Uprooted by Naomi Novik

Uprooted by Naomi Novik

Agnieszka loves her valley home, her quiet village, the forests and the bright shining river. But the corrupted wood stands on the border, full of malevolent power, and its shadow lies over her life.

Her people rely on the cold, ambitious wizard, known only as the Dragon, to keep the wood’s powers at bay. But he demands a terrible price for his help: one young woman must be handed over to serve him for ten years, a fate almost as terrible as being lost to the wood.

The next choosing is fast approaching, and Agnieszka is afraid. She knows – everyone knows – that the Dragon will take beautiful, graceful, brave Kasia, her dearest friend in the world. There is no way to save her. But no one can predict how or why the Dragon chooses a girl and when he comes, it is not Kasia he will take with him…

GoodreadsThe Story Graph

Trigger & Content Warnings:

  • Misogyny
  • Attempted rape (on-page, detailed)
  • Cheating recounted
  • Adult-minor relationship*
  • Alcohol consumption
  • Pregnancy mentioned
  • Body horror
  • Minor physical injuries (burns)
  • Death of a brother
  • Death of a mother & father mentioned
  • Murder
  • Knife violence
  • Kidnapping
  • Fire
  • War themes & military violence
  • Graphic animal death
  • Animal attack

*Note: The main romance is between a seventeen-year-old girl and an immortal 100-(plus)-year-old man.

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This Dark Endeavour by Kenneth Oppel

This Dark Endeavour by Kenneth Oppel

Victor and Konrad are the twin brothers Frankenstein. They are nearly inseparable. Growing up, their lives are filled with imaginary adventures… until the day their adventures turn all too real.

They stumble upon the Dark Library and discover secret books of alchemy and ancient remedies. Father forbids them from ever entering the room again, but when Konrad falls gravely ill, Victor is drawn back to the Dark Library where he uncovers an ancient formula for the Elixir of Life.

Determined to save Konrad, Victor, along with his beautiful cousin Elizabeth and friend Henry, scale the highest trees in Strumwald, dive into the deepest lakes, and even make an unthinkable sacrifice in their quest for the elixir’s ingredients. And as if their task was not complicated enough, a new realm of danger—that of illicit love—threatens to end the ordeal in tragedy.

GoodreadsThe Story Graph

Trigger & Content Warnings:

  • Misogyny
  • Ableism, including the Disabled Villain trope
  • Sexual assault*
  • Incest*
  • Parental abandonment & child neglect mentioned
  • Serious illness of a child
  • Medical treatment & procedures, including consensual amputation
  • Needles
  • Emesis
  • Death of a brother
  • Animal death
  • Animal attack

*Note: There are two on-page sexual assault scenes, including one where the main character pretends to be his identical twin to trick his brother’s girlfriend into kissing him, and another where he forces a kiss on her. The romance subplot involves a love triangle between the two Frankenstein twins and their cousin.

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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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In An Absent Dream by Seanan McGuire

In An Absent Dream by Seanan McGuire

In An Absent Dream by Seanan McGuire book cover

This fourth entry and prequel tells the story of Lundy, a very serious young girl who would rather study and dream than become a respectable housewife and live up to the expectations of the world around her. As well she should.

When she finds a doorway to a world founded on logic and reason, riddles and lies, she thinks she’s found her paradise. Alas, everything costs at the goblin market, and when her time there is drawing to a close, she makes the kind of bargain that never plays out well. 

GoodreadsThe Story Graph

Trigger & Content Warnings:

  • Misogyny
  • Domestic abuse
  • Psychological abuse
  • Nonconsensual abortion
  • Child pregnancy implied
  • Death of a loved one
  • Battle scenes mentioned
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Every Heart a Doorway by Seanan McGuire

Every Heart a Doorway by Seanan McGuire

Ever Heart a Doorway by Seanan McGuire book cover

Children have always disappeared under the right conditions; slipping through the shadows under a bed or at the back of a wardrobe, tumbling down rabbit holes and into old wells, and emerging somewhere… else.

But magical lands have little need for used-up miracle children.

Nancy tumbled once, but now she’s back. The things she’s experienced… they change a person. The children under Miss West’s care understand all too well. And each of them is seeking a way back to their own fantasy world.

But Nancy’s arrival marks a change at the Home. There’s a darkness just around each corner, and when tragedy strikes, it’s up to Nancy and her new-found schoolmates to get to the heart of the matter.

