April blows in with a pretty exciting lineup of fantasy releases, from a new, standalone Brian Staveley to a collection of Tanith Lee’s twisted fairy tales. Marie Brennan brings her Lady Trent series to a close, Ruthanna Emrys debuts Winter Tide, Mark Lawrence introduces his Red Sister, and Claire North hangs out with Death—or rather, Charlie, the guy who visits before Death.
Keep track of all the new releases here. Note: All title summaries are taken and/or summarized from copy provided by the publisher.
The House of Binding Thorns (Dominion of the Fallen #2)—Aliette de Bodard (April 4, Ace)
House Silverspires was once the most powerful, but just as it sought to rise again, an ancient evil brought it low. Phillippe, an immortal who escaped the carnage, has a singular goal—to resurrect someone he lost. But the cost of such magic might be more than he can bear. In House Hawthorn, Madeleine the alchemist has had her addiction to angel essence savagely broken. Struggling to live on, she is forced on a perilous diplomatic mission to the underwater dragon kingdom—and finds herself in the midst of intrigues that have already caused one previous emissary to mysteriously disappear…. As the Houses seek a peace more devastating than war, those caught between new fears and old hatreds must find strength—or fall prey to a magic that seeks to bind all to its will.
Winter Tide—Ruthanna Emrys (April 4, Tor.com Publishing)
After attacking Devil’s Reef in 1928, the U.S. government rounded up the people of Innsmouth and took them to the desert, far from their ocean, their Deep One ancestors, and their sleeping god Cthulhu. Only Aphra and Caleb Marsh survived the camps, and they emerged without a past or a future. The government that stole Aphra’s life now needs her help. FBI agent Ron Spector believes that Communist spies have stolen dangerous magical secrets from Miskatonic University, secrets that could turn the Cold War hot in an instant, and hasten the end of the human race. Aphra must return to the ruins of her home, gather scraps of her stolen history, and assemble a new family to face the darkness of human nature.
Bound (Alex Verus #8)—Benedict Jacka (April 4, Ace)
Alex Verus is still haunted by his time apprenticed to Richard Drakh. He’s been free of him for many years, but now the only way to keep his friends from being harmed is to again work for Richard and his deadly ally. Even worse, Alex is forced to bring the life mage Anne into this servitude as well. After weeks of being hunted and finally cornered into what he thought was his last stand, Alex never imagined his life would be spared—and never anticipated at what price. This time, the diviner can see no way out…
Red Sister (Book of the Ancestor #1)—Mark Lawrence (April 4, Ace)
At the Convent of Sweet Mercy, young girls are raised to be killers. A bloodstained child of nine falsely accused of murder, guilty of worse, Nona Grey is stolen from the shadow of the noose. It takes ten years to educate a Red Sister in the ways of blade and fist, but under Abbess Glass’s care there is much more to learn than the arts of death. Among her class Nona finds a new family—and new enemies. Despite the security and isolation of the convent, Nona’s secret and violent past finds her out, drawing with it the tangled politics of a crumbling empire. Her arrival sparks old feuds to life, igniting vicious struggles within the church and even drawing the eye of the emperor himself. Beneath a dying sun, Nona Grey must master her inner demons, then loose them on those who stand in her way.
Redder Than Blood—Tanith Lee (April 4, DAW)
A vampiric Snow White whose pious stepmother is her only salvation. A supernatural Cinderella who strikes at midnight, leaving behind a prince mad with desire. A sleeping beauty never meant to be woken. In her World Fantasy Award-nominated short story collection, Red as Blood, Tanith Lee deconstructed familiar fairy tales, recapturing their original darkness and horror in haunting new interpretations. Behind gilded words and poised princesses, she exposed a sinister world of violence, madness, and dangerous enchantments. With Redder than Blood, Lee resumes the tradition of twisting tales. Among its nineteen tales, this volume explores unnerving variations of Beauty and the Beast, The Frog Prince, Snow White, and other classics, including three never-before-published stories.
