One of the most exciting parts of a new year is looking forward to all the new books it will bring—upcoming installments in favorite series, stories written by esteemed authors, and novels by new-to-me writers that draw the eye with compelling descriptions (and perhaps a striking cover to match that enticing blurb!). There are so many intriguing 2017 releases that it was quite difficult to narrow down this year’s list to a reasonable number of books.
As usual, there are a few novels in series I particularly enjoy that do not yet have a publication date. If these three books came out in 2017, it would make the year even better:
- The Thorn of Emberlain by Scott Lynch
- The Warboy by Karin Lowachee
- Winds of Winter by George R. R. Martin
A couple of books on this list also appeared on last year’s list because they were originally scheduled for release in 2016 before being pushed back to 2017. I could not leave either off since they are by two authors whose work I am always excited to read!
Without further ado, here are some of the books I’m most looking forward to in 2017, ordered by current scheduled publication date.
The Bear and the Nightingale by Katherine Arden
Release Date: January 10
Though I’m currently reading it, The Bear and the Nightingale was already on my list even before a copy showed up in the mail! This novel sounded right up my alley since I love fairy tales and folk tales, and after sampling the first chapter, I had to keep reading. The writing is lovely, and so far, it’s every bit as enchanting as I’d hoped.
At the edge of the Russian wilderness, winter lasts most of the year and the snowdrifts grow taller than houses. But Vasilisa doesn’t mind—she spends the winter nights huddled around the embers of a fire with her beloved siblings, listening to her nurse’s fairy tales. Above all, she loves the chilling story of Frost, the blue-eyed winter demon, who appears in the frigid night to claim unwary souls. Wise Russians fear him, her nurse says, and honor the spirits of house and yard and forest that protect their homes from evil.
After Vasilisa’s mother dies, her father goes to Moscow and brings home a new wife. Fiercely devout, city-bred, Vasilisa’s new stepmother forbids her family from honoring the household spirits. The family acquiesces, but Vasilisa is frightened, sensing that more hinges upon their rituals than anyone knows.
And indeed, crops begin to fail, evil creatures of the forest creep nearer, and misfortune stalks the village. All the while, Vasilisa’s stepmother grows ever harsher in her determination to groom her rebellious stepdaughter for either marriage or confinement in a convent.
As danger circles, Vasilisa must defy even the people she loves and call on dangerous gifts she has long concealed—this, in order to protect her family from a threat that seems to have stepped from her nurse’s most frightening tales.
The Burning Page (The Invisible Library #3) by Genevieve Cogman
US Release Date: January 10
The Invisible Library (my review) was on my favorite books of 2015 list, and The Masked City was one of my favorite books of 2016 so of course the next Invisible Library book has to be here! This series follows the adventures of Irene, a spy who travels to alternate worlds in order to collect books for an organization existing outside of space and time known as the Library—and it is so much fun. It’s also largely an ode to the power of language, story, and books themselves, and as if that weren’t enough to endear them to this bibliophile, it also features a delightful narrative voice and a practical, capable, quick-thinking heroine. Additional highlights include dragons, fae, and hints of deeper mysteries surrounding the Library to be unraveled later.
Never judge a book by its cover…
Due to her involvement in an unfortunate set of mishaps between the dragons and the Fae, Librarian spy Irene is stuck on probation, doing what should be simple fetch-and-retrieve projects for the mysterious Library. But trouble has a tendency of finding both Irene and her apprentice, Kai—a dragon prince—and, before they know it, they are entangled in more danger than they can handle…
Irene’s longtime nemesis, Alberich, has once again been making waves across multiple worlds, and, this time, his goals are much larger than obtaining a single book or wreaking vengeance upon a single Librarian. He aims to destroy the entire Library—and make sure Irene goes down with it.
With so much at stake, Irene will need every tool at her disposal to stay alive. But even as she draws her allies close around her, the greatest danger might be lurking from somewhere close—someone she never expected to betray her…
Wintersong by S. Jae-Jones
Release Date: February 7
Dark fairy tales are among my favorite types of stories, so this debut novel piqued my interest the very first time I heard about it. Since then, I’ve only heard praise for Wintersong so I continue to look forward to its release!
