The Best New Sci-Fi & Fantasy Book Releases 2021

The new year is almost upon us, and along with that come the best Sci-Fi and Fantasy  books! There are some great new releases for 2021. I’ll update this list throughout the year, and add separate lists for each month, with even more new book releases! You’ll find them linked in this post under each month after I’ve created them.

(I make them for each month, the month before. So I post Januari 2021 in December 2020, February 2021 in January, etc.)

So let’s get started!

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Table of Contents

Book Releases January 2021

The World Between Blinks by Amie Kaufman & Ryan Graudin

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Genre: Middle Grade Fantasy
Pubdate: 5th January
Publisher: Quill Tree Books

The first new release on our list is this fantasy book!

Nana always sends cousins Jake and Marisol on epic trips and treasure hunts. While Nana passed away, she left them a map. During a family reunion for one last vacation at Nana’s home, the cousins take a legendary trip of their own using that very map. Jake and Marisol sneak out to a nearby lighthouse and slip into another world. The world between blinks is a magical place where all kinds of lost things and people end up. The cousins find mysteries and myths everywhere they turn. But they do want to get back at some point. Unfortunately, the man who holds the key for their return journey doesn’t want to be found… If they don’t get him fast, they could end up lost in this world for good.

Crown of Bones (Crown of Bones #1) by A.K. Wilder

crown of bones book cover new release fantasy books

Genre: YA Sci-Fi/Fantasy
Pubdate: 5th of January
Publisher: Entangled: Teen

No amount of training can prepare you when the world is on the brink of the next Great Dying. Ash is just a lowly scribe meant to observe and record what happens in the world: a young heir who will raise the most powerful phantom in all of Baiseen, and a dangerous High Savant who will do anything to gain control of realms. There’s also a mysterious and deadly race called Mar, who steal children into the sea, and a handsome guide with too many secrets. Ash may just be a scribe; but perhaps she’s meant to change everyone.

A Vow So Bold and Deadly (Cursebreakers #3) by Brigid Kemmerer

new release fantasy books a vow so bold and deadly book cover

Genre: YA Fantasy Romance, Retellings
Pubdate: 26th of January
Publisher: Bloomsbury YA

It’s the conclusion of the Cursebreakers series!

Emberfall is torn between those who believe Rhen is the rightful prince and those who pick Grey as the true heir. Grey has graciously agreed to wait two months before attacking Emberfall. In the meantime, Rhen has turned away from everyone, even Harper.

Meanwhile, Lia Mara wants to rule Syhl Shallow a bit gentler than her mother, but struggles to do so. After decades of peace, she has some angry subjects who don’t agree with her having an enchanted prince and magical scraver by her side. Can she be the Queen her country needs?

The two Kingdoms come closer to conflict, and loyalties are tested, love is threatened, and an old enemy resurfaces.

We Free the Stars (Sands of Arawiya #2) by Hafsah Faiza

best fantasy book releases january 2021 we free the stars book cover

Genre: YA Fantasy Romance
Pubdate: 19th of January
Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux

The conclusion to the Sands of Arawiya duology also comes in January.

Zafira and Nasir must conquer the darkness both around and inside of them. Zafira, Nasir and Kifah are still bound for Sultan’s Keep, determined to finish their plan: restoring the hearts of the Sisters of Old to the minarets of each caliphate. This would return magic to all of Arawiya. But they don’t have much resources or allies, and the Kingdom is fearful for the return of the Lion of the Night.

Nasir fights to command the magic in his blood, trying to learn to hone it into a weapon; not only against the Lion but also his father, trapped under the Lion’s control. Zafira has a whole different darkness inside her through her bond with the Jawarat. This is a darkness that hums with voices, pushing her to the brink of her sanity and the edge of a chaos she doesn’t dare unleash. Still, Nasir and Zafira find themselves falling in love.

Book Releases February 2021

All the Tides of Fate (All the Stars and Teeth #2) by Adalyn Grace

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Genre: YA Fantasy Adventure, Pirates, Mythology
Pubdate: 2nd of February
Publisher: Imprint

It’s the sequel, y’all.

