Anticipated Books (Summer-Autumn) 2015: Fantasy July-September

2015Welcome to the first post in my Anticipated Books series for the second half of 2015. As usual I had so many fantasy books catch my fancy I had to split them into two posts. For some of these I already have an (e)ARC or review copy, so they’ll definitely be read and reviewed. And for the rest, I’ll have to see whether I get the chance to get my hands on them! 

July
Peter V. Brett – The Great Bazaar & Brayan’s Gold (Tachyon)petervbrett-brayansgoldgreatbazaar
From the dangerous world of the Demon Cycle comes the early adventures of Arlen, Peter V. Brett’s quintessential fantasy hero. These exciting origin tales follow Arlen as he learns to navigate a world where the elemental forces of evil conjure themselves from the earth each night.

Humanity has barely survived a demonic onslaught by using magical wards that protect their cities and homes. Only a handful of mercenaries and explorers risk traveling after the sun sets. Arlen, seeking adventure and fortune, is barely protected by the warded armor upon which he has inscribed intricate defensive runes. From a journey ferrying a wagonload of dynamite to a mountain stronghold, to a dangerous mission to recover desert treasures, Arlen faces friends and enemies with a strong arm and a cunning wit.

craigcormick-thefloatingcitiesCraig Cormick – The Floating City (Angry Robot Books)
The Floating City is in turmoil. The magical seers who protect it are being killed by fearsome Djinn that rise out of the canals at night. Members of the city’s Council of Ten are being assassinated by masked fanatics. Refugee ships are arriving, bringing plague. Othmen spies are infiltrating everywhere. New power blocks are battling for control of the city.

And the three Montecchi daughters, Giuliette, Disdemona and Isabella, are struggling with love and loss – and trying to write their own destinies. And moving amongst them all is the mysterious and deadly Shadow Master, who seems to be directing everyone like players in a game. But some things in this game may be beyond even his control.

maxgladstone-lastfirstsnowMax Gladstone – Last First Snow (Tor)
Last First Snow: the fourth novel set in Max Gladstone’s compellingly modern fantasy world of the Craft Sequence

Forty years after the God Wars, Dresediel Lex bears the scars of liberation-especially in the Skittersill, a poor district still bound by the fallen gods’ decaying edicts. As long as the gods’ wards last, they strangle development; when they fail, demons will be loosed upon the city. The King in Red hires Elayne Kevarian of the Craft firm Kelethres, Albrecht, and Ao to fix the wards, but the Skittersill’s people have their own ideas. A protest rises against Elayne’s work, led by Temoc, a warrior-priest turned community organizer who wants to build a peaceful future for his city, his wife, and his young son.

As Elayne drags Temoc and the King in Red to the bargaining table, old wounds reopen, old gods stir in their graves, civil blood breaks to new mutiny, and profiteers circle in the desert sky. Elayne and Temoc must fight conspiracy, dark magic, and their own demons to save the peace-or failing that, to save as many people as they can.

camillegriep-letterstozellCamille Griep – Letters to Zell (47North)
Everything is going according to story for CeCi (Cinderella), Bianca (Snow White), and Rory (Sleeping Beauty)—until the day that Zell (Rapunzel) decides to leave Grimmland and pursue her life. Now, Zell’s best friends are left to wonder whether their own passions are worth risking their predetermined “happily ever afters,” regardless of the consequences. CeCi wonders whether she should become a professional chef, sharp-tongued and quick-witted Bianca wants to escape an engagement to her platonic friend, and Rory will do anything to make her boorish husband love her. But as Bianca’s wedding approaches, can they escape their fates—and is there enough wine in all of the Realm to help them?

In this hilarious modern interpretation of the fairy-tale stories we all know and love, Letters to Zell explores what happens when women abandon the stories they didn’t write for themselves and go completely off script to follow their dreams.

johnhornorjacobs-foreigndevilsJohn Hornor Jacobs – Foreign Devils (Gollancz)
The world is on the brink of war.

Fisk and Shoe – mercenaries, very much not wanting to get caught in the middle of a political whirlwind – must deliver a very important message, and find a very dangerous man. They have caught the eye of the powerful men of the world, and now the stakes are higher than they like.

And the Emperor has decreed that Livia Cornelius, pregnant with Fisk’s child, must travel to the far lands of the Autumn Lords on a diplomatic mission. It will mean crossing half the world, and facing new dangers. And in the end, she will uncover the shocking truth at the heart of the Autumn Lords’ Empire.

