The Dark Legacy of Shannara: Bloodfire Quest by Terry Brooks. Del Rey, $28.00, 356pp, hc, 9780345523501. Fantasy.
The adventure that started in Wards of Faerie takes a thrilling new turn, in the second novel of New York Times bestselling author Terry Brooks’s brand-new trilogy — The Dark Legacy of Shannara.
The quest for the long-lost Elfstones has drawn the leader of the Druid order and her followers into the hellish dimension known as the Forbidding, where the most dangerous creatures banished from the Four Lands are imprisoned. Now the hunt for the powerful talismans that can save their world has become a series of great challenges: a desperate search for kidnapped comrades, a relentless battle against unspeakable predators, and a grim race to escape the Forbidding alive. But through freedom is closer than they know, it may come at a terrifying price.
Back in the village of Arborlon, the mystical, sentient tree that maintains the barrier between the Four Lands and the Forbidding is dying. And with each passing day, as the breach between the two worlds grows larger, the threat of the evil eager to spill forth and wreak havoc grows more dire. The only hope lies with a young Druid, faced with a staggering choice: cling to the life she cherishes or combat an army of darkness by making the ultimate sacrifice.
The Dark Legacy of Shannara: Witch Wraith by Terry Brooks. Del Rey, $28.00, 432pp, hc, 9780345523532. Fantasy. On-sale date: 16 July 2013.
For the first time in his career, Terry will be publishing a book every six months from the start to end of this series: here is the epic conclusion in a brand-new fantasy trilogy in the New York Times bestselling Shannara universe.
Long ago, any dangerous creatures were locked behind a magical barrier, bringing peace and prosperity to the land. But now those barriers are eroding, and generations of embittered prisoners are about to escape. War seems inevitable… unless a few brave souls can stem the tide. Now, our heroes must muster the last ounces of their courage as events unfold fast and furiously, From riveting start to cliffhanger ending, this is an epic for the ages.
Seven Kinds of Hell: A Fangborn Novel by Dana Cameron. 47North, $14.95, 374pp, tp, 9781611097955. Fantasy.
When archaeologist Zoe Miller’s cousin is abducted by a vicious Russian kidnapper, she must come to grips with a haunting secret. Unknown to even her closest friends, Zoe is not entirely human. She is a werewolf and a daughter of the “Fangborn,” a hidden race of werewolves, vampires, and oracles.
Zoe’s attempt to rescue her cousin leads her on a quest for artifacts — including Pandora’s Box, an object of world-ending power. With the fate of humanity in the balance, Zoe will be forced to renew family ties and pit her own supernatural abilities against a dark and nefarious foe.
At once captivating, deftly worded, and character-rich, Seven Kinds of Hell expands vampire legend and werewolf noir in both intensity and charismatic bite.
Deep Down by Deborah Coates. Tor, $25.99, 368pp, hc, 9780765329004. Fantasy.
After establishing herself with her short fiction Deborah Coates became a novelist to watch with the publication of her chilling debut novel Wide Open. With her keen ability to weave the paranormal into every day, rural American life, Coates created an authentic and intimate story starring Sargent Hallie Michaels — a young woman who gains the ability to communicate with the dead after nearly dying in combat in Afghanistan.
In Wide Open Hallie, on ten day’s compassionate leave from the army, returned to her hometown of Rapid City, South Dakota in search of her sister’s murderer. What she found was a formidable enemy with an unimaginable ancient power at his command. Deep Down takes readers back to the windswept plains and rural backroads of Hallie’s world, where the paranormal and the supernatural converge in another haunting mystery.
After solving her sister’s murder, Hallie has left the army and decided to stay in Rapid City. Her relationship with Deputy Boyd Davies is tentative, and there’s distance between her and her father. But the good news is, she hasn’t seen a ghost in weeks.
Then Hallie receives a call from her father asking her to check in on an elderly neighbor who is being stalked by black dogs — creatures from the underworld that are harbingers of death. When a black dog appears, a reaper is sure to follow. And if the dark visions she’s suddenly receiving are any indication, it looks like the reaper is now following her.
Meanwhile, strange events herald the arrival of ghosts from Deputy Boyd Davies past. Ghosts he isn’t ready to face. Refusing Hallie’s help, Boyd takes off to deal with the problem on his own, only to find he’s facing something much larger and more frightening than he had imagined.
