Sunday, May 04, 2014

Books in the Mail (W/E 2014-05-03)

This week's books could be categorized by the "Twitter stream batch" considering I follow and have interacted with a bunch of these authors on Twitter. 10 of these books arrived on Thursday (05/01/2014) which I **think** might the most I've received on one day.  The problem with all of these books, I really, REALLY want to read (just about) all of them RIGHT NOW.



Heaven's Queen (Volume 3 of The Paradox Series) by Rachel Bach (Orbit, Trade Paperback 04/22/2014) – I recently finished the second book (Honor’s Knight) in the thrilling Space Opera / Military Science Ficiton / Urban Fantasy hybrid and this series is turning into an absolute blast. My review of Fortune’s Pawn. This here’s the physical version of the eArch I received in February.


From the moment she took a job on Captain Caldswell's doomed ship, Devi Morris' life has been one disaster after another: government conspiracies, two alien races out for her blood, an incurable virus that's eating her alive.

Now, with the captain missing and everyone -- even her own government -- determined to hunt her down, things are going from bad to impossible. The sensible plan would be to hide and wait for things to blow over, but Devi's never been one to shy from a fight, and she's getting mighty sick of running.

It's time to put this crisis on her terms and do what she knows is right. But with all human life hanging on her actions, the price of taking a stand might be more than she can pay.


Dust and Light (A Sanctuary Novel #1) by Carol Berg (Roc, Trade Paperback 08/05/2014) – Berg has been on my radar for a couple of years, even more so over the past year as a few SFFWorld forum members whose opinion I trust (Erfael, NickeeCoco, and suciul specifically) have recently been raving about her work. This book looks like it is friendly to readers who haven’t read her previous books, which is just what I need.

National bestselling author Carol Berg returns to the world of her award-winning Flesh and Spirit and Breath and Bone with an all-new tale of magic, mystery, and corruption....

How much must one pay for an hour of youthful folly? The Pureblood Registry accused Lucian de Remeni-Masson of “unseemly involvement with ordinaries,” which meant only that he spoke with a young woman not of his own kind, allowed her to see his face unmasked, worked a bit of magic for her....After that one mistake, Lucian’s grandsire excised half his magic and savage Harrowers massacred his family. Now the Registry has contracted his art to a common coroner. His extraordinary gift for portraiture is restricted to dead ordinaries—beggars or starvelings hauled from the streets.

But sketching the truth of dead men’s souls brings unforeseen consequences. Sensations not his own. Truths he cannot possibly know and dares not believe.

The coroner calls him a cheat and says he is trying to weasel out of a humiliating contract. The Registry will call him mad—and mad sorcerers are very dangerous....




Thief’s Magic (Book 1 of The Millennium’s Rule Trilogy) by Trudi Canavan (Orbit, Hardcover 05/13/2014) – Canavan has sold more than 2 million of copies of her books. This latest seems an interesting magic-punk series, with magic powering machines. This might be an interesting book to give her a try. This is the final/finished copy of the ARC I received in March.

In a world where an industrial revolution is powered by magic, Tyen, a student of archaeology, unearths a sentient book called Vella. Once a young sorcerer-bookbinder, Vella was transformed into a useful tool by one of the greatest sorcerers of history. Since then she has been collecting information, including a vital clue to the disaster Tyen’s world faces

Elsewhere, in a land ruled by the priests, Rielle the dyer’s daughter has been taught that to use magic is to steal from the Angels. Yet she knows she has a talent for it, and that there is a corrupter in the city willing to teach her how to use it – should she dare to risk the Angels’ wrath

But not everything is as Tyen and Rielle have been raised to believe. Not the nature of magic, nor the laws of their lands

Not even the people they trust


Among Thieves (Book One of Tales of the Kin) by Douglas Hulick (Roc Mass Market Paperback 04/01/2011) – This author’s work has piqued my interest based on the opinions of folks I trust (Mark at SFFWorld; Loerwyn/Katherine and Justin) so I’ll be getting to this sooner rather than later, I think. Here’s an excerpt

Death around the corner …

Ildrecca is a dangerous city, if you don’t know what you’re doing. It takes a canny hand and a wary eye to run these streets and survive. Fortunately, Drothe has both. He has been a member of the Kin for years, rubbing elbows with thieves and murderers from the dirtiest of alleys to the finest of neighborhoods. Working for a crime lord, he finds and takes care of trouble inside his boss’s organization—while smuggling relics on the side.

