Top 10 Tuesday is a weekly tag hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. This week’s topic is top ten books I’m most looking forward to in 2018.
(Posted one minute to midnight, so it’s still technically Tuesday! But I guess this could also work for Waiting on Wednesday.)
To start with, I’d like cheat a little bit and give a shout-out to books being published in 2018 that I am very much looking forward to, but can’t feature properly because they don’t have covers yet! These include:
- The Lady’s Guide to Petticoats and Piracy by Mackenzi Lee (girls! pirates!)
- Seafire by Natalie C. Parker (all-female ship! corrupt warlords!)
- Beneath the Citadel by Destiny Soria (seers! failed rebellion! prophecy!)
- The Kingdom of Copper by S.A. Chakraborty (jinn! romance! intrigue)
- The Girl King by Mimi Yu (sisterly rivalry! hidden powers!)
- Mirage by Somaiya Daud (body doubles! palace intrigue!)
And now for the books that have already been graced with lovely covers:
Spinning Silver by Naomi Novik: “Miryem is the daughter and granddaughter of moneylenders… but her father isn’t a very good one. Free to lend and reluctant to collect, he has loaned out most of his wife’s dowry and left the family on the edge of poverty–until Miryem steps in. Hardening her heart against her fellow villagers’ pleas, she sets out to collect what is owed–and finds herself more than up to the task. When her grandfather loans her a pouch of silver pennies, she brings it back full of gold.
But having the reputation of being able to change silver to gold can be more trouble than it’s worth–especially when her fate becomes tangled with the cold creatures that haunt the wood, and whose king has learned of her reputation and wants to exploit it for reasons Miryem cannot understand.”
After Uprooted, Novik has proven that she is able to deftly craft stories with a fairy tale nature. Rumpelstiltskin is one of my favorite stories, and I remember as a kid there was this book of eight Rumpelstiltskin retellings that I loved (ugh, I always forget what it’s called!). Novik also writes beautifully, so I’m excited to sample this retelling!
Reign of the Fallen by Sarah Glenn Marsh: “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 dreamy and dangerous 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. If even a hint of flesh is exposed, the grotesque transformation will begin.
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. Odessa is faced with a terrifying question: What if her necromancer’s magic is the weapon that brings Karthia to its knees?”
Okay, I’m a sucker for anything involving necromancy, which is one of two main reasons why I’m excited for this seemingly run-of-the-mill YA. The other reason? It’s being hyped as a f/f book! In fantasy f/f is sooooo rare, so I’m very excited! I’m not as jazzed about the cover; every time I see it I think I’m in for a Mean Girls-esque contemporary.
Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeyemi: “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 and outrun the crown prince, who is hell-bent on eradicating magic for good. Danger lurks in Orïsha, where snow leoponaires prowl and vengeful spirits wait in the waters. Yet the greatest danger may be Zélie herself as she struggles to control her powers—and her growing feelings for the enemy.”
Is there anyone on God’s Green Earth who hasn’t heard of this book? I have never seen a book hyped up so much! Not only did the author sell her three-book deal for an astonishing amount of dollars, the book’s movie rights were sold right around the same time! This is being pitched as 2018’s Greatest YA High Fantasy, which is a lot of hype to live up to, so I’m looking forward to getting my hands on this!
Circe by Madeline Miller: “In the house of Helios, god of the sun and mightiest of the Titans, a daughter is born. But Circe has neither the look nor the voice of divinity, and is scorned and rejected by her kin. Increasingly isolated, she turns to mortals for companionship, leading her to discover a power forbidden to the gods: witchcraft.
When love drives Circe to cast a dark spell, wrathful Zeus banishes her to the remote island of Aiaia. There she learns to harness her occult craft, drawing strength from nature. But she will not always be alone; many are destined to pass through Circe’s place of exile, entwining their fates with hers. The messenger god, Hermes. The craftsman, Daedalus. A ship bearing a golden fleece. And wily Odysseus, on his epic voyage home.
There is danger for a solitary woman in this world, and Circe’s independence draws the wrath of men and gods alike. To protect what she holds dear, Circe must decide whether she belongs with the deities she is born from, or the mortals she has come to love.”
I AM SO HYPE FOR THIS BOOK. I really liked The Song of Achilles, but I didn’t fall in love with it like everyone else only because I wasn’t that into the source material. But I’m 1000x more intrigued by Circe. Also, Miller’s depiction of Odysseus in The Song of Achilles was fabulous; he was my favorite character.
The Diminished by Kaitlyn Patterson: “In the Alskad Empire, nearly all are born with a twin, two halves to form one whole…yet some face the world alone.
The singleborn: A rare few are singleborn in each generation, and therefore given the right to rule by the gods and goddesses. Bo Trousillion is one of these few, born into the royal line and destined to rule. Though he has been chosen to succeed his great-aunt, Queen Runa, as the leader of the Alskad Empire, Bo has never felt equal to the grand future before him.
The diminished: When one twin dies, the other usually follows, unable to face the world without their other half. Those who survive are considered diminished, doomed to succumb to the violent grief that inevitably destroys everyone whose twin has died. Such is the fate of Vi Abernathy, whose twin sister died in infancy. Raised by the anchorites of the temple after her family cast her off, Vi has spent her whole life scheming for a way to escape and live out what’s left of her life in peace.
