Most Anticipated Books is a monthly series in which I discuss the releases I’m most excited for in the coming month. In February, there are three books coming out that I’m excited to read. I’m also going to briefly mention a book coming out in February that I read the ARC for.
Summary: Quiet, thoughtful princess Thanh was sent away as a hostage to the powerful faraway country of Ephteria as a child. Now she’s returned to her mother’s imperial court, haunted not only by memories of her first romance, but by worrying magical echoes of a fire that devastated Ephteria’s royal palace.
Thanh’s new role as a diplomat places her once again in the path of her first love, the powerful and magnetic Eldris of Ephteria, who knows exactly what she wants: romance from Thanh and much more from Thanh’s home. Eldris won’t take no for an answer, on either front. But the fire that burned down one palace is tempting Thanh with the possibility of making her own dangerous decisions.
Can Thanh find the freedom to shape her country’s fate— and her own?
Release Date: February 9
My Impression: Aliette de Bodard is a pretty popular author in queer fantasy circles and I’ve been meaning to try her out for a while. This one sounds so angsty and juicy, I can’t wait to read it.
Summary: After a humiliating scandal, a young writer flees to the West Coast to start over, where she is drawn into the morally-ambiguous orbit of a charismatic filmmaker and the teenage girls who are her next subjects.
Not too long ago, Cass was a promising young playwright in New York, hailed as “a fierce new voice” and “queer, feminist, and ready to spill the tea.” But at the height of all this attention, Cass finds herself at the center of a searing public shaming, and flees to Los Angeles to escape— and reinvent herself. There she meets her next-door neighbor Caroline, a magnetic filmmaker on the rise, as well as the pack of teenage girls who hang around her house. They are the subjects of Caroline’s next semi-documentary movie, which follows the girls’ violent fight club, a real-life feminist re-purposing of the classic.
As Cass is drawn into the film’s orbit, she is awed by Caroline’s ambition and confidence. But over time, she becomes increasingly troubled by how deeply Caroline is manipulating the teens in the name of art. When a girl goes missing, Cass must reckon with her own ambitions and ask herself: in the pursuit of fame, how do you know when you’ve gone too far?
Release Date: February 9
My Impression: I believe I read somewhere that this is sapphic, which I’m all about. I also think I heard it’s a Shakespeare retelling, but I forget which play. Either way, I’m sold.
Summary: The “ironborn” half-fae outcast of her royal fae family.
A tempestuous Fury, exiled to earth from the Immortal Realm and hellbent on revenge.
A dutiful fae prince, determined to earn his place on the throne.
The prince’s brooding guardian, burdened with a terrible secret.
For centuries, the Eight Courts of Folk have lived among us, concealed by magic and bound by law to do no harm to humans. This arrangement has long kept peace in the Courts— until a series of gruesome and ritualistic murders rocks the city of Toronto and threatens to expose faeries to the human world.
Four queer teens, each who hold a key piece of the truth behind these murders, must form a tenuous alliance in their effort to track down the mysterious killer behind these crimes. If they fail, they risk the destruction of the faerie and human worlds alike. If that’s not bad enough, there’s a war brewing between the Mortal and Immortal Realms, and one of these teens is destined to tip the scales. The only question is: which way?
Wish them luck. They’re going to need it.
Release Date: February 23
My Impression: I keep trying faerie books and keep finding myself disappointed, but damn if I’m not excited to try this one. It’s super queer and features a F/F romance. I know YA becomes more and more of a hit or miss for me as I get older, but I’m praying this one is a hit.
Summary: With her newly completed PhD in astronomy in hand, twenty-eight-year-old Grace Porter goes on a girls’ trip to Vegas to celebrate. She’s a straight A, work-through-the-summer certified high achiever. She is not the kind of person who goes to Vegas and gets drunkenly married to a woman whose name she doesn’t know… until she does exactly that.
This one moment of departure from her stern ex-military father’s plans for her life has Grace wondering why she doesn’t feel more fulfilled from completing her degree. Staggering under the weight of her father’s expectations, a struggling job market and feelings of burnout, Grace flees her home in Portland for a summer in New York with the wife she barely knows.
In New York, she’s able to ignore all the annoying questions about her future plans and falls hard for her creative and beautiful wife, Yuki Yamamoto. But when reality comes crashing in, Grace must face what she’s been running from all along— the fears that make us human, the family scars that need to heal and the longing for connection, especially when navigating the messiness of adulthood.
Release Date: February 23
My Impression: I read this ARC earlier this month and gave it 3.5 stars. Check out my review here!
What February releases are you excited for? Let me know in the comments!