Mon
Mar 26 2012 4:00pm

Fiction Affliction: April Releases in Fantasy

Fantasy fans can look forward to 16 new titles in April, including new series titles by Anne Elisabeth Stengl (Tales of Goldstone Wood), Dave Freer (Dragon’s Ring), Matthew Stover (Overworld), Jaclyn Dolomore (Magic Under), Joseph Delaney (Last Apprentice), Amanda Hocking (Trylle), Erin Hoffman (Chaos Knight), and Alexey Pehov (Chronicles of Siala). But, really, Dark Tower fans, there’s one we’re really salivating for, right? April 24, The Wind in the Keyhole, Dark Tower 4.5, by Stephen King. We’re so there.

Fiction Affliction details releases in science fiction, fantasy, urban fantasy, paranormal romance, and “genre-benders.” Keep track of them all here.

WEEK ONE

Moonblood (Tales of Goldstone Wood, Book 3), by Anne Elisabeth Stengl (April 1, Bethany House)

Desperate to regain the trust of his kingdom, Prince Lionheart reluctantly banishes his faithful servant and only friend, Rose Red. Now she is lost in the hidden realm of Arpiar, held captive by her evil goblin father, King Vahe. Vowing to redeem himself, Lionheart plunges into the mysterious Goldstone Wood, seeking Rose Red. In strange other worlds, Lionheart must face a lyrical yet lethal tiger, a fallen unicorn, and a goblin horde on his quest to rescue the girl he betrayed. With the Night of Moonblood fast approaching, when King Vahe seeks to wake the Dragon’s sleeping children, Lionheart must discover whether or not his heart contains courage before it’s too late for Rose Red and all those he loves.

Dog and Dragon (Dragon’s Ring, Book 2), by Dave Freer (April 3, Baen)

A wry and clever heroine coming into her magical powers is flung into the midst of power struggles and momentous battles in a world where her coming may be the answer to a long-awaited prophecy of liberation from tyrannical rulers. Lyonesse: a world formed with a magic so deep that it takes a true king to hold its parts in balance, yet there is no king on the throne. Young Meb, flung from her dragon-ruled homeland in another plane of existence into Lyonesse, doesn’t think she’s been called to be any kind of Defender. And she certainly isn’t happy when she’s immediately embroiled in the deadly power plots of the local royals. But Meb also happens to be an adept at the universe-folding skill of Planomancy, trained by a world-walking troubleshooter of the multiverse, the great Dragon Fionn himself–a dragon who is desperately searching for Meb, whom he’s come to love. Accompanying Fionn is Dileas, Meb’s pet and the most loyal magic sheep dog in a thousand universes.

Vengeance, by Ian Irvine (April 3, Little, Brown)

Twelve years ago, two children witnessed a murder that still haunts them as adults. Tali watched as they killed her mother and she has sworn revenge. Even though she is a slave. Rix watched as his parents murdered a woman for reasons he still doesn’t understand. Haunted by this scene, wracked by guilt, he must find a way to live with his family’s dark secret. When a chance meeting brings the two together, everything starts to come undone. The secrets of an entire kingdom are uncovered and a villain out of legend returns to throw the realm into chaos. U.S. release.

Grave Mercy, by Robin LaFevers (April 3, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt)

Seventeen-year-old Ismae escapes from the brutality of an arranged marriage into the sanctuary of the convent of St. Mortain, where the sisters still serve the gods of old. Here she learns that the god of Death has blessed her with dangerous gifts—and a violent destiny. Ismae’s most important assignment takes her straight into the high court of Brittany—where she finds herself woefully underprepared not only for the deadly games of intrigue and treason, but for the impossible choices she must make. How can she deliver Death’s vengeance upon a target who, against her will, has stolen her heart? First in a new series. Young Adult.

Banner of the Damned, by Sherwood Smith (April 3, Daw)

Princess Lasva is about to be named heir to her childless sister, the queen. But, when the queen finally bears an heir, Lasva’s future is shattered. Grief-stricken, she leaves her country of Colend and falls into the arms of Prince Ivandred of Marloven Hesea. When the sensational news makes its way to Lasva’s sister, the queen worries for her at the hands of the Marlovens, whose king’s mage is in league with the magical land of Norsunder, considered by Colendi to be their enemy. The queen orders Emras, a scribe, to guard Lasva. But it may be too late—Lasva is already deeply involved with the Marlovens and their magic.

