Nineteen fantasies swashbuckle their way into 2016, although some of the swordspeople are quite young. Look for new fantasy this month from, among others, Brandon Sanderson (Mistborn), Margaret Weis and Tracy Hickman (Dragonships of Vindras), Barb Hendee and J.C. Hendee (Noble Dead Saga), Robert Jackson Bennett (Divine Cities), and Maria V. Snyder (Soulfinders).
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.
Young Adult. When Grubb, an orphan and runaway chimney sweep, entered the wondrous world of the Odditorium, his life changed forever. Apprenticed to the mechanical marvel’s strange proprietor, Alistair Grim, Grubb unfortunately must settle into his new position on the lam, as the whole of London is convinced that Alistair Grim is a villain bent on mass destruction. Grim has come up with a plan to expose the real villain: Prince Nightshade, a wicked necromancer who wants the Odditorium’s power source for himself. Grim, Grubb and the rest of the Odditorium’s crew embark on a perilous adventure to find the legendary sword Excalibur: the only weapon capable of penetrating Nightshade’s magical suit of armor. Unbeknownst to Grubb and the others, their fate has been written in an ancient Avalonian prophecy, a prophecy that holds the key to a destiny not even Alistair Grim could have possibly imagined.
Skylan Ivorson overcame obstacles that would have defeated a lesser man, rising from obscurity to become the Chief of Chiefs of the fearsome Vindrasi who sail their living dragonships to raid and plunder for the glory of the gods. A cruel twist of fate struck him down before he and his beloved could complete their quest for the five sacred dragonbones that would summon the great dragon Ilyrion and save their people from destruction at the hands of an evil god. Caught between life and death, he must lead those who journeyed with him to battle the evil god and the vast army of the god and his human emperor. Skylan must fight as he never has before to win back his life and his love, while seeking the last Spiritbone, the key to summoning the ultimate victory, before it can be snatched away by the forces of evil.
Young Adult. Peril has been loyal to Queen Scarlet, who used her fatal firescales to kill countless dragons in the SkyWing arena. Peril is loyal to Clay, the only dragonet who has ever been her friend. When Scarlet threatens Jade Mountain Academy, Peril sets off to find her former queen and stop her no matter what it takes. A strangely persistent SeaWing, Turtle, insists on coming along, too. Turtle is worried about his friends, who left to search for Scarlet and haven’t returned. Peril is worried that she might accidentally burn Turtle and frustrated that she keeps saying and doing the wrong things. She can’t escape her firescales, and she can’t escape her reputation as the deadliest dragon in Pyrrhia. When she’s offered a chance to trade everything for a second chance, Peril has to decide who she’s really loyal to, and whether her own scales might actually be worth saving.
For centuries the Túatha Dé Danann lived in peace on an island where time flowed more slowly and the seasons were gentle, until that peace was shattered by the arrival of invaders. The Gaels, the Children of Milesios, came looking for easy riches and conquest, following the story of an island to the west where their every desire could be granted. They had not anticipated that it would already be home to others, and against the advice of their druids, they begin to exterminate the Túatha Dé Danann. After a happy and innocent childhood, Joss was on the cusp of becoming a man when the Gaels slaughtered the kings and queens of the Túatha Dé Danann. Left without a mother and father, he must find a way to unite what is left of his people and lead them into hiding. Even broken and scattered, Joss and his people are not without strange powers.
With much relief, Magiere, Leesil, and Chap prepare to hide the last two of the powerful orbs. Once this last great task is completed, Magiere can take Leesil home to a life of peace. Then, rumors reach them that a horde of undead creatures, slaughtering everything in their wake, are gathering in the far east regions of the Suman desert. This gathering could only be caused by the Ancient Enemy awakening. With no other choice, Magiere tells Leesil they cannot go home yet. They must go to the desert and seek to learn if the rumors are true, and if so, face an awakening evil: The Night Voice.
