Twenty-two new fantasies come in like a lion in March (or is it a kitten?). There are some series beginnings and standalones this time for a change, but for series fans there are also new offerings from Terry Brooks, Dianne Sylvan, Elizabeth Bear, and David Weber. And, yeah, a quarter of the new releases are YA, but one is called Crap Kingdom so, really, that’s one’s gotta be for all ages.
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.
In a Golden Age where spark reactors power the airways, and creatures of Light and Shadow walk openly among us, a deadly game of Alchemists and Warlocks has begun. When an unusual cargo drags airship-pilot Elle Chance into the affairs of the mysterious Mr. Marsh, she must confront her destiny and do everything in her power to stop the Alchemists from unleashing a magical apocalypse.
Young Adult. Eden is dying. For real, this time. She is crumbling to ash, and an unnatural plague is ravaging mortals and immortals alike. With both Heaven and Hell out to destroy her, Eden can no longer tell the difference between good and evil. Friends become enemies. And enemies are everywhere. But don’t underestimate Eden. She’ll fight for her life, for the lives of those she loves, and for every life she has ever touched. She’ll fight for revenge. For redemption. For, just maybe, the chance to be mortal again. Everything began with forbidden love. What will be sacrificed at the bitter end?
The village of Marrowdell is an isolated pioneer community, but it is also the place where two worlds overlap, and at the turn of light, sunset, the world of magic known as the Verge can briefly be seen. Jenn Nalynn belongs to both Verge and Marrowdell, but even she doesn’t know how special she is, or that her invisible friend Wisp is actually a dragon sent to guard her and keep her from leaving the valley. But Jenn longs to see the world, and thinking that a husband will help her reach this goal, she decides to create one using spells. Of course, everything goes awry, and suddenly her “invisible friend” has been transformed into a man. But he is not the only newcomer to Marrowdell, and far from the most dangerous of those who are suddenly finding their way to the valley.
Deadly Quicksilver Lies: A rich woman hires Garrett to find her missing daughter, or to act as her hitman. In TunFaire, sometimes it’s hard to tell the difference. He must sift through the sex, intrigue, and murder to uncover the truth behind this case. Petty Pewter Gods: With TunFaire real estate at a premium and prayer palaces at a minimum, the big gods on the block hold a contest: find the “key” to the one temple still available. When two rival pantheons try to hire Garrett to find it on their behalf, he finds himself facing the wrath of gods. Faded Steel Heat: Riots between humans and non-humans have turned TunFaire into a war zone. When a powerful gang drag Garrett into the fray, he defends himself with a circle of friends no one would wish on their worst enemy.
Young Adult. Kaile lives in Zombay, a city where goblins walk the streets and witches work their charms and curses. Kaile wants to be a musician and is delighted when a goblin gives her a flute carved out of bone. The flute’s single, mournful song has a dangerous consequence: It separates Kaile and her shadow. Anyone without a shadow is considered dead. Despite Kaile’s protests that she’s alive, her family forces her to leave so she can’t haunt their home. Kaile and her shadow learn that the troublesome flute is tied to a terrifying ghoul made from the bones of those who drowned in the Zombay River. With the ghoul chasing her and the river threatening to flood, Kaile has an important role in keeping Zombay safe. Will Kaile and her shadow be able to learn the right tune in time?
For centuries, five legendary warriors have braved battles shoulder to shoulder. But now they must divide and conquer as lone champions against evil. Duncan, a scholar at heart, is drawn to an isolated abbey rumored to hold the answers to countering the terror unleashed by Duke Keirthan. Inside the cloistered walls lies the hidden collection of forbidden lore on dark magic. But the real key to the salvation Duncan seeks, both for the people of Agathia and his soul, is the abbess herself, Lady Lavinia. Hunted by the duke, who seeks to harvest her powers, Lavinia knows Duncan wants to help her. But can she trust the tortured warrior with her secrets? In the end, it is only by joining forces that they can save not only those they are sworn to protect but each other.
On Jeroun, there is no question as to whether God exists, only what his intentions are. Under the judgment of Adrash and his ultimate weapon, a string of spinning spheres, warring factions of white and black suits prove their opposition to the orbiting god with the great fighting tournament of Danoor. From the Thirteenth Order of Black Suits comes Vedas, a master of martial arts, Churls, a warrior woman and mercenary and Berun, a constructed man made of modular spheres possessed by the foul spirit of his creator. On the other side of the world Ebn and Pol of the Royal Outbound Mages have formed a plan to appease Adrash and bring peace to the planet. Ebn and Pol each have their own clandestine agendas, which may call down the wrath of the very god they hope to woo.
