It looks like 2018 will be a year filled with excellent books, and this is my longest anticipated release list yet with almost 30 books! Each and every one of them sounded too fantastic not to be on such a list, but I’m only showing the first 10 books on the main page due to the length of this blog post. You can click the title of the post or the ‘more…’ link after the tenth book to read the entire article.

This list only includes books that are currently scheduled for publication in 2018 (in publication order). If I couldn’t find news of the book’s release date on the author or publisher’s website, I did not include it even though I might continue to hope for its 2018 release (this includes The Muse of Nightmares by Laini Taylor and Monstress, Volume 3 by Marjorie Liu and Sana Takeda).

Without further ado, here are several books coming out this year that sound especially excellent!

The Lost Plot by Genevieve Cogman
The Lost Plot (Invisible Library #4) by Genevieve Cogman
US Release Date: January 9
(Published in the UK in Late 2017)

Genevieve Cogman’s Invisible Library series is so much fun, and I always look forward to each new installment. It follows Irene as she travels to various alternate worlds to acquire books (usually by posing undercover and then stealing them) for the organization known as the Library, which exists outside of time and space. I confess that calling this an “anticipated book” may be a bit of a stretch since it just came out and I recently finished it, but leaving it off the list didn’t seem right, either, considering it was a 2018 release I had been very much looking forward to reading. (And in case you’re wondering since I haven’t reviewed it yet—it is delightful and filled with dragons!)

 

After being commissioned to find a rare book, Librarian Irene and her assistant, Kai, head to Prohibition-era New York and are thrust into the middle of a political fight with dragons, mobsters, and Fae.

In a 1920s-esque New York, Prohibition is in force; fedoras, flapper dresses, and tommy guns are in fashion: and intrigue is afoot. Intrepid Librarians Irene and Kai find themselves caught in the middle of a dragon political contest. It seems a young Librarian has become tangled in this conflict, and if they can’t extricate him, there could be serious repercussions for the mysterious Library. And, as the balance of power across mighty factions hangs in the balance, this could even trigger war.

Irene and Kai are locked in a race against time (and dragons) to procure a rare book. They’ll face gangsters, blackmail, and the Library’s own Internal Affairs department. And if it doesn’t end well, it could have dire consequences on Irene’s job. And, incidentally, on her life…

Markswoman by Rati Mehrotra
Markswoman (Asiana #1) by Rati Mehrotra
Release Date: January 23

The description of Rati Mehrotra’s debut novel Markswoman immediately piqued my interest by mentioning “an order of magical-knife wielding female assassins.” After I finished The Lost Plot, I picked up this novel and was immediately hooked by Kyra’s test to become a Markswoman, and I continue to find the world and the different orders intriguing after having read about 80 pages. (I promise, this is the last book on this list that I’ve read or am currently reading!)

 

An order of magical-knife wielding female assassins brings both peace and chaos to their post-apocalyptic world in this bewitching blend of science fiction and epic fantasy—the first entry in a debut duology that displays the inventiveness of the works of Sarah Beth Durst and Marie Lu.

Kyra is the youngest Markswoman in the Order of Kali, a highly trained sisterhood of elite warriors armed with telepathic blades. Guided by a strict code of conduct, Kyra and the other Orders are sworn to protect the people of Asiana. But to be a Markswoman, an acolyte must repudiate her former life completely. Kyra has pledged to do so, yet she secretly harbors a fierce desire to avenge her dead family.

When Kyra’s beloved mentor dies in mysterious circumstances, and Tamsyn, the powerful, dangerous Mistress of Mental Arts, assumes control of the Order, Kyra is forced on the run. Using one of the strange Transport Hubs that are remnants of Asiana’s long-lost past, she finds herself in the unforgiving wilderness of desert that is home to the Order of Khur, the only Order composed of men. Among them is Rustan, a young, disillusioned Marksman whom she soon befriends.

Kyra is certain that Tamsyn committed murder in a twisted bid for power, but she has no proof. And if she fails to find it, fails in her quest to keep her beloved Order from following Tamsyn down a dark path, it could spell the beginning of the end for Kyra—and for Asiana.

