It’s here; part one of my favourite post of the year to write! And, I confess, I’m kind of alarmed by just how long my list is this year. Next year I may well have to set a limit as to how many books I can include. But here it is anyway and, just as a head’s up, it doesn’t stop based on month – it stops based on the half way point of the original post, more or less. So, if a book comes out after Elektra, it could well be listed in part two.
Magic is ‘a precious resource that has kept Ashoka safe from conflict’ but the country’s only quarry is running out of magic, there’s a looming threat of war and if ‘enemies discover this, they’ll stop at nothing to seize the last of the magic.’ Vira, ‘desperate to get out of her mother’s shadow and establish her legacy as a revered queen of Ashoka’, hopes to ‘find a mysterious object of legend: the Ivory Key’ which is rumored to unlock a new source of magic. But to do so she needs to reunite with her estranged siblings…and each of them have very different plans for what to do with the key. I can’t wait for my copy of this book to turn up; it sounds absolutely fantastic. Scheming siblings, dwindling magic and the threat of war…what more could I possibly ask for?
‘Kingdoms will fall, gods will die, and hearts will be broken’
How on earth have I not heard of this sooner? If the opening quote somehow hasn’t intrigued you then let me mention it’s wholly unique sounding setting – a place where reality bends, villages disappear and forests burn forever. Salvation; a land where three kingdoms have been at war for a thousand years. Malice, ‘an incursion from the demon plane’, is it’s greatest threat and could lead to the ‘total unravelling of night and day, light and dark, life and death.’ Characters include ‘the serpent bride’ and the prince she’s supposed to marry who has noticed the growing darkness. And then there’s Nightrender herself: ‘the hammer of the gods, an immortal warrior more weapon than girl.’ Who, when last summoned, ‘slaughtered every royal in Salvation, and no one knows why.’ Seriously how could anyone resist a premise like this? I need this already!!
Okay so I’ll admit it – what initially caught my eye about this novel was the fact that the dead king’s ghost is setting tasks from beyond the grave. How intriguing does that sound? If that somehow doesn’t entice you though let me also mention that this adult fantasy follows ‘three societal outcasts’ who must work together to save their nation from ‘the usurper king’ whose driving their land to the brink of war. This team of three consists of: the failed bodyguard whose now been accused of murder; a Landstrider witch with the ability to walk the spirit world and the clever assassin, with a traumatic past, who killed the king to begin with. Oh and, of course, there’s a ‘dangerous magical power’ rising up. Need I say more?
Thank you so much to Sophie for bringing this book to my attention.
For three hundred years the Gray has been encased in ice, surrounded by a great barrier called the Shade which protects it from the Deadlands. ‘But day by day, the shade weakens.’ And the only thing that can stop it’s fall is a mortal woman being taken captive and ‘bound in wedlock to the dark god who reigns over the Deadlands.’
‘He is the North Wind, the Frost King, an immortal whose heart is said to be as frigid as the land he rules.’
This story is said to be ‘in the vein of Beauty and The Beast & Hades And Persephone‘, features enemies-to lovers and is ‘sprinkled with Greek Lore.’ And then there’s this:
‘Long before civilization, there were the gods. And before the gods, there was the earth, the celestial bodies, and air given flesh. They are the Anemoi—the Four Winds—and they have been banished to the four corners of the world.’
I, for one, certainly can’t wait to learn more.
Having thoroughly enjoyed The Winners Curse I was instantly intrigued when I saw that Marie Rutkoski was writing an adult book. And then extremely curious as to how her take on the thriller genre would go. In 1999 Samantha, whose danced at the Lovely Lady strip club for years, drives a new dancer home, only to be run off the road. When the police arrive at the scene, they discover only one body. Georgia, another dancer, tries to assist detective Holly who has ‘a complicated story of her own’. The point of view is said to shift ‘from dancers and detectives to club patrons and children’ so not only am I eager to find out exactly what’s going on in this novel I’m also excited to find out how all the points of views converge. Plus I get the impression it’s going to be pretty powerful and emotional too. Definitely curious to see what it ultimately turns out like.
