January Anticipated Releases│2021

The start of a new year always promises excitement about upcoming new releases, and this year looks particularly good! As there are many new books coming out I’ve decided to make a short(ish) list of the books I am most highly anticipating each month, starting with January.

In release date order (note – this is release date for UK publication) –

The Prophets by Robert Jones Jr.


Release Date: 05/01/2021
Age: Adult
Genre: Historical Fiction
ISBN: 9781529416169 
Publisher: Quercus Publishing 
Number of pages: 400

Book club/Subscription: Goldsboro Prem1er January pick

Following the lives of two young enslaved men in the Halifax plantation, this visionary and deeply evocative debut carves a radiant love story out of the bleakest of landscapes.
In this blinding debut, Robert Jones Jr. blends the lyricism of Toni Morrison with the vivid prose of Zora Neale Hurston to characterise the forceful, enduring bond of love, and what happens when brutality threatens the purest form of serenity.

The Halifax plantation is known as Empty by the slaves who work it under the pitiless gaze of its overseers and its owner, Massa Paul. Two young enslaved men, Samuel and Isaiah dwell among the animals they keep in the barn, helping out in the fields when their day is done. But the barn is their haven, a space of radiance and love – away from the blistering sun and the cruelty of the toubabs – where they can be alone together.
But, Amos – a fellow slave – has begun to direct suspicion towards the two men and their refusal to bend. Their flickering glances, unspoken words and wilful intention, revealing a truth that threatens to rock the stability of the plantation. And preaching the words of Massa Paul’s gospel, he betrays them.

The culminating pages ofThe Prophets summon a choral voice of those who have suffered in silence, with blistering humanity, as the day of reckoning arrives at the Halifax plantation. Love, in all its permutations, is the discovery at the heart of Robert Jones Jr’s breathtaking debut, The Prophets.

Crown of Bones by A.K. Wilder (Amassia #1)


Release date: 05/01/2021
Age: Young Adult
Genre: Fantasy
ISBN:  9781640634145
Publisher: Entangled Teen
Number of pages: 490

Raise. Your. Phantom.

In a world on the brink of the next Great Dying, no amount of training can prepare us for what is to come…

A young heir will raise the most powerful phantom in all of Baiseen.
A dangerous High Savant will do anything to control the nine realms.
A mysterious and deadly Mar race will steal children into the sea.
And a handsome guide with far too many secrets will make me fall in love.

My name is Ash. A lowly scribe meant to observe and record. And yet I think I’m destined to surprise us all.

Lore by Alexandra Bracken


Release date: 07/01/2021
Age: Young Adult
Genre: Fantasy
ISBN:  9781786541604 
Number of pages: 480

From the No.1 New York Times bestselling author of THE DARKEST MINDS comes a high-octane story of power, destiny and redemption. A lifetime ago, Lore Perseous left behind the brutal, opulent world of the Agon families – ancient Greek bloodlines that participate in a merciless game every seven years. A game that is about to begin again…

For centuries, Zeus has punished the gods with a game called the Agon, which turns them mortal for one week, and at the mercy of being hunted by those with godly ambitions. Only a handful of the original Greek gods remain, the rest replaced by the mortals who killed them and ascended.
After her family’s sadistic murder by a rival bloodline, Lore escapes and vows to repay her parents’ sacrifice by doing one thing – surviving. For seven years, she has pushed back dark thoughts of revenge against the man responsible for their murder, a man by the name of Wrath who has attained unimaginable power. Except for one week, every seven years. A week that is fast approaching …
When Lore comes home on the first night of the Agon to find Athena gravely wounded on her doorstep, the goddess offers her an alliance; they have a mutual enemy, after all. But as the world trembles under the force of Wrath – a god with the power to destroy all of humanity – will Lore’s decision to bind her fate with Athena’s come back to haunt her?

The Living Sea of Waking Dreams by Richard Flanagan

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Release date: 14/01/2021
Age: Adult
Genre: Literary Fiction / Science & Technology
ISBN:  2928377050252 
Publisher: Vintage publishing
Number of pages: 240

Marbled with magical effects, The Living Sea of Waking Dreams is a story about love, vanishing and finding ways to survive, from the Booker Prize-winning author of The Narrow Road to the Deep North.

