Hello everyone! The prompt for today is the top 5 books I will definitely* read in 2023. Since I just did something similar to this in a tag post yesterday with my 5 highest priority backlist books, I’m going to focus on 5 new releases I’m sure I’ll read this year. Most of these choices come out in the latter half of the year since many of my recent posts like this have looked at titles from the first quarter or first half of the year. I’m trying my best to keep things from getting repetitive, and I am truly super excited about all five of these books. 🙂 The covers all link to the book’s Goodreads page, and I’ve included the official covers and synopsis when available. Top 5 Tuesday was created by Shanah @ Bionic Book Worm, and is now being hosted at Meeghan Reads!
The Midnight Kingdom by Tara Sim
The second book in Tara Sim’s sweeping dark fantasy series, in which the four heirs to four noble houses—each gifted with a divine power—must defy their gods in a fight for the fate of the world.
A cataclysmic battle to save the city of Nexus has left the four noble heirs scattered across the four realms.
Taesia, the shadow-wielding rebel of House Lastrider, and Nikolas, the solider son of House Cyr, have been cast into Noctus, the realm of night. But they are not alone. The dangerous and unpredictable god of light has traveled with them, and he will do anything in his power to destroy Noctus once and for all.
Risha, the peace-loving necromancer of House Vakara, has finally found her way to Mortri, the realm of death. But she still cannot help the wayward spirits trapped in Vaega, nor does she have any idea how to get herself and her friend Jas home. All she knows is that no mortal can survive for long in Mortri. And the creatures that walk the realm of death don’t take kindly to the living.
Angelica, the stubborn elementalist of House Mardova, finds herself alone in Vaega. With the other three heirs vanished, it is up to her help keep the city of Nexus from unraveling. But Angelica secretly suffers from a sickness that her goddess left in her veins. And when she is sent on a delicate diplomatic mission, she knows that any sign of weakness will have disastrous repercussions for her family, her city, and her dreams of the throne.
All will encounter old friends and new enemies as they attempt to restore the balance of the world. But as the gods grow stronger, they’ll need more than their powers and their wits to survive.
A Power Unbound by Freya Marske
THERE’S NOT A COVER FOR THIS ONE YET!! 😭😭😭😭😭 I still have to include it, though, because it is one of my most anticipated books OF THE YEAR. If I don’t get an ARC of this one, I think I will legit cry. lol. Here’s the synopsis:
A Power Unbound is the final entry in Freya Marske’s beloved, award-winning Last Binding trilogy, the queer historical fantasy series that began with A Marvellous Light.
Secrets! Magic! Enemies to. . .something more?
Jack Alston, Lord Hawthorn, would love a nice, safe, comfortable life. After the death of his twin sister, he thought he was done with magic for good. But with the threat of a dangerous ritual hanging over every magician in Britain, he’s drawn reluctantly back into that world.
Now Jack is living in a bizarre puzzle-box of a magical London townhouse, helping an unlikely group of friends track down the final piece of the Last Contract before their enemies can do the same. And to make matters worse, they need the help of writer and thief Alan Ross.
Cagey and argumentative, Alan is only in this for the money. The aristocratic Lord Hawthorn, with all his unearned power, is everything that Alan hates. And unfortunately, Alan happens to be everything that Jack wants in one gorgeous, infuriating package.
When a plot to seize unimaginable power comes to a head at Cheetham Hall—Jack’s ancestral family estate, a land so old and bound in oaths that it’s grown a personality as prickly as its owner—Jack, Alan and their allies will become entangled in a night of champagne, secrets, and bloody sacrifice . . . and the foundations of magic in Britain will be torn up by the roots before the end.
The Bone Shard War by Andrea Stewart
The Bone Shard Daughter was hailed as “one of the best debut fantasy novels of the year” (BuzzFeed News). Now, Andrea Stewart brings us the final book in this unmissable, action-packed, magic-laced epic fantasy trilogy, The Bone Shard War.
Lin Sukai has won her first victory as Emperor, but the future of the Phoenix Empire hangs in the balance – and Lin is dangerously short of allies.
As her own governors plot treason, the Shardless Few renew hostilities. Worse still, Lin discovers her old nemesis Nisong has joined forces with the rogue Alanga, Ragan. Both seek her death.
Yet hopes lies in history. Legend tells of seven mythic swords, forged in centuries past. If Lin can find them before her enemies, she may yet be able to turn the tide.
If she fails, the Sukai dynasty – and the entire empire – will fall.
The Ashfire King by Chelsea Abdullah
There’s no synopsis for this one yet! 🙁 I’m super excited about it, though, and I’ll definitely be reading it as soon as it comes out in November. I’m hoping to get an ARC so that I can get to it even earlier because the end of the first book left me dying to see what happens next.
Painted Devils by Margaret Owen
Let’s get one thing straight—Vanja Schmidt wasn’t trying to start a cult.
After taking down a corrupt margrave, breaking a deadly curse, and finding romance with the vexingly scrupulous Junior Prefect Emeric Conrad, Vanja had one great mystery left: her long-lost birth family… and if they would welcome a thief. But in her search for an honest trade, she hit trouble and invented a god, the Scarlet Maiden, to scam her way out. Now, that lie is growing out of control—especially when Emeric arrives to investigate, and the Scarlet Maiden manifests to claim him as a virgin sacrifice.
For his final test to become a prefect, Emeric must determine if Vanja is guilty of serious fraud, or if the Scarlet Maiden—and her claim to him—are genuine. Meanwhile, Vanja is chasing an alternative sacrifice that may be their way out. The hunt leads her not only into the lairs of monsters and the paths of gods, but the ties of her past. And with what should be the simplest way to save Emeric hanging over their heads, he and Vanja must face a more dangerous question: Is there a future for a thief and a prefect, and at what price?
So, there you have it. My top 5 books I will definitely read in 2023. Do you have any must-reads this year? If so, let me know what they are down in the comments!