Stalked by a reaper and plagued by dark visions, Hallie finds she must face her fears and travel into Death’s own realm to save those she loves most.
Burdens of the Dead by Mercedes Lackey, Eric Flint, and Dave Freer. Baen, $25.00, 416pp, hc, 9781451638745. Fantasy. On-sale date: 4 June 2013.
Sequel to Much Fall of Blood, book 4 in the Heirs of Alexandria series. Civilization at the crossroads. In an alternate Renaissance where magic works, a captain of Italian forces must deal with gods, goddesses and warfare in order to save his daughter at the siege of Constantinople—and prevent a new dark age.
In an alternate 15th century where magic still is part of life, the Holy Roman Empire rules Europe. Constantinople is under siege by the Venetians and their allies. Hekate, Goddess of Crossroads, presides over the conflict and carnage as alternate visions of civilization collide. And since Constantinople is the crossroad city of east and west, and it is here that Italian captain Benito Valdosta must deal with the powerful magical manifestation of the Weeping Woman, a disguised Hekate, in order to save his daughter and to destroy the fleets of the Chernobog assembling in the Black Sea before they can cut into the soft underbelly of Europe.
With land battle, naval action, cunning assassinations, and heartbreak aplenty—not to mention the ongoing conflict between Lord of the Dead Aidonus and Benito for the love of a woman, civilization is at the crossroads and choices must be made that will bring victory and freedom for centuries to come—or a new Dark Age.
Blood’s Pride by Evie Manieri. Tor, $24.99, 528pp, hc, 9780765332349. Fantasy.
A strong new voice in fantasy fiction, Evie Manieri debuts Blood’s Pride, in the new Shattered Kingdoms series. In this epic fantasy debut, cultures clash and sister betrays sister against the backdrop of a rich, fully realized world with a dark edge.
Rising from their sea-torn ships like vengeful, pale phantoms, the Norlander warriors laid waste to the Shadar under cover of darkness. They forced the peaceful fisherfolk into slavery, to mine the local dark ore necessary to forge the Norlanders’ deadly black metal weaponry. The Norlanders also built an alliance with the Shadari’s former trading partners, the desert-dwelling Nomas tribe, cutting off any hope of salvation.
Now, two decades after the invasion, the Norlander governor is slowly dying. Of his three warrior children, the governor places his eldest daughter, Frea, in command of the mines and the garrison of soldiers. Frea’s sister Isa wants to earn her respect and their brother, Eofar has fallen in love with an enslaved Shadari.
As turmoil grows between the siblings, a rebellion gathers strength in the dark corridors of the city. A small faction of Shadari have hired the Mongrel, an infamous mercenary, to aid their fledgling uprising — but with her own shadowy ties to the region, she is a frighteningly volatile ally. Has she really come to lead a revolution, or for a more sinister purpose all her own?
This thrilling new epic fantasy is set in a quasi-Medieval Mediterranean region, drawing together the warrior culture of Vikings, the wanderlust of desert nomads, and the oracles of ancient Greece. Blood’s Pride is an intricate, lush tale of adventure full of taut action, gut-wrenching betrayal, and soaring romance.
Alpha to Omega: Journey to the End of Time by Matthew A. Petti. Two Sense, $29.99, 304pp, hc, 9780985685522. Philosophy.
The dilemma: A sense of urgency is swiftly building as many are becoming aware of the serious threats confronting humanity and the implications for our future. What have we done or failed to do to create this for ourselves? What are we missing?
The inseparable bond between past and future is the cause and effect of our collective beliefs and the choices influenced by them. Today’s world mirrors the aggregate effects of the unobserved and unchanging flaws in our most basic assumptions.
Beliefs about God, our origins, human history and the hereafter, which are deeply embedded into the collective mind through the inheritance of age-old teachings and behaviors, encompass every aspect of our lives and decisions. Our priorities, which are directed by these vague assumptions, steer us away from seeking answers to define them, leaving our fate assumptions and the future consequences intact.
The solution: The book of Revelation is an unbreakable conduit connecting our past to an inevitable future. The cryptic message is an unveiling of the false assumptions shaping our destiny, a new perspective for the myths and ancient mysteries of our past and the consequences that lie ahead.
