There are so many great books hitting shelves in October. These 10 are just a sampling of the ones I hope to add to my personal library:
Starling House by Alix E. Harrow
Release Date: October 3, 2023
A contemporary gothic fairy tale about a small town haunted by the history it can’t quite seem to bury and the canny, clever young woman who finds herself drawn to the house that sits at the crossroads of it all.
Starling House is odd and ugly and fully of secrets, just like its heir. Opal knows better than to mess with haunted houses or brooding men, but it might be a chance to get her brother out of Eden, and it feels dangerously like something she’s never had: a home.
But she isn’t the only one interested in the house, or the horrors and wonders that lie beneath it. If Opal wants a home, she’ll have to fight for it. She’ll have to dig up her family’s dark past and let herself dream of a brighter future. She’ll have to go down, down into Underland, and claw her way back to the light.
Starling House is the sweeping, romantic new novel from New York Times bestseller and Hugo Award-winner Alix E. Harrow.
Curious Tides by Pascale Lacelle
Release Date: October 3, 2023
Ninth House meets A Deadly Education in this gorgeous dark academia fantasy following a teen mage who must unravel the truth behind the secret society that may have been involved in her classmates’ deaths.
Emory might be a student at the prestigious Aldryn College for Lunar Magics, but her healing abilities have always been mediocre at best—until a treacherous night in the Dovermere sea caves leaves a group of her classmates dead and her as the only survivor. Now Emory is plagued by strange, impossible powers that no healer should possess.
Powers that would ruin her life if the wrong person were to discover them.
To gain control of these new abilities, Emory enlists the help of the school’s most reclusive student, Baz—a boy already well-versed in the deadly nature of darker magic, whose sister happened to be one of the drowned students and Emory’s best friend. Determined to find the truth behind the drownings and the cult-like secret society she’s convinced her classmates were involved in, Emory is faced with even more questions when the supposedly drowned students start washing ashore— alive —only for them each immediately to die horrible, magical deaths.
And Emory is not the only one seeking answers. When her new magic captures the society’s attention, she finds herself drawn into their world of privilege and power, all while wondering if the truth she’s searching for might lead her right back to Dovermere…to face the fate she was never meant to escape.
The Misfit Mage and His Dashing Devil by MN Bennet
Release Date: October 9, 2023
Apprentice mage Wally spends his days cataloging rare artifacts and dreaming about finally mastering his magics and living the adventures he’s always desired. Bez, a once mighty devil who craves the freedom of the outside world again, despises his confinement inside a powerful object. His only company now comes from the mages working within the archives he’s stored. Among them, the most annoying of them all, an anxious and considerate Walter.
When the archive is attacked, Wally and Bez each seize the opportunity to achieve their dreams—and inadvertently create a magical link between them. With so many lives lost in this assault on the mage headquarters, Wally’s connection to a dangerous devil makes him a threat and a target, forcing the pair on the run. Wally sees Bez as a sadistic devil, and Bez finds every word out of the mage’s mouth grating. Even so, they’ll have to work together to unravel the true threat in the city or they won’t live long enough to enjoy the lives they’ve both desperately wanted.
Sword Catcher by Cassandra Clare
Release Date: October 10, 2023
Two outcasts find themselves at the center of world-altering change in the start of a riveting epic fantasy series from the #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Shadowhunter Chronicles.
In the vibrant city-state of Castellane, the richest of nobles and the most debauched of criminals have one thing in common: the constant search for wealth, power, and the next hedonistic thrill.
Kel is an orphan, stolen from the life he knew to become the Sword-Catcher—the body-double of a royal heir, Prince Conor Aurelian. He has been raised alongside the prince, trained in every aspect of combat and statecraft. He and Conor are close as brothers, but Kel knows he has one destiny: to die for Conor. No other future is possible.
Lin Caster is one of the Ashkar, a small community who still possess magical abilities. By law, they must live behind walls in the city, but Lin, a physician, ventures out to tend to the sick and dying of Castellane. Despite her skills, she cannot heal her best friend Mariam without access to forbidden knowledge.
After a failed assassination attempt brings Lin and Kel together, they are drawn into the web of the mysterious Ragpicker King, the criminal ruler of Castellane’s underworld. He offers them each what they want most; but as they descend into his world of intrigue and shadow, they discover a conspiracy of corruption that reaches from the darkest gutters of Castellane to the highest tower of its palaces. As long-kept secrets begin to unravel, they must ask themselves: Is knowledge worth the price of betrayal? Can forbidden love bring down a kingdom? And will Lin and Kel’s discoveries plunge their nation into war—and the world into chaos?
Charming Young Man by Eliot Schrefer
Release Date: October 10, 2023
From New York Times bestselling author Eliot Schrefer comes an exuberant YA historical coming-of-age novel about a rising star French pianist, navigating his way into high society as he explores his sexuality. Perfect for fans of Last Night at the Telegraph Club and The Gentleman’s Gide to Vice and Virtue.
They say Léon Delafosse will be France’s next great pianist. But despite his being the youngest student ever accepted into the prestigious Paris Conservatory, there’s no way an impoverished musician can make his way in 1890s Paris without an outside patron.
Young gossip columnist Marcel Proust takes Léon under his wing, and the boys game their way through an extravagant new world. When the larger-than-life Count Robert de Montesquiou-Fézensac offers his patronage, Léon’s dreams are made real. But the closer he gets to becoming France’s next great thing, the further he strays from his old country life he shared with his family and his best friend Félix . . . a boy he might love.
