Welcome to seventeenth-century Paris, where intrigue, duels, and spies are rife and Cardinal Richelieu’s men may be prevailed upon to risk life and limb in the name of France at a moment’s notice. And with war on the horizon, the defense of the nation has never been more pressing.
Danger is rising from the south—an insidious plot that could end with a huge dragon-shaped shadow falling over France, a shadow cast by dragons quite unlike the pet dragonets that roam the cities like stray cats, or the tame wyverns men ride like horses, high over the Parisian rooftops. These dragons and their descendants are ancient, terrible, and powerful … and their plans contain little room for the lives or freedom of men.
Cardinal Richelieu has nowhere else to turn; Captain La Fargue and his elite group of men, the Cardinal’s Blades, must turn the tide. They must hold the deadly Black Claw cult at bay, root out traitors to the crown, rescue prisoners, and fulfill their mission for the Cardinal, for their country, but above all for themselves.
It’s death or victory. And the victory has never been less certain.
Brandon Sanderson - The Rithmatist
The Rithmatist is an epic fantasy set in an alternate version of our world—a world in which life in the American Isles is threatened by the attacks of mysterious creatures known as Wild Chalklings. Chalklings are two-dimensional drawings that can be infused with life by Rithmatists and it is the job of the Rithmatists to keep the Wild Chalkings at bay. The Rithmatist is about a 14-year-old kid named Joel who wants desperately to be a Rithmatist. But he wasn’t Chosen, so he doesn’t have the ability to bring chalklings or Rithmatic lines to life. All he can do is watch as The Rithmatist students at Armedius Academy learn the mystical art that he would give anything to practice. Then Rithmatist students start disappearing, kidnapped from their rooms at night, leaving only trails of blood. Joel’s professor asks him to help investigate—putting Joel and his friend Melody on the trail of a discovery that could change Rithmatics—and their world—forever….
John Crowley - Aegypt
There is more than one history of the world. Before science defined the modern age, other powers, wondrous and magical, once governed the universe, their lore perfected within a lost capital of hieroglyphs, wizard-kings, and fabulous monuments. In the 1970s, a historian named Pierce Moffett moves to the New England countryside to write a book about Ægypt, driven by an idea he dare not believe: that the physical laws of the universe once changed and may change again. Yet the notion is not his alone. Something waits at the locked estate of Fellowes Kraft, author of romances about Will Shakespeare and Giordano Bruno and Dr. John Dee, something for which Pierce and those near him have long sought without knowing it: a key, perhaps, to Ægypt... Shortlisted for the WORLD FANTASY and ARTHUR C. CLARKE AWARDs.
Samantha Shannon - The Mime Order
Paige Mahoney has escaped the brutal penal colony of Sheol I, but her problems have only just begun: many of the fugitives are still missing and she is the most wanted person in London. As Scion turns its all-seeing eye on Paige, the mime-lords and mime-queens of the city’s gangs are invited to a rare meeting of the Unnatural Assembly. Jaxon Hall and his Seven Seals prepare to take center stage, but there are bitter fault lines running through the clairvoyant community and dark secrets around every corner. Then the Rephaim begin crawling out from the shadows. But where is Warden? Paige must keep moving, from Seven Dials to Grub Street to the secret catacombs of Camden, until the fate of the underworld can be decided. Will Paige know who to trust? The hunt for the dreamwalker is on.
Felix Gilman - The Rise of Ransom City
In The Half-Made World, Felix Gilman took readers deep into a world on the cusp of forging an identity. The Line, a cult of Industry, and the Gun, a mission of Chaos, were engaged in a war for dominance. The Line was winning city by city, enslaving the populations it conquered. A doctor of psychology, Liv Alverhuysen, was caught in the middle, unknowingly guarding a secret that both sides would do anything to have. Now, in the amazing sequel Rise of Ransom City, Liv is lost on the edge of the world with Creedmor, an agent of the Gun, and the powerful Line will stop at nothing to find them. But Harry Ransom, half con man, half mad inventor, is setting the edge of the world aglow. Town by town he is building up a bankroll and leaving hope in his wake because one of his inventions is actually working. But his genius is not going unnoticed, and when he crosses paths with the two most wanted outlaws in the “unmade world,” his stage becomes even larger and presents an opportunity more lucrative than any of his scams or inventions combined.
Neal Stephenson - Greg Bear - Mark Teppo - Nicole Galland - Erik Bear - Joseph Brassey - Cooper Moo - The Mongoliad: Book One
In the aftermath of the Mongolian invasion of 1241, beleaguered Christians struggle with the presence of a violent horde and a world turned upside down. Apocalyptic fever sweeps through Europe, infecting even the most rational individuals, leaving all to wonder if they are seeing the end times - or an hour when new heroes will emerge from the ruins of cataclysmic defeat. An order of warrior monks, the Shield-Brethren, refuses to yield, plotting to overthrow the invaders despite insurmountable odds. Father Rodrigo Bendrito receives a prophecy from God and believes it's his mission to deliver the message to Rome. Along with the hunter Ferenc, orphan Ocyrhoe, healer Raphael, and alchemist Yasper, Rodrigo sets out to reclaim Europe. But to save Christendom, someone must slay the fierce Khan of Khans.
