New year, new to-be-read stack! That’s how it works, right? No? Maybe a little optimistic? Well, at any rate, here are some new books for the stack… even if the stack remains, uh, precarious. Where will you start? The reissued Outside the Gates from Molly Gloss? The third Winternights book from Katherine Arden? The last Miriam Black book from Chuck Wendig? S.A. Chakraborty’s The Kingdom of Copper? Which door will you step through?
Keep track of all the new releases here. Note: All title summaries are taken and/or summarized from copy provided by the publisher.
Outside the Gates—Molly Gloss (January 1, Saga Press)
Reissue. Vren has always been told that the world beyond the gates of his village is one filled with monsters, giants, and other terrifying creatures. But when he confides with his family about his ability to talk to animals, he’s outcast to the very world he’s been taught to fear his whole life. He expects to die alone, lost and confused, but he finds something different altogether—refuge in a community of shadowed people with extraordinary powers.
Gates of the Dead (Tides of War #3)—James A. Moore (January 1, Angry Robot)
Brogan McTyre started a war with the gods, and he’s going to end it. Raging gods have laid waste to the Five Kingdoms. Only Torema remains, swollen with millions of refugees. Their last hope lies in fleeing by sea, but as storms tear at the coast, even King Opar can’t muster enough ships for them all. Brogan and his warriors must fight the He-Kisshi to reach the Gateway, the sole portal for gods to enter the mortal world – and the only place where they can be killed. But the forces of creation have been unleashed, and they’ll destroy the world to reshape it.
Darksoul (Godblind #2)—Anna Stephens (January 1, Talos Press)
In the besieged city of Rilporin, Commander Durdil Koridam is crowned a reluctant king, and orders that the city’s people must fight to the last rather than surrender to the surrounding armies of the Mireces and their evil Red Gods. Outside Rilporin, the uneasy truce between King Corvus’s Mireces and the traitorous Prince Rivil’s forces holds, but the two armies are growing desperate to force a breach of the walls before the city’s reinforcements arrive. Meanwhile, prophet Dom Templeson reaches Rilporin: the Red Gods have tortured and broken his mind, and he ends up in Corvus’s hands, forced to tell all his secrets. And what he knows could win the war for the Mireces. Elsewhere, in Yew Cove, only a few survivors remain from a Rank of thousands of Rilporian warriors. Dom foresees the important role one of those survivors, Crys Tailorson, will take on as the events to come unfold. As Crys grows into his position as a leader, that role becomes clearer—and far darker. Will he be willing to pay the price to fulfill his destiny?
The Winter of the Witch (Winternights #3)—Katherine Arden (January 8, Del Rey)
The Winternight Trilogy introduced an unforgettable heroine, Vasilisa Petrovna, a girl determined to forge her own path in a world that would rather lock her away. Her gifts and her courage have drawn the attention of Morozko, the winter-king, but it is too soon to know if this connection will prove a blessing or a curse. Now Moscow has been struck by disaster. Its people are searching for answers—and for someone to blame. Vasya finds herself alone, beset on all sides. The Grand Prince is in a rage, choosing allies that will lead him on a path to war and ruin. A wicked demon returns, stronger than ever and determined to spread chaos. Caught at the center of the conflict is Vasya, who finds the fate of two worlds resting on her shoulders. Her destiny uncertain, Vasya will uncover surprising truths about herself and her history as she desperately tries to save Russia, Morozko, and the magical world she treasures. But she may not be able to save them all.
The Outlaw and the Upstart King (Map of Unknown Things #2)—Rod Duncan (January 8, Angry Robot)
Tattoos are the only law on the Island of the Free, and there can never be a king. Every clan agrees on that. But a returning exile has smuggled something across the water that could send the old ways up in flames. Elias wants revenge on the men who severed his oaths and made him an outlaw. But, if his wealth and honour are to be restored, he’ll need help from the most unlikely quarter—a mysterious woman, landed unwontedly on Newfoundland’s rocky shore.
