A new year means a brand new crop of books to get excited for! I discover a lot of my books while I work (a perk of being a bookseller!) but with the UK in another lockdown I’ve done a bit of digging to see if I could find some gems – and I did!
This list would probably be much longer if I dug any deeper so thought I’d cap it at a fairly manageable number but you can definitely see a theme in this list in regards to what books catch my eye 😂 Did someone say magic, witches and mythology??
So, here are fifteen books that I’m looking forward to reading in 2021!
Lore by Alexandra Bracken
Released 7th January
A lifetime ago, Lore Perseous left behind the brutal, opulent world of the Agon families – ancient Greek bloodlines that participate in a merciless game every seven years. A game that is about to begin again… For centuries, Zeus has punished the gods with a game called the Agon, which turns them mortal for one week, and at the mercy of being hunted by those with godly ambitions. Only a handful of the original Greek gods remain, the rest replaced by the mortals who killed them and ascended. After her family’s sadistic murder by a rival bloodline, Lore escapes and vows to repay her parents’ sacrifice by doing one thing – surviving. For seven years, she has pushed back dark thoughts of revenge against the man responsible for their murder, a man by the name of Wrath who has attained unimaginable power. Except for one week, every seven years. A week that is fast approaching… When Lore comes home on the first night of the Agon to find Athena gravely wounded on her doorstep, the goddess offers her an alliance; they have a mutual enemy, after all. But as the world trembles under the force of Wrath – a god with the power to destroy all of humanity – will Lore’s decision to bind her fate with Athena’s come back to haunt her?
A Tangle of Spells by Michelle Harrison
Released 2nd February
Everyone knows that magic and trouble go hand in hand… A dangerous spell cast over an unsuspecting village. An enchanted painting locked in a hidden room. A desperate race against time to break the spell before it’s too late… It should have been a fresh start for the Widdershins. Finally free from the misty gloom of Crowstone and beginning a new life. But all is not as it seems in their postcard-pretty village. Their neighbours are acting strangely, and why do they flinch at the mere mention of magic? The Widdershins sisters have their own secret: a set of enchanted nesting dolls with the power to render their user invisible. The sisters must use their wits – and their magic – if they’re to break the dark hold over the village, and save one of their own… but have they met their match this time?
The Gilded Ones by Namina Forna
Released 4th February
Sixteen-year-old Deka lives in Otera, a deeply patriarchal ancient kingdom, where a woman’s worth is tied to her purity, and she must bleed to prove it. But when Deka bleeds gold – the colour of impurity, of a demon – she faces a consequence worse than death. She is saved by a mysterious woman who tells Deka of her true nature: she is an Alaki, a near-immortal with exceptional gifts. The stranger offers her a choice: fight for the Emperor, with others just like her, or be destroyed…
Starfell: Willow Moss and the Vanished Kingdom by Dominique Valente
Released 4th March
For the very first time, magical children like Willow are allowed to go to school alongside their non-magical neighbours. But Willow is suspicious. She knows the Brothers of Wol are up to no good, so why are they changing the rules all of a sudden? On her first day, Willow meets an elf girl named Twist, and soon they are embarking on Willow’s most urgent mission yet: to protect the children of Starfell, uncover the mystery of a long-lost kingdom – and prevent the very source of magic from getting into the wrong hands…
The Shadow in the Glass by JJA Harwood
Released 18th March
Once upon a time Ella had wished for more than her life as a lowly maid. Now forced to work hard under the unforgiving, lecherous gaze of the man she once called stepfather, Ella’s only refuge is in the books she reads by candlelight, secreted away in the library she isn’t permitted to enter. One night, among her beloved books of far-off lands, Ella’s wishes are answered. At the stroke of midnight, a fairy godmother makes her an offer that will change her life: seven wishes, hers to make as she pleases. But each wish comes at a price and Ella must decide whether it’s one she’s willing to pay…
The Murder Game by Carrie Doyle
Released 6th April
What if your best friend and roommate killed a teacher at your prep school? Or what if he didn’t do it, but he’s being framed, and you’re the only person who can save him? Luke Chase didn’t mean to get caught up solving the mystery of Mrs. Heckler’s murder. He just wanted to spend alone time with the new British girl at their boarding school. But little did he know someone would end up dead right next to their rendezvous spot in the woods, and his best friend and roommate Oscar Weymouth would be the one to take the blame. With suspects aplenty and a past that’s anything but innocent, Luke Chase reluctantly calls on his famous survival skills to solve the mystery and find the true killer.
