One good thing about the past few years has been the abundance of amazing speculative fiction books, and yet again, it was difficult to narrow down my list of 2022 releases that sound promising to a somewhat reasonable number. Like last year, I searched the web for early reviews, excerpts, and information from the author and/or publisher and came up with 30 books. (And of course, that wasn’t necessary for some of these because I’ve loved the author’s other works or previous books in the series!)

As always, this is not even close to a comprehensive list of all the speculative fiction being published in 2022: these are just the books I found that sound most appealing to me personally. There are always more that I hear about throughout the year that I would have included if I’d known about them earlier, and this list does not include books that are not fantasy or science fiction that I’m also excited about (namely, Tasha Suri’s Wuthering Heights reimagining, What Souls Are Made Of).

These books are ordered by scheduled publication date, if they have one, and these are US release dates unless otherwise stated.

Due to the length of this blog post, I’m only showing the first 6 books on the main page. You can click the title of the post or the ‘more…’ link after the sixth book to read the entire article.

Most cover images link to Bookshop. As an affiliate, I earn from qualifying purchases.

Daughter of the Moon Goddess by Sue Lynn Tan - Book Cover
Daughter of the Moon Goddess (Celestial Kingdom #1) by Sue Lynn Tan
Read an Excerpt
Scheduled Release Date: January (Out Now in the US and UK)

Sue Lynn Tan’s debut novel, the first book in a duology, has a gorgeous cover and sounds fantastic with its inspiration from the legend of Chang’e, the Chinese moon goddess.

Sue Lynn Tan wrote a bit about what to expect on Goodreads (including content warnings) and mentioned it features:

Chinese mythology & legendary creatures
Fierce female warrior fighting for her family
A gentle prince & a ruthless soldier

This is one of the 2022 debuts I’ve been most looking forward to, and I just got the copy I preordered.


A captivating debut fantasy inspired by the legend of the Chinese moon goddess, Chang’e , in which a young woman’s quest to free her mother pits her against the most powerful immortal in the realm and sets her on a dangerous path—where choices come with deadly consequences, and she risks losing more than her heart.

Growing up on the moon, Xingyin is accustomed to solitude, unaware that she is being hidden from the powerful Celestial Emperor who exiled her mother for stealing his elixir of immortality. But when Xingyin’s magic flares and her existence is discovered, she is forced to flee her home, leaving her mother behind.

Alone, untrained, and afraid, she makes her way to the Celestial Kingdom, a land of wonder and secrets. Disguising her identity, she seizes an opportunity to learn alongside the Crown Prince, mastering archery and magic, even as passion flames between her and the emperor’s son.

To save her mother, Xingyin embarks on a perilous quest, confronting legendary creatures and vicious enemies across the earth and skies. When treachery looms and forbidden magic threatens the kingdom, however, she must challenge the ruthless Celestial Emperor for her dream—striking a dangerous bargain in which she is torn between losing all she loves or plunging the realm into chaos.

Daughter of the Moon Goddess begins an enchanting, romantic duology which weaves ancient Chinese mythology into a sweeping adventure of immortals and magic, of loss and sacrifice—where love vies with honor, dreams are fraught with betrayal, and hope emerges triumphant.

Moon Witch, Spider King by Marlon James - Book Cover
Moon Witch, Spider King (The Dark Star Trilogy #2) by Marlon James
Scheduled Release Date: February 15

The Dark Star trilogy sounds like a fascinating approach to a series: instead of being linear, each book explores the same story from a different perspective.

Marlon James discussed why he chose to tell the story this way in an interview on io9:

In several traditional African and diaspora stories, there is no authentic version, no director’s cut, no one truth to rule them all, which is very much a western thing to do, but also a reductive thing to do.

Then there is this—in a lot of African folk tales, the trickster is the one telling you the story, or it’s about him, which ties you to his perspective, his world view, even his biases and prejudices. Sometimes you are told different versions of the same story each night. The burden of truth is not on the tale itself, but in what you discern truth to be. I’ve always been interested in how two people seeing the same thing can come to very different conclusions— I can walk into a room and see somebody gobbling a bag of chips and think he’s starving, while you’ll think he’s greedy. It’s also pretty topical of the moment we’re in—even though I didn’t set out to be—where people really do think truth is a choice, and that choice is up for grabs. So in that spirit, I will never tell the reader which character or story to believe. I’m leaving the burden of truth up to the reader, so it will be interesting when this trilogy is done, seeing whose story they count as true.

I love stories that play with perspective like this, and I was excited to discover I could actually start with the second book in the series when an ARC of Moon Witch, Spider King unexpectedly showed up in the mail.


From Marlon James, author of the bestselling National Book Award finalist Black Leopard, Red Wolf, the second book in the Dark Star trilogy, his African Game of Thrones.

In Black Leopard, Red Wolf, Sogolon the Moon Witch proved a worthy adversary to Tracker as they clashed across a mythical African landscape in search of a mysterious boy who disappeared. In Moon Witch, Spider King, Sogolon takes center stage and gives her own account of what happened to the boy, and how she plotted and fought, triumphed and failed as she looked for him. It’s also the story of a century-long feud—seen through the eyes of a 177-year-old witch—that Sogolon had with the Aesi, chancellor to the king. It is said that Aesi works so closely with the king that together they are like the eight limbs of one spider. Aesi’s power is considerable—and deadly. It takes brains and courage to challenge him, which Sogolon does for reasons of her own.

Both a brilliant narrative device—seeing the story told in Black Leopard, Red Wolf from the perspective of an adversary and a woman—as well as a fascinating battle between different versions of empire, Moon Witch, Spider King delves into Sogolon’s world as she fights to tell her own story. Part adventure tale, part chronicle of an indomitable woman who bows to no man, it is a fascinating novel that explores power, personality, and the places where they overlap.

The Thousand Eyes by A. K. Larkwood - Book Cover
The Thousand Eyes (The Serpent Gates #2) by A. K. Larkwood
Read an Excerpt
Scheduled Release Date: February 15

The Unspoken Name, A. K. Larkwood’s debut novel, is about an orc woman in the service of a powerful mage who kept her from being sacrificed to a god. It features world-hopping, a lovely f/f romance, some humorous dialogue and lines, and a highly entertaining dynamic between the main character and another one of the mage’s servants who hate having to work together. I’m looking forward to reading more about them in The Thousand Eyes.