Young Adult. Safiya is a Truthwitch, able to discern truth from lie. It’s a powerful magic that many would kill to have on their side, especially amongst the nobility to which Safi was born. So Safi must keep her gift hidden, lest she be used as a pawn in the struggle between empires. Iseult, a Threadwitch, can see the invisible ties that bind and entangle the lives around her, but she cannot see the bonds that touch her own heart. Her unlikely friendship with Safi has taken her from life as an outcast into one of reckless adventure, where she is a cool, wary balance to Safi’s hotheaded impulsiveness. Safi and Iseult just want to be free to live their own lives, but war is coming to the Witchlands. With the help of the cunning Prince Merik (a Windwitch and ship’s captain) and the hindrance of a Bloodwitch bent on revenge, the friends must fight emperors, princes, and mercenaries alike, who will stop at nothing to get their hands on a Truthwitch.
Novella; Digital. The thrilling adventures of Gale Filachild and Captain Perrish continue in a series of prequel stories that offers to take us deeper into the fascinating world of Stormwrack. When Gale and the crew of the Nightjar are called back to the fleet to handle an issue involving a law regulating new patents and a missing magical inscription, they soon find themselves embroiled in a plot that is could potentially pit island against island. Now, they must discover the mystery of the glass galago before time runs out for both it and the fleet.
Novella. When the Dragon Ships began to tear through the trade lanes and ravage coastal towns, the hopes of the arichipelago turned to the Windspeakers on Tash. The solemn weather-shapers with their eyes of stone can steal the breeze from raiders’ sails and save the islands from their wrath. But the Windspeakers’ magic has been stolen, and only their young apprentice Shina can bring their power back and save her people. Tazir has seen more than her share of storms and pirates in her many years as captain, and she’s not much interested in getting involved in the affairs of Windspeakers and Dragon Ships. Shina’s caught her eye, but that might not be enough to convince the grizzled sailor to risk her ship, her crew, and her neck.
Serial installment. 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. The story of a war on a grand scale, told through the eyes of its soldiers, politicians, victims and heroes. (Digital)
Young Adult. Quin Kincaid is a Seeker. Her legacy is an honor, an ancient role passed down for generations. But what she learned on her Oath night changed her world forever. Quin pledged her life to deception. Her legacy as a Seeker is not noble but savage. Her father, a killer. Her uncle, a liar. Her mother, a casualty. And the boy she once loved is out for vengeance, with her family in his sights. Yet Quin is not alone. Shinobu, her oldest companion, might now be the only person she can trust. The only one who wants answers as desperately as she does. But the deeper they dig into the past, the darker things become. There are long-vanished Seeker families, shadowy alliances, and something else: a sinister plan begun generations ago, with the power to destroy them all. The past is close. And it will destroy them all.
Novelette; Digital. A dark fantasy story about a six year old child who mysteriously disappears for three years, only to return home just as mysteriously, but not quite the same. At least, not to her mother.
Young Adult. After helping to rescue Princess Aislynn, Elanor has finally rejoined the rebel camp she calls home. Stolen from her parents at a young age and forced into service by the Wicked Queen, Elanor now wants nothing more than to see the queen removed from power. But Elanor has secrets, mistakes she’s spent years trying to forget, and the closer the rebels get to the throne, the harder it is for Elanor to keep her past hidden away. With fellow rebels on her side, including Princess Aislynn, Thackery, and the handsome and mysterious Matthias, it is time for Elanor to make a decision. Will she protect her secrets? Or risk everything to save the people she loves?
Young Adult. Natalie Barns is falling apart. Since returning from Fourline, she’s tried desperately to focus on the world in front of her, the one of classes, money, and family. But the wound in Natalie’s shoulder from her final encounter with the Nala radiates pain constantly throughout her days, while her nights are tormented by terrifying dreams of the Nala, and of Soris, the rebel fighter she failed to protect. Seeking refuge from what plagues her, Natalie returns to the costume shop and discovers her wound is much more dangerous than she ever could have imagined. What she learns sets her on an inexorable path back to the kingdom of Fourline. If she’s to have a chance of survival, she must confront Soris’ fate and the fears that have been festering in her heart, or the Nala remnant will change her life forever.
