Summer is definitely my favorite time for reading. While there is definitely something to be said for cozying up underneath a blanket with a warm drink in the cold months of winter, I always feel so much freer to read whatever and however much I want to in the warm and sunny months. Not only do I tend to carry books with me more often for those bench-sitting, cafe eating, beach-going, pool drifting days — I tend to be way more adventurous with my reading, too. While I often lean toward contemporary YA and essay collections, in the summer I am so much more likely to dive into some YA fantasy books.
If you feel the same way, you're definitely going to like the list of books coming out this summer season. Below are 16 upcoming fantasy releases that will definitely add a spark to your summer reading TBR. From series sequels to brand new series, authors you know and love to debut writers, there is absolutely no shortage of new worlds to explore. Embrace the summer heat by throwing a couple of these into your tote bag, carry-on or beach bag and get ready to live out some exciting fantasies.
'The Smoke Thieves' by Sally Green
In Brigant, Princess Catherine prepares for a loveless political marriage. In Calidor, downtrodden servant March seeks revenge on the prince who betrayed his people. In Pitoria, feckless Edyon steals cheap baubles as he drifts from town to town. And in the northern territories, Tash is running for her life as she plays bait for the demon hunter Gravell. As alliances shift and shatter, all four find their futures linked by the tides of magic and war. Who will rise and who will fall? And who will claim the ultimate prize?
'Onyx and Ivory' by Mindee Arnett
After he tried to assassinate the high king years ago, Kate Brighton now lives as an outcast, clinging to the fringes of society as a member of the imperial courier service. But when her path becomes entangled with the high king's second son Corwin Tormane, they both have to put the past behind them. The threat of drakes who attack in the daylight is only the beginning of a darker menace stirring in the kingdom — one that will thrust them into the middle of a brewing civil war in the kingdom of Rime.
'Legendary' by Stephanie Garber (May 29)
After being swept up in the magical world of Caraval, Donatella Dragna has finally escaped her father and saved her sister Scarlett from a disastrous arranged marriage. But Tella isn’t yet free. She made a bargain with a mysterious criminal, to reveal the Caraval Master Legend’s true name. The only chance of uncovering Legend’s identity is to win Caraval, so Tella throws herself into the legendary competition once more — and into the path of the murderous heir to the throne, a doomed love story, and a web of secrets.
'War Storm' by Victoria Aveyard
Mare Barrow learned this all too well when Cal’s betrayal nearly destroyed her. Now determined to protect her heart — and secure freedom for Reds and newbloods like her — Mare resolves to overthrow the kingdom of Norta once and for all… starting with the crown on Maven’s head. War is coming, and all Mare has fought for hangs in the balance. Will victory be enough to topple the Silver kingdoms? Or will the little lightning girl be forever silenced?
'Furyborn' by Claire Legrand (May 22)
When assassins ambush the crown prince, Rielle Dardenne risks everything to save him, exposing her ability to perform all seven kinds of elemental magic. A thousand years later, the legend of Queen Rielle is a mere fairy tale to Eliana Ferracora. She believes herself untouchable — until her mother vanishes without a trace, along with countless other women in their city. As Rielle and Eliana fight in a cosmic war that spans millennia, their stories intersect, and the shocking connections between them ultimately determine the fate of their world.
'Smoke in the Sun' by Renee Adieh (June 5)
After Okami is captured in the Jukai forest, Mariko has no choice — to rescue him, she must return to Inako. She tricks her brother, Kenshin, and betrothed, Raiden, into thinking she was being held by the Black Clan against her will, playing the part of the dutiful bride-to-be to infiltrate the emperor's ranks. But each secret she unfurls gives way to the next, ensnaring Mariko and Okami in a political scheme that threatens their honor, their love and very the safety of the empire.
'Bruja Born' by Zoradia Cordova (June 5)
Lula Mortiz feels like an outsider. Her sister's Encantrix powers have wounded her in ways that Lula's bruja healing powers can't fix, and she longs for the comfort her family once brought her. Then a bus crash turns Lula's world upside down. Her classmates are all dead, including her boyfriend, Maks. But Lula was born to heal and to fix, and she knows she can bring Maks back. But magic that defies the laws of the deos is dangerous, and whe6n the dust settles, Maks isn't the only one who's been brought back.