But what she doesn’t realize is that the line between justice and vengeance is razor thin . . . thin as the blade of a knife.

Tess of the Road by Rachel Hartman
Tess of the Road by Rachel Hartman
Release Date: February 27

Tess of the Road is set in the same world as Seraphina and its sequel Shadow Scale. That’s a pretty good reason to read it in and of itself, but it also sounds fantastic.

 

In the medieval kingdom of Goredd, women are expected to be ladies, men are their protectors, and dragons can be whomever they choose. Tess is none of these things. Tess is. . . different. She speaks out of turn, has wild ideas, and can’t seem to keep out of trouble. Then Tess goes too far. What she’s done is so disgraceful, she can’t even allow herself to think of it. Unfortunately, the past cannot be ignored. So Tess’s family decide the only path for her is a nunnery.

But on the day she is to join the nuns, Tess chooses a different path for herself. She cuts her hair, pulls on her boots, and sets out on a journey. She’s not running away, she’s running towards something. What that something is, she doesn’t know. Tess just knows that the open road is a map to somewhere else—a life where she might belong.

Returning to the spellbinding world of the Southlands she created in the award-winning, New York Times bestselling novel Seraphina, Rachel Hartman explores self-reliance and redemption in this wholly original fantasy.

If Tomorrow Comes by Nancy Kress
If Tomorrow Comes (Yesterday’s Kin #2) by Nancy Kress
Release Date: March 6

Nancy Kress is one of my favorite science fiction authors since she excels at writing books with both interesting ideas and characters. Tomorrow’s Kin, an expansion of the Nebula Award–winning novella Yesterday’s Kin, is smart and compulsively readable with a compelling main protagonist, and I can hardly wait to read the next book in the trilogy!

 

Nancy Kress returns with If Tomorrow Comes, the sequel of Tomorrow’s Kin, part of an all-new hard SF trilogy based on a Nebula Award-winning novella

Ten years after the Aliens left Earth, humanity has succeeded in building a ship, Friendship, in which to follow them home to Kindred. Aboard are a crew of scientists, diplomats, and a squad of Rangers to protect them. But when the Friendship arrives, they find nothing they expected. No interplanetary culture, no industrial base—and no cure for the spore disease.

A timeslip in the apparently instantaneous travel between worlds has occurred and far more than ten years have passed.

Once again scientists find themselves in a race against time to save humanity and their kind from a deadly virus while a clock of a different sort runs down on a military solution no less deadly to all. Amid devastation and plague come stories of heroism and sacrifice and of genetic destiny and free choice, with its implicit promise of conscious change.

Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeyemi
Children of Blood and Bone (Legacy of Orïsha #1) by Tomi Adeyemi
Release Date: March 6

It was the striking cover of Children of Blood and Bone that first caught my eye, and now I desperately want to read it because of the description. Everything about it sounds fantastic, including a heroine and rogue princess working together to outwit another!

Fierce Reads has an excerpt from Children of Blood and Bone if you want to take a peek at it while waiting for March.

 

Tomi Adeyemi conjures a stunning world of dark magic and danger in her West African-inspired fantasy debut, perfect for fans of Leigh Bardugo and Sabaa Tahir.

They killed my mother.
They took our magic.
They tried to bury us.

Now we rise.

Zélie Adebola remembers when the soil of Orïsha hummed with magic. Burners ignited flames, Tiders beckoned waves, and Zélie’s Reaper mother summoned forth souls.

But everything changed the night magic disappeared. Under the orders of a ruthless king, maji were killed, leaving Zélie without a mother and her people without hope.

Now Zélie has one chance to bring back magic and strike against the monarchy. With the help of a rogue princess, Zélie must outwit and outrun the crown prince, who is hell-bent on eradicating magic for good.

Danger lurks in Orïsha, where snow leoponaires prowl and vengeful spirits wait in the waters. Yet the greatest danger may be Zélie herself as she struggles to control her powers―and her growing feelings for an enemy.

Quietus by Tristan Palmgren
Quietus by Tristan Palmgren
Release Date: March 6

Once again, I was first drawn to this cover with its beautiful colors, but I now want to read it because of its description: a transdimensional anthropologist chooses compassion over neutrality.

