Most Anticipated Reads 2023

My Most Anticipated Sequels, Prequels & Companion Series Of 2023:

So here’s the final part of my most anticipated releases of 2023 list; the part that I somehow failed to post – despite having typed up – last year. I honestly can’t believe we’re already nearing the end of January. For a supposedly slow passing month it always seems to fly by. I’m also happy to report that I’ve already read – and adored – one of these books. Also as the title suggests these aren’t all necessarily sequels, some are prequels and others companion novels set within the same world as previous books by the authors.

Series I’m Up To Date With:

The Stolen Heir by Holly Black

Obviously I’m desperate for this book, The Folk Of The Air is undoubtedly one of my all time favourite series after all. So anything by Holly Black is going to be anticipated by me, especially when it’s a new series set in the glorious world of Elfhame. I’ve now seen the blurb too and oh my does this sound amazing. There’s ‘an ancient relic being used to create monsters of stick and snow’, Suren – the child queen of the Court of Teeth living lonely and feral in the woods of the human world, using her time to release ‘mortals from foolish bargains’. And there’s Oak – now ‘charming, beautiful and manipulative’ who wants Suren’s help…even though she’s resented him for years as she was once promised to him in marriage.

I’ve already read and adored this one; so much so that I was kind of disappointed to discover it’s only a duology. Book two cannot come soon enough however after that ending!

Hell Bent by Leigh Bardugo

I feel like I’ve been waiting years for this book (probably because I have) but I’m over the moon that it’s finally coming in January. Ninth House was dark, gritty, disturbing and addictive. And it left things in such an agonizing position. I. Need. More… I miss my Darlington…

Barrow Of Winter by H.M. Long

Not only have I loved both of the previous books in this series (technically I think they’re companion novels but I do advice reading them in publication order still) but this one sounds epic. It’s about Thray, the half immortal Last Daughter of Winter who visits the northern land where her father once ruled and meets her demi-god siblings who are powerful and deathless. Naturally it sounds as if trouble will be brewing…

A Venom Dark And Sweet by Judy I. Lin

Oh how I adored the world that this was set within; the tea based magic, the conflicts (both past and brewing), the mythology, the food…just everything really. Plus after that ending I need more already! Promise me darkness and I’m intrigued. I can’t wait to see how this duology ties up.

Chain Of Thorns by Cassandra Clare

So this was actually written for my 2022 sequel list and I am SERIOUSLY impatient for this finale! If I’m being honest I am in absolute awe of Cassandra Clare. Every time she writes a new book it seems to become a newfound favourite of mine. And every time I find myself thinking ‘well the characters from her last series can’t be topped’. And they are. Without fail. I adore the cast of The Last Hours immensely and can’t wait to visit them all again. Although, let’s be honest, I’m terrified of the upcoming anguish too because nobody does bittersweet and beautiful quite like Cassandra Clare. Her romances are always utterly believable, swoon-worthy and anguishing. Oh goodness give me book three already.

Side Note: I seriously cannot wait to see the cover for this one. The first two are breathtaking. This one is too; I think I may actually have swooned when it was released.

Arca by G.R. Macallister

I first wanted to read Scorpica because I saw it described as a feminine Game Of Thrones. It’s set in a fantasy land that I adored and definitely has the sort of cast where you wonder if anyone is truly safe. Needless to say I’m desperate for book two and cannot wait to dive back into this glorious land. I’d personally consider this series a must read for fantasy lovers.

The Battle Drum by Saara El-Arifi

The Final Strife was one of my favourite fantasy novels last year (and trust me the competition was tough) so naturally I’m itching to pick up book two as soon as it comes out. The world-building involved in this novel was superb and left no stone untouched. Yet there’s still so much more to discover with the sequel. And the ending? That blood related mystery? I need answers!

The Midnight Kingdom by Tara Sim

The reaction to the first book in this series was pretty mixed but I ended up adoring it in the end. Some of the things that it’s central characters did left me speechless on occasion. Wow are some of their deeds dark. Plus it left off in such a gloriously enticing place so I simply canot wait to discover exactly what will happen in book two.

A Curse For True Love by Stephanie Garber

In my defense I did finally re-read & finish the Caraval series last year and fully intended to get this series started too but time got away from me. At the moment this series so far is about fourth on my 2023 TBR (after the final Throne Of Glass book, a nutcracker retelling that I meant to read over the festive period & Holly Black’s latest book).

I wrote the above paragraph earlier this month but I’m thrilled to say that I’ve finally read this series so far so my previous ramblings are irrelevant. After the ending of The Ballad Of Never After I NEED this book already! Although I will confess that I’m somewhat terrified to discover how the series will end…

Her Radiant Curse by Elizabeth Lim

Let’s pretend for a moment that I haven’t read anything by Elizabeth Lim before. A tale of two sisters – ‘one as beautiful as the other is monstrous’ – and ‘a betrothal contest gone wrong’ unleashing an evil along the way… Whether I’d read anything by this author before or not then this would absolutely be on this list. But last year I read and adored four of the author’s previous books and this is in fact one of the stories that they left me itching for. So yes, yes, yes, yes, yes I’m 100% reading this. I also can’t wait to see the cover for this as books by this author generally get such stunning designs.

The Scarlet Veil by Shelby Mahurin

Last year I finally read the Serpent & Dove series and fell head over heels in love with it. I’ve always had a weakness for vampire novels too – particularly the romantic ones – so the fact that this is described as ‘a dark and thrilling vampire romance’ and it’s following two of the characters from the Serpent & Dove books makes this an absolute must read for me. It’s one of the few books that I already know I’ll be purchasing in hardback this year. I won’t say anything else to keep this spoiler free but I’m definitely excited to see exactly where this book will take me.

Series I Need To Get Up To Date With:

Rather than constantly repeat myself let me just say that I truly don’t know how I haven’t kept up to date with any of these series.. I adored all that I’ve read in these series so far, all of them finding their way onto my list of favourites. So I truly could kick myself for falling behind with them.

Master Of Souls by Rena Barron
The Mirrored Heavens by Rebecca Roanhorse

Cover To Come.

Throne Of The Fallen by Kerri Maniscalco
The Ruined by Renee Ahdieh

A Grim And Sunken Vow by Ashley Shuttleworth

Series I STILL Need To Start (Oops):

A Day Of Fallen Night by Samantha Shannon
The Bone Shard War by Andrea Stewart
Painted Devils by Margaret Owen
Foxglove by Adalyn Grace
The Ashfire King by Chelsea Abdullah

In my defense in this case I pre-ordered a signed copy of this novel but it didn’t arrive until after Christmas so I haven’t really had a chance to read it yet, especially as I’ve been in the middle of a series.

House Of Roots And Ruin by Erin A. Craig

And that’s it for my most anticipated books of 2023. I’m not entirely sure when I’ll post next to be truthful. I have hundreds of posts in my drafts as well as lots of ideas for more new content but I really do want to try and get my TBR under control before returning to this blog properly. That being said I’ll hopefully try to get some of my backlog of posts up at some point otherwise I’ll have years worth of reviews to try and post at once. Either way I’ll make an effort not to vanish entirely and stay on top of comments this year.