The End of the Day—Claire North (April 4, Redhook/Orbit)
At the end of the day, Death visits everyone. Right before that, Charlie does. You might meet him in a hospital, in a warzone, or at the scene of a traffic accident. Then again, you might meet him at the North Pole – he gets everywhere, our Charlie. Would you shake him by the hand, take the gift he offers, or would you pay no attention to the words he says? Sometimes he is sent as a courtesy, sometimes as a warning. He never knows which.
Brimstone—Cherie Priest (April 4, Ace)
In the trenches of Europe during the Great War, Tomás Cordero operated a weapon more devastating than any gun: a flame projector that doused the enemy in liquid fire. Having left the battlefield a shattered man, he comes home to find yet more tragedy—for in his absence, his wife has died of the flu. Haunted by memories of the woman he loved and the atrocities he perpetrated, Tomás dreams of fire and finds himself setting match to flame when awake. Alice Dartle is a talented clairvoyant living among others who share her gifts in the community of Cassadaga, Florida. She too dreams of fire, knowing her nightmares are connected to the shell-shocked war veteran and widower. And she believes she can bring peace to him and his wife’s spirit. But the inferno that threatens to consume Tomás and Alice was set ablaze centuries ago by someone whose hatred transcended death itself….
The Horror on the Links: The Complete Tales of Jules de Grandin, Vol. 1—Seabury Quinn (April 4, Night Shade Books)
Today the names of H. P. Lovecraft, Robert E. Howard, August Derleth, and Clark Ashton Smith, all regular contributors to the pulp magazine Weird Tales during the first half of the 20th century, are recognizable even to casual readers of the bizarre and fantastic. Despite being more popular than them all during the golden era of genre pulp fiction, there is another author whose name and work have fallen into obscurity: Seabury Quinn. His most famous character, the supernatural French detective Dr. Jules de Grandin, investigated cases involving monsters, devil worshippers, serial killers, and spirits from beyond the grave, often set in the small town of Harrisonville, New Jersey. Collected for the first time in trade editions, The Complete Tales of Jules de Grandin, edited by George Vanderburgh, presents all 93 published works featuring the supernatural detective.
Castle on the River Vistula (The Chelsea Trilogy #3)—Michelle Tea (April 4, McSweeney’s McMullens)
Young adult. When Sophie Swankowski surfaces from the freezing waters, she finds herself in an ancient castle in Poland—and in the center of an ages-old battle. Even with her magic powers, the strength and wisdom she learns from her companions in Warsaw, and the help of her gruff mermaid guardian, Syrena, how can one thirteen-year-old from scrappy Chelsea, Massachusetts, really save the world? Luckily, Sophie won’t be alone. As she connects to other girls around the globe who have been training, just like her, for this very fight, she begins to think she just may become the hero she’s meant to be. But when she has to face the pure source of evil alone, using all the strength she has to keep it from destroying everything, how easy it would be to simply give up and join the other side…
The Chosen (Black Dagger Brotherhood #15)—J.R. Ward (April 4, Ballantine)
Xcor, leader of the Band of Bastards, convicted of treason against the Blind King, is facing a brutal interrogation and torturous death at the hands of the Black Dagger Brotherhood. Yet he accepts his soldier’s fate, his sole regret the loss of a sacred female who was never his: the Chosen Layla. Layla alone knows the truth that will save Xcor’s life. But revealing his sacrifice and his hidden heritage will expose them both and destroy everything Layla holds dear—even her role of mother to her precious young. Torn between love and loyalty, she must summon the courage to stand up against the only family she has for the only man she will ever love. Yet even if Xcor is somehow granted a reprieve, he and Layla would have to confront a graver challenge: bridging the chasm that divides their worlds without paving the way for a future of even greater war, desolation, and death.
The Witch of Torinia—Clifford Beal (April 11, Solaris)
Lady Lucinda della Rovera, the renegade canoness of St Dionei, secret sorceress of the “old gods,” has cleverly split the One Faith into bitter factions and with the help of a pliant Duke of Torinia, launches a war to overthrow the king of Valdur and bring back the old ways. Brother Acquel Galenus, now Magister of the High Temple of Livorna, knows he must stop her, but doubts his own faith and ability. With powerful demons seeking to reenter the world through Lucinda, he must find allies, but how? Julianus Strykar, now a coronel of the mercenary company of the Black Rose, finds himself thrust into the maelstrom of civil war. Captain Nicolo Danamis may have regained his fleet but the return of his long-lost father and lord, Valerian, has complicated his love affair with mer princess Citala. When his former lover—the queen of Valdur—demands his help, he and a suspicious Citala find themselves at the centre of palace intrigue. And then he learns that the crown prince may be his bastard son. Friendships, loves, and the future of Valdur all hang by a thread….
