Twenty-one new fantasies help us forget the bizarre weather and onslaught of summer heat this month, including series additions from Terry Brooks, Mercedes Lackey, Elizabeth Moon, Ken Scholes, Kelly McCullough, and Kate Elliott. And if you’re tired of thousand-page tomes, you can always check out the second volume of the Game of Thrones graphic novel.
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.
Shea Ohmsford has had quite enough of quests. A year after surviving a harrowing odyssey, he is still plagued by troubling memories and dreams. A mysterious trafficker in spells and potions provides a restorative nostrum for the stricken Shea, along with a warning: Shea will break his vow to never again leave Shady Vale. A thief, adventurer, and notoriously charismatic rogue, Panamon Creel unexpectedly appears in the Vale with a request for his long-time friend, Shea. Journey into the untamed Northland, infiltrate the stronghold of a sinister dealer in stolen goods, and capture a precious artifact: the sacred Black Irix. Creel wishes to return this treasure to its rightful owners. What lies behind the black castle walls they must breach? And will this quest truly be their last? Ebook.
Young Adult. Vi has made her choice between Jag and Zenn, and the resistance may have suffered for it. But with the Thinkers as strong as ever, the rebels still have a job to do. Vi knows better than anyone that there’s more at stake than a few broken hearts. But there is a traitor among them, and the choices he makes could lead to the total destruction of everything Vi has fought for. Vi, Jag, and Zenn must set their problems aside for the resistance to have any hope of ending the Thinkers’ reign. Their success means everything, and their failure means death.
The Iron Kingdoms are at war, a war fought with machine guns and magic, knights of valor, and earth-shaking titans of steam and steel. And now that war may hinge entirely on nothing more than a sheaf of papers. An alchemical formula, stolen by an ally they thought they could trust, could cost the brave soldiers of Cygnar everything. Their only hope: a cunning spy, a knight out of her element, and a frighteningly small unit of the best that Cygnar has to offer. Arrayed against them is not only a single, devious enemy, but the combined intelligence apparatus, and possibly the full military might, of the most brutal martial power Cygnar has ever known.
Lionel Hawkins is a magician whose act is only partially sleight of hand. The rest is real magic. He’s an Elemental Magician with the power to persuade the Elementals of Air to help him create amazing illusions. It doesn’t take long before his assistant, acrobat Katie Langford, notices that he’s no ordinary magician, and for Lionel to discover that she’s no ordinary acrobat, but rather an untrained and unawakened Fire Magician. She’s also on the run from her murderous and vengeful brute of a husband. But can she harness her magic in time to stop her husband from achieving his deadly goal?
Young Adult. Two years have passed since Janie Scott last saw Benjamin Burrows, the mysterious apothecary’s defiant son who stole her heart. On the other side of the world, Benjamin and his father are treating the sick and wounded in the war-torn jungles of Vietnam. But Benjamin has also been experimenting with a magical new formula that allows him to communicate with Janie across the globe. When Benjamin discovers that she’s in trouble, he calls on their friend Pip for help. The three friends are thrown into a desperate chase around the world to find one another, while unraveling the mystery of what threatens them all.
The City, by Stella Gemmell, (June 4, Ace)
The City is ancient, layers upon layers. Once a thriving metropolis, it has sprawled beyond its bounds. In the center of the City lives the emperor. Few have ever seen him, but those who have recall a man in his prime, though he should be very old. A small number have come to the conclusion that the only way to stop the war is to end the emperor’s unnaturally long life. From the mazelike sewers below the City to the blood-soaked fields of battle, the rebels pin their hopes on one man, Shuskara. The emperor’s former general. But he has survived, forsaking his City and hiding from his immortal foe. The time has come for him to engage in one final battle to free the City from the creature who dwells at its heart, pulling the strings that keep the land drenched in gore.
Seraphina has been living for centuries, thanks to a method of alchemy, but only recently has she really felt alive. She’s broken free from her controlling boyfriend, Cyrus. After years of swapping bodies to preserve her immortality, is happily settled into a life worth sticking with. Because in this life, she has Noah. But Noah might not be as trustworthy as he seems. After he delivers an ominous message that could only come from Cyrus, Sera is worried that her new friends and family will find out her secret. As her suspicions extend beyond Noah, Sera is forced to wonder about her new friends as well: Could her old coven be disguising themselves right under her nose? Will Sera have to move to another body, and take another life, or can she find a way to keep what she’s got, forever?
