These lists are always hard because I know many books will be left off of it, especially ones coming out later in the year that I don’t know about yet! There are a few books that I’m hoping will come out in 2016 that would definitely be on this list if I knew they were coming out then but are not since I’m not sure they will be. I am keeping my fingers crossed for a 2016 release of Karin Lowachee’s The Warboy since I’ve now read all three Warchild books and really want to read more!
As of right now, these are some of my most anticipated books scheduled for release in 2016.
Assassin’s Fate by Robin Hobb
It’s been years since I read the first two trilogies about Fitz and Liveship Traders, but I read both the first and second book in The Fitz and the Fool trilogy this year—and LOVED them! Robin Hobb is an amazing writer who is particularly fantastic at characterization, and I was riveted even when simply following the characters’ daily lives in Fool’s Assassin. Fool’s Quest was even better and was immensely satisfying as a longtime fan of the series, and the final book in this trilogy is easily my #1 most anticipated book of 2016.
Kingfisher by Patricia A. McKillip
I haven’t read a lot by Patricia McKillip yet, but what I have read is magical. Her prose is gorgeous, and she is an auto-buy author for me based on the sheer strength of her work I have read (and several of her older titles are on my to-read pile).
Hidden away from the world by his mother, the powerful sorceress Heloise Oliver, Pierce has grown up working in her restaurant in Desolation Point. One day, Heloise tells her son the truth: about his father, a knight in King Arden’s court, about an older brother he never knew existed, about his father’s destructive love for King Arden’s queen, and Heloise’s decision to raise her younger son alone.
As Pierce journeys to Severluna, he learns that things are changing in that kingdom. Ancient magic is on the rise. The immensely powerful artifact of an ancient god has come to light, and the king is gathering his knights to quest for this profound mystery, which may restore the kingdom to legendary glory—or destroy it.
Strange the Dreamer by Laini Taylor
I always want to read anything written by Laini Taylor. She has an incredible way with words and description, and each book I read by her just makes me more sure I need to read everything she writes. Her Dreamdark books are lovely, especially Silksinger, and Daughter of Smoke and Bone and its sequel are also wonderful (I actually haven’t read the third book yet, for some reason). However, my favorite is still her dark and beautifully written novella “Hatchling” in Lips Touch: Three Times.
Strange the Dreamer is the story of:
the aftermath of a war between gods and men.
a mysterious city stripped of its name.
a mythic hero with blood on his hands.
a young librarian with a singular dream.
a girl every bit as perilous as she is imperiled.
alchemy and blood candy, nightmares and godspawn, moths and monsters, friendship and treachery, love and carnage.
Welcome to Weep.
Flamecaster by Cinda Williams Chima
I was sad when I was out of books to read in the Seven Realms series so I was delighted when I learned that Cinda Williams Chima was writing another series set in the same world! It took me awhile to get into the first book in the Seven Realms series, but once I did get into it, I couldn’t put it down. The fourth book was especially phenomenal, and I am looking forward to reading more!
The first in a thrilling new four-book fantasy series from New York Times bestselling author Cinda Williams Chima, set in the same world as her beloved Seven Realms series, a generation later
Adrian sul’Han, known as Ash, is a trained healer with a powerful gift of magic—and a thirst for revenge. Ash is forced into hiding after a series of murders throws the queendom into chaos. Now Ash is closer than he’s ever been to killing the man responsible, the cruel king of Arden. As a healer, can Ash use his powers not to save a life but to take it?
Abandoned at birth, Jenna Bandelow was told that the mysterious magemark on the back of her neck would make her a target. But when the King’s Guard launches a relentless search for a girl with a mark like hers, Jenna assumes that it has more to do with her role as a saboteur than any birth-based curse. Though Jenna doesn’t know why she’s being hunted, she knows that she can’t get caught.
Eventually, Ash’s and Jenna’s paths will collide in Arden. Thrown together by chance and joined by their hatred of the king, they will come to rescue each other in ways they cannot yet imagine.
Set in the world of the acclaimed Seven Realms series a generation later, this is a thrilling story of dark magic, chilling threats, and two unforgettable characters walking a knife-sharp line between life and death.