No matter the cost. 

GoodreadsThe Story Graph

Trigger & Content Warnings:

  • Transmisia
  • Misgendering
  • Deadnaming
  • Acemisia
  • Ableist language
  • Misogyny
  • Dieting mentioned
  • Blood and gore depiction
  • Dead bodies
  • Graphic anatomy descriptions
  • Death of a parent
  • Death of a friend
  • Death of a teacher
  • Murder
  • Hostage situation
  • Animal death mentioned
  • Bullying
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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

The Forbidden Orchid by Sharon Biggs Waller

The Forbidden Orchid by Sharon Biggs Waller

Staid, responsible Elodie Buchanan is the eldest of ten sisters living in a small English market town in 1861. The girls barely know their father, a plant hunter usually off adventuring through China. Then disaster strikes: Mr. Buchanan reneges on his contract to collect an extremely rare and valuable orchid. He will be thrown into debtors’ prison while his daughters are sent to the orphanage and the workhouse.

Elodie can’t stand by and see her family destroyed, so she persuades her father to return to China once more to try to hunt down the flower—only this time, Elodie goes with him. She has never before left her village, but what starts as fear turns to wonder as she adapts to seafaring life aboard the tea clipper The Osprey. But now, even if she can find the orchid, how can she ever go back to being the staid, responsible Elodie that everybody needs?

GoodreadsThe Story Graph

Trigger & Content Warnings:

  • Misogyny
  • Racism
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Girls on the Verge by Sharon Biggs Waller

Girls on the Verge by Sharon Biggs Waller

Camille couldn’t be having a better summer. But on the very night she learns she got into a prestigious theater program, she also finds out she’s pregnant. She definitely can’t tell her parents. And her best friend, Bea, doesn’t agree with the decision Camille has made.

Camille is forced to try to solve her problem alone . . . and the system is very much working against her. At her most vulnerable, Camille reaches out to Annabelle Ponsonby, a girl she only barely knows from the theater. Happily, Annabelle agrees to drive her wherever she needs to go. And in a last-minute change of heart, Bea decides to come with.

GoodreadsThe Story Graph

Trigger & Content Warnings:

  • Ableism & ableist language
  • Slut shaming
  • Misogyny
  • Abortion & anti-abortion rhetoric (theme)
  • Car accident
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A Mad, Wicked Folly by Sharon Biggs Waller

A Mad, Wicked Folly by Sharon Biggs Waller

Welcome to the world of the fabulously wealthy in London, 1909, where dresses and houses are overwhelmingly opulent, social class means everything, and women are taught to be nothing more than wives and mothers. Into this world comes seventeen-year-old Victoria Darling, who wants only to be an artist—a nearly impossible dream for a girl.

After Vicky poses nude for her illicit art class, she is expelled from her French finishing school. Shamed and scandalized, her parents try to marry her off to the wealthy Edmund Carrick-Humphrey. But Vicky has other things on her mind: her clandestine application to the Royal College of Art; her participation in the suffragette movement; and her growing attraction to a working-class boy. As the world of debutante balls, corsets, and high society obligations closes in around her, Vicky is torn. Just how much is she willing to sacrifice to pursue her dreams?

GoodreadsThe Story Graph

Trigger & Content Warnings:

  • Classism
  • Misogyny
  • Arranged marriage
  • Cheating
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Lover Awakened by JR Ward

Lover Awakened by J.R. Ward

A former blood slave, the vampire Zsadist still bears the scars from a past filled with suffering and humiliation. Renowned for his unquenchable fury and sinister deeds, he is a savage feared by humans and vampires alike. Anger is his only companion, and terror is his only passion—until he rescues a beautiful aristocrat from the evil Lessening Society.

Bella is instantly entranced by the seething power Zsadist possesses. But even as their desire for one another begins to overtake them both, Zsadist’s thirst for vengeance against Bella’s tormentors drives him to the brink of madness. Now, Bella must help her lover overcome the wounds of his tortured past, and find a future with her… 

GoodreadsThe Story Graph

Trigger & Content Warnings:

  • Misogyny
  • Slavery & sex slavery
  • Rape
  • Domestic violence recounted
  • Nonconsensual drugging
  • Pregnancy
  • Blood depiction, including blood-drinking
  • Kidnapping & captivity
  • Torture
  • Murder
  • Gun violence
  • Whipping
  • Bullying
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