I am aware that we still have 2 or 3 months until 2020 ends, but I’m running out of scheduled content so let’s roll with it (✿◡‿◡)
While 2020 as a year has been… a dumpster of fire, to put it mildly, the book releases have been decidedly not. There are just so many fantastic-sounding books and I find that most of my expectations have been met! In case you were not aware, I was severely disappointed with many 2018 releases that I thought I already outgrowing YA fantasy, but this year’s releases just proved me wrong. There are certainly a couple of anticipated 2020 releases yet that I haven’t read, but so far they have not been disappointing.
Looking at this trend, I do have optimistic hopes for 2021 releases and so far, I have plenty of titles I’m interested in on my shelf. I haven’t been doing anticipated releases for so long because I really suck at keeping track and following them, that I usually ended up not reading most of the books on that list? But 2020 is a year of the unusual™ so today I’m going to share with you 5 of my most anticipated 2021 releases!
Lore by Alexandra Bracken (January 5th 2021)
I loooove Greek Mythology and while I have mixed feelings on The Darkest Minds (loving book #1, DNF book #2 and in extension, did not finish the series), this one sounds epic! It’s like a mix of The Wicked + The Divine with how the Gods walk among the earth, The Hunger Games with the hunting element, and something new entirely. I’m excited!
From the #1 New York Times best-selling author of The Darkest Minds comes a sweepingly ambitious, high-octane tale of power, destiny, love and redemption.
Every seven years, the Agon begins. As punishment for a past rebellion, nine Greek gods are forced to walk the earth as mortals, hunted by the descendants of ancient bloodlines, all eager to kill a god and seize their divine power and immortality.
Long ago, Lore Perseous fled that brutal world in the wake of her family’s sadistic murder by a rival line, turning her back on the hunt’s promises of eternal glory. For years she’s pushed away any thought of revenge against the man–now a god–responsible for their deaths.
Yet as the next hunt dawns over New York City, two participants seek out her help: Castor, a childhood friend of Lore believed long dead, and a gravely wounded Athena, among the last of the original gods.
The goddess offers an alliance against their mutual enemy and, at last, a way for Lore to leave the Agon behind forever. But Lore’s decision to bind her fate to Athena’s and rejoin the hunt will come at a deadly cost–and still may not be enough to stop the rise of a new god with the power to bring humanity to its knees.
Down Comes the Night by Allison Saft (March 2nd 2021)
A gothic, wintry romance??? Sign me up, please.
A gorgeously gothic, deeply romantic YA debut fantasy about two enemies trapped inside a crumbling mansion, with no escape from the monsters within.
Honor your oath, destroy your country.
Wren Southerland is the most talented healer in the Queen’s Guard, but her reckless actions have repeatedly put her on thin ice with her superiors. So when a letter arrives from a reclusive lord, asking Wren to come to his estate to cure his servant from a mysterious disease, she seizes the chance to prove herself.
When she arrives at Colwick Hall, Wren realizes that nothing is what it seems. Particularly when she discovers her patient is actually Hal Cavendish, the sworn enemy of her kingdom.
As the snowy mountains make it impossible to leave the estate, Wren and Hal grow closer as they uncover a sinister plot that could destroy everything they hold dear. But choosing love could doom both their kingdoms.
Allison Saft’s Down Comes the Night is a snow-drenched, gothic, romantic fantasy that keeps you racing through the pages long into the night.
The Bright and The Pale by Jessica Rubinkowski (March 2nd 2021)
Have I mentioned that I love wintry setting? And how much I love Slavic retellings and Russian-inspired world building? There’s a reason why The Winternight Trilogy is one of my all-time favorite series and why I love The Grisha‘s trilogy world building so much. Do you know what’s perfect for me? A book pitched as The Bear and The Nightingale meet Shadow and Bone, which is exactly what The Bright and The Pale is.
I literally screamed when I saw that I got approved for an eARC because I’m really really looking forward to it. I have such a high expectations!
Seventeen-year-old Valeria is one of the only survivors of the freeze, a dark magical hold Knnot Mountain unleashed over her village. Everyone, including her family, is trapped in an unbreakable sheet of ice. Ever since, she’s been on the run from the Czar, who is determined to imprison any who managed to escape. Valeria finds refuge with the Thieves Guild, doing odd jobs with her best friend Alik, the only piece of home she has left.
That is, until he is brutally murdered.
A year later, she discovers Alik is alive and being held against his will. To buy his freedom, she must lead a group of cutthroats and thieves on a perilous expedition to the very mountain that claimed her family. Only something sinister slumbers in the heart of Knnot.
And it has waited years for release.
Black Water Sister by Zen Cho (May 11th 2021)
Family secrets! Secret Society! Set in Malaysia! An extremely badass sounding Grandma with a score to settle with a gang boss who offend the Gods! Honestly, it sounds too good to be true 🔥
A reluctant medium discovers the ties that bind can unleash a dangerous power in this compelling Malaysian-set contemporary fantasy.
Jessamyn Teoh is closeted, broke and moving back to Malaysia, a country she left when she was a toddler. So when Jess starts hearing voices, she chalks it up to stress. But there’s only one voice in her head, and it claims to be the ghost of her estranged grandmother, Ah Ma. In life Ah Ma was a spirit medium, the avatar of a mysterious deity called the Black Water Sister. Now she’s determined to settle a score against a gang boss who has offended the god–and she’s decided Jess is going to help her do it.
Drawn into a world of gods, ghosts, and family secrets, Jess finds that making deals with capricious spirits is a dangerous business. As Jess fights for retribution for Ah Ma, she’ll also need to regain control of her body and destiny. If she fails, the Black Water Sister may finish her off for good.
This one doesn’t have an exact release date and a cover yet, but the mention of ATLA and the probability of romance between a peasant girl with power and an exiled prince got me really, really excited! Also, the Dragon Throne- I always love these monikers (including the Phoenix and Chrysanthemum Throne) so mentioning it in the blurb is an extra point for me.
Told in a dual POV narrative reminiscent of EMBER IN THE ASHES, JADE FIRE GOLD is a YA fantasy is inspired by East Asian mythology and folk tales. Epic in scope but intimate in characterization, fans of classic fantasies by Tamora Pierce and the magical Asiatic setting of AVATAR: THE LAST AIRBENDER will enjoy this cinematic tale of family, revenge, and forgiveness.
In order to save her grandmother from a cult of dangerous priests, a peasant girl cursed with the power to steal souls enters a tenuous alliance with an exiled prince bent on taking back the Dragon Throne. The pair must learn to trust each other but are haunted by their pasts—and the true nature of her dark magic.