Legends & Lattes: A Novel of High Fantasy and Low Stakes by Travis BaldreeWelcome to: Viv's Cafe, the first -- and only -- coffee shop in Thune, a city entirely unfamiliar with the concept of coffee.
Where you'll meet: orc barbarian Viv, who has retired from the mercenary life to realize her dream of opening a cafe, and Viv's new employees, Cal, Tandri, and Thimble, who soon become friends.
Why you might like it: Originally self-published, this gentle fantasy debut by audiobook narrator Travis Baldree offers a heartwarming story of found family that may appeal to fans of TJ Klune's The House in the Cerulean Sea.
The World We Make by N.K. JemisinWhat it is: the highly anticipated sequel to The City We Became and the conclusion to the Great Cities duology.
What happens: New York City's human avatars -- Brooklyn, Manny, Bronca, Venezia, Padmini, and Neek -- face off against a mayoral candidate who promises to "Make New York Great Again."
For fans of: Neil Gaiman's American Gods, Daniel José Older's Bone Street Rumba series, or Bryan Campbell's Crescent City novels.
A Restless Truth by Freya MarskeIntroducing: Maud Blyth, a passenger aboard the RMS Lyric who's distraught at the murder of her traveling companion and distracted by dazzling illusionist Violet Debenham.
Why you might like it: This 2nd novel in the Last Binding series (after A Marvellous Light) offers an Agatha Christie-esque shipboard murder mystery with magic and romance.
For fans of: C.L. Polk's Kingston trilogy; Celia Lake's Mysterious Charm series.
Ocean's Echo by Everina MaxwellStarring: scapegrace Tennalhin "Tennal" Halkana, a telepathic "reader" whose innate ability to navigate chaotic space is almost as strong as his gift for causing trouble.
What happens: Conscripted into the miliary for his misdeeds, Tennal is assigned to Lieutenant Surit Yeni, an "architect" who has orders to sync his mind with Tennal's. They opt to fake their mind-meld, but will their decision jeopardize their lives during a dangerous retrieval mission?
Why you might like it: At the heart of this standalone space adventure by the author of Winter's Orbit is a slow-burning romance.
Even Though I Knew the End by C.L. PolkWhat happens: Ten years after selling her soul to save her brother's life, augur Helen Brandt unexpectedly gets a chance to reclaim it, provided she can track down a serial killer known as the White City Vampire.
Why you might like it: John Constantine meets Philip Marlowe in this atmospheric lesbian noir detective story set in 1930s Chicago.
About the author: Canadian fantasy writer C.L. Polk is the author of the World Fantasy Award-winning Witchmark and its sequels.
Tread of Angels by Rebecca RoanhorseWelcome to: Goetia, Colorado, a mining town ruled by the Archangel-descended Elect, who exploit the Fallen to mine a mysterious element known as divinity.
Where you'll meet: cardsharp Celeste, half-Fallen yet raised among the Elect, who takes on the role of advocatus diaboli (devil's advocate) to defend her sister Mariel against a murder charge.
Why you might like it: This standalone weird western by the author of the Between Earth and Sky series immerses readers in a steampunk-infused world of angels and demons.
The Lost Metal by Brandon SandersonThe good: Lawman-turned-senator Waxillium "Wax" Ladrian has spent his career trying to root out corruption in Elendel's government that threatens the world of Scadriel itself.
The bad: The shadowy organization known as the Set has been abducting people who possess the power of Allomancy and using their abilities for their own nefarious purposes.
The ugly: This long-awaited novel concludes the Era Two sub-series of the sprawling Mistborn series, which began with Alloy of Law. Alas, fans will have to wait until 2025 for Era Three to kick off.
Heart of the Sun Warrior by Sue Lynn TanWhat it is: the conclusion to the Celestial Kingdom duology, and the sequel to Daughter of the Moon Goddess.
What happens: Xingyin, daughter of goddess Chang'e and mortal archer Houyi, seeks the aid of the Goddess of the Sun to prevent a usurper from claiming the Celestial Throne.
Read it for: an inventive take on Chinese mythology, immersive world-building, an action-packed quest, and a love triangle.
Africa Risen: A New Era of Speculative Fiction by Sheree Renee Thomas, Oghenechovwe Donald Ekpeki, and Zelda Knight (editors)What it is: a wide-ranging anthology of 32 original fantasy and science fiction short stories by new and established writers from across the African continent and the African diaspora.
Reviewers say: "an impressive survey of contemporary Black SFF that should be a must-read for all genre fans" (Publishers Weekly).
Further reading: the anthologies AfroSF (edited by Ivor Hartmann); Black From the Future (edited by Stephanie Andrea Allen and Lauren Cherelle); and So Long Been Dreaming (edited by Nalo Hopkinson and Uppinder Mehan).
Into the Riverlands by Nghi VoWhat happens: When cleric Chih and talking bird Almost Brilliant journey deep into the riverlands to record stories, they acquire some traveling companions who are not what they appear.
Series alert: This standalone novella marks the 3rd installment of the Singing Hills Cycle, after Empress of Salt and Fortune and When the Tiger Came Down the Mountain.
For fans of: wuxia-inspired fantasies such as Zen Cho's The Order of the Pure Moon Reflected in Water or S.L. Huang's Burning Roses.
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