A truth which will make the petty politics of war and peace unimportant, and will change the world.

snorrikristjansson-pathofgodsSnorri Kristjansson – Path of Gods (Jo Fletcher Books)
Audun and Ulfar have been reunited, but will they be able to hold the North for the old gods, or will the White Christ destroy all they have ever known?

Reunited, Audun and Ulfar have a new sense of purpose: to ensure that the North remains in the hands of those who hold with the old gods. To do this, they must defeat the people who seek to destroy all they have ever known with the new White Christ. But these are powerful enemies and if they have any chance of victory, they must find equally powerful allies.

In Trondheim, King Olav, self-appointed champion of the White Christ, finds that keeping the peace is a much harder test of his faith than winning the war. With his garrison halved and local chieftains at his table who wish him nothing but ill, the king must decide how and where to spread the word of his god.

And in the North, touched by the trickster god, something old, malevolent and very, very angry stirs . . .

stinaleicht-coldironStina Leicht – Cold Iron (Saga Press)
Fraternal twins Nels and Suvi move beyond their royal heritage and into military and magical dominion in this flintlock epic fantasy debut from a two-time Campbell Award finalist.

Prince Nels is the scholarly runt of the ancient Kainen royal family of Eledore, disregarded as flawed by the king and many others. Only Suvi, his fraternal twin sister, supports him. When Nels is ambushed by an Acrasian scouting party, he does the forbidden for a member of the ruling family: He picks up a fallen sword and defends himself.

Disowned and dismissed to the military, Nels establishes himself as a leader as Eledore begins to shatter under the attack of the Acrasians, who the Kainen had previously dismissed as barbarians. But Nels knows differently, and with the aid of Suvi, who has allied with pirates, he mounts a military offensive with sword, canon, and what little magic is left in the world.

rebeccalevene-thehunterskindRebecca Levene – The Hunter’s Kind (Hodder & Stoughton)
Born in tragedy and raised in poverty, Krishanjit never aspired to be anything greater than what he was: a humble goatherd, tending his flock on the slopes of his isolated mountain home.

But Krish has learned that he’s the son of the king of Ashanesland – and the moon god reborn. Now, with the aid of his allies, Krish is determined to fight his murderous father and seize control of Ashanesland. But Dae Hyo, Eric and Olufemi, are dangerously unreliable and hiding secrets of their own.

To take Ashanesland, Krish must travel to the forbidden Mirror Town and unlock the secrets of its powerful magic. But the price of his victory may be much greater than the consequences of his defeat… For, deep in the distant Moon Forest lives a girl called Cwen – a disciple of the god known only as the Hunter. She believes that Krish represents all that is evil in the world. And she has made it her life’s mission to seek Krish and destroy all who fight by his side.

marshallryanmaresca-amurderofmagesMarshall Ryan Maresca – A Murder of Mages (DAW)
A Murder of Mages marks the debut of Marshall Ryan Maresca’s novels of The Maradaine Constabulary, his second series set amid the bustling streets and crime-ridden districts of the exotic city called Maradaine. A Murder of Mages introduces us to this spellbinding port city as seen through the eyes of the people who strive to maintain law and order, the hardworking men and women of the Maradaine Constabulary.

Satrine Rainey—former street rat, ex-spy, mother of two, and wife to a Constabulary Inspector who lies on the edge of death, injured in the line of duty—has been forced to fake her way into the post of Constabulary Inspector to support her family.

Minox Welling is a brilliant, unorthodox Inspector and an Uncircled mage—almost a crime in itself. Nicknamed “the jinx” because of the misfortunes that seem to befall anyone around him, Minox has been partnered with Satrine because no one else will work with either of them.

Their first case together—the ritual murder of a Circled mage— sends Satrine back to the streets she grew up on and brings Minox face-to-face with mage politics he’s desperate to avoid. As the body count rises, Satrine and Minox must race to catch the killer before their own secrets are exposed and they, too, become targets.

gaillarrymartin-ironbloodGail Z. Martin & Larry Martin – Iron and Blood (Solaris)
New Pittsburgh, 1898 – a crucible of invention and intrigue. Born from the ashes of devastating fire, flood and earthquake, the city is ruled by the shadow government of The Oligarchy. In the swarming streets, people of a hundred nations drudge to feed the engines of progress, while in the abandoned tunnels beneath the city, supernatural creatures hide from the light, emerging only to feed.

