The Bear and the Nightingale: A Novel by Katherine ArdenFairy Tale Fantasy. Raised on a steady diet of stories, "wild maiden" Vasilisa Petrovna, affectionately known as Vasya, has grown up wandering the grounds of her father's rural estate, befriending the spirits of the natural world. But when Vasya's pious stepmother joins forces with an ambitious young priest to force the villagers to forsake the old ways (and the old gods), they set in motion a tragedy that only Vasya can avert. With its allusions to classic tales such as "Morozko" and "Vasilisa the Beautiful," The Bear and the Nightingale is an "earthy, beautifully written love letter to Russian folklore" (Publishers Weekly).
The Cold Eye by Laura Anne GilmanWeird Western. The Territory west of the Mississippi river belongs to the Devil; as the Devil's Left Hand, 16-year-old circuit rider Isobel serves as his eyes and ears -- and, occasionally, as judge, jury, and executioner. But a series of strange events on the Territory's western boundary soon causes Isobel to wonder if she's up to the job. Set in a supernatural version of the 19th-century American frontier, this sequel to Silver on the Road is the 2nd book in the Devil's West series.
Recluce Tales: Stories from the World of Recluce by L.E. Modesitt, Jr.Short Stories. Set in the world of author L.E. Modesitt's popular Recluce series, this short story collection features 17 new tales, four reprints, and an essay that fill in the gaps among previous installments. Arranged in internal chronological order, this collection is best suited to existing fans of Recluce's rich history, detailed world-building and rigorous system of magic. However, it may also serve as a useful introduction to readers deciding whether or not to take the plunge into the 18-volume (and counting) series.
The Blood Mirror
by Brent Weeks
Epic Fantasy. In the conclusion to the New York Times best-selling series, Gavin and Kip Guile, Karris White and Teia all fight to prevent a tainted empire from falling before the White King's armies.
Mage's Blood by David HairAlternate History Fantasy. Every 12 years, the tides ebb to reveal the Leviathan Bridge, a 300-mile-span that connects the otherwise isolated continents of Yuros and Antiopia. Originally created to facilitate trade between the two regions, it is more often used by the powerful Magi of the West to wage crusades against their "infidel" neighbors to the East. But the Antiopians are not about to bow down to the invaders. With its epic scope, extensive world-building, and sprawling cast of morally ambiguous characters, this 1st book in the Moontide Quartet may appeal to fans of George R.R. Martin's A Song of Ice and Fire.
The Grace of Kings by Ken LiuEpic Fantasy. Warrior Mata Zyndu, scion of his once-powerful Clan, believes that it is his destiny to rule. His best friend, wily bandit Kuni Garu, just wants to get rich and have a grand time doing so. Although they bond during the rebellion against the empire, their different goals and philosophies will ultimately make them bitter adversaries. Author Ken Liu has won Hugo, Nebula, Locus, and World Fantasy awards for his short fiction and his translations (most notably of Cixin Liu's The Three-Body Problem). This 1st book in the Dandelion Dynasty series, which vividly evokes the politics and culture of China's Han dynasty, marked his novel-writing debut.
Mistborn: The Final Empire by Brandon SandersonEpic Fantasy. The skaa are a slave race, the property of the immortal Lord Ruler, who has reigned uncontested for a thousand years. Until now. In the depths of a dungeon, half-skaa thief Kelsier discovers that he is a Mistborn, an exceedingly rare and powerful type of Allomancer. He devises a plan to overthrow the Lord Ruler, recruiting street urchin and fellow Mistborn Vin to infiltrate the Great Houses that serve the Lord Ruler. If their plot succeeds, they may be able to bring down the empire from within. Boasting likable characters, an exciting plot, and a well-developed magic system, this trilogy opener continues with The Well of Ascension and The Hero of Ages.
The Thousand Names by Django WexlerMilitary Fantasy. Stationed in Khandar, a remote desert outpost of the Vordanai empire, Captain Marcus d'Ivoire and his men find themselves on the front lines when the region's inhabitants stage a bloody uprising. As Marcus struggles to fashion his raw recruits into a functioning army, he promotes the most promising soldier, Winter Ihernglass, to a command post (complicating matters for Winter, who's secretly a woman in disguise). Meanwhile, the arrival of a brilliant military strategist may turn the tide of war against them as he pursues his own secret agenda. The Thousand Names is the 1st book in the Shadow Campaigns series, followed by The Shadow Throne.
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