Eons ago, a great king used a magical device, the Seven-Petaled Shield, to defeat the forces of primal chaos. When an ambitious emperor conquers the city that safeguards the Shield, the newly-widowed young Queen, guardian of the heart-stone of the Shield, flees for her life, along with her adolescent son. As one land after another falls to the empire, they become separated and her son fears the emperor has executed his mother. Consumed with grief and vengeance, he transforms himself into the agent of chaos, a ravening destroyer. The only ones standing in the way of annihilation are the mother he thinks is dead, a dispossessed enemy prince, a demented prophet, and the nomadic horsewoman whose love alone can heal the heart of the heir to the magical Shield.
The action moves from the icy north, where the bastard Jon Snow seeks to carve out a place for himself, to the decadent south and the capital city of King’s Landing, where Jon’s father, Lord Eddard Stark, serves as the Hand of King Robert Baratheon, to the barbarian lands across the Narrow Sea, where the young princess Daenerys Targaryen has found love, and with it, for the first time in her life, power. Tyrion Lannister, accused by Lady Catelyn Stark of the attempted murder of her now-crippled youngest son, must call upon all his cunning and wit to survive. Now is not the time for private feuds and bloodthirsty ambitions. Winter is coming, and with it, terrors beyond imagining.
The unthinkable has occurred in the kingdom of Lyonya. The queen of the Elves, known as the Lady, is dead, murdered by former elves twisted by dark powers. Now the Lady’s half-elven grandson must heal the mistrust between elf and human before their enemies strike again. Throughout the north, magic is reappearing after centuries of absence, emerging without warning in family after family, rich and poor alike. In some areas, the religious strictures against magery remain in place, and fanatical followers are stamping out magery by killing whoever displays the merest sign of it, even children. One very determined traitor works to undo any effort at peace. With the future hanging in the balance, it is only the dedication of a few resolute heroes who can turn the tides.
Vivienne is almost content with her new life in the Cirque des Immortels. She has moved up from selling cotton candy to telling fortunes, she has a gorgeous, magical boyfriend, Kingston…and no one has been murdered since the clash between the otherworldly Courts. Her life under the faerie big top would be perfect, in fact, if not for the nightmares and visions that compel her to seek and confront her half-remembered past. But for Viv, not knowing her past may well be a blessing. There’s a reason she ran away. But can she truly escape herself? Ebook.
Rojan Dizon just wants to keep his head down. But his worst nightmare is around the corner. With the destruction of their power source, his city is in crisis: riots are breaking out, mages are being murdered, and the city is divided. But Rojan’s hunt for the killers will make him responsible for all-out anarchy. Either that, or an all-out war. And there’s nothing Rojan hates more than being responsible.
Who is the Crimson Empress, and what does her conquest of the Named Lands really mean? Who holds the keys to the Moon Wizard’s Tower? The plots within plots are expanding as the characters seek their way out of the maze of intrigue. The world is expanding as they discover lands beyond their previous carefully controlled knowledge. Hidden truths reveal even deeper truths, and nothing is as it seemed to be.
Young Adult. With the Brotherhood persecuting witches like never before, a divided Sisterhood desperately needs Cate to come into her Prophesied powers. And after Cate’s friend Sachi is arrested for using magic, a war-thirsty Sister offers to help her find answers, if Cate is willing to endanger everyone she loves. Cate doesn’t want to be a weapon, and she doesn’t want to involve her friends and Finn in the Sisterhood’s schemes. But when Maura and Tess join the Sisterhood, Maura makes it clear that she’ll do whatever it takes to lead the witches to victory. Even if it means sacrifices. Even if it means overthrowing Cate. Even if it means all-out war.
After the fall of the goddess of justice, temple assassin Aral Kingslayer lost his purpose in life and turned to the bottle. That might have been the end of him if luck hadn’t given him a few people to help him get back on his feet, notably the irresistible Baroness Maylien Dan Marchon. Reluctant to resume the role of an assassin, he turned her down. Aral has learned that one of the few people willing to help him in his darkest days has been imprisoned by Maylien’s uncle, King Thauvik. Aral knows he can’t let an old friend die, but the alternative is to return to the life he left years ago. It was the death of Thauvik’s half brother that earned Aral the name Kingslayer, and now he is thrust into a war that will see no end until he lives up to his name.
