The castle burns behind you, but from the bow of your ship, you can see the stars for the very first time. Around you, a crew of pirates begin to sing an old sea chanty. For the first time, you feel at home, and you aren’t afraid. This month’s fantasy titles are all about conquering fears in service of a better life: Protect a book club of women in Grady Hendrix’s The Southern Book Club’s Guide to Slaying Vampires; change what it means to be human in the next installment of the Founders trilogy from Robert Jackson Bennett, Shorefall; and learn what happens after you save the world in the adult debut from Veronica Roth, Chosen Ones.
Head below for the full list of fantasy titles heading your way in April!
Keep track of all the new SFF releases here. You can also find horror titles scheduled for 2020 here. All title summaries are taken and/or summarized from copy provided by the publisher. Note: Release dates are subject to change.
WEEK ONE (April 7)
The Southern Book Club’s Guide to Slaying Vampires—Grady Hendrix (Quirk Books)
Patricia Campbell’s life has never felt smaller. Her husband is a workaholic, her teenage kids have their own lives, her senile mother-in-law needs constant care, and she’s always a step behind on her endless to-do list. The only thing keeping her sane is her book club, a close-knit group of Charleston women united by their love of true crime. At these meetings they’re as likely to talk about the Manson family as they are about their own families. One evening after book club, Patricia is viciously attacked by an elderly neighbor, bringing the neighbor’s handsome nephew, James Harris, into her life. James is well traveled and well read, and he makes Patricia feel things she hasn’t felt in years. But when children on the other side of town go missing, their deaths written off by local police, Patricia has reason to believe James Harris is more of a Bundy than a Brad Pitt. The real problem? James is a monster of a different kind—and Patricia has already invited him in. Little by little, James will insinuate himself into Patricia’s life and try to take everything she took for granted—including the book club—but she won’t surrender without a fight in this blood-soaked tale of neighborly kindness gone wrong.
Chosen Ones—Veronica Roth (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt)
Fifteen years ago, five ordinary teenagers were singled out by a prophecy to take down an impossibly powerful entity wreaking havoc across North America. He was known as the Dark One, and his weapon of choice—catastrophic events known as Drains—leveled cities and claimed thousands of lives. Chosen Ones, as the teens were known, gave everything they had to defeat him. After the Dark One fell, the world went back to normal… for everyone but them. After all, what do you do when you’re the most famous people on Earth, your only education was in magical destruction, and your purpose in life is now fulfilled? Of the five, Sloane has had the hardest time adjusting. Everyone else blames the PTSD—and her huge attitude problem—but really, she’s hiding secrets from them… secrets that keep her tied to the past and alienate her from the only four people in the world who understand her. On the tenth anniversary of the Dark One’s defeat, something unthinkable happens: one of the Chosen Ones dies. When the others gather for the funeral, they discover the Dark One’s ultimate goal was much bigger than they, the government, or even prophecy could have foretold—bigger than the world itself. And this time, fighting back might take more than Sloane has to give.
The Glass Magician—Caroline Stevemer (Tor Books)
New York 1905—The Vanderbilts. The Astors. The Morgans. They are the cream of society—and they own the nation on the cusp of a new century. Thalia Cutler doesn’t have any of those family connections. What she does know is stage magic and she dazzles audiences with an act that takes your breath away. That is, until one night when a trick goes horribly awry. In surviving she discovers that she can shapeshift, and has the potential to take her place among the rich and powerful. But first, she’ll have to learn to control that power… before the real monsters descend to feast.
A Tale of Truths—Berit Ellingsen (Rosarium Publishing)
A dissident scientist, her granddaughter, and an elf who created himself from thought journey to a tiered city built in a giant vertical conch. Here, they seek an audience at the top in order to convince them that their planet orbits its star instead of the other way around. But the road to paradigm shift is never easy—and rarely straightforward—and reveals many truths of its own.
Shadows of the Short Days—Alexander Dan Vilhjalmsson (Gollancz)
Welcome to Reykjavík: Here, people do as they are told. They follow the rules. They stay in line. Citizens are watched over by the flying fortress, and dissidents are vanished deep into the dungeons of the nine. Sæmundur is a student of magic, hungry for knowledge. Except his dangerous theories have seen him expelled from university. Garún is an outcast artist, rejected by her city simply because of who she is. Both want more from the city they call home. Both will fight against the ruthless police, the masked sorcerers, and the powers that have rejected them. Both will risk everything to change Reykjavík forever.
The Age of Witches—Louisa Morgan (Redhook)
In 1692, Bridget Bishop was hanged as a witch. Two hundred years later, her legacy lives on in the scions of two very different lines: one dedicated to using their powers to heal and help women in need; the other, determined to grasp power for themselves by whatever means necessary. This clash will play out in the fate of Annis, a young woman in Gilded Age New York who finds herself a pawn in the family struggle for supremacy. She’ll need to claim her own power to save herself-and resist succumbing to the darkness that threatens to overcome them all.