If you missed it before, A. K. Larkwood wrote about why she chose to write about a non-human protagonist in these books in her Women in SF&F Month 2020 guest post:

So, why did you decide to write a non-human protagonist? Why do you love monsters so much?

I’ve been asked these questions pretty often since The Unspoken Name was published. I have a range of flippant answers, including “hey, I just love weird stuff”. And that’s basically true — I’ve always had a bit of a fixation with whatever is monstrous, villainous, bizarre.

But I wanted to think about it more seriously. For me, the whole point of fantasy is to look at our reality from another angle. I’m interested in the idea that there could be a way of experiencing the world that is far from “human”, that it might be possible to make a fantasy world which moves beyond the idea of humanity as normative.

(A German translation of the entire essay can be found on the FISCHER Tor website.)


The sequel to A. K. Larkwood’s stunning debut fantasy, The Unspoken NameThe Thousand Eyes continues The Serpent Gates series—perfect for fans of Jenn Lyons, Joe Abercrombie, and Ursula K. Le Guin.

Just when they thought they were out…

Two years after defying the wizard Belthandros Sethennai and escaping into the great unknown, Csorwe and Shuthmili have made a new life for themselves, hunting for secrets among the ruins of an ancient snake empire.

Along for the ride is Tal Charossa, determined to leave the humiliation and heartbreak of his hometown far behind him, even if it means enduring the company of his old rival and her insufferable girlfriend.

All three of them would be quite happy never to see Sethennai again. But when a routine expedition goes off the rails and a terrifying imperial relic awakens, they find that a common enemy may be all it takes to bring them back into his orbit.

The Girl Who Fell Beneath the Sea by Axie Oh - Book Cover
The Girl Who Fell Beneath the Sea by Axie Oh
Read an Excerpt
Scheduled Release Date: February 22

The gorgeous cover caught my eye first, and then I read the description and wanted to read The Girl Who Fell Beneath the Sea even more. I love folklore/fairy tales and retellings, and this YA fantasy based on the Korean folktale “The Tale of Sim Cheong” sounds right up my alley.


Axie Oh’s The Girl Who Fell Beneath the Sea is an enthralling feminist retelling of the classic Korean folktale “The Tale of Shim Cheong,” perfect for fans of Wintersong, Uprooted, and Miyazaki’s Spirited Away.

Deadly storms have ravaged Mina’s homeland for generations. Floods sweep away entire villages, while bloody wars are waged over the few remaining resources. Her people believe the Sea God, once their protector, now curses them with death and despair. In an attempt to appease him, each year a beautiful maiden is thrown into the sea to serve as the Sea God’s bride, in the hopes that one day the “true bride” will be chosen and end the suffering.

Many believe that Shim Cheong, the most beautiful girl in the village—and the beloved of Mina’s older brother Joon—may be the legendary true bride. But on the night Cheong is to be sacrificed, Joon follows Cheong out to sea, even knowing that to interfere is a death sentence. To save her brother, Mina throws herself into the water in Cheong’s stead.

Swept away to the Spirit Realm, a magical city of lesser gods and mythical beasts, Mina seeks out the Sea God, only to find him caught in an enchanted sleep. With the help of a mysterious young man named Shin—as well as a motley crew of demons, gods and spirits—Mina sets out to wake the Sea God and bring an end to the killer storms once and for all.

But she doesn’t have much time: A human cannot live long in the land of the spirits. And there are those who would do anything to keep the Sea God from waking…

The River of Silver by S. A. Chakraborty - Book Cover
The River of Silver by S. A. Chakraborty
Scheduled Release Date: March 1 (Audiobook); October 11 (Hardcover/Ebook)

I rather enjoyed S. A. Chakraborty’s Daevabad Trilogy, especially the second and third books (which were some of my favorite books of 2019 and 2020). Of course I’m excited about this collection of related stories, especially getting to see more of Manizheh’s past.


Bestselling author S.A. Chakraborty’s acclaimed Daevabad Trilogy gets expanded with this new compilation of stories from before, during, and after the events of The City of BrassThe Kingdom of Copper, and The Empire of Gold, all from the perspective of characters both beloved and hated, and even those without a voice in the novels. The River of Silver gathers material both seen and new—including a special coda fans will need to read—making this the perfect complement to those incredible novels.

A prospective new queen joins a court whose lethal history may overwhelm her own political savvy…

An imprisoned royal from a fallen dynasty and a young woman wrenched from her home cross paths in an enchanted garden…

A pair of scouts stumble upon a secret in a cursed winter wood that will turn over their world…

Now together in one place, these stories of Daevabad enrich a world already teeming with magic and wonder. From Manizheh’s first steps towards rebellion to adventures that take place after The Empire of Gold, this is a must-have collection for those who can’t get enough of Nahri, Ali, and Dara and all that unfolded around them.

A Thousand Steps into Night by Traci Chee - Book Cover
A Thousand Steps into Night by Traci Chee
Scheduled Release Date: March 1

This is another book with a cover I love, and it also sounds fantastic: a Japanese-influenced YA fantasy novel with a thieving magpie spirit.


From New York Times bestselling author and National Book Award finalist, Traci Chee, comes a Japanese-influenced fantasy brimming with demons, adventure, and plans gone awry.

In the realm of Awara, where gods, monsters, and humans exist side by side, Miuko is an ordinary girl resigned to a safe, if uneventful, existence as an innkeeper’s daughter. But when Miuko is cursed and begins to transform into a demon with a deadly touch, she embarks on a quest to reverse the curse and return to her normal life. Aided by a thieving magpie spirit and continuously thwarted by a demon prince, Miuko must outfox tricksters, escape demon hunters, and negotiate with feral gods if she wants to make it home again. But with her transformation comes power and freedom she never even dreamed of, and she’ll have to decide if saving her soul is worth trying to cram herself back into an ordinary life that no longer fits her… and perhaps never did.

