Maybe it’s a bit early for me to already be hyping up 2021 releases, but I can’t help myself! There’s just so many great books that have been announced that I can’t wait to get my hands on!
And here they are, so you can get excited for them too!
Across the Green Grass Fields (Wayward Children, #6) by Seanan McGuire
Regan loves, and is loved, though her school-friend situation has become complicated, of late.
When she suddenly finds herself thrust through a doorway that asks her to “Be Sure” before swallowing her whole, Regan must learn to live in a world filled with centaurs, kelpies, and other magical equines―a world that expects its human visitors to step up and be heroes.
But after embracing her time with the herd, Regan discovers that not all forms of heroism are equal, and not all quests are as they seem…
Why I’m excited: This is the 6th book in the Wayward Children series, and I’m so keen for it! I really enjoy this series, especially the logical worlds.
Pub date: January 12
Last Night at the Telegraph Club by Malinda Lo
Seventeen-year-old Lily Hu can’t remember exactly when the question took root, but the answer was in full bloom the moment she and Kathleen Miller walked under the flashing neon sign of a lesbian bar called the Telegraph Club.
America in 1954 is not a safe place for two girls to fall in love, especially not in Chinatown. Red-Scare paranoia threatens everyone, including Chinese Americans like Lily. With deportation looming over her father—despite his hard-won citizenship—Lily and Kath risk everything to let their love see the light of day.
Why I’m excited: This is set in the 1950s about sexuality, feminism, racial issues and politics — need I say more? I also love Malinda Lo’s books so I can’t wait to read this.
Pub date: January 19
Winter’s Orbit by Everina Maxwell
While the Iskat Empire has long dominated the system through treaties and political alliances, several planets, including Thea, have begun to chafe under Iskat’s rule. When tragedy befalls Imperial Prince Taam, his Thean widower, Jainan, is rushed into an arranged marriage with Taam’s cousin, the disreputable Kiem, in a bid to keep the rising hostilities between the two worlds under control.
But when it comes to light that Prince Taam’s death may not have been an accident, and that Jainan himself may be a suspect, the unlikely pair must overcome their misgivings and learn to trust one another as they navigate the perils of the Iskat court, try to solve a murder, and prevent an interplanetary war… all while dealing with their growing feelings for each other.
Why I’m excited: This is a queer sci-fi novel about space princes and preventing a war. I NEED it.
Pub date: February 2
The Witch’s Heart by Genevieve Gornichec
Angrboda’s story begins where most witches’ tales end: with a burning. A punishment from Odin for refusing to provide him with knowledge of the future, the fire leaves Angrboda injured and powerless, and she flees into the farthest reaches of a remote forest. There she is found by a man who reveals himself to be Loki, and her initial distrust of him transforms into a deep and abiding love.
Their union produces three unusual children, each with a secret destiny, who Angrboda is keen to raise at the edge of the world, safely hidden from Odin’s all-seeing eye. But as Angrboda slowly recovers her prophetic powers, she learns that her blissful life—and possibly all of existence—is in danger.
With help from the fierce huntress Skadi, with whom she shares a growing bond, Angrboda must choose whether she’ll accept the fate that she’s foreseen for her beloved family…or rise to remake their future. From the most ancient of tales this novel forges a story of love, loss, and hope for the modern age.
Why I’m excited: God, I ADORE ancient mythology and this one is about Loki and his lover and their three strange children. Can’t wait to read this, it gives me Circe vibes.
Pub date: February 9
A Tip for the Hangman by Allison Epstein
England, 1585. In Kit Marlowe’s last year at Cambridge, he receives an unexpected visitor: Queen Elizabeth’s spymaster, who has come with an unorthodox career opportunity. Her Majesty’s spies are in need of new recruits, and Kit’s flexible moral compass has drawn their attention. Kit, a scholarship student without money or prospects, accepts the offer, and after his training the game is on. Kit is dispatched to the chilly manor where Mary, Queen of Scots is under house arrest, to act as a servant in her household and keep his ear to the ground for a Catholic plot to put Mary on the throne.
