May’s twenty-two fantasy novels are full of dragons, intrigue, and strange lands. Illustrator Todd Lockwood releases his first novel; Sarah J. Maas delves further into her Court of Thorns and Roses series; Ian C. Esslemont starts a new Malazan trilogy; and Guy Gavriel Kay returns. At this rate, your summer reading is already set!
Fiction Affliction details releases in science fiction, fantasy, and “genre-benders.” Keep track of them all here. Note: All title summaries are taken and/or summarized from copy provided by the publisher.
Shadow’s Blade (Case Files of Justis Fearsson #3)—David B. Coe (May 3, Baen Books)
Justis Fearsson is a weremyste and a private detective. He wields potent magic, but every month, on the full moon, he loses his mind. His battles with insanity have already cost him his job as a cop; he can’t afford to let them interfere with his latest case. When he is hired to track down a woman who has gone missing with her two young children, he has a hunch that the dark ones are to blame. Soon he is caught up in a deadly race to find not only the young family, but also an ancient weapon that could prove decisive in the looming conflict. Can he keep himself alive long enough to reach the woman and her kids before his enemies do? And can he claim the weapon before the people he loves, and the world he knows, are lost in a storm of flame, blood, and darkest sorcery?
Night Shift (Midnight, Texas #3)—Charlaine Harris (May 3, Ace)
At Midnight’s local pawnshop, weapons are flying off the shelves—only to be used in sudden and dramatic suicides right at the main crossroads in town. Who better to figure out why blood is being spilled than the vampire Lemuel? There’s a reason why witches and werewolves, killers and psychics, have been drawn to this place. And now they must come together to stop the bloodshed in the heart of Midnight. For if all hell breaks loose—which just might happen—it will put the secretive town on the map, where no one wants it to be…
Warrior Witch (Malediction Trilogy #3)—Danielle L. Jensen (May 3, Angry Robot)
Cécile and Tristan have accomplished the impossible, but their greatest challenge remains: defeating the evil that they have unleashed upon the world. As they scramble for a way to protect the people of the Isle and liberate the trolls from their tyrant king, Cécile and Tristan must battle those who’d see them dead. To win, they will risk everything… and everyone. But it might not be enough. Both Cécile and Tristan have debts, and they will be forced to pay them at a cost far greater than they had ever imagined.
The Summer Dragon (Evertide #1)—Todd Lockwood (May 3, DAW)
Maia and her family raise dragons for the political war machine. As she comes of age, she hopes for a dragon of her own to add to the stable of breeding parents. But the war goes badly, and the needs of the Dragonry dash her hopes. Her peaceful life is shattered when the Summer Dragon—one of the rare and mythical High Dragons—appears. The Summer Dragon is an omen of change, but no one knows for certain what kind of change he augurs. Political factions vie to control the implied message, and Maia is swept into an adventure that pits her against the deathless Horrors and a faceless creature drawn from her fears.
A Court of Mist and Fury (Court of Thorns and Roses #2)—Sarah J. Maas (May 3, Bloomsbury)
Feyre survived Amarantha’s clutches to return to the Spring Court—but at a steep cost. Though she now has the powers of the High Fae, her heart remains human, and it can’t forget the terrible deeds she performed to save Tamlin’s people. Nor has Feyre forgotten her bargain with Rhysand, High Lord of the feared Night Court. As Feyre navigates its dark web of politics, passion, and dazzling power, a greater evil looms—and she might be key to stopping it. But only if she can harness her harrowing gifts, heal her fractured soul, and decide how she wishes to shape her future–and the future of a world cleaved in two.
Ruined (Ruined #1)—Amy Tintera (May 3, Harper Teen)
Emelina Flores has nothing. Her home in Ruina has been ravaged by war; her parents were killed and her sister was kidnapped. Even though Em is only a useless Ruined—completely lacking any magic—she has a simple plan for revenge: She will infiltrate the enemy’s kingdom, posing as the crown prince’s betrothed. She will lead an ambush. She will kill the king and everything he holds dear, including his son. The closer Em gets to the prince, though, the more she questions her mission. Her rage-filled heart begins to soften. But with her life—and her family—on the line, love could be Em’s deadliest mistake.
The Jewel and Her Lapidary—Fran Wilde (May 3, Tor.com Publishing)
The kingdom in the Valley has long sheltered under the protection of its Jewels and Lapidaries, the people bound to singing gemstones with the power to reshape hills, move rivers, and warp minds. That power has kept the peace and tranquility, and the kingdom has flourished. Jewel Lin and her Lapidary Sima may be the last to enjoy that peace. The Jeweled Court has been betrayed. As screaming raiders sweep down from the mountains, and Lapidary servants shatter under the pressure, the last princess of the Valley will have to summon up a strength she’s never known. If she can assume her royal dignity, and if Sima can master the most dangerous gemstone in the land, they may be able to survive.