Blood Scion by Deborah Falaye - Book Cover
Blood Scion (Blood Scion #1) by Deborah Falaye
Read an Excerpt
Scheduled Release Date: March 8

This YA epic fantasy debut novel sounds fantastic, and I became especially intrigued by it after learning more about it in a Q&A with Deborah Falaye as part of the cover reveal at Frolic:

Blood Scion began as a celebration of my Yoruba culture. Growing up in Nigeria, I was constantly surrounded by traditions and folklore—from the Yoruba language I woke up to every morning, to the Orisha stories my grandmother told at night. So naturally, when I started writing Blood Scion in 2012, I knew immediately I wanted to ground it in that same history and mythology. I asked myself what would happen if a young girl was forced to grow up with little knowledge of her culture except for this magic she inherited from the gods? How would that shape her identity? These sparked the first idea for Blood Scion, but it wasn’t until 2014 that the story became fully formed.

She also shared how her novel was further shaped by the 276 Nigerian girls whose abduction led to the #BringBackOurGirls campaign and reading about child soldiers, what she thinks of the cover art by Taj Francis, and more about what to expect from this story in the interview.


This is what they deserve.

They wanted me to be a monster.

I will be the worst monster they ever created.

Fifteen-year-old Sloane can incinerate an enemy at will—she is a Scion, a descendant of the ancient Orisha gods.

Under the Lucis’ brutal rule, her identity means her death if her powers are discovered. But when she is forcibly conscripted into the Lucis army on her fifteenth birthday, Sloane sees a new opportunity: to overcome the bloody challenges of Lucis training, and destroy them from within.

Following one girl’s journey of magic, injustice, power, and revenge, Deborah Falaye’s debut novel, inspired by Yoruba-Nigerian mythology, is a magnetic combination of Children of Blood and Bone and An Ember in the Ashes.

The Cartographers by Peng Shepherd - Book Cover
The Cartographers by Peng Shepherd
Scheduled Release Date: March 15 (US); March 17 (UK)

I have been eagerly awaiting Peng Shepherd’s second novel after reading her debut about a phenomenon that caused people to lose their memories, The Book of M. The storytelling and concept were excellent, and I’ve been excited to see what she does with magical maps ever since I heard her talk about her next book when she received the Neukom Literary Arts Award for Debut Speculative Fiction.


From the critically acclaimed author of The Book of M, a highly imaginative thriller about a young woman who discovers that a strange map in her deceased father’s belongings holds an incredible, deadly secret—one that will lead her on an extraordinary adventure and to the truth about her family’s dark history. 

What is the purpose of a map? 

Nell Young’s whole life and greatest passion is cartography. Her father, Dr. Daniel Young, is a legend in the field, and Nell’s personal hero. But she hasn’t seen or spoken to him ever since he cruelly fired her and destroyed her reputation after an argument over an old, cheap gas station highway map.

But when Dr. Young is found dead in his office at the New York Public Library, with the very same seemingly worthless map hidden in his desk, Nell can’t resist investigating. To her surprise, she soon discovers that the map is incredibly valuable, and also exceedingly rare. In fact, she may now have the only copy left in existence… because a mysterious collector has been hunting down and destroying every last one—along with anyone who gets in the way.

But why?

To answer that question, Nell embarks on a dangerous journey to reveal a dark family secret, and discover the true power that lies in maps…

Perfect for fans of Joe Hill and V.E. Schwab, The Cartographers is an ode to art and science, history and magic—a spectacularly imaginative, modern story about an ancient craft and places still undiscovered.

Daughter of the Wolves by K. S. Villoso - Book Cover
Daughter of the Wolves (Blackwood Marauders) by K. S. Villoso
Scheduled Release Date: March 15

If you’ve been following this site for the last couple of years, you’ve probably heard that I absolutely loved K. S. Villoso’s Chronicles of the Bitch Queen trilogy (The Wolf of Oren-Yaro, The Ikessar Falcon, The Dragon of Jin-Sayeng). It reminded me a bit of some of my fantasy favorites—a first-person narration you might enjoy if you like Robin Hobb’s Fitz, an approach to characterization you might enjoy if you like George R. R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire, and introspection you might enjoy if you like that about Guy Gavriel Kay’s works—yet I hesitate to compare it to anything because it’s very much its own unique fantasy work.

So I was excited to learn about Daughter of the Wolves, a standalone prequel that covers a certain important event during Warlord Yeshin’s time, in the cover reveal at Shut Up, Shealea.


Clan, family, duty—the tenets of the Oren-yaro are clear: you are swords first, servants first. Yet no one expects much from the youngest daughter, not even when your family is sworn to the wolves who rule the land. At an age when most of her sisters have wed and borne children, Anira remain nursemaid to a decrepit father and an ailing mother, forgotten by a world moving too fast for her liking. When her elder brother deserts Warlord Yeshin’s army, she is forced to step up to save her family from disgrace.

Plunged into a world of bloodshed, Anira becomes the unlikely last link to a tyrant’s plans as she is tasked with bringing home the first dragon their kingdom has seen in decades. The arrival of a mercenary band, hell-bent on the same goal, creates a rivalry between her and their stubborn, unyielding leader. With her family’s freedom on the line, Anira must risk vengeful ancients, debased rituals, and even her own sanity to seize the prize.

When death comes calling, who will pay the price for her allegiance?

A Magic Steeped in Poison by Judy I. Lin - Book Cover
A Magic Steeped in Poison (The Book of Tea #1) by Judy I. Lin
Read an Excerpt
Scheduled Release Date: March 29

This YA fantasy debut novel has a gorgeous cover, and it has poison tea, a tea competition, and court politics. Plus there is not a long wait for the latter half of the duology: A Venom Dark and Sweet is scheduled for release on August 23.


Judy I. Lin’s sweeping debut A Magic Steeped in Poison, first in a duology, is sure to enchant fans of Adrienne Young and Leigh Bardugo.

I used to look at my hands with pride. Now all I can think is, “These are the hands that buried my mother.”

For Ning, the only thing worse than losing her mother is knowing that it’s her own fault. She was the one who unknowingly brewed the poison tea that killed her—the poison tea that now threatens to also take her sister, Shu.

