It appears that 2019 will be filled with excellent books, and this list is even a couple of books longer than last year’s massive list! It was difficult to winnow this list down to an at all reasonable number of books at first, and this is by no means a comprehensive list of notable books coming out in 2019—there are a lot—but this is a list of the books that appealed the most to me personally. Some are new installments in series I love, some are upcoming books by authors whose work I’ve enjoyed in the past, and some are by new-to-me or debut authors. All of them seemed like they had to be on any list I made of 2019 releases that sounded amazing. (As usual, I’m sure there will also be more books that I haven’t heard about yet that will also sound amazing, especially books coming out later in the year.)

These books are ordered by expected release date, but in the case of books scheduled for release on the same day, they’re in no particular order. The expected released date is the release date in the US unless otherwise stated.

Due to the length of this blog post, I’m only showing the first 10 books on the main page. You can click the title of the post or the ‘more…’ link after the tenth book to read the entire article.

Without further ado, here are the 2019 releases that sound particularly excellent!

The Winter of the Witch by Katherine Arden
The Winter of the Witch (Winternight Trilogy #3) by Katherine Arden
Read an Excerpt
Scheduled Release Date: January 8

I’m beyond excited for the conclusion to Katherine Arden’s Winternight Trilogy: not only was her debut, The Bear and the Nightingale, one of my favorite books of 2017, but The Girl in the Tower was also my 2017 Book of the Year. These beautifully written, atmospheric historical fantasy novels are set in a fourteenth century Rus’ populated by various spirits and figures from Slavic folktales—although Vasya remains one of rare few people aware of their existence. The lovely prose breathes life into the setting and the wonderful characters, and I especially loved Vasya and admired her possession of self-acceptance (which Katherine Arden wrote about here).


Following their adventures in The Bear and the Nightingale and The Girl in the Tower, Vasya and Morozko return in this stunning conclusion to the bestselling Winternight Trilogy, battling enemies mortal and magical to save both Russias, the seen and the unseen.

“A tale both intimate and epic, featuring a heroine whose harrowing and wondrous journey culminates in an emotionally resonant finale.”—Publishers Weekly (starred review)

Reviewers called Katherine Arden’s novels The Bear and the Nightingale and The Girl in the Tower “lyrical,” “emotionally stirring,” and “utterly bewitching.” The Winternight Trilogy introduced an unforgettable heroine, Vasilisa Petrovna, a girl determined to forge her own path in a world that would rather lock her away. Her gifts and her courage have drawn the attention of Morozko, the winter-king, but it is too soon to know if this connection will prove a blessing or a curse.

Now Moscow has been struck by disaster. Its people are searching for answers—and for someone to blame. Vasya finds herself alone, beset on all sides. The Grand Prince is in a rage, choosing allies that will lead him on a path to war and ruin. A wicked demon returns, stronger than ever and determined to spread chaos. Caught at the center of the conflict is Vasya, who finds the fate of two worlds resting on her shoulders. Her destiny uncertain, Vasya will uncover surprising truths about herself and her history as she desperately tries to save Russia, Morozko, and the magical world she treasures. But she may not be able to save them all.

The Kingdom of Copper by S. A. Chakraborty
The Kingdom of Copper (The Daevabad Trilogy #2) by S. A. Chakraborty
Read an Excerpt
Scheduled Release Date: January 22

The Kingdom of Copper is the second book in S. A. Chakraborty’s Daevabad Trilogy, following her acclaimed debut novel The City of Brass. I confess that I haven’t yet read the first book (although I did purchase a copy on one of my trips to the bookstore and am hoping to read it soon!), but I’m still excited about the sequel since this sounds like a series I will enjoy. Plus, S. A. Chakraborty’s Twitter feed is one of my favorites due to her interesting discussions of literature, such as this thread on the original story of “The City of Brass” from One Thousand and One Nights.


S. A. Chakraborty continues the sweeping adventure begun in The City of Brass—”the best adult fantasy I’ve read since The Name of the Wind” (#1 New York Times bestselling author Sabaa Tahir)—conjuring a world where djinn summon flames with the snap of a finger and waters run deep with old magic; where blood can be dangerous as any spell, and a clever con artist from Cairo will alter the fate of a kingdom.

Nahri’s life changed forever the moment she accidentally summoned Dara, a formidable, mysterious djinn, during one of her schemes. Whisked from her home in Cairo, she was thrust into the dazzling royal court of Daevabad—and quickly discovered she would need all her grifter instincts to survive there.

Now, with Daevabad entrenched in the dark aftermath of a devastating battle, Nahri must forge a new path for herself. But even as she embraces her heritage and the power it holds, she knows she’s been trapped in a gilded cage, watched by a king who rules from the throne that once belonged to her family—and one misstep will doom her tribe..

Meanwhile, Ali has been exiled for daring to defy his father. Hunted by assassins, adrift on the unforgiving copper sands of his ancestral land, he is forced to rely on the frightening abilities the marid—the unpredictable water spirits—have gifted him. But in doing so, he threatens to unearth a terrible secret his family has long kept buried.

And as a new century approaches and the djinn gather within Daevabad’s towering brass walls for celebrations, a threat brews unseen in the desolate north. It’s a force that would bring a storm of fire straight to the city’s gates . . . and one that seeks the aid of a warrior trapped between worlds, torn between a violent duty he can never escape and a peace he fears he will never deserve.

