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Sunday, January 10, 2010

Mihir’s Anticipated 2010 Books

These are the titles which I'll be reading & hopefully reviewing as well. I have them divided into 2 categories "Must-Reads" & "Looking forward to". The former I'll be reading because of the awesomeness of the previous books & the latter are either debuts or books from authors which I'm intrigued by. And now to begin with the book list (in random order).


2010 Must Reads:

The Desert Spear by Peter V. Brett
"The sun is setting on humanity. The night now belongs to voracious demons that arise as the sun sets, preying upon a dwindling population forced to cower behind ancient and half-forgotten symbols of power. These wards alone can keep the demons at bay, but legends tell of a Deliverer: a general—some would say prophet—who once bound all mankind into a single force that defeated the demons. Those times, if they ever existed, are long past. The demons are back, and the return of the Deliverer is just another myth . . . or is it? Out of the desert rides Ahmann Jardir, who has forged the warlike desert tribes of Krasia into a demon-killing army. He has proclaimed himself Shar'Dama Ka, the Deliverer, and he carries ancient weapons—a spear and a crown—that give credence to his claim. Sworn to follow the path of the first Deliverer, he has come north to bring the scattered city-states of the green lands together in a war against demonkind—whether they like it or not. But the northerners claim their own Deliverer. His name was Arlen, but all know him now as the Warded Man: a dark, forbidding figure whose skin is tattooed with wards so powerful they make him a match for any demon. The Warded Man denies that he is the Deliverer, but his actions speak louder than words, for he teaches men and women to face their fears and stand fast against the creatures that have tormented them for centuries. Once the Shar'Dama Ka and the Warded Man were friends, brothers in arms. Now they are fierce adversaries. Caught between them are Renna, a young woman pushed to the edge of human endurance; Leesha, a proud and beautiful healer whose skill in warding surpasses that of the Warded Man himself; and Rojer, a traveling fiddler whose uncanny music can soothe the demons—or stir them into such frenzy that they attack one another. Yet as old allegiances are tested and fresh alliances forged, all are blissfully unaware of the appearance of a new breed of demon, more intelligent—and deadly—than any that have come before."

Last year's TPW/TWM was my top book choice and therefore its sequel The Desert Spear is naturally a Must-read book for me this year. Plus with this book the POV list is being expanded as given in the blurb above. Peter V. Brett is really shaping up to be a superb epic fantasy author and with the release of TDS, I'm sure he'll win many more converts. Lastly I hope he does come up with a good series title as it's really hard to describe it as the Demon or TWM series.


The Way of Kings by Brandon Sanderson
"The Way of Kings introduces the three protagonists who will be our windows on the strange and wondrous world of Roshar and the drama about to unfold there: • Dalinar, the assassinated king's brother and uncle of the new one, is an old soldier who is weary of fighting. He is plagued by dreams of ancient times and legendary wars, visions that may force him into a new role he could never have imagined. • Merin, a highborn young man who has been brought low, indeed to the most miserable level of military slavery, and like Ben Hur must suffer and struggle to survive and rise again. • Shallan, a naïve but brave and brilliant young woman who will do anything to save her impoverished noble house from ruin. These are people we will come to know deeply and take to our hearts. But just as important to The Way of Kings is a fourth key 'character,' the unique world of Roshar itself, It is a world where hurricane-like storms crash over the land every few days. All of plant life and animal life has had to evolve to deal with this. Plants, for instance, have shells they can withdraw into before a storm. Even trees pull in their leaves and branches. There is no soil, just endless fields of rock. According to the mythology of the world, mankind used to live in The Tranquiline Halls. Heaven. Well, a group of evil spirits known as the Voidbringers assaulted and captured heaven, casting out God and men. Men took root on Roshar, the world of storms, but the Voidbringers chased them there, trying to push them off of Roshar and into Damnation. The voidbringers came against man a hundred by a hundred times, trying to destroy them or push them away. To help them cope, the Almighty gave men powerful suits of armor and mystical weapons, known as Shardblades. Led by ten angelic Heralds and ten orders of knights known as Radiants, men resisted the Voidbringers ten thousand times, finally winning and finding peace. Or so the legends say. Today, the only remnants of those supposed battles are the Shardblades, the possession of which makes a man nearly invincible on the battlefield. The entire world, essentially, is at war with itself–and has been for centuries since the Radiants turned against mankind. Kings strive to win more Shardblades, each secretly wishing to be the one who will finally unite all of mankind under a single throne."

