Tuesday, December 18, 2018


So last week I put together a list of my top reads of 2018 and that got me immediately thinking about the SFF books that I am most excited to read in the upcoming year.  These are some of the books that I am looking forward to, but by no means all of them.  Keep in mind that these are books that as of today have confirmed publication dates.  There were a few other books that I would have liked to include on this list, but alas they did not have publication dates set, even though I know that they are due out sometime next year.  So without further ado, here is a list of titles (in order of publication) that I am entirely stoked about and definitely plan to read and review in 2019:

THE GUTTER PRAYER (January 17, 2019, Orbit) by Gareth Ryder-Hanrahan

Blurb: "A group of three young thieves are pulled into a centuries old magical war between ancient beings, mages, and humanity in this wildly original debut epic fantasy."

This is a book that is getting a ton of buzz right now and I am so excited to get my hands on it.  The description sounds amazing and that cover is just absolutely gorgeous!  Hanrahan's debut is right near the top of my TBR and should be one of my early reviews of 2019.

THE HOD KING (January 22, 2019, Orbit) by Josiah Bancroft

Blurb: "Thomas Senlin and his crew of outcasts have been separated, and now they must face the dangers of the labyrinthine tower on their own in this third book in the word-of-mouth phenomenon fantasy series."

What more can you say about Josiah Bancroft and this brilliantly imaginative series.  The Books of Babel has become one of the monumental series in fantasy and each book is an absolute "must-read" in my opinion.  Can't wait to see what happens next with Thomas Senlin and his crew.

THE RUIN OF KINGS (February 5, 2019, Tor Books) by Jenn Lyons

Blurb: "There are old stories. And then there's what actually happens."

This is another book that I've been hearing a considerable amount of good things about.  I just received a review copy a couple of weeks ago and I plan on giving this one a read in the coming months.  It looks like just the type of epic fantasy, complete with dragons and dire prophecies, that I usually enjoy.

THE PRIORY OF THE ORANGE TREE (February 26, 2019, Bloombury Publishing) by Samantha Shannon

Blurb: "A world divided.  A queendom without an heir.  An ancient enemy awakens."

I am such a huge fan of Samantha Shannon and her writing.  Her Bone Season series is one of the most original dystopian fantasy series I have ever come across.  When I saw that she had a new release coming out in 2019 that was outside of that series, I immediately had to have a review copy.  This is one that I have a feeling that I am going to be totally taken with.

A TIME OF BLOOD (April 16, 2019, Orbit) by John Gwynne

Blurb: "Acclaimed epic fantasy author John Gwynne's second book in his Of Blood and Bone trilogy, an epic fantasy perfect for fans of George R.R. Martin, Brandon Sanderson, and David Gemmell."

This is one that I am most looking forward to reading and it is at the very top of my TBR.  In fact, my review copy is in transit as we speak and I have been checking my front step hourly in anticipation of holding this beauty in my hands.  John Gwynne is among my favorite authors and this series is one that has me captivated with every word.

THE WARSHIP (May 7, 2019, Night Shade Books) by Neal Asher

Blurb: "The dangers of ancient technology loom over the Polity in the sequel to The Soldier, Neal Asher's latest action-packed space opera series."

The Rise of the Jain is Neal Asher's latest series and the first book The Soldier was utterly brilliant.  With Iain M. Banks untimely passing, there are very few great space opera authors left these days.  Peter F. Hamilton is one, and for my money Neal Asher is probably the best of the lot.  I simply love his books and he always ramps up the action to a fever pitch.  This one will be a can't miss for me.  

CHILDREN OF RUIN (May 14, 2019, Pan MacMillan) by Adrian Tchaikovsky

Blurb: "The astonishing sequel to Children of Time, the award-winning novel of humanity's battle for survival on a terraformed planet."

Adrian Tchaikovsky is aptly-named because his books are usually akin to symphonic masterpieces of the mind.  This is the sequel to his superb Children of Time, which is one of my favorite first-contact SF books ever.  I didn't realize that this book was coming out until a couple of weeks ago and I almost fell off my chair.  Cannot wait!

EMPIRE OF GRASS (May 28, 2019, Hodder & Stoughton) by Tad Williams

Blurb: "Set in Williams' New York Times bestselling fantasy world, the second book of The Last King of Osten Ard returns to the trials of King Simon and Queen Miriamele as threats to their kingdom loom...."

Those who know me also know that I am a complete Tad Williams fanboy.  His Osten Ard books are my absolute favorite of any books that I have ever read.  EMPIRE OF GRASS is the second book in his brand new Osten Ard series that began with The Witchwood Crown.  This is a book that I will be salivating over for months in advance of its release.  And just look at that stunning cover art by Michael Whelan!  Oh man I can't wait to continue with this series written by my all-time favorite author.

PRIEST OF LIES (July 2, 2019, Ace Books) by Peter McLean

Blurb: "Tomas Piety has been many things: soldier, priest, gangster...and spy. As Tomas's power grows, the nobility better watch their backs, in this dark and gritty epic fantasy series."

Peter McLean's War for The Rose Throne series started off with a bang with Priest of Bones continues with this summer of 2019 release.  I am so looking forward to following the further exploits of Tomas Piety and his band of miscreants.  This grimdark series should be one that every fan of the sub genre picks up and savors.  Fans of Joe Abercrombie and Mark Lawrence will also find much to like with McLean's books.  July can't come fast enough!

HOLLOW EMPIRE (December 10, 2019, Tor Books) by Sam Hawke

Blurb: "Moving from poison and treachery to war and witchcraft, Sam Hawke's Poison Wars continue with Hollow Empire, a fabulous epic fantasy adventure perfect for fans of Robin Hobb, Naomi Novik, and Scott Lynch."

City of Lies was an absolute revelation within the fantasy genre this year.  The book really blew me away when I first read it, evoking subtle shades of Robin Hobb's Farseer books.  This is the second book in Sam Hawke's Poison War series and if it is anywhere near as fantastic as book one was, then I'm going to gobble it up.  My only regret is that I have to wait until next December to read it!  If you haven't checked out Sam's writing, you really need to.  She is a shining star in the genre.

THE LIGHT OF ALL THAT FALLS (December 10, 2019, Orbit) by James Islington

Blurb: "The Light of All that Falls concludes the epic adventure that began in The Shadow of What Was Lost, the acclaimed fantasy blockbuster from James Islington."

I love this series and I feel like it is too often overlooked.  The first two books in the trilogy were fabulous epic fantasy romps that really took my by surprise.  Unfortunately this book has been pushed back a couple of times already, but it looks like I will finally get to see how this series concludes come December of next year.  Oh and the covers of these books are absolutely beautiful.  I would love to get prints of them and display them in my reading room.

And that about wraps it up!  These are some of the SFF books that I am very much looking forward to reading and reviewing in 2019.  If you are a reader looking for something new, I would suggest that any of these books and authors would be a great choice.  So look for reviews of these titles in the next year on my humble little blog.  As always, thanks so much for visiting Out of This World SFF Reviews and HAPPY READING! - Nick

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