2014 is shaping up to be an exciting year in SFF releases, with Angry Robot, Tor, Del Rey, Orbit, Jo Fletcher and a few other publishers bringing out some fantastic and original SFF books to be mesmerised and lost in. They will surely be getting my money in their pockets (after I return from the US).
But as there are so many titles I am looking forward to, I decided to split Sci-Fi from Fantasy and vice versa. Today I share with you ten fantasy books I cannot wait to read in 2014, with an equal amount of books that deserve mentions because, well, I’ve only got ten fingers (though I should really get more fingers… these books deserve fingers).
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Rjurik Davidson will surely be an exciting new Australian fantasy talent, with his first full-length novel Unwrapped Sky being published by Tor UK and Tor Books on April 10 and 25 respectively (the cover on the left is for the US edition). I’m mesmerised already by the synopsis. Can April hurry up? Not because I turn 21 on the 7th, but because three days later Unwrapped Sky comes out. BEST 21ST BIRTHDAY PRESENT EVER! (So would The Lotus War #3—which is further down this post—if it came out in April too. Forget that!).
Caeli-Amur: an ancient city perched on white cliffs overlooking the sea; a city ruled by three Houses, fighting internecine wars; a city which harbours ancient technology and hidden mysteries. But things are changing in Caeli-Amur. Ancient minotaurs arrive for the traditional Festival of the Sun. The slightly built New-Men bring their technology from their homeland. Wastelanders stream into the city hideously changed by the chemical streams to the north. Strikes break out in the factory district.
In a hideout beneath the city, a small group of seditionists debate ways to overthrow the Houses. How can they rouse the citizens of the city? Should they begin a campaign of terror? Is there a way to uncover the thaumaturgical knowledge that the Houses guard so jealously? As the Houses scramble to maintain their rule, it becomes clear that things will change forever in Caeli-Amur.
The City Stained Red. A simple-titled fantasy from Sam Sykes, out on April 17th from Gollancz. Yet another reason why fantasy rocks my world.
Long before he was sent to hell, the Aeon known as Khoth-Kapira was the closest thing to a living god the world had ever known. Possessed of a vast intellect, he pioneered many of the wonders that persist in the world that lingered long after he was banished. Nearly every fragment of medical, economic and technological progress that the mortal races enjoyed could be traced back to him. But with his wonders came cruelty beyond measure: industrialized slavery, horrifying experimentations and a rage that would eventually force the world to bow to him.
Now, as Khoth-Kapira stirs the world begins to shudder with disasters yet to come.The epicenter is the city of Cier’Djaal. A religious war between two unstoppable military juggernauts begins to brew. The racial fury among many peoples of the world is about to explode. Demons begin to pour from the shadows at the head of a vicious cult worshipping dark powers.
And Lenk finds himself in the middle once more, his fate and the fate of Khoth-Kapira interlinked as the demon attempts to convince him of his earnestness.
“Your world is breaking around you,” He Who Makes says, “let me fix it. Let me help you. Let me out.”
FINALLY A SEQUEL! Well, I say this because it’s really the first sequel to pop up on either this or the previous sci-fi anticipated 2014 reads post. I feel like I need to reread The Way of Kings, as that was a brick of a book and I need to refresh my memory. Words of Radiance is out on March 4 from Gollancz and Tor Books.
DID YOU SEE HOW BIG THIS BOOK WAS IN MANUSCRIPT FORM? Tor scares here.
I have the artistic Australian cover for The Way of Kings, though this US cover is stunning. I need it!
In the first volume, we were introduced to the remarkable world of Roshar, a world both alien and magical, where gigantic hurricane-like storms scour the surface every few days and life has adapted accordingly. Roshar is shared by humans and the enigmatic, humanoid Parshendi, with whom they are at war. Among those caught up in the conflict are Highprince Dalinar Kholin, who leads the human armies; his neice Jasnah, a renowned scholar; her student Shallan, a brilliant but troubled young woman; and Kaladin, a military slave who, by the book’s end, was beginning to become the first magically endowed Knight Radiant in centuries.
