17 2021 Releases By Muslim Authors That Should Be On Your Radar

Hello friends, and welcome to my very first post of the year.

A major conflict I’d been facing since I finally had some time to spare this year was what my first post should be. Traditionally, bookish content creators share a collation of their most anticipated releases at the start of every year and while I love these posts, I find that I don’t have the energy or make one especially at this moment (but who knows I might be able to make a list soon 👀). Instead, I’ll be doing what I did last year — making select lists of my most anticipated releases.

Last year in January, for a blog series put together by Taiwo @Lifestyle Nerd, I collated a list of some books by Muslim authors which were to release then. This year Diverse Reads of (insert year) might not be back, but there are still a number of amazing books by Muslim authors releasing this year.

So for today’s post, I present to you some books by Muslim authors releasing this year I am very excited for and should be on your radar.


  • We Free The Stars (Sands of Arawiya #2) by Hafsah Faizal 

Age category: YA

Genre: Fantasy

Expected publication date: 19 January 2021

Blurb:

THE SEQUEL TO THE NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER

The battle on Sharr is over. The Arz has fallen. Altair may be captive, but Zafira, Nasir, and Kifah are bound for Sultan’s Keep, determined to finish the plan he set in motion: restoring the hearts of the Sisters of Old to the minarets of each caliphate, and finally bring magic to all of Arawiya. But they are low on resources and allies alike, and the kingdom teems with fear of the Lion of the Night’s return. 

As the zumra plots to overthrow Arawiya’s darkest threat, Nasir fights to command the magic in his blood. He must learn to hone his power, to wield not only against the Lion but his father, trapped under the Lion’s control. Zafira battles a very different darkness festering in her through her bond with the Jawarat—it hums with voices, pushing her to the brink of sanity and the edge of a chaos she dare not unleash. In spite of everything, Zafira and Nasir find themselves falling into a love they can’t stand to lose…but time is running out, and if order is to be restored, drastic sacrifices will have to be made. 

Lush and striking, hopeful and devastating, We Free the Stars is the masterful conclusion to the Sands of Arawiya duology by New York Times–bestselling author Hafsah Faizal.

Last year, I started this list with We Free Stars and this year, since its release was pushed back, I’m starting my list with it again. We Free The Stars is my most anticipated Muslim authored book of 2021. I have been anxiously waiting for the release of this book since I read it’s prequel, We Hunt The Flame, in December 2019 and I need this book right now like I need oxygen.

Add on: Goodreads | Storygraph 

Preorder: Amazon | Blackwells | Book Depository | Bookshop 

  • Misfit in Love by SK Ali 

Age category: YA

Genre: Contemporary/Romance 

Expected publication date: 25 May 2021

Blurb:

In this fun and fresh sequel to Saints and Misfits, Janna hopes her brother’s wedding will be the perfect start to her own summer of love, but attractive new arrivals have her more confused than ever.

Janna Yusuf is so excited for the weekend: her brother Muhammad’s getting married, and she’s reuniting with her mom, whom she’s missed the whole summer.

And Nuah’s arriving for the weekend too.

Sweet, constant Nuah.

The last time she saw him, Janna wasn’t ready to reciprocate his feelings for her. But things are different now. She’s finished high school, ready for college…and ready for Nuah.

It’s time for Janna’s (carefully planned) summer of love to begin—starting right at the wedding.

But it wouldn’t be a wedding if everything went according to plan. Muhammad’s party choices aren’t in line with his fiancée’s taste at all, Janna’s dad is acting strange, and her mom is spending more time with an old friend (and maybe love interest?) than Janna.

And Nuah’s treating her differently.

Just when things couldn’t get more complicated, two newcomers—the dreamy Haytham and brooding Layth—have Janna more confused than ever about what her misfit heart really wants.

Janna’s summer of love is turning out to be super crowded and painfully unpredictable.