The Island Deception (Gateways to Alissia #2)—Dan Koboldt (April 11, Harper Voyager Impulse)
Stage magician Quinn Bradley thought his time in Alissia was over. He’d done his job for the mysterious company CASE Global Enterprises, and now his name is finally on the marquee of one of the biggest Vegas casinos. And yet, for all the accolades, he definitely feels something is missing. He can create the most amazing illusions on Earth, but he’s also tasted true power. Real magic. He misses it. Luckily—or not—CASE Global is not done with him, and they want him to go back. The first time, he was tasked with finding a missing researcher. Now, though, he has another task: Help take Richard Holt down. It’s impossible to be in Vegas and not be a gambler. And while Quinn might not like his odds—a wyvern nearly ate him the last time he was in Alissia—if he plays his cards right, he might be able to aid his friends. He also might learn how to use real magic himself.
Given to the Sea (Given Duet #1)—Mindy McGinnis (April 11, G.P. Putnam’s Sons Books for Young Readers)
Young adult. Khosa is Given to the Sea, a girl born to be fed to the water, her flesh preventing a wave like the one that destroyed the Kingdom of Stille in days of old. But first she must produce an heir. Vincent is third in line to inherit his throne, royalty in a kingdom where the old linger and the young inherit only boredom. When Khosa arrives without an heir he knows his father will ensure she fulfills her duty, at whatever cost. Torn between protecting the throne he will someday fill, and the girl whose fate is tied to its very existence, Vincent’s loyalty is at odds with his heart. Dara and Donil are the last of the Indiri, a native race whose dwindling magic grows weaker as the island country fades. Witt leads the Pietra, their army the only family he has ever known. The stone shores harbor a secret, a growing threat that will envelop the entire land—and he will conquer every speck of soil to ensure the survival of his people. The tides are turning in Stille, where royals scheme, Pietrans march, and the rising sea calls for its Given.
Ghost Writer in the Sky (Xanth #41)—Piers Anthony (April 18, Open Road)
The Night Colt has one ambition: to deliver dreams to the deserving. Unfortunately, only Night Mares can take on this task. So he strikes a deal with a Mundane. During the hours when the Night Mares rest—dusk and dawn—the duo plants stories in the air, compelling the people of Xanth to enact them—whether they want to or not. The princesses of Xanth, Dawn and Eve, come up with a plan to fight the menacing pair, but they’ll need the help of two unlikely heroes to succeed. In Mundania, a mysterious painting entrances Ordinary People Tartan and Tara. They quickly learn that it’s not a painting after all, but a portal to a magical world. With nothing to lose, they climb into Xanth and are met with a plea to help stop the Night Colt and his ghost writer. Together with their new friends, they’ll begin a journey full of magic and romance—and, of course, puns—that will lead them to a long-lost prince, a beautiful dragoness, the goddess Isis, and a demon named Ted.
The Dastardly Miss Lizzie (Electric Empire #3)—Viola Carr (April 18, Harper Voyager)
Metropolitan Police crime scene physician Eliza Jekyll is trying to maintain a semblance of control, even as her rebellious second self, Lizzie, grows increasingly wild—threatening the respectable Eliza’s reputation and her marriage to Remy Lafayette, the Royal Society investigator and occasional lycanthrope. With England on the brink of war, Remy’s away in sorcery-riddled Paris on a secretive mission that grows ever more sinister. Has he been an enemy agent all along? Or is coping with her secret divided self finally driving Eliza mad? Eliza needs her mind clear and sharp if she’s to catch an evil genius who is killing eminent scientists. The chase uncovers a murky world of forbidden books, secret laboratories, and a cabal of fanatical inventors whose work could change the world—or destroy it—and who may hold answers to Eliza’s mysterious past.