This detailed blurb is courtesy of Aidan [Dribble of Ink] and it is enough to get me hooked. Brandon Sanderson is definitely an author whom I like, though last years' Warbreaker wasn't up my liking as the precedent set by his earlier Mistborn Trilogy & Elantris. WOK book 1 of the Stormlight Archive does seem to be another Epic book from 1 of the best worldbuilders in fantasy today.


The Devil Colony by James Rollins
"Could the founding of America be based on a fundamental lie, one coded in secrets that stretch back to before the birth of Christ, to a mystery buried in the prehistoric past? The truth lies hidden within the ruins of an impossibility, a lost colony of the Americas, vanished in time and cursed into oblivion. A place known only as THE DEVIL COLONY During a sweat lodge ceremony in an Indian cave in the Rocky Mountains, a horrible massacre ensues. Bodies are found blistered and burned and purposefully positioned to form two shapes: a five-pointed star and a sickle-shaped moon. One man recognizes the warning behind the gruesome murders: Painter Crowe, director of Sigma. He has seen these two symbols before, tattooed into the skull of a traitor. He knows the deaths were a personal threat-especially since of one of the dead is his beloved cousin. Seeking revenge as well as answers will send Painter Crowe down a dark path that will lay bare secrets hidden since the founding of America."

This is what I could find about it from James Rollins himself. I'm eager to read this one as it features a much awaited clash between the Guild & SIGMA. Plus I believe this is the book in which the previous plot arcs will come to a resounding conclusion. This does not mean an end to the SIGMA books however be prepared to let go of your beloved characters & to be shocked.


Fevre Dream by Douglas Preston & Lincoln Child

"At the old family manse in Louisiana, Special Agent Pendergast is putting to rest long-ignored possessions reminiscent of his wife Helen's tragic death, only to make a stunning-and dreadful-discovery. Helen had been mauled by an unusually large and vicious lion while they were big game hunting in Africa. But now, Pendergast learns that her rifle-her only protection from the beast-had been deliberately loaded with blanks. Who could have wanted Helen dead...and why? With Lieutenant Vincent D'Agosta's assistance, Pendergast embarks on a quest to uncover the mystery of his wife's murder. It is a journey that sends him deep into her past where he learns much that Helen herself had wished to keep hidden. Helen Pendergast had nursed a secret obsession with the famed naturalist-painter John James Audubon, in particular a long-lost painting of his known as the Black Frame. As Pendergast probes more deeply into the riddle-the answer to which is revealed in a night of shocking violence, deep in the Louisiana bayou-he finds himself faced with an even greater question: who was the woman he married?"

This is the start of another trilogy by these acclaimed authors however it is one which is awaited by the fans for quite some years. This will be like a prequel of sorts as we get to see Pendergast in his married life & also we get to see who was Helen? This book promises to be a treasure trove of information Pendergast aficionados & will most likely be another NYT bestseller from the active imagination of Messrs P&C.


Impact by Douglas Preston
When Wyman Ford is called in to investigate the mysterious exit hole of a meteorite that amazingly passed straight through the earth, what he finds defies all that we know about our universe. There is an ancient structure buried deep in Voltaire Crater on Deimos, one of Mars' moons. Sticking up from the structure is the unmistakable outline of a gun. It was built to monitor the solar system and destroy any intelligent life powerful enough to challenge it - but built by whom? A quick calculation of the orbit of Mars indicates that Deimos Crater will once again point at the earth in sixty hours. The final shot - the one that will destroy the earth - will come then. The end-game is at hand. Wyman Ford and a team of scientists must figure out how to destroy the alien doomsday weapon in the next sixty hours. Their only tools are what is already in orbit around Mars - the Orbiter, the Mars lander on the surface, and several smaller satellites orbiting the Red Planet. None of them carry anything remotely resembling a weapon. Sixty hours and counting!"

After last year's book Blasphemy which was a definite step up from his previous books. D. Preston is back with another high stakes thriller but this time the trouble might be of extraterrestrial origin. I'm already reading this book & 130 pages down, its rocking already.