When Ning hears of a competition to find the kingdom’s greatest shennong-shi—masters of the ancient and magical art of tea-making—she travels to the imperial city to compete. The winner will receive a favor from the princess, which may be Ning’s only chance to save her sister’s life.

But between the backstabbing competitors, bloody court politics, and a mysterious (and handsome) boy with a shocking secret, Ning might actually be the one in more danger.

Fevered Star by Rebecca Roanhorse - Book Cover
Fevered Star (Between Earth and Sky #2) by Rebecca Roanhorse
Read an Excerpt
Scheduled Release Date: April 19

Black Sun, the previous book in this epic fantasy trilogy inspired by the pre-Columbian Americas, was one of my favorite books of 2020. I found it to be an especially immersive story—and I loved that it had a sea captain who had become accustomed to waking up in jail and a focus on crows—and I’m excited for Fevered Star.


Return to The Meridian with New York Times bestselling author Rebecca Roanhorse’s sequel to the most critically hailed epic fantasy of 2020 Black Sun—finalist for the Hugo, Nebula, Lambda, and Locus awards.

There are no tides more treacherous than those of the heart. —Teek saying

The great city of Tova is shattered. The sun is held within the smothering grip of the Crow God’s eclipse, but a comet that marks the death of a ruler and heralds the rise of a new order is imminent.

The Meridian: a land where magic has been codified and the worship of gods suppressed. How do you live when legends come to life, and the faith you had is rewarded?

As sea captain Xiala is swept up in the chaos and currents of change, she finds an unexpected ally in the former Priest of Knives. For the Clan Matriarchs of Tova, tense alliances form as far-flung enemies gather and the war in the heavens is reflected upon the earth.

And for Serapio and Naranpa, both now living avatars, the struggle for free will and personhood in the face of destiny rages. How will Serapio stay human when he is steeped in prophecy and surrounded by those who desire only his power? Is there a future for Naranpa in a transformed Tova without her total destruction?

Welcome back to the fantasy series of the decade in Fevered Star—book two of Between Earth and Sky.

Kaikeyi by Vaishnavi Patel - Book Cover
Kaikeyi by Vaishnavi Patel
Scheduled Release Date: April 26

Vaishnavi Patel’s debut novel is a reimagining of the life of Kaikeyi from the Ramayana. It sounds amazing, and I have heard such wonderful things about it.


Before she was cast as Indian mythology’s most jealous queen, she had her own story….

The only daughter of the kingdom of Kekaya, Kaikeyi is raised on stories about the might and benevolence of the gods: how they churned the vast ocean to obtain the nectar of immortality, how they vanquish evil and ensure the land of Bharath prospers, and how they offer the devout and the wise powerful boons. Yet she watches as her father unceremoniously banishes her mother, listens as her own worth is reduced to how great a marriage alliance she can secure. And when she calls upon the gods for help, they never seem to hear.

Desperate for some measure of independence, she turns to the texts she once read with her mother and discovers a magic that is hers alone. With this power, Kaikeyi transforms herself from an overlooked princess into a warrior, diplomat, and most-favored queen, determined to carve a better world for herself and the women around her.

But as the demons of her childhood stories threaten the cosmic order, the path she has forged clashes with the destiny the gods have chosen for her family—especially that of her beloved son, Rama. Kaikeyi must decide if resistance is worth the destruction it will wreak…and what legacy she intends to leave behind.

In the spirit of CirceAriadne, and The Witch’s Heart, this stunning debut reimagines the life of Kaikeyi, the vilified queen from the Indian epic the Ramayana. It is a tale of fate, family, courage, and heartbreak—of an extraordinary woman determined to leave her mark in a world where gods and men dictate the shape of things to come.

Book of Night by Holly Black - Book Cover
Book of Night by Holly Black
Scheduled Release Date: May 3

I had the best time reading the Folk of the Air books—which were among my favorites of 2019—and I am excited about Holly Black’s first adult novel. Shadow magic, thieves, and secret societies sounds like fun.


#1 New York Times bestselling author Holly Black makes her stunning adult debut with Book of Night, a modern dark fantasy of shadowy thieves and secret societies in the vein of Ninth House and The Night Circus.

One of Publishers Weekly’s top ten most anticipated books of 2022!

Charlie Hall has never found a lock she couldn’t pick, a book she couldn’t steal, or a bad decision she wouldn’t make. She’s spent half her life working for gloamists, magicians who manipulate shadows to peer into locked rooms, strangle people in their beds, or worse. Gloamists guard their secrets greedily, creating an underground economy of grimoires. And to rob their fellow magicians, they need Charlie.

Now, she’s trying to distance herself from past mistakes, but going straight isn’t easy. Bartending at a dive, she’s still entirely too close to the corrupt underbelly of the Berkshires. Not to mention that her sister Posey is desperate for magic, and that her shadowless and possibly soulless boyfriend has been keeping secrets from her. When a terrible figure from her past returns, Charlie descends back into a maelstrom of murder and lies. Determined to survive, she’s up against a cast of doppelgängers, mercurial billionaires, gloamists, and the people she loves best in the world — all trying to steal a secret that will allow them control of the shadow world and more.

All the Seas of the World by Guy Gavriel Kay - Book Cover
All the Seas of the World by Guy Gavriel Kay
Scheduled Release Date: May 17

I love how Guy Gavriel Kay writes—and shreds my heart to pieces—and am always excited for his new novels.


Returning triumphantly to the brilliantly evoked near-Renaissance world of A Brightness Long Ago and Children of Earth and Sky, international bestselling author Guy Gavriel Kay deploys his signature ‘quarter turn to the fantastic’ to tell a story of vengeance, power, and love.

On a dark night along a lonely stretch of coast a small ship sends two people ashore. Their purpose is assassination. They have been hired by two of the most dangerous men alive to alter the balance of power in the world. If they succeed, the consequences will affect the destinies of empires, and lives both great and small.

One of those arriving at that beach is a woman abducted by corsairs as a child and sold into years of servitude. Having escaped, she is trying to chart her own course—and is bent upon revenge. Another is a seafaring merchant who still remembers being exiled as a child with his family from their home, for their faith, a moment that never leaves him. In what follows, through a story both intimate and epic, unforgettable characters are immersed in the fierce and deadly struggles that define their time.