Discover our origins and destiny in the unobserved metaphysics of Truth.
Eight Million Gods by Wen Spencer. Baen, $25.00, 400pp, hc, 9781451638981. Urban fantasy.
First entry in a new urban fantasy saga by the creator of the popular Tinker contemporary fantasy/SF series. A young American expat writer in Japan suffering from OCD tries to figure out if she’s crazy or not while solving a murder that may be part of a war among Japanese deities.
A contemporary fantasy of mystery and death as American expats battle Japanese gods and monsters to retrieve an ancient artifact that can destroy the world.
On Saturday afternoon, Nikki Delany thought, “George Wilson, in the kitchen, with a blender.” By dinner, she had killed George and posted his gory murder to her blog. The next day, she put on her mourning clothes and went out to meet her best friend for lunch to discuss finding a replacement for her love interest.
Nikki is a horror novelist. Her choice of career is dictated by an Obsessive Compulsive Disorder that forces her to write stories of death and destruction. She can’t control it, doesn’t understand it, but can use it to make money anywhere in the world. Currently “anywhere” is in Japan, hiding from her mother who sees Nikki’s OCD as proof she’s mentally unstable. Nikki’s fragile peace starts to fall apart when the police arrest her for the murder of an American expatriate. Someone killed him with a blender.
Reality starts to unravel around Nikki. She’s attacked by a raccoon in a business suit. After a series of blackouts, she’s accompanied by a boy that no one else can see, a boy who claims to be a god. Is she really being pursued by Japanese myths—or is she simply going insane?
What Nikki does know for sure is that the bodies are piling up, her mother has arrived in Japan to lock her up for the rest of her life—and her novels always end with everyone dead.
Night Resurrected by Joss Ware. Avon, $7.99, 372pp, pb, 9780062018670. Paranormal Romance.
The world they knew is ashes. The world that remains is in peril. These extraordinary survivors are humankind’s last, best hope.
His family lost forever in The Change, Wyatt is a man with nothing left to lose. But just when he thought he’d never feel anything again, Remington Truth came into his life. Knowing the bold beauty would face unimaginable dangers on her quest to safeguard the mysterious crystal in her possession, he joins her on her journey, never expecting her to find a way past the wall he’s built.
Remy’s a woman with everything at stake. While protecting the powerful crystal that is her family’s secret legacy, she dares not trust anyone. Yet once she recognizes the ravished heart beneath Wyatt’s stony facade, she’s willing to risk it all. Together they battle the forces of darkness, their very survival at stake.
Until Remy is forced to make a terrible decision that could destroy them… and the rest of the world.
The Best of Connie Willis: Award-Winning Stories by Connie Willis. Del Rey, $27.00, 496pp, hc, 9780345504645. Science fiction collection. On-sale date: 9 July 2013.
Few authors have had careers as successful as that of Connie Willis. Inducted into the Science Fiction Hall of Fame and recently awarded the title of Grand Master by the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America, Willis is still going strong. Her smart, heartfelt fiction runs the gamut from screwball comedy to profound tragedy, combining dazzling plot twists, cutting-edge science, and unforgettable characters.
From a near future mourning the extinction of dogs to an alternate history in which invading aliens were defeated by none other than Emily Dickinson; from a madcap convention of bumbling quantum physicists in Hollywood to a London whose Underground has become a storehouse of intangible memories both foul and fair—here are the greatest stories of one of the greatest writers working in any genre today.
All ten of the stories gathered here are Hugo or Nebula award winners—some even have the distinction of winning both. With a new Introduction by the author and personal afterwords to each story—plus a special look at three of Willis’s unique public speeches—this is unquestionably the collection of the season, a book that every Connie Willis fan will treasure, and, to those unfamiliar with her work, the perfect introduction to one of the most accomplished and best-loved writers of our time.
[Contents: "A Letter from the Clearys"; "At the Rialto"; "Death on the Nile"; "The Soul Selects Her Own Society"; "Fire Watch"; "Inside Job"; "Even the Queen"; "The Winds of Marble Arch"; "All Seated on the Ground"; and "The Last of the Winnebagos".]