 

A transdimensional anthropologist can’t keep herself from interfering with Earth’s darkest period of history in this brilliant science fiction debut

Niccolucio, a young Florentine Carthusian monk, leads a devout life until the Black Death kills all of his brothers, leaving him alone and filled with doubt. Habidah, an anthropologist from another universe racked by plague, is overwhelmed by the suffering. Unable to maintain her observer neutrality, she saves Niccolucio from the brink of death.

Habidah discovers that neither her home’s plague nor her assignment on Niccolucio’s world are as she’s been led to believe. Suddenly the pair are drawn into a worlds-spanning conspiracy to topple an empire larger than the human imagination can contain.

Daughters of the Storm by Kim Wilkins
Daughters of the Storm (Blood and Gold #1) by Kim Wilkins
US Release Date: March 6

Australian author Kim Wilkins’ Aurealis Award–nominated novel Daughters of the Storm will be published in the US this year, and it sounds fantastic: five very different sisters must work together for the sake of their kingdom.

 

Five very different sisters team up against their stepbrother to save their kingdom in this Norse-flavored fantasy epic—the start of a new series in the tradition of Naomi Novik, Peter V. Brett, and Robin Hobb.

FIVE ROYAL SISTERS. ONE CROWN.

They are the daughters of a king. Though they share the same royal blood, they could not be more different. Bluebell is a proud warrior, stronger than any man and with an ironclad heart to match. Rose’s heart is all too passionate: She is the queen of a neighboring kingdom who is risking everything for a forbidden love. Ash is discovering a dangerous talent for magic that might be a gift—or a curse. And then there are the twins—vain Ivy, who lives for admiration, and zealous Willow, who lives for the gods.

But when their father is stricken by a mysterious ailment, these five sisters must embark on a desperate journey to save him and prevent their treacherous stepbrother from seizing the throne. Their mission: find the powerful witch who can cure the king. But to succeed on their quest, they must overcome their differences and hope that the secrets they hide from one another and the world are never brought to light. Because if this royal family breaks, it could destroy the kingdom.

The Heart Forger by Rin Chupeco
The Heart Forger (Bone Witch #2) by Rin Chupeco
Release Date: March 20

The Bone Witch is the story of a powerful necromancer who had no idea that she had these abilities until she unwittingly raised her brother from the dead, as told to a bard by Tea herself. Part of what makes Tea such a compelling protagonist is discovering the differences between her character in the past and the harder young woman met by the bard, and I’m looking forward to learning more about what happened to her to cause these changes. (Also, both books have gorgeous covers!)

 

In The Bone Witch, Tea mastered resurrection―now she’s after revenge…

No one knows death like Tea. A bone witch who can resurrect the dead, she has the power to take life…and return it. And she is done with her self-imposed exile. Her heart is set on vengeance, and she now possesses all she needs to command the mighty daeva. With the help of these terrifying beasts, she can finally enact revenge against the royals who wronged her―and took the life of her one true love.

But there are those who plot against her, those who would use Tea’s dark power for their own nefarious ends. Because you can’t kill someone who can never die…

War is brewing among the kingdoms, and when dark magic is at play, no one is safe.

The Queens of Innis Lear by Tessa Gratton
The Queens of Innis Lear by Tessa Gratton
Release Date: March 27

Tessa Gratton’s upcoming fantasy novel inspired by King Lear sounds wonderful! (I am usually intrigued by fantasy books inspired by Shakespeare.)

 

Inspired by Shakespeare’s King Lear, dynasties battle for the crown in Tessa Gratton’s debut epic adult fantasy The Queens of Innis Lear, a story of deposed kings and betrayed queens

The erratic decisions of a prophecy-obsessed king have drained Innis Lear of its wild magic, leaving behind a trail of barren crops and despondent subjects. Enemy nations circle the once-bountiful isle, sensing its growing vulnerability, hungry to control the ideal port for all trade routes.

The king’s three daughters―battle-hungry Gaela, master manipulator Regan, and restrained, starblessed Elia―know the realm’s only chance of resurrection is to crown a new sovereign, proving a strong hand can resurrect magic and defend itself. But their father will not choose an heir until the longest night of the year, when prophecies align and a poison ritual can be enacted.

