And another month is almost over so it’s time for more books I can’t wait to get my grabby hands on featuring A LOT of dark academia…
The Devil Makes Three by Tori Bovalino will be published by Page Street Kids on the 10th of August (the UK edition is coming out from Titan in September). This is a YA dark academia fantasy and it sounds amazing. Set in a library, full of banter, enemies to lovers dynamics, insane chemistry, demons and witchcraft this ticks all my boxes. I look forward to getting stuck into the world and disappearing for a while – I think it’ll be great escapism. It does sound like it’ll be m/f, but I think the premise is awesome enough that I can forgive it that. And have I mentioned book-bound demon?! Get your copy from Bookshop here (affiliate link).
Victoria Lee’s A Lesson in Vengeance is one of my most anticipated books of the year. Out from Delacorte Press on the 3rd, this is dark academia of the most delicious sort. I loved their first duology and I expect this to be even better – this is sapphic and witchy and everything I like about a book. There is no way I’m not going to absolutely love this one. From the blurb: “Witchcraft is woven into Dalloway’s history. The school doesn’t talk about it, but the students do. In secret rooms and shadowy corners, girls convene. And before her girlfriend died, Felicity was drawn to the dark. She’s determined to leave that behind her now; all Felicity wants is to focus on her senior thesis and graduate. But it’s hard when Dalloway’s occult history is everywhere. And when the new girl won’t let her forget.” Order a copy from Amazon here.
Redemptor by Jordan Ifueko is the sequel to last year’s Raybearer, one of my favourite YA fantasy novels. This continues Tarisai’s story and concludes the duology and to say that I’m excited for it is an understatement. I’m planning on rereading Raybearer this week so you know… This is African-set fantasy at its best, unashamedly not adhering to western ideas of story-telling, and featuring some of the most wonderful characters out there. A true delight. Oh, and the writing is wonderful too. Out on the 17th from Hot Key, and you can order your copy from Bookshop here (affiliate link).
It’s no secret that I’ve been really into retellings of classical mythology, so it should not surprise anyone that The Women of Troy by Pat Barker is on this list. Out on the 19th from Doubleday, this follows The Silence of the Girls, which is the story of Briseis in the Greek camp during the Trojan war. This one starts as the war ends and the Greek warriors are desperate to return – but the good winds just won’t come and they have to wait to be able to sail home. I really enjoyed the first one, so I’m sure I’ll love this one too. It’s always great to be able to read a story from a perspective so different to the one it’s always told from. Order it from Bookshop here (affiliate link)
And July just keeps up the great streak 2021 has been in terms of book releases. One of my favourite reads of the year so far, She Who Became the Sun will finally be released (see my review here). But it’s not the only book that I can’t wait to get my hands on.
Half Sick of Shadows by Laura Sebastian will be published by Ace on the 6th of July. This is her adult debut after a YA trilogy, and a feminist reimagining of the story of the Lady of Shalott. So obviously I can’t wait to read it – feminist retelling, Arthuriana and influenced by mythology are my jam. From the blurb: “Everyone knows the legend. Of Arthur, destined to be a king. Of the beautiful Guinevere, who will betray him with his most loyal knight, Lancelot. Of the bitter sorceress, Morgana, who will turn against them all. But Elaine alone carries the burden of knowing what is to come–for Elaine of Shalott is cursed to see the future.” It sounds delicious and wonderful and I need it. If you’re just as tempted, you can order a copy from Bookshop here (affiliate link).
I’ve been getting into horror more recently, and so I’m very excited about The Final Girl Support Group by Grady Hendrix, out on the 13th by Titan. The final girl is a huge horror/splatter trope, but what happens to those girls who have survived the slaughter? Six of them formed a self-help therapy group – which has been going for a very long time. But now it’s coming to an end – one, maybe all of the final girls might not survive the day. It sounds like such good fun and I can’t wait to escape into this good old fashioned slasher thriller. You can order a copy from Bookshop here (affiliate link).
After those big adult tomes, another book I’m very excited about is The Ghoul Next Door – a MG graphic novel by Cullen Bunn and Cat Farris. This is the story of a boy who is haunted, a friendship with a ghost and much mystery and creep. It sounds absolutely charming and wonderful – I love graphic novels these days and a middle grade ghost story is really my kind of thing. And if the cover is any indication, the art is really cool too. Order a copy from Bookshop here (affiliate link).
