These Are The 27 YA Fantasy Books You Need To Watch Out For In 2018

by Kerri Jarema

Just a cursory glance at all the YA books coming out in 2018 shows a massive array of genres, authors, and characters both new and beloved. And from Tahereh Mafi's return to her Shatter Me series with Restore Me, to Bruja Born, the second book in the Brooklyn Brujas series from Zoraida Cordova, there seems to be an unending list of 2018 YA fantasy sequels that we just can't wait to get our hands on. But while you've probably already got all of these queued up on your pre-orders list, there are also tons of new stories from beloved writers and debut authors with fresh fantasy worlds to check out come January.

It's always so much fun to look forward to some of the books coming our way in the new year, but especially when so many of those books are fantasies written by women and featuring some of the strongest, most diverse, and most kick ass heroines we have ever seen. I for one, cannot wait to add every single one of these to my list of must-read. With so many incredible releases making their way to the shelves, I've focused here on some of the biggest, most exciting, and most highly anticipated books of the year. Now get your own TBR list ready, because it's about to get a whole lot longer.

'The Cruel Prince' by Holly Black (Jan. 2, 2018)

Jude was seven years old when her parents were murdered and she and her two sisters were stolen away to live in the treacherous High Court of Faerie. Ten years later, Jude wants nothing more than to belong there, despite her mortality. But many of the fey despise humans. Especially Prince Cardan, the youngest and wickedest son of the High King. To win a place at the Court, she must defy him — and face the consequences.

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'Everless' by Sarah Holland (Jan. 2, 2018)

In the kingdom of Sempera, time is currency — extracted from blood, bound to iron, and consumed to add time to one’s own lifespan. The rich aristocracy, like the Gerlings, tax the poor to the hilt, extending their own lives. No one resents the Gerlings more than Jules Ember. A decade ago, she and her father were servants at Everless, the Gerlings’ estate, until a fateful accident forced them to flee. When Jules discovers that her father is dying, she knows that she must return to Everless to earn more time for him. But going back brings more danger — and temptation — than Jules could have ever imagined.

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'Batman: Nightwalker' by Marie Lu (Jan. 2, 2018)

One by one, the city's elites are being executed as their mansions' security systems turn against them, trapping them like prey. Meanwhile, Bruce is turning 18 and about to inherit his family's fortune. But after a run-in with the police, he's forced to do community service at Arkham Asylum, the infamous prison. In Arkham, Bruce meets Madeleine, a brilliant girl with ties to the Nightwalkers. Madeleine is the mystery Bruce must unravel. But is he getting her to divulge her secrets, or is he feeding her the information she needs to bring Gotham City to its knees?

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'Unearthed' by Amie Kaufman and Megan Spooner (Jan. 9, 2018)

When Earth intercepts a message from a long-extinct alien race, it seems like the solution the planet has been waiting for. For Jules Addison, the discovery of an alien culture offers unprecedented opportunity for study… as long as scavengers like Amelia Radcliffe don’t loot everything first. But in order to penetrate the Undying temple and reach the information hidden within, the two must decode the ancient race’s secrets and survive their traps. But the more they learn about the Undying, the more their presence in the temple seems to be part of a grand design that could spell the end of the human race.

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'Reign Of The Fallen' by Sarah Glenn Marsh (Jan. 23, 2018)

Odessa is one of Karthia's master necromancers, catering to the kingdom's ruling Dead. Whenever a noble dies, it's Odessa's job to raise them by retrieving their souls from a shadow world called the Deadlands. But there is a cost to being raised—the Dead must remain shrouded, or risk transforming into zombie-like monsters known as Shades. A dramatic uptick in Shade attacks raises suspicions and fears among Odessa's necromancer community. Soon a crushing loss of one of their own reveals a disturbing conspiracy: someone is intentionally creating Shades by tearing shrouds from the Dead — and training them to attack.

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'Markswoman' by Rati Mehrotra (Jan. 23, 2018)

Kyra is the youngest Markswoman in the Order of Kali, a highly trained sisterhood of elite warriors armed with telepathic blades and sworn to protect the people of Asiana. When Kyra’s beloved mentor dies in mysterious circumstances, and Tamsyn, the Mistress of Mental Arts, assumes control of the Order, Kyra is forced on the run. Kyra is certain that Tamsyn committed murder in a twisted bid for power, but she has no proof. And if she fails to find it, fails to keep her beloved Order from following Tamsyn down a dark path, it could spell the beginning of the end for Kyra—and for Asiana.

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'The Hazel Wood' by Melissa Albert (Jan. 30, 2018)

Alice and her mother have spent most of Alice’s life on the road, always a step ahead of the uncanny bad luck biting at their heels. But when Alice’s grandmother, the author of a cult-classic book of dark fairy tales, dies alone on her estate, the Hazel Wood, Alice learns how bad her luck can really get: Her mother is stolen away―by a figure who claims to come from the cruel supernatural world where her grandmother's stories are set. To retrieve her mother, Alice must venture into the world where her grandmother's tales began.