All the Seas of the World is a page-turning drama that also offers moving reflections on memory, fate, and the random events that can shape our lives—in the past, and today.

The Stardust Thief by Chelsea Abdullah - Book Cover
The Stardust Thief (The Sandsea Trilogy #1) by Chelsea Abdullah
Scheduled Release Date: May 17

Chelsea Abdullah’s upcoming novel, which is inspired by One Thousand and One Nights, is about “a criminal who, with the help of her jinn bodyguard, hunts and sells illegal magic.”


Inspired by stories from One Thousand and One NightsThe Stardust Thief weaves the gripping tale of a legendary smuggler, a cowardly prince, and a dangerous quest across the desert to find a legendary, magical lamp.

Neither here nor there, but long ago…

Loulie al-Nazari is the Midnight Merchant: a criminal who, with the help of her jinn bodyguard, hunts and sells illegal magic. When she saves the life of a cowardly prince, she draws the attention of his powerful father, the sultan, who blackmails her into finding an ancient lamp that has the power to revive the barren land—at the cost of sacrificing all jinn.

With no choice but to obey or be executed, Loulie journeys with the sultan’s oldest son to find the artifact. Aided by her bodyguard, who has secrets of his own, they must survive ghoul attacks, outwit a vengeful jinn queen, and confront a malicious killer from Loulie’s past. And, in a world where story is reality and illusion is truth, Loulie will discover that everything—her enemy, her magic, even her own past—is not what it seems, and she must decide who she will become in this new reality.

Juniper & Thorn by Ava Reid - Book Cover
Juniper & Thorn by Ava Reid
Scheduled Release Date: May 24

I have been hearing a lot of advance praise for Ava Reed’s next novel, a gothic horror retelling of the Brothers Grimm fairy tale “The Juniper Tree”—and, as mentioned, I love reimagined fairy tales.


From highly acclaimed, bestselling author Ava Reid comes a gothic horror retelling of The Juniper Tree, set in another time and place within the world of The Wolf and the Woodsman, where a young witch seeks to discover her identity and escape the domination of her abusive wizard father, perfect for fans of Shirley Jackson and Catherynne M. Valente.

A gruesome curse. A city in upheaval. A monster with unquenchable appetites.

Marlinchen and her two sisters live with their wizard father in a city shifting from magic to industry. As Oblya’s last true witches, she and her sisters are little more than a tourist trap as they treat their clients with archaic remedies and beguile them with nostalgic charm. Marlinchen spends her days divining secrets in exchange for rubles and trying to placate her tyrannical, xenophobic father, who keeps his daughters sequestered from the outside world. But at night, Marlinchen and her sisters sneak out to enjoy the city’s amenities and revel in its thrills, particularly the recently established ballet theater, where Marlinchen meets a dancer who quickly captures her heart.

As Marlinchen’s late-night trysts grow more fervent and frequent, so does the threat of her father’s rage and magic. And while Oblya flourishes with culture and bustles with enterprise, a monster lurks in its midst, borne of intolerance and resentment and suffused with old-world power. Caught between history and progress and blood and desire, Marlinchen must draw upon her own magic to keep her city safe and find her place within it.

The Merciless Ones by Namina Forna - Book Cover
The Merciless Ones (The Gilded Ones #2) by Namina Forna
Scheduled Release Date: May 31

I still need to get hold of The Gilded Ones, but I was nevertheless excited to see the sequel is coming out in a few months. Namina Forna wrote a bit about the world and characters in her guest post “The Importance of Feminist Boys in YA Literature”:

In my novel, The Gilded Ones, Keita, the love interest of my protagonist, Deka, is a soft boy with a hard shell. He has no choice but to be. The world of The Gilded Ones is brutal and deeply misogynistic, especially Otera, the empire in which my story unfolds. Otera is absolute theocracy: women are considered lesser than men and required to undergo a ritual to prove the purity of their blood—red for pure, and gold for impure.

Even worse, the alaki—girls who bleed gold and are stronger and faster than regular humans—are branded as demons and executed on the spot. That is, of course, if they aren’t bled first. Gold is gold, even if it comes straight from the veins.

Despite all this, Keita, a hardened warrior with the battle scars to prove it, develops a deep and abiding respect for Deka. He listens to her when she speaks, doesn’t try to change her, and genuinely cares for her as a human being. In a world where women are considered little less than property, he sees her as an equal, and that’s an important thing.

This YA fantasy series and world sounds fascinating, especially from this interview with the author on Refinery29.


Fans of The Gilded Ones and Children of Blood and Bone will love the second book in an epic fantasy series about a girl who is the key to saving the empire–or its greatest threat.

It’s been six months since Deka has freed the goddesses and discovered who she really is. There are now wars waging across the kingdom. Oterans now think jatu are traitors to the nation. Deka is called a monster.

But the real battle has only just begun and Deka must lead the charge. Deka is tasked with freeing the rest of the goddesses. Only as she begins to free them, she begins to see a strange symbol everywhere in places of worship and worn on armor. There’s something unnatural about that symbol; just looking at it makes Deka lose her senses. Even worse, it seems to repel her powers. She can’t command or communicate with the new deathshrieks. In fact, she can’t even understand them when they speak.

Deka knows freeing the goddesses is just the beginning. She can tell whatever dark force out is powerful and there is something sinister out there threatening the kingdom connected to that symbol–something merciless–that her army will need to stop before humanity crumbles. But Deka’s powers are only getting stronger…and her strongest weapon could be herself.

Wrath Goddess Sing by Maya Deane - Book Cover
Wrath Goddess Sing by Maya Deane
Scheduled Release Date: June 7

This reimagining of The Iliad sounds amazing, especially after reading some of the early reviews on Goodreads.


Drawing on ancient texts and modern archeology to reveal the trans woman’s story hidden underneath the well-known myths of The Iliad, Maya Deane’s Wrath Goddess Sing weaves a compelling, pitilessly beautiful vision of Achilles’ vanished world, perfect for fans of Song of Achilles and the Inheritance trilogy.

