Fiction Affliction: September Releases in Fantasy

Fifty-seven fantastical new books will arrive in September to vie for your attention. Lian Hearn winds up her Shikanoko series; Seanan McGuire brings us the next Toby Daye story; Peter S. Beagle presents a very Pacific Northwestern standalone; Sarah Beth Durst and Danielle Paige kick off new series; and ever so much more. Really, so much more. Where will you start reading?

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.

 

WEEK ONE

Of Sand and Malice Made (Song of Shattered Sands)—Bradley P. Beaulieu (September 6, DAW)
Çeda, the youngest pit fighter in the history of Sharakhai, made her name in the arena as the fearsome White Wolf. None but her closest friends and allies know her true identity. But this all changes when she crosses the path of Rümayesh, an ehrekh, a sadistic creature forged aeons ago by the god of chaos. For centuries Rümayesh has lurked in the dark corners of Sharakhai, combing the populace for human “jewels” that might interest her. Çeda flees the ehrekh’s attentions, but that only makes Rümayesh covet her more. Rümayesh threatens to unmask Çeda as the White Wolf—but the danger grows infinitely worse when she turns her attention to Çeda’s friends. As Çeda fights to protect the people dearest to her, Rümayesh comes closer to attaining her prize, and the struggle becomes a battle for Çeda’s very soul. Of Sand and Malice Made is a standalone companion novel within Bradley P. Beaulieu’s Song of Shattered Sands epic fantasy universe.

Chapel of Ease (Tufa #4)—Alex Bledsoe (September 6, Tor Books)
When young New York actor Matt Johanssen auditions for Chapel of Ease, an off-Broadway musical, he is instantly charmed by Ray Parrish, the show’s writer and composer. They soon become friends; Matt learns that Ray’s people call themselves the Tufa and that the musical is based on the history of his isolated home town. But there is one question in the show’s script that Ray refuses to answer: what is buried in the ruins of the chapel of ease? As opening night approaches, strange things begin to happen. Then, as the rave reviews arrive, Ray dies in his sleep. Matt and the cast are distraught, but there’s no question of shutting down: the run quickly sells out. They postpone opening night for a week and Matt volunteers to take Ray’s ashes back to Needsville. He also hopes to find out more of the real story behind the play. Matt’s journey into the haunting Appalachian mountains of Cloud County sets him on a dangerous path, where some secrets deserve to stay buried.

The Hawkweed Prophecy—Irene Brignull (September 6, Weinstein Books)
Young adult. Poppy Hooper is a troubled teen, moving from school to school, causing chaos wherever she goes, never making friends or lasting connections. Ember Hawkweed is a young witch, struggling to find a place within her coven and prove her worth. Both are outsiders: feeling like they don’t belong and seeking escape. Poppy and Ember soon become friends, and secretly share knowledge of their two worlds. Growing closer, they begin to understand why they’ve never belonged and the reason they are now forever connected to each other. Switched at birth by the scheming witch Raven Hawkweed, Poppy and Ember must come to terms with their true identities and fight for their own place in the world. Enter Leo, a homeless boy with a painful past who tests their love and loyalty. Can Poppy and Ember’s friendship survive? And can it withstand the dark forces that are gathering?

The Masked City (Invisible Library #2)—Genevieve Cogman (September 6, Roc)
Working in an alternate version of Victorian London, Librarian-spy Irene has settled into a routine, collecting important fiction for the mysterious Library and blending in nicely with the local culture. But when her apprentice, Kai—a dragon of royal descent—is kidnapped by the Fae, her carefully crafted undercover operation begins to crumble. Kai’s abduction could incite a conflict between the forces of chaos and order that would devastate all worlds and all dimensions. To keep humanity from getting caught in the crossfire, Irene will have to team up with a local Fae leader to travel deep into a version of Venice filled with dark magic, strange coincidences, and a perpetual celebration of Carnival—and save her friend before he becomes the first casualty of a catastrophic war.

Deja Who (Insighter #1)—Maryjanice Davidson (September 6, Berkley)
You couldn’t arrest for murder someone who had killed in his last life. You couldn’t bring a civil suit against such people, either. They could only be legally penalized for what they did this time around—and what a dark circus the legal system had been before that legislation passed! But you could spot them, and watch them. You could set traps for them. Leah Nazir is an Insighter. Reincarnation is her business. But while her clients’ pasts are a mess, Leah’s is nothing short of tragedy. She’s been murdered. A lot. Leah wants to know who’s been following her through time, and who’s been stalking her in the present. P.I. Archer Drake has been hired by Leah’s mother to keep an eye on her. But the more time he spends watching, the more he finds himself infatuated. Before long, he even finds himself agreeing to help find the person who wants her dead. Now going full-on “rewind,” Leah hopes to stave off the inevitable. After all, she’s grown fond of this life—and even fonder of nerdy Archer. But changing her pattern means finding out who her killer is today. And as Leah fears, that could be anyone she has come to know and trust.

The King’s Justice—Stephen R. Donaldson (September 6, Ace)
A cause for celebration among Stephen R. Donaldson’s many fans: two original novellas—his first publication since finishing the Thomas Covenant series. 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. The people of the village discover that they have a surprising urge to cooperate with this stranger, though the desire of inhabitants of quiet villages to cooperate with strangers is not common in their land. But 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. But even in the face of certain destruction a man may fight, and the Hieronomer is utterly loyal to his beautiful Queen—and to her only daughter.