While observing Mary, Kit learns more than he bargained for. The ripple effects of his service to the Crown are far-reaching and leave Kit a changed man. But there are benefits as well. The salary he earns through his spywork allows him to mount his first play, and over the following years, he becomes the toast of London’s raucous theatre scene. But when Kit finds himself reluctantly drawn back into the uncertain world of espionage, conspiracy, and high treason, he realizes everything he’s worked so hard to attain–including the trust of the man he loves–could vanish before his very eyes.
Why I’m excited: I love historical English romance novels, but I haven’t much set in the 1500s (I tend to read Regency books). And this one is queer, and about Christopher Marlowe, whom many people think is the real author of Shakespeare’s plays. YES.
Pub: February 9
Chain of Iron (The Last Hours, #2) by Cassandra Clare
Cordelia Carstairs seems to have everything she ever wanted. She’s engaged to marry James Herondale, the boy she has loved since childhood. She has a new life in London with her best friend Lucie Herondale and James’s charming companions, the Merry Thieves. She is about to be reunited with her beloved father. And she bears the sword Cortana, a legendary hero’s blade.
But the truth is far grimmer. James and Cordelia’s marriage is a lie, arranged to save Cordelia’s reputation. James is in love with the mysterious Grace Blackthorn whose brother, Jesse, died years ago in a terrible accident. Cortana burns Cordelia’s hand when she touches it, while her father has grown bitter and angry. And a serial murderer is targeting the Shadowhunters of London, killing under cover of darkness, then vanishing without a trace.
Together with the Merry Thieves, Cordelia, James, and Lucie must follow the trail of the knife-wielding killer through the city’s most dangerous streets. All the while, each is keeping a shocking secret: Lucie, that she plans to raise Jesse from the dead; Cordelia, that she has sworn a dangerous oath of loyalty to a mysterious power; and James, that he is being drawn further each night into the dark web of his grandfather, the arch-demon Belial. And that he himself may be the killer they seek.
Why I’m excited: This is the second book in The Last Hours series, another Shadowhunter book. I’m hardcore shipping Thomas and Alastair, so I need to know they get together.
Pub date: March 2
Under the Whispering Door by TJ Klune
When a reaper comes to collect Wallace Price from his own funeral, Wallace suspects he really might be dead.
Instead of leading him directly to the afterlife, the reaper takes him to a small village. On the outskirts, off the path through the woods, tucked between mountains, is a particular tea shop, run by a man named Hugo. Hugo is the tea shop’s owner to locals and the ferryman to souls who need to cross over.
But Wallace isn’t ready to abandon the life he barely lived. With Hugo’s help he finally starts to learn about all the things he missed in life.
When the Manager, a curious and powerful being, arrives at the tea shop and gives Wallace one week to cross over, Wallace sets about living a lifetime in seven days.
By turns heartwarming and heartbreaking, this absorbing tale of grief and hope is told with TJ Klune’s signature warmth, humor, and extraordinary empathy.
Why I’m excited: TJ Klune is one of my favourite authors ever, and this has been pitched as something very different from what he’s written before! But it looks incredible already.
Pub date: March 2
Fragile Remedy by Maria Ingrande Mora
Sixteen-year-old Nate is a GEM—Genetically Engineered Medi-tissue created by the scientists of Gathos City as a cure for the elite from the fatal lung rot ravaging the population. As a child, he was smuggled out of the laboratory where he was held captive and into the Withers—a quarantined, lawless region. Nate manages to survive by using his engineering skills to become a Tinker, fixing broken tech in exchange for food or a safe place to sleep. When he meets Reed, a kind and fiercely protective boy that makes his heart race, and his misfit gang of scavengers, Nate finds the family he’s always longed for—even if he can’t risk telling them what he is.
But Gathos created a genetic failsafe in their GEMs—a flaw that causes their health to rapidly deteriorate as they age unless they are regularly dosed with medication controlled by Gathos City. As Nate’s health declines, his hard-won freedom is put in jeopardy. Violence erupts across the Withers, his illegal supply of medicine is cut off, and a vicious attack on Reed threatens to expose his secret. With time running out, Nate is left with only two options: work for a shadowy terrorist organization that has the means to keep him alive, or stay — and die — with the boy he loves.