Solitary: Escape from Furnace by A. Gordon Smith
Furnace Prison: Where death is the least of your worries. Escape is just the beginning...We thought we'd made it, we thought we were free. But we should have known there was no way out of Furnace. All we did was slip deeper into the guts of the prison: into solitary confinement, where the real nightmares live - the warden, the Wheezers, and something much, much worse. The clock's ticking. Because if we don't escape soon they will turn us into freaks - like them. Forever. In the darkness of the hole your worst nightmares come to life."

After last years' excellent 1st book Lockdown, Solitary is highly awaited as we get to learn what befalls Alex and his band in the Furnace. With this book Gordon will be expanding the subterranean world of Furnace & we will perhaps get to know more about the goings in it.


Jake Ransom & the Howling Sphinx by James Rollins
"In the sequel to his earlier adventure, the mummifird remains of a strange creature are unearthed in Egypt. This discovery sets the archaellogical world on fire, but Jake recognizes the creature. It is one of the monstrous grakyls from Pangea! But how could that be possible? Investigating the tomb where the remains are found, leads Jake & his elder sister, Kady into a trap laid by the Skull King. The two are again pulled into the prehistoric world – where a new danger arises which threatens both the ancient & present worlds. For Kalverum Rex, the Skull King has found the mythic Fire Opal Eye, a powerful talisman. It will be upto Jake to discover the truth about this new weapon and its mysterious origins. Piecing together clues tied to Egyptian mythology, Jake will be forced to face his greatest fear: the fate of his lost parents. But will he sacrifice all of Pangaea to discover the truth about his mother & father?"

After the succulent 1st entry into the Jake Ransom series, James Rollins is back with the second book & this time the danger is twofold to his world as well as that of his friends. Knowing James this book will be a terrific look into ancient Egyptian mythology & a fun read as well. Another title and series which I'll be following till its eventual conclusion.


Changes by Jim Butcher

"Long ago, Susan Rodriguez was Harry Dresden's lover-until she was attacked by his enemies, leaving her torn between her own humanity and the bloodlust of the vampiric Red Court. Susan then disappeared to South America, where she could fight both her savage gift and those who cursed her with it. Now Arianna Ortega, Duchess of the Red Court, has discovered a secret Susan has long kept, and she plans to use it-against Harry. To prevail this time, he may have no choice but to embrace the raging fury of his own untapped dark power. Because Harry's not fighting to save the world... He's fighting to save his child."

Jim Butcher's Dresden books are a rare sort, a series in double figures and the story just keeps getting better with each installment. However big things are scheduled in this installment beginning with the title & also JB revealed the 1st line in the book "I answered the phone, and Susan Rodriguez said, "They've taken our daughter." now if that's not a sufficient hook I don't know what is!


The Burning Wire by Jeffrey Deaver
"As Earth Day approaches, someone breaks into the power company and starts manipulating the electric grid in New York City to create "arc flashes," 5000-degree sparks that leap from electrical outlets and kill anybody nearby. It can happen at anytime, anywhere . . . . Is it eco-terrorists, or a disgruntled employee of the utility, or some psychotic individual? Lincoln Rhyme, Amelia Sachs and the crew from the prior Rhyme books have to race against time to find and stop the killer before more people die. Meanwhile, Rhyme is working with Kathryn Dance and a police official in Mexico to find and trap his nemesis, the Watchmaker, who is in Mexico City to assassinate a businessman. And Rhyme is finally confronting the question of dangerous surgery to improve his condition."

Anyone who has read the Lincoln Rhyme series knows what to expect in the books however after 7 previous books, there aren't many who can deduce what is going to happen in the end after all? After last year's Roadside Crosses which somehow didn't get me that revved up Deaver is back with a Lincoln Rhyme book and as the blurb details go there's Dance in it as well. Plus there's also the overhanging thread of Lincoln's continued duel with the Watchmaker. I can't wait to get my hands on this one.

Soul Stealers by Andy Remic
The sequel to Kell's Legend – more blood-soaked, action-packed, vampire-laced dark epic fantasy. Kell is being hunted. The vampires are fighting back against him, and the mighty hero finds himself the prey of two beautiful but deadly vampire assassins. Their bronze fangs are coming for him. He will strike back."

After reading Kell's Legend last year I was immensely happy, here was a book which just went off on its own brutal path smashing all storytelling conventions & yet creating its own in the process. Andy Remic's quickfire prose and breakneck plot had me hooked for the sequel wherein I'm sure there will be more mayhem, monsters & most of all some more mysteries.


