Top 20 Books I Want to Read in 2021
Hi everyone! I did this post for 2020 and then reacted to it and I didn’t do so well. I figured that I need to do an updated list of books I want to read in 2021, and this time I’m going to choose them a little bit differently than last year! I honestly haven’t even really given much thought to this until I sat down to write this post, so hopefully I’m not forgetting any books that I want to read!
Before I get into the list of 20 books, I also want to point out that there are some that I won’t be including on this list because they’ll show up in other lists, such as my 5 Star Predictions, Series I Want to Start in 2021, and Series I Want to Finish in 2021. So basically, there’s a lot more than 20 that I want to read in 2021, but this way I can show even more books and maybe get you interested in a few of them! Plus, I’m a mood reader so there’s a pretty high chance I might not get to all of these, just like in 2020.
Jade City by Fonda Lee – I really want to finish this book! I got about 20-30% through it earlier this year and I’m not sure what happened and why I put it down. So many people love it (which you’ll see is a common theme on this list) and I want to see what all the hype is about! This is an Asian inspired mafia story set in an urban fantasy world, which is so unique.
Black Sun by Rebecca Roanhorse – Again, so many people have been talking about how fantastic this book is! I haven’t read anything by this author yet, but if this one goes well, I’ll certainly be trying out her other books! This one is inspired by pre-Columbian civilizations and has prophecies, political intrigue, and forbidden magic. At the time I’m writing this, it has a rating of 4.31 on Goodreads which is a really high rating, and I haven’t heard a single bad thing about it.
Empire of Sand by Tasha Suri – If you’ve been here before, you know that I really enjoy fantasy romances. I didn’t realize that this book was a fantasy romance until recently, and it’s published by one of my favorite imprints – Orbit – so I’m sure I’m going to enjoy it a lot! It’s inspired by Mughal India where the daughter of a governor discovers she has magic and has to resist the Emperor’s mystics. I’m not sure what all that entails, but it sounds interesting and I want to know how the romance fits in!
The Way of Kings by Brandon Sanderson – This is one that I’m feeling a lot of FOMO about, and because of that I actually have ALL the books currently released in the series. Yes, that means I have a copy of Rhythm of War when I haven’t yet finished the first 1000 page book. I got through about 20% (again) through this one, and the only reason I stopped reading it is because I went on a vacation and didn’t want to lug around that massive book! It’s definitely a goal of mine to read this one, and I’ll be even more happy if I can read the second book as well!
Soulkeeper by David Dalglish – I’m kind of embarrassed to say that I haven’t finished this book yet, since the publisher (Orbit, yet again) so kindly sent me finished copies of both this book AND the sequel, and it’s one that I’m REALLY interested in reading. Its about a warrior priest who has to protect his world and people from monsters after an ancient magic returns to the world. If that doesn’t sound like something I would love, I don’t know what does.
Act Your Age, Eve Brown by Talia Hibbert – Switching gears a little bit now! This contemporary romance makes my list of books I want to read because I absolutely ADORED the first two books in this series about the Brown sisters falling in love. I was lucky enough to get an e-ARC for this book, so I’m really excited to see what Eve’s life is like and how her romance turns out!
Obsidio by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff – This is the final book in this series that I need to read, and I would love to be able to cross this series off my TBR in 2021! This is a really popular sci-fi series that follows different characters in each book, but still the same overall plotline. This last book I think all 4 main characters from the previous two books will be main characters in this one, and I’m a little nervous to see how everything ends. I’ve heard that these authors are good at making you fall in love with characters only to have something terrible happen to them.
Queen of the Conquered by Kacen Callender – I haven’t heard too many people talk about this book, but the ones that I have heard have said almost all good things about it. It’s a Caribbean inspired fantasy about a girl who can control minds who wants to get revenge on the people who murdered her family. It also has a big theme of colonization which is something that while it’s been in other fantasy books that I’ve read, it hasn’t usually been a main theme (or if it has, I don’t remember).
Paternus: Rise of Gods by Dryk Ashton – I’ve been aware of this book for quite a while, and it’s one that I’ve heard amazing things about. I mean, the blurb says it’s American Gods meets The Avengers and Supernatural meets The Lord of the Rings, which sounds AMAZING. It’s also one of only two self published fantasy on this list, and I can’t wait to read it and see if it lives up to my expectations!