Jake Desmet and Rick Brand travel the world to secure treasures and unusual items for the collections of wealthy patrons, accompanied by Jake’s cousin, Veronique LeClerque. But when their latest commission leads to Jake’s father’s murder, the three friends are drawn into a conspiracy where dark magic, industrial sabotage and the monsters that prey on the night will ultimately threaten not just New Pittsburgh, but the whole world.

victormilan-thedinosaurlordsVictor Milán – The Dinosaur Lords (Tor)
A world made by the Eight Creators on which to play out their games of passion and power, Paradise is a sprawling, diverse, often brutal place. Men and women live on Paradise as do dogs, cats, ferrets, goats, and horses. But dinosaurs predominate: wildlife, monsters, beasts of burden-and of war. Colossal plant-eaters like Brachiosaurus; terrifying meat-eaters like Allosaurus, and the most feared of all, Tyrannosaurus rex. Giant lizards swim warm seas. Birds (some with teeth) share the sky with flying reptiles that range in size from bat-sized insectivores to majestic and deadly Dragons.

Thus we are plunged into Victor Milán’s splendidly weird world of The Dinosaur Lords, a place that for all purposes mirrors 14th century Europe with its dynastic rivalries, religious wars, and byzantine politics…except the weapons of choice are dinosaurs. Where vast armies of dinosaur-mounted knights engage in battle. During the course of one of these epic battles, the enigmatic mercenary Dinosaur Lord Karyl Bogomirsky is defeated through betrayal and left for dead. He wakes, naked, wounded, partially amnesiac-and hunted. And embarks upon a journey that will shake his world.

carriepatel-citiesandthronesCarrie Patel – Cities and Thrones (Angry Robot Books)
In the fantastical, gaslit underground city of Recolleta, oligarchs from foreign states and revolutionaries from the farming communes vie for power in the wake of the city’s coup. The dark, forbidden knowledge of how the city came to be founded has been released into the world for all to read, and now someone must pay.

Inspector Liesl Malone is on her toes, trying to keep the peace, and Arnault’s spy ring is more active than ever. Has the city’s increased access to knowledge put the citizens in even more danger? Allegiances change, long-held beliefs are adjusted, and things are about to get messy.

natashapulley-thewatchmakeroffiligreestreetNatasha Pulley – The Watchmaker of Filigree Street (Bloomsbury USA)
In 1884, Thaniel Steepleton returns home to his London apartment to find a new watch on his pillow. But he has bigger things to worry about than generous burglars; he is a telegraphist at the Home Office, where he has just received a bomb threat. Six months later, the watch saves his life, warning him of a blast that destroys Scotland Yard. At last, he goes in search of its maker.

Keita Mori, the artisan behind the mysterious watch, is a Japanese immigrant who remembers the future. Mori and Thaniel bond quickly, and as their friendship deepens, Mori uses his gift to tweak Thaniel’s daily life in his favor. But then Grace Carrow, an Oxford physicist attracted to the telegraphist’s refreshingly direct nature, unwittingly interferes. Soon, events spiral beyond Thaniel’s control, and nothing is certain — not the present, and definitely not the future.

The Watchmaker of Filigree Street is a sweeping, atmospheric narrative that takes the reader on an unexpected journey through Victorian London, Japan as its civil war crumbles long-standing traditions, and beyond. It breathes a new authenticity into the era of Sherlock Holmes, exploring historical moments in a new light — as well as the prevailing social and scientific views of the age — and plays speculatively with time and destiny, ushering in a new kind of magic.

jamieschultz-splinteredJamie Schultz – Splintered (Roc)
Anna Ruiz is on a mission: Help her friend and partner-in-crime Karyn Ames break free of the tangle of hallucinations and premonitions that have cut her off from reality. With the aid of her crew—ex-soldier Nail and sorcerer Genevieve—she’ll do whatever it takes to get Karyn help, even if it means tracking down every lowlife informant and back alley magic practitioner in the occult underworld of Los Angeles.

But since a magical heist went to hell, the crew has been working for crimelord and doomed magus Enoch Sobell. Between fighting Sobell’s battles with some seriously scary demonic forces and tangling with a group of violent fanatics who want to manipulate Karyn’s abilities for their own gains, Anna, Nail, and Genevieve are beginning to realize they’re in way over their heads.

