The AU’s Most Anticipated Books of 2023: Apr – Jun

2023 is flying by and somehow it’s the other side of Easter already. So we in the AU Books Team are back with some more of our most anticipated books of the year; this time for April through to June. 

With so many books published each month it would be impossible to cover them all. So we’re bringing you the briefest snapshot of what is in store over the next few months. Some of which may not have ordinarily caught your attention we hope. 

From folkloric horror to contemporary Arthurian retellings; and from witches, bird worshippers and classic characters of old; these are just some of the books we’re looking forward to. Enjoy. 


Sisters of the Lost Nation – Nick Medina

Penguin USA | Pub Date: April 15th | Pre-Order HERE

Simon: Women have been mysteriously disappearing from Anna Horn’s tribe’s reservation. In the hunt for answers Anna delves into the myths and stories of her people. Anna is always looking over her shoulder; and for good reason. Something is stalking her. Something ancient, nameless and intent on devouring her whole.

Sisters of the Lost Nation is the atmospheric debut novel from author Nick Medina. It’s part thriller and part mythological horror that’s rooted in the Native American folklore and tradition.Though, sadly, its a story that’s not only confined to the realms of fiction. In 2016, there were nearly 6000 reports of missing American Indian and Alaska Native women and girls in the US.

If you enjoyed Jessica Johns’ Bad Cree or the work of Steven Graham Jones, then this could be one for you.

Homecoming – Kate Morton

Allen & Unwin | Pub Date: April 4th | Order HERE

Emily: Nobody blends historical fiction and gothic mystery quite like Kate Morton. I’ve been in love with her writing ever since I first discovered The Shifting Fog more than a decade ago, and the announcement late last year that she was releasing a new book was cause for celebration.

While I haven’t loved all of her past novels with equal fervour, I have heard excellent things from those reviewers lucky enough to receive early copies.

This is also the first time that Kate Morton has included an Australian setting in one of her books too, so that’s something new and exciting to look forward to.


A Hunger of Thorns – Lili Wilkinson

Allen & Unwin | Pub Date: April 18th | Pre-Order HERE

Jess: I was drawn in by the cover of this one but the blurb has me beyond excited.

A witch’s daughter spends her childhood running wild and weaving stories with her best friend. But when her magic fades and her friend goes missing, Maude must venture into the ruins of Sicklehurst – a place no one seems to remember is there.

This books sounds right up my alley with witches, magic and mystery but also a dark and sinister feel. I can’t wait to see what Wilkinson delivers.



The Ghost Theatre – Mat Osman

Bloomsbury | Pub Date: May 11th | Pre-Order HERE

Simon: Some of you may know Mat Osman as the bassist and founding member of rock band Suede. He’s also, as of 2020, an author. The Ghost Theatre is his second novel. It’s been described as “a dazzling punk re-imagining of Elizabethan London through the eyes of a clairvoyant, bird-worshiping protagonist and her unlikely theatre troupe.” You had me at punk Elizabethan London, quite frankly.

The novel tells the story of Shay – the aforementioned bird worshipper – and Nonesuch the star of the city’s child theatre scene. Together they create The Ghost Theatre and stage performances that incite rebellion among the city’s outcasts.

It’s a novel of rebellion, of plagues and fires; of magic and mysticism; peopled with larger than life characters. I can’t wait to read more!

Estella – Kathy George

HarperCollins | Pub Date: May 3rd | Pre-Order HERE

Emily: I do love a retelling of a classic novel, even if they’re overdone. There’s something about delving into the interior lives of characters who never really got to speak for themselves.

Many years ago, I read a great novel about the infamous Miss Havisham, and now, Australian writer Kathy George turns her pen to her icy but beautiful ward, Estella.

Easily one of the most accessible of Dickens’ novels, and subject to a number of wonderful adaptations, Great Expectations is a classic for a reason and it’s always fun to live in that world a little longer, isn’t it? I think this will be fun.


The Last Heir to Blackwood Library – Hester Fox

HarperCollins | Pub Date: May 3rd | Pre-Order HERE

Jess: An enchanted — probably cursed — library, sinister servants and a woman with what appears to be a shady background. Sign me up.

Ivy Radcliffe, by the stroke of a pen, becomes Lady Hayworth, owner of a sprawling estate on the Yorkshire moors in post-World War I England. There, at Blackwood Abbey, Ivy discovers a magnificent library filled with both familiar and more esoteric texts.

But there’s something else in the library… something with a will of its own. Ivy must uncover the library’s mysteries in order to reclaim her own story before it vanishes forever.

It’s a book about books, and magic, and mysteries. What’s not to love about that premise?


Perilous Times – Thomas D Lee

Hachette | Pub Date: May 30th | Pre-Order HERE

Simon: Sir Kay is a defender of the realm. He’s fought at Hastings, and at Waterloo, and in both World Wars. So yeah, he’s got the whole immortality thing going on. He’s also the brother of King Arthur; and a Knight of the Round Table. 

It’s a whole new world that Kay is reborn into one. It’s a very different Britain from the one he last saved. But, there’s a dragon on the loose; so he’s got a job to do. And it might not end with a fire breathing monster. 

Thomas D Lee‘s Perilous Times is a contemporary take on the Arthurian legend; replete with all the expected cast of characters – Lancelot, Morgan le Fay, King Arthur, Merlin and more. It looks like a lot of fun – and should appeal to fans of Pratchett and Ben Aaranovitch’s Rivers of London series. 

Yellowface – Rebecca F. Kuang

HarperCollins | Pub Date: June 7th | Pre-Order HERE

Emily: Athena Liu is a literary darling and June Hayward is literally nobody. When Athena dies in a freak accident, June steals her unpublished manuscript and publishes it as her own under the ambiguous name Juniper Song.

Babel was a massive book for 2022, and Rebecca F Kuang – a.k.a. RF Kuang – clearly hasn’t slept in several years because she has yet another book coming out in June this year.

This time, she turns her attention to the literary thriller genre and looks at a deadly rivalry between writers. I don’t normally read thrillers but I do love how the cut-throat world of publishing is portrayed in novels. I believe there’s also some commentary about race and privilege woven into this one too.

The Lies of the Ajungo – Moses Ose Utomi

Pan Macmillan | Pub Date: June 27th | Pre-Order HERE

In the City of Lies they cut out your tongue when you turn thirteen to appease the terrifying Ajungo Empire and make sure it continues sending water.

Tutu will be thirteen soon, but his parched mother won’t last that long. So he makes a deal with his oba – water for his mother in exchange for water for the city. Tutu must travel out into the Forever Desert on a quest for salvation.

This story sounds dark, intense and heartbreaking – so, you know, like a great book! And even better, it’s set to be the first in a series.

Thanks to Emily Paull and Jess Gately for their contributions to this article.

Header Photo: Kate Morton and Mat Osman

Simon Clark

Books Editor. An admirer of songs and reader of books. Simon has a PhD in English and Comparative Literature. All errant apostrophes are his own.