Monday, February 10, 2020

New Books Spotlight

Welcome to another edition of the New Books Spotlight, where each month or so we curate a selection of 6 new and forthcoming books we find notable, interesting, and intriguing. It gives us the opportunity to shine a brief spotlight on some stuff we're itching to get our hands on.

What are you looking forward to? Anything you want to argue with us about? Is there something we should consider spotlighting in the future? Let us know in the comments!

Hurley, Kameron. The Broken Heavens [Angry Robot]
Publisher's Description
The Tai Mora – invaders from a parallel universe – have vanquished their counterparts and assumed control of the world called Raisa. The Saiduan are wiped out. The Dhai nation has broken apart. The remaining countries are in chaos. While the Dhai retreat and regroup, led by the recklessly headstrong Lilia, the Tai Mora begin to unravel the mystery of how to use the ancient Dhai holy places to harness the power of the stars and cement their tyrannical rule for another two thousand years.

With more refugees from ravaged lands passing through the soft seams between worlds every day, time is running out for the Tai Mora and the last of the Dhai. Only one ruler, one nation, one world can survive. Who will be saved, and who will be sacrificed, when the heavens finally break?

Back with a vengeance – and fearless, unapologetic writing – Hurley’s visceral masterpiece finally reaches its world-shattering end… 
Why We Want It: Hurley stepped away from her Worldbreaker series to write and publish both The Stars Are Legion and The Light Brigade. Both are among the best novels of the last ten years and have served to whet the appetite for The Broken Heavens – though I’ll need a small refresher of what came before in the previous two books. This is Hurley’s return to straight up epic fantasy, though nothing Kameron Hurley does is straight up. The first two books were absolutely top notch and we can’t wait to see how Hurley concludes the series.

Kerr, Katharine. Sword of Fire [DAW]
Publisher's Description
This first novel of an epic fantasy trilogy reintroduces readers to the beloved and bestselling world of Deverry, blending magic, politics, and adventure in an unforgettable setting. 

The bards are the people’s voice–and their sword.

All over the kingdom of Deverry, the common people are demanding reform of the corrupt law courts. In Aberwyn, the situation catches fire when Gwerbret Ladoic, second in authority only to the High King, allows a bard to starve to death rather than hear their grievances.

Guildwoman Alyssa, a student at the local scholars’ collegium, and Lady Dovina, the gwerbret’s own daughter, know that evidence exists to overthrow the so-called traditional legal system, if they can only get it into the right hands. The powerful lords will kill anyone who threatens their privileges.

To retrieve the proof, Alyssa must make a dangerous journey that will either change her life forever–or end it. 
Why We Want It: The 16th Deverry novel and the first to be published in 11 years. I’m not sure where and how this fits into the timeline and the braided narrative of the first fifteen books of a series most thought was already complete. I’m only halfway through my first read through of the series (check out my Deverry Read: Part One, Part Two) and I am certainly not going to catch up before Sword of Fire is published, but this is a fantastic series and I am so glad there is going to be at least one more. I just need to confirm if there is a barrier to entry or if I am safe to pick up here while I continue with the series. Either way, major fantasy release right here!

Larkwood, A.K. The Unspoken Name [Tor]
Publisher's Description
A. K. Larkwood's The Unspoken Name is a stunning debut fantasy about an orc priestess turned wizard's assassin. 

What if you knew how and when you will die? 

Csorwe does—she will climb the mountain, enter the Shrine of the Unspoken, and gain the most honored title: sacrifice.

But on the day of her foretold death, a powerful mage offers her a new fate. Leave with him, and live. Turn away from her destiny and her god to become a thief, a spy, an assassin—the wizard's loyal sword. Topple an empire, and help him reclaim his seat of power.

But Csorwe will soon learn—gods remember, and if you live long enough, all debts come due. 
Why We Want It: Without knowing anything about the novel, The Unspoken Name has been one of the more buzzed about novels of early 2020.  Plus, check out Adri's review.

