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Anticipated books 2014

Last week I put the yearly review post on the blog and yesterday the Best of the BEST, now its time to look what the new year will bring! Most of the publishers have already released most of the book they will be publishing in 2014 and as an avid reader I always like to indulge myself in their catalogues to find the next awesome reads. Here is a selection of books I look readily forward to.


Tor USA
  • Full Fanthom Five by Max Gladstone, The Craft Sequence #3
On the island of Kavekana, Kai builds gods to order, then hands them to others to maintain. Her creations aren’t conscious and lack their own wills and voices, but they accept sacrifices,and protect their worshippers from other godsperfect vehicles for Craftsmen and Craftswomen operating in the divinely controlled Old World.

When Kai sees one of her creations dying and tries to save her, she’s grievously injured then sidelined from the business entirely, her near suicidal rescue attempt offered up as proof of her instability. But when Kai gets tired of hearing her boss, her coworker’s, and her exboyfriend call her crazy, and starts digging into the reasons her creations die, she uncovers a conspiracy of silence and fear which will crush her, if Kai can't stop it first.
  • A Plunder of Souls by D.B. Jackson, Thieftaker Chronicles #3
Boston, 1769: Ethan Kaille, a Boston thieftaker who uses his conjuring to catch criminals, has snared villains and defeated magic that would have daunted a lesser man. What starts out as a mysterious phenomenon that has local ministers confused becomes something far more serious.

A ruthless, extremely powerful conjurer seeks to wake the souls of the dead to wreak a terrible revenge on all who oppose him. Kaille ’s minister friends have been helpless to stop crimes against their church. Graves have been desecrated in a bizarre, ritualistic way. Equally disturbing are reports of recently deceased citizens of Boston reappearing as grotesquely disfigured shades, seemingly having been disturbed from their eternal rest, and now frightening those who had been nearest to them in life. But most personally troubling to Kaille is a terrible waning of his ability to conjure. He knows all these are related...but how?

When Ethan discovers the source of this trouble, he realizes that his conjure powers and those of his friends will not be enough to stop a madman from becoming allpowerful. But somehow, using his wits, his powers, and every other resource he can muster, Ethan must thwart the monster’s terrible plan and restore the restless souls of the dead to the peace of the grave.
  • The Wizard Lord by Lawrence Watt-Evans 
     
    The entire world is kept in a delicate balance under the supervision of the Wizard Lord. It is his duty to govern lightly and protect his domain, but if he strays from the way of the just, then it is up to the Chosen to intercede.The Chosen are the Leader, the Seer, the Swordsman, the Beauty, the Thief, theScholar, the Archer, and the Speaker, magically infused mortal individuals who, for the term of their service, have only one function: to remove an errant Wizard Lord, whether by persuasion or execution.Breaker, a young man of ambition, has just taken the mantle of Swordsman from its former bearer. Never did he think that he would be called to duty so quickly or that the balance of power that existed in his world would be so precarious.He has a duty to perform.And a world to save.But why does he still have doubts, not just about himself, but about the entire balance of power?

  • Lock in by John Scalzi
A novel of our near future, from one of the most popular authors in modern SF

Fifteen years from now, a new virus sweeps the globe. 95% of those afflicted experience nothing worse than fever and headaches. Four percent suffer acute meningitis, creating the largest medical crisis in history. And one percent find themselves “locked in”—fully awake and aware, but unable to move or respond to stimulus.

One per cent doesn't seem like a lot. But in the United States, that's 1.7 million people “locked in”...including the President's wife and daughter.

Spurred by grief and the sheer magnitude of the suffering, America undertakes a massive scientific initiative. Nothing can restore the ability to control their own bodies to the locked in. But then two new technologies emerge. One is a virtual-reality environment, “The Agora,” in which the locked-in can interact with other humans, both locked-in and not. The other is the discovery that a few rare individuals have brains that are receptive to being controlled by others, meaning that from time to time, those who are locked in can “ride” these people and use their bodies as if they were their own.

This skill is quickly regulated, licensed, bonded, and controlled. Nothing can go wrong. Certainly nobody would be tempted to misuse it, for murder, for political power, or worse....






