Quick—hide the dragons and Orcs! The kids threaten to overthrow the kingdom this month with more than a third of October’s twenty-six fantasies aimed at young adult (or younger) readers. Those of us who haven’t given all our disposable book budget to our kids, however, can look forward to Scott Lynch’s long-awaited Republic of Thieves, as well as new additions in Stephen R. Donaldson’s Last Chronicles of Thomas Covenant world (The Last Dark); Beth Bernobich’s River of Souls series (Allegiance); Mike Shepherd’s Kris Longknife series (Defender); and Piers Anthony’s Xanth series (Esrever Doom).
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. Serafina is living the normal life of a village girl when she gets a mysterious letter, her first letter ever, in fact, from a great aunt she’s never heard of in another village. Little does ’Fina know, her great aunt is actually a Baba Yaga, a magical witch who lives in an even more magical cottage. Serafina’s life takes an amazing turn as she finds herself becoming the new Baba Yaga. But leaving behind home and the boy she loves isn’t easy, and as Serafina grows into her new and magical role answering the first question any stranger might ask her with the truth, she also learns about the person she’s meant to be, and that telling the future doesn’t always mean knowing the right answers.
Mags returns to the Collegium, but there are mixed feelings, his included, about actually remaining there. No one doubts that he is and should be a Herald, but he is afraid his presence is going to incite more danger in the heart of Valdemar. Everyone decides that going elsewhere is the solution for now. So since he is going elsewhere, why not return to the place he was found and look for clues? With Herald Jadrek, Herald Kylan (the Weaponsmaster’s chosen successor), and his friends Bear, Lena, and Amily, they head for the Bastion, the hidden spot in the hills that had once been the headquarters of the powerful band of raiders who held him and his parents prisoner. What they find is not what anyone expected.
Young Adult. Rough and tumble Saturday Woodcutter thinks she’s the only one of her sisters without any magic, until the day she accidentally conjures an ocean in the backyard. With her sword in tow, Saturday sets sail on a pirate ship, only to find herself kidnapped and whisked off to the top of the world. Is Saturday powerful enough to kill the mountain witch who holds her captive and save the world from sure destruction? And, as she wonders grumpily, “Did romance have to be part of the adventure?”
Young Adult. On Internment, the floating island in the clouds where Morgan Stockhour lives, getting too close to the edge can lead to madness. Even though Morgan’s older brother, Lex, was a Jumper, Morgan vows never to end up like him. She tries her best not to mind that her life is orderly and boring, and if she ever wonders about the ground, she takes solace in best friend Pen and her betrothed, Basil. Then a murder rocks the city. With whispers swirling and fear on the wind, Morgan can no longer stop herself from investigating, especially when she meets Judas. He is the boy being blamed for the murder, betrothed to the victim, but Morgan is convinced of his innocence. Secrets lay at the heart of Internment, but nothing can prepare Morgan for what she will find, or who she will lose.
Rhianne, mind mage and Imperial Princess of Kjall, cannot openly challenge the emperor. She acts in secret to aid the victims of his worst excesses. The emperor plans to wed her to the cruel Augustan, the man leading Kjall’s attack against the nation of Mosar. Soon she will be torn from her supporters and shipped overseas. Mosari crown prince Janto is desperate to save his country from invasion. When one of his most trusted spies disappears while gathering intelligence at the Kjallan palace, Janto takes his place and continues searching for information that could save his people. Falling for the Imperial Princess was not part of his plan. Rhianne must make a choice: follow the path of tradition or the one of the heart, even if it means betraying her own people.
The Girl Who Soared Over Fairyland and Cut the Moon In Two (Fairyland #3)—Catherynne M. Valente (October 1, Feiwel & Friends)
Middle Grade. September misses Fairyland and her friends Ell, the Wyverary, and the boy Saturday. She longs to leave the routines of home, and embark on a new adventure. Little does she know that this time, she will be spirited away to the moon, reunited with her friends, and find herself faced with saving Fairyland from a moon-Yeti with great and mysterious powers.
Thren Felhorn is the greatest assassin of his time. Marshaling the thieves’ guilds under his control, he declares war against the Trifect, an allegiance of wealthy and powerful nobles. Aaron Felhorn has been groomed since birth to be Thren’s heir. Sent to kill the daughter of a priest, Aaron instead risks his own life to protect her from the wrath of his guild. In doing so, he glimpses a world beyond poison, daggers, and the iron control of his father. Guilds twist and turn, trading allegiances for survival. The Trifect weakens, its reputation broken, its money dwindling. The players take sides as the war nears its end, and Thren puts in motion a plan to execute hundreds. Only Aaron can stop the massacre and protect those he loves. Assassin or protector; every choice has its consequences.
Young Adult. Having used his unique connection with the Heart of the Earth to terminate the use of psi, or telekinesis, in the secluded city of Deliverance, twelve-year-old Taemon bears the burden of responsibility for the fate of its people. With society in disarray, his family missing, and tensions looming with the mysterious Republik, Taemon confronts the startling discovery that he alone can still use psi, and that it comes with a price. In an attempt to find his father and prevent war, Taemon and his friend Amma set out on a dangerous journey to the Republik. But what they find there is far from what they expected, and Taemon’s understanding of the world is challenged. Will his psi and his courage be enough to conquer the obstacles standing in the way of peace?