Why I’m excited: This is YA dystopian about queer found families — so yes, I’m very excited!
Pub date: March 9
First, Become Ashes by K.M Szpara
Lark spent the first twenty-four years, nine months, and three days of his life training for a righteous quest: to rid the world of monsters. Alongside his partner Kane, he wore the cage and endured the scourge in order to develop his innate magic. He never thought that when Kane left, he’d next see him in the company of FBI agents and a SWAT team. He never dreamed that the leader of the Fellowship of the Anointed would be brought up on charges of abuse and assault.
He never expected the government would tell him that the monsters aren’t real–that there is no magic, and all the pain was for nothing.
Lark isn’t ready to give up. He is determined to fulfill his quest, to defeat the monsters he was promised. Along the way he will grapple with the past, confront love, and discover his long-buried truth.
Why I’m excited: I know people are already calling this book “problematic” (based on 1 review, lol) but I’m still curious about it. I quite enjoyed Docile so I’m keen to see what else this author can create.
Pub date: April 6
The Nobleman’s Guide to Scandal and Shipwrecks (Montague Siblings, #3) by Mackenzi Lee
The sole heir to his family’s fortune, Adrian Montague desperately wants to be free—from his father’s high expectations; the grief of losing his beloved mother; and the constant war being waged inside his mind. Adrian was diagnosed with hysteria at a young age and it’s always been kept a secret. But when he has a breakdown at his engagement party, the public learns Adrian’s worst fear: he might not be fit to run the Montague estate.
Thankfully, Adrian is given an opportunity to avoid the impending scandal: a trip to the Caribbean to claim the last of his mother’s possessions. But along the way, Adrian discovers another secret lurking in his family tree. He is actually the youngest of three children—his sister Felicity and brother “Monty” went missing over a decade ago. Now Adrian has the chance to find them and offer to pass the estate back to the rightful heirs.
Adrian expects to win his long-lost brother over with the promise of wealth and inheritance, while dreaming of a quiet life where Adrian doesn’t feel like a burden to anyone. But when Adrian finally tracks him down, Monty refuses to return home. The only thing he can convince Monty of is to accompany him across the ocean as an act of tribute to their mother, hoping that during the voyage he can persuade Monty into taking the weight of inheriting the estate off his shoulders.
When they reach their destination, Adrian and Monty find something hidden in their mother’s belongings—a clue pointing to a valuable artifact that could potentially save the Montague siblings from a curse that threatens their lives. But to retrieve it, they must chase an infamous myth through the wild sugar fields of Barbados to the haunting streets of New Orleans to mysterious uncharted islands off the edge of the map.
Why I’m excited: I got to be honest, I’m over Mackenzi Lee and this is the last book of her’s I’ll be reading — and that’s only because I don’t like not finishing a series.
Pub date: April 27
One Last Stop by Casey McQuiston
Cynical twenty-three-year old August doesn’t believe in much. She doesn’t believe in psychics, or easily forged friendships, or finding the kind of love they make movies about. And she certainly doesn’t believe her ragtag band of new roommates, her night shifts at a 24-hour pancake diner, or her daily subway commute full of electrical outages are going to change that.
But then, there’s Jane. Beautiful, impossible Jane.
All hard edges with a soft smile and swoopy hair and saving August’s day when she needed it most. The person August looks forward to seeing on the train every day. The one who makes her forget about the cities she lived in that never seemed to fit, and her fear of what happens when she finally graduates, and even her cold-case obsessed mother who won’t quite let her go. And when August realizes her subway crush is impossible in more ways than one—namely, displaced in time from the 1970s—she thinks maybe it’s time to start believing.
Why I’m excited: I adored Red, White and Royal Blue and I just know McQuiston’s f/f novel is going to be just as amazing!
Pub date: June 1
Trouble Girls by Julie Lynn Rubin
When Trixie picks up her best friend Lux for their weekend getaway, they’re looking to forget the despair of being trapped in their dead-end rustbelt town. The girls are packing light: a supply of Diet Coke and an ‘89 Canon to help Lux frame the world in a sunnier light; half a pack of cigarettes that Trixie doesn’t really smoke, and a knife she’s hanging on to for a friend that she’s never used before.
