Fiction Affliction: October Releases in Fantasy

Thirty-two new fantasies embark on epic quests in October, including series additions from Howard Andrew Jones (Pathfinder Tales), Mercedes Lackey (Valdemar: The Herald Spy), Kameron Hurley (Worldbreaker Saga), Brandon Sanderson (Mistborn), Elizabeth Bear and Sarah Monette (Iskryne World), Drew Karpyshyn (The Chaos Born), M.C. Planck (World of Prime), and Orson Scott Card (Mither Mages).

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

Pale Queen Rising (Pale Queen Series #1)A.R. Kahler, (October 1, 47North)

As the royal assassin, Claire is used to moving between the mortal world and the Winter Kingdom. When the queen commands her to kill, Claire does the job. Her deadly skills and loyalty are soon tested when Claire is sent to the Immortal Circus, one of the many places where “Dream” is harvested from the imaginings of mortals. There she must find the culprit who is causing Dream to mysteriously disappear before the Winter Kingdom’s supply is depleted enough to threaten its very survival. When she meets Roxie, a beautiful mortal singer with a strange link to the Dream thieves, Claire quickly recognizes an odd and unexplained connection that may cloud her judgment. Claire finds herself confronting the riddle of her own buried past, and a dangerous illusion that, as part of the Immortal Circus, is just another act in the show.

A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms (The Tales of Dunk and Egg #1-3)George R.R. Martin, (October 6, Bantam)

Taking place nearly a century before the events of A Game of Thrones, A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms compiles the first three official prequel novellas to A Song of Ice and Fire. These never-before-collected adventures recount an age when the Targaryen line still holds the Iron Throne, and the memory of the last dragon has not yet passed from living consciousness. Before Tyrion Lannister and Podrick Payne, there was Dunk and Egg. A young, naïve but ultimately courageous hedge knight, Ser Duncan the Tall towers above his rivals, in stature if not experience. Tagging along is his diminutive squire, a boy called Egg, whose true name (hidden from all he and Dunk encounter) is Aegon Targaryen. Great destinies lay ahead for these two, as do powerful foes, royal intrigue, and outrageous exploits. (U.S. Release)

An Inheritance of AshesLeah Bobet, (October 6, Clarion)

Young Adult. The strange war down south, with its rumors of gods and monsters, is over. And while sixteen-year-old Hallie and her sister wait to see who will return from the distant battlefield, they struggle to maintain their family farm. When Hallie hires a veteran to help them, the war comes home in ways no one could have imagined, and soon Hallie is taking dangerous risks, and keeping desperate secrets. But even as she slowly learns more about the war and the men who fought it, ugly truths about Hallie’s own family are emerging. And while monsters and armies are converging on the small farm, the greatest threat to her home may be Hallie herself.

Beyond the Pool of Stars (Pathfinder Tales #29)—by Howard Andrew Jones, (October 6, Tor)

Mirian Raas comes from a long line of salvagers, adventurers who use magic to dive for sunken ships off the coast of tropical Sargava. When her father dies, Mirian has to take over his last job: a dangerous expedition into deep jungle pools, helping a tribe of lizardfolk reclaim the lost treasures of their people. Yet this isn’t any ordinary job, as the same colonial government that looks down on Mirian for her half-native heritage has an interest in the treasure, and the survival of the entire nation may depend on the outcome.

Closer to the Heart (Valdemar: The Herald Spy #2)Mercedes Lackey, (October 6, DAW)

Mags was a Herald of Valdemar. But he had once lived the brutal life of a child slave. When he was Chosen by his Companion Dallen, his young life was saved, and he slowly adjusted to being well fed, educated, and treasured as a trainee in the Herald’s Collegium at Haven. Singled out by the King’s Own Herald, Mags would thrive in his secret training as a spy. His unusually strong Gift, an ability to Mindspeak and Mindhear anyone, not just others who were Gifted, made him a perfect undercover agent for the king.

