Why read about our world when you can read about others? Epic fantasy is the perfect form of escapism from an Earth that can sometimes seem like it’s on fire. These new and upcoming books are fantastical must-reads that perfectly suit your escapist needs…and will look absolutely beautiful in your bookcase.
Children of Blood and Bone, by Tomi Adeyemi
If you love epic fantasy and have yet to pick up New York Times bestseller Children of Blood and Bone, I don’t know what you’re doing. Zélie Adebola wants to study magic with her family—but the maji were killed and magic forbidden in the opening volume of the Orïsha Legacy series. Zélie can bring back magic, striking against the monarchy. But if she can’t learn to control her growing powers, she can’t save anybody at all.
In the world of Patterson’s The Diminished, nearly every person is born with a twin. Those born without, called “singleborn,” are chosen to rule, even if they don’t want it—including Bo Trousillion. The fate of those whose twins die is to be considered diminished, overpowered by grief—including Vi, whose twin sister died in infancy. When the heir of the kingdom meets the diminished temple servant, they decide to change the kingdom forever.
Who can resist a fantasy book whose main character goes by the name Traitor Kate? She earned the nickname after her father tried to assassinate the high king of Rime, and now she’s cast aside, working as a courier and avoiding the drakes that hunt the Relay riders at night. Kate’s forbidden magic allows her to influence animal minds and sneak through their ranks—until she finds a massacred caravan with only one person left alive: the son of the king, and her first love.
Furyborn, by Claire LeGrand (May 22)
Previously known best for her books on the middle grade shelves, LeGrand is making a big YA splash with Furyborn. Though they live their lives centuries apart, the stories of Rielle and Eliana unfold in tandem. A thousand years ago, powerful Rielle underwent seven elemental magic trials to prove she’s the prophesied world-saving sun queen, not the dreaded blood queen; centuries later, Eliana is a bounty hunter trying to save her vanished mother with the help of a dangerous rebel captain. The evil at the heart of the empire is part of a cosmic war that spans a millennia…and the decisions of Rielle and Eliana could reshape the fate of the kingdom forever.
I’ve read An Ember in the Ashes
. You’ve read An Ember in the Ashes
. And maybe it’s cheating to include the third book of a series on a list of epic fantasy, but who cares? Because A Reaper at the Gates
—the third in Sabaa Tahir’s Ember quartet—releases this June. The story continues as Laia focuses on bringing down the Nightbringer despite threats from people she considered allies. Elias sits in the land between the living and the dead, giving up his freedom to act as Soul Catcher, marrying himself to an ancient power over the woman he loves. And Helene the Blood Shrike will protect the empire—and her sister’s life—at all costs, even as the sadistic emperor’s rule grows increasingly unstable and ruthless.
Seafire, by Natalie C. Parker (August 28)
Want to know what I always want more of? Lady pirates. Want to know what Seafire is full of? Lady pirates. Captain Caledonia Styx wants revenge after the Bullets slew her family. Her crew of girls and women—who also lost their families—is determined to take down the Bullet fleet. But when her second-in-command survives a Bullet attack with the help of a boy looking to defect, Caledonia must decide if she can trust him…after her family died after she made the same mistake years earlier.
The Girl from Everywhere
author Heilig’s new series centers on shadow player Jetta. She’s able to bind the souls of the dead to her puppets with blood, earning her family the reputation of the best shadow players in the land…but magic is strictly forbidden under the rule of the colonizing army. Her family closely guards the secret behind the popularity of their shadow plays, winning them an opportunity to perform for the Mad Emperor, who reportedly has a spring that cures ills. In this portrayal of a character hoping to cure her “malheur,” the spring could be Jetta’s salvation—unless joining the rebellion snatches away her safety first.