*intense screaming*

Another Sajidah book! This is not a drill, it’s another Sajidah book! *sobbing sounds*

The sequel to Saint and Misfits, aka one of the books by one of my most favourite authors and a book I loved more than myself, is coming out this year! I get to read more about my babies, Jannah, Nuah, Tats and the rest of the crew this year and there’s Adam and Zayneb cameo! *fangirling noises*

Y’all, I am not ok!! Also not gonna lie, I kinda just want to read about Bertha (Adam and Zayneb’s cat).

Add on: Goodreads | Storygraph 

Preorder: Amazon | Blackwells | Book Depository | Bookshop 

  • Ace of Spades by Faridah Àbíké Íyímídé

Age category: YA

Genre: Thriller

Expected publication date: 10 June 2021

Blurb

An incendiary and utterly compelling thriller with a shocking twist that delves deep into the heart of institutionalized racism, from an exceptional new YA voice. Welcome to Niveus Private Academy, where money paves the hallways, and the students are never less than perfect. Until now. Because anonymous texter, Aces, is bringing two students’ dark secrets to light. Talented musician Devon buries himself in rehearsals, but he can’t escape the spotlight when his private photos go public. Head girl Chiamaka isn’t afraid to get what she wants, but soon everyone will know the price she has paid for power. Someone is out to get them both. Someone who holds all the aces. And they’re planning much more than a high-school game…

*clears throat with extravagance*

I cannot begin to explain how excited I am for Ace of Spades. I don’t read a lot of thrillers, but I have been waiting my whole life for this book.

Black disaster queer kids and a mysterious individual monitoring and blackmailing students of a high school? Yes!!

I’m even more excited because Ace of Spades will be my first internationally book by a Nigerian Muslim author and yeah, I’m emo.

Add on: Goodreads | Storygraph 

Preorder: Amazon | Blackwells | Book Depository | Bookshop 

  • The Wild Ones by Nafiza Azad

Age category: YA

Genre: Fantasy

Expected publication date: 3 August 2021

Blurb

From William C. Morris Finalist Nafiza Azad comes a thrilling, feminist fantasy about a group of teenage girls endowed with special powers who must band together to save the life of the boy whose magic saved them all.

Meet the Wild Ones: girls who have been hurt, abandoned, and betrayed all their lives. It all began with Paheli, who was once betrayed by her mother and sold to a man in exchange for a favor. When Paheli escapes, she runs headlong into a boy with stars in his eyes. This boy, as battered as she is, tosses Paheli a box of stars before disappearing.

With the stars, Paheli gains access to the Between, a place of pure magic and mystery. Now, Paheli collects girls like herself and these Wild Ones use their magic to travel the world, helping the hopeless and saving others from the fates they suffered.

Then Paheli and the Wild Ones learn that the boy who gave them the stars, Taraana, is in danger. He’s on the run from powerful forces within the world of magic. But if Taraana is no longer safe and free, neither are the Wild Ones. And that…is a fate the Wild Ones refuse to accept. Ever again.

First, have you seen that cover?!

I have been waiting my whole lifetime for another Nafiza Azad novel. The Candle and the Flame was one is my favourite reads of 2020 and I cannot wait for The Wild Ones. I absolutely love Nafiza’s writing and the blurb of this book sounds so good. I’m literally countdown days to its release.

Add on: Goodreads | Storygraph 

Preorder: Amazon | Blackwells | Book Depository | Bookshop 

  • Hani and Ishu’s Guide to Fake Dating by Adiba Jaigirdar  

Age category: YA

Genre: Contemporary/Romance

Expected publication date: 25 May 2021

Blurb

Everyone likes Humaira “Hani” Khan—she’s easy going and one of the most popular girls at school. But when she comes out to her friends as bisexual, they invalidate her identity, saying she can’t be bi if she’s only dated guys. Panicked, Hani blurts out that she’s in a relationship…with a girl her friends absolutely hate—Ishita “Ishu” Dey. Ishu is the complete opposite of Hani. She’s an academic overachiever who hopes that becoming head girl will set her on the right track for college. But Ishita agrees to help Hani, if Hani will help her become more popular so that she stands a chance of being elected head girl.