Empire Ascendant (Worldbreaker Saga #2)Kameron Hurley, (October 6, Angry Robot)

Every two thousand years, the dark star Oma appears in the night sky, bringing with it a tide of death and destruction. Tattered rifts open between worlds; great empires are born, and mighty rulers die. Whole nations succumb to madness. The kingdom of Saiduan already lies in ruin, decimated by invaders from another world who share the faces of those they seek to destroy. Now the nation of Dhai is under siege by the same force. Their only hope for survival lies in the hands of an illegitimate ruler warring with his consort and former lover for control of the nation’s allegiance. As the foreign Empire spreads across the world like a disease, one of their former allies takes up her own Empress’s sword again to unseat them, and two enslaved scholars begin a treacherous journey home with what they hope is the key to the Empire’s undoing. But when the enemy you must overcome shares your own face, who can be trusted?

Shadows of Self (Mistborn #5)Brandon Sanderson, (October 6, Tor)

Shows Mistborn’s society evolving as technology and magic mix, the economy grows, democracy contends with corruption, and religion becomes a growing cultural force, with four faiths competing for converts. This bustling, optimistic, but still shaky society now faces its first instance of terrorism, crimes intended to stir up labor strife and religious conflict. Wax and Wayne, assisted by the lovely, brilliant Marasi, must unravel the conspiracy before civil strife stops Scadrial’s progress in its tracks.

Swords and Scoundrels (Duelist’s Trilogy #1)Julia Knight, (October 6, Orbit)

Vocho and Kacha are champion duelists: a brother and sister known for the finest swordplay in the city of Reyes. Or at least they used to be, until they were thrown out of the Duelist’s Guild. As a last resort, they turn reluctant highwaymen. But when they pick the wrong carriage to rob, their simple plans to win back fame and fortune go south fast. After barely besting three armed men and a powerful magician, Vocho and Kacha make off with an immense locked chest. But the contents will bring them much more than they’ve bargained for when they find themselves embroiled in a dangerous plot to return an angry king to power.

The Last WitnessK.J. Parker, (October 6, Tor.com)

When you need a memory to be wiped, call me. Transferring unwanted memories to my own mind is the only form of magic I’ve ever mastered. But now, I’m holding so many memories I’m not always sure which ones are actually mine, any more. Some of them are sensitive; all of them are private. And there are those who are willing to kill to access the secrets I’m trying to bury.

The Sword of Summer (Magnus Chase and the Gods of Asgard #1)Rick Riordan, (October 6, Disney Hyperion)

Young Adult/Middle Grade. Magnus Chase has always been a troubled kid. Since his mother’s mysterious death, he’s lived alone on the streets of Boston, surviving by his wits, keeping one step ahead of the police and the truant officers. One day, he’s tracked down by a man he’s never met, a man his mother claimed was dangerous. The man tells him an impossible secret: Magnus is the son of a Norse god. The Viking myths are true. The gods of Asgard are preparing for war. Trolls, giants and worse monsters are stirring for doomsday. To prevent Ragnarok, Magnus must search the Nine Worlds for a weapon that has been lost for thousands of years. When an attack by fire giants forces him to choose between his own safety and the lives of hundreds of innocents, Magnus makes a fatal decision. Sometimes, the only way to start a new life is to die.

The White Rose (The Lone City #2)Amy Ewing, (October 6, HarperTeen)

Young Adult. Violet is on the run. After the Duchess of the Lake catches Violet with Ash, the hired companion at the Palace of the Lake, Violet has no choice but to escape the Jewel or face certain death. So along with Ash and her best friend, Raven, Violet runs away from her unbearable life of servitude. But no one said leaving the Jewel would be easy. As they make their way through the circles of the Lone City, Regimentals track their every move, and the trio barely manages to make it out unscathed and into the safe haven they were promised, a mysterious house in the Farm. But there’s a rebellion brewing, and Violet has found herself in the middle of it. Alongside a new ally, Violet discovers her Auguries are much more powerful than she ever imagined. But is she strong enough to rise up against the Jewel and everything she has ever known?