Solaris
  • Hive Monkey by Gareth L. Powell, Ack Ack Macaque #2 
The stunning follow-up to Ack-Ack Macaque, which featured the Spitfire pilot monkey hero of a computer game who turned out to be real. The first book was met with wide acclaim upon release.In order to hide from his unwanted fame as the spitfire-pliot-monkey who emerged from a computer game to defeat the dangerous coporation who engineered him, the charismatic and dangerous Ack-Ack Macaque is working as a pilot on a world-circling nuclear powered Zeppelin. But when the cabin of one of his passengers is invaded by that passenger's own dying doppelganger, our hirsute hero finds himself thrust into another race to save the world - this time from an aggressive hive mind, time-hopping saboteurs, and an army of homicidal Neanderthal assassins!
  • Once Upon a Time in Hell by Guy Adams, Heaven's Gate Trilogy #2
Book two of The Heaven's Gate Trilogy. A weird western, a gun-toting, cigarrillo-chewing fantasy built from hangman's rope and spent bullets. The west has never been wilder. A Steampunk-Western-Fantasy from Guy Adams.

"Heaven? Hell? There's no difference. Angels, demons, we're all a bit of both. This could be the most wondrous place you ever experience or so terrifying it makes you pray for death. Not that death would help you of course, there's no escape from here Wormwood has appeared and for twenty four hours the gateway to the afterlife is wide open. But just because a door is open doesn't mean you should step through it.

Those who have traveled to reach the town are realising that the challenges they've already faced were nothing compared to what lies ahead. The afterlife has an agenda of its own and with scheming on both sides of reality, the revelations to come may change the world forever.
  • Talus and the Frozen King by Graham Edwards
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.

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.




 


Jo Fletcher Books

  • Binary by Stephanie Saulter, Gemsigns #2   
When confiscated genestock is stolen out of secure government quarantine, DI Sharon Varsi finds herself on the biggest case of her career... chasing down a clever thief, a mysterious hacker, and the threat of new, black market gemtech.
Zavcka Klist, ruthless industrial enforcer, has reinvented herself. Now the head of Bel'Natur, she wants gem celebrity Aryel Morningstar's blessing for the company's revival of infotech – the science that spawned the Syndrome, nearly destroyed mankind, and led to the creation of the gems. With illness in her own family that only a gemtech can cure, Aryel's in no position to refuse.
As the infotech programme inches towards a breakthrough, Sharon’s investigations lead ever closer to the dark heart of Bel'Natur, the secrets of Aryel Morningstar's past... and what Zavcka Klist is really after.
  • Traitors Blade by Sebastien de Castell   
The King is dead, the Greatcoats have been disbanded, and Falcio Val Mond and his fellow magistrates Kest and Brasti have been reduced to working as bodyguards for a nobleman who refuses to pay them. Things could be worse, of course. Their employer could be lying dead on the floor while they are forced to watch the killer plant evidence framing them for the murder. Oh wait, that’s exactly what’s happening… 

Now a royal conspiracy is about to unfold in the most corrupt city in the world. A carefully orchestrated series of murders that began with the overthrow of an idealistic young king will end with the death of an orphaned girl and the ruin of everything that Falcio, Kest, and Brasti have fought for. But if the trio want to foil the conspiracy, save the girl, and reunite the Greatcoats, they’ll have to do it with nothing but the tattered coats on their backs and the swords in their hands, because these days every noble is a tyrant, every knight is a thug, and the only thing you can really trust is a traitor’s blade.
  • Spira Mirabilis by Aidan Harte, The Wave Trilogy #3

     In the 1347th year of Our Lady the engineers of Concord defeated the fractious city-state of Rasenna using the magical science of Wave Technology. The City of Towers fought back, and for a while Concord’s plans for domination were halted. 
    But First Apprentice Torbidda regrouped, and reformed Concord to his own design. Now he is in absolute control, and plotting the final battle that will pacify Etruria… permanently. 

    Contessa Sofia Scaligeri could rally her people once again, but she is far away in the Crusader Kingdom of Akka, trapped with her son by the tyrant Queen Catrina. 
    Darkness is falling. The final battle must be fought and the tide must be turned, lest evil reign forever.
  • Empress of the Sun by Ian McDonald, Everness #3    
Then they meet the Jiju, the dominant species on a plane where the dinosaurs didn't die out. They evolved, diversified, and have a twenty-five million year technology head-start on humanity. War between their kingdoms is inevitable, total and terrible.
Everness has jumped right into the midst of a faction fight between rival nations, the Fabreen and Dityu empires. The airship is attacked, but then defended by the forces of the Fabreen, who offers the Everness crew protection. But what is the true motive behind Empress Aswiu's aid? What is her price?