The Graces—Laure Eve (September 6, Amulet)
Young adult. Everyone loves the Graces. Fenrin, Thalia, and Summer Grace are captivating, wealthy, and glamorous. They’ve managed to cast a spell over not just their high school but also their entire town—and they’re rumored to have powerful connections all over the world. If you’re not in love with one of them, you want to be them. Especially River: the loner, new girl at school. She’s different from her peers, who both revere and fear the Grace family. She wants to be a Grace more than anything. But what the Graces don’t know is that River’s presence in town is no accident. Perfect for fans of We Were Liars as well as nostalgic classics like Buffy the Vampire Slayer and the 1996 movie The Craft, The Graces marks the beginning of a new wave of teen witches.

Mighty Jack—Ben Hatke (September 6, First Second)
Young readers. Jack might be the only kid in the world who’s dreading summer. But he’s got a good reason: summer is when his single mom takes a second job and leaves him at home to watch his autistic kid sister, Maddy. It’s a lot of responsibility, and it’s boring, too, because Maddy doesn’t talk. Ever. But then, one day at the flea market, Maddy does talk—to tell Jack to trade their mom’s car for a box of mysterious seeds. It’s the best mistake Jack has ever made. In Mighty Jack, what starts as a normal little garden out back behind the house quickly grows up into a wild, magical jungle with tiny onion babies running amok, huge, pink pumpkins that bite, and, on one moonlit night that changes everything … a dragon.

Gods of Nabban—K.V. Johansen (September 6, Pry)
The fugitive slave Ghu has ended the assassin Ahjvar’s century-long possession by a murderous and hungry ghost, but at great cost. Heir of the dying gods of Nabban, he is drawn back to the empire he fled as a boy, journeying east on the caravan road with Ahjvar at his side. Haunted by memory of those he has slain, Ahjvar is ill in mind and body, a danger to those about him and to the man who loves him most of all. Tortured by violent nightmares, he believes himself mad. Only his determination not to leave Ghu to face his fate alone keeps Ahjvar from asking to be freed at last from his unnatural life. Innocent and madman, god and assassin—two men to seize an empire from the tyrannical descendants of the devil Yeh-Lin. But in war-torn Nabban, enemies of gods and humans stir in the shadows. Yeh-Lin herself meddles with the heir of her enemies and his soul-shattered companion, as the fate of the empire rests on their shoulders.

Elite (Hunter #2)—Mercedes Lackey (September 6, Disney-Hyperion)
Young adult. When Joy came to Apex City, all she cared about was protecting the Cits from the dangers lurking outside protective barriers. She understood the need for the secrecy surrounding her Hunts—no need to cause a panic by announcing just how real a threat the Othersiders pose. Under the orders of her uncle, the city’s Prefect, Joy begins patrolling the abandoned tunnels and storm sewers under Apex Central. Then she starts finding bodies. Psimons are turning up dead in the bowels of the city with no apparent injury. Reporting the incidents makes Joy the uncomfortable object of PsiCorp’s scrutiny—the organization appears more interested in keeping her quiet than investigating. Long-held tensions between PsiCorp and the Hunters seem to be reaching a breaking point. While infighting threatens the stability of Apex City, Othersider forces are gaining strength and momentum outside the borders. Joy desperately seeks answers to figure out who her real enemies are before she and everyone she cares about are locked into an all-out war

Empire of Storms (Throne of Glass #5)—Sarah J. Maas (September 6, Bloomsbury)
Young adult. The long path to the throne has only just begun for Aelin Galathynius. Loyalties have been broken and bought, friends have been lost and gained, and those who possess magic find themselves at odds with those don’t. As the kingdoms of Erilea fracture around her, enemies must become allies if Aelin is to keep those she loves from falling to the dark forces poised to claim her world. With war looming on all horizons, the only chance for salvation lies in a desperate quest that may mark the end of everything Aelin holds dear. Aelin’s journey from assassin to queen has entranced millions across the globe, and this fifth installment will leave fans breathless. Will Aelin succeed in keeping her world from splintering, or will it all come crashing down?

Once Broken Faith (October Daye #10)—Seanan McGuire (September 6, DAW)
Politics have never been October “Toby” Daye’s strong suit. When she traveled to the Kingdom of Silences to prevent them from going to war with her home, the Kingdom of the Mists, she wasn’t expecting to return with a cure for elf-shot and a whole new set of political headaches. Now the events she unwittingly set in motion could change the balance of modern Faerie forever, and she has been ordered to appear before a historic convocation of monarchs, hosted by Queen Windermere in the Mists and overseen by the High King and Queen themselves. Naturally, things have barely gotten underway when the first dead body shows up. As the only changeling in attendance, Toby is already the target of suspicion and hostility. Now she needs to find a killer before they can strike again—and with the doors locked to keep the guilty from escaping, no one is safe.

Bury the Living—Jodi McIsaac (September 6, 47 North)
Rebellion has always been in the O’Reilly family’s blood. So when faced with the tragic death of her brother during Northern Ireland’s infamous Troubles, a teenage Nora joined the IRA to fight for her country’s freedom. Now, more than a decade later, Nora is haunted by both her past and vivid dreams of a man she has never met. When she is given a relic belonging to Brigid of Kildare, patron saint of Ireland, the mystical artifact transports her back eighty years—to the height of Ireland’s brutal civil war. There she meets the alluring stranger from her dreams, who has his own secrets—and agenda. Taken out of her own time, Nora has the chance to alter the fortunes of Ireland and maybe even save the ones she loves.

True Power (True Trilogy #3)—Gary Meehan (September 6, Jo Fletcher Books)
After battling their way across Werlavia, Megan and her companions have sought the promise of safety in the mountain city of Hil … but the army of the True lies in wait for their arrival. Megan knows they can’t ignore the witch menace any longer. Empowered by their guns and their allies, the True are coming for her, for her young daughter, and for everyone else she loves. Nothing less than the soul of Werlavia hangs in the balance. Now deep into her quest, which began when she suddenly found herself a refugee from her destroyed village, Megan is no longer an ordinary miller’s daughter. As her destiny has unfolded through her travels, she has taken on the role of Mother, Apostate, and Countess. And now it is up to her to protect the people of the Realm from evil.

