Dogs, witches, gods, sorcerers, and rat killers: it’s another summery month on the fantasy new release shelves! Christina Henry continues her series of new takes on familiar characters with Lost Boy; Sarah Beth Durst continues the Queens of Renthia series; Max Brooks visits Minecraft’s Island; Ami McKay considers The Witches of New York; and Charles Stross is back for another Laundry Files adventure. And that, of course, is just for starters.
Keep track of all the new releases here. Note: All title summaries are taken and/or summarized from copy provided by the publisher.
The Unholy Consult (Aspect Emperor #4)—R. Scott Bakker (July 4, Overlook Press)
The highly anticipated and explosive finale to the master of grimdark R. Scott Bakker’s acclaimed high fantasy series. In this shattering conclusion to The Aspect-Emperor books, praised for their “sweeping epic scale and detailed historical world building” (Grimdark Magazine), R. Scott Bakker delivers the series’ feverishly harrowing and long-awaited finish.
The Bone Mother—David Demchuk (July 4, ChiZine Publications)
Three neighboring villages on the Ukrainian/Romanian border are the final refuge for the last of the mythical creatures of Eastern Europe. Now, on the eve of the war that may eradicate their kind—and with the ruthless Night Police descending upon their sanctuary—they tell their stories and confront their destinies. Eerie and unsettling like the best fairy tales, these incisor-sharp portraits of ghosts, witches, sirens, and seers—and the mortals who live at their side and in their thrall—will chill your marrow and tear at your heart.
The Reluctant Queen (Queens of Renthia #2)—Sarah Beth Durst (July 4, Harper Voyager)
In The Queen of Blood, Daleina used her strength and skill to survive the malevolent nature spirits of Renthia and claim the crown. But now she is hiding a terrible secret: she is dying. If she leaves the world before a new heir is ready, the spirits that inhabit her realm will once again run wild, destroying her cities and slaughtering her people. Naelin has the power necessary to become an heir, but her world is her two children, her husband, and her remote village. But when Ven, the Queen’s champion, passes through her village, Naelin’s ambitious husband tells him of his wife’s ability to control spirits—magic that Naelin fervently denies. She knows embracing her power will bring death and separation from those she loves. But Ven must find the best possible candidate to protect the people of Aratay. As the Queen’s power begins to wane and the spirits become emboldened, the only way Naelin can keep her son and daughter safe is to risk everything.
Lost Boy—Christina Henry (July 4, Berkley)
There is one version of my story that everyone knows. And then there is the truth. This is how it happened. How I went from being Peter Pan’s first—and favorite—lost boy to his greatest enemy. Peter brought me to his island because there were no rules and no grownups to make us mind. He brought boys from the Other Place to join in the fun, but Peter’s idea of fun is sharper than a pirate’s sword. Because it’s never been all fun and games on the island. Our neighbors are pirates and monsters. Our toys are knife and stick and rock—the kinds of playthings that bite. Peter promised we would all be young and happy forever. Peter lies.
Heroine Worship (Heroine Complex #2)—Sarah Kuhn (July 4, DAW)
Once upon a time, Aveda Jupiter (aka Annie Chang) was demon-infested San Francisco’s most beloved superheroine. But all that changed the day she agreed to share the spotlight with her best friend and former assistant Evie Tanaka—who’s now a badass superheroine in her own right. They were supposed to be a dynamic duo, but more and more, Aveda finds herself shoved into the sidekick role. It doesn’t help that Aveda’s finally being forced to deal with fallout from her diva behavior—and the fact that she’s been a less than stellar friend to Evie. When Evie gets engaged and drafts Aveda as her maid-of-honor, Aveda sees a chance to reclaim her sense of self and sets out to make sure Evie has the most epic wedding ever. But when a mysterious evil rises up and starts attacking brides-to-be, Aveda must summon both her superheroine and best friend mojo to take down the enemy and make sure Evie’s wedding goes off without a hitch—or see both her city and her most important friendship destroyed forever.
