Twenty-one new fantasies hit the shelves this month, including ten Young Adult titles. If you just can’t get enough of A Song of Fire and Ice, look for The Lands of Fire and Ice this month, a collection of maps and illustrations built around George R.R. Martin’s worlds. And if you’re feeling nostalgic, there’s a 35th anniversary annotated edition of Terry Brooks’ The Sword of Shannara. (A more cynical person might wonder if these editions are meant to lure in holiday gift buyers, but of course, we at Fiction Affliction aren’t cynical at all.)
Fiction Affliction details releases in science fiction, fantasy, urban fantasy, paranormal romance, and “genre-benders.” Keep track of them all here.
Note: All title summaries are taken and/or summarized from copy provided by the publisher.
Young Adult. Best friends Jack and Conner can’t stay away from Marbury. It’s partly because of their obsession with this alternate world and the unresolved war that still wages there. But it’s also because forces in Marbury, including the darkest of the dark, who were not revealed in The Marbury Lens, are beckoning the boys back in order to save their friends, and themselves. The boys try to destroy the lens that transports them to Marbury. But that dark world is not so easily reckoned with.
After defying the ruthless Enclave, surviving the wasteland, and upending the rigid matriarchy of Sylum, Gaia Stone now faces her biggest challenge ever. She must lead the people of Sylum back to the Enclave and persuade the Protectorat to grant them refuge from the wasteland. In Gaia’s absence, the Enclave has grown more cruel, more desperate to experiment on mothers from outside the wall, and now the stakes of cooperating or rebelling have never been higher. Is Gaia ready, as a leader, to sacrifice what, or whom, she loves most?
Mags, a young Herald trainee in Haven, the capital city of Valdemar, has very rare talents. Recognizing this, the King’s Own Herald trains Mags as a spy, tasking him with uncovering the secrets of a mysterious new enemy who has taken an interest in Mags himself. Why is an even deeper mystery. The answers can only be found in the depths of Mags’ past, if he survives long enough to find them.
They called her Water Claire. When she washed up on their shore, no one knew that she came from a society where emotions and colors didn’t exist. That she had become a Vessel at age thirteen. That she had carried a Product at age fourteen. That it had been stolen from her body. Claire had a son. But what became of him she never knew. What was his name? Was he even alive? She was supposed to forget him, but that was impossible. Now Claire will stop at nothing to find her child, even if it means making an unimaginable sacrifice.
Young Adult. The Cloak Society: An elite organization of supervillains graced with extraordinary powers. Ten years ago they were defeated by the Rangers of Justice and vanished without a trace. But the villains of Cloak have been waiting for the perfect moment to resurface. Alex Knight wants to be one of them. Alex is already a junior member, and his entire universe is Cloak’s underground headquarters. His only dream is to follow in his parents’ footsteps as one of the most feared supervillains in the world. The day of his debut mission, Alex does the unthinkable: he saves the life of a young Ranger named Kirbie. She becomes his friend. And the more time he spends with her, the more Alex wonders about the world outside of Cloak, and what, exactly, he’s been fighting for.
The Girl Who Fell Beneath Fairyland and Led the Revels There (Fairyland #2), by Catherynne M. Valente (October 2, Feiwel and Friends)
Young Adult. September has longed to return to Fairyland after her first adventure there. And when she finally does, she learns that its inhabitants have been losing their shadows, and their magic, to the world of Fairyland Below. This underworld has a new ruler: Halloween, the Hollow Queen, who is September’s shadow. And Halloween does not want to give Fairyland’s shadows back. Fans of Valente’s bestselling, first Fairyland book will revel in the lush setting, characters, and language of September’s journey, all brought to life by fine artist Ana Juan. Readers will also welcome back good friends Ell, the Wyverary, and the boy Saturday. But in Fairyland Below, even the best of friends aren’t always what they seem.
Young Adult. As Annabeth and her friends Jason, Piper, and Leo fly in on the Argo II, she can’t blame the Roman demigods for thinking the ship is a Greek weapon. Annabeth hopes that the sight of their praetor Jason on deck will reassure the Romans that the visitors are coming in peace. In her pocket Annabeth carries a gift from her mother that came with an unnerving demand: Follow the Mark of Athena. Avenge me. Annabeth already feels weighed down by the prophecy that will send seven demigods on a quest to find, and close, the Doors of Death. Annabeth’s biggest fear is that Percy might have changed. The daughter of the goddess of war and wisdom, Annabeth knows she was born to be a leader, but never again does she want to be without Seaweed Brain by her side.