Despite their mutually beneficial pact, they start developing real feelings for each other. But relationships are complicated, and some people will do anything to stop two Bengali girls from achieving happily ever after

Fake dating Bengali sapphics? Someone give a loud amen!!

This book has been one of  my most anticipated reads since I learned about its existence and that cover is simply everything. Hani and Ishu’s sounds like everything I need and I can’t wait to read it.

Add on: Goodreads | Storygraph 

Preorder: Amazon | Blackwells | Book Depository | Bookshop 

  • Rumaysa: A Fairytale by Radiya Hafiza 

Age category: MG

Genre: Fantasy

Expected publication date: April 2021

Blurb

This funny and empowering story weaves together three classic fairytales into one new adventure with an unusual structural twist: Rumaysa is a Muslim girl who lets her hijab down from a tall tower in order to escape. Set in a magical version of South Asia, Rumaysa explores enchanted forests and dragon lairs, teaming up with Cinderayla and Sleeping Sara along the way to create a strong sense of sisterhood

It’s the retelling we’ve all been waiting for! Desi hijabi Rapunzel!

I am so excited for this Rapunzel retelling about Muslim girls, friendship and sisterhood.

Add on: Goodreads | Storygraph 

Preorder: Amazon | Blackwells | Book Depository | Bookshop 

(Actual cover to be revealed)

  • Hana Khan Carries On by Uzma Jalaluddin 

Age category: Adult

Genre: Romance

Expected publication date: 6 April 2021

Blurb

From the author of Ayesha at Last comes a sparkling new rom-com for fans of “You’ve Got Mail,” set in two competing halal restaurants

Sales are slow at Three Sisters Biryani Poutine, the only halal restaurant in the close-knit Golden Crescent neighbourhood. Hana waitresses there part time, but what she really wants is to tell stories on the radio. If she can just outshine her fellow intern at the city radio station, she may have a chance at landing a job. In the meantime, Hana pours her thoughts and dreams into a podcast, where she forms a lively relationship with one of her listeners. But soon she’ll need all the support she can get: a new competing restaurant, a more upscale halal place, is about to open in the Golden Crescent, threatening Three Sisters.

When her mysterious aunt and her teenage cousin arrive from India for a surprise visit, they draw Hana into a long-buried family secret. A hate-motivated attack on their neighbourhood complicates the situation further, as does Hana’s growing attraction for Aydin, the young owner of the rival restaurant—who might not be a complete stranger after all.

As life on the Golden Crescent unravels, Hana must learn to use her voice, draw on the strength of her community and decide what her future should be

Finally, another adult Muslim romcom. I absolutely loved Uzma’s debut Ayesha At Last, a Muslim retelling of Pride and Prejudice and I am beyond excited for her sophomore book. I love the entire premise of this book, the conflicts, stakes, the promised angst and the rivals to lovers to trope. Hana Khan is a book I can’t wait for.

Add on: Goodreads | Storygraph 

Preorder: Amazon | Blackwells | Book Depository | Bookshop 

  • The Shape of Thunder by Jasmine Warga

Age category: MG

Genre: Contemporary 

Expected publication date: 11 May 2021

Blurb

Cora hasn’t spoken to her best friend, Quinn, in a year.

Despite living next door to each other, they exist in separate worlds of grief. Cora is still grappling with the death of her beloved sister in a school shooting, and Quinn is carrying the guilt of what her brother did.

On the day of Cora’s twelfth birthday, Quinn leaves a box on her doorstep with a note. She has decided that the only way to fix things is to go back in time to the moment before her brother changed all their lives forever—and stop him.

In spite of herself, Cora wants to believe. And so the two former friends begin working together to open a wormhole in the fabric of the universe. But as they attempt to unravel the mysteries of time travel to save their siblings, they learn that the magic of their friendship may actually be the key to saving themselves.

You know that author whose books you haven’t read that but you just trust in the quality and awesomeness of their books? That’s Jasmine Warga.

Although I haven’t read any of her books, I’ve heard so many amazing things about them. Her last middle grade book, Other Words for Home has been on my TBR pile for a while now and The Shape of Thunder is one book I’m really excited for.