So I know that this came out for a lot of people last year but over in the UK it’s only being released this year. I’m also yet to read Fable which I believe is set in the same world but I’m intrigued regardless. Bryn Roth receives a letter from her uncle Henrik on her eighteenth birthday, ‘summoning her back to Bastian’ where she is eager to prove herself and take her place in her long-lost family. But ‘Henrik has plans for Bryn’ and she must ‘win everyone’s trust if she wants to hold any power’ in the family. ‘Despite their growing influence in upscale Bastian, their hands are still in the kind of dirty business that got Bryn’s parents killed years ago.’ There’s a forbidden romance, dangerous work and blood ties. And this author is the only one to feature twice on this list! But I do feel that this book sounds like it’ll be exceedingly gripping.
Mention forbidden magic and I’m in. But this promises so much more than that alone. Xingyin has lived in solitude since her mother stole an elixir for immortality from the ‘feared Celestial Emperor’. Until her magic flares and reveals her existence. This book promises hidden identities, archery, magic, legendary creatures, vicious enemies, a dangerous bargain, ancient Chinese mythology and a rather complicated sounding romance. What more could you possibly ask for in a book? Plus look at that cover! The UK edition appears to be different but it’s also pretty stunning.
This is one of the few non fantasy offerings on this list but it seriously sounds amazing. Set in Joseon (Korea) 1758 it follows eighteen year old Hyeon who has earned her position as a palace nurse. When someone murders four women in one night she finds herself ‘thrust into the dark and dangerous world of court politics’, especially as her closest friend and mentor is the primary suspect, pushing her to hunt for the truth. And then evidence starts to point towards the crown prince himself. Interested? I certainly am…
To enter the palace means to walk a path stained in blood…
‘The plot: overthrow a kingdom. The goal: world domination. The plan: marriage.’
Well that’s one way to go about it anyway! And I, for one, am rather intrigued. The triplet princesses of Bessemia have been ‘trained from birth in espionage and seduction’. Why? So their Queen mother can enact her ‘plan to rule from sea to sea’. Unfortunately their task may not be quite so simple and their ‘mother’s motives may not be what they seem.’ The possibilities for this novel sound endless to be honest and I can’t wait to see what happens romance wise within this book.
Forbidden romances are always exciting but this one sounds like it truly has the potential to be epic. Alizeh is the long lost heir to an ancient Jinn kingdom, hiding in plain sight as a servant. Kamran is the crown prince who can’t get her off of his mind. Besides the obvious problems there’s the fact that one day soon Alizeh will ‘uproot his kingdom – and the world.’ And there’s even prophecies foretelling the death of the king. If all of that somehow isn’t enough it’s also inspired by Persian mythology. So basically I’m counting down the days to it’s release…
‘Enchantments run deep on Cadence: gossip is carried by the wind, plaid shawls can be as strong as armor, and the smallest cut of a knife can instill fathomless fear.’
Intrigued yet? Jack is called back to Cadence – after studying music at the mainland university – when ‘young girls start disappearing from the isle.‘
‘The capricious spirits that rule the isle by fire, water, earth, and wind find mirth in the lives of the humans who call the land home.’
Jack’s childhood enemy – and heiress of the east – Adaira knows that ‘the spirits only answer to a bard’s music.‘ And so she hopes that Jack can entice ‘them to return the missing girls.’ If all of that – along with the serious enemies to lovers potential that this book has – isn’t enough to entice you then read this final line of its blurb:
‘an older, darker secret about Cadence lurks beneath the surface, threatening to undo them all.’
Firstly why the name change? I have nothing against the new title but personally I preferred ‘The Dust Alphabet’; it was the sort of unusual title that left me immediately wanting to learn more. But anyway this book sounds fantastic. It’s the story of Hannah who on her 17th birthday is ‘cursed by a sheyd (a Jewish demon) as the price for a desperate bargain that her mother made long ago.’ Doesn’t that instantly leave you itching for more information? To break the spell Hannah and her brother must find her ‘mother’s estranged family’ and ‘discover a legacy they never dreamed of – one that traces back to the famous Golem of Prague.’ I need this already.
I wrote this for last year’s Most Anticipated Releases posts then discovered that it’s release date had been changed. Having now read the full length blurb I can honesty say that this sounds even more incredible then I first realized. Check it out. Seriously!