The Know Circuit by Gary A. Ballard

"Artemis Bridge can get you what you need no matter how immoral or illegal, no questions asked. With practiced detachment, he keeps everyone around him at arm's length. But when the city of Boulder is trapped in a mysterious energy dome, he must set aside his detachment and help his bodyguard Aristotle's search for his missing grandmother. Every step he takes towards the dome deepens the mystery, as his GlobalNet connection compels him to seek out the source of the dome's appearance. This enthralling sequel to the critically-acclaimed Under the Amoral Bridge is the second in the Bridge Chronicles series."

This book is the sequel to "Under the Amoral Bridge" and it expands the world as showcased in the 1st book. I was able to read it entirely & will be reviewing it around its release in Feb.-March 2010. This one was bigger than its predecessor in its plot, page count & consequences. A page turner by definition!


Cold Magic by Kate Elliott
"I was not a bard or a djeli or an historian or a scribe and I was certainly not a sage, but that didn't mean I wasn't curious ...' Young Cat Barahal thinks she understands the world she lives in and her place in it, but in fact she is merely poised unaware on the brink of shattering events. Drawn into a labyrinth of politics involving blood, betrayal, and old feuds, she will be forced to make an unexpected and perilous journey in order to discover the truth, not just about her own family but about an ancient secret lying at the heart of her world."

Kate Elliott has described it as "my Afro-Celtic post-Roman icepunk Regency with bonus! airship and Phoenician spies novel". Also this book will be featured from a 1st person POV & with Kate's marvelous characterizations; it will be a sheer treat to gaze into this world. September cannot come soon enough!


The Iron Khan by Liz Williams [Book 5 of Inspector Chen series]
"The Snake Agent returns in The Iron Khan, the fifth installment in Liz Williams' Detective Inspector Chen saga. Charged by Mhara, the Lord of Heaven, with the retrieval of an ancient tome containing the blueprints for creation, Detective Inspector Chen has problems enough, for if the book should fall into the wrong hands, its contents may be used to unravel reality itself. But Chen has other things on his mind. His wife, Inari, is pregnant. It is to be a winter child, but will it be more demon than human? Meanwhile, Seneschal Zhu Irzh is far to the West with the beautiful tigress demon Jhai, vacationing in Urumchi, a city at the edge of the Gobi desert, where Chinese and Islamic worlds and afterlives collide. But when Zhu witness a wedding party attacked by a reanimated corpse, a new mystery is revealed: Who are the Tokarians, and what is their connection with the black-armored Iron Khan, a centuries-old tyrant, leading a horde of demons across the desert?"

This series is a real treat to one's imagination, Liz Williams has to be commended for creating such stories which effectively weave together genres and yet manages to be so unique. Every book uptill now has managed to reveal another part of the world of Singapore Three to the readers and it has all been very fascinating. I just can't seem to get enough of it; hopefully The Iron Khan will continue this trend.


Resurrection (Demon Squad series book II) by Tim Marquitz
Author Tim Marquitz in his forthcoming interview with FantasyBookCritic had revealed a bit of the plot of 2nd book of the Demon Squad series & this is what he says about it "The second book in the series is already written, its tentatively called Resurrection & in it, Frank is caught up in a plot to resurrect the most powerful demon to ever hold the title of Anti-Christ."

I loved the first book and will definitely be reviewing this one as well whenever it does get released. Another title & author whom I had the pleasure of discovering last year & one from whom I have high hopes for the future.


2010 looking forward to:

The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms by N.K. Jemisin

"Yeine Darr is an outcast from the barbarian north. But when her mother dies under mysterious circumstances, she is summoned to the majestic city of Sky. There, to her shock, Yeine is named an heiress to the king. But the throne of the Hundred Thousand Kingdoms is not easily won, and Yeine is thrust into a vicious power struggle with cousins she never knew she had. As she fights for her life, she draws ever closer to the secrets of her mother's death and her family's bloody history. With the fate of the world hanging in the balance, Yeine will learn how perilous it can be when love and hate - and gods and mortals - are bound inseparably together."

This book looks to be surprise debut of the year. Robert & Liviu have both read it & remarked upon its strength. So this is one book which I'm eager to read as well.


