The Official Round Up of Fierce Reads Fall 2021 CoversBy Team Fierce Reads
If you think you're ready for this round-up of Fall 2021 cover reveals, you're probably wrong. (Just kidding, we'd never say that, but there's so much goodness here, we honestly can't believe it.) So, without further ado, keep reading to check out each and every stunning cover that will be gracing the shelves of a bookstore near you in just a few months. A Clash of Steel: A Treasure Island Remix by C.B. Lee On Sale: September 7, 2021 Cover design by Rich Deas, art by Feifei Ruan Add it on Goodreads Two intrepid girls hunt for a legendary treasure on the deadly high seas in this YA remix of the classic adventure novel Treasure Island. 1826. The sun is setting on the golden age of piracy, and the legendary Dragon Fleet, the scourge of the South China Sea, is no more. Its ruthless leader, a woman known only as the Head of the Dragon, is now only a story, like the ones Xiang has grown up with all her life. She desperately wants to prove her worth, especially to her mother, a shrewd businesswoman who never seems to have enough time for Xiang. Her father is also only a story, dead at sea before Xiang was born. Her single memento of him is a pendant she always wears, a simple but plain piece of gold jewelry. But the pendant's true nature is revealed when a mysterious girl named Anh steals it, only to return it to Xiang in exchange for her help in decoding the tiny map scroll hidden inside. The revelation that Xiang's father sailed with the Dragon Fleet and tucked away this secret changes everything. Rumor has it that the legendary Head of the Dragon had one last treasure—the plunder of a thousand ports—that for decades has only been a myth, a fool's journey. Xiang is convinced this map could lead to the fabled treasure. Captivated with the thrill of adventure, she joins Anh and her motley crew off in pursuit of the island. But the girls soon find that the sea—and especially those who sail it—are far more dangerous than the legends led them to believe. So Many Beginnings: A Little Women Remix by Bethany C. Morrow On Sale: September 7, 2021 Cover design by Rich Deas and Kathleen Breitenfeld, photo by Jonathan Barkat Add it on Goodreads Four young Black sisters come of age during the American Civil War in So Many Beginnings, a warm and powerful YA remix of the classic novel Little Women, by national bestselling author Bethany C. Morrow. North Carolina, 1863. As the American Civil War rages on, the Freedmen's Colony of Roanoke Island is blossoming, a haven for the recently emancipated. Black people have begun building a community of their own, a refuge from the shadow of the "old life." It is where the March family has finally been able to safely put down roots with four young daughters: Meg, a teacher who longs to find love and start a family of her own. Jo, a writer whose words are too powerful to be contained. Beth, a talented seamstress searching for a higher purpose. Amy, a dancer eager to explore life outside her family's home. As the four March sisters come into their own as independent young women, they will face first love, health struggles, heartbreak, and new horizons. But they will face it all together. The Hollow Heart by Marie Rutkoski On Sale: September 14, 2021 Cover design by Beth Clark, art by Ruben Ireland Add it on Goodreads Intrigue, romance, and magic abound in The Hollow Heart, the heart-stopping conclusion to Marie Rutkoski’s Forgotten Gods duology. At the end of The Midnight Lie, Nirrim offered up her heart to the god of thieves in order to restore her people’s memories of their city’s history. The Half Kith who once lived imprisoned behind the city’s wall now realize that many among them are powerful. Meanwhile, the person Nirrim once loved most, Sid, has returned to her home country of Herran, where she must navigate the politics of being a rogue princess who has finally agreed to do her duty. In the Herrani court, rumors begin to grow of a new threat rising across the sea, of magic unleashed on the world, and of a cruel, black-haired queen who can push false memories into your mind, so that you believe your dearest friends to be your enemies. Sid doesn’t know that this queen is Nirrim, who seeks her revenge against a world that has wronged her. Can Sid save Nirrim from herself? Does Nirrim even want to be saved? As blood is shed and war begins, Sid and Nirrim find that it might not matter what they want…for the gods have their own plans. Into the Dying Light by Katy Rose Pool On Sale: September 21, 2021 Cover design by Mallory Grigg, art by Jim Tierney Add it on Goodreads In Into the Dying Light, the jaw-dropping conclusion to the Age of Darkness trilogy, hearts will shatter, cities will fall, and a god will rise. Following the destruction of the City of Mercy, an ancient god has been resurrected and sealed inside Beru's body. Both are at the mercy of the Prophet Pallas, who wields the god’s powers to subjugate the Six Prophetic