Black Leopard, Red Wolf by Marlon James
Black Leopard, Red Wolf (Dark Star Trilogy #1) by Marlon James
Scheduled Release Date: February 5

Black Leopard, Red Wolf, an African history and mythology-inspired epic fantasy novel by Man Booker Prize–winning author Marlon James, first caught my eye because of the striking cover image—but it remained in view because of the description! (There may be a recurring theme of fantasy books that meld myth and history throughout this list.)


The epic novel, an African Game of Thrones, from the Man Booker Prize-winning author of A Brief History of Seven Killings

In the stunning first novel in Marlon James’s Dark Star trilogy, myth, fantasy, and history come together to explore what happens when a mercenary is hired to find a missing child. 

Tracker is known far and wide for his skills as a hunter: “He has a nose,” people say. Engaged to track down a mysterious boy who disappeared three years earlier, Tracker breaks his own rule of always working alone when he finds himself part of a group that comes together to search for the boy. The band is a hodgepodge, full of unusual characters with secrets of their own, including a shape-shifting man-animal known as Leopard.

As Tracker follows the boy’s scent–from one ancient city to another; into dense forests and across deep rivers–he and the band are set upon by creatures intent on destroying them. As he struggles to survive, Tracker starts to wonder: Who, really, is this boy? Why has he been missing for so long? Why do so many people want to keep Tracker from finding him? And perhaps the most important questions of all: Who is telling the truth, and who is lying?

Drawing from African history and mythology and his own rich imagination, Marlon James has written a novel unlike anything that’s come before it: a saga of breathtaking adventure that’s also an ambitious, involving read. Defying categorization and full of unforgettable characters, Black Leopard, Red Wolf is both surprising and profound as it explores the fundamentals of truth, the limits of power, and our need to understand them both.

The Ruin of Kings by Jenn Lyons
The Ruin of Kings (A Chorus of Dragons #1) by Jenn Lyons
Read an Excerpt (the First 11 Chapters!)
Scheduled Release Date: February 5

I’ve been hearing great things about Jenn Lyons’ debut epic fantasy novel, and it does sound rather intriguing—particularly that the “hero” is meant to destroy the world, not save it.


When destiny calls, there’s no fighting back.

Kihrin grew up in the slums of Quur, a thief and a minstrel’s son raised on tales of long-lost princes and magnificent quests. When he is claimed against his will as the missing son of a treasonous prince, Kihrin finds himself at the mercy of his new family’s ruthless power plays and political ambitions.

Practically a prisoner, Kihrin discovers that being a long-lost prince is nothing like what the storybooks promised. The storybooks have lied about a lot of other things, too: dragons, demons, gods, prophecies, and how the hero always wins.

Then again, maybe he isn’t the hero after all. For Kihrin is not destined to save the world.

He’s destined to destroy it.

Jenn Lyons begins the Chorus of Dragons series with The Ruin of Kings, an epic fantasy novel about a man who discovers his fate is tied to the future of an empire.

The City in the Middle of the Night by Charlie Jane Anders
The City in the Middle of the Night by Charlie Jane Anders
Read an Excerpt
Scheduled Release Date: February 12

I found Charlie Jane Anders’ previous novel All the Birds in the Sky to be thoroughly enjoyable (and delightfully quirky!), so I’m curious about her upcoming science fiction novel The City in the Middle of the Night.


Charlie Jane Anders, the nationally bestselling author of All the Birds in the Sky delivers a brilliant new novel set in a hauntingly strange future with The City in the Middle of the Night.

“If you control our sleep, then you can own our dreams… And from there, it’s easy to control our entire lives.”

January is a dying planet–divided between a permanently frozen darkness on one side, and blazing endless sunshine on the other. Humanity clings to life, spread across two archaic cities built in the sliver of habitable dusk.

But life inside the cities is just as dangerous as the uninhabitable wastelands outside.

Sophie, a student and reluctant revolutionary, is supposed to be dead, after being exiled into the night. Saved only by forming an unusual bond with the enigmatic beasts who roam the ice, Sophie vows to stay hidden from the world, hoping she can heal.

But fate has other plans–and Sophie’s ensuing odyssey and the ragtag family she finds will change the entire world.

Where Oblivion Lives by T. Frohock
Where Oblivion Lives (A Los Nefilim Novel) by T. Frohock
Scheduled Release Date: February 19

I found T. Frohock’s debut novel, Miserere: An Autumn Tale, to be a wonderful character-driven dark fantasy book with some unique touches—and I am thrilled she has another novel coming soon! Where Oblivion Lives features the same world and main characters as her Los Nefilim novellas (In Midnight’s Silence, Without Light or Guide, and The Second Death), which also have some strengths in common with her first novel: such as the unique touches and a compelling, complex main character. To learn more about this world, you can read T. Frohock’s essay “Angels and Daimons and the Supernatural World of Los Nefilim.”


A lyrical historical fantasy adventure, set in 1932 Spain and Germany, that brings to life the world of the novellas collected in Los Nefilim: Spanish Nephilim battling daimons in a supernatural war to save humankind.

Born of daimon and angel, Diago Alvarez is a being unlike all others. The embodiment of dark and light, he has witnessed the good and the horror of this world and those beyond. In the supernatural war between angels and daimons that will determine humankind’s future, Diago has chosen Los Nefilim, the sons and daughters of angels who possess the power to harness music and light.