Mae has only ever known life on the island, ‘living on the charity of the wealthy Prosper family who control the magic on the island and the spirits who inhabit it’. Soon her time there may come to an end ‘but tonight is First Night’; a time to celebrate the night ‘Lord Prosper first harnessed the island’s magic and started producing aether – a magical fuel source that has revolutionized the world.’ Then the spirits start inexplicably dying and ‘Ivo, the reclusive, mysterious heir to the Prosper magic, may hold all the answers.’ Including a secret from Mae’s own past that she doesn’t remember. Magic, secrets, spirits, a wealthy family and so much potential for intrigue. It goes without saying that I want this!
Okay please just give me this book already! Seriously; it sounds incredible. Set within a world where five hundred years of peace are shattered when girls inexplicably stop being born this series features five queendoms. It’s cast is made up of a warrior queen, a healer in hiding whose daughter has a secret explosive power, a queen whose desperation leads to her risking ‘using the darkest magic’, a ‘sorcerer demigod’ and ‘the generation of lastborn girls’… doesn’t this sound epic? And it’s blurb literally screams ‘girl-power’. Please just give me this book already! I know I’ve already said that but honestly it bears repeating.
OMG, what the hell did I just read? This blurb sounds like nothing I’ve ever come across before and I need this. League Of Liars follows a legal apprentice who’s tasked with helping convict three criminals for their illegal use of magic…’including the princess who was arrested for erasing the king’s entire existence.’ If that somehow wasn’t intriguing enough (which lets face it, it is) it was also pitched as ‘How To Get Away With Murder meets The Breakfast Club set in Azkaban’; yes I’m a failure who hasn’t seen those two things but set in a place like Azkaban? Obviously I’m interested. Plus I adored the author’s debut novel so that only adds to my level of curiosity and excitement. After writing this I’ve also now spotted the author’s note which has further increased my excitement as she’s shared the fact that this book will feature multiple POVs with letters, diagrams and illustrations. Plus asks ‘how can you tell the truth from the lies’ ‘in a world where reality can be distorted by magic.’ Seriously just give me this now!
‘Deadly storms have ravaged Mina’s homeland for generations’, causing her people to believe the Sea God, who was once their protector, ‘now curses them with death and despair’. Their solution? To throw a maiden into the sea, year after year, in the hopes that one day his ‘true bride’ will be ‘chosen and end the suffering’. To save her brother Mina dives into the sea in the place of his beloved, only to find herself in the Spirit Realm – a magical city of lesser gods and mythical beasts. Once there she discovers that the Sea God is stuck in an enchanted sleep and – not only does she have limited time to wake him – ‘there are those who would do anything to keep the Sea God from waking’. How could I not want to read this? It sounds incredible!! A fascinating setting, gods, demons, magic, danger… basically I think this book was written for me. And – yes I’m saying it again – but look at that cover!!
As someone who adored The Grace Year I knew that I had to check this out as soon as I saw it mentioned in it’s blurb. It’s the story of a girl who will ‘become one of the four saints of Havens’ and, along with her sisters, ‘stand against the evil power that lives beneath the black mountains.’ An evil which has already killed nine of her village’s men. She has secrets – ‘white-eyed beasts that follow her’ being just one of them – and is unafraid of her mission to ‘save her people from destruction.‘ But are you? Truthfully I highly recommend checking out the full blurb for this one.
Ooh so I think this is my first time reading the full blurb for this book (it had one of those summarized ones before) but it sounds absolutely incredible. There’s a mother’s journal that descends into madness; an invitation that leads to a trip to Gallant, a place where our protagonist, Olivia, was unexpected; a hostile cousin; half formed ghouls and so much more… Including a ruined wall that, when crossed at just the right moment, leads to a very different Gallant where ‘the manor is crumbling, the ghouls are solid, and a mysterious figure rules over all.’
‘Olivia has always wanted to belong somewhere, but will she take her place as a Prior, protecting our world against the Master of the House? Or will she take her place beside him?’
