2014 sounds like it will be an amazing year for books! That made it really difficult to make a list of my top 10 most anticipated books this year, though I couldn’t resist mentioning two additional books that I’m not positive will be out next year but will be pretty high on my must-read list if they are.
First, here are the 10 books I am most looking forward to that will be released in 2014!
Dust and Light (The Sanctuary Duet #1) by Carol Berg
Release Date: August 5, 2014
Carol Berg’s fantasy books and characters are wonderful, and that would be reason enough for me to look forward to any book of hers. I’m especially excited about Dust and Light since it is set in the same world as her Lighthouse Duet—I loved that duology, especially the second half.
National bestselling author Carol Berg returns to the world of her award-winning Flesh and Spirit and Breath and Bone with an all-new tale of magic, mystery, and corruption….
How much must one pay for an hour of youthful folly? The Pureblood Registry accused Lucian de Remeni-Masson of “unseemly involvement with ordinaries,” which meant only that he spoke with a young woman not of his own kind, allowed her to see his face unmasked, worked a bit of magic for her….After that one mistake, Lucian’s grandsire excised half his magic and savage Harrowers massacred his family. Now the Registry has contracted his art to a common coroner. His extraordinary gift for portraiture is restricted to dead ordinaries—beggars or starvelings hauled from the streets.
But sketching the truth of dead men’s souls brings unforeseen consequences. Sensations not his own. Truths he cannot possibly know and dares not believe. The coroner calls him a cheat and says he is trying to weasel out of a humiliating contract. The Registry will call him mad—and mad sorcerers are very dangerous….
Steles of the Sky (Eternal Sky #3) by Elizabeth Bear
Release Date: April 8, 2014
In my opinion, Elizabeth Bear is one of the best science fiction and fantasy authors currently writing and her books keep getting better and better. The first two books in her Eternal Sky trilogy are beautifully and thoughtfully written with sympathetic, well-developed characters. Shattered Pillars impressed me even more than the first book in the trilogy, and I’m looking forward to finding out what happens to Samarkar, Temur, and Bansh in the conclusion.
Elizabeth Bear concludes her award-winning epic fantasy Eternal Sky trilogy in Steles of the Sky.
Re Temur, legitimate heir to his grandfather’s Khaganate, has finally raised his banner and declared himself at war with his usurping uncle. With his companions—the Wizard Samarkar, the Cho-tse Hrahima, and the silent monk Brother Hsiung—he must make his way to Dragon Lake to gather in his army of followers. But Temur’s enemies are not idle; the leader of the Nameless Assassins, who has shattered the peace of the Steppe, has struck at Temur’s uncle already. To the south, in the Rasan empire, plague rages. To the east, the great city of Asmaracanda has burned, and the Uthman Caliph is deposed. All the world seems to be on fire, and who knows if even the beloved son of the Eternal Sky can save it?
The Goblin Emperor by Katherine Addison
Release Date: April 1, 2014
Katherine Addison is also Sarah Monette, and I will read ANYTHING written by Sarah Monette because her Doctrine of Labyrinth series is one of my favorites. Her characters and their distinct voices kept me turning the pages, and I’m quite intrigued by the sound of her next book.
A vividly imagined fantasy of court intrigue and dark magics in a steampunk-inflected world, by a brilliant young talent.
The youngest, half-goblin son of the Emperor has lived his entire life in exile, distant from the Imperial Court and the deadly intrigue that suffuses it. But when his father and three sons in line for the throne are killed in an “accident,” he has no choice but to take his place as the only surviving rightful heir.
Entirely unschooled in the art of court politics, he has no friends, no advisors, and the sure knowledge that whoever assassinated his father and brothers could make an attempt on his life at any moment.
Surrounded by sycophants eager to curry favor with the naïve new emperor, and overwhelmed by the burdens of his new life, he can trust nobody. Amid the swirl of plots to depose him, offers of arranged marriages, and the specter of the unknown conspirators who lurk in the shadows, he must quickly adjust to life as the Goblin Emperor. All the while, he is alone, and trying to find even a single friend… and hoping for the possibility of romance, yet also vigilant against the unseen enemies that threaten him, lest he lose his throne – or his life.
This exciting fantasy novel, set against the pageantry and color of a fascinating, unique world, is a memorable debut for a great new talent.
Magic Breaks (Kate Daniels #7) by Ilona Andrews
Release Date: July 29, 2014
Kate Daniels is my favorite urban fantasy series and one of my favorite ongoing series for many reasons: Kate’s character growth, well-developed secondary characters, intense action scenes, and a wonderful sense of humor make this series a must-read. Ilona Andrews is phenomenal at writing a series that builds well on the previous books and keeps readers invested. The sixth book was one of the better installments, and the seventh book promises to be particularly exciting since it sounds as though it’s drawing closer to seeing Roland firsthand. I can’t wait for July!
