Fiction Affliction: May Releases in Fantasy

April showers bring May… fantasies, or something like that. Fantasy fans can look forward to 14 new titles in May, including the fourth book of the Malazan Empire series from Ian C. Esslemont, the second The Dagger and the Coin title from Daniel Abraham, Lynn Flewelling’s sixth Nightrunner book, and a new story from N.K. Jemisin. The attempted world domination by Young Adult fantasy titles continues as well, claiming almost half of the new releases.

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


Bitterblue (Graceling Realm, Book 3), by Kristin Cashore (May 1, Dial)

Eight years after Graceling, Bitterblue is now queen of Monsea. But the influence of her father, a violent psychopath with mind-altering abilities, lives on. Her advisors, who have run things since Leck died, believe in a forward-thinking plan: Pardon all who committed terrible acts under Leck’s reign, and forget anything bad ever happened. But when Bitterblue begins sneaking outside the castle—disguised and alone—to walk the streets of her own city, she starts realizing that the kingdom has been under the 35-year spell of a madman, and the only way to move forward is to revisit the past. Young Adult.

The Invaders (Brotherband Chronicles, Book 2), by John Flanagan (May 1, Philomel)

The adventure continues in the Ranger’s Apprentice companion trilogy. Hal and the Herons have done the impossible—beaten out the strongest, most skilled young warriors in all of Skandia to win the Brotherband competition. But their celebration comes to an abrupt end when the Skandians’ most sacred artifact is stolen—and the Herons are to blame. To find redemption they must traverse stormy seas, survive a bitter winter, and battle a group of deadly pirates willing to protect their prize at all costs. Middle Grade/Young Adult.

The Killing Moon, by N.K. Jemisin (May 1, Orbit)

In the ancient city-state of Gujaareh, peace is the only law. Upon its rooftops and amongst the shadows of its cobbled streets wait the Gatherers, the keepers of this peace. Priests of the dream-goddess, their duty is to harvest the magic of the sleeping mind and use it to heal, soothe—and kill those judged corrupt. But when a conspiracy blooms within Gujaareh’s great temple, Ehiru, the most famous of the city’s Gatherers, must question everything he knows.

Chicory Up, by Irene Radford (May 1, Daw)

The leader of her tribe had exiled Thistle Down from Pixie. Trapped in a human body and deprived of almost all her Pixie magic, Thistle had made a life for herself with the help of her human friends—Desdemona “Dusty” Carrick and her brother Dick. But trouble was brewing among all the Pixie tribes, fueled by Haywood Wheatland, a half-Pixie/half-Faery, who was determined to seize control of The Ten Acre Wood for the Faeries. Thistle, Dick, Dusty, and her fiance, Police Sergeant Chase Norton, thought the threat to the town of Skene Falls and The Ten Acre Wood had ended with Haywood’s arrest and imprisonment, but they were wrong. For even as they turned their attention to romance and weddings, the Pixie tribes were preparing for war.

The Serpent’s Shadow (Kane Chronicles, Book 3), by Rick Riordan (May 1, Hyperion)

Despite their best efforts, Carter and Sade Kane can’t seem to keep Apophis, the chaos snake, down. Now Apophis is threatening to plunge the world into eternal darkness, and the Kanes are faced with the impossible task of having to destroy him once and for all. Unfortunately, the magicians of the House of Life are on the brink of civil war, the gods are divided, and the young initiates of Brooklyn House stand almost alone against the forces of chaos. To find the answer they need, the Kanes must rely on the murderous ghost of a powerful magician who might be able to lead them to the serpent’s shadow… or might lead them to their deaths in the depths of the underworld. Young Adult.

Shadow Raiders: The Dragon Brigade, by Margaret Weis and Robert Krammes (May 3, Daw)

The known world floats upon the Breath of God, a thick gas similar to Earth’s oceans, with land masses accessible by airship. The largest of these land masses are ruled by the rival empires of Freya and Rosia. Magic is intrinsic to the functioning of these societies, and is even incorporated into their technological devices. But now a crucial scientific discovery has occurred that could destroy the balance of power-and change the empires forever. First in a new series.



Endure, by Carrie Jones (May 8, Bloomsbury)

Zara is at the center of an impending apocalypse. True, she’s successfully rescued Nick from Valhalla, but it isn’t enough. Evil pixies are ravaging Bedford, and they need much more than one great warrior; they need an army. Zara isn’t sure what her role is anymore. She’s not just fighting for her friends; she’s also a pixie queen. And to align her team of pixies with the humans she loves will be one of her greatest battles yet. Especially since she can’t even reconcile her growing feelings for her pixie king. Young Adult.

