I’ve always been in love with a good fantasy novel. From sweeping imagery and fantastical worlds, to characters you want to get to know, there’s something magical about escaping into a great fantasy story.
Ever since I dug into novels such as the Throne of Glass series by Sarah J. Maas and the ethereal world of Caraval by Stephanie Garber, I’ve been in love with young adult fantasy novels. I always eagerly await new installments in these series and I love how there’s drama, intrigue, and romance in their tales. Not only do young adult novels bring a lot of intensity into the YA bookshelves, but the breadth of stories that you can find inside tell tales of all sorts of genuine characters, from kings and queens to those getting through some seriously relatable struggles, that even if we do not live inside that specific world, we can truly relate to.
With that said, my excitement for the young adult novels releasing in 2022 is infinite. I’m thrilled to dig into these diverse and promising new worlds and stories, and I am sure you will just as excited to explore them as well. This is why I was excited, though this has been a tough job to complete, to pick 12 anticipated 2022 young adult fantasy releases for all of you. Read on and make sure to save some space in your shelves for these amazingly exciting upcoming novels sure to immerse you into some epic worlds.
The Ivory Key by Akshaya Raman (January 4)
The first in a debut fantasy duology, this book promises quite the adventurous ride.
In the novel, Vira, Ronak, Kaleb, and Riya are siblings, but they are pretty distant from one another, living separate lives. But one thing finally unites them: the search for the Ivory Key, a legendary item that will provide a new source of magic. Each of the siblings would gain a lot from finding the legendary item, but with each of them hiding secrets, working together might be the toughest thing to accomplish. In the world of Ashoka, where they reside, magic is needed, and without them reaching this goal, their world just might crumble.
Promising a wonderful cast of characters and a lot of magical elements, I cannot wait to dig into this book!
Ashes of Gold by J.Elle (January 11)
The first book in this series, Wings of Ebony, was the fantasy I was looking for, so it’s no question I am super excited for this sequel.
In the book, Rue is now mysteriously locked in a basement after her allies got stripped away from her side, and her magic disappeared. How she got there is completely baffling her. Determined to get back the magic that was stolen from the Chancellor, now Rue must come to terms with dealing with her half-human and half-god existence. Also, a betrayal is in her midst, one that will challenge her strength and trust in people. But one thing is completely sure to her, and that is that girls from the East Row never give up, and she will find out what she’s made of, even if it means picking up the pieces of her currently shattered existence.
Promising dramatic moments and pure strength when it comes to characters, I truly cannot wait until this fantasy comes into the YA world in January 2022.
The Bone Spindle by Leslie Vedder (January 11)
I love a good retelling and I love when there’s a twist to the story and the characters as well. This one is a promising one that many will surely enjoy.
In The Bone Spindle, the tale of Sleeping Beauty is the inspiration. In the book, Fi is a book-loving treasure hunter and Shane is a warrior gal. They are both extremely different, but adventure awaits them. One day, Fi pricks her finger on a bone spindle during one of her explorations, and is greeted by the spirit of Briar Rose, who is awaiting the breaking of her curse and has also waited 100 years for that promising kiss that will wake her from slumber.
Full of adventure and dark magic, expect lots of action and romance, as Fi fears for her heart and falling in love with Briar Rose. Definitely a book that you should keep on your radar to start your 2022 just right.
Shattered Midnight by Dhonielle Clayton (January 18)
Book 2 of a four-book fairytale fantasy collection featuring some coveted YA authors, Shattered Midnight features the writing of the author of The Belles.
Zora comes to New Orleans as a Black woman from the south that’s escaping her magical gift and the accidents it has caused. All she has with her is magical red shoes and a perfect singing voice, as well as a bag of clothes. She tries to blend in, trying to avoid her mean family there and trying not to draw too much attention, and one day she gets an opportunity she cannot refuse to play at a known jazz club. There, she meets Phillip, who also has magic and a mirror that tells the future and could change her life.
What follows is a tale of forbidden love and the secret family connections that can come to haunt us, perfect for those seeking a unique escape.
Bound by Firelight by Dana Swift (January 18)
I’ve been extremely excited about this sequel ever since Dana Swift’s first novel in the series, Cast in Firelight, was released. If you have not picked it up yet, I urge you to do so immediately and get ready for this second installment.
In this story we follow Adraa and Jatin, after Adraa was accused of destroying the kingdom of Belwar with magic. Now Adraa is imprisoned in the Dome, and Jatin simply cannot wait to start their lives together and ask her a very important question that will lead to so much more. But he needs to get her out of this predicament first in order to move on. And that is not going to be an easy feat!
Full of romance, witty banter, and great character development, you’ll be blown away by this fun and enchanting fantasy world.
Only a Monster by Vanessa Len (February 22)
This is one that I am highly, highly anticipating and promises dark romance and epic fantastical moments.