Kingmaker: A Tor.Com OriginalLindsay Smith, (October 7, Tor)

Vera is a spy for the Barstadt Empire, a powerful country with a rigid class structure and a seedy underbelly. Her mission is to weed out the corruption that holds this society together, but for Vera it’s not political, it’s personal. And her next mission is anything but routine, as long as she’s not blinded by revenge and can see that in the shadows of Barstadt City, things are seldom what they seem. (Digital)

 

WEEK TWO

An Apprentice to Elves (Iskryne World #3)Elizabeth Bear and Sarah Monette, (October 13, Tor)

This novel picks up the story of Alfgyfa, a young woman who has been raised in the Wolfhall by her father, Isolfr. The warrior culture of Iskryne forbids many things to women, and most especially it forbids them bonding to one of the giant telepathic trelwolves. But as her father was no ordinary boy, Alfgyfa is no ordinary girl. Her father has long planned to send his daughter to Tin, a matriarch among the elves who live nearby, to be both apprentice and ambassador, and now she is of age to go.

Chaos Unleashed (The Chaos Born #3)Drew Karpyshyn, (October 13, Del Rey)

Four unlikely champions, each touched with Chaos magic at birth, are all that can stop the return of Daemron the Slayer, a hero who became a god, and then a demon. Exiled by the Old Gods, Daemron has long plotted his vengeful return. Now that moment is at hand, as the barrier imprisoning him, the Legacy, crumbles. Armed with mighty Talismans, the four champions, Keegan, a wizard beset with self-doubt; Cassandra, a seer terrified by her own future; Scythe, a peerless warrior whose only weak spot is a broken heart; and Vaaler, a prince without a kingdom, seek the Keystone, a fabled place where, or so it is said, the Legacy can be restored. But the plots of the Slayer are cunning and deep, and even the most noble heart can be twisted by the tainted magic of Chaos, as Keegan, Cassandra, Scythe, and Vaaler will soon discover. (U.S.)

Dark Tide (Waterfire Saga #3)Jennifer Donnelly, (October 13, Disney-Hyperion)

Young Adult. Once a lost and confused princess, Serafina is now a confident leader of the Black Fin Resistance (BFR). While she works on sabotaging her enemy and enlisting allies for battle, her friends face challenges of their own. Ling is in the hold of Rafe Mfeme’s giant trawler, on her way to a prison camp. Becca meets up with Astrid and learns why the Ondalinian mermaid is always so angry: she is hiding a shameful secret. Ava can’t return home, because death riders await her arrival. And it is getting more and more difficult for Mahdi, Serafina’s betrothed, to keep up the ruse that he is in love with Lucia Volerno. If Lucia’s parents become suspicious, his life, and all of Sera’s hopes, will be extinguished. Political intrigue, dangerous liaisons, and spine-tingling suspense swirl like a maelstrom in this penultimate book in the WaterFire saga.

Gold Throne in Shadow (World of Prime #2)M.C. Planck, (October 13, Pyr)

Christopher, raised from the dead and promoted to a moderate rank, takes command of the army regiment he trained and equipped. Sent south to an allegedly easy posting, he finds himself in the way of several thousand rabid dog-men. Guns and fortifications turn back the horde, but Christopher has other problems that cannot be solved with mere firepower: a wicked assassin; hostile clergymen; dubious allies including a bard, Lalania, with a connection to a mysterious group of scholars; and worst of all his own impolitic tongue. But all of these pale into mere distractions once he discovers the true enemy: an invisible, mind-eating horror who plays the kingdom like a puppet-master’s stage. Lalania claims she can help, but will it be enough?

