I’m back to tell you about even more incredible new books coming out in 2022. This time, get ready for everything fantasy with thirteen of the best books to watch out for this year. Read on!
Fire Becomes Her by Rosiee Thor
Ingrid Ellis doesn’t have fame or fortune, but she does have a plan: marry Linden Holt, heir to a political dynasty and the largest fortune of magical flare in the country. The only thing standing in her way is Linden’s father, a senator who refuses to even acknowledge their relationship. When he runs for president, however, Ingrid strikes a deal. In return for the senator’s approval and the status it brings, she will spy on his opposition. Will Ingrid get what she wants, or lose everything she is in the process?
Fire Becomes Her is perfect for anyone who wants to burn it all down and start anew. Author Rosiee Thor says it best:
and if you want a 1920s vibe fantasy with an aromantic-spec lead, a lot of lesbians wearing suits, and major tax the rich energy, you can add FIRE BECOMES HER on goodreads. If you've ever thought about lighting Mitch Mconnell on fire, this book is for you. https://t.co/ttLUUmNrYd
— Rosiee Thor ~ PREORDER FIRE BECOMES HER (@RosieeThor) March 29, 2021
Dead Collections by Isaac Fellman
When archivist Sol meets the widowed Elsie, there’s an instant spark. Everything should be amazing, except for a few problems. First, Sol is a vampire hiding from the sun by living in his office basement. Second, something is going wrong with the archives, and he thinks he might know the cause. Can Sol and Elsie embrace the unexpected and save both their relationship and the collection?
Isaac Fellman’s whirlwind fantasy romance already has accolades from authors Charlie Jane Anders and Calvin Kasulke. Dead Collections sounds both delightfully creepy and charming, and I can’t wait to read it.
Gallant by V.E. Schwab
Orphaned Olivia has always seen things that others can’t. The other girls at Merilance School for Girls are scared of her and her ghosts, so when a letter arrives from a long-lost uncle she jumps at the chance to leave. When Olivia arrives at Gallant, however, no one is expecting her. Worse, her uncle is nowhere to be found, her cousin is hostile and the half-formed ghouls followed her to haunt the hallways. Determined to uncover Gallant’s secrets, Olivia crosses a ruined wall in the garden and finds herself in a twisted version of the manor where shadows move on their own, the ghosts are solid and a mysterious figure rules over all. Will Olivia claim her place in Gallant, or will she lose herself to the darkness like so many others?
Marketed as The Secret Garden meets Crimson Peak, Gallant is an excellent YA follow-up to V.E. Schwab’s The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue. Schwab takes a seemingly simple haunted house story and turns it on its head in this fantastically spooky read.
The Book of Living Secrets by Madeleine Roux
No matter how different best friends Adelle and Connie are, they always have their favorite book Moira to bring them together. When a mysterious stranger offers them a chance to enter the world of this gothic romance, they never think it will work. And yet, suddenly they’re surrounded by their favorite characters, in a world almost like that of their favorite book. Something dark lurks behind the star-crossed romance and lavish parties, however, and the friends must question everything they think they know if they want to survive.
Madeleine Roux is a prolific novelist, and yet The Book of Living Secrets is different from any of her previous works. It’s perfect for anyone that’s wanted to jump into the pages of their favorite book – but be careful what you wish for.
The Bone Orchard by Sara A. Mueller
Charm is the last of her kind, a necromantic witch trapped in an orchard of bones. She’s also the emperor’s mistress, a war prize left to run a brothel of fake women. When the dying emperor calls Charm to his side, he issues one last command: kill whichever sons try to take his throne, and discover who poisoned him. If she does this one thing, she will finally have her freedom. But what does Charm value more, justice for the empire or her own revenge?
The Bone Orchard sounds unlike anything I’ve ever read, and I’m excited to check out Sara A. Mueller’s work!
In a Garden Burning Gold by Rory Power
For over a hundred years, Rhea and her twin brother Lexos have been each other’s only ally as they help their father rule their small, unstable country. They control the seasons, tides and stars to keep their citizens in line while protecting their younger siblings against their father’s unpredictable anger. When rebellion strikes, the twins must take matters into their own hands if everything they created is to survive.
