Fiction Affliction: April Releases in Fantasy

Twenty-three new fantasies unleash their swords on bookshelves in April, with another set of Clan of the Claw novellas plus series additions from, among others, Kelley Armstrong (Age of Legends), C.J. Cherryh (Foreigner), Angus Watson (Iron Age), Melanie Rawn (Glass Thorns), Gail Z. Martin (Ascendant Kingdoms), and Kelly McCullough (Fallen Blade).

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

By Tooth and Claw (Clan of the Claw #2)—edited by Bill Fawcett (April 7, Baen)

Second entry in a series with four linked novellas from multiple best-sellers S.M. Stirling, Mercedes Lackey, Eric Flint and Jody Lynn Nye. After the extinction asteroid does not strike Earth, the dinosaurs keep evolving, but so do the mammals. We mammals have achieved humanlike shapes, but now it’s cold-blooded, magic-using reptiles against the hot-blooded, hot-tempered descendants of cats. In a heroic, Bronze Age world similar to 300, the Mrem Clans expand their rough-and-tumble territory, but now they face the Lishkash, reptilian masters of a cold-blooded empire of slave armies and magic. It’s mammalian courage and adaptation against reptile cunning in a clash of steel and will that determine who shall inherit the Earth.

Dragon ThiefS. Andrew Swann (April 7, DAW)

No description available.

Empire of Night (Age of Legends #2)Kelley Armstrong (April 7, HarperCollins)

Young Adult. Sisters Moria and Ashyn are the Keeper and Seeker of Edgewood. Or at least, they were. Their village is gone. Their friends have betrayed them. And now, the emperor has sent them on a mission to rescue the children of Edgewood, accompanied by Prince Tyrus and a small band of imperial warriors. But the journey proves more perilous than they could have imagined. With treachery and unrest mounting in the empire, Moria and Ashyn will have to draw on all their influence and power to overcome deadly enemies, not all of them human, and even avert an all-out war.

King of Ashes (The War of Five Crowns #1)Raymond E. Feist (April 7, HarperCollins)

A bitter war engulfs five Greater Realms after four brother kingdoms violate the ancient Covenant. As a Free Lord of Osean, Daylon Dumarch owes allegiance to no king. When an infant hidden in his pavilion is discovered, he knows that the child is the missing heir of the slain king of Ithrace. Daylon keeps the baby’s existence secret, sending him to be raised on the Island Kingdom of Coaltachin, the Kingdom of Night. Years later, a young man named Declan earns his Masters standing as a smith. He unlocks the secret to forging King’s Steel, This precious knowledge is also deadly, and Declan is forced to leave his home to safeguard his life. Landing in Lord Daylon’s provinces, he hopes to start anew. Two young men, the rightful heir to a throne and an exiled smith, will discover their fates entwined.

The Grace of Kings (The Dandelion Dynasty #1)Ken Liu (April 7, Saga Press)

Wily, charming Kuni Garu, a bandit, and stern, fearless Mata Zyndu, the son of a deposed duke, seem like polar opposites. Yet, in the uprising against the emperor, the two quickly become the best of friends after a series of adventures fighting against vast conscripted armies, silk-draped airships, soaring battle kites, conspiring goddesses, underwater boats, magical books, as a streetfighter-cum-general who takes her place as the greatest tactitian of the age. Once the emperor has been overthrown, however, they each find themselves the leader of separate factions, two sides with very different ideas about how the world should be run and the meaning of justice.

The Tower of Bones (Three Powers #2)Frank P. Ryan (April 7, Jo Fletcher)

Young Adult. The four friends, Alan, Kate, Mark and Mo have entered the enchanted but war-ravaged world of Tir, bringing hope for the oppressed peoples who live there. But Kate has been kidnapped by the Great Witch, Olc, who has imprisoned her in the Tower of Bones. Mark is lost in Dromenon, uncertain if he still lives, and Mo is still recovering from the injuries she suffered at the battle of Ossierel. Alan sets out to rescue Kate, but his every move is harassed by the Tyrant of the Watelands. Olc is luring the friends into a deadly trap, for she is resurrecting the demigod, Fangorath, an immortal and a dreadful force for malice, who is said to have ended the Age of Dragons. (U.S. Release)

The Unremembered: Author’s Definitive Edition (Vault of Heaven #1)Peter Orullian (April 7, Tor)

In addition to updates to the original text, readers will find an exclusive short story set in the world of Vault of Heaven as well as a sneak preview of the sequel and a glossary to the universe…The gods who created this world have abandoned it. They sealed the rogue god, and the monstrous creatures he created,, in the vast and inhospitable wasteland of the Bourne. The magical Veil that protected humankind for millennia has become weak and creatures of nightmare have now come through. Tahn Junell is a hunter who’s unaware of the dark forces that imperil his world, in much the same way his youth is lost to memory. An imperious man who wears the sigil of the feared Order of Sheason and a woman of the legendary Far have shared with Tahn the danger. They’ve asked him, his sister, and his friends to embark with them on a journey that will change their lives, and the world, forever. In the process, he’ll remember.

