Twenty new fantasies combine history, magic, and new worlds to conquer this month, including series additions from, among others Ian Irvine (Tainted Realm), P.C. Hodgell (Kencyrath), Erin Hunter (Survivors), Deborah J. Ross (Seven Petaled Shield), Elizabeth Haydon (Symphony of Ages), Andy Remic (Rage of Kings), and Andrzej Sapkowski (Witcher).
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.
The once-beautiful land of Hightspall is being carved up by warring armies led by figures from out of legend. One army is headed by the charismatic brute, Axil Grandys, and the other by Lyf, resurrected sorcerer-king and Axil’s ancient nemesis. Only the escaped slave Tali and her unreliable magic stand in their way, but Tali’s gift grows more painful every time she uses it. As the armies converge on the fateful peak of Touchstone, Tali and her ally Rix must find a way to overcome Lyf and prevent Axil from using the Three Spells that will destroy Hightspall forever. (U.S.)
The Red Queen is old but the kings of the Broken Empire dread her like no other. She has fought the long war against the powers that stand behind nations. Her greatest weapon is The Silent Sister, unseen by most and unspoken of by all. The Red Queen’s grandson, Prince Jalan Kendeth, drinker, gambler, seducer of women, is one who can see The Silent Sister. He pretends that the hideous crone is not there. Witnesses claim an undead army is on the march, and the Red Queen has called on her family to defend the realm. Jal finds his fate magically intertwined with a fierce Norse warrior. The two undertake a journey across the Empire to undo the spell. Jalan gradually catches a glimmer of the truth: he and the Norseman are but pieces in a game, part of a series of moves in the long war, and the Red Queen controls the board.
Lex lives down below, close to rock bottom. She grew up in the orphanage, alone, and now is training to be a Special Op so she can finally destroy the rebels. Livia lives miles above everything on a floating island in the city of Indra. She is training too, but for a life that she doesn’t want. She wants to be free and to run with her beloved horse until she can’t run any longer. There’s Kane, Lex’s only friend, whom she would walk through fire for. When she finds that Kane is in danger, she doesn’t hesitate to leave her post and blast her way to the top of Indra to save him. She just needs to get one stubborn, clever airgirl to tell her where he is first. Lex and Livia team up to save Kane after discovering that they share a mysterious identical mark, not realizing that their biggest danger is in each other.
Kothifir the Great, ruled by an obscenely obese god-king, peopled with colorful, dueling guilds, guarded by the Southern Host of the Kencyrath. Here Jame arrives, only to find that the turbulent city claims more of her attention as the Talisman than the Host’s training fields do as a second year randon cadet. Someone in the Host’s camp is trying to get Jame killed. In order to save the present, Jame must search the past, be it fifteen years ago when as a boy her brother Torisen arrived here, or three thousand years ago when the Wastes were a great sea ringed with rich civilizations. Tori survived. The cities of the plain were destroyed in one catastrophic night. Kothifir’s gods have lost their power and its proud towers are falling. What curse out of the past has struck it? Jame, a potential Nemesis, must try to stop the destruction, without undoing time itself.
Lucky and his Pack were able to defeat Terror’s dogs, but their new world still holds many dangers. Now the Pack has come to the edge of a strange lake that seems to stretch on forever, and Lucky discovers that there is barely enough food to survive. As winter approaches and Lucky struggles to keep his friends safe, he is haunted by visions of a storm of dogs-and a terrible battle that seems to loom closer every day.
For Shannivar, warrior of the Azkhantia Steppe, the future is grim. She faces twin threats: the mighty Gelon empire, ruthessly conquering independent nations like her own, and the malevolent entity of Fire and Ice, unleashed from its prison in the Far North. And she must face them alone. After meeting Zevaron, an exiled prince in search of aid from Azkhantia, Shannivar and Zevaron had traveled together and fallen in love. But their journey to the north to investigate dangerous omens failed when Zevaron was enthralled by the monstrous Fire and Ice. Now Zevaron’s hatred for Gelon, the empire that destroyed his kingdom and killed his mother, threatens to consume not only him, but all the living world.