Refusing to leave their future in the hands of blind faith, the daughters of Innis Lear prepare for war―but regardless of who wins the crown, the shores of Innis will weep the blood of a house divided.

The Tea Master and the Detective by Aliette de Bodard
The Tea Master and the Detective (Xuya Universe) by Aliette de Bodard
Release Date: March 31

Aliette de Bodard described The Tea Master and the Detective on Twitter as “a gender-swapped Sherlock Holmes in space, with Holmes as an eccentric scholar, and Watson as a grumpy discharged war mindship.” I love this idea, the title, and the book cover and am eager to read more by Aliette de Bodard after being captivated by her latest Dominion of the Fallen novel, The House of Binding Thorns.

 

Welcome to the Scattered Pearls Belt, a collection of ring habitats and orbitals ruled by exiled human scholars and powerful families, and held together by living mindships who carry people and freight between the stars. In this fluid society, human and mindship avatars mingle in corridors and in function rooms, and physical and virtual realities overlap, the appareance of environments easily modified and adapted to interlocutors or current mood.

A transport ship discharged from military service after a traumatic injury, The Shadow’s Childnow ekes out a precarious living as a brewer of mind-altering drugs for the comfort of space-travellers. Meanwhile, abrasive and eccentric scholar Long Chau wants to find a corpse for a scientific study. When Long Chau walks into her office, The Shadow’s Child expects an unpleasant but easy assignment. When the corpse turns out to have been murdered, Long Chau feels compelled to investigate, dragging The Shadow’s Child with her.

As they dig deep into the victim’s past, The Shadow’s Child realises that the investigation points to Long Chau’s own murky past…and, ultimately, to the dark and unbearable void that lies between the stars…

Grey Sister by Mark Lawrence
Grey Sister (Book of the Ancestor #2) by Mark Lawrence
Release Date: April 3

Red Sister is the engaging story of a young girl with a mysterious past who is nearly hanged for murder but is then suddenly rescued by an abbess and brought to the convent to train in various arts including fighting and poisons. It was my runner-up for 2017 Book of the Year, and I can hardly wait to continue Nona’s story in Grey Sister.

 

The second novel in a brilliant fantasy series from the international bestselling author of Prince of Thorns.

Behind its walls, the Convent of Sweet Mercy has trained young girls to hone their skills for centuries. In Mystic Class, Novice Nona Grey has begun to learn the secrets of the universe. But so often even the deepest truths just make our choices harder. Before she leaves the convent, Nona must choose which order to dedicate herself to–and whether her path will lead to a life of prayer and service or one of the blade and the fist.

All that stands between her and these choices are the pride of a thwarted assassin, the designs of a would-be empress wielding the Inquisition like a knife, and the vengeance of the empire’s richest lord.

As the world narrows around her, and her enemies attack her through the system she is sworn to, Nona must find her own path despite the competing pulls of friendship, revenge, ambition, and loyalty.

And in all this only one thing is certain: there will be blood.

Lost Gods by Micah Yongo
Lost Gods by Micah Yongo
Release Date: April 3 (US), April 5 (UK)

Lost Gods is a fantasy debut novel inspired by Nigerian folktales from Micah Yongo’s childhood. It’s centered on an assassin and overall sounds superb!

 

In an epic fantasy kingdom inspired by African legends, a young assassin finds himself hunted by the brothers and sisters he has trained alongside since birth

Neythan is one of five young warriors trained and raised together by a mysterious brotherhood of assassins known as the Shedaím. When Neythan is framed for the murder of his closest friend, he pursues his betrayer – and in so doing learns there’s far more to the Brotherhood, and the machinations of the rulers of the warring kingdoms, than he’d ever thought possible.

Circe by Madeline Miller
Circe by Madeline Miller
Release Date: April 10

I’ve heard that Madeline Miller’s The Song of Achilles is excellent, and Circe sounds like another intriguing novel based on Greek mythology.

 

In the house of Helios, god of the sun and mightiest of the Titans, a daughter is born. But Circe is a strange child—not powerful, like her father, nor viciously alluring like her mother. Turning to the world of mortals for companionship, she discovers that she does possess power—the power of witchcraft, which can transform rivals into monsters and menace the gods themselves.