In a Garden Burning Gold is Rory Power’s first adult work, and her first foray into fantasy. The cover is gorgeous and has all the vibes I’m looking for. Knowing Power’s YA work, Garden is definitely going to be an epic and emotional read.
Book of Night by Holly Black
It’s time for Holly Black’s adult fiction debut! In Book of Night, former magical thief and current bartender Charlie Hall has tried hard to distance herself from the dangerous underground world of shadow trading. When her past catches up with her, Charlie gets sucked back into everything she tried to leave behind.
I devoured everything Holly Black wrote when I was a teen, and I’m pumped that she’s writing for adults now too. Book of Night sounds like an exciting addition to the dark urban fantasy genre.
Siren Queen by Nghi Vo
Luli Wei knows how cutthroat Hollywood can be to people who look like her. She’s desperate to become a star, but not so much that she’ll take on stereotypical roles. When she discovers Hollywood relies on a system of ancient magic and blood bargains, Luli is willing to do whatever it takes, even if it means becoming a monster herself.
Wrath Goddess Sing by Maya Deane
This queer, gender-bent retelling of The Iliad draws on ancient texts to reveal the trans woman’s story beneath a well-known myth. It features an Achilles who has fled her home, vowing to die rather than fight as a man. When Odysseus arrives to recruit her, Athena intervenes, transforming her body into the woman she always longed to be. Athena promised her glory, power, victory and a child born of her own body, so Achilles sets out to war with a vengeance.
I wasn’t familiar with Maya Deane before hearing about Wrath Goddess Sing; I think this is her debut. It’s an epic undertaking to reimagine a story so many people know, but this book sounds perfect for fans of The Song of Achilles who love getting their hearts broken.
Our Crooked Hearts by Melissa Albert
Seventeen-year-old Ivy’s summer starts with an accident, a punishment and a mystery. A stranger appears at night in the middle of the road, kickstarting a string of alarming events. When her mother goes missing, Ivy quickly realizes there’s a lot she doesn’t know about her. Told in alternating timelines, every chapter of this new book is fast-paced and sinister.
Babel, or The Necessity of Violence: An Arcane History of the Oxford Translators’ Revolution by R.F. Kuang
“Traduttore, traditore: An act of translation is always an act of betrayal.”
When Robin Smith arrives in Oxford to attend Babel, the world’s center for translation and magic, it’s a dream come true. He’s longed for the chance to pursue knowledge unencumbered. But knowledge serves power, and for Robin, a Chinese orphan raised in England, studying at Babel could mean betraying his home country. When Britain pursues war with China over magic and opium, Robin must decide where his allegiances lie, and what he’s willing to sacrifice to bring Babel down.
R.F. Kuang just completed her award-winning Poppy War trilogy and is already back with a doorstopper of a follow-up. Part historical fantasy, part dark academia, Babel sounds like the perfect combination of The Secret History and Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell.
The Spear Cuts Through Water by Simon Jimenez
The people of the Strangled Throat suffer under the rule of the emperor and his sons, the Three Terrors. The Three Terrors bleed the land dry and keep their citizens in line with terrifying powers they inherited from the god kept locked under their palace. When that god breaks free, with the help of a guilt-stricken guard and an outcast, she embarks on a pilgrimage in search of freedom – and a way to destroy the empire once and for all.
Simon Jimenez’s debut The Vanished Birds was incredible, and I talk about it to anyone who will listen. I can’t wait for The Spear Cuts Through Water and everything that this follow-up fantasy promises.
The Storyteller’s Death by Ann Dávila Cardinal
After her grandmother dies, Isla Larsen Sanchez discovers she has a gift, passed down for generations. She is a cuentista, tasked with seeing the tales of dead family storytellers over and over. At first, she embraces her gift and the connection to her family it brings. But when one of Isla’s visions shows a murder from the past, she realizes she must solve it and make the loop end if she doesn’t want the stories to kill her too.
The Storyteller’s Death is so many things in one: a generational family saga, a murder mystery, a gorgeous fantasy. Like so many others on this list, this is Ann Dávila Cardinal’s adult fiction debut, and I hope she continues expanding her work in such interesting ways.
There you go – thirteen new fantasy books to add to your preorder list! You can do so any time through your local independent bookstore or Bookshop.org. Stay tuned for even more book coverage coming your way soon.