With the new year fast approaching, I’ve already gathered quite the list of 2023 fantasy book releases that sound interesting. While certainly not the only ones coming out next month, here are some of the fantasy releases expected in January 2023 that I’m anticipating, along with their release date, the publisher’s summary, and a link to the publishers’ pages.
The Sapphire Altar
by David Dalglish
In this epic fantasy from a bestselling author, a usurped prince must master the magic of shadows in order to reclaim his kingdom and his people.
Cyrus wants out. Trained to be an assassin in order to oust the invading Empire from his kingdom, Cyrus is now worried the price of his vengeance is too high. His old master has been keeping too many secrets to be trusted. And the mask he wears to hide his true identity and become the legendary “Vagrant” has started whispering to him in the dark. But the fight isn’t over and the Empire has sent its full force to bear upon Cyrus’s floundering revolution. He’ll have to decide once and for all whether to become the thing he fears or lose the country he loves.
by Jessica Johns
In this gripping, horror-laced debut, a young Cree woman’s dreams lead her on a perilous journey of self-discovery that ultimately forces her to confront the toll of a legacy of violence on her family, her community and the land they call home.
When Mackenzie wakes up with a severed crow’s head in her hands, she panics. Only moments earlier she had been fending off masses of birds in a snow-covered forest. In bed, when she blinks, the head disappears.
Night after night, Mackenzie’s dreams return her to a memory from before her sister Sabrina’s untimely death: a weekend at the family’s lakefront campsite, long obscured by a fog of guilt. But when the waking world starts closing in, too—a murder of crows stalks her every move around the city, she wakes up from a dream of drowning throwing up water, and gets threatening text messages from someone claiming to be Sabrina—Mackenzie knows this is more than she can handle alone.
Traveling north to her rural hometown in Alberta, she finds her family still steeped in the same grief that she ran away to Vancouver to escape. They welcome her back, but their shaky reunion only seems to intensify her dreams—and make them more dangerous.
What really happened that night at the lake, and what did it have to do with Sabrina’s death? Only a bad Cree would put their family at risk, but what if whatever has been calling Mackenzie home was already inside?
by Laura Shepperson
Publisher: Alcove Press
Debut novelist Laura Shepperson offers a powerful feminist retelling of Phaedra and her unyielding quest for justice, perfect for fans of Madeline Miller and Natalie Haynes.
Phaedra has been cast to the side all her life: daughter of an adulteress, sister of a monster, and now unwilling bride to the much-older, power-hungry Theseus. Young, naïve, and idealistic, she has accepted her lot in life, resigned to existing under the sinister weight of Theseus’s control and the constant watchful eye of her handsome stepson Hippolytus.
When supposedly pious Hippolytus assaults her, Phaedra’s world is darkened in the face of untouchable, prideful power. In the face of injustice, Phaedra refuses to remain quiet any longer: such an awful truth demands to be brought to light. When Phaedra publicly accuses Hippolytus of rape, she sparks an overdue reckoning.
The men of Athens gather to determine the truth. Meanwhile, the women of the city, who have no vote, are gathering in the shadows. The women know truth is a slippery thing in the hands of men. There are two sides to every story, and theirs has gone unheard. Until now.
Timely, unflinching, and transportive, Laura Shepperson’s Phaedra carves open long-accepted wounds to give voice to one of the most maligned figures of mythology and offers a stunning story of how truth bends under the weight of patriarchy but can be broken open by the force of one woman’s bravery.
Emily Wilde’s Encyclopedia of Faeries
by Heather Fawcett
Publisher: Del Rey
A curmudgeonly professor journeys to a small town in the far north to study faerie folklore and discovers dark fae magic, friendship, and love in the start of a heartwarming and enchanting new fantasy series.
Cambridge professor Emily Wilde is good at many things: She is the foremost expert on the study of faeries. She is a genius scholar and a meticulous researcher who is writing the world’s first encyclopaedia of faerie lore. But Emily Wilde is not good at people. She could never make small talk at a party—or even get invited to one. And she prefers the company of her books, her dog, Shadow, and the Fair Folk to other people.
So when she arrives in the hardscrabble village of Hrafnsvik, Emily has no intention of befriending the gruff townsfolk. Nor does she care to spend time with another new arrival: her dashing and insufferably handsome academic rival Wendell Bambleby, who manages to charm the townsfolk, muddle Emily’s research, and utterly confound and frustrate her.
But as Emily gets closer and closer to uncovering the secrets of the Hidden Ones—the most elusive of all faeries—lurking in the shadowy forest outside the town, she also finds herself on the trail of another mystery: Who is Wendell Bambleby, and what does he really want? To find the answer, she’ll have to unlock the greatest mystery of all—her own heart.
The Keeper’s Six
by Kate Elliott
You never stop worrying about your kids, even when they’re adults. Kate Elliott’s action-packed The Keeper’s Six features a world-hopping, bad-ass, spell-slinging mother who sets out to rescue her kidnapped adult son from a dragon lord with everything to lose.
It’s been a year since Esther set foot in the Beyond, the alien landscape stretching between worlds, crossing boundaries of space and time. She and her magical traveling party—her Hex—haven’t spoken since the Concilium banned them from the Beyond for a decade. But when she wakes in the middle of the night to her grown son’s cry for help, the members of her Hex are the only ones she can trust to help her bring him back from wherever he has been taken.
Esther will have to risk everything to find him. Undercover and hidden from the Concilium, she and her Hex will be tested by false dragon lords, a darkness so dense it can suffocate, and the bones of an old crime come back to haunt her.
There are terrors that dwell in the space between worlds.
Barrow of Winter
by H.M. Long
Publisher: Titan Books
Thrilling epic fantasy adventures set in the world of HALL OF SMOKE and TEMPLE OF NO GOD, featuring murderous conspiracies, howling icy wastelands and the Children of Winter, for readers of Claire LeGrand, Margaret Owen, V. E. Schwab and Melissa Caruso
Thray is the Last Daughter of Winter, haunted by the legacy of her blood. When offered a chance to visit the northern land of Duamel, where her father once ruled, she can’t refuse – even if it means lying to the priesthood she serves and the man she loves.
In Duamel, Thray’s demi-god siblings rule under the northern lights, worshipped by an arcane cult. An endless winter night cloaks the land, giving rise to strange beasts and terrible storms. The people of Duamel teeter on the edge of violence, and Thray’s siblings, powerful and deathless, stand with them on the brink.
To earn her siblings’ trust and find the answers she seeks, Thray will have to weather assassination attempts, conspiracies and icy wastelands. And as her siblings turn their gaze towards the warmer, brighter land she calls home, she must harness her own feral power and decide where her loyalties lie.
Because when the spring winds blow and the ice breaks up, the sons and daughters of Winter will bring her homeland to its knees.