Only thirteen new fantasies add to the summer sizzle this month, including series additions from Erin Hunter (Warriors), Glen Cook (Garrett Files), C.A. Suleiman (Fall of Llael), Margaret Weis and Robert Krammes (Dragon Brigade), Terry Brooks (Dark Legacy of Shannara), Lindsey Piper (Dragon Kings), Philippa Ballantine (Book of the Order), and Sherrilyn Kenyon/Dianna Love (Belador). Want something shorter? Among a pile of star-studded anthologies this month: The Year’s Best Science Fiction and Fantasy, edited by Rich Horton.
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.
Vaelin Al Sorna was a child often when his father left him at the iron gate of the Sixth Order. The Brothers of the Sixth Order are devoted to battle, and Vaelin will be trained and hardened to the austere, celibate, and dangerous life of a Warrior of the Faith. He has no family now save the Order. Vaelin’s father was Battle Lord to King Janus, ruler of the unified realm. Vaelin’s rage at being deprived of his birthright and dropped at the doorstep of the Sixth Order knows no bounds. He cherishes the memory of his mother. What he will come to learn of her at the Order will confound him. His father also has motives that Vaelin will come to understand. Vaelin is destined for a future he has yet to comprehend. A future that will alter not only the realm, but the world. (U.S.)
Plague and warfare have swept across the ancient kingdom of Wa, devastating the royal line and leaving a new dynasty on the throne, a new Emperor, Akantsu. Among those out of favor with the new liege is the Order of the Botahist Monks. Emperor Akantsu fears none so greatly as he does Lord Shonto. Lord Shonto is the greatest military genius of the age, and he has with him a Spiritual Advisor from the Botahist Order, a young man gifted with extraordinary martial arts skills and magical abilities, Initiate Brother Shuyun. Even Lord Shonto does not realize the true potential of this young monk. Time will reveal that Shuyun’s magical powers have not seen their equal in nearly a thousand years, not since the Perfect Master himself walked the paths of the Empire.
Captain Marcus d’Ivoire, commander of one of the Vordanai empire’s colonial garrisons, was resigned to serving out his days in a remote outpost. That was before a rebellion upended his life. He was left in charge of a demoralized force clinging tenuously to a small fortress at the edge of the desert. Winter Ihernglass masqueraded as a man and enlisted as a ranker in the Vordanai Colonials, hoping to avoid notice. The fates of both these soldiers and all the men they lead depend on the newly arrived Colonel Janus bet Vhalnich. Marcus and Winter can feel the tide turning. They begin to suspect that Janus’s ambitions extend beyond the battlefield and into the realm of the supernatural, a realm with the power to reshape the known world, and change the lives of everyone in its path.
A Warriors adventure that offers a first look at the inner workings of WindClan. This never-before-told story reveals the truth about Tallstar’s past, before he became the leader of WindClan and was a warrior called Talltail. As a young warrior, a tragedy leaves Talltail filled with bitterness and an all-consuming hunger for vengeance. He sets off on a dangerous quest for revenge, far outside the bounds of the warrior code. An original Warriors manga adventure is included.
Garrett is set to stow his wandering heart with his fiancée, Strafa Algarda. For Garrett, true love comes with its share of headaches. Strafa’s family needs Garrett’s unique skills in the worst way. Rumors are spreading that someone is organizing a Tournament of Swords, a brutal contest that magically compels the children of sorcerers to battle until only one is left alive. The winner will absorb the power from those he has killed and thus become a demigod. Strafa and her family want to protect her daughter, Kevans, from being forced to take part in the lethal contest, and they’ve asked Garrett to find out who is organizing the tournament and nip it in the bud. The only problem is that finding the culprit is most likely impossible. The Algardas are used to getting what they want.
This fifth volume of the year’s best science fiction and fantasy features 33 stories, including offerings by Elizabeth Bear, Aliette de Bodard, Ursula K. Le Guin, Jay Lake, Kelly Link, Robert Reed, Lavie Tidhar, Catherynne M. Valente, Genevieve Valentine, and many others. Selecting the best fiction from Analog, Asimov’s, Clarkesworld, F&SF, Strange Horizons, and other top venues.
No new releases.