What are your most anticipated sequels of 2023? Have you read any of them yet? Is anyone else infinitely thrilled about some of these companion novels?

Most Anticipated Reads 2023

My Most Anticipated Releases Of 2023 Part Two:

So here’s part two of My Most Anticipated Books Of 2023; if you haven’t checked out part one already you can do so here. Curiosity got the better of me whilst I was finalizing this post off and I decided to see how many books from my 2022 list I actually read. It’s a subject I plan to do a post on eventually (with others for the previous years too) but for now I’ll simply share that I’ve managed to read 10 of the 29 books listed in part one although a couple of those were sadly let downs. Out of part two I only read 4 (a pretty horrifying result) although I will stress that I did at least adore all of those novels and two of them even made my top 3 books of 2022. Plus seven of those books were actually postponed until 2023 so let’s blame that for my failings…Now onto the list.

Dance Of The Starlit Sea by Kiana Krystle

Cover To Come.

On Luna Island – where disgraced ballet dance Lila Rose Li is sent by her own parents – a girl is ‘sacrificed as a bride to the Devil’ every seven years. Okay that premise sounds incredible!! To protect herself Lila seeks the help of ‘the angel who keeps appearing in her dreams’…an angel that, unbeknownst to her, is actually ‘the Devil’s servant in disguise.’ How on earth could my dark fantasy loving heart ever hope to resist that kind of promise?

Garden Of The Cursed by Katy Rose Pool

That title! I’ll admit I added this back when it was called ‘Cursebreakers’ but I adore the new one even more. Doesn’t ‘Garden Of The Cursed’ just scream gothic intrigue? This novel follows Marlow who has ‘made a name for herself as the best godsdamn cursebreaker in Caraza City’ yet is still ‘haunted by the mystery of her mother’s disappearance.’ When Adrius – an old friend and scion of one of the city’s ‘most affluent spell-making families’ – asks her to help him break a ‘life-threatening curse’ she’s reluctant. Until a new lead makes her realize that the ‘only way to get the answers she desperately seeks’ is to help him and return to Evergarden society ‘even if it means suffering through a fake love affair with him to avoid drawing suspicion from the conniving Five Families.’ There’s promises of ‘a web of deadly secrets’, ‘powerful enemies’, ‘shocking truths’ and an even larger mystery…

‘one that could unravel the very foundations of Caraza and magic itself.’

The Only One Left by Riley Sager

Back in 1929 ‘the Hope family murders shocked the Maine coast’ and seventeen year old Lenora was assumed responsible. The police were unable to prove it though and she denied it. Since then she hasn’t set foot outside the cliffside mansion where the massacre occurred. Now it’s 1983 and Lenora, in her seventies, is confined to a wheelchair. Her last nurse ‘fled in the middle of the night’ but Lenora offers to tell her new home-health aide Kit everything, communicating over an old typewriter as she’s now mute. Kit learns there’s ‘more to the tale than people know’ but details about her predecessor’s departure leave her wondering if Leonra is telling the whole truth…‘and that the seemingly harmless woman in her care could be far more dangerous than she first thought.’ Plus it’s described as a ‘gothic chiller’ and oh how I adore those.

Bonesmith by Nicki Pau Preto

Any book blurb that mentions The Cruel Prince inevitably catches my attention and when I read this one in full I was instantly impatient for it to release. It follows a ‘failed ghost fighting warrior’ who has to journey into the ‘haunted wasteland of the Breach to rescue a kidnapped prince.If that wasn’t enough how’s this for a further complication? She’s ‘forced to team up with the very person responsible for the kidnapping in the first place!

Sing Me To Sleep by Gabi Burton

Promise me a central character like Saoirse and obviously I’m 100% on board. She’s a sirenwho struggles constantly against an impulse to kill – who has to hide what she truly is to avoid execution. She’s the top trainee in her class as a soldier-in-training and spends her nights working as an assassin for a dangerous group of mercenaries. And she ‘survives on lies’. How could anyone resist? If that alone somehow isn’t enough to entice you it’s set in a kingdom with ‘brutal creature segregation laws’ and a mysterious blackmailer threatens Saoirse’s sister, pushing her to take on a dangerous job in an effort to investigate. The job? Becoming a personal bodyguard to – the surprisingly kind, thoughtful and charming – crown prince. Together they’re forced to work together to stop ‘a deadly killer who’s plaguing the city’. Unfortunately that killer just so happens to be Saoirse herself. Give this to me already!

The Invocations by Krystal Sutherland

Information is limited still as I’m writing this up but after House Of Hollow you bet I’m going to read whatever Krystal Sutherland writes next. Especially as it’s another gloriously intriguing sounding blend of contemporary and fantasy. It’s about three lonely girls ‘one cursed, one haunted and one out for revenge’ who come together to ‘track down and take out a brutal supernatural killer. And it’s set in a world where only women can use magic ‘and the men who know about it seek to eradicate them’. Obviously I’m itching for this novel!

Threads That Bind by Kika Hatzopoulou

In truth I was going to wait to write about this one once a full blurb of it was released but re-reading the information now I just want to scream about it already. It’s set in ‘a half-sunken city where the descendants of the gods have inherited their powers and follows Io, ‘a descendant of the Greek Fates’. When she ‘witnesses a murder committed by a woman who should be dead’ (I must know more!) she’s ‘drawn into a conspiracy that reaches from the darkest underbelly of the city to its shiniest heights.’ How can one short premise make me infinitely excited?

The Jasad Heir by Sara Hashem

‘At ten-years-old, the Heir of Jasad flees a massacre that takes her entire family.

At fifteen, she buries her first body.

At twenty, the clock is ticking on Sylvia’s third attempt at a home.’

Okay you’ve convinced me to read this book already! If those few lines of the blurb somehow haven’t enticed you then let me mention that this book is set in a world where ‘Nizahl’s armies have laid waste to Jasad and banned magic’ across it’s four remaining kingdoms. When Aylvia accidentally exposes her magic to Arin – whose ‘tactical brilliance is surpassed only by his hatred for magic’ she’s surprisingly offered an escape. The chance to ’compete as Nizahl’s Champion in the Alcalah tournament and win immunity from persecution’ although in exchange Arin ‘will use her as bait to draw out the Jasadis he’s hunting.’ It sounds like a game of cat and mouse with the pair forced to work together to ‘free her trapped magic’ whilst Sylvia struggles to keep her identity hidden. It promises a world of ‘cunning royals and double-dealing politics’.

‘The scorched kingdom is rising again, and Sylvia will have to choose between the life she’s earned, and the one she left behind.’