Children of Earth and Sky—Guy Gavriel Kay (May 10, NAL)
From the small coastal town of Senjan, notorious for its pirates, a young woman sets out to find vengeance for her lost family. That same spring, two very different people depart the wealthy city-state of Seressa: a young artist traveling to the dangerous east to paint the grand khalif and a fiercely intelligent, angry woman, posing as a doctor’s wife, but sent as a spy. The ship that carries them is commanded by the younger son of a merchant family, ambivalent about the life he’s been born to live. Farther east, a boy trains to become a soldier in the elite infantry of the khalif. As these lives entwine, their fates—and those of many others—will hang in the balance, when the khalif sends out his massive army to take the great fortress that is the gateway to the western world…
The Wolf in the Attic—Patrick Kearney (May 10, Solaris)
1920s Oxford: home to C.S. Lewis, J.R.R. Tolkien… and Anna Francis, a young Greek refugee looking to escape the grim reality of her new life. The night they cross paths, none suspect the fantastic world at work around them. Anna Francis lives in a tall old house with her father and her doll Penelope. The house becomes her own little kingdom, an island full of dreams and half-forgotten memories. And then one winter day, she finds an interloper in the topmost, dustiest attic of the house. A boy named Luca with yellow eyes, who is as alone in the world as she is. That day, she’ll lose everything in her life, and find the only real friend she may ever know.
A Whisper of Southern Lights—Tim Lebbon (May 10, Tor.com Publishing)
Death and destruction follow the demon wherever he treads, and Gabriel is rarely far behind, waiting for his chance to extinguish the creature known as Temple once and for all. But in Singapore during the Second World War, a lone soldier in possession of a shattering secret gets caught up in their battle. The knowledge he holds could change the course of their ancient conflict… and the fate of the world.
The Vagrant—Peter Newman (May 10, Harper Voyager)
The Vagrant is his name. He has no other. Years have passed since humanity’s destruction emerged from the Breach. Friendless and alone, he walks across a desolate, war-torn landscape. His purpose is to reach the Shining City, last bastion of the human race, and deliver the only weapon that may make a difference in the ongoing war. What little hope remains is dying. Abandoned by its leader, The Seven, and its heroes, The Seraph Knights, the last defenses of a once great civilization are crumbling into dust. But the Shining City is far away and the world is a very dangerous place.
Roses & Rot—Kat Howard (May 17, Saga Press)
What would you sacrifice for everything you ever dreamed of? Imogen has grown up reading fairy tales about mothers who die and make way for cruel stepmothers. As a child, she used to lie in bed wishing that her life would become one of these tragic fairy tales because she couldn’t imagine how a stepmother could be worse than her mother now. As adults, Imogen and her sister Marin are accepted to an elite post-grad arts program—Imogen as a writer and Marin as a dancer. Soon enough, though, they realize that there’s more to the school than meets the eye. Imogen might be living in the fairy tale she’s dreamed about as a child, but it’s one that will pit her against Marin if she decides to escape her past to find her heart’s desire.
The Summon Stone (Gate of Good and Evil #1)—Ian Irvine (May 17, Orbit)
The Merdrun, cruel warriors blooded by thousands of years of slaughter, are gather in the void between the worlds. Their summon stone is waking, corrupting good people as well as bad, and turning arcane places into magically polluted wastelands. If it is not destroyed it will create a portal and call this marauding army out of exile. Sulien, a nine-year-old girl endowed with untold gifts, sees the Merdrun leader in a nightmare—and he sees her. Karan and Llian must stop the greatest warrior in the void, to save their daughter and their world.
The Tower of Swallows (The Witcher #4)—Andrzej Sapkowski (May 17, Orbit)
The world has fallen into war. Ciri, the child of prophecy, has vanished. Hunted by friends and foes alike, she has taken on the guise of a petty bandit and lives free for the first time in her life.
But the net around her is closing. Geralt, the Witcher, has assembled a group of allies determined to rescue her. Both sides of the war have sent brutal mercenaries to hunt her down. Her crimes have made her famous. There is only one place left to run. The tower of the swallow is waiting…
The Crown’s Game—Evelyn Skye (May 17, Balzer & Bray)
Vika Andreyeva can summon the snow and turn ash into gold. Nikolai Karimov can see through walls and conjure bridges out of thin air. They are enchanters—the only two in Russia—and with the Ottoman Empire and the Kazakhs threatening, the tsar needs a powerful enchanter by his side. And so he initiates the Crown’s Game, an ancient duel of magical skill. The victor becomes the Imperial Enchanter. The defeated is sentenced to death. Vika is eager to show off her talent, but can she kill another enchanter—even when his magic calls to her like nothing ever has? For Nikolai, an orphan, the Crown’s Game is the chance of a lifetime. But his deadly opponent is a force to be reckoned with—and he can’t stop thinking about her. When Pasha, Nikolai’s best friend and heir to the throne, also starts to fall for the mysterious enchantress, Nikolai must defeat the girl they both love . . . or be killed himself.