And now that Karyn’s secret about seeing the future is out, even more unpleasant parties—human and otherwise—are about to come knocking…

charlesstross-theannihalationscoreCharles Stross – The Annihilation Score (Orbit)
NOBODY DOES IT BETTER . . .

Dr Mo O’Brien is an intelligence agent at the top secret government agency known as ‘the Laundry’. When occult powers threaten the realm, they’ll be there to clean up the mess and deal with the witnesses.

But the Laundry is recovering from a devastating attack and when average citizens all over the country start to develop supernatural powers, the police are called in to help. Mo is appointed as official police liaison, but in between dealing with police bureaucracy, superpowered members of the public and disgruntled politicians, Mo discovers to her horror that she can no longer rely on her marriage, nor on the weapon that has been at her side for eight years of undercover work, the possessed violin known as ‘Lecter’.

If this wasn’t bad enough, a mysterious figure known as Dr Freudstein is committing heists and sending increasingly threatening messages to the police. Who is Freudstein and what is he planning?

August
ishbellebee-thecontrarytaleofthebtterflygirlIshbelle Bee – The Contrary Tale of The Butterfly Girl (Angry Robot Books)
Two orphans, Pedrock and Boo Boo, are sent to live in the sinister village of Darkwound. There they meet and befriend the magical and dangerous Mr Loveheart and his neighbour Professor Hummingbird, a recluse who collects rare butterflies. Little do they know that Professor Hummingbird has attracted the wrath of a demon named Mr Angel-Cakes.

One night, Mr Angel-Cakes visits Boo Boo and carves a butterfly onto her back. Boo Boo starts to metamorphose into a butterfly/human hybrid, and is kidnapped by Professor Hummingbird. When Mr Loveheart attempts to rescue her with the aid of Detective White and Constable Walnut, they are turned into butterflies.

Caught between Professor Hummingbird and the demon Angel-Cakes, Loveheart finds himself entangled in a web much wider and darker than he could have imagined, and a plot that leads him right to the Prime Minister and Queen Victoria herself …

rsbelcher-nightwiseR.S. Belcher – Nightwise (Tor)
R.S. Belcher, the acclaimed author of The Six-Gun Tarot and The Shotgun Arcana launches a gritty new urban fantasy series set in today’s seedy occult underworld in Nightwise.

In the more shadowy corners of the world, frequented by angels and demons and everything in-between, Laytham Ballard is a legend. It’s said he raised the dead at the age of ten, stole the Philosopher’s Stone in Vegas back in 1999, and survived the bloodsucking kiss of the Mosquito Queen. Wise in the hidden ways of the night, he’s also a cynical bastard who stopped thinking of himself as the good guy a long time ago.

Now a promise to a dying friend has Ballard on the trail of an escaped Serbian war criminal with friends in both high and low places–and a sinister history of blood sacrifices. Ballard is hell-bent on making Dusan Slorzack pay for his numerous atrocities, but Slorzack seems to have literally dropped off the face of the Earth, beyond the reach of his enemies, the Illuminati, and maybe even the Devil himself. To find Slorzack, Ballard must follow a winding, treacherous path that stretches from Wall Street and Washington, D.C. to backwoods hollows and truckstops, while risking what’s left of his very soul . . . .

aliettedebodard-houseofshatteringwingsAliette de Bodard – The House of Shattered Wings (Gollancz)
Paris in the aftermath of the Great Magicians War. Its streets are lined with haunted ruins, Notre-Dame is a burnt-out shell, and the Seine runs black, thick with ashes and rubble. Yet life continues among the wreckage. The citizens retain their irrepressible appetite for novelty and distraction, and The Great Houses still vie for dominion over France’s once grand capital.

House Silverspires, previously the leader of those power games, now lies in disarray. Its

magic is ailing; its founder, Morningstar, has been missing for decades; and now something

from the shadows stalks its people inside their very own walls.

Within the House, three very different people must come together: a naive but powerful Fallen, an alchemist with a self-destructive addiction, and a resentful young man wielding spells from the Far East. They may be Silverspires’ salvation; or the architects of its last, irreversible fall . . .

charliefletcher-theparadoxCharlie Fletcher – The Paradox (Orbit)
SOMETIMES YOU LOOK IN THE MIRROR – SOMETIMES IT LOOKS BACK.

Those who belong to the secret society called The Oversight know many things. They know cold iron will hold back the beasts in the darkness. They know it is dangerous to stand between two mirrors. And they know that, despite their dwindling numbers, it remains their duty to protect humanity from the predations of the supernatural. And vice versa.