Ice Like Fire (Snow Like Ashes #2)Sara Raasch, (October 13, Balzer + Bray)

Young Adult. It’s been three months since the Winterians were freed and Spring’s king, Angra, disappeared, thanks largely to the help of Cordell. Meira just wants her people to be safe. When Cordellan debt forces the Winterians to dig their mines for payment, they unearth something powerful and possibly dangerous: Primoria’s lost chasm of magic. Theron sees this find as an opportunity. Meira fears the danger the chasm poses. When the king of Cordell orders the two on a mission across the kingdoms of Primoria to discover the chasm’s secrets, Meira plans to use the trip to garner support to keep the chasm shut and Winter safe. Mather just wants to be free. He decides to take Winter’s security into his own hands. As the web of power and deception weaves tighter, Theron fights for magic, Mather fights for freedom, and Meira starts to wonder if she should be fighting not just for Winter, but for the world.

Ruin (The Faithful and the Fallen #3)John Gwynne, (October 13, Orbit)

The cunning Queen Rhin has conquered the west and High King Nathair has the cauldron, most powerful of the seven treasures. At his back stands the scheming Calidus and a warband of the Kadoshim, dread demons of the Otherworld. They plan to bring Asroth and his host of the Fallen into the world of flesh, but to do so they need the seven treasures. Nathair has been deceived but now he knows the truth. Resistance is growing, Queen Edana finds allies in the swamps of Ardan. Maquin is loose in Tenebral, hunted by Lykos and his corsairs. Corban has been swept along by the tide of war. With a disparate band gathered about him, he begins the journey to Drassil, the fortress in the heart of Forn Forest. In Drassil lies the spear of Skald, one of the seven treasures, and here it is prophesied that the Bright Star will stand against the Black Sun. (U.S. Release)

SandRider (TodHunter Moon #2)Angie Sage, (October 13, Katherine Tegen)

Young Adult. In PathFinder, readers journeyed with Alice TodHunter Moon, a young PathFinder who found her way to the Castle seven years after the events of the original Septimus Heap series. Now it’s two months later and Alice is settled into her new life in the Castle. Being Apprentice to ExtraOrdinary Wizard Septimus Heap is tricky, there’s loads of new Magyk to learn, but at least she’s mastered the Unseen charm. She’s lucky she has, too, that Unseen will come in handy when she sets out with friends Oskar and Ferdie on a perilous journey to retrieve the Egg of the Orm from the Desert of the Singing Sands. If they don’t reach the Egg before it hatches, the new baby Orm could imprint on the evil sorcerer Oraton-Marr, giving him unlimited Magyk to do with what he wishes.

The Bestiary—edited by Ann VanderMeer, (October 13, Centipede Press)

A modern bestiary of made-up fantastical creatures organized from A to Z, along with an ampersand and an invisible letter, featuring some of the best and most respected fantasists from around the world, including Karen Lord, Dexter Palmer, Brian Evenson, China Mieville, Felix Gilman, Catherynne M. Valente, Rikki Ducornet, Karin Lowachee and many more.

The Immortal Heights (The Elemental Trilogy #3)Sherry Thomas, (October 13, Balzer + Bray)

Young Adult. Iolanthe, Titus, and their friends have always managed to remain one step ahead of the forces of Atlantis. But now the Bane, the monstrous tyrant who bestrides the entire mage world, has issued his ultimatum: Titus must hand over Iolanthe, or watch as his entire realm is destroyed in a deadly rampage. Running out of time and options, Iolanthe and Titus must act decisively to deliver a final blow to the Bane, ending his reign of terror for good. However, getting to the Bane means accomplishing the impossible, finding a way to infiltrate his crypt in the deepest recesses of the most ferociously guarded fortress in Atlantis. And everything is only made more difficult when new prophecies come to light, foretelling a doomed effort. Iolanthe and Titus will put their love and their lives on the line. But will it be enough?