The Man of Legends—Kenneth Johnson (July 1, 47North)
New York City, New Year’s weekend, 2001. Jillian Guthrie, a troubled young journalist, stumbles onto a tantalizing mystery: the same man, unaged, stands alongside Ulysses S. Grant, Theodore Roosevelt, and Gandhi in three different photographs spanning eighty-five years of history. In another part of town, Will—an enigmatic 33 -year-old of immense charm, wit, and intelligence—looks forward to the new year with hope and trepidation. Haunted by his secret past and shadowed by a dangerous stranger, he finds himself the object of an intense manhunt spearheaded by an ambitious Vatican emissary and an elderly former UN envoy named Hanna. During the next forty-eight hours, a catastrophic event unites Will, Jillian, and Hanna—and puts them in the crosshairs of a centuries-old international conspiracy.
A Fading Sun—Stephen Leigh (July 4, DAW)
Voada Paorach can see the dead. It is a family trait, but one that has had to remain hidden since the Mundoan Empire conquered her people’s land three generations ago. But this ghost isn’t the same as the others she has glimpsed, the lost souls she has helped to find their way to the land beyond life. This ghost demands that Voada follow a new path, one that will mean leaving behind everything and everyone she has known and loved. Voada will come to understand the power that her people possess, but she will also learn the steep price that must be paid for such a gift.
The Disappearances—Emily Bain Murphy (July 4, HMH Books for Young Readers)
Young adult. Aila Quinn’s mother, Juliet, has always been a mystery: vibrant yet guarded, she keeps her secrets beyond Aila’s reach. When Juliet dies, Aila and her younger brother Miles are sent to live in Sterling, a rural town far from home—and the place where Juliet grew up. Sterling is a place where the experiences that weave life together—scents of flowers and food, reflections from mirrors and lakes, even the ability to dream—vanish every seven years. No one knows what caused these “Disappearances,” or what will slip away next. But Sterling always suspected that Juliet Quinn was somehow responsible—and Aila must bear the brunt of their blame while she follows the chain of literary clues her mother left behind. As the next Disappearance nears, Aila begins to unravel the dual mystery of why the Disappearances happen and who her mother truly was. One thing is clear: Sterling isn’t going to hold on to anyone’s secrets for long before it starts giving them up.
Grave Ransom (Alex Craft #5)—Kalayna Price (July 4, Ace)
Grave witch Alex Craft is no stranger to the dead talking. She raises shades, works with ghosts, and is dating Death himself. But the dead walking? That’s not supposed to happen. And yet reanimated corpses are committing crimes across Nekros City. Alex’s investigation leads her deep into a web of sinister magic. When Briar Darque of the Magical Crimes Investigation Bureau gets involved, Alex finds herself with an unexpected ally of sorts. But as the dead continue to rise and wreak havoc on the living, can she get to the soul of the matter in time?
An Oath of Dogs—Wendy N. Wagner (July 4, Angry Robot)
Kate Standish has been on the forest-world of Huginn less than a week and she’s already pretty sure her new company murdered her boss. But the little town of mill workers and farmers is more worried about eco-terrorism and a series of attacks by the bizarre, sentient dogs of this planet, than a death most people would like to believe is an accident. That is, until Kate’s investigation uncovers a conspiracy which threatens them all.
The Harbors of the Sun—Martha Wells (July 4, Night Shade Books)
A former friend has betrayed the Raksura and their groundling companions, and now the survivors must race across the Three Worlds to rescue their kidnapped family members. When Moon and Stone are sent ahead to scout, they encounter an unexpected and potentially deadly ally, and decide to disobey the queens and continue the search alone. Following in a wind-ship, Jade and Malachite make an unlikely alliance, until word reaches them that the Fell are massing for an attack on the Reaches, and that forces of the powerful Empire of Kish are turning against the Raksura and their groundling comrades. But there may be no time to stage a rescue, as the kidnapped Raksura discover that their captors are heading toward a mysterious destination with a stolen magical artifact that will cause more devastation for the Reaches than anything the lethal Fell can imagine. The Harbors of the Sun is the follow-up to The Edge of Worlds.
The Cityborn—Edward Willett (July 4, DAW)
The metal City towers at the center of the mountain-ringed Heartland, ruled with an iron fist by the First Officer and his Provosts in the name of the semi-mythical Captain. Within its walls lies a stratified society, where the Officers dwell in luxury on the Twelfth Tier while the poor struggle to survive on the First and Second, and outcasts scrabble and fight for whatever they can find in the Middens, the City’s rubbish heap. Raised among the privileged class, Alania has everything a young woman could want except a loving family and personal freedom. Danyl knows no home but the Middens. His sole ambition is to gain entrance to the City in hopes of a better life. Their two very different worlds collide when Alania, fleeing from an ambush, plunges from the heights of the City down to the Middens, and into Danyl’s life. Almost immediately, both of them find themselves pursued by the First Officer’s Provosts. The secrets they unlock will determine not only their fate, but the fate of the City…and everyone who lives there.