Dev is a desperate man. After narrowly surviving a smuggling job gone wrong, he’s now a prisoner of the Alathian Council, held hostage to ensure his friend Kiran, former apprentice to one of the most ruthless mages alive , does their bidding. But Kiran isn’t Dev’s only concern. Back in his home city of Ninavel, the child he once swore to protect faces a terrible fate if he can’t reach her in time. So when the Council offers Dev freedom in exchange for his and Kiran’s assistance in a clandestine mission to Ninavel, he can’t refuse. Once in Ninavel the mission proves more treacherous than even Dev could have imagined. Betrayed by allies, forced to aid their enemies, he and Kiran must confront the darkest truths of their pasts if they hope to survive their return to the Tainted City.
A god has died, and it’s up to Tara, first-year associate in the international necromantic firm of Kelethres, Albrecht, and Ao, to bring Him back to life before His city falls apart. Her client is Kos, recently deceased fire god of the city of Alt Coulumb. Without Him, the metropolis’s steam generators will shut down, its trains will cease running, and its four million citizens will riot. Tara’s job: resurrect Kos before chaos sets in. Her only help: Abelard, a chain-smoking priest of the dead god, who’s having an understandable crisis of faith. When Tara and Abelard discover that Kos was murdered, they have to make a case in Alt Coulumb’s courts, and their quest for the truth endangers their partnership, their lives, and Alt Coulumb’s slim hope of survival.
Unlocking the Spell: A Tale of the Wide-Awake Princess (Wide-Awake Princess #2), by E.D. Baker (October 2, Bloomsbury)
Young Adult. Now that Annie has helped her sister Gwendolyn (a.k.a. Sleeping Beauty) wake up from the 100-year curse by finding her beloved prince, you would think that things would get back to normal. Think again! That beloved prince, Beldegard, is stuck in the body of a bear and the only way that Annie can be free of the two irritating lovebirds is to help-by finding the evil dwarf who cast the spell. Luckily, Annie has assistance from handsome prince Liam, and she has many tricks up her non-magical sleeve.
Royal Blood, by Sarah Marques (October 3, Prime Books)
The King is dead! Long Live the King! France’s mortal queen has been abducted. Both musketeer Aramis and Madame Bonacieux-D’Artagnan’s lover and a priestess of natural rites feel responsible. In fact, they fear the queen has been abducted to assure, through arcane rites, that any heir to the throne will be born a vampire. They and their companions must save her.
Young Adult. In twelve-year-old Taemon’s city, everyone has a power called psi, the ability to move and manipulate objects with their minds. When Taemon loses his psi in a traumatic accident, he must hide his lack of power. But a humiliating incident at a sports tournament exposes his disability, and Taemon is exiled to the powerless colony. The “dud farm” is not what Taemon expected. Taemon adjusts to his new life quickly. But gradually he discovers that for all its openness, there are mysteries at the colony, too, dangerous secrets that would give unchecked power to psi wielders if discovered.
Young Adult. In most fairy tales, princesses are beautiful, dragons are terrifying, and stories are harmless. This isn’t most fairy tales. Princess Violet is plain, reckless, and quite possibly too clever for her own good. Particularly when it comes to telling stories. One day she and her best friend, Demetrius, stumble upon a hidden room and find a peculiar book. A forbidden book. It tells a story of an evil being, called the Nybbas, imprisoned in their world. The story cannot be true, not really. But then the whispers start. Violet and Demetrius, along with an ancient, scarred dragon, may hold the key to the Nybbas’s triumph, or its demise. It all depends on how they tell the story. After all, stories make their own rules.
Father Gaetano is assigned as the sole priest at the Church of San Domenico in the Sicilian village of Tringale. The war has created many orphans, and thus the San Domenico rectory has been converted into an orphanage which is also his domain. The children are a joy to him. They have lost so much and his attempts to teach them catechism are in vain, until he finds an ornate box of puppets in the basement. The puppets seem the perfect tool to get the children to pay attention. After dark the puppets emerge from that ornate box, without their strings. While the children have been questioning their faith, the puppets believe Father Gaetano’s Bible stories completely. There is such a thing as too much faith. The children’s lives will never be the same again.