Bayou Born (Foundling #1)—Hailey Edwards (Januaru 8, Piatkus)
Deep in the humid Mississippi bayou, a half-wild child is dragged from the murky waters. She has no memories, no family and is covered in mysterious markings. Adopted by the policeman who rescued her, Luce Boudreau follows him onto the force, determined to prove herself in the eyes of those who are still suspicious. However, there’s more of a battle ahead than Luce could possibly imagine. She may be an orphan without a past, but no one—including Luce herself—could ever be prepared for the truth of her dark, powerful destiny…
Idle Hands (Factory #2)—Tom Fletcher (January 8, Quercus)
Idle Hands is an ancient disease that once tore through the Discard, and if Wild Alan doesn’t find a way into the Black Pyramid to administer the cure to his son, Billy, it will soon be stalking Gleam once again. Even with Bloody Nora’s help, there’s only one way in – and that’s through the Sump, which was sealed long ago to contain the horrors within. And for Alan, the Black Pyramid will be even more dangerous. Thanks to the disease, the Pyramidders’ fear and loathing of the Discard is reaching fever-pitch – and Alan is the most well-known Discarder of all. Bloody Nora has her own agenda. All the information she needs to complete her people’s Great Work is hidden in the Pyramid – but just by being there, she is violating a centuries-old treaty between the Pyramid and the Mapmakers, which could spark conflict between the two greatest powers that Gleam knows.
A Cathedral of Myth and Bone—Kat Howard (January 8, Saga Press)
In these stories, equally as beguiling and spellbinding as her novels, Howard expands into the enchanted territory of myths and saints, as well as an Arthurian novella set upon a college campus, “Once, Future,” which retells the story of King Arthur—through the women’s eyes. Captivating and engrossing, and adorned in gorgeous prose, Kat Howard’s stories are a fresh and stylish take on fantasy.
In an Absent Dream (Wayward Children #4)—Seanan McGuire (January 8, Tor.com Publishing)
This fourth entry and prequel tells the story of Lundy, a very serious young girl who would rather study and dream than become a respectable housewife and live up to the expectations of the world around her. As well she should. When she finds a doorway to a world founded on logic and reason, riddles and lies, she thinks she’s found her paradise. Alas, everything costs at the goblin market, and when her time there is drawing to a close, she makes the kind of bargain that never plays out well.
Summoned to Thirteenth Grave (Charley Davidson #13)—Darynda Jones (January 15, St. Martin’s Press)
Charley Davidson, Grim Reaper extraordinaire, is pissed. She’s been kicked off the earthly plane for eternity—which is exactly the amount of time it takes to make a person stark, raving mad. But someone’s looking out for her, and she’s allowed to return after a mere hundred years in exile. Is it too much to hope for that not much has changed? Apparently it is. Bummer. She’s missed her daughter. She’s missed Reyes. She’s missed Cookie and Garrett and Uncle Bob. Now that she’s back on earth, it’s time to put to rest burning questions that need answers. What happened to her mother? How did she really die? Who killed her? And are cupcakes or coffee the best medicine for a broken heart? It all comes to a head in an epic showdown between good and evil in this final smart and hilarious novel.
The Iron Codex (Dark Arts #2)—David Mack (January 15, Tor Books)
1954: Cade Martin, hero of the Midnight Front during the war, has been going rogue without warning or explanation, and his mysterious absences are making his MI-6 handlers suspicious. In the United States, Briet Segfrunsdóttir serves as the master karcist of the Pentagon’s top-secret magickal warfare program. And in South America, Anja Kernova hunts fugitive Nazi sorcerers with the help of a powerful magickal tome known as the Iron Codex. In an ever-more dangerous world, a chance encounter sparks an international race to find Anja and steal the Iron Codex. The Vatican, Russians, Jewish Kabbalists, and shadowy players working all angles covet the Codex for the power it promises whoever wields it. As the dominoes start to fall, and one betrayal follows another, Anja goes on the run, hunted by friend and foe alike. The showdown brings our heroes to Bikini Atoll in March 1954: the Castle Bravo nuclear test. But unknown to all of them, a secret magick cabal schemes to turn America and its western allies toward fascism—even if it takes decades…
Marked—S. Andrew Swann (January 15, DAW)
Detective Dana Rohan has an excellent arrest and conviction rate. But even her partner doesn’t know the real reason why. All her life Dana has borne a Mark of unknown origin that she’s kept secret. A Mark that allows her to walk into alternate pasts and futures. A Mark that allows her to go back and see any crime as it’s being committed. But the life she’s carefully built around this secret ability begins to crumble when she’s assaulted by a ragged old man. He babbles an incoherent warning that “the Shadows are coming,” right before he is killed by an armored monstrosity out of another century. The armored attacker vanishes, leaving the old man to die in Dana’s arms, and she realizes that he bears the same Mark she does. Soon Dana finds herself hunted by Shadows coming from out of Chaos. She must flee through a host of alternate worlds as she finds out the true meaning of the Mark on her skin, and why someone wants to kill her for it.
