Twenty-five new fantasies bring war and magic to imaginary worlds this month, including series additions from, among others, Ian C. Esslemont (Malazan Empire), Lev Grossman (The Magicians), Irene Radford (Children of the Dragon Nimbus), Daniel Abraham (The Dagger and the Coin), Brent Weeks (Lightbringer), and James Maxwell (Evermen Saga).
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.
Tens of thousands of years of ice is melting, and the land of Assail is at last yielding its secrets. Tales of gold discovered in the region’s north circulate in every waterfront dive and tavern and now countless adventurers and fortune-seekers have set sail in search of riches. The people of the north meet all trespassers with the sword. Beyond, lurk Elder monsters out of history’s very beginnings. Into this turmoil ventures the mercenary company, the Crimson Guard. Arriving also comes the bard Fisher kel Tath. With him is a Tiste Andii who was found washed ashore and who cannot remember his past life. Also venturing north is a mighty champion, the bearer of a sword that slays gods: Whiteblade. Far to the south, a woman guards the shore awaiting both her allies and her enemies. Silverfox, newly incarnated Summoner of the undying army of the T’lan Imass, will do anything to stop the renewal of an ages-old crusade that could lay waste to the entire continent and beyond. (U.S. Release)
The Pureblood Registry accused Lucian de Remeni-Masson of “unseemly involvement with ordinaries,” which meant only that he spoke with a young woman not of his own kind, allowed her to see his face unmasked, worked a bit of magic for her. Lucian’s grandsire excised half his magic and savage Harrowers massacred his family. The Registry has contracted his art to a common coroner. His gift for portraiture is restricted to dead ordinaries, beggars or starvelings hauled from the streets. Sketching the truth of dead men’s souls brings unforeseen consequences. Sensations not his own. Truths he cannot possibly know and dares not believe. The coroner calls him a cheat. The Registry will call him mad, and mad sorcerers are very dangerous.
Meet Karn. He is destined to take over the family farm in Norrøngard. His only problem? He’d rather be playing the board game Thrones and Bones. Enter Thianna. Half human, half frost giantess. She’s too tall to blend in with other humans but too short to be taken seriously as a giant. When family intrigues force Karn and Thianna to flee into the wilderness, they have to keep their sense of humor and their wits about them. But survival can be challenging when you’re being chased by a 1,500-year-old dragon, Helltoppr the undead warrior and his undead minions, an evil uncle, wyverns, and an assortment of trolls and giants.
Young Adult. In a city of walls and secrets, where only one man is supposed to possess magic, Kai struggles to keep hidden her own secret: she can manipulate the threads of time. When Kai was eight, she was found by Reev on the riverbank, and her “brother” has taken care of her ever since. All that matters is that she and Reev stay together, and maybe one day move out of the freight container they call home, away from the metal walls of the Labyrinth. Kai’s only friend is Avan, the shopkeeper’s son with the scandalous reputation. Then Reev disappears. Kai vows to do whatever it takes to find him. To save Reev, Kai must unravel the threads of her past and face shocking truths about her brother, her friendship with Avan, and her unique power.
Young Adult. Greta and the Goblin King miraculously survived the battle against the evil Agramon. Greta should be happy to be alive and ready to claim her place in Mylena by Isaac’s side. Yet nothing is the way she thought it would be. The battle against Agramon left a dark magick inside Greta that will eventually kill her. Isaac hasn’t been the same since he almost went Lost. Determined to save Mylena from a bitter civil war, they travel to the mysterious Glass Kingdom to form an uneasy alliance with the deadly Faerie race. When an unexpected disaster tears Greta and Isaac apart, she must make the journey on her own. Along the way, she discovers a conspiracy stretching back to events she never thought she would have to revisit, betrayal from allies whose loyalty she never questioned, and an enemy vying to control all of Mylena.
In a moment of crisis, Mara finds herself possessed of a volatile magical power that neither she nor any of her allies can truly control. Mara faces terrifying new challenges and dangers as she struggles to understand her unprecedented ability to use all types of magic, and to tear magic from the living bodies of those around her. With the arrival of Chell, a young man from across the sea, the world beyond the borders of the Autarchy of Aygrima begins to make itself felt. Then an act of brutality tips Mara dangerously close to madness, and in the midst of a desperate and bloody battle, she discovers just how horrifying her power can be.
Kara has achieved something that no Majat has ever managed, freedom from the Guild. But the Black Diamond assassin Mai has been called back to face his punishment for sparing her life. Determined to join his fight or share his punishment, Kara finds herself falling for Mai. But is their relationship, and the force that makes their union all-powerful, a tool to defeat the overpowering forces of the Kaddim armies, or a distraction sure to cause the downfall of the Majat?
