32 fantasy novels arrive to grace your shelves this month, including a new young adult novel from Victoria Schwab; Max Gladstone’s fifth Craft Sequence Book; Indra Das’s debut novel The Devourers and, oh, this little book you may have heard of about a grown-up wizard?
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.
The Great Ordeal (Aspect-Emperor #3)—R. Scott Bakker (July 5, Overlook Press)
With The Great Ordeal, Bakker presents the long-anticipated third volume of The Aspect-Emperor. As Fanim war-drums beat just outside the city, the Empress Anasurimbor Esmenet searches frantically throughout the palace for her missing son Kelmomas. Meanwhile and many miles away, Esmenet’s husband’s Great Ordeal continues its epic march further north. But in light of dwindling supplies, the Aspect-Emperor’s decision to allow his men to consume the flesh of fallen Sranc could have consequences even He couldn’t have foreseen. And, deep in Ishuäl, the wizard Achamian grapples with his fear that his unspeakably long journey might be ending in emptiness, no closer to the truth than when he set out.
Girl in the Shadows—Gwenda Bond (July 5, Skyscape)
Young adult. Eighteen-year-old Moira Mitchell grew up in the shadows of Vegas’s stage lights while her father’s career as a magician soared. More than anything, Moira wants to be a magician too, but her father is dead set against her pursuing magic. When an invitation to join the Cirque American mistakenly falls into Moira’s possession, she takes action. Instead of giving the highly coveted invitation to its intended recipient, Raleigh, her father’s handsome and worldly former apprentice, Moira takes off to join the Cirque. If she can perform alongside its world-famous acts, she knows she’ll be able to convince her dad that magic is her future. But when Moira arrives, things take on an intensity she can’t control as her stage magic suddenly feels like…real magic.
The Dragon Hammer (Wulf’s Saga #1)—Tony Daniel (July 5, Baen Books)
As the third son of the ruler of the Mark of Shenandoah, Wulf should not have inherited the ruler’s complete bond with the giant dragon that lay under his land. He was into reading sagas and ranger lore, after all. Visions and rule were for his brother Otto. Yet when Wulf is secretly compelled to bond with the land-dragon, he finds himself thrust into a terrible new reality. Darkness is rising. Wulf’s one chance to halt an invasion of evil is a weapon forged in the heart of a dragon and lost to the world centuries ago. Find it and hope for freedom remains. Lose it, and the dragons—along with the world they made—will fall into endless darkness.
Beyond the Woods: Fairy Tales Retold—Paula Guran, editor (July 5, Night Shade)
Once upon a time, the stories that came to be known as “fairy tales” were cultivated to entertain adults more than children; it was only later that they were tamed and pruned into less thorny versions intended for youngsters. But they have continued to prick the imaginations of readers at all ages. Over the years, authors have often borrowed bits and pieces from these stories, grafting them into their own writing, creating literature with both new meaning and age-old significance. This new anthology compiles some of the best modern fairy-tale retellings and reinventions from award-winning and bestselling authors, acclaimed storytellers, and exciting new talents into an enchanting collection.
The Last Adventure of Constance Verity—A. Lee Martinez (July 5, Saga)
Ever since she was granted a wish at birth by her fairy godmother, Constance Verity has become the world’s great adventurer. She is a master of martial arts, a keen detective, and possesses a collection of strange artifacts. Constance has spent the past twenty-eight years saving the world, and she’s tired of it. All she wants is to work in an office and date a nice, normal guy. And she’s figured a way out. The only problem is that saving the world is Constance’s destiny. She’s great at it, and there are forces at work to make sure she stays in the job. Then again, it’s also her destiny to have a glorious death.
It Happened One Doomsday—Laurence MacNaughton (July 1, Pyr)
Dru has a smidge of magical potential. She can use crystals to see enchantments or brew up an occasional potion, and she can research practically anything in the library of dusty leather-bound tomes she keeps stacked in the back of her little store. But everything changes the day a handsome mechanic pulls up in a possessed black muscle car, his eyes glowing red. Just being near Greyson raises Dru’s magical powers to dizzying heights. But he’s been cursed to transform into a demonic creature that could bring about the end of the world. Then she discovers that the Harbingers, seven fallen sorcerers, want to wipe the planet clean of humans and install themselves as new lords of an unfettered magical realm. And when they unearth the Apocalypse Scroll, the possibility of a fiery cosmic do-over suddenly becomes very real.
