Here’s the full list of fantasy titles heading your way in February!
Keep track of all the new SFF releases here. All title summaries are taken and/or summarized from copy provided by the publisher. Release dates are subject to change.
The Tainted Cup — Robert Jackson Bennett (Del Rey)
In Daretana’s greatest mansion, a high imperial officer lies dead—killed, to all appearances, when a tree erupted from his body. Even here at the Empire’s borders, where contagions abound and the blood of the leviathans works strange magical changes, it’s a death both terrifying and impossible. Assigned to investigate is Ana Dolabra, a detective whose reputation for brilliance is matched only by her eccentricities. Rumor has it that she wears a blindfold at all times, and that she can solve impossible cases without even stepping outside the walls of her
home. At her side is her new assistant, Dinios Kol, magically altered in ways that make him the perfect aide to Ana’s brilliance. Din is at turns scandalized, perplexed, and utterly infuriated by his new superior—but as the case unfolds and he watches Ana’s mind leap from one startling deduction to the next, he must admit that she is, indeed, the Empire’s greatest detective. As the two close in on a mastermind and uncover a scheme that threatens the Empire itself, Din realizes he’s barely begun to assemble the puzzle that is Ana Dolabra—and wonders how long he’ll be able to keep his own secrets safe from her piercing intellect.
The Burning Land (Talmont 1) — David Hair (Mobius)
The Falcons are knights of the Vestal Order, pledged to use their powers to protect the Empire of Talmont from the cruel Vyr and the carnage they have unleashed upon the world. When the Falcons take a Vyr alive, they go against the protocols of the Vestal Order and interrogate him. They are horrified to learn, if the Vyr speaks truly, that the Empire’s worst enemy may not be the Vyr… but the Vestal Order itself. Led by the charismatic Romara Challys, the Falcons go rogue, their quest for the truth taking them through burning forests, lost ruins and the uncanny traces of a dying race, desperate to find answers… before it’s too late. But the Vestal Order has no plans to let Challys and her knights succeed in their mission. With the greatest knight in history and an army of fanatics at their heels, the Falcons must evade capture and discover the truth as soon as possible. Because time is running out… for everyone.
Fifty Beasts to Break Your Heart: And Other Stories — GennaRose Nethercott (Vintage)
The stories in
Fifty Beasts to Break Your Heart are about the abomination that resides within us all. That churning, clawing, ravenous yearning: the hunger to be held, and seen, and known. And the terror, too: to be loved too well, or not enough, or for long enough. To be laid bare before your sweetheart, to their horror. To be recognized as the monstrous thing you are. Two teenage girls working at a sinister roadside attraction called the Eternal Staircase explore its secrets—and their own doomed summer love. A zombie rooster plays detective in a missing persons case. A woman moves into a new house with her acclaimed artist boyfriend—and finds her body slowly shifting into something specially constructed to accommodate his needs and whims. A pack of middle schoolers turn to the occult to rid themselves of a hated new classmate. And a pair of outcasts, a vampire and a goat woman, find solace in each other, even as the world’s lack of understanding might bring about its own end.
The Trials of Empire (Empire of the Wolf #3) — Richard Swan (Orbit)
The Empire of the Wolf is on its knees, but there’s life in the great beast yet. To save it, Sir Konrad Vonvalt and Helena must look beyond its borders for allies—to the wolfmen of the southern plains, and the pagan clans in the north. But old grievances run deep, and both factions would benefit from the fall of Sova. Even these allies might not be enough. Their enemy, the zealot Bartholomew Claver, wields infernal powers bestowed on him by a mysterious demonic patron. If Vonvalt and Helena are to stand against him, they will need friends on both sides of the mortal plane—but such allegiances carry a heavy price. As the battlelines are drawn in both Sova and the afterlife, the final reckoning draws close. Here, at the beating heart of the Empire, the two-headed wolf will be reborn in a blaze of justice… or crushed beneath the shadow of tyranny.
Tales of the Celestial Kingdom — Sue Lynn Tan (Harper Voyager)
Journey once more to the Immortal Realm, a world of gods, magic, and legendary creatures—and embark upon new adventures of valor, danger, and love.