So yes, I’m certainly impatiently awaiting this one…

Dark Water Daughter by H.M. Long

I’ve adored The Hall Of Smoke books so far so naturally I’m bursting with excitement over H.M. Long’s new series too. It’s set in ‘a baroque fantasy world of warring fleets and winter seas’ and follows Mary Firth a Stormsinger (‘a woman whose voice can still hurricanes and shatter armadas’) who’s ‘faced with servitude to pirate lord Silvanus Lirr’. To escape this fate Mary ‘barters her skills’ to his arch-rival in exchange for protection and ‘aid in putting Lirr in a watery grave’. Complicating matters are Mary’s dark dreams ‘full of ghistings’ (‘spectral creatures who inhabit the ancient forests of her homeland and the figureheads of ships’), the fact that her new ally has a vendetta of his own and the disgraced pirate hunter on their trail…who ‘will stop at nothing to restore his good name and claim the only thing that stands between himself and madness: a talisman stolen by Mary herself.’ Oh I need this book!!

A Twisted Love Story by Samantha Downing

I’ve adored everything that I’ve read by Samantha Downing (how I still need to read her debut I do not know) so obviously I was excited to finally learn what her newest book would be about. The title reeled me in further and the premise sounds fantastic. It’s about a toxic sounding relationship with major ups – grand gestures, deep meaningful conversations – and downs – vengeful fights, damaged property, arrest warrants. Wes and Ivy, the couple in question, find a common enemy in a detective because ‘the night of their worst breakup, when one of them took things too far someone ended up dead’. Plus this author writes the most compelling – fascinating yet not necessarily likable – characters so I have a feeling this will be a major hit with me. Fingers crossed.

Immortal Longings by Chloe Gong

How have I not read anything by this author yet? I’ve seen the hype and her books sound incredible so truly there’s absolutely no excuse. This year I shall do so! Including this mesmerizing sounding new novel. It follows Calla, ‘a former princess who wants to remove her uncle, the king, from his throne’ and is set in the ‘dense and ruthless twin cities of San-Er’ a place where certain individuals possess ‘the ability to take over others’ bodies’. To take vengeance on her uncle ‘who only ever appears to congratulate the winner’ Calla enters ‘a deadly city-wide competition – and makes alliances with both her cousin and her fiercest competitor, an exiled aristocrat. If that wasn’t somehow enticing enough ‘Calla is running from a dark past’ and the final kicker?

‘Only one of them can walk out of the games alive.’

Mister Magic by Kiersten White

 ‘Magic never forgets the taste of your friendship…’

That single line – and the fact that I adored ‘And I Darken’ by the author (although how I still haven’t finished that series I seriously do not know) – enticed me. Then I found the full blurb and was immediately itching for more. It’s set thirty years after a tragedy shut down the classic children’s program ‘Mister Magic’; a show that has ‘no remaining video, no evidence of who wrote the show, who produced it, who-or even what-Mister Magic actually was.’ Amber, one of the surviving members of ‘the circle of friendship’ was abducted by her father the night before the show ended with the death of its youngest cast member. Now there’s an invitation to a reunion, ‘coupled with a threat that makes it impossible to refuse’, where answers may finally be held. If this is done correctly then I have a feeling that it’ll be eerie as hell.

Guardians Of Dawn by S. Jae-Jones

This feels like it has been on my TBR forever but – with a full blurb, actual release date and gorgeously enchanting cover all up – I think it will finally release in 2023. It’s described as ‘Sailor Moon meets Cinder’ which just screams intriguing. I’ll admit my memories of the former are hazy but I’m sure I enjoyed a couple of episodes of it in the past. Besides which the blurb sounds fascinating. It’s set in a world where ‘magic is forbidden’ and ‘magicians are called abomination’ as they’re ‘blamed for the plague of monsters that razed the land twenty years before’. The main character is Jin Zhara who has to ‘appease her stepmother’s cruel whims’ and look after ‘her blind younger sister’ whilst ‘keeping her own magical gifts under control’. There’s ‘a secret magical liberation organization called the Guardians of Dawn’ and ‘a mysterious plague is corrupting the magicians of Zanhei and transforming them into monsters’. If all of that somehow wasn’t enough it’s believed that a demon is responsible for this plague.

Impossible Creatures by Katherine Rundell

For some reason this book doesn’t have a Goodreads page yet so I’ve linked this to Fantastic Fiction instead.

The one and only MG novel to make this list but something about this one makes me think – and hope – that it could be the next big thing. It’s about Christopher who ‘witnesses an avalanche of mythical creatures’ whilst visiting his reclusive grandfather who, he then learns, is the guardian of one of the ways ‘between the non-magical world and a place called the Archipelago, a cluster of magical islands where all the creatures we tell of in myth live and breed and thrive alongside humans.’ For thousand of years they’ve been protected from discovery but now the protection has worn thin and ‘creatures are breaking through.’ Together with Mal – a girl in possession of a flying coat whose being chased by a killer – and the baby griffin she’s pursuing Christopher embarks on an ‘urgent quest across the wild splendor of the Archipelago’. It’s a place ‘where sphinxes hold secrets and centaurs do murder’. And I hope it lives up to the hype that it already appears to be creating.

A Study In Drowning by Ava Reid

If you’ve read anything by Ava Reid then surely you know exactly why this book made it onto this list. Her writing is utterly divine and her most recent book was the most glorious – and disturbing – mix of beautiful and macabre. I’m writing this only from a limited blurb but even so this book promises ‘a contest to design a favourite author’s family manor’ which ends up being a ‘crumbling estate filled with disturbing secrets’. Throw in a rival student, decades-old mystery and dark forces that are both mortal and magical and naturally I’m sold. My countdown to this book began the second I finished Juniper & Thorn.

A Prayer For Vengeance by Leanne Schwartz

Okay yes I said I’d avoid writing about anymore novels with vague blurbs on this list but I simply couldn’t resist in this case. This was pitched as ‘Strange the Dreamer meets Girl, Serpent, Thorn’ and features a central character who has spent centuries trapped as a statue, now she’s out for revenge. To ‘kill the immortal man who doomed her and usurped her sister’ she’ll need to get a hold of ‘the handsome autistic poet whose prayers woke her.’ And her blade may well be involved. I seriously cannot wait to see the full blurb of this one!

Paramour by Robin Alvarez

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Oh how I adore the premise of this; here’s hoping it lives up to my expectations. It’s about Sadie, ‘a banshee aging over the span of a thousand years’, who ‘is built from rules’ and ‘likes to keep an emotional distance from humans’. ‘Her paranormal abilities to warn of impending death, inspire loved ones to say their goodbyes, and help grieving souls rests easier at night’ but when she meets Nathan – ‘who is fated to lose someone he loves’ – they have no effect, forcing her ‘to comfort him like a true banshee for the first time in her long life.For the first time ever she finds herself falling for someone but then she discovers the truth of why her abilities don’t work on Nathan…his family has hunted the supernatural for centuries.

‘With their families at war for centuries, it becomes increasingly unclear whether Nathan’s intense passion for her is love, or his instinct for the hunt.’

If this is done in the way that I imagine then it could absolute be the sort of dark romance to send me head over heels.