As the forces of evil gather, Diago must locate the Key, the special chord that will unite the nefilim’s voices, giving them the power to avert the coming civil war between the Republicans and Franco’s Nationalists. Finding the Key will save Spain from plunging into darkness.

And for Diago, it will resurrect the anguish caused by a tragedy he experienced in a past life.

But someone—or something—is determined to stop Diago in his quest and will use his history to destroy him and the nefilim. Hearing his stolen Stradivarius played through the night, Diago is tormented by nightmares about his past life. Each incarnation strengthens the ties shared by the nefilim, whether those bonds are of love or hate . . . or even betrayal.

To retrieve the violin, Diago must journey into enemy territory . . . and face an old nemesis and a fallen angel bent on revenge.

The Priory of the Orange Tree by Samantha Shannon
The Priory of the Orange Tree by Samantha Shannon
Scheduled Release Date: February 26

The Priory of the Orange Tree has one of the most beautiful covers I’ve seen lately—I just love the colors and contrast combined with the image of the dragon twining around the tower! The cover art by Ivan Belikov and David Mann can be seen in all its glory here.

How could I resist a book described as “an enthralling epic fantasy about a world on the brink of war with dragons–and the women who must lead the fight to save it,” especially when it has such a captivating cover?


From the internationally bestselling author of The Bone Season, an enthralling epic fantasy about a world on the brink of war with dragons–and the women who must lead the fight to save it.

A world divided.
A queendom without an heir.
An ancient enemy awakens.

The House of Berethnet has ruled Inys for a thousand years. Still unwed, Queen Sabran the Ninth must conceive a daughter to protect her realm from destruction–but assassins are getting closer to her door.

Ead Duryan is an outsider at court. Though she has risen to the position of lady-in-waiting, she is loyal to a hidden society of mages. Ead keeps a watchful eye on Sabran, secretly protecting her with forbidden magic.

Across the dark sea, Tané has trained all her life to be a dragonrider, but is forced to make a choice that could see her life unravel.

Meanwhile, the divided East and West refuse to parley, and forces of chaos are rising from their sleep.

The Shadow Glass by Rin Chupeco
The Shadow Glass (The Bone Witch #3) by Rin Chupeco
Scheduled Release Date: March 5

I rather enjoyed following Tea’s story in The Bone Witch and The Heart Forger, in which she raises the dead, follows her heart, and generally defies society’s rules for bone witches such as herself. In particular, I found it delightful that she’s not destined to save the world but change it— for both better and worse—and that the narrative structure advances her characterization. The story is technically told from the perspective of a bard but most of his narrative is actually Tea telling her tale, and there are brief glimpses of Tea from his viewpoint in the present showing how much she’s changed since the beginning of her story. I’m looking forward to finding out how it all ends in The Shadow Glass.


The dramatic finale to The Bone Witch series! Tea’s dark magic eats away at her, but she must save the one she loves most, even while her life―and the kingdoms―are on the brink of destruction.

In the Eight Kingdoms, none have greater strength or influence than the asha, who hold elemental magic. But only a bone witch has the power to raise the dead. Tea has used this dark magic to breathe life into those she has loved and lost…and those who would join her army against the deceitful royals. But Tea’s quest to conjure a shadowglass, to achieve immortality for the one person she loves most in the world, threatens to consume her.

Tea’s heartsglass only grows darker with each new betrayal. Her work with the monstrous azi, her thirst for retribution, her desire to unmask the Faceless―they all feed the darkrot that is gradually consuming her heartsglass. She is haunted by blackouts and strange visions, and when she wakes with blood on her hands, Tea must answer to a power greater than the elder asha or even her conscience. Tea’s life―and the fate of the kingdoms―hangs in the balance.

Ancestral Night by Elizabeth Bear
Ancestral Night (White Space #1) by Elizabeth Bear
Interview with Elizabeth Bear about Ancestral Night
Scheduled Release Date: March 5 (US), March 7 (UK)

I’m very excited about this upcoming space opera by Elizabeth Bear—she’s one of my favorite authors due to her thoughtful stories and elegant prose!


A space salvager and her partner make the discovery of a lifetime that just might change the universe in this wild, big-ideas space opera from multi award-winning author Elizabeth Bear.

Halmey Dz and her partner Connla Kurucz are salvage operators, living just on the inside of the law…usually. Theirs is the perilous and marginal existence—with barely enough chance of striking it fantastically big—just once—to keep them coming back for more. They pilot their tiny ship into the scars left by unsuccessful White Transitions, searching for the relics of lost human and alien vessels. But when they make a shocking discovery about an alien species that has been long thought dead, it may be the thing that could tip the perilous peace mankind has found into full-out war.

Energetic and electrifying, Ancestral Night is a dazzling new space opera, sure to delight fans of Alastair Reynolds, Iain M. Banks, and Peter F. Hamilton.

The Bird King by G. Willow Wilson
The Bird King by G. Willow Wilson
Scheduled Release Date: March 12

The Bird King, acclaimed author G. Willow Wilson’s upcoming novel set during the Spanish Inquisition, sounds amazing. (This is another book I’m drawn to due to the combination of history and fantasy.)


From award-winning author G. Willow Wilson, The Bird King is an epic journey set during the reign of the last sultan in the Iberian peninsula at the height of the Spanish Inquisition.