Tales of the Celestial Kingdom collects nine spellbinding stories—two previously published, seven original, including the epilogue to the duology—set in the enchanting world of Sue Lynn Tan’s stunning debut. Filled with magic and mythology, friendship and love, these stories intertwine through the past, present, and future of the two novels, told from the perspectives of multiple characters, including Chang’e, Shuxiao, Liwei, and Wenzhi. With beautiful illustrations from Kelly Chong throughout, these wondrous tales make the perfect complement to Sue Lynn Tan’s breathtaking series. February 13
The Warm Hands of Ghosts — Katherine Arden (Del Rey)
January 1918. Laura Iven was a revered field nurse until she was wounded and discharged from the medical corps, leaving behind a brother still fighting in Flanders. Now home in Halifax, Canada, Laura receives word of Freddie’s death in combat, along with his personal effects—but something doesn’t make sense. Determined to uncover the truth, Laura returns to Belgium as a volunteer at a private hospital, where she soon hears whispers about haunted trenches and a strange hotelier whose wine gives soldiers the gift of oblivion. Could Freddie have escaped the battlefield, only to fall prey to something—or someone—else? November 1917. Freddie Iven awakens after an explosion to find himself trapped in an overturned pillbox with a wounded enemy soldier, a German by the name of Hans Winter. Against all odds, the two form an alliance and succeed in clawing their way out. Unable to bear the thought of returning to the killing fields, especially on opposite sides, they take refuge with a mysterious man who seems to have the power to make the hellscape of the trenches disappear. As shells rain down on Flanders and ghosts move among those yet living, Laura’s and Freddie’s deepest traumas are reawakened. Now they must decide whether their world is worth salvaging—or better left behind entirely.
The Book of Doors — Gareth Brown (William Morrow)
Cassie Andrews works in a New York City bookshop, shelving
books, making coffee for customers, and living an unassuming, ordinary life. Until the day one of her favorite customers—a lonely yet charming old man—dies right in front of her. Cassie is devastated. She always loved his stories, and now she has nothing to remember him by. Nothing but the last book he was reading. But this is no ordinary book… It is the Book of Doors. Inscribed with enigmatic words and mysterious drawings, it promises Cassie that any door is every door. You just need to know how to open them. Then she’s approached by a gaunt stranger in a rumpled black suit with a Scottish brogue who calls himself Drummond Fox. He’s a librarian who keeps watch over a unique set of rare volumes. The tome now in Cassie’s possession is not the only book with great power, but it is the one most coveted by those who collect them. Now Cassie is being hunted by those few who know of the Special Books. With only her roommate Izzy to confide in, she has to decide if she will help the mysterious and haunted Drummond protect the Book of Doors—and the other books in his secret library’s care—from those who will do evil. Because only Drummond knows where the unique library is and only Cassie’s book can get them there. But there are those willing to kill to obtain those secrets. And a dark force—in the form of a shadowy, sadistic woman—is at the very top of that list.
An – S.T. Gibson (Redhook) Education in Malice
Deep in the forgotten hills of Massachusetts stands Saint Perpetua’s College. Isolated and ancient, it is not a place for timid girls. Here, secrets are currency, ambition is lifeblood, and strange ceremonies welcome students into the fold. On her first day of class, Laura Sheridan is thrust into an intense academic rivalry with the beautiful and enigmatic Carmilla. Together, they are drawn into the confidence of their demanding poetry professor, De Lafontaine, who holds her own dark obsession with Carmilla. But as their rivalry blossoms into something far more delicious, Laura must confront her own strange hungers. Tangled in a sinister game of
politics, bloodthirsty professors and magic, Laura and Carmilla must decide how much they are willing to sacrifice in their ruthless pursuit of knowledge.
The Book of Love — Kelly Link (Random House)
Late one night, Laura, Daniel, and Mo find themselves beneath the fluorescent lights of a high school classroom, almost a year after disappearing from their hometown, the small seaside community of Lovesend, Massachusetts, having long been presumed dead. Which, in fact, they are. With them in the room is their previously unremarkable high school
music teacher, who seems to know something about their disappearance—and what has brought them back again. Desperate to reclaim their lives, the three agree to the terms of the bargain their music teacher proposes. They will be given a series of magical tasks; while they undertake them, they may return to their families and friends, but they can tell no one where they’ve been. In the end, there will be winners and there will be losers. But their resurrection has attracted the notice of other supernatural figures, all with their own agendas. As Laura, Daniel, and Mo grapple with the pieces of the lives they left behind, and Laura’s sister, Susannah, attempts to reconcile what she remembers with what she fears, these mysterious others begin to arrive, engulfing their community in danger and chaos, and it becomes imperative that the teens solve the mystery of their deaths to avert a looming disaster.