Diana L. Paxson - Marion Zimmer Bradley's Ancestors of Avalon
The full sweep of the rich history of Avalon - from the fall of Atlantis to the founding of a new temple on the mist-shrouded isle of Britain - is finally revealed in this magnificent tale. The priests and priestesses of Atlantis have known for many years that the Sea Kingdoms were doomed. But now the final destruction has arrived they find themselves less prepared than they had thought for what lies ahead. Micail and Tiriki, prince and princess of the last island to fall, as well as priest and priestess, are separated during the final escape. Micail and his cousin, Prince Tjalan, successfully arrive at their planned destination, a trading post in the Hesperides (the British Isles) where Tjalan loses no time in taking charge. He dreams of continuing the traditions of Atlantis and founding a glorious new empire - whether the local tribes like it or not. Micail and the other priests dedicate themselves to fulfilling an ancient prophesy that they will build a great temple in this new land - and set about finding a way to shift the huge blocks of granite that will become Stonehenge. Micail's beloved wife Tiriki also arrives in the Hesperides, but, blown off-course by a storm, her ship lands on the wrong shore. She and the elderly priest Chedan lead their small group in forming a new community in harmony with the local population at the sacred Tor (Glastonbury). Once the two groups become aware of each other, conflict will become inevitable. A deeply moving and utterly convincing tale of faith in the face of adversity, filled with memorable characters and haunting landscapes.
Andrea Cremer - The Inventor's Secret
Sixteen-year-old Charlotte and her fellow refugees have scraped out an existence on the edge of Britain’s industrial empire. Though they live by the skin of their teeth they have their health (at least when they can find enough food and avoid the Imperial Labor Gatherers) and each other. When a new exile with no memory of his escape from the coastal cities or even his own name seeks shelter in their camp he brings new dangers with him and secrets about the terrible future that awaits all those who have struggled has to live free of the bonds of the empire’s Machineworks. The Inventor’s Secret is the first book of a YA steampunk series set in an alternate nineteenth-century North America where the Revolutionary War never took place and the British Empire has expanded into a global juggernaut propelled by marvelous and horrible machinery.
Pierre Pevel - The Dragon Arcana
This is Paris. This is 1633. This is a world under attack from dragons. Cardinal Richelieu is on his guard against the greatest danger he, or France, has faced. A secret society known as the Black Claw is plotting in the shadows. They have already struck twice, and with their third blow they mean to finish their task. Unless the Cardinal's Blades can stop them. They are all prepared to risk their lives for the Crown, this time the question is not whether they will need to ...it's whether or not they will survive. Who are the Dragon Arcana, what secret are the Chatelaine nuns trying so hard to protect, and if an ancient dragon is unleashed on Paris will the Blades really stand a chance against it ...?
Maurice Druon - The Iron King
"Accursed! Accursed! You shall be accursed to the thirteenth generation!" The Iron King, Philip the Fair, is as cold and silent, as handsome and unblinking as a statue. He governs his realm with an iron hand, but he cannot rule his own family: his sons are weak and their wives adulterous; while his red-blooded daughter Isabella is unhappily married to an English king who prefers the company of men. A web of scandal, murder and intrigue is weaving itself around the Iron King; but his downfall will come from an unexpected quarter. Bent on the persecution of the rich and powerful Knights Templar, Philip sentences Grand Master Jacques Molay to be burned at the stake, thus drawing down upon himself a curse that will destroy his entire dynasty...
Meljean Brook - The Iron Duke
First in an all-new series where seductive danger and steampunk adventure abound in the gritty world of the Iron Seas. After the Iron Duke freed England from Horde control, he instantly became a national hero. Now Rhys Trahaearn has built a merchant empire on the power-and fear-of his name. And when a dead body is dropped from an airship onto his doorstep, bringing Detective Inspector Mina Wentworth into his dangerous world, he intends to make her his next possession. But when Mina uncovers the victim's identity, she stumbles upon a conspiracy that threatens the lives of everyone in England. To save them, Mina and Rhys must race across zombie-infested wastelands and treacherous oceans-and Mina discovers the danger is not only to her countrymen, as she finds herself tempted to give up everything to the Iron Duke.
Scott Westerfeld - Goliath
Alek and Dylan are back onboard the Leviathan. The ship is ordered to pick up Tesla, a Russian inventor who has created a machine he claims can destroy half of the world, which he is using as a threat to impose peace. Alek wants to end the war, so decides to back Tesla politically, as do the Darwinists. Meanwhile Dylan is still pretending to be a boy, though Alek has figured out her true identity, and promises to keep her secret. With stops in New York, California and Mexico, Dylan and Alek encounter adventure and intrigue at every turn, but when a secret German plan to sabotage Tesla's machine leads to a heart-stopping stand-off, as Tesla threatens to fire his weapon, it's up to the two of them to stop him - or face the end of the world for real...