'A Reaper At The Gates' by Sabaa Tahir (June 12)
Helene Aquilla, is assailed on all sides. Emperor Marcus, haunted by his past, grows increasingly unstable, while the Commandant capitalizes on his madness to bolster her own power. Laia of Serra knows the fate of the world lies not in the machinations of the Martial court, but in stopping the Nightbringer. Elias Veturius has given up his freedom to serve as Soul Catcher. But in doing so, he has vowed himself to an ancient power that will stop at nothing to ensure Elias's devotion. All the while, the threat of war looms ever larger.
'Grace and Fury' by Tracey Banghart (July 31)
Serina has been groomed her whole life to become a Grace – someone to stand by the heir to the throne as a subjugated example of the perfect woman. But when her younger sister, Nomi, catches the heir’s eye, it’s Serina who takes the fall for the dangerous secret that Nomi has been hiding. Now Nomi has only one way to save Serina: surrender to her role as a Grace. But Serina is running out of time, imprisoned on an island where she must fight to the death to survive and one wrong move could cost her everything.
'Heart of Thorns' by Bree Barton (July 31)
Seventeen-year-old Mia Rose has pledged her life to hunting Gwyrach, demons who can manipulate flesh, bones, breath, and blood. These are the very same demons who killed her mother without a single scratch. But when Mia's father suddenly announces her marriage to the prince, she is forced to trade in her knives and trousers. Only after the wedding goes disastrously wrong does she discover she has dark, forbidden magic—the very magic she has sworn to destroy.
'The Darkest Legacy' by Alexandra Bracken (July 31)
Five years after the destruction of the camps that imprisoned her and countless other Psi kids, Suzume "Zu" Kimura has assumed the role of spokesperson, fighting for the rights of Psi kids. But when she is accused of committing a horrifying act, she is forced to go on the run once more. With her the future of all Psi-on the line, Zu must use her voice to fight back against forces that seek to drive the Psi into the shadows and save the friends who were once her protectors.
'Dance of Theives' by Mary E. Pearson (Aug. 7)
When the patriarch of the Ballenger empire dies, his son, Jase, becomes its new leader. But a new era looms on the horizon, set in motion by a young queen. At the same time, Kazi, a legendary street thief, is sent by the queen to investigate transgressions against the new settlements. When Kazi arrives in the Ballengers, she learns that there is more to Jase than she thought. As events spiral out of their control, they play a cat and mouse game in order to fulfill their own secret missions.
'A Touch of Gold' by Annie Sullivan (Aug. 14)
King Midas once had the ability to turn all he touched into gold. But after his gift — or curse — almost killed his daughter, Midas relinquished The Touch forever. Ten years later, Princess Kora still bears the consequences of her father’s wish: she spends her days locked in the palace. But when a thief steals precious items from the kingdom, Kora is the only one who can track the thief down. As she sails off on her quest, Kora quickly discovers that gold is more dangerous than she’d ever believed.
'Catwoman: Soulstealer' by Sarah J Maas (Aug. 7)
Two years after escaping Gotham City's slums, Selina Kyle returns as the mysterious and wealthy Holly Vanderhees. She quickly discovers that with Batman away on a vital mission, Batwing is left to hold back the tide of notorious criminals and Gotham City is ripe for the taking. Meanwhile, Luke Fox wants to prove he has what it takes to help people in his role as Batwing. He targets a new thief on the prowl who seems cleverer than most. And this Catwoman may be Batwing's undoing.
'Seafire' by Natalie C. Parker (Aug. 28)
After her family is killed by warlord Aric Athair and his army, Caledonia Styx is left to chart her own course. She captains her ship with a crew of women just like her — all of whom have had their lives turned upside down by Aric and his men. But when Caledonia's best friend survives an attack thanks to help from a man in Athair's army looking to defect, Caledonia questions whether or not to let him join their crew. Is he the key to taking down Athair...or will he threaten everything the women have worked for?
'Mirage' by Somaiya Daud (Aug. 28)
In a star system dominated by the brutal Vathek empire, 18-year-old Amani is a dreamer. But when adventure comes for Amani, it's not what she expects: she is kidnapped and taken to the royal palace, where she discovers that she is nearly identical to the cruel Princess Maram. The princess is so hated that she requires a body double, someone to appear in public as Maram, ready to die in her place. If Amani ever wishes to see her family again, she must play the princess to perfection — because one wrong move could lead to her death.