The Edge of Worlds by Martha Wells
I loved The Books of the Raksura for its endearing characters and imaginative world, and I was thrilled when a new series set in the same world was announced! The first of these, The Edge of Worlds, is scheduled for release in April.
An expedition of groundlings from the Empire of Kish have traveled through the Three Worlds to the Indigo Cloud court of the Raksura, shape-shifting creatures of flight that live in large family groups. The groundlings have found a sealed ancient city at the edge of the shallow seas, near the deeps of the impassable Ocean. They believe it to be the last home of their ancestors and ask for help getting inside. But the Raksura fear it was built by their own distant ancestors, the Forerunners, and the last sealed Forerunner city they encountered was a prison for an unstoppable evil.
Prior to the groundlings’ arrival, the Indigo Cloud court had been plagued by visions of a disaster that could destroy all the courts in the Reaches. Now, the court’s mentors believe the ancient city is connected to the foretold danger. A small group of warriors, including consort Moon, an orphan new to the colony and the Raksura’s idea of family, and sister queen Jade, agree to go with the groundling expedition to investigate. But the predatory Fell have found the city too, and in the race to keep the danger contained, the Raksura may be the ones who inadvertently release it.
The Edge of Worlds, from celebrated fantasy author Martha Wells, returns to the fascinating world of The Cloud Roads for the first book in a new series of strange lands, uncanny beings, dead cities, and ancient danger.
The Keeper of the Mist by Rachel Neumeier
One of my favorite new-to-me author discoveries of the last few years was Rachel Neumeier’s House of Shadows, and I love the sound of this upcoming fantasy!
A lush new fantasy about finding the will to lead against all odds, perfect for fans of Shadow and Bone.
Keri has been struggling to run her family bakery since her mother passed away. Now the father she barely knew—the Lord of Nimmira—has died, and ancient magic has decreed that she will take his place as the new Lady. The position has never been so dangerous: the mists that hide Nimmira from its vicious, land-hungry neighbors have failed, and Keri’s people are visible to strangers for the first time since the mists were put in place generations ago. At the same time, three half-brothers will their own eyes on the crown make life within the House just as dangerous as the world outside.
But Keri has three people to guide her: her mysterious Timekeeper, clever Bookkeeper, and steadfast Doorkeeper. Together they must find a way to repair the boundary before her neighbors realize just how vulnerable Nimmira is.
With a spunky main character, lyrical storytelling, and hidden romance, The Keeper of the Mist is an engrossing story that is full of adventure.
Children of Earth and Sky by Guy Gavriel Kay
Guy Gavriel Kay is fantastic at sweeping epics, and his writing and characters kept me turning the pages in River of Stars and Tigana (one of my favorite fantasy books) so of course I want to read his upcoming novel.
The bestselling author of the groundbreaking novels Under Heaven and River of Stars, Guy Gavriel Kay is back with a new novel, Children of Earth and Sky, set in a world inspired by the conflicts and dramas of Renaissance Europe. Against this tumultuous backdrop the lives of men and women unfold on the borderlands—where empires and faiths collide.
From the small coastal town of Senjan, notorious for its pirates, a young woman sets out to find vengeance for her lost family. That same spring, from the wealthy city-state of Seressa, famous for its canals and lagoon, come two very different people: a young artist traveling to the dangerous east to paint the grand khalif at his request—and possibly to do more—and a fiercely intelligent, angry woman, posing as a doctor’s wife, but sent by Seressa as a spy.
The trading ship that carries them is commanded by the accomplished younger son of a merchant family, ambivalent about the life he’s been born to live. And farther east a boy trains to become a soldier in the elite infantry of the khalif—to win glory in the war everyone knows is coming.
As these lives entwine, their fates—and those of many others—will hang in the balance, when the khalif sends out his massive army to take the great fortress that is the gateway to the western world…
Dreams of Distant Shores by Patricia A. McKillip
I do not normally get excited about short story collections, but I do if they are written by Patricia McKillip! My introduction to her work was the story collection Wonders of the Invisible World. I was sent an unsolicited ARC, and I took a look at it since I’d been meaning to pick up a book by Patricia McKillip for awhile and was thinking maybe I’d start one of her novels if I liked the writing. Instead, I ended up reading the entire collection, which was wonderful!
