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January and February New Releases: A Duo of Bewitching New Young Adult Reads

Ready to pack your TBR full of fantastical new young adult reads? Perfect. Here’s an epic list of fresh and exciting fantasy and sci-fi YA books to help you out.

Check out the January and February 2023 titles (organized by release date):

January 1st

A Speck of Dawn (A Speck of Darkness Book 2, Paperback edition)

by C.K. Franziska

A speck of Darkness is enough to destroy an entire world. Six months have passed since Cassandra, and her friends faced the Shadow World in a brutal battle. While everything seemed to return to normal, something changed.

Too many unanswered questions plague Cassandra, and she struggles to imagine a life without her family.

Searching for answers, Cas seems to spiral further and further away from the normal life she longed for when she awakens powers that are far beyond hers and has to face the biggest decision yet.

Is it worth staying to fight for the people she loves or would fleeing ensure the survival of the Magical and Human World?

January 3rd

The Stolen Heir

by Holly Black A runaway queen. A reluctant prince. And a quest that may destroy them both. Eight years have passed since the Battle of the Serpent. But in the icy north, Lady Nore of the Court of Teeth has reclaimed the Ice Needle Citadel. There, she is using an ancient relic to create monsters of stick and snow who will do her bidding and exact her revenge. Suren, child queen of the Court of Teeth, and the one person with power over her mother, fled to the human world. There, she lives feral in the woods. Lonely, and still haunted by the merciless torments she endured in the Court of Teeth, she bides her time by releasing mortals from foolish bargains. She believes herself forgotten until the storm hag, Bogdana chases her through the night streets. Suren is saved by none other than Prince Oak, heir to Elfhame, to whom she was once promised in marriage and who she has resented for years. Now seventeen, Oak is charming, beautiful, and manipulative. He’s on a mission that will lead him into the north, and he wants Suren’s help. But if she agrees, it will mean guarding her heart against the boy she once knew and a prince she cannot trust, as well as confronting all the horrors she thought she left behind.

Song of Silver, Flame Like Night (Song of the Last Kingdom Book 1)

by Amélie Wen Zhao Once, Lan had a different name. Now she goes by the one the Elantian colonizers gave her when they invaded her kingdom, killed her mother, and outlawed her people’s magic. She spends her nights as a songgirl in Haak’gong, a city transformed by the conquerors, and her days scavenging for what she can find of the past. Anything to understand the strange mark burned into her arm by her mother in her last act before she died. The mark is mysterious—an untranslatable Hin character—and no one but Lan can see it. Until the night a boy appears at her teahouse and saves her life. Zen is a practitioner—one of the fabled magicians of the Last Kingdom. Their magic was rumored to have been drawn from the demons they communed with. Magic believed to be long lost. Now it must be hidden from the Elantians at all costs. When Zen comes across Lan, he recognizes what she is: a practitioner with a powerful ability hidden in the mark on her arm. He’s never seen anything like it—but he knows that if there are answers, they lie deep in the pine forests and misty mountains of the Last Kingdom, with an order of practitioning masters planning to overthrow the Elantian regime. Both Lan and Zen have secrets buried deep within—secrets they must hide from others, and secrets that they themselves have yet to discover. Fate has connected them, but their destiny remains unwritten. Both hold the power to liberate their land. And both hold the power to destroy the world. Now the battle for the Last Kingdom begins.

A Ruinous Fate

by Kaylie Smith

Fate does not choose the weak. Fate chooses the ready.

Illustros is a cursed realm ruled by the ruthless Gods of Fate, and no one understands the Fates' wrath more than Calliope Rosewood. Blessed with unspeakable powers that terrify even the most dangerous witches and fae, Calla hides her forbidden magic in shame and fear that one wrong touch could send her to her death. With only her two best friends in tow, Calla deserted her coven and has been on the run ever since. Worse, Calla is concealing an even darker secret: fate has chosen her as the final prophesied Blood Warrior, the being destined to start the Fates' War, which will decimate her people and eradicate their magic.

After a betrayal from her infuriating ex Ezra leads her one step closer to fulfilling that age-old prophecy, Calla is desperate to do whatever it takes to reset her fate. So when a mysterious and charming witch offers to help Calla do just that, she immediately agrees to his plan. Only catch? That plan includes journeying into the deadly Neverending Forest with Ezra and said witch, who just so happens to be Ezra's tempting older brother.

Torn between her past desires and alluring new possibilities, Calla brings along her best friends to fight what lies ahead. As the group ventures into the enchanted woods together, they'll all soon learn that choosing your destiny comes with dire consequences . . . and the Fates are not to be tested. Calla believes the Fates have it out for her, while others believe they have chosen her for a reason. But in the end, Calla will have to fight to forge her own destiny and decide if the risk of choosing herself is worth the possibility of damning everyone else.

Unseelie (The Unseelie Duology Book 1)

by Ivelisse Housman

Iselia “Seelie” Graygrove looks just like her twin, Isolde…but as an autistic changeling left in the human world by the fae as an infant, she has always known she is different. Seelie’s unpredictable magic makes it hard for her to fit in—and draws her and Isolde into the hunt for a fabled treasure. In a heist gone wrong, the sisters make some unexpected allies and find themselves unraveling a mystery that has its roots in the history of humans and fae alike.

Both sisters soon discover that the secrets of the faeries may be more valuable than any pile of gold and jewels. But can Seelie harness her magic in time to protect her sister and herself?