This wouldn’t be a me-list if I didn’t include some awesome YA fantasy as well. I’m very excited about It Ends In Fire by Andrew Shvarts, out on the 6th. This is a dark-ish story about a girl going undercover at a wizard school, determined to use her gained knowledge to destroy them all. The cover is stunning – which might have been why I was interested in the book to start with. But it also fits hardmode revenge seeking plot for the r/fantasy bingo, which might just be the excuse I need to order myself a copy. It sounds delightfully fun. Order a copy via Bookshop here (affiliate link).
June is going to be another epic month of great books – I once again send you to my huge 2021 post where I talk about some great books that I’m very excited about (find it here) to avoid using this space to repeat myself. It talks about The Nature of Witches, Daughter of Sparta and The Jasmine Throne (review here) among others. There are some more, like The Wolf and the Woodsman and For the Wolf, which I’m expecting to review in the next couple of weeks, so I’m not going to talk about them at length here.
The Girl from the Sea by Molly Knox Ostertag is a YA graphic novel that will be released on the first of June. It sounds incredibly cute: Fifteen-year-old Morgan has a secret: She can’t wait to escape the perfect little island where she lives. Because really, Morgan’s biggest secret is that she has a lot of secrets, including the one about wanting to kiss another girl. That is, until she is saved from drowning by a mysterious girl named Keltie. They soon become close and Morgan finds life on the island not as confining anymore… But Keltie has secrets of her own, and their secrets will find their way out into the open whether they are ready or not. Honestly, just inject it into my veins now. I’ve developed a hankering for adorable queer graphic novels, and it looks like this one fits the bill perfectly. Order a copy from Portal Bookshop here.
Blood Like Magic by Liselle Sanbury is a YA fantasy out on the 15th of June. After years of waiting for her Calling – a trial every witch must pass in order to come into their powers – the one thing Voya Thomas didn’t expect was to fail. When Voya’s ancestor gives her an unprecedented second chance to complete her Calling, she agrees, and then is horrified when her task is to kill her first love. And this time, failure means every Thomas witch will be stripped of their magic. But there’s just a tiny problem. She hasn’t been in love with anyone yet. So she sets out to find a match, caught between morality and duty to her bloodline, all the while trying to master her witchcraft. This sounds like such a fun light fantasy – and the cover is absolutely stunning. I’m a sucker for a good witch and Voya sounds like a wonderful leading lady. Order a copy via Bookshop here (affiliate link) – though be warned, it looks like UK release is later!
Star Eater by Kerstin Hall is the last book on my list for this month. It will be released on the 22nd of June and is very much aimed at the adult end of the SFF readership. This sounds like a delightfully weird science-fantasy of cannibalistic nuns in space. And if that doesn’t persuade you that you need to check this book out, I’m not sure what will. From the blurb: Elfreda Raughn will avoid pregnancy if it kills her, and one way or another, it will kill her. Though she’s able to stomach her gruesome day-to-day duties, the reality of preserving the Sisterhood of Aytrium’s magical bloodline horrifies her. She wants out, whatever the cost. This is a story of sacrifices, of hard choices and of how far women are willing to go when they don’t see a choice. This sounds dark and morally murky and right up my alley. Order yourself a copy from Blackwell’s here.
SO MANY fabulous books that are coming out in May. For reasons of space I’m not going to be talking about any that are in my 2021 post (which you can find here) or ones that I’ve reviewed (such as Ariadne by Jennifer Saint, review here) or that I will be reviewing in the next couple of weeks (such as Illusionary by Zoraida Cordova). This is entirely based on the books I can’t wait to read.
First on my list is Realm Breaker by Victoria Aveyard. I’ve heard loads of good things about this one, and I might have been begging publicists for this one… But alas, I haven’t gotten my hands on a copy yet. It sounds like an epic fantasy romp, with a misfit band of heroes, treating the fine line between YA tropeyness and Grimdark tones. This will be the perfect escapist book to read in May. It’s out on the 4th, and copies are available on Bookshop here (affiliate link).