I seriously need this book! Especially after the absolute wonder that was Addie LaRue. Truthfully the one and only reason that I haven’t yet pre-ordered this is because I’m hoping that Waterstones will announce one of their gorgeous special editions...hint, hint…
No matter what the forest of Edgewood always comes for Emeline Lark and when her grandfather disappears from his nursing home she finally succumbs to it’s call, ‘entering the forest she has spent years trying to escape.’ In the ‘court of the fabled Wood King’ she trades her voice for her grandfather’s freedom whilst totally unaware that she’s ‘stumbled into a curse much bigger than herself.’ Oh doesn’t this sound good! Creepy forests and fabled wood kings just screams fae vibes and by now surely you know how much I love those. And that cover!! Let’s be honest; 2022 should be named the year of stunning book covers already.
Somehow I haven’t yet managed to read An Ember In The Ashes (*hides in shame*) but I’ve seen the rave reviews so naturally I was curious about this book. So I read the blurb and wow, just wow. This sounds like it’s going to be beautiful but harrowing in so many ways. It’s a contemporary (on this list, surprising right?) and sounds as if it could have dual storylines. ‘Then’ Misbah, ‘a dreamer and storyteller’ whose newly married to Toufiq in an arranged match moves to the United States and opens a motel after their life is shaken by tragedy. ‘Now’ Solahudin and Noor are the closest of friends...until ‘The Fight’ destroys their bond. Sol ‘scrambles to run the family hotel as his mother Misbah’s health fails and his grieving father loses himself to alcoholism.’ Noor works ‘at her wrathful uncle’s liquor store while hiding the fact that she’s applying to college so she can escape him.’
‘When Sal’s attempts to save the motel spiral out of control, he and Noor must ask themselves what friendship is worth—and what it takes to defeat the monsters in their pasts and the ones in their midst.’
See what I mean about the potential for beauty and devastation? No matter what I’m fairly certain that this will be a truly powerful read.
Indir is a Dreamer, ‘descended from a long line of seers’ she carries the rare gift of ‘Dreaming truth’. She also has two secrets that she’s struggling to keep – and yes I’m certainly curious about those. When the beloved king dies, his son, who ‘has no respect’ for the time-honored tradition of Dreaming, wants an opportunity to ‘bring the Dreamers to a permanent end’. ‘Saya is a seer, but not a Dreamer’ as she’s never been ‘formally trained’. She never stays in one place for too long – ‘almost as if they’re running from something’ – and travels from village to village with her mother who passes her gifts off as her own. When she loses ‘the necklace she’s worn since birth’ she learns that ‘seeing isn’t her only gift’ and ‘begins to suspect that everything she knows about her life has been a carefully-constructed lie.’ I’m definitely intrigued by this book and can’t wait to explore it’s world. Fingers crossed it’s a good as it sounds because honestly? This absolutely has the potential to be epic.
OMG this sounds amazing!! How did I forget what this was about? And how on earth have I still not read The Reader… Anyway this book is set in ‘the realm of Awara, where gods, monsters and humans exist side by side‘ and follows Miuko, a normal girl… at first. When she’s cursed Miuko begins to ‘transform into a demon with a deadly touch’; leading to an attempt to reverse said curse. Along the way she’s ‘aided by a thieving magpie spirit’ and ‘thwarted by a demon prince.’ There are also tricksters, demon hunters and even feral gods. But, in the end,
‘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. ‘
‘Fifteen-year-old Sloane can incinerate an enemy at will—she is a Scion, a descendant of the ancient Orisha gods.’
I’ve definitely read at least one book that includes the Orisha gods before and I adored it so naturally I’m intrigued about this. Plus that power; wow!! If her powers are discovered it will mean death for Sloane; but then, when she is ‘forcibly conscripted into the Lucis army’ she comes up with a plan… ‘to overcome the bloody challenges of Lucis training, and destroy them from within.’ But will she become a monster in doing so? I can’t wait to find out! This is definitely my kind of book, and from the sounds of it, my sort of central character too! So many fantastic new fantasy series seem to be coming out this year.
Firstly I seriously recommend checking the blurb of this one out for yourself in full. Re-reading it now has left me itching to get my hands on it. ‘The Four Realms – Life, Death, Light and Darkness, all converge on the city of dusk. Each realm has a god and each god has a heir. But now the gods have withdrawn their favour, meaning that all the realms are dying. If that wasn’t exciting enough this book follows those four heirs – a necromancer, an elementalist, a shadow-wielding rogue and a solider. And then there’s the final line of this book’s blurb:
‘But their defiance will cost them dearly.’
