Below is a list of 20 fantasy books releasing in 2022 that I hope to read (is that ambitious?). This list just covers books publishing through July 2022; I’ll be back in a few months with the second half of the year. (Most of the ones on my part 2 list don’t have covers yet, so it will be more fun to do them later!)
Engines of Empire (The Age of Uprising #1) by R. S. Ford
Series: The Age of Uprising #1
Published by: Orbit on January 18, 2022
From an unmissable voice in epic fantasy comes a sweeping tale of clashing guilds, magic-fueled machines, and revolution.
The nation of Torwyn is run on the power of industry, and industry is run by the Guilds. Chief among them are the Hawkspurs, whose responsibility it is to keep the gears of the empire turning. That's exactly why matriarch Rosomon Hawkspur sends each of her heirs to the far reaches of the nation.
Conall, the eldest son, is sent to the distant frontier to earn his stripes in the military. It is here that he faces a threat he could have never seen coming: the first rumblings of revolution.
Tyreta is a sorceress with the ability to channel the power of pyrestone, the magical resource that fuels the empire's machines. She is sent to the mines to learn more about how pyrsetone is harvested - but instead, she finds the dark horrors of industry that the empire would prefer to keep hidden.
The youngest, Fulren, is a talented artificer and finds himself acting as a guide to a mysterious foreign emissary. Soon after, he is framed for a crime he never committed. A crime that could start a war.
As the Hawkspurs grapple with the many threats that face the nation within and without, they must finally prove themselves worthy-or their empire will fall apart.
Electric Idol (Dark Olympus #2) by Katee Robert
Series: Dark Olympus #2
Published by: Sourcebooks Casablanca on January 18, 2022
Genre: Fantasy, Romance
He was the most beautiful man in Olympus.
And if I wasn't careful, he was going to be my death.
*A scorchingly hot modern retelling of Psyche and Eros that's as sinful as it is sweet.*
In the ultra-modern city of Olympus, there's always a price to pay. Psyche Dimitriou knew she'd have to face Aphrodite's jealous rage eventually, but she never expected her literal heart to be at stake...or for Aphrodite's gorgeous son to be the one ordered to strike the killing blow.
Eros has no problem shedding blood. Raised to be his mother's knife in the dark, he's been conditioned to accept that he's more monster than man. But when it comes time to take out his latest target...he can't do it. Confused by his reaction to Psyche's unexpected kindness, he does the only thing he can think of to keep her safe: he binds her to him, body and soul.
Psyche didn't expect to find herself married to the glittering city's most dangerous killer, but something about Eros wakens a fire inside her she's never felt before. As lines blur and loyalties shift, Psyche realizes Eros might take her heart after all...and she's not sure she can survive the loss.
Bound by Firelight (Wickery #2) by Dana Swift
Series: Wickery #2
Published by: Delacorte Books for Young Readers on January 18, 2022
Genre: Fantasy, Romance
The heart-pounding sequel to Cast in Firelight, perfect for fans of epic, sweepingly romantic fantasy by Sabaa Tahir, Susan Dennard, and Mary E. Pearson.
After a magical eruption devastates the kingdom of Belwar, royal heir Adraa is falsely accused of masterminding the destruction and forced to stand trial in front of her people, who see her as a monster. Adraa's punishment? Imprisonment in the Dome, an impenetrable, magic-infused fortress filled with Belwar’s nastiest criminals—many of whom Adraa put there herself. And they want her to pay.
Jatin, the royal heir to Naupure, has been Adraa’s betrothed, nemesis, and fellow masked vigilante . . . but now he’s just a boy waiting to ask her the biggest question of their lives. First, though, he’s going to have to do the impossible: break Adraa out of the Dome. And he won’t be able to do it without help from the unlikeliest of sources—a girl from his past with a secret that could put them all at risk.
Time is running out, and the horrors Adraa faces in the Dome are second only to the plot to destabilize and destroy their kingdoms. But Adraa and Jatin have saved the world once already. . . . Now, can they save themselves?
Castles in their Bones (Castles in their Bones #1) by Laura Sebastian
Series: Castles in their Bones #1
Published by: Delacorte Books for Young Readers on February 1, 2022
Born to rule. Raised to deceive.
The plot: overthrow a kingdom. The goal: world domination. The plan: marriage.
Empress Margaraux has had plans for her daughters since the day they were born. Princesses Sophronia, Daphne, and Beatriz will be queens. And now, age sixteen, they each must leave their homeland and marry their princes.