Believing in Blue—Maggie Morton (September 1, Bold Strokes Books)
Wren received something for her eighteenth birthday that she was fairly sure was one of a kind: sky-blue wings. But along with those wings comes the knowledge that her father had a surprisingly practical reason for abandoning her when she was eight. In his letter to her, delivered via talking raven, she learns that it’s up to her to save billions of humans and Winged Blue from a threat that’s on the horizon and closing in fast. She is to travel to the world of the Winged Blue thirteen days after her birthday, and before she leaves, an attractive winged young woman named Sia will be teaching her how to fly. Wren has to hope that her world’s prophecy is right, and that she is up for something even more challenging than growing up gay in a small town: saving two entire worlds from the Winged Red.

Tales of the Peculiar—Ransom Riggs (September 3, Dutton)
Before Miss Peregrine gave them a home, the story of peculiars was written in the Tales. Wealthy cannibals who dine on the discarded limbs of peculiars. A fork-tongued princess. These are but a few of the truly brilliant stories in Tales of the Peculiar—the collection of fairy tales known to hide information about the peculiar world, including clues to the locations of time loops—first introduced by Ransom Riggs in his #1 bestselling Miss Peregrine’s Peculiar Children series. Riggs now invites you to share his secrets of peculiar history, with a collection of original stories in this deluxe volume of Tales of the Peculiar, as collected and annotated by Millard Nullings, ward of Miss Peregrine and scholar of all things peculiar.

The Dark Talent (Alcatraz vs. the Evil Librarians #5)—Brandon Sanderson (September 6, Starscape)
Young readers. Alcatraz Smedry has successfully defeated the army of Evil Librarians and saved the kingdom of Mokia. Too bad he managed to break the Smedry Talents in the process. Even worse, his father is trying to enact a scheme that could ruin the world, and his friend, Bastille, is in a coma. To revive her, Alcatraz must infiltrate the Highbrary—known as The Library of Congress to Hushlanders—the seat of Evil Librarian power. Without his Talent to draw upon, can Alcatraz figure out a way to save Bastille and defeat the Evil Librarians once and for all?

Project Elfhome—Wen Spencer (September 6, Baen)
Pittsburgh: a sprawling modern Earth city stranded in the heart of a virgin forest on Elfhome. Sixty thousand humans, twenty thousand black-winged tengu, ten thousand elves, an unknown number of invading oni, four unborn siblings of an elf princess, three dragons, and a pair of nine-year olds geniuses. A special entry in the the best-selling Romantic Times Sapphire award winning Elfhome series, Project Elfhome contains some of Wen Spencer’s best shorter works, including “Bare Snow Falling on Fairywood,” “Pittsburgh Backyard and Garden,” “Peace Offering,” and more.

Fix (’Mancer #3)—Ferrett Steinmetz (September 6, Angry Robot)
Paul Tsabo: Bureaucromancer. Political activist. Loving father. His efforts to decriminalize magic have made him the government’s #1 enemy—and his fugitive existence has robbed his daughter of a normal life. Aliyah Tsabo-Dawson: Videogamemancer. Gifted unearthly powers by a terrorist’s magic. Raised by a family of magicians, she’s the world’s loneliest teenager—because her powers might kill anyone she befriends. The Unimancers: Brain-burned zombies. Former ‘mancers, tortured into becoming agents of the government’s anti-‘mancer squad. An unstoppable hive-mind. When Paul accidentally opens up the first unsealed dimensional broach on American soil, the Unimancers lead his family in a cat-and-mouse pursuit all the way to the demon-haunted ruins of Europe—where Aliyah is slowly corrupted by the siren call of the Unimancers…

Prince of Outcasts (Change Series #16)—S.M. Stirling (September 6, Roc)
John Arminger Mackenzie wanted to be a troubadour, but fate made him the son of the king of Montival. His sister Princess Órlaith will deservedly inherit the throne of the High Kings, and it will only pass unto him in the event of her death, leaving the young Prince on an unknown path to discover his true role in the family. The opportunity to prove his mettle comes when John’s ship, the Tarshish Queen, is caught in the fierce storm raised against the enemies of the alliance. When the clouds recede and the skies clear, John and his crew find themselves on the other side of the Pacific, in the island chains of the Ceram Sea, fighting to survive against vicious pirates and monstrous creatures of the deep, meeting new allies and mysterious enemies of this world and another. Now, Prince John must seize his birthright and lead his people in battle against the darkest forces man and nature can conjure against them.

The King’s Traitor (Kingfountain #3)—Jeff Wheeler (September 6, 47North)
Against all odds, Owen Kiskaddon grew from frightened boy to confident youth to trusted officer in the court of Kingfountain—and watched its regent, Severn Argentine, grow ever more ruthless and power-mad. Robbed of his beloved protector, his noble mentor, and his true love, Owen has anticipated the day when the king he fears and reviles, yet loyally serves, will be toppled. Now, as Severn plots a campaign of conquest, the time has come to take action. Ordered to incite war with a neighboring kingdom, Owen discovers its beautiful, reclusive ruler, whose powerful magic might even exceed his own. Together they mount a daring plot to overthrow the corrupt monarch, crown the rightful heir, and defeat the prophesied curse threatening Kingfountain with wintry death. But Severn’s evil is as bottomless as the fabled Deep Fathoms. To keep his ill-gotten throne, he’ll gladly spill the blood of enemies and innocents alike.

