Fiction Affliction: November Releases in Fantasy

Fiction Affliction has gotten a makeover! Gone are the symptoms, the diagnosis, the cure. Gone from the science fiction category are all those alternative histories and steampunks. Gone are the romances pretending to be fantasies, and the horror titles masquerading as urban fantasy. Instead, each month we’ll look at five categories of new releases: Fantasy, Science Fiction, Urban Fantasy, Paranormal Romance, and a new category we’re calling Genre Benders, which will include books that encompass multiple genres — this is where you’ll find alt histories, steampunk, horror, dystopian fiction without a hard science tie-in, and, well, stuff I’m just not sure about.

Another change: titles designated for Young Adult readers will no longer be segregated to a YA Outpost, but will be included in the genre with which they best fit (with a YA notation).

You can look at all the release posts at once by bookmarking the Fiction Affliction tag.

Today, we’re looking at November releases in fantasy, with 18 titles including a new Mistborn novel from Brandon Sanderson, the last book in Christopher Paolini’s Inheritance series, and sophomore books in series from Elizabeth Bunce (Thief Errant), Catherynne M. Valente (Dirge for Prester), Col Buchanan (Heart of the World), Dave Duncan (Brothers Magnus), and Jay Lake (Green Universe).

What you won’t see here? Scott Lynch’s long-awaited The Republic of Thieves, whose latest release date in one of the longest-running international mysteries of publishing has slipped from November 17 to March 2012, according to the Orion Publishing Group website. Also, David Gerrold’s Method for Madness, fifth in the War Against the Chtorr series, which is listed on online book sites as being for sale on Nov. 30, does not appear in the publisher catalog for November release.

 

WEEK ONE

Liar’s Moon, by Elizabeth C. Bunce (Nov. 1, Scholastic)

As a pickpocket, Digger expects to spend a night in jail every now and then. But she doesn’t expect to find Lord Durrel Decath there as well — or to hear he’s soon to be executed for killing his wife. Durrel once saved Digger’s life, and when she goes free, she decides to use her skills as a thief, forger, and spy to investigate his case and return the favor. But each new clue only opens up more mysteries. While Durrel’s marriage was one of convenience, his behavior has been more impulsive than innocent. His late wife had an illegal business on the wrong side of the civil war raging just outside the city gates. Digger keeps finding forbidden magic in places it has no reason to be. And it doesn’t help that she may be falling in love with a murderer. Second in the Thief Errant series. [Young Adult]

Out of Oz, by Gregory Maguire (Nov. 1, William Morrow)

The marvelous land of Oz is knotted with social unrest: The Emerald City is mounting an invasion of Munchkinland, Glinda is under house arrest, and the Cowardly Lion is on the run from the law. And look who’s knocking at the door. It’s none other than Dorothy. Yes, that Dorothy. Amid all this chaos, Elphaba’s granddaughter, the tiny green baby born at the close of Son of a Witch, has come of age. Now, Rain will take up her broom in an Oz wracked by war. Fourth and final in the Wicked Years series.

The Revenge of the Dwarves, by Markus Heitz (Nov. 3, Orbit)

Though hailed a hero by his people, the course of life has not run smooth for the battle-weary Tungdil the dwarf. But there is no rest for this warrior yet, as he must now find the strength to face the most formidable enemy the kingdom has ever encountered. A new evil has risen from the depths of the earth to terrorize the land of Girdlegard. Monstrous creatures — half-orc, half-alfar — are roaming the kingdom, leaving a trail of death and destruction in their wake. These merciless hybrids are on a mission to obtain the most powerful weapon known to the dwarf race, and whoever holds this weapon will control the world. U.S. release. Third in the Die Zwerge series.

 

 

WEEK TWO

Stands a Shadow, by Col Buchanan (Nov. 8, Tor)

Still grieving the death of her son, the Holy Matriarch of Mann has ordered her troops to embark on a mission to conquer the city of Bar-Khos. Ash has other plans for her. The old Roshun warrior is determined he will have vengeance for the crimes she has committed. But such a course of retribution is in direct opposition to everything he has lived for — this isn’t a Roshun vendetta, it’s personal. While Ash battles his conscience, Che, the Matriarch’s assassin, is questioning his own path. As the battle for Bar-Khos intensifies, more lives are affected: Bahn, who leaves all he loves to try to protect the city; Bull the murderer who senses a chance to make things right; and Curl, the prostitute determined to seek her own retribution. Yet it’s not sheer force that will win this battle, but the determination of one man seeking redemption. Second in the Heart of the World series.