Big Iron: The Iron Kingdoms Chronicles (The Fall of Llael #2), by C.A. Suleiman, (July 16, Pyr)
The Iron Kingdoms are at war. On the same day that Cygnar declares war on Khador, two dangerous, off-the-books operations launch themselves behind enemy lines: one of a highly personal (and royally unsanctioned) nature; the other launched to stop the first by any means necessary. While hot war rages in Llael, these forces collide in no-man’s-lands. A junior marksman with the feared Widowmaker corps, a nineteen-year- old Khadoran woman named Irina is caught up in these events when the integrity of her own mission collapses. Trapped deep in hostile territory, Irina must rely on her courage, her training, and her wits to navigate both the perils of the wild and the malice of her enemies, while still desperate to accomplish her own mission in the process.
In a world where magic is intrinsic to the fabric of everyday life, two kingdoms, centuries-long enemies, have long sought a powerful magical weapon that will win them lasting dominance. But neither realm is ready when they are both attacked by the Bottom-Dwellers. Using contramagic strengthened by blood sacrifice to attack the world above, they threaten to bring down whole cities. As the Bottom-Dwellers’ contramagic eats away at the magic of the dragons that helps protect the world above, a former dragon-riding hero gathers a group to form a new dragon brigade. Their high-flying heroics will be to no avail unless they can somehow uncover forbidden knowledge, hidden by the Church, without which they will never be able to prevent the world’s destruction.
For centuries the Four Lands enjoyed freedom from its demon-haunted past, protected by magic-enhanced borders from the dark dimension known as the Forbidding. The ancient wards securing the barrier between order and mayhem have begun to erode, and generations of bloodthirsty, monstrous creatures are poised to spill forth. Young Elf Arling Elessedil possesses the enchanted means to close the breach. When she falls into the hands of the Federation’s Prime Minister, her efforts may be doomed. Only her sister, Aphen, who bears the Elfstones and commands their magic, has any hope of saving Arling from her hideous fate. Railing Ohmsford seeks to discover if his ancestor Grianne is still alive and will help him save the world, no matter the odds or the consequences.
As a young man, sarcastic, violent Tallis Pendray believed the Dragon Kings’ survival depended on a prophecy delivered in dreams by a woman named “the Sun.” His role has been to complete inexplicable, even reprehensible tasks. First, by murdering a priest, he united his fragmented clan in their hatred of him. Dubbed “the Heretic,” Tallis fled his family’s Highland estate. He seeks revenge on the woman he holds responsible for two decades of exile. Telepath Kavya Indranan is a charismatic, seductive cult leader born to a prominent family. She grew up terrorized by the ominous threat of her powerful, insane twin brother. She witnessed the destruction wrought by her clan’s centuries-old civil war. Maturity nurtures Kavya’s determination to end the cycle of bloodshed.
The Deacons of the Order are all that stand between the wicked spirits of the Otherside and the innocent citizens of the Empire. They are sworn to protect humanity. After the Razing of the Order, Sorcha Faris, one of the most powerful Deacons, is struggling to regain control of the runes she once wielded. The Deacons are needed more desperately than ever. The barrier between the world of the living and the world of the dead is weakening, and the Emperor has abandoned his throne, seeking to destroy those he feels have betrayed him. Sorcha must lead the charge against the gathering hordes of geists seeking to cross into the Empire. But to do so, she will need to manipulate powers beyond her understanding, powers that may prove to be her undoing.
Evalle Kincaid must turn her back on the Beladors to protect those she loves, and the world, from annihilation. Evalle is forced to embrace her destiny. As an Alterant who fights everything from trolls to demons, Evalle has lived as an outcast among the Beladors, but can now change all that, and find answers to her origins as well. Those answers and a traitor hide within the Medb coven, an enemy poised to destroy the mortal world and all that Evalle holds dear. Her best friends Tzader and Quinn want to help. They have their own conflicts and face choices as relationships with the women they love twist in unexpected directions. Evalle turns to Storm and takes a major step that only complicates matters more when the witchdoctor he’s been hunting now stalks Evalle.
Sir Hereward. Knight, artillerist, swordsman. Mercenary for hire. Ill-starred lover.
Mister Fitz. Puppet, sorcerer, loremaster. Practitioner of arcane arts now mostly and thankfully forgotten. Former nursemaid to Hereward. Sir Hereward and Mister Fitz. Agents of the Council of the Treaty for the Safety of the World, charged with the location and removal of listed extra-dimensional entities, more commonly known as gods or godlets. Sir Hereward and Mister Fitz. Travellers. Adventurers. Godslayers. A collection of two award-winning novellas and a short story featuring Sir Hereward and Mister Fitz’s exploits. (U.S.)
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.