The Left Hand of God by Paul Hoffman
"The Sanctuary of the Redeemers is a vast and desolate place—a place without joy or hope. Most of its occupants were taken there as boys and for years have endured the brutal regime of the Lord Redeemers whose cruelty and violence have one singular purpose—to serve in the name of the One True Faith. In one of the Sanctuary's vast and twisting maze of corridors stands a fourteen-year-old boy. He has long-forgotten his real name, but is now called Thomas Cale. He is strange and secretive, witty and charming, violent and profoundly bloody-minded. He is so used to the cruelty that he seems immune, but soon he will open the wrong door at the wrong time and witness an act so terrible that he will have to leave this place, or die. His only hope of survival is to escape across the arid Scablands to Memphis, a city the opposite of the Sanctuary in every way: breathtakingly beautiful, infinitely Godless, and deeply corrupt. But the Redeemers want Cale back at any price . . . not because of the secret he now knows but because of a much more terrifying secret he does not..."

This book is already reviewed at FBC and the polarity of the reviews has gotten me twisted about it. I did read the first 36 pages and the reading went smoothly, so when this book releases over here Cindy & I will be doing a re-review of it to see how much our opinions differ/match with the earlier ones.


The Conqueror's Shadow by Ari Marmell
"They called him the Terror of the East. His past shrouded in mystery, his identity hidden beneath a suit of enchanted black armor and a skull-like helm, Corvis Rebaine carved a bloody path through Imphallion, aided by Davro, a savage ogre, and Seilloah, a witch with a taste for human flesh. No shield or weapon could stop his demon-forged axe. And no magic could match the spells of his demon slave, Khanda. Yet just when ultimate victory was in his grasp, Rebaine faltered. His plans of conquest, born from a desire to see Imphallion governed with firmness and honesty, shattered. Amid the chaos of a collapsing army, Rebaine vanished, taking only a single hostage—the young noblewoman Tyannon—to guarantee his escape. Seventeen years later, Rebaine and Tyannon are married, living in obscurity and raising their children, a daughter and a son. Rebaine has put his past behind him, given up his dreams of conquest. Not even news of Audriss—an upstart warlord following Rebaine's old path of conquest—can stir the retired warrior to action. Until his daughter is assaulted by Audriss's goons. Now, to rescue the country he once tried to conquer, Rebaine once more dons the armor of the Terror of the East and seeks out his former allies. But Davro has become a peaceful farmer. Seilloah has no wish to leave her haunted forest home. And Khanda . . . well, to describe his feelings for his former master as undying hatred would be an understatement. But even if Rebaine can convince his onetime comrades to join him, he faces a greater challenge: Does he dare to reawaken the part of him that gloried in cruelty, blood, and destruction? With the safety of his family at stake, can he dare not to?"

This blurb is enough for me to be hooked, while it does sound to be a generic fantasy book it has had some good early reviews. The only thing which I felt a bit off-putting is the rather awkward cover to this one. But besides the cover I'm expecting this to be a good read.


The King of the Crags
by Stephen Deas
"Prince Jehal has murdered, poisoned and betrayed his way to the top. There is a new speaker for the realms, his opposition has been crushed, now he just has to enjoy the fruits of power. And yet ...He feels more for the wife he married for power than perhaps he should and his lover knows it. And out in the realms those loyal to the old regime are still plotting. and there are rumours that the Red Riders, heralds of revolution and doom are on the ride. And still no-one has found the famous white dragon. The dragon that, if it lived, will have long since recovered from the effects of the alchemical liquid fed to the dragons of the realms to keep them docile, to block their memories of a time when they ruled and the world burned ..."

After last year's debut it will be interesting to see whether SD can keep up on his writing & also allay some of the negatives which marred his debut book. Plus this one has another superb cover following its predecessor. You have to hand it to Gollancz, their cover art is always a plus along with their titles.


The Adventures of the Princess and Mr. Whiffle: the Thing Beneath the Bed by Patrick Rothfuss & Nathan Taylor
"This is not a book for children. It looks like a children's book. It has pictures. It has a saccharine-sweet title. The main characters are a little girl and her teddy bear. But all of that is just protective coloration. The truth is, this is a book for adults with a dark sense of humor and an appreciation of old-school faerie tales. There are three separate endings to the book. Depending on where you stop, you are left with an entirely different story. One ending is sweet, another is horrible. The last one is the true ending, the one with teeth in it. The Adventures of the Princess and Mr. Whiffle is a dark twist on the classic children's picture-book. I think of it as Calvin and Hobbes meets Coraline, with some Edward Gorey mixed in. Simply said: This is not a book for children!"

