14 Highly Anticipated New Science Fiction and Fantasy Books for Spring

Adrian Liang on December 31, 2018

Got patience? Me neither, and these two dozen upcoming books have me wishing for a time machine. A few debuts as well as a bunch of new additions to fantastic and fantastical series are winning praise from early reads or simply sound supercool.

This list is heavy on fantasy, but SF readers shouldn't despair: new books from Neal Stephenson, Pierce Brown, and Emma Newman will reach us shortly, as well as the third Thrawn novel.

I hope, dear readers, you got a lot of gift cards for the holidays....

The Winter of the Witch (Winternight Trilogy) by Katherine Arden

The Amazon editors named Arden's first two books in her Winternight Trilogy as Best Books of the Month, and in January Arden will conclude her breathtaking series set in medieval Russia, where wild spirits are fading as belief in Christianity rises. But Vasya can speak with the spirits and with powerful old gods, and the future of Russia is her hands even as all-too-human outsiders threaten Moscow and her country. (January 8)

Shadow Captain by Alastair Reynolds

In the sequel to Revenger, sisters Adrana and Fura Ness fight for their freedom and take control of a pirate's spaceship, only to realize that their new ship is still on a lot of Most Wanted lists. (January 15)

The Kingdom of Copper (The Daevabad Trilogy) by S. A. Chakraborty

The City of Brass was an Amazon Best Book of the Month in 2017. Chakraborty continues her mesmerizing tale of power struggles, revenge, and troubled loyalties in the djinn kingdom that hides alongside the human one and where magic--and secrets--are a force that can either uplift or betray. (January 22)

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King of Scars (King of Scars Duology) by Leigh Bardugo

Leigh Bardugo returns to the Grishaverse with a new duology about a young king who experienced horrors during the civil war that eventually put him on the throne. But now that he's there, the dark magic that helped him survive might be the doom of his country unless he can find another power to vanquish it. Bardugo's fans have eagerly awaited a new full-length story since the release of 2016's Crooked Kingdom, and while her novels are billed as YA, Bardugo unerringly taps into a disturbing darkness that many adults will gravitate toward. (January 29)

Black Leopard, Red Wolf (The Dark Star Trilogy) by Marlon James

The Man Booker Prize-winning author of A Brief History of Seven Killings declared several years ago that he'd be turning his literary skills to crafting a fantasy trilogy, and Black Leopard, Red Wolf is finally here. African mythology, dreamlike creatures, and a fascinating narrator should please readers looking for a new vision within the fantasy genre. This could be a good match for those who enjoy Richard K. Morgan's fantasy books. (February 5)

The Ruin of Kings (A Chorus of Dragons) by Jenn Lyons

Debut. Lyons' new series-starter is getting a lot of early buzz and comparisons to George R. R. Martin's A Game of Thrones. Fingers crossed that this story of a young man who discovers he's really a prince and becomes a pawn in an elaborate game of power lives up to the hype. (February 5)

The City in the Middle of the Night by Charlie Jane Anders

Charlie Jane Anders (All the Birds in the Sky) sets her new novel on a planet that always faces the sun on one side and is icy cold on the other, leaving humans with a thin territory in which to survive. When a woman is tossed out of her strict city and into endless night, she discovers that humans are not the only sentient species on the planet. Anders doesn't veer away from tough questions about humanity and love and destruction and power in her sophomore novel. (February 12)

The Raven Tower by Ann Leckie

Multi-award-winning author Ann Leckie leaps from SF to a new fantasy novel about a warrior who is trying to right a wrong and put a god-favored ruler back on the throne. But in the process, he uncovers dark secrets that could unravel everything. Leckie's Ancillary series overturned a number of sci-fi conventions, and it will be interesting to see what she does in the fantasy realm. (February 26)

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The Priory of the Orange Tree by Samantha Shannon

Samantha Shannon breaks away from her Bone Season series with her standalone--but really, really big--novel about a queen who must give birth to a daughter in order for her dynasty to continue, a lady-in-waiting who is far more than she seems, and a dragonrider who will have a greater impact on the world than anyone can imagine. Prepare to devote many happy weekends or a nice long reading vacation to Shannon's complex fantasy world that clocks in at 848 pages. (February 26)

Children of Virtue and Vengeance (Legacy of Orisha) by Tomi Adeyemi

Tomi Adeyemi follows up her 2018 breakout hit Children of Blood and Bone with its hotly awaited sequel. Bringing magic back to the land of Orisha was supposed to help the subjugated maji rise out of servitude, but there are unintended consequences as well, and the fragile alliances that Zélie has built threaten to fall apart as a new force rises. (March 5 Update: Publication date is now June 4)

The True Queen (A Sorcerer to the Crown Novel) by Zen Cho

In 2015, Zen Cho's Sorcerer to the Crown delivered a tale of sorcery, fairies, and romance set in an alternate Regency England. Now Cho continues the enchanting story of a new ruler who must contend with prejudice and old enemies in order to keep magic in balance even as new threats loom. Luckily, new allies await as well. Cho is a good match for readers of Gail Carriger, Jasper Fforde, or Genevieve Cogman. (March 12)

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The Rosewater Insurrection (The Wormwood Trilogy) by Tade Thompson

Tade Thompson's Rosewater set an alien entity in the middle of Nigeria in the near future. To all who come to live in Rosewater, the town that has sprung up around the entity, the alien not only seems fairly benign but heals the injured and sick once a year. Black-ops government agents Kaaro and Aminat now know the reason behind the healings, and in The Rosewater Insurrection, they begin a silent war that could determine the fate of humanity. (March 12)

Tiamat's Wrath (The Expanse) by James S. A. Corey

The eighth installment of The Expanse series extends the adventures of Jim Holden and the scattered crew of the Rocinante as the exploration of new systems exposes more questions, including the reason for the alien genocide that still haunts humanity. (March 26)

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A Memory Called Empire by Arkady Martine

Debut. The new ambassador from a small but tough mining colony discovers upon arrival at the empire's capitol that the previous ambassador has died under possibly suspicious circumstances. This space opera/mystery hybrid written by a historian of the Byzantine empire should have twists, turns, aliens, and political shenanigans a-plenty. (March 26)

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