The Dinosaur Knights—Victor Milán (July 5, Tor Books)
Paradise is a sprawling, diverse, often cruel world. There are humans on Paradise but dinosaurs predominate: wildlife, monsters, beasts of burden, and of war. Armored knights ride dinosaurs to battle legions of war-trained Triceratops and their upstart peasant crews. Karyl Bogomirsky is one such knight who has chosen to rally those who seek a way from the path of war and madness. The fact that the Empire has announced a religious crusade against this peaceful kingdom, the people who just wish to live in peace anathema, and they all are to be converted or destroyed doesn’t help him one bit. Things really turn to mud when the dreaded Grey Angels, fabled ancient weapons of the Gods who created Paradise in the first place, come on the scene after almost a millennia. Everyone thought that they were fables used to scare children. They have come to rid the world of sin … including all the humans who manifest those vices.
Interminables—Paige Orwin (July 5, Angry Robot)
It’s 2020, and a magical cataclysm has shattered reality as we know it. Now a wizard’s cabal is running the East Coast of the US, keeping a semblance of peace. Their most powerful agents, Edmund and Istvan—the former a nearly immortal 1940s-era mystery man, the latter, well, a ghost—have been assigned to hunt down an arms smuggling ring that could blow up Massachusetts. Turns out the mission’s more complicated than it seemed. They discover a shadow war that’s been waged since the world ended, and, even worse, they find out that their own friendship has always been more complicated than they thought. To get out of this alive, they’ll need to get over their feelings, their memories, and the threat of a monstrous foe who’s getting ready to commit mass murder…
Threading the Needle (The Ley #2)—Joshua Palmatier (July 5, DAW)
The Nexus—the hub created by the Prime Wielders to harness the magical power of the ley lines for the city of Erenthrall, the Baronial Plains, and the world beyond—has Shattered, the resultant pulse cascading through the system and leaving Erenthrall decimated. The world has fared no better: auroral storms plague the land, transforming people into creatures beyond nightmare; silver-white lights hover over all of the major cities, the harbinger of distortions that could quicken at any moment; and quakes brought on by the unstable ley network threaten to tear the earth apart. Having survived the initial Shattering, Wielder Kara Tremain and ex-Dog Allan Garrett have led their small group of refugees to a safe haven. But the ley system is not healing itself. Their only option is to repair the distortion that engulfs Erenthrall and to fix the damaged ley lines themselves. To do that, they’ll have to enter a city controlled by vicious bands of humans and non-humans alike, intent on keeping what little they’ve managed to scavenge together.
The Waking Fire (Draconis Memoria #1)—Anthony Ryan (July 5, Ace)
Throughout the vast lands controlled by the Ironship Trading Syndicate, nothing is more prized than the blood of drakes. It can be distilled into elixirs that bestow fearsome powers on the rare men and women known as the Blood-blessed. But that the lines of drakes are weakening. If they fail, war with the neighbouring Corvantine Empire will follow swiftly. The Syndicate’s last hope resides in whispers of the existence of another breed of drake, far more powerful than the rest, and the few who have been chosen by fate to seek it. Claydon Torcreek is a petty thief and an unregistered Blood-blessed who finds himself pressed into service by the Protectorate and sent to wild, uncharted lands in search of a creature he believes is little more than legend. Lizanne Lethridge is a formidable spy and assassin facing gravest danger on an espionage mission deep into the heart of enemy territory. And Corrick Hilemore is the second lieutenant of an Ironship cruiser whose pursuit of ruthless brigands leads him to a far greater threat at the edge of the world.
This Savage Song—Victoria Schwab (July 5, Greenwillow)
Young adult. Kate Harker and August Flynn are the heirs to a divided city—a city where the violence has begun to breed actual monsters. All Kate wants is to be as ruthless as her father, who lets the monsters roam free and makes the humans pay for his protection. All August wants is to be human, as good-hearted as his own father, to play a bigger role in protecting the innocent—but he’s one of the monsters. One who can steal a soul with a simple strain of music. When the chance arises to keep an eye on Kate, who’s just been kicked out of her sixth boarding school and returned home, August jumps at it. But Kate discovers August’s secret, and after a failed assassination attempt the pair must flee for their lives.
The Devil’s Evidence—Simon Kurt Unsworth (July 5, Doubleday)
Thomas Fool—the resilient investigator doomed to catalog Hell’s atrocities in The Devil’s Detective—is back. The man with no memory of who he was or what led to his damnation is now in command of the Information Office of Hell. Troubling and deadly fires are spreading throughout Hell, and it is Fool’s job to sift the ashes and find their source. The clues he finds are mysterious and unsettling, implying something different from the usual litany of cruelty he sees. In the midst of the chaos, Fool is sent to accompany a political delegation to Heaven. When his arrival coincides with the discovery of an impossible murder, he faces a catastrophic paradox. Violence, corruption, and fear are Hell’s currency; how does one investigate evil where those concepts cannot exist?
