SPFBO 6: Finalist Review Black Stone Heart
 

Black Stone Heart

Review

 
A Wind from the Wilderness by Suzannah Rowntree – SPFBO #6 Finals Review
 

A Wind from the Wilderness

SPFBO #6 Finals Review

 
Fantasy-Themed Cookbooks
 

Fantasy-Themed Cookbooks

Multi-Book Review

 

Fantasy-Faction’s Most Anticipated Books of 2021

How do you decide which books people are most looking forward to reading next year? You ask them, which is what we did in our Facebook group. Any of the 19,000 members were free to vote and/or add the book they were most looking forward to reading. The only caveat, each book had to have a release date in 2021 on Goodreads!

Below, we present the results in order by expected release date. We have included covers and/or blurbs when available.

To no surprise, a lot of them are sequels, from established authors with a large following, and master storytellers all. However, there are some debuts *cough cough*, some authors you may not have experienced before, and some you thought you really should be reading something by but haven’t taken the chance yet. Well, let us add to your tbr pile once again (we do see that as our main duty and responsibility).

Enjoy!

– – –

Brother Red by Adrian Selby

January 26, 2021 from Orbit

Brother Red (cover)From one of the most exciting new voices in dark epic fantasy comes an intensely brutal and brilliantly cinematic novel: the story of a soldier torn between loyalty to her family and her quest to preserve a kingdom’s future.

She was their hope, their martyr, their brother . . .

Driwna Marghoster, a soldier for the powerful merchant guild known as The Post, is defending her trade caravan from a vicious bandit attack when she discovers a dead body hidden in one of her wagons.

Born of the elusive Oskoro people, the body is a rare and priceless find, the center of a tragic tale and the key to a larger mystery.

But as Driwna investigates who the body was meant for, she finds herself on a trail of deceit and corruption . . . a trail that will lead her to an evil more powerful than she can possibly imagine.

A Court of Silver Flames (A Court of Thorns and Roses #4) by Sarah J. Maas

February 16, 2021 by Bloomsbury Publishing

A Court of Silver Flames (cover)Nesta Archeron has always been prickly-proud, swift to anger, and slow to forgive. And ever since being forced into the Cauldron and becoming High Fae against her will, she’s struggled to find a place for herself within the strange, deadly world she inhabits. Worse, she can’t seem to move past the horrors of the war with Hybern and all she lost in it.

The one person who ignites her temper more than any other is Cassian, the battle-scarred warrior whose position in Rhysand and Feyre’s Night Court keeps him constantly in Nesta’s orbit. But her temper isn’t the only thing Cassian ignites. The fire between them is undeniable, and only burns hotter as they are forced into close quarters with each other.

Meanwhile, the treacherous human queens who returned to the Continent during the last war have forged a dangerous new alliance, threatening the fragile peace that has settled over the realms. And the key to halting them might very well rely on Cassian and Nesta facing their haunting pasts.

Against the sweeping backdrop of a world seared by war and plagued with uncertainty, Nesta and Cassian battle monsters from within and without as they search for acceptance—and healing—in each other’s arms.

A Desolation Called Peace (Teixcalaan #2) by Arkady Martine

March 2, 2021 by Tor Books

A Desolation Called Peace (cover)A Desolation Called Peace is the spectacular space opera sequel to Arkady Martine’s genre-reinventing, Hugo Award-winning debut, A Memory Called Empire.

An alien armada lurks on the edges of Teixcalaanli space. No one can communicate with it, no one can destroy it, and Fleet Captain Nine Hibiscus is running out of options.

In a desperate attempt at diplomacy with the mysterious invaders, the fleet captain has sent for a diplomatic envoy. Now Mahit Dzmare and Three Seagrass—still reeling from the recent upheaval in the Empire—face the impossible task of trying to communicate with a hostile entity.

Their failure will guarantee millions of deaths in an endless war. Their success might prevent Teixcalaan’s destruction—and allow the empire to continue its rapacious expansion.

Or it might create something far stranger.

The Girl and the Mountain (Book of the Ice #2) by Mark Lawrence

April 29, 2021 by HarperVoyager

The Girl and the Mountain (cover)The second novel in the thrilling and epic new fantasy series from the international bestselling author of Red Sister and Prince of Thorns.

On the planet Abeth there is only the ice. And the Black Rock.