Cities. But every day, the god grows stronger, threatening to break free and sow untold destruction. Meanwhile, far away from Pallas Athos, Anton learns to harness his full powers as a Prophet. Armed with the truth about how the original Prophets killed the god, Anton leads Jude, Hassan, and Ephyra on a desperate quest to the edge of the world. With time running out, the group’s tenuous alliance is beset by mounting danger, tumultuous romance, and most of all by a secret that Anton is hiding: a way to destroy the god at the price of an unbearable sacrifice. But the cost of keeping that secret might be their lives—and the lives of everyone in the Six Prophetic Cities. The Age of Darkness trilogy is perfect for fans of Throne of Glass, Children of Blood and Bone, and An Ember in the Ashes. Steelstriker by Marie Lu On Sale: September 28, 2021 Cover design by Aurora Parlagreco, art by Novans V. Adikresna Add it on Goodreads Explosive action and swoon-worthy suspense collide in this riveting conclusion to the Skyhunter duet from #1 New York Times–bestselling author Marie Lu As a Striker, Talin was taught loyalty is life. Loyalty to the Shield who watches your back, to the Strikers who risk their lives on the battlefield, and most of all, to Mara, which was once the last nation free from the Karensa Federation’s tyranny. But Mara has fallen. And its destruction has unleashed Talin’s worst nightmare. With her friends scattered by combat and her mother held captive by the Premier, Talin is forced to betray her fellow Strikers and her adopted homeland. She has no choice but to become the Federation’s most deadly war machine as their newest Skyhunter. Red is no stranger to the cruelty of the Federation or the torture within its Skyhunter labs, but he knows this isn’t the end for Mara – or Talin. The link between them may be weak, but it could be Talin and Red's only hope to salvage their past and safeguard their future. While the fate of a broken world hangs in the balance, Talin and Red must reunite the Strikers and find their way back to each other in this smoldering sequel to Marie Lu’s Skyhunter. Lakesedge by Lyndall Clipstone On Sale: September 28, 2021 Cover design and art by Rich Deas Add it on Goodreads A lush, gothic fantasy from debut author Lyndall Clipstone about monsters and magic, set on the banks of a cursed lake, perfect for fans of Naomi Novik and Brigid Kemmerer. When Violeta Graceling and her younger brother Arien arrive at the haunted Lakesedge estate, they expect to find a monster. Leta knows the terrifying rumors about Rowan Sylvanan, who drowned his entire family when he was a boy. But neither the estate nor the monster are what they seem. As Leta falls for Rowan, she discovers he is bound to the Lord Under, the sinister death god lurking in the black waters of the lake. A creature to whom Leta is inexplicably drawn. Now, to save Rowan—and herself—Leta must confront the darkness in her past, including unraveling the mystery of her connection to the Lord Under. Rise Up!: How You Can Join the Fight Against White Supremacy by Crystal M. Fleming On Sale: October 5, 2021 Cover design by Liz Dresner, art by Hadil Mohamed Add it on Goodreads Perfect for fans of Stamped: Remix, This Book is Antiracist, and The Black Friend, this urgent book explores the roots of racism and its legacy in modern day, all while empowering young people with actionable ways they can help foster a better world and become antiracists. Why are white supremacists still openly marching in the United States? Why are undocumented children of color separated from their families and housed in cages? Where did racism come from? Why hasn’t it already disappeared? And what can young people do about it? Rise Up! breaks down the origins of racial injustice and its continued impact today, connecting dots between the past and present. By including contemporary examples ripped from headlines and actionable ways young people can help create a more inclusive world, sociologist Crystal Fleming shares the knowledge and values that unite all antiracists: compassion, solidarity, respect, and courage in the face of adversity. Little Thieves by Margaret Owen On Sale: October 5, 2021 Cover design by Rich Deas, art by M. S. Corley Add it on Goodreads A scrappy maid must outsmart both palace nobles and Low Gods in a new YA fantasy by Margaret Owen, author of the Merciful Crow series. Once upon a time, there was a horrible girl... Vanja Schmidt knows that no gift is freely given, not even a mother’s love—and she’s on the hook for one hell of a debt. Vanja, the adopted goddaughter of Death and Fortune, was Princess Gisele's dutiful servant up until a year ago. That was when Vanja’s otherworldly mothers demanded a terrible price for their care, and Vanja decided to steal her future back… by stealing Gisele’s life for herself. The real Gisele is left a penniless nobody while Vanja uses an enchanted string of pearls to take her place. Now, Vanja leads a lonely but