Young Adult. Raisa was just a child when she was sold to work as a slave in the kingdom of Qilara. Her father was teaching her to read and write, grooming her to take his place as a Learned One. In Qilara, the Arnathim, like Raisa, are the lowest class, and literacy is a capital offense. Only the king, prince, tutor, and tutor-in-training are allowed to learn the very highest order language, the language of the gods. When the tutor-in-training is executed for teaching slaves this sacred language, and Raisa is selected to replace her, Raisa knows any slipup on her part could mean death. The romance that’s been growing between her and Prince Mati isn’t helping matters. Raisa is approached by the Resistance, an underground army of slave rebels, to help liberate Arnath slaves. As Raisa struggles with what to do, she discovers a secret that the Qilarites have been hiding for centuries, one that, if uncovered, could bring the kingdom to its knees.
The Celestial Church has all but eliminated the old pagan ways, ruling the people with an iron hand. Demonic gheists terrorize the land, hunted by the warriors of the Inquisition, yet it’s the battling factions within the Church and age-old hatreds between north and south that tear the land apart. Malcolm Blakley, hero of the Reaver War, seeks to end the conflict between men, yet it will fall to his son, Ian, and the huntress Gwen Adair to stop the killing before it tears the land apart. The Pagan Night is an epic of mad gods, inquisitor priests, holy knights bound to hunt and kill, and noble houses fighting battles of politics, prejudice, and power.
A generation ago, the city of Voortyashtan was the stronghold of the god of war and death, the birthplace of fearsome supernatural sentinels who killed and subjugated millions. Now, the city’s god is dead. The city itself lies in ruins. And to its new military occupiers, the once-powerful capital is a wasteland of sectarian violence and bloody uprisings. So it makes perfect sense that General Turyin Mulaghesh, foul-mouthed hero of the battle of Bulikov, rumored war criminal, ally of an embattled Prime Minister, has been exiled there to count down the days until she can draw her pension and be forgotten. At least, it makes the perfect cover story. The truth is that the general has been pressed into service one last time, dispatched to investigate a discovery with the potential to change the world, or destroy it. The trouble is that this old soldier isn’t sure she’s still got what it takes to be the hero.
Novella. Love is in the air at Sin du Jour. The Goblin King (yes, that one) and his Queen are celebrating the marriage of their son to his human bride. Naturally the celebrations will be legendary. But when desire and magic mix, the results can be unpredictable. Our heroes are going to need more than passion for the job to survive the catering event of the decade.
Ever since being kidnapped from the Illiais Jungle as a child, Yelena Zaltana’s life has been fraught with peril. The recent loss of her Soulfinding abilities has endangered her more than ever before. As she desperately searches for a way to reclaim her magic, her enemies are closing in, and neither Ixia nor Sitia is safe for her anymore. Especially since the growing discord between the two countries and the possibility of a war threatens everything Yelena holds dear. Valek is determined to protect Yelena, but he’s quickly running out of options. The Commander suspects that his loyalties are divided, and he’s been keeping secrets from Valek, secrets that put him, Yelena and all their friends in danger. As they uncover the various layers of the Commander’s mysterious plans, they realize it’s far more sinister than they could have ever imagined.
The Bands of Mourning are the mythical metalminds owned by the Lord Ruler, said to grant anyone who wears them the powers that the Lord Ruler had at his command. Hardly anyone thinks they really exist. A kandra researcher has returned to Elendel with images that seem to depict the Bands, as well as writings in a language that no one can read. Waxillium Ladrian is recruited to travel south to the city of New Seran to investigate. Along the way he discovers hints that point to the true goals of his uncle Edwarn and the shadowy organization known as The Set.