Oath of the Vayuputras (Shiva Series #3)—Amish Tripathi (July 5, Jo Fletcher Books)
Today, Shiva is a god. But four thousand years ago, he was just a man—until he brought his people to Meluha, a near-perfect empire founded by the great king Lord Ram. There he discovered he was the Neelkanth, a barbarian long prophesied to be Meluha’s saviour. But in his hour of victory fighting the Chandravanshis – Meluha’s enemy—he discovered they had their own prophecy. Now he must fight to uncover the treachery within his inner circle, and unmask those who are about to destroy all that he has fought for. Shiva is about to learn that good and evil are two sides of the same coin…
The Copper Promise—Jen Williams (July 5, Angry Robot)
There are some tall stories about the caverns beneath the Citadel—about magic and mages and monsters and gods. Wydrin of Crosshaven has heard them all, but she’s spent long enough trawling caverns and taverns with her companion Sir Sebastian to learn that there’s no money to be made in chasing rumors. But then a crippled nobleman with a dead man’s name offers them a job exploring the Citadel’s darkest depths. It sounds like just another quest with gold and adventure … if they’re lucky, they might even have a tale of their own to tell once it’s over. These reckless adventurers will soon learn that sometimes there is truth in rumour. Sometimes a story can save your life.
Deceptions: A Cainsville Novel—Kelley Armstrong (July 12, Dutton)
Olivia Taylor Jones’s life has exploded. She’s discovered she is not only adopted, but her real parents are convicted serial killers. Fleeing the media frenzy, she took refuge in the oddly secluded town of Cainsville. She has since solved the town’s mysteries and finds herself not only the target of its secretive elders but also her stalker ex-fiancé. Visions continue to haunt her: particularly a little blond girl in a green sundress who insists she has an important message for Olivia, one that may help her balance the light and darkness within herself. Death stalks both Olivia and the two men most important to her, as she desperately searches to understand whether ancient scripts are dictating the triangle that connects them. Will darkness prevail, or does Olivia have the power to prevent a tragic fate?
The Devourers—Indra Das (July 12, Del Rey)
On a cool evening in Kolkata, India, college professor Alok encounters a mysterious stranger with a bizarre confession and an extraordinary story. Tantalized by the man’s unfinished tale, Alok will do anything to hear its completion. So Alok agrees, at the stranger’s behest, to transcribe a collection of battered notebooks, weathered parchments, and once-living skins. From these documents spills the chronicle of a race of people at once more than human yet kin to beasts, ruled by instincts and desires blood-deep and ages-old. The tale features a rough wanderer in seventeenth-century Mughal India who finds himself irrevocably drawn to a defiant woman—and destined to be torn asunder by two clashing worlds. With every passing chapter, Alok’s interest in the stranger grows and evolves into something darker and more urgent.
The Stars Askew (Caeli-Amur #2)—Rjurik Davidson (July 12, Tor Books)
With the seditionists in power, Caeli-Amur has begun a new age. Or has it? When the moderate leader Aceline is murdered, the trail leads Kata to a mysterious book that explains how to control the fabled Prism of Alerion. But when the last person to possess the book is found dead, it becomes clear that a conspiracy is afoot. At its center is former House Officiate Armand, who has hidden the Prism. Armand is vying for control of the Directorate, the highest political position in the city, until Armand is betrayed and sent to a prison camp to mine deadly bloodstone. Meanwhile, Maximilian is sharing his mind with another being: the joker-god Aya. Aya leads Max to the realm of the Elo-Talern to seek a power source to remove Aya from Max’s brain. But when Max and Aya return, they find the vigilants destroying the last remnants of House power. It seems the seditionists’ hopes for a new age of peace and prosperity in Caeli-Amur have come to naught, and every attempt to improve the situation makes it worse. The question now is not just whether Kata, Max, and Armand can do anything to stop the bloody battle in the city, but if they can escape with their lives.
The Shadow Hour—Melissa Grey (July 12, Delacorte Press)
Young adult. Everything in Echo’s life changed in a blinding flash when she learned the startling truth: she is the firebird, the creature of light that is said to bring peace. The firebird has come into the world, but it has not come alone. Every action has an equal and opposite reaction, and Echo can feel a great and terrible darkness rising in the distance. Cosmic forces threaten to tear the world apart. Echo has already lost her home, her family, and her boyfriend. Now, as the firebird, her path is filled with even greater dangers than the ones she’s already overcome. She knows the Dragon Prince will not fall without a fight. Echo must decide: can she wield the power of her true nature—or will it prove too strong for her, and burn what’s left of her world to the ground?