Need I say more?
Surely I’m not alone in seeing ‘magical art of tea-making’ and finding myself instantly intrigued? I need to know more about this magic! This story follows Ning who ‘unknowing brewed the poison tea’ that killed her mother and is now also threatening to take her sister’s life as well. Her only chance to save her seems to be to enter into a competition to ‘find the kingdom’s greatest shennong-shi – masters of the ancient and magical art of tea-making’; the winner of which will receive a favour from the princess. Backstabbing competitors, bloody court politics and a mysterious boy with a shocking secret all await Ning in the imperial city. And with that blurb I am simply itching to get a hold of a copy of this book. In print, obviously, because have you seen that cover?!?
‘Six years ago, three Long Island teenagers were murdered – their drowned bodies discovered with sand dollars placed over their eyes.’
Although this mystery was never solved the town has always been convinced that Evelyn Mackenzie’s father did it. ‘Charges were dropped only because Evelyn summoned a ghost to clear his name. She swore never to call a spirit again. She lied.’ Intriguing right? But there’s more… Mina, a former friend of Evelyn’s, is from a family that has always worked as mediums – ‘using the ocean’s power to guide the dead to their final resting place.’ But rising sea levels has led to increasingly dangerous ghosts and ‘Mina has been shut out of the family business.’ When Evelyn performs a summoning that goes horribly wrong the two girls must team up to solve the mystery of the Drowning Summer ‘before the line between life and death dissolves for good.’
Oh wow, this sounds like it’s going to be one incredibly epic fantasy offering. From its promise that ‘It’s all about blood’ and it’s central character, Ikenna’s, plans of revenge this sounds absolutely riveting. After Ikenna’s grandfather – the man who ‘trained her in secret’ in both martial skills and ‘in harnessing the blood gift that coursed through her’ – is murdered she’s ‘bent on revenge as much as discovering the truth’ and so she ‘pledges herself to the Praetorian Trials – a brutal initiation that only a quarter of aspirants survive’. And all this time she has to hide a power that ‘if found out would subject her to execution…or worse.’ If that somehow hasn’t sold you on this book then check out these final lines:
‘Mareen has been at peace for a long time…
Ikenna joining the Praetorians is about to change all that.’
“I was born on the full moon under an auspicious constellation, the holiest of positions—much good it did me.”
Kaikeyi is a young woman ‘determined to create her own destiny in a world where gods and men dictate the shape of things to come’ who transforms herself from an ‘overlooked princess’ into a ‘warrior, diplomat, and most-favored queen.’ She’s ‘the vilified queen of the Indian epic the Ramayana’ which I don’t truly know so I’m excited to discover her story. Plus the blurb compares it to Circe so naturally I’m intrigued. Please just give me all of these new retellings already!
Immediately after finishing ‘Ariadne’ I added this book to my TBR and have been waiting impatiently for it ever since. Needless to say I adored the author’s debut. I’m also constantly on the lookout for feminist retellings of well known stories since devouring ‘Circe’. Plus the first line of this blurb instantly hooked me: ‘The House of Atreus is cursed.’
‘This is the story of three women, their fates inextricably tied to this curse, and the fickle nature of men and gods.’ Clytemnestra is the sister of Helen and wife of Agamemnon whose ‘hopes of averting the curse are dashed when her sister is taken to Troy’. Cassandra is Princess of Troy and cursed by Apollo ‘to see the future but never to be believed when she speaks of it.’ And Elektra, the novels namesake, is ‘youngest daughter of Clytemnestra and Agamemnon, Elektra is horrified by the bloodletting of her kin. But, can she escape the curse, or is her own destiny also bound by violence?’
Truthfully I don’t really know anything about Elektra – although her story may well be familiar to me once I pick up this book – but I’m curious to say the least. Who can resist a Greek retelling which focuses upon some of it’s wronged women?
So that’s it for part one; look out for part two, coming Monday. Thank you so much if you read this incredibly lengthy post; I hope it brought some new books to your attention. Because, really, is anyone’s TBR ever long enough?
What are your most anticipated books of 2022? Have you read any of them yet? Are there any early ones that I’m missing?