A quick recap: Amora Montara has conquered a rebellion and taken her place as Queen of Visidia. She can’t allow anyone to see her weakness while the islands are in turmoil and people question her authority.

She can’t let anybody know about the curse in her bloodline, or that she’s lost her magic. Or that there’s a boy who holds the missing half of her soul. Many, many secrets. She goes on a desperate quest for a mythical artifact that could fix everything, but it has quite the cost. She tries balancing her loyalty to her people, her crew, and her desires, but the power to rule might just very well destroy her.

The Gilded Ones (Deathless #1) by Namina Forna

the gilded ones book cover best fantasy books 2021

Genre: YA Coming-of-Age Sci-Fi Fantasy
Pubdate: 9th of February
Publisher: Delacorte

To determine whether she becomes a member of her village, a certain blood ceremony exists. Deka lives in fear and anticipation of that day; all she needs is red blood. Instead, her blood runs gold: the color of impurity. Her consequence will be worse than death.

But then a mysterious woman comes to her, giving her a choice: stay and face her fate, or leave to fight for the emperor in an army of girls like her, called the alaki. These are near-immortals with a rare gift, and the only ones who can stop the empire’s greatest threat. Naturally, Deka decides to leave and travels to the capital for training. During that time, she discovers that the city holds many surprises: nothing and no one are quite what they seem to be, including herself.

The Iron Raven (The Iron Fey: Evenfall #1) by Julie Kagawa

best fantasy sci-fi book releases the iron raven book cover

Genre: YA Sci-Fi Fantasy
Pubdate: 9th of February
Publisher: Inkyard Press

Puck, King Oberon’s right-hand jester from ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’ finally tells his story and faces a threat to the lands of Faery and the human world unlike any before. He begins a fantastical and dangerous adventure with Iron Queen Meghan Chase, her prince consort and Puck’s longtime rival Ash, and other old and new allies by his side.

A Court of Silver Flames (A Court of Thorns and Roses #4) by Sarah J. Maas

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Genre: New Adult Fantasy Romance
Pubdate: 16th of February
Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing

Ever since Nesta Archeron was forced into the Cauldron and became High Fae against her will, she’s struggled to find a place within the deadly world. Even worse, she can’t seem to move past the horrors of the war with Hybern and all she lost. The one who ignites her temper more than any other is Cassian, the battle-scarred warrior. His position in Rhysand and Feyre’s Night Court keeps him constantly in Nesta’s orbit. There’s an undeniable fire between them, only burning hotter as they are forced into close quarters with each other.

Meanwhile, the human Queens who returned to the Continent during the last war have forged a dangerous new alliance. It threatens the fragile peace that has settled over the realms. The key to halting them might just rely on Cassian and Nesta facing their pasts.

Book Releases March 2021

Chain of Iron (The Last Hours #2) by Cassandra Clare

new fantasy releases chain of iron book cover

Genre: Urban Paranormal Fantasy
Pubdate: 2nd of March
Publisher: Walker Books

Cordelia Carstairs is engaged to James Herondale, her childhood love, and living a new life in London with her best friend Lucie and James’companions called the Merry Thieves. She’s also about to be reunited with her father, and she bears the sword Cortana; a legendary hero’s blade.

It all seems so nice from the outside. But James and Cordelia’s marriage is a lie, only arranged to save her reputation. James is actually in love with Grace Blackthorn, whose brother, Jesse, died years ago in a terrible accident. Cordelia can’t touch the sword Cortana without burning her hands, and her father has grown bitter and angry. There’s also a serial murderer on the loose, targeting the Shadowhunters of London. The Merry Thieves, Cordelia, James, and Lucie have to track down the killer, all trying to keep their secrets.

Sweet & Bitter Magic by Adrienne Tooley

best fantasy books 2021 sweet and bitter magic book cover

Genre: YA Fantasy, LGBTQ
Pubdate: 9th of March
Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry Books

The witch Tamsin was cursed to never love again. She was the most powerful witch, but she committed the worst magical sin, leading to exile by the ruling Coven and her curse. She can only love for a little while when she steals it from others.

