Thieves and assassins, plots and intrigue—it must be fantasy just in time for summer. Twelve new titles release in June, including sophomore series books from Erin Hunter (Seekers: Return to the Wild); Douglas Hulick (Tales of the Kin); Lee Roland (Earth Witches); N.K. Jemisin (Dreamblood); and James Maxey (Dragon Apocalypse).
Fiction Affliction details releases in science fiction, fantasy, urban fantasy, paranormal romance, and “genre-benders.” Keep track of them all here.
The Melting Sea (Seekers: Return to the Wild, Book 2), by Erin Hunter (June 5, HarperCollins)
Toklo, Kallik, Lusa, and Yakone trek onward toward the Melting Sea, battling the elements and struggling to move quickly as the ice begins to thaw. Kallik is anxious to reunite with her brother, Taqqiq, and the rest of the bears at her old home—but Toklo and Lusa can’t imagine continuing their journey without her. As they cross the Melting Sea, the foursome encounters Shila, an injured white bear who tells them that a vicious gang of bears is terrorizing others for food and land. Kallik is horrified to discover that her brother has joined these fierce bears. Can the Seeker bears convince Taqqiq to come back to the right side? Young Adult.
It’s not easy losing the magic in your life. But when Maggie Graham freed Rowan Mackenzie to return to Faerie, she took the first step toward her new life as director of the Crossroads Theatre. A hectic new season of summer stock leaves her little time to moon over the past. She has to balance the demands of her interfering board president and a company of actors that includes bewildered amateurs, disdainful professionals, a horde of children, and an arthritic dog. And while Maggie yearns to give others the kind of healing she found at the Crossroads, even she recognizes that magic must take a back seat to ticket sales. But magic is hard to banish from the old white barn.
Eli Monpress is vain. He’s cocky. And he’s a thief. All Eli Monpress wanted was the biggest bounty in the world. He never meant to have obligations, or friends, but master swordsman Josef Leichten and Nico, the daughter of the dead mountain, have saved Eli’s life too many times to be called anything else. But, when a friend upsets your plans and ruins all your hard work, what’s a thief to do? After years of running from his birthright, Josef is forced to return home and take up his title as prince. War is coming for humans and spirits between the Immortal Empress and the Council of Thrones, and Josef’s little island is right in the middle. But conquest isn’t the Empress’s only goal, she has a personal vendetta against a certain thief.
It’s been three months since Drothe killed a legend, burned down a portion of the imperial capital, and unexpectedly elevated himself into the ranks of the criminal elite. Now, as the newest Gray Prince in the underworld, he’s learning just how good he used to have it. With barely the beginnings of an organization to his name, Drothe is already being called out by other Gray Princes. And to make matters worse, when one dies, all signs point to Drothe as wielding the knife. As members of the Kin begin choosing sides—mostly against him—for what looks to be another impending war, Drothe is approached by a man who not only has the solution to Drothe’s most pressing problem, but an offer of redemption. The only problem is, the offer isn’t for him.
For millennia the Sisters of Justice have served the ancient Mother Goddess. Ashera, Inaras, and Ishtar are but a few of a thousand names they have called the ancient Earth Mother, the Mother of Men. Most of her servants see her as a nurturer, a giver of life. The Sisters of Justice see her darker image. Men will call her Kali—Kali the Destroyer. She hides that darker face and the Sisters of Justice are abandoned until she needs them … her dark angels, her servants.
Gujaareh, the city of dreams, suffers under the imperial rule of the Kisuati Protectorate. A city where the only law was peace now knows violence and oppression. And nightmares: a mysterious and deadly plague haunts the citizens of Gujaareh, dooming the infected to die screaming in their sleep. Trapped between dark dreams and cruel overlords, the people yearn to rise up—but Gujaareh has known peace for too long. Someone must show them the way. Hope lies with two outcasts: the first woman ever allowed to join the dream goddess’ priesthood, and an exiled prince who longs to reclaim his birthright.
No new releases.
Glory is from a family of witches and lives beyond the law. She is desperate to develop her powers and become a witch herself. Lucas is the son of the Chief Prosecutor for the Inquisition—the witches’ mortal enemy—and his privileged life is very different to the forbidden world that he lives alongside. And then on the same day, it hits them both. Glory and Lucas develop the Fae—the mark of the witch. In one fell stroke, their lives are inextricably bound together, whether they like it or not. Young Adult.
Former temple assassin Aral Kingslayer has a price on his head and a mark on his soul. After his goddess was murdered, Aral found refuge in the shadow jack business, fixing problems for those on the fringes of Tien’s underworld. It’s a long step down from working for the Goddess of Justice, but it gives Aral and Triss—the living shadow who is his secret partner—a reason to get up in the morning. When two women hit a rough spot in the tavern Aral uses for an office, he and Triss decide to lend a helping hand — only to find themselves in the middle of a three-way battle to find an artifact that just might be the key to preventing a war. And with so many factions on their trail, Aral and Triss are attracting a lot more attention than anyone featured on ten thousand wanted posters can afford.
King Chald has laid siege to the Celestial City, home of the mystics. Scholar-warrior Tobazim went to the city seeking glory, but now he’s trapped along with the rest of his people. Surrounded and outnumbered, Imoshen, leader of the mystics, accepts banishment for her kind. Far from the siege, Ronnyn and his family live in hiding. He and his sister have grown up listening to their mother’s stories of the Celestial City. He dreams of going there one day, unaware that his family will be hunted down and executed, if they don’t leave with the rest of their people.
Egil and Nix, adventurers and swords for hire, are pulled into the dark schemes of a decadent family with a diabolical secret.
Talyn of the Vaerli purchased survival by working as the Hunter for the Caisah, the smiling monster who crushed the Vaerli in ages past and who dominates the world even now. Talyn’s existence comes at the cost of her soul and alienation from her people. Tale-spinner Finn makes himself the Hunter’s next prey with a seditious performance. Evading the Hunter’s peculiar gifts is nearly impossible, but their inevitable encounter ends not in death but hope for both Talyn and the Vaerli.
Hush (Dragon Apocalypse, Book 2), by James Maxey (June 26, Solaris)
The invulnerable, super-strong warrior Infidel has a secret: she’s lost her magical powers right at the moment when she needs them most. To keep a promise to a fallen friend, she must journey to the frozen wastelands of the north. Her quest leads her through the abstract realms of the Sea of Wine, where she uncovers a conspiracy that threatens all life. Hush, the primal dragon of cold, has formed an alliance with the ghost of a vengeful witch to murder Glorious, the dragon of the sun, plunging the world into an unending winter night.
Author Suzanne Johnson is a book geek with a fondness for a good dystopia. Royal Street, the first in her Sentinels of New Orleans series, is set in New Orleans during and after Hurricane Katrina. Find Suzanne on Twitter and Facebook.