This Dark Descent by Kalyn Josephson

Technically I had decided to hold off on writing about anymore books with vague blurbs until the full versions were released but with this one I simply couldn’t resist. It’s described as The Scorpio Races’ meets ‘Peaky Blinders’ and although I’ve read/seen neither I’ve heard glorious things about both. It’s ‘set in a world of enchanted animals inspired by Jewish folklore’ and focuses on ‘a cutthroat horse race’ with a cast of characters ‘forced together to win it.’ I’m infinitely intrigued and must know more!

A Tempest Of Tea by Hafsah Faizal

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Details of this novel are still vague but let’s be honest – I see the word ‘vampires’ and instantly I’m intrigued. A Tempest Of Tea is said to have been ‘pitched as King Arthur meets Peaky Blinders with vampires.’ That definitely sounds like an interesting and unique combination. It follows ‘a gang of outcasts in a deadly heist’ to save Arthie’s tearoom – ‘which fronts an illegal blood house, where local vampires can purchase fresh blood.’ Vampires, Camelot inspiration and gangsters? Plus a tearoom with secret illegal dealing in blood. How am I meant to wait until October for this? Or possibly even 2024 as it’s changed to on Amazon…I seriously hope that change of date is misinformed.

The Scarlet Alchemist by Kylie Lee Baker

How have I not read The Keeper Of Night yet?…Anyway onto this book and I’ll confess it was the title that first caught my eye. Who can resist looking into the premise of a book with a name like this one? It’s set in ‘an alternate Tang Dynasty China’ in a world where ‘the rich eat gold to achieve eternal youth.’ Fascinating, right? It follows ‘a poor biracial girl’ with ‘the ability to raise the dead’ who ‘gets caught up in the dangerous political games of the royal family’. Magic, danger, darkness and royals? Sign me up already

Sword Catcher by Cassandra Clare

A non shadowhunters book by Cassandra Clare that I’m itching to read (let’s hope it finally comes out this year!). In an effort to make you all as impatient for this book as me let me still share a few details… It’s the story of ‘a young man raised to be the body double for an unworthy prince’ and ‘a young woman destined to change the world.’ Cassandra Clare’s writing is gloriously beautiful (and let’s face it, devastating too a lot of the time) so I can not wait for this to come out. Why do release dates constantly have to change? (I wrote up the information for this way back in 2021, that’s how much the date has changed). Also we finally have a cover and I’m in love! Please, please, please let Waterstones do a special edition with a hidden cover beneath and glorious end pages.

The Scorpion Queen by Mina Fears

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When a book promises to be inspired by a Malian fairy tale and is steeped in West African traditions then it goes without saying that it’s going to end up on my most anticipated books of the year list. Especially when it features a disgraced merchant’s daughter who’s forced to become a chambermaid to the emperor’s daughter...a princess who challenges her suitors to trials described as both gruesome and impossible in an effort to win her hand. Needless to say, I’m intrigued. This one also appears to have moved to 2024 but I’ll leave it here for now.

Starling House by Alix E. Harrow

‘Step Into Lark House – if you dare…’

Even without a blurb this book would 100% be on my 2023 list. Why? Because both books that I’ve previously read by the author are incredible, one even becoming my surprise favourite read of 2020. With the blurb already released my excitement couldn’t be higher however with it’s alluring promise of ‘a sweeping gothic fairytale’ (AKA one of my favourite kind of reads) that features Lark House – rumored to be ‘the beginning of Eden’s bad luck.’ When Opal find herself working at the house in question she discovers ‘there are monsters beneath Lark House’ who are ‘clamoring to escape’ but even worse?

‘they might not be the biggest threat…’

Please, please, please can this book come out already?!?

Wish Of The Wicked by Danielle Paige

‘A dark spin on fairy godmothers’; as a fan of both retellings and villainous characters I’m 100% on board for that promise. It’s set in a world where ‘the enchanted members of the Entente have worked in tandem with the Three Fates’ for centuries to ‘maintain destiny across the Thirteen Queendoms.’ At least until Queen Magrit burns Hecate at the stake and ‘decrees death to all Entete’ in an attempt to live forever. ‘But some survive’ and it’s one of them that this story follows as she ‘hatches a dangerous plan to seek revenge.’ I’ll confess that the talk of Fates made me think of Stepsister which instantly intrigued me. So I must know more…

To Kill A Shadow by Katherine Quinn

Yet another book that I’ve not only added to my TBR but also marked as high priority despite it’s current summary being just several lines long. When it promises ‘a warrior recruit’ venturing into ‘a monster-filled mist’ in an effort to ‘free the cursed sun goddess’ how can I possibly do anything else though? Especially when she’s ‘led by the handsome young commander whose secrets may doom them all.’ Honestly I don’t need to know anymore than that to know that this is my sort of read.

The Bad Ones by Melissa Albert

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Somehow I’ve still only read the author’s debut but I adored it and am naturally curious about everything else that she writes. Even if that wasn’t the case this book sounds fascinating though. It’s a YA contemporary fantasy that’s set in a suburb where four seemingly unconnected people disappear in a single night. Whilst trying to uncover the truth about what’s happened the best friend of one of the vanished individuals ‘uncovers her hometown’s elusive shadow history, including a piece of local lore about a goddess folk figure who played an eerie role in her own childhood games.’ Strange disappearances, eerie childhood games, local lore and a goddess folk figure? Obviously I have to read this.

What Monstrous Gods by Rosamund Hodge

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I love a good fairytale retelling and I adore dark and twisty novels that blend danger and allure. This sounds like it will be both of those things and I’m honestly ever so impatient for it. The story starts where Sleeping Beauty leaves off with Lia – ‘a girl chosen by the gods of Runakhia’ – releasing ‘the royal family from 500 years of enchanted sleep’ and killing ‘the heretic sorcerer who trapped them’. What should be the end of the story is only the beginning though as she discovers

‘that the gods are not as benevolent as they appear, and the ghost of the sorcerer she killed may be her only help to protect her life and country.’

This is 100% a me book and I need it already! Please, please come out this year; I’ve already had to move this off of my 2021 list… & now my 2022 one too

We Shall Be Monsters by Tara Sim

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Last year I read my first book by Tara Sim and loved it. I’ll admit it’s received pretty mixed reviews but as someone who thoroughly enjoyed City Of Dusk I’m naturally curious to check this book out too. Especially as it promises ‘Mary Shelley meets Indian mythology’; a combination I never would have guessed at and follows a young woman who is desperate to resurrect her sister and ends up joining a group of rebels in her efforts to escape accusations of witchcraft. The condition they set her? That she raise their rightful prince from the dead…

Another that may well have moved to 2024, somehow it looks like next year’s list may well already be writing itself.

The Voice Upstairs by Laura E. Weymouth

Another that I added way before a full blurb was released. But come on; ‘Downton Abbey with ghosts’. Downton Abbey with ghosts?!? Need I say more? All I currently know is that this book features a young housemaid with supernatural gifts which warn her an opulent manor house is connected with a string of murders…something that jeopardizes her secret romance with the wealthy family’s youngest son. Oh how I need this. Books that merge history and the supernatural always fascinate me to no end.