Exile for Dreamers (Stranje House #2)—Kathleen Baldwin (May 24, Tor Teen)
Tess Aubreyson can’t run far enough or fast enough to escape the prophetic dreams that haunt her. Her dreams bring nothing but death and grief. Tess refuses to accept that she may be destined for the same madness that destroyed her mother, until her disturbing dreams become the only means of saving Lord Ravencross, the man she loves, and her fellow students at Stranje House. Tess’s old friend, the traitorous Lady Daneska and the Ghost, ruthless leader of the Iron Crown, have returned to England, intent on paving the way for Napoleon’s invasion of England. Can the young ladies of Stranje House prevail once more? Or is England destined to fall into the hands of the power-mad dictator?
The Sorcerer’s Daughter (Defenders of Shannara #3)—Terry Brooks (May 24, Del Rey)
The mysterious Druid order has existed for ages, battling any evil that threatens the Four Lands—and struggling to be understood and accepted by outsiders. But their hopes of building goodwill are dashed when a demon’s murderous rampage at a peace summit leaves their political opponents dead—casting new suspicions upon the Druids. Paxon Leah, the order’s appointed protector, knows that blame lies with the vile sorcerer Arcannen Rai, but Arcannen is playing a deeper game than Paxon realizes. Paxon’s sister possesses a powerful magic that the sorcerer longs to control—but Arcannen has not reckoned with the determination of his own estranged daughter, Leofur, who is also Paxon’s devoted lifemate. Leofur sets out on a perilous quest to thwart her father’s desires—while the vengeful Arcannen conjures his blackest magical skills, determined to claim the most powerful of magics for his own.
All Fixed Up (Ciel Halligan #4)—Linda Grimes (May 24, Tor Books)
Ciel Halligan has a lot of experience filling in for her clients—as them. A rare genetic quirk gives her the ability to absorb human energy and project it back out in a flawless imitation. She’s hard at work, posing as a well-known astronaut … when the photographer documenting the job sees right through her aura. Worse, it soon becomes apparent that he not only knows Ciel’s not who she’s supposed to be, but means her harm. When Ciel’s elderly Aunt Helen—also an aura adaptor—is murdered in Central Park, and the same photographer shows up at the funeral, Ciel starts to feel even more exposed. When more adaptors are killed in the same way, she becomes terrified her friends and family are being systematically exterminated … and it’s starting to look like she’s the ultimate target.
A Blade of Black Steel (Crimson Empire #2)—Alex Marshall (May 24, Orbit)
After five hundred years, the Sunken Kingdom has returned, and brought with it a monstrous secret that threatens to destroy every country on the Star. As an inhuman army gathers on its shores, poised to invade the Immaculate Isles, the members of the Cobalt Company face an ugly choice: abandon their dreams of glory and vengeance to combat a menace from another realm, or pursue their ambitions and hope the Star is still there when the smoke clears.
Dancer’s Lament (Path to Ascendancy #1)—Ian C. Esslemont (May 31, Tor Books)
Esslemont’s all-new prequel trilogy takes readers deeper into the politics and intrigue of the New York Times bestselling Malazan Empire. Dancer’s Lament focuses on the genesis of the empire, and features Dancer, the skilled assassin, who, alongside the mage Kellanved, would found the Malazan empire.
Leviathan’s Blood (Children Trilogy #2)—Ben Peek (May 31, Thomas Dunne Books)
The Mireeans have fled to the city of Yeflam with the immortal Zaifyr in chains to barter for their safety. With the threat of war arriving at the Floating Cities, Zaifyr’s trial will become the center of political games. However, Zaifyr is intent on using his trial to begin a new war. Across the far ocean, exiled Baron Bueralan and cartographer Orlan have arrived in the city of Ooila with some chilling cargo: the soul of a dead man. As the two men are accepted into the city’s court, they are pulled ever deeper into the Queen’s web of lies and deceit. All the while, a rumor begins to spread of a man who has come ashore, whose seemingly innocent presence threatens them all.
The Sleeping Prince (The Sin Eater’s Daughter #2)—Melinda Salisbury (May 31, Scholastic)
Ever since her brother Lief disappeared, Errin’s life has gone from bad to worse. Not only must she care for her sick mother, she has to scrape together rent money by selling illegal herbal cures. But none of that compares to the threat of the vengeful Sleeping Prince whom the Queen just awoke from his enchanted sleep.When her village is evacuated as part of the war against the Sleeping Prince, Errin is left desperate and homeless. The only person she can turn to is the mysterious Silas, a young man who buys deadly poisons from Errin, but won’t reveal why he needs them. Silas promises to help her, but when he vanishes, Errin must journey across a kingdom on the brink of war to seek another way to save her mother and herself.