I’ve you’ve been following me for a while, you might have noticed that I have a thing for books based on medieval legends (such as in this post on Arthurian retellings). So it goes without saying that I’m excited for Laure Eve’s Blackheart Knights. An Arthurian-inspired novel, using motorbikes instead of horses and set in a modern world. From the blurb, because that team managed to write it better than I ever could: Imagine a city where a young, magic-touched bastard astonishes everyone by becoming king – albeit with extreme reluctance – and a girl with a secret past trains to become a knight for the sole purpose of vengeance. […] Imagine Camelot but in Gotham: a city where knights are the celebrities of the day, riding on motorbikes instead of horses and competing in televised fights for fame and money. It sounds brilliant, and I’m looking forward to my review copy – I’ll probably be reviewing it over on Grimdark Magazine though. This is out on the 27th, and you can order your copy from Bookshop here (affiliate link).
I really enjoyed Red, White and Royal Blue by Casey McQuiston, once I got over myself, thinking that I wouldn’t like it because it’s contemporary romance. But it was such a soothing, wonderful audiobook that I’m now very excited for their next book, One Last Stop. It’s a new adult f/f romance, with a speculative twist, about two girls who meet on the subway – but one of them is from the present day and the other from the 1970s! It sounds funny and cute, and might be just what I need these days. It’s out on May 6th, and you can get a copy from Bookshop here (affiliate link) – though I’ll probably get the audio!
I’ve really been getting back into mysteries recently, and as someone who LOVES food, I’m very excited for Arsenic and Adobo by Mia P. Manansala. Deeply rooted in Filipino culture, this is the story of Lila, who is trying to save her Tita’s restaurant when an ex-boyfriend suddenly drops dead. As she’s the cops’ only suspect, Lila decides to take the investigation into her own hands. This sounds like a wonderful escapist read, and I can’t wait. It’s out on the 4th, and you can get a copy from Bookshop here (affiliate link).
Hi, my name is Fab and I’m a Rick Riordan fangirl. And that includes the Rick Riordan Presents imprint, which lets authors write about the mythology of the culture they’re closest to. And so I’m naturally very excited about The Last Fallen Star by Graci Kim. Based on Korean legends, and featuring witches, this is the kind of middle grade the world (and I need). It centres Riley, a girl in a powerful clan of healing witches, but without power of her own as she is adopted. When she and her sister attempt a spell to share her sister’s magic, all hell breaks loose. It sounds cute and compelling, and I’m excited. Out on the 4th of May, you can get a copy from Amazon here.
I would be remiss if I didn’t start this off by yelling that Sistersong is finally being published in April. I reviewed this historical epic fantasy for Grimdark Magazine at the start of the year and I haven’t stopped telling anyone who would listen that they need to read it. Find my review here, and order a copy from Bookshop here (affiliate link).
I love me a good fairy tale. And if it is dark and twisty, and features a sapphic romance, that is totally up my street. So I’ve been desperate to get my hands on Malice by Heather Walter since I saw the announcement. Told from the perspective of the villain, and featuring a cursed Princess Aurora, and the two working together to maybe lift the curse before it’s too late… Catnip! This will be out from Del Rey on the 13th of April, and you can pre-order a copy from Bookshop here (affiliate link).
The Light of the Midnight Stars by Rena Rossner is one of those books that I’ve been looking forward to forever. It’s a historical fantasy about witchcraft and Jewish folklore set in Hungary. I adored the author’s first book, The Sisters of the Winter Wood, one of the first books I reviewed on here (see here). This is from the blurb: “Deep in the Hungarian woods, the sacred magic of King Solomon lives on in his descendants. Gathering under the midnight stars, they pray, sing and perform small miracles – and none are more gifted than the great Rabbi Isaac and his three daughters. Each one is blessed with a unique talent – whether it be coaxing plants to grow, or predicting the future by reading the path of the stars.” It sounds wonderful and atmospheric and I can’t wait. Out from Orbit on the 15th of April, order a copy from Bookshop here (affiliate link).
Last year, I really enjoyed Finna by Nino Cipri. A fun romp through the multiverse based in an IKEA-equivalent. And now, Defekt, the follow up novella is being published on the 20th of April by Tor.com. Set in the same world/furniture store as the first one, this will feature a new protagonist. From the blurb: “To test his commitment to the job, Derek is assigned to a special inventory shift, hunting through the store to find defective products. Toy chests with pincers and eye stalks, ambulatory sleeper sofas, killer mutant toilets, that kind of thing. Helping him is the inventory team — four strangers who look and sound almost exactly like him. Are five Dereks better than one?”. Pre-order a copy via Bookshop here (affiliate link).
