Twenty-three new fantasy realms rise from the misty winter mountains this month, with series additions from, among others, Marie Brennan (Memoir of Lady Trent), Brandon Sanderson (The Stormlight Archive), Miles Cameron (Fell Sword), Elspeth Cooper (Wild Hunt), Glen Cook (Instrumentalities of the Night), and Garth Nix and Sean Williams (Spirit Animals). And if you need a Song of Ice and Fire fix, there’s a new Game of Thrones Graphic Novel coming March 11.
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.
A new surreal short story from multiple award-winner Will Elliott. (Digital)
Death Sworn (Death Sworn #1)—Leah Cypess (March 4, Greeenwillow)
Young Adult. When Ileni lost her magic, she lost everything: her place in society, her purpose in life, and the man she had expected to spend her life with. So when the Elders sent her to be magic tutor to a secret sect of assassins, she went willingly, even though the last two tutors had died under mysterious circumstances. But beneath the assassins’ caves, Ileni will discover a new place and a new purpose, and a new and dangerous love. She will struggle to keep her lost magic a secret while teaching it to her deadly students, and to find out what happened to the two tutors who preceded her. But what she discovers will change not only her future, but the future of her people, the assassins, and possibly the entire world.
The Barrow—Mark Smylie (March 4, Pyr)
When a small crew of scoundrels, would-be heroes, deviants, and ruffians discover a map that they believe will lead them to a fabled sword buried in the barrow of a long-dead wizard, they think they’ve struck it rich. The map turns out to be cursed and then is destroyed in a magical ritual. The loss of the map leaves them dreaming of what might have been, until they rediscover the map in a most unusual and unexpected place. Stjepan Black-Heart, Erim, Gilgwyr, Leigh, Godewyn Red-Hand, Arduin Orwain, and Arduin’s sister Annwyn, the beautiful cause of that scandal: together they form a cross-section of the Middle Kingdoms of the Known World, brought together by accident and dark design, on a quest that will either get them all in the history books, or get them all killed.
The Tropic of Serpents (Memoir of Lady Trent #2)—Marie Brennan (March 4, Tor)
Three years after her fateful journeys through the forbidding mountains of Vystrana, Mrs. Camherst defies family and convention to embark on an expedition to the war-torn continent of Eriga, home of such exotic draconian species as the grass-dwelling snakes of the savannah, arboreal tree snakes, and, most elusive of all, the legendary swamp-wyrms of the tropics. Accompanied by both an old associate and a runaway heiress, Isabella must brave oppressive heat, merciless fevers, palace intrigues, gossip, and other hazards in order to satisfy her boundless fascination with all things draconian, even if it means venturing deep into the forbidden jungle known as the Green Hell, where her courage, resourcefulness, and scientific curiosity will be tested as never before.
Words of Radiance (The Stormlight Archive #2)—Brandon Sanderson (March 4, Tor)
The war with the Parshendi will move into a new, dangerous phase, as Dalinar leads the human armies deep into the heart of the Shattered Plains in a bold attempt to finally end it. Shallan will come along, hoping to find the legendary, perhaps mythical, city of Urithuru, which Jasnah believes holds a secret vital to mankind’s survival on Roshar. The Parshendi take a dangerous step to strengthen themselves for the human challenge, risking the return of the fearsome Voidbringers of old. To deal with it all, Kaladin must learn to how to fulfill his new role as leader of the restored Knights Radiant, while mastering the powers of a Windrunner.
A Game of Thrones: Graphic Novel: Volume 3 (A Song of Ice and Fire Graphic Novels Vol. 3)—George R.R. Martin (March 11, Bantam)
In King’s Landing, Lord Eddard Stark of Winterfell is surrounded by enemies. Some are openly declared, such as Ser Jaime Lannister and his sister, Queen Cersei. Others wear the smiling mask of friends. All are deadly, as Eddard is about to discover. The enmity between Eddard and the Lannister siblings isn’t the sole source of friction between these families. For Tyrion Lannister has but lately won his freedom from Lady Catelyn Stark, Eddard’s wife. Jon Snow, newly sworn to the Night’s Watch, takes the first steps toward a destiny stranger than he could ever dream. Across the Narrow Sea, Daenerys Targaryen, wed to the great Dothraki warlord Khal Drogo, and pregnant with his child, a son prophesied to conquer the world, will see her own destiny take an unforeseen turn.
Blood and Iron (The Book of the Black Earth #1)—Jon Sprunk (March 11, Pyr)
It starts with a shipwreck following a magical storm at sea. Horace, a soldier from the west, had joined the Great Crusade against the heathens of Akeshia after the deaths of his wife and son from plague. He finds himself at the mercy of the very people he was sent to kill. Horace is pressed into service as a house slave. The Akeshians discover that Horace was a latent sorcerer, and he is catapulted from the chains of a slave to the halls of power in the queen’s court. Together with Jirom, an ex-mercenary and gladiator, and Alyra, a spy in the court, he will seek a path to free himself and the empire’s caste of slaves from a system where every man and woman must pay the price of blood or iron. Before the end, Horace will have paid dearly in both.