Ararat—Christopher Golden (April 18, St. Martin’s)
When an earthquake reveals a secret cave hidden inside Mount Ararat in Turkey, a daring, newly-engaged couple are determined to be the first ones inside … and what they discover will change everything. The cave is actually an ancient, buried ship that many quickly come to believe is really Noah’s Ark. When a team of scholars, archaeologists, and filmmakers make it inside the ark, they discover an elaborate coffin in its recesses. Inside the coffin they find an ugly, misshapen cadaver—not the holy man they expected, but a hideous creature with horns. Shock and fear turn to horror when a massive blizzard blows in, trapping them thousands of meters up the side of a remote mountain. All they can do is pray for safety. But something wicked is listening to their prayers … and it wants to answer.
Moriah—Daniel Mills (April 18, ChiZine)
Silas Flood is a broken man in a broken country. Nine years have passed since the end of the American Civil War and Flood is helpless to escape its shadow. In the summer of 1874, he is dispatched to the mountain village of Moriah, Vermont to investigate sensational claims of supernatural happenings. There the brothers Thaddeus and Ambrose Lynch are said to converse with spirits and summon the dead. As Flood investigates the true nature of these phenomena, and the difference between the hauntings of the living and the dead, he must first come to terms with his own past and with the hold it has upon him—before he can behold the mysteries of the other side.
The Dragon’s Legacy—Deborah A. Wolf (April 18, Titan Books)
In the heart of the singing desert, the people are fading from the world. Mothers bear few live children, the warriors and wardens are hard-pressed to protect those who remain, and the vash’ai—the great cats who have called the people kithren for as long as there have been stories—bond with fewer humans each year. Sulema is a newly minted warrior of the people and a true Ja’Akari—a daughter of the unforgiving desert. When a mysterious young man appears in her home of Aish Kalumm, she learns that the Dragon King is dying in distant Atualon. As the king fades, so does the magic that sings the Earth Dragon to sleep. There are those who wish to keep the dragon trapped in endless slumber. Others would tap her power to claim it for their own. And there are those who would have her wake, so they might laugh as the world burns.
A Fire in the Blood—Amanda Ashley (April 25, Zebra)
“I see a man. He is old. Very old. He will come into your life in a moment of danger. He will watch over you and protect you.” The gypsy’s hand gripped Tessa’s tighter. “He will bring you death,” she whispered, her voice like the rustle of dry leaves. “And life.” Ten years later, when Andrei Dinescu saves Tessa from a vicious attacker, she has no idea that the handsome stranger the gypsy fortune teller predicted is not a hunter but a seven-hundred-year-old vampire. Darkly powerful, unbelievably compelling, he is obviously pursuing Tessa, but is it her love he’s after or her blood?
Within the Sanctuary of Wings (Lady Trent #5)—Marie Brennan (April 25, Tor Books)
After nearly five decades (and, indeed, the same number of volumes), one might think they were well-acquainted with the Lady Isabella Trent—dragon naturalist, scandalous explorer, and perhaps as infamous for her company and feats of daring as she is famous for her discoveries and additions to the scientific field. And yet—after her initial adventure in the mountains of Vystrana, and her exploits in the depths of war-torn Eriga, to the high seas aboard The Basilisk, and then to the inhospitable deserts of Akhia—the Lady Trent has captivated hearts along with fierce minds. This concluding volume will finally reveal the truths behind her most notorious adventure–scaling the tallest peak in the world, buried behind the territory of Scirland’s enemies—and what she discovered there, within the Sanctuary of Wings.
Buffalo Soldier—Maurice Broaddus (April 25, Tor.com Publishing)
Having stumbled onto a plot within his homeland of Jamaica, former espionage agent, Desmond Coke, finds himself caught between warring religious and political factions, all vying for control of a mysterious boy named Lij Tafari. Wanting the boy to have a chance to live a free life, Desmond assumes responsibility for him and they flee. But a dogged enemy agent remains ever on their heels, desperate to obtain the secrets held within Lij for her employer alone. Assassins, intrigue, and steammen stand between Desmond and Lij as they search for a place to call home in a North America that could have been.