But two of the society’s strongest members, Mr Sharp and Sara Falk, are trapped in the world between the mirrors, looking for each other, searching for a way back home. What they discover there will have ominous consequences both for The Oversight and the world it protects, effects that will make them question everything they thought they knew.

The dark waters rise. The candle is guttering. But the light still remains. For now . . .

christinahenry-aliceChristina Henry – Alice (Ace)
A mind-bending new novel inspired by the twisted and wondrous works of Lewis Carroll…

In a warren of crumbling buildings and desperate people called the Old City, there stands a hospital with cinderblock walls which echo the screams of the poor souls inside.

In the hospital, there is a woman. Her hair, once blond, hangs in tangles down her back. She doesn’t remember why she’s in such a terrible place. Just a tea party long ago, and long ears, and blood…

Then, one night, a fire at the hospital gives the woman a chance to escape, tumbling out of the hole that imprisoned her, leaving her free to uncover the truth about what happened to her all those years ago.

Only something else has escaped with her. Something dark. Something powerful.

And to find the truth, she will have to track this beast to the very heart of the Old City, where the rabbit waits for his Alice.

robinhobb-foolsquestRobin Hobb – Fool’s Quest (Del Rey)
Robin Hobb returns to her best loved characters with the second volume in a brand new series.

Happy endings never last…

Years ago, they freed a dragon from the glaciers on Aslevjal. Then they parted ways, the Fool returning to far-off Clerres, while Fitz finally claimed a wife, a family, and a home of his own.

Now, betrayed by his own people and broken by torment, the Fool has made his way back to the Six Duchies. But as Fitz attempts to heal his old friend in Buckkeep Castle, his young daughter Bee is abducted from Withywoods by pale and mysterious raiders who leave ruin and confusion in their wake.

Fitz must find a way to rescue his beloved Bee. At the same time it is the Fool’s fiercest wish to return to Clerres with the best assassin he has ever known, to gain vengeance and justice.

Can Fitz bear to take up the tools of his old trade again, even to avenge his dearest friend and save his child?

nalohopkinson-fallinginlovewithhomonidsNalo Hopkinson – Falling in Love with Hominids (Tachyon)
Nalo Hopkinson (Brown Girl in the Ring, Skin Folk) has been widely hailed as a highly significant voice in Caribbean and American fiction. She has been dubbed “one of our most important writers,” (Junot Diaz), with “an imagination that most of us would kill for” (Los Angeles Times), and her work has been called “stunning,” (New York Times) “rich in voice, humor, and dazzling imagery” (Kirkus), and “simply triumphant” (Dorothy Allison).

Falling in Love with Hominids presents more than a dozen years of Hopkinson’s new, uncollected fiction, much of which has been unavailable in print, including one original story. Her singular, vivid tales, which mix the modern with Afro-Caribbean folklore, are occupied by creatures unpredictable and strange: chickens that breathe fire, adults who eat children, and spirits that haunt shopping malls.

elliottjames-fearlessElliott James – Fearless (Orbit)
When your last name is Charming, rescuing virgins comes with the territory — even when the virgin in question is a nineteen-year-old college boy.

Someone, somewhere, has declared war on Kevin Kichida, and that someone has a long list of magical predators on their rolodex. The good news is that Kevin lives in a town where Ted Cahill is the new sheriff and old ally of John Charming.

The attacks on Kevin seem to be a pattern, and the more John and his new team follow that thread, the deeper they find themselves in a maze of supernatural threats, family secrets, and age-old betrayals. The more John learns, the more convinced he becomes that Kevin Kichida isn’t just a victim, he’s a sacrifice waiting to happen. And that thread John’s following? It’s really a fuse…

nkjemisin-thefifthseasonN.K. Jemisin – The Fifth Season (Orbit)
THIS IS THE WAY THE WORLD ENDS. FOR THE LAST TIME.

A season of endings has begun.

It starts with the great red rift across the heart of the world’s sole continent, spewing ash that blots out the sun.

It starts with death, with a murdered son and a missing daughter.

It starts with betrayal, and long dormant wounds rising up to fester.

This is the Stillness, a land long familiar with catastrophe, where the power of the earth is wielded as a weapon. And where there is no mercy.

susanmurray-waterborneexileSusan Murray – Waterborne Exile (Angry Robot Books)
A nameless priestess will stop at nothing to get revenge on the killers of her lover.