The rulers of tiny, impoverished Swansgaard have twelve daughters and one son. While the prince’s future is assured, his twelve sisters must find their own fortunes. Disguising herself as Clarence, a sailor, Princess Clarice intends to work her way to the New World. When the crew rebels, Clarice/Clarence, an expert with rapier and dagger, sides with the handsome navigator, Dominick, and kills the cruel captain. Dominick leads the now-outlawed crew in search of treasure in the secret pirate haven known as The House of Four Winds. They encounter the sorceress Shamal, who claims Dominick for her own, but Clarice has fallen hard for Dominick and won’t give him up without a fight.
Quentin Coldwater has lost everything. He has been cast out of Fillory, the secret magical land of his childhood dreams that he once ruled. With nothing left to lose he returns to where his story began, the Brakebills Preparatory College of Magic. The magical barriers that keep Fillory safe are failing, and barbarians from the north have invaded. Eliot and Janet, the rulers of Fillory, embark on a final quest to save their beloved world. Along with Plum, a magician with a dark secret of her own, Quentin sets out on a path through a magical demimonde of gray magic and desperate characters. His new life takes him back to old haunts and old friends he thought were lost forever. He uncovers the key to a sorcerous masterwork, a spell that could create a magical utopia. But all roads lead back to Fillory, where Quentin must face his fears and put things right or die trying.
Now that Lukan has finally achieved journeyman magician status, he wants to escape from home, family, and the University Magicians. Needing a goal, he focuses on finding and rescuing his mentor, Master Robb. Gathering together a small band of friends to assist him, he sets out only to discover that while he can run away from his family, he can’t escape the problems that drove him away in the first place.
Lord Regent Geder Palliako’s war has led his nation and the priests of the spider goddess to victory after victory. No power has withstood him, except for the heart of the one woman he desires. As the violence builds and the cracks in his rule begin to show, he will risk everything to gain her love or else her destruction. Clara Kalliam, the loyal traitor, is torn between the woman she once was and the woman she has become. With her sons on all sides of the conflict, her house cannot stand, but there is a power in choosing when and how to fall. And in Porte Oliva, banker Cithrin bel Sarcour and Captain Marcus Wester learn the terrible truth that links this war to the fall of the dragons millennia before, and that to save the world, Cithrin must conquer it.
Young Adult. Noli and her true love V fear the worst if the Staff of Eris, a potent Otherworld relic, falls into the wrong hands. Broken into pieces and hidden in the mortal realm long ago, the staff bestows vast powers on whoever possesses it. Ciarán, the dark king, is trying to rebuild the staff, intending to use it to install a new queen. In a desperate effort to keep the Otherworld from falling into darkness, Noli and V plot the daring theft of a jewel Ciarán needs to complete the staff. But Ciarán is not so easily defeated. Through his devious machinations, he has set a plan in motion for a final showdown that will decide who rules the Otherworld once and for all.
Young Adult. In Eden City, a member of the illiterate wordless class would never dream of meeting the all-powerful Words, much less of running away with one. When a girl literally falls into his lap during a routine trash run, Tavin Barnes isn’t sure if it’s the luckiest or worst day of his life. That girl is Khaya, the Word of Life, who can heal a wound or command an ivy bush to devour a city block with ease. She needs Tavin’s help. Aiding Khaya’s escape from the seemingly idyllic confines of Eden City, Tavin unwittingly throws himself into the heart of a conflict that is threatening to tear the world apart. Eden City’s elite will stop at nothing to protect the shocking secret Khaya hides, and they enlist the other Words, each with their own frightening powers, to bring her back.
FitzChivalry, royal bastard and former king’s assassin, has left his life of intrigue behind. As far as the rest of the world knows, FitzChivalry Farseer is dead and buried. Masquerading as Tom Badgerlock, Fitz is now married to his childhood sweetheart, Molly, and leading the quiet life of a country squire. Though Fitz is haunted by the disappearance of the Fool, who did so much to shape Fitz into the man he has become, such private hurts are put aside in the business of daily life, at least until the appearance of menacing, pale-skinned strangers casts a sinister shadow over Fitz’s past, and his future. Now, to protect his new life, the former assassin must once again take up his old one.
Middle Grade. So begins Percy Jackson’s Greek Gods, in which the son of Poseidon adds his own magic, and sarcastic asides, to the classics. He explains how the world was created, then gives readers his personal take on a who’s who of ancients, from Apollo to Zeus. Percy does not hold back. “If you like horror shows, blood baths, lying, stealing, backstabbing, and cannibalism, then read on, because it definitely was a Golden Age for all that.”
Young Adult. In a world at war, a slave girl’s lethal curse could become one kingdom’s weapon of salvation. As a slave in the war-weary kingdom of Faelen, seventeen-year-old Nym isn’t merely devoid of rights, her Elemental kind are only born male and always killed at birth. Standing on the auction block, Nym faces her fifteenth sell. When her hood is removed and her storm-summoning killing curse revealed, Nym is snatched up by a court advisor and given a choice: be trained as the weapon Faelen needs to win the war, or be killed. Nym is unleashed into a world of politics, bizarre parties, and rumors of an evil more sinister than she s being prepared to fight, not to mention the handsome trainer whose dark secrets lie behind a mysterious ability to calm every lightning strike she summons. But what if she doesn’t want to be the weapon they’ve all been waiting for?