Add on: Goodreads | Storygraph 

Preorder: Amazon | Blackwells | Book Depository | Bookshop 

  • Amina’s Song by Hena Khan

Age category: MG 

Genre: Contemporary 

Expected publication date: 2021

Blurb

In the companion novel to the beloved and award-winning Amina’s Voice, Amina once again uses her voice to bridge the places, people, and communities she loves—this time across continents. 

It’s the last few days of her vacation in Pakistan, and Amina has loved every minute of it. The food, the shops, the time she’s spent with her family—all of it holds a special place in Amina’s heart. Now that the school year is starting again, she’s sad to leave, but also excited to share the wonders of Pakistan with her friends back in Greendale. 

After she’s home, though, her friends don’t seem overly interested in her trip. And when she decides to do a presentation on Pakistani hero Malala Yousafzai, her classmates focus on the worst parts of the story. How can Amina share the beauty of Pakistan when no one wants to listen?

I can still recall vividly how I felt after my first Hena Khan book and one of my favourite books of last year, very emotional.

I read More to the Story during Ramadan last year and I was awake after Fajr prayer crying because it was such a beautiful book.

Hena Khan’s writing is absolutely beautiful and I can’t wait for Amina’s Song

Add on: Goodreads | Storygraph 

Preorder: Amazon | Blackwells | Book Depository | Bookshop 

  • City of the Plague God my Sarwat Chadda 

Age category: MG

Genre: Fantasy

Publication date: 12 January 2021

Blurb

Best-selling author Rick Riordan presents CITY OF THE PLAGUE GOD, an adventure based on ancient Mesopotamian mythology written by Sarwat Chadda, author of the Ash Mistry series. Characters from the Epic of Gilgamesh populate this high-stakes contemporary adventure in which all of Manhattan is threatened by the ancient god of plagues.

Thirteen-year-old Sik wants a simple life going to school and helping at his parents’ deli in the evenings. But all that is blown to smithereens when Nergal comes looking for him, thinking that Sik holds the secret to eternal life.Turns out Sik is immortal but doesn’t know it, and that’s about to get him and the entire city into deep, deep trouble. 

Sik’s not in this alone. He’s got Belet, the adopted daughter of Ishtar, the goddess of love and war, on his side, and a former hero named Gilgamesh, who has taken up gardening in Central Park. Now all they have to do is retrieve the Flower of Immortality to save Manhattan from being wiped out by disease. To succeed, they’ll have to conquer sly demons, treacherous gods, and their own darkest nightmares

Muslim rep? Check Iraqi rep? Check Immortals and Mesopotamian mythology? Check

From its blurb, to the cover and rep, City of the Plague God sounds positively charming. Adding the fact that my friends who have read it loved it, City of the Plague God is definitely a highly anticipated read.

Add on: Goodreads | Storygraph 

Buy: Amazon | Blackwells | Book Depository | Bookshop 

  • Tahira in Bloom by Farah Heron

Age category: YA

Genre: Contemporary/Romance

Expected publication date: 2021

Blurb

Seventeen-year-old aspiring designer Tahira is chasing her big fashion dreams, but when her coveted internship falls through and she’s forced to spend the summer working at her aunt’s sleepy boutique in a rural community, she’ll be forced to innovate if she wants to keep her plans on track, possibly with help from the plant nerd next door.

Tahira in Bloom sounds like the sweetest book ever from its pitch , and I’m excited to read it.

Add on: Goodreads | Storygraph 

  • The Theft of Sunlight by Intisar Khanani 

Age category: YA

Genre: Fantasy 

Expected publication date: 23 March 2021

Blurb:

 I did not choose this fate. But I will not walk away from it.

Children have been disappearing from across Menaiya for longer than Amraeya ni Ansarim can remember. When her friend’s sister is snatched, Rae knows she can’t look away any longer – even if that means seeking answers from the royal court, where her country upbringing and clubfoot will only invite ridicule.

Yet the court holds its share of surprises. There she discovers an ally in the foreign princess, who recruits her as an attendant. Armed with the princess’s support, Rae seeks answers in the dark city streets, finding unexpected help in a rough-around-the-edges street thief with secrets of his own. But treachery runs deep, and the more Rae uncovers, the more she endangers the kingdom itself.