Beware the goblin men and the wares they sell.
All her life, nineteen-year-old Liesl has heard tales of the beautiful, mysterious Goblin King. He is the Lord of Mischief, the Ruler Underground, and the muse around which her music is composed. Yet, as Liesl helps shoulder the burden of running her family’s inn, her dreams of composition and childish fancies about the Goblin King must be set aside in favor of more practical concerns.
But when her sister Käthe is taken by the goblins, Liesl journeys to their realm to rescue her sister and return her to the world above. The Goblin King agrees to let Käthe go—for a price. The life of a maiden must be given to the land, in accordance with the old laws. A life for a life, he says. Without sacrifice, nothing good can grow. Without death, there can be no rebirth. In exchange for her sister’s freedom, Liesl offers her hand in marriage to the Goblin King. He accepts.
Down in the Underground, Liesl discovers that the Goblin King still inspires her—musically, physically, emotionally. Yet even as her talent blossoms, Liesl’s life is slowly fading away, the price she paid for becoming the Goblin King’s bride. As the two of them grow closer, they must learn just what it is they are each willing to sacrifice: her life, her music, or the end of the world.
Empress of a Thousand Skies by Rhoda Belleza
Release Date: February 7
Empress of a Thousand Skies is another debut novel and the first book in a duology. Science fiction with a determined princess and a fugitive facing a galactic threat sounds like fun, plus I love the title!
Rhee, also known as Crown Princess Rhiannon Ta’an, is the sole surviving heir to a powerful dynasty. She’ll stop at nothing to avenge her family and claim her throne.
Aly has risen above his war refugee origins to find fame as the dashing star of a DroneVision show. But when he’s falsely accused of killing Rhee, he’s forced to prove his innocence to save his reputation – and his life.
With planets on the brink of war, Rhee and Aly are thrown together to confront a ruthless evil that threatens the fate of the entire galaxy.
A saga of vengeance, warfare, and the true meaning of legacy.
Miranda and Caliban by Jacqueline Carey
Release Date: February 14
Miranda and Caliban is a Shakespeare-inspired novel written by Jacqueline Carey—I don’t believe any further explanation of why I want to read this is necessary!
A lovely girl grows up in isolation where her father, a powerful magus, has spirited them to in order to keep them safe.
We all know the tale of Prospero’s quest for revenge, but what of Miranda? Or Caliban, the so-called savage Prospero chained to his will?
In this incredible retelling of the fantastical tale, Jacqueline Carey shows readers the other side of the coin—the dutiful and tenderhearted Miranda, who loves her father but is terribly lonely. And Caliban, the strange and feral boy Prospero has bewitched to serve him. The two find solace and companionship in each other as Prospero weaves his magic and dreams of revenge.
Always under Prospero’s jealous eye, Miranda and Caliban battle the dark, unknowable forces that bind them to the island even as the pangs of adolescence create a new awareness of each other and their doomed relationship.
Miranda and Caliban is bestselling fantasy author Jacqueline Carey’s gorgeous retelling of The Tempest. With hypnotic prose and a wild imagination, Carey explores the themes of twisted love and unchecked power that lie at the heart of Shakespeare’s masterpiece, while serving up a fresh take on the play’s iconic characters.
In Calabria by Peter S. Beagle
Release Date: February 14
Although this appears to be unrelated to The Last Unicorn, I still want to read any story Peter S. Beagle writes featuring a unicorn!
From the acclaimed author of The Last Unicorn comes a new, exquisitely-told unicorn fable for the modern age.
Claudio Bianchi has lived alone for many years on a hillside in Southern Italy’s scenic Calabria. Set in his ways and suspicious of outsiders, Claudio has always resisted change, preferring farming and writing poetry. But one chilly morning, as though from a dream, an impossible visitor appears at the farm. When Claudio comes to her aid, an act of kindness throws his world into chaos. Suddenly he must stave off inquisitive onlookers, invasive media, and even more sinister influences.