In a world of turmoil, following the king’s death, the traitor Vasic is struggling to secure his rule over the combined Peninsular Kingdoms whilst the exiled queen, Alwenna, has taken refuge with a freemerchant community whose elders fear her dark power.

Mistrust rules the day with bribery, drugs, trafficking of children, and murder rife throughout the kingdom.

As the priestess’ plot for revenge continues, Alenna leaves to seek the outcast group of loyal kinsman. Marten attempts to restore Alwenna to the throne but as the priestess closes in, will he succeed?

September
kelleyarmstrong-ledastrayKelley Armstrong – Led Astray: The Best of Kelley Armstrong (Tachyon)
With her signature twists and turns, #1 New York Times bestselling author Kelley Armstrong (Otherworld, Cainsville, Darkest Powers, Age of Legends) always gives a fresh spin on city-dwelling vampires, werewolves, and zombies. She is equally exciting when traveling further afield, to a post-apocalyptic fortress, a superstitious village, a supernatural brothel, and even feudal Japan.

Here is the first time that urban fantasy, young adult, mystery, and crime author Kelley Armstrong has had her stories collected from the Otherworld and beyond. From humorous to heart-stopping, and including two original tales, Led Astray showcases Armstrong at her versatile best.

stephenaryan-battlemageStephen Aryan – Battlemage (Orbit)
‘I can command storms, summon fire and unmake stone,’ Balfruss growled. ‘It’s dangerous to meddle with things you don’t understand.’

BALFRUSS is a battlemage, sworn to fight and die for a country that fears his kind.

VARGUS is a common soldier – while mages shoot lightning from the walls of his city, he is down on the front line getting blood on his blade.

TALANDRA is a princess and spymaster, but the war will force her to risk everything, and make the greatest sacrifice of all.

Battlemages fight as living weapons in this explosive epic fantasy from a major new talent.

bradleybeaulieu-twelvekingsBradley Beaulieu – Twelve Kings of Sharakai (Gollancz)
In the cramped west end of Sharakhai, the Amber Jewel of the Desert, Çeda fights in the pits to scrape a living. She, like so many in the city, pray for the downfall of the cruel, immortal Kings of Sharakhai, but she’s never been able to do anything about it. This all changes when she goes out on the night of Beht Zha’ir, the holy night when all are forbidden from walking the streets. It’s the night that the asirim, the powerful yet wretched creatures that protect the Kings from all who would stand against them, wander the city and take tribute. It is then that one of the asirim, a pitiful creature who wears a golden crown, stops Çeda and whispers long forgotten words into her ear. Çeda has heard those words before, in a book left to her by her mother, and it is through that one peculiar link that she begins to find hidden riddles left by her mother.

As Çeda begins to unlock the mysteries of that fateful night, she realizes that the very origin of the asirim and the dark bargain the Kings made with the gods of the desert to secure them may be the very key she needs to throw off the iron grip the Kings have had over Sharakhai. And yet the Kings are no fools-they’ve ruled the Shangazi for four hundred years for good reason, and they have not been idle. As Çeda digs into their past, and the Kings come closer and closer to unmasking her, Çeda must decide if she’s ready to face them once and for all.

jimbutcher-aeronautswindlassJim Butcher – The Aeronaut’s Windlass (Orbit)
Since time immemorial, the Spires have sheltered humanity, towering for miles over the mist-shrouded surface of the world. Within their halls, aristocratic houses have ruled for generations, developing scientific marvels, fostering trade alliances, and building fleets of airships to keep the peace.

Captain Grimm commands the merchant ship, Predator. Fiercely loyal to Spire Albion, he has taken their side in the cold war with Spire Aurora, disrupting the enemy’s shipping lines by attacking their cargo vessels. But when the Predator is severely damaged in combat, leaving captain and crew grounded, Grimm is offered a proposition from the Spirearch of Albion-to join a team of agents on a vital mission in exchange for fully restoring Predator to its fighting glory.

And even as Grimm undertakes this dangerous task, he will learn that the conflict between the Spires is merely a premonition of things to come. Humanity’s ancient enemy, silent for more than ten thousand years, has begun to stir once more. And death will follow in its wake.

zencho-sorcerorofthecrownZen Cho – Sorcerer to the Crown (Tor UK)
THE FATE OF ENGLISH MAGIC LIES IN THEIR HANDS…

In Regency London, Zacharias Wythe is England’s first African Sorcerer Royal. He leads the eminent Royal Society of Unnatural Philosophers, but a malicious faction seeks to remove him by fair means or foul. Meanwhile, the Society is failing its vital duty – to keep stable the levels of magic within His Majesty’s lands. The Fairy Court is blocking its supply, straining England’s dangerously declining magical stores. And now the government is demanding to use this scarce resource in its war with France.