The Hod King (Books of Babel #3)—Josiah Bancroft (January 22, Orbit)
Fearing an uprising, the Sphinx sends Senlin to investigate a plot that has taken hold in the ringdom of Pelphia. Alone in the city, Senlin infiltrates a bloody arena where hods battle for the public’s entertainment. But his investigation is quickly derailed by a gruesome crime and an unexpected reunion. Posing as a noble lady and her handmaid, Voleta and Iren attempt to reach Marya, who is isolated by her fame. While navigating the court, Voleta attracts the unwanted attention of a powerful prince whose pursuit of her threatens their plan. Edith, now captain of the Sphinx’s fierce flagship, joins forces with a fellow wakeman to investigate the disappearance of a beloved friend. She must decide who to trust as her desperate search brings her nearer to the Black Trail where the hods climb in darkness and whisper of the Hod King. As Senlin and his crew become further dragged in to the conspiracies of the Tower, everything falls to one question: Who is The Hod King?
The Kingdom of Copper (Daevabad Trilogy #2)—S.A. Chakraborty (January 22, Harper Voyager)
Nahri’s life changed forever the moment she accidentally summoned Dara, a formidable, mysterious djinn, during one of her schemes. Whisked from her home in Cairo, she was thrust into the dazzling royal court of Daevabad—and quickly discovered she would need all her grifter instincts to survive there. Now, with Daevabad entrenched in the dark aftermath of a devastating battle, Nahri must forge a new path for herself. But even as she embraces her heritage and the power it holds, she knows she’s been trapped in a gilded cage, watched by a king who rules from the throne that once belonged to her family—and one misstep will doom her tribe. Meanwhile, Ali has been exiled for daring to defy his father. Hunted by assassins, adrift on the unforgiving copper sands of his ancestral land, he is forced to rely on the frightening abilities the marid—the unpredictable water spirits—have gifted him. But in doing so, he threatens to unearth a terrible secret his family has long kept buried. And as a new century approaches and the djinn gather within Daevabad’s towering brass walls for celebrations, a threat brews unseen in the desolate north. It’s a force that would bring a storm of fire straight to the city’s gates . . . and one that seeks the aid of a warrior trapped between worlds, torn between a violent duty he can never escape and a peace he fears he will never deserve.
A Labyrinth of Scions and Sorcery (Risen Kingdoms #2)—Curtis Craddock (January 22, Tor Books)
Isabelle des Zephyrs has always been underestimated throughout her life, but after discovering the well of hidden magic within her, unveiling a centuries-long conspiracy, and stopping a war between rival nations, she has gained a newfound respect amongst the cutthroat court. All that is quickly taken away when Isabelle is unfairly convicted of breaking the treaty she helped write and has her political rank and status taken away. Now bereft, she nevertheless finds herself drawn into mystery when her faithful musketeer Jean-Claude uncovers a series of gruesome murders by someone calling themselves the Harvest King. As panic swells, the capital descends into chaos, when the emperor is usurped from the throne by a rival noble. Betrayed by their allies and hunted by assassins, Isabelle and Jean-Claude alone must thwart the coup, but not before it changes l’Empire forever.