The Theft of Sunlight is the sequel to Thorn, which is a retelling of Goose girl. 

I kind of started Thorn last year (I read the first 3 pages but couldn’t continue because I was in a bad slump), but I am nonetheless, extremely excited for its sequel.

Add on: Goodreads | Storygraph 

Preorder: Amazon | Blackwells | Book Depository | Bookshop 

  • The Descent of The Drowned by Ana Lal Din

Age category: YA

Genre: Fantasy 

Expected publication date: 15 March 2021

Blurb

She is bound to serve. He is meant to kill. Survival is their prison. Choice is their weapon.

As the sacred slave of a goddess, Roma is of a lower caste that serves patrons to sustain the balance between gods and men. What she wants is her freedom, but deserters are hunted and hanged, and Roma only knows how to survive in her village where women are vessels without a voice. When her younger brother is condemned to the same wretched fate as hers, Roma must choose between silence and rebellion.

Leviathan is the bastard son of an immortal tyrant. Raised in a military city where everyone knows of his blood relation to the persecuted clans, Leviathan is considered casteless. Lowest of the low. Graduating as one of the deadliest soldiers, he executes in his father’s name, displaying his worth. When he faces judgement from his mother’s people—the clans—Leviathan must confront his demons and forge his own path, if he ever hopes to reclaim his soul.

But in the struggle to protect the people they love and rebuild their identities, Roma’s and Leviathan’s destinies interlock as the tyrant hunts an ancient treasure that will doom humankind should it come into his possession—a living treasure to which Roma and Leviathan are the ultimate key.

Set in a colonised Indo-Persian world and inspired by pre-Islamic Arabian mythology, The Descent of the Drowned is a tale about power, identity, and redemption, and what it takes to hold on to one’s humanity in the face of devastation

Ok, I’m going to need directions to the office where I can sign away my soul for an advance copy of this book?

This book honestly sounds like everything I love and I can’t wait to finally read it soon.

Add on: Goodreads | Storygraph 

Preorder: Amazon | Blackwells | Book Depository | Bookshop 

  • The Lady or the Lion by Aamna Qureshi 

Age category: YA

Genre: Fantasy/Historical Romance 

Expected publication date: 22 June 2021

Blurb

Perfect for fans of These Violent Delights and The Wrath and the Dawn, this scintillating debut retells “The Lady or the Tiger?” against a Pakistan-inspired world of forbidden love and court intrigues. 

Once there was a princess forced to choose a fate for her lover-to a future in the arms of a beautiful lady, or to death in the mouth of a lion? But what came first was the fate she would choose for herself.

As crown princess of Marghazar, Durkhanai Miangul will do anything to protect her people and her land. When her grandfather, the Badshah, is blamed for a deadly assault on the summit of neighboring leaders, the tribes call for his head. To assuage cries for war, the Badshah opens Marghazar’s gates to foreigners for the first time in centuries, in a sign of good faith. Enter Ambassador Asfandyar Afridi, a wry foreigner who admits outright that he is a spy. Stubborn, proud, and suspicious of foreigners, Durkhanai does not appreciate that he won’t bow to her every whim and instead talks circles around her.

And yet, she has to make him her ally to expose those truly responsible for the attack as more ambassadors from neighboring tribal districts arrive at court, each one of them with their own agenda and reasons to hide the truth.When a mysterious illness spreads through the village and the imperialists push hard on her borders, Durkhanai must sort through the ever shifting loyalties at court and her growing feelings for Asfandyar. Will she be able to leave the antics of a spoiled princess behind and become what her people need-a queen?

While I might not know the original story it’s based on, the synopsis of The Lady or the Lion sounds very intriguing. I can’t wait for it’s release!