Threatened, Zeus banishes her to a deserted island, where she hones her occult craft, tames wild beasts and crosses paths with many of the most famous figures in all of mythology, including the Minotaur, Daedalus and his doomed son Icarus, the murderous Medea, and, of course, wily Odysseus.

But there is danger, too, for a woman who stands alone, and Circe unwittingly draws the wrath of both men and gods, ultimately finding herself pitted against one of the most terrifying and vengeful of the Olympians. To protect what she loves most, Circe must summon all her strength and choose, once and for all, whether she belongs with the gods she is born from, or the mortals she has come to love.

With unforgettably vivid characters, mesmerizing language and page-turning suspense, Circe is a triumph of storytelling, an intoxicating epic of family rivalry, palace intrigue, love and loss, as well as a celebration of indomitable female strength in a man’s world.

Fire Dance by Ilana C. Myer
Fire Dance by Ilana C. Myer
Release Date: April 10

I found Ilana C. Myer’s debut novel Last Song Before Night difficult to put down and was excited to learn that Fire Dance, another novel set in the same world, is being released this year.

 

Palace intrigue, dark magic, and terrifying secrets drive the beautifully written standalone novel Fire Dance, set in the world of Last Song Before Night.

Espionage, diplomacy, conspiracy, passion, and power are the sensuously choreographed steps of the soaring new high fantasy novel by Ilana C. Myer, one woman’s epic mission to stop a magical conflagration.

Lin, newly initiated in the art of otherwordly enchantments, is sent to aid her homeland’s allies against vicious attacks from the Fire Dancers: mysterious practitioners of strange and deadly magic. Forced to step into a dangerous waltz of tradition, treachery, and palace secrets, Lin must also race the ticking clock of her own rapidly dwindling life to learn the truth of the Fire Dancers’ war, and how she might prevent death on a scale too terrifying to contemplate.

Myer’s novel is a symphony of secret towers, desert winds, burning sands, blood and dust. Her prose soars, and fluid movements of the politically charged plot carry the reader toward a shocking crescendo.

From Unseen Fire by Cass Morris
From Unseen Fire (Aven Cycle #1) by Cass Morris
Release Date: April 17

From Unseen Fire is a historical fantasy debut novel set in an alternate version of Rome that sounds interesting, and I rather like the sound of the heroine and her siblings (especially the sister who pretends to be ignorant but is, in fact, quite clever).

 

From Unseen Fire is the first novel in the Aven Cycle, a historical fantasy set in an alternate Rome, by debut author Cass Morris

The Dictator is dead; long live the Republic.

But whose Republic will it be? Senators, generals, and elemental mages vie for the power to shape the future of the city of Aven. One such mage, Latona of the Vitelliae, must rediscover her incredible powers of Fire and Spirit—which she suppressed for years at the Dictator’s court—in order to protect her family and the city she loves.

Her siblings—a widow who conceals a canny political mind in the guise of a frivolous socialite, a young prophetess torn from the sanctuary of her temple, and a military tribune leading a dangerous expedition in the province of Iberia—will be her allies as she builds a place for herself in this new world, against the objections of their father, her husband, and the strictures of Aventan society.

Their paths intersect with that of Sempronius Tarren, a rising politician who dreams of a vast and harmonious empire growing from the nexus of their beloved city. He believes the gods have thrown down a personal challenge, and equipped him with the skills to steer Aven towards this glorious future—but in order to realize his goals, he will have to break the Republic’s most sacred law. Although centuries-old custom dictates that no mage may hold the highest political offices, Sempronius, a Shadow mage who has kept his abilities a life-long secret, intends to do just that.

As rebellion brews in Iberia, Sempronius must outwit the ruthless leader of the opposing Senate faction to claim the political and military power he needs to achieve his—and Aven’s—destiny. As Latona unleashes her magical potential, she discovers that Sempronius’s extraordinary vision for their nation aligns with her desires to protect its people—but their burgeoning relationship may jeopardize the very future they seek to build in Aven.