Ash and Quill (The Great Library #3)—Rachel Caine (July 11, Berkley)
Hoarding all the knowledge of the world, the Great Library jealously guards its secrets. But now a group of rebels poses a dangerous threat to its tyranny…. Jess Brightwell and his band of exiles have fled London, only to find themselves imprisoned in Philadelphia, a city led by those who would rather burn books than submit. But Jess and his friends have a bargaining chip: the knowledge to build a machine that will break the Library’s rule. Their time is running out. To survive, they’ll have to choose to live or die as one, to take the fight to their enemies—and to save the very soul of the Great Library….
The Savage Dawn (The Girl at Midnight #3)—Melissa Grey (July 11, Delacorte Press)
Young adult. Echo awakened the Firebird. Now she is the only one with the power to face the darkness she unwittingly unleashed … right into the waiting hands of Tanith, the new Dragon Prince. Tanith has one goal in mind: destroy her enemies, raze their lands, and reign supreme in a new era where the Drakharin are almighty and the Avicen are nothing but a memory. The war that has been brewing for centuries is finally imminent. But the scales are tipped. Echo might hold the power to face the darkness within the Dragon Prince, but she has far to go to master its overwhelming force. And with Caius no longer by her side, she doesn’t know if she can do it alone. Is she strong enough to save her home and the people she loves? Whether Echo is ready to face this evil is not the question. The war has begun, and there is no looking back. There are only two outcomes possible: triumph or death.
Besieged: Stories from the Iron Druid Chronicles—Kevin Hearne (July 11, Del Rey)
The ancient gods are alive and well in the modern world in this collection of original short stories featuring Atticus O’Sullivan, the two-thousand-year-old Irishman from Kevin Hearne’s New York Times bestselling Iron Druid Chronicles. In ancient Egypt, Atticus agrees to raid a secret chamber underneath the library of Alexandria, dodging deadly traps, only to learn that on-site security includes two members of the Egyptian pantheon. At a Kansas carnival, fun and games turns to murder and mayhem, thanks to soul-snatching demons and flesh-craving ghouls. Striking up a friendship with William Shakespeare lands both Atticus and the Bard in boiling hot water with a trio of infamous witches. During the Gold Rush, the avatar of greed himself turns the streets of San Francisco red with blood and upsets the elemental Sequoia..
At the Table of Wolves—Kay Kenyon (July 11, Saga Press)
In 1936, paranormal abilities have slowly seeped into the world, brought to the surface by the suffering of the Great War. The research to weaponize these abilities in England has lagged behind Germany, but now it’s underway at an ultra-secret site called Monkton Hall. Kim Tavistock, a woman with the talent of the spill—drawing out truths that people most wish to hide—is among the test subjects at the facility. When she wins the confidence of caseworker Owen Cherwell, she is recruited to a mission to expose the head of Monkton Hall—who is believed to be a German spy. As she infiltrates the upper-crust circles of some of England’s fascist sympathizers, she discovers a plan to invade England. No one believes an invasion of the island nation is possible. Unfortunately, they are wrong, and only one woman, without connections or training, wielding her talent of the spill and her gift for espionage, can stop it.
First Watch (Fifth Ward #1)—Dale Lucas (July 11, Orbit)
A watchman of the Yenara City guard has gone missing. The culprit could be any of the usual suspects: drug-dealing orcs, mind-controlling elves, uncooperative mages, or humans being typical humans. It’s up to two reluctant partners — Rem, a hungover miscreant who joins the Watch to pay off his bail, and Torval, a maul-wielding dwarf who’s highly unimpressed with the untrained and weaponless Rem — to uncover the truth and catch the murderer loose in their fair city.
