There are fifteen new fantasies to give thanks for this month (and only two Young Adult titles, which might qualify as a holiday miracle). New installments to long-running series include the sixth in Juliet Marillier’s Sevenwaters series and the fifth in Rachel Aaron’s Legend of Eli Monpress, as well as series additions by Kameron Hurley, Mazarkis Williams, Joanne Bertin, Kelly McCullough, and Juliet McKenna.
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.
Maeve, daughter of Lord Sean of Sevenwaters, was badly burned as a child and carries the legacy of that fire in her crippled hands. After ten years, she’s returning home with a special gift for gentling difficult animals. But while her body’s scars have healed, her spirit remains fragile. Sevenwaters is in turmoil. The fey prince Mac Dara has become desperate to see his only son, married to Maeve’s sister, return to the Otherworld. To force Lord Sean’s hand, Mac Dara has caused a party of innocent travelers on the Sevenwaters border to vanish. When Maeve finds the body of one of the missing men, she and her brother Finbar embark on a journey that may bring about the end of Mac Dara’s reign. Maeve may open the door to a future she has not dared to believe possible.
Kyri is a highborn young woman whose life is shattered by the murder of her kin. As Kyri flees her beloved land Evanwyl, she knows that she is her family’s only hope for justice, and Evanwyl’s only chance to escape a growing shadow of corruption and destruction. Kyri’s quest is to find a legendary, ancient weapon smith, take up the sword and armor of a new order of warrior-defenders, and bring the power of justice and vengeance to the evil and corruption that has darkened her native land.
After years in exile, Nyxnissa so Dasheem is back in action in service to the bel dames, a sisterhood of elite government assassins. The end of a centuries-long holy war between her country, Nasheen, and neighboring Chenja has flooded the streets of Nasheen with unemployed, and unemployable, soldiers whose frustrations have brought the nation to the brink of civil war. Somebody has kidnapped a key politician whose death could trigger a bloody government takeover. With aliens in the sky and revolution on the ground, Nyx assembles a team of mad magicians, torturers,and mutant shape-shifters for a journey across a flesh-eating desert in search of a man she’s not supposed to kill. Trouble is, killing is the only thing Nyx is good at. And she already left this man to die.
The Empire has declared war on the small, were-ruled kingdom of Aydori, capturing five women of the Mage-Pack, including the wife of the were Pack-leader. With the Pack off defending the border, it falls to Mirian Maylin and Tomas Hagen, she a low-level mage, he younger brother to the Pack-leader, to save them. Together the two set out on the kidnappers’ trail, racing into the heart of enemy territory. With every step the odds against them surviving and succeeding soar.
Deep within the Wood, a young woman lies dead. Only her chipped glass slippers hint at her identity. The Woodcutter, keeper of the peace between the Twelve Kingdoms of Man and the Realm of the Faerie, must find the maiden’s killer. Guided by the wind and aided by three charmed axes won from the River God, the Woodcutter begins his hunt. He finds that one murdered maiden is not the only mystery afoot. One of Odin’s hellhounds has escaped, a mansion appears where it shouldn’t, a pixie dust drug trade runs rampant, and more young girls go missing. Looming in the shadows is the malevolent, power-hungry queen. She will stop at nothing to destroy the Twelve Kingdoms and annihilate the Royal Fae, unless the Woodcutter can outmaneuver her and save the gentle souls of the Wood.
Curse of the Thirteenth Fey: The True Tale of Sleeping Beauty, by Jane Yolen (November 8, Philomel)
Young Adult. Gorse is the thirteenth and youngest in a family of fairies tied to the evil king’s land and made to do his bidding. Because of an oath made to the king’s great-great-ever-so-many-times-great-grandfather, if they try to leave or disobey the royals, they will burst into a thousand stars. When accident-prone Gorse falls ill just as the family is bid to bless the new princess, a fairytale starts to unfold. Sick as she is, Gorse races to the castle with the last piece of magic the family has left—a piece of the Thread of Life. But that is when accident, mayhem, and magic combine to drive Gorse’s story into the unthinkable, threatening the baby, the kingdom, and all.
Here, readers will learn the truth about the Elven Queen Vielissiar Faricarnon, who was the first to face the Endarkened in battle and the first to bond with a dragon. She worked some of the greatest magics her world has ever known, and paid the greatest Price. Crown of Vengeance is a fantasy adventure that will appeal to fans of Mercedes Lackey’s Valdemar series. No previous knowledge of Lackey and Mallory’s collaborations is necessary.
After spending most of his life in captivity, Sarmin now sits upon the Throne of Cerana. But his reign is an uneasy one. And the emperor’s own heart is torn between two very different women: Mesema, a Windreader princess, and Grada, a lowborn untouchable with whom Sarmin shares a unique bond. In times past, a royal assassin known as the Emperor’s Knife served to defend the throne from menace, but the last Knife has perished and his successor has yet to be named. Sarmin must choose his own loyal death-dealer, but upon whom can be he bestow the burden of the Knife-Sworn?
