The first half of 2019 is promising some majorly hot books in the YA fantasy genre. With so many coming I thought I’d pick four of my favourites. I was lucky enough to read advances of these over the last month, my reviews are coming soon. But I can tell you… you’re in for a treat in 2019!

The much anticipated sequel to The Cruel Prince (which was easily one of my favourite reads in 2018) is almost here Australia! Holly Black does not disappoint with this sequel!

Blurb:

You must be strong enough to strike and strike and strike again without tiring. The first lesson is to make yourself strong.

After the jaw-dropping revelation that Oak is the heir to Faerie, Jude must keep her younger brother safe. To do so, she has bound the wicked king, Cardan, to her, and made herself the power behind the throne. Navigating the constantly shifting political alliances of Faerie would be difficult enough if Cardan were easy to control. But he does everything in his power to humiliate and undermine her even as his fascination with her remains undiminished.

When it becomes all too clear that someone close to Jude means to betray her, threatening her own life and the lives of everyone she loves, Jude must uncover the traitor and fight her own complicated feelings for Cardan to maintain control as a mortal in a Faerie world.

This debut novel by Astrid Scholte is a great, quick, stand alone fantasy read with some vivid and clever world building that is up there with the best of them.
 
Blurb: 
 
A thrilling debut YA fantasy novel for fans of The Red Queen and Three Dark Crowns.
 
Four Queens. A divided nation. A ruthless pickpocket. A noble messenger. And the murders that unite them.
 
Seventeen-year-old Keralie Corrington is one of Quadara’s most skilled thieves, but when she steals an unexpectedly valuable package from a messenger she is soon entangled in a conspiracy that leads to all four of Quadara’s queens being murdered.
 
With no other choices and on the run from her former employer, Keralie teams up with Varin Bollt, the Eonist messenger she stole from, and together they race to discover who has killed the queens. But when dark secrets threaten their reluctant partnership and put everything at stake, Keralie and Varin must use all their daring to stay alive and untangle the mysteries behind the nation’s four dead queens.
When I saw the proofs of this start to circulate I knew I had to read it. Two strong females leads. Vivid storytelling. A lot of intrigue.
 
Blurb:
 
A stunning and original YA fantasy from a fantastic new talent. Perfect for fans of Leigh Bardugo and Laini Taylor.
 
In a sealed-off city, a young woman, Lena, is running for her life. She has been sentenced to death and her only way to survive is to trust those she has been brought up to fear – those with magic.
 
On the other side of the locked gates is a masked lady, Constance, determined to find a way back in. Years ago she escaped before her own powers were discovered. But now she won’t hide who she is any longer.
 
A powerful and terrifying storm cloud engulfs the city. But this is more than a thunderstorm. This is a spell, and the truth behind why it has been cast is more sinister than anyone can imagine … But what neither Lena and Constance realise is that the stormcloud binds them – without it, without each other, neither can get what they desire…
Diversity in storytelling is much needed, which is why I loved this story! As someone who adores Beauty and the Beast retellings I loved how Brigid twisted the tale in this one, bringing something new not only in the diversity of the cast of characters, but the magic itself of a timeless tale.
 
Blurb:
 
Fall in love, break the curse.
Break the curse, save the kingdom.

Prince Rhen, the heir to Emberfall, is cursed. Forced to repeat the autumn of his eighteenth year over and over, he can only be freed by love. But at the end of each autumn he is transformed into a beast hell-bent on destruction, and after so many failed attempts, his kingdom and its people are barely holding on. Harper’s life has never been easy, but she’s learned to be tough enough to survive. She won’t let anything hold her back, not her cerebral palsy or her mother’s deteriorating health. But when she is sucked into Rhen’s world, nothing is as it seems. Powerful forces are standing against Emberfalll … and it will take more than a broken curse to save it from utter ruin.

2019 is looking amazing for YA Fantasy and I highly recommend you grab your hands on these titles in the new year! I know I’ll be re-reading these a few times over the next few months.
(Disclaimer: all opinions and recommendations here are my own and do not reflect nor represent my employer Allen and Unwin.)