For generations the priests of the Black Rock have reached out from their mountain to steer the fate of the ice tribes. With their Hidden God, their magic and their iron, the priests’ rule has never been questioned. But when ice triber Yaz challenged their authority, she was torn away from the only life she had ever known and forced to find a new path for herself.

Yaz has lost her friends and found her enemies. She has a mountain to climb, and even if she can break the Hidden God’s power, her dream of a green world lies impossibly far to the south, across a vast emptiness of ice. Before the journey can even start, she has to find out what happened to the ones she loves and save those that can be saved.

Abeth holds its secrets close, but the stars shine brighter for Yaz and she means to unlock the truth.

You can read chapter one by clicking here!

The Shadow of the Gods (The Bloodsworn Saga #1) by John Gwynne

May 6, 2021 by Orbit

The old gods are dead . . . but their power remains.

After the gods warred and drove themselves to extinction, the cataclysm of their fall shattered the land of Vigrid.

Now a new world is rising from the ashes of the old, where power-hungry jarls carve out petty kingdoms and monsters stalk the woods and mountains. A world where the bones of the dead gods still hold great power, promising fame and fortune for those brave—or desperate—enough to seek them out.

As whispers of war echo over the plains and across the fjords, fate follows in the footsteps of three people: a huntress searching for her missing son, a jarl’s daughter who has rejected privilege in pursuit of battle fame, and a thrall who seeks vengeance among the famed mercenaries known as the Bloodsworn.

All three will shape the fate of the world as it once more teeters on the edge of chaos.

Anna by Sammy H.K. Smith

May 25, 2021 by Solaris

Anna (cover)A chilling feminist novel set in a near-future dystopia, Anna explores the conflicts between selfhood and expectations, safety and control, and the sacrifices we make for the sake of protection.

Beaten. Branded. Defiant.

Anna is a possession. She is owned by the man named Will, shielded from the world of struggles and possessions by his care. He loves her, protects her, and then breaks her. Anna is obedient, dutiful, and compliant. Anna does not know her place in the world.

When she falls pregnant, Anna leaves her name behind, and finds the strength to run. But the past—and Will—catch up with her in an idyllic town with a dark secret, and this time, it’s not just Anna who is at risk.

Priest of Gallows (War for the Rose Throne #3) by Peter Mclean

May 27, 2021 by Jo Fletcher Books

Priest of Gallows (cover)Gangster, soldier, priest. Queen’s Man. Governor.

Tomas Piety has everything he ever wanted. In public he’s a wealthy, highly respected businessman, happily married to a beautiful woman and Governor of his home city of Ellinburg. In private, he’s no longer a gang lord but one of the Queen’s Men, invisible and officially non-existent, working in secret to protect his country.

But when the queen’s sudden death sees him summoned him back to the capital, he discovers his boss, Dieter Vogel, Provost Marshal of the Queen’s Men, is busy tightening his stranglehold on the country.

Just as he once fought for his Pious Men, he must now bend all his wit and hard-won wisdom to protect his queen—but now he can’t always tell if he’s on the right side.

Tomas has started to ask himself, what is the price of power? And more importantly, is it one he is willing to pay?

Seven Deaths of an Empire by G. R. Matthews

June 22, 2021 by Solaris

Seven Deaths of an Empire (cover)The Emperor is dead. Long live the Empire.

General Bordan has a lifetime of duty and sacrifice behind him in the service of the Empire. But with rebellion brewing in the countryside, and assassins, thieves and politicians vying for power in the city, it is all Bordan can do to protect the heir to the throne.

Apprentice Magician Kyron is assigned to the late Emperor’s honour guard escorting his body on the long road back to the capital. Mistrusted and feared by his own people, even a magician’s power may fail when enemies emerge from the forests, for whoever is in control of the Emperor’s body, controls the succession.

Seven lives and seven deaths to seal the fate of the Empire.

The Empire’s Ruin (Ashes of the Unhewn Throne #1) by Brian Staveley

July 6, 2021 by Tor Books

The Empire's Ruin (cover)The Annurian Empire is disintegrating. The advantages it used for millennia have fallen to ruin. The ranks of the Kettral have been decimated from within, and the kenta gates, granting instantaneous travel across the vast lands of the empire, can no longer be used.

In order to save the empire, one of the surviving Kettral must voyage beyond the edge of the known world, through a land that warps and poisons all living things, to find the nesting ground of the giant war hawks. Meanwhile, a monk turned con-artist may hold the secret to the kenta gates.

