As darkness falls after sunset, the corelings rise – demons who possess supernatural powers and burn with a consuming hatred of humanity. For hundreds of years the demons have terrorized the night, slowly culling the human herd that shelters behind magical wards – symbols of power whose origins are lost in myth and whose protection is terrifyingly fragile. It was not always this way. Once, men and women battled the corelings on equal terms, but those days are gone. Night by night the demons grow stronger, while human numbers dwindle under their relentless assault. Now, with hope for the future fading, three young survivors of vicious demon attacks will dare the impossible, stepping beyond the crumbling safety of the wards to risk everything in a desperate quest to regain the secrets of the past. Together, they will stand against the night.
Margaret Weis - Tracy Hickman - Dragons of Winter Night
They won their first real battle in the war for Krynn, but the war has only just begun for the Companions! Friendships born in conflict will be torn apart. Hope will rest on the shoulders of a disgraced Knight and his two inexperienced companions. Worlds long divided by hatred and prejudice will either band together in a last struggle against darkness - or perish for all time.
Maria V. Snyder - Fire Study
The apprenticeship is over—now the real test has begun. When word that Yelena is a Soulfinder—able to capture and release souls—spreads like wildfire, people grow uneasy. Already Yelena's unusual abilities and past have set her apart. As the Council debates Yelena's fate, she receives a disturbing message: a plot is rising against her homeland, led by a murderous sorcerer she has defeated before… Honor sets Yelena on a path that will test the limits of her skills, and the hope of reuniting with her beloved spurs her onward. Her journey is fraught with allies, enemies, lovers and would-be assassins, each of questionable loyalty. Yelena will have but one chance to prove herself—and save the land she holds dear.
Robin Hobb - Renegade's Magic
The stirring conclusion to The Soldier Son Trilogy—the acclaimed epic tale of duty, destiny, and magic by New York Times bestselling master fantasist Robin Hobb Loyal, privileged, and brave, Nevare Burvelle proudly embraced his preordained role as soldier in the service of the King of Gernia—unaware of the strange turns his life would ultimately take. Exposed to a plague of enemy sorcery that felled many of his compatriots, he prevailed, but at a terrible cost to his soul, body, and heart. Now he stands wrongly accused of unspeakable crimes—including murder, the most heinous of them all. Condemned by his brother soldiers and sentenced to death, Nevare has no option but to escape. Suddenly he is an outcast and a fugitive—a hostage to the Speck magic that shackles him to a savage alter ego who would destroy everything Nevare holds dear. With nowhere to turn—except, perhaps, to the Speck woman Lisana, the enemy whom he loves—he is mired in soul-rending despair. But from out of the darkness comes a bright spark of hope. Perhaps, somehow, the hated magic that has long abused Nevare can be used by him instead. Could he not learn to wield this mighty weapon for his own purposes rather than be enslaved by it? But down what perilous road will this desperate new quest lead him? And what will be the outcome and the ultimate new incarnation of Nevare Burvelle?
Robin Hobb - Forest Mage
This is the second book in the brand new trilogy from the author of the "Tawny Man" trilogy, following on from the bestselling Shaman's "Crossing". The King's Cavalla Academy has been ravaged by the Speck plague. Hundreds of cadets and instructors have been lost to the disease, and even the survivors may never fully recover. Many have been forced to relinquish their military ambitions and return to their families to face lives of dependency and disappointment. As the Academy infirmary empties, Cadet Nevare Burvelle also prepares to journey home, to attend his brother Rosse's wedding. Far from being a broken man, Nevare is hale and hearty after his convalescence. Instead of growing rake - thin like the other plague victims, Nevare has put on weight. In fact, he just can't stop putting on weight, no matter how much he exercises or how little he eats. To make matters worse, his nights are haunted by dreams of the voluptuous Tree Woman, dreams in which his Speck self betrays everything he holds dear in his waking life. Has the plague infected him in ways far more mysterious than the merely physical? Despite his fears, Nevare will journey back to Widevale in high spirits, in full expectation of a jubilant homecoming and a tender reunion with his young and beautiful fiancee, Carsina. But his life is about to take a dramatic, unexpected and shocking turn; and soon he may be forced to choose sides, between civilized Gernia, his ancestry and upbringing and the magical, sensual world of the Specks.
