All the New Fantasy Books Coming Out in December

Don’t finish your wishlists just yet—the year’s not quite over! Cozy up with The Girl in the Tower, Katherine Arden’s sequel to The Bear and the Nightingale; visit Mercedes Lackey’s Valdemar with a whole host of writers in Pathways; consider Alice through a different glass in Ellen Datlow’s new anthology, Mad Hatter and March Hares; or pick up Nora Roberts’ magically post-apocalyptic Year One—among other wintry fantasies.

Keep track of all the new releases here. Note: All title summaries are taken and/or summarized from copy provided by the publisher.

(There will not be a Genre Benders list this month due to lack of titles.)

 

WEEK ONE

The Girl in the Tower (Winternight #2)—Katherine Arden (December 5, Del Rey)
Vasilisa’s gift for seeing what others do not won her the attention of Morozko—Frost, the winter demon from the stories—and together they saved her people from destruction. But Frost’s aid comes at a cost, and her people have condemned her as a witch. Driven from her home by frightened villagers, the only options left for her are marriage or the convent. She cannot bring herself to accept either fate and instead chooses adventure, dressing herself as a boy and setting off astride her magnificent stallion Solovey. But after Vasilisa prevails in a skirmish with bandits, everything changes. The Grand Prince of Moscow anoints her a hero for her exploits, and she is reunited with her beloved sister and brother, who are now part of the Grand Prince’s inner circle. She dares not reveal to the court that she is a girl, for if her deception were discovered it would have terrible consequences for herself and her family. Before she can untangle herself from Moscow’s intrigues—and as Frost provides counsel that may or may not be trustworthy—she will also confront an even graver threat lying in wait for all of Moscow itself.

Flame in the Dark (Soulwood #3)—Faith Hunter (December 5, Ace)
Nell Ingram has always known she was different. Since she was a child, she’s been able to feel and channel ancient powers from deep within the earth. When she met Jane Yellowrock, her entire life changed, and she was recruited into PsyLED—the Homeland Security division that polices paranormals. But now her newly formed unit is about to take on its toughest case yet. A powerful senator barely survives an assassination attempt that leaves many others dead—and the house he was visiting burns to the ground. Invisible to security cameras, the assassin literally disappears, and Nell’s team is called in. As they track a killer they know is more—or less—than human, they unravel a web of dark intrigue and malevolent motives that tests them to their limits and beyond.

Pathways—Mercedes Lackey, editor (December 5, DAW)
The Heralds of Valdemar are the kingdom’s ancient order of protectors. They are drawn from all across the land, from all walks of life, and at all ages—and all are Gifted with abilities beyond those of normal men and women. They are Mindspeakers, FarSeers, Empaths, ForeSeers, Firestarters, FarSpeakers, and more. These inborn talents—combined with training as emissaries, spies, judges, diplomats, scouts, counselors, warriors, and more—make them indispensable to their monarch and realm. Sought and Chosen by mysterious horse-like Companions, they are bonded for life to these telepathic, enigmatic creatures. The Heralds of Valdemar and their Companions ride circuit throughout the kingdom, protecting the peace and, when necessary, defending their land and monarch. Join Janny Wurts, Elisabeth Waters, Michele Lang, Fiona Patton, and others in twenty-four original stories, including a brand-new novella by Mercedes Lackey.

A War in Crimson Embers (Crimson Empire #3)—Alex Marshall (December 5, Orbit)
Former warrior queen and now pariah, Cold Zosia wakes in the ashes of a burning city. Her vengeance has brought her to this—her heroic reputation in tatters, her allies scattered far and wide, and her world on the cusp of ruin. General Ji-Hyeon has vanished into the legendary First Dark, leaving her lover Sullen alone to carry out the grim commands of a dead goddess. The barbarian Maroto is held captive by a demonic army hell-bent on the extermination of the Crimson Empire, and only his protégé Purna believes he can be saved. Zosia must rally her comrades and old enemies one last time, for what will prove the greatest battle of her many legends…if anyone lives to tell it.

Year One—Nora Roberts (December 5, St. Martin’s Press)
It began on New Year’s Eve. The sickness came on suddenly, and spread quickly. Within weeks, everything people counted on began to fail them. The electrical grid sputtered; law and government collapsed—and more than half of the world’s population was decimated. As the power of science and technology receded, magick rose up in its place. Some of it is good, like the witchcraft worked by Lana Bingham, practicing in the loft apartment she shares with her lover, Max. Some of it is unimaginably evil. As word spreads that neither the immune nor the gifted are safe from the authorities who patrol the ravaged streets, and with nothing left to count on but each other, Lana and Max make their way out of a wrecked New York City. At the same time, other travelers are heading west too. Chuck, a tech genius trying to hack his way through a world gone offline. Arlys, a journalist who has lost her audience but uses pen and paper to record the truth. Fred, her young colleague, possessed of burgeoning abilities and an optimism that seems out of place in this bleak landscape. And Rachel and Jonah, a resourceful doctor and a paramedic who fend off despair with their determination to keep a young mother and three infants in their care alive. In a world of survivors where every stranger encountered could be either a savage or a savior, none of them knows exactly where they are heading, or why. But a purpose awaits them that will shape their lives and the lives of all those who remain.