The crew of the Everness is divided in a very alien world, a world fast approaching the point of apocalypse.
The airship Everness makes a Heisenberg Jump to an alternate Earth unlike any her crew has ever seen. Everett, Sen, and the crew find themselves above a plain that goes on forever in every direction without any horizon. There they find an Alderson Disc, an astronomical megastructure of incredibly strong material reaching from the orbit of Mercury to the orbit of Jupiter.
  • Blood Will Follow by Snorri Kristjansson, The Valhalla Saga #2 
Ulfar Thormodsson and Audun Arngrimsson have won the battle for Stenvik, although at huge cost, for they have suffered much worse than heartbreak. They have lost the very thing that made them human: their mortality. 
While Ulfar heads home, looking for the place where he thinks he will be safe, Audun runs south. But both men are about to discover that they can not run away from themselves.
King Olav might have been defeated outside the walls of Stenvik, but now Valgard leads him north, in search of the source of the Vikings’ power.
All the while there are those who watch and wait, biding their time, for there are secrets yet to be discovered…




 

Titan Books
  • Adromeda's Fall by William C. Deitz, Legion #0.1
Hundreds of years in the future, Cat, one of the last surviving Carlettos, is on the run. And, like countless others before her, she finds her sanctuary among the most dangerous of society’s misfits. Welcome to the Legion. Cat Carletto becomes a Legion recruit Andromeda McKee. A woman with a mission—to bring down Empress Ophelia—or die trying.
  • The Burning Dark by Adam Christopher
Captain Idaho Cleveland has one last mission before he retires: decommissioning the Coast City, a distant research outpost orbiting the toxic star Shadow, only connected with the outside universe via ham radio. When a voice begins speaking to Ida just as the station is attacked by mysterious forces, Ida realizes he is about to face an enemy far more evil than any he’s ever fought before.
  • Hot Lead, Cold Iron by Ari Marmell  
Chicago, 1932. Mick Oberon may look like just another private detective, but beneath the fedora and the overcoat, he’s got pointy ears and he’s packing a wand. Oberon’s used to solving supernatural crimes, but the latest one’s extra weird. He’ll have to wade through Fae politics and mob power struggles to find a kidnapper-—and of course it's the last person he expected.
  • The Enchantment Emporium by Tanya Huff, Gale Women #1
The Gale family can change the world with the charms they cast. Alysha Gale is tired of having all her aunts try to run her life. So when her Gran leaves her a "junk" shop in Calgary, Alysha jumps at the chance. It isn't until she gets there that she realizes her customers are fey. And no one told her there's trouble brewing in Calgary-trouble so big that even calling in the family may not save the day...



 



Hodder and Stougthon
  • Sleeping Late on Judgement Day by Tad Williams, Bobby Dollar #3
  • The Nunslinger by Stark Holborn
1864. The Laramie Plains, Wyoming.

The True Tale of how Sister Thomas Josephine of St Louis, Missouri crossed the Overland Trail to Sacramento, California with the help of one John C. Muir.

'I caught the sound of boots, marching in formation and knew my time had run out. Clenching my teeth, I looked him dead in the eye.
"It may be God’s will, sir, but it is my will too."
I pulled the trigger.'
  • Red Rising by Pierce Brown, Red Rising Trilogy #1
Darrow is a miner and a Red, a member of the lowest caste in the color-coded society of the future. Like his fellow Reds, he digs all day, believing that he and his people are making the surface of the planet livable for future generations. Darrow has never seen the sky.

Yet he spends his life willingly, knowing that his blood and sweat will one day result in a better future for his children.

But Darrow and his kind have been betrayed. Soon he discovers that humanity already reached the surface generations ago. Vast cities and sprawling parks spread across the planet. Darrow and Reds like him are nothing more than slaves to a decadent ruling class.

Inspired by a longing for justice, and driven by the memory of lost love, Darrow joins a resistance group in order to infiltrate the ruling class and destroy society from within. He will stop at nothing to bring down his enemies... even if it means he has to become one of them to do so.
  • Dreams of Gods and Monsters by Laini Taylor, Daughter of Smoke and Bone #3
By way of a staggering deception, Karou has taken control of the chimaera rebellion and is intent on steering its course away from dead-end vengeance. The future rests on her, if there can even be a future for the chimaera in war-ravaged Eretz.

Common enemy, common cause.

