Sunday, January 23, 2011

Books in the Mail (W/E 2010-01-22)

Four books this week from three publishers.

Sword in the Stars (Dark Sea Annals #1) by Wayne Batson (AMG Publishers, Trade Paperback 10/15/2010) – First in a new high fantasy series, Wayne’s first work in the adult market. I reviewed some of his previous Young Adult novels: The Door Within (#1), Rise of the Wyrm Lord (#2), The Final Storm (#3), and Isle of Swords,

Haunted by memories of a violent past, Alastair Coldhollow wagers his life on the hope that a sword will appear in the stars and the foretold Halfainin, the Pathwalker, would come. Meanwhile, tensions simmer between Anglinore and the murderous Gorrack Nation, threatening war on a cataclysmic scale. The fate of all could rest on an abandoned child and the decisions of those who desperately seek to identify him. Sword in the Stars is the first release in The Dark Sea Annals series.

About the The Dark Sea Annals series: A noble king discovers what happens when he leaves a door open for evil. The disastrous consequences impact generations, leaving the throne of Anglinore to a wicked despot, the kingdom in ruins, and Aravel’s son Loch in exile. To throw down the vile new authority, Loch will need to find the fabled Halfainin and raise a new army from a world of reluctant citizens. Together with his archer friend Ariana, Loch will face adventures that span the world of Myriad, creatures that defy imagination, and choices great and terrible—all these recorded in The Dark Sea Annals.

Farlander (Heart of the World Book 1) by Col Buchanan (Tor Hardcover 01/25/2011) – The trend of books appearing first in the UK then showing up a year later continues with Buchanan’s debut. Mark reviewed this one last year. Here’s the copy:

The Heart of the World is a land in strife. For fifty years the Holy Empire of Mann, an empire and religion born from a nihilistic urban cult, has been conquering nation after nation. Their leader, Holy Matriarch Sasheen, ruthlessly maintains control through her Diplomats, priests trained as subtle predators.

Ash is a member of an elite group of assassins, the Roshun, who offer protection through the threat of vendetta. Forced by his ailing health to take on an apprentice, he chooses Nico, a young man living in the besieged city of Bar-Khos. At the time, Nico is hungry, desperate, and alone in a city that finds itself teetering on the brink.

When the Holy Matriarch’s son deliberately murders a woman under the protection of the Roshun; he forces the sect to seek his life in retribution. As Ash and his young apprentice set out to fulfill the Roshun orders, their journey takes them into the heart of the conflict between the Empire and the Free Ports…into bloodshed and death.

March in Country (Vampire Earth #8) by E.E.Knight (Roc Hardcover 01/04/2011) – I’ve been following this series from the beginning and I caught up with it completely a couple of years ago, so I’m pleased to have another volume to read. I like the post-apocalyptic milieu quite a bit and Knight is a solid and entertaining writer. I reviewed The Way of the Wolf (#1), Choice of the Cat (#2), Tale of the Thunderbolt (#3), Valentine's Rising (#4), Winter Duty (#8), Valentine's Rising (#4)and interviewed Mr. Knight in the past for SFFWorld. Here’s the synopsis for this volume:

The national bestselling "master of deception and tension" (Black Gate) returns to the Vampire Earth...

The race is on to claim the area between the Ohio River and Tennessee. What's left of the resistance is hiding out in the tangle of central Kentucky hills- leaving the powerful, well-organized Kurian vampires the opportunity to fill the void.

Major David Valentine knows there's only one way for them to find help before the Kurians settle in: a desperate dash by hijacked rail, followed by a harrowing river journey.

Valentine unites friends old and new in the effort- but the Kurian Order won't easily yield the blood-soaked Kentucky soil.

Among Others by Jo Walton (Tor Hardcover 01/21/2011) – Walton is one of the more prolific and interesting contributors at, she’s won the World Fantasy Award and most of her novels have received a fair share of praise, including this latest.

Startling, unusual, and yet irresistably readable, Among Others is at once the compelling story of a young woman struggling to escape a troubled childhood, a brilliant diary of first encounters with the great novels of modern fantasy and SF, and a spellbinding tale of escape from ancient enchantment.

Raised by a half-mad mother who dabbled in magic, Morwenna Phelps found refuge in two worlds. As a child growing up in Wales, she played among the spirits who made their homes in industrial ruins. But her mind found freedom and promise in the science fiction novels that were her closest companions. Then her mother tried to bend the spirits to dark ends, and Mori was forced to confront her in a magical battle that left her crippled--and her twin sister dead.

Fleeing to her father whom she barely knew, Mori was sent to boarding school in England–a place all but devoid of true magic. There, outcast and alone, she tempted fate by doing magic herself, in an attempt to find a circle of like-minded friends. But her magic also drew the attention of her mother, bringing about a reckoning that could no longer be put off…

Combining elements of autobiography with flights of imagination in the manner of novels like Jonathan Lethem’s The Fortress of Solitude, this is potentially a breakout book for an author whose genius has already been hailed by peers like Kelly Link, Sarah Weinman, and Ursula K. Le Guin.

1 comment:

WayneThomasBatson said...

Thanks for the mention, Sir Rob!