The Waking Land by Callie BatesEpic Fantasy. Royal hostage Lady Elanna Valtai grew up in the court of King Antoine Eyrlai, who took her to ensure her rebellious father's compliance. When the king suddenly dies, his successor accuses Elanna of murder. Now Elanna has nowhere to go to but the homeland she's spent her life trying to forget and no one to turn to except the family she's been raised to hate. Elanna's transformation from sheltered girl to courageous leader should appeal to fans of Erika Johansen's The Queen of the Tearling. This series opener's Celtic-inspired world and romantic story may also please readers who enjoyed Juliet Marillier's Bridei Chronicles.
The Strange Case of the Alchemist's Daughter by Theodora GossHistorical Fantasy. After her parents' deaths, Mary Jekyll makes a discovery that leads her (with the help of Sherlock Holmes) to a young woman named Diana Hyde. Soon, Mary and Diana are working with Beatrice Rappacini, Catherine Moreau, and Justine Frankenstein to infiltrate the mysterious Société des Alchimistes. Fans of the television show Penny Dreadful or The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen graphic novels should enjoy this metafictional Victorian gothic adventure.
Carnivalesque by Neil JordanContemporary Fantasy. One boy enters, a different boy leaves. After a visit to a carnival leaves 14-year-old Dublin resident Andy Rackard trapped in a funhouse mirror, he takes the name Dany and, with the help of aerialist Mona, gradually adjusts to his new life. Meanwhile, his reflection navigates the outside world. This atmospheric modern-day changeling tale may appeal to readers who enjoyed Keith Donoghue's The Stolen Child.
The Rise and Fall of D.O.D.O. by Neal Stephenson and Nicole GallandContemporary Fantasy. Magic is real and, until 1851, was practiced openly. Then it disappeared. To find out why, the shadowy government entity known as the Department of Diachronic Operations (D.O.D.O.), recruits Harvard-trained linguist Melisande Stokes to translate ancient documents in search of clues. This collaboration between SF writer Neal Stephenson and historical fiction writer Nicole Galland may appeal to fans of Jody Taylor's Chronicles of St. Mary's series.
Speak to the Devil by Dave DuncanHistorical Fantasy. In the land of Jorgary, human Speakers use magic to communicate with and seek the aid of otherworldly Voices. The Magnus family is known for producing Speakers, which is why the king summons Anton Magnus to the palace, promising rich rewards if he can use his talents to capture an enemy stronghold. Anton does not actually possess Speaker powers, but that doesn't stop him from accepting the offer. If you enjoyed the historical setting of the author's Venice Trilogy and the derring-do of his King's Blades books, don't miss this 1st installment of the Brothers Magnus series, which is set in an alternate 15th-century Europe.
Ninefox Gambit by Yoon Ha LeeMilitary SF. To restore her tarnished reputation, Captain Kel Cheris embarks on a mission to retake the Fortress of Scattered Needles. Step one: graft her consciousness to that of a brilliant and long-dead general with an unsavory reputation. Set in a vast interstellar empire based on higher mathematics and featuring an intriguing post-human cast, this 1st book in the Machineries of Empire series may appeal to fans of Ann Leckie's Imperial Radch trilogy.
The Fortress in Orion by Michael D. ResnickMilitary SF. In need of a victory in its intergalactic war with the Traanskei Coalition, the human-led Democracy comes up with an audacious plan to infiltrate the enemy's stronghold and replace their commander with a clone. Democracy taps maverick Colonel Nathan Pretorius, who assembles a crew that includes a cyborg, an empath, a tech wizard, and a shapeshifting alien. Everything goes according to plan, until it doesn't. This fast-paced space caper is the 1st book in the Dead Enders series.
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