 

WEEK TWO

Summerlong—Peter S. Beagle (September 13, Tachyon Publications)
It was a typically unpleasant Puget Sound winter before the arrival of Lioness Lazos. When the lovely Lioness, an enigmatic young waitress with strange abilities, comes to Gardner Island, even the weather takes notice. As an impossibly beautiful spring leads into a perfect summer, Lioness is drawn to a complicated family. She is taken in by two disenchanted lovers—dynamic Joanna Delvecchio and scholarly Abe Aronson—visited by Joanna’s previously unlucky-in-love daughter, Lily. With Lioness in their lives, they are suddenly compelled to explore their deepest dreams and desires. Lioness grows more captivating as the days grow longer. Her new family thrives, even as they may be growing apart. But lingering in Lioness’s past is a dark secret—and even summer days must pass.

Cold-Forged Flame—Marie Brennan (September 13, Tor.com Publishing)
The sound of the horn pierces the apeiron, shattering the stillness of that realm. Its clarion call creates ripples, substance, something more. It is a summons, a command. There is will. There is need. And so, in reply, there is a woman. At the beginning—no—at the end—she appears, full of fury and bound by chains of prophecy. Setting off on an unexplained quest from which she is compelled to complete, and facing unnatural challenges in a land that doesn’t seem to exist, she will discover the secrets of herself, or die trying. But along the way, the obstacles will grow to a seemingly insurmountable point, and the final choice will be the biggest sacrifice yet. This is the story of a woman’s struggle against her very existence, an epic tale of the adventure and emotional upheaval on the way to face an ancient enigmatic foe. Marie Brennan, award-winning author and beloved fantasist, begins a new series about the consequences of war—and of fate.

The Forgetting—Sharon Cameron (September 13, Scholastic)
Young adult. What isn’t written, isn’t remembered. Even your crimes. Nadia lives in the city of Canaan, where life is safe and structured, hemmed in by white stone walls and no memory of what came before. But every twelve years the city descends into the bloody chaos of the Forgetting, a day of no remorse, when each person’s memories—of parents, children, love, life, and self—are lost. Unless they have been written. In Canaan, your book is your truth and your identity, and Nadia knows exactly who hasn’t written the truth. Because Nadia is the only person in Canaan who has never forgotten. But when Nadia begins to use her memories to solve the mysteries of Canaan, she discovers truths about herself and Gray, the handsome glassblower, that will change her world forever.

The Reader—Tracy Chee (September 13, Putnam Books for Young Readers)
Young adult. Sefia knows what it means to survive. After her father is brutally murdered, she flees into the wilderness with her aunt Nin, who teaches her to hunt, track, and steal. But when Nin is kidnapped, leaving Sefia completely alone, none of her survival skills can help her discover where Nin’s been taken, or if she’s even alive. The only clue to both her aunt’s disappearance and her father’s murder is the odd rectangular object her father left behind, an object she comes to realize is a book—a marvelous item unheard of in her otherwise illiterate society. With the help of this book, and the aid of a mysterious stranger with dark secrets of his own, Sefia sets out to rescue her aunt and find out what really happened the day her father was killed—and punish the people responsible.

A Shattered Empire (Sorcery Ascendant Sequence #3)—Mitchell Hogan (September 13, Harper Voyager)
After young Caldan’s parents were slain, a group of monks raised the boy and initiated him into the arcane mysteries of sorcery. But when the Mahruse Empire was attacked, and the lives of his friends hung in the balance, he was forced to make a dangerous choice. Now, as two mighty empires face off in a deadly game of supremacy, potent sorcery and creatures from legend have been unleashed. To turn the tide of war and prevent annihilation, Caldan must learn to harness his fearsome and forbidden magic. But as he grows into his powers, the young sorcerer realizes that not all the monsters are on the other side. And though traps and pitfalls lie ahead, and countless lives are at stake, one thing is certain: to save his life, his friends, and his world, Caldan must risk all to defeat a sorcerer of immense power. Failure will doom the world. Success will doom Caldan.

Age of Heroes—James Lovegrove (September 13, Titan)
Heracles, Perseus, Theseus, Orpheus, Achilles, Hippolyta, Aeneas, King Minos, Helen of Troy—for centuries they have survived on Earth, doing their best to fit in among ordinary humans. The offspring of liaisons between god and mortal, they are blessed, or perhaps cursed, with eternal life. They cannot be killed. But someone has figured out how to do just that. One by one, the demigods are meeting gory, violent ends. Now it’s up to Theseus, comfortably ensconced in New York and making his living as a crime fiction writer, to investigate the deaths. His search for the culprit draws him back into the lives of his extended family of cousins and half-siblings, and into a world of tragedy and long-held grudges that he thought, and hoped, he’d put behind him.

Yamada Monogatari: The Emperor in Shadow (Yamada Monogatari #4)—Richard Parks (September 13, Prime Books)
Lord Yamada is called away—one last time—from his newly restored estates in Kamakura to help Prince Kanemore ensure that Princess Teiko’s son, Takahito, inherits the Chrysanthemum Throne. Unfortunately, assuming the throne proves to be the easy part. Yamada must then help Takahito renounce that throne in such a way as to hobble the power of the Fujiwara clan forever!