Caine’s Law (Overworld, Book 4), by Matthew Stover (April 3, Del Rey)

Caine is washed up and hung out to dry, a crippled husk kept isolated and restrained by the studio that exploited him. Now they have dragged him back for one last deal. But Caine has other plans. Those plans take him back to Overworld, the alternate reality where gods are real and magic is the ultimate weapon. There, in a violent odyssey through time and space, Caine will face the demons of his past, find true love, and just possibly destroy the universe. Hey, it’s a crappy job, but somebody’s got to do it.

 

WEEK TWO

Kill Me Softly, by Sarah Cross (April 10, Egmont)

Mirabelle’s past is shrouded in secrecy, from her parents’ tragic deaths to her guardians’ half-truths about why she can’t return to her birthplace, Beau Rivage. Desperate to see the town, Mira runs away a week before her sixteenth birthday—and discovers a world she never could have imagined. In Beau Rivage, nothing is what it seems—the strangely pale girl with a morbid interest in apples, the obnoxious playboy who’s a beast to everyone he meets, and the chivalrous guy who has a thing for damsels in distress. Here, fairy tales come to life, curses are awakened, and ancient stories are played out again and again. But fairy tales aren’t pretty things, and they don’t always end in happily ever after. Young Adult.

Magic Under Stone (Magic Under, Book 2), by Jaclyn Dolamore (April 10, Bloomsbury)

For star-crossed lovers Nimira and Erris, there can be no happily ever after until Erris is freed from the clockwork form in which his soul is trapped. They go in search of the sorcerer Ordorio Valdana, hoping he will know how to grant Erris real life again. When they learn that Valdana has mysteriously vanished, it’s not long before Nimira decides to take matters into her own hands—and begins to study the sorcerer’s spell books in secret. Yet even as she begins to understand the power and limitations of sorcery, it becomes clear that freeing Erris will bring danger—if not out-and-out war—in the faerie world. Young Adult.

Ison of the Isles, by Carolyn Ives Gilman (April 10, ChiZine)

Revolution has broken out in the Forsaken Isles. The islanders have risen up to drive out the Inning Empire, but still they have no one to unite them. Only an Ison can do that—a leader whose heart has been cleansed by the curing of dhota-nur. The power to create an Ison lies in the hands of three people, and none of them are heroes. Spaeth has the ancient Lashnura heritage, but does she have the stature? Harg has the military genius, but he utterly rejects the price of dhota-nur. And Nathaway, the Inning outsider, finds himself unexpectedly holding the key to the future of the Isles. Ison of the Isles continues the story started in Isles of the Forsaken.

 

WEEK THREE

Grimalkin, the Witch Assassin (The Last Apprentice, Book 12), by Joseph Delaney (April 17, Greenwillow)

One witch is the most feared, the most ruthless, and the most deadly of all the witches in the county. If she hunts for you, she will find you. If you have crossed her, you don’t stand a chance. She is the witch assassin, and her name is Grimalkin. Grimalkin’s one alliance is with Tom Ward, the Spook’s apprentice. With Tom, she plans to rid the world of the most terrifying evil, the Fiend, who once did her great wrong. For the first time, fans of the Last Apprentice series will hear the story from Grimalkin’s side, as she is hunted herself by creatures of darkness set on revenge. Grimalkin has never been defeated. But can she survive an enemy created for the sole purpose of destroying her? Young Adult.

 

WEEK FOUR

Spirit’s Princess, by Esther Friesner (April 24, Random House/Young Readers)

Himiko, the beloved daughter of a chieftain in third-century Japan, has always been special. The day she was born there was a devastating earthquake, and the tribe’s shamaness had an amazing vision revealing the young girl’s future—one day this privileged child would be the spiritual and tribal leader of the tribes. Book One revolves around the events of Himiko’s early teen years—her shaman lessons, friendships, contact with other tribes, and journey to save her family after a series of tragic events. Young Adult.