The Truants—Lee Markham (July 11, Overlook Press)
Contorting the conventional vampire narrative into a startling tale of immortality, blood lust, and rage contaminating London’s inner-city youth like a virus, The Truants tells the story of the last of the old-ones—creatures afflicted with a condition not unlike vampirism: ancient, bloodthirsty, and unable to withstand sunlight. The last old-one has decided to end his life, but before he can act he is held up at knifepoint. His assailant disappears, the knife in his pocket, the blood of the old-one seared into its sharpened edge. The knife trades hands, drawing blood again, and the old-one is resurrected through his victims’ consciousness and divided, spreading through the infected. With his horde of infected youth, the old-one must reclaim the knife to regain control of his soul. But someone is out to stop him…
Scourge (Darkhurst #1)—Gail Z. Martin (July 11, Solaris)
In the city-state of Ravenwood, Merchant Princes and Guild Masters wager fortunes to outmaneuver League rivals for the king’s favor and advantageous trading terms. Lord Mayor Ellor Machison wields assassins, blood witches, and forbidden magic to assure that his powerful patrons get what they want, no matter the cost. Corran, Rigan, and Kell Valmonde are Guild Undertakers, left to run their family’s business when guards murdered their father and monsters killed their mother. Their grave magic enables them to help souls pass to the After and banish vengeful spirits. Rigan’s magic is unusually strong and enables him to hear the confessions of the dead, the secrets that would otherwise be taken to the grave. When the toll exacted by monsters and brutal guards hits close to home and ghosts expose the hidden sins of powerful men, Corran, Rigan and Kell become targets in a deadly game and face a choice: obey the Guild, or fight back and risk everything.
The Witches of New York—Ami McKay (July 11, Harper Perennial)
In New York in the spring of 1880, séances are the entertainment of choice in exclusive social circles, and many enterprising women—some possessed of true intuitive powers, and some gifted with the art of performance—find work as mediums. When seventeen-year-old Beatrice leaves the safety of her village to answer an ad that reads “Respectable Lady Seeks Dependable Shop Girl. Those averse to magic need not apply,” she has little inclination of what the job will demand of her. Beatrice doesn’t know it yet, but she is no ordinary small-town girl; she has great spiritual gifts—ones that will serve as her greatest asset and also place her in grave danger. At Tea and Sympathy, under the tutelage ofAdelaide Thom and Eleanor St. Clair, Beatrice comes to harness many of her powers, but not even they can prepare her for the evils lurking in the darkest corners of the city or the courage it will take to face them.
A Kiss Before Doomsday (A Dru Jasper Novel)—Laurence McNaughton (July 11, Pyr)
When sorcerers disappear off the streets of Denver, the only person to notice a pattern is Dru, proprietor of The Crystal Connection and newly-minted sorceress. Signs point to forbidden necromancy in the hands of someone trying to fulfill the prophecy of the apocalypse scroll. With the dead rising from the grave, Dru fears someone is picking up where the Harbingers left off half a century ago. Now more than ever, Dru needs half-demon Greyson and his infernal car, Hellbringer. Though Greyson is missing and presumed dead, Dru believes he’s alive—and trapped at the center of this evil. Dru will need her friends—and her enemies—trusting in Rane’s strength, Opal’s wisdom, and her own crystal magic to infiltrate the mountainous fortress of a powerful sorcerer intent on bringing about doomsday. Because the moment the prophecy is fulfilled, legions of undead will rise to consume the souls of everyone on Earth…
Godblind—Anna Stephens (July 11, Talos)
The Mireces worship the bloodthirsty Red Gods. Exiled from Rilpor a thousand years ago, and left to suffer a harsh life in the cold mountains, a new Mireces king now plots an invasion of Rilpor’s thriving cities and fertile earth. Dom Templeson is a Watcher, a civilian warrior guarding Rilpor’s border. He is also the most powerful seer in generations, plagued with visions and prophecies. His people are devoted followers of the god of light and life, but Dom harbors deep secrets, which threaten to be exposed when Rillirin, an escaped Mireces slave, stumbles broken and bleeding into his village. Meanwhile, more and more of Rilpor’s most powerful figures are turning to the dark rituals and bloody sacrifices of the Red Gods, including the prince, who plots to wrest the throne from his dying father in the heart of the kingdom. Can Rillirin, with her inside knowledge of the Red Gods and her shocking ties to the Mireces King, help Rilpor win the coming war?