The Evil Wizard Smallbone—Delia Sherman (September 13, Candlewick)
Young readers. When twelve-year-old Nick runs away from his uncle’s in the middle of a blizzard, he stumbles onto a very opinionated bookstore. He also meets its guardian, the self-proclaimed Evil Wizard Smallbone, who calls Nick his apprentice and won’t let him leave, but won’t teach him magic, either. It’s a good thing the bookstore takes Nick’s magical education in hand, because Smallbone’s nemesis—the Evil Wizard Fidelou—and his pack of shape-shifting bikers are howling at the borders. Smallbone might call himself evil, but compared to Fidelou, he’s practically a puppy. And he can’t handle Fidelou alone. Delia Sherman’s latest is an eccentric fantasy adventure featuring dueling wizards, enchanted animals, and one stray boy with a surprising knack for magic.

 

WEEK THREE

Magic Binds (Kate Daniels #9)—Ilona Andrews (September 20, Ace)
Mercenary Kate Daniels and the former Beast Lord Curran Lennart are finally making their relationship official. But there are some steep obstacles standing in the way of their walk to the altar…
Kate’s father, Roland, has kidnapped the demigod Saiman and is slowly bleeding him dry in his never-ending bid for power. A Witch Oracle has predicted that if Kate marries the man she loves, Atlanta will burn and she will lose him forever. And the only person Kate can ask for help is long dead. The odds are impossible. The future is grim. But Kate Daniels has never been one to play by the rules…

Witch’s Pyre (Worldwalker #3)—Josephine Angelini (September 20, Feiwel & Friends)
Young adult. Lily Proctor has come a long way from the weak, sickly girl she used to be. She has gained power as a witch and a leader, found her way home, chosen to face battle again, and learned more about loss and grief than she ever wanted to know. Thrust once again into a society different from anything they have ever seen, Lily and her coven are determined to find answers—to find a new path to victory, a way to defeat the monstrous Woven without resorting to nuclear weapons or becoming a tyrannical mass murderer like her alternate self, Lillian. But sometimes winning requires sacrifices … and when the only clear path to victory lies at Lillian’s side, what price will Lily be willing to pay?

Three Dark Crowns—Kendare Blake (September 20, HarperTeen)
Young adult. In every generation on the island of Fennbirn, a set of triplets is born: three queens, all equal heirs to the crown and each possessor of a coveted magic. Mirabella is a fierce elemental, able to spark hungry flames or vicious storms at the snap of her fingers. Katharine is a poisoner, one who can ingest the deadliest poisons without so much as a stomachache. Arsinoe, a naturalist, is said to have the ability to bloom the reddest rose and control the fiercest of lions. But becoming the Queen Crowned isn’t solely a matter of royal birth. Each sister has to fight for it. And it’s not just a game of win or lose … it’s life or death. The night the sisters turn sixteen, the battle begins. The last queen standing gets the crown.

A Shadow Bright and Burning (Kingdom on Fire #1)—Jessica Cluess (September 20, Random House Books for Young Readers)
Young adult. Henrietta Howel can burst into flames. Forced to reveal her power to save a friend, she’s shocked when instead of being executed, she’s invited to train as one of Her Majesty’s royal sorcerers. Thrust into the glamour of Victorian London, Henrietta is declared the chosen one, the girl who will defeat the Ancients, bloodthirsty demons terrorizing humanity. She also meets her fellow sorcerer trainees, handsome young men eager to test her power and her heart. One will challenge her. One will fight for her. One will betray her. But Henrietta Howel is not the chosen one. As she plays a dangerous game of deception, she discovers that the sorcerers have their own secrets to protect. With battle looming, what does it mean to not be the one? And how much will she risk to save the city—and the one she loves?

The Dark Army (Starblade Chronicles #2)—Joseph Delany (September 20, Greenwillow)
Young adult. Tom Ward is now spook of the county, and with his apprentice, Jenny, he continues the fight against boggarts, witches, and terrifying new creatures of the dark. Together with the witch assassin, Grimalkin, Tom and Jenny lead an army into battle against a dangerous enemy—but it all goes catastrophically wrong. The situation seems hopeless until Alice—Tom’s lost love and a powerful witch—appears. But Alice had turned to the dark: can Tom trust her now? Joseph Delaney’s deliciously scary imagination continues Tom’s saga, introducing new readers to the struggle against the encroaching dark and taking longtime fans back to familiar settings, where they will find old friends—and old enemies.

The Queen of Blood (The Queens of Renthia #1)—Sarah Beth Durst (September 20, Harper Voyager)
Everything has a spirit: the willow tree with leaves that kiss the pond, the stream that feeds the river, the wind that exhales fresh snow. But the spirits that reside within this land want to rid it of all humans. One woman stands between these malevolent spirits and the end of humankind: the queen. She alone has the magical power to prevent the spirits from destroying every man, woman, and child. But queens are still just human, and no matter how strong or good, the threat of danger always looms.With the position so precarious, young women are chosen to train as heirs. Daleina, a seemingly quiet academy student, is under no illusions as to her claim to the throne, but simply wants to right the wrongs that have befallen the land. Ven, a disgraced champion, has spent his exile secretly fighting against the growing number of spirit attacks. Joining forces, these daring partners embark on a treacherous quest to find the source of the spirits’ restlessness—a journey that will test their courage and trust, and force them to stand against both enemies and friends to save their land … before it’s bathed in blood.