The Defiant Heir by Melissa Caruso
The Defiant Heir (Swords and Fire #2) by Melissa Caruso
Release Date: April 24

The Tethered Mage was so compulsively readable that I stayed up until 2:00 AM to finish it, and I can hardly wait to read more about Amalia and the fantastic world that Melissa Caruso has created!

 

Across the border, the Witch Lords of Vaskandar are preparing for war. But before an invasion can begin, they must call a rare gathering of all seventeen lords to decide a course of action.

Lady Amalia Cornaro knows that this Conclave might be her only chance to smother the growing flames of war, and she is ready to make any sacrifice if it means saving Raverra from destruction.

Amalia and Zaira must go behind enemy lines, using every ounce of wit and cunning they have, to sway Vaskandar from war. Or else it will all come down to swords and fire.

The Poppy War by R. F. Kuang
The Poppy War by R. F. Kuang
Release Date: May 1

This fantasy debut novel sounds excellent, especially the heroine: a young woman who surprises everyone when she’s accepted into an elite military school and then struggles with retaining her humanity while waging war in the service of a vengeful god.

 

A brilliantly imaginative talent makes her exciting debut with this epic historical military fantasy, inspired by the bloody history of China’s twentieth century and filled with treachery and magic, in the tradition of Ken Liu’s Grace of Kings and N.K. Jemisin’s Inheritance Trilogy.

When Rin aced the Keju—the Empire-wide test to find the most talented youth to learn at the Academies—it was a shock to everyone: to the test officials, who couldn’t believe a war orphan from Rooster Province could pass without cheating; to Rin’s guardians, who believed they’d finally be able to marry her off and further their criminal enterprise; and to Rin herself, who realized she was finally free of the servitude and despair that had made up her daily existence. That she got into Sinegard—the most elite military school in Nikan—was even more surprising.

But surprises aren’t always good.

Because being a dark-skinned peasant girl from the south is not an easy thing at Sinegard. Targeted from the outset by rival classmates for her color, poverty, and gender, Rin discovers she possesses a lethal, unearthly power—an aptitude for the nearly-mythical art of shamanism. Exploring the depths of her gift with the help of a seemingly insane teacher and psychoactive substances, Rin learns that gods long thought dead are very much alive—and that mastering control over those powers could mean more than just surviving school.

For while the Nikara Empire is at peace, the Federation of Mugen still lurks across a narrow sea. The militarily advanced Federation occupied Nikan for decades after the First Poppy War, and only barely lost the continent in the Second. And while most of the people are complacent to go about their lives, a few are aware that a Third Poppy War is just a spark away . . .

Rin’s shamanic powers may be the only way to save her people. But as she finds out more about the god that has chosen her, the vengeful Phoenix, she fears that winning the war may cost her humanity . . . and that it may already be too late.

Furyborn by Claire Legrand
Furyborn (The Empirium Trilogy #1) by Claire Legrand
Release Date: May 22

Furyborn sounds amazing and different: the fate of the world hinges on two young women in two different timelines.

 

The stunningly original, must-read fantasy of 2018 follows two fiercely independent young women, centuries apart, who hold the power to save their world…or doom it.

When assassins ambush her best friend, Rielle Dardenne risks everything to save him, exposing herself as one of a pair of prophesied queens: a queen of light, and a queen of blood. To prove she is the Sun Queen, Rielle must endure seven elemental magic trials. If she fails, she will be executed…unless the trials kill her first.

One thousand years later, the legend of Queen Rielle is a fairy tale to Eliana Ferracora. A bounty hunter for the Undying Empire, Eliana believes herself untouchable―until her mother vanishes. To find her, Eliana joins a rebel captain and discovers that the evil at the empire’s heart is more terrible than she ever imagined.

As Rielle and Eliana fight in a cosmic war that spans millennia, their stories intersect, and the shocking connections between them ultimately determine the fate of their world―and of each other.

The Book of M by Peng Shepherd
The Book of M by Peng Shepherd
Release Date: June 5

Peng Shepherd’s debut novel The Book of M sounds like a fascinating examination of memory and humanity.

 

Set in a dangerous near future world, The Book of M tells the captivating story of a group of ordinary people caught in an extraordinary catastrophe who risk everything to save the ones they love. It is a sweeping debut that illuminates the power that memories have not only on the heart, but on the world itself.