In Words of Radiance their intertwined stories will continue and, as Sanderson fans have come to expect, develop in unexpected, wonderfully surprising directions. The war with the Parshendi will move into a new, dangerous phase, as Dalinar leads the human armies deep into the heart of the Shattered Plains in a bold attempt to finally end it. Shallan will come along, hoping to find the legendary, perhaps mythical, city of Urithuru, which Jasnah believes holds a secret vital to mankind’s survival on Roshar. The Parshendi take a dangerous step to strengthen themselves for the human challenge, risking the return of the fearsome Voidbringers of old. To deal with it all, Kaladin must learn how to fulfill his new role, while mastering the powers of a Windrunner.
The Goblin Emperor by Katherine Addison seems like a satisfying read. It’s a debut novel, which shows a lot of promise. An exiled half-goblin has to learn to become the Emperor? Simple, yet utterly intriguing. The world also has magic and has a touch of steampunk.
A vividly imagined fantasy of court intrigue and dark magics in a steampunk-inflected world, by a brilliant young talent.
The youngest, half-goblin son of the Emperor has lived his entire life in exile, distant from the Imperial Court and the deadly intrigue that suffuses it. But when his father and three sons in line for the throne are killed in an “accident,” he has no choice but to take his place as the only surviving rightful heir.
Entirely unschooled in the art of court politics, he has no friends, no advisors, and the sure knowledge that whoever assassinated his father and brothers could make an attempt on his life at any moment.
Surrounded by sycophants eager to curry favor with the naïve new emperor, and overwhelmed by the burdens of his new life, he can trust nobody. Amid the swirl of plots to depose him, offers of arranged marriages, and the specter of the unknown conspirators who lurk in the shadows, he must quickly adjust to life as the Goblin Emperor. All the while, he is alone, and trying to find even a single friend… and hoping for the possibility of romance, yet also vigilant against the unseen enemies that threaten him, lest he lose his throne – or his life.
This exciting fantasy novel, set against the pageantry and color of a fascinating, unique world, is a memorable debut for a great new talent.
Does this need any introduction? Mark Lawrence has made a name for himself among fantasy fanatics with The Broken Empire series. Prince of Fools will be Mark Lawrence’s next offering, the beginning of a new series—The Red Queen’s War—set in the same world.
Prince of Fools is to be published on June 3rd from Ace Hardcover.
Hailed as “epic fantasy on a George R. R. Martin scale, but on speed” (Fixed on Fantasy), the Broken Empire trilogy introduced a bold new world of dark fantasy with the story of Jorg Ancrath’s devastating rise to power. Now, Mark Lawrence returns to the Broken Empire with the tale of a less ambitious prince…
The Red Queen is old but the kings of the Broken Empire dread her like no other. For all her reign, she has fought the long war, contested in secret, against the powers that stand behind nations, for higher stakes than land or gold. Her greatest weapon is The Silent Sister—unseen by most and unspoken of by all.
The Red Queen’s grandson, Prince Jalan Kendeth—drinker, gambler, seducer of women—is one who can see The Silent Sister. Tenth in line for the throne and content with his role as a minor royal, he pretends that the hideous crone is not there. But war is coming. Witnesses claim an undead army is on the march, and the Red Queen has called on her family to defend the realm. Jal thinks it’s all a rumor—nothing that will affect him—but he is wrong.
After escaping a death trap set by the Silent Sister, Jal finds his fate magically intertwined with a fierce Norse warrior. As the two undertake a journey across the Empire to undo the spell, encountering grave dangers, willing women, and an upstart prince named Jorg Ancrath along the way, Jalan gradually catches a glimmer of the truth: he and the Norseman are but pieces in a game, part of a series of moves in the long war—and the Red Queen controls the board.
The Buried Life by Carrie Patel is not on Goodreads yet but here are some details on Angry Robot. It will be published on July 29th in the US and August 7 in the UK. But it’s all kinds of fudge, melted and delicious.
From Angry Robot:
The gaslight and shadows of the underground city of Recoletta hide secrets and lies. When Inspector Liesl Malone investigates the murder of a renowned historian, she finds herself stonewalled by the all-powerful Directorate of Preservation – Ricoletta’s top-secret historical research facility.
When a second high-profile murder threatens the very fabric of city society, Malone and her rookie partner Rafe Sundar must tread carefully, lest they fall victim to not only the criminals they seek, but the government which purports to protect them. Knowledge is power, and power must be preserved at all costs…
That is all that needs to be said about Anne Leonard’s Moth and Spark. Looking forward to digging into the review copy I have.
