & Content Warnings:

  • Ableism
  • Misogyny
  • Adult-minor relationship discussed
  • Domestic abuse
  • Parental abandonment & child neglect
  • Child abuse
  • Suicide & attempted suicide
  • Suicidal ideation
  • Depression
  • Alcoholism
  • Alcohol consumption
  • Recreational drug use
  • Infertility mentioned
  • Emesis
  • Physical injuries
  • Death of a father
  • Death of a husband
  • Murder & attempted murder
  • Poisoning
  • Torture
  • Whipping
  • War themes
  • Graphic animal death, including multiple death of pet dogs
  • Animal cruelty & abuse
  • Hunting
  • Animal attack mentioned
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Not a Drop to Drink by Mindy McGinnis

Not a Drop to Drink by Mindy McGinnis

Not a Drop to Drink by Mindy McGinnis book cover

Lynn knows every threat to her pond: drought, a snowless winter, coyotes, and, most importantly, people looking for a drink. She makes sure anyone who comes near the pond leaves thirsty, or doesn’t leave at all.

Confident in her own abilities, Lynn has no use for the world beyond the nearby fields and forest. Having a life means dedicating it to survival, and the constant work of gathering wood and water. Having a pond requires the fortitude to protect it, something Mother taught her well during their quiet hours on the rooftop, rifles in hand.

But wisps of smoke on the horizon mean one thing: strangers. The mysterious footprints by the pond, nighttime threats, and gunshots make it all too clear Lynn has exactly what they want, and they won’t stop until they get it….

GoodreadsThe Story Graph

Trigger & Content Warnings:

  • Ableist language
  • Rape, implied and recounted
  • Attempted rape
  • Forced sex work, off-page
  • Child abuse
  • Toxic relationship
  • Intimate partner violence, implied and recounted
  • Suicide, on-page
  • Suicidal ideation
  • Medicinal drug use
  • Pregnancy
  • Childbirth complications, on-page
  • Stillbirth, on-page
  • Blood and gore depiction
  • Dead bodies
  • Graphic physical injuries
  • Physical illness, specifically cholera, seizures and fever
  • Field surgery
  • Serious illness of a loved one
  • Syringes and needles
  • Grief depiction
  • Death of a mother
  • Death of a brother
  • Death of a husband
  • Death of a father
  • Murder and attempted murder
  • Gun and knife violence
  • Torture
  • Hostage situation
  • Kidnapping
  • Blackmail
  • Fire
  • Drought
  • Death from stavation
  • Death from dehydration
  • Death from exposure
  • Mild war themes
  • Ex-soldier, side-character
  • Animal death, on-page
  • Death of a pet
  • Animal cruelty
  • Hunting
  • Animal dead bodies
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Asylum by Patrick McGrath

Asylum by Patrick McGrath

In the summer of 1959 Stella Raphael joins her psychiatrist husband, Max, at his new posting–a maximum-security hospital for the criminally insane. Beautiful and headstrong, Stella soon falls under the spell of Edgar Stark, a brilliant and magnetic sculptor who has been confined to the hospital for murdering his wife in a psychotic rage.

But Stella’s knowledge of Edgar’s crime is no hindrance to the volcanic attraction that ensues–a passion that will consume Stella’s sanity and destroy her and the lives of those around her.

GoodreadsThe Story Graph

Trigger & Content Warnings:

  • Cheating
  • Psychosis
  • Psychiatric hospitalisation
  • Death of a wife
  • Murder
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Dusk or Dark or Dawn or Day by Seanan McGuire

Dusk or Dark or Dawn or Day by Seanan McGuire

When her sister Patty died, Jenna blamed herself. When Jenna died, she blamed herself for that, too. Unfortunately Jenna died too soon. Living or dead, every soul is promised a certain amount of time, and when Jenna passed she found a heavy debt of time in her record. Unwilling to simply steal that time from the living, Jenna earns every day she leeches with volunteer work at a suicide prevention hotline.