The gods wanted blood. She fought for love.

Achilles has fled her home and her vicious Myrmidon clan to live as a woman with the kallai, the transgender priestesses of Great Mother Aphrodite. When Odysseus comes to recruit the “prince” Achilles for a war against the Hittites, she prepares to die rather than fight as a man. However, her divine mother, Athena, intervenes, transforming her body into the woman’s body she always longed for, and promises her everything: glory, power, fame, victory in war, and, most importantly, a child born of her own body. Reunited with her beloved cousin, Patroklos, and his brilliant wife, the sorceress Meryapi, Achilles sets out to war with a vengeance.

But the gods—a dysfunctional family of abusive immortals that have glutted on human sacrifices for centuries—have woven ancient schemes more blood-soaked and nightmarish than Achilles can imagine. At the center of it all is the cruel, immortal Helen, who sees Achilles as a worthy enemy after millennia of ennui and emptiness. In love with her newfound nemesis, Helen sets out to destroy everything and everyone Achilles cherishes, seeking a battle to the death.

An innovative spin on a familiar tale, this is the Trojan War unlike anything ever told, and an Achilles whose vulnerability is revealed by the people she chooses to fight…and chooses to trust.

The Final Strife by Saara El-Arifi - Book Cover
The Final Strife (The Ending Fire Trilogy #1) by Saara El-Arifi
Scheduled Release Date: June 21

I’ve heard excellent things about Saara El-Arifi’s fantasy first novel, which features the following (from her writeup on Goodreads):

  • Friends to lovers (F/F)
  • A drug addicted chosen one who TOTALLY misses her calling
  • A tournament with awesome armour
  • A desert landscape with giant lizards that you can ride
  • Blood magic…that uses…blood
  • An insular world plagued by a nightly hurricane called the ‘tidewind’
  • A cruelly divided Empire where red-blooded reign, blue-blooded labour and translucent-blooded are maimed servants

The Final Strife is one of the 2022 debuts I’m most excited for.


In the first book of a visionary African- and Arabian-inspired fantasy trilogy, three women band together against a cruel empire that divides people by blood.

Red is the blood of the elite, of magic, of control.
Blue is the blood of the poor, of workers, of the resistance.
Clear is the blood of the slaves, of the crushed, of the invisible.

Sylah dreams of days growing up in the resistance, being told she would spark a revolution that would free the empire from the red-blooded ruling classes’ tyranny. That spark was extinguished the day she watched her family murdered before her eyes.

Anoor has been told she’s nothing, no one, a disappointment, by the only person who matters: her mother, the most powerful ruler in the empire. But dust always rises in a storm.

Hassa moves through the world unseen by upper classes, so she knows what it means to be invisible. But invisibility has its uses: It can hide the most dangerous of secrets, secrets that can reignite a revolution.

As the empire begins a set of trials of combat and skill designed to find its new leaders, the stage is set for blood to flow, power to shift, and cities to burn.

A Half-Built Garden by Ruthanna Emrys - Book Cover
A Half-Built Garden by Ruthanna Emrys
Scheduled Release Date: July 26

This first contact story that also deals with climate change effects sounds wonderful, especially since I tend to enjoy books involving diplomacy—plus I could use some science fiction with hope right now.


A literary descendent of Ursula K. Le Guin, Ruthanna Emrys crafts a novel of extraterrestrial diplomacy and urgent climate repair bursting with quiet, tenuous hope and an underlying warmth. A Half-Built Garden depicts a world worth building towards, a humanity worth saving from itself, and an alien community worth entering with open arms. It’s not the easiest future to build, but it’s one that just might be in reach.

On a warm March night in 2083, Judy Wallach-Stevens wakes to a warning of unknown pollutants in the Chesapeake Bay. She heads out to check what she expects to be a false alarm—and stumbles upon the first alien visitors to Earth. These aliens have crossed the galaxy to save humanity, convinced that the people of Earth must leave their ecologically-ravaged planet behind and join them among the stars. And if humanity doesn’t agree, they may need to be saved by force.

The watershed networks aren’t ready to give up on Earth. Decades ago, they rose up to exile the last corporations to a few artificial islands, escape the dominance of nation-states, and reorganize humanity around the hope of keeping their world liveable. By sharing the burden of decision-making, they’ve started to heal the wounded planet.

But now corporations, nation-states, and networks all vie to represent humanity to these powerful new beings, and if any one accepts the aliens’ offer, Earth may be lost. With everyone’s eyes turned skyward, everything hinges on the success of Judy’s effort to create understanding, both within and beyond her own species.

The Oleander Sword by Tasha Suri - Book Cover
The Oleander Sword (The Burning Kingdoms #2) by Tasha Suri
Read an Excerpt from The Jasmine Throne (Burning Kingdoms #1)
Scheduled Release Date: August 16

I have adored every single one of Tasha Suri’s books, and The Jasmine Throne was astounding: beautifully written with amazing characters, it’s one of those books that just seemed perfect to me. Given how much it escalated toward the end, I am beyond excited to continue this story in The Oleander Sword.


The Jasmine Throne has been hailed as a series opener that will “undoubtedly reshape the landscape of epic fantasy for years to come” (Booklist, starred). Now, award-winning author Tasha Suri’s provocative and powerful Burning Kingdoms trilogy continues with The Oleander Sword.

The prophecy of the nameless god—the words that declared Malini the rightful empress of Parijatdvipa—has proven a blessing and curse. She is determined to claim the throne that fate offered her. But even with the strength of the rage in her heart and the army of loyal men by her side, deposing her brother is going to be a brutal and bloody fight.

The power of the deathless waters flows through Priya’s blood. Thrice born priestess, Elder of Ahiranya, Priya’s dream is to see her country rid of the rot that plagues it: both Parijatdvipa’s poisonous rule, and the blooming sickness that is slowly spreading through all living things. But she doesn’t yet understand the truth of the magic she carries.

Their chosen paths once pulled them apart. But Malini and Priya’s souls remain as entwined as their destinies. And they soon realize that coming together is the only way to save their kingdom from those who would rather see it burn—even if it will cost them.