The Hanged Man (Tarot Sequence #2)—K.D. Edwards (January 22, Pyr)
The Tarot Sequence imagines a modern-day Atlantis off the coast of Massachusetts, governed by powerful Courts based on the traditional Tarot deck. Rune Saint John, last child of the fallen Sun Throne, is backed into a fight of high court magic and political appetites in a desperate bid to protect his ward, Max, from a forced marital alliance with the Hanged Man. Rune’s resistance will take him to the island’s dankest corners, including a red light district made of moored ghost ships; the residence of Lady Death; and the floor of the ruling Convocation, where a gathering of Arcana will change Rune’s life forever.
The Gutter Prayer—Gareth Hanrahan (January 22, Orbit)
The city has always been. The city must finally end. When three thieves—an orphan, a ghoul, and a cursed man—are betrayed by the master of the thieves guild, their quest for revenge uncovers dark truths about their city and exposes a dangerous conspiracy, the seeds of which were sown long before they were born. Cari is a drifter whose past and future are darker than she can know. Rat is a Ghoul, whose people haunt the city’s underworld. Spar is a Stone Man, subject to a terrible disease that is slowly petrifying his flesh. Chance has brought them together, but their friendship could be all that stands in the way of total armageddon.
Vultures (Miriam Black #6)—Chuck Wendig (January 22, Saga Press)
Still reeling from the events of The Raptor and the Wren, Miriam must confront two terrifying discoveries: the Trespasser now has the power to inhabit the living as well as the dead, and Miriam is pregnant. Miriam knows her baby is fated to die, but Miriam is the Fatebreaker. And if the rules have changed for her nemesis, her own powers are changing as well. Miriam will do whatever it takes to break her curse and save her child. But as Miriam once again finds herself on the hunt for a serial killer and in need of an elusive physic, she can feel the threads of her past coming together—and the pattern they’re forming is deadly. To end the Trespasser’s influence in her world, Miriam must face her demon a final time. And, this time, one of them must die.
Tides of the Titans (Titan’s Forest #3)—Thoraiya Dyer (January 29, Tor Books)
Courtier, explorer, thief: Leaper is a man of many skills, but none of his talents satisfy the yearning in his heart for the Queen of Airakland, the ruler of a thunder-clashed kingdom. Their affair is cut too short, however, when she is murdered. But who was the assassin? A political rival? The jealous king? Or, perhaps, the god of thunder who oversees them all? Distraught, Leaper vows revenge, but little does he realize that his mission will lead him away from his forest home, across the vast floodplains, and to the edges of time and myth itself.
Cast in Oblivion (Chronicles of Elantra #14)—Michelle Sagar (January 29, Mira)
Kaylin wasn’t sent to the West March to start a war. Her mission to bring back nine Barrani might do just that, though. She traveled with a Dragon, and her presence is perceived as an act of aggression in the extremely hostile world of Barrani-Dragon politics. Internal Barrani politics are no less deadly, and Kaylin has managed—barely—to help the rescued Barrani evade both death and captivity at the hands of the Consort. Before the unplanned “visit” to the West March, Kaylin invited the Consort to dinner. For obvious reasons, Kaylin wants to cancel dinner—forever. But the Consort is going to show up at the front door at the agreed-upon time. The fact that she tried to imprison Kaylin’s guests doesn’t matter at all … to her. A private Barrani Hell, built of Shadow and malice, exists beneath the High Halls. It is the High Court’s duty to jail the creature at its heart—even if it means that Barrani victims are locked in the cage with it. The Consort is willing to do almost anything to free the trapped and end their eternal torment. And she needs the help of Kaylin’s houseguests—and Kaylin herself. Failure won’t be death—it will be Hell. And that’s where Kaylin is going.
Reckoning of Fallen Gods (Coven #2)—R.A. Salvatore (January 29, Tor Books)
The winds of change are blowing upon Fireach Speur. Aoelyn risked her life to save the trader Talmadge and it cost her everything that is dear to her, but Talmadge survived and can’t forget the amazing woman that killed a god. Little do they realize, war is coming to the mountain. Far to the west, a fallen empire stirs. One that sees a solar eclipse as a call to war. Their empire once dominated the known world and they want it back.