Fallen City by Adrienne Young

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Firstly how on earth have I not read anything by this author yet? Secondly I can’t say overmuch about this book as the details are limited but I’m definitely intrigued. It’s a ‘Greco-Roman inspired fantasy’– and is set in ‘a glittering world’ with ‘a lottery built on lies’. It follows 18 year old Maris as she ‘desperately attempts to escape a city under siege.’ And it features a forbidden romance! I’m itching for this already and simply can’t wait to read it’s full blurb… and see the cover; this author’s ones are always stunning.

The Girl That Time Forgot by Victoria Lee

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Another two line summary? Another author who I’ve heard tremendous things about but still need to read? Another book that I literally cannot wait to get my hands on? Yes, yes and hell yes. All I know is that this book follows a teenage girl who is ‘one of five adepts training in a mysterious new magic.’ Alone that premise would be intriguing enough but there’s more…she discovers that her fellow trainers have recently murdered someone. And unless she can stop them, will do so again.

Thieves’ Gambit by Kayvion Lewis

I was waiting to see if a full blurb for this one would release or not but it’s now January and I’m finishing this list off so here comes the vague premise that left me itching to read this book. It’s a YA thriller that follows ‘a cutthroat competition for the world’s best thieves’ and is ‘filled with intrigue and secrets buried within secrets’. It’s a ‘globe-trotting adventure’ with ‘spectacular museums, opulent galas, and elite boarding schools.’ And one teen girl must win to ‘save her parents’ lives‘. Deciding ‘who to con and who to trust’ is vital to survival and the title, I confess, also helped to reel me in.

Bad Blood by Morgan Rhodes

Cover To Come.

As the information is super vague for this one & I somehow still haven’t read any of the author’s other books I debated whether I should include this book. But it’s vampires and I’m a weak vampire fiction addict so… It’s described as the start of ‘an epic saga’ and is about ‘a wealthy vampire family, their badly behaved heirs, and the long-lost sibling who never even knew she was half-vampire.’ That is quite literally all that I know but I’m still intrigued enough to include this. Wealthy vampires, badly behaved heirs and long lost siblings? Naturally I’m curious.

Orphia And Eurydicius by Elyse John

All you have to do to know that I adore Greek mythology is look back over the rest of this two part list so when I discovered this offering very last minute (Wednesday) I instantly added it in. It’s the story of Orphia who ‘dreams of something more than the warrior crafts she’s been forced to learn’. ‘Her blood sings with poetry and her words can move flowers to bloom and forests to grow but her father, the sun god Apollo, has forbidden her this art.’ Need I say more really? After a chance meeting with Eurydicius, Orphia uses her gifts to ‘defeat one final champion’ and ends up drawing ‘the scrutiny of the gods.’ Thanks to her poetry she ‘wins the protection of the goddesses of the arts’ and is welcomed into their sanctuary on Mount Parnassus. When Eurydicius joins her she ‘struggles with her desire for fame and her budding love.’ She also ‘joins the Argonauts on their quest for the Golden Fleece.’ There’s promises of dragons, sirens, ruthless warriors and an even darker journey too. And this lovely line from it’s blurb:

‘Their love transcends every boundary. Can it cheat death?’

Naturally I need this. Although one small warning – I can’t yet see any release information for this in the UK.

And that’s it for part two of this mammoth list. I hope it helped you discover some new books. And I apologize if it’s left you impatient for any that end up not releasing until next year. Past experience has certainly taught me that there will be a few. I’ll also update this to include any covers as they release.

What are your most anticipated books of 2023? Have you read any of them yet? Are there any that I’m missing?

Most Anticipated Reads 2023

My Most Anticipated Releases Of 2023 Part One:

Before I say anything else I want to start this post off with an apology for disappearing once again. I’m so, so incredibly sorry that I vanished on you but I have tried to at least blog hop a little bit from time to time. I’d really like to say that this post is the start of my return but truthfully I think that I need to try and get my TBR under control before I try to return to blogging properly once more. Mine seems to have hydra-like tendencies; one book gets knocked off of it only for seven more to spring up within its place. That being said I do have two more posts ready to follow for now and am determined to stay on top of comments and continue keeping my reviews up to date over on my Goodreads page. You can also always find me on Instagram; I know I haven’t posted on it in ages but my messages on there are always open.

Anyway onto this post, the one that I can never resist doing, no matter how bogged down in books I may be. Sharing my most anticipated releases with you all – and hopefully bringing some new ones to your attention – is something I always love to do. And honestly I love the excuse to scream about the upcoming releases that I absolutely cannot wait to get my hands on.

A Ruinous Fate by Kaylie Smith

Where to start with this one? Mentions of witches, fae, a central character – Calliope – who is ‘a witch with a long streak of bad luck’ and powerful artefacts known as ‘Witch’s Dice’ which bless witches ‘with limitless magic but also set them on a path toward destruction’. How incredible does that sound? Yet there’s more. Calla is only three Rolls away from ‘becoming the last Blood Warrior and starting the Final War that will decimate her people and eradicate their magic.’ And she makes an attempt to reset her fate; leading her into ‘the deadly Neverending forest’. I need this already!!

Godkiller by Hannah Kaner

Gods in fantasy novels fascinate me so it probably isn’t any kind of a surprise that the title of this one is what originally caught my eye. Initially I marked it as high priority but held off on adding it to this list. Yet I keep seeing it hyped up everywhere and my anticipation for it is constantly growing as a result. It’s about Kissen who ‘kills gods for a living’ until ‘she finds a god she cannot kill’ who turns out to be ‘Skediceth, god of white lies’ and is connected to ‘a little noble girl on the run.’ There’s also Elogast who ‘fought in the god war’ and is sent ‘racing back to the city he destroyed’ by a ‘mysterious request from the King.’ A quest that the others, who he meets along the way, can’t find out about. Intriguing right? So honestly I’m not sure why I didn’t add this one to this list straight away. I’m definietely committed to reading it in 2023.

Spice Road by Maiya Ibrahim

Promise me a fantasy world and I’m instantly intrigued; throw in the bonus of spice based tea magic and naturally I’m going to be infinitely excited to devour the resulting book. It’s set in a hidden desert city and there are dangerous dijinn, ghouls & other monsters lurking in the sands beyond it’s limits. It follows Imani who has an infinity for iron – meaning she ‘wields a dagger like no other’ yet is overshadowed by her brother’s actions – stealing the nation’s coveted spice. When she discovers he may still be alive – and ’spreading their nation’s magic beyond the desert‘ – Imani strikes a deal to bring him back, accompanied by ‘a roguish handsome dijinn‘ and an arrogant but powerful beastseer. If that somehow isn’t enough to entice you it’s also compared to the works of Sabaa Tahir, Hafsah Faizal and Elizabeth Lim. And look at that cover: breathtaking!