But when his boss orders Drothe to track down whoever is leaning on his organization’s people, he stumbles upon a much bigger mystery. There’s a book, a relic any number of deadly people seem to be looking for—a book that just might bring down emperors and shatter the criminal underworld.

A book now inconveniently in Drothe’s hands…




Sworn in Steel (Book Two of Tales of the Kin) by Douglas Hulick (Roc Mass Market Paperback 05/06/2014) – Sequel to the above, which according to Justin is even better than Doug’s debut. Here’s an excerpt

It’s been three months since Drothe killed a legend, burned down a portion of the imperial capital, and found himself unexpectedly elevated into the ranks of the criminal elite. As the newest Gray Prince in the underworld, he’s not only gained friends, but also rivals — and some of them aren’t bothered by his newfound title. A prince’s blood, as the saying goes, is just as red as a beggar’s.

So when another Gray Prince is murdered and all signs point to Drothe as the hand behind the knife, he knows it’s his blood that’s in danger. As members of the Kin begin choosing sides — mostly against him — Drothe is approached by a man who says he can make everything right again. All he wants in exchange is a favor.

Now Drothe finds himself traveling to the Despotate of Djan, the empire’s long-standing enemy, looking for the friend he betrayed — and the only person who can get him out of this mess. And the grains of sand are running out fast….



Prince of Fools (Book One of The Red Queen’s War) by Mark Lawrence (Hardcover 06/03/2014 Ace) – I’m a big fan of Mark’s Broken Empire trilogy and so are the members of the SFFWorld forum. They voted the final novel in the trilogy, Emperor of Thorns as their favorite 2013 novel!

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.





Reigh of Ash (Book Two of The Ascendant Kingdoms Saga) by Gail Z. Martin (Orbit Books Trade Paperback 04/01/2014) – Second novel in GZ Martin’s current series.

Survival is only the beginning.

Blaine McFadden endured six long years in the brutal Velant prison colony, exiled for murder. War devastated his homeland of Donderath, and destroyed the magic on which the Ascendant Kingdoms relied. Now, Blaine and a small group of fellow exiles have returned to a lawless wasteland, where unrestrained magic storms wreak havoc and monsters roam free.

Yet, amidst the chaos, rumors persist of a new magic that could restore the kingdoms. But the key lies within a dangerous, ancient ritual and a group of vanished survivors. Now, McFadden’s only hope is a small, desperate, quickly rallied army. Together they must make one last stand knowing that if they fail, the civilization of the Ascendant Kingdoms dies with them.





The Crimson Campaign (Book Two of The Powder Mage Trilogy) by Brian McClellan (Orbit Hardcover / eBook 05/06/2014) – Second book in the series, the first of which I thought was the best fantasy debut novel I read last year.

When invasion looms, but the threats are closer to home…Who will lead the charge?

Tamas’ 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, Kresimir.

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 lead to more questions.

Tamas’ 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. With Tamas and his powder cabal presumed dead, Taniel Two-shot finds himself as the last line of defense against Kresimir’s advancing army.


The Thousand Names (Book One of The Shadow Campaigns) by Django Wexler (Roc Hardcover 07/02/2013) – Wexler’s debut continues the trend of Flintlock Fantasy being seen in epic fantasy of late. I've seen great things about this book over the course of the last year and now I'll finally get to reading it.

Enter an epic fantasy world that echoes with the thunder of muskets and the clang of steel — but where the real battle is against a subtle and sinister magic…

Captain Marcus d’Ivoire, commander of one of the Vordanai empire’s colonial garrisons, was resigned to serving out his days in a sleepy, remote outpost. But that was before a rebellion upended his life. And once the powder-smoke settled, he was left in charge of a demoralized force clinging tenuously to a small fortress at the edge of the desert.