Robin Hobb - Shaman's Crossing
The first book in a brand new trilogy from the author of the Farseer, Liveship Traders and Tawny Man trilogies. When the two-hundred year war between the kingdoms of Vania and Landsing ended the Landsingers were left in triumphant possession of Vania's rich coal and coast territories. When young King Troven assumed the throne of Vania thirty years later, he was determined to restore her greatness, not through waging another assault upon their traditional enemies, but by looking in the opposite direction and colonising the wild plains and steppes to their east. Over the next twenty years, cavalry forces manage to subdue the rolling plains formerly wasted on nomadic herders and tribesmen.Troven's campaign restores the pride of the Varnian military and to reward them, Troven creates a new nobility that is extremely loyal to their monarch. Beyond the grasslands lies the current frontier of Varnia, the heavily forested Barrier Mountains, home to enigmatic Specks: a dappled, forest dwelling people, unable to tolerate the heat and full sunlight of the plains. The new settlers find the Specks slightly dim-witted and overly placid, and yet strangely difficult to control. There are tales that they are 'blood-drinkers' and their nature worship of ancestral trees has presented difficulties for those who wish to harvest the forest's exotic timber. They also harbour strange diseases, ones that cause the Specks little more than a week or two of discomfort but which frequently kills those settlers and soldiers who fall victim to it. For that reason, prolonged contact, and especially intimate contact with the Specks is judged both fool-hardy and disgusting. Nevare Gerar is the second son of one of King Troven's new lords. Following in his father's footsteps, a commission as a cavalry officer at the frontier and an advantageous marriage await him, once he has completed his training at the King's Cavalry Academy.
Leslye Walton - The Strange and Beautiful Sorrows of Ava Lavender
Magical realism, lyrical prose, and the pain and passion of human love haunt this hypnotic generational saga. Foolish love appears to be the Roux family birthright, an ominous forecast for its most recent progeny, Ava Lavender. Ava — in all other ways a normal girl — is born with the wings of a bird. In a quest to understand her peculiar disposition and a growing desire to fit in with her peers, sixteen-year old Ava ventures into the wider world, ill-prepared for what she might discover and naive to the twisted motives of others. Others like the pious Nathaniel Sorrows, who mistakes Ava for an angel and whose obsession with her grows until the night of the summer solstice celebration. That night, the skies open up, rain and feathers fill the air, and Ava’s quest and her family’s saga build to a devastating crescendo. First-time author Leslye Walton has constructed a layered and unforgettable mythology of what it means to be born with hearts that are tragically, exquisitely human.
Ramsey Campbell - The Hungry Moon
A town trapped in the grip of spreading evil. Isolated on the moors of northern England, the town of Moonwell has remained faithful to their Druid traditions and kept their old rituals alive. Right-wing evangelist Godwin Mann isn’t about to let that continue, and his intolerant brand of fundamentalism has struck a chord with the residents. But Mann goes too far when he descends into the pit where the ancient being who’s been worshipped by the Druids for centuries is said to dwell…. What emerges is no longer Mann, but a demon in Mann’s shape, and only the town’s outcasts can see that something is horribly wrong. Slowly, as the evil spreads, Moonwell becomes cut off from the rest of the world. Telephone lines become disconnected. Roads no longer lead out of town. And the monster’s power only grows…and grows.