One afternoon at an outdoor market in India, a man’s shadow disappears—an occurrence science cannot explain. He is only the first. The phenomenon spreads like a plague, and while those afflicted gain a strange new power, it comes at a horrible price: the loss of all their memories.

Ory and his wife Max have escaped the Forgetting so far by hiding in an abandoned hotel deep in the woods. Their new life feels almost normal, until one day Max’s shadow disappears too.

Knowing that the more she forgets, the more dangerous she will become to Ory, Max runs away. But Ory refuses to give up the time they have left together. Desperate to find Max before her memory disappears completely, he follows her trail across a perilous, unrecognizable world, braving the threat of roaming bandits, the call to a new war being waged on the ruins of the capital, and the rise of a sinister cult that worships the shadowless.

As they journey, each searches for answers: for Ory, about love, about survival, about hope; and for Max, about a new force growing in the south that may hold the cure.

Like The Passage and Station Eleven, this haunting, thought-provoking, and beautiful novel explores fundamental questions of memory, connection, and what it means to be human in a world turned upside down.

Starless by Jacqueline Carey
Starless by Jacqueline Carey
Release Date: June 12

Of course, I’m looking forward to Starless because Jacqueline Carey, but I’m also intrigued by stories involving gods in mortal realms.

 

Jacqueline Carey is back with an amazing adventure not seen since her New York Timesbestselling Kushiel’s Legacy series. Lush and sensual, Starless introduces us to an epic world where exiled gods live among us, and a hero whose journey will resonate long after the last page is turned.

Let your mind be like the eye of the hawk…

Destined from birth to serve as protector of the princess Zariya, Khai is trained in the arts of killing and stealth by a warrior sect in the deep desert; yet there is one profound truth that has been withheld from him.

In the court of the Sun-Blessed, Khai must learn to navigate deadly intrigue and his own conflicted identity…but in the far reaches of the western seas, the dark god Miasmus is rising, intent on nothing less than wholesale destruction.

If Khai is to keep his soul’s twin Zariya alive, their only hope lies with an unlikely crew of prophecy-seekers on a journey that will take them farther beneath the starless skies than anyone can imagine.

A Thousand Beginnings and Endings edited by Ellen Oh and Elsie Chapman
A Thousand Beginnings and Endings edited by Ellen Oh and Elsie Chapman
Release Date: June 26

A Thousand Beginnings and Endings is an anthology inspired by East and South Asian myths and legends containing stories by excellent authors including Aliette de Bodard, Roshani Chokshi, Alyssa Wong, Renee Ahdieh, and more. (Also, this cover is gorgeous.)

 

Star-crossed lovers, meddling immortals, feigned identities, battles of wits, and dire warnings. These are the stuff of fairy tale, myth, and folklore that have drawn us in for centuries.

Fifteen bestselling and acclaimed authors reimagine the folklore and mythology of East and South Asia in short stories that are by turns enchanting, heartbreaking, romantic, and passionate.

Compiled by We Need Diverse Books’s Ellen Oh and Elsie Chapman, the authors included in this exquisite collection are: Renee Ahdieh, Sona Charaipotra, Preeti Chhibber, Roshani Chokshi, Aliette de Bodard, Melissa de la Cruz, Julie Kagawa, Rahul Kanakia, Lori M. Lee, E. C. Myers, Cindy Pon, Aisha Saeed, Shveta Thakrar, and Alyssa Wong.

A mountain loses her heart. Two sisters transform into birds to escape captivity. A young man learns the true meaning of sacrifice. A young woman takes up her mother’s mantle and leads the dead to their final resting place. From fantasy to science fiction to contemporary, from romance to tales of revenge, these stories will beguile readers from start to finish. For fans of Neil Gaiman’s Unnatural Creatures and Ameriie’s New York Times–bestselling Because You Love to Hate Me.

City of Lies by Sam Hawke
City of Lies (Poison War #1) by Sam Hawke
Release Date: July 3

Sam Hawke’s fantasy debut novel has a compelling opening line: “I was seven years old the first time my uncle poisoned me.” It’s supposed to be about those who work to prevent assassinations rather than the common assassin protagonist, and the editor’s discussion of City of Lies made me want to read it even more than I already did.