Glass Town—Steven Savile (December 5, St. Martin’s Press)
In 1924, two brothers both loved Eleanor Raines, a promising young actress from the East End of London. She disappeared during the filming of Alfred Hitchcock’s debut, Number 13, which itself is now lost. It was the crime of the age, capturing the imagination of the city: the beautiful actress never seen again, and the gangster who disappeared the same day. Generations have passed. Everyone involved is long dead. But even now their dark, twisted secret threatens to tear the city apart. Joshua Raines is about to enter a world of macabre beauty, of glittering celluloid and the silver screen, of illusion and deception, of impossibly old gangsters and the fiendish creatures they command, and most frighteningly of all, of genuine magic. He is about to enter Glass Town. The generations-old obsession with Eleanor Raines’s unsolved case is about to become his obsession, handed down father-to-son through his bloodline like some unwanted inheritance.

Ever the Brave (Clash of Kingdoms #2)—Erin Summerill (December 5, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt)
Young adult. After saving King Aodren with her newfound Channeler powers, Britta only wants to live a peaceful life in her childhood home. Unfortunately, saving the King has created a tether between them she cannot sever, no matter how much she’d like to, and now he’s insisting on making her a noble lady. And there are those who want to use Britta’s power for evil designs. If Britta cannot find a way to harness her new magical ability, her life—as well as her country—may be lost.

God’s Last Breath (Bring Down Heaven #3)—Sam Sykes (December 5, Orbit)
The great demon Khoth-Kapira has broken free of his prison and taken his first step upon the mortal world. And he owes it all to Lenk. Believing that the demon will heal a broken world that the gods have abandoned, Lenk serves as reluctant champion to Khoth-Kapira’s cause. But as the desperate and fearful flock to Khoth-Kapira’s banner, begging for salvation, Lenk begins to doubt his patron’s great designs. The city of Cier’Djaal, meanwhile, has become the field for the last great battle of mortals. And as humans, shicts and tulwar prepare to tear each other apart, none are aware of the ancient horror that marches upon their tiny wars. At the tip of a spear or beneath the heel of demons, the reign of mortals ends.

 

WEEK TWO

Freed by Flame and Storm—Becky Allen (December 12, Delacorte Press)
Young adult. Revolution is nigh, and one seventeen-year-old girl stands at the head of it all. Jae used to be a slave, laboring with the rest of her people under a curse that forced her to obey any order she was given. At seventeen, she found the source of her people’s lost magic and became the only person to break free—ever. Now she wants to use her power to free the rest of her people, but the ruling class will do anything to stop her. Jae knows that breaking the curse on her people would cause widespread chaos, even unimaginable violence between the castes, and her caste would likely see the worst of it. Many would die. But to let them remain shackled is to doom them to continue living without free will. How is one girl, raised a slave and never taught to wield power, supposed to decide the fate of a nation?

Mad Hatters and March Hares—Ellen Datlow, editor (December 12, Tor Books)
From master anthologist Ellen Datlow comes an all-original of weird tales inspired by the strangeness of Lewis Carroll’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking-Glass and What Alice Found There. Between the hallucinogenic, weird, imaginative wordplay and the brilliant mathematical puzzles and social satire, Alice has been read, enjoyed, and savored by every generation since its publication. Datlow asked eighteen of the most brilliant and acclaimed writers working today to dream up stories inspired by all the strange events and surreal characters found in Wonderland. Featuring stories and poems from Seanan McGuire, Jane Yolen, Catherynne M. Valente, Delia Sherman, Genevieve Valentine, Priya Sharma, Stephen Graham Jones, Richard Bowes, Jeffrey Ford, Angela Slatter, Andy Duncan, C.S.E. Cooney, Matthew Kressel, Kris Dikeman, Jane Yolen, Kaaron Warren, Ysbeau Wilce, and Katherine Vaz.

 

WEEK THREE

No new titles.

 

WEEK FOUR

Kill All Angels (Vicious Circuit #3)—Robert Brockway (December 26, Tor Books)
After the events of the first two books of the Vicious Circuit series, Carey and Randall reached LA during the early ’80s punk scene, which was heavily mixed up with Chinatown. A young Chinese girl with silver hair is the Empty One that seems to run things there, and her ex-lover, an Empty One named Zang, has apparently turned against them and may or may not be on Carey’s side. In modern times, Kaitlyn and company have also returned to LA because her powers have been growing and she has been having visions that may be telling her how to kill all of the angels. The downside being that they have to find a new one, first—and LA is the only place they know where to do that. Steeped in the LA punk scene in the ’80s, Chinatown, sunken suburbs, the ocean and gargantuan things that swim in it, Kill All Angels is everything that fans of Robert Brockway’s irreverent humor have been looking for to end the series with a bang.

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