You had the big yearly overview, now it’s time to talk about a few books that I’m specifically excited for in January! 2021 is going to be an excellent year for book releases – almost everything I’ve read coming out next year has been amazing and I can’t wait to dive into more. These three books are all very high up on my TBR.
Hall of Smoke by H.M. Long is an epic Viking fantasy out from Titan Books on the 19th of January. Hessa is an Eangi: a warrior priestess of the Goddess of War, with the power to turn an enemy’s bones to dust with a scream. When her village is raided and the remaining Eangi slaughtered, she has to go on a quest to seek vengeance and regain her goddess’ favour. On the way, she realises that the gods might not be all that they’re cracked up to be and there are bigger powers at work. It sounds fantastic! Pre-order a copy via Bookshop here. (affiliate link)
The Mask of Mirrors by M.A. Carrick is out on the 21st of February. It is an exciting fantasy featuring a con artist and a dazzling world of dreams and intrigue. Corrupt underworld and masquerades, I’m very tempted. Trickery and aristocrats just help the matter… And just look at the cover for The Mask of Mirrors. How can you not want this? Order a copy from Bookshop here. (affiliate link)
And to round off this list, a middle grade. The City of the Plague God by Sarwat Chadda is the newest book in the Rick Riordan Presents imprint. Out on the 5th, it features Mesopotamian mythology – featuring characters from the Epic of Gilgamesh, one of humanities oldest surviving texts. Thirteen-year-old Sik wants a simple life going to school and helping at his parents’ deli in the evenings. But all that is blown to smithereens when Nergal comes looking for him, thinking that Sik holds the secret to eternal life.Turns out Sik is immortal but doesn’t know it, and that’s about to get him and the entire city into deep, deep trouble… Order a copy from Book Depository here.
Now that I’ve spent all of 2020 doing little monthly lookouts for books I’m excited for, I thought I’d spoil you all with one big list of a bunch of my most anticipated books for next year! This is probably not complete and I’ll very embarrassingly have forgotten something that I’ll remember in a few days, but here goes. I haven’t included any Middle Grade here, if I have the chance I’ll do a separate post for that later, this is all YA and adult! In chronological order of release dates as of November 2020:
Lore by Alexandra Bracken is out on January 5th in the US and January 7th in the UK. This is a modern-set, Greek mythology inspired story of gods, mortals, destiny and power. It sounds like a deliciously addictive read, and I’ve been really enjoying stories inspired by Classical mythology. This is definitely one I’ll devour quickly. Get a copy from Waterstones here.
Lockdown has given us a new appreciation for novellas (at least, in my case) and Fireheart Tiger by Aliette de Bodard promises to fill that niche nicely. Out on February 9th, this is a romantic fantasy set in a pre-colonial Vietnam-esque world. The main character is a princess sent away as a hostage as a child, now returned as a diplomat, it features a sapphic romance, and a magical fire that burned down the palace. Order a copy via Portal Bookshop here.
Sold as a cross between Madeline Miller and Norse Mythology, Genevieve Gornichec’s The Witch’s Heart is out on February 9th. I’m extremely excited for this one as it is another one based on mythology, the story of the witch Angrboda who falls in love with Loki. The synopsis really does remind me of Circe, which I loved so much, and I wish I knew more about Norse myths, so I am looking forward to this a lot, and have already been recommending it to a ton of people. It also has an absolutely beautiful cover! You can get a copy from Bookshop here. (affiliate link)
If you’ve listened to me talk about books for any length of time or asked me for queer recs, chances are I’ve been shilling one of Sarah Gailey’s books to you. On February 16th, their latest adult release, The Echo Wife will be published, and I can’t wait. I’ve loved almost everything of theirs that I’ve read, and I have an eARC of this that I really should get around to reading any day now. This story is about a scientist, whose husband cheats on her with the clone created from her own research… But now he’s dead, and they have a mess to clean up. If this sounds like something you’re interested in, get a copy from Bookshop here. (affiliate link)
The Black Coast by Mike Brooks is out on the 17th of February and is an epic fantasy novel featuring war-dragons. How could a list of exciting releases on a site like Libri Draconis not include a book featuring war-dragons?! Featuring a clash of cultures and a critical look on its society, this sounds like a fantastic novel for our times. Not least because it comes highly recommended by the Cabbage Man (I think I would face serious harm if I would dare to leave this one out…). Get a copy from Bookshop here. (affiliate link)
I don’t read a lot of contemporary or romance, but when I do it’s usually queer. I’ve been highly anticipating Honey Girl by Morgan Rogers since it was first announced and I preordered it months ago. A fresh PhD graduate goes to Vegas to blow off some steam after working hard for years – and ends up married to a girl she doesn’t know. A story about being a twenty-something in a messed up world. I think this will be exactly what I need right now. Out on February 23rd, get a copy via Portal Bookshop here.