Babel by R. F. Kuang - Book Cover
Babel by R.F. Kuang
Scheduled Release Date: August 23

I enjoyed The Poppy War immensely, and I’m excited to see what R.F. Kuang does with dark academia in Babel, or the Necessity of Violence: An Arcane History of The Oxford Translators’ Revolution. She wrote that it’s her most ambitious story yet and described it as follows on Goodreads:

It’s a love letter and breakup letter to Oxford. It gnaws at questions that have bothered me since I started graduate school–chiefly the brokenness of academia, and the sacrifices that true change might require. It’s all the gnarly, bizarre, fascinating facets to linguistics, translation, and colonialism I’ve been studying over the past few years.

It sounds like it will be digging into some really interesting themes, and reading what R.F. Kuang had to say about it intrigued me even more.


From award-winning author R. F. Kuang comes Babel, a thematic response to The Secret History and a tonal retort to Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell that grapples with student revolutions, colonial resistance, and the use of language and translation as the dominating tool of the British empire.

Traduttore, traditore: An act of translation is always an act of betrayal.

1828. Robin Swift, orphaned by cholera in Canton, is brought to London by the mysterious Professor Lovell. There, he trains for years in Latin, Ancient Greek, and Chinese, all in preparation for the day he’ll enroll in Oxford University’s prestigious Royal Institute of Translation—also known as Babel.

Babel is the world’s center for translation and, more importantly, magic. Silver working—the art of manifesting the meaning lost in translation using enchanted silver bars—has made the British unparalleled in power, as its knowledge serves the Empire’s quest for colonization.

For Robin, Oxford is a utopia dedicated to the pursuit of knowledge. But knowledge obeys power, and as a Chinese boy raised in Britain, Robin realizes serving Babel means betraying his motherland. As his studies progress, Robin finds himself caught between Babel and the shadowy Hermes Society, an organization dedicated to stopping imperial expansion. When Britain pursues an unjust war with China over silver and opium, Robin must decide…

Can powerful institutions be changed from within, or does revolution always require violence? 

The Spear Cuts Through Water by Simon Jimenez - Book Cover
The Spear Cuts Through Water by Simon Jimenez
Scheduled Release Date: August 30

This is another book that I first noticed because of the beautiful cover, and now I want to read it because of the description, particularly the involvement of an ancient god.


Two warriors shepherd an ancient god across a broken land to end the tyrannical reign of a royal family in this new epic fantasy from the author of The Vanished Birds.

The people suffer under the centuries-long rule of the Moon Throne. The royal family—the despotic emperor and his monstrous sons, the Three Terrors—hold the countryside in their choking grip. They bleed the land and oppress the citizens with the frightful powers they inherited from the god locked under their palace.

But that god cannot be contained forever.

With the aid of Jun, a guard broken by his guilt-stricken past, and Keema, an outcast fighting for his future, the god escapes from her royal captivity and flees from her own children, the triplet Terrors who would drag her back to her unholy prison. And so it is that she embarks with her young companions on a five-day pilgrimage in search of freedom—and a way to end the Moon Throne forever. The journey ahead will be more dangerous than any of them could have imagined.

Both a sweeping adventure story and an intimate exploration of identity, legacy, and belonging, The Spear Cuts Through Water is an ambitious and profound saga that will transport and transform you—and is like nothing you’ve ever read before.

Monsters Born and Made by Tanvi Berwah - Book Cover
Monsters Born and Made by Tanvi Berwah
Scheduled Release Date: September 6

This YA South Asian–inspired fantasy novel sounds like fun with sea monsters and a deadly competition.


She grew up battling the monsters that live in the black seas, but it couldn’t prepare her to face the cunning cruelty of the ruling elite.

Perfect for fans of The Hunger Games and Fable, this South Asian-inspired fantasy is a gripping debut about the power of the elite, the price of glory, and one girl’s chance to change it all.

Sixteen-year-old Koral and her older brother Emrik risk their lives each day to capture the monstrous maristags that live in the black seas around their island. They have to, or else their family will starve.

In an oceanic world swarming with vicious beasts, the Landers―the ruling elite, have indentured Koral’s family to provide the maristags for the Glory Race, a deadly chariot tournament reserved for the upper class. The winning contender receives gold and glory. The others―if they’re lucky―survive.

When the last maristag of the year escapes and Koral has no new maristag to sell, her family’s financial situation takes a turn for the worse and they can’t afford medicine for her chronically ill little sister. Koral’s only choice is to do what no one in the world has ever dared: cheat her way into the Glory Race.

But every step of the way is unpredictable as Koral races against contenders who have trained for this their whole lives and who have no intention of letting a low-caste girl steal their glory. When riots break out and rogues attack Koral to try and force her to drop out, she must choose―her life or her sister’s―before the whole island burns.

Perfect for fans of:

  • Dystopian Fantasy
  • Sea Monsters
  • Exes-to-Rivals-to-?
  • Golden Boy x Pariah
  • Deadly Competition
  • Rebellion
  • Angsty Teenagers
  • Female Friendship

House of Hunger by Alexis Henderson
Scheduled Release Date: September 27

The Year of the Witching, Alexis Henderson’s debut novel, is an engaging gothic horror story that kept me turning the pages—which was not an easy feat, considering I read it when I was having difficulty concentrating in 2020! I was excited to learn she has another gothic novel coming out this fall.

(And if you missed it last year, Alexis Henderson wrote about her kinship with horror in “Writing Dark Fiction: An Exercise in Self-Acceptance.”)


WANTED – Bloodmaid of exceptional taste. Must have a keen proclivity for life’s finer pleasures. Girls of weak will need not apply.

A young woman is drawn into the upper echelons of a society where blood is power, in this dark and enthralling gothic novel from the author of The Year of the Witching.

Marion Shaw has been raised in the slums, where want and deprivation is all she knows. Despite longing to leave the city and its miseries, she has no real hope of escape until the day she spots a peculiar listing in the newspaper, seeking a bloodmaid.

Though she knows little about the far north—where wealthy nobles live in luxury and drink the blood of those in their service—Marion applies to the position. In a matter of days, she finds herself the newest bloodmaid at the notorious House of Hunger. There, Marion is swept into a world of dark debauchery—and at the center of it all is her.