A youthful artist is possessed by both his painting and his muse. Seductive travelers from the sea enrapture distant lovers. The statue of a mermaid comes suddenly to life. Two friends are transfixed by a haunted estate.
Bestselling author Patricia A. McKillip (The Riddle-Master of Hed) is one of the most lyrical writers gracing the fantasy genre. With the debut of three brand-new stories, Dreams of Distant Shores is a true ode to her many talents. Fans of McKillip’s ethereal fiction will delight in these previously-uncollected tales; those new to her work will find much to enchant them.
The Obelisk Gate by N. K. Jemisin
N. K. Jemisin is a phenomenal writer, and I’ve been a fan since her debut The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms. The first book in this series, The Fifth Season, is well written with an amazing world and is one of the best books I read this year.
Masks and Shadows by Stephanie Burgis
This is the first book on this list by an author whose work I’ve never read, but I’m very excited about this one since it sounds like my type of book and I’ve heard great things about the author’s other work!
The year is 1779, and Carlo Morelli, the most renowned castrato singer in Europe, has been invited as an honored guest to Eszterháza Palace. With Carlo in Prince Nikolaus Esterházy’s carriage, ride a Prussian spy and one of the most notorious alchemists in the Habsburg Empire. Already at Eszterháza is Charlotte von Steinbeck, the very proper sister of Prince Nikolaus’s mistress. Charlotte has retreated to the countryside to mourn her husband’s death. Now, she must overcome the ingrained rules of her society in order to uncover the dangerous secrets lurking within the palace’s golden walls. Music, magic, and blackmail mingle in a plot to assassinate the Habsburg Emperor and Empress–a plot that can only be stopped if Carlo and Charlotte can see through the masks worn by everyone they meet.
The Masked City by Genevieve Cogman
The first three books in this series will all be released in the US next year (the UK cover image is above since there doesn’t seem to be a US cover image yet). I have already read the UK edition of the first book, The Invisible Library, but I haven’t yet read The Masked City (book two). However, I am very much looking forward to it since the first book in this series is a lot of fun!
Librarian-spy Irene is working undercover in an alternative London when her assistant Kai goes missing. She discovers he’s been kidnapped by the fae faction and the repercussions could be fatal. Not just for Kai, but for whole worlds.
Kai’s dragon heritage means he has powerful allies, but also powerful enemies in the form of the fae. With this act of aggression, the fae are determined to trigger a war between their people – and the forces of order and chaos themselves.
Irene’s mission to save Kai and avert Armageddon will take her to a dark, alternate Venice where it’s always Carnival. Here Irene will be forced to blackmail, fast talk, and fight. Or face death.
Ancestral Night by Elizabeth Bear
Elizabeth Bear is one of my favorite authors so of course I want to read her upcoming space opera!
Gollancz is delighted to announce the acquisition of World Rights to a two-book space opera from John W. Campbell and Hugo-Award-winning author, Elizabeth Bear.
Combining a unique concept with a compelling plot, Elizabeth Bear’s novels imagine the invention of The White Drive: an easy, nonrelativistic means of travel across unimaginable distances. The gripping story follows salvage operators, Haimey Dz and her partner Connla Kurucz, as they pilot their tiny ship into the scars left by unsuccessful White Transitions, searching for the relics of lost human – and alien – vessels.
Ninefox Gambit by Yoon Ha Lee
I’ve only read one short story by Yoon Ha Lee (“The Coin of Heart’s Desire” in Once Upon a Time: New Fairy Tales), but I was very impressed by it, especially the beautiful writing, and am quite curious about this upcoming science fiction novel!
The first installment of the trilogy, Ninefox Gambit, centers on disgraced captain Kel Cheris, who must recapture the formidable Fortress of Scattered Needles in order to redeem herself in front of the Hexarchate.
To win an impossible war Captain Kel Cheris must awaken an ancient weapon and a despised traitor general.