When the Saints, by Dave Duncan (Nov. 8, Tor)

When we left the Brothers Magnus, they had assembled in Cardice to help Anton Magnus defend the castle from attack by a neighboring state with a significant military advantage and several officers who at any moment could request help from saints — or, depending on your perspective, from the devil. But Cardice has a secret weapon in the form of young Wulfgang Magnus, who can ask a few favors of his own from these devil-saints. The only problem is that Wulf is in love with Madlenka, the countess from Cardice who was forcibly married to Anton to explain why he’s suddenly leading the country. Even Wulf is unsure if family and political loyalty should override love. He’s also beginning to realize that the magical battle he’s stepped into has some serious rules that he doesn’t know, and has no way to learn. And when several wild cards in every battle can tap into nearly limitless sources of magic, who knows how far and wide the battle might range? Second in the Brothers Magnus series.

Endurance, by Jay Lake (Nov. 8, Tor)

Green is back in Copper Downs. Purchased from her father in sunny Selistan when she was four years old, she was harshly raised to be a courtesan, companion, and bedmate of the Immortal Duke of Copper Downs. But Green rebelled, killed the Duke, and won her freedom. Yet she is still claimed by the gods and goddesses of her world, and they still require her service. Their demands are greater than any duke’s could have been. Godslayers have come to the Stone Coast, magicians whose cult is dedicated to destroying the many gods of Green’s world. In the turmoil following the Immortal Duke’s murder, Green made a God out of her power and her memories. Now the gods turn to her to protect them from the Slayers. Second in the Green Universe series.

Scholar, by L.E. Modesitt Jr. (Nov. 8, Tor)

Hundreds of years before the time of Imager, the continent of Lydar is fragmented. Years of war have consolidated five nations into three — Bovaria, Telaryn, and Antiago. Quaeryt is a scholar and a friend of Bhayar, the young ruler of Telaryn. Worried about his future and the escalating intrigues in Solis, Quaeryt persuades Bhayar to send him to Tilbor to see if the troops can be re-deployed to the border with warlike Bovaria. Quaeryt has managed to conceal the fact that he is an imager, since the life expectancies of imagers in Lydar is short. Just before Quaeryt departs, Bhayar’s youngest sister passes a letter to the scholar-imager, a letter that could well embroil Quaeryt in the welter of court politics he had hoped to leave behind. Part of the Imager Portfolio series.

Inheritance, by Christopher Paolini (Nov. 8, Knopf)

Not so very long ago, Eragon Shadeslayer, Dragon Rider, was nothing more than a poor farmboy, and his dragon, Saphira, only a blue stone in the forest. Now the fate of an entire civilization rests on their shoulders. Long months of training and battle have brought victories and hope, but they have also brought heartbreaking loss. And still, the real battle lies ahead: they must confront Galbatorix. When they do, they will have to be strong enough to defeat him. And if they cannot, no one can. There will be no second chances. Fourth and final book in the Inheritance series. [Young Adult]

The Alloy of Law, by Brandon Sanderson (Nov. 8, Tor)

Three hundred years after the events of the Mistborn trilogy, Scadrial is now on the verge of modernity, with railroads to supplement the canals, electric lighting in the streets and the homes of the wealthy, and the first steel-framed skyscrapers racing for the clouds. Kelsier, Vin, Elend, Sazed, Spook, and the rest are now part of history — or religion. Yet even as science and technology are reaching new heights, the old magics of Allomancy and Feruchemy continue to play a role in this reborn world. Out in the frontier lands known as the Roughs, they are crucial tools for the brave men and women attempting to establish order and justice. One such is Waxillium Ladrian, a rare Twinborn, who can Push on metals with his Allomancy and use Feruchemy to become lighter or heavier at will. After twenty years in the Roughs, Wax has been forced by family tragedy to return to the metropolis of Elendel. Now he must reluctantly put away his guns and assume the duties and dignity incumbent upon the head of a noble house. Or so he thinks, until he learns the hard way that the mansions and elegant tree-lined streets of the city can be even more dangerous than the dusty plains of the Roughs. Fourth in the Mistborn series.

