Buckle up boys and girls, this post is going to be a DOOZY. I’m rounding up my most anticipated summer releases in both sci-fi and fantasy! And because I make the rules, I’m including May in this round-up. Think of it as summer pre-gaming, because DEAR GOD does May have an incredible line up of releases!! So grab your beverage of choice and settle in, because we’ve got quite the list ahead for us.
If any of these catch your fancy, all covers link to Goodreads!
MASTER ARTIFICER by Justin T. Call
Release Date: May 4th, 2021
Previous Book: THE MASTER OF SORROWS
The first book in the series THE MASTER OF SORROWS, was a massive undertaking, and yet I found myself blitzing through it at a pretty steady clip. I was thoroughly engrossed by everything that happened, but when I took a stop back, I realized that in many ways the book was one massive prologue. It barely left a tiny town in one corner of the map. Now Annev is ready to go into the wide world as he tries to remove a cursed artifact…and deal with the fact that he might be a prophesized evil. This baby is 866 pages long so….better get started?
THE SHADOW OF THE GODS by John Gwynne
Release Date: May 4th, 2021
Do you Vikings? Monsters? Gender-equal societies? Then please direct yourself to THE SHADOW OF THE GODS, the first book in a new trilogy from John Gwynne. I’ve never read the author before, but I definitely enjoyed my time in this fantasy world where the gods are dead, but their god-blooded human offspring are still roaming the earth. And, uh, that ending. Wow.
BLADE OF SECRETS by Tricia Levenseller
Release Date: May 4th, 2021
I absolutely ADORED Levenseller’s last book, THE SHADOWS BETWEEN US, a standalone YA fantasy romance that was basically about two bad guys falling in love. So I’ve been eagerly awaiting the release of her new duology, about a woman blacksmith who creates a magical weapon so powerful, she flees with it rather than let it fall into the wrong hands. The ARC gods were not with me on this one, so I’ll have to wait for a gap in my TBR to tackle this one.
THE HOUSE OF ALWAYS by Jenn Lyons
Release Date: May 11th, 2021
Previous Books: THE RUIN OF KINGS, THE NAME OF ALL THINGS, THE MEMORY OF SOULS
This series man. I could not explain what is happening if my life depended on it. And yet every book I just find myself having an absolute blast at the sheer bananas-level of plot and magic that is happening. Case in point, this book opens on a battlefield with a kraken, a dragon, and an undead pirate army, and zero clues given to the audience about how the hell our heroes got to this point. I’ve given up trying to track everything and am just along for the ride until the end (which will be when the next book, book five, releases). Not a series recommended for anybody who hates stories that jump around in timelines.
THE BLACKTONGUE THIEF by Christopher Buehlman
Release Date: May 25th, 2021
This was a book I tried very hard to resist requesting because my TBR was threatening to kill me. Then I started seeing one good review after another and I finally threw up my hands and cried YOLO. THE BLACKTONGUE THIEF follows a thief who accidentally crosses paths with a knight who is looking for her missing queen. The two end up forced to work with each other as life gets complicated.
FOR THE WOLF by Hannah Whitten
Release Date: June 1st, 2021
This book had me at “For fans of THE BEAR AND THE NIGHTINGALE.” Well, that and an intriguing spin on Red Riding Hood mythology. Red is a rare Second Daughter, and that means she is to be offered to the Wolf in the Wood in the hopes that he will return gods that were captured long ago. But Red has a secret power – one that could change the fate of the world.
THE JASMINE THRONE by Tasha Suri
Release Date: June 8th, 2021
The start of a new fantasy trilogy – this time with a sapphic romance at the heart of it. A princess looking to overthrow her brother discovers her handmaiden has a secret power. Cue two women working together to overthrow an empire. I don’t know much more than that, other than the glowing reviews I seem to encounter at every turn. Looking forward to reading my copy soon!
CATALYST GATE by Megan E. O’Keefe
Release Date: June 22nd, 2021
Previous Books: VELOCITY WEAPON, CHAOS VECTOR
The final book in THE PROTECTORATE Trilogy is here! This sci-fi adventure has been one surprisingly reveal after another, starting with #Page250. (If you know, you know.) Now the series comes to a close as Sanda Greeve tries to stop a threat to humanity once and for all.
A WAR OF SWALLOWED STARS by Sangu Mandanna
Release Date: June 29th, 2021
Previous Books: A SPARK OF WHITE FIRE, A HOUSE OF RAGE AND SORROW
This release almost slipped past my radar! Inspired by the Indian epic poem, the Mahabharata, this trilogy has been a fascinating blend of sci-fi and fantasy, as space ships and ancient gods (who are still very much meddling in the affairs of mortals) exist side by side. My greatest annoyance with the series has been that the sequel assumes pretty much a photographic recall of events of book one. As each book is under 300 pages, this is one of the rare times I’d recommend binging the whole series in one go, as I suspect enjoyment increases greatly when you can remember what all the curses are.
SIX CRIMSON CRANES by Elizabeth Lim
Release Date: July 6th, 2021
New Elizabeth Lim! After a delightful time reading the SPIN THE DAWN duology, I’m excited for a new book set in that world. This time, a princess has a magic gift that is discovered by her stepmother. To control her stepdaughter, the stepmother turns the princess’s brothers into cranes, and curses the princess: for every word she speaks, one brother will die. The princess must find a way to thwart her stepmother, all without the use of her voice.
A PSALM FOR THE WILD-BUILT by Becky Chambers
Release Date: July 13th, 2021
Becky Chambers is an auto-buy author for me. Her sci-fi falls into the more contemplative side of the genre, and she mesmerizes me with her creativity and message in equal measure. In this novella, robots dropped their tools and walked into the wilderness centuries ago. Now one of them has returned to the home of a tea monk, determined to get an answer to the question, “What do people need?”
SHE WHO BECAME THE SUN by Shelley Parker-Chan
Release Date: July 20th, 2021
A retelling of THE SONG OF ACHILLES, but inspired by the Ming Dynasty. A peasant girl trying to survive steals her brother’s identity when he is killed in a bandit attack. And when she becomes intent on overthrowing the Mongols who rule her country, she finds that her brother’s identity – and his prophesized fate of greatness – might be just what she needs to lead an army.
WE CRY FOR BLOOD by Devin Madson
Release Date: August 5th, 2021
Previous Books: WE RIDE THE STORM, WE LIE WITH DEATH
Devin Madson’s series has followed a sprawling war as one empire falls and another rises in its place, holding together its new coalition by its fingernails. The story follows characters from all sides of the conflict, from a princess-in-hiding to an assassin with a strange curse. Book 2 made it very clear, however, that all the warring sides of the conflict were just pawns for a much greater enemy, one who is starting to make their presence known in the world. I won’t say much more than that because the reveals are truly jaw-dropping, but with one book left in the series after WE CRY FOR BLOOD, now is a great time to catch-up if you haven’t already!
THE EXILED FLEET by J.S. Dewes
Release Date: August 17th, 2021
Previous Book: THE LAST WATCH
THE LAST WATCH is currently an easy contender for my Top Five Reads of 2021. “Non-stop thrill ride” is such a cliche, but it absolutely applies to THE LAST WATCH. And while our heroes manage to avert disaster out at the edge of space in book 1, the author also planted the seeds that things were going very wrong closer to the center of the galaxy. Facing the fact that they are very much on their own, the Sentinels are going to have to find a way to survive, making alliances and avoiding new enemies. Can. Not. Wait.