Lyrical, gripping, and wise, In Calabria confirms Peter S. Beagle’s continuing legacy as one of fantasy’s most legendary authors.
Retribution (War of the Gods #2) by Jennifer Fallon
Release Date: March 1
I’m not 100% sure this is still scheduled for March 2017 (at least, in the US) since it doesn’t seem to have a cover yet and the publisher’s website does not list it. However, I’m keeping my fingers crossed for it because The Lyre Thief (my review) was an immensely entertaining book with meddling gods and false identities—and was another one of my favorite books of 2016!
Strange the Dreamer by Laini Taylor
Release Date: March 28
Laini Taylor is a master of prose: it’s vivid and beautiful yet effortless to read. She’s also wonderful at worlds and characters and has written some deliciously dark stories (such as the creepy tale “Hatchling” in Lips Touch: Three Times). It only took reading two of her books for me to realize that I want to read everything she authors!
A new epic fantasy by National Book Award finalist and New York Times bestselling author Laini Taylor of the Daughter of Smoke & Bone trilogy.
The dream chooses the dreamer, not the other way around— and Lazlo Strange, war orphan and junior librarian, has always feared that his dream chose poorly. Since he was five years old he’s been obsessed with the mythic lost city of Weep, but it would take someone bolder than he to cross half the world in search of it. Then a stunning opportunity presents itself, in the person of a hero called the Godslayer and a band of legendary warriors, and he has to seize his chance to lose his dream forever.
What happened in Weep two hundred years ago to cut it off from the rest of the world? What exactly did the Godslayer slay that went by the name of god? And what is the mysterious problem he now seeks help in solving?
The answers await in Weep, but so do more mysteries—including the blue-skinned goddess who appears in Lazlo’s dreams. How did he dream her before he knew she existed? and if all the gods are dead, why does she seem so real?
In this sweeping and breathtaking new novel by National Book Award finalist Laini Taylor, author of the New York Times bestselling Daughter of Smoke & Bone trilogy, the shadow of the past is as real as the ghosts who haunt the citadel of murdered gods. Fall into a mythical world of dread and wonder, moths and nightmares, love and carnage.
Welcome to Weep.
Assassin’s Fate (The Fitz and the Fool Trilogy #3) by Robin Hobb
Release Date: May 9
Robin Hobb has written several of my favorite fantasy books. I devoured her Farseer trilogy, then Liveship Traders, then Tawny Man (or, at least, what there was of it—not all of the books were out at the time and I remember ordering the third one from the UK because it was released there before the US). I was thrilled when she decided to continue Fitz’s story in this trilogy, and I loved the first two novels: Fool’s Assassin (my review) and Fool’s Quest (my review). The latter in particular was satisfying as a long-time fan of these series, and I’m excited to find out what happens next!
Warning: The book description below does contain spoilers for previous books in this series.
The final book in the Fitz and the Fool trilogy.
Prince FitzChivalry Farseer’s daughter Bee was violently abducted from Withywoods by Servants of the Four in their search for the Unexpected Son, foretold to wield great power. With Fitz in pursuit, the Servants fled through a Skill-pillar, leaving no trace. It seems certain that they and their young hostage have perished in the Skill-river.
Clerres, where White Prophets were trained by the Servants to set the world on a better path, has been corrupted by greed. Fitz is determined to reach the city and take vengeance on the Four, not only for the loss of Bee but also for their torture of the Fool. Accompanied by FitzVigilant, son of the assassin Chade, Chade’s protégé Spark and the stableboy Perseverance, Bee’s only friend, their journey will take them from the Elderling city of Kelsingra, down the perilous Rain Wild River, and on to the Pirate Isles.
Their mission for revenge will become a voyage of discovery, as well as of reunions, transformations and heartrending shocks. Startling answers to old mysteries are revealed. What became of the liveships Paragon and Vivacia and their crews? What is the origin of the Others and their eerie beach? How are liveships and dragons connected?