Gwyneth Jones - Flowerdust
"Resonant and heartbreaking in ways that very little sf is able to manage" Locus In the Peninsula, the veiled women rule: guardians of the Dapur, the sacred hearth. In Ranganar, the island city of the south, the Samsui reformers, builders of machines and factories, pursue their heretic dream of the "Three Springs": liberty, equality and hard work. The Dapurs of the traditional, feudal Peninsula, whose first rule is to preserve lives, have forbidden armed rebellion against the foreigners from over the sea, even though these alien Rulers now seem bent on ruling a country full of corpses. But Derveet, outcast heir of the Garuda family, the Peninsula's paramount sovereigns, has raised a new kind of rebellion, calling to her aid secret powers the foreigners can't understand: and the veiled ladies at last, have signalled their support. Why have they changed their minds? It's something to do with Cho, the doll-who-is-a-person, a perfect machine out of the legendary past, who has given herself, body, heart and soul, to the last of the Garudas. . . But should Derveet and her friends be paying more attention to Cho's Cat, the elegant and heartless feloid Divine Endurance? Divine Endurance has never forgiven the humans, those toymakers of long ago, who created her and then abandoned her. . . When a dangerous narcotic drug called Flowerdust arrives in Ranganar, carried on a tide of refugees fleeing unrest in the north, Derveet sets out to find and neutralise the supply. A drug-fuelled crime wave must not be allowed to threaten the rebellion's city of refuge. Her quest takes her to the Peninsula's mysterious heart, where nothing is as it seems, and hope and nightmare are hard to tell apart. Two young people, opposites in every way, are faced with an appalling responsibility, and Derveet herself, the dalang; the puppeteer, must face her own frailty, and the demons of her past.
E. Nesbit - The Story of the Amulet
At the end of Five Children and It the five children promised not to ask the Psammead for another wish, but expressed a half wish to see it again some time. They find 'it' again in a pet shop, and their magic adventures start over again. 'It' leads them to a magic amulet - half of it actually - which they use it to try and find the other half.
Jill Monroe - Lord of Rage
Princess Breena had been dreaming of her warrior lover when she was ripped from her Elden castle and thrown into a strange, dangerous realm. Lost and alone, she prayed for survival and vengeance for her stolen kingdom. She found both in a woodland cottage...in a dark bear of a man. The golden-haired beauty had eaten his food and slept in his bed when Osborn found her. Though he wanted to awaken his virgin princess to carnal pleasures, Breena wanted more—including his warrior skills. Skills the once-legendary mercenary had long buried. Now Osborn had a choice—risk his life or deny his princess her fairy-tale ending.
R. A. MacAvoy - Damiano's Lute
This novel is a sequel to Damiano. Set against the turbulent backdrop of the Italian Renaissance this alternate history takes place in a world where real faith-based magic exists. Our hero is Damiano Dalstrego. He is a wizard's son, an alchemist and the heir to dark magics. Shattered by the demonic fury of his dark powers, Damiano Delstrego has forsaken his magical heritage to live as a mortal man. Accompanied only by the guidance of the Archanagel Raphael, the chidings of a brash young rogue, and the memory of a beautiful pagan witch, Damiano journeys across a plague-ridden French countryside in search of peace. But the Father of Lies reaches out once again to grasp him. And to avert the hellish destiny awaiting him, Damiano must challenge the greatest forces of darkness, armed only with the power of his love and the music of his lute. The final volume of this story is Raphael. "I found Damiano's Lute very absorbing. The author's ability to bring to vivid life the general background of this period of history, and yet interweave it with the type of fantasy which was actually accepted in that day of positive faith is truly amazing. I really found this book to be more compelling than the first. The scenes of the Black Death-dreadful as they were-come through as if taken from eyewitness accounts. This is fantasy at its highest point. Ms. MacAvoy's talent is a strong, flowing one." -Andre Norton
R. A. MacAvoy - Raphael
Weakened by his contact with mortals, the Archangel Raphael falls prey to his brother Lucifer, who strips him of his angelic powers. Sold in the Moorish slave markets, confused and humbled by his sudden humanity, Raphael finds his only solace in the friendship of the darkskinned Berber woman Djoura, and the spiritual guardianship of his former pupil Damiano Delstrego. Accompanied by the rakish Gaspare and an ancient black dragon, Damiano's beloved Saara embarks on a quest to rescue Raphael. Their odyssey leads them to a shattering confrontation with the Father of Lies and a transcendent reckoning with destiny.