Song Of Silver, Flame Like Night by Amelie Wen Zhao

Writing this shortly after finishing two divine fantasy novels inspired by Asian mythology let’s just say I’m intrigued. It’s about Lan who lost her name when her mother was killed and her people’s magic outlawed. She spends her nights as a songgirl and her days ‘scavenging for remnants of the past’ hoping to understand ‘the strange mark’ that her mother burned into her arm. A mark that no one can see…until Zen ‘appears at the teahouse and saves her life’. He’s a practitioner‘one of the fabled magicians of the Last Kingdom’ with abilities rumoured to be drawn from demons.  It’s said to be perfect for fans of Daughter Of The Moon Goddess and The Final Strife (both of which I adored last year) and then there’s this enticing end to it’s blurb:

‘Both Lan and Zen have secrets buried deep within. Fate has connected them, but their destiny remains unwritten. Both hold the power to liberate their land. And both hold the power to destroy the world.’

The Whispering Muse by Laura Purcell

So far I’ve read two of Laura Purcell’s gothic horror novels and adored them so naturally her upcoming release immediately caught my eye. And this one sounds superb to say the least. Set within The Mercury Theatre in London’s West End her latest offering sounds quite different to the two books I’ve read by her previously. There are ‘rumours of a curse’ and ‘it is said that the lead actress Lilith has made a pact with Melpomene, the tragic muse of Greek mythology, to become the greatest actress to ever grace the stage.’ Greek mythology, whispers of a curse and a theatre setting? Need I say more? Desperate for money Jenny spies on Lilith for ‘the jealous wife of the theatre owner’ before befriending her. But then ‘strange events begin to take place around the theatre’ and, if the rumours are true, ‘when the Muse comes calling for payment’ what will the cost be?

Seven Faceless Saints by M.K. Lobb

Perfect for fans of Leigh Bardugo and Kerri Maniscalco; I really don’t need to know anymore.

‘In the city of Ombrazia, saints and their disciples rule with terrifying and unjust power, playing favorites while the unfavored struggle to survive.’

After her father is murdered Rossanna is ‘willing to do whatever it takes to dismantle the corrupt system’ whilst Damian, the youngest captain in the history of Palazzo security, has been left with ‘deeper scars than he wants to admit’ after three years spent ‘fighting in a never-ending war.’ If all of that somehow wasn’t enough there’s also a murderer stalking the streets, one who the Palazzo are happy to ignore ‘until a disciple becomes the newest victim’. And the final alluring lines of the blurb:

‘As they dive into the underbelly of Ombrazia, the pair will discover something more sinister—and far less holy. With darkness closing in and time running out, will they be able to save the city from an evil so powerful that it threatens to destroy everything in its path?’

The Heroines by Laura Shepperson

Greek Mythology retellings are everywhere lately and I love it! I stumbled across this one entirely by accident but I desperately need it now. It follows ‘the most shocking trial of the ancient world’ when Phaedra – a foreign queen, daughter of an adulteress and sister of a monster accuses the son of Theseus – hero, king, slayer of the Minotaur – of rape. It’s the men of Athens who must decide the truth but according to this ones blurb the women have been silent …until now…

Revelle by Lyssa Mia Smith

When this book’s blurb mentioned Moulin Rouge and magic I was instantly intrigued. Tragic romance is one of the best kinds and the one promised here sounds superb. Luxe’s family’s livelihood is being threatened by Prohibition but the son of one of Charmant’s wealthiest family can fix that; all she has to do in return is pose as his girl whilst helping him become mayor. Jamison is ‘an orphan with ‘as few memories as gemstones’ and ‘he’s desperate to learn what happened to his parents’. When these two meet sparks fly but keeping secrets from powerful people is a dangerous game…’one that could destroy them both.’ Already adoring the beautiful tragedy that is Moulin Rogue – as well as anything magical – I seriously cannot wait to ravenously devour this book!!

The Last Tale Of The Flower Bride by Roshani Chokshi

Adult debuts by popular YA authors (even if I have somehow failed to read any of their previous books yet) always intrigue me. So when I saw this one I was instantly excited. Especially when it’s blurb threw around the word gothic so readily and mentioned ‘the danger of believing in fairy tales’. ‘A scholar of myths’ marries a ‘heiress to a fortune’; all she asked for in ‘exchange for her love’ was that ‘her bridegroom would never pry into her past.’ But when the pair are forced to return to her childhood home things start to fall apart. Within the manor ‘lurks the shadow of another girl’ who disappeared and ‘the house slowly reveals his wife’s secrets’. If that somehow wasn’t intriguing enough this book is compared to both Mexican Gothic and The Invisible Life Of Addie LaRue; two books that I adore deeply.

The Shadow Of Perseus by Claire Heywood

What is it with Greek retellings this year? Every time I think I must have found them all I stumble upon another incredible sounding offering. Somehow I haven’t yet read the author’s previous Greek tale (Daughters Of Sparta) but this sounds incredible regardless. It’s the story of Perseus told through the voice of three womenDanae (his mother), Medusa (‘his trophy’) and Andromeda (his wife). Together these viewpoints ‘reveal a man who is not, in fact, a hero at all.’ Danae was ‘banished from her homeland’ after a prophecy foretold that her unborn child would ‘one day cause the death of her father’. Medusa is ‘a member of a reclusive band of women who live deep in the woods, known as the Gorgons.’ And Andromeda ‘knows that a sacrifice will be required to appease the gods and end the storm’ when her desert tribe’s way of life is threatened by a harsh sandstorm but her life is set on an entirely new path after a meeting with young Perseus. I seriously can’t wait to get my hands on a copy of this book. Somehow I think I’m going to be reading a lot of Greek mythology in 2023.

Delicious Monsters by Liselle Sambury

A dual storyline novel from the author of Blood Like Magic? Naturally I’m intrigued. Daisy can see dead people and after being unexpectedly dumped by her boyfriend she decides to go with her mother to the ‘secluded mansion’ that she’s inherited. It’s not long before ‘she begins to realize that her experience with the supernatural might be no match for her mother’s secrets, nor what lurks within these walls…’

A decade later Brittney – whose ‘desperate to get out from under the thumb of her abusive mother’ who claims her stay at “Miracle Mansion’ allowed her to see the error of her ways  – decides to use the newest season of her web series to ‘uncover what happened to a young Black girl in the mansion ten years prior’ in the hopes of finally exposing her mother’s lies.

And then this: ‘…propelling the girls to face the most dangerous monsters of all: those that hide in plain sight.’

The Adventures Of Amina Al-Sirafi by S.A. Chakraborty

How on earth have I not read The City Of Brass yet? I’m honestly horrified at myself for this failure. Doesn’t the author’s latest offering also sound amazing though? It’s a historical fantasy that may possibly also be an adult novel. Although I’m not entirely sure of that factor as I’ve seen it listed as both adult and YA. It was ‘pitched as Sinbad the Sailor meets Oceans 11’ and follows an infamous, retired pirate. Let’s be honest, there are nowhere near enough books about pirates out there. ‘When she’s offered to right a wrong from her past and score a fabled treasure’ she has to try not only to assemble her old crew and outwit a ruthless ex-Crusader but also to contend with the ‘fantastical legends behind such treasures’ which, she’s learnt the hard way, ‘hold deadly truths… and they’re coming for her.’ Truthfully I’m not 100% convinced that this will be out when it says as it doesn’t even have a title yet but come on! The least I can do is make everyone else as impatient as I am for this book. Thank goodness that last part no longer holds true & this definitely looks to be releasing!!