But something has come for the ghosts of New York, something beyond reason, beyond death, beyond hope; something that can bind ghosts to mirrors and make them do its bidding. Only Jenna stands in its way.

GoodreadsThe Story Graph

Trigger & Content Warnings:

  • Suicide*
  • Suicidal ideation*
  • Grief depiction
  • Death themes
  • Death of a sister
  • Death of a husband
  • Death of a daughter
  • Murder
  • Loss of autonomy
  • Death of pet/s, specifically cats

*Main character works at a suicide hotline

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Down Among the Sticks and Bones by Seanan McGuire

Down Among the Sticks and Bones by Seanan McGuire

Down Among the Sticks and Bones by Seanan McGuire book cover

Twin sisters Jack and Jill were seventeen when they found their way home and were packed off to Eleanor West’s Home for Wayward Children.

This is the story of what happened first…

Jacqueline was her mother’s perfect daughter—polite and quiet, always dressed as a princess. If her mother was sometimes a little strict, it’s because crafting the perfect daughter takes discipline.

Jillian was her father’s perfect daughter—adventurous, thrill-seeking, and a bit of a tom-boy. He really would have preferred a son, but you work with what you’ve got.

They were five when they learned that grown-ups can’t be trusted.

They were twelve when they walked down the impossible staircase and discovered that the pretense of love can never be enough to prepare you a life filled with magic in a land filled with mad scientists and death and choices.

GoodreadsThe Story Graph

Trigger & Content Warnings:

  • Fatmisia
  • Death of queer characters/ “bury your gays” trope
  • Forced gender roles, central theme
  • Parental neglect
  • Mysophobia
  • Pregnancy discussed
  • Blood & gore depiction
  • Vampirism & blood drinking
  • Dead bodies
  • Death of a girlfriend, on-page
  • Murder
  • Lightning & storms mentioned
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Come Tumbling Down by Seanan McGuire

Come Tumbling Down by Seanan McGuire

Come Tumbling Down by Seanan McGuire book cover

The fifth installment in Seanan McGuire’s award-winning, bestselling Wayward Children series, Come Tumbling Down picks up the threads left dangling by Every Heart a Doorway and Down Among the Sticks and Bones

When Jack left Eleanor West’s School for Wayward Children she was carrying the body of her deliciously deranged sister–whom she had recently murdered in a fit of righteous justice–back to their home on the Moors.

But death in their adopted world isn’t always as permanent as it is here, and when Jack is herself carried back into the school, it becomes clear that something has happened to her. Something terrible. Something of which only the maddest of scientists could conceive. Something only her friends are equipped to help her overcome.

Eleanor West’s “No Quests” rule is about to be broken.

Again.

GoodreadsThe Story Graph

Trigger & Content Warnings:

  • Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD)
  • Mysophobia
  • Dysphoria
  • Minor blood & gore depiction
  • Dead bodies
  • Resurrection, on-page
  • Vampirism & blood drinking mentioned
  • Medical experiments with corerced consent recounted
  • Cancer mentioned
  • Death of a girlfriend recounted
  • Death of a sister recounted
  • Death of a mentor, off-the-page
  • Murder recounted
  • Lightning storm
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The Empress of Salt and Fortune by Nghi Vo

The Empress of Salt & Fortune by Nghi Vo

A young royal from the far north is sent south for a political marriage. Alone and sometimes reviled, she has only her servants on her side. This evocative debut chronicles her rise to power through the eyes of her handmaiden, at once feminist high fantasy and a thrilling indictment of monarchy.

GoodreadsThe Story Graph

Trigger & Content Warnings:

  • Body shaming
  • Misogyny
  • Parental abandonment
  • Arranged marriage
  • Suicide discussed
  • Pregnancy & childbirth mentioned
  • Nonconsensual & consensual adoption
  • Emesis mentioned
  • Grief & loss depiction
  • Death of a partner & wife mentioned
  • Murder
  • Exile
  • War themes, including rebellion & a political coup

To Love and to Loathe by Martha Waters

To Love & to Loathe by Martha Waters

The widowed Diana, Lady Templeton and Jeremy, Marquess of Willingham are infamous among English high society as much for their sharp-tongued bickering as their flirtation. One evening, an argument at a ball turns into a serious wager: Jeremy will marry within the year or Diana will forfeit one hundred pounds. So shortly after, just before a fortnight-long house party at Elderwild, Jeremy’s country estate, Diana is shocked when Jeremy appears at her home with a very different kind of proposition.