Then we have Wren, who is a rare kind of person made of magic, though she can’t use magic herself. She’s called a source, who are required to train with the Coven, but Wren spent her life hiding from it so she can take care of her father. But then a magical plague ravages the Queendom and Wren’s father falls victim. Wren tries to strike a bargain with Tamsin to save her father: if she will help Wren catch the dark witch responsible for the plague, Wren will give Tamsin the love for her father. But love bargains are a tricky thing, and they still have a long journey ahead of them.

Namesake (Fable #2) by Adrienne Young

namesake book cover new fantasy releases

Genre: YA Fantasy Adventure, Pirates
Pubdate: 16th of March
Publisher: Wednesday Books

In the sequel to Fable, the Marigold ship is free of Fable’s father. She and the crew are ready to start over. But the freedom is short-lived when she becomes a pawn in the scheme of some notorious thug. She needs to secure a partnership for the thug with Holland, a powerful gem trader, so she can get to her destination. On that journey, Fable descends deeper into a world of betrayal and learns that her mother was keeping secrets. These secrets are now putting the people she cares about in danger. Fable needs to risk everything if she’s going to save them, including the boy she loves and the home she found.

Rule of Wolves (King of Scars Duology #2) by Leigh Bardugo

rule of wolves book cover best fantasy books 2021

Genre: YA Fantasy
Pubdate: 30th of March
Publisher: Orion Children’s Books

So, what do we have in this conclusion to the duology?

A Demon King, a Stormwitch, and a Queen of Mourning: a King, General, and Spy. Fjerda’s massive army is preparing to invade, so Nikolai Lantsov needs to summon all his ingenuity, charm, and the monster within to win this fight. But a dark threat looms that needs more to be defeated than just a young King’s gift. Zoya Nazyalensky has lost too much to war: her mentor is dead, and her worst enemy resurrected. She doesn’t want to bury another friend. She needs to become the weapon her country needs, whatever it costs. Nina Zenik risks everything as she’s deep undercover, waging war on Fjerda from the inside. Her desire for revenge may just cost her country its chance at freedom, though. All need to find a way to forge a future in the darkness. If not… they have to watch their nation fall.

Book Releases April 2021

The Serpent's Curse (The Last Magician #3) by Lisa Maxwell

sci fi fantasy books new releases 2021 the serpents curse book cover

Genre: YA Sci-Fi/Fantasy, Historical Fiction
Pubdate: 13th of April
Publisher: Simon Pulse

Esta is a seasoned thief with no reservations about using her affinity for time to her advantage. She’s trained her whole life for one mission: travel back to 1902 New York, steal the ancient Book of Mysteries, and use its power to destroy the Brink and free the Mageus from the Order’s control. But the Book holds an unexpected danger: Seshat, an angry goddess, was trapped within its pages. Now, by mistake, that terrible power lives within Harte, and Seshat will use Esta to destory the world and take her own revenge.

Esta and Harte go to search the elemental stones they need to bind Seshat’s power. But they find themselves stranded in time with a continent between them. Esta fights to get back to Harte, but the Order is no longer the only obstacle standing in her way. Another danger grows, more terrible than Seshat and the Order combined.

The Crown of Gilded Bones (Blood and Ash #3) by Jennifer L. Armentrout

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Genre: New Adult Fantasy Romance, Vampires
Pubdate: 20th of April
Publisher: Blue Box Press

Poppy wants to revel in her happiness, but first she and Prince Casteel need to free his brother and find hers. But, Poppy is the Chosen, the Blessed, the true ruler of Atlantia. She carries the blood of the King of Gods within her. Now she must choose to either forsake her birthright or seize the crown and become the Queen of Flesh and Fire. But the Kingdom has dark sins and blood-drenched secrets, and a long-forgotten power rises to pose a genuine threat. They don’t want that crown on Poppy’s head.