The Delirium Brief (Laundry Files #8)—Charles Stross (July 11, Tor.com Publishing)
Bob Howard’s career in the Laundry, the secret British government agency dedicated to protecting the world from unspeakable horrors from beyond spacetime, has entailed high combat, brilliant hacking, ancient magic, and combat with indescribably repellent creatures of pure evil. It has also involved a wearying amount of paperwork and office politics, and his expense reports are still a mess. Now, following the invasion of Yorkshire by the Host of Air and Darkness, the Laundry’s existence has become public, and Bob is being trotted out on TV to answer pointed questions about elven asylum seekers. What neither Bob nor his managers have foreseen is that their organization has earned the attention of a horror far more terrifying than any demon: a British government looking for public services to privatize. Inch by inch, Bob Howard and his managers are forced to consider the truly unthinkable: a coup against the British government itself.
Uncle Brucker the Rat Killer—Leslie Peter Wulff (July 11, Night Shade)
Sixteen-year-old Walt thinks he’s left his problems behind him when he runs away from a broken home to live with his eccentric uncle. But Uncle Brucker is a Rat Killer: a tireless rat tracker, an expert in rat lore, a speaker of the rat language, and a decorated veteran of two bloody uprisings. He begins to train Walt in the ways of rat killing, and explains to his nephew the ancient and bloody history of men and rats. Before the rise of men, he says, rats ruled the earth. They’ve been hiding in another dimension ever since they were kicked out by humanity, planning to retake the planet. In the middle of Walt’s training, Uncle Brucker is called away by mysterious men from the government. When he fails to return, Walt discovers a portal to the rat dimension and realizes he must travel to Rat Land to save his uncle. Uncle Brucker the Rat Killer is a surreal exploration of honor, duty, and inter-dimensional genocide.
Minecraft: The Island—Max Brooks (July 18, Del Rey)
Washed up on a beach, the lone castaway looks around the shore. Where am I? Who am I? And why is everything made of blocks? But there isn’t much time to soak up the sun. It’s getting dark, and there’s a strange new world to explore! The top priority is finding food. The next is not becoming food. Because there are others out there on the island … like the horde of zombies that appear after night falls. Crafting a way out of this mess is a challenge like no other. Who could build a home while running from exploding creepers, armed skeletons, and an unstoppable tide of hot lava? Especially with no help except for a few makeshift tools and sage advice from an unlikely friend: a cow. In this world, the rules don’t always make sense, but courage and creativity go a long way. There are forests to explore, hidden underground tunnels to loot, and undead mobs to defeat. Only then will the secrets of the island be revealed.
No Good Deed—Kara Connolly (July 18, Delacorte Press)
Young adult. Ellie Hudson is the front-runner on the road to gold for the U.S. Olympic archery team. All she has to do is qualify at the trials in jolly old England. When Ellie makes some kind of crazy wrong turn in the caverns under Nottingham Castle—yes, that Nottingham—she ends up in medieval England. Ellie doesn’t care how she got to the Middle Ages; she just wants to go home before she gets the plague. But people are suffering in Nottingham, and Ellie has the skills to make it better. What’s an ace archer to do while she’s stuck in Sherwood Forest but make like Robin Hood? Pulled into a past life as an outlaw, Ellie feels her present fading away next to daring do-gooding and a devilishly handsome knight. Only, Ellie is on the brink of rewriting history, and when she picks up her bow and arrow, her next shot could save her past—or doom civilization’s future.
Devil’s Call—J. Danielle Dorn (July 17, Inkshares)
On a dark night in the summer of 1859, three men enter the home of Dr. Matthew Callahan and shoot him dead in front of his pregnant wife. Unbeknownst to them, Li Lian, his wife, hails from a long line of women gifted in ways that scare most folks—the witches of the MacPherson clan—and her need for vengeance is as vast and unforgiving as the Great Plains themselves. Written to the child she carries, Devil’s Call traces Li Lian’s quest, from the Nebraska Territory, to Louisiana, to the frozen Badlands, to bring to justice the monster responsible for shooting her husband in the back. This long-rifled witch will stop at nothing—and risk everything—in her showdown with evil.
Graveyard Shift—Michael F. Haspil (July 18, Tor Books)
Alex Menkaure, former pharaoh and mummy, and his vampire partner, Marcus, born in ancient Rome, are vice cops in a special Miami police unit. They fight to keep the streets safe from criminal vampires, shape-shifters, bootleg blood-dealers, and anti-vampire vigilantes. When poisoned artificial blood drives vampires to murder, the city threatens to tear itself apart. Only an unlikely alliance with former opponents can give Alex and Marcus a fighting chance against an ancient vampire conspiracy. If they succeed, they’ll be pariahs, hunted by everyone. If they fail, the result will be a race-war bloodier than any the world has ever seen.