So I have to preface this with the fact that I’m friends with the agent for this book and he called me excitedly to tell me that he’d just got an offer in on the very first book he was representing. So this was always going to be on this list. But The Second Bell by Gabriela Houston is also here because it sounds like THE most amazing book. Based on Slavic folklore, this is the story of the striga Salka and her mother, outcasts due to Salka’s nature. Striga are born with two hearts and Salka ends up in a life-threatening situation that tests her more than she ever expected… I’ve been begging for an ARC FOREVER but so far I still have to wait along with everyone else until release on March 9th. Get a copy via Waterstones here.
I have absolutely not been waiting for That Way Madness Lies since the anthology was but a rumour. Queer and diverse Shakespeare retellings? YA anthology edited by Dahlia Adler and featuring Anna-Marie McLemore, Cory McCarthy and Amy Rose Capetta, Melissa Bashardoust and many more? Catnip. Out on the 16th of March this is so far up on my list that I will be heading out to the Globe to take celebratory pictures the moment I get my copy. Get a copy via Blackwell’s.
March 16th is an excellent day for YA releases, as we also get Anna-Marie McLemore’s latest, The Mirror Season. Most of their books have been five star reads for me, so my hopes are high. Filled with McLemore’s signature magical realism and wonderful prose, this novel tackles sexual assault and more difficult themes than their earlier work. It will be wonderful, tough and queer. And if the cover is any indication, trans as fuck. I can’t wait. Get a copy via Blackwell’s here.
T. L. Huchu’s debut The Library of the Dead is out on March 18th. It combines Zimbabwean magic with an Edinburgh urban setting. Mysteries, ghosts and LIBRARIES. What more does a girl want. I can’t wait to get my hands on the proof that’s currently winging it’s way to me (so expect a review soon). It features a pragmatic heroine and comes endorsed by the king of urban supernatural crime, Ben Aaronovitch! Get a copy via Bookshop here. (affiliate link)
One of my favourite YA books of 2020 was Aiden Thomas’ Cemetery Boys. And on March 23rd, my birthday, I get a second book by them: Lost in the Never Woods! This is a modern retelling of the Peter Pan legend featuring Wendy and a version of Peter and missing kids… It sounds intriguing and it’s the perfect birthday present. Thanks Aiden! Get yourself a copy via Blackwell’s here.
In April we go to space with Charlie Jane Anders’ YA debut out on the 13th. Victories Greater Than Death sounds like a space romp in the vein of Doctor Who, combined with Anders’ signature smart prose. I loved her All the Birds in the Sky and generally think that she’s an amazing person so I want to read everything she writes. From the blurb: “Tina has always known her destiny is outside the norm—after all, she is the human clone of the most brilliant alien commander in all the galaxies (even if the rest of the world is still deciding whether aliens exist). But she is tired of waiting for her life to begin.” And then Tina’s life begins… It sounds amazing. Get a copy via Bookshop here. (affiliate link)
Out on the 13th of April as well is Rena Rossner’s The Light of the Midnight Stars. Just like her first novel, The Sisters of the Winter Wood, this is a combination of fairytale, historical fantasy and Jewish folklore. I adored Rena Rossner’s first book and I’m sure this one will be just as wonderful. A Jewish family has magic descended from King Solomon, but is forced to flee after accusations of witchcraft and abandon their way of life while darkness spreads across Europe… Order a copy via Blackwell’s here.