Projections — S. E. Porter (Tor Books)
Love may last a lifetime, but in this dark historical fantasy, the bitterness of rejection endures for centuries. As a young woman seeks vengeance on the obsessed sorcerer who murdered her because he could not have her, her murderer sends projections of himself out into the world to seek out and seduce women who will return the love she denied―or suffer mortal consequence. A lush, gothic journey across worlds full of strange characters and even stranger magic.
A Flame in the North — Lilith Saintcrow (Orbit)
The Black Land is a myth: Centuries have passed since that Great Enemy was slain. Yet old fears linger, and on the longest night of the year, people in the South still light ritual bonfires to banish the dark. In her village, this duty falls to Solveig, a girl favored by the gods with powerful fire magic. But when her brother kills a Northern lord’s son during the ritual, it is Sol who faces punishment, by being weregild—part hostage, part guest—in the North for a year and a day. As she journeys to her captivity, Sol starts to realize that the Black Land is no myth. The forests teem with foul beasts. Her
travel companions are not what they seem, and their plans for her magic are shrouded in secrecy. With only her loyal shieldmaiden and her own wits to rely upon, Sol must learn to master her powers and wrest control of her fate. For the Black Land’s army stirs, ready to cover the world in darkness—unless Sol can find the courage to stop it.
The Briar Book of the Dead — A.G. Slatter (Titan)
Ellie Briar is the first non-witch to be born into her
family for generations. The Briar family of witches run the town of Silverton, caring for its inhabitants with their skills and magic. In the usual scheme of things, they would be burnt for their sorcery, but the church has given them dispensation in return for their protection of the borders of the Darklands, where the much-feared Leech Lords hold sway. Ellie is being trained as a steward, administering for the town, and warding off the insistent interest of the church. When her grandmother dies suddenly, Ellie’s cousin Audra rises to the position of Briar Witch, propelling Ellie into her new role. As she navigates fresh challenges, an unexpected new ability to see and speak to the dead leads her to uncover sinister family secrets, stories of burnings, lost grimoires and evil spells. Reeling from one revelation to the next, she seeks answers from the long dead and is forced to decide who to trust, as a devastating plot threatens to destroy everything the Briar witches have sacrificed so much to build. February 20
Sun of Blood and Ruin — Mariely Lares (Harper Voyager)
In sixteenth-century New Spain, witchcraft is punishable by death, indigenous temples have been destroyed, and tales of mythical creatures that once roamed the land have become whispers in the night. Hidden behind a mask, Pantera uses her magic and legendary swordplay skills to fight the tyranny of Spanish rule. To all who know her, Leonora de las Casas Tlazohtzin never leaves the palace and is promised to the heir of the Spanish throne. The respectable, law-abiding Lady Leonora faints at the sight of blood and would rather be caught dead than meddle in court affairs. No one suspects that Leonora and Pantera are the same person. Leonora’s charade is tragically good, and with magic running through her veins, she is nearly invincible.
Nearly. Despite her mastery, she is destined to die young in battle, as predicted by a seer. When an ancient prophecy of destruction threatens to come true, Leonora—and therefore Pantera—is forced to decide: surrender the mask or fight to the end. Knowing she is doomed to a short life, she is tempted to take the former option. But the legendary Pantera is destined for more than an early grave, and once she discovers the truth of her origins, not even death will stop her.
Night for Day — Roselle Lim (Ace)
Exes Ward Dunbar and Camille Buhay thought they would never see each other again. They had broken up to pursue their dream jobs on opposite sides of the country—her to New York City, and him to Los Angeles. But years later, they unexpectedly reconnect in London, where they are interviewing for similar jobs. The spark they feel when they meet again is palpable—the attraction comes back like muscle memory, reminding them of what they had lost. When Ward and Camille discover they both got the job working opposing shifts, they vow to give their relationship another try. Ward starts the day shift and finds the immortal clientele unusual and dazzling. When he clocks out at the end of the day, he finds the door locked and himself trapped in the
building. After a horrific first night shift contending with restless spirits and ghosts, Camille is also unable to escape. In their respective prisons, they discover that they’re able to talk to each other a few minutes before dawn. This fleeting encounter incites longing for each other, but their promise to be together feels impossible. Because they are caught in the middle of a war of the gods—and their choices will determine the outcome.