The story tells the tale of Joan, a teen sent to spend the summer in London with her mother’s family. Working a fun summer job at the historic Holland House, she is having a blast and is even more excited when her adorable co-worker Nick asks her out on a date.
But there’s a catch. Joan is about to find out her mom’s family is actually a family of monsters. And Nick is actually not just a simple boy, but he’s known as a slayer, with a mission to get rid of them all. What’s a girl to do?
Expect romance, drama and a great story in this novel which is the start of a very promising trilogy.
This Woven Kingdom by Tahereh Mafi (February 1)
The author behind the beloved Shatter Me series is back with a new fantasy series sure to quench the thirst of those that love her fantasy writing.
The book is about Alizeh, who at first glance looks like your everyday servant. Little do people know she’s actually the long-lost heir to a kingdom known as Jinn and she’s currently in hiding, pretending to be someone she is not. There’s conflict between her and the crown prince, Kamran, who is floored that the girl he thought was a simple servant could eventually take over the kingdom and so much more.
Expect the type of romance that Mafi is known for, as well as intricate and engaging writing, plus themes of destiny and adventure, in the first of a new exciting trilogy.
A Thousand Steps into Night by Traci Chee (March 1)
This ethereal novel promises adventure, nods to Japanese culture, and a ton of gorgeous storytelling. I cannot wait!
In the book, Awara is a magical place full of gods, monsters and other beings, living together. Miuko is extremely different from them all, albeit ordinary, living a secluded and normal life as the innkeeper’s daughter. Her life changes when she is cursed and transforms into a demon with a deadly touch. Flabbergasted, she goes on a quest to try to figure out why this is happening and simply return to her normal, quiet life. But, is this the life that is really meant for her?
I cannot wait to dig into this novel, for the story and the main character seems intriguing and powerful, and I am sure you’ll love this one too!
Blood Scion by Deborah Falaye (March 8)
First in a trilogy, this book is perfect for those who love high action and fantasy, as well as books like Children of Blood and Bone.
In the story, Sloane is known as a Scion, a descendant of Orisha gods. This means that she is extremely powerful, and can get rid of an enemy at will. Yet, Sloane must keep her powers hidden at all costs, because it could mean her demise if her powers come to light. One day, against her will, she joins the Lucis army when she turns 15, and decides that this could be the opportunity she seeks to learn from them and then purely destroy them.
Featuring themes of what power means and what it might mean to find and lose oneself, this promises to be an engaging read.
The Helheim Princess by Tiana Warner (May 3)
There’s nothing that thrills me more than diverse and powerful characters, and this YA fantasy promises that and so much more.
The book tells the story of Sigrid, a stable hand with dreams of becoming a powerful valkyrie. She wonders who her parents were, and why she is so different from others, and without a winged mare. One day, a vision is presented to her of a possible future, of her leading as a valkyrie with a well-known eight-legged horse known as Sleipneir, and she refuses to let her hopes vanish and her dreams die, focused on reaching that destiny.
Then, she meets Mariam, an enemy valkyrie who now she must work with to reach this future, and who leads her to Helheim to assist her in finding that destiny. But, can Sigrid truly trust her? And, why does she suddenly feel like she’s falling for her, as they get to know each other battling through the nine worlds? As Sigrid’s feelings come to light, she must decide whether to pursue them and risk ending the nine worlds and her future, which has been somewhat decided for her.
A tale promising lots of romance, intrigue, action and diverse characters, this is one YA fantasy book that I cannot wait to dig into this new year.
(Editors note: this title has been moved from January 4 to May 3.)
Our Crooked Hearts by Melissa Albert (June 28)
I adored The Hazel Wood, so I am so excited to dive into another book by this magical author.
This tale promises total Melissa Albert fantasy and ethereal vibes, telling the story of Ivy, a teen whose summer starts a bit unsettling when she starts it with an unexpected accident and the appearance of a stranger in the middle of the night and on the road. Then, eerie happenings start taking place, leading Ivy to wonder if her mom is hiding some serious secrets. The story also will flashback to Ivy’s mother’s Dana’s time, when her supernatural gifts bloomed with the help of some friends.
But how are their stories connected? And what supernatural secrets and dangers lurk between them? I cannot wait to dig into this one to find out.
The Witchery by S. Isabelle (July 26)
For fans of movies like The Craft and the magic of covens, this book promises to engage.
The book is set in Haelsford, Florida, where Logan is simply a young witch trying to control her powers. She arrives at the witchy town to attend Mesmortes Coven Academy. Little did she expect that her arrival would interest the school’s Red Three, a group of witches with their own set of secrets. Not to mention, the Haunting season is about to begin, when humans and witches and their disagreements come to light, as well as Wolves rise up from the depths of the swamp to feed. Can they break the curse that the town faces? You must read on to find out.
This book promises magic, lessons learned about friendships, and magical ups and downs that we are sure we will truly enjoy.