Captain Kel Cheris of the hexarchate is disgraced for using unconventional methods in a battle against heretics. Kel Command gives her the opportunity to redeem herself by retaking the Fortress of Scattered Needles, a star fortress that has recently been captured by heretics. Cheris’s career isn’t the only thing at stake. If the fortress falls, the hexarchate itself might be next.
Cheris’s best hope is to ally with the undead tactician Shuos Jedao. The good news is that Jedao has never lost a battle, and he may be the only one who can figure out how to successfully besiege the fortress.
The bad news is that Jedao went mad in his first life and massacred two armies, one of them his own. As the siege wears on, Cheris must decide how far she can trust Jedao–because she might be his next victim.
Winterwood by Jacey Bedford
I hosted the cover reveal for this upcoming historical fantasy release in October, and I’ve been excited about reading it ever since! Magic, adventure, piracy, and love—those all sound great to me!
Set in 1800 in Britain, Mad King George is on the throne with Napoleon Bonaparte knocking on the door. Unregistered magic users are pursued to the death, while in every genteel home resides uncomplaining rowankind bondservants who have become so commonplace that no one can recall where they came from.
Meanwhile, Rossalinde Tremayne is satisfied with her life as a cross-dressing privateer captain on the high seas. But a bitter deathbed visit to her estranged mother changes her life completely when she inherits a magical winterwood box. Now, not only is she confronted with a newly-discovered brother, and an annoyingly handsome wolf shapeshifter, Rossalinde has to decide whether or not to open the box to free rowankind and right an ancient wrong—even if it brings the downfall of Britain.
This brand-new series is perfect for fans of Elizabeth Bear, D.B. Jackson, and Marie Brennan, as well as readers of historical fiction who are looking for an accessible gateway to fantasy.
The Cold Between by Elizabeth Bonesteel
An ARC of this debut science fiction novel showed up in my mailbox one day, and I’ve been interested in reading it ever since as it sounds like a book I would enjoy.
Deep in the stars, a young officer and her lover are plunged into a murder mystery and a deadly conspiracy in this first entry in a stellar military science-fiction series in the tradition of Lois McMaster Bujold.
When her crewmate, Danny, is murdered on the colony of Volhynia, Central Corps chief engineer, Commander Elena Shaw, is shocked to learn the main suspect is her lover, Treiko Zajec. She knows Trey is innocent—he was with her when Danny was killed. So who is the real killer and why are the cops framing an innocent man?
Retracing Danny’s last hours, they discover that his death may be tied to a mystery from the past: the explosion of a Central Corps starship at a wormhole near Volhynia. For twenty-five years, the Central Gov has been lying about the tragedy, even willing to go to war with the outlaw PSI to protect their secrets.
With the authorities closing in, Elena and Trey head to the wormhole, certain they’ll find answers on the other side. But the truth that awaits them is far more terrifying than they ever imagined . . . a conspiracy deep within Central Gov that threatens all of human civilization throughout the inhabited reaches of the galaxy—and beyond.
Dreaming Death by J. Kathleen Cheney
I still want to read The Golden City, but this new series by the same author has also caught my eye since it sounds quite intriguing!
In the Novels of the Golden City, J. Kathleen Cheney created a “mesmerizing” (Publishers Weekly) realm where magic, history, and intrigue combine. Now, she presents a new world ruled by psychic talents and fatal magic…
Shironne Anjir’s status as a sensitive is both a gift and a curse. Her augmented senses allow her to discover and feel things others can’t, but her talents come with a price: a constant assault of emotions and sensations has left her blind. Determined to use her abilities as best she can, Shironne works tirelessly as an investigator for the Larossan army.
A member of the royal family’s guard, Mikael Lee also possesses an overwhelming power—he dreams of the deaths of others, sometimes in vivid, shocking detail, and sometimes in cryptic fragments and half-remembered images.
But then a killer brings a reign of terror to the city, snuffing out his victims with an arcane and deadly blood magic. Only Shironne can sense and interpret Mikael’s dim, dark dreams of the murders. And what they find together will lead them into a nightmare…