The Iscariot Sanction (Lazarus Gate #2)—Mark Latham (September 20, Titan)
It is 1879 and the sky above London burns with fire, revealing the rift through which nameless terrors threaten to tear apart the very fabric of reality. Lillian Hardwick and her psychic partner Sir Arthur Furnival—agents of the Crown—have been sent to investigate a series of disappearances from the slums. Meanwhile her brother and fellow agent John Hardwick has been sent north on his own mission, which culminates in a horrifying discovery. In a world already beset by enemies, the Hardwicks will discover an ancient threat that has long hidden in the shadows, but is ready to make its power known…

Deadlands: Thunder Moon Rising—Jeffrey Mariotte (September 20, Tor Books)
Fear is abroad in the Deadlands as a string of brutal killings and cattle mutilations trouble a frontier town in the Arizona Territory, nestled in the forbidding shadow of the rugged Thunder Mountains. A mule train is massacred, homes and ranches are attacked, and men and women are stalked and butchered by bestial killers who seem to be neither human nor animal. Meanwhile, a ruthless land baron tries to buy up all the surrounding territory—and possibly bring about an apocalypse. Once an officer in the Union Army, Tucker Bringloe is now a worthless drunk begging for free drinks at the corner saloon. When he’s roped into a posse searching for the nameless killers, Tuck must rediscover the man he once was if he’s to halt the bloodshed and stop occult forces from unleashing Hell on Earth … when the Thunder Moon rises.

Stealing Snow—Danielle Paige (September 20, Bloomsbury)
Seventeen-year-old Snow has spent the majority of her life within the walls of the Whittaker Institute, a high security mental hospital in upstate New York. Deep down, she knows she’s not crazy and doesn’t belong there. When she meets a mysterious, handsome new orderly and dreams about a strange twisted tree, she realizes she must escape and figure out who she really is. Snow breaks free and races into the nearby woods. Suddenly, everything isn’t what it seems, the line between reality and fantasy begins to blur, and she finds herself in icy Algid—her true home—with witches, thieves, and a strangely alluring boy named Kai, none of whom she’s sure she can trust. As secret after secret is revealed, Snow discovers that she is on the run from a royal lineage she’s destined to inherit, a father more powerful and ruthless than she could have imagined, and choices of the heart that could change the fate of everything … including Snow’s return to the world she once knew.

Vassa in the Night—Sarah Porter (September 20, Tor Teen)
Young adult. In the enchanted kingdom of Brooklyn, the fashionable people put on cute shoes, go to parties in warehouses, drink on rooftops at sunset, and tell themselves they’ve arrived. A whole lot of Brooklyn is like that now—but not Vassa’s working-class neighborhood. In Vassa’s neighborhood, where she lives with her stepmother and bickering stepsisters, one might stumble onto magic, but stumbling out again could become an issue. Babs Yagg, the owner of the local convenience store, has a policy of beheading shoplifters—and sometimes innocent shoppers as well. So when Vassa’s stepsister sends her out for light bulbs in the middle of night, she knows it could easily become a suicide mission. But Vassa has a bit of luck hidden in her pocket. Erg is a tough-talking wooden doll with sticky fingers, a bottomless stomach, and a ferocious cunning. With Erg’s help, Vassa just might be able to break the witch’s curse and free her Brooklyn neighborhood. But Babs won’t be playing fair….

The Family Plot—Cherie Priest (September 20, Tor Books)
Music City Salvage is a family operation, owned and operated by Chuck Dutton. But business is lean and times are tight, so he’s thrilled when the aged and esteemed Augusta Withrow appears in his office. She has a massive family estate to unload—for a check and a handshake, it’s all his. And it’s enough of a gold mine that he assigns his daughter Dahlia to personally oversee the project. Dahlia preps a couple of trucks and takes a small crew down to Chattanooga, Tennessee, where the ancient Withrow house is waiting—and so is a small, overgrown cemetery that Augusta Withrow left out of the paperwork. Augusta left out a lot of things. The property is empty, but it isn’t abandoned. Something in the Withrow mansion is angry and lost. This is its last chance to raise hell before the house is gone forever, and there’s still plenty of room in the strange little family plot…

Frost Like Night (Snow Like Ashes #3)—Sara Raasch (September 20, Balzer & Bray)
Angra is alive, his Decay is spreading—and no one is safe. Meira will do anything to save her world. With Angra trying to break through her mental defenses, she desperately needs to learn to control her own magic. But the true solution to stopping the Decay lies in a labyrinth deep beneath the Season Kingdoms. To defeat Angra, Meira will have to enter the labyrinth, destroy the very magic she’s learning to control—and make the biggest sacrifice of all. Mather will do anything to save his queen. He needs to rally the Children of the Thaw, find Meira—and finally tell her how he really feels. Ceridwen will do anything to save her people—but when she’s freed by an unexpected ally who reveals a shocking truth behind Summer’s slave trade, Ceridwen must take action to save her true love and her kingdom. As Angra unleashes the Decay on the world, Meira, Mather, and Ceridwen must bring the kingdoms of Primoria together … or lose everything.

Red Tide (Chronicles of the Exile #3)—Marc Turner (September 20, Tor Books)
The Rubyholt Isles is a shattered nation of pirate-infested islands and treacherous waterways shielding the seaboards of Erin Elal and the Sabian League. The Augerans approach the Warlord of the Isles, seeking passage for their invasion fleet through Rubyholt waters. When an Erin Elalese Guardian assassinates the Augeran commander in the Rubyholt capital, the Augerans raze the city, including its Temple of the White Lady. Avallon Delamar, the Emperor of Erin Elal, requests a meeting with the Storm Lords to discuss an alliance against the Augerans. When the Augerans get word of the gathering, strike, in the hope of eliminating the Erin Elalese and Storm Lord high commands. They have not counted on the Rubyholters, however, who come seeking revenge for the destruction of their capital. But the battle lines for the struggle are not as clearly drawn as it might at first appear.