G. Willow Wilson’s debut novel Alif the Unseen was an NPR and Washington Post Best Book of the Year, and it established her as a vital American Muslim literary voice. Now she delivers The Bird King, a stunning new novel that tells the story of Fatima, a concubine in the royal court of Granada, the last emirate of Muslim Spain, and her dearest friend Hassan, the palace mapmaker.

Hassan has a secret–he can draw maps of places he’s never seen and bend the shape of reality. When representatives of the newly formed Spanish monarchy arrive to negotiate the sultan’s surrender, Fatima befriends one of the women, not realizing that she will see Hassan’s gift as sorcery and a threat to Christian Spanish rule. With their freedoms at stake, what will Fatima risk to save Hassan and escape the palace walls?

As Fatima and Hassan traverse Spain with the help of a clever jinn to find safety, The Bird King asks us to consider what love is and the price of freedom at a time when the West and the Muslim world were not yet separate.

Return of the Thief by Megan Whalen Turner
Return of the Thief (Queen’s Thief #6) by Megan Whalen Turner
Scheduled Release Date: March 19

It’s exciting to be getting a new book in Megan Whalen Turner’s excellent Queen’s Thief series about clever Eugenides, but it’s also bittersweet since Return of the Thief is the final book. I’m actually not caught up on this series yet even though I reread the first three books to prepare for the release of the previous book. Fortunately, I’m certain I’ll get a lot of enjoyment out of this series even after it’s over and I’ve read them all: I actually loved a couple of these books even more when reading them for the second time!


The thrilling, twenty-years-in-the-making conclusion to the New York Times–bestselling Queen’s Thief series by Megan Whalen Turner.

This beloved and award-winning series began with the acclaimed novel The Thief. It and four more stand-alone volumes bring to life a world of epics, myths, and legends, and feature one of the most charismatic and incorrigible characters of fiction, Eugenides the thief. Now more powerful and cunning than ever before, Eugenides must navigate a perilous future in this sweeping conclusion. Perfect for fans of Leigh Bardugo, Marie Lu, Patrick Rothfuss, and Sarah J. Maas.

Neither accepted nor beloved, Eugenides is the uneasy linchpin of a truce on the Lesser Peninsula, where he has risen to be high king of Attolia, Eddis, and Sounis. As the treacherous Baron Erondites schemes anew and a prophecy appears to foretell the death of the king, the ruthless Mede empire prepares to strike.

The New York Times–bestselling Queen’s Thief novels are rich with political machinations, divine intervention, dangerous journeys, battles lost and won, power, passion, and deception. Features a cast list of the characters in the Queen’s Thief novels, as well as two maps—a map of the world of the Queen’s Thief, and a map exclusive to this edition.

A Memory Called Empire by Arkady Martine
A Memory Called Empire (Teixcalaan #1) by Arkady Martine
Read the Prologue
Read Chapter One
Scheduled Release Date: March 26

A Memory Called Empire, Arkady Martine’s debut novel, sounds like a compelling science fiction story with some mystery and exploration of an alien culture—and I’ve also been hearing great things about it!


Ambassador Mahit Dzmare arrives in the center of the multi-system Teixcalaanli Empire only to discover that her predecessor, the previous ambassador from their small but fiercely independent mining Station, has died. But no one will admit that his death wasn’t an accident―or that Mahit might be next to die, during a time of political instability in the highest echelons of the imperial court.

Now, Mahit must discover who is behind the murder, rescue herself, and save her Station from Teixcalaan’s unceasing expansion―all while navigating an alien culture that is all too seductive, engaging in intrigues of her own, and hiding a deadly technological secret―one that might spell the end of her Station and her way of life―or rescue it from annihilation.

A fascinating space opera debut novel, Arkady Martine’s A Memory Called Empire is an interstellar mystery adventure.

Descendant of the Crane by Joan He
Descendant of the Crane by Joan He
Scheduled Release Date: April 2

Descendant of the Crane, Joan He’s Chinese-inspired debut novel, sounds wonderful—and the cover art by Feifei Ruan is absolutely gorgeous! I think this is one of THE most beautiful book covers I’ve ever beheld, and you can read more about the art with perspective from both Joan He and Feifei Ruan on Hypable.


Tyrants cut out hearts. Rulers sacrifice their own.

Princess Hesina of Yan has never embraced the responsibilities of the crown, but when her beloved father is murdered, she suddenly inherits an unstable kingdom. Determined to find the killer, Hesina seeks the wisdom of a soothsayer—a treason punishable by death ever since Yan outlawed magic centuries ago.

Using the information illicitly provided by the sooth, and uncertain if she can trust even her family, Hesina turns to Akira—a brilliant, alluring investigator…and a convicted criminal with secrets of his own. With the future of her kingdom at stake, can Hesina find justice for her father? Or will the cost be too high?

A Chinese fantasy perfect for fans of Game of Thrones.

Holy Sister by Mark Lawrence
Holy Sister (Book of the Ancestor #3) by Mark Lawrence
Scheduled Release Date: April 9

The upcoming release of Holy Sister is another one that’s a little bittersweet given that it’s the final volume in a fantastic series: Red Sister was one of my very favorite books of 2017, and Grey Sister was also one of my favorites in 2018. I’ve become very invested in Nona with her fierceness and devotion to her friends, and I also really appreciate the handling of her magics and the focus on strength taking many forms—and, of course, the variety of badass nuns!


