This Top 5 series started back in October 2018 and it has grown really big! This is a series of books that all have a common theme. I post the schedule for the next month the last week of the prior month. You can talk about books you want to read or books you have read and all prompts are open for interpretation! Feel free to get as creative as you want with the prompts.
December 19th, 2020 — Famous Authors
December 26th, 2020 — 2021 Releases
January 2nd, 2021 — Books You Meant to Read Last Year
January 9th, 2021 — Multiple Points of View
January 16th, 2021 — Metal in the Title (Gold, Silver, Brass, Steel, etc.)
January 23rd, 2021 — Book about Competition (Tournament, race, sibling rivalry, etc.)
January 30th, 2021 — Weapons on the Cover
February 6th, 2021 — Royalty in the Title (King, Queen, Princess, Prince, etc.)
February 13th, 2021 — Book with Unique Format (Diary entries, verse, documents, podcast, blog, etc.)
I am one of those people who loves looking ahead to upcoming releases. I’m always looking out for the next amazing book. Of course as a book blogger who gets a lot of advanced review copies, I’m always looking at upcoming releases and deciding if I should request them or wait to hear what others think. I’ve already read several books that come out in 2021, but I wanted to focus on books I haven’t read that I’m really excited about. There are so many great books coming out in 2021 that I am really excited to dive into. 2020 was a really crappy year, so I’m thrilled to put this year behind me and one of the most exciting parts of that is all the incredible books to look forward to in 2021!
Part of me wanted to fill this entire list with sequels that I can’t wait for, but I thought it would be more fun to look back on if I picked books that weren’t sequels. I always love looking back at lists of books that I was most excited for as they rarely wind up being my favorite books and sometimes my expectations are totally off!
Publication Date: January 19th, 2021
Epic fantasy featuring warrior priestesses and fickle gods at war, for readers of Brian Staveley’s Chronicles of the Unhewn Throne.
Hessa is an Eangi: a warrior priestess of the Goddess of War, with the power to turn an enemy’s bones to dust with a scream. Banished for disobeying her goddess’s command to murder a traveller, she prays for forgiveness alone on a mountainside.
While she is gone, raiders raze her village and obliterate the Eangi priesthood. Grieving and alone, Hessa – the last Eangi – must find the traveller, atone for her weakness and secure her place with her loved ones in the High Halls. As clans from the north and legionaries from the south tear through her homeland, slaughtering everyone in their path, Hessa strives to win back her goddess’ favour.
Beset by zealot soldiers, deceitful gods, and newly-awakened demons at every turn, Hessa burns her path towards redemption and revenge. But her journey reveals a harrowing truth: the gods are dying and the High Halls of the afterlife are fading. Soon Hessa’s trust in her goddess weakens with every unheeded prayer.
Thrust into a battle between the gods of the Old World and the New, Hessa realizes there is far more on the line than securing a life beyond her own death. Bigger, older powers slumber beneath the surface of her world. And they’re about to wake up.
This is one that I’m kind of nervous about actually. Part of me is REALLY excited for this book, and the other part of me feels like this book could be a real disappointment. Hall of Smoke is a debut, so I have no idea how good it will be, and there aren’t many early reviews out there for it. But it does sound like it could be an incredible epic fantasy and the world sounds really cool. It sounds like it’s set in a Vikings like world, which I’m really excited about. I have my fingers crossed that this book winds up being a real winner!
Publication Date: April 20th, 2021
Three Dark Crowns meets Wicked Saints in this queer #ownvoices retelling of “The Firebird,” a Russian folktale, by debut author Alexandra Overy.
When twin heirs are born in Tourin, their fates are decided at a young age. While Izaveta remained at court to learn the skills she’d need as the future queen, Asya was taken away to train with her aunt, the mysterious Firebird, who ensured magic remained balanced in the realm.
But before Asya’s training is completed, the ancient power blooms inside her, which can mean only one thing: the queen is dead, and a new ruler must be crowned.
As the princesses come to understand everything their roles entail, they’ll discover who they can trust, who they can love—and who killed their mother.