 

WEEK FOUR

Operation Arcana—John Joseph Adams, editor (September 27, Baen)
In the realms of fantasy, the battlefield is where heroism comes alive, magic is unleashed, and legends are made and unmade. From the War of the Ring to The Battle of the Blackwater, these fantastical conflicts reflect our highest hopes and darkest fears, bringing us mesmerizing visions of silver spears shining in the sun and vast hordes of savage beasts who threaten to destroy all that we hold dear. Now, acclaimed editor John Joseph Adams is sounding the battle cry and sixteen of today’s top authors are reporting for duty, spinning never-before-published, spellbinding tales of military fantasy, including a Black Company story from Glen Cook, a Paksenarrion story from Elizabeth Moon, and a Shadow Ops story by Myke Cole.

Crooked Kingdom (Six of Crows #2)—Leigh Bardugo (September 27, Henry Holt)
Young adult. Kaz Brekker and his crew have just pulled off a heist so daring even they didn’t think they’d survive. But instead of divvying up a fat reward, they’re right back to fighting for their lives. Double-crossed and badly weakened, the crew is low on resources, allies, and hope. As powerful forces from around the world descend on Ketterdam to root out the secrets of the dangerous drug known as jurda parem, old rivals and new enemies emerge to challenge Kaz’s cunning and test the team’s fragile loyalties. A war will be waged on the city’s dark and twisting streets—a battle for revenge and redemption that will decide the fate of the Grisha world.

Like a River Glorious (Gold Seer Trilogy #2)—Rae Carson (September 27, Greenwillow)
Young adult. After her harrowing journey west to California, Lee Westfall has finally found a new home—one rich in gold, thanks to her magical power. But this home is rich in other ways, too: with friends who are searching for a place to be themselves, just as she is, and with love. Jefferson—her longtime best friend—hasn’t stopped trying to win her heart. And Lee is more and more tempted to say yes. But her uncle Hiram hasn’t given up his quest to get Lee and her power under his control. When she’s kidnapped and taken to him, Lee sees firsthand the depths of her uncle’s villainy. Yet Lee’s magic is growing. Gold no longer simply sings to her; it listens. It obeys her call. Is it enough to destroy her uncle once and for all?

Black Jade (Celestial Battle #3)—Kylie Chan (September 27, Harper Voyager)
The Heavenly defenses struggle to hold against the combined might of the Eastern and Western demon hordes. The God of War Xuan Wu is now at full strength—but is his might enough to safeguard the realm when half the Heavens are already in their hands? John and Emma fight a last-ditch desperate struggle to conserve their kingdom and their protect their families. But will the kingdom ever be the same again?

Dishonored: The Corroded Man—Adam Christopher (September 27, Titan)
A strange, shrouded figure appears in Dunwall, seeming to possess powers once wielded by the assassin known as Daud. Faced with the possibility that their deadliest foe has returned, Emily and Corvo plunge headlong into a life-and-death race against time. If they fail to learn the truth about this mysterious enemy, the result could be destruction on an unimaginable scale.

The Dreaming Hunt (Sleeping King #2)—Cindy Dees & Bill Flippin (September 27, Tor Books)
In The Sleeping King, our intrepid adventurers found the imprisoned echo of a long lost king on the Dream Plane. He told them how to wake him in the mortal realm: find his lost regalia and rejoin them with his sleeping body. In The Dreaming Hunt, the heroes begin their quest. But they’ve caught the attention of powerful forces determined to stop them. Worse, their visit to the Dream Plane has unleashed chaos, and the fight is spilling over into the mortal realm. They frantically outrun old enemies and pick up new ones: imperial hunters, a secret cabal of mages, a criminal league, and a changeling army. Are they just pawns in larger political dramas, or are they crystallizing into the nucleus of a rebellion? Can they find the regalia necessary to wake the Sleeping King before they are utterly destroyed?

The Pressed Fairy Journal of Madeline Cottington—Brian & Wendy Froud (September 27, Abrams)
Renowned artist/author duo Brian and Wendy Froud present, for the first time, the backstory of Cottington Hall and its intriguing inhabitants: the Cottington family and the faeries living among them. The rise and fall of this eccentric British family gives us humorous, and sometimes tragic, glimpses into how the Cottingtons became inexorably entwined with the faeries during the late 19th and 20th centuries. When a descendant, Maddi, visits the Cottingtons’s dilapidated hall, she finds herself caught up in a story of intrigue and mystery. While reading the letters and journals of her ancestors and discovering a wealth of inventions aimed at allowing humans to visit the fairy realm unharmed, Maddi slowly becomes aware of the faeries and their world.

The Ferryman Institute—Colin Gigl (September 27, Gallery Books)
Ferryman Charlie Dawson saves dead people—somebody has to convince them to move on to the afterlife, after all. But serving as a Ferryman is causing Charlie to slowly lose his mind. Deemed too valuable by the Ferryman Institute to be let go and too stubborn to just give up in his own right, Charlie’s pretty much abandoned all hope of escaping his grim existence. Or he had, anyway, until he saved Alice Spiegel. To be fair, Charlie never planned on stopping Alice from taking her own life—that sort of thing is strictly forbidden by the Institute—but he never planned on the President secretly giving him the choice to, either. When word of the incident reaches Inspector Javrouche, the Ferryman Institute’s internal affairs liaison, Charlie finds he’s in a world of trouble. But Charlie’s not about to lose the only living, breathing person he’s ever saved without a fight. He’s ready to protect her from Javrouche and save Alice from herself, and he’s willing to put the entire continued existence of mankind at risk to do it.