When Jael's brutal seraph army trespasses into the human world, the unthinkable becomes essential, and Karou and Akiva must ally their enemy armies against the threat. It is a twisted version of their long-ago dream, and they begin to hope that it might forge a way forward for their people.

And, perhaps, for themselves. Toward a new way of living, and maybe even love.

But there are bigger threats than Jael in the offing. A vicious queen is hunting Akiva, and, in the skies of Eretz ... something is happening. Massive stains are spreading like bruises from horizon to horizon; the great winged stormhunters are gathering as if summoned, ceaselessly circling, and a deep sense of wrong pervades the world.

What power can bruise the sky?

From the streets of Rome to the caves of the Kirin and beyond, humans, chimaera and seraphim will fight, strive, love, and die in an epic theater that transcends good and evil, right and wrong, friend and enemy.

At the very barriers of space and time, what do gods and monsters dream of? And does anything else matter?



Orbit

  • The Crimson Campaign by Brian McClellan, The Powder Mage #2 
'The hounds at our heels will soon know we are lions' Tamas's invasion of Kez ends in disaster when a Kez counter-offensive leaves him cut off behind enemy lines with only a fraction of his army, no supplies, and no hope of reinforcements. Drastically outnumbered and pursued by the enemy's best, he must lead his men on a reckless march through northern Kez to safety, and back over the mountains so that he can defend his country from an angry god. In Adro, Inspector Adamat only wants to rescue his wife. To do so he must track down and confront the evil Lord Vetas. He has questions for Vetas concerning his enigmatic master, but the answers might come too quickly. With Tamas and his powder cabal presumed dead, Taniel Two-shot finds himself alongside the god-chef Mihali as the last line of defence against Kresimir's advancing army. Tamas's generals bicker among themselves, the brigades lose ground every day beneath the Kez onslaught, and Kresimir wants the head of the man who shot him in the eye.
  • Tower Lord by Anthony Ryan, Raven’s Shadow #2
“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
  • Dirty Magic by Jaye Wells, Prospero’s War #1
The last thing patrol cop Kate Prospero expected to find on her nightly rounds was a werewolf covered in the blood of his latest victim. But then, she also didn't expect that shooting him would land her in the crosshairs of a Magic Enforcement Agency task force, who wants to know why she killed their lead snitch.

The more Prospero learns about the dangerous new potion the MEA is investigating, the more she's convinced that earning a spot on their task force is the career break she's been wanting. But getting the assignment proves much easier than solving the case. Especially once the investigation reveals their lead suspect is the man she walked away from ten years earlier—on the same day she swore she'd never use dirty magic again.

Kate Prospero's about to learn the hard way that crossing a wizard will always get you burned, and that when it comes to magic, you should be never say never.
  • The Broken Eye by Brent Weeks, Lightbringer #3
As the old gods awaken and satrapies splinter, the Chromeria races to find its lost Prism, the only man who may be able to stop catastrophe. But Gavin Guile is enslaved on a pirate galley. Worse, Gavin no longer has the one thing that defined him -- the ability to draft.

Without the protection of his father, Kip Guile will have to face a master of shadows alone as his grandfather moves to choose a new Prism and put himself in power. With Teia and Karris, Kip will have to use all his wits to survive a secret war between noble houses, religious factions, rebels, and an ascendant order of hidden assassins, The Broken Eye.







Tor UK 
  • Unwrapped Sky by Rjurik Davidson
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.
  • Sworn in Steel by Douglas Hulick, Tales of the Kin #2
It’s been three months since Drothe killed a legend, burned down a portion of the imperial capital, and unexpectedly elevated himself into the ranks of the criminal elite. Now, as the newest Gray Prince in the underworld, he’s learning just how good he used to have it.

With barely the beginnings of an organization to his name, Drothe is already being called out by other Gray Princes. And to make matters worse, when one dies, all signs point to Drothe as wielding the knife. As members of the Kin begin choosing sides – mostly against him – for what looks to be another impending war, Drothe is approached by a man who not only has the solution to Drothe’s most pressing problem, but an offer of redemption. The only problem is the offer isn’t for him.

Now Drothe finds himself on the way to the Despotate of Djan, the empire’s long-standing enemy, with an offer to make and a price on his head. And the grains of sand in the hour glass are running out, fast...
  • Acolyte by Seth Patrick, Reviver #2
no synopsis available
  • Immolation by Ben Peek, Children #1
The first in a crackling, unputdownable new epic fantasy series, introducing a fascinating, original new world and an incredible heroine.