Beautiful, smart, and demure, the triplets appear to be the perfect brides - because Margaraux knows there is one common truth: everyone underestimates a girl. Which is a grave mistake. Sophronia, Daphne, and Beatriz are no innocents. They have been trained since birth in the arts of deception, seduction, and violence with a singular goal - to bring down monarchies - and their marriages are merely the first stage of their mother's grand vision: to one day reign over the entire continent of Vestria.
The princesses have spent their lives preparing, and now they are ready, each with her own secret skill, and each with a single wish, pulled from the stars. Only, the stars have their own plans - and their mother hasn't told them all of hers.
Life abroad is a test. Will their loyalties stay true? Or will they learn that they can't trust anyone - not even each other?
Laura Sebastian stuns in this new trilogy from the New York Times bestselling author of Ash Princess. A spellbinding story of three princesses and the destiny they were born for: seduction, conquest, and the crown.
Rise of the Mages (Age of Ire #1) by Scott Drakeford
Series: Age of Ire #1
Published by: Tor Books on February 8, 2022
Scott Drakeford's epic fantasy debut, Rise of the Mages combines gripping, personal vengeance with compelling characters for an action packed first book in a trilogy.
Emrael Ire wants nothing more than to test to be a weapons master. His final exam will be a bloody insurrection, staged by corrupt nobles and priests, that enslaves his brother.
With the aid of his War Master tutor, herself an undercover mage, Imrael discovers his own latent and powerful talents.
To rescue his brother, Emrael must embrace not only his abilities as a warrior but also his place as last of the ancient Mage Kings―for the Fallen God has returned.
And he is hungry.
Age of Ash (Kithamar Trilogy #1) by Daniel Abraham
Series: Kithamar Trilogy #1
Published by: Orbit on February 17, 2022
From New York Times bestselling and critically acclaimed author Daniel Abraham, co-author of the Expanse, comes a monumental epic fantasy trilogy that unfolds within the walls of a single great city, over the course of one tumultuous year, where every story matters, and the fate of the city is woven from them all.
Kithamar is a centre of trade and wealth, an ancient city with a long, bloody history where countless thousands live and their stories unfold. This is Alys's.
When her brother is murdered, a petty thief from the slums of Longhill sets out to discover who killed him and why. But the more she discovers about him, the more she learns about herself, and the truths she finds are more dangerous than knives.
Swept up in an intrigue as deep as the roots of Kithamar, where the secrets of the lowest born can sometimes topple thrones, the story Alys chooses will have the power to change everything.
Scorpica (The Five Queendoms #1) by G. R. Macallister
Series: The Five Queendoms #1
Published by: Gallery / Saga Press on February 22, 2022
A centuries-long peace is shattered in a matriarchal society when a decade passes without a single girl being born in this sweeping epic fantasy that’s perfect for fans of Robin Hobb and Circe.
Five hundred years of peace between queendoms shatters when girls inexplicably stop being born. As the Drought of Girls stretches across a generation, it sets off a cascade of political and personal consequences across all five queendoms of the known world, throwing long-standing alliances into disarray as each queendom begins to turn on each other—and new threats to each nation rise from within.
Uniting the stories of women from across the queendoms, this propulsive, gripping epic fantasy follows a warrior queen who must rise from childbirth bed to fight for her life and her throne, a healer in hiding desperate to protect the secret of her daughter’s explosive power, a queen whose desperation to retain control leads her to risk using the darkest magic, a near-immortal sorcerer demigod powerful enough to remake the world for her own ends—and the generation of lastborn girls, the ones born just before the Drought, who must bear the hopes and traditions of their nations if the queendoms are to survive.
The Justice of Kings (Empire of the Wolf #1) by Richard Swan
Series: Empire of the Wolf #1
Published by: Orbit on February 24, 2022
NO MAN IS ABOVE THE LAW
The Empire of the Wolf simmers with unrest. Rebels, heretics and powerful patricians all challenge the power of the imperial throne.
Only the Order of Justices stands in the way of chaos. Sir Konrad Vonvalt is the most feared Justice of all, upholding the law by way of his sharp mind, arcane powers and skill as a swordsman. At his side stands Helena Sedanka, his clerk and protege, orphaned by the wars that forged the empire.
When the pair investigate the murder of a provincial aristocrat, they unearth a conspiracy that stretches to the very top of imperial society. As the stakes rise and become ever more personal, Vonvalt and Helena must make a choice: will they abandon the laws they've sworn to uphold in order to protect the empire?
Introducing an unforgettable protagonist destined to become a fantasy icon, The Justice of Kings is an unmissable debut where action, intrigue and magic collide.