The Tengu’s Game of Go (Tale of Shikanoko Series #4)—Lian Hearn (September 27, FSG Originals)
The rightful emperor is lost to the world, farther from the throne than ever before. The lord of the usurper clan has fallen ill, and further unrest looms. Shikanoko has withdrawn to the furthest reaches of the country, leaving his allies stranded and the Spider Tribe unchecked. Lakes are drying up, rivers receding—have the powers of Heaven abandoned the Eight Islands? The Tale of Shikanoko began with an unusual game of Go— and now, in the last chapter, the stones are arrayed in their final positions on the board. All are forced to confront the missteps of the past, as the wrath of Heaven weaves tight around its mortal players. Throughout The Tale of Shikanoko, Lian Hearn has masterfully captured the thrilling danger and beauty of the medieval and magical. In the final installment, Shikanoko risks everything for fate and justice—an exhilarating ending to an unforgettable adventure.

Bright Smoke, Cold Fire—Rosamund Hodge (September 27, Balzer & Bray)
Young adult. When the mysterious fog of the Ruining crept over the world, the living died and the dead rose. Only the walled city of Viyara was left untouched. The heirs of the city’s most powerful—and warring—families, Mahyanai Romeo and Juliet Catresou, share a love deeper than duty, honor, even life itself. But the magic laid on Juliet at birth compels her to punish the enemies of her clan—and Romeo has just killed her cousin Tybalt. Paris Catresou has always wanted to serve his family by guarding Juliet. But when his ward tries to escape her fate, magic goes terribly wrong—killing her and leaving Paris bound to Romeo. Mahyanai Runajo only wants to protect her city—but she’s the only one who believes it’s in peril. In her desperate hunt for information, she accidentally pulls Juliet from the mouth of death—and finds herself bound to the bitter, angry girl. Runajo quickly discovers Juliet might be the one person who can help her recover the secret to saving Viyara. And outside the walls, death is waiting. . . .

Fall of the House of Cabal (Johannes Cabal #5)—Jonathan L. Howard (September 27, Thomas Dunne Books)
Johannes Cabal, a necromancer of some little infamy, has come into possession of a vital clue that may lead him to his ultimate goal—a cure for death. The path is vague, however, and certainly treacherous as it takes him into strange territories that, quite literally, no one has ever seen before. The task is too dangerous to venture upon alone, so he must seek assistance, comrades for the coming travails. Assisted—ably and otherwise—by his vampiric brother Horst and by the kindly accompaniment of a criminologist and a devil, they will encounter ruins and diableries, mystery and murder, the depths of the lowest pit and a city of horrors. London, to be exact. Yet even though Cabal has risked such peril believing he understands the dangers he faces, he is still underestimating them. He is walking into a trap of such arcane complexity that even the one who drew him there has no idea of its true terrors. As it closes slowly and subtly around them, it may be that there will be no survivors at all.

A Taste for Monsters—Matthew J. Kirby (September 27, Scholastic)
Young adult. London, 1888. Jack the Ripper is terrorizing the people of the city. Evelyn, a young woman disfigured by her dangerous work in a matchstick factory, does not know what to make of her new position as a maid to the Elephant Man in London Hospital. Evelyn wanted to be locked away from the world, like he is, shut away from the filth and dangers of the streets. But in Joseph Merrick, the Elephant Man, she finds a gentle kindred, who does not recoil from her, and who understands her pain. When the murders begin, however, Joseph and Evelyn are haunted nightly by the ghosts of the Ripper’s dead, setting Evelyn on a path to facing her fears and uncovering humanity’s worst nightmares, in which the real monsters are men.

Bloodsworn (Bloodbound #3)—Erin Lindsey (September 27, Ace)
As the war between Alden and Oridia draws to an end, the fates of both kingdoms rest on the actions of a select group of individuals—and, of course, on the unbreakable bonds of blood. Unbeknownst to most of Alden, King Erik, in thrall to a cruel bloodbinder, is locked away in his own palace, plotting revenge. To save her king, Lady Alix must journey behind enemy lines to destroy the bloodbinder. But her quest will demand sacrifices that may be more than she can bear. Meanwhile, as the Warlord of Oridia tightens his grip on Alden, the men Alix loves face equally deadly tasks: Her husband, Liam, must run a country at war while her brother, Rig, fights a losing battle on the front lines. If either of them fails, Alden could be lost—and even if they succeed, their efforts may be too late to save everyone Alix holds dear…

Brightwood—Tania Unsworth (September 27, Algonquin Young Readers)
Young adult. Daisy Fitzjohn knows there are two worlds: the outside world and the world of her home, a secluded mansion called Brightwood Hall. But only Brightwood is real for Daisy–she’s never once set foot outside its grounds. Daisy and her mother have everything they need within Brightwood’s magnificent, half-ruined walls, including Daisy’s best friends: a talking rat named Tar and the ghost of a long-ago explorer who calls herself Frank. When Daisy’s mother leaves one morning, a peculiar visitor, James Gritting, arrives on the estate, claiming to be a distant cousin. But as the days tick by and Daisy’s mother doesn’t return, Gritting becomes more and more menacing. He wants Brightwood for himself, and he will do anything to get it.

Cloudbound (Bone Universe #2)—Fran Wilde (September 27, Tor Books)
When Kirit Densira left her home tower for the skies, she gave up many things: her beloved family, her known way of life, her dreams of flying as a trader for her tower, her dreams. Kirit set her City upside down, and fomented a massive rebellion at the Spire, to the good of the towers—but months later, everything has fallen to pieces. With the Towers in disarray, without a governing body or any defense against the dangers lurking in the clouds, daily life is full of terror and strife. Nat, Kirit’s wing-brother, sets out to be a hero in his own way—sitting on the new Council to cast votes protecting Tower-born, and exploring lower tiers to find more materials to repair the struggling City. But what he finds down-tier is more secrets–and now Nat will have to decide who to trust, and how to trust himself without losing those he holds most dear, before a dangerous myth raises a surprisingly realistic threat to the crippled City, in Cloudbound.

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