This next book is one that I’ve been impatiently awaiting since I think Summer 2019? Sistersong by Lucy Holland is set in post-Roman Britain, around the period of the Saxon invasion. Based on legend, this is the story of three siblings, afraid of confinement. Their story will shape the destiny of Britain. This is one of the books on this list that I’m most keen on, so bring it on, April 15th. Order a copy via Bookshop here. (affiliate link)
Witches Steeped in Gold by Ciannon Smart is a Jamaican-inspired witchy YA fantasy. A book about revenge and power, it sounds absolutely addictive and amazing. I absolutely love delving into different cultures via books, so this one is very high up my priority list and the stunning cover has only helped it. It’s out on April 20th and you can order a copy via Waterstones here.
P. Djèlí Clark is famous for his short fiction. In 2021, he will finally grace us with his full-length novel debut, A Master of Djinn! Out on May 11th, this is set in the same multi-award nominated alternate Cairo as some of his most famous work. He is a master writer, and I can’t wait to dive deeper into his imagination and read a longer work. Featuring Fatma el-Sha’arawi again, the novel revolves around a murderer claiming to be the famous al-Jahiz returned… Oh, and have I mentioned it’s queer? Get a copy from Portal Bookshop here.
After her regency England duology, Zen Cho treats us to a book set in her native Malaysia this time. Black Water Sister is also out on the 11th of May and features a reluctant medium. After moving back to Malaysia, Jess starts to hear a voice claiming to be her grandmother, Ah Ma, in her head. In life, Ah Ma was a spirit medium and avatar of the mysterious deity Black Water Sister. Jess finds herself drawn into a strange new world lurking with danger… Order this one from Bookshop here. (affiliate link)
A third book out on May 11th, Son of the Storm by Suyi Davies Okungbowa is just as exciting as the other two. This is a great day for new releases. The beginning of a trilogy set around a disillusioned scholar and a skin-changing warrior from a group of islands that supposedly don’t exists promises to sweep the reader away. Featuring conspiracies, suppressed histories and magic only found in lore, Son of the Storm is one to watch out for! Order a copy from Bookshop here! (affiliate link)
A week later, on the 18th, A. M. Strickland’s In the Ravenous Dark is released. The MC is a pansexual bloodmage, and the book features a love triangle with a princess and a spirit. She can’t trust either, and there’s rebellion and betrayal and I’m in love with the cover. Supposedly there will also be ace rep (confirmed by the author). A YA dark fantasy to look out for! Order a copy via Blackwell’s here.
The Nature of Witches by Rachel Griffin is an exciting YA fantasy debut that does exactly what it says in the title. It is story about witches based on nature and a world where they maintain the climate. Out on June 1st, The Nature of Witches features Clara, a rare witch whose powers are tied to every season. It is sapphic, it is apocalyptic, and it sounds glorious. The witches’ power is faltering as their control over the atmosphere becomes erratic and Clara is the only one that can save them… Get a copy via Blackwell’s here.
Linsey Miller’s last fantasy, Belle Révolte was one of my favourite YA titles of 2020, so I’m very excited for What We Devour, out on June 6th. Promising to be a dark fantasy with an ace protagonist, in a world demanding sacrifice, this sounds like a great book addressing some heavier subjects. Keep in mind that the author has already added some trigger warnings on Goodreads for self-harm among other things, so this does go into the darker side of the protagonist’s mind. It still sounds like a book ultimately trying to send a hopeful message and I’m very keen to read it. Order a copy from Blackwell’s here.
Another entry in the stunning book covers of 2021, Daughter of Sparta by Claire M. Andrews is a YA debut out on June 8th. A feminist reworking of the myth of Daphne and Apollo has young Daphne retrieve nine mysterious items stolen from Mount Olympus to save her brother, the Gods of Olympus and the entire mortal world that hangs in the balance. An epic adventure based on Classic mythology, this sounds like a fantastic read. Order a copy via Blackwell’s here.
Sapphic Indian fantasy? Yes please! The Jasmine Throne by Tasha Suri is out on June 10th and I can’t wait. I need more sapphic books in my life, and forbidden magic and captive princesses sound like the perfect things to attract me to a book. Oh and have I mentioned that there’s morally grey characters and vengeance? Get yourself a copy via Bookshop here. (affiliate link)
She Who Became the Sun by Shelley Parker-Chan is out on July 20th, finally. The wait for this book has been excruciatingly long. This epic alt-history set in medieval China features a genderqueer MC… A tale for those of us who grew up on Mulan but crave more – a queerer, more authentic story without the interference of Disney. Order a copy via Bookshop here. (affiliate link)
I’ve been a huge fan of Victoria Lee’s writing since her debut and A Lesson in Vengeance sounds amazing. Dark academia featuring lesbians, rumours of witchcraft and mysterious deaths? Please give it to me now! Sadly we all have to wait until August 3rd to meet disaster girls Felicity and Ellis… This one will break our hearts and keep us up at night. Order your copy via Blackwell’s here.