C. J. Cherryh - Exile's Gate
Here, after ten years, is the long-awaited new novel about one of C.J. Cherryh's most famous and popular heroines, Morgaine, closer of the world Gates. Morgaine, who with her magical sword Changeling and her loyal liegeman Vanya, travels from world to world, seeking out the Gates, deadly heritage of a long-vanished race, which could forever warp past, present, and future unless they are shut down. Now, on a world torn by rebellion and war, Morgaine must meet her greatest challenge. For here she will face Gault, who is both human an alien and who seeks control of the world and its Gate. And here too Morgaine will face the true Gatemaster, a mysterious lord with a power as great - or perhaps greater than Morgaine's own!
Nnedi Okorafor - Who Fears Death
International award-winning author Nnedi Okorafor enters the world of magical realist literature with a powerful story of genocide in the far future and of the woman who reshapes her world. In a post - apocalyptic Africa, the world has changed in many ways, yet in one region genocide between tribes still bloodies the land. After years of enslaving the Okeke people, the Nuru tribe has decided to follow the Great Book and exterminate the Okeke tribe for good. An Okeke woman who has survived the annihilation of her village and a terrible rape by an enemy general wanders into the desert hoping to die. Instead, she gives birth to an angry baby girl with hair and skin the color of sand. Gripped by the certainty that her daughter is different — special — she names her child Onyesonwu, which means “Who Fears Death?” in an ancient tongue. From a young age, stubborn, willful Onyesonwu is trouble. It doesn’t take long for her to understand that she is physically and socially marked by the circumstances of her violent conception. She is Ewu — a child of rape who is expected to live a life of violence, a half - breed rejected by both tribes. But Onye is not the average Ewu. As a child, Onye’s singing attracts owls. By the age of eleven, she can change into a vulture. But these amazing abilities are merely the first glimmers of a remarkable and unique magic. As Onye grows, so do her abilities — soon she can manipulate matter and flesh, or travel beyond into the spiritual world. During an inadvertent visit to this other realm she learns something terrifying: someone powerful is trying to kill her. Desperate to elude her would - be murderer, and to understand her own nature, she seeks help from the magic practitioners of her village. But, even among her mother’s people, she meets with frustrating prejudice because she is Ewu and female. Yet Onyesonwu persists. Eventually her magical destiny and her rebellious nature will force her to leave home on a quest that will be perilous in ways that Onyesonwu can not possibly imagine. For this journey will cause her to grapple with nature, tradition, history, true love, and the spiritual mysteries of her culture, and ultimately to learn why she was given the name she bears: Who Fears Death?
Mary Robinette Kowal - Valour and Vanity
Acclaimed fantasist Mary Robinette Kowal has enchanted many fans with her beloved novels featuring a Regency setting in which magic--known here as glamour--is real. In Valour and Vanity, master glamourists Jane and Vincent find themselves in the sort of a magical adventure that might result if Jane Austen wrote Ocean's Eleven. After Melody's wedding, the Ellsworths and Vincents accompany the young couple on their tour of the continent. Jane and Vincent plan to separate from the party and travel to Murano to study with glassblowers there, but their ship is set upon by Barbary corsairs while en route. It is their good fortune that they are not enslaved, but they lose everything to the pirates and arrive in Murano destitute. Jane and Vincent are helped by a kind local they meet en route, but Vincent is determined to become self-reliant and get their money back, and hatches a plan to do so. But when so many things are not what they seem, even the best laid plans conceal a few pitfalls. The ensuing adventure is a combination of the best parts of magical fantasy and heist novels, set against a glorious Regency backdrop.