The Ghoul King (Dreaming Cities #2)—Guy Haley (July 12, Tor.com)
The Knight, Quinn, is down on his luck, and he travels to the very edge of the civilized world—whatever that means, any more—to restock his small but essential inventory. After fighting a series of gladiatorial bouts against the dead, he finds himself in the employ of a woman on a quest to find the secret to repairing her semi-functional robot. But the technological secret it guards may be one truth too many…
Red Queen—Christina Henry (July 12, Ace)
The land outside of the Old City was supposed to be green, lush, hopeful. A place where Alice could finally rest, no longer the plaything of the Rabbit, the pawn of Cheshire, or the prey of the Jabberwocky. But the verdant fields are nothing but ash—and hope is nowhere to be found. Still, Alice and Hatcher are on a mission to find his daughter, a quest they will not forsake even as it takes them deep into the clutches of the mad White Queen and her goblin or into the realm of the twisted and cruel Black King. The pieces are set and the game has already begun. Each move brings Alice closer to her destiny. But, to win, she will need to harness her newfound abilities and ally herself with someone even more powerful—the mysterious and vengeful Red Queen…
Imprudence (Custard Protocol #2)—Gail Carriger (July 19, Orbit)
Rue and the crew of the Spotted Custard return from India with revelations that shake the foundations of England’s scientific community. Queen Victoria is not amused, the vampires are tetchy, and something is wrong with the local werewolf pack. To top it all off, Rue’s best friend Primrose keeps getting engaged to the most unacceptable military types. Rue has family problems as well. Her vampire father is angry, her werewolf father is crazy, and her obstreperous mother is both. Worst of all, Rue’s beginning to suspect what they really are… is frightened.
The Dragon Lords: Fool’s Gold—Jon Hollins (July 19, Orbit)
It’s not easy to live in a world ruled by dragons. The taxes are high and their control is complete. But for one group of bold misfits, it’s time to band together and steal back some of that wealth. No one said they were smart.
Nightshades—Melissa Olson (July 19, Tor.com)
Alex McKenna is the new Special Agent in Charge of the Chicago office of the Bureau of Paranormal Investigations—the division tasked with investigating crimes involving shades. Or vampires, as they’re more widely known. Children have been going missing, and agents are routinely being slaughtered. It’s up to McKenna, and some unlikely allies, to get to the bottom of the problem, and find the kids before it’s too late.
The Dragon Round—Stephen S. Power (July 19, Simon & Schuster)
Jeryon has been the captain of the Comber for over a decade. He knows the rules. He likes the rules. But not everyone on his ship agrees. After a monstrous dragon attacks the galley, the surviving crewmembers decide to take the ship for themselves and give Jeryon and his self-righteous apothecary “the captain’s chance”: a small boat with no rudder, no sails, and nothing but the clothes on his back. Fighting for their lives against the elements, Jeryon and his companion land on an island that isn’t as deserted as they originally thought. They find a baby dragon that, if trained, could be their way home.
Red Right Hand—Levi Black (July 26, Tor Books)
Charlie Tristan Moore isn’t a hero. She’s a survivor. Already wrestling with the demons of her past, she arrives home one night to find herself under attack by three monstrous skinhounds straight out of a nightmare. Just as hope seems lost, she is saved by a sinister Man in Black, dressed in a long, dark coat that seems to possess a life of its own and wielding a black-bladed sword in his grisly red right hand. The Man in Black, a diabolical Elder God, demands she become his Acolyte and embrace a dark magick she never knew she possessed. To ensure her obedience, he takes her friend and possible love, Daniel, in thrall as a hostage. Now she must join The Man in Black in his crusade to track down and destroy his fellow Elder Gods, supposedly to save humanity from being devoured for all eternity. But is The Man in Black truly the lesser of two evils—or a menace far more treacherous than the eldritch horrors she’s battling in his name?