The Bone Orchard by Sara A Mueller
Published by: Tor Books on March 22, 2022
Sara A. Mueller's Bone Orchard is a fascinating whodunit set in a lush, gothic world of secrets and magic--where a dying emperor charges his favorite concubine with solving his own murder, and preventing the culprit, which undoubtedly is one of his three terrible sons, from taking control of an empire.
Charm is a witch, and she is alone. The last of a line of conquered necromantic workers, now confined within the yard of regrown bone trees at Orchard House, and the secrets of their marrow.
Charm is a prisoner, and a survivor. Charm tends the trees and their clattering fruit for the sake of her children, painstakingly grown and regrown with its fruit: Shame, Justice, Desire, Pride, and Pain.
Charm is a whore, and a madam. The wealthy and powerful of Borenguard come to her house to buy time with the girls who aren't real.
Except on Tuesdays, which is when the Emperor himself lays claim to his mistress, Charm herself.
But now--Charm is also the only person who can keep an empire together, as the Emperor summons her to his deathbed, and charges her with choosing which of his awful, faithless sons will carry on the empire---by discovering which one is responsible for his own murder.
If she does this last thing, she will finally have what has been denied her since the fall of Inshil ― her freedom. But she will also be betraying the ghosts past and present that live on within her heart.
Charm must choose. Her dead Emperor’s will or the whispers of her own ghosts. Justice for the empire or her own revenge.
The Bloody Throne (Hostage of Empire #3) by S. C. Emmett
Series: Hostage of Empire #3
Published by: Orbit on March 29, 2022
The great Zhaon empire is in turmoil. The emperor is dead, and the crown prince has fallen to hidden schemes, leaving his most dangerous prince to assume the throne. The imperial court is seething, and whispers of war grow to shouts. The once vanquished kingdom of Khir marches again to regain their honor, the savage Tabrak raid the borders after ravaging the South, and assassins lurk in the shadows seeking imperial favor.
Komor Yala, her own position uncertain, finds shelter in marriage to the cunning Third Prince. But there is little safety in Zhaon. Death and destruction mount as a blood-drenched summer ends, and to the victor will be left an empire-if it is not turned to smoking ruins first.
The wheel of destiny is turning, and all will be caught under its weight...
The Blood Trials (The Blood Gift #1) by N.E. Davenport
Series: The Blood Gift #1
Published by: Harper Voyager on April 27, 2022
Blending fantasy and science fiction, N. E. Davenport's fast-paced, action-packed debut kicks off a duology of loyalty and rebellion, in which a young Black woman must survive deadly trials in a racist and misogynistic society to become an elite warrior.
It's all about blood.
The blood spilled between the Republic of Mareen and the armies of the Blood Emperor long ago. The blood gifts of Mareen's deadliest enemies. The blood that runs through the elite War Houses of Mareen, the rulers of the Tribunal dedicated to keeping the republic alive.
The blood of the former Legatus, Verne Amari, murdered.
For his granddaughter, Ikenna, the only thing steady in her life was the man who had saved Mareen. The man who had trained her in secret, not just in martial skills, but in harnessing the blood gift that coursed through her.
Who trained her to keep that a secret.
But now there are too many secrets, and with her grandfather assassinated, Ikenna knows two things: that only someone on the Tribunal could have ordered his death, and that only a Praetorian Guard could have carried out that order.
Bent on revenge as much as discovering the truth, Ikenna pledges herself to the Praetorian Trials-a brutal initiation that only a quarter of the aspirants survive. She subjects herself to the racism directed against her half-Khanaian heritage and the misogyny of a society that cherishes progeny over prodigy, all while hiding a power that-if found out-would subject her to execution...or worse. Ikenna is willing to risk it all because she needs to find out who murdered her grandfather...and then she needs to kill them.
Mareen has been at peace for a long time...
Ikenna joining the Praetorians is about to change all that.
Magic and technology converge in the first part of this stunning debut duology, where loyalty to oneself-and one's blood-is more important than anything.
The Bladed Faith (Vagrant Gods #1) by David Dalglish
Series: Vagrant Gods #1
Published by: Orbit on April 5, 2022
An usurped prince will take up the mantel of a deadly assassin to reclaim his kingdom, his people, and his slain gods in the explosive start to USA Today Bestseller David Dalglish's new epic fantasy trilogy.
Cyrus was fourteen when his gods were slain, his country invaded, and his parents—the king and queen—beheaded in front of him. After years held prisoner in the invader's court, a mysterious group of revolutionaries breaks him free and gives him the chance for revenge that he’s always dreamed of. In exchange, he will become the figurehead of their rebellion. He will become a hero to unite the people and strike fear in the hearts of the imperials. He will take up the skull mask and swords to become the legendary "Vagrant"—an unparalleled assassin of otherworldly skill.