In a world of perennial fire and growing extinctions, Anna’s aged mother is dying-if her three children would just allow it. Condemned by their pity to living she increasingly escapes through her hospital window into visions of horror and delight.

When Anna’s finger vanishes and a few months later her knee disappears, Anna too feels the pull of the window. She begins to see that all around her others are similarly vanishing, but no one else notices. All Anna can do is keep her mother alive. But the window keeps opening wider, taking Anna and the reader ever deeper into a strangely beautiful novel about hope and love and orange-bellied parrots.

Hall of Smoke by H.M. Long


Release date: 19/01/2021
Age: Adult
Genre: Fantasy
ISBN:  9781789094985
Publisher: Titan Books Ltd
Number of pages: 432

Epic fantasy featuring warrior priestesses and fickle gods at war, for readers of Brian Staveley’s Chronicles of the Unhewn Throne.

Hessa is an Eangi: a warrior priestess of the Goddess of War, with the power to turn an enemy’s bones to dust with a scream. Banished for disobeying her goddess’s command to murder a traveller, she prays for forgiveness alone on a mountainside.
While she is gone, raiders raze her village and obliterate the Eangi priesthood. Grieving and alone, Hessa – the last Eangi – must find the traveller and atone for her weakness and secure her place with her loved ones in the High Halls.
As clans from the north and legionaries from the south tear through her homeland, slaughtering everyone in their path Hessa strives to win back her goddess’ favour. Beset by zealot soldiers, deceitful gods, and newly-awakened demons at every turn, Hessa burns her path towards redemption and revenge. But her journey reveals a harrowing truth: the gods are dying and the High Halls of the afterlife are fading. Soon Hessa’s trust in her goddess weakens with every unheeded prayer.
Thrust into a battle between the gods of the Old World and the New, Hessa realizes there is far more on the line than securing a life beyond her own death. Bigger, older powers slumber beneath the surface of her world. And they’re about to wake up.

Cast in Firelight by Dana Swift (Wickery #1)

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Release date: 19/01/2021
Age: Young Adult
Genre: Fantasy / Romance
ISBN:  9780593124215 
Publisher: Random House USA Inc.
Number of pages: 448

The first book in an epic, heart-pounding fantasy duology about two royal heirs betrothed to be married, but whose loyalties are torn, and a ruthless enemy who threatens their world, perfect for fans of Sabaa Tahir, Hafsah Faizal, and Renée Ahdieh.

Adraa is the royal heir of Belwar, a talented witch on the cusp of taking her royal ceremony test, and a girl who just wants to prove her worth to her people.

Jatin is the royal heir to Naupure, a competitive wizard who’s mastered all nine colors of magic, and a boy anxious to return home for the first time since he was a child.

Together, their arranged marriage will unite two of Wickery’s most powerful kingdoms. But after years of rivalry from afar, Adraa and Jatin only agree on one thing: their reunion will be anything but sweet.

Only, destiny has other plans and with the criminal underbelly of Belwar suddenly making a move for control, their paths cross…and neither realizes who the other is, adopting separate secret identities instead.

Between dodging deathly spells and keeping their true selves hidden, the pair must learn to put their trust in the other if either is to uncover the real threat. Now Wickery’s fate is in the hands of rivals..? Fiancées..? Partners..? Whatever they are, it’s complicated and bound for greatness or destruction. 

The Mask of Mirrors by M. A. Carrick

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Release date: 21/01/2021
Age: Adult
Genre: Fantasy
ISBN:  9780356515175 
Publisher: Little Brown Book Group / Orbit
Number of pages: 672

Book club/Subscription: Book Box Club January pick

Nightmares are creeping through the city of dreams . . .

Renata Virdaux is a con artist who has come to the sparkling city of Nadezra — the city of dreams — with one goal: to trick her way into a noble house and secure her fortune and her sister’s future. 
But as she’s drawn into the aristocratic world of House Traementis, she realises her masquerade is just one of many surrounding her. And as corrupted magic begins to weave its way through Nadezra, the poisonous feuds of its aristocrats and the shadowy dangers of its impoverished underbelly become tangled — with Ren at their heart.

