This month’s new fantasy brings inventive world-building, social commentary and cool swords. Take a look at our top picks for new fantasy books in February 2022.
The Thousand Eyes by A.K. Larkwood
Publisher: Tor Books
Release date: Feb. 15
Den of Geek says: The previous book in this series, The Serpent Gates, overflowed with fantastical concepts and twists on the expected. A series of magical portals through which airships travel through dimensions? Ancient snake people? Sword fights? It has everything.
Publisher’s summary: Two years after defying the wizard Belthandros Sethennai and escaping into the great unknown, Csorwe and Shuthmili have made a new life for themselves, hunting for secrets among the ruins of an ancient snake empire.
Along for the ride is Tal Charossa, determined to leave the humiliation and heartbreak of his hometown far behind him, even if it means enduring the company of his old rival and her insufferable girlfriend.
All three of them would be quite happy never to see Sethennai again. But when a routine expedition goes off the rails and a terrifying imperial relic awakens, they find that a common enemy may be all it takes to bring them back into his orbit.
Moon Witch, Spider King by Marlon James
Publisher: Riverhead Books
Release date: February 15
Den of Geek says: Marlon James’ violent Dark Star trilogy brought a remarkable new voice to high fantasy. The second book can work as either a sequel or a standalone, set in the same story but from a different perspective.
Publisher’s summary: In Black Leopard, Red Wolf, Sogolon the Moon Witch proved a worthy adversary to Tracker as they clashed across a mythical African landscape in search of a mysterious boy who disappeared. In Moon Witch, Spider King, Sogolon takes center stage and gives her own account of what happened to the boy, and how she plotted and fought, triumphed and failed as she looked for him. It’s also the story of a century-long feud—seen through the eyes of a 177-year-old witch—that Sogolon had with the Aesi, chancellor to the king. It is said that Aesi works so closely with the king that together they are like the eight limbs of one spider. Aesi’s power is considerable—and deadly. It takes brains and courage to challenge him, which Sogolon does for reasons of her own.
Both a brilliant narrative device—seeing the story told in Black Leopard, Red Wolf from the perspective of an adversary and a woman—as well as a fascinating battle between different versions of empire, Moon Witch, Spider King delves into Sogolon’s world as she fights to tell her own story. Part adventure tale, part chronicle of an indomitable woman who bows to no man, it is a fascinating novel that explores power, personality, and the places where they overlap.
Where I Can’t Follow by Ashley Blooms
Publisher: Sourcebooks Landmark
Release date: Feb. 15
Den of Geek says: We debated on how much fantasy is actually present in this mostly realistic novel, but the central conceit gives it a The Good Place-like musing on life and death with a backdrop of both magic and poverty.
Publisher’s summary: Maren Walker told herself she wouldn’t need to sell pills for long, that it was only means to an end. But that end seems to be stretching as far away as the other side of Blackdamp County, Kentucky. There’s always another bill for Granny’s doctor, another problem with the car, another reason she’s getting nowhere.
She dreams of walking through her little door to leave it all behind. The doors have appeared to the people in her mountain town for as long as anyone can remember, though no one knows where they lead. All anyone knows is that if you go, you’ll never come back.
Maren’s mother left through her door when Maren was nine, and her shadow has followed Maren ever since. When she faces the possibility of escaping her struggles for good, Maren must choose just what kind of future she wants to build.