I'm one of the many readers who were blown away by Pat's 1st book. Since then it's been a nice wait for the next book however with the way Pat's writing style is, it's not hard to see the reason for the wait. Pat had always mentioned about this Not-for-children Children's book and so next year it will be released by Subterranean press. While it's not a return to the world of Kvothe, its still a book from the mind of Pat Rothfuss & that being said I'm eager to read it and find out the third ending which Pat has planned.


5 greatest warriors by Matthew Reilly
"It Began With Six Stones, Jack West Jr and his loyal team are in desperate disarray: they've been separated, their mission is in tatters, and Jack was last seen plummeting down a fathomless abyss. IT FINISHES HERE, after surviving his deadly fall, Jack must now race against his many enemies to locate and set in place the remaining pieces of The Machine before the coming Armageddon. As the world teeters on the brink of destruction, he will learn of the Five Warriors, the individuals who throughout history have been most intimately connected to his quest. OCEANS WILL RISE, CITIES WILL FALL, Scores will be settled, fathers will fight sons, brothers will battle brothers, and Jack and his friends will soon find out exactly what the end of the world looks like..."

Matthew Reilly has been a favorite of mine since I started reading thrillers, however his last 2 books weren't up to his high octane thriller standards, 7AW was a major letdown for me & while 6SS managed to redeem the characters and plot. I was still unsure a bit of this new character crew. 5GW promises to be a big climatic book to the tale begun in 7AW, here's hoping to MR finding his earlier book groove & giving his readers another book to cherish.


Supreme Justice by Phillip Margolin
"The heroes from EXECUTIVE PRIVILEGE are back! This time Brad Miller, Keith Evans, and Dana Cutler are called to untangle a five-year-old case involving a ghost ship and the Presidents nominee to the US Supreme Court. Sarah Woodruff is on death row in Oregon for murdering her lover, John Finley. Woodruff was tried for Finleys murder once before but the case was dismissed mid-trial when the judge was slipped irrefutable proof that Finley was still alive. Meanwhile in the Justice chambers, Justice Ronald Chalmers resigns, creating a vacancy that Dennis Masterson, former head of the CIA, is seeking to fill. Things take a more ominous turn when another Justice is attacked for no apparent reason. These suspicious instances call for outside help, which is where private detective Dana Cutler and FBI Agent Keith Evans come in. Together with Brad Miller, they try to find out if the incidents are linked with the Woodruff appeal and a shoot-out years ago on a small freighter docked upriver in Shelby, Oregon, containing a dead crew and oil drums filled with drugs. The only survivor on the ship? John Finley.
Brad, Keith, and Danas investigations lead them to a plot by a rogue element in the American intelligence community that involves the Presidents nominee to the Supreme Court, putting them back in the grips of a deadly, executive danger. With nonstop action, SUPREME JUSTICE picks up where EXECUTIVE PRIVILEGE left off and puts readers right back where they were--on the edge of their seats."

With that detailed blurb, it's not hard to see why Phillip Margolin's books have been NYT bestsellers. This time he's back with the characters of his book "EXECUTIVE PRIVILEGE" & also this book features Frank Jaffe from the Amanda Jaffe series. This will be the first time Phil is truly merging in various stories into one shared world. There have been clues earlier but they were marginally placed, with this book it seems the author is broadening his world and giving his fans another detailed glimpse into the Portland of his books.


The Palace of Impossible Dreams by Jennifer Fallon

"After the shocking turn of events in Senestra, Arkady knows that there is little hope of being rescued. In order to survive, she turns to her only hope, Dr Cydne Medura for help, but as she discovers the truth about him, she learns it may end up costing them both their lives.
Back in Glaeba, Jaxyn's plans for the crown hit a snag, when he realises the one man who can challenge him for the Glaeban throne, Stellan Desean, the former Duke of Lebec, has sought asylum in neighbouring Caelum. With the Empress of the Five Realms and Tide Lords, Tryan and Elyssa on his side, he may well succeed in bringing Jaxyn down. Meanwhile, as Warlock fights to save his pups from Elyssa's twisted notions of kindness and the chameleon Crasii, Tiji, finds some unexpected friends, Declan Hawkes, struggling to come to terms with his shocking transformation, leaves Glaeba to look for Arkady. His search will take him to the very ends of Amyrantha, from the steaming Senestran Wetlands to the frozen wastes of Jelidia and the Palace of Impossible Dreams. Along the way he will find a reluctant ally - Cayal, the Immortal Prince. The Tide Lords have gathered in Jelidia and find they must find the Chaos Crystal that brought them to this world. It is discovered that one of the Tide lords knows the location of the Chaos crystal and with every immortal searching for the crystal the stakes are high."

