Ghost Talkers by Mary Robinette KowalMilitary Fantasy. As the Great War rages, Ginger Stuyvesant does her bit for the war effort as a medium with the Spirit Corps, which gathers military intelligence from recently deceased troops on the front lines. When her fiancé, intelligence officer Captain Ben Harford comes across evidence that there's a spy in the ranks, Ginger must locate this individual, lest they place the entire Spirit Corps -- and, potentially, the outcome of the war -- in jeopardy. This stand-alone novel by the author of the Glamourist series combines a suspenseful and intricate plot with well-researched and authentic period detail.
Nevernight by Jay KristoffFantasy. After the Itreyan Republic executes her father, Mia Corvere, the sole survivor of her once-prominent family, decides to seek vengeance by becoming an assassin for the powerful Red Church. The training process is difficult and dangerous, but Mia's ability to speak to the shadows proves to be an asset as she battles her way to the top of a ruthless pecking order. This fast-paced series opener by the author of the Lotus Wars trilogy introduces a determined young heroine and an intricately wrought setting that draws its inspiration from the politics and culture of Renaissance Italy.
The Last Days of New Paris by China MiévilleFantasy. In 1941, a resistance group lead by Surrealist writer André Breton detonated an "S-bomb" in German-occupied Paris, which resulted in "manifs" -- surrealist images come to life. Ten years later, the Nazis are still in power and the city has been transformed beyond recognition into a terrifying phantasmagoria. When rebel Thibault meets Sam, a photographer whose goal is to capture images of the new Paris, he's drawn into a web of intrigue in which no one is who they seem and nothing is what it appears to be.
The Dragon Round by Stephen S. PowerFantasy. Mutiny on the high seas strands sea captain Jeryon and ship's apothecary Everlyn on a deserted island, where they discover a clutch of dragon eggs. If the castaways can raise and train a dragon, they may be able to return home and see their would-be killers punished. But first, they'll need all of their combined ingenuity to survive their beautiful but dangerous island home. Part nautical adventure, part survival story, and part tale of revenge, The Dragon Round is a fast-paced and exciting debut novel.
The Waking Fire by Anthony RyanEpic Fantasy. The powerful Ironship Syndicate maintains its power by trading in drake's blood. The different types, harvested from Reds, Greens, Blues and Blacks, bestow extraordinary powers upon people known as the Blood-Blessed. However, the drakes' bloodlines are weakening and the blood is losing its potency -- meaning that war with the rival Corvantine Empire is imminent unless the Syndicate can source a new supply. The lucky "volunteers" chosen for the mission include a spy, a Syndicate officer, and a street thief who's also an unregistered Blood-Blessed. This 1st book in the Draconis Memoria series boasts an action-packed plot and a well-developed magic system that may appeal to fans of Brandon Sanderson's Mistborn series.
The Spirit Thief by Rachel AaronSword and Sorcery. Wizard-thief Eli Monpress has one goal in life: to become the most notorious criminal in the land. And so, with the help of his associates, he kidnaps the King of Mellinor, certain that doing so will raise the (already considerable) bounty on his head. Of course, Eli's scheme doesn't go exactly as planned. Not only is Spirit Court wizard Miranda hot on his trail, Eli's actions may destabilize the entire kingdom. If you enjoy breezy, humorous fantasy capers starring likeable rogues, such as Scott Lynch's The Lies of Locke Lamora, pick up this 1st book in the five-volume Legend of Eli Monpress series, which continues with The Spirit Rebellion.
A Dance of Cloaks by David DalglishEpic Fantasy. In Veldaren, the ruling Trifect seeks to destroy the city's guilds by encouraging their internal power struggle. Only master thief Thren Felhorn has ever succeeded in uniting the guild leaders against the Trifect, though it's his son Aaron who's destined to achieve Thren's ambitions. As heir to the thieves' guild, Aaron -- who made his first kill at the age of eight and his second (his own brother) moments later -- must carry on the fight. Although Aaron is the protagonist of this 1st installment in the Shadowdance series, the story encompasses the viewpoints of a large cast of characters from all walks of life. Set in a detailed quasi-medieval world of thieves and assassins, this action-packed series continues with A Dance of Blades.
A Criminal Magic by Lee KellyHistorical Fantasy. It's 1926 and American Anti-Sorcery activists have finally succeeded in passing the 18th Amendment, thus outlawing magic -- which, in this alternate United States, is both potent and potable. To survive under Prohibition, Joan Kendrick, a distiller of sorcerer's shine, begins working for the Shaw family crime syndicate. Her association with the bootleggers leads to a relationship with Alex Danfrey, the undercover law enforcement agent whose mission is to infiltrate the Shaws and bring down their criminal organization. Sympathetic characters operating on opposite sides of the law add tension to this atmospheric fantasy novel.
Going Postal by Terry PratchettFantasy. Death or postal work? That's the choice that convicted con artist Moist von Lipwig faces. Either he can be hanged by the neck until dead or -- thanks to the intervention of Lord Vetinari -- he can restore Ankh-Morpork's defunct postal service -- under the supervision of a golem parole officer, of course. With a huge backlog of misdirected mail and a tiny staff to deliver it, Moist has his work cut out for him. And that's before the letters start talking to him. Going Postal is the 30th novel in the late Terry Pratchett's hugely popular Discworld series, but like most installments, it stands on its own.
The Emperor's Soul by Brandon SandersonFantasy. Although Shai is "one of the best Forgers alive," that distinction may be moot if she's put to death for her attempt to steal the imperial Moon Scepter. In order to receive a pardon, she must create a soul for the Emperor, who has narrowly survived the assassination attempt that destroyed his life force. Prior to this event, the emperor had just entered a period of mourning for his late wife, which means that Shai has 100 days to complete her task. If she doesn't succeed, the empire will be plunged into chaos. Although The Emperor's Soul is relatively brief (it won the 2013 Hugo Award for best novella), its action-packed story further fleshes out the world of the author's novel Elantris.
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