 

WEEK THREE

Death Watch, by Ari Berk (Nov. 15, Simon & Schuster)

They say the dead should rest in peace, but not all the dead agree. One night, Silas Umber’s father Amos doesn’t come home from work. Devastated, Silas learns that his father was no mere mortician but an Undertaker, charged with bringing The Peace to the dead trapped in the Shadowlands, the states of limbo binding spirits to earth. With Amos gone, Silas and his mother have no choice but to return to Lichport, the crumbling seaside town where Silas was born. But something’s not quite right going on in Charles Umber’s ornate, museum-like house. Silas’ search leads him to the Death Watch, a 400-year-old Hadean clock that allows the owner to see the dead. [Young Adult]

The Pledge, by Kimberly Derting (Nov. 15, Margaret K. McElderry)

In the violent country of Ludania, the language you speak determines what class you are, and there are harsh punishments if you forget your place — looking a member of a higher class in the eye can result in immediate execution. Seventeen-year-old Charlie can understand all languages, a dangerous ability she’s been hiding her whole life. Her only place of release is the drug-filled underground club scene, where people go to shake off the oppressive rules of the world they live in. There, she meets a beautiful and mysterious boy who speaks a language she’s never heard, and her secret is almost exposed. Through a series of violent upheavals, it becomes clear that Charlie herself is the key to forcing out the oppressive power structure of her kingdom. [Young Adult]

The Folded World, by Catherynne M. Valente (Nov. 15, Night Shade)

John of Constantinople is a deeply devout man, driven from his home by the Icon Wars of Byzantium. After crossing the Sea of Sand, he finds a fantastical world where The Word of God has not yet spread. Despite his own moral qualms, he cheats his way into power, making himself king for the greater glory of God. This is his story. Second in the Dirge for Prester John series.

 

WEEK FOURTH

The Forgotten Warrior, by Erin Hunter (Nov. 22, HarperCollins)

With a divided StarClan driving a treacherous rift between the four warrior Clans, the spirits of the Dark Forest are gaining strength. Ivypool’s role as a spy becomes more dangerous with each passing day, and Dovewing is haunted by nightmares about the mountains. Then an outsider appears in ThunderClan’s midst, spreading discord and pushing the Clans farther apart. As tensions mount and Clanmates turn against one another, the warrior cats will be forced to choose whose word they can trust — before it’s too late. Fifth in the Warriors: Omen of the Stars series.

Legends of the Dragonrealm III, by Richard A. Knaak (Nov. 22, Gallery)

The epic fantasy series Legends of the Dragonrealm continues in this omnibus edition, which includes three bonus novellas never before in print.

Somewhere Beneath Those Waves, by Sarah Monette (Nov. 22, Prime)

The first non-themed collection of author Sarah Monette’s short fiction. From Hugo-award winner Elizabeth Bear’s introduction: “Monette’s prose is lapidary, her ideas are fantastical and chilling. She has studied the craft of fantastic fiction from the pens of masters and mistresses of the genre. She is a poet of the awkward and the uncertain, exalter of the outcast, the outre, and the downright weird. There is nothing else quite like Sarah Monette’s fiction.”

Theft of Swords, by Michael J. Sullivan (Nov. 23, Orbit)

Royce Melborn, a skilled thief, and his mercenary partner, Hadrian Blackwater, make a profitable living carrying out dangerous assignments for conspiring nobles — until they are hired to pilfer a famed sword. What appears to be just a simple job finds them framed for the murder of the king and trapped in a conspiracy that uncovers a plot far greater than the mere overthrow of a tiny kingdom. Can a self-serving thief and an idealistic swordsman survive long enough to unravel the first part of an ancient mystery that has toppled kings and destroyed empires in order to keep a secret too terrible for the world to know? Sullivan’s six-volume Riyria Revelations series was published with limited distribution before being picked up by Orbit earlier this year. This volume incorporates the first two novels in the series, The Crown Conspiracy and Avempartha. The four subsequent titles will be published in two omnibus editions in December and January.

Honor Among Thieves, by David Chandler (Nov. 29, Harper Voyager)

When allies become enemies, to whom can a clever thief turn? Armed with one of seven Ancient Blades, Malden was chosen by Fate to act as savior — and failed dismally. And now there is no stopping the barbarian hordes from invading and pillaging the kingdom of Skrae. Suddenly, friends and former supporters alike covet the young hero’s magic while seeking his destruction. It will take more than Malden’s makeshift army of harlots and cutpurses to preserve a realm. Third in the Ancient Blades series.

Broken Blade, by Kelly McCullough (Nov. 29, Ace)

Once a fabled Blade of Namara, Aral Kingslayer fought for justice and his goddess alongside his familiar, a living shadow called Triss. Now with their goddess murdered and her temple destroyed, they are among the last of their kind. Surviving on the fringes of society, Aral becomes a drunken, broken, and wanted man, working whatever shadowy deal comes his way. Until a mysterious woman hires him to deliver a secret message-one that can either redeem him or doom him.


Author Suzanne Johnson is a book geek with a fondness for a good dystopia. Her new urban fantasy series, scheduled to begin with the release of Royal Street in April 2012 by Tor Books, is set in New Orleans during and after Hurricane Katrina. Find Suzanne on Twitter.

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