And be sure to check out the fantasy preview for many more sequels, including The Wicked King, by Holly Black (January 8); Lady Smoke, by Laura Sebastian (February 5); Bloodwitch, by Susan Dennard (February 12); The Shadowglass, by Rin Chupeco (March 1); The Everlasting Rose, by Dhonielle Clayton (March 5);, Children of Virtue and Vengeance, by Tomi Adeyemi (March 5); King of Fools, by Amanda Foody (April 30); Finale, by Stephanie Garber (May 7); and Kingsbane, by Claire Legrand (May 21)!
Firestarter, by Tara Sim (January 15)
Sim’s fantastic debut fantasy trilogy comes to a close with our central crew in captivity and facing a brutal choice: join those responsible for the plan to bring down the world’s clock towers, or rebel, no matter what it may cost them. But Zavier, the leader of the terrorist group Prometheus, has an even wilder plan: to bring back the lost god of time. Colton, Daphne, and the rest will have to make choices about what they’re willing to sacrifice, who they’ll risk everything to save, and what kind of world they’re prepared to live in.
The Vanishing Stair, by Maureen Johnson (January 22)
Stevie and the gang are back in one of the most highly anticipated sequels of the year, a follow-up to the wild cliffhanger that had everyone screaming “What?!” at the end of Truly Devious. Between finally having a clue pointing to the culprits in the original 1930s case, scaring off a potential suspect in the newest killing, and an extremely puzzling romance, everything is up in the air for detective-in-training Stevie Bell, especially since her parents have pulled her out of Ellingham Academy after learning what was going on at the elite boarding school. But now she’s found a dubious ticket back—and even though it means making a deal with the devil to get it, Stevie will do anything to figure out exactly what happened and to solve the final riddle school founder Albert Ellingham left behind. The cases continue and the questions keep piling up, but will answers come, too? (Spoiler: yes, and they are good ones.)
Song of the Dead, by Sarah Glenn Marsh (January 22)
Your favorite bisexual necromancer is back in this sequel to Reign of the Fallen, which sees Karthia massively changed. Raising the dead is outlawed and the borders have been opened, inspiring Odessa to explore the world and heal her broken heart, though Meredy joining her on the trip may make that last part a little more challenging. Still, it’s a fascinating journey that takes them to a land where the Dead rule the night and dragons walk among pedestrians. As Odessa and Meredy explore this new place and their growing feelings for each other, they’re summoned back home by a nightmare of political unrest and foreign invasion. Fighting back seems impossible, until one of the queen’s mages creates a weapon that could bring them invincibility. But is it enough without the Dead they’ve been forbidden to summon?
The Blood Spell, by C.J. Redwine (February 12)
Each book in the Ravenspire series takes on a different fairytale, and this time around, it’s Cinderella’s turn. Blue de la Cour has a secret: she can turn metal into gold, a gift she uses to help the city’s homeless. No one can know of the power she hides in her blood, and when her father is killed and an evil woman takes custody of Blue, it becomes more important than ever to keep her secrets under wraps. The only person who can help her is Kellan, Crown Prince of Balavata and greatest object of Blue’s disdain, but he’s back from boarding school and now in need of a bride. With darkness looming, their relationship changing, and disappearances haunting Balavata, the two must work together, no matter what it costs.
The Triumphant, by Lesley Livingston (February 12)
I’ve been a big fan of the Valiant series from its start, and now it’s coming to a close on the heels of Fallon and the other gladiatrices’ win. Everything should be sunshine and grapes for her, but it’s impossible to fully enjoy her victory when with it came Cai’s fall from grace. Now she’s forced to fight to free him from Caesar’s gladiators, and in the process, learns of the plan for Caesar’s assassination. With his death, Fallon and her friends may lose their only protection, to say nothing of what this means for Queen Cleopatra. Saving them all may mean a permanent move down to Alexandria, but can Fallon and the others truly leave Rome behind?
Mist, Metal, and Ash, by Gwendolyn Clare (February 19)
Set in an alternate 19th-century Italy (which is just so cool), the sequel to Ink, Iron, and Glass revisits the magically gifted Elsa, who can create new worlds by writing them in books. When political extremists steal the most dangerous tome ever scribed, one with the power to rewrite Earth as we know it, Elsa has to find the friend who betrayed her and get back the book before the world is changed forever.
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The Deceiver’s Heart, by Jennifer Nielsen (February 26)
In this sequel to The Traitor’s Game, Kestra finally has the Olden Blade, which means she finally has the means to destroy Lord Endrick. But when she fails, she’s forced to pay the price…with her memory and her obedience. Simon badly wants Kestra back to who she was and refocused on the rebellion, but he won’t use magic to do it. Now war looms, as do threats on Kestra’s life, forcing the two to work together despite any hurts of the heart.
Fat Angie: Rebel Girl Revolution by e.E. Charlton-Trujillo (March 5)
Charlton-Trujillo’s Fat Angie won the Stonewall Book Award nearly five years ago now, and now the character is back. With KC moving away physically and Jake moving away emotionally, it’s a lousy start to Angie’s sophomore year, especially when the bullying gets amped up to the max and a memorial for her sister threatens to crush what’s left of her spirit. But when a soldier gives Angie a letter from her sister at the ceremony that contains a list of places she wanted the two of them to travel, it finally offers Angie a plan for escaping from the hellscape of home while bonding with her sister one last time.