Scott Westerfeld - Leviathan
It is the cusp of World War I. The Austro-Hungarians and Germans have their Clankers, steam-driven iron machines loaded with guns and ammunition. The British Darwinists employ genetically fabricated animals as their weaponry. Their Leviathan is a whale airship, and the most masterful beast in the British fleet. Aleksandar Ferdinand, a Clanker, and Deryn Sharp, a Darwinist, are on opposite sides of the war. But their paths cross in the most unexpected way, taking them both aboard the Leviathan on a fantastical, around-the-world adventure… One that will change both their lives forever.
Orson Scott Card - Seventh Son
From the primal depth's of the world's greatest myths comes this gripping fantasy of a boy, born to be a Maker, whose dangerous journey towards knowledge and power makes history ...Amid the deep woods where the Red Man still holds sway, a very special child is born. Young Alvin is the seventh son, and such a boy is destined to become great - perhaps even a man with the enormous powers of a Maker. But even in the loving safety of his home, dark forces reach out to destroy him. Somewhere out there is a power that will do anything to prevent him growing up ...More information on this book and others can be found on the Orbit website at www.orbitbooks.co.uk
Neil Gaiman - Neverwhere
Under the streets of London there's a place most people could never even dream of. A city of monsters and saints, murderers and angels, knights in armour and pale girls in black velvet. This is the city of the people who have fallen between the cracks. Richard Mayhew, a young businessman, is going to find out more than enough about this other London. A single act of kindness catapults him out of his workday existence and into a world that is at once eerily familiar and utterly bizarre. And a strange destiny awaits him down here, beneath his native city: neverwhere.
J. K. Rowling - Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire
Read by Jim Dale Running time: 20 hrs., 30 mins. 17 CDs. Harry Potter returns to Hogwarts for his fourth year of magical adventures in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire. This year Harry turns 14 and becomes interested in girls -- one in particular. And with Dark Magic comes danger, as someone close to Harry dies. You'll have to listen to learn more! The audio is available on July 8th.
Garth Nix - Clariel
Clariel is the daughter of the one of the most notable families in the Old Kingdom, with blood relations to the Abhorsen and, most importantly, to the King. When her family moves to the city of Belisaere, there are rumors that her mother is next in line for the throne. However, Clariel wants no part of it—a natural hunter, all she ever thinks about is escaping the city’s confining walls and journeying back to the quiet, green world of the Great Forest. But many forces conspire against Clariel’s dream. A dangerous Free Magic creature is loose in the city, her parents want to marry her off to a killer, and there is a plot brewing against the old and withdrawn King Orrikan. When Clariel is drawn into the efforts to find and capture the creature, she discovers hidden sorcery within herself, yet it is magic that carries great dangers. Can she rise above the temptation of power, escape the unwanted marriage, and save the King?
Lisa Jane Smith - The Fury / Dark Reunion
Elena: transformed, the golden girl has become what she once feared and desired. Stefan: tormented by losing Elena, he's determined to end his feud with Damon once and for all—whatever the cost. But slowly he begins to realize that his brother is not his only enemy. Damon: at last, he possesses Elena. But will his thirst for revenge against Stefan poison his triumph? Or can they come together to face one final battle? Collected here in one edition are the third and fourth volumes of The Vampire Diaries, a riveting conclusion to the tale of two vampire brothers and the beautiful girl torn between them.
Lisa Jane Smith - The Awakening / The Struggle
Elena: the golden girl, the leader, the one who can have any boy she wants. Stefan: brooding and mysterious, he seems to be the only one who can resist Elena, even as he struggles to protect her from the horrors that haunt his past. Damon: sexy, dangerous, and driven by an urge for revenge against Stefan, the brother who betrayed him. Determined to have Elena, he'd kill to possess her. Collected here in one volume for the first time, volumes one and two of The Vampire Diaries, the tale of two vampire brothers and the beautiful girl torn between them.
J. K. Rowling - Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban
Read by Jim Dale Running time: 11 hrs., 48 mins. 10 CDs. For twelve long years, the dread fortress of Azkaban held an infamous prisoner named Sirius Black. Convicted of killing thirteen people with a single curse, he was said to be the heir apparent to the Dark Lord, Voldemort. Now he has escaped, leaving only two clues as to where he might be headed: Harry Potter's defeat of You-Know-Who was Black's downfall as well. And the Azkban guards heard Black muttering in his sleep, "He's at Hogwarts...he's at Hogwarts." Harry Potter isn't safe, not even within the walls of his magical school, surrounded by his friends. Because on top of it all, there may well be a traitor in their midst.
J. R. R. Tolkien - The Hobbit
Seldom has any book been so widely read and loved as J.R.R. Tolkien's classic tale, The Hobbit. Since its first publication in 1937 it has remained in print to delight each new generation of readers all over the world, and its hero, Bilbo Baggins, has taken his place among the ranks of the immortals: Alice, Pooh, Toad... As with all classics, repeated readings continue to bring new detail and perspectives to the reader's mind, and Tolkien's Middle-earth is a vast mine of treasures and knowledge, its roots delving deep into folklore, mythology and language. The Hobbit is, therefore, an ideal book for annotation: as well as offering a marvellous and entrancing story, it introduces the reader to the richly imagined world of Middle-earth, a world more fully and complexly realised in The Lord of the Rings and The Silmarillion.