Four Roads Cross (Craft Sequence #5)—Max Gladstone (July 26, Tor)
The great city of Alt Coulumb is in crisis. The moon goddess Seril, long thought dead, is back—and the people of Alt Coulumb aren’t happy. Protests rock the city, and Kos Everburning’s creditors attempt a hostile takeover of the fire god’s church. Tara Abernathy, the god’s in-house Craftswoman, must defend the church against the world’s fiercest necromantic firm—and against her old classmate, a rising star in the Craftwork world. As if that weren’t enough, Cat and Raz, supporting characters from Three Parts Dead, are back too, fighting monster pirates; skeleton kings drink frozen cocktails, defying several principles of anatomy;choirs of flame sing over Alt Coulumb; demons pose significant problems; a farmers’ market proves more important to world affairs than seems likely; doctors of theology strike back; Monk-Technician Abelard performs several miracles; The Rats! play Walsh’s Place; and dragons give almost-helpful counsel.
How to Hang a Witch—Adriana Mather (July 26, Knopf Books for Young Readers)
Young adult. Recently transplanted from New York City, Samantha Mather and her stepmother are not exactly welcomed into Salem, Massachusetts, with open arms. Sam is the descendant of Cotton Mather, one of the men responsible for the witch trials, and almost immediately, she becomes the enemy of a group of girls who call themselves The Descendants. Guess who their ancestors were? If dealing with that weren’t enough, Sam also comes face to face with a real live (well, technically dead) ghost. A handsome, angry ghost who wants Sam to stop touching his stuff. But soon Sam discovers she is at the center of a centuries-old curse affecting anyone with ties to the trials. Sam must come to terms with the ghost and find a way to work with the Descendants to stop a deadly cycle that has been going on since the first accused witch was hanged. If any town should have learned its lesson, it’s Salem. But history may be about to repeat itself.
Bite—K.S. Merbeth (July 26, Orbit)
Kid is trying to survive in a world gone mad. Hungry, thirsty and alone in a desert wasteland, she’s picked up on the side of the road by Wolf, Dolly, Tank and Pretty Boy—outlaws with big rap sheets and even bigger guns. Together, Kid and her new crew are swept across a desolate, dangerous land—magnets for trouble, dodging the debts they owe, and leaving a bloody trail behind them. But in a world that’s lost its humanity, not everything is as it seems. And sometimes, the humans are worse than the monsters.
Urban Allies—Joseph Nassise, editor (July 26, Harper Voyager)
In this impressive anthology, twenty of today’s hottest urban fantasy writers—including Charlaine Harris, Jonathan Maberry, Kelley Armstrong, Seanan Mcguire, and C. E. Murphy—pair together to write ten original stories featuring their favorite series characters. Worlds collide when two different urban fantasy series meet in each of the ten electrifying stories in this collaborative project, featuring beloved characters such as Peter Octavian and Dahlia Lynley-Chivers, Joanne Walker and Harper Blaine, Joe Ledger and Special Agent Franks, Sabina Kane and Ava. Urban Allies melds the talents of some of the most high-profile authors in the genre today—many of whom are working together for the first time—to give readers a chance to see their favorite characters in an imaginative and fresh way.
City of Wolves—Willow Palecek (July 26, Tor.com Publishing)
Alexander Drake, Investigator for Hire, doesn’t like working for the Nobility, and doesn’t prefer to take jobs from strange men who accost him in alleyways. A combination of hired muscle and ready silver have a way of changing a man’s mind. A lord has been killed, his body found covered in bite marks. Even worse, the late lord’s will is missing, and not everyone wants Drake to find it. Solving the case might plunge Drake into deeper danger. City of Wolves is a gaslamp fantasy noir from debut author Willow Palecek.
Harry Potter and the Cursed Child—J.K. Rowling, Jack Thorne, and John Tiffany (July 31, Scholastic)
It was always difficult being Harry Potter and it isn’t much easier now that he is an overworked employee of the Ministry of Magic, a husband and father of three school-age children. While Harry grapples with a past that refuses to stay where it belongs, his youngest son Albus must struggle with the weight of a family legacy he never wanted. As past and present fuse ominously, both father and son learn the uncomfortable truth: sometimes, darkness comes from unexpected places. Based on an original new story by J.K. Rowling, Jack Thorne, and John Tiffany, a new play by Jack Thorne, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child—Parts I & II (Special Rehearsal Edition): The Official Script Book of the Original West End Production is the eighth story in the Harry Potter series and the first official Harry Potter story to be presented on stage. The play will receive its world premiere in London’s West End on July 30, 2016.
Wasteland King—Lilith Saintcrow (July 26, Orbit)
The plague has broken loose, the Wild Hunt is riding, and the balance of power in the sidhe realms is still shifting. The Unseelie King has a grudge against Jeremiah Gallow, but it will have to wait. For he needs Gallow’s services for a very delicate mission — and the prize for success is survival itself. In order to save both Robin Ragged and himself, Gallow will have to do the unspeakable…