The Warring States (The Wave Trilogy #2)Aidan Harte (April 7, Jo Fletcher)

After the rout at Rasenna, Concord faces enemies on all fronts, and nobody believes that the last surviving Apprentice is equal to these crises, but Torbidda didn’t become Apprentice by letting himself be manipulated. While Sofia is struggling to understand her miraculous pregnancy, the City of Towers grows wealthy. But it’s not long before the people of Rasenna start arguing again, and as the city falls apart once more, Sofia realises she must escape Etruria to save her baby. When prophecy leads her to another cesspit of treachery, the decadent Crusader kingdom of Oltremare, Sofia begins to despair, for this time she can see no way out. (U.S. Release)

Tracker (Foreigner #16)C.J. Cherryh (April 7, DAW)

No description available.

 

WEEK TWO

The Language of Knives: A Tor.Com OriginalHaralambi Markov (April 8, Tor)

A strong-willed daughter is guided by her unloved parent in the customs of how to respect the remains of her favorite parent. (Digital)

A Crown for Cold SilverAlex Marshall (April 14, Orbit)

Twenty years ago, feared general Cobalt Zosia led her five villainous captains and mercenary army into battle, wrestling monsters and toppling an empire. When there were no more titles to win and no more worlds to conquer, she retired and gave up her legend to history. Now the peace she carved for herself has been shattered by the unprovoked slaughter of her village. Seeking bloody vengeance, Zosia heads for battle once more, but to find justice she must confront grudge-bearing enemies, once-loyal allies, and an unknown army that marches under a familiar banner.

Clash of Iron (Iron Age #2)Angus Watson (April 14, Orbit)

Iron Age warriors Dug and Lowa captured Maidun castle and freed its slaves. But now they must defend it. A Roman invasion is coming from Gaul, but rather than uniting to defend their home, the British tribes go to battle with each other, and see Maidun as an easy target. Meanwhile, Lowa’s spies infiltrate Gaul, discovering the Romans have recruited British druids. And Maidunite Ragnall finds his loyalties torn when he meets Rome’s charismatic general, Julius Caesar. War is coming. Who will pay its price?

Second Guard (Second Guard #1)J.D. Vaughn (April 14, Disney-Hyperion)

Young Adult. In the peaceful realm of Tequende, all second-born children at the age of fifteen must journey to the Alcazar to fulfill the mandate of the Oath of Guilds. There they train to earn a place among the queen’s legendary Second Guard, or work as indentured servants. Talimendra has always wanted to join the Guard, but there are dark rumors in the queendom that she may not be ready for. Rumors that whisper of greed, traitors, and war. There is very little time and too many unanswered questions, but one thing is for certain: if there is a traitor among the Second Guard, then everyone, including the queen, is in grave danger.

Window Wall (Glass Thorns #4)Melanie Rawn (April 14, Tor)

For nearly two years, Cade been rejecting his Fae gift, his prescient Elsewhens, simply refusing to see or experience them. But the strain is driving a wedge between him and his theater troupe, Touchstone, and making him erratic on stage and off. It takes his best friend Mieka to bully Cade into accepting the visions again. But when Cade finally looks into the possible futures, he sees a royal castle blowing up, though his vision does not tell him who is responsible. But he knows that if it is in his visions, he can take action to stop it from happening. And when he finally discovers the truth, he takes the knowledge to the only man in the Kingdom who would believe him: his deadly enemy the Archduke.

Desert RisingKelley Grant (April 21, Harper Voyager Impulse)

The Temple at Illian is the crown jewel of life in the Northern Territory. There, pledges are paired with feli, the giant sacred cats of the One god, and are instructed to serve the One’s four capricious deities. Yet Sulis, a young woman from the Southern Desert, has a different perspective, one that just might be considered heresy, but that is catching on rather quickly. Sulis’s twin Kadar, meanwhile, is part of a different sort of revolution. When Kadar falls in love with a woman from a Forsaken caste, he finds he’s willing to risk anything to get these people to freedom. But with Sulis drawing a dangerous level of attention from the deities, and war about to break out on two fronts, change may not come as easily as either twin had hoped. (Digital)

 

WEEK THREE

War of Shadows (Ascendant Kingdoms #3)Gail Z. Martin (April 21, Orbit)

Blaine “Mick” McFadden has scored a victory and restored the magic, but new threats rise from the wreckage of the kingdom of Donderath. While the magic remains brittle and undependable, warlords both mortal and undead vie for power, fighting for control of the ruined Continent. McFadden and his unlikely band of convict heroes must choose their allies wisely as renegade talishte take long-awaited vengeance and powerful mages seek to control Donderath’s next king. Blaine McFadden must protect those loyal to him against the coming storm, and find a way to bind magic to the will of mortals before it destroys him, because time is running out.

