New month, means new books, and May certainly is not kidding around (and thank gods for that because this lockdown certainly made sure we all had time to read…our favorites while still ignoring our TBRs). So without further ado here are some of my most anticipated YA Fantasy releases in May.
The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes by Suzanne Collins
I’m gonna be honest, this one might be a pass… WAIT!!!!!!!
Okay, did you stop screaming? Can I continue now?
It’s not that I doubt that the story will be amazing and the characters unforgettable and the stakes much higher now that we get to see what happens outside the arena and so on and so forth. It’s a Suzanne Collins book, alright? Everyone and their grandmothers know it’s gonna be amazing and genre-defying.
I’m normally all for the anti-heroes and the misunderstood villains, or even the plain evil ones but a YA book making us pity a man that grows up to be a mass murderer and a dictator? This doesn’t seem like the kind of story I want to read right now, at least until I get a look at the reviews. Or countries around the world stop electing fascists and the alt-right dies a ridiculous death. Whichever one comes first.
Aurora Burning by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff
You don’t want miss this YA Fantasy in May.
When Mr. Kristoff and Ms. Kaufman announce a book, the world holds its breath. Aurora Rising gave us a diverse cast of heroes, alien elves, space battles, and that good old chosen one’s trope. Aurora Burning rose the stakes so high that fittingly, they are not planetside anymore.
The plot is good enough, the settings are behond anything you could ever imagine but what takes the cake is really the characters.
Now, I know I have only known these characters for two books but if anything, and I mean ANYTHING, happens to squad 312, there will be a riot. I have rarely loved a group of characters more and knowing the authors, I really shouldn’t. I really, really, shouldn’t have gotten attached.
Please keep them safe.
The Betrothed by Kiera Cass
I might be wrong but based on the synopsis, this might have a darker streak than the previous Cass books. And The Selection had its moments…
Kiera Cass is has been creating princesses for a new generation that wants their female protagonists to do more than wait for their prince for years. She was right there at the beginning of YA along with Sarah J. Maas and Suzanne Collins and I’m curious to see how her style and craft have evolved.
Also, I wanted an excuse to talk about the Netflix adaptation of “The Selection”??!!. When can we expect the cast? The trailer? The sneak-peeks? You bet I’ll be binging that the moment it comes out.
This Coven Won’t Break by Isabel Sterling
Witches are making a comeback and they’re queerer and cooler than ever before…
For those of you that like the younger side of YA and like me, could not pass on a book about witchcraft and sisterhood, the sequel to “These Witches Don’t Burn” is also coming out.
Runaways Vol. 5: Cannon Fodder by Rainbow Rowell
Graphic novels can act as good palate cleansers between longer books but that doesn’t mean that there aren’t great stories to be found here as well.
If you are still mourning the end of the TV series, you can drown your sorrows here because Queen Rainbow Rowell never disappoints. I’ve read the first three volumes and can honestly say I absolutely loved them.
For those of you that are not familiar with the series you only need to know one thing: the hero’s pet is a dinosaur and he’s a cutie.
Stealing Thunder by Alina Boyden
Even after begging at the altar of every publisher and website, this is the only book coming out in May that I couldn’t get my hands on.
A YA book about a trans prince in the Moghul Empire? Can you hear the transphobes screaming all the way from here? Because I can and every hateful comment adds a day to my gay life. Seriously, what a time to be alive.
From the reviews I have seen the reactions are pretty mixed: people either loved it or hated it. Most of the one-star reviews seem to blame the author for appropriating a culture that is not hers and then making a poor job portraying it but I’m so starved for trans authors and trans characters* that I’ll still give it a try.
What are you most antecipated releases? Let me know in the comments!
* If you are also looking for more trans rep. in YA, check out Felix Ever After and Stay Gold both coming out in May. They’re only Fiction, but they’re all we have.
More YA Fantasy coming in May
Dark Skies by Danielle L. Jensen
Dark Skies is Book 2 in the Dark Shores series by Danielle L. Jensen, author of The Bridge Kingdom and The Malediction Trilogy. Don’t miss this epic YA fantasy in May.