But Fitz and his followers are not the only ones with a deadly grudge against the Four. An ancient wrong will bring them unlikely and dangerous allies in their quest. And if the corrupt society of Clerres is to be brought down, Fitz and the Fool will have to make a series of profound and fateful sacrifices.
ASSASSIN’S FATE is a magnificent tour de force and with it Robin Hobb demonstrates yet again that she is the reigning queen of epic fantasy.
Thick as Thieves (Queen’s Thief #5) by Megan Whalen Turner
Release Date: May 16
Since I still need to read the fourth book, I dithered about whether or not to include Thick as Thieves here. Although I’m slightly behind, I decided I could not leave it off: after all, The Queen of Attolia is one of my favorites due to its characters and deft subtlety. (The book description does indicate this is a stand alone, but I still want to read them in order!)
Discover the world of the Queen’s Thief
Thick as Thieves is the eagerly anticipated new stand-alone novel set in the world of the Queen’s Thief. New York Times-bestselling author Megan Whalen Turner’s entrancing and award-winning Queen’s Thief novels bring to life the world of the epics and feature one of the most charismatic and incorrigible characters of fiction, Eugenides the thief. Megan Whalen Turner’s Queen’s Thief novels are rich with political machinations and intrigue, battles lost and won, dangerous journeys, divine intervention, power, passion, revenge, and deception. Perfect for fans of Leigh Bardugo, Marie Lu, Patrick Rothfuss, and George R. R. Martin.
Kamet, a secretary and slave to his Mede master, has the ambition and the means to become one of the most powerful people in the Empire. But with a whispered warning the future he envisioned is wrenched away, and he is forced onto a very different path. Set in the world of the Queen’s Thief, this epic adventure sees an ordinary hero take on an extraordinary mission. The Queen’s Thief novels have been praised by writers, critics, reviewers, and fans, and have been honored with glowing reviews, “best of” citations, and numerous awards, including the Los Angeles Times Book Prize, a Newbery Honor, the Andre Norton Award shortlist, and the Mythopoeic Fantasy Award. Discover and rediscover the stand-alone companion stories The Thief, The Queen of Attolia, The King of Attolia, and A Conspiracy of Kings, all epic novels set in the world of the Queen’s Thief. Thick as Thieves includes two maps, a map of the world of the Queen’s Thief, and a map of Kamet’s journey.
Flame in the Mist (Flame in the Mist #1) by Renée Ahdieh
Release Date: May 16
Due to the problem of too many books and too little time, I have yet to read The Wrath and the Dawn despite hearing it’s fantastic. As wonderful as it does sound, I think Flame in the Mist sounds even better. (Of course, I would—it features one of my favorite tropes!)
The daughter of a prominent samurai, Mariko has long known her place—she may be an accomplished alchemist, whose cunning rivals that of her brother Kenshin, but because she is not a boy, her future has always been out of her hands. At just seventeen years old, Mariko is promised to Minamoto Raiden, the son of the emperor’s favorite consort—a political marriage that will elevate her family’s standing. But en route to the imperial city of Inako, Mariko narrowly escapes a bloody ambush by a dangerous gang of bandits known as the Black Clan, who she learns has been hired to kill her before she reaches the palace.
Dressed as a peasant boy, Mariko sets out to infiltrate the ranks of the Black Clan, determined to track down the person responsible for the target on her back. But she’s quickly captured and taken to the Black Clan’s secret hideout, where she meets their leader, the rebel ronin Takeda Ranmaru, and his second-in-command, his best friend Okami. Still believing her to be a boy, Ranmaru and Okami eventually warm to Mariko, impressed by her intellect and ingenuity. As Mariko gets closer to the Black Clan, she uncovers a dark history of secrets, of betrayal and murder, which will force her to question everything she’s ever known.
Tomorrow’s Kin (Yesterday’s Kin #1) by Nancy Kress
Release Date: July 11
Nancy Kress is a superb science fiction author, and I’m looking forward to seeing what she does with her upcoming trilogy beginning with Tomorrow’s Kin. This upcoming series will expand upon her fantastic novella Yesterday’s Kin (my review), a thoughtful, nearly impossible to put down story about a scientist and her family.