Loyalty costs money. Betrayal, on the other hand, is free. When the Emperor is taken hostage, the Red Knight and his men find their services in high demand, and themselves surrounded by enemies. The country is in revolt, the capital city is besieged and any victory will be hard won. But the Red Knight has a plan. The question is, can he negotiate the political, magical, real and romantic battlefields at the same time, especially when he intends to be victorious on them all? (U.S. Release)
Zoe Kahn is no stranger to the risks that come with caring for mythical creatures. But even feeding deadly basilisks and tracking down missing griffins didn’t prepare her for the crisis that is unfolding at her family’s Menagerie. The goose who laid the golden eggs has been murdered, and all the evidence points to a dragon named Scratch. Now that he’s part of the secret Menagerie, Logan Wilde is determined to help. He and Zoe are sure that the dragon is being framed, but unless they can prove he is innocent, Scratch will be executed. Worse yet, the Menagerie will be forced to shut down, which Logan and Zoe are starting to fear is exactly what someone wants.
The Raven’s Shadow (The Wild Hunt #3)—Elspeth Cooper (March 11, Tor)
The desert of Gimrael is aflame with violence, and in the far north an ancient hatred is about to spill over into the renewal of a war that forged an empire. Wrestling with his failing grip on the power of the Song, and still trying to come to terms with the events he witnessed in El Maqqam, Gair returns to the mainland with only one thing on his mind: vengeance. It may cost him his life. That may be a fair price to pay. Old friends and old foes converge in a battle of wills to stem the tide of the Nimrothi clans as they charge south to reclaim the lands lost in the Founding Wars. The rest of the empire may be their next target. With the Wild Hunt at their head, the overstretched Imperial Army may not be enough to stop them. (U.S.)
Arnhand, Castauriga, and Navaya lost their kings. The Grail Empire lost its empress. The Church lost its Patriarch, though he lives on as a fugitive. The Night lost Kharoulke the Windwalker, an emperor amongst the most primal and terrible gods. The Night goes on, in dread. The world goes on, in dread. The ice builds and slides southward. New kings come. A new empress will rule. Another rump polishes the Patriarchal Throne. But there is something new under the sun. The oldest and fiercest of the Instrumentalities has been destroyed—a mortal. There is no new Windwalker, nor will there ever be. The world, battered by savage change, limps toward its destiny. And the ice is coming.
The Lascar’s Dagger (The Forsaken Lands #1)—Glenda Larke (March 18, Orbit)
Saker appears to be a simple priest, but in truth he’s a spy for the head of his faith. Wounded in the line of duty by a Lascar sailor’s blade, the weapon seems to follow him home. Unable to discard it, nor the sense of responsibility it brings, Saker can only follow its lead. The dagger puts Saker on a journey to distant shores, on a path that will reveal terrible secrets about the empire, about the people he serves, and destroy the life he knows. The Lascar’s dagger demands a price, and that price will be paid in blood.
The Last Wild—Piers Torday (March 18, Viking Juvenile)
Young Adult. In a world where animals no longer exist, twelve-year-old Kester Jaynes sometimes feels like he hardly exists either. Locked away in a home for troubled children, he’s told there’s something wrong with him. So when he meets a flock of talking pigeons and a bossy cockroach, Kester thinks he’s finally gone crazy. But the animals have something to say. And they need him. The pigeons fly Kester to a wild place where the last creatures in the land have survived. A wise stag needs Kester’s help, and together they must embark on a great journey, joined along the way by an overenthusiastic wolf cub, a military-trained cockroach, a mouse with a ritual for everything, and a stubborn girl named Polly. The animals saved Kester Jaynes. But can Kester save the animals? (U.S.)
Eric Albright is leading a normal life until a small red door appears under a train bridge near his home. Then a ghostly being wakes him in the dead of night, with a message from another world: You are Shadow. In Levaal, the world between worlds, the dragon-gods grow restless in their sky prisons, and the Great Spirits struggle to contain them. Vous, the worlds Friend and Lord, simmers in madness as he schemes to join the ranks of gods. He and the Arch Mage have almost won their final victory over the Free Cities. A dark age dawns. But Eric and his friend Case are now Pilgrims, called to Levaal for a battle more ancient than the petty squabbles of men. And they will learn why some doors should not be opened. (U.S.)
