While my 2016 reading-resolution is to broaden the scope of books I take home with me, that’s certainly not going to stop me from devouring the latest releases in all of my favourite Fantasy and Sci-Fi series that are coming out next year.
While there’s still no sign of a release date from two out of my top five current series (Doors of Stone from Patrick Rothfuss’s The Kingkiller Chronicle, and The Core from Peter Brett’s Demon Cycle), three out of five should keep me sated for now!
Atticus O’Sullivan is a 2,100-year old Druid hiding out with his Irish wolfhound in Arizona, while masquerading as a New Age shop owner. It’s equal parts humour and action, mixed with a romp through mythology; it’s is one of the funniest, most enjoyable series I’ve come across in a long while (it’s tied with The Parasol Protectorate series for my “All-Time Most-Fun Fantasy” award).
The Red Rising Trilogy, by Pierce Brown
2016 Release: Morning Star (February 9)
Start With: Red Rising
In this world, society’s classes are rigidly divided by colour, and each colour has a specific role: Red are labourers, Browns are servants, Greys are military and police, Golds are the rulers, etc. A Red, Darrow was willing to work and serve until tragedy struck home, and his quest for revenge drives him into becoming a revolutionary. Dark, gritty, and thrilling, the first two were definitely up-past-your-bedtime page turners.
Featuring four parallel-world Londons with varying degrees of magical influence, Schwab’s first story featured one of the last magicians who could travel between the worlds. The characters were perfect, and I loved this concept. The mystery of what happened to Black London is definitely going to send me running for the next book when it comes out.
The Emperor’s three children are spread across the world, each following very different paths. But when the Emperor is murdered, his children will each attempt to unravel the conspiracy in their own way, while trying to stay alive and complete the destinies their father laid out for them. This is for the epic fantasy fan, featuring rich world-building, intriguing, strong characters, and a steady pace up to what promises to be an exciting conclusion.
Nathan is the son of two witches – one white and one an infamous, violent black witch. It’s been assumed he’ll be just like his father, so he’s been beaten and kept in a cage for years, planning escape after escape. This one gets pretty dark, but I loved Nathan and the desire to see more of the world and the magic, and find out more about Nathan’s family, kept me reading. I burned through the first two in a couple of days….
A part coming-of-age story, this features a Queen who has just come of age to take the throne. She’s smart and courageous but has everything stacked against her, and her choices may save or destroy her kingdom. This one has really been a surprise for me – I didn’t know what to expect, but I ended up loving the first one, and the second one has started to bend genres in the most fascinating way. I can’t wait to see where Johansen is going with it!
This is probably #2 or #3 on my current Top-Five list (although it’s so hard to choose, let alone rank!). Think of a Robin-Hood style band of thieves, but then add incredibly elaborate, long-term cons, and of course keeping their ill-gotten gains for themselves because why on earth would you go to all that work and then just give it away? Exciting, unpredictable, and equal parts funny and serious, it’s made its way into my all-time favourite series list.
The Fifth Season is tied for my #1 read of 2015 (with Naomi Noviks’ Uprooted), so I’m very excited by the short wait for the second one. This is a challenging and unusual fantasy, using three entirely different narrative styles to tell its story, which takes place in a world where the ‘seasons’ are divided by the environmental disaster that starts and defines them. The narrative choices can feel really strange at first, but stick with it and I promise it’s SO worth it!
Add the potential of a Winds of Winter release, and it looks like 2016 will be a great year in SF/FAN! So if you’re looking for a new series to dive into, give one of these a try and you’re (pretty much) guaranteed a new release this year.