Fiction Affliction: January Releases in Fantasy

Fourteen new fantasies hit the shelves kick off the new year in otherworldly realms, including series additions from, among others, Lynn Kurland (Nine Kingdoms), A.G. Howard (Splintered), Barb Hendee and J.C. Hendee (Noble Dead), Jon F. Merz (Shadow Warrior Saga), and Brian Staveley (Chronicle of the Unhewn Throne).

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.

WEEK ONE

Dreamer’s Daughter (Nine Kingdoms #9)—Lynn Kurland (January 6, Berkley)

Aisling of Bruadair’s quest to restore her country’s rightful rulers to their throne has been long and difficult. After a lifetime of lies, she’s confronted with an unexpected truth: Bruadair’s salvation may lie within her. The path to harnessing her newly discovered magical gifts threatens to lead her back through a past that may spell her death. With his own magic restored, Rùnach of Ceangail has come to terms with the fact that the simple life he once coveted is no longer an option. He is determined to help Aisling fulfill her quest. Once they reach Bruadair, Rùnach and Aisling discover that nothing is as it seems, and they must accept their past and also embrace their destiny, before the enemies drawing near succeed in extinguishing all the light in the world.

Ensnared (Splintered #3)—A.G. Howard (January 6, Amulet)

After surviving a disastrous battle at prom, Alyssa has embraced her madness and gained perspective. She’s determined to rescue her two worlds and the people and netherlings she loves. Even if it means challenging Queen Red to a final battle of wills and wiles… and even if the only way to Wonderland is through the looking-glass world, a parallel dimension filled with mutated and sadistic netherling outcasts. Alyssa and her dad journey into the heart of magic and mayhem in search of her mom and to set right all that’s gone wrong. Together with Jeb and Morpheus, they must salvage Wonderland from the decay and destruction that has ensnared it. Even if everyone succeeds and comes out alive, can they all truly have their happily ever after?

First and Last Sorcerer (Noble Dead #10)—Barb & J.C. Hendee (January 6, Roc)

Waylaid in their quest for the orb of the Air, Magiere, Leesil, Chap, and Wayfarer have all been wrongly imprisoned. But it is Magiere, the dhampir, who suffers the most as a cloaked interrogator employs telepathic torture. Arriving at the Suman port city in search of Magiere, Wynn Hygeorht and her companions, including vampire Chane Andraso, seek out Domin Ghassan il’Sänke for assistance, which proves no easy task. The domin is embroiled in a secret hunt for a spectral undead with the power to invade anyone living and take the body as its host. Even if Wynn can manage to free her friends from prison, battling this entirely new kind of undead hidden inside host bodies may be a challenge none of them can survive.

Iron Axe (The Books of Blood and Iron #1)—Steven Harper (January 6, Roc)

Although Danr’s mother was human, his father was one of the hated Stane, a troll from the mountains. Now Danr has nothing to look forward to but a life of disapproval and mistrust, answering to “Trollboy” and condemned to hard labor on a farm. Until, without warning, strange creatures come down from the mountains to attack the village. Spirits walk the land, terrifying the living. Trolls creep out from under the mountain, provoking war with the elves. And Death herself calls upon Danr to set things right. At Death’s insistence, Danr heads out to find the Iron Axe, the weapon that sundered the continent a thousand years ago. Together with unlikely companions, Danr will brave fantastic and dangerous creatures to find a weapon that could save the world, or destroy it.

Return to Honor (Powder Mage)—Brian McClellan (January 6, Orbit)

Captain Vlora is a powder mage in the Adran army. Once the favored, adopted daughter of the field marshal, she is now a pariah among those she called her family. Her superior officers would like nothing more than to send her to a far off posting and forget about her, but no one is exempt when there is a war, and powder mages are desperately needed. When a traitorous guard captain goes on the run with information that could harm the war effort, Vlora is sent on his trail. She has three days to find him; she will have to make new friends and test the limits of her skills. Fail, and good soldiers will die. Succeed and maybe, just maybe, she can begin to work her way back into the field marshal’s good graces. (Digital)

Slavers of the Savage Catacombs (Shadow Warrior Saga #2)—Jon F. Merz (January 6, Baen)

A young ninja in an Asian-flavored fantasyland of dreams and nightmares must save a beautiful captive. When Ran, the Shadow Warrior, is dispatched to investigate rumors of an invasion massing to the north, he signs on as protection for a trade caravan. But once underway, the caravan is attacked by an overwhelming force of slavers who take Ran and several others captive. Dragged into the bowels of the earth as slave labor for a despot-in-exile eager to reclaim his throne, Ran must make a desperate escape with his friends if he has any hope of uncovering the truth about the invasion above ground. But there’s more at play than a mere power struggle in the catacombs, and the earth does not give up its secrets easily, even for Ran, the Shadow Warrior.

The Burning Horizon (Seekers: Return to the Wild #5)—Erin Hunter (January 6, HarperCollins)

After helping Toklo establish his own territory in the mountains, Kallik, Yakone, and Lusa were prepared to bid him good-bye. But Toklo has put his new life on hold, promising to see their journey through, and find Lusa a home among other black bears. The four bears will have to move quickly in order to reach Great Bear Lake in time for the Longest Day Gathering. But when they stumble across an area packed with flat-faces, Lusa is separated from the group, and they must turn their efforts from travel to rescue. Injured and in flat-face captivity, Lusa is caught up in memories of her time in the Bear Bowl. Lusa knows she is a wild bear now. But even if she can make her way back to the others, will she ever find a place where she truly belongs?