Jennifer Fallon has to be complimented; her plotting and characters are absolutely enthralling. In the 3rd book, we see the end game beginning to arise and since I was so impatient after reading the first two I already ordered the rest & hence can safely say that the 3rd book manages to upstage the previous by taking a complete U turn in the overall story & ends with another tremendous revelation as has been the case with the last book. This book will be reviewed by Liviu & me during the time of its US release.


Warriors edited by George R.R. Martin & Gardner Dozois

"People have been telling stories about warriors for as long as they have been telling stories. Since Homer first sang the wrath of Achilles and the ancient Sumerians set down their tales of Gilgamesh, warriors, soldiers, and fighters have fascinated us; they are a part of every culture, every literary tradition, every genre. All Quiet on the Western Front, From Here to Eternity, and The Red Badge of Courage have become part of our literary canon, taught in classrooms all around the country and the world. Our contributors make up an all-star lineup of award-winning and bestselling writers, representing a dozen different publishers and as many genres. We asked each of them for the same thing—a story about a warrior. Some chose to write in the genre they're best known for. Some decided to try something different. You will find warriors of every shape, size, and color in these pages, warriors from every epoch of human history, from yesterday and today and tomorrow, and from worlds that never were. Some of the stories will make you sad, some will make you laugh, and many will keep you on the edge of your seat."
Included are a long novella from the world of Song of Ice and Fire by George R. R. Martin, a new tale of Lord John by Diana Gabaldon, and an epic of humanity at bay by David Weber. Also present are original tales by David Ball, Peter S. Beagle, Lawrence Block, Gardner Dozois, Joe Haldeman, Robin Hobb, Cecelia Holland, Joe R. Lansdale, David Morrell, Naomi Novik, James Rollins, Steven Saylor, Robert Silverberg, S.M. Stirling, Carrie Vaughn, Howard Waldrop, and Tad Williams."

Of this massive collection of 20 tales, I'm most excited to read "And Ministers of Grace" by Tad Williams, "The Pit" by James Rollins & "My Name is Legion" by David Morrell. Besides the Dunk & Egg novella which will be a tremendous return to the world of Westeros as the wait for the 5th ASOIAF book is now turning a tad vexing. Plus this will be a good opportunity to give a try to many authors whom I have heard but never read any of their work.


Dresden Files short-story collection by Jim Butcher

This short story collection will gather all previous published and unpublished stories and material in one book & being the Dresdenphile that I'm, I definitely know that I'm going to be buying this as well whenever its released. Here are all the Dresden-verse stories and novellas listed. I think except for Backup, the rest will be included in this collection.
"A Restoration of Faith" -- Takes place before Storm Front "Vignette" -- No set time frame "Something Borrowed" -- Sinister forces interfere with Billy and Georgia's wedding. Takes place between Dead Beat[book 7] and Proven Guilty[book 8]. "It's My Birthday Too" -- Harry and Molly's mission to deliver Thomas' birthday gift goes awry. Takes place between White Night[book 9] and Small Favor[book 10]. "Heorot" -- Harry teams up with Miss Gard to find a missing bride. Takes place between White Night[book 9] and Small Favor[book 10]. "Day Off" -- All Harry wants is a quiet, relaxing day off... Takes place between Small Favor[book 10] and Turn Coat[book 11]. Backup -- Thomas-centric novelette from Subterranean Press. Harry is being used by an ancient evil, and Thomas must put a stop to it without his little brother noticing. Takes place between Small Favor [book 10] and Turn Coat [book 11]. The Warrior -- Reveals what happens to the Carpenter family after the events of Small Favor. Takes place between Small Favor [book 10] and Turn Coat [book 11]. "Last Call" -- Harry takes on the darkest of dark powers--the ones who dare to mess with this favorite beer. Takes place between Small Favor [book 10] and Turn Coat [book 11]. "Curses" – no info available, Takes place between Turn Coat [book 11] and Changes[book 12]. "Even Hand" -- Takes place between Turn Coat[book 11] and Changes [book 12], told from Gentleman John Marcone's point of view. . "Love Hurts" – No info available, Takes place between Turn Coat[book 11] and Changes [book 12] Jim plans to include exclusive new material--either three short stories or one novelette, due out in late 2010.