Countess Lisavet, who presides over this hedonistic court, is loved and feared in equal measure. She takes a special interest in Marion. Lisavet is magnetic, and Marion is eager to please her new mistress. But when her fellow bloodmaids begin to go missing in the night, Marion is thrust into a vicious game of cat and mouse. She’ll need to learn the rules of her new home—and fast—or its halls will soon become her grave.

Strike the Zither by Joan He
Scheduled Release Date: Fall 2022

This reimagining of Romance of the Three Kingdoms doesn’t yet have an official summary, but it sounded intriguing from what I did find about it on Joan He’s website (below).


STRIKE THE ZITHER is a reimagining of the Chinese military epic Romance of the Three Kingdoms, in which a strategist must help her warlordess to victory against the rival kingdoms to the north and the south while overcoming her fate as written by the gods.

It’s the first of a duology, set to release Fall ‘22.

Official summary to come, but some things to look forward to:

  • a lady Zhuge Liang
  • the 36 stratagems & war
  • backstabbing
  • rivals to lovers
  • remixed Liu Bei, Cao Cao, Sun Quan & more

The Surviving Sky by Kritika H. Rao
Scheduled Release Date: Fall 2022

Kritika H. Rao’s website calls her debut novel “a Hindu philosophy inspired epic science-fantasy.” I love a good science-fantasy, and I also love the idea of plant-made civilizations floating above a planet in a story focused on a married couple.


High above a jungle-planet float the last refuges of humanity—plant-made civilizations held together by tradition, technology, and arcane science. In these living cities, architects are revered above anyone else. If not for their ability to psychically manipulate the architecture, the cities would plunge into the devastating earthrage storms below.

Charismatic, powerful, mystical, Iravan is one such architect. In his city, his word is nearly law. His abilities are his identity, but to Ahilya, his wife, they are a way for survival to be reliant on the privileged few. Like most others, she cannot manipulate the plants. And she desperately seeks change.

Their marriage is already thorny—then Iravan is accused of pushing his abilities to forbidden limits. He needs Ahilya to help clear his name; she needs him to tip the balance of rule in their society. As their paths become increasingly intertwined, deadly truths emerge, challenging everything each of them believes. And as the earthrages become longer, and their floating city begins to plummet, Iravan and Ahilya’s discoveries might destroy their marriage, their culture, and their entire civilization.

Matryoshka by Karin Lowachee
Scheduled Release Date: 2022

I am a huge fan of Karin Lowachee’s Warchild books and universe (Warchild, Burndive, Cagebird, Omake: Stories from the Warchild Universe). They’re the character-driven science fiction of my dreams, and I was thrilled to see that the author’s website has a description for Matryoshka, the fourth novel, and a general release date of this year.


Jascha Terisov and his broken family are refugees. At three years old, his mining colony was attacked by alien enemies and the destruction thrust his parents, older brother Yuri, and younger sister into separate relief camps on different planets. Though his sister was eventually reunited with him and his mother, Yuri was lost—apparently signed onto a merchant ship as a child.

Now eighteen years later, Jascha works long hours to provide for his sister’s medical care. Life as refugees on Mars is not the promise of stability they were told. When Jascha is approached by covert agents posing as officers from the Department of Justice, they offer him a deal he can’t refuse: go back to deep space to locate his brother Yuri—the monetary compensation will set his family up for life and afford his sister the care she needs. The catch? Yuri is a pirate on the run and this mission threatens to place Jascha in his own brother’s crosshairs.

Matryoshka is the fourth book based in the universe of the award-winning science fiction mosaic series that began with Warchild.

Some Desperate Glory by Emily Tesh
Scheduled Release Date: 2022

This space opera captured my attention when I read what the author and editor said about the protagonist in the announcement on In particular, I took notice when Emily Tesh said, “The villain of Kyr’s journey is Kyr herself.” And then I saw Ruoxi Chen said, “Kyr is a protagonist who is the absolute worst. I’d die for her of course.”

And that’s all it took for me to go from thinking this could be interesting to being fully on board.


While we live, the enemy shall fear us.

All her life Kyr has trained for the day she can avenge the murder of planet Earth. Raised in the bowels of Gaea Station alongside the last scraps of humanity, she readies herself to face the Wisdom, the all-powerful, reality-shaping weapon that gave the Majoda their victory over humanity.

They are what’s left. They are what must survive. Kyr is one of the best warriors of her generation, the sword of a dead planet. But when Command assigns her brother to certain death and relegates her to the nursery to bear sons until she dies trying, she knows she must take humanity’s revenge into her own hands.

Alongside her brother’s brilliant but seditious friend and a lonely, captive alien, she escapes from everything she’s ever known into a universe far more complicated than she was taught and far more wondrous than she could have imagined.

A thrillingly told queer space opera about the wreckage of war, the family you find, and who you must become when every choice is stripped from you, Some Desperate Glory is award-winning author Emily Tesh’s highly anticipated debut novel.

The Sun and the Void by Gabriela Romero
Read an Excerpt
Scheduled Release Date: 2022

The Sun and the Void is another debut novel that sounds amazing with gods and inspiration from Venezuelan geography and folklore.


Coming soon from Orbit US in 2022.

Nine lives to ascend to the rank of gods. It’s what the god of the Void will grant any mortal who sacrifices the reincarnations of his nine wives.

Reina loathes imprisoning the reincarnated girls for her grandmother Wilgemina, but is indebted to serve her after Wilgemina granted her a life-saving ore that keeps her alive. After Wilgemina has kidnapped eight girls, Reina discovers that Celeste, the girl she secretly loves, is the final reincarnation to complete the sacrifice. When Celeste disappears, Wilgemina accuses Reina of helping Celeste flee and rips out her ore. Wilgemina orders her to capture Celeste in return for it back, as without it her heart will fail. Faced with betraying the girl she loves or risking her grandmother’s wrath, Reina sets out after Celeste, unknowingly falling into a web of lies spun by the god of the Void himself.

THE SUN AND THE VOID is a multi-POV adult high fantasy set in a world inspired by the geography and folklore of Venezuela.