Wednesday, June 19, 2013

The Most Anticipated Teen Fantasy Books of 2013

Another year, another host of fantasy books for readers to get completely and utterly lost in.

Just when you thought the genre had reached its full potential in 2011, last year saw teenage bookworms treated to more impressive debuts, further novels by already established authors and even some surprises from writers with virtually no track record in fantasy writing.

Anne Lyle burst onto the scene with 'The Alchemist of Souls', Mark Lawrence realised his undoubted potential with 'King of Thorns', while Jim Brooks, Jim Butcher and Steven Erikson showed there's still plenty of weird, wacky and wonderful ideas in their noggins yet.

Last year certainly raised the bar in teen fantasy writing, but can 2013 push it even higher? Here are five upcoming releases that should make a valiant attempt at doing exactly that.

'Emperor of Thorns' - Mark Lawrence

'Prince of Thorns' well and truly put Lawrence on the map in 2011, while 'King of Thorns' was one of the success stories of last year. Teens have really taken to the American's tales of Prince Jor Ancrath and his quest for power and vengeance, thanks in part to their slight yet noticeable similarities with the 'Assassins Creed' video game. 'Emperor of Thorns' is the conclusion to a gripping debut trilogy but should work as a standalone even without a flick through the previous works.

'Sworn in Steel' - Douglas Hulick

Douglas Hulick's 'Sworn in Steel' was set to make a huge impression on the genre last year, even making it onto a number of 'most anticipated' lists. However, Hulick had some problems getting the manuscript in time and so it had to be delayed until his publishing company could find a slot for a release. Thankfully we'll be hearing from Doug and his sword-wielding villain-turned-hero Drothe in early June.

The story sees Drothe burning down a portion of the imperial capital to work his way up to the top of the criminal elite. That's until he's framed for the murder of another Gray Prince, at which point a mysterious man gives him not only a solution to his problem, but a shot at redemption.

'Daylight War' - Peter V. Brett

Peter V. Brett knows the modern fantasy genre inside out and is expected to deliver once again with 'Daylight War'. The writer enjoyed phenomenal success with both 'The Warded Man' and 'The Desert Spear', although many critics believe he's yet to reach his peak. Well that could very well happen this year. A battle for power brimming with tales of demons and magic, this is set to be the epic of 2013.

'Drakenfeld' - Mark Newton

Regarded as fantasy's answer to Sherlock Holmes, Mark Newton's 'Drakenfeld' is all set to provide a welcome break away from the dark tales that have become this decade's trend. He moves away from the norm with a tale revolving around Lucan Drakenfeld, an officer for an organisation responsible for enforcing a law which binds a continent, kings and queens in royal union. Drakenfeld is ordered to investigate a murder which takes place in front of hundreds of potential witnesses, yet no one claims to have seen a thing.

'River of Stars' - Guy Gavriel Kay

Set in the same alternate historical China as his 2010 release 'Under Heaven', Guy Gavriel Kay is set to deliver yet another treat with 'River of Stars'. Prideful emperors, soldiers and nomadic invasions take centre stage in this one, which is a must for any fantasy fan that recognises superbly written-prose, well-crafted characters and an author who can picture an exotic Asian landscape at will.
About the author:

Foyles ( is one of the UK's biggest book sellers and has its flagship store in Charing Cross, London.

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