Translated from the original Polish, The Widow Queen by Elżbieta Cherezińska sounds like just the kind of historical inspired fantasy I’ve been loving recently. This is the blurb: “To her father, the great duke of Poland, Swietoslawa and her two sisters represent three chances for an alliance. Three marriages on which to build his empire. But Swietoslawa refuses to be simply a pawn in her father’s schemes; she seeks a throne of her own, with no husband by her side. The gods may grant her wish, but crowns sit heavy, and power is a sword that cuts both ways.” Forgotten historical figure, a woman who took power? Yes please. This will be out from Tor on the 6th of April and you can get a copy from Bookshop here (affiliate link).
This one is a bit late this month, but hey, it’s still February so it counts! There are tons of books that are being released in the next few weeks (also have a look at the books for March in my 2021 overview!)
One book that’s on that list nevertheless deserves mention here: The Second Bell by Gabriela Houston will be released by Angry Robot on the 9th of March. I got to read this early, and I absolutely loved it. It is a story of belonging, wrapped up in a Slavic-inspired fairytale. See my review on Grimdark Magazine! In terms of books that I’ve already reviewed on here, I’d like to point out Skyward Inn by Aliya Whitely, out from Rebellion on the 16th (review here) – I liked this so much that you can find a quote from my review in the finished copy. I also loved One Day All This Will Be Yours by Adrian Tchaikovsky, a funky novella about timetravel featuring a pet dinosaur (review here). This is from Rebellion too and out on the 2nd.
The Unbroken by C.L. Clark is out on the 23rd of March from Orbit. This is the story of a soldier and a princess, both fighting for the good of the people they each care about. It’s messy, both Touraine (the soldier) and Luca (the princess) are idiots but I love them. I’m two thirds of the way through, and I’m hoping to finish this over the next few days. The story also addresses colonialism and the day to day impact it has on society. It is set in a pseudo-North African setting, and Luca represents the colonial force. So far, this is a great book, though not an easy one. Also, please admire the amazing Tommy Arnold cover art! Order a copy from Bookshop here (affiliate link).
The Councillor by E.J. Beaton will be out on the 2nd from DAW. This wasn’t on my radar for the longest time, but I’ve had quite a few people rave about it. It’s a Machiavellian fantasy, with lots of scheming, plotting and politics. So just my cup of tea. Funnily enough, this too features a royal Luca, although this time a prince. It also features a scholar MC and is set in a queer-norm world, so it sounds wonderful. Get a copy of this via Blackwell’s here.
Burning Girls and Other Stories by Veronica Schanoes is also out on the 2nd, from Tor.com. The copy for this says that it ‘crosses borders and genres with stories of fierce women at the margins of society burning their way toward the center.’ It is a collection of stories around women forging their paths against society’s expectations. And as we all know that I’m an angry, rebellious feminist, this sounds like the best thing ever. Pre-order a copy from Bookshop here (affiliate link).
Hello lovely readers! February is approaching fast and I’ve got my hopes up for it to be better than January. Many great books are being released – do have another look at my 2021 overview as I’m not going to talk about the same books here (find it HERE).
First of all, the lovely C.L. Polk is releasing the final book in the Kingston Cycle. Soulstar is released on the 16th, and I am very much looking forward to reading it (though I haven’t read book two, Stormsong, yet). This is the story of Robin Thorpe, a character I fell in love with the first time I met her in Witchmark. I can’t wait to read more about this feisty young lady trying to become a doctor. If you like historical romantic fantasy, you definitely need to check these books out! Order it via Blackwell’s here.
The second book on my list is A History of What Comes Next by Sylvain Neuvel, which is also a Tor.com book. This is out on the 2nd. This is a sci-fi thriller, from the blurb: “A darkly satirical first contact thriller, as seen through the eyes of the women who make progress possible and the men who are determined to stop them…” It is about rocketry in the 1940s and it shows it from the perspective of Mia, whose family has been fighting to get to the stars for generations. It sounds fantastic and I want to get my hands on it ASAP. Order a copy from Blackwell’s here.
Four Lost Cities: A Secret History of the Urban Age by Annalee Newitz is a non-fiction history book (so TOTALLY not my thing, nope). I love Annalee Newitz’s writing so I’m really keen to read some of their non-fiction. This book centres on some urban metropoles that have since been abandoned, and looks at the reasons behind their abandonment. I was about to put this on one of my lists last year, but then the release got pushed to this February – it’s out on the 2nd as well. Based on archaeology, this sounds really interesting and I’ll definitely order it soon. Get your own copy from Blackwell’s here.
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).