The Councillor by E.J. Beaton – This is another one that I have an e-ARC of, and honestly the minute I heard what it was about I was so intrigued! It’s about a scholar who is working to choose the next monarch after the queen dies, while also trying to figure out who murdered her. I’m expecting a TON of political intrigue and backstabbing with a healthy dose of magic from this one, and with all the early reviews so far being 4 or 5 stars, I’m really curious about this one.
Bring Me Their Hearts by Sara Wolf – I had seen this book around before, but when I saw this new black and white cover I felt like I really needed to read it. This book follows a girl who is under the control of a witch who keeps her heart in a jar. In order to get her freedom, she must infiltrate the court to take the heart of a Prince. I mentioned this one in my blog post on series that I want to start in 2021, and I’ll say it here as well. The final few sentences of the synopsis really pulled me into this one: “So begins a game of cat and mouse between a girl with nothing to lose and a boy who has it all. Winner takes the loser’s heart. Literally.”
The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms by N.K. Jemisin – Jemisin is one of those fantasy authors that EVERYONE seems to love, and I’m really feeling like I’m missing out on that. I wanted to start with her Inheritance trilogy first before trying to read The Fifth Season. The synopsis is very short for this one: a woman is summoned to the city of Sky, where she is named the heir to the king and is thrust into a power struggle for the throne.
Legacy of Ash by Matthew Ward – This one I received as a physical ARC, then when it released I bought an e-book version because I was struggling to hold this massive 800 page book while reading. I got about 50% in and I’m not even sure why I stopped reading, because it was so interesting and had so much going on! It’s difficult to put into a few sentences what this book is about, but to briefly summarize, it’s a multiple POV fantasy story with political intrigue, revolution, assassins, ancient magic, and war between two empires.
The Mask of Mirrors by M.A. Carrick – I’m noticing a pattern here with me wanting to read a lot of longer fantasy books that have political intrigue and magic, like this one. This one is set in a Venetian inspired world, and while it doesn’t release until the end of January, I already have an e-ARC of this one, and being less than 20% in I don’t have too much to say yet other than it’s a slower start, but I think the characters and the world seem really interesting.
Velocity Weapon by Megan O’Keefe – Basically this is just a list of Orbit books that I want to read, but this is also the second science fiction on the list! When I do read sci-fi, I like to read space operas because they’re the most interesting to me. So this one is about a pilot who falls in battle only to wake up 230 years in the future to find her star system is dead, and her brother who is trying to use his political position to keep conflict from wiping them out. I’m not sure how they’re going to be able to fix everything, but I can’t wait to see how they try!
The Shadow of What Was Lost by James Islington – I started this book when I was in a reading slump to try to pull myself out of it (I know, a 600 page fantasy book isn’t always the best way to do that) and I got about 40% in until I had to put it down to read an ARC I had that was due. I would like to finish this one in 2021 because I love the chosen one trope, and it seems that this one has that big time, along with the next book on this list.
The Dragon Reborn by Robert Jordan – This is the third book in The Wheel of Time, and I really want to get farther ahead in the series before the TV show comes out. I finished book 2 in 2019, so I really need to continue on with the series before I forget everything that happened in the first two books! I know this is a much loved series, and while I’m going into what people call the slog of the series soon, I know the payoff is great and I really want to cross this series off my TBR one day.
Blood & Honey by Shelby Mahurin – REALLY switching gears here to talk about a YA fantasy romance that I really want to read in 2021! I read Serpent & Dove almost as soon as it was released, and preordered Blood & Honey but I haven’t read it yet! I haven’t read the synopsis yet because I don’t even remotely want spoilers about what happens, but after the way the first book ended, I need to know what happens, especially before the third book comes out!
To Sleep in a Sea of Stars by Christopher Paolini – I’m one of those kids who grew up reading Eragon, so when I heard that Paolini was writing another book I was extremely excited! I was so excited when I was approved for an e-ARC, but the formatting was a little strange so it was tough to read, so I decided to wait until I could get a physical copy. I now have that physical copy, but I haven’t had a chance yet to finish it! So I want to make sure that I finish this in 2021.
The Gods of Men by Barbara Kloss – To wrap up this list, I have the final self published fantasy! This one was a top 10 finalist in the SPFBO for 2018, and I really want to read it and see what I think of it, especially since the second book just came out. In this book, magic is forbidden. The main character has magic that allows any music she makes to hold power over souls. She ends up fleeing and winds up being hunted by a necromancer who wants to use her to take over the world. It sounds really interesting and fairly dark for a young adult fantasy, so I’m looking forward to this one.