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'Immortal Reign' by Morgan Rhodes (Feb. 6, 2018)

As two lethal elemental gods set out to destroy Mytica, sworn enemies must become allies in the final fight to save the kingdoms. Jonas continues to willfully defy his destiny, but the consequences of plotting his own course are drastic. Lucia knows there's something special about her daughter and she'll do anything to protect her, even if that means facing Kyan alone. Amara is called back home to Kraeshia. Magnus and Cleo's love will be put to the ultimate test. Dark magic is causing widespread destruction throughout the kingdom. Enemies across the sea are advancing. And unrest is stirring throughout the land. Is their love strong enough to withstand the outside forces tearing them apart?

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'Blood of a Thousand Stars' by Rhoda Belleza (Feb. 20, 2018)

With a revolution brewing, Rhee is faced with a choice: make a deal with her enemy, Nero, or denounce him and risk losing her crown. Framed assassin Alyosha has one goal in mind: kill Nero. But to get his revenge, Aly may have to travel back to the very place he thought he’d left forever—home. Kara knows that a single piece of technology located on the uninhabitable planet Wraeta may be the key to remembering the princess she once was. Villainous media star Nero is out for blood, and he’ll go to any means necessary to control the galaxy. An epic showdown will determine the fate of the universe.

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'The Belles' by Dhonielle Clayton (Feb. 20, 2018)

Camellia Beauregard is a Belle. In the opulent world of Orléans, Belles are revered, for they control Beauty, and Beauty is a commodity coveted above all else. But Camellia wants to be the favorite — the Belle chosen by the Queen of Orléans to live in the royal palace. But once Camellia arrives at court, it becomes clear that being the favorite is not everything she always dreamed it would be. Camellia soon learns that the very essence of her existence is a lie—that her powers are far greater, and could be more dangerous, than she ever imagined.

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'The Traitor's Game' by Jennifer A. Nielsen (Feb. 27, 2018)

Kestra Dallisor's father is the right hand man of the cruel king, Lord Endrick, which makes Kestra a valuable bargaining chip. A group of rebels knows this all too well — and they snatch Kestra from her carriage as she reluctantly travels home. The kidnappers want her to retrieve the lost Olden Blade, the only object that can destroy the immortal king, but Kestra is not the obedient captive they expected. Simon, one of her kidnappers, will have his hands full as Kestra tries to foil their plot, by force, cunning, or any means necessary. As motives shift and secrets emerge, both will have to decide what — and who — it is they're fighting for.

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'Restore Me' by Tahereh Mafi (March 6, 2018)

In Tahereh Mafi's return to her Shatter Me series, Juliette Ferrars thought she'd won. She took over Sector 45, was named the new Supreme Commander, and now has Warner by her side. But she's still the girl with the ability to kill with a single touch — and now she's got the whole world in the palm of her hand. When tragedy hits, who will she become? Will she be able to control the power she wields and use it for good?

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'Children of Blood and Bone' by Tomi Adeyemi (March 6, 2018)

Zélie Adebola remembers when the soil of Orïsha hummed with magic. Burners ignited flames, Tiders beckoned waves, and Zelie’s Reaper mother summoned forth souls. But everything changed the night magic disappeared. Under the orders of a ruthless king, maji were targeted and killed, leaving Zélie without a mother and her people without hope. Now, Zélie has one chance to bring back magic and strike against the monarchy. With the help of a rogue princess, Zélie must outwit the crown prince, who is hell-bent on eradicating magic for good.

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'Obsidio' by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff (March 13, 2018)

Kady, Ezra, Hanna, and Nik narrowly escaped with their lives from the attacks on Heimdall station and now find themselves crammed with 2,000 refugees on the container ship, Mao. With the jump station destroyed and their resources scarce, the only option is to return to Kerenza — but who knows what they'll find seven months after the invasion? Meanwhile, Kady's cousin, Asha, survived the initial BeiTech assault and has joined Kerenza's ragtag underground resistance. When Rhys — an old flame from Asha's past—reappears on Kerenza, the two find themselves on opposite sides of the conflict. With time running out, a final battle will be waged on land and in space, heroes will fall, and hearts will be broken.

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'Dread Nation' by Justina Ireland (April 3, 2018)

Jane McKeene was born two days before the dead began to walk the battlefields of Gettysburg and Chancellorsville — derailing the War Between the States and changing America forever. In this new nation, laws like the Native and Negro Reeducation Act require certain children attend combat schools to learn to put down the dead. Jane is studying to become an Attendant, trained to protect the well-to-do. But when families around Baltimore County begin to go missing, Jane is caught in the middle of a conspiracy. And the restless dead are the least of her problems.

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'Ash Princess' by Laura Sebastian (April 24, 2018)

Theodosia was six when her country was invaded and her mother, the Queen of Flame and Fury, was murdered before her eyes. Ten years later, Theo has learned to survive under the relentless abuse of the Kaiser and his court. But when the Kaiser forces her to execute her last hope of rescue, Theo vows revenge, plotting to seduce and murder the Kaiser's warrior son with the help of a group of magically gifted rebels. But Theo doesn't expect to develop feelings for the Prinz. Cornered into impossible choices and unable to trust even those who are on her side, Theo will have to decide how far she's willing to go to save her people.