As their sixteenth birthdays approach, Bo and Vi face very different futures—one a life of luxury as the heir to the throne, the other years of backbreaking work as a temple servant. But a long-held secret and the fate of the empire are destined to bring them together in a way they never could have imagined.”
First off, I am in love with this cover! Second, I’m really fascinated by this premise. I’ve always been interested in twins, and I like that this is a high fantasy that plays this up.
Tess of the Road by Rachel Hartman: “In the medieval kingdom of Goredd, women are expected to be ladies, men are their protectors, and dragons get to be whomever they want. Tess, stubbornly, is a troublemaker. You can’t make a scene at your sister’s wedding and break a relative’s nose with one punch (no matter how pompous he is) and not suffer the consequences. As her family plans to send her to a nunnery, Tess yanks on her boots and sets out on a journey across the Southlands, alone and pretending to be a boy.
Where Tess is headed is a mystery, even to her. So when she runs into an old friend, it’s a stroke of luck. This friend is a quigutl–a subspecies of dragon–who gives her both a purpose and protection on the road. But Tess is guarding a troubling secret. Her tumultuous past is a heavy burden to carry, and the memories she’s tried to forget threaten to expose her to the world in more ways than one.”
I’m always impressed by how a cool title and an elegant cover can influence my reading decisions. I barely glanced at the summary for this before adding it to my TBR. When I did finally read the summary, however, it sounded quite interesting, and I like that there’s no obvious romance in the summary.
Furyborn by Claire Legrand: “When assassins ambush her best friend, the crown prince, Rielle Dardenne risks everything to save him, exposing her ability to perform all seven kinds of elemental magic. The only people who should possess this extraordinary power are a pair of prophesied queens: a queen of light and salvation and a queen of blood and destruction. To prove she is the Sun Queen, Rielle must endure seven trials to test her magic. 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. When the Undying Empire conquered her kingdom, she embraced violence to keep her family alive. Now, she believes herself untouchable–until her mother vanishes without a trace, along with countless other women in their city. To find her, Eliana joins a rebel captain on a dangerous mission and discovers that the evil at the heart of the empire is more terrible than she ever imagined.
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.”
This is one of the more hyped-up releases of 2018, and for good reason! It features two women across time, a fresh new concept and a very difficult one to pull off. Legrand is essentially doing double the worldbuilding, so I’m looking forward to see how she manages!
A Girl Like That by Tanaz Bhathena: “Sixteen-year-old Zarin Wadia is many things: a bright and vivacious student, an orphan, a risk taker. She’s also the kind of girl that parents warn their kids to stay away from: a troublemaker whose many romances are the subject of endless gossip at school. You don’t want to get involved with a girl like that, they say. So how is it that eighteen-year-old Porus Dumasia has only ever had eyes for her? And how did Zarin and Porus end up dead in a car together, crashed on the side of a highway in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia? When the religious police arrive on the scene, everything everyone thought they knew about Zarin is questioned. And as her story is pieced together, told through multiple perspectives, it becomes clear that she was far more than just a girl like that.”
God, that cover is so fierce! This just sounds so cool on so many different levels. I’m a sucker for narratives about brown girls who don’t fit in, who defy expectations, who have “a reputation.” I have a feeling this book is going to hit me right in the feels, but it seems like it’s also an intense mystery? I’m excited!
Freshwater by Akwaeke Emezi: “Ada begins her life in the south of Nigeria as a troubled baby and a source of deep concern to her family. Her parents, Saul and Saachi, successfully prayed her into existence, but as she grows into a volatile and splintered child, it becomes clear that something went terribly awry. When Ada comes of age and moves to America for college, the group of selves within her grows in power and agency. A traumatic assault leads to a crystallization of her alternate selves: Asụghara and Saint Vincent. As Ada fades into the background of her own mind and these selves–now protective, now hedonistic–move into control, Ada’s life spirals in a dark and dangerous direction.”
This novel is not my usual style of literature at all, but it comes highly recommended by Daniel Jose Older and I read part of the first chapter and fell in love with the prose. It promises to be an absolutely astounding, mind-bending novel.
The Queens of Innis Lear by Tessa Gratton: “The erratic decisions of a prophecy-obsessed king have drained Innis Lear of its wild magic, leaving behind a trail of barren crops and despondent subjects. Enemy nations circle the once-bountiful isle, sensing its growing vulnerability, hungry to control the ideal port for all trade routes.
The king’s three daughters—battle-hungry Gaela, master manipulator Reagan, and restrained, starblessed Elia—know the realm’s only chance of resurrection is to crown a new sovereign, proving a strong hand can resurrect magic and defend itself. But their father will not choose an heir until the longest night of the year, when prophecies align and a poison ritual can be enacted.
Refusing to leave their future in the hands of blind faith, the daughters of Innis Lear prepare for war—but regardless of who wins the crown, the shores of Innis will weep the blood of a house divided.”
Tessa’s adult fantasy debut is described a “feminist, multicultural epic fantasy with the operatic feeling of Game of Thrones, inspired by the author’s conflicted relationship with King Lear.” I’ve never read King Lear, but I’ve heard it’s very polarizing. Obviously I’m going to either read it or read a Sparknotes version of it before I take on this book.
What books are you guys looking forward to in 2018? Are you looking forward to any of the books I mentioned? Did you also feel incredibly accomplished and organized after making your own 2018 anticipated reads post? Comment and let me know!