These Feathered Flames is Alexandra Overy’s debut novel, so of course I have no idea if I’m going to love this one, but it looks like it might be really great. For some reason it reminds me of Crown of Feathers. I think that’s because both books are about sisters and have covers that have fire themes. These Feathered Flames is inspired by Russian folklore, which by itself is incredibly intriguing to me. I love books about sisterhood and have pretty high hopes for this upcoming YA fantasy!
Publication Date: May 25th, 2021
Everyone knows the Ivies: the most coveted universities in the United States. Far more important are the Ivies. The Ivies at Claflin Academy, that is. Five girls with the same mission: to get into the Ivy League by any means necessary. I would know. I’m one of them. We disrupt class ranks, club leaderships, and academic competitions…among other things. We improve our own odds by decreasing the fortunes of others. Because hyper-elite competitive college admissions is serious business. And in some cases, it’s deadly.
Alexa Donne delivers a nail-biting and timely thriller about teens who will stop at nothing to get into the college of their dreams. Too bad no one told them murder isn’t an extracurricular.
There are a whole slew of reasons that I want to read this book. First of all, it’s a YA thriller, it’s also about girls who will do anything to get into an Ivy League school, but last but not least, it’s by Alexa Donne. I absolutely loved The Stars We Steal, which I totally did not expect to really love, so when I saw that Alexa Donne was writing a book that sounded really up my alley it became a must-have.
Publication Date: June 15th, 2021
The first daughter is for the Throne.
The second daughter is for the Wolf.
For fans of Uprooted and The Bear and the Nightingale comes a dark, sweeping debut fantasy novel about a young woman who must be sacrificed to the legendary Wolf of the Wood to save her kingdom. But not all legends are true, and the Wolf isn’t the only danger lurking in the Wilderwood.
As the only Second Daughter born in centuries, Red has one purpose-to be sacrificed to the Wolf in the Wood in the hope he’ll return the world’s captured gods.
Red is almost relieved to go. Plagued by a dangerous power she can’t control, at least she knows that in the Wilderwood, she can’t hurt those she loves. Again.
But the legends lie. The Wolf is a man, not a monster. Her magic is a calling, not a curse. And if she doesn’t learn how to use it, the monsters the gods have become will swallow the Wilderwood-and her world-whole.
Okay this cover is gorgeous! Now of course, that’s not the only reason this book made this top 5 list. This is a gothic retelling of Little Red Riding Hood. I LOVE gothic books and honestly I feel like there aren’t nearly enough of them out there! This is the author’s debut book, so once again I don’t know what to really expect for this one.
Publication Date: July 27th, 2021
Ellerie Downing lives in the quiet town of Amity Falls in the Blackspire Mountain range–five narrow peaks stretching into the sky like a grasping hand, bordered by a nearly impenetrable forest from which the early townsfolk fought off the devils in the woods. To this day, visitors are few and rare. But when a supply party goes missing, some worry that the monsters that once stalked the region have returned.
As fall turns to winter, more strange activities plague the town. They point to a tribe of devilish and mystical creatures who promise to fulfill the residents’ deepest desires, however grand and impossible, for just a small favor. But their true intentions are much more sinister, and Ellerie finds herself in a race against time before all of Amity Falls, her family, and the boy she loves go up in flames.
That cover is absolutely STUNNING! But seriously, I would have wanted an ARC of Erin A. Craig’s next book no matter what the cover turned out like. Apparently this is a Rumplestiltskin retelling which is a fairy tale that is not retold very often! I loved House of Salt and Sorrows and I’m really excited to check out Erin A Craig’s second book. While the cover is really bright I’m holding out hope that this book will have the gothic vibes that made me absolutely love House of Salt and Sorrows.
Check out other book blogger’s top 5 picks!
Dini @ Dinipandareads — Top 5 Saturday: 2021 Releases
Jill @ Jill’s Book Blog —Top 5 Saturday — 2021 Releases I’m Excited About
Namrata @ Red Pillows — Top 5 — 2021 Releases I’m Excited to Read
Lauren @ Lala’s Book Reviews — 5 Upcoming 2021 Releases I Want to Read: Top 5 Saturday
What books are you looking forward to in 2021? Have you heard of any of the books I listed above? What 2021 releases have you already read? Which 2021 releases do you think I should add to my TBR? Make sure to comment below so we can chat about 2021 releases!