1. Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor.
Little, Brown & Company - September 27th - 418 pages.
Not only is this my favorite fantasy of the year, it's now in my all-time top favorite three books. I can't even begin to explain the magic that lies between these pages. She creates this imaginative world full of odd creatures and wishes and adventure and romance and holy crap, I could talk for hours about this one so I'll leave it at this: it's simply amazing.
2. My Unfair Godmother by Janette Rallison.
Walker Books for Young Readers - April 12th - 320 pages.
This is the companion to My Fair Godmother. I'm absolutely in love with these books. They're funny, they're adventurous, they're romantic and engaging. Janette plays twisted games with some of our favorite fairy tales and the result is ridiculously entertaining. I feel like these novels got swept under the radar but if you're a fantasy/fairy tale fan who is looking for something action-packed and light-hearted, I definitely encourage you to pick these up!
3. The Girl of Fire and Thorns by Rae Carson.
Greenwillow Books - September 20th - 423 pages.
If you look up YA fantasy in a dictionary, this book's cover should be snuggled right beside it. It has everything that makes fantasy so wonderful - adventure, magic, a gorgeous setting, romance and quirky characters. Not to mention the beautiful, descriptive writing. Thanks for writing such an incredible book, Rae!
4. The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making by Catherynne M. Valente.
Feiwel & Friends - May 10th - 247 pages.
This book is like a time machine, shooting me back to when I was a little girl and reading my big giant fairy-tale bind-up. It's charming and magical and has all of the makings to become a classic that hopefully my grandchildren will be reading in the future.
5. Drink, Slay, Love by Sarah Beth Durst.
Margaret K. McElderry - September 13th - 385 pages.
Even though this is primarily about vampires, I still count it as fantasy because they're not like the average YA vampires you see in books today. They're evil, and they've got that epic villain feel about them. This book just feels fantastical with the creatures (were-unicorn, hellooooo) and action.
And now for some of the 2012 fantasy novels I'm most looking forward to:
1. Vessel by Sarah Beth Durst.
Margaret K. McElderry - September 11th, 2012 - 320 pages.
In a desert land where serpents made of unbreakable glass fly through the sky and wolves made of only sand hunt within storms, Liyana is destined to be a vessel, to sacrifice herself so that her clan's goddess can inhabit her body... but her goddess never comes.
2. Shadows Cast By Stars by Catherine Knutsson.
Atheneum - June 5th, 2012 - 464 pages.
Two hundred years from now, blood has become the most valuable commodity on the planet - especially the blood of aboriginal peoples, for it contains antibodies that protect them from the plague that is ravaging the rest of the world. Sixteen-year-old Cassandra Mercredi might be immune to the plague, but that doesn't mean she's safe. Government forces are searching for those of aboriginal heritage to harvest their blood. When a search threatens Cass and her family, they flee to the Island, a mysterious and idyllic territory protected by the Band, a group of guerilla warriors, and by an enigmatic energy barrier that keeps outsiders out and the spirit world in. And though the village healer has taken Cass under her wing, and the tribal leader's son into his heart, the spirit world is angry, and it has chosen Cass to be its voice and instrument...
3. Dragonswood by Janet Lee Carey.
Penguin Young Readers Group - January 5th, 2012 - 416 pages.
Wilde Island is in an uproar after the recent death of its king. The uneasy pact between dragons, fairies, and humans is fraying, and a bloodthirsty witch hunter with a hidden agenda whips villages into frenzies with wild accusations. Tess, a blacksmith’s daughter from a tiny hamlet near the mysterious Dragonswood, finds herself caught in the crosshairs of fate when she is accused of witchery and has to flee for her life along with her two best friends. Not even Tess’s power to see the future can help the girls as they set off on their desperate journey, but she keeps having visions of a man wielding a sword. And when she finally meets him, Tess has no idea how to handle the magnetic attraction she feels for him, or the elusive call she hears from the heart of the Dragonswood. In this epic romance, an ancient prophecy comes true in a way neither dragon, fairy, nor human would have predicted.
4. Shadow & Bone by Leigh Bardugo.
Holt Childrens - June 19th, 2012
Inspired by Tsarist Russia, SHADOW & BONE brings to life a fantasy world of superstition and science, saints and samovars, in which a lonely refugee must leave behind her best friend- and first love- to save her country from the growing darkness of the Unsea. But first she must contend with the dangerous and decadent world of the kingdom’s magical elite and their powerful leader, a creature of dark charm and deadly ambition.
5. Queen of Glass by Sarah J. Maas.
Bloomsbury Childrens - Unspecified Fall 2012
An infamous young assassin who is more than she seems must battle her way to freedom in a corrupt kingdom where magic has been outlawed.