Ascend (Trylle, Book 3), by Amanda Hocking (April 24, St. Martins Griffin)

Wendy Everly is facing an impossible choice. The only way to save the Trylle from their deadliest enemy is by sacrificing herself. If she doesn’t surrender to the Vittra, her people will be thrust into a brutal war against an unbeatable foe. But how can Wendy leave all her friends behind—even if it’s the only way to save them? The stakes have never been higher, because her kingdom isn’t the only thing she stands to lose. After falling for both Finn and Loki, she’s about to make the ultimate choice…who to love forever. Young Adult.

Lance of Earth and Sky (The Chaos Knight, Book 2), by Erin Hoffman (April 24, Pyr)

In the sequel to Sword of Fire and Sea, Vidarian Rulorat faces the consequences of opening the gate between worlds: elemental magic is awakening across the planet after centuries of dormancy, bringing with it magically powered wonders including flying ships and ancient automata; empires leap into war over long-disputed territory as their technologies shift; the spirit of his oldest friend, Ruby—killed in the immediate aftermath of the gate’s opening—is trapped inside one of the gems used to open the gate; and Ariadel, his one great love, isn’t speaking to him. Called into service by the desperate young emperor of Alorea, Vidarian must lead sky ships in a war against the neighboring southern empire, train the demoralized imperial Sky Knights to ride beasts that now shapeshift, master his own amplified elemental magic, and win back Ariadel—all without losing his mind.

The Wind Through the Keyhole (The Dark Tower, Book 4.5), by Stephen King (April 24, Scribner)

Stephen King returns to the rich landscape of Mid-World in this stand-alone story that falls chronologically between Wizard and Glass (1997) and Wolves of the Calla (2003). Roland Deschain and his ka-tet—Jake, Susannah, Eddie, and Oy, the billy-bumbler—encounter a ferocious storm just after crossing the River Whye on their way to the Outer Baronies. As they shelter from the howling gale, Roland tells his friends not just one strange story but two—and in so doing, casts new light on his own troubled past. In his early days as a gunslinger, in the guilt-ridden year following his mother’s death, Roland is sent by his father to investigate evidence of a murderous shapeshifter, a “skin-man” preying upon the population around Debaria. Roland takes charge of Bill Streeter, the brave but terrified boy who is the sole surviving witness to the beast’s most recent slaughter. Only a teenager himself, Roland calms the boy and prepares him for the following day’s trials by reciting a story from the Magic Tales of the Eld that his mother often read to him at bedtime. “A person’s never too old for stories,” Roland says to Bill. “Man and boy, girl and woman, never too old. We live for them.”

Shadow Blizzard (Chronicles of Siala, Book 3), by Alexey Pehov (April 24, Tor)

Thisis the third book in a trilogy that follows Shadow Harold, Siala’s master thief, on his quest for the magic horn that will restore peace to his world. After the loss of friends and comrades, after betrayal and battle, after capture by fearsome orcs, Harold finally reaches the dreaded Hrad Spein. But before he can complete his quest by stealing the magic horn, he will have to brave the most fearsome obstacles yet—obstacles that have destroyed everyone before him—and Harold must do so alone.

Rage of the Dragon, by Margaret Weis and Tracy Hickman (April 24, Tor)

Skylan Ivorson is the gods-chosen chief of all Vindras clans. But the gods from whom the Vindrasi draw their earth-dwelling power are besieged by a new generation of gods who are challenging them for the powers of creation. The only way to stop these brash interlopers lies within the Five Bones of the Vektia Dragon, which have been lost for generations. Calling upon the ogres to fight their common foes, the Vindrasi soon find themselves in the middle of an even larger war. Skylan and his Vindrasi clan must sail the Sea of Tears into the heart of the Forbidden Empire of the Cyclops, to implement a cunning yet delicate plan that risks his life and leadership at every corner.


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 on April 10 by Tor Books, is set in New Orleans during and after Hurricane Katrina. Find Suzanne on Twitter and Facebook.

1 comment
Melissa Shumake
1. cherie_2137
i had halfway forgotten that there was going to be another book after the events of "treason's shore" and now i'm really excited for "banner of the damned!"

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