But time is running out. Deep within the southern reaches of the empire an ancient god-like race has begun to stir.

What they discover will change them and the Annurian Empire forever. If they can survive.

The Desert Prince (I Am Olive #1) by Peter V. Brett

August 3, 2021 by HarperVoyager

A new fantasy trilogy from Sunday Times and New York Times bestseller Peter V. Brett, author of The Demon Cycle.

A new series, opening with The Desert Prince and taking place approximately fifteen years after the ending of The Core, tells the tales of two young protagonists, Olive Paper and Darin Bales. It will feature cameos of The Demon Cycle characters, with main characters including with Selen Cutter, Rojvah Inn, and Arick Inn.

Get ready for the next adventure.

Wild Sign (Alpha & Omega #6) by Patricia Briggs

September 7, 2021 by DAW

Wild Sign (cover)Mated werewolves Charles Cornick and Anna Latham must discover what could make an entire community disappear—before it’s too late—in this thrilling entry in the #1 New York Times bestselling Alpha and Omega series.

In the wilds of the Northern California mountains, all the inhabitants of a small town have gone missing. It’s as if the people picked up and left everything they owned behind. Fearing something supernatural might be going on, the FBI taps a source they’ve consulted in the past: the werewolves Charles Cornick and Anna Latham. But Charles and Anna soon find a deserted town is the least of the mysteries they face.

Death sings in the forest, and when it calls, Charles and Anna must answer. Something has awakened in the heart of the California mountains, something old and dangerous—and it has met werewolves before.

Winterlight (Green Rider #7) by Kristen Britain

September 7, 2021 by DAW

Winterlight (sample cover)This seventh novel of the Green Rider series follows the adventures of messenger, magic wielder, and knight Karigan G’ladheon as she fights to save king and country from dark magic and a looming war.

After her capture at the hands of Grandmother and the Second Empire, Karigan G’ladheon is making halting progress towards recovery. Karigan takes on increasingly dangerous missions, haunted by the specter of her torturer, Nyssa, and sinking ever further into the mire of her recollections of the past and the losses she’s sustained.

Meanwhile, the forces of the Second Empire are moving on Sacoridia and their primary target is a vulnerable garrison that guards a crucial mountain pass. Faced with new fatherhood and a country on the verge of war, King Zachary sends a contingent of soldiers and Green Riders to the pass—but his own recovery from the events of the north is not yet complete.

Reunited with her fellow Riders at the pass, Karigan takes on a leadership role, but quickly finds the Riders are not as she last left them. As tension mounts and war draws ever closer to the heart of Sacoridia, Karigan must discover what it truly means to be a Rider and a hero of the realm—and what sacrifices must be made to truly heal from her past.

The Wisdom of Crowds (The Age of Madness #3) by Joe Abercrombie

September 16, 2021 by Gollancz

Chaos. Fury. Destruction.

The Great Change is upon us.

Some say that to change the world you must first burn it down. Now that belief will be tested in the crucible of revolution: The Breakers and Burners have seized the levers of power, the smoke of riots has replaced the smog of industry, and all must submit to the wisdom of crowds.

With nothing left to lose, Citizen Brock is determined to become a new hero for the new age, while Citizeness Savine must turn her talents from profit to survival before she can claw her way to redemption. Orso will find that when the world is turned upside down, no one is lower than a monarch. And in the bloody North, Rikke and her fragile Protectorate are running out of allies…while Black Calder gathers his forces and plots his vengeance.

The banks have fallen, the sun of the Union has been torn down, and in the darkness behind the scenes, the threads of the Weaver’s ruthless plan are slowly being drawn together.

The Thorn of Emberlain (Gentleman Bastard #4) by Scott Lynch

October 12, 2021 by Gollancz

The Thorn of Emberlain (cover)With 50,000 copies sold of The Republic of Thieves and with praise from the likes of Joe Abercrombie and George R.R. Martin the saga of the Gentleman Bastard has become a favourite and key part of the fantasy landscape. And now Locke Lamora, thief, conman, pirate, political deceiver must become a soldier.

A new chapter for Locke and Jean and finally the war that has been brewing in the Kingdom of the Marrows flares up and threatens to capture all in its flames.

And all the while Locke must try to deal with the disturbing rumours about his past revealed in The Republic of Thieves. Fighting a war when you don’t know the truth of right and wrong is one thing. Fighting a war when you don’t know the truth of yourself is quite another. Particularly when you’ve never been that good with a sword anyway.