McGuire, Seanan. Imaginary Numbers [DAW]
Publisher's Description
The ninth book in the fast-paced InCryptid urban fantasy series returns to the mishaps of the Price family, eccentric cryptozoologists who safeguard the world of magical creatures living in secret among humans. 

Sarah Zellaby has always been in an interesting position. Adopted into the Price family at a young age, she’s never been able to escape the biological reality of her origins: she’s a cuckoo, a telepathic ambush predator closer akin to a parasitic wasp than a human being. Friend, cousin, mathematician; it’s never been enough to dispel the fear that one day, nature will win out over nurture, and everything will change.

Maybe that time has finally come.

After spending the last several years recuperating in Ohio with her adoptive parents, Sarah is ready to return to the world–and most importantly, to her cousin Artie, with whom she has been head-over-heels in love since childhood. But there are cuckoos everywhere, and when the question of her own survival is weighed against the survival of her family, Sarah’s choices all add up to one inescapable conclusion.

This is war. Cuckoo vs. Price, human vs. cryptid…and not all of them are going to walk away. 
Why We Want It: Since April 2018 I've read all eight previous Incryptid novels and, as is the case with all of McGuire's novels - they are absolutely delightful and fun and dangerous and straight up excellent. Imaginary Numbers focuses on Sarah Zellaby (the Price cousin and cuckoo / parasitic wasp) and that's a story I've been waiting for.

Polk, C.L. Stormsong [ Publishing]
Publisher's Description
After spinning an enthralling world in Witchmark, the winner of the World Fantasy Award for best novel that was praised as a “can't-miss debut” by Booklist, and as “thoroughly charming and deftly paced” by the New York Times, C. L. Polk continues the story in Stormsong. Magical cabals, otherworldly avengers, and impossible love affairs conspire to create a book that refuses to be put down. 

Dame Grace Hensley helped her brother Miles undo the atrocity that stained her nation, but now she has to deal with the consequences. With the power out in the dead of winter and an uncontrollable sequence of winter storms on the horizon, Aeland faces disaster. Grace has the vision to guide her parents to safety, but a hostile queen and a ring of rogue mages stand in the way of her plans. There's revolution in the air, and any spark could light the powder. What's worse, upstart photojournalist Avia Jessup draws ever closer to secrets that could topple the nation, and closer to Grace's heart.

Can Aeland be saved without bloodshed? Or will Kingston die in flames, and Grace along with it? 
Why We Want It: Witchmark was fantastic, the winner of the 2019 World Fantasy Award, and was a stunningly good story that I was curious how it might continue. Adri also had some things to say about it. Stormsong is an intriguing book for February.

Roanhorse, Rebecca. Race to the Sun [Rick Riordan]
Publisher's Description
Lately, seventh grader Nizhoni Begay has been able to detect monsters, like that man in the fancy suit who was in the bleachers at her basketball game. Turns out he’s Mr. Charles, her dad’s new boss at the oil and gas company, and he’s alarmingly interested in Nizhoni and her brother, Mac, their Navajo heritage, and the legend of the Hero Twins. Nizhoni knows he’s a threat, but her father won’t believe her. When Dad disappears the next day, leaving behind a message that says “Run!”, the siblings and Nizhoni’s best friend, Davery, are thrust into a rescue mission that can only be accomplished with the help of DinĂ© Holy People, all disguised as quirky characters. Their aid will come at a price: the kids must pass a series of trials in which it seems like nature itself is out to kill them. If Nizhoni, Mac, and Davery can reach the House of the Sun, they will be outfitted with what they need to defeat the ancient monsters Mr. Charles has unleashed. But it will take more than weapons for Nizhoni to become the hero she was destined to be . . . Timeless themes such as the importance of family and respect for the land resonate in this funny, fast-paced, and exciting quest adventure set in the American Southwest. 
Why We Want It: New Rebecca Roanhorse! Roanhorse has been a fascinating writer to follow - from her first short story to her two Sixth World novels to Star Wars and now her first YA novel. I'm here for whatever she writes.

Joe Sherry - Co-editor of Nerds of a Feather, 3x Hugo Award Finalist for Best Fanzine. Minnesotan. He / Him.