Endsinger (Lotus Wars #3) by Jay Kristoff
Synopsis adapted to keep spoilers down (warning, above link has a spoilery summary):
Yukiko and Buruu, mind-bound Stormdancer and thunder-tiger, have returned to the Kage Rebellion, ready to continue the fight against the Lotus Guild, their poison, and their puppet Shogunate. Their allies are dead, demoralized, betrayed, and ripe for failure. Their enemies continue to grow in strength and number.
Yukiko and Buruu will need new allies if they are to defeat their enemies. Luckily, they both know where they can find some – if old hurts can be healed, secrets laid to rest, and new ties forged in the face of betrayal.
As the earth splits asunder, as armies destroy each other for rule over an empire of lifeless ash and the final secret about blood lotus is revealed, the people of Shima will learn one last, horrifying truth.
There is nothing a mother won’t do to keep her children by her side.
The Aeronaut’s Windlass by Jim Butcher
Synopsis from GoodReads:
Since time immemorial, the Spires have sheltered humanity, towering for miles over the mist-shrouded surface of the world. Within their halls, aristocratic houses have ruled for generations, developing scientific marvels, fostering trade alliances, and building fleets of airships to keep the peace.
Captain Grimm commands the merchant ship, Predator. Fiercely loyal to Spire Albion, he has taken their side in the cold war with Spire Aurora, disrupting the enemy’s shipping lines by attacking their cargo vessels. But when the Predator is severely damaged in combat, leaving captain and crew grounded, Grimm is offered a proposition from the Spirearch of Albion—to join a team of agents on a vital mission in exchange for fully restoring Predator to its fighting glory.
And even as Grimm undertakes this dangerous task, he will learn that the conflict between the Spires is merely a premonition of things to come. Humanity’s ancient enemy, silent for more than ten thousand years, has begun to stir once more. And death will follow in its wake…
The Rithmatist by Brandon Sanderson, Illustrated by Ben McSweeney
Synopsis from GoodReads:
More than anything, Joel wants to be a Rithmatist. Rithmatists have the power to infuse life into two-dimensional figures known as Chalklings. Rithmatists are humanity’s only defense against the Wild Chalklings. Having nearly overrun the territory of Nebrask, the Wild Chalklings now threaten all of the American Isles.
As the son of a lowly chalkmaker at Armedius Academy, Joel can only watch as Rithmatist students learn the magical art that he would do anything to practice. Then students start disappearing—kidnapped from their rooms at night, leaving trails of blood. Assigned to help the professor who is investigating the crimes, Joel and his friend Melody find themselves on the trail of an unexpected discovery—one that will change Rithmatics—and their world—forever.