No matter how much the paranormal politics of Atlanta change, one thing always remains the same: if there’s trouble, Kate Daniels will be in the middle of it…
As the mate of the Beast Lord, Curran, former mercenary Kate Daniels has more responsibilities than it seems possible to juggle. Not only is she still struggling to keep her investigative business afloat, she must now deal with the affairs of the pack, including preparing her people for attack from Roland, a cruel ancient being with god-like powers. Since Kate’s connection to Roland has come out into the open, no one is safe—especially those closest to Kate.
As Roland’s long shadow looms ever nearer, Kate is called to attend the Conclave, a gathering of the leaders from the various supernatural factions in Atlanta. When one of the Masters of the Dead is found murdered there, apparently at the hands of a shapeshifter, Kate is given only twenty-four hours to hunt down the killer. And this time, if she fails, she’ll find herself embroiled in a war which could destroy everything she holds dear…
Dreams of Gods & Monsters (Daughter of Smoke and Bone #3) by Laini Taylor
Release Date: April 8, 2014
Laini Taylor is another author I will read anything by and has been ever since I read Silksinger. For this reason, I read Lips Touch: Three Times soon after it came out and this just made me even more determined to read any book of hers. Her prose is especially magical, and the darkness and complexity in her second Daughter of Smoke and Bone book made me quite interested in seeing how it would end.
By way of a staggering deception, Karou has taken control of the chimaera rebellion and is intent on steering its course away from dead-end vengeance. The future rests on her, if there can even be a future for the chimaera in war-ravaged Eretz.
Common enemy, common cause.
When Jael’s brutal seraph army trespasses into the human world, the unthinkable becomes essential, and Karou and Akiva must ally their enemy armies against the threat. It is a twisted version of their long-ago dream, and they begin to hope that it might forge a way forward for their people.
And, perhaps, for themselves. Toward a new way of living, and maybe even love.
But there are bigger threats than Jael in the offing. A vicious queen is hunting Akiva, and, in the skies of Eretz … something is happening. Massive stains are spreading like bruises from horizon to horizon; the great winged stormhunters are gathering as if summoned, ceaselessly circling, and a deep sense of wrong pervades the world.
What power can bruise the sky?
From the streets of Rome to the caves of the Kirin and beyond, humans, chimaera and seraphim will fight, strive, love, and die in an epic theater that transcends good and evil, right and wrong, friend and enemy.
At the very barriers of space and time, what do gods and monsters dream of? And does anything else matter?
The Fifth Season (The Broken Earth #1) by N.K. Jemisin
Release Month: August 2014
I have been a fan of N. K. Jemisin since reading her excellent debut novel, The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms. The Broken Kingdoms and The Killing Moon are also wonderful books with complex, well-developed characters and interesting worlds, and I love the sound of her upcoming new series.
This is the way the world ends. Again.
Three terrible things happen in a single day. Essun, a woman living an ordinary life in a small town, comes home to find that her husband has brutally murdered their son and kidnapped their daughter. Meanwhile, mighty Sanze — the world-spanning empire whose innovations have been civilization’s bedrock for a thousand years — collapses as most of its citizens are murdered to serve a madman’s vengeance. And worst of all, across the heart of the vast continent known as the Stillness, a great red rift has been been torn into the heart of the earth, spewing ash enough to darken the sky for years. Or centuries.
Now Essun must pursue the wreckage of her family through a deadly, dying land. Without sunlight, clean water, or arable land, and with limited stockpiles of supplies, there will be war all across the Stillness: a battle royale of nations not for power or territory, but simply for the basic resources necessary to get through the long dark night. Essun does not care if the world falls apart around her. She’ll break it herself, if she must, to save her daughter.
The Winner’s Curse by Marie Rutkoski
Release Date: March 4, 2014
Unlike the other books on this list, I’ve never read anything by the author. I have seen a lot of people raving about this book, though, and everything I’ve heard about it has piqued my curiosity. (If you’re in the US or Canada, you can enter to win a copy of The Winner’s Curse on Goodreads through January 3!)
In the tradition of Kristin Cashore and Cassandra Clare comes this brilliant, unputdownable, star-crossed romance about the curse of winning.
Seventeen-year-old Kestrel is an aristocratic citizen of Valoria, a vast empire that revels in war and enslaves those it conquers. Here, a girl like Kestrel has two choices: join the military or get married. Despite her skills in military strategy, Kestrel’s real passion is music.Which is why she feels compelled to buy Arin, a slave with a talent for singing, at auction. It’s not long before she finds herself falling in love with Arin, and he seems to feel the same for her. But Kestrel quickly learns that the price she paid for Arin is much higher than she ever could have imagined.