The Librarians and the Mother Goose Chase (Librarians #2)—Greg Cox (April 25, Tor Books)
In 1719, Elizabeth Goose published a collection of rhyming spells as a children’s book, creating a spellbook of terrifying power. The Librarian of that age managed to dispose of all copies of the book except one, which remained in the possession of Elizabeth Goose and her family, temporarily averting any potential disaster. Now, strange things are happening. A tree-trimmer in Florida is blown off his elevated perch by a freak gust of wind, a woman in rural Pennsylvania is attacked by mutant rodents without any eyes, and a college professor in England finds herself trapped inside a prize pumpkin at a local farmer’s market. Baird and her team of Librarians suspect that the magic of Mother Goose is again loose in the world, and with Flynn AWOL—again—it is up to Cassandra, Ezekiel, and Stone to track down the missing spellbook before the true power of the rhymes can be unleashed.
Snared (Elemental Assassin #16)—Jennifer Estep (April 25, Pocket Books)
Irony 101—Gin “the Spider” Blanco herself snared in someone else’s web. Another week, another few clues trickling in about the Circle, the mysterious group that supposedly runs the city’s underworld. Gathering intel on her hidden enemies is a painstaking process, but a more immediate mystery has popped up on Gin’s radar: a missing girl. The search for the girl begins on the mean streets of Ashland, but with all the killers and crooks in this city, Gin’s not holding out much hope that she’s still alive. A series of clues leads her down an increasingly dark, dangerous path. The missing girl is really just the first thread in this web of evil.
Legion (Talon Saga #4)—Julie Kagawa (April 25, Harlequin Teen)
Dragon hatchling Ember Hill was never prepared to find love at all—dragons do not suffer human emotions—let alone with a human, and a former dragonslayer at that. With ex-soldier of St. George Garret dying at her feet after sacrificing his freedom and his life to expose the deepest of betrayals, Ember knows only that nothing she was taught by dragon organization Talon is true. About humans, about rogue dragons, about herself and what she’s capable of doing and feeling. In the face of great loss, Ember vows to stand with rogue dragon Riley against St. George and her own twin brother, Dante—the heir apparent to all of Talon, and the boy who will soon unleash the greatest threat and terror dragonkind has ever known. Talon is poised to conquer the world, and the abominations they have created will soon take to the skies, darkening the world with the promise of blood and death to those who will not yield.
The Shadow Crucible: The Blind God—T. M. Lakomy (April 25, SelectBooks)
The enigmatic seer Estella finds herself thrown together with Count Mikhail, a dogmatic Templar dedicated to subjugating her kind. But when a corrupted cardinal and puppet king begin a systematic genocide of her people, the two become unlikely allies. Estella confronts Mikhail’s faith by revealing the true horror of the lucrative trade in human souls. All organized religions are shops orchestrated to consume mankind. In a perilous game where the truth is distorted and meddling ancient deities converge to partake of the unseen battle, Estella unwittingly finds herself hunted by Lucifer. Traversing the edge of hell’s precipice, Estella and Mikhail are reduced to mere instruments. Their only means to overcome is through courting the Threefold Death, the ancient ritual of apotheosis—of man becoming God.
Skullsworn—Brian Staveley (April 25, Tor Books)
Brian Staveley’s new standalone returns to the critically acclaimed Chronicle of the Unhewn Throne universe. Pyrre Lakatur doesn’t like the word skullsworn. It fails to capture the faith and grace, the peace and beauty of her devotion to the God of Death. She is not, to her mind, an assassin, not a murderer—she is a priestess. At least, she will be a priestess if she manages to pass her final trial. To pass, Pyrre has ten days to kill the ten people enumerated in an ancient song, including “the one you love / who will not come again.” Pyrre is not sure she’s ever been in love. If she were a member of a different religious order, she might cheat. The Priests of Ananshael, however, don’t look kindly on cheaters. If Pyrre fails to find someone to love, or fails to kill that someone, they will give her to the god. Pyrre’s not afraid to die, but she hates to quit, hates to fail, and so, with a month before her trial begins, she returns to the city of her birth in the hope of finding love… and ending it on the edge of her sword.