There are so many fun books coming out in Young Adult and Middle Grade SFF in the coming year. If you are anything like me you’re a nerd about category/market expectations. I separate these lists by age group so that people looking for specific age group can find them. The miscategorization between Adult and Young Adult can be overwhelming and sometimes you need a list that affirms what you’re looking for.
This past year I’ve loved Young Adult fantasy books like Where Dreams Descend by Janella Angeles, We Hunt The Flame by Hafsah Faizal, and Lobizona by Romina Garber. I also loved Rebecca Roanhorse’s Middle Grade debut Race To The Sun.
I’m ready to see Black witches, godly ancestral roots, gay teens banding together to take down an alchemist, an army of girls, pre-Islamic Arabic mythology, supernatural institutions, chaotic cinnamon rolls, an Odin’s child, ice cold magical worlds, deadly romance, a chilling fairytale of sisters, swashbuckling in space, an African tightrope walker in Victorian England, and Indigenous land rights. Realistically, I can’t get to all of these but a girl can dream.
Book descriptions are based on how the publisher is marketing the book as well as how the author has been selling their books to future readers. If I’ve mistaken something please let me know!
Cazadora by Romina Garber
Releases August 4th from Wednesday Books.
The sequel to Lobizona by Romina Garber. A contemporary fantasy with Argentine folklore, romance, and fantasy. If you like banned books, a magical but corupt institute, icy witches, sporty werewolves, feminist boys, and portals to another world pick up this series.
A Dark And Hollow Star by Ashley Shuttleworth
Releases February 23rd from Margaret K. McElderry Books.
A Dark and Hollow Star is an urban fantasy set in the magical underworld of Toronto. It follows four Queer teens plotting to stop a serial killer/alchemist from revealing their world of faeries. A sapphic/achillean City of Bones meets the Cruel Prince.
Blood Like Magic by Liselle Sambury
Releases June 15th from Margaret K. McElderry Books.
A dark urban fantasy debut following a teen witch with a goal to fall in love a boy and kill said boy. It’s for the magic and family duty. Full of Black witches, Trini-Canadian culture, food, DNA match making, and family drama.
Wings Of Ebony by J. Elle
Releases January 26th from Denene Millner Books/Simon Schuster Books for Young Readers
A debut fantasy about a Black teen with godly ancestry from Houston. Forced from her neiborhood and family, she’s taken to a hidden island of magic wielders. When she returns to her home she discovers Black kids are forced into crime and violence.
We Free The Stars by Hafsah Faizal
January 19th from Farrar, Straus and Giroux
This is the finale to the Sands of Arawiya. The Zumra continue their plots against the kingdom. We Hunt The Flame, the first in the duology, features enemies to lovers, the yearning, girls with weapons, grumpy boys, cinnamon rolls, and close friendships.
The Gilded Ones by Namina Forna
Releases February 9th from Delacorte Press.
For fans of the Dora Milaje from Black Panther is a fantasy inspired by the Sierra Leone and civil war. An army of girls, a Queer inclusive cast, sisterhood, and feminism.
The Descent of The Drowned by Ana Lal Din
Releases March 15th from White Tigress Press
A colonized Indo-Persian world inspired by pre-Islamic Arabian mythology about castes, freedom, and rebellion.
Amari And the Night Brothers by B.B. Alston
Releases January 19th from Balzer + Brazy
Artemis Fowl meets Men In Black in a debut Middle Grade fantasy with Black Girl Magic. A young girl must fight for her spot at a supernatural Ivy league in order to find her missing brother. Secret organizations, competitions, magicians, fairies, aliens, and what it means to be the chosen one.
When Night Breaks by Janella Angeles
Releases June 8th from Wednesday Books.
The final installment in the Kingdom of Cards duology. Inspired by Phantom of the Opera, the Night Circus, and Moulin Rouge, Janella Angeles’ series is for you if you like alpha heroines, a feminist reworking of the more toxic relationships in Phantom of the Opera, cinnamon rolls, circus ladies, fire, red dresses and green whiskey.
Daughter of Sparta by Claire M. Andrews
Releases June 8th from Jimmy Patterson Books
A daughter of Sparta is sent by the Gods to save the world. Nine stolen objects from Mount Olympus are missing and must be found to save the world. Enemies to lovers, slow burns, and chaotic cinnamon rolls.