Winterkeep by Kristin Cashore (Graceling Realm #4)

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Release date: 21/01/2021
Age: Young Adult
Genre: Fantasy / Adventure / Romance
ISBN:  9781473232778  
Publisher: Orion Publishing Co
Number of pages: 528

Four years after Bitterblue left off, a new land has been discovered to the east: Torla; and the closest nation to Monsea is Winterkeep. Winterkeep is a land of miracles, a democratic republic run by people who like each other, where people speak to telepathic sea creatures, adopt telepathic foxes as pets, and fly across the sky in ships attached to balloons.

But when Bitterblue’s envoys to Winterkeep drown under suspicious circumstances, she and Giddon and her half sister, Hava, set off to discover the truth–putting both Bitterblue’s life and Giddon’s heart to the test when Bitterbue is kidnapped. Giddon believes she has drowned, leaving him and Hava to solve the mystery of what’s wrong in Winterkeep.

Lovisa Cavenda is the teenage daughter of a powerful Scholar and Industrialist (the opposing governing parties) with a fire inside her that is always hungry, always just nearly about to make something happen. She is the key to everything, but only if she can figure out what’s going on before anyone else, and only if she’s willing to transcend the person she’s been all her life.

Other books in the series –

Graceling (Graceling Realm #1)
Fire (Graceling Realm #2)
Bitterblue (Graceling Realm #3)

I read these books way back in 2013; this new book is a nice surprise. All of the books can be read as individual stories, but past characters are referenced in later books.

The Mask Falling by Samantha Shannon (The Bone Season #4)

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Release date: 26/01/2021
Age: Adult
Genre: Fantasy
ISBN:  9781408865569  
Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing PLC
Number of pages: 528

The fourth book in Shannon’s phenomenal The Bone Season series, The Mask Falling inhabits both gloomy Parisian catacombs and the opulent hallways of Versailles in an unputdownable continuation of the saga.

Other books in the series –

The Pale Dreamer (The Bone Season #0.5)
The Bone Season (The Bone Season #1)
The Mime Order (The Bone Season #2)
The Song Rising (The Bone Season #3)
The Dawn Chorus (The Bone Season #3.5)

The Forever Sea by Joshua Johnsen (The Forever Sea #1)


Release date: 26/01/2021
Age: Adult
Genre: Fantasy
ISBN:  9781789093377
Publisher: Titan Books Ltd
Number of pages: 480

Kindred Greyreach keeps The Errant afloat. She sings the language of the hearthfire and builds complicated structures of bone to prevent the ship from sinking below the prairie grasses.

Kindred learned everything she knows from her grandmother, the legendary Marchess. But the Marchess has disappeared, walking into the forest-sea as if she were walking down a set of stairs. Kindred needs to find the truth: why and how did the Marchess disappear? Can Kindred trust her own people? And most importantly: what lies below the sea? These questions take Kindred further than she’s ever voyaged on the Forever Sea, to a floating pirate city in decay, to dangerous encounters with gargantuan wyrms from the deeps, and finally to a hidden world beneath the waves.

THE FOREVER SEA is a story about the beauty and threat of nature and the relationship between finite natural resources and infinite greed. It’s about leaving behind everything that is familiar and plunging into the terrifying unknown.

A Vow so Bold and Deadly by Brigid Kemmerer (Cursebreakers #3)


Release date: 26/01/2021
Age: Young Adult
Genre: Fantasy / Romance / Retellings
ISBN:  9781526638151 
Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing PTC
Number of pages: 304

The thrilling conclusion to the Cursebreaker trilogy ups the ante on regal intrigue as Grey competes for the throne of Emberfall and Lia Mara is forced to decide where her loyalties truly lie.

Other books in the series –

A Curse so Dark and Lonely (Cursebreakers #1)
A Heart so Fierce and Broken (Cursebreakers #2)

Hopefully this has introduced you to some new books. There are so many new books released this January I couldn’t include them all, but if there are any you think I have missed comment them below.

Happy reading,

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