There are thirteen new fantasies to put on your holiday wish list this month, with a new anthology in Mercedes Lackey’s Elemental Masters world, a new Jody Lynn Nye volume in the late Robert Asprin’s Myth world, and Piers Anthony’s thirty-sixth book in the Xanth universe. Michelle Sagara West and Lynn Kurland add to their long-running Battle: The House War and Dreamspinner series, respectively.
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.
Elemental Magic: All New-Tales of the Elemental Masters (Elemental Masters #9), edited by Mercedes Lackey (December 4, DAW)
Features seventeen new stories of Edwardian magicians, including an original story by Mercedes Lackey.
Since it was founded, M.Y.T.H. Inc. has dealt with all manner of vile and evil creatures. But not even a magician of Skeeve’s caliber is prepared to face the most duplicitous monsters of all: politicians. Emo Weavil and his cousin Wilmer Weavil-Scuttil have been running for governor of the island of Bokromi, for five years. Their magickal mudslinging (literal and otherwise) strategies continue to postpone the election leaving the realm in a state of leaderless chaos. Hired to moderate a fair and balanced race between the candidates, Skeeve and Bunny attempt to clean up the dirty politics, only to become targets of the tabloids and paparazzi, who are more interested in innuendo than the facts.
All his life, Moon roamed the Three Worlds, a solitary wanderer forced to hide his true nature, until he was reunited with his own kind, the Raksura, and found a new life as consort to Jade, sister queen of the Indigo Cloud court. But now a rival court has laid claim to him, and Jade may or may not be willing to fight for him. Beset by doubts, Moon must travel in the company of strangers to a distant realm where he will finally face the forgotten secrets of his past, even as an old enemy returns with a vengeance. The Fell, a vicious race of shape-shifting predators, menaces groundlings and Raksura alike.
Young Adult. In a land where magic has been forgotten but peace has reigned for centuries, a deadly unrest is simmering. Three kingdoms grapple for power, brutally transforming their subjects’ lives in the process. Amidst betrayals, bargains, and battles, four young people find their fates forever intertwined. The only outcome that’s certain is that kingdoms will fall. Who will emerge triumphant when all they know has collapsed?
Young Adult. When Petunia, the youngest of King Gregor’s twelve dancing daughters, is invited to visit an elderly friend in the neighboring country of Westfalin, she welcomes the change of scenery. But in order to reach Westfalin, Petunia must pass through a forest where strange two-legged wolves are rumored to exist. Wolves intent on redistributing the wealth of the noble citizens who have entered their territory. But the bandit-wolves prove more rakishly handsome than truly dangerous, and it’s not until Petunia reaches her destination that she realizes the kindly grandmother she has been summoned to visit is really an enemy bent on restoring an age-old curse.
The Lady of Secrets (The Dark Queen Saga #6), by Susan Carroll (December 11, Ballantine)
Meg Wolfe, The Lady of Faire Isle, is a gifted healer who can find a cure for almost any ailment. But she’s also the daughter of Cassandra Claire, a mad witch and heretic with a notorious history. Meg’s infamous lineage makes her a target from both those who want to use her extraordinary talents for good and those who want to use them for evil. One man in particular needs her special skills: to execute his revenge on a king. History and a kingdom hang in the balance as Meg tries to navigate the delicate line between right and wrong. And what she discovers is that she can no longer trust anyone or anything, not even her own heart.
As the last Healer in the Fifteen Realms, Avry of Kazan is in a unique position: in the minds of her friends and foes alike, she no longer exists. Despite her need to prevent the megalomanical King Tohon from winning control of the Realms, Avry is also determined to find her sister and repair their estrangement. She must do it alone, as Kerrick, her partner and sole confident, returns to Alga to summon his country into battle. Avry will do whatever she can to support Tohon’s opponents. Including infiltrating a holy army, evading magic sniffers, teaching forest skills to soldiers and figuring out how to stop Tohon’s most horrible creations yet; an army of the walking dead, human and animal alike and nearly impossible to defeat.
Bryce is summoned to Xanth as part of a wager between the Demons Earth and Xanth. To his surprise, he has left behind his home and family and eighty-year-old body forever, in exchange for youth and magic, and a quest. He must court and marry Princess Harmony, who is anything but willing to be courted!
Laela Redguard was born with the black hair of the Northern kingdom and the blue eyes of the Southern people, forever marking her as a hated half-breed child of both. The fierce and strong-willed Laela decides to leave her adoptive father’s home in the hopes of finding acceptance in the North, where the ruthless King Arenadd and the dark griffin Skandar rule. She cannot avoid falling victim to a pair of common thugs. When a stranger saves her life and gives her a place to stay, Laela is shocked to learn he is Arenadd himself. Arenadd is unsure what compels him to help this girl, but there is something about her that seems familiar, something he cannot remember, something that may rise up to banish the darkness forever.
Five hundred years ago, the famed Witchbreaker, Lord Stark Tower, launched a war against the cult of witches, nearly wiping them out. Today, only a handful of women still practice the craft in secret. A young witch named Sorrow has dedicated her life to changing this reality. She bonds her soul with Rott, the primal dragon of decay, giving her nearly limitless powers of destruction. Tapping this power comes at the cost of her humanity, leading her on a quest to find the greatest witch of all time, Avaris, in hopes of mastering her dark magic. Hunting Avaris, fate throws her into a partnership with a man who wants to be the new Witchbreaker. Can either of them survive their quests when their journey leads them into battle with Tempest, the primal dragon of storms?
Jewel A Terafin has become the target of assassins and of a demon beyond her ability to defeat. No place within Averalaan remains safe, when elemental forces can change the very structure of the city, when the old ways are opening to release wild magic, when former enemies become uneasy allies and longtime allies are called into question.
Aisling of Bruadair has lived a provincial life, heedless ofthe evil creeping over her land. That ordinary existence changes forever when she is sent to the opposite end of the world to find a master swordsman. If she fails, her life, and her country’s safety, will be forfeit. She just never expected that swordsman to be a wounded elven prince masquerading as a simple soldier. Rùnach of Ceangail has spent years in obscurity, ignoing battles he can no longer fight. And although he has been drawn back into the world, he fully intends to live an unremarkable life far away from events he knows he cannot change. Until Rùnach meets Aisling and realizes that she is far more than what she seems, that their alliance has attracted unwelcome notice, and that some battles must be fought.
Barely escaping the city of Calm Seatt, and the assassins hunting them, Magiere, Leesil, and the elven dog Chap sail south to continue their quest to find the powerful Orb of Air before their enemies do. The aging elven assassin Brot’an has forced himself on them by offering his protection. Chap doesn’t believe this ruse, however, and seeks to uncover the assassin’s true agenda. Meanwhile, Magiere struggles with her own dark nature, using Leesil’s love as an anchor to keep her grounded. For the personal price she paid to procure the Orb of Fire was more than she thought. But that is exactly what the cunning Brot’an wants to know. And he is willing to do whatever it takes, even if he must reveal his own dreaded secrets that may cost the entire party their lives, and their very souls.
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, was released on November 13 by Tor Books. Find Suzanne on Twitter.