2019 FANTASY BOOKS BY ASIAN AUTHORS YOU SHOULD WATCH OUT FOR

Hullo bookdragons! Can you believe we only have 40 something days until 2018 is over??

Well, I can believe it. What I can’t believe is that we’re only 4 months in on this school year. It feels like I’ve been suffering for two millennia already.

Anyway, this dragon is here again to fulfill her book blogging duties: to introduce more books to your TBR pile while making your bank accounts suffer in the process. WE’LL BE BROKE TOGETHER. That is real friendship right there.

2019 is fast approaching which means that new book releases are also running toward us at breakneck speed. In this post, I’m going to list 7 fantasy books by Asian authors that you should watch out for in 2019. THESE BOOKS ARE GOLD, I’M TELLING YOU.

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2019 FANTASY BOOKS BY ASIAN AUTHORS YOU SHOULD WATCH OUT FOR

1. Descendant of the Crane by Joan He

Release date: April 2, 2019

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Tyrants cut out hearts. Rulers sacrifice their own

Princess Hesina of Yan has always been eager to shirk the responsibilities of the crown, but when her beloved father is murdered, she’s thrust into power, suddenly the queen of an unstable kingdom. Determined to find her father’s killer, Hesina does something desperate: she engages the aid of a soothsayer—a treasonous act, punishable by death… because in Yan, magic was outlawed centuries ago.

Using the information illicitly provided by the sooth, and uncertain if she can trust even her family, Hesina turns to Akira—a brilliant and alluring investigator who’s also a convicted criminal with secrets of his own. With the future of her kingdom at stake, can Hesina find justice for her father? Or will the cost be too high?

In this shimmering Chinese-inspired fantasy, debut author Joan He introduces a determined and vulnerable young heroine struggling to do right in a world brimming with deception.

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This book is dubbed as the Chinese Game of Thrones and is definitely one of my most-anticipated releases of 2019. I ALSO GOT APPROVED FOR AN E-ARC OF THIS AND IF YOU THINK I DIDN’T SCREAM WHEN THAT HAPPENED, YOU’RE CLEARLY MISTAKEN. Descendant of the Crane is the type of book that will call to your soul at first glance. With that cover and that highly-interesting blurb, who wouldn’t think that this book would take the whole book community by storm?

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2. The Dragon Republic by R. F. Kuang

Release date: May 2, 2019

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The searing follow-up to 2018’s most celebrated fantasy debut – THE POPPY WAR.

In the aftermath of the Third Poppy War, shaman and warrior Rin is on the run: haunted by the atrocity she committed to end the war, addicted to opium, and hiding from the murderous commands of her vengeful god, the fiery Phoenix. Her only reason for living is to get revenge on the traitorous Empress who sold out Nikan to their enemies.

With no other options, Rin joins forces with the powerful Dragon Warlord, who has a plan to conquer Nikan, unseat the Empress, and create a new Republic. Rin throws herself into his war. After all, making war is all she knows how to do.

But the Empress is a more powerful foe than she appears, and the Dragon Warlord’s motivations are not as democratic as they seem. The more Rin learns, the more she fears her love for Nikan will drive her away from every ally and lead her to rely more and more on the Phoenix’s deadly power. Because there is nothing she won’t sacrifice for her country and her vengeance.

The sequel to R.F. Kuang’s acclaimed debut THE POPPY WAR, THE DRAGON REPUBLIC combines the history of 20th-century China with a gripping world of gods and monsters, to devastating effect

• • •

If I could rip through the bounds of time to read The Dragon Republic, I definitely will. This is the sequel to The Poppy War a.k.a. My New Obsession which is why I’m so hyped for it. I can’t wait to get my heart broken by R. F. Kuang again. I also have so many unanswered questions and I want to know what’s in store of this world and the characters I have come to love.

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3. ‎The Gilded Wolves by Roshani Chokshi

Release date: January 15, 2019

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Set in a darkly glamorous world, The Gilded Wolves is full of mystery, decadence, and dangerous but thrilling adventure.

Paris, 1889: The world is on the cusp of industry and power, and the Exposition Universelle has breathed new life into the streets and dredged up ancient secrets. In this city, no one keeps tabs on secrets better than treasure-hunter and wealthy hotelier, Séverin Montagnet-Alarie. But when the all-powerful society, the Order of Babel, seeks him out for help, Séverin is offered a treasure that he never imagined: his true inheritance.