Jay Kristoff, author of the much beloved Nevernight series is finally back with a new adult series! Empire of the Vampire is out on September 3rd after a verrry long wait – I for one am ready to get back into vampires. It’ll be dark and edgy and awesome. This world hasn’t seen the sun in twenty-seven years, making it an ideal environment for the creatures of the night. The MC, Gabriel, an ex-monster slayer tells the story of his eventful life and the Grail, prophesied to bring an end to the eternal night… Order a copy via Bookshop here. (affiliate link)
T.J. Klune’s The House in the Cerulean Sea was one of the most heart-warming books of 2020. So I can’t wait for his 2021 book Under the Whispering Door, out on September 21st. This is a story about a man who refuses to cross over into the afterlife and instead falls in love with the ferryman. It sounds just as adorable, heartbreaking and amazing as the last book and I hope it will be just what I need once more. Get a copy via Blackwell’s here.
There isn’t too much known about Within These Wicked Walls by Lauren Blackwood yet. It’s supposed to be published in Fall 2021 as part of Wednesday Books series of diverse retellings of classic novels – reinterpreting Jane Eyre based on Ethiopian mythology. Jane has always been my favourite of the Gothic heroines, so I’m very much looking forward to this! No pre-order links are available yet, so make sure to save it to your Goodreads by clicking on the title above.
Jade Fire Gold by June C.L. Tan will be released on November 2nd. It is a YA fantasy inspired by Chinese mythology and features catnip such as an adorable lesbian couple, a revenge plot, a dodgy priest, a sad reluctant prince and more. This was already supposed to come out in 2020 but moved imprints, so I’ve been waiting for this for a LONG TIME and I need it in my hands NOW. There is also stealing souls. It sounds so good. No pre-orders here yet either…
A Marvellous Light by Freya Marske does not have a release date yet at all. We just know it’s coming out in 2021 and it’ll be a good one. Announced as a historical fantasy full of magic and conspiracies set in Edwardian England, it features Robin and Edwin, and “rather a lot of sex” as the author herself said. Sounds like another hit for Tor.com! Again, no pre-orders yet, but keep an eye out!
Slated for publication in Winter 2021, The Book of Living Secrets by Madeline Roux is one of those delicious books about books. A standalone YA about a girl following her best friend into their favourite fantasy novel… Only to find out that the novel’s heroine hasn’t actually been told the whole story and now she doesn’t want to let them leave again. Sounds like a fantastic concept and I’m looking forward to it! Again, no order link, but add it to your Goodreads!
This one is going to be a relatively short one, as there aren’t as many books coming out now that it’s the end of the year. But yay, I did manage to get through a whole year of hype posts, and I have a huge 2021 one that I’m working on.
The first book on my December list comes out on the very first of the month, King of the Rising by Kacen Callender. I’m going to be on the Caffeine Tours blog tour for this in early December, so look forward to reading my review then. This is the sequel to Queen of the Conquered, and promises even more revolution. I can’t wait to dive in! The first book also just won a World Fantasy Award, which I think might be a first for a trans author of colour – and it’s well deserved! Order a copy via Bookshop here (affiliate link).
Also out on the first of December is A Curse of Roses by Diana Pinguicha. This is the last medieval retelling to be published this year. Based on Portugese legend, AND sapphic, this is the story of a princess who turns food into flowers and girl trapped by magical binds. Forbidden love, fairytale vibes… This book sounds like it will be amazing and I can’t wait to get a copy. Order a copy via Bookshop here (affiliate link).
Last for this year is A Universe of Wishes, an anthology of short stories by We Need Diverse Books, edited by Dhonielle Clayton. I’m a sucker for a good anthology, and this one has a stellar line-up. Stories I’m especially excited for are V.E. Schwab’s Shades of Magic short and the one by Anna-Marie McLemore – I just adore their writing. Other authors include Zoraida Cordova and Tochi Onyebuchi and many more. I have a special edition coming for Christmas, so I’m hoping to spend the holidays curled up with this book and a mug of tea or hot chocolate. This one is out on the eighth of December. Order a copy via Bookshop here (affiliate link).