But the greatest threat is actually in the far west, where the Queen of Blood and Ash has her own plans. Ones she waited hundreds of years for to carry out. There are shocking secrets and harsh betrayals, and enemies emerge to threaten everything Poppy and Casteel have fought for. They discover just how far they will go for their people, and each other.

Witches Steeped in Gold (Witches Steeped in Gold #1) by Ciannon Smart

new fantasy releases witches steeped in gold book cover

Genre: YA Paranormal Fantasy, Witches
Pubdate: 20th of April
Publisher: HarperTeen

A Jamaican-inspired fantasy.

Iraya has spent her life in a cell, but she’s getting closer to freedom and vengeance every day. While Jazmyne is the Queen’s daughter, she has no intention of dying to strenghten her mother’s power, as her sister did before her.

Iraya and Jazmyne are sworn enemies, yet enter an alliance so they can take down a mutual threat. But revenge is a bloody and uncertain pursuit. But they will go far to win this game.

Book Releases May 2021

Realm Breaker (Realm Breaker #1) by Victoria Aveyard

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Genre: YA Fantasy
Pubdate: 4th of May
Publisher: Orion

Corayne lives at the end of the world, where she watches her pirate mother sail away, year after year. Adventures she doesn’t share. But when a mysterious, immortal, and deadly assassin appears on her doorstep to say she’s the last member of a dying bloodline, Corayne seizes the chance to have an adventure of her own. The stranger even says she’s the only one who can save the world.

But that world is in even graver danger than imagined. Corayne and her rag-tag group of allies are alone in a world that is slowly coming apart with little but their fading hope to guide them. Still, courage can bloom even in the darkest corners. It just might be enough.

Blade of Secrets (Bladesmith #1) by Tricia Levenseller

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Genre: YA Epic Fantasy
Pubdate: 4th of May
Publisher: Feiwel & Friends

A blacksmith with social anxiety: that’s Ziva. She much prefers metal to people and spends her days tucked away in her forge, imbuing her weapons with power using her magical gift. But then she gets a commission from a powerful warlord. The result: a sword capable of stealing its victim’s secrets. When Ziva learns the warlord wants to use it to enslave all the world under her rule, Ziva takes her sister and flees. She’s then joined by a very handsome mercenary and a young scholar with extensive knowledge of magic. They all set out on a quest to keep the sword safe until they find either a worthy wielder or a way to destroy it.

Mister Impossible (Dreamer Trilogy #2) by Maggie Stiefvater

sci fi fantasy books new releases 2021 mister impossible book cover

Genre: Magical Realism, LGBTQ
Pubdate: 18th of May
Publisher: Scholastic Press

Do the dreamers need the ley lines to save the world, or will it end up dooming the world? Ronan, Hennessy, and Bryde try to make the dreamers more powerful while the Moderators are closing in. They’re sure that this power will bring about disaster. Everyone is pushed to their limits; will they hold on, or will they break?

Spells Trouble (Sisters of Salem #1) by P.C. Cast & Kristin Cast

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Genre: YA Paranormal Fantasy, Witches
Pubdate: 25th of May
Publisher: Wednesday Books

Twin witches… that’s Hunter and Mercy Goode, direct descendants of the founder of their town of Goodeville. It’s now their time to learn what it means to be Gatekeepers: protectors of the Gates to several underworlds, ancient portals between their world and realms where mythology rules and nightmares come to life. But then their mother becomes the first victim in a series of murders, and the twins are out for blood. However, it’ll take more than magic to rein in the ancient monsters who infected their town. They need to come together and accept their destiny, or risk being seperated for good.

The Hidden Palace (The Golem and the Jinni #2) by Helene Wecker

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Genre: Adult Magical Realism, Historical Fiction
Pubdate: 8th of June
Publisher: Harper

Chava is a golem: a woman made of clay. She can hear the thoughts and longing of the people around her and is compelled to help them. Ahmad is a jinny: a free-spirited create of fire, imprisoned in the shape of a man. Both of them hide their true forms and pretend to be human for fear of being called monsters. They’re just two immigrants in 1900s Manhattan. While Chava and Ahmad’s lives are entwined, they’re not sure what they mean to each other.