The Gods are dying. Fifteen thousand years after the end of their war, their bodies can still be found across the world. They kneel in forests, lie beneath mountains, and rest at the bottom of the world's ocean. For thousands of years, men and women have awoken with strange powers that are derived from their bodies. The city Mireea is built against a huge stone wall that stretches across a vast mountain range, following the massive fallen body of the god, Ger. Ayae, a young cartographer’s apprentice, is attacked and discovers she cannot be harmed by fire. Her new power makes her a target for an army that is marching on Mireea. With the help of Zaifyr, a strange man adorned with charms, she is taught the awful history of ‘cursed’ men and women, coming to grips with her new powers and the enemies they make. Meanwhile, the saboteur Bueralan infiltrates the army that is approaching her home to learn its terrible secret. Split between the three points of view, Immolation's narrative reaches its conclusion during an epic siege, where Ayae, Zaifyr and Bueralan are forced not just into conflict with those invading, but with those inside the city who wish to do them harm.

The first installment of an exciting new epic fantasy series, Immolation is a fast-paced page turner set in an enthralling new world, perfect for fans of Joe Abercrombie and Brent Weeks
 
 






Pyr
  • The Barrow by Mark Smylie
Action, horror, politics, and sensuality combine in this stand-alone fantasy novel with series potential. Set in the world of the Eisner-nominated Artesia comic books.

To find the Sword, unearth the Barrow. To unearth the Barrow, follow the Map.

When a small crew of scoundrels, would-be heroes, deviants, and ruffians discover a map that they believe will lead them to a fabled sword buried in the barrow of a long-dead wizard, they think they've struck it rich. But their hopes are dashed when the map turns out to be cursed and then is destroyed in a magical ritual. The loss of the map leaves them dreaming of what might have been, until they rediscover the map in a most unusual and unexpected place.

Stjepan Black-Heart, suspected murderer and renegade royal cartographer; Erim, a young woman masquerading as a man; Gilgwyr, brothel owner extraordinaire; Leigh, an exiled magus under an ignominious cloud; Godewyn Red-Hand, mercenary and troublemaker; Arduin Orwain, scion of a noble family brought low by scandal; and Arduin's sister Annwyn, the beautiful cause of that scandal: together they form a cross-section of the Middle Kingdoms of the Known World, brought together by accident and dark design, on a quest that will either get them all in the history books, or get them all killed.
  • The Leopard by K.V. Johansen, Marakand #1
Part one of a two-book epic fantasy, set in a world as richly drawn as J.R.R. Tolkien's Middle Earth, but with Mideastern and Eastern flavors

In the days of the first kings in the North, there were seven devils…

Ahjvar, the assassin known as the Leopard, wants only to die, to end the curse that binds him to a life of horror. Although he has no reason to trust the goddess Catairanach or her messenger Deyandara, fugitive heir to a murdered tribal queen, desperation leads him to accept her bargain: if he kills the mad prophet known as the Voice of Marakand, Catairanach will free him of his curse. Accompanying him on his mission is the one person he has let close to him in a lifetime of death, a runaway slave named Ghu. Ahj knows Ghu is far from the half-wit others think him, but in Marakand, the great city where the caravan roads of east and west meet, both will need to face the deepest secrets of their souls, if either is to survive the undying enemies who hunt them and find a way through the darkness that damns the Leopard.

To Marakand, too, come a Northron wanderer and her demon verrbjarn lover, carrying the obsidian sword Lakkariss, a weapon forged by the Old Great Gods to bring their justice to the seven devils who escaped the cold hells so long before.






Gollancz
  • The Gospel of Loki by Joanne M. Harris
The first adult epic fantasy novel from multi-million copy bestselling author of CHOCOLAT, Joanne Harris.

The novel is a brilliant first-person narrative of the rise and fall of the Norse gods - retold from the point of view of the world's ultimate trickster, Loki. It tells the story of Loki's recruitment from the underworld of Chaos, his many exploits on behalf of his one-eyed master, Odin, through to his eventual betrayal of the gods and the fall of Asgard itself. Using her life-long passion for the Norse myths, Joanne Harris has created a vibrant and powerful fantasy novel.

Loki, that’s me.

Loki, the Light-Bringer, the misunderstood, the elusive, the handsome and modest hero of this particular tissue of lies. Take it with a pinch of salt, but it’s at least as true as the official version, and, dare I say it, more entertaining.