Trouble, treachery, and magic just won’t stop plaguing Cat Barahal. The Master of the Wild Hunt has stolen her husband Andevai. The ruler of the Taino kingdom blames her for his mother’s murder. The infamous General Camjiata insists she join his army to help defeat the cold mages who rule Europa. An enraged fire mage wants to kill her. And Cat, her cousin Bee, and her half-brother Rory, aren’t even back in Europa yet, where revolution is burning up the streets. Revolutions to plot. Enemies to crush. Handsome men to rescue. Cat and Bee have their work cut out for them.
The lost kingdom of Orr lies beneath the ocean waves. For centuries, the depths have lain dormant. Until now. The Elder Dragon Zhaitan has risen. The drowned kingdom of Orr is reborn, and another destroyed. The city of Lion’s Arch, for generations a cornerstone of civilization in Tyria, is brutally swept beneath the waves, leaving nothing but ruins. Among the survivors is Cobiah Marriner. When he is rescued by a ferocious charr, Cobiah knows that he’s been plunged into a world forever changed. Zhaitan’s undead servants dominate the sea. Cobiah vows to see Lion’s Arch rebuilt. Cobiah must become a hero to his crew and an admiral to the pirate fleet, and face the ghosts of his past. Only then will he master the Sea of Sorrows and crush the armada of Orr.
Young Adult. Teen Kate Winters and her powers are unique. She alone can understand Wintercraft, a book of ancient secrets. In Winterveil, the veil between the living and the dead is crumbling, and only Kate can stop it. The pull of the veil is powerful, and part of Kate wants to let it fall, allowing the dead overrun the living. Her best friend Edgar Rill urges Kate to save the world of the living. But Silas Dane can influence Kate too. Silas, a merciless villain, has the potential to behave honorably, if he chooses. (U.S. Release)
Young Adult. Liam MacGregor is cursed. Haunted by the wails of fantastical Bean Sidhes and labeled a demon by the villagers of Dòchas, Liam has accepted that things will never get better for him, until a wealthy heiress named Annabel Leighton arrives on the island and Liam’s fate is changed forever. With Anna, Liam finally finds the happiness he has always been denied; but, the violent, mythical Otherworlders, who inhabit the island and the sea around it, have other plans. They make awager on the couple’s love, testing its strength through a series of cruel obstacles. But the tragedies draw Liam and Anna even closer. Frustrated, the creatures put the couple through one last trial, and this time it’s not only their love that’s in danger of being destroyed.
The Feros (The Vindico #2), by Wesley King, (June 27, Putnam Juvenile)
Young Adult. After defeating their villain mentors, the Vindico, James, Hayden, Sam, Emily and Lana are finally ready to join the League of Heroes. But as their induction into the League draws near, they are framed by a group of rogue Heroes and given life sentences on the Perch. Thunderbolt, the League’s leader, is the only one who can clear their names, but he is missing. To make matters worse, the Vindico are mysteriously let out of prison and a group of strange Shadow people start trailing the teens’ every move. Unsure of who to trust or where to go, the teens put their new skills to the test once more as they fight to save themselves, and their families, from an unknown foe. But how will they defeat an enemy they cannot see?
This novella begins at a critical moment in the Dying Earth’s history, a moment when signs and portents indicate that the long anticipated death of the planet is finally at hand. Against this backdrop, Shrue the diabolist, learns of the death of Ulfant Banderoz, ancient magus and sole proprietor of the legendary Ultimate Library and Final Compendium of Thaumaturgical Lore. Determined to possess its secrets, Shrue sets out in search of the fabled library, guided by the severed nose of the deceased magician. This is the story of that quest, a quest whose outcome will affect the fate of the entire dying planet.
Author Suzanne Johnson is a book geek with a fondness for a good disaster novel. Her Sentinels of New Orleans urban fantasy series is published by Tor Books. You can find Suzanne on Facebook and on her speculative fiction blog, Preternatura.