Add on: Goodreads | Storygraph 

Preorder: Amazon | Blackwells | Book Depository | Bookshop

  • Barakah Beats by Maleeha Siddiqui 

Age category: YA

Genre: Contemporary 

Expected publication date: 19 October 2021

Blurb

For fans of The First Rule of Punk and Save Me a Seat, Barakah Beats is a sweet, powerful, and joyous novel about a Muslim girl who finds her voice on her own terms… by joining her school’s most popular boy band.

Twelve-year-old Nimra Sharif has spent her whole life in Islamic school, but now it’s time to go to “real school.”

Nimra’s nervous, but as long as she has Jenna, her best friend who already goes to the public school, she figures she can take on just about anything.

Unfortunately, middle school is hard. The teachers are mean, the schedule is confusing, and Jenna starts giving hijab-wearing Nimra the cold shoulder around the other kids.

Desperate to fit in and get back in Jenna’s good graces, Nimra accepts an unlikely invitation to join the school’s popular 8th grade boy band, Barakah Beats. The only problem is, Nimra was taught that music isn’t allowed in Islam, and she knows her parents would be disappointed if they found out. So she devises a simple plan: join the band, win Jenna back, then quietly drop out before her parents find out.

But dropping out of the band proves harder than expected. Not only is her plan to get Jenna back working, but Nimra really likes hanging out with the band-they value her contributions and respect how important her faith is to her. Then Barakah Beats signs up for a talent show to benefit refugees, and Nimra’s lies start to unravel. With the show only a few weeks away and Jenna’s friendship hanging in the balance, Nimra has to decide whether to betray her bandmates-or herself. 

Aside the absolute beautiful cover, being a Muslim and music lover, I’m very curious to read Barakah Beats and discover how Nimra handles things.

Add on: Goodreads | Storygraph 

Preorder: Amazon | Blackwells | Book depository | Bookshop

  • It All Comes Back To You by Farah Naz Rishi

Age category: Unknown 

Genre: Unknown/Romance 

Expected publication date: 2021

I don’t care what it’s about. It’s by Farah Naz Rishi so I already love it.

Add on: Goodreads | Storygraph 

  • The Marvellous Mirza Girls by Sheba Karim

Age category: YA

Genre: Contemporary 

Expected publication date: 18 May 2021

Blurb

“The Mirza girls hit Delhi—that’s a once-in-a-lifetime adventure.”

To cure her post–senior year slump, made worse by the loss of her aunt Sonia, Noreen is ready to follow her mom on a gap year trip to New Delhi, hoping India can lessen her grief and bring her voice back.

In the world’s most polluted city, Noreen soon meets kind, handsome Kabir, who introduces her to the wonders of this magical, complicated place. With Kabir’s help—plus Bollywood celebrities, fourteenth-century ruins, karaoke parties, and Sufi saints—Noreen begins to rediscover her joyful voice.

But when a family scandal erupts, Noreen and Kabir must face complicated questions in their own relationship: What does it mean to truly stand by someone—and what are the boundaries of love? 

All I can say is I am looking. 

Add on: Goodreads | Storygraph 

Preorder: Amazon | Book Depository | Bookshop 


Well that’s my list! What 2021 releases by Muslim authors are you looking forward to?

Till next time!

|Instagram |Twitter | Goodreads |

11 thoughts on “17 2021 Releases By Muslim Authors That Should Be On Your Radar

  1. lizmund98 says:

    These all sound like amazing books – I’m really intrigued by the synopsis of The Sound of Thunder! Ace of Spades sounds amazing as well 😍

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Taiwo says:

    That’s me!!! Honestly, I’ve been so stressed this year that I didn’t even think of a Diverse Reads of 2021 😭 Anyway, these books sound amazing! I still haven’t read We Hunt the Flame 🙈 Maybe, I’ll get to it this year. I’ve been anticipating Ace of Spades since FOREVER and I got a physical ARC so I’m reading it soon! Rumaysah and Barakah Beats sound absolutely lovely. Thanks for the list!

    Like

  3. Aria says:

    I’m so excited for Hani and Ishu’s Guide to Fake Dating; I loved the Henna Wars, Adiba Jaigirdar’s debut. I am also really excited for Amina’s Song and Ace of Spades. Thank you for putting together this list!!

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.