People of the Black Sun: A People of the Longhouse Novel, by W. Michael Gear and Kathleen O’Neal Gear (October 16, Tor)
Dekanawida has become known as “The Sky Messenger,” a prophet of immense power, and Hiawento is his Speaker. Thousands now believe in the Great Law of Peace and have joined the League. But they are still being harassed by marauding warriors from the People of the Mountain who steadfastly refuse to adopt the Great Law. Dekanawida has prophesied destruction if the warfare continues. As one by one, portents start coming true, Dekanawida has one last chance to convince the People of the Mountain to join the League and save their world from utter destruction.
Young Adult. A thousand years ago, two young lovers were betrayed , Alger Waterlow to his death, and Hanalea, Queen of the Fells, to a life without love. For young queen Raisa ana’Marianna, maintaining peace even within her own castle walls is nearly impossible. Tension between wizards and Clan has reached a fevered pitch. Navigating the cutthroat world of blueblood politics, former streetlord Han Alister seems to inspire hostility among Clan and wizards alike. His only ally is the queen, and despite the perils involved, Han finds it impossible to ignore his feelings for Raisa. Han finds himself in possession of a secret believed to be lost to history, a discovery powerful enough to unite the people of the Fells. But will the secret die with him before he can use it?
Young Adult. Don’t look at Them. Never let Them know you can see Them. That is Ethan Chase’s unbreakable rule. Until the fey he avoids at all costs, including his reputation, begin to disappear, and Ethan is attacked. Now he must change the rules to protect his family. To save a girl he never thought he’d dare to fall for. Ethan thought he had protected himself from his older sister’s world, the land of Faery. His previous time in the Iron Realm left him with nothing but fear and disgust for the world Meghan Chase has made her home, a land of myth and talking cats, of magic and seductive enemies. But when destiny comes for Ethan, there is no escape from a danger long, long forgotten.
The world is at the brink of ruin, or is it salvation? Astaroth has been weakened, and the demon Prusias is taking full advantage of the situation to create an empire of his own. His formidable armies are on the move, and Rowan is in their sights. Rowan must rely on Max McDaniels and David Menlo and hope that their combined powers can stop Prusias’s war machine before it’s too late. But even as perils loom, danger stalks their every move. Someone has marked Max for death and no one is above suspicion. Should the assassins succeed, Rowan’s fate may depend on little Mina whose abilities are prodigious but largely untested. And where is Astaroth? Has he fled this world or is he biding his time, awaiting his next opportunity?
Middle Grade/Young Adult. Jaxter Grimjinx is a born thief. At least, he’s supposed to be. For generations, the Grimjinx clan has produced the swiftest, cleverest thieves in Vengekeep. The problem is, Jaxter is clumsy. So clumsy that in his first solo heist, he sets the Castellan’s house on fire and lands his family in the gaol. Even Jaxter’s skill for breaking magical locks can’t get them out of this bind. Then a suspiciously convenient prophecy emerges naming the Grimjinx clan as the soon-to-be heroes of Vengekeep. It’s good enough to get his family out of the gaol, but with a firestorm, a flood, and a host of skeletal beasts among the dangers listed in the prophecy, Jaxter is pretty sure a life in the gaol would be a better fate. Now, Jaxter Grimjinx will have to become the hero he was truly born to be.
George R. R. Martin’s beloved Song of Ice and Fire series is bursting with a variety and richness of landscapes. Now this dazzling set of maps, featuring original artwork from illustrator and cartographer Jonathan Roberts, transforms Martin’s epic saga into a world as fully realized as the one around us. The centerpiece of this gorgeous collection is guaranteed to be a must-have for any fan: the complete map of the known world, joining the lands of the Seven Kingdoms and the lands across the Narrow Sea. Never before has the entire scope of Martin’s universe been so exhaustively and fascinatingly depicted. The maps in this beautiful, atlas will enrich your reading or viewing experience, provide another view of your favorite characters’ epic journeys, and open captivating new worlds.
The Sword of Shannara: Annotated 35th Anniversary Edition (The Original Shannara Trilogy #1), by Terry Brooks (October 30, Del Rey)
Thirty-five years ago, Terry Brooks brought to life a dazzling world in The Sword of Shannara. Fourteen more Shannara volumes would follow, making the series one of the most popular fantasy epics of all time. Now comes a fully annotated collector’s edition of the novel that started it all, featuring never-before-shared insights into the classic tale, an all-new introduction by the New York Times bestselling author, and replica sketches of some of the long-lost paintings and color plates by the Brothers Hildebrandt that decorated the original edition.
Urban fantasy author Suzanne Johnson is a book geek with a fondness for a good dystopia. River Road, the second in her Sentinels of New Orleans series, will be released on November 13 by Tor books. Find Suzanne on Twitter.