lucrative double life as princess and jewel thief, charming nobility while emptying their coffers to fund her great escape. Then, one heist away from freedom, Vanja crosses the wrong god and is cursed to an untimely end: turning into jewels, stone by stone, for her greed. Vanja has just two weeks to figure out how to break her curse and make her getaway. And with a feral guardian half-god, Gisele’s sinister fiancé, and an overeager junior detective on Vanja’s tail, she’ll have to pull the biggest grift yet to save her own life. Margaret Owen, author of The Merciful Crow series, crafts a delightfully irreverent retelling of “The Goose Girl” about stolen lives, thorny truths, and the wicked girls at the heart of both. Why is Everybody Yelling?: Growing Up in My Immigrant Family by Marisabina Russo On Sale: October 12, 2021 Cover design by Kirk Benshoff, art by Marisabina Russo Add it on Goodreads “A wonderful book about figuring out who we are and who we want to be when we grow up. It’s also about being an American—especially a first-generation American.” —Roz Chast This graphic-novel debut from an acclaimed picture book creator is a powerfully moving memoir of the author's experiences with family, religion, and coming of age in the aftermath of World War II, and the childhood struggles and family secrets that shaped her. It’s 1950s New York, and Marisabina Russo is being raised Catholic and attending a Catholic school that she loves—but when she finds out that she’s Jewish by blood, and that her family members are Jewish survivors of the Holocaust, her childhood is thrown into turmoil. To make matters more complicated, her father is out of the picture, her mother is ambitious and demanding, and her older half-brothers have troubles, too. Following the author’s young life into the tumultuous, liberating 1960s, this heartfelt, unexpectedly humorous, and meticulously illustrated graphic-novel memoir explores the childhood burdens of memory and guilt, and Marisabina’s struggle and success in forming an identity entirely her own. Himawari House by Harmony Becker On Sale: October 19, 2021 Cover design by Sunny Lee, art by Harmony Becker Add it on Goodreads A young adult graphic novel about three foreign exchange students and the pleasures, and difficulties, of adjusting to living in Japan. Living in a new country is no walk in the park—Nao, Hyejung, and Tina can all attest to that. The three of them became fast friends through living together in the Himawari House in Tokyo and attending the same Japanese cram school. Nao came to Japan to reconnect with her Japanese heritage, while Hyejung and Tina came to find freedom and their own paths. Though each of them has her own motivations and challenges, they all deal with language barriers, being a fish out of water, self discovery, love, and family. Bad Girls Never Say Die by Jennifer Mathieu On Sale: October 19, 2021 Cover design by Kerri Resnick Add it on Goodreads From the acclaimed author of Moxie comes a gripping gender-flipped reimagining of The Outsiders that explores the deep bonds of female friendship and what it takes to be a "bad girl." 1964. Houston, Texas. Evie Barnes is a bad girl. So are all her friends. They’re the sort who wear bold makeup, laugh too loud, and run around with boys. Most of all, they protect their own against the world. So when Evie is saved from the unimaginable by a good girl from the "right" side of the tracks, every rule she's always lived by is called into question. Now she must redefine what it means to be a bad girl and rethink everything she knew about loyalty. In this riveting story of murder, secrets, and tragedy, Jennifer Mathieu reimagines S. E. Hinton's The Outsiders from a female perspective. Bad Girls Never Say Die has all the drama and heartache of that teen classic, but with a feminist take just right for our times. Daughters of a Dead Empire by Carolyn Tara O'Neil On Sale: October 26, 2021 Cover design by Aurora Parlagreco, art by Aitch Add it on Goodreads From debut author Carolyn Tara O'Neil comes a thrilling alternate history set during the Russian Revolution. Russia, 1918: With the execution of Tsar Nicholas, the empire crumbles and Russia is on the edge of civil war—the poor are devouring the rich. Anna, a bourgeois girl, narrowly escaped the massacre of her entire family in Yekaterinburg. Desperate to get away from the Bolsheviks, she offers a peasant girl a diamond to take her as far south as possible—not realizing that the girl is a communist herself. With her brother in desperate need of a doctor, Evgenia accepts Anna's offer and suddenly finds herself on the wrong side of the war. Anna is being hunted by the Bolsheviks, and now—regardless of her loyalties—Evgenia is too. Daughters of a Dead Empire is a harrowing historical thriller about dangerous ideals, loyalty, and the price we pay for change. An imaginative retelling of the Anastasia story. A Face for Picasso: Coming of Age with Crouzon Syndrome by Ariel Henley On