Tomorrow’s Kin is the first volume in and all new hard SF trilogy by Nancy Kress based on the Nebula Award-winning Yesterday’s Kin.
The aliens have arrived… they’ve landed their Embassy ship on a platform in New York Harbor, and will only speak with the United Nations. They say that their world is so different from Earth, in terms of gravity and atmosphere, that they cannot leave their ship. The population of Earth has erupted in fear and speculation.
One day Dr. Marianne Jenner, an obscure scientist working with the human genome, receives an invitation that she cannot refuse. The Secret Service arrives at her college to escort her to New York, for she has been invited, along with the Secretary General of the UN and a few other ambassadors, to visit the alien Embassy.
The truth is about to be revealed. Earth s most elite scientists have ten months to prevent a disaster and not everyone is willing to wait.
The Stone Sky (The Broken Earth #3) by N. K. Jemisin
Release Date: August 15
N. K. Jemisin is a phenomenal writer and a consistently excellent author—one of the best there is, in my opinion. Her Broken Earth trilogy is brilliant, unique, complex, and powerfully written, and I’m looking forward to finding out how it ends after being blown away by The Obelisk Gate (my review): my book-related highlight of 2016.
THIS IS THE WAY THE WORLD ENDS… FOR THE LAST TIME.
The Moon will soon return. Whether this heralds the destruction of humankind or something worse will depend on two women.
Essun has inherited the power of Alabaster Tenring. With it, she hopes to find her daughter Nassun and forge a world in which every orogene child can grow up safe.
For Nassun, her mother’s mastery of the Obelisk Gate comes too late. She has seen the evil of the world, and accepted what her mother will not admit: that sometimes what is corrupt cannot be cleansed, only destroyed.
The remarkable conclusion to the post-apocalyptic and highly acclaimed trilogy that began with the multi-award-nominated The Fifth Season.
An Unkindness of Magicians by Kat Howard
Release Date: September 26
Roses and Rot, Kat Howard’s debut novel, is a fantastic book involving sisters, art, and fairy tales. It was another one of my favorites of 2016, and it left me looking forward to more by this author. I was quite happy to learn that her second novel is scheduled for release this year!
There is a dark secret that is hiding at the heart of New York City and diminishing the city’s magicians’ power in this fantasy thriller by acclaimed author Kat Howard.
In New York City, magic controls everything. But the power of magic is fading. No one knows what is happening, except for Sydney—a new, rare magician with incredible power that has been unmatched in decades, and she may be the only person who is able to stop the darkness that is weakening the magic. But Sydney doesn’t want to help the system, she wants to destroy it.
Sydney comes from the House of Shadows, which controls the magic with the help of sacrifices from magicians.
The Stone in the Skull (Lotus Kingdoms #1) by Elizabeth Bear
Release Date: October 10
Elizabeth Bear’s writing is gorgeous. As she’s another of my favorite authors, I’d be thrilled about any of her upcoming books, but I’m particularly excited about this trilogy since it’s set in the same world as her Eternal Sky books (Range of Ghosts, Shattered Pillars, Steles of the Sky).
Hugo Award winning author Elizabeth Bear returns to her critically acclaimed epic fantasy world of the Eternal Sky with a brand new trilogy.
The Stone in the Skull, the first volume in her new trilogy, takes readers over the dangerous mountain passes of the Steles of the Sky and south into the Lotus Kingdoms.
The Gage is a brass automaton created by a wizard of Messaline around the core of a human being. His wizard is long dead, and he works as a mercenary. He is carrying a message from a the most powerful sorcerer of Messaline to the Rajni of the Lotus Kingdom. With him is The Dead Man, a bitter survivor of the body guard of the deposed Uthman Caliphate, protecting the message and the Gage. They are friends, of a peculiar sort.
They are walking into a dynastic war between the rulers of the shattered bits of a once great Empire.