Clytemnestra by Costanza Casati

Okay wow! Look it’s no secret that I adore Greek retellings but this one sounds absolutely incredible. Rather than say too much about what it’s about I’m instead going to advice you to read the blurb; do so and I’m sure this will end up on your TBR too. Let me say simply that this is described as ‘Circe meets Cersei Lannister’ and promises to be ‘a thrilling tale of power and prophecies, of hatred, love, and of an unforgettable Queen who fiercely dealt out death to those who wronged her.’

‘As for queens, they are either hated or forgotten. She already knows which option suits her best…’

As I said above, please, please go and read the blurb in full!

Lies We Sing To The Sea by Sarah Underwood

Firstly I adore all of the Greek mythology inspired books that I’ve read so far so naturally I’m curious about this one. And secondly, it sounds so good! Every spring Ithaca condemns twelves maidens to the noose; the price that ‘Poseidon demands for the lives of Queen Penelope’s twelve maids, hanged and cast into the depths centuries ago.’ But when Leto meets this fate things are different than she imagined and she wakes on a mysterious island, meeting ‘a girl with green eyes and the power to command the sea’. A girl who says ‘one more death can stop a thousand.’

‘The prince of Ithaca must die—or the tides of fate will drown them all’

The Foxglove King by Hannah F. Whitten

‘When Lore was thirteen, she escaped a cult in the catacombs beneath the city of Dellaire.’ Ever since she has done all she can to remain hidden; ‘easier said than done, when her death magic ties her to the city.’ When she’s taken by the Presque Mort – a group of warrior-monks sanctioned to use Mortem (magic born from death) for the Sainted King – she expects death. Instead she is tasked with finding out why entire villages on their country’s outskirts have been dying overnight – thrusting her into a glittering court where ‘no one can be believed and even fewer can be trusted.’ How could I ever resist that kind of premise? Especially when there’s a ‘duke-turned-monk’ and ‘ne-er-do-well heir’ thrown into the mix…along with the past that longs to catch up with Lore…

Damsel by Evelyn Skye

This fantasy offering is about Elodie who, in exchange for enough wealth to save her people, agrees to marry a Prince from a rich, reclusive kingdom. Once there she’s swept away by the beauty of the realm and by her betrothed, Prince Henry but whilst undertaking ‘the rituals to become an Aurean princess’ Elodie starts to have doubts and spots ‘cracks in the kingdom’s perfect veneer.’ ‘A young girl who appears and vanishes from the castle tower. A parade of torches weaving through the mountains. Markings left behind in a mysterious “V.”’ Then she learns that each harvest season the ‘kingdom sacrifices its princesses to a hungry dragon.’ And she’s next. It’s an arrangement that has ‘persisted for centuries’ and led hundreds of women to their deaths. But these women’s’ ‘blood pulses with power and memory, and their experiences hold the key to Elodie’s survival.’ Obviously I’m intrigued by this one.

Lucha Of The Night Forest by Tehlor Kay Mejia

Somehow I still haven’t read We Set The Dark On Fire (trust me, I definitely do plan to) but I’ve seen such wonderful things about it so naturally I’m curious to see what the author’s writing is like. Even if that wasn’t the case this book sounds amazing though with its promises of ‘dark forces’, ‘forgotten magic’, ‘a scorned god’, ‘a mysterious acolyte’, ‘a forgetting drug’ and ‘a dangerous forest’. What more could I possibly ask for? Besides all of those wonderful sounding elements this book also promises to be about a girl who ‘will do anything to protect her sister’ including making ‘a dangerous bargain’. And then there’s this:

‘Under the cover of the Night Forest, will Lucha be able to step into her own power…or will she be consumed by it?’

The Moonlight Blade by Tessa Barbosa

Firstly just let me stress that the information below may be about another book called ‘The Glass Fortress‘ although I believe that this is probably the same book and that the title has simply changed…

I know very little about this one but what I do know makes it too irresistible not to mention. It’s about a girl who is cursed by the sins of her past lives and enters a deadly competition in an effort to save her imprisoned mother. If that somehow isn’t intriguing enough she then comes face to face with her immortal enemy who has been tasked with ‘destroying her once and for all.’ How could I possibly resist that?

Chaos & Flame by Tessa Gratton & Justina Ireland

Okay how on earth could I possibly resist this book when it promises ancient magic, fiery prophecies, warring factions, Houses (with names like Dragon and Kraken) and ‘a romance between the two people in the world with the most cause to hate one another’. Enemies to lover fans (AKA me) rejoice!! It follows Darling who can’t remember anything before her entire family were murdered at the hands of House Dragon. When her ‘adoptive Kraken father is captured in battle’ she vows to save him ‘even if that means killing each and every last member of House Dragon. Then there’s Talon – ‘a dutiful War Prince for House Dragon’ who has factions turning to him, wanting him to unseat his brother the ‘High Prince Regent’. A brother whose obsessively painted a ‘fierce girl’ for years… And, if that somehow wasn’t enough on its own, I loved Strange Grace when I read it previously.

The Surviving Sky by Kritika H. Rao

‘High above a jungle-planet float the last abodes of humanity—plant-made cities held together by magic and tradition.’

Mention magic and I’m sold but this sounds like such a unique tale and I’m seriously curious to see what it turns out like. In these cities ‘magical architects are revered above anyone else’ as without them ‘the city would fall into the devastating earthrage storms below’. Ahilya is the wife of one such architect yet she is ‘born without magic’ making her a second-class citizen. Her marriage is ‘already rocky’ but then ‘the earthrage storms become longer and deadlier’ and her husband ‘falls under investigation for being too powerful.’  If that wasn’t enough ‘deadly truths emerge that challenge everything Ahilya believes about their privileged society and the origin of the storms.’ And to make matters even worse? The city’s magical architecture fails…

Have you ever heard of anything like this? I’ve come across floating cities before but none quite like this. I believe this is an adult fantasy novel too which is definitely a bonus.

Blood Debts by Terry J. Benton-Walker

‘Thirty years ago, a young woman was murdered, a family was lynched, and New Orleans saw the greatest magical massacre in its history. In the days that followed, a throne was stolen from a queen.’

Need I really say more than that? Doesn’t that quote immediately make you want to pick this book up? This book follows Clement and Cristina, the sixteen year old twin heirs to the ‘powerful, magical, dethroned’ family in question. Cristina has given up magic for good after an ancient spell, that she cast, killed her father. Whilst for Clement – ‘magic is his lifeline.’ Their mother has been cursed ‘by someone on the very council that their family used to rule’. And somehow, despite their differences, the twins will have to come together to try and find out whose coming after their family all whilst solving the decades old murder.

And if they don’t succeed, New Orleans may see another massacre. Or worse.’

