Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish in June of 2010 and was moved to That Artsy Reader Girl in January of 2018. It was born of a love of lists, a love of books, and a desire to bring bookish friends together. How it works is that each Tuesday the host assigns a topic and then posts their top ten list that fits the topic. Every blogger can create their own top ten (or 2, 5, 20, etc.) list as well and link to the host’s. The topic for January 8th, 2019 is: Most Anticipated Releases for the First Half of 2019.
Note: There are 7 new releases (not all fantasy) I already mentioned in my December 2018 wrap-up, which I haven’t included in this post. Click here to check them out!
The Winter of the Witch by Katherine Arden (8 Jan – US, 10 Jan – UK)
[Katherine] Arden’s gorgeous prose entwines political intrigue and feminist themes with magic and folklore to tell a tale both intimate and epic, featuring a heroine whose harrowing and wondrous journey culminates in an emotionally resonant finale.
― Publishers Weekly (starred review)
Dragon Pearl by Yoon Ha Lee (15 Jan – US)
Who would have thought Korean mythology would make for such an intense and magical space opera! I loved every moment of it and want the next book NOW so I can explore all the Thousand Worlds with Min! This book is brilliant and gorgeous, and why didn’t I have it when I was a kid?
― Ellen Oh
The Kingdom of Copper by S. A. Chakraborty (22 Jan – US, Feb 21 – UK)
With a richly immersive setting and featuring complex familial, religious, and racial ties and divides, Chakraborty’s second book in the trilogy wraps readers in a lush and magical story that takes over all the senses.
― Library Journal (starred review)
Black Leopard, Red Wolf by Marlon James (5 Feb – US, 28 Feb – UK)
A dangerous, hallucinatory, ancient Africa, which becomes a fantasy world as well-realized as anything Tolkien made, with language as powerful as Angela Carter’s. It’s something very new that feels old, in the best way.
― Neil Gaiman
Enchantée by Gita Trelease (5 Feb – US, 21 Feb – UK)
An intoxicating blend of opulence, magic, intrigue and romance. Gita Trelease deftly balances a spellbinding story of desperation and deceit on the precipice of the epic revolution that changed history.
― Alwyn Hamilton
The Priory of the Orange Tree by Samantha Shannon (26 Feb – US, UK)
This magnificent epic of queens, dragonriders, and badass secret wyrm-slaying priestesses is a tour de force, and my new absolute favorite epic fantasy.
― Laini Taylor
Deathcaster by Cinda Williams Chima (5 Mar – US, UK)
Cinda Williams Chima’s worlds bristle with magic, romance, and intrigue. She delivers poignant, sweeping fantasy with a deft hand.
― Leigh Bardugo
The Everlasting Rose by Dhonielle Clayton (5 Mar – UK, 7 Mar – UK)
Narrative craft that can hold the tension of the implicit (and sorely lacking) value of black and brown features as beautiful as it intertwines with incisive commentary on the overall commodification of beauty is no small feat, and Clayton manages thrills of action, magic, romance, and revolution as well.
― Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
Descendant of the Crane by Joan He (9 Apr – US)
Joan He has penned a lovely and intriguing tale of secrets, family, and betrayal. You’ll be drawn in by this marvelously vivid world and keep turning the pages for the plot twists!
― Traci Chee
The Tiger at Midnight by Swati Teerdhala (23 Apr – US)
Follow Esha and Kunal on a dangerous journey through lush jungles and bustling cities, where the stakes are life and death, and victory comes at a terrible price. Teerdhala has written a masterful debut full of breathless twists and turns and a romance to ignite the senses.
― Axie Oh
Aru Shah and the Song of Death by Roshani Chokshi (30 Apr – US, 2 May – UK)
The most compelling feature of the novel is the complexity of its characters, who, despite their divinity or semidivinity, are at their core very human. This will leave fans enthralled and clamoring for more.
― Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
We Hunt the Flame by Hafsah Faizal (14 May – US)
Hafsah Faizal weaves an intricate tale that brings us not only a richly imagined new world of magic to explore, but more than that, with a deft, wise hand, she charts the yearnings of the human heart, all while delivering breathtaking twists and unexpected turns.
– Robin LaFevers
The Candle and the Flame by Nafiza Azad (14 May – US)
No other book I’ve read this year has felt as much like home to me. Gorgeous, intricate and enthralling in its scope, [this] is a brilliant debut [and] a stunning standout in YA fantasy.
– Ausma Zehanat Khan
Soul of the Sword by Julie Kagawa (18 Jun – US, 27 Jun – UK)
Kagawa’s series starter never disappoints; she’s a vet at putting realistic characters within believable worlds, here doused in Japanese folklore. Fans will be right at home and anticipate the next chapter.
Wicked Fox by Kat Cho (25 Jun – US)
Set against the bustling cityscape of Seoul, this elegant contemporary fantasy explores what it means to be a monster and what we must give up in the pursuit of love, forgiveness, and our truest selves. A triumph!
– Julie C. Dao
Which books made it to your most anticipated list? Am I missing any fabulous ones from mine? Let’s discuss in the comments section below. If you’re interested in reading more speculative fiction from authors of colour to add some diversity to your TBR, check out Stars and Sorcery, a monthly book club (run by me!) dedicated to reading SFF works by PoC. Let me know if you’d like to be a part of it!
Note: This post was updated on 24th March, 2019, as release dates were changed for some of the books on the list.