This is the final book in the Shamanborn trilogy which follows Sirscha who has rare light magic. The first book (Forest of Souls) is all about Sirscha using her magic against the haunted trees of the deadwood and the second one (Broken Web) expands a lot on the world building. This is one of my all time favorite fantasy series and the second book came out all the way back in 2021. I had given up hope that the series would ever be completed when, all on the same day, Lee announced the title, release date, and cover! I am beyond hyped to finally be able to read the last book. Normally I’m sad when a beloved series concludes but this time just may be an exception.
2. The Girl with No Reflection by Keshe Chow
This is a debut YA fantasy about a princess, Ying Yue, who enters a mirror world and falls in love with the Mirror Prince. While they fall in love, these two star-crossed lovers live in worlds with a long, bloody history. This book sounds like it is going to have it all; a badass princess protagonist, a magical and dangerous world, political intrigue, and romance! I always try to support debut authors and especially YA fantasy ones since that’s the genre I write.
3. What the River Knows by Isabel Ibañez
Bolivian-Argentinian Inez travels to 19th century Cairo, Egypt searching for answers about her parents’ disappearance in the first book in Ibañez’s first YA historical fantasy duology. I firmly believe that Ibañez is among the top talents in her genre in recent years. She’s written companion books previously but I’m looking forward to getting to read an actual series from her. I read the author’s blog about this and I can tell a lot of research and passion both went into this novel!
4. Finlay Donovan Rolls the Dice by Elle Cosimano
This is the fourth installment in the Finlay Donovan series which are cozy mystery/thriller books about a single mom (the titular Finlay) and her live-in nanny, Vero. This one sees Finlay, Vero, Finlay’s annoying ex-husband Steven, and Finlay’s mom all going to Atlantic City to negotiate with a landshark. This series is so fun because the books are fast paced and full of twists and turns on every page. It’s a nice break from the darker thrillers.
5. After the Forest by Kell Woods
This is a historical fantasy that seems to be a Hansel and Gretel retelling. It takes place fifteen years after Greta and Hans escaped the witch’s gingerbread house. Greta has the witch’s grimoire that she uses to bake. Hansel and Gretel is my absolute favorite fairy tale and for years I’ve wished for a retelling of this story.So, when I discovered this book existed I was SO excited. I learned about it too late to put it on my Christmas wish list but I’m going to give it to myself as a Christmas gift.
6. Emily Wilde's Encyclopaedia of Faeries by Heather Fawcett
This is an adult (cozy I believe) fantasy about the titular Emily who studies faeries. I recently started exploring the cozier side of the fantasy genre and this one sounds quite intriguing. Apparently, there are journal entries in the novel and I love myself some good mixed media elements in my books! I just love the concept of the book; it's something I wish as a fantasy writer that I'd come up with; so hopefully it lives up to my expectations.
7. Peking Duck and Cover by Vivien Chien
This is the 10th book in the Noodle Shop Mystery series of cozy mystery books about a woman, Lana Lee, who runs her family's restaurant and solves murders. This is a very solid cozy mystery series. There's a good amount of variety in the plots and I always feel like I'm right there sleuthing alongside Lana. It's just good fun!
8. The Familiar by Leigh Bardugo
This is Bardugo’s third adult novel and first historical fantasy as well as her first standalone. She’s one of my all time favorite authors and I’ve read everything she’s written. This book takes place during the Spanish Golden Age and follows Luzia, a scullion with magic, and her alliance with an immortal familiar, Guillén. I don’t read a lot of historical fiction and I’ve never read one set during this time period and in this particular country. I love learning about other cultures via their fictional stories – be they fables or historical fiction books – and this is based on the author’s family and those personal touches can really enhance a story.
9. Here We Go Again by Alison Cochran
This is adult romance featuring two former best friends turned enemies who take a cross country road trip together. Cochran is probably my favorite romance writer because she captures the experiences of living with mental illness in a way that isn't patronizing nor does it villainize. She gives people like myself the love stories they deserve. Friends to lovers is my favorite romance trope but I like how this one has a twist!
10. Four Wing by Rebecca Yarros
This is an enemies to lovers romance that takes place in a war torn fantasy world with dragon riders. I was already sold on the dragon aspect and the high stakes synopsis. The fact that this novel is so enormously popular makes me want to read it even more. I need to see what all the fuss is about! The second book is already out, so if I love it as much as so many others I won't have any wait to find out what happens next!
11. Family Lore by Elizabeth Acevedo
This is Acevedo’s adult debut. It’s a magical realism and family drama with the women in the family having magical abilities. Acevedo is a wizard with words and it’s been far too long since I’ve had a new book by her to read. Previously she’s written YA contemporary and poetry books so this feels like it will be both familiar and different at the same time.
12. Keeper of Enchanted Rooms by Charlie N. Holmberg
This sounds like another cozy fantasy, and it's about a man, Merritt, who inherits Whimbrel House which is bespelled. The whole concept of houses being personified is so cool to me so I was drawn to this book for that reason. It seems like this book is going to have a good mix of fantasy, romance, and mystery - all my top genres!