It's hard to say what lies in wait for us this 2019—always in motion is the future, as a wise Dagobah resident once said. But what we do know for certain is that the next 11 months will bring readers a number of exciting new sci-fi and fantasy series. Below are some of the first books in brand-new sagas that we'll be reading this year, from a dragon-filled fantasy epic featuring a compelling antihero, to a Les Miserables-inspired space opera, and everything in between.
These are the sci-fi and fantasy series everyone is going to be talking about in 2019—and for years to come.
A Chorus of Dragons Book 1
The Ruin of Kings
The first book in Jenn Lyons’s powerful fantasy series A Chorus of Dragons, The Ruin of Kings challenges what it means to be a hero or a 'chosen one'.
The poor son of a minstrel and a thief, Kihrin never expected he was destined for fame. But when he’s claimed as the missing son of an errant royal, Kihrin is dragged against his will into royal infamy. Suddenly, his every move has political ramifications. And Kihrin soon discovers that the magic he learned about through stories and song — dragons, demons, and prophecies — is more real than he could have imagined. Heroes are real, too. But Kihrin is no hero. And his destiny isn’t to bring the world into the light, but to plunge it into darkness.
Teixcalaan Book 1
A Memory Called Empire
A thrilling space opera caper, A Memory Called Empire is the upcoming first book in the Teixcalaan series. Hugo and Nebula Award-winning Ancillary Justice author Ann Leckie says "I absolutely love it,” and we can’t help but agree. Political intrigue, a dazzling new world, a female protagonist determined to fight for where she comes from...what's not to love?
Ambassador Mahit Dzmare arrives at the system of the Teixcalaan Empire only to make a grim discovery: her predecessor, a fellow ambassador from their small mining station, died under mysterious circumstances — and Mahit's contact with home has been severed. Now, Mahit must solve the murder of her colleague while struggling to prevent the massive Teixcalaan empire from eradicating the station’s way of life. Along the way, she’ll be tempted by the powerful sway of the glamorous Empire, and stay only a few steps ahead of death herself. Fans of The Expanse will love this space opera about preserving one's home in the face of unscrupulous advancement.
King of Scars Duology Book 1
King of Scars
King of Scars is the first book in a new duology by Leigh Bardugo, set in her beloved Grishaverse world. The Grishaverse will soon be the focus of a Netflix original series based on Six of Crows and Shadow and Bones, but in the meantime, readers have this new adventure to discover.
The new duology centers around Nikolai Lantsov, the young king of Grisha who is doing everything he can to hide a monstrous secret. But as he struggles to protect his kingdom from outside invaders, Grisha's leader is under attack from even more deadly internal forces. Nikolai soon learns that his demons can’t be ignored...and that he’ll have to travel to the most dangerous and magically potent places in Grisha to confront and battle them once and for all. The first book in this thrilling new duology hit shelves January 29th, and you can get a sneak peek of the first chapter here.
The Dark Star Trilogy Book 1
Black Leopard, Red Wolf
The Man Booker Prize-winning author of A Brief History of Seven Killings has turned his talents to fantasy, and the effects are stunning. Black Leopard, Red Wolf received a rave review in The New York Times, and Neil Gaiman called it "a fantasy world as well-realized as anything Tolkien made."
The Africa-set fantasy follows Tracker, a pragmatic hunter known for tracking down those that would otherwise stay lost. Tracker is hired to find a missing young boy, who may or may not be the heir to the throne. Along the way, Tracker weaves incredible tales that bring the world of Black Leopard, Red Wolf vividly to life — and prompt readers to consider the very nature of fantasy, escapism, and narrative.
White Space Book 1
We can’t wait for this first title in the new space opera series White Space by multiple Hugo Award-winner Elizabeth Bear. Halmey and her partner Connla live a life amongst the stars that is barely legal, and hardly profitable. The pair scavenge in the space-scars left by White Transitions, hoping to strike it rich once and be able to give up the life. But on one of their scavenging operations, the pair make a shocking, violent discovery about an alien species that was thought to be extinct. Now, whether they wanted it or not, the lowly scavengers are the lone holders of information that could make the universe’s perilous peace crumble into all-out war. To save the galaxy, they'll have to uncover hidden secrets — and look painfully close inside themselves at secrets of their own.
System Divine Book 1
Sky Without Stars
Sky Without Stars is the first title in a new series inspired by Victor Hugo’s classic novel Les Miserables. When Earth was destroyed, the planet Laterre was humanity’s salvation. Centuries later, Laterre's class system is a more extreme version of the wealth divide once seen on Earth: the rich have become richer, the poor live in abject poverty. Resentment simmers in the gulf between the classes, and revolution is brewing on Laterre. The dissent is fomented by Chatine, a young thief who’s not afraid to spy on Marcellus, an heir to one of the most powerful family legacies. But Marcellus isn't as loyal to the bourgeoisie as he seems, and he's determined to uncover the meaning behind his father's deathbed message to seek out a girl named Alouette. Full of romance and revolution, Sky Without Stars stands to be a unique, intriguing addition to the space opera genre.
Blackwood & Virtue Book 1
Winds of Marque
Winds of Marque is the first novel in the Blackwood & Virtue series, which is billed, intriguingly, as ‘Master & Commander set in space.' Sign us up!
The ragtag crew of the HMS Daring hardly seem like the like the king’s best men. Nonetheless, they’ve set sail with a letter of marque allowing them to disguise the Daring as a civilian vessel in order to discover and crack down on pirates. Second-in-command Liam and quartermaster Amelia go undercover to track down illegal traders, but their ruse is endangered when the Daring crew begins to question the judgment of their captain. With the winds of mutiny blowing the Daring towards disaster, the pair will have to rely on each other — and try to ignore their growing attraction — to discover who the true criminals are.
Chronicles of Ghadid Book 1
The Perfect Assassin
Amastan didn't think he'd have a problem living the life of an assassin. But when it comes times for him to eke out justice via death, he finds himself surprisingly reluctant. Luckily, contracts are few and far between, so Amastan is temporarily spared from having to prove himself by spilling blood. But then he discovers the body of a prominent drum chief...and soon members of the respected Basbowen family begin showing up dead. Inevitaby, the finger of blame starts to point towards Amastan himself. To avoid suspicion, the would-be assassin will have to out-assassinate a mysterious killer haunting the streets.
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