With each choice Léon makes, he must navigate a fine line between two worlds—or risk losing them both.
Stars in Your Eyes by Kacen Callender
Release Date: October 10, 2023
The National Book Award-winning author of Felix Ever After delivers a beautifully tender story of two grumpy/sunshine, fake-dating actors navigating their love story both on and offscreen—perfect for fans of Casey McQuiston and Alexis Hall.
Logan Gray is Hollywood’s bad boy—a talented but troubled actor who the public loves to hate. Mattie Cole is an up‑and‑coming golden boy, adored by all but plagued by insecurities.
When Logan and Mattie are cast as leads in a new romantic film, Logan claims that Matt has “zero talent,” sending the film’s publicity into a nosedive. To create positive buzz, the two are persuaded into a fake‑dating scheme—but as the two actors get to know their new characters, real feelings start to develop.
As public scrutiny intensifies and old wounds resurface, the two must fight for their relationship and their love.
A heartfelt, hopeful, and nuanced story about identity, healing, and growth.
10 Things That Never Happened by Alexis Hall
Release Date: October 17, 2023
Fake amnesia. Real feelings? Real problems.
Sam Becker loves―or, okay, likes―his job. Sure, managing a bed and bath retailer isn’t exactly glamorous, but it’s good work and he gets on well with the band of misfits who keep the store running. He could see himself being content here for the long haul. Too bad, then, that the owner is an infuriating git.
Jonathan Forest should never have hired Sam. It was a sentimental decision, and Jonathan didn’t get where he is by following his heart. Determined to set things right, Jonathan orders Sam down to London for a difficult talk…only for a panicking Sam to trip, bump his head, and maybe accidentally imply he doesn’t remember anything?
Faking amnesia seemed like a good idea when Sam was afraid he was getting sacked, but now he has to deal with the reality of Jonathan’s guilt―as well as the unsettling fact that his surly boss might have a softer side to him. There’s an unexpected freedom in getting a second shot at a first impression…but as Sam and Jonathan grow closer, can Sam really bring himself to tell the truth, or will their future be built entirely on one impulsive lie?
Two Twisted Crowns by Rachel Gillig
Release Date: October 17, 2023
In the dark, spellbinding sequel to One Dark Window , Elspeth must confront the weight of her actions as she and Ravyn embark on a perilous quest to save the kingdom—perfect for readers of Hannah Whitten’s For the Wolf and Alexis Henderson’s The Year of the Witching.
Gripped by a tyrant king and in the thrall of dark magic, the kingdom is in peril. Elspeth and Ravyn have gathered most of the twelve Providence Cards, but the last—and most important—one remains to be the Twin Alders. If they’re going to find the card before Solstice and set free the kingdom, they will need to journey through the dangerous mist-cloaked forest. The only one who can lead them through is the monster that shares Elspeth’s the Nightmare.
And he’s not eager to share any longer.
Traitor of Redwinter by Ed McDonald
Release Date: October 24, 2023
Traitor of Redwinter is the second in Ed McDonald’s Redwinter Chronicles, full of shady politics, militant monks, ancient powers… and a young woman navigating a world in which no one is quite what they seem.
The power of the Sixth Gate grows stronger within Raine each day―to control it, she needs lessons no living Draoihn can teach her. Her fledgling friendships are tested to a breaking point as she tries to face what she has become, and her master Ulovar is struck by a mysterious sickness that slowly saps the vitality from his body, leaving Raine to face her growing darkness alone. There’s only one chance to turn the tide of power surging within her―to learn the secrets the Draoihn themselves purged from the world.
The book can teach her. She doesn’t know where she found it, or when exactly, but its ever changing pages whisper power that has lain untouched for centuries.
As the king’s health fails and the north suffers in the grip of famine, rebellious lords hunger for the power of the Crown, backed by powers that would see the Crowns undone. Amidst this growing threat, Raine’s former friend Ovitus brings a powerful new alliance, raising his status and power of his own. He professes support for the heir to the throne even as others would see him take it for himself, and desperately craves Raine’s forgiveness―or her submission.
But the grandmaster has her own plans for Raine, and the deadly training she has been given has not been conducted carelessly. In Raine she seeks to craft a weapon to launch right into her enemy’s heart, as Redwinter seeks to hold onto power.
Amidst threats old and new, Raine must learn the secrets promised by the book, magic promised by a queen with a crown of feathers. A queen to whom Raine has promised more than she can afford to give…
Dark Moon, Shallow Sea by David R. Slayton
Release Date: October 31, 2023
Raef wants revenge on the knights who killed his goddess, the moon. Her death darkened the night sky, stopped the tides, and left the shades of the dead without a path to the underworld.
Seeking revenge, Raef breaks into the knights’ temple and opens a box, expecting to find gold and jewels among the bones. Instead, he finds a living man, Kinos, sleeping inside.
Raef steals Kinos.
As they run from the knights and grow closer, Raef thinks he’s found a friend, love, and perhaps a secret that may lead to his goddess’s return. If they can’t solve the mystery of Kinos’s imprisonment, the moon will never rise again and the world will drown in ghosts.
What October 2023 book releases are you most excited about finally reading? Let me know in the comments below or over on Twitter!