The Library of Fates—Aditi Khorana (July 18, Razorbill)
Young adult. No one is entirely certain what brings the Emperor Sikander to Shalingar. Until now, the idyllic kingdom has been immune to his many violent conquests. To keep the visit friendly, Princess Amrita has offered herself as his bride, sacrificing everything to save her people. But her offer isn’t enough. The palace is soon under siege, and Amrita finds herself a fugitive, alone but for an oracle named Thala, who was kept by Sikander as a slave and escaped amid the chaos. Amrita and Thala are forced to rely on one another, but while Amrita feels responsible for her kingdom and sets out to warn her people, the newly free Thala has no such ties. She encourages Amrita to go on a quest to find the fabled Library of All Things, where it is possible for each of them to reverse their fates. Stripped of all that she loves, caught between her rosy past and an unknown future, will Amrita be able to restore what was lost, or does another life—and another love—await?
Song of the Dark Crystal (Jim Henson’s Dark Crystal #2)—J. M. Lee, Cory Godbey (July 18, Grosset & Dunlap)
Young adult. Kylan of Sami Thicket is a skilled song teller, but singing the tales of long-gone heroes won’t help his friends as they journey into dangerous, unknown lands. After uncovering the betrayal of the Skeksis Lords, he and his friend Naia are on the run, pursued by the Skeksis’s underlings and outcast even among their fellow Gelfling. But Kylan knows the truth must be told, no matter how difficult the telling. Maybe there’s use for a song teller after all…
Witchtown—Cory Putman Oakes (July 18, HMH Books for Young Readers)
Young adult. When 16-year-old Macie O’Sullivan and her masterfully manipulative mother Aubra arrive at the gates of Witchtown—the most famous and mysterious witch-only haven in the world—they have one goal in mind: to rob it for all it’s worth. But that plan derails when Macie and Aubra start to dig deeper into Witchtown’s history and uncover that there is more to the quirky haven than meets the eye. Exploring the haven by herself, Macie finds that secrets are worth more than money in Witchtown. Secrets have their own power.
Vanguard (Razorland #4)—Ann Aguirre (July 25, Feiwel & Friends)
Young adult. The companion fourth book in the New York Times-bestselling Razorland YA series sees beloved characters reunited and features an unexpected new romance.
Wildfire (Hidden Legacy #3)—Ilona Andrews (July 25, Avon Books)
Nevada Baylor can’t decide which is more frustrating—harnessing her truthseeker abilities or dealing with Connor “Mad” Rogan and their evolving relationship. Yes, the billionaire Prime is helping her navigate the complex magical world in which she’s become a crucial player—and sometimes a pawn—but she also has to deal with his ex-fiancée, whose husband has disappeared, and whose damsel-in-distress act is wearing very, very thin. Rogan faces his own challenges, too, as Nevada’s magical rank has made her a desirable match for other Primes. Controlling his immense powers is child’s play next to controlling his conflicting emotions. And now he and Nevada are confronted by a new threat within her own family. Can they face this together? Or is their world about to go up in smoke?
Daughter of the Burning City—Amanda Foody (July 25, Harlequin Teen)
Young adult. Sixteen-year-old Sorina has spent most of her life within the smoldering borders of the Gomorrah Festival. Yet even among the many unusual members of the traveling circus-city, Sorina stands apart as the only illusion-worker born in hundreds of years. This rare talent allows her to create illusions that others can see, feel and touch, with personalities all their own. Her creations are her family, and together they make up the cast of the Festival’s Freak Show. But no matter how lifelike they may seem, her illusions are still just that—illusions, and not truly real. Or so she always believed…until one of them is murdered. Sorina must track down the culprit and determine how they killed a person who doesn’t actually exist. Her search leads her to the self-proclaimed gossip-worker Luca. Their investigation sends them through a haze of political turmoil and forbidden romance, into the most sinister corners of the Festival.
