Completely unhinged, chaotic, and exciting - Iron Widow is the perfect combination of angry feminist reimagination of Chinese history and mecha sci-fi. Iron Widow is an entirely new experience, with many exhilarating moments and a compelling, morally-challenged (anti?)heroine to spearhead its story.
The Jasmine Throne by Tasha Suri (The Burning Kingdoms #1)
Tasha Suri creates a memorable breakout moment with her trailblazing The Jasmine Throne — first in a new epic, nuanced, and wonderfully complex story. A blistering, gutsy, and kinetic book, it's one of the finest fantasies I've read in 2021.
Witches Steeped in Gold by Ciannon Smart (Witches Steeped in Gold #1)
Like antiheroes, morally gray characters, and vibes reminiscent of "Killing Eve" all jam-packed in a dark Jamaican-inspired fantasy book exploring the duality of heroes/villains? Ciannon Smart's evocative debut is for you.
She Who Became the Sun by Shelley Parker-Chan (The Radiant Emperor #1)
She Who Became the Sun offers a dazzling and exciting re-imagination of Chinese-Mongolian history, yet it stays true to its dark, blood-soaked roots. Parker-Chan deftly blurs the boundary between sweeping fantasy epic, historical fantasy, and literary fiction as she pushes the limits of said genres.
The Unbroken by C.L. Clark (Magic of the Lost #1)
The Unbroken is a slow-burn military fantasy unlike typical entries in the genre; but it overcompensates (in a good way) for its lack of big set-piece action with a deep and emotionally engaging exploration of the personal marks colonisation leaves through the lens of a flawed protagonist, and an equally compelling character-driven romance. This is a debut quite unlike any other with devastating effect.