 

WEEK FOUR

The Pauper Prince and the Eucalyptus Jinn: A Tor.Com OriginalUsman T. Malik (April 22, Tor)

A fantasy novella about a disenchanted young Pakistani professor who grew up and lives in the United States, but is haunted by the magical, mystical tales his grandfather told him of a princess and a Jinn who lived in Lahore when the grandfather was a boy. (Digital)

The VagrantPeter Newman (April 23, Harper Voyager)

The Vagrant is his name. He has no other. Friendless and alone he walks across a desolate, war-torn landscape, carrying nothing but a kit-bag, a legendary sword and a baby. His purpose is to reach the Shining City, last bastion of the human race, and deliver the sword, the only weapon that may make a difference in the ongoing war. But the Shining City is far away and the world is a very dangerous place.

An Ember in the AshesSabaa Tahir (April 28, Razorbill)

Young Adult. LAIA is a Scholar living under the iron-fisted rule of the Martial Empire. When her brother is arrested for treason, Laia goes undercover as a slave at the empire’s greatest military academy in exchange for assistance from rebel Scholars who claim that they will help to save her brother from execution. ELIAS is the academy’s finest soldier, and secretly, its most unwilling. Elias is considering deserting the military, but before he can, he’s ordered to participate in a ruthless contest to choose the next Martial emperor. When Laia and Elias’s paths cross at the academy, they find that their destinies are more intertwined than either could have imagined and that their choices will change the future of the empire itself.

Darkened Blade (Fallen Blade #6)Kelly McCullough (April 28, Ace)

It’s been nine long years since the death of his patron, Namara, and exalted assassin Aral Kingslayer desperately misses the thrill and glory of being a higher power of justice. Now he is haunted by the ghosts of the past, and by the ghost of the lost goddess herself. When Namara calls upon Aral in a dream to seek justice for her death and the ruination of her temple, Aral must obtain the help of his fellow former Blades and his Shade familiar, Triss, to pursue the vengeance he knows Namara deserves. Even if it means attacking Heaven’s Son, and going against one of their own, in a bloody battle of epic proportions.

Deception’s Pawn (Deception’s Princess #2)Esther M. Friesner (April 28, Random House BYR)

Young Adult. Maeve, princess of Connacht, seems to have won her freedom. Her father, the High King, is finally allowing her to explore the world beyond his castle. But Maeve soon discovers that being the High King’s daughter doesn’t protect her from bullying or the attention of unwelcome suitors. Struggling to navigate a new court, she must discourage the advances of her father’s rival, who is vying with her host’s son for her hand in marriage. Maeve is a pawn trapped between these two boys. Her bold defiance will bring her to the brink of disaster, but her clever gamble may also lead to her independence. Though she faces danger and intrigue, Maeve will also discover what kind of person, and queen, she’s destined to become.

The Shattered Court (A Novel of the Four Arts #1)M.J. Scott (April 28, Roc)

The royal witches of Anglion have bowed to tradition for centuries. If a woman of royal blood manifests powers, she is immediately bound by rites of marriage. She will serve her lord by practicing the tamer magics of the earth. Lady Sophia Kendall is only days away from finding out if she will be blessed, or perhaps cursed, with magic. When an attack by Anglion’s ancient enemies leaves the kingdom in chaos, Sophia is forced to flee the court. Her protector is Lieutenant Cameron Mackenzie, a member of the royal guar. Sophia’s powers manifest stronger than she ever imagined they would, and Cameron and she are inextricably linked in the process. Sophia is not only a threat to the established order of her country, but is also a weapon for those who seek to destroy it. Faced with old secrets and new truths, she must decide if she will fight for her country or succumb to the delicious temptation of power.

Tales of the Primal LandBrian Lumley (April 30, Subterranean)

The Primal Land was in fact a primal continent, but that was so long ago, even before Uthmal and Mu, and before comparatively recent Atlantis, that a majority of today’s palaeoethnologists might never be persuaded of its existence. Now let it be known that there was in Primal Theem’hdra (the vast island continent’s name,) an hitherto unsuspected Age of Man. The Primal Land’s peoples were among the first human races. There was true, often dark magic in those times, while in our ’’enlightened’’ age we have found different names for such as Magicians. Nature has never ceased her dabbling, and now we acknowledge such words as telepathy, telekinesis, teleportation and so on almost casually, haphazardly. These then are the surviving tales, or the ’’fables’’ if you prefer, of an age of men and monsters, and of Wizards both black and white, in a time before Pangea and a world predating the dinosaurs.


Suzanne Johnson is the author of the Sentinels of New Orleans urban fantasy series, including the April 2015 release, Pirate’s Alley. You can find Suzanne on Facebook and on her website.

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