But a single night of violence derails their trip, and the girls’ go from ordinary high schoolers to wanted fugitives. Trying to stay ahead of the cops and a hellscape of media attention, Trixie and Lux grapple with an unforgiving landscape, rapidly diminishing supplies, and disastrous decisions at every turn. As they are transformed by the media into the face of a #MeToo movement they didn’t ask to lead, Trixie and Lux realize that they can only rely on each other, and that the love they find together is the one thing that truly makes them free.
Why I’m excited: This is a queer retelling of Thelma and Louise where the girls murder a rapist — HELL YES.
Pub date: June 1
The Jasmine Throne (Burning Kingdoms. #1) by Tasha Suri
Imprisoned by her dictator brother, Malini spends her days in isolation in the Hirana: an ancient temple that was once the source of the powerful, magical deathless waters — but is now little more than a decaying ruin.
Priya is a maidservant, one among several who make the treacherous journey to the top of the Hirana every night to clean Malini’s chambers. She is happy to be an anonymous drudge, so long as it keeps anyone from guessing the dangerous secret she hides.
But when Malini accidentally bears witness to Priya’s true nature, their destinies become irrevocably tangled. One is a vengeful princess seeking to depose her brother from his throne. The other is a priestess seeking to find her family. Together, they will change the fate of an empire.
Why I’m excited: I didn’t really enjoy Suri’s other novel, Empire of Sand, but I’m willing to give her another go, especially as this book is f/f.
Pub date: June 8
Star Eater by Kerstin Hall
Elfreda Raughn will avoid pregnancy if it kills her, and one way or another, it will kill her. Though she’s able to stomach the gruesome day-to-day duties, the reality of preserving the Order’s magical bloodline horrifies her, but the Sisters of Aytrium have sworn to pay a price for the safety of their nation.
Elfreda wants out, whatever the cost.
So when a shadowy cabal approaches her with an offer of escape, she leaps at the opportunity. As their spy, she gains access to the highest reaches of the Order, and enters a glittering world of opulent parties, subtle deceptions, and unexpected bloodshed.
Why I’m excited: This novel sounds so intense and kind of gives me The Unspoken Name vibes? Anyway, I’m keen for it!
Pub date: June 22
Darling by K. Ancrum
On Wendy Darling’s first night in Chicago, a boy called Peter appears at her window. He’s dizzying, captivating, beautiful—so she agrees to join him for a night on the town.
Wendy thinks they’re heading to a party, but instead they’re soon running in the city’s underground. She makes friends—a punk girl named Tinkerbelle and the lost boys Peter watches over. And she makes enemies—the terrifying Detective Hook, and maybe Peter himself, as his sinister secrets start coming to light. Can Wendy find the courage to survive this night—and make sure everyone else does, too?
Why I’m excited: I have adored Ancrum’s previous two novels and there’s no doubt I will equally love this book, a contemporary retelling of Peter Pan. Ancrum is such a beautiful writer, she’s going to blow us all away!
Pub date: June 22
A Psalm for the Wild-Built by Becky Chambers
It’s been centuries since the robots of Earth gained self-awareness and laid down their tools. Centuries since they wandered, en masse, into the wilderness, never to be seen again. Centuries since they faded into myth and urban legend.
One day, the life of a tea monk is upended by the arrival of a robot, there to honor the old promise of checking in. The robot cannot go back until the question of “what do people need?” is answered. But the answer to that question depends on who you ask, and how. They’re going to need to ask it a lot.
Why I’m excited: I’m giving a second chance to Becky Chambers, as I wasn’t a big fan of her novel A Long Way to a Small. Angry Planet, but this novel looks super intriguing!
