Sixteen new fantasies hit the shelves this month, including series additions from, among others, Julie E. Czerneda (Night’s Edge), Jenna Rhodes (The Elven Ways), Charlie N. Holmberg (Paper Magician Trilogy), Orson Scott Card (Pathfinder), David Dalglish (Shadowdance), L.E. Modesitt Jr. (Saga of Recluce), Henry H. Neff (Tapestry), and Jeffe Kennedy (Twelve Kingdoms).
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 truthseer who won Jenn Nalynn’s heart, Bannan Larmensu, learns his brother-in-law was sent as a peace envoy to Channen, the capital of the mysterious domain of Mellynne, and disappeared. Bannan fears that his sister, the fiery Lila, has gone in search of her husband. The law forbids Bannan from leaving Marrowdell and traveling to Mellynne to help his sister. As a turn-born, Jenn Nalynn has the power to cross into the magical realm of the Verge, and take Bannan with her. There, they could find a way into Mellynne. The Verge is wild and deadly, alive with strange magic. Dragons roar and kruar wait in ambush, and the powerful turn-born who tend their world do not care for Jenn Nalynn. Their friends Wisp and Scourge offer their help. Channen is rife with magic, magic that flows from the Verge itself. Not even a turn-born will be safe there.
In The Dame, Bransen Garibond, the Highwayman, believes that the two warring lairds are two sides of the same coin. He soon learns that view is simplistic at best. Bransen’s road becomes a quest for the truth, of Honce and of himself, a quest to put right over wrong. In The Bear, the war of Honce drags on, and Bransen rejoins his solo quest to extricate himself from the selfish goals of all combatants. In an odd twist of fate and crossed loyalties, Bransen sees in his old nemesis, Bannagran, the Bear of Honce and the man who slew his adoptive father, a darker image of his own heart. Allies and battle lines become tangled, motives indistinguishable as old friends become enemies, and old enemies become allies. The Highwayman comes full circle to learn the truth of his journey and the responsibilities of his great power.
In exchange for help escaping her wrongful imprisonment, magical healer Blackthorn has vowed to set aside her bid for vengeance against the man who destroyed all that she once held dear. Followed by a former prison mate named Grim, she travels north to Dalriada. Oran, crown prince of Dalriada, has waited anxiously for the arrival of his future bride, Lady Flidais. He knows her only from a portrait and sweetly poetic correspondence. Oran discovers letters can lie. Although his intended exactly resembles her portrait, her brutality proves she is nothing like the sensitive woman of the letters. Oran sees no way out of his dilemma. Word has spread that Blackthorn possesses a gift for solving problems. The prince asks her for help. Blackthorn and Grim will need all their resources: courage, ingenuity, leaps of deduction, and more than a little magic.
Young Adult. Cast out of her family three years ago, Mara turned to the only place that would take her, a school where students train to protect others. But Mara is stunned when guarding a noble girl in the Empire’s capital turns out to be more dangerous than she could’ve imagined. More shocking still, she finds the boy she thought she had lost forever outside the gates of her new home. Mara knew her life in the dizzying Imperial city would hold dangers. How could she have known that her heart, as well as her life, would be at stake?
For two hundred years, Jala’s people have survived by raiding the mainland. By shaping the reefs around the Five-and-One Islands into magical ships, they can cross the ocean, take what they want, and disappear. On the night after Jala becomes queen, a tide of magical fog sweeps over the islands, carrying ships form the mainland. Inside are a desperate people, driven half-mad by sorcery and looking for revenge. Now Jala, caught between her family’s unending ambitions, the politics of the islands thrown into turmoil, and her unexpected love for the king, must find a way to save them all if she can. There are greater powers at work, and the politics of gods are more terrifying than she could have imagined. To save the Five-and-One Islands she may have to leave them behind.
Thrown into exile on Kerith, the Vaelinars have used their own talents to gain power over the races native to this world, and to create magical Ways that remold Kerith forever. The Vaelinars stand at a dangerous threshold as old and new betrayals threaten the destinies of the peoples of two worlds. Two star-crossed lovers, the half-breed Sevryn and the orphaned, goddess-touched Vaelinar, Rivergrace, must escape the fury of a desperate ruler. The Warrior Queen Lariel, having accidentally revealed to Sevryn the forbidden powers that gained her the throne, has begun a vicious manhunt to destroy him. Sevryn is charged with finding the King of Assassins. Only Rivergrace has any hope of discovering the means to save both Sevryn and the world she loves.
Anthology of high fantasy stories from David Farland (Runelords), Seanan McGuire (October Daye), Larry Correia, John Helfers, Annie Bellett, Sarah A. Hoyt, Joseph Zieja, Wendy N. Wagner, Gray Rinehart, Cat Rambo, Robin Wayne Bailey (Frost), Nancy Fulda, John R. Fultz, Dave Gross, James L. Sutter, Glen Cook (Black Company), and Elizabeth Moon (Paksenarrion).
Now well into her apprenticeship with magician Emery Thane, twenty-year-old Ceony Twill is continuing to discover the joy of paper magic. She adores bringing her spells to life in surprising ways, from learning the power of distortion to creating a beloved paper dog. She secretly hopes that the romance she foresaw blossoming between her and the strikingly handsome Emery finally becomes real. When one magician with a penchant for deadly scheming believes that Ceony possesses a secret, he vows to discover it, even if it tears apart the very fabric of their magical world. After a series of attacks target Ceony, and catch those she holds most dear in the crossfire, she knows she must find the true limits of her powers, and keep her knowledge from falling into wicked hands.