Ambitious orphan Prunella Gentleman is desperate to escape the school where she’s drudged all her life, and a visit by the beleaguered Sorcerer Royal seems the perfect opportunity. For Prunella has just stumbled upon English magic’s greatest discovery in centuries – and she intends to make the most of it.

At his wits’ end, the last thing Zachariah needs is a female magical prodigy! But together, they might just change the nature of sorcery, in Britain and beyond.

sethdickinson-thetraitorSeth Dickinson – The Traitor (Tor UK)
Baru Cormorant believes any price is worth paying to liberate her people – even her soul.

When the Empire of Masks conquers her island home, criminalizes her customs, and murders one of her Fathers, Baru vows to hide her hate, join the Empire’s civil service, and claw her way up enough rungs of power to put a stop to the Emperor’s influence and set her people free.

As a natural savant, she is sent as an imperial agent to distant Aurdwynn – a post she worries will never get her the position and power she craves. But Baru soon discovers Aurdwynn is a complex and secretive country, seemingly on the brink of rebellion. All it would need is a match to the tinder . . .

Drawn by the intriguing duchess Tain Hu into a circle of seditious aristocrats, Baru may be able to use her position to stoke a revolution that will threaten to bring the Empire to its knees.

As Baru maintains a precarious balance between the rebels and a shadowy cabal within the Empire, she orchestrates a do-or-die gambit with Aurdwynn’s freedom as the prize. But winning the long game of saving her own people may be far more costly than Baru imagines.

charlieholmberg-follwedbyfrostCharlie N. Holmberg – Followed by Frost (47North)
Seventeen-year-old Smitha’s wealth, status, and beauty make her the envy of her town—until she rejects a strange man’s marriage proposal and disastrous consequences follow. Smitha becomes cursed, and frost begins to encompass everything she touches. Banished to the hills, hunted by villagers, and chilled to the very core of her soul, she finds companionship with Death, who longs to coax her into his isolated world. But Smitha’s desire for life proves stronger than despair, and a newfound purpose gives her hope. Will regrets over the past and an unexpected desire for a man she cannot touch be enough to warm Smitha’s heart, or will Death forever still it?

ceceliaholland-dragonheartCecelia Holland – Dragon Heart (Tor Books)
Where the Cape of the Winds juts into the endless sea, there is Castle Ocean, and therein dwells the royal family that has ruled it from time immemorial. But there is an Empire growing in the east, and its forces have reached the castle. King Reymarro is dead in battle, and by the new treaty, Queen Marioza must marry one of the Emperor’s brothers. She loathes the idea, and has already killed the first brother, but a second arrives, escorted by more soldiers. While Marioza delays, her youngest son, Jeon, goes on a journey in search of his mute twin, Tirza, who needs to be present for the wedding.

As Jeon and Tirza return by sea, their ship is attacked by a shocking and powerful dragon, red as blood and big as the ship. Thrown into the water, Tirza clings to the dragon, and after an underwater journey, finds herself alone with the creature in an inland sea pool. Surprisingly, she is able to talk to the beast, and understand it.

So begins a saga of violence, destruction, and death, of love and monsters, human and otherwise.

In Dragon Heart, Cecelia Holland, America’s most distinguished historical novelist steps fully into the realm of fantasy and makes it her own.

scottlynch-thethornofemberlainScott Lynch – The Thorn of Emberlain (Gollancz)
With 50,000 copies sold of The Republic of Thieves and with praise from the likes of Joe Abercrombie and George RR Martin the saga of the Gentleman Bastard has become a favourite and key part of the fantasy landscape. And now Locke Lamora, thief, con-man, pirate, political deceiver must become a soldier.

A new chapter for Locke and Jean and finally the war that has been brewing in the Kingdom of the Marrows flares up and threatens to capture all in its flames.