The story follows their lives and those of others as they collide and interleave. Can Chava and Ahmad find their places in the human world while remaining true to each other? Or will their opposing natures and desires tear them apart?

The Jasmine Throne (Burning Kingdoms #1) by Tasha Suri

best fantasy books 2021 the jasmine throne book cover

Genre: New Adult Fantasy, LGBTQ
Pubdate: 10th of June
Publisher: Orbit

This is a story inspired by India, with a captive princess and a maidservant in possession of forbidden magic. Malini is imprisoned by her dictator brother, so she spends her days in isolation in the Hirana. This is an ancient temple that was once the source of powerful, magical deathless water, but now just a ruin. Priya, the maidservant, is one of several making the journey to the top of Hirana every night to clean Malini’s chambers. But then Malini sees Priya’s true nature, and their destinies become entangled: a vengeful princess seeking to depose her brother from his throne, and a priestess seeking to find her family.

Witchshadow (The Witchlands #4) by Susan Dennard

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Genre: YA Paranormal Fantasy, Witches
Pubdate: 22nd of June
Publisher: Tor Teen

While Iseult has found her heartsister Safi, the reunion is only brief. Iseult needs to flee Cartorra to stay alive, and Safi remains behind. While Iseult has a plan to save her, it requires magic more dangerous than anything she’s faced before. Besides, the Bloodwitch Aeduan is beset by forces beyond his comprehension. And Vivia, the rightful Queen of Nubrevna, has neither crown nor home. Villains from legend reawaken across the Witchlands, and only the mythical Cahr Awen can stop the gathering war. Iseult can embrace this power and heal the land, but first, she needs to choose on what side of the shadows her destiny lies.

The Witness for the Dead (The Goblin Emperor #2) by Katherine Addison

best sci fi books 2021 the witness for the dead book cover

Genre: Adult Sci-Fi Fantasy
Pubdate: 22nd of June
Publisher: Tor Books

So, while it says it’s #2, it’s actually a standalone novel. But it is set in the same world as The Goblin Emperor. So, Maia, the young half-goblin emperor, wanted to know who had killed his father and half-brothers, and then he turned to a Witness for the Dead named Thara Celehar.

Thara Celehar lives far from courts, in somewhat of a quasi-exile, serving the common people of the city. His duty is communicating with the dead. Still, Celehar will follow the truth wherever it leads him and no matter who may be implicated in murder, fraud, or ancient injustices.

Book Releases July 2021

The Last Graduate (The Scholomance #2) by Naomi Novik

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Genre: YA Urban Fantasy, Horror
Pubdate: 6th of July
Publisher: Del Rey Books

El, Orion, and the other students face their final year at the Scholomance. The looming specter is graduation: a deadly ritual that leaves few students alive. But El is determined to see her group survive, but it seems to become harder by the day as the school ramps up its savagery. Until El realizes that to win the game, it sometimes means that rules should be thrown out.

The Empire's Ruin (Ashes of the Unhewn Throne #1) by Brian Staveley

best fantasy books 2021 the empires ruin book cover

Genre: Adult Epic Fantasy
Pubdate: 6th of July
Publisher: Tor Books

The advantages used by the Annurian Empire for millennia have fallen to ruin. The Empire is disintegrating. The ranks of the Kettral have been decimated from within, and the kenta gates, which grant instantaneous travel across the lands, can no longer be used. One of the surviving Kettral needs to voyage beyond the known world through a land that warps and poisons all living things to find the nesting grounds of the giant war haws: it’s the only way to save the empire. And a monk turned con-artist may hold the secret to the kenta gates. Time is running out. Because, next to it all, an Ancient God-like race has begun to stir.

The Queen Will Betray You (Kingdoms of Sand and Sky #2) by Sarah Henning

the queen will betray you book cover sci fi fantasy books new releases 2021

Genre: YA Fantasy
Pubdate: 6th of July
Publisher: Tor Teen

Love the Princess Bride? This is the sequel to a YA fantasy homage to that very film.