The war that they had feared is now upon them. Ashe and Rhapsody, leaders of the Cymrian Alliance, are gathering their allies to combat the machinations of Talquist, who will soon be crowned emperor of Sorbold. Rhapsody has been forced into hiding to protect the life of her infant son. The Merchant Emperor of Sorbold has unintentionally allied himself with a pair of demons and has begun targeting the dragons that remain on the Middle Continent. Talquist will stop at nothing until the Cymrians are wiped out and the entire continent and the rest of the Known World is under his rule. Rhapsody is left with one undeniable truth: if their forces are to prevail, she must join the war herself, wielding the Daystar Clarion, an ancient weapon whose power is nearly unparalleled. A danger far more devastating than Talquist is stirring beneath the surface of the land itself.
Captain Braylar Killcoin and his retinue continue to sow chaos amongst the political elite of Alespell. Braylar is still poisoned by the memories of those slain by his unholy flail Bloodsounder. The Syldoonian Emperor Cynead has solidified his power base in unprecedented ways. Braylar must decide if he can trust his sister, Soffjian, with the secret that is killing him. She has powerful memory magics that might be able to save him from Bloodsounder’s effects. Arki and others in the company try to get Soffjian and Braylar to trust one another. Deposed emperor Thumarr plots to remove Cynead, and Braylar and his sister Soffjian lie at the heart of his plans. Arki will chronicle the true intentions of Emperor Cynead and Soffjian. Old enemies in Alespell may prove to be surprising allies in a conflict no one could have foreseen.
Today, Shiva is a god. But four thousand years ago, he was just a man, until he brought his people to Meluha, a near-perfect empire founded by the great king Lord Ram. There he discovered he was the Neelkanth, a barbarian long prophesied to be Meluha’s saviour. But in his hour of victory fighting the Chandravanshis, Meluha’s enemy, he discovered they had their own prophecy. Now he must fight to uncover the treachery within his inner circle, and unmask those who are about to destroy all that he has fought for. Shiva is about to learn that good and evil are two sides of the same coin.
The city of Audec-Hal sits among the bones of a Titan. For decades it has suffered under the dominance of five tyrants. There are the mysterious “Spark-storms” that alternate between razing the land and bestowing the citizens with wild, unpredictable abilities. It was one of these storms that gave First Sentinel, leader of the revolutionaries known as the Shields of Audec-Hal, power to control the emotional connections between people, a power that cost him the love of his life. First Sentinel and the Shields are the only resistance against the city’s overlords. The only thing they have going for them is that the crime lords are fighting each other. Until the tyrants agree to a summit that will divide the city and cement their rule of Audec-Hal. It’s one thing to take a stand against oppression, but with the odds stacked against the Shields, it’s another thing to actually triumph.
Ahjvar, the assassin known as the Leopard, wants only to die, to end the curse that binds him to a life of horror. If he kills the mad prophet known as the Voice of Marakand, Catairanach will free him of his curse. Accompanying him on his mission is the one person he has let close to him, a runaway slave named Ghu. In Marakand, both will need to face the deepest secrets of their souls, if either is to survive the undying enemies who hunt them and find a way through the darkness that damns the Leopard. To Marakand, too, come a Northron wanderer and her demon verrbjarn lover, carrying the obsidian sword Lakkariss, a weapon forged by the Old Great Gods to bring their justice to the seven devils who escaped the cold hells so long before.
Centuries after the disastrous War of the Necromancers, the Nabatorians, aligned with the evil necromancers of Sdis, mount an invasion of the Empire. Luk, a soldier, and Ga-Nor, a Northern barbarian, are thrown together as they attempt to escape the Nabatorian hordes. Gray and Layan are a married couple, master thieves who are hiding out and trying to escape their former gang. Tia is a powerful dark sorceress and one of The Damned, a group trying to take over the world and using the Nabatorian invasion as a diversion. Gray and Layan unwittingly hold the key to a powerful magical weapon that could bring The Damned back to power. Gray and Layan are aided by Luk and Ga-Nor, and Harold, the hero of The Chronicles of Siala. Realizing what’s at stake they decide that, against all odds, they must stop The Damned.
Kari, a young woman, returns to her jungle planet of Dora after ten years in Earth’s schools and is determined to unravel the mysteries surrounding the harpies, a feral species half-bird, half-mortal. The residences of Dora believe the harpies are dangerous game animals and hunt them for their trophy wings, but Kari thinks they are intelligent and not just wild animals. A rare golden harpy, a teenage blond male with yellow wings rescued Kari as a child from the jaws of a water monster. Upon returning home, she learns the harpies are facing extinction with the over-hunting and she sets out to save them, all the time wondering if the golden male is still alive.