House of Hollow by Krystal Sutherland
Released 6th April
The Hollow sisters – Vivi, Grey and Iris – are as seductively glamorous as they are mysterious. They have black eyes and hair as white as milk. They share the same birthday, spaced exactly two years apart. The Hollow sisters don’t have friends – they don’t need them. They move through the corridors like sharks, the other little fish parting around them, whispering behind their backs.And everyone knows who the Hollow sisters are. Because one day the three Hollow sisters simply disappeared. And when they came back, one month later, with no memory of where they had been, it was as if nothing had changed. Almost nothing, apart from, for example, the little scar that had appeared in the hollow of their throats… and a whispering sense that something is not quite right about them, despite (or maybe because of) the terrible passion to be with them that they can exert on anybody at will…
Witches Steeped in Gold by Ciannon Smart
Released 20th April
Trust no witch. Iraya Adair has spent her life in a cell. Heir of an overthrown and magically-gifted dynasty, she was exiled from her home on the island nation of Aiyca when she was just a child. But every day brings her closer to freedom – and vengeance. Jazmyne Cariot grew up dressed in gold, with stolen magic at her fingertips. Daughter of the self-crowned doyenne, her existence is a threat to her mother’s rule. But unlike her sister, Jazmyne has no intention of dying to strengthen her mother’s power. Sworn enemies, the two witches enter a deadly alliance to take down the woman who threatens both their worlds. But revenge is a bloody pursuit, and nothing is certain – except the lengths Iraya and Jazmyne will go to win.
The Witch’s Heart by Genevieve Gornichec
Released 4th May
Angrboda’s story begins where most witch tales end: with being burnt. A punishment from Odin for sharing her visions of the future with the wrong people, the fire leaves Angrboda injured and powerless, and she flees into the furthest reaches of a remote forest. There she is found by a man who reveals himself to be the trickster god Loki, and her initial distrust of him-and any of his kind-grows reluctantly into a deep and abiding love. Their union produces the most important things in her long life: a trio of peculiar children, each with a secret destiny, whom she is keen to raise at the edge of the world, safely hidden from Odin’s all-seeing eye. But as Angrboda slowly recovers her prophetic powers, she learns that her blissful life-and possibly all of existence-is in danger. Angrboda must choose whether she’ll accept the fate that she’s foreseen for her beloved family-or rise to remake it.
Circus of Wonders by Elizabeth Macneal
Released 13th May
1866. In a coastal village in southern England, Nell picks violets for a living. Set apart by her community because of the birthmarks that speckle her skin, Nell’s world is her beloved brother and devotion to the sea. But when Jasper Jupiter’s Circus of Wonders arrives in the village, Nell is kidnapped. Her father has sold her, promising Jasper Jupiter his very own leopard girl. It is the greatest betrayal of Nell’s life, but as her fame grows, and she finds friendship with the other performers and Jasper’s gentle brother Toby, she begins to wonder if joining the show is the best thing that has ever happened to her. In London, newspapers describe Nell as the eighth wonder of the world. Figurines are cast in her image, and crowds rush to watch her soar through the air. But who gets to tell Nell’s story? What happens when her fame threatens to eclipse that of the showman who bought her? And as she falls in love with Toby, can he detach himself from his past and the terrible secret that binds him to his brother?
Pride and Premeditation by Tizrah Price
Released 13th May
When a scandalous murder shocks London high society, seventeen-year-old aspiring lawyer Lizzie Bennet seizes the opportunity to prove herself, despite the interference of Mr. Fitzwilliam Darcy, the stern young heir to the prestigious firm Pemberley Associates. Convinced the authorities have imprisoned the wrong person, Lizzie vows to solve the murder on her own. But as the case-and her feelings for Darcy-become more complicated, Lizzie discovers that her dream job could make her happy, but it might also get her killed.
In the Ravenous Dark by A M Strickland
Released 18th May
In Thanopolis, those gifted with magic are assigned undead spirits to guard them—and control them. Ever since Rovan’s father died trying to keep her from this fate, she’s hidden her magic. But when she accidentally reveals her powers, she’s bound to a spirit and thrust into a world of palace intrigue and deception. Desperate to escape, Rovan finds herself falling for two people she can’t fully trust: Lydea, a beguiling, rebellious princess; and Ivrilos, the handsome spirit with the ability to control Rovan, body and soul. Together, they uncover a secret that will destroy Thanopolis. To save them all, Rovan will have to start a rebellion in both the mortal world and the underworld, and find a way to trust the princess and spirit battling for her heart—if she doesn’t betray them first.
What Big Teeth by Rose Szabo
Released 6th July
Eleanor has not seen or spoken with her family in years, not since they sent her away to Saint Brigid’s boarding school. She knows them only as vague memories: her grandfather’s tremendous fanged snout, the barrel full of water her mother always soaked in, and strange hunting trips in a dark wood with her sister and cousins. When Eleanor finally returns to their ancestral home on the rainy coast of Maine, she finds them already gathered in wait, seemingly ready to welcome her back with open arms. But a strange and sudden death rocks the family, and in order to keep the family that abandoned her from falling apart, Eleanor calls upon her mysterious other grandmother from across the sea. Grandmere brings order to the chaotic household, but that order soon turns to tyranny. If any of them are to survive, Eleanor must embrace her strange family and confront the monstrousness lurking deep within her Grandmere – and herself.
As Good as Dead by Holly Jackson
Released 5th August
No blurb for this one yet but it’s book three in the Good Girl’s Guide to Murder series!
Always by Morris Gleitzman
Released 5th August
No blurb for this one either but it’s the final part in Felix’s story from the Once series. The release date has been changed quite a few times already so here’s hoping this one sticks!
What books are you excited to read this year? Has my list given you any more to watch out for? I’d love to know!
You can always find me over on Twitter if you’d like to discuss this post (or any of the others) more or if you’re just looking for some book chat! 😌