Sale: November 2, 2021 Cover design by Aurora Parlagreco, photo by Paul Ngo, art by Shira Barzilay Add it on Goodreads I am ugly. There's a mathematical equation to prove it. At only eight months old, identical twin sisters Ariel and Zan were diagnosed with Crouzon syndrome—a rare condition where the bones in the head fuse prematurely. They were the first twins known to survive the disease. Growing up, Ariel and her sister endured numerous appearance-altering procedures. Surgeons would break the bones in their heads and faces to make room for their growing organs. While the physical aspect of their condition was painful, it was nothing compared to the emotional toll of navigating life with a facial disfigurement. Ariel explores beauty and identity in her young-adult memoir about resilience, sisterhood, and the strength it takes to put your life, and yourself, back together time and time again. Gilded by Marissa Meyer On Sale: November 2, 2021 Cover design by Rich Deas, art by Tim O'Brien Add it on Goodreads Marissa Meyer, #1 New York Times-bestselling author, returns to the fairytale world with this haunting retelling of Rumpelstiltskin. Long ago cursed by the god of lies, a poor miller's daughter has developed a talent for spinning stories that are fantastical and spellbinding and entirely untrue. Or so everyone believes. When one of Serilda's outlandish tales draws the attention of the sinister Erlking and his undead hunters, she finds herself swept away into a grim world where ghouls and phantoms prowl the earth and hollow-eyed ravens track her every move. The king orders Serilda to complete the impossible task of spinning straw into gold, or be killed for telling falsehoods. In her desperation, Serilda unwittingly summons a mysterious boy to her aid. He agrees to help her… for a price. Love isn't meant to be part of the bargain. Soon Serilda realizes that there is more than one secret hidden in the castle walls, including an ancient curse that must be broken if she hopes to end the tyranny of the king and his wild hunt forever. Under a Starlit Sky by EM Castellan On Sale: November 9, 2021 Cover design by Mallory Grigg Add it on Goodreads Spring 1662. In the wake of Fouquet’s defeat, Henriette is keeping her promise to the Sun King and helping him build the enchanted Palace of Versailles he’s always dreamed of. But when her poor health worsens, her magic wanes and her husband Philippe fears for her well-being to such an extent that he forbids her to remain Louis’ Source. Forced to step aside, Henriette witnesses the swift rise of a new player at the French court: the handsome and self-assured Chevalier de Lorraine quickly becomes both Louis’s new Source of magic—and Philippe’s latest lover. With her ladies Louise and Athénaïs now both vying for the king’s attention, Henriette is more isolated than ever, and her place at Versailles has never felt more in jeopardy. The Heart of the Impaler by Alexander Delacroix On Sale: November 9, 2021 Cover design by Kathleen Breitenfeld Add it on Goodreads Alexander Delacroix's darkly romantic debut Heart of the Impaler is perfect for fans of Kiersten White's And I Darken. Vlad Dracul has long lived in the shadows cast by his bloodthirsty father, the voivode, and his older brother, Mircea. Despite their cruelty, Vlad has yearned to prove himself worthy of the throne his whole life. In the cold halls of the voivode's palace, Vlad can only rely on his cousin and closest friend, Andrei Musat. When Vlad and Andrei meet Ilona Csáki, the daughter of an influential boyar, they each find themselves inextricably drawn to her. But then Ilona is betrothed to Mircea as part of a political alliance, and Vlad's resentfulness of his brother begins to seethe into something far darker. Ilona has no desire to marry the voivode’s eldest son, but love and marriage are the least of her worries. The royal family’s enemies have already tried to put an arrow through her back—and if anyone discovers her blossoming feelings for her betrothed’s cousin Andrei and younger brother, Vlad, she may just wish they’d succeeded. Beneath the shadow of impending war, the only battle that will be deadlier than the one for Ilona’s life will be the one for her heart. The Big Reveal by Jen Larsen On Sale: December 7, 2021 Add it on Goodreads Addie is a talented dancer, a true-blue friend, and a fat, fierce, and driven young woman. When she's accepted into the prestigious dance company of her dreams, she thinks nothing can bring her down—until she realizes she doesn't have enough money to go. Refusing to give up, Addie and her friends decide to put on a top-secret, invitation-only burlesque show to raise funds. But word soon gets out, and the slut- and body-shaming begin. Has Addie been resisting the patriarchy, or playing right into its hands? The Big Reveal asks hard-hitting feminist questions while reveling in some of life's greatest joys: chasing your passions, falling in love, and embracing yourself exactly as you are.