To flee from her past, Winter Ihernglass masqueraded as a man and enlisted as a ranker in the Vordanai Colonials, hoping only to avoid notice. But when chance sees her promoted to command, she must win the hearts of her men, and lead them into battle against impossible odds.

But the fates of both of these soldiers, and all the men they lead, depend on the newly arrived Colonel Janus bet Vhalnich, who has been sent by the ailing king to restore order. His military genius seems to know no bounds, and under his command, Marcus and Winter can feel the tide turning.

But their allegiance will be tested as they begin to suspect that the enigmatic Janus’s ambitions extend beyond the battlefield and into the realm of the supernatural — a realm with the power to ignite a meteoric rise, reshape the known world, and change the lives of everyone in its path.




The Shadow Throne (Book Two of The Shadow Campaigns) by Django Wexler (Roc Hardcover 07/01/2014) – Nearly exactly a year after Wexler’s debut published to much acclaim, he’s published two other things (the YA The Forbidden Library and the novella John Golden Freelance Debugger) and now the second book in his Flintlock Fantasy series.

Anyone can plot a coup or fire an assassin’s bullet. But in a world of muskets and magic, it takes considerably more to seize the throne.

The ailing King of the Vordan lies on his deathbed. When he dies, his daughter, Raesinia Orboan, will become the first Queen Regnant in centuries—and a ripe target for the ambitious men who seek to control her. The most dangerous of these is Duke Orlanko, Minister of Information and master of the secret police. Having meticulously silenced his adversaries through intimidation, imprisonment, and execution, Orlanko is the most feared man in the kingdom.

And he knows an arcane secret that puts Raesinia completely at his mercy.

Exposure would mean ruin, but Raesinia is determined to find a way to break herself—and her country—out of Orlanko’s iron grip. She finds unlikely allies in the returning war hero Janus bet Vhalnich, fresh from a brilliant campaign in the colony of Khandar, and his loyal deputies, Captain Marcus d’Ivoire and Lieutenant Winter Ihernglass.
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As Marcus and Winter struggle to find their places in the home they never thought they would see again, they help Janus and Raesinia set in motion events that could free Vordan from Orlanko’s influence—at the price of throwing the nation into chaos. But with the people suffering under the Duke’s tyranny, they intend to protect the kingdom with every power they can command, earthly or otherwise.


Shield and Crocus by Michael R. Underwood (47North Paperback/eBook 06/10/2014) – I would think many people who are jacked into the genre websphere know who Mike is, in addition to having written a nice handful of novels & stories, he’s also one of the overlords of Angry Robot. This looks like fun, classic sword and sorcery and boasts an incredible cover. Here’s an excerpt at Tor.com. I think this is the first of a series

In a city built among the bones of a fallen giant, a small group of heroes looks to reclaim their home from the five criminal tyrants who control it.

The city of Audec-Hal sits among the bones of a Titan. For decades it has suffered under the dominance of five tyrants, all with their own agendas. Their infighting is nothing, though, compared to the mysterious “Spark-storms” that alternate between razing the land and bestowing the citizens with wild, unpredictable abilities. It was one of these storms that gave First Sentinel, leader of the revolutionaries known as the Shields of Audec-Hal, power to control the emotional connections between people—a power that cost him the love of his life.

Now, with nothing left to lose, First Sentinel and the Shields are the only resistance against the city’s overlords as they strive to free themselves from the clutches of evil. The only thing they have going for them is that the crime lords are fighting each other as well—that is, until the tyrants agree to a summit that will permanently divide the city and cement their rule of Audec-Hal.

It’s one thing to take a stand against oppression, but with the odds stacked against the Shields, it’s another thing to actually triumph.

In this stunning, original tale of magic and revolution, Michael R. Underwood creates a cityscape that rivals Ambergris and New Crobuzon in its depth and populates it with heroes and villains that will stay with you forever.


1 comment:

Bob R Milne said...

Nice haul! I quite like Carol Berg, although I haven't read anything in the Flesh and Bone world; the Douglas Hulick titles look interesting (on the TBR list they go); and I've got some catching up to do with Gail Z. Martin and Django Wexler.

The e-ARC of Shield and Crocus is awaiting my attention sometime in the next few weeks, and I'll be sharing my review of Prince of Fools on Tuesday.

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