Five BRAND NEW YA Fantasies You Need to Read

Hi, y’all!

We just had so many amazing releases hit shelves last month and even more that are releasing this week, and I wanted to highlight some brand new Young Adult fantasy novels that I think all YA lovers should read. If you have one or more of these books on your to-be-read (TBR) shelves, let me know in the comments below with why you want to read them!

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DELBeasts of Prey

by Ayana Gray
Published by G.P. Putnam’s Sons Books for Young Readers
Released on September 28th, 2021
YOUNG ADULT FICTION—Fantasy

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In this much-anticipated series opener, fate binds two Black teenagers together as they strike a dangerous alliance to hunt down the ancient creature menacing their home—and discover much more than they bargained for.

Magic doesn’t exist in the broken city of Lkossa anymore, especially for girls like sixteen-year-old Koffi. Indentured to the notorious Night Zoo, she cares for its fearsome and magical creatures to pay off her family’s debts and secure their eventual freedom. But the night her loved ones’ own safety is threatened by the Zoo’s cruel master, Koffi unleashes a power she doesn’t fully understand—and the consequences are dire.

As the second son of a decorated hero, Ekon is all but destined to become a Son of the Six—an elite warrior—and uphold a family legacy. But on the night of his final rite of passage, a fire upends his plans. In its midst, Ekon not only encounters the Shetani—a vicious monster that has plagued the city and his nightmares for nearly a century—but a curious girl who seems to have the power to ward off the beast. Koffi’s power ultimately saves Ekon’s life, but his choice to let her flee dooms his hopes of becoming a warrior.

Desperate to redeem himself, Ekon vows to hunt the Shetani down and end its reign of terror, but he can’t do it alone. Meanwhile, Koffi believes finding the Shetani and selling it for a profit could be the key to solving her own problems. Koffi and Ekon—each keeping their true motives secret from the other—form a tentative alliance and enter into the unknowns of the Greater Jungle, a world steeped in wild magic and untold dangers. The hunt begins. But it quickly becomes unclear whether they are the hunters or the hunted.

Chosen as a Barnes & Noble YA Book Club Pick!

Personally, this is one of my most anticipated books. I was so excited to get to put together the display for it when it was finally off of SOS in our system. I’ve heard nothing but absolutely raving reviews of  Beasts of Prey online, and I cannot wait to be able to pick it up for myself.


DELETA Clash of Steel

A Treasure Island Remix
by C.B. Lee
Published by Feiwel Friends
Released on September 7th, 2021
YOUNG ADULT FICTION—Historical, Fantasy, Retellings

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Two intrepid girls hunt for a legendary treasure on the deadly high seas in this YA remix of the classic adventure novel Treasure Island.

1826. The sun is setting on the golden age of piracy, and the legendary Dragon Fleet, the scourge of the South China Sea, is no more. Xiang has grown up with stories about the Dragon Fleet and its ruthless leader, a woman known only as the Dragon Queen, all her life. Xiang desperately wants to set sail and explore—mainly to find her father, a presumed dead crew member of the Dragon Fleet. Her only memento of him is a pendant she always wears, a simple but plain piece of gold jewelry.

But the pendant’s true nature is revealed when a mysterious girl named Anh steals it, only to return it to Xiang in exchange for her help in decoding the tiny map scroll hidden inside. Rumor has it that the legendary Dragon Queen had one last treasure—the plunder of a thousand ports—hidden away on an island shrouded in mist that only can be seen once in a blue moon.

Xiang is convinced this map could lead to the fabled treasure. Captivated with the thrill of adventure, she joins Anh and her motley crew off in pursuit of the island. But the girls soon find that the sea—and especially those who sail it—are far more dangerous than the legends led them to believe.

This book sounds absolutely stunning. Not only is the cover gorgeous, but I took a peak at the first page while stocking it in store, and I already know I’m going to really enjoy reading this one. 