It publishes on February 20 from Viking/Penguin.
A prince with a quest. A commoner with mysterious powers. And dragons that demand to be freed—at any cost.
Prince Corin has been chosen to free the dragons from their bondage to the Empire, but dragons aren’t big on directions. They have given him some of their power, but none of their knowledge. No one, not the dragons nor their riders, is even sure what keeps the dragons in the Empire’s control.
Tam, sensible daughter of a well-respected doctor, had no idea before she arrived in the capital that she is a Seer, gifted with visions. When the two run into each other (quite literally) in the library, sparks fly and Corin impulsively asks Tam to dinner. But it’s not all happily ever after. Never mind that the prince isn’t allowed to marry a commoner: war is coming to Caithen.
Torn between Corin’s quest to free the dragons and his duty to his country, the lovers must both figure out how to master their powers in order to save Caithen. With a little help from a village of secret wizards and a rogue dragonrider, they just might pull it off.
The Lotus War #3 by Jay Kristoff, which I’m guessing might be titled EARTHCRUSHER! That epilogue-thingy of Kinslayer was torture! I need to discover what happens with Hiro. Add this book to Goodreads here… there’s no synopsis yet. I’m guessing it will be out either August or September.
And this will be Jay to every single one of his readers:
The sequel to Blood Song and second book in the Raven’s Shadow series by Anthony Ryan is Tower Lord, and it will be published on July 1st from Ace Hardcover.
My July 2013 book of the month at work was Blood Song and I got possibly about seven or so customers hooked on this series, despite there only being one book so far. All seven of those are eager for Tower Lord. Sadly, as I’ll be away in the US, I won’t be able to bombard them with text messages when it’s released.
“The blood-song rose with an unexpected tune, a warm hum mingling recognition with an impression of safety. He had a sense it was welcoming him home.”
Vaelin Al Sorna, warrior of the Sixth Order, called Darkblade, called Hope Killer. The greatest warrior of his day, and witness to the greatest defeat of his nation: King Janus’s vision of a Greater Unified Realm drowned in the blood of brave men fighting for a cause Vaelin alone knows was forged from a lie. Sick at heart, he comes home, determined to kill no more. Named Tower Lord of the Northern Reaches by King Janus’s grateful heir, he can perhaps find peace in a colder, more remote land far from the intrigues of a troubled Realm. But those gifted with the blood-song are never destined to live a quiet life. Many died in King Janus’s wars, but many survived, and Vaelin is a target, not just for those seeking revenge butf or those who know what he can do. The Faith has been sundered, and many have no doubt who their leader should be. The new King is weak, but his sister is strong. The blood-song is powerful, rich in warning and guidance in times of trouble, but is only a fraction of the power available to others who understand more of its mysteries. Something moves against the Realm, something that commands mighty forces, and Vaelin will find to his great regret that when faced with annihilation, even the most reluctant hand must eventually draw a sword.
Alright. This book is one I just put here to fill this gap though there is possibly many more books I could fill this spot up with. Talus and the Frozen King by Graham Edwards, out March 25th from Solaris.
To be honest, I look at the cover and think, “OH? Disney’s FROZEN already has a sequel?” Because it does look like it. But it’s a nice cover. And the synopsis is intriguing too. Intriguing enough to have it here and advertised than below in the honourable mentions section.
Meet Talus, the world’s first detective.
A dead warrior king frozen in winter ice. Six grieving sons, each with his own reason to kill. Two weary travellers caught up in a web of suspicion and deceit.
In a distant time long before our own, wandering bard Talus and his companion Bran journey to the island realm of Creyak, where the king has been murdered. From clues scattered among the island’s mysterious barrows and stone circles, they begin their search for his killer. But do the answers lie in this world or the next?
Nobody is above suspicion, from the king’s heir to the tribal shaman, from the servant woman steeped in herb-lore to the visiting warlord whose unexpected arrival throws the whole tribe into confusion. And when death strikes again, Talus and Bran realise nothing is what it seems.
Creyak is place of secrets and spirits, mystery and myth. It will take a clever man indeed to unravel the truth. The kind of man this ancient world has not seen before.
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So there’s ten fantasy books I anticipate. But like with the sci-fi post, there’s more… and they are below (click on covers to go to Goodreads pages).