But all is not as it seems. Creating the illusion of a hero is the work of many, and Cyrus will soon discover the true price of his vengeance.
Kagen the Damned (Kagen the Damned #1) by Jonathan Maberry
Series: Kagen the Damned #1
Published by: St. Martin's Griffin on May 10, 2022
The Witcher meets Game of Thrones in New York Times bestselling author Jonathan Maberry's brilliant new fantasy series, Kagen the Damned.
Kagen Vale is the trusted and feared captain of the palace guard, specifically charged with protecting the royal children of Gessleyn, 89th queen of the unbroken line of the Silver Lands. But one night, while Kagen is drugged by a woman in a tavern, the Silver Lands are overrun, and the entire royal family is killed and burned as a sacrifice to the dark gods of the immortal Witch-King. The once-thriving kingdom is in ruins, and the people are enslaved.
Haunted and broken, Kagen becomes a wanderer, working odd jobs and trying to take down as many of his enemies as possible, when he hears a rumor that the royal twins are still alive, and possibly being raised for dark sacrificial purposes. Kagen makes it his mission to hunt for the royal children and fulfill his oath to protect them, and train them to begin a campaign to reclaim the throne. As he hunts for the children, Kagen’s quest takes him to strange lands where he encounters the supernatural in all its many bizarre and terrifying aspects.
The Collarbound by Rebecca Zahabi
Published by: Gollancz on May 12, 2022
A MAN MARKED BY MAGIC. A WOMAN MARKED BY HER PAST.
On the other side of the Shadowpass, rebellion is brewing and refugees have begun to trickle into the city at the edge of the world. Looming high on the cliff is The Nest, a fortress full of mages who offer protection, but also embody everything the rebellion is fighting against: a strict hierarchy based on magic abilities.
When Isha arrives as a refugee, she attempts to fit in amongst the other mages, but her Kher tattoo brands her as an outcast. She can't remember her past or why she has the tattoo. All she knows is that she survived. She doesn't intend to give up now.
Tatters, who wears the golden collar of a slave, knows that this rebellion is different from past skirmishes. He was once one of the rebels, and technically, they still own him. He plans to stay in the shadows, until Isha appears in his tavern. He's never seen a human with a tattoo, and the markings look eerily familiar . . .
As the rebellion carves a path of destruction towards the city, an unlikely friendship forms between a man trying to escape his past and a woman trying to uncover hers, until their secrets threaten to tear them apart.
The Collarbound hooks from the opening page and will appeal to fans of magical, brink-of-war settings, like that of The Poppy War and The City of Brass.
The Stardust Thief by Chelsea Abdullah
Published by: Orbit on May 19, 2022
Inspired by stories from One Thousand and One Nights, The Stardust Thief weaves the gripping tale of a legendary smuggler, a cowardly prince and a dangerous quest across the desert to find a magical lamp.
Neither here nor there, but long ago...
Loulie al-Nazari is the Midnight Merchant: a criminal who, with the help of her jinn bodyguard, hunts and sells illegal magic. When she saves the life of a cowardly prince, she draws the attention of his powerful father, the sultan, who blackmails her into finding an ancient lamp.
With no choice but to obey or be executed, Loulie journeys with the sultan's oldest son to find the artefact. Aided by her bodyguard, who has secrets of his own, they must survive ghoul attacks, outwit a vengeful jinn queen and confront a malicious killer from Loulie's past. And, in a world where story is reality and illusion is truth, Loulie will discover that everything - her enemy, her magic, even her own past - is not what it seems, and she must decide who she will become in this new reality.
The Basilisk Throne by Greg Keyes
Published by: Titan Books on June 7, 2022
Master and Commander meets A Game of Thrones and Pirates of the Carribean. Rapid-paced high fantasy with all-out combat on the high seas, and a canny young woman who faces the hidden threats of an imperial court. Yet the key to defeating a sorcerous enemy may lie with a wild rogue and the slave of a maniac.
For centuries those on the Basilisk Throne have ruled every continent, brutally enslaving the human inhabitants. But now, after endless wars, the three human empires of Ophion, Velesa, and Modjal have pushed the inhuman Drehhu back to their heartland and are united in one final, massive assault to defeat them forever. It's been tried before, but the infernal weapons and dark magic of the Drehhu have always triumphed. Basilisk has never fallen.
