The new books roundup for May 16: Anne Boleyn and Flame in the Mist


Among the titles released this week are Renée Ahdieh’s next novel, another historical fiction title from Alison Weir, and still more.

As the weather continues to improve, it seems more and more likely that you’re starting to consider what books you might want to add to your beach reading list. And though you may want to pick some nonfiction title currently taking that genre over, it’s also a great time for some historical fiction, a little fantasy, or perhaps something different entirely.

By summarizing Goodreads, we’ll give you these three recommendations this week.

Flame in the Mist

Here’s Flame in the Mist: Alchemy, samurai, and Renée Ahdieh. Need we say more? Okay, fine. Mariko, the protagonist, is a student of alchemy. Her brother is a samurai. But when she ends up going into a criminal organization, she finds that it might be far better than the life she left behind. Goodreads indicates that this book will kick off a series. It seems wise to get in on the ground floor. G.P. Putnam’s Sons Books for Young Readers; hardcover, 416 pages; list price on Amazon: $17.99.

Anne Boleyn, A King’s Obsession

Something about the Tudors — particularly Henry VIII and his wives — makes them perennially popular as the subjects of fiction, nonfiction, and documentaries. Alison Weir kicked off a series with one novel for each wife with one about Katherine of Aragon. A King’s Obsession is the natural progression, focusing on Anne Boleyn, the mother of Elizabeth I and the first of Henry’s wives to be beheaded. (Yes, first.) Ballantine Books; hardcover, 560 pages; list price on Amazon: $28.00.

The Empire’s Ghost

Last, but not least, The Empire’s Ghost is the first novel from Isabelle Steiger. Although Goodreads doesn’t indicate it’s the start of a series next to the title, the official description on that page does confirm that it is “first book in a haunting new epic fantasy series,” so again, it’s time to start as soon as possible. The general shape may sound familiar — an empire struggling to rise again and countries trying to resist — but Steiger has thrown in some other elements that suggest this could go some very different places. Thomas Dunne Books; hardcover, 432 pages; list price on Amazon: $25.99.

For those looking to prepare for summer grilling season, Shake Shack (yes, really) has released its first cookbook.

Next: Wonder Woman Day coming this summer

What fresh titles are your must-haves this week?