Most Anticipated Books of 2021; Part One

Title in white on pale starry skies

For me, 2021 is going to be a year of series. There are a lot of series conclusions coming up in the first half of 2021 that I am looking forwards to/dreading saying goodbye to the world. As usual with me, the list is mostly all fantasy.

Given how few YA fantasy made it onto my tops books of 2020, it’s interesting that YA fantasy is still dominating this list. I think my reading is starting to shift. I am pleased though by the prominence of UKYA and UK-based authors, though.

Unlike my previous lists of this style, I have not included publication dates, as everything is still very much subject to change thanks to Covid. But, at time of writing, all these books were due for publication between January 1st and June 30th 2021.

Handily, this post coincides with a Top Ten Tuesday, hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl!


Book cover for MONSTROUS DESIGN: title in gold on red surrounded by needle and thread

The sequel to DANGEROUS REMEDY, MONSTROUS DESIGN is the second instalment in this UKYA historical fantasy set during the French revolution. I absolutely devoured an ARC of the first book, then waited impatiently for others to read it so I could talk about it. Now I need the second book, and hopefully it won’t be pushed back due to Covid.

Camille and her gang of prison-breaking misfits have been forced to split up to cover more ground and rescue friends. We got to England in this sequel, which is always something to look forwards too when the author is a Londonner so will provide a faithful literary experience in my home city!

9. THE JASMINE THRONE, by Tasha Suri

2021 marks the start of Tasha Suri’s new trilogy – an epic fantasy about a princess and a maidservant work together to save their kingdom. Based on Indian history and epics, it promises to be a sprawling story of love and magic with a quest! I miss quest books so much, and even if this isn’t a traditional quest-and-prophecy, I want more heroes journeying to find ways of bringing down the baddie.

After the deft storytelling, heroines who don’t need to fight to be strong, and gorgeous prose of EMPIRE OF SAND and REALM OF ASH, Tasha Suri is one of my auto-buy authors. And now we get a full trilogy from her (I am still waiting for a third book in her debut series, but it was never contracted.)

8. THE MASK FALLING, by Samantha Shannon

Book cover for THE MASK FALLING: title in black in front of a yellow

The next instalment in THE BONE SEASON series is a book I wasn’t sure how fast I would get around to picking up. I had to really fight my way through the first book, but my enjoyment did pick up as I read.

I had initially thought I might wait until paperback (as that’s the format I have the other books in). However, the hype around this book is definitely getting to me and Samantha Shannon has been talking about it as a political intrigue heavy book, which always makes me reach for a book. Plus Paris. I’m intrigued to see the world of Scion expanded, and also see the hints of the overarching story that are supposed to be in it – as Shannon puts it, epic dystopia.


Book cover for A DESOLATION CALLED PEACE: title in bronze above a person standing at a window looking over a space station

A friend recommended I read A MEMORY CALLED EMPIRE this summer, after I’d been raving about political fantasy, and I fell in love with the clever political sci-fi, full of language and deep world building. It was such an engaging story, with so many twists and turns and the alien society was so enthralling. Naturally, I can’t wait for the sequel now

Judging by the blurb, this direct sequel will be a bit more space-battle-y than the previous entry, but the main thrust of the story is negotiations with an uncommunicative, seemingly hostile alien force. The mysterious spaceships that lurked in the background are coming front and centre this time.

6. A VOW SO BOLD AND DEADLY, by Brigid Kemmerer

Book cover for A VOW SO BOLD AND DEADLY: title in silver on red trees

The finale to her A CURSE SO DARK AND LONELY trilogy, A VOW SO BOLD AND DEADLY sees the lands of Emberfall and Syhl Shallow at war now Rhen and Grey are both seeking the Emberfall throne and are enemies.

I absolutely have my preference for who wins (Grey – I love the tangled loyalty arc he got in A HEART SO FIERCE AND BROKEN), but I am not convinced it will happen (because Harper and Rhen were the first book). This said, I am very interested in how Rhen’s arc will go, as there’s a lot of potential there after his dark side was given the spotlight in the second book.

