Three book covers on a starry nighttime background

Owls in folklore and fantasy: New science fiction and fantasy

“Murder owls are extreme,” Jude said. “What’s more extreme than murder owls?”

Aimee Pokwatka, The parliament

Welcome to our latest selection of newly acquired fantasy and science fiction titles. There is a rich abundance of scintillating and gripping titles on offer this month, but the title that really caught our eye was The parliament by Aimee Pokwatka, a newly released fantasy novel about the deep original force of nature as especially expressed by owls. Indeed, the book has been described as The Birds meets The Princess Bride.

Owls have played an important part in myths, traditions and folklore across many cultures around the world, and continue to do so to this day. Owls feature in Mayan, Celtic and Zulu myths and stories to name just a few, and of course, closer to home, the ruru is a powerful figure in Māori myths and traditions. Mythic owls seem to come in many guises but are often linked to the mysterious spiritual realms and vary between being either good or bad omens and either benevolent creatures or more malevolent in nature.

It is perhaps their prominent role in many of the World’s mythologies that has led them to be such popular inclusions in many fictional works. Just a few of the most notable fictional Owls include Archimedes in The sword in the stone, Hedwig in the Harry Potter Series, and of course Owl in the Winnie the Pooh books. To this rich and noble fictional tradition, Aimee Pokwatka adds her own voice and story — have a read below and reserve your copy today!

Our other top picks in this month’s selection can be viewed below:

The parliament / Pokwatka, Aimee
“When tens of thousands of owls descend on her hometown library, rending and tearing at anyone foolish enough to step outside, Madigan Purdy, tasked with keeping her students safe, seeks inspiration from her favorite childhood book, The Silent Queen, to find a solution to their dilemma.” (Adapted from Catalogue)

Faebound / El-Arifi, Saara
“Yeeran was born on the battlefield, has lived on the battlefield, and one day, she knows, she’ll die on the battlefield. As a warrior in the elven army, Yeeran has known nothing but violence her whole life. Her sister, Lettle, is trying to make a living as a diviner, seeking prophecies of a better future. When a fatal mistake leads to Yeeran’s exile from the Elven Lands, both sisters are forced into the terrifying wilderness beyond their borders. There they encounter the impossible: the fae court. The fae haven’t been seen for a millennium. But now Yeeran and Lettle are thrust into their seductive world, torn among their loyalties to each other, their elven homeland, and their hearts.” (Adapted from Catalogue)
Also available as an eBook – Faebound, by Saara El-Arifi.

Emily Wilde’s map of the Otherlands : a novel / Fawcett, Heather
“When mysterious faeries from other realms appear at her university, curmudgeonly professor Emily Wilde must uncover their secrets before it’s too late in this second installment of the Emily Wilde series” (Adapted from Catalogue)

Beautyland / Bertino, Marie-Helene
“At the moment when Voyager 1 is launched into space carrying its famous golden record, a baby of unusual perception is born to a single mother in Philadelphia. Adina Giorno is tiny and jaundiced, but reaches for warmth and light. As a child, she recognizes that she is different; she also possesses knowledge of a faraway planet. The arrival of a fax machine enables her to contact her extraterrestrial relatives, beings who have sent her to report on the oddities of earthlings. For years, as she moves through the world and makes a life for herself among humans, she dispatches transmissions on the terrors and surprising joys of their existence. But at a precarious moment, a beloved friend urges Adina to share her messages with the world. Is there a chance she is not alone?” (Adapted from Catalogue)

A quantum love story : a novel / Chen, Mike
“Grieving her best friend’s recent death, neuroscientist Mariana Pineda’s ready to give up everything to start anew. Even her career — after one last week consulting at a top secret particle accelerator. Except the strangest thing happens: a man stops her… and claims they’ve met before. Carter Cho knows who she is, why she’s mourning, why she’s there. And he needs Mariana to remember everything he’s saying. But just as they figure out this new life, everything changes. Because Carter’s memories of the time loop are slowly disappearing. And their only chance at happiness is breaking out of the loop — forever” (Adapted from Catalogue)

Five novels / Le Guin, Ursula K.
“Here together for the first time are all five remarkable standalone novels by the writer who transformed American speculative fiction, spanning from the 1971 classic The Lathe of Heaven to her career-crowning 2008 masterpiece Lavinia. This edition of Ursula K. Le Guin’s works presents 5 remarkable standalone novels that showcase her boundless creativity and literary range: The Lathe of Heaven (1971), one of Le Guin’s most admired works of science fiction, The Eye of the Heron (1978), The Beginning Place (1980), the long out-of-print Searoad: Chronicles of Klatsand (1991), and Le Guin’s final, powerfully feminist novel, Lavinia (2008).” (Adapted from Catalogue)

The tusks of extinction / Nayler, Ray
“When you bring back a long-extinct species, there’s more to success than the DNA. Moscow has resurrected the mammoth. But someone must teach them how to be mammoths, or they are doomed to die out, again. The late Dr. Damira Khismatullina, the world’s foremost expert in elephant behavior, is called in to help. While she was murdered a year ago, her digitized consciousness is uploaded into the brain of a mammoth. Can she help the magnificent creatures fend off poachers long enough for their species to take hold? And will she ever discover the real reason they were brought back?” (Adapted from Catalogue)
Also available as an eBook – The tusks of extinction by Ray Nayler

Womb city / Tsamaase, Tlotlo
“This genre-bending African futurist horror novel blends The Handmaid’s Tale with Get Out in an adrenaline-packed, cyberpunk body-hopping ghost story exploring motherhood, memory, and a woman’s right to her own body. Nelah seems to have it all: fame, wealth, and a long-awaited daughter growing in a government lab. But, trapped in a loveless marriage to a policeman who uses a microchip to monitor her every move, Nelah’s perfect life is precarious. After a drug-fueled evening culminates in an eerie car accident, Nelah commits a desperate crime and buries the body, daring to hope that she can keep one last secret…” (Adapted from Catalogue)
Also available as an eBook – Womb city by Tlotlo Tsamaase.

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