2018 will be a big year for Young Adult novels (admittedly, what year isn’t?). The Red Queen (first book in 2015) and Throne of Glass (around since 2012) series will both receive their final chapters. Tahereh Mafi is starting a new Shatter Me trilogy. And the likes of Cassandra Clare and Marissa Meyer will continue publishing as they have faithfully done for years.
Looking forward, here are my 5 most anticipated YA reads of the first three months of 2018. I’m limiting myself to the initial quarter of the year so that all of the following books can come with a title and synopsis. Without further ado, here’s my personal list of the top 5 from January to March:
5. The Defiant (The Valiant #2) by Lesley Livingston
Fallon was warned.
Now she is about to pay the price for winning the love of the Roman people as Caesar’s victorious gladiatrix.
In this highly anticipated sequel to THE VALIANT, Fallon and her warrior sisters find themselves thrust into a vicious conflict with a rival gladiator academy, one that will threaten not only Fallon’s heart – and her love for Roman soldier Cai – but the very heart of the ancient Roman Empire.
When dark treachery and vicious power struggles threaten her hard-won freedom, the only thing that might help the girl known as Victrix save herself and her sisters is a tribe of long-forgotten mythic Amazon warriors.
The only trouble is, they might just kill her themselves first.
Release date: 23 January 2018
Why I’m Hyped: I read The Valiant before I even started blogging this year, for pure enjoyment and nothing else. I’ve elsewhere recognised it as one of my top 5 most memorable YA reads of 2017, so some healthy amount of anticipation for its sequel is a no-brainer.
4. Daughter of the Siren Queen (Daughter of the Pirate King #2) by Tricia Levenseller
Alosa’s mission is finally complete. Not only has she recovered all three pieces of the map to a legendary hidden treasure, but the pirates who originally took her captive are now prisoners on her ship. Still unfairly attractive and unexpectedly loyal, first mate Riden is a constant distraction, but now he’s under her orders. And she takes great comfort in knowing that the villainous Vordan will soon be facing her father’s justice.
When Vordan exposes a secret her father has kept for years, Alosa and her crew find themselves in a deadly race with the feared Pirate King. Despite the danger, Alosa knows they will recover the treasure first . . . after all, she is the daughter of the Siren Queen.
Release date: 27 February 2018
Why I’m Hyped: First of all, on a semi-unrelated note, it bothers me that the title of this duology closer is a pretty big spoiler for major developments in the first book. Buuuuut, that doesn’t kill my hype for the sequel in any way. As much as I roll my eyes while watching Pirates of the Caribbean, there’s still an obnoxious little kid in me that cheers wildly every time the theme song starts playing. It’s to that kid in all of us that Daughter of the Siren Queen appeals.
3. To Kill a Kingdom by Alexandra Christo
Princess Lira is siren royalty and the most lethal of them all. With the hearts of seventeen princes in her collection, she is revered across the sea. Until a twist of fate forces her to kill one of her own. To punish her daughter, the Sea Queen transforms Lira into the one thing they loathe most—a human. Robbed of her song, Lira has until the winter solstice to deliver Prince Elian’s heart to the Sea Queen or remain a human forever.
The ocean is the only place Prince Elian calls home, even though he is heir to the most powerful kingdom in the world. Hunting sirens is more than an unsavory hobby—it’s his calling. When he rescues a drowning woman in the ocean, she’s more than what she appears. She promises to help him find the key to destroying all of sirenkind for good—But can he trust her? And just how many deals will Elian have to barter to eliminate mankind’s greatest enemy?
Released date: 6 March 2018
Why I’m Hyped: I have to admit that the reason this debut, the only one on this list, is ranked so high is in large part due to the drop-dead gorgeous cover and the melodic title that accompanies it. It’s also backed up by a super intriguing premise and the promise of a badass story, all in all a flawless package that’s set the highest expectations for To Kill a Kingdom. I’ll be really disappointed if it doesn’t deliver on the potential. By the way, that makes two books about sirens in a row. I might just be a little fascinated with their portrayals (powerful, beautiful and deadly, what’s not to obsess over?).
2. Shadowsong (Wintersong #2) by S. Jae-Jones
Six months after the end of Wintersong, Liesl is working toward furthering both her brother’s and her own musical careers. Although she is determined to look forward and not behind, life in the world above is not as easy as Liesl had hoped. Her younger brother Josef is cold, distant, and withdrawn, while Liesl can’t forget the austere young man she left beneath the earth, and the music he inspired in her.
When troubling signs arise that the barrier between worlds is crumbling, Liesl must return to the Underground to unravel the mystery of life, death, and the Goblin King—who he was, who he is, and who he will be. What will it take to break the old laws once and for all? What is the true meaning of sacrifice when the fate of the world—or the ones Liesl loves—is in her hands?
Release date: 6 February 2018
Why I’m Hyped: Like The Defiant, Shadowsong is the sequel to one of my top 5 memorable reads of the year. My review of the first book goes into detail about why it’s so great. It also leaves us on a sort of unresolved note, the calm before the storm. It looks like things are going to get real now. Plus, as incredible as it seems that S. Jae-Jones managed to write an entire novel without revealing the love interest’s name, we’d really like to know what it is. Please?
1. The Cruel Prince (The Folk of the Air #1) by Holly Black
Jude was seven years old when her parents were murdered and she and her two sisters were stolen away to live in the treacherous High Court of Faerie. Ten years later, Jude wants nothing more than to belong there, despite her mortality. But many of the fey despise humans. Especially Prince Cardan, the youngest and wickedest son of the High King.
To win a place at the Court, she must defy him–and face the consequences.
In doing so, she becomes embroiled in palace intrigues and deceptions, discovering her own capacity for bloodshed. But as civil war threatens to drown the Courts of Faerie in violence, Jude will need to risk her life in a dangerous alliance to save her sisters, and Faerie itself.
Release date: 2 January 2018
Why I’m Hyped: Alright, this one is cheating a little, because I’ve already read The Cruel Prince. And I loved it. So Holly Black’s faerie tale has the edge because I know that it’ll be great when it does get released, and even though I’m not technically the *most* excited for this book above the others, I probably would be if I hadn’t been blessed with an ARC.
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