Nineteen new fantasies kick off 2013, but none as anticipated as A Memory of Light, the fourteenth and final volume in the epic Wheel of Time series from the late Robert Jordan. New series also begin this month from Gail Z. Martin, Lilith Saintcrow, and Miles Cameron, and fans can look for new series additions from Jay Lake, L.E. Modesitt Jr., Veronica Rossi, and Erin Hunter. And lots and lots (and lots) of YA titles.
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. At the luminous conclusion of The Pledge, Charlaina defeated the tyrant Sabara and took her place as Queen of Ludania. But Charlie knows that Sabara has not disappeared: The evil queen’s Essence is fused to Charlie’s psyche. In addition to suppressing the ever-present influence of Sabara, she’s busy being queen, and battling a growing resistance determined to return Ludania to its discriminatory caste system. Charlie wants to be the same girl Max loves, who Brook trusts, but she’s Your Majesty now, and she feels torn in two. As Charlie journeys to an annual summit to meet with leaders of nearby Queendoms, an event where her ability to understand all languages will be the utmost asset, she is faced with the ultimate betrayal. And the only person she can turn to for help is the evil soul residing within.
Young Adult. The lost heir to the SeaWing throne is going home at last. She can’t believe it’s finally happening. Tsunami and her fellow dragonets of destiny are journeying under the water to the great SeaWing Kingdom. Stolen as an egg from the royal hatchery, Tsunami is eager to meet her future subjects and reunite with her mother, Queen Coral. But Tsunami’s triumphant return doesn’t go quite the way she’d imagined. Queen Coral welcomes her with open wings, but a mysterious assassin has been killing off the queen’s heirs for years, and Tsunami may be the next target. The dragonets came to the SeaWings for protection, but this ocean hides secrets, betrayal, and perhaps even death.
Since 1990, when Robert Jordan’s The Wheel of Time burst on the world with its first book, The Eye of the World, readers have been anticipating the final scenes of the saga that has sold more than forty million copies in over thirty languages. When Robert Jordan died in 2007, all feared that these concluding scenes would never be written. But working from notes and partials left by Jordan, fantasy writer Brandon Sanderson stepped in to complete the masterwork. With The Gathering Storm (Book 12) and Towers of Midnight (Book 13) behind him, both of which were #1 New York Times hardcover bestsellers, Sanderson now re-creates the vision that Robert Jordan left behind. The book was edited by Jordan’s widow, who edited all of Jordan’s books.
The Wheel of Time turns, and Ages come and pass
What was, what will be, and what is,
May yet fall under the Shadow.
Let the Dragon ride again on the winds of time.
Condemned as a murderer for killing the man who dishonored his sister, Blaine “Mick” McFadden has spent the last six years in Velant, a penal colony in the frigid northern wastelands of Edgeland. Harsh military discipline and the oppressive magic of the governor’s mages keep a fragile peace as colonists struggle against a hostile environment. But the supply ships from Dondareth have stopped coming, boding ill for the kingdom that banished the colonists. McFadden and the people of Velant decide their fate. They can remain in their icy prison, removed from the devastation of the outside world, but facing a subsistence-level existence, or they can return to the ruins of the kingdom that they once called home. Either way, destruction lies ahead.
Jinx, by Sage Blackwood (January 8, Harper Collins)
In the Urwald, you don’t step off the path. Trolls, werewolves, and butter-churn riding witches lurk amid the clawing branches, eager to swoop up the unwary. Jinx has always feared leaving the path, then he meets the wizard Simon Magnus. Jinx knows that wizards are evil. But Simon seems cranky rather than wicked. Staying with him appears to be Jinx’s safest, and perhaps only, option. As Jinx’s curiosity about magic grows, he learns to listen to the trees as closely as he does to Simon’s unusual visitors. In the Urwald, a little healthy fear is never out of place, Jinx is joined by friends, battles enemies, and discovers life beyond, and even within, the forest is more complex than he can imagine, and that the Urwald itself needs him more than he could ever guess.
