Top 10 Fantasy Debuts of 2017
Kings of the Wyld – Nicholas Eames
Kings of the Wyld hit the ground running with book bloggers and reviewers everywhere loving the characters, the story, and the action. Oh, there’s a fair bit of blood as well, not bad.
Kings of the Wyld tells the story of Clay Cooper, a mercenary whose band were once the bloodiest of the bloody. They’re now retired. But one of the band needs urgent help and it’s here that band must get back together for one final mission.
Kings of the Wyld won Reddit/Fantasy award for best debut novel and was shortlisted for the David Gemmell Morningstar Award. A great start for an author whose name is now known.
The Court of Broken Knives – Anna Smith Spark
The Court of Broken Knives was everywhere when it was first released. Every fantasy bookblogger I follow was talking about it.
The Court of Broken Knives has been described as “well-paced and complex” and it really is.
Smith Spark has a unique way of interweaving complex characters in a simple world, one of death and grit.
The Court of Broken Knives is a fine fantasy debut and I don’t think we’ve heard the last of Anna Smith-Spark
Senlin Ascends – Josiah Bancroft
I’m counting Senlin Ascends as a debut even though it was self-published prior to 2017. Why, you ask? Well because it exploded when it was traditionally published. Senlin Ascends tells the story of Thomas Senlin, a headteacher of a small school in a small coastal town. He takes his new bride to the glorious Tower of Babel for their honeymoon, but what he finds isn’t full of glory. His bride goes missing and it’s left to him to traverse the treacherous Tower.
Senlin Ascends was hyped so much that I just had to get myself a copy. One of my favourite authors, Mark Lawrence, is a big lover of Bancroft’s debut and he let everyone know about it. I wasn’t so sure, I couldn’t get my head around what the novel was. Was it fantasy? Steampunk? Tragedy? Hell, it was probably all 3, and more! You can check out my review here.
What was clear however, was that people LOVED Senlin Ascends. It received rave reviews and paved the way for – what I suspect will be – a fantastic set of books by Mr Bancroft.
Blackwing – Ed McDonald
This is actually next up on my TBR pile and I can’t wait to sink my teeth into it. I won’t at any more, but just read the blurb and convince it isn’t something you’d rip off the shelves at first sight!
The republic faces annihilation, despite the vigilance of Galharrow’s Blackwings. When a raven tattoo rips itself from his arm to deliver a desperate message, Galharrow and a mysterious noblewoman must investigate a long dead sorcerer’s legacy. But there is a conspiracy within the citadel: traitors, flesh-eaters and the ghosts of the wastelands seek to destroy them, but if they cannot solve the ancient wizard’s paradox, the Deep Kings will walk the earth again, and all will be lost.
The war with the Eastern Empire ended in stalemate some eighty years ago, thanks to Nall’s ‘Engine’, a wizard-crafted weapon so powerful even the Deep Kings feared it. The strike of the Engine created the Misery – a wasteland full of ghosts and corrupted magic that now forms a No Mans Land along the frontier. But when Galharrow investigates a frontier fortress, he discovers complacency bordering on treason: then the walls are stormed, and the Engine fails to launch. Galharrow only escapes because of the preternatural magical power of the noblewoman he was supposed to be protecting. Together, they race to the capital to unmask the traitors and restore the republic’s defences. Far across the Misery a vast army is on the move, as the Empire prepares to call the republic’s bluff
Godblind – Anna Stephens
Another Anna?! Youbetcha. Godblind is set in a world where violence reigns and the rivers flow red. It tells the story of a world thrown into chaos by the death of the King’s wife, this shatters an uneasy truce and leaves the kingdoms vulnerable to the wicked Mireces. If you like your antagonists dark, then look no further than Godblind.
The Nine – Tracy Townsend
The Nine tells the story of Rowena Downshire, a black market courier who takes on a last-minute delivery, but ti’s one that she’ll wish she didn’t. Her journey leads her to characters such as The Alchemist and a Reverend, to find the Nine; human subjects that of the Creator’s Grand Experiment.
Gilded Cage – Vic James
Gilded Cage is set in an alternate post-English Civil War era, where those with ‘gifts’ are the ruling class. If you think. It sounds interesting then you’re in for a treat. It’s “A thrilling Orwellian vision of Britain, with a rebellious Hunger Games heart” – Google Books. People loved Gilded Cage, and there’s more to come, with the sequel, Tarnished City already releases, and the final in the trilogy, Bright Ruin, set to be released in October 2018.
Wintersong – S. Jae-Jones
Wintersong is a novel straight out of the fairytale handbook. Girl is drawn to helping her sister escape from the Goblin King and must discover herself in order to save her sister. What will she do?
Wintersong is a highly anticipated novel and one that received mountains of praise, with one reviewers opining that “The prose is beautiful, lyrical, …This is definitely a book that drags you into it” Such high praise doe snot come easily and, while I do see Wintersong as very niche, I think it will hit the notes that certain readers are looking for.
The Bear and the Nightingale- Katherine Arden
The Bear and the Nightingale is the first in the Winternight Trilogy and it takes place in a medieval Russian village. A girl, Vasya, can see the fantastical creatures in her village using the spiritual gift she ha scene given.
This is YA fantasy that will capture audiences of all different age groups. The premise reminds me of something Studio Ghibli would produce, with it’s beauty and the conflict its protagonist must endure and navigate. If YA is your thing, and you haven’t reread The Bear and the Nightingale, I suggest you do, immediately. There’s a reason it was on almost every ‘anticipated’ list.
The Waking Land – Callie Bates
Set in 13th Century Britain, The Waking Land tells the story of Elanna, a political hostage of King Antoine following her father’s failed rebellion. She has come to call the King ‘father’, but when he is poisoned and killed, Elanna is the main suspect and she flees, where she finally meets Lord Jahan, a sorcerer, who shows Elanna her true powers.
Elanna has powers that are unknown to her but she does know that she has the power to control plants and she is forever drawn to the ancient stone circles of her people.
The Waking Land sounds like fantasy fairytale crack to anyone that loves the style on offer here, and there are plenty who do.
The author has been praised for her “delicate, precise touch” by Publishers Weekly.