The searing conclusion of the thrilling epic fantasy trilogy that saw a young girl trained by an arcane order of nuns grow into the fiercest of warriors…

They came against her as a child. Now they face the woman.

The ice is advancing, the Corridor narrowing, and the empire is under siege from the Scithrowl in the east and the Durns in the west. Everywhere, the emperor’s armies are in retreat.

Nona Grey faces the final challenges that must be overcome if she is to become a full sister in the order of her choice. But it seems unlikely that she and her friends will have time to earn a nun’s habit before war is on their doorstep.

Even a warrior like Nona cannot hope to turn the tide of war.

The shiphearts offer strength that she might use to protect those she loves, but it’s a power that corrupts. A final battle is coming in which she will be torn between friends, unable to save them all. A battle in which her own demons will try to unmake her.

A battle in which hearts will be broken, lovers lost, thrones burned.

The Tiger at Midnight by Swati Teerdhala
The Tiger at Midnight (Tiger at Midnight #1) by Swati Teerdhala
Read an Excerpt
Scheduled Release Date: April 23

The Tiger at Midnight, Swati Teerdhala’s debut novel inspired by Indian history and Hindu mythology, sounds incredibly fun! In addition to its influences, I find the mention of a cat-and-mouse game rather intriguing…


The first book in an epic heart-pounding fantasy trilogy inspired by ancient Indian history and Hindu mythology, perfect for fans of Sabaa Tahir and Renée Ahdieh.

A broken bond. A dying land. A cat-and-mouse game that can only end in bloodshed.

Esha lost everything in the royal coup—and as the legendary rebel known as the Viper, she’s made the guilty pay. Now she’s been tasked with her most important mission to date: taking down the ruthless General Hotha.

Kunal has been a soldier since childhood. His uncle, the general, has ensured that Kunal never strays from the path—even as a part of Kunal longs to join the outside world, which has only been growing more volatile.

When Esha and Kunal’s paths cross one fated night, an impossible chain of events unfolds. Both the Viper and the soldier think they’re calling the shots, but they’re not the only players moving the pieces.

As the bonds that hold their land in order break down and the sins of the past meet the promise of a new future, both the soldier and the rebel must decide where their loyalties lie: with the lives they’ve killed to hold on to or with the love that’s made them dream of something more.

The Unbound Empire by Melissa Caruso
The Unbound Empire (Swords and Fire #3) by Melissa Caruso
Scheduled Release Date: April 30

The Tethered Mage, Melissa Caruso’s debut novel, was one of my favorite books of 2017—and The Defiant Heir, which was even better, appeared on my favorites of 2018 list. Both books are immensely engaging with an interesting world that explores how various countries deal with their mages (one of which binds them and the other of which is ruled by them), entertaining dialogue, wonderful relationships and friendships, and well-crafted details. (The second book also has a certain character named Kathe who is one of my new favorite characters.) The Unbound Empire is one of THE 2019 releases I’m most looking forward to reading (and I’m glad that there is another trilogy set in the same world to anticipate!).


The final volume of the Gemmell Morningstar Award-shortlisted Swords and Fire fantasy trilogy, in which political scion Amalia and her bound fire warlock Zaira must save the Empire from a ruthless, magical enemy. Perfect for fans of Tamora Pierce, The Queen of the Tearling, and Uprooted.

While winter snows keep the Witch Lord Ruven’s invading armies at bay, Lady Amalia Cornaro and the fire warlock Zaira attempt to change the fate of mages in the Raverran Empire forever, earning the enmity of those in power who will do anything to keep all magic under tight imperial control. But in the season of the Serene City’s great masquerade, Ruven executes a devastating surprise strike at the heart of the Empire – and at everything Amalia holds most dear.

To stand a chance of defeating Ruven, Amalia and Zaira must face their worst nightmares, expose their deepest secrets, and unleash Zaira’s most devastating fire.

Swords and Fire
The Tethered Mage
The Defiant Heir
The Unbound Empire

Nocturna (A Forgery of Magic #1) by Maya Motayne
Scheduled Release Date: May 7

Nocturna, Maya Motayne’s debut fantasy book set in a Latinx-inspired world, sounds exciting and fun: a thief and a prince try to save the world after they accidentally unleash an evil power that threatens to destroy it (don’t you hate it when that happens?).


The first in a sweeping and epic own voices debut fantasy trilogy—set in a stunning Latinx-inspired world—about a face-changing thief and a risk-taking prince who must team up to defeat a powerful evil they accidentally unleashed. Perfect for fans of Tomi Adeyemi, Leigh Bardugo, and V. E. Schwab.

To Finn Voy, magic is two things: a knife to hold under the chin of anyone who crosses her…and a disguise she shrugs on as easily as others pull on cloaks.

As a talented faceshifter, it’s been years since Finn has seen her own face, and that’s exactly how she likes it. But when Finn gets caught by a powerful mobster, she’s forced into an impossible mission: steal a legendary treasure from Castallan’s royal palace or be stripped of her magic forever.

After the murder of his older brother, Prince Alfehr is first in line for the Castallan throne. But Alfie can’t help but feel that he will never live up to his brother’s legacy. Riddled with grief, Alfie is obsessed with finding a way to bring his brother back, even if it means dabbling in forbidden magic.