Young Adult. Everything Conatus stands for is at risk. Hoping to gather enough resistance to save their order, Ember and Barrow attempt a desperate escape. But fate offers little mercy. When their mission is exposed, the couple face relentless pursuit by the supernatural horrors that act on the commands of Eira’s ally: the mysterious Bosque Mar. A shocking revelation forces Ember out of hiding, sending her back into the heart of dark magic at Tearmunn keep, where she must convince her old friend Alistair of her love or face dire consequences. Ember’s deception offers the only chance for the resistance to succeed, but what she discovers in the shadows beneath the keep will shatter her world and bring about the Witches’ War.
Seekers: Return to the Wild #3: River of Lost Bears (Seekers: Return to the Wild #3), by Erin Hunter (January 8, HarperCollins)
A new season approaches. Now that Kallik and Yakone have decided to join Toklo and Lusa on the rest of their journey home, the four bears head toward warmer territories. Spring is coming, and Toklo and Lusa are overjoyed to be away from the ice, surrounded by green forests and flowing rivers once again. But the forest brings unique challenges for the polar bears, Kallik and Yakone. As they struggle to continue on, they know that each step is taking them farther from the ice. Have they made a mistake, straying from their natural home? Soon Toklo also grows desperate to leave the struggles of their journey behind. As the group pushes toward the mountains where brown bears roam, Toklo must decide whether to see the quest through to the end, or to start a new life on his own.
Vianne di Rocancheil has been largely content to play the gawky provincial. As lady in waiting at the Court of Arquitaine, she studies her books, watches for intrigue, and shepherds her Princesse safely through the glittering whirl. Treachery is afoot in gilded and velvet halls. A sorcerous conspiracy is unleashed. Her Princesse murdered and her own life in jeopardy, Vianne must flee, carrying the fate of her land with her. Invasion threatens, civil war looms, and the conspiracy hunts for Vianne di Rocancheil. Life has not prepared her for this. Nor has it prepared her for Tristan d’Arcenne, Captain of the King’s Guard and player in the most dangerous games conspiracy can devise. To save her country and avenge her Princesse, Vianne will become what she must, say what she should, and do whatever is required. A Queen can do no less.
It’s been months since Aria last saw Perry. Months since Perry was named Blood Lord of the Tides, and Aria was charged with an impossible mission. Now, finally, they are about to be reunited. But their reunion is far from perfect. The Tides don’t take kindly to Aria, a former Dweller. And with the worsening Aether storms threatening the tribe’s precarious existence, Aria begins to fear that leaving Perry behind might be the only way to save them both. Threatened by false friends, hidden enemies, and powerful temptations, Aria and Perry wonder,Can their love survive through the ever night?
Young Adult. There is a new king on the throne of Tildor. Currents of political unrest sweep the country as two warring crime families seek power, angling to exploit the young Crown’s inexperience. At the Academy of Tildor, the training ground for elite soldiers, Cadet Renee de Winter struggles to keep up with her male peers. But when her mentor, a notorious commander recalled from active duty to teach at the Academy, is kidnapped to fight in illegal gladiator games, Renee and her best friend Alec find themselves thrust into a world rife with crime, sorting through a maze of political intrigue, and struggling to resolve what they want, what is legal, and what is right.
Young Adult. With friends turning into enemies, can Drew find his way out of this war alive? The entire kingdom of Lyssia is now at war, and the battle lines have been drawn. While Drew and his ragtag army defend the throne against Ratlords and Crowlords, Gretchen and Whitley venture on a harrowing journey through the perilous Dyrewood. But none of the werelords counted on the return of the most terrifying monster of them all.
In the jungles of Khyrei, an escaped slave seeks vengeance and finds the key to a savage revolution. In the drought-stricken Stormlands, the Twin Kings argue the destiny of their kingdom: one walks the path of knowledge, the other treads the road to war. Beyond the haunted mountains King Vireon confronts a plague of demons bent on destroying his family. Iardu the Shaper weaves history like a grand tapestry, spinning sorceries into a vision of apocalypse. Giants and Men march as one to shatter a wicked empire. The fate of the known world rests on the swift blades of Seven Kings.
Magical hero Quaeryt leads history’s first Imager fighting force into war. Given the rank of subcommander by his wife’s brother, Lord Bhayar, the ruler of Telaryn, Quaeryt joins an invading army into the hostile land of Bovaria, in retaliation for Bovaria’s attempted annexation of Telaryn. But Quaeryt has his own agenda in doing Bhayar’s bidding: to legitimize Imagers in the hearts and minds of all men, by demonstrating their value as heroes as he leads his battalion into one costly battle after another. Making matters worse, court intrigues pursue Quaeryt even to the front lines of the conflict, as the Imager’s enemies continue to plot against him.