DEThe Splendor

by Breeana Shields
Published by Page Street Kids
Released on September 7th, 2021
YOUNG ADULT FICTION—Fantasy

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The Splendor isn’t just a glamorous hotel, it’s a magical experience that gives its guests the fantasy fulfillment of their dreams. But The Splendor didn’t make Juliette’s dreams come true. It ruined her life.

After a weeklong stay, Juliette’s sister, Clare, returns from the hotel changed. Her connection to Juliette―the special bond they once shared―has vanished. In a moment of hurt and frustration, Juliette steals their meager savings and visits The Splendor herself.

When she arrives, she’s taken in by the lush and sumptuous hotel. But as she delves more deeply into the mystery of the place, and how they make their illusions work, she grows more and more uneasy. The Splendor has a seedy underbelly, but every time she gets close to discovering something real, she seems to hit a wall.

Meanwhile, Juliette meets Henri, an illusionist who lives and works at the hotel. Henri’s job is to provide Juliette with the same Signature Experience he gives all the guests―one tailored fantasy that will make her stay unforgettable. As he gets to know her, he realizes that not only is he ill-equipped to make her dreams come true, he’s the cause of her heartache.

I received this book as an ARC from Page Street Kids, and unfortunately, it’s currently sitting in one of my many moving boxes. The little I’ve heard about it has been a mix of opinions, but mainly good things! So of course, since I heard about it from some friends, I will be digging through my UHaul boxes to find that stubborn ARC.


DELETELuminous

by Mara Rutherford
Published by Inkyard Press
Releasing on October 5th, 2021
YOUNG ADULT FICTION—Fantasy

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A witch who must learn to harness her power–or risk losing her loved ones forever.

Liora has spent her life in hiding, knowing discovery could mean falling prey to the king’s warlock, Darius, who uses mages’ magic to grow his own power. But when her worst nightmare comes to pass, Darius doesn’t take her. Instead, he demands that her younger sister return to the capital with him. To make matters worse, Evran, Liora’s childhood friend and the only one who knows her secret, goes missing following Darius’s visit, leaving her without anyone to turn to.

To find Evran and to save her sister, Liora must embrace the power she has always feared. But the greatest danger she’ll face is yet to come, for Darius has plans in motion that will cause the world to fall into chaos–and Liora and Evran may be the only ones who can stop him.

This is another book I’m extremely excited about. I was lucky enough to receive an e-ARC of Mara’s debut around its release, and I had the same opportunity with this book. Unfortunately, I just didn’t have the time or motivation to get around to it. But now that I have my pre-order on the way, I have no doubt I’ll be falling in love with  Luminous shortly.


DELEA Dark and Starless Forest

by Sarah Hollowell
Published by HMH Books for Young Readers
Released on September 14th, 2021
YOUNG ADULT FICTION—Fantasy

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When her siblings start to go missing, a girl must confront the dark thing that lives in the forest—and the growing darkness in herself—in this debut YA contemporary fantasy for fans of Wilder Girls.

Derry and her eight siblings live in an isolated house by the lake, separated from the rest of the world by an eerie and menacing forest. Frank, the man who raised them after their families abandoned them, says it’s for their own good. After all, the world isn’t safe for people with magic. And Derry feels safe—most of the time.

Until the night her eldest sister disappears. Jane and Derry swore to each other that they’d never go into the forest, not after their last trip ended in blood, but Derry is sure she saw Jane walk into the trees. When another sibling goes missing and Frank’s true colors start to show, feeling safe is no longer an option. Derry will risk anything to protect the family she has left. Even if that means returning to the forest that has started calling to Derry in her missing siblings’ voices.

As Derry spends more time amidst the trees, her magic grows more powerful . . . and so does the darkness inside her, the viciousness she wants to pretend doesn’t exist. But saving her siblings from the forest and from Frank might mean embracing the darkness. And that just might be the most dangerous thing of all.

I’ve heard little to nothing about this gorgeous book, but when I found it while stocking shelves in store, I knew I had to have it. It’s currently sitting in our employee holds, just waiting for me to be able to afford it.

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