So far, history, such as it is, has cast me in a rather unflattering role.

Now it’s my turn to take the stage.

With his notorious reputation for trickery and deception, and an ability to cause as many problems as he solves, Loki is a Norse god like no other. Demon-born, he is viewed with deepest suspicion by his fellow gods who will never accept him as one of their own and for this he vows to take his revenge.

From his recruitment by Odin from the realm of Chaos, through his years as the go-to man of Asgard, to his fall from grace in the build-up to Ragnarok, this is the unofficial history of the world’s ultimate trickster.
  • The Boy with the Porcelain Blade by Den Patrick 
An ornate yet dark fantasy, with echoes of Mervyn Peake, Robin Hobb and Jon Courtenay Grimwood. An original and beautifully imagined world, populated by unforgettable characters.

Lucien de Fontein has grown up different. One of the mysterious and misshapen Orfano who appear around the Kingdom of Landfall, he is a talented fighter yet constantly lonely, tormented by his deformity, and well aware that he is a mere pawn in a political game. Ruled by an insane King and the venomous Majordomo, it is a world where corruption and decay are deeply rooted - but to a degree Lucien never dreams possible when he first discovers the plight of the 'insane' women kept in the haunting Sanatoria.

Told in a continuous narrative interspersed with flashbacks we see Lucien grow up under the care of his tutors. We watch him forced through rigorous Testings, and fall in love, set against his yearning to discover where he comes from, and how his fate is tied to that of every one of the deformed Orfano in the Kingdom, and of the eerie Sanatoria itself.
  • Words of Radiance by Brandon Sanderson, The Stormlight Archive #2
Having met the challenge of a posthumous collaboration with the great Robert Jordan to complete his classic, bestselling fantasy series The Wheel of Time® with three #1 New York Times bestsellers in a row, Brandon Sanderson is at last free to return to the decade-spanning task of creating his own multi-volume epic, one that he hopes will make a comparable mark on the field. That epic is The Stormlight Archive and it began in 2010 with Tor’s longest, most elaborately embellished novel ever, The Way of Kings.

In that 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 Brightlord Dalinar Kholin, who leads the human armies; his sister Jasnah, a renowned scholar; her student Shallan, a brilliant but troubled young woman; and Kaladin, a military slave who, by the book’s end, had 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 to how to fulfill his new role as leader of the restored Knights Radiant, while mastering the powers of a Windrunner.

With this second book, the Stormlight Archive grows even more richly immersive and compelling. Sanderson’s fans, old and new, are likely to lift it at least as high on the bestseller lists as its predecessor.






Angry Robot Books
  • Hang Wire by Adam Christopher 
When Ted Hall's birthday dinner in San Francisco's famous Chinatown ends with an explosion, the fire department blames a gas leak, but when Ted finds strange, personalised messages from the restaurant's fortune cookies scattered around his apartment, his suspicions are aroused, particularly as his somnambulant travels appear to coincide with murders by the notorious Hang Wire Killer.

Meanwhile, the circus has come to town, but the Celtic dancers are taking their pagan act a little too seriously and the manager of the Olde Worlde Funfair has started talking to his vintage machines. And while the new acrobat is wowing the crowds, his frequent absences are causing tension among the performers.

Out in the city there are other new arrivals, immortals searching for an ancient power which has been unleashed, awakening something awful buried deep beneath the San Andreas fault... a primal evil which, if not stopped, will destroy the entire world.
 
  • Blades of the Old Empire by Anna Kashina, Majat Code #1
Kara is a mercenary – a Diamond warrior, the best of the best, and a member of the notorious Majat Guild. When her tenure as protector to Prince Kythar comes to an end, custom dictates he accompany her back to her Guild to negotiate her continued protection.

But when they arrive they discover that the Prince’s sworn enemy, the Kaddim, have already paid the Guild to engage her services – to capture and hand over Kythar, himself.

A warrior brought up to respect both duty and honour, what happens when her sworn duty proves dishonourable?


  • Morningside Fall by Jay Posey, Duskwalker Cycle #2
The lone gunman Three is gone, and Wren is the new governor of the devastated settlement of Morningside, but there is turmoil in the city. When his life is put in danger, Wren is forced to flee Morningside until he and his retinue can determine who can be trusted.

They arrive at the border outpost, Ninestory, only to find it has been infested with Weir in greater numbers than anyone has ever seen. These lost, dangerous creatures are harbouring a terrible secret – one that will have consequences not just for Wren and his comrades, but for the future of what remains of the world.
 