The King’s Justice: Two NovellasStephen R. Donaldson, (October 13, G.P. Putnam’s Sons)

In The King’s Justice, a stranger dressed in black arrives in the village of Settle’s Crossways, following the scent of a terrible crime. He even calls himself “Black,” though almost certainly that is not his name. The people of the village discover that they have a surprising urge to cooperate with this stranger. This gift will not save him as he discovers the nature of the evil concealed in Settle’s Crossways. The Augur’s Gambit is a daring plan created by Mayhew Gordian, Hieronomer to the Queen of Indemnie, a plan to save his Queen and his country. Gordian is a reader of entrails. In the bodies of chickens, lambs, piglets, and one stillborn infant he sees the same message: the island nation of Indemnie is doomed. The “Augur’s Gambit” is his mad attempt to save a kingdom.

The Rose Society (The Young Elites #2)Marie Lu, (October 13, G.P. Putnam’s Sons BYR)

Young Adult. Adelina Amouteru’s heart has suffered at the hands of both family and friends, turning her down the bitter path of revenge. Now known and feared as the White Wolf, she and her sister flee Kenettra to find other Young Elites in the hopes of building her own army of allies. Her goal: to strike down the Inquisition Axis, the white-cloaked soldiers that murdered her love, the Crown Prince Enzo Valenciano. But Adelina is no heroine. Her powers, fed only by fear and hate, have started to grow beyond her control. She does not trust her newfound Elite friends. Teren Santoro, leader of the Inquisition, wants her dead. And her former friends, Raffaele and the Dagger Society, want to stop her thirst for vengeance. Adelina struggles to cling to the good within her. But how can someone be good, when her very existence depends on darkness?

The Two of Swords: Part NineK.J. Parker, (October 13, Orbit)

A soldier with a gift for archery. A woman who kills without care. Two brothers, both unbeatable generals, now fighting for opposing armies. No one in the vast and once glorious United Empire remains untouched by the rift between East and West, and the war has been fought for as long as anyone can remember. Some still survive who know how it was started, but no one knows how it will end. This serial novel is the story of a war on a grand scale, told through the eyes of its soldiers, politicians, victims and heroes. (Digital)

Yamada Monogatari: The War God’s SonRichard Parks, (October 13, Prime Books)

The Abe clan and its allies are in full rebellion. When the Emperor’s greatest military leader, Yoshii, is targeted for assassination by magic, it is up to the newly sober Lord Yamada and his exorcist associate Kenji to keep the young man alive long enough to put down the uprising before the entire country is consumed by war. Yamada knows how to deal with demons, monsters, and angry ghosts, but the greatest threat of all is one final assassin, hidden in a place where no one, especially Lord Yamada, would ever think to look.

 

WEEK THREE

Gatefather (Mither Mages #3)Orson Scott Card, (October 20, Tor)

Danny North is the first Gate Mage to be born on Earth in nearly 2,000 years, or at least the first to survive to claim his power. Families of Westil in exile on Earth have had a treaty that required the death of any suspected Gate Mage. A Gate Mage, one who could build a Great Gate back to Westil, would give his own Family a terrible advantage over all the others, and reignite the wars. So they all had to die. And if the Families didn’t kill them, the Gate Thief would, that mysterious Mage who destroyed every Great Gate, and the Gate Mage, before it could be opened between Earth and Westil. But Danny survived. And Danny battled the Gate Thief, and won. What he didn’t know at the time was that the Gate Thief had a very good reason for closing the Great Gates, and Danny has now fallen into the power of that great enemy of both Earth and Westil.

The Dread Wyrm (The Traitor Son Cycle #3)Miles Cameron, (October 20, Orbit)

The Red Knight has stood against soldiers, armies and the might of an empire without flinching. He’s fought on real and magical battlefields alike, and now he’s facing one of the greatest challenges yet. A tournament. A joyous spring event, the flower of the nobility will ride against each other for royal favor and acclaim. It’s a political contest, one which the Red Knight has the skill to win. But the stakes may be higher than he thinks. The court of Alba has been infiltrated by a dangerous faction of warlike knights, led by the greatest knight in the world: Jean de Vrailly, and the prize he’s fighting for isn’t royal favor, but the throne of Alba itself.

