Most Anticipated Books of 2023; Part One

Title in white on pale starry skies

Top Ten Tuesday is a fun weekly meme, hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl. Everyone is welcome to join in the fun.

As 2023 is still in its infancy, it is time to think about the books coming out this year that I really want to read (know that I am laughing writing this in 2022.) This post is about the first six months of the year, because dates should be pretty firm and there are also covers! Not that it makes it much easier to write this list, as I started off with twenty books…

It has to be said, this sort of list is much harder to write than favourites because a) I haven’t read the books yet and b) when it comes to sequels, I don’t want to say much and spoil the first book(s).

1. CURSED CROWNS, by Catherine Doyle and Katherine Webber

Book cover for CURSED CROWNS: title in gold on pink illustration of two girls holding a mirror

The sequel, and duology finale, to one of my favourite books of 2022 (TWIN CROWNS), CURSED CROWNS sees twins Wren and Rose up against enemies at home and abroad in what is certain to be an action packed, heart-pounding, funny, romantic read.

The first book was just so much fun (and so much fun to buddy read.) It’s a buddy written book, with each author taking a different POV, swapping back and forth. There are love interests, best friends, and also a very good dog (wolf) to fill out the cast.

2. THE SURVIVING SKY, by Kritika Rao

Book cover for THE SURVIVING SKY: title in white on a floating

Not only does the book sound great, it’s also super special on a personal level as it’s the first book published by an author friend who I’ve seen go through the publication process. Years back, Kritika and I were in the same writing group and I read the material that got her her agent (the first step in the process.) So I am incredibly excited to read the fully edited book, and hold a copy of it in my hands after all these years.

The book itself is about a husband and wife duo who are estranged and live in a city that can fly made out of plants. They need to save it from various internal and external threats, except their own past could prevent that.

3. DIVINE RIVALS, by Rebecca Ross

DIVINE RIVALS is the latest Rebecca Ross book and that is more or less all I need to know to get excited about it. This is her next YA fantasy book (after a pause for an adult duology.) However the premise is also quite fun.

In the midst of a war, two rival reporters write letters to no one that vanish – and then replies arrive. Their letters are reaching the other, and so bring them together. There are also gods involved in the war, and I’m excited to see how it all plays out.

4. THE IMMORTAL GAMES, by Annaliese Avery

Book cover for THE IMMORTAL GAMES: title in white on image of a girl in gold and blue

I love Anneliese Avery’s Middle Grade series, Celestial Mechanics (THE NIGHTSILVER PROMISE and THE DOOMFIRE SECRET) and, while I’m sad there’s going to be a wait until the final book of that trilogy publishes, I am excited for her first YA fantasy that will come in the meantime.

This story is based on Greek Mythology with the gods of Olympus choosing humans to take part in their bloodthirsty games for their amusement. Ara is taking part to kill the gods for what they did to her sister, but she’s been picked by Hades, who’s never won a game once.

5. A DAY OF FALLEN NIGHT, by Samantha Shannon

Book cover for A DAY OF FALLEN NIGHT: title in white on blue writhing dragon

I really enjoyed THE PRIORY OF THE ORANGE TREE when it came out a few years ago, so I was very excited at the announcement of another standalone set in the universe.

A DAY OF FALLEN NIGHT happens centuries before PRIORY and, while there are easter eggs, the books are supposedly able to stand on their own, which is nice. That being said, these books are longer than the average book, so they’re more like several books in a series squished into one volume!

6. THE ADVENTURES OF AMINA AL-SIRAFI, by Shannon Chakraborty

Book cover for THE ADVENTURES OF AMINA AL-SIRAFI: title in cold on dark blue and red

THE ADVENTURES OF AMINA AL-SIRAFI is the next book from the author of THE CITY OF BRASS (though interesting, since THE RIVER OF SILVER, she’s been using her full name instead of initials!) It is also the start of a new series, I think a trilogy?

This book is a historical, sea-bound adventure set in the Middle Ages across the Islamic world, full of adventure and magic. While it is technically set in the same world as THE CITY OF BRASS (just centuries earlier) I don’t think there’s going to be much overlap as this is about the human world.

7. THE TYRANNY OF FAITH, by Richard Swan

Book cover for THE TYRANNY OF FAITH: title in white on person in armour standing before a brown, stag-headed person

THE TYRANNY OF FAITH is the sequel to THE JUSTICE OF KINGS, one of my favourite reads of 2022. It is an adult fantasy mystery trilogy with an morally-conscious hero slowly being corrupted at its heart, though the narrator is his clerk.

I really like a well done “fall arc” in fiction, watching a flaw drive someone into darkness, and all the opportunities they miss along the way to save themselves. And this series is promising to do that well.

8. HELL BENT, by Leigh Bardugo

Book cover for HELL BENT: title in white on an albino rabbit on pale grey

HELL BENT is the sequel to NINTH HOUSE, the fantasy dark academia which feels like it started the entire craze/popularisation of the sub-genre.

NINTH HOUSE was released in 2019, so three and a half years ago, meaning I cannot remember what happened in it (other than I really, really enjoyed it!) Other than meaning I am absolutely going to have to re-read NINTH HOUSE, it means I don’t actually have much idea what this book is about. I think there’s a quest to rescue someone from hell?

9. STARDUST IN THEIR VEINS, by Laura Sebastian

STARDUST IN THEIR VEINS is the sequel to and second book in the CASTLES IN THEIR BONES trilogy. After the cliff-hanger of the first book (I really hope it stands because that was an unusually high cost for so early in a series and I loved it), I need this sequel!

The series is about triplets raised by their mother to marry into neighbouring kingdoms and take them over to create an empire. The three girls have all married and started to bring their new homes down from within, but are starting to question their mission.

10. BARROW OF WINTER, by H. M. Long

Book cover for BARROW OF WINTER: title in white on brown bear head with blue outline of person on mountains

BARROW OF WINTER is the third book in the HALL OF SMOKE series. Unlike the previous two books, which were about the same characters, Hessa, this book is more like a standalone spin-off about a character with a very minor mention in the previous.

Thray is the daughter of the god of winter and has a chance to meet her other half-siblings and the wintry lands they rule. But their ambitions endanger the home Thray has known all her life.

What books are you looking forward to in the next six months?

15 thoughts on “Most Anticipated Books of 2023; Part One

  1. I cheated and gave myself 20 books this week, but that still wasn’t enough to include everything I really want to read, like Cursed Crowns. I especially excited about Hell Bent and the new Shannon Chakraborty.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I would have imagined it would be – probably going to be one of the best selling SFF books this year (if SJM doesn’t have a new release, I suspect it will be the top, or possibly HELL BENT)


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