In Calabria by Peter S. BeagleContemporary Fantasy. Claudio Bianchi, farmer and (secret) poet, lives alone on a ramshackle farm in Calabria, Italy, where he tends to his animals and finds solace in books. But his solitary routine is upended when he discovers a pregnant unicorn on his land. The arrival of this seemingly impossible creature attracts visitors from nearby and abroad, forcing Claudio to venture out into society once more -- and come to terms with past experiences that led him to retire from the world. In Calabria is a gentle, lyrical fable of love, forgiveness, and second chances by the author of The Last Unicorn.
Etched in Bone: A Novel of the Others by Anne BishopDark Fantasy. Following the events of Marked in Flesh, a fragile peace holds in the Lakeside Courtyard. For now. Can the terra indigene coexist with humans, the two-legged predators that have long tried to destroy them? Shapeshifter Simon Wolfgard and human blood prophet Meg Corbyn believe that their species can live together and that their integrated community is proof of this. However, an unexpected arrival threatens to undo all of their hard work. Readers who have kept up with the Courtyards of the Others series will notice an emphasis on interpersonal relationships in comparison to previous books' more action-oriented plots. Newcomers will want to start with Written in Red.
Penric and the Shaman: A Fantasy Novella in the World of the Five Gods by Lois McMaster BujoldHigh Fantasy. Learned Lord Penric of Martensbridge just wants to finish his latest translation. However, as the Princess-Archdivine's court sorcerer, Penric must go where his mistress sends him. And she has ordered him to assist Senior Locator Lord Oswyl with an unusual task. So Penric -- accompanied, as always, by his personal demon, Desdemona -- sets out to find a powerful and dangerous Wealdean royal shaman. Penric and the Shaman shares a setting with author Lois McMaster Bujold's Five Worlds series, which begins with The Curse of Chalion; this short novel is a sequel to the novella Penric's Demon, which was a finalist for both the Hugo and the Locus Award.
Miranda and Caliban by Jacqueline CareyHistorical Fantasy. Miranda lives on an island with her magician father Prospero, whose lust for power and obsession with revenge make him a less-than-attentive parent. Alone and lonely, Miranda befriends a strange boy named Caliban, the orphaned son of the witch Sycorax. As they grow up, their friendship turns to romance, inciting the ire of Prospero and setting in motion a series of events that can only end in tragedy. Readers who enjoy a lush and richly detailed tale of star-crossed lovers will want to check out this retelling of Shakespeare's The Tempest by the author of the Kushiel's Legacy series.
Amberlough by Lara Elena DonnellyFantasy. Cosmopolitan Amberlough City is home to intelligence operative Cyril DePaul and his lover, Aristide Makricosta, whose role as emcee at the Bumble Bee Cabaret serves as a front for his criminal activities. But perhaps not for much longer, due to the rise of the authoritarian One State Party. If you've ever wished Christopher Isherwood had written political fantasy, Amberlough -- with its well-drawn characters and a vivid setting reminiscent of the Weimar Republic -- is the book for you. Those who enjoy the way this atmospheric fantasy novel shines a spotlight on a decadent demimonde, you may also like Kathe Koje's Under the Poppy.
The Turn: The Hollows Begins with Death by Kim HarrisonUrban Fantasy. This prequel to Kim Harrison's bestselling Hollows series reveals the origins of the Turn, a plague that wiped out most of humanity and gave rise to a society dominated by supernatural races. The story begins in the 1960s as a rivalry between geneticists Trisk Cambri and Trenton "Kal" Kalamack escalates into an apocalyptic scenario. Having inadvertently placed humans on the path to extinction, Trisk and Kal must work together to save the survivors from the pandemic, as well as from paranormal leaders who believe that the new world order has no place for "weak" humans.
A Conjuring of Light: A Novel by V.E. SchwabFantasy. In this conclusion to the trilogy that began with A Darker Shade of Magic, the conclusion of the Essen Tasch -- or "Element Games," a multidimensional tournament of magic -- only serves to exacerbate long-standing conflicts that embroil the four versions of London: Red, White, Grey, and Black. To say much more risks revealing spoilers, but fans of the series can look forward to the return of Antari magician Kell as well as street thief and erstwhile pirate Delilah Bard.
The Song Rising: A Novel by Samantha ShannonDark Fantasy. Once a prisoner in Sheol I, now Underqueen of the criminal syndicate known as the Mime Order, "dreamwalker" Paige Mahoney leads the clairvoyants of London in an uprising against the authoritarian Scion government, which has intensified its efforts to exterminate them. Rephaite allies known as the Ranthen have pledged their support, but can Paige afford to place her trust in supernatural beings that view clairvoyants as prey? The Song Rising is the 3rd book in a projected seven-volume series. Given the intricacy of the world-building and the complexity of the plot, newcomers are advised to start at the beginning with The Bone Season, followed by The Mime Order.
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