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Thursday, January 8, 2015

2015 Anticipated Titles: Fantasy Edition

Bolin is totally my fangirl spirit animal...
We're going to do something a little different for this list.  I could endlessly (and easily) talk about the Brandon Sanderson and Sarah J Maas books that are releasing next year and how I can't wait for them. It would literally be the easiest blog post I've ever written.  Instead just assume I'm eagerly awaiting those and let's talk about other authors and their books.  Crazy right?  Warning two of these are sequels to books already out, so spoilers may abound for those books.  Proceed with (interested) caution.


https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/18461823-the-fifth-season
This is the way the world ends. Again.

Three terrible things happen in a single day. Essun, a woman living an ordinary life in a small town, comes home to find that her husband has brutally murdered their son and kidnapped their daughter. Meanwhile, mighty Sanze—the world-spanning empire whose innovations have been civilization's bedrock for a thousand years—collapses as most of its citizens are murdered to serve a madman's vengeance. And worst of all, across the heart of the vast continent known as the Stillness, a great red rift has been been torn into the heart of the earth, spewing ash enough to darken the sky for years. Or centuries.

Now Essun must pursue the wreckage of her family through a deadly, dying land. Without sunlight, clean water, or arable land, and with limited stockpiles of supplies, there will be war all across the Stillness: a battle royale of nations not for power or territory, but simply for the basic resources necessary to get through the long dark night. Essun does not care if the world falls apart around her. She'll break it herself, if she must, to save her daughter.
Kind of a cheat since I love Jemisin, but I've been eagerly awaiting this book since THE SHADOWED SUN released two years ago. Bring it on!!

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/23346335-the-price-of-valour

In the wake of the King’s death, war has come to Vordan.

The Deputies-General has precarious control of the city, but it is led by a zealot who sees traitors in every shadow. Executions have become a grim public spectacle. The new queen, Raesinia Orboan, finds herself nearly powerless as the government tightens its grip and assassins threaten her life. But she did not help free the country from one sort of tyranny to see it fall into another. Placing her trust with the steadfast soldier Marcus D’Ivoire, she sets out to turn the tide of history.

As the hidden hand of the Sworn Church brings all the powers of the continent to war against Vordan, the enigmatic and brilliant general Janus bet Vhalnich offers a path to victory. Winter Ihernglass, newly promoted to command a regiment, has reunited with her lover and her friends, only to face the prospect of leading them into bloody battle.

And the enemy is not just armed with muskets and cannon. Dark priests of an ancient order, wielding forbidden magic, have infiltrated Vordan to stop Janus by whatever means necessary…
 
At the moment I'm planning on listening to the first two books in audio, however the shorter works set in this universe have pleased me and I enjoyed Wexler's writing style so I fully expect this one to also please me.


https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/23168830-last-first-snow

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.
There's a whole lot of words up there that mean so little to me, but that's okay because this series and I are such good friends.  Granted THREE PARTS DEAD remains my favorite, but haven't been let down yet by its sequels.

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/22448211-uprooted
Agnieszka loves her valley home, her quiet village, the forests and the bright shining river. But the corrupted Wood stands on the border, full of malevolent power, and its shadow lies over her life.

Her people rely on the cold, driven wizard known only as the Dragon to keep its powers at bay. But he demands a terrible price for his help: one young woman handed over to serve him for ten years, a fate almost as terrible as falling to the Wood.

The next choosing is fast approaching, and Agnieszka is afraid. She knows—everyone knows—that the Dragon will take Kasia: beautiful, graceful, brave Kasia, all the things Agnieszka isn’t, and her dearest friend in the world. And there is no way to save her.

But Agnieszka fears the wrong things. For when the Dragon comes, it is not Kasia he will choose.
I have some issues with her Tremaire books - they never struck me the right way I suppose.  But this I read a chapbook sampler of from NYCC and was very eager to read more of.

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/22926502-the-shadow-revolution
As fog descends, obscuring the gas lamps of Victorian London, werewolves prowl the shadows of back alleys. But they have infiltrated the inner circles of upper-crust society as well. Only a handful of specially gifted practitioners are equipped to battle the beasts. Among them are the roguish Simon Archer, who conceals his powers as a spell-casting scribe behind the smooth veneer of a dashing playboy; his layabout mentor, Nick Barker, who prefers a good pub to thrilling heroics; and the self-possessed alchemist Kate Anstruther, who is equally at home in a ballroom as she is on a battlefield.

