Girl, Serpent, Thorn by Melissa Bashardoust

Girl, Serpent, Thorn by Melissa Bashardoust

There was and there was not, as all stories begin, a princess cursed to be poisonous to the touch. But for Soraya, who has lived her life hidden away, apart from her family, safe only in her gardens, it’s not just a story.

As the day of her twin brother’s wedding approaches, Soraya must decide if she’s willing to step outside of the shadows for the first time. Below in the dungeon is a demon who holds knowledge that she craves, the answer to her freedom. And above is a young man who isn’t afraid of her, whose eyes linger not with fear, but with an understanding of who she is beneath the poison.

GoodreadsThe Story Graph

Trigger & Content Warnings:

  • Drugging
  • Blood & gore depiction
  • Death of a father mentioned
  • Murder
  • Torture mentioned
  • Poisoning
  • Kidnapping
  • Imprisonment
  • War themes
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The Good Girls by Claire Eliza Bartlett

The Good Girls by Claire Eliza Bartlett

The troublemaker. The overachiever. The cheer captain. The dead girl. Like every high school in America, Jefferson-Lorne High contains all of the above.

After the shocking murder of senior Emma Baines, three of her classmates are at the top of the suspect list: Claude, the notorious partier; Avery, the head cheerleader; and Gwen, the would-be valedictorian.

Everyone has a label, whether they like it or not–and Emma was always known as a good girl. But appearances are never what they seem. And the truth behind what really happened to Emma may just be lying in plain sight. As long-buried secrets come to light, the clock is ticking to find Emma’s killer–before another good girl goes down.

GoodreadsThe Story Graph

Trigger & Content Warnings:

  • Attempted coerced marriage
  • Staged suicide
  • Emesis
  • Murder mentioned
  • Poisoning
  • Drowning
  • War themes
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The Winter Duke by Claire Eliza Bartlett

The Winter Duke by Claire Eliza Bartlett

When Ekata’s brother is finally named heir, there will be nothing to keep her at home in Kylma Above with her murderous family. Not her books or science experiments, not her family’s icy castle atop a frozen lake, not even the tantalizingly close Kylma Below, a mesmerizing underwater kingdom that provides her family with magic. But just as escape is within reach, her parents and twelve siblings fall under a strange sleeping sickness.

In the space of a single night, Ekata inherits the title of duke, her brother’s warrior bride, and ever-encroaching challengers from without—and within—her own ministry. Nothing has prepared Ekata for diplomacy, for war, for love…or for a crown she has never wanted.

GoodreadsThe Story Graph

Trigger & Content Warnings:

  • Attempted coerced marriage
  • Staged suicide
  • Emesis
  • Murder mentioned
  • Poisoning
  • Drowning
  • War themes
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The Demon Prince by Ann Aguirre

The Demon Prince by Ann Aguirre

Alastor Vega is the sole challenger in a brutal battle for succession. Against all odds, he must stop his power-mad brother, Tycho, before he destroys the Numina. Though he never wanted to rule, he must claim the throne and liberate his people, or the consequences will be calamitous. Yet only the surprising support of a beautiful Animari doctor gives him the fortitude to fight.

Dr. Sheyla Halek has always been more interested in research than personal contact, but family ties—and the needs of her pride—keep her in Ash Valley, deferring her dreams. Brusque and abrasive at the best of times, she never expected to bond with anyone, let alone Golgoth royalty. Strangely, Alastor seems to need her as no one has before, and not only for her medical skills.

GoodreadsThe Story Graph

Trigger & Content Warnings:

  • Suicidal ideation
  • Physical injury
  • Chronic illness
  • Hospitalisation
  • Murder & attempted murder
  • Poisoning
  • Kidnapping
  • War themes
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Kingdom of Souls by Rena Barron

Kingdom of Souls by Rena Barron 

Arrah is a young woman from a long line of the most powerful witch doctors in the land. But she fails at magic, fails to call upon the ancestors and can’t even cast the simplest curse.

Shame and disappointment dog her.

When strange premonitions befall her family and children in the kingdom begin to disappear, Arrah undergoes the dangerous and scorned process of selling years of her life for magic. This borrowed power reveals a nightmarish betrayal and a danger beyond what she could have imagined. Now Arrah must find a way to master magic, or at least buy it, in order to save herself and everything she holds dear.

GoodreadsThe Story Graph

Trigger & Content Warnings:

  • Parental abuse & neglect
  • Suicide
  • Self harm
  • Death of children
  • Blood depiction
  • Murder & mass murder
  • Poisoning
  • Kidnapping
  • Loss of autonomy (mind control)
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The Serpent’s Curse by Tony Abbott

The Serpent’s Curse by Tony Abbott

Wade, Lily, Darrell, and Becca may have found the Copernicus Legacy’s first relic—a beautiful blue stone named after the constellation Vela—but they have lost much more than they have gained. Darrell’s mother, Sara, has been kidnapped by Galina Krause, the conniving leader of the Teutonic Order, who hopes that the renowned academic will lead her and her minions to the next relic.