The Gods are dying. Their bodies can be found across the world. Men and women have awoken with strange powers that are derived from their bodies. The city Mireea is built against a huge stone wall, following the massive fallen body of the god, Ger. Ayae, a young cartographer’s apprentice, is attacked and discovers she cannot be harmed by fire. Her new power makes her a target for an army that is marching on Mireea. With the help of Zaifyr, a man adorned with charms, she is taught the awful history of ‘cursed’ men and women, coming to grips with her new powers and the enemies they make. The saboteur Bueralan infiltrates the army that is approaching her home to learn its terrible secret. Ayae, Zaifyr and Bueralan are forced not just into conflict with those invading, but with those inside the city who wish to do them harm.
The Children of Fire, four mortals touched by the power of Chaos, each embody one aspect of a fallen and banished immortal champion: Keegan, the wizard; Scythe, the warrior; Cassandra, the prophet; Vaaler, the king. The Children are in search of the ancient Talismans that can stop the return of Daemron the Slayer, ancient enemy of the Old Gods. In acquiring Daemron’s Ring, they unleashed a flood of Chaos magic on the land, leaving death, destruction, and a vengeful queen in their wake. They realize that their strength and faith will be tested as never before. And their greatest trial will be finding Daemron’s Sword, the last of the ancient Talismans, before the entire mortal world is engulfed in the war and Chaos that will herald the return of the Slayer.
The dragon is dead. The princess has been saved. There is but one problem: Prince Charming had nothing to do with it. In order to save his royal reputation, Prince Charming must begrudgingly enlist the help of accidental hero William Pickett. The two set out on an adventure that has them fighting trolls, outwitting a scoundrel, and drinking the foulest ale ever, collecting bruises to both body and pride along the way. Meanwhile, the rescued princess, Gwendolyn, turns out to be one dangerously distressed damsel, and an evil presence takes over Castle White in Charming’s absence. Enter this rollicking world and discover just what happens when a fairytale leaves the well-trodden path of “once upon a time.” (Digital)
As the old gods awaken and satrapies splinter, the Chromeria races to find its lost Prism, the only man who may be able to stop catastrophe. But Gavin Guile is enslaved on a pirate galley. Worse, Gavin no longer has the one thing that defined him: the ability to draft. Without the protection of his father, Kip Guile will have to face a master of shadows alone as his grandfather moves to choose a new Prism and put himself in power. With Teia and Karris, Kip will have to use all his wits to survive a secret war between noble houses, religious factions, rebels, and an ascendant order of hidden assassins, The Broken Eye.
Miro, high lord of Altura, is in the Imperial capital to prepare the Empire for the onslaught. He knows his homeland lies directly in the enemy’s path but struggles to form the alliances he needs. As the high lords bicker, Ella seeks the help of the newly crowned emperor, Killian. But, amid the growing tensions, their responsibilities drive them apart and, as emperor, Killian can’t be seen to favor Ella’s homeland. Against a backdrop of old hurts, guilty secrets, and shaky new allegiances, people of all nations and abilities must learn to trust one another again, and form a united front against a powerful enemy intent on destroying them once and for all.
In the frozen kingdom of Saiduan, invaders from another realm are decimating whole cities, leaving behind nothing but ash and ruin. At the heart of this war lie the pacifistic Dhai people, once enslaved by the Saiduan and now courted by their former masters to provide aid against the encroaching enemy. As the dark star of the cataclysm rises, an illegitimate ruler is tasked with holding together a country fractured by civil war; a precocious young fighter is asked to betray his family to save his skin; and a half-Dhai general must choose between the eradication of her father’s people or loyalty to her alien Empress. The Dhai and their allies attempt to hold against a seemingly unstoppable force as enemy nations prepare for a coming together of worlds as old as the universe itself.
The fugitive Osgaardan prince, Harkeld, is that man, whether he likes it or not. But the bounty on Harkeld’s head is high. He has outrun his father’s soldiers, but he can’t outrun the assassins who seek him, Fithians, trained in the art of killing. Even the Sentinel mages who guide and guard him are no match for Fithian steel. Faced with the ever-present threat of death, Harkeld must learn to use his fire magic. Or die. Meanwhile, dark plots are unfolding in Osgaard’s gold-tiled palace, snaring Princess Brigitta and those she loves. And in the eastern kingdoms, young orphan Jaumé journeys with a band of mysterious and dangerous fighters, heading north for a purpose he does not understand.
Young Adult. Suspense, mysticism, and history encircle three separate but related narratives in one novel. Today, Sulis, a teenage girl with a mysterious past, arrives in Bath with a new identity, trailed by the person she’s trying to outrun. In 1740, Zac is apprenticed to an architect obsessed with Druidic mysteries, but has his own secret, and destructive, agenda. In ancient England, a druid king discovers the healing waters of a magical spring, where he founds a great city. Through each voice, the mysteries are revealed, linking Sulis, Zac, and the king through the circles of time. (U.S. Release)