A new month, new books! This year, our Top 5 Most Anticipated Releases lists will see a small change. No longer will they consist solely of fantasy releases, but instead will contain all speculative subgenres. After all, most of us who love fantasy also pick up the occasional science fiction or horror book, and most of our favorite publishers serve all speculative fiction. Don’t worry, though: we are still big fans of fantasy, and all genres will get the attention they deserve.
Unfortunately, due to unexpected circumstances, we missed January’s anticipation list, but if you’re still looking for great books published last month, we suggest checking out Blue Remembered Earth by Alastair Reynolds, Control Point by Myke Cole, or Seven Princes by John R. Fultz.
Without further ado, here are The Ranting Dragon’s top picks for February, as compiled by Stephan and Michelle:
|1.||Throne of the Crescent Moon by Saladin Ahmed
|Saladin Ahmed isn’t a usual name for an epic fantasy author, but it is not an unfamiliar name either. After all, Ahmed is already renowned for his short fiction—he was a finalist for both the John W. Campbell Award and the Nebula Award for Best Short Story. Complete with a mesmerizing cover, Ahmed’s Arabian-influenced debut novel promises to bring something new to both the epic fantasy and sword and sorcery subgenres. In Throne of the Crescent Moon, we follow Doctor Adoulla Makhslood on one of his adventures. Murders and brewing revolution lead him to discover a plot for the Throne of the Crescent Moon that threatens to turn Dhamsawaat, and the world itself, into a blood-soaked ruin.|
|Published by DAW on February 7.|
|2.||Exogene by T.C. McCarthy
|Exogene is the second book in The Subterrene War and the indirect sequel to T. C. McCarthy’s outstanding debut novel, Germline. This time around, we see the war through the eyes of Catherine, a genetically modified super-soldier. ‘Genetics’ are created with a limited lifespan and indoctrinated into a cult of Faith and Death from the moment they leave the gene vats. Any who survive to the age of eighteen become increasingly unstable and are shot. However, Catherine craves something more than war and death. She craves life and she will stop at nothing to get it. This novel promises to be just as—if not more—brilliant, uncomfortable, and effective than its predecessor.|
|Published by Orbit on February 28.|
|3.||Partials by Dan Wells
|You may know of Dan Wells as a close friend to Brandon Sanderson and contributor to the Writing Excuses podcast. You may also know of Dan Wells through his popular urban fantasy/horror John Cleaver trilogy. Soon, though, I predict you will get to know him because of his new post-apocalyptic stand-alone novel Partials, which promises us a stunning story of human extinction. A weaponized virus from the war with the Partials has left human population reduced to only tens of thousands. Since the threat of the Partials is still imminent, no baby has been born immune to the RM virus in more than a decade, and time is running out.|
|Published by Balzer + Bray on February 28.|
|4.||City of Dragons by Robin Hobb
|After two science fiction novels, it is time to return to genuine epic fantasy in this list. What better novel to list than the latest novel from one of fantasy’s best known and most popular authors? City of Dragons is the third volume in Robin Hobb’s The Rain Wilds Chronicles, which runs concurrently with and following the events of the Tawny Man Trilogy. City of Dragons tells a tale of—what else?—dragons. These magnificent creatures once reigned the Rain Wilds, tended by privileged human servants known as Elderlings. But due to a series of cataclysmic events, the last of their kind have one hope for survival: to undertake a harsh journey back to their ancient city of Kelsingra.|
|Published by Harper Voyager on February 7.|
|5.||Carpathia by Matt Forbeck
|When a novel is published by Angry Robot Books, you know you’re in for a weird and exhilarating ride. When that novel is written by Matt Forbeck, author of great novels like Vegas Knights and Amortals, you know it’s a must-read. Carpathia, however, promises to be a dark, alternative history of survivors of the Titanic being saved by a haunted steamship. With such an interesting premise, we’ll read it regardless of author and publisher. Right?|
|Published by Angry Robot on February 28.|
If you’re anything like we are, five books are not nearly enough. Luckily, there are many more new releases that are definitely worth a look despite not making our Top Five. We also suggest you look out for:
Agree with this month’s choices? Disagree? Let us know what you’re anticipating on The Ranting Dragon forums. Whatever your interests, we wish you all a great month of reading!