And it’s already time for another hype post! I can’t believe how fast time has been flying by… In my mind it’s still just been spring and now it’s almost November and I’ve been doing these posts for almost a year. Once again, so many wonderful books coming out that it is hard to choose just a handful to highlight!
First of all, I CANNOT WAIT for you all to get your hands on These Violent Delights by Chloe Gong. This book has been so hyped, but damn, it lives up to it. I’ve read it, and my full review will be up soon. Out on the 17th of November in both the UK and the US, this is a retelling of Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet, set in Shanghai, but so much better. It is amazing, addictive and takes you to one of the most magical places I have ever been. Chloe Gong is an author to watch, and you NEED These Violent Delights in your life. Pre-order a copy from Waterstones here.
Then, the sequel to one of my favourite Arthurian reinterpretations is being released: Kiersten White’s The Camelot Betrayal. Her scheming Guinevere is back on the 10th, with more intrigue. I personally can’t wait to read what happens next (and I’m still mortally offended that I never got a reply to my request for a proof, sadly). One of my favourite things about this version is that Lancelot is a female knight, making me hope for a sapphic romance… Kiersten PLEASE?! I WILL NOT GIVE UP HOPE! In any case, you can pre-order your very own copy via Blackwell’s.
Next on my list is the ever fabulous Rin Chupeco and their newest book, The Ever Cruel Kingdom. This is the sequel to last year’s amazing The Never Tilting World (reviewed here). Featuring a tidally locked planet, amazingly crafted relationships, disability both physical and mental, as well as LGBTQ characters and Mesapotamian mythology. I can’t wait to read how this story continues and dive back into this world. This is out on the 10th too, and you can order a copy from Book Depository here.
I’ll keep it short and sweet this month – and I hope you’ll choose to support one or more of these authors!
I can’t believe it’s already time for another hype post! September has just flown by – which I guess you can tell by the fact that I’ve barely been posting on here apart from blog tours… My dissertation is due soon and so I’ve been running around like a headless chicken. But there are many great books coming out in October that deserve your attention, not least of all, two that I’ve already been raving about: there is Alix E. Harrow’s The Once and Future Witches, which I reviewed on here earlier this year. This is absolutely the witchy book of my dreams and I can’t wait to get my finished copy and reread it! For more details, go check out my review here which includes pre-order info. Then, October also brings THE BEST BOOK EVER, which is The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue by V.E. Schwab, my heroine. I reviewed that one over at Grimdark Magazine – have a read here. I might have pre-ordered five separate copies of this book, not like I’m obsessed or anything…
Another adult release I’m very excited for is Plain Bad Heroines by Emily M. Danforth. The US edition is out on the 20th of October (the UK edition won’t come out until 2021). It’s a sapphic horror-comedy set in a boarding school in 1902 – which sounds exactly like what I need to read during spooky season! I’ve only heard great things about this one, so I’m super keen to get my hands on this one in time for Halloween! Order a copy from Amazon here!
The next book on my list, Among the Beasts and Briars by Ashley Poston has one of the most beautiful YA covers I’ve seen – entirely made out of flower petals! This is another one perfect for those colder fall vibes, a dark fairy tale perfect for cozy evenings curled up with a cup of tea. As I love these kinds of books, I’ve been waiting for this one to come out for ages, and it also features a fox (I love the adorable creatures!). It’s also out on the 20th, and you can get a copy from Amazon here.
The second YA I want to point your attention to is Blazewrath Games by Amparo Ortiz. Magic tournament with dragons, yes please! This book is also written by a Latinx author, set from the perspective of the Puerto Rican team – a country I know far too little about and look forward to learning more about, and features several LGBTQ+ characters! Sounds like a great read, very sad that no one let me read an ARC… This is out very soon, on the 6th of October. Do yourself a favour and order a copy from Amazon here.
So many AMAZING books to get excited about coming out in September that I’m breaking my own rules – half of these I’m going to be reviewing on here! But I’m literally jumping around with glee at the prospect of being able to hold them in my hands within the next month, so let me have this moment of excitement!
