Read-Alikes for ‘The Familiar’ by Leigh Bardugo | LibraryReads

The Familiar by Leigh Bardugo is the top holds title of the week. LibraryReads and Library Journal offer read-alikes for patrons waiting to read this buzziest book.

The Familiar by Leigh Bardugo (Flatiron; LJ starred review) is the top holds title of the week. LibraryReads and Library Journal offer read-alikes for patrons waiting to read this buzziest book.

 In Madrid, under the reigns of the king and the Catholic Church, during the time of the Inquisition, lives a scullion maid named Luzia who is hiding her ability to create little miracles such as restoring burned bread to new and stitching torn dresses. Luzia is hiding not only her abilities but also her Jewish lineage, both of which could get her executed for heresy. When Luzia’s mistress discovers the scullion maid’s abilities, she uses them to gain social power, only to have Luzia discovered by the wealthy Víctor de Paredes. Víctor is looking for someone to submit into a tournament for the king’s holy champion, as being the patron of the king’s champion would give him a chance to obtain even more power. Víctor provides Luzia with a mentor—his immortal familiar, Guillén Santángel—to improve her chances of winning the tournament. Santángel has been bonded with Víctor’s family for generations, but Víctor offers to release him from service if Luzia succeeds. Soon, Santángel’s feelings for Luzia complicate things. VERDICT Bardugo (Hell Bent) masterfully weaves magical realism with historical fiction and romance, which makes this book impossible to put down. Great for fans of Rebecca Ross, Heather Fawcett, and Holly Black.—Leigh Verburg

To Gaze Upon Wicked Gods by Molly X. Chang (Del Rey: Ballantine)

Appeared on the April 2024 LibraryReads list

“After a Roman prince discovers Ruying’s death power, he uses her sister's addiction to make a deal with Ruying. He needs her to assassinate someone at the top of the food chain, and in return her family will live. The cost of unusual magic, trust issues, attraction to the enemy, and constant action carry this novel.”—Kimberly McGee, Lake Travis Community Library, TX

Book of Night by Holly Black (Tor; LJ starred review)

Appeared on the May 2022 LibraryReads list

“Charlie is a hot mess. The more she tries to get on the straight and narrow, the more things fall apart. Due to childhood trauma, she trusts only herself, and maybe her shadow. But in a world where shadows can be altered, stolen, and weaponized, she has to be wary. Lots of atmospheric world building and stage setting, and perfect for fans of Leigh Bardugo, Neil Gaiman, and V.E. Schwab.”—Emily Plagens, Allen Public Library, Allen, TX

The Bear and the Nightingale by Katherine Arden (Del Rey: Ballantine; LJ starred review)

Appeared on the January 2017 LibraryReads list

“We journey to 14th-century Russia where the old ways still hold sway in the outlying villages and spirits and magical creatures are real. When Vasya’s stepmother and the new village priest try to end the pagan offerings, it us up to Vasya to stop the Bear from awakening. Can she find the strength to accept who she really is and protect her family and village? This magical story captivated me and pulled me fully into that world. The last third and the pulse-pounding finish had me on the edge of my seat.”—Joseph Jones, Cuyahoga County Public Library, Cuyahoga, OH

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