And all the while Locke must try to deal with the disturbing rumours about his past revealed in The Republic of Thieves. Fighting a war when you don’t know the truth of right and wrong is one thing. Fighting a war when you don’t know the truth of yourself is quite another. Particularly when you’ve never been that good with a sword anyway…

ilanacmyer-lastsongbeforemidnightIlana C. Myer – Last Song Before Night (Tor Books)
Long ago, poets were Seers with access to powerful magic. Following a cataclysmic battle, the enchantments of Eivar were lost–now a song is only words and music, and no more. But when a dark power threatens the land, poets who thought only to gain fame for their songs face a task much greater: to restore the lost enchantments to the world. And the road to the Otherworld, where the enchantments reside, will imperil their lives and test the deepest desires of their hearts.

iainpears-arcadiaIain Pears – Arcadia (Faber & Faber)
Henry Lytten – a spy turned academic and writer – sits at his desk in Oxford in 1962, dreaming of other worlds.

He embarks on the story of Jay, an eleven-year-old boy who has grown up within the embrace of his family in a rural, peaceful world – a kind of Arcadia. But when a supernatural vision causes Jay to question the rules of his world, he is launched on a life-changing journey.

Lytten also imagines a different society, highly regulated and dominated by technology, which is trying to master the science of time travel.

Meanwhile – in the real world – one of Lytten’s former intelligence colleagues tracks him down for one last assignment.

As he and his characters struggle with questions of free will, love, duty and the power of the imagination, Lytten discovers he is not sure how he wants his stories to end, nor even who is imaginary…

alansmale-clashofeaglesAlan Smale – Clash of Eagles (Del Rey)
It’s The Last of the Mohicans meets HBO’s Rome in this exciting and inventive debut novel from Sidewise Award-winner Alan Smale that will thrill fans of alternate history, historical fiction, and military fiction—a premium mass market paperback with an exclusive excerpt from the upcoming sequel!

In a world where the Roman Empire never fell, a legion under the command of general Gaius Marcellinus invades the newly-discovered North American continent. But Marcellinus and his troops have woefully underestimated the fighting prowess of the Native American inhabitants. When Gaius is caught behind enemy lines and spared, he must reevaluate his allegiances and find a new place in this strange land.

franwilde-updraftFran Wilde – Updraft (Tor Books)
Welcome to a world of wind and bone, songs and silence, betrayal and courage.

Kirit Densira cannot wait to pass her wingtest and begin flying as a trader by her mother’s side, being in service to her beloved home tower and exploring the skies beyond. When Kirit inadvertently breaks Tower Law, the city’s secretive governing body, the Singers, demand that she become one of them instead. In an attempt to save her family from greater censure, Kirit must give up her dreams to throw herself into the dangerous training at the Spire, the tallest, most forbidding tower, deep at the heart of the City.

As she grows in knowledge and power, she starts to uncover the depths of Spire secrets. Kirit begins to doubt her world and its unassailable Laws, setting in motion a chain of events that will lead to a haunting choice, and may well change the city forever-if it isn’t destroyed outright.

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  • Bob Milne

    Iron and Blood was an okay read – fun, but not overly memorable. The Dinosaur Lords was a great concept, with some amazing scenes, but a definite soft spot in the middle.

    Fool’s Quest I just started last night. As much as I was dissapointed with the first book of the trilogy, this seems to have the classic Fitz feel to it, which has me feeling hopeful. Bradley Beaulieu is next up on my reading list.

    I’ve been begging for an ARC of N.K. Jemisin – no luck so far, but I did just sign up for her blog tour, so we’ll see!

    • Mieneke van der Salm

      Good to hear your thoughts :) Glad to hear Fool’s Quest seems to have a classic Fitz feel! I ended up pre-ordering N.K. Jemisin’s book from my birthday money, so I can be sure to have it asap :D

  • Bibliotropic

    I think about half of these books are ones I’ve got my eye on and very much want to read. (The only question is, will I find the time to do so? :p) Fortunately I have about half of that half in my possession already, so that’s a start!

    • Mieneke van der Salm

      I have about six as ARCs and for me it is also a matter of finding the time to read them and more importantly, to write up the reviews!

      • Bibliotropic

        I’m lucky that at the moment, I can pretty much mold my life around my blog if I want to. Not having a pressing need for money-making employment right now, much of my day gets taken up by housework and reading.

        Part of the problem is that sometimes when I should be writing reviews, all I want to do is go read more!

        • I recognise that last problem. Especially since I’m pretty drained from the past few months here at home, which have been tough — writing reviews hurts my brain, reading, even critically, is far more relaxing.

  • So many beautiful covers! A lot of these have been on my radar as well, but a lack of time will probably stand in the way of reading all of them :(