Two of my favourite writers of queer YA are writing a book together. That’s about all I needed to know about Miss Meteor to make sure it went very high up on my excitement list. It is co-written by the fabulous Anna-Marie McLemore (check out their Dark and Deepest Red, for example) and Tehlor Kay Mejia (author of the We Set the Dark on Fire duology), this is a contemporary YA about Lita and Chicky, and the Miss Meteor pageant. I have no idea what I’m getting myself into, but I’m sure it will be brilliantly written, lyrical and heartbreakingly beautiful. I can’t wait. Miss Meteor is out on the 22nd of September and you can pre-order a copy from Amazon here.
Anthologies are totally my jam. Especially diverse ones. And as someone who was a teenager around 2010 (aka peak Twilight era) I’m all for the tasteful return of vampires that come without a side of racism. I’m currently reading Vampires Never Get Old as I’m lucky enough to be on the Hear Our Voices Blog Tour (look out for my review on the 24th of September) for it, and I’ve loved the stories so far. They are queer (many of them) and clever and full of interesting characters, and the line-up Zoraida Cordova and Natalie C. Parker have managed to assemble is stellar. This one is also out on the 22nd, and you can pre-order it here.
Arthurian mythology meets Black girl magic. I love seeing the diversity in modern takes on medieval stories, so I’m incredibly excited for Tracy Deonn’s Legendborn. I have an eARC so I’ve started reading the beginning, and I’m now doubly excited as it features the protagonist going to early entrance college, which I see myself represented in as a smarty-pants who went to uni at sixteen. A unique take on the mythos, with the Legendborn being descendants of the Arthurian knights and Merlins being mages, this urban fantasy is thoroughly modern. It’s out on the 15th of September and you can pre-order here.
One of the books I’ve been most anticipating is Aiden Thomas’ Cemetery Boys. Originally supposed to be released in May, the pandemic has pushed it back, and it is now finally coming out on the first of September. Cemetery Boys features a trans boy trying to prove himself a real brujo. It is queer and features the most amazing cover – and from what I’ve seen on Twitter Aiden is a fantastic human being too who deserves all our support. It sounds like perfection, and I’ve pre-ordered my copy months ago – you should get yours too, for example from Hive here!
Books about books are like catnip for nerds like me. So I’ve been eagerly awaiting Garth Nix’s The Left-Handed Booksellers of London ever since I first heard about it. And now it’s almost here – also published on the 22nd of September! Luckily I have an e-ARC thanks to the lovely folks over at Gollanz so do look out for my review soon. This is about fighting (left-handed) and intellectual (right-handed) booksellers, murder, magic and the most wonderful of all places, bookshops in my adopted home of London. And Garth Nix is nothing if not a damn good writer. So go ahead and just pre-order it. Click right here to do so.
Last year, I absolutely devoured Rena Barron’s Kingdom of Souls. And while I’m desperately waiting for the sequel, she is now back with a middle grade novel that sounds just as amazing: Maya and the Rising Dark. Another one out on that magical 22nd of September, this is the story of twelve-year old Maya, godling, half human, half Orisha and full nerd. Her dad has gone missing, and she has to face the Lord of Shadows, a creature from her worst nightmares to try and get him back and save the world. The book sounds wonderful and exactly what I need to read once I hand in my dissertation. Pre-order a copy here.
It would be completely amiss by not starting this post with Bright Raven Skies by Kristina Pérez, our inaugural book tour over at Phoenix Fire Book Tours (check out phoenixfiretours.wordpress.com)! Out on the 25th of August, this conclusion to the Bright Raven Skies series promises to be just as thrilling, romantic and atmospheric as the previous installments. I’m currently reading it in preparation for the tour, and loving every bit. Tristan and Eseult have gone missing and Iveriu is on the brink of war with Armorica… Branwen is in the middle of it all and trying to fix world and I can’t wait to find out how the story ends. Get your signed copy of Bright Raven Skies from Forbidden Planet.