The Slanted Worlds (Chronoptika #2)—Catherine Fisher (March 18, Dial)
Young Adult. Part Dr. Who, part Blade Runner, and part A Midsummer Night’s Dream, this fantasy from the author of Incarceron asks: If you had the chance to change the past, would you do it? Jake, Sarah, and Oberon Venn continue their fight for control of the Obsidian Mirror, and whoever wins will either save a life, change the past, or rescue the future. But the Mirror has plans of its own. (U.S.)
The Door in the Mountain—Caitlin Sweet (March 19, ChiZine)
The Greece of The Door in the Mountain is a place where children are marked by gods and goddesses; a place where a manipulative, bitter princess named Ariadne devises a mountain prison for her hated half-brother, where a boy named Icarus tries, and fails, to fly, and a slave girl changes the paths of all their lives forever.
Blood Ties (Spirit Animals #3)—Garth Nix and Sean Williams (March 25, Scholastic)
Young Adult. Erdas is a land of balance. A rare link, the spirit animal bond, bridges the human and animal worlds. Conor, Abeke, Meilin, and Rollan each have this gift, and the grave responsibility that comes with it. But the Conquerors are trying to destroy this balance. They’re swallowing whole cities in their rush for power, including Meilin’s home. Fed up with waiting and ready to fight, Meilin has set off into enemy territory with her spirit animal, a panda named Jhi. Her friends aren’t far behind, but they’re not the only ones. The enemy is everywhere.
Sunstone (Elemental Wars #2)—Freya Robertson (March 25, Angry Robot)
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.
Talus and the Frozen King—Graham Edwards (March 25, Solaris)
In a distant time long before our own, wandering bard Talus and his companion Bran journey to the island realm of Creyak, where the king has been murdered. From clues scattered among the island’s mysterious barrows and stone circles, they begin their search for his killer. But do the answers lie in this world or the next? Nobody is above suspicion, from the king’s heir to the tribal shaman, from the servant woman steeped in herb-lore to the visiting warlord whose unexpected arrival throws the whole tribe into confusion. And when death strikes again, Talus and Bran realise nothing is what it seems. Creyak is place of secrets and spirits, mystery and myth. It will take a clever man indeed to unravel the truth. The kind of man this ancient world has not seen before.
The Cracks in the Kingdom (The Colors of Madeleine #2)—Jaclyn Moriarty (March 25, Arthur A. Levine)
Young Adult. Princess Ko’s been bluffing about the mysterious absence of her father, trying to keep the government running on her own. If she can’t get him back in a matter of weeks, the consequence may be a devastating war. She gathers a group of teens, each with a special ability, from across the kingdom to crack the case of the missing royals of Cello. Chief among these is farm-boy heartthrob Elliot Baranski, more determined than ever to find his own father. With the royal family trapped in the World with no memory of their former lives, Elliot’s value to the Alliance is clear: He’s the only one with a connection to the World, through his forbidden communications with Madeleine. Elliot and Madeleine must find a way to travel across worlds and bring missing loved ones home.
Truth and Fear (Wolfhound Century #2)—Peter Higgins (March 25, Orbit)
Investigator Lom returns to Mirgorod and finds the city in the throes of a crisis. The war against the Archipelago is not going well. Enemy divisions are massing outside the city, air raids are a daily occurrence and the citizens are being conscripted into the desperate defense of the city. But Lom has other concerns. The police are after him, the mystery of the otherworldly Pollandore remains and the vast Angel is moving, turning all of nature against the city. But will the horrors of war overtake all their plans?
The Compleat Crow—Brian Lumley (March 28, Subterranean Press)
To many thousands of readers all over the world Titus Crow is the occult investigator, psychic sleuth and cosmic voyager of Brian Lumley’s novels of the Cthulhu Mythos from The Burrowers Beneath to Elysia. But before the Burrowers and Crow’s Transition, his exploits were chronicled in a series of short stories and novellas previously uncollected in a British edition. Now these stories can be told. From ‘Inception,’ which tells of his origins, to ‘The Black Recalled,’ a tale of vengeance from beyond the grave, all are here in one volume.
Minding the Stars: The Early Jack Vance Volume Four, edited by Terry Dowling and Jonathan Strahan (March 31, Subterranean)
Throughout his career, Jack Vance showed a fascination not only with having characters solve mysteries in all sorts of dramatic and wondrous situations using their powers of observation, deduction and common sense, but also with the possibility of higher states of mind in play, other realms of existence, even spirit worlds. In his Dying Earth stories with their wizardly spellcasting, eldritch beings and strange dimensions, or in his science fiction tales with the incredible mental powers afforded races like the Green Chasch, the Fwai-chi, the Meks of Etamin 9 besieging the final human strongholds in ’The Last Castle,’ even given to divergent human peoples on Koryphon, Maske and countless other worlds, or to the likes of his most extraordinary Demon Prince, Howard Alan Treesong, Vance was forever drawn to what else might comprise human (and other) natures in all their myriad forms.