To find the ancient artifact the Order seeks, Séverin will need help from a band of experts: An engineer with a debt to pay. A historian who can’t yet go home. A dancer with a sinister past. And a brother in all but blood, who might care too much.

Together, they’ll have to use their wits and knowledge to hunt the artifact through the dark and glittering heart of Paris. What they find might change the world, but only if they can stay alive.

• • •

When I first heard about The Gilded Wolves, I was immediately excited. First, it’s a book by Roshani Chokshi who I really admire as a writer. Second, I’m weak for any book set in Victorian Paris. Third and most importantly, the blurb speaks of a potential fictional squad who will embark on an adventure filled of mystery and thrill. GIVE ME ALL THE FICTIONAL SQUADS. I’m here for them all.

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4. ‎Aru Shah and the Song of Death by Roshani Chokshi

Release date: April 16, 2019

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Best-selling author Rick Riordan presents best-selling author Roshani Chokshi and her sequel to Aru Shah and the End of Time. Aru is only just getting the hang of this whole Pandava thing when the Otherworld goes into full panic mode. The god of love’s bow and arrow have gone missing, and the thief isn’t playing Cupid. Instead, they’re turning people into heartless fighting-machine zombies. If that weren’t bad enough, somehow Aru gets framed as the thief. If she doesn’t find the arrow by the next full moon, she’ll be kicked out of the Otherworld. For good. But, for better or worse, she won’t be going it alone. Along with her soul-sister, Mini, Aru will team up with Brynne, an ultra-strong girl who knows more than she lets on, and Aiden, the boy who lives across the street and is also hiding plenty of secrets. Together they’ll battle demons, travel through a glittering and dangerous serpent realm, and discover that their enemy isn’t at all who they expected.

• • •

I adored Aru Shah and the End of Time so its sequel deserves a spot on this list. I miss my Pandava children so much and I’m so excited to meet new characters from this series! I love how Chokshi writes her characters—they’re so diverse and one of the main characters, Mini, is a half-Filipino which means so much to me because there just aren’t enough Filipino reps in books. If you love MG, you should definitely give this series a try.

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5. ‎Dragon Pearl by Yoon Ha Lee

Release date: January 15, 2019

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Rick Riordan Presents Yoon Ha Lee’s space opera about thirteen-year-old Min, who comes from a long line of fox spirits. But you’d never know it by looking at her.

To keep the family safe, Min’s mother insists that none of them use any fox-magic, such as Charm or shape-shifting. They must appear human at all times. Min feels hemmed in by the household rules and resents the endless chores, the cousins who crowd her, and the aunties who judge her. She would like nothing more than to escape Jinju, her neglected, dust-ridden, and impoverished planet. She’s counting the days until she can follow her older brother, Jun, into the Space Forces and see more of the Thousand Worlds.

When word arrives that Jun is suspected of leaving his post to go in search of the Dragon Pearl, Min knows that something is wrong. Jun would never desert his battle cruiser, even for a mystical object rumored to have tremendous power. She decides to run away to find him and clear his name.

Min’s quest will have her meeting gamblers, pirates, and vengeful ghosts. It will involve deception, lies, and sabotage. She will be forced to use more fox-magic than ever before, and to rely on all of her cleverness and bravery. The outcome may not be what she had hoped, but it has the potential to exceed her wildest dreams.

This sci-fi adventure with the underpinnings of Korean mythology will transport you to a world far beyond your imagination.

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LOOK AT ALL THE AMAZING CONTENT RICK RIORDAN PRESENTS IS GIVING US. This imprint just gives me life because it makes me appreciate stories from other cultures. Dragon Pearl is a sci fi book inspired from Korean mythology and has PIRATES, GHOSTS AND MAGIC. I can’t wait to read this book.

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6. ‎The Girl King by Mimi Yu

Release date: January 8, 2019

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Two sisters become unwitting rivals in a war to claim the title of Emperor in this sweeping tale of ambition, sacrifice and betrayal for readers of Sabaa Tahir and Alwyn Hamilton.

All hail the Girl King. 