Pub date: July 13
She Who Became the Sun by Shelley Parker-Chan
China, 1345. After her family’s death, an iron-willed peasant girl steals her brother’s identity and fate of greatness in order to survive. Defying the bounds of gender with cunning and ingenuity, her ambition takes her from monk to leader of the rebellion against China’s Mongol rulers. But her rise brings her face to face with the empire’s most feared general: a eunuch as trapped by his gender as she is free of hers. Pitched as “Mulan meets The Song of Achilles,” She Who Became the Sun is a bold reimagining of the rise of the founding emperor of the Ming Dynasty that raises provocative questions about gender, fate, and individual power.
Why I’m excited: This is probably one of my MOST anticipated 2021 releases. I’ve heard so many good things about this genderqueer fantasy book, I will do anything for an ARC!
Pub date: July 20
Flash Fire (The Extraordinaries, #2) by TJ Klune
Nick landed himself the superhero boyfriend of his dreams, but with new heroes arriving in Nova City it’s up to Nick and his friends to determine who is virtuous and who is villainous. Which is a lot to handle for a guy who just wants to finish his self-insert bakery AU fanfic.
Why I’m excited: This is the second in Klune’s The Extraordinaries, and as I loved the first book, I just know the second will be just as great. Klune is just too good!
Pub date: July 20
The Thousand Eyes (The Serpent Gates, #2) by A.K. Larkwood
Two years ago, Csorwe and Shuthmili defied the wizard Belthandros Sethennai and stole his gauntlets. The gauntlets have made Shuthmili extraordinarily powerful, but they’re beginning to take a sinister toll on her. She and Csorwe travel to a distant world to discover how to use the gauntlets safely, but when an old enemy arrives on the scene, Shuthmili finds herself torn between clinging to her humanity and embracing eldritch power.
Meanwhile, Tal Charossa returns to Tlaanthothe to find that Sethennai has gone missing. As well as being a wizard of unimaginable power, Sethennai is Tal’s old boss and former lover, and Tal wants nothing to do with him. When a magical catastrophe befalls the city, Tal tries to run rather than face his past, but soon learns that something even worse may lurk in the future. Throughout the worlds of the Echo Maze, fragments of an undead goddess begin to awaken, and not all confrontations can be put off forever…
Why I’m excited: THIS IS MY BABY BOY TAL’S BOOK 😭 I NEED IT!
Pub date: August 24
Medusa by Jessie Burton
Burton, whose debut The Miniaturist (Pan Macmillan) was published in 2014, said that she “wanted to reclaim Medusa’s story and invite the reader into her mind” to explore gender politics following the sexual harassment claims faced by US film director Harvey Weinstein and many other powerful men.
Burton said: “So often [Medusa’s] robbed of agency, turned into a monster, and used as a stepping stone for heroes. The myth of Medusa is a tale of objectification and toxic masculinity, and the meaning of consent. Given the continuing revelations about men like Weinstein and (US president Donald) Trump, and others we have each encountered on our way through life, Medusa’s myth is ripe for the retelling.”
Why I’m excited: I’m so keen for this novel which explains the Medusa myth and how people — men especially — have completely misinterpreted her tragedy.
Pub date: August
Summer Sons by Lee Mandelo
Andrew and Eddie did everything together, best friends bonded more deeply than brothers, until Eddie left Andrew behind to start his graduate program at Vanderbilt. Six month later, only days before Andrew was to join him in Nashville, Eddie dies of an apparent suicide. He leaves Andrew a horrible inheritance: a roommate he doesn’t know, friends he never asked for, and a gruesome phantom with bleeding wrists that mutters of revenge.
As Andrew searches for the truth of Eddie’s death, he uncovers the lies and secrets left behind by the person he trusted most, discovering a family history soaked in blood and death. Whirling between the backstabbing academic world where Eddie spent his days and the circle of hot boys, fast cars, and hard drugs that ruled Eddie’s nights, the walls Andrew has built against the world begin to crumble, letting in the phantom that hungers for him.
Why I’m excited: Another queer gothic horror set in a dark academia setting? YES PLEASE.
Pub date: September
No specific dates
Dark Rise (Dark Rise, #1) by C.S. Pacat
C.S. Pacat’s first YA series is set in an alternate London, and follow “the heroes and villains of a long-forgotten war who are being reborn, ushering in a dangerous new age of magic”.