The Fifth Doll—Charlie N. Holmberg (July 25, 47North)
Matrona lives in an isolated village, where her life is centered on pleasing her parents. She’s diligent in her chores and has agreed to marry a man of their choosing. But a visit to Slava, the local tradesman, threatens to upend her entire life. Entering his empty house, Matrona discovers a strange collection of painted nesting dolls—one for every villager. Fascinated, she can’t resist the urge to open the doll with her father’s face. But when her father begins acting strangely, she realizes Slava’s dolls are much more than they seem. When he learns what she’s done, Slava seizes the opportunity to give Matrona stewardship over the dolls—whether she wants it or not. Forced to open one of her own dolls every three days, she falls deeper into the grim power of Slava’s creations. But nothing can prepare her for the profound secret hiding inside the fifth doll.
The Five Daughters of the Moon (Waning Moon #1)—Leena Likitalo (July 25, Tor.com Publishing)
The Crescent Empire teeters on the edge of a revolution, and the Five Daughters of the Moon are the ones to determine its future. Alina, six, fears Gagargi Prataslav and his Great Thinking Machine. Merile, eleven, cares only for her dogs, but she smells that something is afoul with the gagargi. By chance, she learns that the machine devours human souls for fuel, and yet no one believes her claim. Sibilia, fifteen, has fallen in love for the first time in her life. She couldn’t care less about the rumors about the gagargi and his machine. Elise, sixteen, follows the captain of her heart to orphanages and workhouses. But soon she realizes that the unhappiness amongst her people runs much deeper that anyone could have predicted. And Celestia, twenty-two, who will be the empress one day, has been drawn to the gagargi. But which one of them was the first to mention the idea of a coup? Inspired by the 1917 Russian revolution and the last months of the Romanov sisters, The Five Daughters of the Moon is a historical fantasy with elements of technology fuelled by evil magic.
Assassin’s Price (Imager Portfolio #11)—L.E. Modesitt Jr. (July 25, Tor Books)
Six years have passed since the failed uprising of the High Holders, and the man behind the conspiracy is where the rex and Maitre Alastar can keep an eye on him. Charyn has come of age and desperately wants to learn more so he can become an effective rex after his father—but he’s kept at a distance by the rex. So Charyn sets out to educate himself—circumspectly. When Jarolian privateers disrupt Solidar’s shipping, someone attempts to kill Charyn’s younger brother as an act of protest. Threatening notes following in the wake of acts of violence against the rex and his family, demanding action—build more ships or expect someone to die.
Talon of God—Wesley Snipes & Ray Norman (July 25, Harper Voyager)
Set in the mean streets of Chicago, Talon of God is centered around the Lauryn Jefferson, a beautiful young doctor who is dragged into a seemingly impossible battle against the invisible forces of Satan’s army and their human agents that are bent on enslaving humanity in a mission to establish the kingdom of hell on Earth. But Lauryn is a skeptic, and it’s only as she sees a diabolical drug sweep her city and begins to train in the ways of a spirit warrior by the legendary man of God, Talon Hunter, that she discovers her true nature and inner strength. Facing dangerous trials and tests, it’s a true baptism by fire. And if they fail, millions could die. And rivers of blood would flow throughout the land. Imagine such horror. Such pain. And imagine what it would take to fight against it. For only the strongest and most faithful will survive? Get ready. Armageddon approaches quickly.
Age of Swords (Legends of the First Empire #2)—Michael J. Sullivan (July 25, Del Rey)
Raithe, the God Killer, may have started the rebellion by killing a Fhrey, but long-standing enmities dividing the Rhunes make it all but impossible to unite against the common foe. And even if the clans can join forces, how will they defeat an enemy whose magical prowess renders them indistinguishable from gods? The answer lies across the sea in a faraway land populated by a reclusive and dour race who feel nothing but disdain for both Fhrey and mankind. With time running out, Persephone leads the gifted young seer Suri, the Fhrey sorceress Arion, and a small band of misfits in a desperate search for aid—a quest that will take them into the darkest depths of Elan. There, an ancient adversary waits, as fearsome as it is deadly.
Strange Practice—Vivian Shaw (July 25, Orbit)
Dr. Greta Helsing has inherited the family’s highly specialized, and highly peculiar, medical practice. She treats the undead for a host of ills—vocal strain in banshees, arthritis in barrow-wights, and entropy in mummies. It’s a quiet, supernatural-adjacent life, until a sect of murderous monks emerges, killing human and undead Londoners alike. As terror takes hold of the city, Greta must use her unusual skills to stop the cult if she hopes to save her practice, and her life.