A Time of Courage (Of Blood & Bone #3)—John Gwynne (Orbit)
The demon king Asroth has been freed from his iron prison. Now, alongside his dark bride Fritha, he plans to conquer the whole of the Banished Lands. In the shadows of Forn Forest, Riv and the surviving Ben-Elim desperately search for a way to unite those who remain against Asroth’s vast army. Far in the west, Drem is with the Order of the Bright Star, besieged by a demon horde. Their fragile defenses are on the brink of shattering, but they know that it is better to fight and die than to live without hope.
And across the Banished Lands, armies are heading south, to settle ancient grudges and decide the fate of humanity.
Titan’s Day (Carter Archives #2)—Dan Stout (DAW)
The city of Titanshade pulses with nervous energy. The discovery of new riches beneath its snowfields has given residents hope for prosperity, but it also means the arrival of federal troops, along with assurances that they are only there to “stabilize the situation”. Newcomers flood the streets, dreaming of finding their fortunes, while in the backrooms and beer halls of the city, a populist resistance gains support, its leaders’ true motives hidden behind nativist slogans. And in an alley, a gruesome discovery: the mutilated body of a young woman, a recent immigrant so little-regarded that not even her lovers bothered to learn her name. But in death, she’s found a champion. Detective Carter single-mindedly pursues the killer as he navigates political pressures and resists becoming a pawn in the struggles tipping the city toward anarchy. But when more innocent lives are lost and time runs short, he’s forced to decide if justice is worth sparking all-out war in the streets during the biggest celebration of the year: Titan’s Day.
WEEK TWO (April 14)
The Mistress of Illusions (Dreamscape #2)—Michael D. Resnick (DAW)
Her name is Lisa, and ever since Eddie Raven hooked up with her, strange things keep happening. How strange? Lisa can take on any role at a moment’s notice. She’s Maid Marian. She’s Elizabeth Bennett from Pride and Prejudice. In an instant, she can become the sexy, gum-chewing secretary to his hard-boiled detective. She can even become Doc Holliday’s frontier lady, Big Nose Kate. But who is she really? That’s something Eddie’s got to find out before this series of strange adventures, which began in The Master of Dreams, overtakes him. And if Lisa’s not enough of a problem, there’s also the powerful creature who claims to be the chief demon in hell, who seems convinced that he, Eddie, and Lisa are on the same side. Is Eddie being told the truth? He’d better decide quickly, because the one thing that’s clear is that he’s running out of time.
Creeping Jenny (Nyquist Mystery #3)—Jeff Noon (Angry Robot)
In the winter of 1959, private eye John Nyquist arrives in the village of Hoxley-on-the-Hale with only a package of cryptic photographs, and the frail hope of finding an answer to a question he’s been asking since his childhood. But the villagers offer little help, as each day brings a twisted new rule in the name of a different Saint that they, and Nyquist, must follow. And there are whispers of the return of the Tolly Man, an avatar of chaos in a terrible mask. As Nyquist struggles to distinguish friend from foe, and the Tolly Man draws nearer, he must race to finally settle the one mystery he has never been able to solve: the disappearance of his father.
WEEK THREE (April 21)
Race the Sands—Sarah Beth Durst (Harper Voyager)
Life, death, and rebirth—in Becar, who you are in this life will determine your next life. Yet there is hope—you can change your destiny with the choices you make. But for the darkest individuals, there is no redemption: you come back as a kehok, a monster, and are doomed to be a kehok for the rest of time. Unless you can win the Races. After a celebrated career as an elite kehok rider, Tamra became a professional trainer. Then a tragic accident shattered her confidence, damaged her reputation, and left her nearly broke. Now, she needs the prize money to prevent the local temple from taking her daughter away from her, and that means she must once again find a winning kehok… and a rider willing to trust her. Raia is desperate to get away from her domineering family and cruel fiancé. As a kehok rider, she could earn enough to buy her freedom. Impressed by the inexperienced young woman’s determination, Tamra hires Raia and pairs her with a strange new kehok with the potential to win—if he can be tamed. But in this sport, if you forget you’re riding on the back of a monster, you die. Tamra and Raia will work harder than they ever thought possible to win the deadly Becaran Races—and in the process, discover what makes this particular kehok so special.