Unwanted betrothals, assassination attempts, and a battle for the crown converge in Danielle L. Jensen’s Dark Skies, a new series starter set in the universe of the YA fantasy Sarah J. Maas called “everything I look for in a fantasy novel.”
A RUNAWAY WITH A HIDDEN PAST
Lydia is a scholar, but books are her downfall when she meddles in the plots of the most powerful man in the Celendor Empire. Her life in danger, she flees west to the far side of the Endless Seas and finds herself entangled in a foreign war where her burgeoning powers are sought by both sides.
A COMMANDER IN DISGRACE
Killian is Marked by the God of War, but his gifts fail him when the realm under the dominion of the Corrupter invades Mudamora. Disgraced, he swears his sword to the kingdom’s only hope: the crown princess. But the choice sees him caught up in a web of political intrigue that will put his oath – and his heart – to the test.
Check out T.L. Branson’s spoiler-free review of Dark Skies by Danielle L. Jensen.
The Mermaid, the Witch, and the Sea by Maggie Tokuda-Hall
The Mermaid, the Witch, and the Sea by Maggie Tokuda-Hall is about Evelyn, the daughter of a noble Asian-inspired family that disagrees with her sexual preferences, who is sent away to be married to an older general in the empire of the land.
It also follows Flora, or Florian (depending on how they feel), who is a pirate aboard the ship that is transporting Evelyn on her 7 month journey across the sea.
Both Florian and Evelyn have lived their lives by the rules, and whims, of others. But when they fall in love, they decide to take fate into their own hands—no matter the cost.
Maggie Tokuda-Hall’s sweeping fantasy debut, full of stolen memories, illicit mermaid’s blood, double agents, and haunting mythical creatures conjures an extraordinary cast of characters and the unforgettable story of a couple striving to stay together in the face of myriad forces wishing to control their identities and destinies.
Forged in Fire and Stars by Andrea Robertson
“Fans of Leigh Bardugo’s Grishaverse will flock to this new series.” —BooklistGames of Thronesmeets An Ember in the Ashes in this action-packed fantasy from the internationally bestselling author of the Nightshade series.
Ara has always known the legend of the Loresmith: the blacksmith who served alongside the kings and queens of Saetlund, forging legendary weapons to arm warriors and protect the kingdom. She’s been told it’s her fate to inherit the title and become the next Loresmith.
But since the monarchy’s downfall in a vicious conquest years before, Ara has never truly believed she would be able to take up her duty. But when the lost Princess Nimhea and Prince Eamon steal Ara from her quiet life with a mission to retake the throne and return Ara to her place as the Loresmith–Ara’s whole world turns upside down.
Suddenly, Ara must leave her small mountain village and embark on a dangerous adventure where she will uncover new truths about her family’s legacy, and even face the gods themselves. With a mysterious thief as an unexpected companion, and dark forces following their every move, Ara must use all her skills to forge the right path forward–for herself, her kingdom, and her heart.
House of Dragons by Jessica Cluess
Five royal houses will hear the call to compete in the Trial for the dragon throne. A liar, a soldier, a servant, a thief, and a murderer will answer it. Who will win? THREE DARK CROWNS meets THE BREAKFAST CLUB with DRAGONS.
When the Emperor dies, the five royal houses of Etrusia attend the Call, where one of their own will be selected to compete for the throne. It is always the oldest child, the one who has been preparing for years to compete in the Trial. But this year is different. This year these five outcasts will answer the call. . . .
THE LIAR: Emilia must hide her dark magic or be put to death.
THE SOLDIER: Lucian is a warrior who has sworn to never lift a sword again.
THE SERVANT: Vespir is a dragon trainer whose skills alone will keep her in the game.
THE THIEF: Ajax knows that nothing is free–he must take what he wants.
THE MURDERER:Hyperia was born to rule and will stop at nothing to take her throne.
That’s it for YA Fantasy in May. Which book are you most looking forward to?