  • Peacemaker by Marianne de Pierres, Peacemaker #1  
Virgin Jackson is the senior ranger in Birrimun Park – the world’s last natural landscape, overshadowed though it is by a sprawling coastal megacity. She maintains public safety and order in the park, but her bosses have brought out a hotshot cowboy to help her catch some drug runners who are affecting tourism. She senses the company is holding something back from her, and she’s not keen on working with an outsider like Nate Sixkiller. When an imaginary animal from her troubled teenage years reappears, Virgin takes it to mean one of two things: a breakdown (hers!) or a warning. When the dead bodies start piling up around her and Nate, she decides on the latter.
Something terrible is about to happen in the park and Virgin and her new partner are standing in its path…
  • Night Terrors by Tim Waggoner, Nightmare Police #1
It’s Supernatural meets Men in Black in a darkly humorous urban fantasy from the author of Nekropolis. When you dream, you visit the Maelstrom. Dream long enough and hard enough, and your dreams can break through into the living world. So, alas, can your nightmares.
And who’s there to catch the dreams and nightmares as they fall into reality? Meet the Shadow Watch.
Pray you never need them…








Head of Zeus
  • The Abduction by Jonathan Holt, The Carnivia Trilogy #2

THE SPY: Holly Boland is trained to think differently. When a US major’s daughter is kidnapped, she knows the abductors want more than a ransom.
 
THE POLICEWOMAN: Kat Tapo has found a webcam feed in encrypted site Carnivia.com. It shows a terrified teenage girl, tied to a chair. But where is she?
 
THE WEBMASTER: Daniele Barbo, creator of Carnivia, never allows access
to his servers. Why would he help Kat and Holly? Then secrets are unearthed
from Italy’s wartime past. Secrets that could put them all in danger...

THE ABDUCTION has begun


  • The Curse of the House of Foskett by MRC Kasasian, The Gower Street Detectives #2
Sidney Grice and March Middleton investigate the murky world of Victorian
Death Societies in a quirky crime novel that oozes atmosphere. 
Sidney Grice, of 125 Gower Street, is London’s premier personal detective.
But since his last case led an innocent man to the gallows, business has been
light. Listless and depressed, Grice has taken to lying in the bath for hours.
Once a voracious reader, he will pick up neither book nor newspaper. 

His ward, March Middleton, has been left to dine alone. Then an eccentric member of a Final Death Society has the temerity to die on his study floor. Finally Sidney Grice and March Middleton have an investigation to mount – an investigation that will draw them to an eerie house in Kew, and the mysterious Baroness Foskett...
  • Sword of the North by Luke Scull, The Grim Company #2
Some legends never die...

In The Grim Company, Luke Scull introduced a formidable and forbidding band of anti-heroes battling against ruthless Magelords and monstrous terrors. The adventure continues as the company—now broken—face new dangers on personal quests….

As Davarus Cole and his former companions were quick to discover, the White Lady’s victorious liberation of Dorminia has not resulted in the freedom they once imagined. Anyone perceived as a threat has been seized and imprisoned—or exiled to darker regions—leaving the White Lady’s rule unchallenged and absolute. But the White Lady would be wiser not to spurn her former supporters: Eremul the Halfmage has learned of a race of immortals known as the Fade, and if he cannot convince the White Lady of their existence, all of humanity will be in danger.

Far to the north, Brodar Kayne and Jerek the Wolf continue their odyssey to the High Fangs only to find themselves caught in a war between a demon horde and their enemy of old, the Shaman. And in the wondrous city of Thelassa, Sasha must overcome demons of her own.
 





Harper Voyager UK
  • Prince of Fools by Mark Lawrence, The Red Queen's War #1
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.

  • King of Ashes by Raymond E. Feist, The War of Five Crowns #1 
A new novel from the internationally bestselling author, Raymond E. Feist. After 30 years and as many books, Raymond E. Feist's Midkemia series, The Riftwar Cycle, came to a satisfyingly cataclysmic end in 2013. Next year will mark the publication of Feist's first non-Midkemia based book for many years. KING OF ASHES is the first book in the planned WAR OF FIVE CROWNS trilogy and draws influences from medieval history and Arthurian legend. 



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These are just some the books that I look forward to reading in the New Year, which books are you looking forward to?

Cheers,
Jasper

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