Young Adult. The riveting finale to the story of Rigg, a teenager who possesses a secret talent that allows him to see the paths of people’s pasts. In Pathfinder, Rigg joined forces with another teen with special talents on a quest to find Rigg’s sister and discover the true depth and significance of their powers. Then Rigg’s story continued in Ruins as he was tasked to decipher the paths of the past before the arrival of a destructive force with deadly intentions. Now, in Visitors, Rigg’s journey comes to an epic and explosive conclusion as everything that has been building up finally comes to pass, and Rigg is forced to put his powers to the test in order to save his world and end the war once and for all.
He is known as Muzien the Darkhand, and a night of fire and blood heralds his arrival to the beleaguered city of Veldaren. With him comes the might of the Sun Guild, its thieves and smugglers eager to spread their criminal empire to the east. Left blind and vulnerable after being attacked by the Widow, Alyssa Gemcroft struggles to hold together the remnants of the Trifect as the Sun Guild’s arrival threatens to shatter whatever future her son might have left. Veldaren’s only hope is in the Watcher, but Haern is no longer there. He travels west with his father, Thren Felhorn, whose thief guild has been crushed by the encroaching Sun Guild. Their destination: the Stronghold, an ancient bastion of the dark paladins of Karak. Haern hopes to discover a shred of something good within Thren. As much as Haern tries to change his father, will it be Thren who ends up changing him?
In the remote city of Lushan, they know that the Fey are not fireside tales, but a dangerous reality. Generations ago, the last remnants of a dying empire bargained with the Faerie Queen for a place of safety in the mountains and each year the ruler of Lushan must travel to the high plateau to pay the city’s tribute. When an unexpected misfortune means that the traditional price is not met, the Queen demands the services of Teresine, once a refugee slave and now advisor to the Sidiana. Teresine must navigate the treacherous politics of the Faerie Court. Years later, another young woman faces an unexpected decision that forces her to discover the truth of what happened to Teresine in the Faerie Court, a truth that could threaten everything she loves.
Lerial uses his mastery of Order and Chaos, the competing natural forces that shape his world and define the magic that exists within it, to utterly destroy an Afritan military force crossing into Cigoerne. Five years later, Lerial, now an overcaptain and a field commander of Cigoerne’s Mirror Lancers, must lead three companies of troops into Afrit on a mission of mutual interest: neighboring Heldya is threatening to invade Afrit, and if that nation falls, Cigoerne is certain to be next. The mission is both delicate and dangerous; Lerial’s value in the effort to repelling Heldya is undeniable, but his troubled history against Afrit may reopen old wounds that will never truly heal.
Rowan has won a battle, but not the war. With proper allies, Rowan’s armies could storm the demon stronghold, capture its ruler, and end the reign of demonkind. But while nations clash, a greater struggle lies elsewhere. In his desperate pursuit of Astaroth, Elias Bram scours the world for clues to the fiend’s true origins, identity, and purpose. His horrifying discoveries hint that not only is humanity at risk, but the earth itself. Its fate may depend upon three children. With their unmatchable skills, it’s up to Max McDaniels, David Menlo, and little Mina to tip the balance. Concludes an unforgettable series in which magic can live, gods can die, and the highest stakes require the greatest sacrifice. (Digital)
Three sisters. Motherless daughters of the high king. The eldest is the warrior-woman heir; the middle child is shy and full of witchy intuition; and the youngest, Princess Amelia, she is as beautiful as the sun and just as generous. Ami met her Prince Charming and went away to his castle on the stormy sea-cliffs. Her husband lies dead and a war rages. Her middle sister has been taken into a demon land, turned into a stranger. The priests and her father are revealing secrets and telling lies. Apower is rising in Ami, too, a power she hardly recognizes, to wield her beauty as a weapon, and her charm as a tool to deceive. The chess game for the Twelve Kingdoms has swept her up in it, and she must make a gambit of her own. Can the prettiest princess become a pawn, or a queen?
Humanity has been brought to the brink of extinction. Each night, the world is overrun by demons, bloodthirsty creatures of nightmare that have been hunting the surface for over 300 years. A few hamlets and city-states are all that remain of a once proud civilization. A handful of Messengers brave the night to keep the lines of communication open between the increasingly isolated populace. Briar Damaj is a boy of six in the small village of Bogton. Half Krasian, the village children call him Mudboy for his dark skin. Briar decides the town is better off without him, fleeing into the bog. Ragen Messenger has agreed to retire and pass on his route to his protégé, Arlen Bales. He has no idea what to do with the rest of his life. When he learns Briar, the son of an old friend, is missing, Ragen is willing to risk any danger to bring him safely home.
Young Adult. Prince Aspen and midwife’s apprentice Snail tried to prevent the Seelie War by making a perilous journey to Aspen’s father’s kingdom. Their journey started the war instead. Chased by two armies, Aspen and Snail find refuge with the actors of Professor Odds’ traveling troupe, dodging soldiers, Border Lord berserkers, a hungry troll, and assorted dwarfs, drows, lycants, boggles, and a cloaked spy. Will they make it out? Is any place safe for the two of them? And who, exactly, is the mysterious Professor Odds, who seems to have his own hidden powers and agenda?