Set in a new world, The Winner’s Curse is a story of wicked rumors, dirty secrets, and games where everything is at stake, and the gamble is whether you will keep your head or lose your heart
Night Broken (Mercy Thompson #8) by Patricia Briggs
Release Date: March 11, 2014
Mercy Thompson is my favorite character in urban fantasy after Kate Daniels, and I’ve found the books in this series to be consistently solid reads that are like catching up with old friends. I finally read the seventh book a couple of weeks ago and now I’m looking forward to reading Mercy’s next adventure.
An unexpected phone call heralds a new challenge for Mercy. Her mate Adam’s ex-wife is in trouble, on the run from her new boyfriend. Adam isn’t the kind of man to turn away a person in need—and Mercy knows it. But with Christy holed up in Adam’s house, Mercy can’t shake the feeling that something about the situation isn’t right.
Soon, her suspicions are confirmed when she learns that Christy has the farthest thing from good intentions. She wants Adam back and she’s willing to do whatever it takes to make it happen, including turning Adam’s pack against Mercy.
Mercy isn’t about to step down without a fight, but there’s a more dangerous threat circling. Christy’s ex is more than a bad man—in fact, he may not be human at all. As the bodies start piling up, Mercy must put her personal troubles aside to face a creature with the power to tear her whole world apart.
Black Dog by Rachel Neumeier
Release Date: February 6, 2014
Read an Extract
I read Rachel Neumeier’s last published book, House of Shadows, and found it enchanting and beautifully written with some memorable characters. Plus I loved the fairy tale quality it had. I’m really looking forward to her next book, the first in a paranormal duology about werewolves (sort of). You can read more about Black Dog on the author’s website.
Natividad is Pure, one of the rare girls born able to wield magic. Pure magic can protect humans against the supernatural evils they only half-acknowledge – the blood kin or the black dogs. In rare cases – like for Natividad’s father and older brother – Pure magic can help black dogs find the strength to control their dark powers.
But before Natividad’s mother can finish teaching her magic their enemies find them. Their entire village in the remote hills of Mexico is slaughtered by black dogs. Their parents die protecting them. Natividad and her brothers must flee across a strange country to the only possible shelter: the infamous black dogs of Dimilioc, who have sworn to protect the Pure.
In the snowy forests of Vermont they are discovered by Ezekiel Korte, despite his youth the strongest black dog at Dimilioc and the appointed pack executioner. Intrigued by Natividad he takes them to Dimilioc instead of killing them.
Now they must pass the tests of the Dimilioc Master. Alejandro must prove he can learn loyalty and control even without his sister’s Pure magic. Natividad’s twin Miguel must prove that an ordinary human can be more than a burden to be protected. And even at Dimilioc a Pure girl like Natividad cannot remain unclaimed to cause fighting and distraction. If she is to stay she must choose a black dog mate.
But, first, they must all survive the looming battle.
Dreamwalker by C.S. Friedman
Release Date: February 4, 2014
I’ve only read two books by C.S. Friedman (In Conquest Born and Feast of Souls), but I need to read more of her books since they were both quite good. Early reviews of Dreamwalker have been positive, and it sounds quite promising.
All her life Jessica Drake has dreamed of other worlds, some of them similar to her own, others disturbingly alien. She never shares the details with anyone, save her younger brother Tommy, a compulsive gamer who incorporates some aspects of Jessica’s dreams into his games. But now someone is asking about those dreams…and about her. A strange woman has been watching her house. A visitor to her school attempts to take possession of her dream-inspired artwork.
As she begins to search for answers it becomes clear that whoever is watching her does not want her to learn the truth. One night her house catches on fire, and when the smoke clears she discovers that her brother has been kidnapped. She must figure out what is going on, and quickly, if she and her family are to be safe.
Following clues left behind on Tommy’s computer, determined to find her brother and bring him home safely, Jessica and two of her friends are about to embark on a journey that will test their spirits and their courage to the breaking point, as they must leave their own world behind and confront the source of Earth’s darkest legends – as well as the terrifying truth of their own secret heritage.
Those are the books I know are scheduled for release in 2014 that I’m most looking forward to, but there are two more that may be released in 2014 that I’m quite excited about:
The Thorn of Emberlain (Gentleman Bastard #4) by Scott Lynch
I wasn’t really hoping for the fourth book in this series so soon after the third, but Scott Lynch said it should be released in the fall next year! While it wasn’t perfect, I did love The Republic of Thieves for its entertaining dialogue and characters and am looking forward to the next installment.
The Fool’s Assassin (The Fitz and the Fool Trilogy #1) by Robin Hobb
Among the books I read that made me interested in reading fantasy were Robin Hobb’s Farseer, Liveship Traders, and Tawny Man trilogies. I was very excited to learn that she was writing a new trilogy about Fitz and the Fool that may be coming out next year!
I’m sure there will be other books coming out later in the year that I don’t know about yet that would be on this list, but those are the ones I’m most excited about that I know about right now! What books coming out next year are you most excited about reading?