"A Song of Wraiths and Ruin" by Roseanne A. Brown
Starring: Malik, a refugee who makes a deadly deal to save his sister; and Karina, a princess who turns to bloody necromancy in her grief over her mother’s death.
What happens: For Malik, the Solstasia festival is a chance to escape his war-stricken home and start a new life with his sisters in the prosperous desert city of Ziran. But when a vengeful spirit abducts his younger sister, Nadia, as payment to enter the city, Malik strikes a fatal deal--kill Karina, Crown Princess of Ziran, for Nadia's freedom. But Karina has deadly aspirations of her own. Her mother, the Sultana, has been assassinated; her court threatens mutiny, and Solstasia looms like a knife over her neck. Grief-stricken, Karina decides to resurrect her mother through ancient magic...requiring the beating heart of a king. And she knows just how to obtain one: by offering her hand in marriage to the victor of the Solstasia competition. When Malik rigs his way into the contest, they are set on a heart-pounding course to destroy each other. But as attraction flares between them and ancient evils stir, will they be able to see their tasks to the death?
Why you might like it: For fans of the layered plots and vivid world-building in Tomi Adeyemi’s Legacy of Orisha series.