After a lycanthrope targets Kate’s vulnerable younger sister, the three join forces with fierce Scottish monster-hunter Malcolm MacFarlane—but quickly discover they’re dealing with a threat far greater than anything they ever imagined.
This is from the authors of the Vampire Empire books that I greatly enjoyed.  Let's see what new wonders they bring to the gaslight steampunk genre.

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/20560137-an-ember-in-the-ashes

LAIA is a Scholar living under the iron-fisted rule of the Martial Empire. When her brother is arrested for treason, Laia goes undercover as a slave at the empire’s greatest military academy in exchange for assistance from rebel Scholars who claim that they will help to save her brother from execution.

ELIAS is the academy’s finest soldier—and secretly, its most unwilling. Elias is considering deserting the military, but before he can, he’s ordered to participate in a ruthless contest to choose the next Martial emperor.

When Laia and Elias’s paths cross at the academy, they find that their destinies are more intertwined than either could have imagined and that their choices will change the future of the empire itself.

Rome-like you say? With a dazzling cover and scholar-warriors? Sign me up! 

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/18488433-the-storyspinner

In a world where dukes plot their way to the throne, a Performer’s life can get tricky. And in Johanna Von Arlo’s case, it can be fatal. Expelled from her troupe after her father’s death, Johanna is forced to work for the handsome Lord Rafael DeSilva. Too bad they don’t get along. But while Johanna’s father’s death was deemed an accident, the Keepers aren’t so sure.

The Keepers, a race of people with magical abilities, are on a quest to find the princess—the same princess who is supposed to be dead and whose throne the dukes are fighting over. But they aren’t the only ones looking for her. And in the wake of their search, murdered girls keep turning up—girls who look exactly like the princess, and exactly like Johanna.

With dukes, Keepers, and a killer all after the princess, Johanna finds herself caught up in political machinations for the throne, threats on her life, and an unexpected romance that could change everything.
I'm not as in love with this cover as I could be (I'm hoping it becomes a bit more stylized as right now the perspective gives us a really weird angle to her arm...), but I've always been a sucker for "Royalty in Hiding" stories.
 
{Has no Cover Yet} Nobody's Goddess by Amy McNulty
In a village of masked men, each loves only one woman and must follow the commands of his “goddess” without question. A woman may reject the only man who will love her if she pleases, but she will be alone forever. And a man must stay masked until his goddess returns his love—and if she can’t or won’t, he remains masked forever.

Where the rest of her village celebrates this mystery that binds men and women together, seventeen year old Noll is just done with it. She’s lost all her childhood friends as they’ve paired off, but the worst blow was when her closest companion, Jurij, finds his goddess in Noll’s own sister. Desperate to find a way to break this ancient spell, Noll instead discovers why no man has ever loved her: she is in fact the goddess of the mysterious lord of the village, a Byronic man who refuses to let Noll have her right as a woman to spurn him and who has the power to fight the curse. 


Thus begins a dangerous game between the two: the choice of woman versus the magic of man. And the stakes are no less than freedom and happiness, life and death—and neither Noll nor the veiled man is willing to lose.
On the one hand I can see how terribly terribly wrong this premise can go (how can you use "Byronic" if this is a fantasy world where Byron never existed?), but on the other I like anything that gives the girl power in a relationship (even if its a two-sided sword of power...).

{Has no Cover Yet} Serpentine by Cindy Pon
SERPENTINE by Cindy Pon, is a sweeping fantasy set in the ancient Kingdom of Xia and inspired by the rich history of Chinese mythology.

Lush with details from Chinese folklore, SERPENTINE sets a mood of tension and struggle between mortals, demons and gods as it tells the coming of age story of Skybright, a young girl who worries about her growing otherness. As she turns sixteen Skybright starts to morph in the middle of the night into a seductive serpent demon. Daybreak brings her back to life as a companion and handmaid to the youngest daughter of a very wealthy family.

Skybright is told that her destiny is dark, but she is struggling only to be herself – even as she falls in love with a mortal boy for the first time.
MORE CINDY PON AND MORE KINGDOM OF XIA. Nothing else matters.  NOTHING.

So what fantasy novels are you most looking forward to in 2015? Any I should peel an eye back for?