Frostblood, by Elly Blake
As one of the few remaining firebloods in a world ruled by frost, Ruby lives in semi-isolation with her mother, concealing her untrained fiery abilities. But a raid by the wicked Frost King’s men ends with her mother dead and Ruby a prisoner. After months of grief and detainment, she’s rescued by a contingent of rebels seeking to depose the king, and finds herself navigating a world of questionable allies and corruption as she learns to wield her abilities. But the king’s forces are on her trail, and she may play a larger part in the rebellion than she realizes.
RoseBlood, by A.G. Howard
Howard’s first book since completing the Splinter series is a haunting take on The Phantom of the Opera, set at contemporary arts school Roseblood. New student Rune has a double-edged gift: she’s compelled to sing, producing music that’s unearthly in its beauty, but each performance leaves her sick and depleted. Her mother sends her to Roseblood in the hopes of helping her, but it’s there that her gift may have deadly consequences. The school has alleged connections to the phantom of Gaston Leroux’s original book, and when Rune meets a mysterious masked boy named Thorn, she believes she has found the legend. But the truth is more complicated, and far more dangerous, in this tale.
Poison’s Kiss, by Breeana Shields
Marinda is a perfect assassin: a visha kanya, or poison maiden, whose natural toxicity has been nurtured till even her kiss is fatal. Ordered by her land’s raja to kill off his enemies with a touch of her lips, she’s reluctant but obedient until ordered to kiss the wrong boy. Marinda knows Deven doesn’t deserve to die, and even while being blackmailed into acquiescence by way of her younger brother’s medical needs, his innocence forces her to question what she’s doing and why. This series starter is set in a fantasy world touched with Indian myth and culture.
Windwitch (Witchlands #2), by Susan Dennard
Truthwitch introduced friends and allies from two very different worlds: Safiya, a noblewoman who fled a comfortable life in order to conceal her abilities as a Truthwitch, able to suss out deceit, and Iseult, a lowborn Threadwitch, who can discern the emotional bonds between people. On the eve of a dangerous war, with a violent Bloodwitch on their heels, the two girls, “Threadsisters” bound by affinity and love, find themselves battling their way across a broken empire in pursuit of freedom. In Windwitch, titular Windwitch Merik, believing his beloved Safi to be dead, takes on the mantle of a hero from legend, while Bloodwitch Aeduan enters a doomed alliance with Iseult as they seek the missing Safi.
The Last Harvest, by Kim Liggett
A school football star and scion of one of his town’s founding families, Clay Tate once had it made. Then his father, locally infamous for accusing the powerful Preservation Society of satanic worship, dies under strange and bloody circumstances on the ranch of one of the society’s most prominent members. A year later, Clay’s life has become a pressure cooker: the society wants him to join their ranks, his crush wants him to restart their romance, and he’s seeing frightening things that make him believe he’s crazy…or that his dad’s claims of devil worship were truer than he knew.
A List of Cages, by Robin Roe
A school elective leads Adam back into contact with his long-estranged younger foster brother, Julian, who spent a stint living with Adam’s family seven years ago. Though their reunion is a joyful one, dark truths about Julian’s current home life soon come to light, and Adam grapples with whether to speak up, and how to help Julian in the face of increasing abuse.
Factory Girl, by Josanne La Valley
Roshen is taken from her family in northwest China at 16 to work under dehumanizing conditions in a clothes factory, where she and her fellow Uyghur girls find their Muslim faith derided with meals of pork and a ban on headscarves, and face abuses including the threat of forced prostitution. Roshen becomes a de facto leader, and must find creative escapes, both physical and mental, to support the other girls and survive the life she has been thrust into.