What is it, the holidays or something? Only ten new fantasies set out on epic quests in December, including series additions from A.M. Dellamonica (Hidden Sea Tales), Carol Berg (Sanctuary Duet), Steven Harper (Books of Blood and Iron), and Julia Knight (Duelists Trilogy).
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.
Sophie Hansa wanted to meet her birth parents. She and her stepbrother find themselves transported to a world made up of giant archipelagos and people who can magically alter themselves. It looked like Sophie had seen the last of the Fleet, until she finds the captain of her late aunt’s ship, Parrish Garland, waiting for her at her parents’ home. Sophie finds out that her birth mother has been imprisoned by her birth father for hiding their daughter. Sophie must return to Stormwrack to talk her father into releasing her mother. She must navigate the troubled social waters of her father’s home nation and finds herself in the middle of a conspiracy that could lead to civil war in the Fleet. Sophie, Bran, and Parrish must unravel a decades-old mystery to free Sophie’s mom and preserve the peace ensured by the nations united in the Fleet.
Ever since the Order of the Equites Cineré stole his memory, his name, and his heart, thinking about the past makes Greenshank’s head ache. After two years of training, he is almost ready to embrace the mission of the Order, to use selfless magic to heal the troubles of Navronne. But on his first assignment alone, the past comes racing back, threatening to drown him in conspiracy, grief, and murder. He is Lucian de Remeni, a sorcerer whose magical bents for portraiture and history threaten the safety of the earth and the future of the war-riven kingdom of Navronne. He just can’t remember how or why. Fighting to unravel the mysteries of his power, Lucian must trace threads of corruption that reach from the Pureblood Registry into the Order itself, the truth hidden two centuries in the past and beyond the boundaries of the world.
Ages ago, those who had the ability to change their shape lost it, leading to endless bloody battles for supremacy between the races, until one reluctant hero stepped forth to restore peace to the world. Even though Danr the half troll ended centuries of fighting, he still is not living the quiet life he longs for. Rumors have arisen that certain people are once again wielding the power of the shape. If Danr could learn to use it, he could become fully human and spend his life with his beloved, Aisa. But he is not the only one who craves the gift of changing form. Slavers have taken Danr’s friends captive, demanding the power of the shape as ransom. To obtain it, Danr must cross paths with the Fates, Death, and a giant wyrm that lives at the bottom of the ocean, before other, more dangerous parties uncover the secrets of shape changing.
In 1987, Mercedes Lackey published her first novel, Arrows of the Queen. This modest book about a magical land called Valdemar would be the beginning of a fantasy masterwork series spanning decades and including more than two dozen titles. Now the voices of other authors add their own touches to the ancient land where Heralds “Chosen” from all walks of life by magical horse-like Companions patrol their ancient kingdom, dispensing justice, facing adversaries, and protecting their monarch and country from whatever threatens. Trained rigorously by the Herald’s Collegium, these protectors each have extraordinary Gifts: Mindspeaking, FarSeeing, FarSpeaking, Empathy, Firestarting and ForeSeeing, and are bonded for life with their mysterious Companions. Travel with these astounding adventurers in these original stories.
Larsa is a dhampir, half vampire, half human. In the gritty streets and haunted moors of gothic Ustalav, she’s an agent for the royal spymaster, keeping peace between the capital’s secret vampire population and its huddled human masses. Yet when a noblewoman’s entire house is massacred by vampiric invaders, Larsa is drawn into a deadly game of cat-and-mouse that will reveal far more about her own heritage than she ever wanted to know. A dark fantasy adventure of murder, intrigue, and secrets best left buried, set in the award-winning world of the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game.
Today, He is a God. 4000 years ago, He was just a man. The hunt is on. The sinister Naga warrior has killed his friend Brahaspati and now stalks his wife Sati. Shiva, the Tibetan immigrant who is the prophesied destroyer of evil, will not rest till he finds his demonic adversary. His vengeance and the path to evil will lead him to the door of the Nagas, the serpent people. A kingdom is dying as it is held to ransom for a miracle drug. A crown prince is murdered. The Vasudevs Shivas philosopher guides betray his unquestioning faith as they take the aid of the dark side. Even the perfect empire, Meluha is riddled with a terrible secret in Maika, the city of births. Unknown to Shiva, a master puppeteer is playing a grand game. In a journey that will take him across the length and breadth of ancient India, Shiva searches for the truth in a land of deadly mysteries only to find that nothing is what it seems. (U.S.)
Game of Thrones: The Noble Houses of Westeros: Seasons 1-5—Running Press, editor (December 8, Running Press)
In the seven kingdoms of Westeros, an intricate and perilous game is being played out among its participants, the great and noble houses. Alliances are formed, wars are waged, kings are murdered, and new monarchs are crowned. Game of Thrones: The Noble Houses of Westeros Seasons 1–5 serves as a guide to the key houses as their constant struggle for power persists and as the hierarchical structure of the kingdom evolves. The book is filled with essential information including each house’s sigil, history, home, family tree, character profiles, and is fully illustrated with series photography throughout.
Explore the origin of Blaine McFadden and his allies in this short story prequel to the epic Ascendant Kingdoms Saga. Condemned to exile in an arctic prison colony for murdering his sister’s attacker, Blaine McFadden has lost everything, his title, his family and his fiancé. Velant Prison holds the worst of the kingdom’s convicts, overseen by brutal guards who are exiles themselves. When a sadistic guard takes things too far, Blaine’s insubordination makes him a target of the prison’s notorious commander. To survive, Blaine needs to rely on his wits and his fists, and a few good friends to watch his back. (Digital)
Vocho and Kacha may be known for the first swordplay in the city of Reyes, but they’ve found themselves backed into a corner too often for their liking. Finally reinstated into the Duelist’s Guild for services rendered to the prelate, who has found himself back in charge, Vocho and Kacha are tasked with bringing a prisoner to justice. But this prisoner is none other than Kacha’s old flame Egimont. The prelate wants him alive, and on their side. However the more they discover of Egimont and his dark dealings with the magician, the more Kacha’s loyalties are divided. Soon she must choose a side, the prelate or the king, her brother or her ex-lover. The fate of Reyes is balanced on a knife-edge.
Anthology. In “Goddess at the Crossroads,” Kevin Hearne shares an episode from his Iron Druid Chronicles hero Atticus O’Sullivan, revealing how one night’s encounter with the cult of Hecate served as inspiration for Shakespeare’s witches in the Scottish play. With “Ashes,” Laura Bickle revisits Detroit arson investigator and spirit medium Anya Kalinczyk as she and Hades’ Charon pursues a destructive fire elemental named the Nain Rouge. “The Death of Aiguillon” finds Aliette de Bodard exploring an episode sixty years prior to the start of her novel, The House of Shattered Wings, in which the survivors of an ongoing magical conflict in Paris eke out a grim existence, and one woman’s wish for a better life is granted at a terrible price. In “One Hundred Ablutions,” Jacqueline Carey tells the tale of Dala, a young woman chosen by her people’s overlords to be an exalted slave among slaves, and of the twining in her life of ritual, rebellion, and redemption.