The Navigator’s Children (The Last King of Osten Ard #3) by Tad Williams

October 2021 by Hodder

Tad Williams is name known to most fantasy readers and there are plenty looking forward this book being released!

The God is Not Willing (Witness #1) by Steven Erikson

November 9, 2021 by Tor Book

Many years have passed since three Teblor warriors brought carnage and chaos to the small lakeside settlement of Silver Lake. While the town has recovered, the legacy of that past horror remains, even if the Teblor tribes of the north no longer venture into the southlands. One of those three, Karsa Orlong, is now deemed to be a god, albeit an indifferent one. In truth, many new cults and religions have emerged across the Malazan world, including those who worship Coltaine, the Black-Winged God, and—popular among the Empire’s soldiery—followers of the cult of Iskar Jarak, Guardian of the Dead.

A legion of Malazan marines is on the march towards Silver Lake. responding to intelligence that indicates the tribes beyond the border are stirring. The marines aren’t quite sure what they’re going to be facing but, while the Malazan military has evolved and these are not the marines of old, one thing hasn’t changed: they’ll handle whatever comes at them. Or die trying.

Meanwhile, in the high mountains, where dwell the tribes of the Teblor, a new warleader has risen. Scarred by the deeds of Karsa Orlong, he intends to confront his god, even if he has to cut a bloody path through the Malazan Empire to do it. Higher in the mountains, a new threat has emerged, and now the Teblor are running out of time.

The long-feared invasion is about to begin. And this time it won’t be three simple warriors. This time thousands are poised to flood the lands of the south. And in their way, a single legion of Malazan marines.

It seems the past is about to revisit Silver Lake, and that is never a good thing.

Risen (Alex Verus #12) by Benedict Jacka

December 2, 2021 by Ace Books

The twelfth and final book in this popular series.

Jade Legacy (The Green Bone Saga #3) by Fonda Lee

2021 by Orbit Books

Jade Legacy (cover)Jade, the mysterious and magical substance once exclusive to the Green Bone warriors of Kekon, is now known and coveted throughout the world. Everyone wants access to the supernatural abilities it provides, from traditional forces such as governments, mercenaries, and criminal kingpins, to modern players, including doctors, athletes, and movie studios. As the struggle over the control of jade grows ever larger and more deadly, the Kaul family, and the ancient ways of the Kekonese Green Bones, will never be the same.

The Kauls have been battered by war and tragedy. They are plagued by resentments and old wounds as their adversaries are on the ascent and their country is riven by dangerous factions and foreign interference that could destroy the Green Bone way of life altogether. As a new generation arises, the clan’s growing empire is in danger of coming apart.

The clan must discern allies from enemies, set aside bloody rivalries, and make terrible sacrifices…but even the unbreakable bonds of blood and loyalty may not be enough to ensure the survival of the Green Bone clans and the nation they are sworn to protect.

– – –

Which one of these books will you be reading next year? Add them to your Goodreads, wish lists, tell you friends and partners so they know what you buy you as a birthday present (or just a present because they love you lots!), or buy them yourself.

I’d like to say we are sorry for increasing your tbr pile, but we’re not. Have a great new year!

Share

5 Comments

  1. Britain, Brett, and Staveley are tops for me!

  2. Avatar Matthew Bailey says:

    https://www.petervbrett.com/peephole/

    Word of God says The Desert Prince is coming out August 3.

  3. Avatar B says:

    I see a couple new ones worth looking at, and I already planned to get The Girl And the Mountain from the library…and maybe I’ll try the new Gentlemen Bastard, if it actually comes out, but it’s been so long since the last one I don’t think I’ll really be able to get into it without a reread I don’t have any interest in. A Desolation Called Peace might need a look as well; I quite liked the first one in that series.
    I’ve read other books of Maas’s and Brett’s in those worlds, but I’m definitely not going to do any more. I found the (previous) endings of those series not at all enjoyable.
    I’ll be saving my time/money for the Star Wars The High Republic releases–I only wish I could ask for them as gifts, but with a birthday falling at the end of the year, every must-have out before, like, June is gonna get sprung for 😀

  4. Avatar Slinky says:

    Chomping at the bit for The Wisdom of Crowds & not listed here A J Smith’s sequel to The Glass Breaks, The Sword Falls. It’s due at the beggining of March.

Leave a Comment