Welcome to my weekly segment, Waiting on Wednesday, where I look at upcoming books that I am planning to order and review in the next few months and which I think I will really enjoy. I run this segment in conjunction with the Can’t-Wait Wednesday meme that is currently running at Wishful Endings. Stay tuned to see reviews of these books when I get a copy of them. For this week’s Waiting on Wednesday, I am going to highlight three upcoming novels that I think will be awesome follow ups to some excellent debut novels I’ve recently read.
Over the last year there have been some truly amazing debut novels coming out across the various genres. This is particularly true in 2021, and I have already enjoyed some really great books written by talented first-time authors, with several other fantastic sounding ones set for release later in the year. However, I am also particularly excited to see that some of these fantastic debuts are already producing some cool sounding sequels, which will be released over the next few months. Considering how much fun I had reading the first books from these amazing writers, I am very excited for these sequels, especially as they are all continuing the compelling storylines from the initial books.
The first book I want to highlight is The Bone Shard Emperor by Andrea Stewart, the second book in The Drowning Empire series and the cool sounding follow up to the 2020 fantasy debut, The Bone Shard Daughter. The Bone Shard Daughter was a very impressive fantasy debuts and it instantly got a massive following of fans, especially as multiple reviewers quickly started raving about it. I read it a few months after it came out and I really enjoyed its captivating story and clever setting, and it ended up being one of my favourite debuts of 2020.
The Drowning Empire novels are set within a tyrannical empire of multiple islands, ruled over by a family of magicians who use shards of bone, harvested from their subjects to power dangerous constructs. The first novel followed a great range of characters, including a smuggler, the Emperor’s rebellious daughter and several rebels, and resulted in an awesome read with a great conclusion. I am pretty excited to check out the sequel, currently set for release on 11 November 2021, which will continue right after the events of the first book and feature a dangerous new enemy emerging to challenge the protagonists. The Bone Shard Emperor sounds like a really good read and I cannot wait to see how Stewart’s second novel turns out.
The Bone Shard Emperor is the unmissable sequel to The Bone Shard Daughter, one of the biggest fantasy debuts of 2020 – a captivating tale of magic, revolution and mystery, where a young woman’s sense of identity will make or break an empire.
The Emperor is Dead. Long live the Emperor.
Lin Sukai finally sits on the throne she won at so much cost, but her struggles are only just beginning. Her people don’t trust her. Her political alliances are weak. And in the northeast of the Empire, a rebel army of constructs is gathering, its leader determined to take the throne by force.
Yet an even greater threat is on the horizon, for the Alanga – the powerful magicians of legend – have returned to the Empire. They claim they come in peace, and Lin needs their help to defeat the rebels and restore order.
But can she trust them?
The next novel I want to highlight in this post is The Liar’s Knot by M. A. Carrick, the second book in the exciting Rook & Rose series. The Liar’s Knot, which will be released in early December 2021, is the sequel to the excellent The Mask of Mirrors, which came out earlier this year. The Mask of Mirrors is the first book from author M. A. Carrick, the joint pen name of Marie Brennan and Alyc Helms, two established fantasy authors, although I am counting this book as a debut as it was the first time that they wrote together.
The Mask of Mirrors, which was one of my favourite audiobooks of the first half of 2021, followed a great group of protagonists as they engage in a game of deceit and lies in an amazing fantasy setting. Set in the troubled city of Nadežra, the book primarily followed a former street kid turned con artist as she attempts to trick her way into the ranks of a wealthy family by rescuing them from poverty. However, her ploy sets her against a range of dangerous adversaries, including a notorious crime lord, a mysterious vigilante, and an insidious magical threat from her childhood. This results in an awesome and compelling fantasy adventure, and I really enjoyed how the story progressed. The next book in this series, The Liar’s Knot, will continue the impressive story with the three central protagonists coming into conflict with each other, and the other sinister forces infesting the city.
Trust is the thread that binds us . . . and the rope that hangs us.
In Nadezra, peace is as tenuous as a single thread. The ruthless House Indestor has been destroyed, but darkness still weaves through the city’s filthy back alleys and jewel-bright gardens, seen by those who know where to look.
Derossi Vargo has always known. He has sacrificed more than anyone imagines to carve himself a position of power among the nobility, hiding a will of steel behind a velvet smile. He’ll be damned if he lets anyone threaten what he’s built.
Grey Serrado knows all too well. Bent under the yoke of too many burdens, he fights to protect the city’s most vulnerable. Sooner or later, that fight will demand more than he can give.
And Ren, daughter of no clan, knows best of all. Caught in a knot of lies, torn between her heritage and her aristocratic masquerade, she relies on her gift for reading pattern to survive. And it shows her the web of corruption that traps her city.
But all three have yet to discover just how far that web stretches. And in the end, it will take more than knives to cut themselves free…
The final book in this post is the really cool sounding science fiction thriller, Outcast, by Louise Carey. Carey is a talented author who, after writing several books with her family, produced her first solo novel earlier this year, Inscape. Inscape was a captivating and intriguing read that featured a fantastic cyberpunk storyline in a dystopian future. Inscape was one of the better debut novels I have read so far this year, and I was very excited to see that Carey already has a sequel on the way with Outcast.
Outcast, which is currently set for release on 25 January 2022, will continue to follow corporation security officer and spy, Tanta, as she attempts to unravel the various conspiracies dominating the futuristic society that she lives in, and which is threatening the corporation that raised her. The first novel had a great story to it, which finished on a fantastic note, and I really enjoyed getting through this cool first book. I am also very excited to see how this story continues, especially as the synopsis suggests that even more secrets and lies about Tanta’s past and her employers will be revealed in this latest outing.
TRUTH. LIES. IT CAN BE HARD TO TELL THEM APART.
When a bomb goes off at InTech HQ, everything changes for Tanta’s corporation. Order becomes disorder. Safety becomes danger. Calm becomes chaos.
Tanta is tasked with getting to the bottom of the attack before violence and unrest overtake the city. But even though the evidence points towards rival corporation Thoughtfront, Tanta can’t shake the feeling that she’s missing something.
There’s a dark secret at the heart of the case, one that will reveal more about her own corporation than Tanta would like. And the closer Tanta gets to the mystery, the more she comes to realise something terrible:
Sometimes facing the truth can be the hardest thing of all.
As you can see from the above, there are some outstanding sequel novels coming out in the next few months, and I have to say that I am extremely excited for all of them. All three of these fantastic upcoming books are following on from some amazing debuts, and I have very high hopes that these great authors will continue their excellent writing with these sequels.