But when Finn and Alfie’s fates collide, they accidentally unlock a terrible, ancient power—which, if not contained, will devour the world. And with Castallan’s fate in their hands, Alfie and Finn must race to vanquish what they have unleashed, even if it means facing the deepest darkness in their pasts.

We Hunt the Flame by Hafsah Faizal
We Hunt the Flame (Sands of Arawiya #1) by Hafsah Faizal
Scheduled Release Date: May 14

We Hunt the Flame, Hafsah Faizal’s debut novel drawing inspiration from ancient Arabia, sounds amazing (the first two lines of that description!).


People lived because she killed. People died because he lived.

Zafira is the Hunter, disguising herself as a man when she braves the cursed forest of the Arz to feed her people. Nasir is the Prince of Death, assassinating those foolish enough to defy his autocratic father, the sultan. If Zafira was exposed as a girl, all of her achievements would be rejected; if Nasir displayed his compassion, his father would punish him in the most brutal of ways.

Both Zafira and Nasir are legends in the kingdom of Arawiya―but neither wants to be.

War is brewing, and the Arz sweeps closer with each passing day, engulfing the land in shadow. When Zafira embarks on a quest to uncover a lost artifact that can restore magic to her suffering world and stop the Arz, Nasir is sent by the sultan on a similar mission: retrieve the artifact and kill the Hunter. But an ancient evil stirs as their journey unfolds―and the prize they seek may pose a threat greater than either can imagine.

Set in a richly detailed world inspired by ancient Arabia, We Hunt the Flame is a gripping debut of discovery, conquering fear, and taking identity into your own hands.

A Brightness Long Ago by Guy Gavriel Kay
A Brightness Long Ago by Guy Gavriel Kay
Scheduled Release Date: May 14

I tend to enjoy Guy Gavriel Kay’s fantasy novels (especially his writing and characters!) so I want to read all of his books and rather like the sound of Renaissance Italy-inspired A Brightness Long Ago.


International bestselling author Guy Gavriel Kay’s latest work is set in a world evoking early Renaissance Italy and offers an extraordinary cast of characters whose lives come together through destiny, love, and ambition.

In a chamber overlooking the nighttime waterways of a maritime city, a man looks back on his youth and the people who shaped his life. Danio Cerra’s intelligence won him entry to a renowned school even though he was only the son of a tailor. He took service at the court of a ruling count–and soon learned why that man was known  as the Beast.

Danio’s fate changed the moment he saw and recognized Adria Ripoli as she entered the count’s chambers one autumn night–intending to kill. Born to power, Adria had chosen, instead of a life of comfort, one of danger–and freedom. Which is how she encounters Danio in a perilous time and place.

Vivid figures share the unfolding story. Among them: a healer determined to defy her expected lot; a charming, frivolous son of immense wealth; a powerful religious leader more decadent than devout; and, affecting all these lives and many more,  two larger-than-life mercenary commanders, lifelong adversaries, whose rivalry puts a world in the balance.

A Brightness Long Ago offers both compelling drama and deeply moving reflections on the nature of memory, the choices we make in life, and the role played by the turning of Fortune’s wheel.

The Candle and the Flame by Nafiza Azad
The Candle and the Flame by Nafiza Azad
Scheduled Release Date: May 14

The Candle and the Flame, Nafiza Azad’s debut novel, sounds like a magical mix of darkness and beauty. Also, I’m intrigued by the author’s brief description of her book on Goodreads: “This book is about many things but it is mostly about women being women in the most fantastic ways possible.”


Fatima lives in the city of Noor, a thriving stop along the Silk Road. There the music of myriad languages fills the air, and people of all faiths weave their lives together. However, the city bears scars of its recent past, when the chaotic tribe of Shayateen djinn slaughtered its entire population — except for Fatima and two other humans. Now ruled by a new maharajah, Noor is protected from the Shayateen by the Ifrit, djinn of order and reason, and by their commander, Zulfikar.

But when one of the most potent of the Ifrit dies, Fatima is changed in ways she cannot fathom, ways that scare even those who love her. Oud in hand, Fatima is drawn into the intrigues of the maharajah and his sister, the affairs of Zulfikar and the djinn, and the dangers of a magical battlefield.

Nafiza Azad weaves an immersive tale of magic and the importance of names; fiercely independent women; and, perhaps most importantly, the work for harmony within a city of a thousand cultures and cadences.

Unraveling by Karen Lord
Scheduled Release Date: June 4

I very much enjoyed Karen Lord’s fantasy book A Redemption in Indigo and loved her science fiction novel The Best of All Possible Worldsso I was thrilled to see she had a new book coming out this summer—especially one involving a Trickster!


In this standalone fantasy novel by an award-winning author, the dark truth behind a string of unusual murders leads to an otherworldly exploration of spirits, myth, and memory, steeped in Caribbean storytelling.

Dr. Miranda Ecouvo, forensic therapist of the City, just helped put a serial killer behind bars. But she soon discovers that her investigation into seven unusual murders is not yet complete. A near-death experience throws her out of time and into a realm of labyrinths and spirits. There, she encounters brothers Chance and the Trickster, who have an otherworldly interest in the seemingly mundane crimes from her files.

It appears the true mastermind behind the murders is still on the loose, chasing a myth to achieve immortality. Together, Miranda, Chance, and the Trickster must travel through conjured mazes, following threads of memory to locate the shadowy killer. As they journey deeper, they discover even more questions that will take pain and patience to answer. What is the price of power? Where is the path to redemption? And how can they stop the man—or monster—who would kill the innocent to live forever?