That means the stakes couldn’t be higher for the Kaplan kids, who trek across the cold wilderness of Siberia, along the winding canals of Venice, and through the streets of Moscow’s Red Square in search of their beloved family member and the sought-after relic called the Serpens… Read more.

GoodreadsThe Story Graph

Trigger & Content Warnings:

  • Drugging
  • Medical experimentation mentioned
  • Beheading mentioned
  • Death of an uncle recounted
  • Murder
  • Gun violence
  • Stabbing
  • Explosion
  • Poisoning
  • Car accident
  • Kidnapping
  • Fire
  • Mass death in Siberian labour camps mentioned
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Outlander by Diana Gabaldon

Outlander by Diana Gabaldon

The year is 1945. Claire Randall, a former combat nurse, is just back from the war and reunited with her husband on a second honeymoon when she walks through a standing stone in one of the ancient circles that dot the British Isles. Suddenly she is a Sassenach—an “outlander”—in a Scotland torn by war and raiding border clans in the year of Our Lord…1743.

Hurled back in time by forces she cannot understand, Claire is catapulted into the intrigues of lairds and spies that may threaten her life, and shatter her heart. For here James Fraser, a gallant young Scots warrior, shows her a love so absolute that Claire becomes a woman torn between fidelity and desire—and between two vastly different men in two irreconcilable lives.

GoodreadsThe Story Graph

Trigger & Content Warnings:

  • Cheating mentioned
  • Child abuse, off-page
  • Graphic rape & attempted rape
  • Sexual assault
  • Intimate partner abuse
  • Suicide
  • Suicidal ideation
  • Murder & attempted murder
  • Knife violence
  • Poisoning
  • Torture
  • Animal attack
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Flame in the Mist by Renée Ahdieh

Flame in the Mist by Renée Ahdieh

The only daughter of a prominent samurai, Mariko has always known she’d been raised for one purpose and one purpose only: to marry. Never mind her cunning, which rivals that of her twin brother, Kenshin, or her skills as an accomplished alchemist. Since Mariko was not born a boy, her fate was sealed the moment she drew her first breath.

So, at just seventeen years old, Mariko is sent to the imperial palace to meet her betrothed, a man she did not choose, for the very first time. But the journey is cut short when Mariko’s convoy is viciously attacked by the Black Clan, a dangerous group of bandits who’ve been hired to kill Mariko before she reaches the palace… Read more.

GoodreadsThe Story Graph

Trigger & Content Warnings:

  • Alcohol consumption
  • Drugging
  • Seppuku*
  • Decapitation
  • Murder & attempted murder
  • Knife & sword violence
  • Poisoning
  • Fire
  • Battle scenes

* Note : Ritual samurai suicide.

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Sorcery of Thorns by Margaret Rogerson

Sorcery of Thorns by Margaret Rogerson

All sorcerers are evil. Elisabeth has known that as long as she has known anything. Raised as a foundling in one of Austermeer’s Great Libraries, Elisabeth has grown up among the tools of sorcery—magical grimoires that whisper on shelves and rattle beneath iron chains. If provoked, they transform into grotesque monsters of ink and leather. She hopes to become a warden, charged with protecting the kingdom from their power.

Then an act of sabotage releases the library’s most dangerous grimoire. Elisabeth’s desperate intervention implicates her in the crime, and she is torn from her home to face justice in the capital. With no one to turn to but her sworn enemy, the sorcerer Nathaniel Thorn… Read more.

GoodreadsThe Story Graph

Trigger & Content Warnings:

  • Ableism
  • Misogyny
  • Sexual harassment
  • Self harm
  • Nightmares
  • Blood depiction
  • Dead bodies
  • Emesis
  • Nonconsensual psychiatric hospitalisation
  • Grief & loss depiction
  • Death of a friend
  • Death of a brother recounted
  • Death of a mother, father & guardian recounted
  • Murder
  • Torture
  • Physical assault
  • Explosion
  • Poisoning
  • Loss of autonomy (mind control)
  • Imprisonment
  • Homelessness
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Sweep of the Blade by Ilona Andrews

Sweep of the Blade by Ilona Andrews

Maud Demille is a daughter of Innkeepers—a special group who provide ‘lodging’ to other-planetary visitors—so she knows that a simple life isn’t in the cards. But even Maud could never have anticipated what Fate would throw at her.

Once a wife to a powerful vampire knight, Maud and her young daughter, Helen, were exiled with him for his treachery to the desolate, savage planet of Karhari. Karhari killed her husband, and Maud—completely abandoned by his family—has spent over a year avenging his debts. Rescued by her sister Dina, she’s sworn off all things vampire… Read more.

GoodreadsThe Story Graph

Trigger & Content Warnings:

  • Blood & gore depiction
  • Death of a spouse recounted
  • Attempted murder of a child
  • Explosions
  • Poisoning
  • War themes
  • Animal attack
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