 

WEEK TWO

The Dagger’s Path (The Forsaken Lands #2)—Glenda Larke (January 13, Orbit)

It should have been easy, return the stolen feather and restore Ardhi back to his rightful place. But when Saker, Ardhi, Sorrel, and Piper arrive to find the island in chaos, returning just the one feather will not help, not when the other three have mysteriously disappeared as well. As Saker and Ardhi work to mend the distrust caused by Ardhi’s betrayal and attempt to retrieve the other feathers, they slowly find a sort of peace with the islanders. That is, until Saker realizes they unintentionally led the Spice traders straight to the sacred island they were hoping to protect. Now Saker must fight with both the Va witchery and Chenderawasi magic to defend everything that Ardhi holds dear. But Saker’s powers are very new, and their enemies have them surrounded.

The Providence of Fire (Chronicle of the Unhewn Throne #2)—Brian Staveley (January 13, Tor)

The conspiracy to destroy the ruling family of the Annurian Empire is far from over. Adare flees the Dawn Palace in search of allies to challenge the coup against her family. When she is believed to be touched by Intarra, patron goddess of the empire, the people rally to help her retake the capital city. Adare’s brother Valyn, renegade member of the empire’s most elite fighting force, has allied with the invading nomads. The terrible choices each of them has made may make war between them inevitable. Between Valyn and Adare is their brother Kaden, rightful heir to the Unhewn Throne, who has infiltrated the Annurian capital with the help of two strange companions. The knowledge they possess of the secret history that shapes these events could save Annur or destroy it.

 

WEEK THREE

InkedEric Smith (January 20, Bloomsbury)

Young Adult. Tattoos once were an act of rebellion. Now they decide your destiny the moment the magical Ink settles under your skin. Caenum can’t escape soon enough. He is ready to run from his family, and his best friend Dreya, and the home he has known, just to have a chance at a choice. When he upsets the very Scribe scheduled to give him his Ink on his eighteenth birthday, he unwittingly sets in motion a series of events that sends the corrupt, magic-fearing government, The Citadel, after him and those he loves. Now Caenum, Dreya, and their reluctant companion Kenzi must find their way to the Sanctuary, a secret town where those with the gift of magic are safe. They learn the truth behind Ink, its dark origins, and why they are the only ones who can stop the Citadel. (Digital)

The Eye of the Falcon (Gods and Warriors #3)—Michelle Paver (January 22, Dial)

The eruption of the volcano has shrouded the sun in ash, and the harsh winter is never-ending. With no trace of his lost sister to be found, Hylas takes ship for Keftiu, to find Pirra and free her from captivity. But the Crows are also coming to Keftiu, led by the power-hungry Telamon. And Telamon knows what Hylas doesn’t: that in the chaos of the volcanic eruption, Pirra took the Crows’ prophesized dagger. Aided by Havoc, the lion cub, and Echo, a falcon of the Goddess, Hylas and Pirra will face the Crows once again, in a terrifying epic battle to save the land, or destroy it. (U.S. Release)

 

WEEK FOUR

Fairest (The Lunar Chronicles #3.5)—Marissa Meyer (January 27, Feiwel & Friends)

Young Adult. Queen Levana’s story is finally told. Mirror, mirror on the wall, Who is the fairest of them all? Fans of the Lunar Chronicles know Queen Levana as a ruler who uses her “glamour” to gain power. But long before she crossed paths with Cinder, Scarlet, and Cress, Levana lived a very different story, a story that has never been told, until now.

The City Stained Red (Bring Down Heaven #1)—Sam Sykes (January 27, Orbit)

Lenk and his battle-scarred companions have come to Cier’Djaal in search of Miron Evanhands, a priest who contracted them to eradicate demons, and then vanished before paying. Hunting Miron down might be tougher than even these weary adventurers can handle as two unstoppable religious armies move towards all-out war, tensions rise within the capital’s cultural melting pot, and demons begin to pour from the shadows. Khoth Kapira, the long-banished living god, has seen his chance to return and regain dominion over the world. All that prevents the city from tearing itself apart in carnage are Lenk, Kataria, a savage human-hating warrior, Denaos, a dangerous rogue, Asper, a healer priestess, Dreadaeleon, a wizard, and Gariath, one of the last of the dragonmen. (U.S. Release)

WovenMichael Jensen and David Powers King (January 27, Scholastic)

Young Adult. All his life, Nels has wanted to be a knight of the kingdom of Avërand. Tall and strong, and with a knack for helping those in need, the people of his sleepy little village have even taken to calling him the Knight of Cobblestown. That was before Nels died, murdered outside his home by a mysterious figure. Now the young hero has awoken as a ghost, invisible to all around him save one person, the kingdom’s heir, Princess Tyra. As the mystery of his death unravels, the two find themselves linked by a secret, and an enemy who could be hiding behind any face. Nels and Tyra have no choice but to abscond from the castle. They must seek out an ancient needle with the power to mend what has been torn. They have to move fast. Because soon Nels will disappear forever.


Suzanne Johnson is the author of the Sentinels of New Orleans urban fantasy series, including the upcoming book four, Pirate’s Alley. You can find Suzanne on Facebook and on her website.

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