Young Adult. Sixteen-year-old Sasha Lawson has only ever known one small, ordinary life. When she was young, she loved her grandfather’s stories of parallel worlds, inhabited by girls who looked like her but led totally different lives. Sasha never believed such worlds were real, until now, when she finds herself thrust into one against her will. To prevent imminent war, Sasha must slip into the life of an alternate version of herself, a princess who has vanished on the eve of her arranged marriage. If Sasha succeeds in fooling everyone, she will be returned home; if she fails, she’ll be trapped in another girl’s life forever.
Middle Grade. At the conclusion of The Mark of Athena, Annabeth and Percy tumble into a pit leading straight to the Underworld. The other five demigods have to put aside their grief and follow Percy’s instructions to find the mortal side of the Doors of Death. If they can fight their way through the Gaea’s forces, and Percy and Annabeth can survive the House of Hades, then the Seven will be able to seal the Doors both sides and prevent the giants from raising Gaea. But, Leo wonders, if the Doors are sealed, how will Percy and Annabeth be able to escape? If the demigods don’t succeed, Gaea’s armies will never die. They have no time. In about a month, the Romans will march on Camp Half-Blood.
Young Adult. On the eve of Princess Sophia’s wedding, the city of Skyggehavn prepares to fete the occasion with a sumptuous display of riches. Beneath the veneer of celebration, a shiver of darkness creeps through the palace halls. A mysterious illness plagues the royal family, and a courtier’s wolfish hunger for the king’s favors sets a devious plot in motion. In the palace at Skyggehavn, things are seldom as they seem. When a single errant prick of a needle sets off a series of events that will alter the course of history, the fates of seamstress Ava Bingen and mute nursemaid Midi Sorte become irrevocably intertwined with that of mad Queen Isabel.
The Palace Job—Patrick Weekes (October 8, 47North)
Loch is seeking revenge. It would help if she wasn’t in jail. The plan: to steal a priceless elven manuscript that once belonged to her family, but now is in the hands of the most powerful man in the Republic. To do so Loch, former soldier, former prisoner, current fugitive, must assemble a crack team of magical misfits that includes a cynical illusionist, a shapeshifting unicorn, a repentant death priestess, a talking magical warhammer, and a lad with seemingly no skills to help her break into the floating fortress of Heaven’s Spire and the vault that holds her family’s treasure, all while eluding the unrelenting pursuit of Justicar Pyvic, whose only mission is to see the law upheld. What could possibly go wrong? (U.S. Release)
Having pulled off the greatest heist of their career, Locke and his trusted partner in thievery, Jean, have escaped with a tidy fortune. Poisoned by an enemy from his past, he is slowly dying. Yet just as the end is near, a mysterious Bondsmagi offers Locke an opportunity that will either save him, or finish him off once and for all. Magi political elections are imminent, and the factions are in need of a pawn. Locke is opposed, but two factors cause his will to crumble: Jean’s imploring, and the Bondsmagi’s mention of a woman from Locke’s past, Sabetha. Locke was smitten with Sabetha from his first glimpse of her as a young fellow. Locke must choose whether to fight Sabetha, or to woo her. It is a decision on which both their lives may depend.
Young Adult. In this conclusion to the Wereworld saga, secrets are finally revealed, truths come to light, and alliances are tested. While the war between the Catlords and the Wolf embroils the Seven Realms in chaos, Drew must take his final stand against the man who has become Lyssia’s deadliest villain: his own best friend, the Boarlord Hector, whose powers of dark magick are raging out of control.
Compelled step by step to actions whose consequences they could neither see nor prevent, Thomas Covenant and Linden Avery have fought for what they love in the magical reality known only as “the Land.” Now they face their final crisis. Reunited after their separate struggles, they discover in each other their true power—and yet they cannot imagine how to stop the Worm of the World’s End from unmaking Time. Nevertheless they must resist the ruin of all things, giving their last strength in the service of the world’s continuance.
Warrior-mage Indris grows weary in his failed attempts to thwart the political machinations of Corajidin, and faces the possibility of imprisonment upon his return to his homeland. Indris’s desire for Corajidin’s daughter, Mari, is strong. Mari is torn between the opposing forces of her family and her country, especially now that she’s been offered the position of Knight-Colonel of the Feyassin, the elite royal guards whose legacy reaches back to the days of the Awakened Empire. She must decide if her future is with Indris, with her family, or in a direction not yet foreseen. Corajidin confronts the good and evil within himself. Does he seek redemption for his cruel deeds, or does he indebt himself further to the enigmatic forces that have promised him success?
Twenty-five-year-old Tristan Doran enjoys a life of incredible power and privilege. As a direct descendant of the Keepers, witches who have embraced dark magic, he defers to no one but his overlord, Lord Bosque Mar. For most of his life, Tristan has been kept out of the centuries-old Witches War, his bloodline too valuable to risk in battle. But when a beautiful, young human Searcher named Sarah is captured and made a prisoner in his Irish castle, Tristan’s infatuation with her flings him headlong into the fray. Captive and captor, unable to contain their longing, embark on a passionate, forbidden romance together, only to learn that their love is at the heart of a prophecy predicting the downfall of the Keepers’ ages-old reign.