Sisters Lu and Min have always understood their places as princesses of the Empire. Lu knows she is destined to become the dynasty’s first female ruler, while Min is resigned to a life in her shadow. Then their father declares their male cousin Set the heir instead—a betrayal that sends the sisters down two very different paths.

Determined to reclaim her birthright, Lu goes on the run. She needs an ally—and an army—if she is to succeed. Her quest leads her to Nokhai, the last surviving wolf shapeshifter. Nok wants to keep his identity secret, but finds himself forced into an uneasy alliance with the girl whose family killed everyone he ever loved…

Alone in the volatile court, Min’s hidden power awakens—a forbidden, deadly magic that could secure Set’s reign…or allow Min to claim the throne herself. But there can only be one Emperor, and the sisters’ greatest enemy could turn out to be each other.

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Court intrigue, sibling rivalry, girl Emperors, and magic—these are what this book offers us. IMAGINE THINKING THAT THIS BOOK IS NOT WHAT I NEED IN MY LIFE. The premise of The Girl King is so good and I only hope that this book can give justice to its plot. Either way, this book truly deserves a spot on your TBR pile.

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7. Spin the Dawn by Elizabeth Lim

Release date: July 30, 2019

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Project Runway meets Mulan in this sweeping YA fantasy about a young girl who poses as a boy to compete for the role of imperial tailor and unexpectedly falls for the court magician in the process. 

When Maia Tamarin is presented with an opportunity to change her fortunes, she doesn’t think twice about dressing as a boy and traveling to the Summer Palace to attain it. She knows she could lose her life if she is discovered, but the risk is worth it to save her family from ruin and achieve her own dream of becoming tailor to the emperor. There’s just one catch: Maia is one of twelve tailors vying for the job.

Backstabbing and lies run rampant as the tailors compete in a series of challenges to prove their artistry and skill. Maia’s task is further complicated when she draws the attention of the court magician, Edan, whose piercing eyes seem to see straight through her disguise.
But nothing could prepare her for the final challenge: Maia must sew three magic gowns for the emperor’s reluctant bride-to-be, from the laughter of the sun, the tears of the moon, and the blood of stars. With this impossible task before her, she embarks on a journey to the far reaches of the kingdom, seeking the sun, the moon, and the stars, and finding more than she ever could have imagined. . . .

Steeped in Chinese culture, sizzling with forbidden romance, and shimmering with magic, this young adult fantasy is pitch-perfect for fans of Sarah J. Maas or Renee Ahdieh.

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This book cover killed me at first sight. This is my ghost writing this post right now. Plus this book speaks of a forbidden romance and screams Mulan that I couldn’t contain my excitement when I first heard of it. I’m deceased.

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SUPPORT ASIAN AUTHORS!

I think that’s my new battlecry. There are still a lot of books by Asian authors from different genres that you need to read so expect a part 2 of this post. Seeing all these book releases makes my Asian heart so full. My 2019 is already booked.

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What are your most-anticipated releases of 2019? Are the books I listed in your TBR? How excited are you for 2019?

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35 thoughts on “2019 FANTASY BOOKS BY ASIAN AUTHORS YOU SHOULD WATCH OUT FOR

    1. Ah yes I wanted to include that in the list but I haven’t read Rin Chupeco’s books yet. Her books are high on my reading list since I’ve heard many great things about them. Her being a Filipino is a bonus too. I just didn’t include her book in this list because I don’t think I can give a genuine reaction to it because I’m not into the series yet.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. My heart is really full with all these releases! I’m glad that you’re enjoying The Gilded Wolves. My request got rejected in netgalley so I guess I’ll just wait for its release. Hoping to read it soon 😊

      Liked by 1 person

  1. Hi Rain, I came across your site while searching fantasy. I have been reading Asian webnovels for ages and your blog is great. Keep up the good work! I have a fantasy novel on free promotion on Amazon out on 14th December. I would be happy if you could give it a go. Please leave a review if it suits your taste. Have a great day!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I didn’t know that the cover of The Poppy War’ sequel is out yet! It’s so beautiful 😍😍 Descendant of the Crane, The Gilded Wolves and The Girl King are top on my TBR! And those Rick Riordan imprints sound so great. Thanks for all the recommendations!

    Like

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