After his latest mistress unfavorably criticized his skills in the bedroom, Jeremy is looking for reassurance, so he has gone to the only woman he trusts to be totally truthful. He suggests that they embark on a brief affair while at the house party—Jeremy can receive an honest critique of his bedroom skills and widowed Diana can use the gossip to signal to other gentlemen that she is interested in taking a lover.

Diana thinks taking him up on his counter-proposal can only help her win her wager. With her in the bedroom and Jeremy’s marriage-minded grandmother, the formidable Dowager Marchioness of Willingham, helping to find suitable matches among the eligible ladies at Elderwild, Diana is confident her victory is assured. But while they’re focused on winning wagers, they stand to lose their own hearts.

GoodreadsThe Story Graph

Trigger & Content Warnings:

  • Cheating mentioned
  • Gambling addiction mentioned
  • Death of a sibling recounted
  • Death of a husband recounted
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The Wicked Deep by Shea Ernshaw

The Wicked Deep by Shea Ernshaw

The Wicked Deep by Shea Ernshaw book cover

Where, two centuries ago, three sisters were sentenced to death for witchery. Stones were tied to their ankles and they were drowned in the deep waters surrounding the town.

Now, for a brief time each summer, the sisters return, stealing the bodies of three weak-hearted girls so that they may seek their revenge, luring boys into the harbor and pulling them under.

Like many locals, seventeen-year-old Penny Talbot has accepted the fate of the town. But this year, on the eve of the sisters’ return, a boy named Bo Carter arrives; unaware of the danger he has just stumbled into.

Mistrust and lies spread quickly through the salty, rain-soaked streets. The townspeople turn against one another. Penny and Bo suspect each other of hiding secrets. And death comes swiftly to those who cannot resist the call of the sisters.

But only Penny sees what others cannot. And she will be forced to choose: save Bo, or save herself.

GoodreadsThe Story Graph

Trigger & Content Warnings:

  • Ableist language
  • Slut-shaming
  • Misogyny
  • Persecution for witchcraft
  • Sexual assault, specifically non-consensual kiss
  • Rape by coercion*
  • Unspecified mental health/illness
  • Suicide discussed and on-page
  • Self-sacrifice
  • Alcohol consumption
  • Physical injuries mentioned
  • Dead bodies
  • Grief depiction
  • Death of a brother
  • Death of a father
  • Death of a husband
  • Death of a fiance
  • Death of a son
  • Murder
  • Kidnapping
  • Drowning, central theme, multiple on-page occurrences and recounted scenes
  • Fire

*Main character lies to her love interest about her identity, leading them to have sex (on-page)

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In a Dark, Dark Wood by Ruth Ware

In a Dark, Dark Wood by Ruth Ware

Nora hasn’t seen Clare for ten years. Not since Nora walked out of school one day and never went back.

Until, out of the blue, an invitation to Clare’s hen do arrives. Is this a chance for Nora to finally put her past behind her?

But something goes wrong. Very wrong.

Some things can’t stay secret for ever.

GoodreadsThe Story Graph

Trigger & Content Warnings:

  • Suicide & attempted suicide
  • Alcohol consumption
  • Recreational drug use
  • Overdose
  • Nonconsensual drugging
  • Teen pregnancy recounted
  • Abortion recounted
  • Hospital
  • Blood depiction & physical injuries
  • Serious injury to a loved one
  • Forced hospitalisation
  • Scars
  • Grief & loss depiction
  • Death of a friend
  • Death of a fiancé
  • Murder
  • Gun violence
  • Car accident
  • Animal hunting mentioned

*Note: Adult-minor relationship & statutory rape briefly mentioned.

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