Michelle Henke, Queen Elizabeth of Manticore’s first cousin, Honor Harrington’s best friend, and the commanding officer of Manticore’s Tenth Fleet, is just a bit surprised when a messenger arrives from the Mobius System to inform her that the Mobius Liberation Front is prepared to rise in rebellion against the hated regime President Svein Lombroso. As combat spreads from the initial confrontation, the entire frontier has begun to seethe with unrest. When the messenger from Mobius arrives, someone’s obviously gotten a wrong number. It’s a set-up and Michelle knows who’s behind it. No one is going to send thousands of patriots to their deaths, trusting in Manticoran help that will never come. Not on Mike Henke’s watch.
Young Adult. When Nadia’s family moves to Captive’s Sound, she instantly realizes there’s more to it than meets the eye. Descended from witches, Nadia senses a dark and powerful magic at work in her new town. Mateo has lived in Captive’s Sound his entire life, trying to dodge the local legend that his family is cursed, and that curse will cause him to believe he’s seeing the future until it drives him mad. When the strange dreams Mateo has been having of rescuing a beautiful girl, Nadia, from a car accident come true, he knows he’s doomed. Despite the forces pulling them apart, Nadia and Mateo must work together to break the chains of his family’s terrible curse, and to prevent a disaster that threatens the lives of everyone around them.
In an ancient time, in a faraway land, a woman named Aoife is allowed a rare apprenticeship to become her kingdom’s mapmaker. Traveling beyond its borders, she finds a secretive people who live in peace, among great wealth. When Aoife reports their existence to her kingdom, the community is targeted as a threat. Attempting to warn them of imminent danger, Aoife is exiled for treason and finds refuge among the people who had been declared her enemy. With them, she begins a new life surrounded by kindness, equality, and cooperation. But within herself, Aoife has no peace. When she gives birth to a gifted daughter, Aoife cannot avoid what the child forces her to confront about her past and its truth. On this most important of journeys, there is no map to guide her.
Follow the trail of the rising sun. For many moons, a tribe of cats has lived peacefully near the top of a mountain. But prey is scarce and seasons are harsh, and their leader fears they will not survive. When a mysterious vision reveals a land filled with food and water, a group of brave young cats sets off in search of a better home. But great dangers await them. In this unfamiliar world, faced with loners and fierce rogues all vying for territory and power, the traveling cats must find a new way to live side by side, or risk tearing one another apart.
Crap Kingdom, by D.C. Pierson, (March 7, Viking Juvenile)
Young Adult. The Chosen One must be retrieved from earth. He will bring down the wall and restore the kingdom to glory. His name is Tom Parking. With this mysterious prophecy, Tom’s fate is sealed: he’s been plucked from his life and whisked away to a magical kingdom to be its Chosen One. There’s just one problem: The kingdom is mostly made of garbage from Earth. Okay, well, two problems: the king hates Tom. Also, the princess likes to wear fake mustaches. When Tom turns down the job of Chosen One, he thinks he’s making a smart decision. When Tom discovers he’s been replaced by his best friend Kyle, who’s always been cooler, more athletic, and better with girls, Tom wants Crap Kingdom back.
Bloodfire Quest (The Dark Legacy of Shannara #2), by Terry Brooks, (March 12, Del Rey)
Long ago, many dangerous creatures were locked behind a magical barrier, bringing peace and prosperity to the land. But now those barriers are eroding, and generations of embittered prisoners are about to escape. War seems inevitable, unless a few brave souls can stem the tide. While some venture into the forbidden lands, others must undertake a perilous quest, a quest whose success will mean the death of a young girl who has barely even begun to live, but whose failure will have unimaginable consequences.
Mirage (Above World #2), by Jenn Reese, (March 12, Candlewick)
Young Adult. The desert is no place for ocean-dwelling Kampii like Aluna and Hoku. But the maniacal Karl Strand is out to conquer the Above World, and the horselike Equians are next on his list. Aluna, Hoku, and their friends, winged Calli and Equian exile Dash, race to the desert city of Mirage to warn the Equians. Strand’s clone, Scorch, has gotten there first. The Equian leader has vowed to take all his people to war as part of Strand’s army. Any herd that refuses to join him by the time of the desert-wide competition known as the Thunder Trials will be destroyed. To have any chance of defeating Scorch and convincing the Equians to switch sides, the four friends must find a way to win the Trials. If they fail, the desert, and all of the Above World, will be lost to Karl Strand forever.