5. VULTURE, by Bex Hogan

Book cover for VULTURE: title in silver in a green compass surrounded by a snake's coils emerging from a skull's mouth

I can so excited for this finale to the Isles of Storm and Sorrow trilogy! This is a high seas UKYA debut series that I really hope gets picked up in other markets as it’s just so good and Bex deserves to play havoc with more hearts!

Featuring distinct islands, Marianne, daughter of a vicious privateer, holds the fate of not just her kingdom is in her hands as we storm towards the finale. Plus what’s happening with Bron?! The second book, VENOM, ended in such a cruel way after the absolute game changer of a plot, so I need it to be spring already and have this book in my hands to find out how it all ends.

4. GILDED SERPENT, by Danielle L. Jensen

We actually get two releases in the DARK SHORES world this year: GILDED SERPENT – which is the third instalment – and TARNISHED EMPIRE – which is a prequel story about main character Marcus that Danielle L. Jensen is self publishing to give more background.

Of the two, I am more excited about GILDED SERPENT because it will be the first book that contains all four POV characters (even if they don’t all meet up.) The two girls are definitely my favourite characters, so I want more time with them (sorry #TeamMarcus/#TeamKillian fans). Also, this book is apparently ENOURMOUS (about twice the length of the first book), which is exciting!

3. A CROWN OF TALONS, by Katharine and Elizabeth Corr

I have been waiting for this book for 15 months, after reading an ARC of A THRONE OF SWANS back in September 2019. The duology finale, A CROWN OF TALONS, will pick up Aderyn’s story now she’s turned her back on love to secure the kingdom, and now faces enemies who want to see her and the crown fall.

I loved the politics of A THRONE OF SWANS, and how intricate the story was as the clues slowly piled up. The shape shifting nobles was such a fun magic system, and the romance was a lovely slow burn. Thank goodness this book is a January release and I don’t have to wait much longer to see how the story ends.

2. SOUTHERN SUN, NORTHERN STAR, by Joanna Hathaway

Of all the books on this list, SOUTHERN SUN, NORTHERN STAR is the one I think I’m least emotionally ready to deal with. The finale to the Glass Alliance trilogy, it wraps up this sprawling WWII inspired fantasy full of intrigue and the harrowing cost of war.

After the emotional wringer of STORM FROM THE EAST, I am somewhat terrified of what Joanna Hathaway is going to put Athan and Ali through as the ideological and physical wars of this trilogy reach their head now that some of the major secrets between the pair have been ripped away. It is going to be amazing and exhilarating and I’m sad to say goodbye to this world. No doubt this will be an all in one book, until the wee hours.

1. WITCHSHADOW, by Susan Dennard

Book cover for WITCHSHADOW: title in gold below girl with scythe surrounede by smoke and blue lightning

The penultimate book in the Witchlands series (yes, I can’t believe there will only be one more after this!), WITCHSHADOW follows the sprawling cast across the continent as armies march and the overarching story Susan Dennard has been hinting at comes more and more into the open. This time, Iseult is the central character, and it’s time for Iz to get the attention!

The ending of the last installment (BLOODWITCH) was such a cliff hanger, and I’m so excited to see what happens next. The two years plus wait has just made me all the more eager for this book (now publishing in late June.)

Last year, I had so many books I was anticipating that I ended up with two lists for the beginning of 2020 (and it was also posted late!). I had hoped to be stricter this year and just post one list and add some honourable mentions, but considering my notable mentions was over 10 books long, I guess that means there will be a second part this year too!

What books are you looking forwards to this year?

13 thoughts on “Most Anticipated Books of 2021; Part One

  1. I really like the title “A Desolation Called Peace.” I haven’t read A Memory Called Empire yet, but it’s been on my TBR, and it sounds like I need to pick it up sooner rather than later. A Crown of Talons looks really good, too! I might have to check out that duology.

    Here’s my TTT post.

    Liked by 1 person

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