Why I’m excited: C.S. Pacat is my favourite author ever and she’s been hinting at this YA series for many years. I can’t wait to get my hands on it 😭. This is my MOST anticipated 2021 release!
A Marvellous Light by Freya Marske
Robin Blyth has more than enough bother in his life. He’s struggling to be a good older brother, a responsible employer, and the harried baronet of a seat gutted by his late parents’ excesses. When an administrative mistake sees him named the civil service liaison to a hidden magical society, he discovers what’s been operating beneath the unextraordinary reality he’s always known.
Now Robin must contend with the beauty and danger of magic, an excruciating deadly curse, and the alarming visions of the future that come with it—not to mention Edwin Courcey, his cold and prickly counterpart in the magical bureaucracy, who clearly wishes Robin were anyone and anywhere else.
Robin’s predecessor has disappeared, and the mystery of what happened to him reveals unsettling truths about the very oldest stories they’ve been told about the land they live on and what binds it. Thrown together and facing unexpected dangers, Robin and Edwin discover a plot that threatens every magician in the British Isles—and a secret that more than one person has already died to keep.
Why I’m excited: I’ve followed Marske on Twitter for a while and have always heard about the novel she’s working on, and I’m so excited to support it now that it’s being published.
A Lesson in Vengeance by Victoria Lee
Felicity Morrow is back at Dalloway School.
Perched in the Catskill mountains, the centuries-old, ivy-covered campus was home until the tragic death of her girlfriend. Now, after a year away, she’s returned to graduate. She even has her old room in Godwin House, the exclusive dormitory rumored to be haunted by the spirits of five Dalloway students—girls some say were witches. The Dalloway Five all died mysteriously, one after another, right on Godwin grounds.
Witchcraft is woven into Dalloway’s history. The school doesn’t talk about it, but the students do. In secret rooms and shadowy corners, girls convene. And before her girlfriend died, Felicity was drawn to the dark. She’s determined to leave that behind her now; all Felicity wants is to focus on her senior thesis and graduate. But it’s hard when Dalloway’s occult history is everywhere. And when the new girl won’t let her forget.
It’s Ellis Haley’s first year at Dalloway, and she’s already amassed a loyal following. A prodigy novelist at seventeen, Ellis is a so-called “method writer.” She’s eccentric and brilliant, and Felicity can’t shake the pull she feels to her. So when Ellis asks Felicity for help researching the Dalloway Five for her second book, Felicity can’t say no. Given her history with the arcane, Felicity is the perfect resource.
And when history begins to repeat itself, Felicity will have to face the darkness in Dalloway–and in herself.
Why I’m excited: I love Lee’s The Fever King duology, and I’m so excited that she’s working on a sapphic dark academia book! This is going to be fantastic.
Iron Widow by Xiran Jay Zhao
Iron Widow is a YA Pacific Rim meets The Handmaid’s Tale retelling of the rise of Wu Zetian, the only female emperor in Chinese history. The duology will follow an 18-year-old re-imagining of her as she avenges her sister’s murder by an intensely patriarchal military system that pairs boys and girls up to pilot giant magical mecha based on creatures from East Asian myth (Nine-Tailed Fox, Moon Tabbit, etc.), but in which boy pilots are treated like celebrities, while girl pilots must serve as their concubines.
Why I’m excited: I follow Zhao on Twitter and she’s so great! Her debut sounds incredible, as it’s a retelling of Chinese’s only female emperor! And it’s going to be about a polyamorous romance!
A Dowry of Blood by S.T. Gibson
Saved from the brink of death by a mysterious stranger, Constanta is transformed from a medieval peasant into a bride fit for an undying king. But when Dracula draws a cunning aristocrat and a starving artist into his web of passion and deceit, Constanta realizes that her beloved is capable of terrible things. Finding comfort in the arms of her rival consorts, she begins to unravel their husband’s dark secrets.
With the lives of everyone she loves on the line, Constanta will have to choose between her own freedom and her love for her husband. But bonds forged by blood can only be broken by death.
Why I’m excited: I also follow Gibson online and have been following her publishing journey for a while! I’m so excited to support her new book, especially as it’s about vampires.