Since the age of three, sixteen-year-old Evelyn Winters has been trained to be Daughter of the People in the underwater utopia known as Elysium. Selected from hundreds of children for her ideal genes, all her life she’s thought that everything was perfect; her world. Her people. The Law. But when Gavin Hunter, a Surface Dweller, accidentally stumbles into their secluded little world, she’s forced to come to a startling realization: everything she knows is a lie. Her memories have been altered. Her mind and body aren’t under her own control. And the person she knows as Mother is a monster. Together with Gavin she plans her escape, only to learn that her own mind is a ticking time bomb, and Mother has one last secret that will destroy them all. U.S. release.
Eli Monpress is clever, he’s determined, and he’s in way over his head. First rule of thievery: don’t be a hero. When Eli broke the rules and saved the Council Kingdoms, he thought he knew the price, but resuming his place as the Shepherdess’s favorite isn’t as simple as bowing his head. Benehime is setting in motion a plan that could destroy everything she was created to protect, and even Eli’s charm might not be enough to stop her. But Eli Monpress always has a plan, and he’s pulling in every favor he can think of to make it work, including the grudging help of the Spirit Court’s new Rector, Miranda Lyonette. But with the world in panic, the demon stirring, and the Lord of Storms back on the hunt, it’s going to take more than luck and charm to pull Eli through this time.
Young Adult. A lost colony is reborn in this fantasy adventure set in the near future. Sixteen-year-old Thomas has always been an outsider. The first child born without the power of an Element, earth, water, wind or fire, he has little to offer his tiny, remote Outer Banks colony. Or so the Guardians would have him believe. In the wake of an unforeseen storm, desperate pirates kidnap the Guardians, intent on claiming the island as their own. Caught between the plague-ridden mainland and the advancing pirates, Thomas and his friends fight for survival in the battered remains of a mysterious abandoned settlement. But the secrets they unearth will turn Thomas’ world upside-down, and bring to light not only a treacherous past but also a future more dangerous than he can possibly imagine.
Bard’s Oath (Dragonlord #3), by Joanne Bertin (November 27, Tor)
For many millennia, the Dragonlords have been a blessing to the world, with their great magic and awesome power. Leet: a master bard of great ability and vaulting ambition, has his own darker magic. Years ago, death claimed the woman he loved, setting him on a course to avenge her death. Consumed by his thirst for revenge, Leet has set in motion a nefarious plot that ensnares the friend of a Dragonlord. Raven, a young friend of the Dragonloard Linden Rathan, is ensnared by Leet and under the bard’s spell, is one of the bard’s unwitting catspaws. When accused of a heinous crime, Raven turns to Linden. Linden comes to Raven’s aid. But Raven, and others victimized by Leet, are at the mercy of human justice. Can even a Dragonlord save them from a dire fate before it is too late?
For six years, former temple assassin Aral Kingslayer has been living as a jack of the shadow trades, picking up odd jobs on the wrong side of the law. But the past is never dead, and Aral’s has finally caught up to him in the beautiful, dangerous form of Jax Seldansbane, a fellow Blade and Aral’s onetime fiancée. Jax claims that the forces that destroyed everything Aral once held dear are on the move again, and she needs his help to stop them. But Aral has a new life now, with a fresh identity and new responsibilities. And while he isn’t keen on letting the past back in, the former assassin soon finds himself involved in a war that will leave him with no way out and no idea who to trust.
Archmage Planir and the wizards of Hadrumal have demonstrated their devastating powers and the corsair threat is no more. Will Tormalin’s Emperor make an alliance with Solura’s wizards who so openly covet Hadrumal’s secrets? Will he seek out that other mysterious magic, Artifice, to counter Planir’s magecraft? How will the aloof Aetheric adepts of the mountains answer such an appeal? Aldabreshin warlords have always forbidden wizardry. Now the Archmage has encroached so unforgivably on their domains, their laws demand a wizard’s shed blood to wash away the taint and the Aldabreshi have countless men and ships for such a quest. With many of the Wizard Council disputing Planir’s chosen course, he must look beyond the island city for allies.
A Fantasy Medley 2 (Quarters #4.5, October Daye .5), edited by Yanni Kuznia (November 28, Subterranean)
With “Quartered,” Tanya Huff returns with the story of the young bard Evicka, whose mission to spy on an assassin brings peril, tragedy, and, ultimately, revelation. In “Bone Garden,” Amanda Downum revisits Erisín. Deadly spirits are preying on the city’s most vulnerable citizens in this story of secrets and sacrifice. “The Sergeant and the General” finds Jasper Kent weaving a tale from the other side of the battle lines drawn in his Danilov Quintet, with a French veteran of Napoleon’s disastrous Russian campaign haunted by more than just memories. And in “Rat-Catcher,” Seanan McGuire travels into the past of the October Daye series to pull back the veils on both the world of 17th century London theater and the faerie Court of Cats as two worlds collide.
Urban fantasy author Suzanne Johnson is a book geek with a fondness for a good dystopia. River Road, the second in her Sentinels of New Orleans series, will be released on November 13 by Tor books. Find Suzanne on Twitter.