Blood Heir by Amélie Wen Zhao
Blood Heir (Blood Heir #1) by Amélie Wen Zhao
Scheduled Release Date: June 4

Blood Heir, Amélie Wen Zhao’s debut novel, sounds wonderful and I love that the princess on the cover does indeed look like “the most dangerous player of all.”

Amélie Wen Zhao shares more about Blood Heir in her blog post about her book deal and had me immediately interested with this one sentence summary toward the beginning:

The story follows a blood-bending, fugitive princess and a charismatic conman who forge an unlikely alliance to unmask and unravel the corruption gripping their kingdom—and to redeem themselves from the shadows of their pasts.

Reading the author’s own words in that blog post (the longer version, not just the brief excerpt above) made me even more excited about this book than I already was.


The hottest fantasy debut of the summer, perfect for fans of Children of Blood and Bone, Blood Heir is the first book in an epic new series about a princess hiding a dark secret and the conman she must trust to clear her name for her father’s murder. 

In the Cyrilian Empire, Affinites are reviled and enslaved. Their varied abilities to control the world around them are unnatural–dangerous. And Anastacya Mikhailov, the crown princess, might be the most monstrous of them all. Her deadly Affinity to blood is her curse and the reason she has lived her life hidden behind palace walls.

But when Ana’s father, the emperor, is murdered, her world is shattered: Ana is the one framed as his killer. To save herself, she must flee the safety of the palace and enter a land that hunts her and her kind. And to clear her name, she must find her father’s murderer on her own. Yet, what Ana finds is far worse than she ever imagined. A greater conspiracy is at work in Cyrilia, one that threatens the very balance of her world. And there is only one person corrupt enough to help her get to its rotten core: Ramson Quicktongue.

A cunning crime lord of the Cyrilian underworld, Ramson has sinister plans–though he might have met his match in Ana. Because in this story, the princess might be the most dangerous player of all.

The Dragon Republic by R. F. Kuang
The Dragon Republic (The Poppy War #2) by R. F. Kuang
Scheduled Release Date: August 6

The Dragon Republic follows R. F. Kuang’s dark, gutsy, fantastic debut novel The Poppy War, another of my favorite books of 2018. The Poppy War follows Rin, a war orphan who gets into an elite military academy through sheer grit and learns she has shamanic powers. It’s also a book about war, especially how it changes people for better and worse (with heavy emphasis on the worse), and I especially appreciated its handling of Rin’s choices—no matter how terrible, they were hers. I’m looking forward to finding out what happens after the end of The Poppy War!


Rin’s story continues in this acclaimed sequel to The Poppy War—an epic fantasy combining the history of twentieth-century China with a gripping world of gods and monsters.

The war is over.

The war has just begun.

Three times throughout its history, Nikan has fought for its survival in the bloody Poppy Wars. Though the third battle has just ended, shaman and warrior Rin cannot forget the atrocity she committed to save her people. Now she is on the run from her guilt, the opium addiction that holds her like a vice, and the murderous commands of the fiery Phoenix—the vengeful god who has blessed Rin with her fearsome power.

Though she does not want to live, she refuses to die until she avenges the traitorous Empress who betrayed Rin’s homeland to its enemies. Her only hope is to join forces with the powerful Dragon Warlord, who plots to conquer Nikan, unseat the Empress, and create a new republic.

But neither the Empress nor the Dragon Warlord are what they seem. The more Rin witnesses, the more she fears her love for Nikan will force her to use the Phoenix’s deadly power once more.

Because there is nothing Rin won’t sacrifice to save her country . . . and exact her vengeance.

Gods of Jade and Shadow by Silvia Moreno-Garcia
Gods of Jade and Shadow by Silvia Moreno-Garcia
Scheduled Release Date: August 6

Gods of Jade and Shadow had me at “Mayan God of Death” and then sealed the deal with “dark fairy tale inspired by Mexican folklore.” (And THAT COVER! It’s one of my favorite recent cover designs.)


The Mayan God of Death sends a young woman on a harrowing, life-changing journey in this dark fairy tale inspired by Mexican folklore.

Here we shall begin to tell a story: a tale of a throne lost, of monsters and magic. A tale of gods and of the shadow realm. But this, our story, it begins in our world, in the land of mortals.

It begins with a woman. For this story, it is her story. It begins with her.

The Jazz Age is in full swing, but Casiopea Tun is too busy cleaning the floors of her wealthy grandfather’s house to listen to any fast tunes. Nevertheless, she dreams of a life far from her dusty, small town in southern Mexico. A life she can call her own.

Yet this new life seems as distant as the stars, until the day she finds a curious wooden box in her grandfather’s room. She opens it–and accidentally frees the spirit of the Mayan God of Death, who requests her help in recovering his throne from his treacherous brother. Failure will mean Casiopea’s demise, but success could make her dreams come true.

In the company of the strangely alluring god and armed with her wits, Casiopea begins an adventure that will take her on a cross-country odyssey, from the jungles of Yucatán to the bright lights of Mexico City–and deep into the darkness of the Mayan underworld.

Mixing the excitement of the Roaring Twenties with Prehispanic mythology, Gods of Jade and Shadow is a vivid, wildly imaginative historical fantasy.