Lore by Alexandra Bracken
Releases January 5th from Disney-Hyperion
Nine Greek gods are forced to walk the earth as mortals and are hunted by the descendants of ancient bloodlines. A feminist take on Greek mythology with friends to lovers, soft boys, and The Hunger Games but Greek myths.
Odin’s Child by Siri Pettersen
Releases March 23rd from Arctis.
A translated epic fantasy trilogy from Norway about Norse roots, xenophobia, thousand year old secrets, forbidden romance, and what happens when you make a deal with the devil. Hirka learns she’s an Odin’s child, a tailless rot from another world. Only, she’s not the only creature to break through the gates.
The Bright & The Pale by Jessica Rubinkowski
Releases March 2nd from Quill Tree Books
Inspired by Russian folklore, The Bright and The Pale is about a survivor in a darkly ice cold magical world. A debut YA fantasy with slavic fantasy, polytheism, and a team of cutthroats and thieves.
Witches Steeped In Gold by Ciannon Smart
Releases April 20th from HarperTeen
For fans of An Ember In The Ashes, Witches Steeped In Gold is a Jamaican inspired YA fantasy debut. It follows 2 rival witches who enter a deadly alliance to take down their enemy. Vengance, royalty, alliances, revenge, and betrayal. Killing Eve but witches. This debut has centuries of old trees of magic, wickedly dangerous bone magic, and deadly romance.
House of Hollow by Krystal Sutherland
Releases April 6th from G.P. Putnam’s Sons Books for Young Readers.
A dark and twisted modern fairytale of sisters set in suburban Scotland. A book of evil things, strange sisters, and eerie occurances. These sisters aren’t what they seem. Their hair turns white and their blue eyes change from blue to black. They’re intoxicating, beautiful, and dangeous. A mystery/thriller of fantastical elements for fans of the Wilder Girls and The Hazel Wood with the fairy allure of The Cruel Prince.
Victories Greater Than Death by Charlie Jane Anders
Releases April 13th from Tor Teen
Set against an intergalactic war, this is Charlie Jane Anders YA debut. Star Wars meets Doctor Who in this science fiction about a human clone of a alien commander. Full of swashbuckling space battles, friendships, and a crew.
The Wild Ones by Nafiza Azad
Releases August 3rd from Margaret K. McElderry Books
The cover was recently released for this one! A feminist fantasy about a group of magical teen girls. A group of hurt girls band together to save the life of the boy whose magic saved them.
The Bones of Ruin by Sarah Raughley
Releases in Summer from Simon Pulse, date TBA
Set in Victorian England and features an African tightrope walker with a secret. Supernatural fight clubs, shady secret societies, and a Tournament of Freaks. Think The Greatest Showman meets Clamp’s X1999.
Iron Widow by Xiran Jay Zhao
Releases from Penguin Teen, date TBA
Set in a sci-fi world with characters inspired by historical figures from Chinese history, Iron Widow reimagines China’s only female emperor. It also has a polyamorous love triangle.
Jade Fire Gold by June CL Tan
Releases November 2nd from HaperTeen
Told in dual perspectives, Jade Fire Gold is inspired by East Asian mythology and folk tales. A cursed peasant girl saves her grandmother from a cult of dangerous priests. Revenge, an all POC cast, a lesbian couple, a hot priest, a sad prince, and political intrigue.
Borderland by Graham Akhurst
Releases July from Hachette Australia, date TBA
A YA eco-thriller with sci-fi elements about Indigenous land rights.
The Lady or The Lion by Aamna Qureshi
Releases from CamCat Books, date TBA.
For fans of These Violent Delights and The Wrath and The Dawn, a retelling of “The Lady or The Tiger?” set against a Pakistani-inspired world of forbidden love and court intrigue. A crown princess will do anything to protect her people and her land.
All of Us Villains by Amanda Foody and Christine Lynn Herman
Releases November 9th from Tor Teen
A dark fantasy of ambition and magic set in a remote city and featuring a salacious tell-all book. Tourists, protesters, and reporters flock to spell shops and ruins to see an ancient curse unravel. Seven families name a champion to compete in a tournament to the death.
What Young Adult and Middle Grade Science Fiction & Fantasy books are you looking forward to?
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