Shorefall (Founders #2)—Robert Jackson Bennett (Del Rey)
A few years ago, Sancia Grado would’ve happily watched Tevanne burn. Now, she’s hoping to transform her city into something new. Something better. Together with allies Orso, Gregor, and Berenice, she’s about to strike a deadly blow against Tevanne’s cruel robber-baron rulers and wrest power from their hands for the first time in decades. But then comes a terrifying warning: Crasedes Magnus himself, the first of the legendary hierophants, is about to be reborn. And if he returns, Tevanne will be just the first place to feel his wrath. Thousands of years ago, Crasedes was an ordinary man who did the impossible: Using the magic of scriving—the art of imbuing objects with sentience—he convinced reality that he was something more than human. Wielding powers beyond comprehension, he strode the world like a god for centuries, meting out justice and razing empires single-handedly, cleansing the world through fire and destruction—and even defeating death itself. Like it or not, it’s up to Sancia to stop him. But to have a chance in the battle to come, she’ll have to call upon a god of her own—and unlock the door to a scriving technology that could change what it means to be human. And no matter who wins, nothing will ever be the same.
Creatures of Charm and Hunger (Diabolist Library #3)—Molly Tanzer (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt)
In the waning days of World War II, with Allied victory all but certain, desperate Nazi diabolists search for a demonic superweapon to turn the tide. A secluded castle somewhere in the south of Germany serves as a laboratory for experiments conducted upon human prisoners, experiments as vile as they are deadly. Across the English Channel, tucked into the sleepy Cumbrian countryside, lies the Library, the repository of occult knowledge for the Société des Éclairées, an international organization of diabolists. There, best friends Jane Blackwood and Miriam Cantor, tutored by the Société’s Librarian—and Jane’s mother—Nancy, prepare to undergo the Test that will determine their future as diabolists. As their friendship buckles under the stress of too many secrets, Jane and Miriam will come face to face with unexpected truths that change everything they know about the war, the world, and most of all themselves. After all, some choices cannot be unmade—and a sacrifice made with the most noble intention might end up creating a monster.
The Ranger of Marzanna (Goddess War #1)—Jon Skovron (Orbit)
Sonya is training to be a Ranger of Marzanna, an ancient sect of warriors who have protected the land for generations. But the old ways are dying, and the rangers have all been forced into hiding or killed off by the invading Empire. When her father is murdered by imperial soldiers, she decides to finally take action. Using her skills as a ranger she will travel across the bitter cold tundra and gain the allegiance of the only other force strong enough to take down the invaders. But nothing about her quest will be easy. Because not everyone is on her side. Her brother, Sebastian, is the most powerful sorcerer the world has ever seen. And he’s fighting for the empire.
The Girl and the Stars (Book of the Ice #1)—Mark Lawrence (ACE)
In the ice, east of the Black Rock, there is a hole into which broken children are thrown. Yaz’s people call it the Pit of the Missing and now it is drawing her in as she has always known it would. To resist the cold, to endure the months of night when even the air itself begins to freeze, requires a special breed. Variation is dangerous, difference is fatal. And Yaz is not the same. Yaz’s difference tears her from the only life she’s ever known, away from her family, from the boy she thought she would spend her days with, and has to carve out a new path for herself in a world whose existence she never suspected. A world full of difference and mystery and danger. Yaz learns that Abeth is older and stranger than she had ever imagined. She learns that her weaknesses are another kind of strength and that the cruel arithmetic of survival that has always governed her people can be challenged.
The Heron Kings—Eric Lewis (Flame Tree Press, 4/23)
After a warlord slaughters her patients, Sister Alessia quits the cloister and strikes out on her own to heal the victims of a brutal dynastic conflict. Her roaming forest camp unwittingly becomes the center of a vengeful peasant insurgency, raiding the forces of both sides to survive. Alessia struggles to temper their fury as well as tend wounds, consenting to ever greater violence to keep her new charges safe. When they uncover proof of a foreign conspiracy prolonging the bloodshed, Alessia risks the very lives she’s saved to expose the truth and bring the war to an end.
WEEK FOUR (April 28)
Ship of Fates—Caitlin Chung (Lanternfish Press)
In the gridlocked harbor of San Francisco’s Barbary Coast, a ship hung with red paper lanterns draws crowds eager to gamble and drink. Aboard this red-lit ship, the fates of two young women will be altered irrevocably—and tied forever to that of an ancient lighthouse keeper who longs to be free. Set against the backdrop of Gold Rush-era San Francisco’s Chinese immigrant community, Ship of Fates is a coming-of-age fairy tale that stretches across generations.
Ghost Money (Eric Carter #5)—Stephen Blackmoore (DAW)
The Los Angeles Firestorm killed over a hundred thousand people, set in revenge against necromancer Eric Carter for defying the Aztec god Quetzalcoatl. Carter feels every drop of that blood on his hands. But now there’s a new problem. Too many ghosts in one spot and the barrier separating them from the living cracks. And when they cross it, they feed off all the life they can get hold of. People die. L.A. suddenly has a lot more ghosts. But it’s not just one or two ghosts breaking through: it’s dozens. Another mage is pulling them through the cracks and turning them into deadly weapons. Eric follows a trail that takes him through the world of the Chinese Triads, old associates, old crimes. And a past that he thought he was done with. Carter needs to find out how to get things under control, because if more ghosts break through, there’s going to be even more blood on his hands.