Julia Golding - The Chimera's Curse
Connie is the world’s last Universal – the only person who can communicate with all creatures; the only person who can keep peace between humans and the hidden mythical beings being destroyed by pollution. But the shapeshifter Kullervo craves her power. He wants to wipe out humanity. During a long, hot summer, as the sun beats down and the earth gets dryer, Kullervo prepares for war. The serpent-like chimera is just one part of his frightening army. As the inferno of Kullervo’s hatred crackles into life, Connie and her best friend Col must stop him. But how? And who will survive this fight to the death?
Julia Golding - Mines of the Minotaur
Connie is a Universal – she can talk to animals and mythical creatures. But something dark is calling to her, giving her dangerous power, and her best friend Col doesn’t know what to do. When her strange behaviour means Connie is rejected by the Society for the Protection of Mythical Creatures - the very group of people who are supposed to protect her - she hides in an abandoned tin mine. There she is befriended by a blinded Minotaur, and feels safe amongst the other wounded creatures the Society and the world have forgotten. But even deep underground she can’t block out the dark voice in her head. Who is it, and where does it come from? And why does Connie feel so terrified by the power it gives her?
Julia Golding - Secret of the Sirens
When Connie is sent to live with her aunt by the sea, she’s not expecting anything much – not to make friends with Col, the coolest boy in town, and certainly not to discover that mythical creatures still exist, that an ancient society has protected them for centuries and that a dark and powerful force is now trying to destroy it. Above all, she doesn’t expect to discover that she has a special talent – greater even than her secret ability to talk to animals – which, with Col’s help, could give her unimaginable power...
Julia Golding - The Gorgon's Gaze
Mallins Wood is under threat, and with it the home of the last remaining gorgon - a mythical creature that can kill with a look. Only a handful of people know that she still exists. Col and his mother are among them, and both are determined to save her, and the forest. While Col tries to rally support amongst the locals, his mum is hatching a more deadly plan. Egged on by the evil shapeshifter Kullervo, she is ready to sacrifice Col’s best friend, Connie, to protect the gorgon. But first she needs Col to lure Connie to the gorgon’s lair...
Erika Johansen - The Queen of the Tearling
On her nineteenth birthday, Princess Kelsea Raleigh Glynn, raised in exile, sets out on a perilous journey back to the castle of her birth to ascend her rightful throne. Plain and serious, a girl who loves books and learning, Kelsea bears little resemblance to her mother, the vain and frivolous Queen Elyssa. But though she may be inexperienced and sheltered, Kelsea is not defenseless: Around her neck hangs the Tearling sapphire, a jewel of immense magical power; and accompanying her is the Queen’s Guard, a cadre of brave knights led by the enigmatic and dedicated Lazarus. Kelsea will need them all to survive a cabal of enemies who will use every weapon—from crimson-caped assassins to the darkest blood magic—to prevent her from wearing the crown. Despite her royal blood, Kelsea feels like nothing so much as an insecure girl, a child called upon to lead a people and a kingdom about which she knows almost nothing. But what she discovers in the capital will change everything, confronting her with horrors she never imagined. An act of singular daring will throw Kelsea’s kingdom into tumult, unleashing the vengeance of the tyrannical ruler of neighboring Mortmesne: the Red Queen, a sorceress possessed of the darkest magic. Now Kelsea will begin to discover whom among the servants, aristocracy, and her own guard she can trust. But the quest to save her kingdom and meet her destiny has only just begun—a wondrous journey of self-discovery and a trial by fire that will make her a legend…if she can survive. The Queen of the Tearling introduces readers to a world as fully imagined and terrifying as that of The Hunger Games, with characters as vivid and intriguing as those of The Game of Thrones, and a wholly original heroine. Combining thrilling action and twisting plot turns, it is a magnificent debut from the talented Erika Johansen.