Commanding his merchant fleet in support of the human forces, Alastor Nevelon and his son Crespin set sail against the enemy-and this time they have their own secret weapons. The Drehhu, however, do not have a monopoly on deceit. or ambition. Alistor is forced to send his daughter Chrysanthe to the capitol city Ophion Magne as a "token" of his loyalty. He does so freely, for he is certain of treachery within the very empire he serves. After all, whomever controls the Basilisk Throne can control the world. He instructs Chrysanthe to use her considerable intellect to discover whatever plots may be afoot in the heart of Ophion. Chrysanthe agrees, knowing that in doing so she enters a dangerous place where courtly manners hide murderous intentions.
While nations collide and the conflict explodes, the true key to defeating the Drehhu may lie in a remote mountain stronghold, a wild rogue known as Hound, and Ammolite, the young slave of a sorcerer more ancient than any nation and whose true loyalties are entirely unknown.
In the Shadow of Lightning (Glass Immortals #1) by Brian McClellan
Series: Glass Immortals #1
Published by: Tor Books on June 21, 2022
From Brian McClellan, author of The Powder Mage, comes In the Shadow of Lightning, a brand-new epic fantasy where magic is a finite resource―and it’s running out.
Demir Grappo is an outcast―he fled a life of wealth and power, abandoning his responsibilities as a general, a governor, and a son. Now he will live out his days as a grifter, rootless, and alone. But when his mother is brutally murdered, Demir must return from exile to claim his seat at the head of the family and uncover the truth that got her killed: the very power that keeps civilization turning, godglass, is running out.
Now, Demir must find allies, old friends and rivals alike, confront the powerful guild-families who are only interested in making the most of the scraps left at the table and uncover the invisible hand that threatens the Empire. A war is coming, a war unlike any other. And Demir and his ragtag group of outcasts are the only thing that stands in the way of the end of life as the world knows it.
Against All Gods (The Age of Bronze #1) by Miles Cameron
Series: The Age of Bronze #1
Published by: Gollancz on June 23, 2022
The tyranny of the gods is absolute, and they are capricious, malevolent and almost all-powerful, playing cruel games with the fates of mortals for their own ends . . .
A vibrant and powerful epic set against an alternate Bronze Age, this tale of gods, men and monsters, conspiracy and war, is a rich, compelling and original read from a master of the historical and fantasy genres. The people caught up in toils of the gods are merely trying to survive. Victims of vicious whims, trapped by their circumstances or pushed beyond what the mortal frame can bear, a handful of god-touched mortals - a scribe, a warlord, a dancer and a child - are about to be brought together in a conspiracy of their own.
A conspiracy to reach the heavens, and take down the corrupt and aging gods . . . who are already facing troubles of their own . . .
An epic which draws on the Greek mythology of gods and heroes, this new trilogy is a must read for fans of Dan Simmons and Madeline Miller alike.
The Final Strife: A Novel (The Final Strife #1) by Saara El-Arifi
Series: The Final Strife Trilogy #1
Published by: Harper Voyager on June 23, 2022
The Empire rules by blood
Red is the blood of the elite, of magic, of control.
Blue is the blood of the poor, of workers, of the resistance.
Clear is the blood of the servants, of the crushed, of the invisible.
The Aktibar - a set of trials held every ten years to find the next Ember rulers of the Empire - is about to begin.
All can join but not just anyone can win; it requires great skill and ingenuity to become the future wardens of Strength, Knowledge, Truth and Duty.
Sylah was destined to win the trials and be crowned Warden of Strength. Stolen by blue-blooded rebels she was raised with a Duster's heart; forged as a weapon to bring down from within the red-blooded Embers' regime of cruelty. But when her adopted family were brutally murdered those dreams of a better future turned to dust.
However, the flame of hope may yet be rekindled because Sylah wasn't made to sparkle, she was born to burn.
And it's up to her whether she rules the empire or destroys it.
Flames of Mira (The Rift Walker #1) by Clay Harmon
Series: The Rift Walker #1
Published by: Rebellion on July 7, 2022
Born through life-threatening trials that bind chemical elements to the human body, Ig was forged in the boiling volcanoes under Mira's frozen lands. One of the most powerful known elementals, he serves as an enforcer for Magnate Sorrelo Adriann, cursed with flesh binding magic that will kill him at the first sign of disobedience.
When Sorrelo is overthrown, Ig quickly learns he can do far worse than what has been asked of him so far. If he can't escape the flesh binding in time, Ig will have to kill friend and foe alike to stop his master reclaiming the throne, or sacrifice himself trying.
Thanks for bringing so, so many great books on my radar! I’m most excited for the Stardust Thief, but the rest are so interesting as well! Loved this post!