To Cage a God — Elizabeth May (DAW)
To cage a god is divine. To be divine is to rule. To rule is to destroy. Using ancient secrets, Galina and Sera’s mother grafted gods into their bones. Bound to brutal deities and granted forbidden power no commoner has held in a millennia, the sisters have grown up to become living weapons. Raised to overthrow an empire―no matter the cost. With their mother gone and their country on the brink of war, it falls to the sisters to take the helm of the rebellion and end the cruel reign of a royal family possessed by destructive gods. Because when the ruling alurea invade, they conquer with fire and blood. And when they clash, common folk burn. While Sera reunites with her estranged lover turned violent rebel leader, Galina infiltrates the palace. In this world of deception and danger, her only refuge is an isolated princess, whose whip-smart tongue and sharp gaze threaten to uncover Galina’s secret. Torn between desire and duty, Galina must make a choice: work together to expose the lies of the empire―or bring it all down.
) River Mumma — Zalika Reid-Benta (Erewhon
Alicia has been out of grad school for months. She has no career prospects and lives with her mom, who won’t stop texting her macabre news stories and reminders to pick up items from the grocery store. Then, one evening, the Jamaican water deity, River Mumma, appears to Alicia, telling her that she has twenty-four hours to scour the city for her missing comb. Alicia doesn’t understand why River Mumma would choose her. She can’t remember all the legends her relatives told her, unlike her retail co-worker Heaven, who can reel off Jamaican folklore by heart. She doesn’t know if her childhood visions have returned, or why she feels a strange connection to her other co-worker Mars. But when the trio are chased down by malevolent spirits called duppies, they realize their tenuous bonds to each other may be their only lifelines. With the clock ticking, Alicia’s quest through the city broadens into a journey through time—to find herself and what the river carries.
The Lady in Glass and Other Stories — Anne Bishop (Ace)
Here, together for the first time, the shorter works of
New York Times bestselling fantasy author Anne Bishop are included in one dazzling volume. A master of bringing fantasy worlds to life, this collection showcases Bishop’s impressive range, from rarities of her earliest writing to the Realms of the Blood, from darker fairytale retellings to the Landscapes of Ephemera, and from standalone stories of space exploration and fantastical creatures to the contemporary fantasy terrain of the World of the Others. Includes previously published and unpublished tales, as well as two brand-new stories, written especially for this collection: “Friends and Corpses,” a murder mystery in which the corpse has some decidedly unusual qualities, and “Home for the Howlidays,” a heartwarming return to the Blood Prophet Meg Corbyn and the shapeshifting Simon Wolfgard from The Others.
Fathomfolk — Eliza Chan (Orbit)
Welcome to Tiankawi—shining pearl of human civilization and a safe haven for those fleeing civil unrest. Or at least, that’s how it first appears. But in the semi-flooded city, humans are, quite literally, on top: peering down from shining towers and aerial walkways on the fathomfolk – sirens, seawitches, kelpies and kappas—who live in the polluted waters below. For half-siren Mira, promotion to captain of the border guard means an opportunity to help her downtrodden people. But if earning the trust and respect of her human colleagues wasn’t hard enough, everything Mira has worked towards is put in jeopardy when Nami, a know-it-all water dragon and fathomfolk princess—is exiled to the city, under Mira’s watch. When extremists sabotage a city festival, violence erupts, as does the clampdown on fathomfolk rights. Both Nami and Mira must decide if the cost of change is worth paying, or if Tiankawi should be left to drown.
The Moorings of Mackerel Sky — MZ (Hyperion Avenue)
They say Mackerel Sky was founded when Captain Burrbank first saw Nimuë the Mermaid and forgot the sea. Stricken by love, he moored his tall ship and made camp on the highest cliff, hoping to forever gaze upon her
beauty. That camp became a settlement, the settlement a town, the town a community both blessed and cursed by their tempestuous affair. Three hundred years later, the legend of the Mermaid and the Captain who loved her still invigorates and haunts the inhabitants of the small Maine lobstering town. Take gruff widow Myra Kelley, who finds herself the de facto guardian of Leo Beale and knows his drunken antics are really attempts to escape an opiate-addicted mother and her boyfriends. Or Derrick Stowe, the town’s star pitcher, who wants nothing more than to read his mother’s musings on mermaids, write poetry to his secret boyfriend, and come out to his father, though he will learn how devastatingly small small towns can be. Or the oft-institutionalized Manon Perle, whose gorgeous, detailed quilts of the Mackerel Sky legend belie the terrible pain of—as she claims—having given her only child to the women in the waves. In this close-knit town famous for its infamous mermaids, community is built through love and lore—willful elements that the townsfolk will have to harness if Mackerel Sky is to endure for another three hundred years.