Going by genre, the other YA fantasy on here is Ghost Wood Song by Erica Waters. This LGBTQ+ debut promises to be delightfully creepy, with protagonist Shady Grove being able to call forth ghosts with her fiddle, murder and family secrets. It seems horribly underhyped, but I have managed to get my grabby hands on an e-ARC so look out for my review soon. It also has a stellar 4.35 rating on Goodreads right now! Ghost Wood Song is out on the 20th of August, and you can pre-order it from Waterstones.
AND AUGUST IS HARROW MONTH! Finally, after ages of waiting, Harrow the Ninth by Tamsyn Muir will be released on August 4th! I was lucky enough to be able to read Gideon the Ninth early last summer, and LOVED it (it was probably my favourite book of 2019 – see my review) and I’ve been eagerly awaiting having my heart ripped out and stomped all over by Harrow ever since. All I can say is, you need this in your life! Get a copy from Portal Bookshop here.
And to end this list, Tehlor Kay Mejia’s newest offering, Paola Santiago and the River of Tears will be coming out from the Rick Riordan Presents imprint on the 4th as well. Based on Mexican folklore and mythology, one of my favourite YA authors is bringing her talents to middle grade for the first time – a winning combination in my book! Twelve-year old Paola loves space, logic and science, but has to deal with spirits and suchlike defying explanation and upending her world… Pre-order it from Waterstones.
There are so many great books coming out in July – we’re hitting that first wave of COVID delays being published! I had to really limit myself to get to a manageable list, and it’s a really diverse one this month that I’m quite excited about. I hope you love the ideas behind these books as much as I do and decide to check them out!
The first book on this list is Girl, Serpent, Thorn by Melissa Bashardoust. I reviewed an ARC of this a while back (click here for my review) – and I’ve already snagged myself a shiny finished copy from Fairyloot. This lush, Persian mythology based story centres a morally grey princess who discovers her bisexuality and struggles with doing the right thing. It is compelling and wonderful, and I love it so much. It’s finally out on the 7th of July after being pushed back, and you need it in your life. Pre-order it from Waterstones!
Also out on the 7th of July is The Book of Dragons edited by Jonathan Strahan. This volume collects stories based on world mythology from some of the best contemporary fantasy authors – think R.F. Kuang, Zen Cho, Sarah Gailey… to name just a few of my personal favourites in the lineup. Every entry is also accompanied by a piece of artwork, and have I mentioned that it draws from all sorts of cultures? I love short story anthologies, and this promises to be an extraordinarily excellent one! Pre-order DRAGONS from Forbidden Planet.
One of my top three books of 2020 so far is The Once and Future Witches by Alix E. Harrow, a book about witches fighting the patriarchy. So I’ve been intrigued about Alexis Henderson’s The Year of the Witching ever since I first heard of it. Out on the 21st of July, this is a book about witches in a puritanical society, dealing with race politics and religion. Immanuelle sounds like my kind of dark and spirited witch, fighting for what is right, and I already love her, even before reading the book. You can pre-order this one from Forbidden Planet.
To cap this list, also out on the 21st of July, we have Trouble the Saints by Alaya Dawn Johnson. Black girl magic in alternative history meets assassins falling in love, set in late Jazz-age NYC. Phyllis, the MC is a white-passing Black woman, working as an assassin for a mob boss and features both a magical love story and an exploration of racial tensions. It sounds like a wonderful read, and I can’t wait to get my greedy hands on it next month! Pre-order it from Hive (though the UK release isn’t until August, sadly).
It’s a bit late this month, but it’s here: June’s most amazing new releases! And there are some great books coming out in the next few weeks – I can’t believe I’ve been doing these posts for six months now. I’ve already reviewed the wonderful Court of Miracles, so I’m not including it again here, but it’s out on the 4th!
So, one book that I’m super excited for, and that I’ve had pre-ordered for ages is Forest of Souls by Lori M. Lee. Dark forest atmosphere, spiders and shaman magic? Yes please! There also seems to be a focus on friendship rather than romance (though I haven’t gotten to read this yet), which sounds promising, as well as comparison to Naomi Novik and Susan Dennard, two authors I adore. I suspect that I will devour Forest of Souls and fall for Lori’s dark and inventive world. And just look at that beautiful cover… Out on the 23rd of June, you can pre-order Forest of Souls from Hive.