Young Adult. “My name is Slither, and before my tale is finished you’ll find out why.” The dark is full of terrifying creatures. And Tom Ward, the seventh son of a seventh son, and the Spook’s last apprentice, hasn’t seen all of them. Far from the county, one named Slither has lived for hundreds of years, hunting blood. But a dying father binds the monster to a bargain. If Slither will take his two youngest daughters safely to their family in the south, then the eldest daughter, Nessa, is his. For Nessa the nightmare is just beginning. And when Slither and Nessa cross paths with the feared witch assassin Grimalkin, they will become unwitting players in the quest to stop the Fiend once and for all.
Twenty eight florins a month is a huge price to pay, for a man to stand between you and the Wild. Twenty eight florins a month is nowhere near enough when a wyvern’s jaws snap shut on your helmet in the hot stink of battle, and the beast starts to rip the head from your shoulders. Leading a company of men, or worse, a company of mercenaries, against the smart, deadly creatures of the Wild is even harder. It takes all the advantages of birth, training, and the luck of the devil to do it. The Red Knight has all three. When he hires his company out to protect an Abbess and her nunnery, it’s just another job. The abby is rich, the nuns are pretty and the monster preying on them is nothing he can’t deal with. Only it’s not just a job. It’s going to be a war. US release.
Asunder (Newsoul #2), by Jodi Meadows (January 29, Katherine Tegen Books)
Young Adult. Ana has always been the only one. Asunder. Apart. But after Templedark, when many residents of Heart were lost forever, some hold Ana responsible for the darksouls, and the newsouls who may be born in their place. Many are afraid of Ana’s presence, a constant reminder of unstoppable changes and the unknown. When sylph begin behaving differently toward her and people turn violent, Ana must learn to stand up not only for herself but for those who cannot stand up for themselves. Ana was told that nosouls can’t love. But newsouls? More than anything, she wants to live and love as an equal among the citizens of Heart, but even when Sam professes his deepest feelings, it seems impossible to overcome a lifetime of rejection.
Babylon Steel, former avatar of the goddess of sex and war, has been offered a job; as bodyguard to Enthemmerlee, the latest candidate for the Council of Incandress; and as spy for the Diplomatic Section, the barely-acknowledged government of Scalentine. She doesn’t want it. Incandress is on the verge of civil war. Enthemmerlee represents the hopes or fears of a large portion of its population and is a prime target for assassination. On Scalentine racial tensions and economic stresses are boiling up, with Babylon’s lover, Chief Bitternut, trying to keep the lid on. Circumstances conspire to send her to Incandress. There, things become rather too interesting. And that’s before Babylon realizes that the situation is far worse than she thought.
Green is hounded by the gods of Copper Downs and the gods of Kalimpura, who have laid claim to her and her children. She never wanted to be a conduit for the supernatural, but when she killed the Immortal Duke and created the Ox god with the power she released, she came to their notice. Now she has sworn to retrieve the two girls taken hostage by the Bittern Court, one of Kalimpura’s rival guilds. But the Temple of the Lily Goddess is playing politics with her life.
Wynter Atrialan, the Winter King, once lived in peace with his southern, Summerlander neighbors, but when the prince of Summerlea steals Wynter’s bride and murders his young brother, Wynter marches against Summerlea. After three bitter years of battle, a victorious Wynter arrives at Summerlea’s royal palace. The Summer King has three very precious daughters whom he loves dearly. Wynter will take one of them to wife. She will have one year to provide him with an Heir. If she fails, he will send her to face the mercy of the mountains and claim another princess for his wife. The plan is perfect, except for one small detail. The Summer King has a fourth daughter. She is a fiercely passionate creature, with a temper as volatile as the forces of her weathergift, the power of storms.
Author Suzanne Johnson is a book geek with a fondness for a good dystopia. Her Sentinels of New Orleans urban fantasy series is published by Tor Books. You can find Suzanne on Twitter and on her daily book blog, Preternatura.