Enchanted, by Alethea Kontis (May 8, Harcourt Children’s)

It isn’t easy being the overlooked and unhappy youngest sibling to sisters named for the other six days of the week. Sunday’s only comfort is writing stories, although what she writes has a terrible tendency to come true.When Sunday meets an enchanted frog who asks about her stories, the two become friends. Soon that friendship deepens into something magical. One night Sunday kisses her frog good-bye and leaves, not realizing that her love has transformed him back into Rumbold, the crown prince of Arilland—and a man Sunday’s family despises. Young Adult.



The King’s Blood (The Dagger and the Coin, Book 2), by Daniel Abraham (May 22, Orbit)

War casts its shadow over the lands that the dragons once ruled. When an act of harrowing betrayal threatens to set the cities afire, all certainties are called into question. Only the courage of a young woman with the mind of a gambler and loyalty to no one stands between hope and universal darkness. The high and powerful will fall, the despised and broken shall rise up, and everything will be remade. And quietly, almost beneath the notice of anyone, an old, broken-hearted warrior and an apostate priest will begin a terrible journey with an impossible goal: destroy a Goddess before she eats the world.

Orb Sceptre Throne (Malazan Empire, Book 4), by Ian C. Esslemont (May 22, Tor)

The epic new chapter in the history of Malaz—the new epic fantasy from Steven Erikson’s friend and co-creator of this extraordinary imagined world. Darujhistan, city of dreams, city of blue flames, is peaceful at last; its citizens free to return to politicking, bickering, trading and, above all, enjoying the good things in life. Yet there are those who will not allow the past to remain buried. A scholar digging in the plains stumbles across an ancient sealed vault. The merchant Humble Measure schemes to drive out the remaining Malazan invaders. And the surviving agents of a long-lost power are stirring, for they sense change and so, opportunity. While, as ever at the centre of everything, a thief in a red waistcoat and of rotund proportions walks the streets, juggling in one hand custard pastries, and in the other the fate of the city itself.

Princeps, by L.E. Modesitt Jr. (May 22, Tor)

The follow-up to Scholar—in which, after discovering a coup attempt and preventing a bloody civil war, Quaeryt was appointed princeps of Tilbor—begins a new episode in the young Imager’s life. Now second only to the governor, and still hiding his powers as an Imager, Quaeryt is enjoying his new position, as well as his marriage to Lord Bhayar’s youngest sister, Vaelora, when a volcanic eruption devastates the old capital of Telaryn. He and his wife are dispatched to Extela, Telaryn’s capitol city, to replace the governor killed in the eruption. Quaeryt and Vaelora must restore order to a city filled with chaos and corruption, and do so quickly. The regiment under his command must soon depart to bolster Telaryn’s border defenses against a neighboring ruler who sees the volcanic devastation as an opportunity for invasion and conquest.

The Enchantress (The Secrets of the Immortal Nicholas Flamel, Book 6), by Michael Scott (May 22, Delacorte)

The sixth and final book in the series. Young Adult.



Damnation for Beginners, by Alan Campbell (May 28, Subterranean)

In his 2006 novel, Scar Night, Alan Campbell introduced readers to the world of the Deepgate Codex. In subsequent novels and novellas (Iron AngelLye Street), he broadened and deepened his ongoing portrait of that milieu. Damnation for Beginners begins in the beleaguered city of Cog. The protagonist, Jack Aviso, is himself a cog, a functionary in the soulless, profit-obsessed enterprise known as the Henry Sill Banking Corporation. When a routinely corrupt business transaction shatters both his marriage and his well-ordered life, Jack finds himself—quite literally—in Hell, where he embarks on a perilous, unprecedented journey of revenge. Moving from the urban desolation of Cog City to the surreal landscape of Hell, Damnation for Beginnerscombines the baroque pleasures of a powerful imagination with a cogent critique of an all-too-familiar society dominated by rampant, runaway greed.

Casket of Souls (Nightrunner, Book 6), by Lynn Flewelling (May 29, Spectra)

More than the dissolute noblemen they appear to be, Alec and Seregil are skillful spies, dedicated to serving queen and country. But when they stumble across evidence of a plot pitting Queen Phoria against Princess Klia, the two Nightrunners will find their loyalties torn as never before. Even at the best of times, the royal court at Rhíminee is a serpents’ nest of intrigue, but with the war against Plenimar going badly, treason simmers just below the surface.And that’s not all that poses a threat: A mysterious plague is spreading through the crowded streets of the city, striking young and old alike. Now, as panic mounts and the body count rises, hidden secrets emerge. And as Seregil and Alec are about to learn, conspiracies and plagues have one thing in common: The cure can be as deadly as the disease.

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.


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