Mermaids/Sirens meet Black Lives Matter. Never more crucial than right now, A Song Below Water by Bethany C. Morrow mixes fantasy with social justice and politics. From the synopsis: “But everything changes in the aftermath of a siren murder trial that rocks the nation; the girls’ favorite Internet fashion icon reveals she’s also a siren, and the news rips through their community. Tensions escalate when Effie starts being haunted by demons from her past, and Tavia accidentally lets out her magical voice during a police stop. No secret seems safe anymore—soon Portland won’t be either.” It sounds incredibly intriguing and I can’t wait to read it as soon as possible. A Song Below Water is out on the 2nd of June, and you can get a copy via Amazon (sorry it’s the only place I could find in the UK!).
Another dark and twisty book, A Song of Wraiths and Ruin by Roseanne A. Brown is a tale of necromancy and betrayal inspired by West African folklore. It also has an incredibly stunning cover featuring a black girl! Publishing has done ok for once. A Song of Wraiths and Ruin promises to be an exciting enemies-to-lovers fantasy, perfect summer reading while I should be working on my dissertation instead! I’ve been loving African-inspired fantasy, so I’m looking forward to reading this debut and getting lost in its world. This one is also out on the 2nd of June, and you can order it from Hive.
Mexican Gothic by Silvia Moreno-Garcia is the only one on this list that I actually have an ARC for – although I have not managed to read it yet. This is a Gothic horror novel set in a 1950s mansion in Mexico, featuring ghosts, madness and family secrets. Like all of the books on this list, it has a stunning cover. It sounds like a psychological thriller meeting a locked house mystery crossed with magic, so I can’t wait to get stuck into it. Look out for my review in the next couple of weeks! It is out on the 30th of June, and you can get yourself a copy pre-ordered via Hive!
I know this is one that you’ve been waiting for – I’m sorry it’s arriving later than usual, April has been an insane month! I’ve had some uni-deadlines, and the anthology I’m editing is heading towards the finish line, which is all exciting, and publication dates moving around haven’t helped either. I’m confident that the books I’ve included here are all actually being published in May as of now & I hope I can motivate you to support some of these authors in this crazy time.
The first book I want to mention doesn’t actually get published until the 26th, so the very end of the month. Out Now is the follow up to All Out, and it’s an all queer YA short story anthology. Whereas All Out featured stories throughout history, Out Now focuses on experiences of contemporary teens, and I’m pretty damn excited. I loved All Out so much I bought copies for multiple friends, so I’ve been hyped up for this new anthology ever since it was first announced! Get a copy from Book Depository or your indie of choice.
Another queer book I’m super excited for is Maggie Tokuda-Hall’s The Mermaid, the Witch and the Sea, out on the 5th. A genderfluid pirate MC, adventures at sea, witches… all things that get me like a moth to the flame. I can’t wait to read it as soon as I get my grabby hands on it! Get it from Book Depository or your indie of choice.
Out on the same day is The Life and (Medieval) Times of Kit Sweetly. I’m not usually a big contemporary girl, but I’ve been reading a bit more throughout the quarantine and enjoying it and you bet I’ll make an exception for anything medieval-themed. Set in a medieval-themed restaurant, Kit fights for her right to be a knight rather than the wench her gender would assign her to be. This promises to be a sweet, feminist story with hints of medievalism, and I’m sure I’ll love the distraction. Pre-order from Book Depository or of course your indie of choice!
One of the fantasy novels I can’t wait for is House of Dragons by Jessica Cluess, out on the 12th. I do have to admit, this is mainly due to the EPIC cover art – I keep forgetting what it is actually about! But look at the pretty swords, how can you not desperately want to read a book with such amazing swords on the cover? It sounds like a great multi-PoV story, focused on a competition for a throne and is comped to the Breakfast Club, so there’s bound to be humour and unlikely camaraderie. All in all, a total package. Pre-order this one from Book Depository or your local indie!
This last one might have had its physical release moved to later in the summer, but the eBook version is still coming out on the 5th! Dangerous Remedy by Kat Dunn is this month’s entry into the 2020 series of queer French revolutionary books and I AM SO HYPED for it. This is also UKYA which makes it even better (and rumor has it a certain book box has early bound copies…). A band of outcasts trying to make their way through Paris while avoiding getting their heads chopped off by the guillotine, with magic? What’s not to love? Get this one from your favourite source of eBooks, or persuade your indie of choice to order it for you in summer!