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'Sky In The Deep' by Adrienne Young (April 24, 2018)

Seventeen-year-old Eelyn’s world is war. Raised to fight alongside her Aska clansmen in a generations-old blood feud against the Riki, her life is brutal but simple: fight and survive. Until the day she sees the impossible on the battlefield — her brother, fighting with the enemy — the brother she watched die five years ago. Faced with her brother's betrayal, she must survive the winter in the mountains with the Riki if she wants to make it back to the fjord after the thaw. But when she begins to see herself in the people she's been taught to hate, the world Eelyn once knew begins to crumble.

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'War Storm' by Victoria Aveyard (May 15, 2018)

Mare Barrow learned that victory comes at a price when Cal’s betrayal nearly destroyed her. Now determined to 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. But no battle is won alone, and Mare must side with the boy who broke her heart in order to defeat the boy who almost broke her. War is coming, and all Mare has fought for hangs in the balance. In the epic conclusion to the Red Queen series, will victory be enough to topple the Silver kingdoms? Or will the little lightning girl be forever silenced?

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'Furyborn' by Claire Legrand (May 22, 2018)

To prove she is the Sun Queen, a prophesied queen with the ability to perform all seven kinds of elemental magic, Rielle must endure seven trials. If she fails, she will be executed... unless the trials kill her first. A thousand years later, the legend of Queen Rielle is a mere fairy tale to bounty hunter Eliana Ferracora. But when her mother, along with countless other women in their city, vanishes without a trace, Eliana joins a rebel captain on a dangerous mission. 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 — and of each other.

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'A Reaper At The Gates' by Sabaa Tahir (May 22, 2018)

In the third Ember in the Ashes novel, the threat of war looms ever larger. The Blood Shrike, Helene Aquilla, is assailed on all sides. Emperor Marcus, grows increasingly unstable, while the Commandant capitalizes on his madness to bolster her own power. Laia knows the fate of the world lies in stopping the Nightbringer. But while hunting for a way to bring him down, she faces threats from those she hoped would aid her. And 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—even at the cost of his humanity.

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'Bruja Born' by Zoraida Cordova (June 1, 2018)

The companion novel to Labyrinth Lost, Cordova's latest follows Lula Mortiz. She may be a bruja with healing powers, but after her family's battle in Los Lagos, she feels broken in a way she can't seem to fix. Then tragedy strikes when a bus crash leaves her friends and her boyfriend, Maks, dead. Desperate to reclaim normalcy, Lula invokes a dark spell to bring Maks back. It isn't until she hears that all of the bodies from the crash have gone missing that she realizes something is wrong. Lula has unwittlingly raised an army of casi muertos — creatures between the living and dead — and they're hungry for freedom… which they can only achieve if Lula dies.

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'Smoke In The Sun' by Renee Ahdieh (June 5, 2018)

The sequel to Flame in the Mist picks up After Okami is captured in the Jukai forest, and Mariko has no choice — to rescue him, she must return to Inako and face the dangers that have been waiting for her in the Heian Castle. With the wedding plans already underway, Mariko pretends to be consumed with her upcoming nuptials, all the while using her royal standing to peel back the layers of lies and deception surrounding the imperial court. 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.

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'My Plain Jane' by Cynthia Hand, Brodi Ashton and Jodi Meadows (June 26, 2018)

You may think you know the story. After a miserable childhood, penniless orphan Jane Eyre embarks on a new life as a governess at Thornfield Hall. There, she meets dark, brooding Mr. Rochester. Despite their age gap and his temper, they fall in love — and, Reader, she marries him. Or does she? Prepare for an adventure of Gothic proportions, in which all is not as it seems, and orphan Jane Eyre, aspiring author Charlotte Brontë, and supernatural investigator Alexander Blackwood are about to be drawn together on the most epic ghost hunt this side of Wuthering Heights.

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'Catwoman: Soulstealer' by Sarah J. Maas (Aug. 7, 2018)

Two years after escaping Gotham City's slums, Selina Kyle returns as the mysterious and wealthy Holly Vanderhees. She quickly discovers that with Batman off on a vital mission, Batwing is left to hold back the tide of notorious criminals. 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. She has teamed up with Poison Ivy and Harley Quinn, and together they are wreaking havoc. This Catwoman may be Batwing's undoing.

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Untitled 'Throne Of Glass' Book by Sarah J. Maas (Sept. 4, 2018)

The seventh and final book in the Throne of Glass series is being mostly kept under wraps for now, but when the cover and title are revealed, I anticipate the frenzy for this hugely popular series will only continue to grow.

'The Lady's Guide to Petticoats and Piracy' by Mackenzi Lee (October 2, 2018)

The companion novel to 2017's Gentleman's Guide will be narrated by Monty's younger sister Felicity and will feature travel, pirates, and a science girl gang.

'The Boneless Mercies' by April Genevieve Tucholke (Oct. 2, 2018)

The Boneless Mercies is being billed as a genderbent Beowulf re-imagining in which four mercenary girls chase glory and honor by battling a monster that's been terrorizing a nearby earldom. Need I say more?

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