Poison, by Bridget Zinn, (March 12, Hyperion)
Young Adult. Sixteen-year-old Kyra, a highly-skilled potions master, is the only one who knows her kingdom is on the verge of destruction, which means she’s the only one who can save it. Faced with no other choice, Kyra decides to do what she does best: poison the kingdom’s future ruler, who also happens to be her former best friend. But, for the first time ever, her poisoned dart misses. Now a fugitive, Kyra is caught in a game of hide-and-seek with the king’s army and her potioner ex-boyfriend, Hal. At least she’s not alone. She’s armed with her vital potions, a too-cute pig, and Fred, the charming adventurer she can’t stop thinking about. Kyra is determined to get herself a second chance (at murder), but will she be able to find and defeat the princess before Hal and the army find her?
Rebellion (The Tainted Realm #2), by Ian Irvine, (March 12, Orbit)
Hightspall is dying. Every year the winters worsen, and the realm’s protective magic disappeared with the traitor-king, Lyf, two thousand years ago. Now Lyf is back, bent on wiping Hightspall off the map and rebuilding his ancient land anew. Lyf also killed Tali’s mother and now he is hunting Tali, for the master pearl she bears inside her holds the key to saving the realm, or destroying it. Can Tali find Lyf before he tears Hightspall apart? And if she does, can she put aside her quest for vengeance to save her country? Or will Lyf cut the pearl from her and use its magic to plunge her world into perpetual darkness? U.S. release.
Sister Mine, by Nalo Hopkinson, (March 12, Grand Central)
Makeda and Abby still share their childhood home. The surgery to separate the two girls gave Abby a permanent limp, but left Makeda with an even worse deformity: no mojo. Makeda and Abby were raised by their magical father, the god of growing things, an unusual childhood that made them extremely close. Ever since Abby’s magical talent began to develop the sisters have become increasingly distant. Makeda has decided it’s time to move out and make her own life. In Cheerful Rest, a run-down warehouse, Makeda finds exactly what she’s been looking for. There’s even a resident band, led by the charismatic building superintendent. When her father goes missing, Makeda will have to find her own talent, and reconcile with Abby, if she’s to have a hope of saving him.
The Cats of Tanglewood Forest, by Charles de Lint, (March 12, Little, Brown Books)
Young Adult. The magic is all around you, if only you open your eyes. Lillian Kindred spends her days exploring the Tanglewood Forest, a magical, rolling wilderness that she imagines to be full of fairies. The trouble is, Lillian has never seen a wisp of magic in her hills, until the day the cats of the forest save her life by transforming her into a kitten. Now Lillian must set out on a perilous adventure that will lead her through untamed lands of fabled creatures, from Old Mother Possum to the fearsome Bear People, to find a way to make things right. In this whimsical, original folktale, a young girl’s journey becomes an enchanting coming-of-age story about magic, friendship, and the courage to shape one’s own destiny.
Shattered Pillars (Eternal Sky #2), by Elizabeth Bear, (March 19, Tor)
Set in a world drawn from our own great Asian Steppes, this saga of magic, politics and war sets Re-Temur, the exiled heir to the great Khagan and his friend Sarmarkar, a Wizard of Tsarepheth, against dark forces determined to conquer all the great Empires along the Celedon Road.
The Hanging Game: A Tor.Com Original, by Helen Marshall, (March 20, Tor)
Sometimes a game, even a sacred game, can have far-reaching consequences. In bear country young Skye learns just how far she is willing to go to play the game properly in order to carry on the traditions that came before her and will most likely continue long after she is gone. Ebook.
A modern fantasy set in two epochs: the Black Dawn, a time of environmental apocalypse, and generations into the future in its aftermath, the Bright Day. In each era, a child undertakes a perilous journey to find a dark messiah known as The Crowman. In their hands lies the fate of the planet as they attempt to discover whether The Crowman is our saviour, or the final incarnation of evil.
After a heartrending night of loss and blood, Miranda Grey-Solomon, vampire Queen of the South, now stands in the ruins of her life. David, her husband and Prime, is missing and presumed dead. She has little time to grieve as enemies both old and new emerge to test her yet again. Between vampires trying to take advantage of a Queen without a Prime, incursions by a mysterious organization of humans calling themselves the Order of the Morningstar, and the continuing threat from those within the Shadow World who have already tried to destroy her, Miranda and her allies are running out of places to turn. Miranda must look to the ancient past, to the first days of the vampire race, and uncover secrets about the Signets that could change the course of history.
Author Suzanne Johnson is a book geek with a fondness for a good dystopia. Her Sentinels of New Orleans urban fantasy series is published by Tor Books. You can find Suzanne on Twitter and on her speculative fiction blog, Preternatura.