A Question of Holmes, by Brittany Cavallaro (March 12)
I consider it one of the greatest gifts in all of bookdom that the Charlotte Holmes series was extended to a fourth title, making this one of my most anticipated sequels in the history of ever. We finally get to see Charlotte and Jamie enjoy themselves with a little pre-college bliss at an Oxford summer program while they figure out their relationship status…or at least, that’s the plan, until Charlotte gets sucked into a year-old cold case, involving a series of accidents in the theater program that led to a girl’s disappearance. With no help from the girl’s friends, Watson and Holmes have no choice but to join the theater program themselves, as danger erupts around them and they’re at risk of breaking more than a leg.
Ruse, by Cindy Pon (March 12)
The sequel to Pon’s much-beloved cli-fi thriller, Want, sees your faves return after some explosive events, while Daiyu’s father, Jin, continues to thirst for blood. When Lingyi embarks on her own mission to help a troubled friend in Shanghai, the last thing she expects is to find that Jin is behind it…or for her friend to end up dead, and her important tech stolen. Lingyi is the only other person with access, making her a moving target and bringing Zhou to China to help Iris find Lingyi. The only rule is that Zhou isn’t allowed to tell Daiyu anything about what’s going down, a rule Zhou isn’t sure he can follow, especially when she appears in Shanghai. Can she be trusted? Or is blood thicker than water after all?
Defy Me, by Tahereh Mafi (April 2)
After taking a beat to write a bestselling, National Book Award longlisted contemporary, Mafi’s back to her Shatter Me series with book number five, which finds Juliette dealing with the fact that the person she thought she could trust most in the world has been keeping secrets from her that change everything she knows. If she can’t trust Warner, where can she get the answers she needs about who she really is, and what will she have to face down to do it?
An Anatomy of Beasts, by Olivia A. Cole (April 16)
It’s always a delight when great adult SFF authors leap over the YA line, which Cole did with last year’s A Conspiracy of Stars. Now she’s back with the sequel, which finds Octavia in an even more precarious position. Now that she’s uncovered the Council leader’s secrets and helped a kidnapped indigenous man escape, she knows her safety, and peace between the N’Terra and the Faloii, is at risk. When the indigenous Faloii discover the N’Terran’s artificially weaponized creature, Octavia and her friends must embark on the research project to end all research projects in order to make peace and change the planet of Faloiv’s dangerous future.
War of the Bastards, by Andrew Shvarts (June 4)
This is one of my favorite fantasy series because it’s just so much fun, but if you’re caught up, you know the ending of City of Bastards was intense. The third and final book picks up a year after the fall of Lightspire, with a usurper on the throne and Tilla and her friends relegated to the role of rebel fighters hiding in the outskirts. Everything looks to be utterly hopeless as the usurper’s power grows—until a raid results in the discovery of Lord Elric Kent, now a prisoner with revenge on the brain, and Syan See, a girl from the Red Wastes who possess an incredible magic, and brings word of a civilization in the Wastes that’s new to them all. The group heads out on a journey to find Syan’s people, who may offer their last hope for victory, but the trip itself proves to be its own kind of test.
Shadow & Flame, by Mindee Arnett (June 4)
The closer in the duology that began with Onyx & Ivory again centers around Kate Brighton, aka the Wilder Queen, aka the one-time “Traitor Kate,” though no one would call her that after she has saved so many in the war between the magical wilders and the Rimish Empire. She doesn’t wanna be the Wilder Queen, either, but she has no choice—not so long as the illegitimate Rimish king, Edwin, sits on the throne. With war once again on the horizon, threats brewing, and armies rising, all Kate’s hope may fall on a prisoner slave named Clash who could be the key to ending the conflict for good.
Not Your Backup, by CB Lee (June 4)
I’m so happy to see Lee’s gloriously fun and inclusive Sidekick Squad return with its third book, this one centered around Emma Robledo, whom we last saw questioning her places on the aromantic and asexual spectra while doing the whole Fighting Powerful Corruption thing. Emma’s tired of people refusing to take her seriously because she’s the only one in the squad without powers; she knows she has plenty of natural strength. As the inevitable challenge between the Resistance and the League of Heroes nears, Emma has to figure out exactly where she belongs in this fight, even if it means taking control of the whole team.
Rise, by Ellen Goodlett (June 11)
All hail Ellen Goodlett for not even making us wait a year after the royal rivalry of Rule before pulling us right back into the contentious competition between sisters Akeylah, Ren, and Zofi for inheritance of the crown of Kolonya. But the secrets they each hide threaten to be the downfall of any one of them, especially when King Andros discovers what’s in their pasts. Now the sisters must make allies of each other if they’re going to protect Kolonya and everyone they love from the threat growing nearer.
For even more fabulous sequels, keep an eye out for Imprison the Sky, by A.C. Gaughen (January 22); Honor Bound, by Rachel Caine and Ann Aguirre (February 19); Chrysalis, by Brendan Reichs (March 5); The Queen’s Resistance, by Rebecca Ross (March 5); Winter War Awakening, by Rosalyn Eves (March 19); Nyxia Uprising, by Scott Reintgen (April 16); The Exalted, by Kaitlyn Sage Patterson (April 16); Nexus, by Sasha Alsberg and Lindsay Cummings (May 7); Tomb of Ancients, by Madeleine Roux (May 14); and Soul of the Sword, by Julie Kagawa (June 18)!