Twenty-one all-original stories by an all-star list of contributors. George R. R. Martin offers a brand-new A Game of Thrones tale chronicling one of the biggest rogues in the entire history of Ice and Fire. Also featuring all-new stories by Joe Abercrombie, Daniel Abraham, David W. Ball, Paul Cornell, Bradley Denton, Phyllis Eisenstein, Gillian Flynn, Neil Gaiman, Matthew Hughes, Joe R. Lansdale, Scott Lynch, Garth Nix, Cherie Priest, Patrick Rothfuss, Steven Saylor, Michael Swanwick, Lisa Tuttle, Carrie Vaughn, Walter Jon Williams and Connie Willis.
The capital has fallen. The Darkling rules Ravka from his shadow throne. The nation’s fate rests with a broken Sun Summoner, a disgraced tracker, and the shattered remnants of a once-great magical army. A weakened Alina must submit to the dubious protection of the Apparat and the zealots who worship her as a Saint. Yet her plans lie with the hunt for the elusive firebird and the hope that an outlaw prince still survives. Alina will have to forge new alliances and put aside old rivalries as she and Mal race to find the last of Morozova’s amplifiers. As she begins to unravel the Darkling’s secrets, she reveals a past that will forever alter her understanding of the bond they share. The firebird is the one thing that stands between Ravka and destruction. Claiming it could cost Alina the very future she’s fighting for.
Vagandrak is broken, and a new threat has arisen that threatens to defeat even the mighty Iron Wolves. The twisted, deviant Elf Rats have gathered in the toxic realm beyond the White Lion Mountains, swiftly they invade the troubled land of Vagandrak, killing for profit and pleasure. The now-disgraced Iron Wolves are the realm’s only hope, but there’s a problem: they’ve been sentenced to death by the insane King Yoon for the dark sorcery in their blood. In the mountains of Zalazar lie the White Towers, pillars of legend said to contain the Heart of the Elves. The Iron Wolves must journey north to steal the Heart, and purify the evil in the land, but the land belongs to the Elves, and they won’t give it up without a fight.
The Wizards Guild has been shattered by a coup and, in the uproar, Geralt was seriously injured. The Witcher is supposed to be a guardian of the innocent, a protector of those in need, a defender against powerful and dangerous monsters that prey on men in dark times. But now that dark times have fallen upon the world, Geralt is helpless until he has recovered from his injuries. While war rages across all of the lands, the future of magic is under threat and those sorcerers who survive are determined to protect it. It’s an impossible situation in which to find one girl, Ciri, the heiress to the throne of Cintra, has vanished, until a rumor places her in the Niflgaard court, preparing to marry the Emperor. Injured or not, Geralt has a rescue mission on his hands. (U.S. Release)
Sophie Hansa is in a San Francisco alley trying to save the life of the aunt she has never known. She finds herself flung into the warm and salty waters of an unfamiliar world. The world is Stormwrack, a series of island nations with a variety of cultures and economies, and a language different from any Sophie has heard. Sophie has just stepped into the middle of a political firestorm, and a conspiracy that could destroy a world she has just discovered. Sophie refuses to be cast adrift by people who don’t know her and yet wish her gone. With the help of a sister she has never known, and a ship captain who wishes she had never arrived, she must navigate the highly charged politics of Stormwrack, and win the right to decide for herself whether she stays in this world, or is doomed to exile.
Strange things are happening at the frozen edge of the world. Conor, Abeke, Meilin, and Rollan have crisscrossed Erdas in their quest to stop the ruthless Conquerors. Only the four of them, supported by the gifts of their legendary spirit animals, have the power to defeat an evil takeover. While chasing down a lead in the cold North, the heroes arrive at a quiet village where not everything is as it seems. Rooting the truth out of this deceptively beautiful place won’t be easy, and the team is already out of time. The Conquerors are right behind them.
The Empire of Fellein is in mourning. The Emperor is dead, and the armies of the empire have grown soft. Merros Dulver, their newly-appointed, and somewhat reluctant, commander, has been tasked with preparing them to fight the most savage enemy the world has yet seen. Meanwhile, a perpetual storm ravages the Blasted Lands, and a new threat is about to arise, the Broken are coming, and with them only Death.