January 10th

Wren and the Tarnished Tiger (Game of Gods Book 1)

by E. M. Leander A girl whose magic doesn’t fit the mold. A tarnished golden boy. The journey that will unite them. Orphaned Wren is contented with her life as a lighthouse keeper – but when war encompasses her country, she will be thrust into a world she never imagined. Bound in an unlikely partnership, she will find the gods have bigger plans for her than she could ever have imagined. Handsome and arrogant Aris is descended from a line of Shields, animal shifters whose sole purpose is to guard their paired Mages. As the story unfolds, the influence of mercurial gods will gift Wren and Aris an incomparable journey through magic, betrayal, and love.

A Crucible of Fire and Steel (Heirs of War Book 2)

by Jamie Edmundson

A war that engulfs two worlds.

Sent to unknown lands on a mission to save Dalriya, Sanc must find his feet fast if he is to survive. As he discovers others who share his powers, he becomes embroiled in the conflicts of this new world. What is Sanc prepared to do, to defeat Ezenachi?

Back in Essenberg, Liesel is still at the mercy of her brother and the witch, Inge. As the Empire slides towards civil war, she must find a way to change the course of events. Before it's too late.

Peyre, now Duke of Morbaine, will do anything to rescue Liesel from her predicament. But what price will he pay to save the woman he secretly loves?

Belwynn Godslayer. A legend thought long dead. More dead than alive, in truth. But once destiny has its claws so deep, it rarely lets go. The futures of kingdoms, empires, and the peoples of two worlds hang in the balance in book two of Heirs of War. Featuring new adult character journeys, bloody medieval battles, warring states, and dark sorcery.

January 17th

Mysteries of Thorn Manor

by Margaret Rogerson Elisabeth Scrivener is finally settling into her new life with sorcerer Nathaniel Thorn. Now that their demon companion Silas has returned, so has scrutiny from nosy reporters hungry for gossip about the city’s most powerful sorcerer and the librarian who stole his heart. But something strange is afoot at Thorn Manor: the estate’s wards, which are meant to keep their home safe, are acting up and forcibly trapping the Manor'’ occupants inside. Surely it must be a coincidence that this happened just as Nathaniel and Elisabeth started getting closer to one another… With no access to the outside world, Elisabeth, Nathaniel, and Silas—along with their new maid Mercy—will have to work together to discover the source of the magic behind the malfunctioning wards before they’re due to host the city’s Midwinter Ball. Not an easy task when the house is filled with unexpected secrets, and all Elisabeth can think about is kissing Nathaniel in peace. But when it becomes clear that the house, influenced by the magic of Nathaniel’s ancestors, requires a price for its obedience, Elisabeth and Nathaniel will have to lean on their connection like never before to set things right.

January 18th

Courting Fae Thieves and Crowns

by Joanna Reeder

A tournament for the prince’s heart. Fifteen fae hopefuls chosen, vying for the crown. But the king has planted a beautiful spy in their midst…

Half-fae Amberle is a thief, but there’s nothing she can steal that will buy her father’s freedom. When she’s invited to enter a glamorous competition to become the potential mate and bride of the prince, her every instinct blares a warning. After all, the king can’t be trusted. And worse, she knew Prince Rion as a youngling, and he hates her.

The feeling is mutual.

But when the very King of Fareie who holds her father prisoner offers to free him in exchange for Amberle’s compliance, will she strike a bargain?

How hard can it be to spy on a few royals and noble wannabes? It’s not like she’s at risk of falling in love.

January 24th

Spice Road

by Maiya Ibrahim In the hidden desert city of Qalia, there is secret spice magic that awakens the affinities of those who drink the misra tea. Sixteen-year-old Imani has the affinity for iron and is able to wield a dagger like no other warrior. She has garnered the reputation as being the next great Shield for battling djinn, ghouls, and other monsters spreading across the sands. Her reputation has been overshadowed, however, by her brother, who tarnished the family name after it was revealed that he was stealing his nation's coveted spice—a telltale sign of magical obsession. Soon after that, he disappeared, believed to have died beyond the Forbidden Wastes. Despite her brother’s betrayal, there isn’t a day that goes by when Imani doesn’t grieve him. But when Imani discovers signs that her brother may be alive and spreading the nation's magic to outsiders, she makes a deal with the Council that she will find him and bring him back to Qalia, where he will face punishment. Accompanied by other Shields, including Taha, a powerful beastseer who can control the minds of falcons, she sets out on her mission. Imani will soon find that many secrets lie beyond the Forbidden Wastes—and in her own heart—but will she find her brother?

A Sword from the Embers (An Heir Comes to Rise Book 5)

by Chloe C. Peñaranda When a true heir awakens, a returning past can break. And when war follows, a lifelong vow may shatter. A RISE… Awakening from a dark defeat, Faythe discovers a greater threat to the life she took back. Staggering truths will challenge her and reveal that some bonds were forged to defy. With the battle lost, the war has just begun, and as an enemy is captured, it soon becomes clear a storm can be tamed but never bottled. A THRONE… Her return to Rhyenelle stirs Faythe’s rival to the throne. In this new twist of fate, against the pressures of the court, it’s a test of strength and will to keep her cunning cousin at bay. Two hands reaching for a crown is a challenge bound to end in blood, but which one will bleed for their right to reign? A PHOENIX… Still, no conflict in the realm can match that which began long ago. The time is now for Faythe to face her title of heir before kingdom. But not without the help of those tied in destiny may the Phoenix Queen rise should all burn and fall.

January 31st

False Earth: A YA Fantasy Adventure to the Demon Overlord's Planet (Arch Mage Series Book 5)

by Cami Murdock Jensen

Trapped, hunted, and stripped of her magic. Can she save the universe from enslavement and her friends from certain death?