Most Anticipated Books is a monthly series in which I discuss the releases I’m most excited for in the coming month. In March, there are six books coming out that I’m excited to read.
Summary: Tamsin is the most powerful witch of her generation. But after committing the worst magical sin, she’s exiled by the ruling Coven and cursed with the inability to love. The only way she can get those feelings back— even for just a little while— is to steal love from others.
Wren is a source— a rare kind of person who is made of magic, despite being unable to use it herself. Sources are required to train with the Coven as soon as they discover their abilities, but Wren— the only caretaker to her ailing father— has spent her life hiding her secret.
When a magical plague ravages the queendom, Wren’s father falls victim. To save him, Wren proposes a bargain: if Tamsin will help her catch the dark witch responsible for creating the plague, then Wren will give Tamsin her love for her father.
Of course, love bargains are a tricky thing, and these two have a long, perilous journey ahead of them— that is, if they don’t kill each other first..
Release Date: March 9
My Impression: You had me at F/F romance. But now “magical sin” has me intrigued because it reminds me of Fullmetal Alchemist.
Summary: Ki is a petty thief. Her best friend wills her his solo-flyer— call it a space motorcycle: temperamental, fast as hell, and expensive to maintain. Any reasonable person would sell it to get off the street, but Ki isn’t reasonable.
Margot is a military vet at loose ends. She blows her entire back pay on a solo-flyer, a decision she instantly regrets but can’t bring herself to undo. Margot meets Ki and thinks she’s the sympathetic friend she needs when she feels most alone. Ki thinks Margot is an easy mark for food money. They’re both right, but lunch leads to a joy ride to planet Ratana, where Margot is arrested by border control.
Ki enlists Ratanese local Zuleikah, a bored rich girl who can think of no stupider, and therefore better, way to spend her time than busting someone out of jail. Together they rescue Margot, but find themselves trapped on a hostile planet on the cusp of civil war.
When Zuleikah convinces them that their best bet for escape is to kidnap— er, rescue— Prince Thane from his dreary role in the crumbling monarchy, it results in a chase across the desert and into the farthest reaches of the universe.
If they can learn to trust each other, and if the repo men, cops, and three different galactic governments don’t catch them, the Galactic Hellcats might just use their solo-fliers to carve a place for themselves among the stars.
Release Date: March 9
My Impression: I found this book on a list of queer SFF coming out in 2021. The second I saw that the protagonist is a thief and a con, I knew I had to read it.
Summary: Fifteen acclaimed YA writers put their modern spin on William Shakespeare’s celebrated classics!
West Side Story. 10 Things I Hate About You. Kiss Me, Kate. Contemporary audiences have always craved reimaginings of Shakespeare’s most beloved works. Now, some of today’s best writers for teens take on the Bard in these 15 whip-smart and original retellings!
Contributors include Dahlia Adler (reimagining The Merchant of Venice), Kayla Ancrum (The Taming of the Shrew), Lily Anderson (As You Like It), Patrice Caldwell (Hamlet), Melissa Bashardoust (A Winter’s Tale), Amy Rose Capetta and Cori McCarthy (Much Ado About Nothing), Brittany Cavallaro (Sonnet 147), Joy McCullough (King Lear), Anna-Marie McLemore (A Midsummer Night’s Dream), Samantha Mabry (Macbeth), Tochi Onyebuchi (Coriolanus), Mark Oshiro (Twelfth Night), Lindsay Smith (Julius Caesar), Kiersten White (Romeo and Juliet), and Emily Wibberley and Austin Siegemund-Broka (The Tempest).
Release Date: March 16
My Impression: I really liked the Edgar Allan Poe retelling collection Dahlia Adler edited a few years ago and Shakespeare is one of my favorite classic authors, so I’m super excited for this one. There are a couple plays here I haven’t read yet, but I’ll try to before I pick this anthology up.
Summary: To Daya Wijesinghe, a bruise is a mixture of comfort and control. Since her parents died in an accident she survived, bruises have become a way to keep her pain on the surface of her skin so she doesn’t need to deal with the ache deep in her heart.
So when chance and circumstances bring her to a roller derby bout, Daya is hooked. Yes, the rules are confusing and the sport seems to require the kind of teamwork and human interaction Daya generally avoids. But the opportunities to bruise are countless, and Daya realizes that if she’s going to keep her emotional pain at bay, she’ll need all the opportunities she can get.
The deeper Daya immerses herself into the world of roller derby, though, the more she realizes it’s not the simple physical pain-fest she was hoping for. Her rough-and-tumble teammates and their fans push her limits in ways she never imagined, bringing Daya to big truths about love, loss, strength, and healing.
Release Date: March 23
My Impression: Roller derby is a lesbian sport. I said what I said. Yeah, you guessed it. This is another F/F romance with a giant helping of overcoming trauma.
Summary: Touraine is a soldier. Stolen as a child and raised to kill and die for the empire, her only loyalty is to her fellow conscripts. But now, her company has been sent back to her homeland to stop a rebellion, and the ties of blood may be stronger than she thought.
Luca needs a turncoat. Someone desperate enough to tiptoe the bayonet’s edge between treason and orders. Someone who can sway the rebels toward peace, while Luca focuses on what really matters: getting her uncle off her throne.
Through assassinations and massacres, in bedrooms and war rooms, Touraine and Luca will haggle over the price of a nation. But some things aren’t for sale.
Release Date: March 23
My Impression: I’ve heard nothing but good things from early buzz. I’m also always down for a F/F romance in a fantasy novel.
Summary: The Demon King. As Fjerda’s massive army prepares to invade, Nikolai Lantsov will summon every bit of his ingenuity and charm— and even the monster within— to win this fight. But a dark threat looms that cannot be defeated by a young king’s gift for the impossible.
The Stormwitch. Zoya Nazyalensky has lost too much to war. She saw her mentor die and her worst enemy resurrected, and she refuses to bury another friend. Now duty demands she embrace her powers to become the weapon her country needs. No matter the cost.
The Queen of Mourning. Deep undercover, Nina Zenik risks discovery and death as she wages war on Fjerda from inside its capital. But her desire for revenge may cost her country its chance at freedom and Nina the chance to heal her grieving heart.
King. General. Spy. Together they must find a way to forge a future in the darkness. Or watch a nation fall.
Release Date: March 30
My Impression: I’m a bit wary of this book, as I didn’t love all the directions Bardugo took King of Scars. But I’m willing to give it a chance.
What March releases are you excited for? Let me know in the comments!