Best New Fantasy Books in December 2022
Publishing slows down as everyone focuses on their homes for the holidays. Nevertheless, there are some new releases we’re excited to see on shelves. Here are our picks for best fantasy books in December 2022.
December tends to be a light month for fiction releases. Publishing slows down as everyone focuses on their homes for the holidays. Nevertheless, there are some new releases we’re excited to see on shelves. Here are our picks for best fantasy books in December 2022.
Cursed Bunny by Bora Chung
Publisher: Algonquin Books
Release date: December 6
Den of Geek says: Cursed Bunny is a collection of grotesque, creative magical realism stories that have appeared in translation in various markets before, but appear now together. Reader beware of some truly gnarly body horror here, but if you want your fantasy and/or speculative fiction bizarre and unsettling, consider using this one to branch out.
Publisher’s summary: From an author never before published in the United States, Cursed Bunny is unique and imaginative, blending horror, sci-fi, fairy tales, and speculative fiction into stories that defy categorization. By turns thought-provoking and stomach-turning, here monsters take the shapes of furry woodland creatures and danger lurks in unexpected corners of everyday apartment buildings. But in this unforgettable collection, translated by the acclaimed Anton Hur, Chung’s absurd, haunting universe could be our own.
“The Head” follows a woman haunted by her own bodily waste. “The Embodiment” takes us into a dystopian gynecology office where a pregnant woman is told that she must find a father for her baby or face horrific consequences. Another story follows a young monster, forced into underground fight rings without knowing his own power. The titular fable centers on a cursed lamp in the shape of a rabbit, fit for a child’s bedroom but for its sinister capabilities.
No two stories are alike, and readers will be torn whether to race through them or savor Chung’s wit and frenetic energy on every page. Cursed Bunny is a book that screams to be read late into the night and passed on to the nearest set of hands the very next day.
The Lost Witch by Paige Crutcher
Publisher: St. Martin’s Griffin
Release date: December 27
Den of Geek says: Witchy fiction is having a moment right now. Often, these books frame magic as soft, empowering, and fun. The Lost Witch is one of those, plus a dash of inter-generational intrigue and romance.
Publisher’s summary: 1922. The town of Evermore off the coast of Ireland is under the protection of a Goddess. She has bestowed power upon village healer Brigid Heron to ensure the heart of magic within the Lough of Brionglóid―the lake of dreams―remains untouched. For the witches of Knight want to absorb its powerful energies and release the Damned from the Otherworld. Brigid has devoted her whole life to being Evermore’s guardian, immersing herself in witchcraft, and sacrificing her own dreams. Until Luc Knightly, a trickster god with his own claim on the lough, offers Brigid her heart’s desire in exchange for betraying her Goddess’s trust.
2022. A century later, Evermore is under siege. The witches of Knight wield chaos magic, opening the rift between the island and the Otherworld wider every day. Beings born from folklore nightmares prey on the villagers, consuming their very humanity. Ophelia Gallagher, Brigid’s descendent, and her fellow witch Finola McEntire do their best to keep the monsters and mayhem at bay.
Brigid awakens in this world with no memory of how she traveled into the future, and why Evermore has been cursed. To seal the lough and stop the witches of Knight, she must work with Ophelia and Finola to help her remember the events of a hundred years ago. But the knowledge she seeks lies with Luc Knightly himself–mysterious, handsome, and powerful–and the one who once upon a time granted Brigid her dearest wish―a daughter.
To save Evermore, Brigid may have to lose her daughter―again…
Into the West by Mercedes Lackey
Release date: December 13
Den of Geek says: Mercedes Lackey has been a staple of fantasy, particularly in the 1990s. Valdemar is one of her beloved settings, and the current series digging into the founding of the land provides either backstory for long-time fans or an ‘in’ for newcomers.
Publisher’s summary: Baron Valdemar and his people have found a temporary haven, but it cannot hold all of them, or for long. Trouble could follow on their heels at any moment, and there are too many people for Crescent Lake to support. Those who are willing to make a further trek by barge on into the West will follow him into a wilderness depopulated by war and scarred by the terrible magics of a thousand years ago and the Mage Wars. But the wilderness is not as “empty” as it seems. There are potential friends and rapacious foes….
….and someone is watching them.