The Last Heir To Blackwood Library by Hester Fox

Gothic is one of those words that always draws me in so of course I’m curious about this book. Ivy unexpectedly becomes owner of Blackwood Abbey – a sprawling but foreboding estate on the Yorkshire moors. It’s servants are ‘reserved and suspicious’ but Ivy finds herself drawn to it’s ‘magnificent library’ despite the ‘cryptic warnings’ of the staff. There are rumors about the abbey’s previous owners, as well as ones about ghosts, curses and ‘an enigmatic manuscript at the center of it all.‘ Plus ‘she senses something else in the library too, a presence that seems to have a will of its own.’ What is this mysterious presence? I can’t wait to find out…

Silver In The Bone by Alexandra Bracken

‘Tamsin Lark didn’t ask to be a Hollower.’

She’s a mortal with ‘no magical talent’ yet is forced to ‘break into ancient crypts’ and ‘compete with sorceresses and Cunningfolk for the treasures inside’ after her ‘thieving foster father disappeared’. There are rumors that her guardian vanished with ‘a powerful ring from Arthurian legend’; a ring that she hopes could free herself and her brother ‘from a curse that threatens both of them’. With other Hollowers also after the ring Tasmin finds herself forced to partner with her rival. And if that hasn’t sold you on this novel then read this final quote:

‘Together, they dive headfirst into a vipers’ nest of dark magic, exposing a deadly secret with the power to awaken ghosts of the past and shatter her last hope of saving her brother. . . .’

Plus, after Lore, naturally I’m itching for this novel.

One For My Enemy by Olivie Blake

I’ve seen the hype for The Atlas Six (even if I still do need to get on and read it) so naturally I’m curious about the author’s upcoming book. Even if that wasn’t the case though this book would be on this list thanks to it’s glorious premise. It follows two rival witch families: ‘the Antonova sisters’ who are ‘beautiful, cunning, and ruthless’ and whose mother, ‘known only as Baba Yaga’ ‘is the elusive supplier of premium intoxicants’ & ‘the influential Fedorov brothers’ who serve their crime boss father ‘named Koschei the Deathless’ – whose enterprise ‘dominates the shadows of magical Manhattan’. After a twelve year stalemate ‘everything is thrown into disarray’ ‘even as fate draws together a brother and sister from either side.’ Then there’s this wonderful line from the blurb:

‘That is, if the enmity between empires doesn’t destroy both sides first.’

Basically give this book to me already, please…

A Realm Of Ash & Shadows by Lara Buckheit

Perfect for fans of Sarah J. Maas and Kerri Maniscalco are you serious? If this comparison is true to it’s word then this book is going to be epic. Valeria is a princess exiled from her home of Empyrean. When her prom is crashed by a horde of demons – and she narrowly escapes being captured by the realm of the Forsaken – Valeria finds herself back in Empyrean before she’s due to return. Instead of ‘the beautiful utopia from her bedtime stories’ she discovers a realm where the poor are dying, the rich are thriving and her claim to the throne is in jeopardy. I’ll admit the mention of prom gave me pause but this final paragraph…read it then try to resist this premise:

The overwhelming desire to belong and a craving for power has her making choices that make it harder and harder to guard her heart against the man who’s bound to protect her, the god she’s vowed to hate, and the darkness that’s growing inside her. Only time will tell if the secrets she unravels and the alliances she makes will lead to the throne or the pyre.

Atalanta by Jennifer Saint

Back in 2021 I devoured Jennifer Saint’s debut Ariadne so I’m somewhat surprised that Elektra is still on my TBR. Considering my love of her debut – along with my adoration of Greek mythology – I’m itching to check out her 2023 release though. This time it’s about Atalanta, born to the king of Arcadia but raised by a mother bear after being left, as a defenceless infant, on a mountainside. She’s under the protective eye of the goddess Artemis and swears to prove herself, joining Jason’s band of Argonauts, determined to become a legend within ‘a world made for men’.

Divine Rivals by Rebecca Ross

‘When two young rival journalists find love through a magical connection, they must face the depths of hell, in a war among gods, to seal their fate forever.’

Doesn’t that one sentence make you desperate to devour this book? After sleeping for centuries ‘the gods are warring again’ but Iris has more personal worries on her mind with a mother suffering from addiction and a brother missing from the front lines. In an effort to ‘combat her worries’ she writes letters to her brother which mysteriously vanish when she slips them beneath her wardrobe door. When she gets anonymously written back Iris unknowingly forms a connection with her journalistic rival; a connection that ‘will follow Iris all the way to the front lines of battle: for her brother, the fate of mankind, and love.’ This book sounds quite unlike anything that I’ve read before and I love it.

The Isle Of The Gods by Amie Kaufman

Did the title of this one initially draw me in? Yes; mention Gods and I’m on board. I haven’t seen the full blurb of this one yet (to be honest I probably shouldn’t be writing the bulk of this post in late August) but I adore the mix of characters hinted at already. There’s ‘a sleeping god’, ‘a playboy prince’ whose forced to take life seriously for the first time, the girl ‘raised on the seas’ who has to protect him, ‘an irritated scholar who did not ask to go on a quest’ a girl ‘who wants to start a war’ and ‘a private school boy who fell from grace.’ Beside the characters I know that there’s magic and ‘glamour and grit and gangsters’ dens’. I can’t wait to learn more…

A Crown Of Ivy And Glass by Claire Legrand

I have so many of Claire Legrand’s books on my TBR (how have I not read any of them?) and now here’s another highly anticipated one, this time her adult debut. Apparently it was pitched as Bridgerton (okay I couldn’t get into that particular series as I found the humour too silly BUT I’m hoping this means more period style than anything else) meets A Court Of Thorns and Roses (yep, still on my TBR but it’s Sarah J. Maas and the fae so come on!). It’s about ‘three sisters of a noble magic family’ who have to ‘fight hidden dark forces trying to destroy the Mist’; ‘an ancient barrier that protects their world from the dangerous realm of the old gods.’ Say no more! Dangerous old gods, hopefully a historic regal setting, magic, potentially fierce female characters and it’s an adult debut? Obviously I need this!

Scarlet by Genevieve Cogman

Vampires and the French Revolution? Honestly need I say more? This sound incredible. It’s a ‘reinvention of the tale of The Scarlet Pimpernel with the addition of magic and even more mayhem’‘The aristocrats are vampires’ and ‘the Scarlet Pimpernel, a disguised British noble, is determined to rescue them’. These predators are offered sanctuary by their British kin, ‘but at great cost to London’s ordinary people.’ But then ‘an English maid discovers the only power that could stop them.’ If she survives… How could anyone resist this? This was originally due out in 2022 and if it doesn’t release this year I may well cry.

So there you have it, the first half of this accidentally massive list. I’ll post part two next Friday and the list of my most anticipated sequels, prequels and companion novels on the Friday following that. I hope all of you are well and have a wonderful year of reading. I opted to hold off on finalizing this post until I’d read my first book of the year which I have…a book that, according to my kindle, was 984 pages long. And I adored every minute off it. I’ve also watched my first film of the year – A Man Called Otto – and adored that too; it’ll definitely be making my favourite movies of 2023.

What are your most anticipated books of 2023? Have you read any of them yet? Are there any early ones that I’m missing?