Kody woke up in a hospital bed, not knowing how he got there. Before his questions could be answered, he was told that he was about to undergo surgery, and that there could be some side effects. And then he woke up again, this time in Xanth. Kody is the only person in Xanth who has not been affected by a dreadful spell that reverses how people see each other. What was adorable is now loathsome. What was ugly is now beautiful. What was loved is now hated. Kody has clearly arrived just in time! Only he has any hope of reversing the spell, turning Esrever Doom into Reverse Mood.
King Leos of Károví, the tyrannical despot whose magic made him near immortal, is finally dead. Ilse Zhalina watched as the magical jewels that gave him such power reunited into a single essence. Ilse is now free to fulfill her promise to Valara Baussay, the rogue Queen of Morennioù, who wants to return to her kingdom and claim her throne. Ilse will do all in her power to help Valara to get her home. Home to her lover, Raul Kosenmark, who is gathering forces in their homeland of Veraene now that Leos is dead in order to save them from a war. Ilse makes this journey back to where her story began. She learns some hard truths and comes to a crossroads of power and magic. She must decide if duty is stronger than a love that she has sought through countless lifetimes.
Kris Longknife is back in the good graces of the brass, and to demonstrate that, they’ve promoted her to Admiral. Now her mission is to find the home base of the space pirates who are plaguing the fringes of the galaxy. But no mission is ever simple when your name is Longknife. And this time the complications range from the military to the personal, as Kris finds herself, reluctantly, having to make some command decisions about her future.
Chonrad, Lord of Barle, comes to the fortified temple of Heartwood for the Congressus peace talks, which Heartwood’s holy knights have called in an attempt to stave off war in Anguis. But the Arbor, Heartwood’s holy tree, is failing, and because the land and its people are one, it is imperative the nations try to make peace. After the Veriditas, or annual Greening Ceremony, the Congressus takes place. The talks do not go well and tempers are rising when an army of warriors emerges from the river. After a fierce battle, the Heartwood knights discover that the water warriors have stolen the Arbor’s heart. For the first time in history, its leaves begin to fall. The knights divide into seven groups and begin an epic quest to retrieve the Arbor, and save the land.
With the death of the fearsome Ögedei Khan, the Mongol invasion of the West has been brought to an abrupt halt. The defenders, a band of brave warrior monks known as the Shield-Brethren, limp homeward again across a frozen, bloodied wasteland. But where, and what, is “home” now that the threat of invasion no longer shapes their lives? Thirteenth-century Europe has been saved from annihilation at the hands of the Mongols, to be sure, but new and terrible threats are at hand: political and religious turmoil threaten to turn the warriors’ world upside down once more. Katabasis weaves together the tales of victor and victim alike in an exploration of what it means not just to survive, but to truly live again.
Elizabethan spy Mal Catlyn has everything he ever wanted: his twin brother Sandy restored to health, his family estate reclaimed and a son to inherit it, but his work isn’t over yet. The guisers’ leader, Jathekkil, has reincarnated as the young Prince Henry Tudor, giving Mal a chance to eliminate his enemies whilst they are at their weakest. With Sandy’s help Mal learns to harness his own magic in the fight against the renegade skraylings, but it may be too late to save England. Schemes set in motion decades ago are at last coming to fruition, and the barrier between the dreamlands and the waking world is wearing thin.
The jealous masses of the Seven Kingdoms may call him Halfman, but none have ever accused Tyrion Lannister of being a halfwit. His golden tongue has saved his skin slightly more often than it has landed him in mortal peril. Now, this special illustrated volume preserves his most essential knowledge for future generations, featuring time-tested guidance on such varied subjects.
Shadow demons plague the city reservoir, and Red King Consolidated has sent in Caleb Altemoc to cleanse the water for the sixteen million people of Dresediel Lex. Caleb finds an alluring and clever cliff runner, crazy Mal, who easily outpaces him. Caleb has more than the demon infestation, Mal, or job security to worry about when he discovers that his father, the last priest of the old gods and leader of the True Quechal terrorists, has broken into his home and is wanted in connection to the attacks on the water supply. Caleb and Mal are bound by lust, Craft, and chance, as both play a dangerous game where gods and people are pawns. They sleep on water, they dance in fire... and all the while the Twin Serpents slumbering beneath the earth are stirring, and they are hungry.
Balfour and Meriwether in the Incident of the Harrowmoor Dogs—Daniel Abraham (October 31, Subterranean Press)
When a private envoy of the queen and member of Lord Carmichael’s discreet service goes missing, Balfour and Meriwether are asked to look into the affair. They will find a labyrinth of dreams, horrors risen from hell, prophecy, sexual perversion, and an abandoned farmhouse on the moors outside Harrowmoor Sanitarium. The earth itself will bare its secrets and the Empire itself will tremble in the face of the hidden dangers they discover, but the greatest peril is the one they have brought with them.