 

This amazing epic fantasy debut is perfect for fans of Robin Hobb and Naomi Novik.

I was seven years old the first time my uncle poisoned me… Outwardly, Jovan is the lifelong friend of the Chancellor’s charming, irresponsible Heir. Quiet. Forgettable. In secret, he’s a master of poisons and chemicals, trained to protect the Chancellor’s family from treachery. When the Chancellor succumbs to an unknown poison and an army lays siege to the city, Jovan and his sister Kalina must protect the Heir and save their city-state.

But treachery lurks in every corner, and the ancient spirits of the land are rising…and angry.

Spinning Silver by Naomi Novik
Spinning Silver by Naomi Novik
Release Date: July 10

Uprooted is superb, and I was thrilled to see Naomi Novik has another fantasy novel inspired by fairytales/folktales coming soon—this time, a retelling of “Rumpelstiltskin.”

 

A fresh and imaginative retelling of the Rumpelstiltskin fairytale from the bestselling author of Uprooted, called “very enjoyable fantasy with the air of a modern classic” by The New York Times Book Review.

Miryem is the daughter and granddaughter of moneylenders… but her father isn’t a very good one. Free to lend and reluctant to collect, he has loaned out most of his wife’s dowry and left the family on the edge of poverty—until Miryem steps in. Hardening her heart against her fellow villagers’ pleas, she sets out to collect what is owed—and finds herself more than up to the task. When her grandfather loans her a pouch of silver pennies, she brings it back full of gold.

But having the reputation of being able to change silver to gold can be more trouble than it’s worth–especially when her fate becomes tangled with the cold creatures that haunt the wood, and whose king has learned of her reputation and wants to exploit it for reasons Miryem cannot understand.

Naomi Novik once again creates a wonderfully rich, multilayered fantasty world that readers will want to return to again and again.

The Winter of the Witch (Winternight #3) by Katherine Arden
Release Date: August 14

Katherine Arden’s debut novel, The Bear and the Nightingale, is phenomenal and was my 2017 Debut of the Year and one of my three favorite books released last year. The sequel, The Girl in the Tower, is even better and was my choice for 2017 Book of the Year. To say I’m excited about The Winter of the Witch is an understatement!

 

In the stunning conclusion to the bestselling Winternight Trilogy, following The Bear and the Nightingale and The Girl in the Tower, Vasya returns to save Russia and the spirit realm, battling enemies both mortal and magic.

Mirage (Mirage #1) by Somaiya Daud
Release Date: August 28

Mirage does not yet have a cover, and I could not find more on it than a brief description—but that brief description was more than enough to make me desperately want to read it! (I love books in which characters pretend to be someone they are not, and this entire short overview sounds amazing!)

 

A YA fantasy/SF trilogy inspired by the author’s Moroccan background, in which a poor girl from an isolated moon must become the body double to the cruel imperial princess, and learns that life in the royal palace is far more dangerous and complicated than she imagined.

Black Wings Beating by Alex London
Black Wings Beating (Skybound #1) by Alex London
Release Date: October 9

The main reason I want to read Black Wings Beating is that it is a fantasy book that prominently features falconry. (I’ve become fascinated with raptors in the last year due to a nearby bird rescue and its wonderful education programs.)

 

The people of Uztar have long looked to the sky with hope and wonder. Nothing in their world is more revered than the birds of prey and no one more honored than the falconers who call them to their fists.

Brysen strives to be a great falconer―while his twin sister, Kylee, rejects her ancient gifts for the sport and wishes to be free of falconry. She’s nearly made it out, too, but a war is rolling toward their home in the Six Villages, and no bird or falconer will be safe.

Together the twins must journey into the treacherous mountains to trap the Ghost Eagle, the greatest of the Uztari birds and a solitary killer. Brysen goes for the boy he loves and the glory he’s long craved, and Kylee to atone for her past and to protect her brother’s future. But both are hunted by those who seek one thing: power.

In this first young-adult fantasy novel in a trilogy, Alex London launches a soaring saga about the memories that haunt us, the histories that hunt us, and the bonds of blood between us.