Court of Lions (Mirage #2) by Somaiya Daud
Scheduled Release Date: August 20

Mirage, Somaiya Daud’s debut novel, was another of my favorite books of 2018 and I can hardly wait to continue Amani’s story in Court of Lions! In the first book, Amani was suddenly ripped away from her family and home moon because of her remarkable similarity to the princess―and forced to pretend to be the Emperor’s daughter during potentially dangerous public functions. The highlight is Amani herself: her lovely voice that reflects her poet’s soul, her faith, her determination, her compassion. She doesn’t stop fighting against the Empire in what ways she can. She also sees Princess Maram as she truly is―not just her cruelty but the vulnerabilities and struggles that forged it―and the development of the complex sort-of-friendship between the two of them is wonderfully done. I just loved Mirage.


Amani must make a devastating choice between revolution and family in the stunning second installment of the “immersive and captivating” (ALA Booklist, starred review) Mirage series by Somaiya Daud!

Two identical girls, one a princess, the other a rebel. Who will rule the empire?

After being swept up into the brutal Vathek court, Amani, the ordinary girl forced to serve as the half-Vathek princess’s body double, has been forced into complete isolation. The cruel but complex princess, Maram, with whom Amani had cultivated a tenuous friendship, discovered Amani’s connection to the rebellion and has cornered her into silence, and if Amani crosses Maram once more, she will be revealed to everyone in the court.

Amani is desperate to continue helping the rebellion, to fight for her people’s freedom. But she must make a devastating decision: will she continue to aid them, and put her family―and herself―in mortal danger? And can she remain separated, forever, from Maram’s fiancé, Idris, with whom she shares a dangerous attraction?

Court of Lions is the stunning sequel to Somaiya Daud’s debut Mirage, the first in her Mirage trilogy.

Turning Darkness into Light by Marie Brennan
Turning Darkness into Light by Marie Brennan
Scheduled Release Date: August 20

Turning Darkness into Light is related to Marie Brennan’s delightful Memoirs of Lady Trent series: it’s a fantasy of manners about Lady Trent’s granddaughter!


As the renowned granddaughter of Isabella Camherst (Lady Trent, of the riveting and daring Draconic adventure memoirs) Audrey Camherst has always known she, too, would want to make her scholarly mark upon a chosen field of study.

When Lord Gleinheigh recruits Audrey to decipher a series of ancient tablets holding the secrets of the ancient Draconean civilization, she has no idea that her research will plunge her into an intricate conspiracy, one meant to incite rebellion and invoke war. Alongside dearest childhood friend and fellow archeologist Kudshayn, must find proof of the conspiracy before it’s too late.

TURNING DARKNESS INTO LIGHT is a delightful fantasy of manners, the heir to the award-winning Natural History of Dragons series, a perfect stepping stone into an alternate Victorian-esque fantasy landscape.

Realm of Ash (The Books of Ambha #2) by Tasha Suri
Tentative Release Month: November

Realm of Ash doesn’t have a cover or description yet, but Tasha Suri mentioned it was tentatively scheduled for November on Twitter so I am keeping my fingers crossed for its release in 2019! Tasha Suri’s debut novel, Empire of Sand, was my 2018 Book of the Year. Here’s why it was my favorite of the year:

Though I read three books that I absolutely LOVED this year, Tasha Suri’s wonderful debut is the one that stands out to me as the most memorable and deeply affecting. Inspired in part by Mughal India, Empire of Sand is the story of a young woman who is forced into an arranged marriage and bound to serve the Empire because she possesses magic that is rare even among other descendants of the gods’ children like herself. It’s also the story of the ways in which she and her new husband fight back against evil and injustice—not with the strength of force and weapons, but with the strength of hearts and minds—while gradually falling in love. It’s a fantastic, elegantly written, character-driven book that explores themes of resistance and oppression, choice, and the strength of bonds between people, and as much as I appreciated all of that, my favorite part is the main character at its heart. Mehr shapes her own tale not just because of what she can do with her extraordinary gifts but because of who she is: her decisions, her hope, her courage, and her determination all play important roles in the story’s course and eventual outcome.

Realm of Ash is a story about Mehr’s younger sister, Arwa, set a few years after the end of Empire of Sand. I’m looking forward to revisiting this world and reading Arwa’s story!

Hollow Empire by Sam Hawke
Hollow Empire (The Poison Wars #2) by Sam Hawke
Scheduled Release Date: December 10

You guessed it: I’m looking forward to Hollow Empire because Sam Hawke’s debut novel, City of Lies, was one of my favorite books of 2018. City of Lies is an epic fantasy mystery following two siblings—one who is secretly a poison expert and the other who is secretly a spy—working to figure out who murdered both the Chancellor and their uncle and why their city is suddenly under siege by what would appear to be their own people. The ancient secrets they uncover are fascinating, and I loved the story and main characters: especially resourceful Kalina and outspoken Hadrea.


Moving from poison and treachery to war and witchcraft, Sam Hawke’s Poison Wars continue with Hollow Empire, a fabulous epic fantasy adventure perfect for fans of Robin Hobb, Naomi Novik, and Scott Lynch.

Poison was only the beginning…. The deadly siege of Silasta woke the ancient spirits, and now the city-state must find its place in this new world of magic. But people and politics are always treacherous, and it will take all of Jovan and Kalina’s skills as proofer and spy to save their country when witches and assassins turn their sights to domination.