Princess Amarande and Luca, the stableboy, need to part if they want to stay together forever. Amarande needs to reclaim her kingdom and Luca needs to raise a rebellion and find his destiny. All the players in the game of thrones are against them for control over the continent of the Sand and Sky. There are betrayals, enemies hidden in the shadows, and of course, a lot of unfavorable odds. Their only hope? True love.

These Hollow Vows by Lexi Ryan

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Genre: YA Fantasy Romance, Fairies
Pubdate: 20th of July
Publisher: HMH

Brie hates the Fae and has no trouble starving on the street if she can avoid them. But then her sister is sold to the sadistic king of the Unseelie court, so she needs to get her back. Even if it means making a deal with the king himself to steal three magical relics from the Seelie court.

But that’s not so easy: she can only pose as a potential bride for Prince Ronan, and pretend soon becomes reality when she falls for him. Still, she can’t let her heart distract her, so she accepts help from some Unseelie misfits who have their own agenda. And their mysterious leader, Finn, also has his seductive charms. Brie finds herself trapped between two courts, and she must decide where her loyalties—and her heart—lies.

Book Releases August 2021

Gods & Monsters (Serpent & Dove #3) by Shelby Mahurin

Genre: New Adult Fantasy Romance, Witches
Pubdate: 3rd of August
Publisher: HarperTeen

No description yet.

Book Releases September 2021

Empire of the Vampire (Empire of the Vampire #1) by Jay Kristoff

the empire of the vampire book cover new release fantasy books

Genre: Dark Paranormal Urban Fantasy/Horror, Vampires
Pubdate: 16th of September
Publisher: Harper Voyager

I am totally beyond excited about this. I’ve only discovered Jay Kristoff’s books last year, but I just love his style of writing. And I just can’t see how this one can disappoint. I mean… dark and nasty vampires? Yes, please!

Ahem, so, the creates of the night have walked the day without fear for almost three decades. How? Well, the sun hasn’t come up in twenty-seven years. Humanity fought the cold blood legions once, but now they exist only in some scattered settlements. Gabriel de León is the last of the Silversaints, which is a holy order dedicated to defending the realm and church. He’s imprisoned for the murder of the vampiric king. The charge? Telling the story of his life.

It’s a tale of years, from his youth in the monastery of San Michon, to the forbidden love that spelled his undoing, and the betrayal that saw his order annihilated. And Gabriel tells the most important story of all: the Grail, a legendary cup which would bring an end to the eternal night. But the location is only known by a teenager urchin named Dior.

Dior and Gabriel forge an unbreakable bond, on a road to redemption. That is until the Grail shattered. With the cup destroyed, and the last Silversaint awaiting execution, how can this undying empire come to an end?

The Wisdom of Crowds (The Age of Madness #3) by Joe Abercrombie

Genre: Dark Adult Sci-Fi Fantasy
Pubdate: 16th of September
Publisher: Gollancz

To change the world, you must first burn it down. It’s a thought that comes to the test in the crucible of revolution. The Breakers and Burners have seized the levers of power, and riot smoke replaces the smog of industry. With nothing left to lose, Citizen Brock wants to be a new hero for the new age. Citizeness Savine, on the other hand, needs to turn her talent from profit to survival to claw her way to redemption. Then there’s Orso, who is now the lowest of the low: a monarch. And in the bloody North, Rikke and her Protectorate are running out of allies, while Black Calder gathers his forces and plots revenge.

Book Releases November 2021

The Untitled Crescent City #2 by Sarah J. Maas

Genre: NA Fantasy Romance
Pubdate: 2nd of November
Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing

What’s it going to be about? We don’t know yet…

Book Releases December 2021

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Thanks for visiting my little bookish corner on the internet. I’m Iris Marsh, a passionate reader & writer. On here, you can find full book reviews, along with monthly mini-reviews, new releases, and more bookish stuff. If you want to know more about me, just click here.

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