Time of the Dragons: The Indigo King; The Shadow Dragons (The Age of Dragons #2)James A. Owen, (October 20, Saga)

Omnibus. John and Jack, two of the Caretakers of the Imaginarium Geographica, have discovered a plea for help on an ancient medieval parchment, it is not only addressed to them, but seems to have been written by their friend, Hugo Dyson. Yet before they can discover the origin of the strange book, Hugo walks through a door in time, and vanishes into the past. The only hope to restore the proper order of things lies in a forgotten island at the edge of the Archipelago, where a time travel device left by Jules Verne must be used to race through history itself. Together with a new enemy, the Imperial Cartological Society, the Shadow King may be unstoppable. The only hope may in the Grail Child, Rose Dyson, and her companions’ desperate quest to find the only weapon capable of defeating their enemies and the Spear: the broken sword Caliburn.

 

WEEK FOUR

Charmed DeceptionEilis O’Neal, (October 27, Egmont USA)

Young Adult. Sable is the daughter of a talented and powerful wizard in a land where women are not allowed to use, or even possess, magic on pain of imprisonment or even death. Late one night, she sees a ghostly figure, a beautiful girl her own age. But the girl is not a ghost, she has been locked away for possessing a powerful and unusual magic, a magic so extraordinary that she can send her image hundreds of miles away to find someone who can see her. This girl needs help desperately, but how can Sable aid her without risking her position, her safety, and her life?

Son of the Black Sword (Saga of the Forgotten Warrior #1)Larry Correia, (October 27, Baen)

After the War of the Gods, the demons were cast out and fell to the world. Mankind was nearly eradicated by the seemingly unstoppable beasts, until the gods sent the great hero, Ramrowan, to save them. He united the tribes, gave them magic, and drove the demons into the sea. Yet as centuries passed, Gods and demons became myth and legend, and the people no longer believed. The Age of Law began. Ashok Vadal has been chosen by an ancient weapon to be its bearer. He is a Protector, the elite militant order of roving law enforcers. No one is more merciless in rooting out those who secretly practice the old ways. Everything is black or white, good or evil, until he discovers his entire life is a fraud. Ashok isn’t who he thinks he is, and when he finds himself on the wrong side of the law, the consequences lead to rebellion, war, and destruction.

The Paladin Caper (Rogues of the Republic #3)Patrick Weekes, (October 27, 47North)

Loch and her crew are determined to stop the ancients from returning to reclaim the world they once ruled, but a kidnapped friend throws their plans awry. When a desperate rescue turns into a shocking reunion, the ancients return and seize power. Determined to stop them, Loch and the crew look for a way to close the gate to the ancients’ world, but this time, they find themselves up against an enemy that has insinuated itself into the highest ranks of the Republic. Cruel, cunning, and connected, the ancients target the crew’s families and histories, threatening to tear friendships apart. Loch must deal with her treacherous assassin sister, her turncoat ancient friend, and a daemon who has sworn to hunt her to the ends of the earth. In order to save the Republic and pull off her largest con ever, Loch will need her friends, and maybe her enemies too.

The Void of Muirwood (Covenant of Muirwood #3)Jeff Wheeler, (October 27, 47North)

When banished Princess Maia is captured by her father and threatened with execution, it appears that all is lost, until the people rise in rebellion against their king. The cast-aside royal finds herself crowned the first Queen of Comoros. But enemies appear on all sides. Her father’s conniving supporters assemble an army against the fledgling ruler. Maia rushes to form historical alliances with her neighboring kingdoms against an impending invasion of the Naestors, led by the cruel Corriveaux, who will destroy anyone Maia loves in order to ruin her kingdom and prevent the mastons from regaining power. When she discovers an adversary greater than she’s ever known, she must use all the magic, strength, and wisdom gained from her life’s trials to prevent the Void that would bring destruction to herself, her true love, and the entire kingdom.

Suzanne Johnson is the author of the Sentinels of New Orleans urban fantasy series, with a new novella this month in the anthology Dark Secrets. You can find Suzanne on Facebook and on her website.

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