Bearers of the Black Staff by Terry Brooks

Not much information is available about this book other than its set 500 years after the events of the Gypsy Morph and is book 1 in a duology. After the terrific Genesis of Shannara trilogy I'm actually interested in reading this book and hopefully this might the book which will showcase the turn of the Knights of the Word in to the druids of Shannara.


Shadow's Sun by Jon Sprunk

"In the holy city of Othir, treachery and corruption lurk at the end of every street, just the place for a freelance assassin with no loyalties and few scruples. Caim makes his living on the edge of a blade, but when a routine job goes south, he is thrust into the middle of an insidious plot. Pitted against crooked lawmen, rival killers, and sorcery from the Other Side, his only allies are Josephine, the socialite daughter of his last victim, and Kit, a guardian spirit no one else can see. But in this fight for his life, Caim only trusts his knives and his instincts, but they won't be enough when his quest for justice leads him from Othir's hazardous back alleys to its shining corridors of power. To unmask a conspiracy at the heart of the empire, he must claim his birthright as the Shadow's Son…."

This book from the blurb makes it sound like a regular fantasy, but the fact that Lou Anders from Pyr is especially kicked about this debut title, makes me wonder how good this book will be! Looking forward with anticipation for this one as well.


Collusion by Stuart Neville

"Collusion, picks up a few months after The Twelve left off, and it focuses on a cover-up of the events of the first book. Some characters will return, but the main protagonist will be different- the father of Marie McKenna's child. He's a cop who starts digging into the events of the first book when he realizes his child and former lover have gone missing. But when he gets too close to the truth, his superiors tell him to leave it alone. . It'll be a more complex story than The Ghosts of Belfast, with a less linear plot, and more characters to keep track of. I'm especially happy with the chief villain. He's a seriously nasty piece of work, and great fun to write. He swears a lot, for one thing. He's a killer, but with no finesse. He's not one of the more refined baddies we've gotten used to in recent fiction. He's just out-and-out brute force, too primitive to be called evil, but he's also a family man. You'll like him, I think. "— Stuart Neville

After last year spectacular debut it's up to Stuart to prove that he's no one-shot wonder & with a return to the world of his debut, it will be fascinating to see the aftereffects of the bloodbath that was the Ghosts of Belfast.


The Wolf Age by James Enge

The Wolf Age, (Fans of Norse mythology will recognize the reference to the Voluspa): A spear-age, a sword-age: shields are shattered. A wind-age, a wolf-age: before the world founders men will show mercy to none. In The Wolf Age, Morlock will travel (not entirely of his own choice) to Wuruyaaria ("Three-Moons-Aloft"), a city of werewolves near the northern edge of the world. James Enge's Morlock stories are fun reads and this book will be a sort of culmination of the tales begun in the earlier 2 books. Looking forward to seeing Morlock get himself entangled in another crisis.


The Quantum Thief by Hannu Rajaniemi

"In a far future Solar System, Jean le Flambeaur is a posthuman criminal, mind burglar, confidence artist and trickster. His origins are shrouded in mystery, but his exploits are known throughout the Heterarchy – from breaking into the vast zeusbrains of the Inner System to steal their thoughts to burglaring rare Earth antiques from the aristocrats of the Moving Cities of Mars. Except that Jean made one mistake. Now he is condemned to play endless variations of a game-theoretic riddle in the vast virtual jail of the Axelrod Archons – Dilemma Prison – against countless copies of himself. Jean's routine of death, defection and cooperation is upset by the arrival of Psi – a barbarian from the icy miniature worlds of Oort, but working for Cybele, the avatar of a Venusian god-mind. She offers him a chance to win back his freedom and the powers of his old self – in exchange for finishing the one heist he never quite managed, breaking into the mind of the Maelstrom..."

There are some books blurbs which grab your attention and compel you to read them, this book above fits the bill for me & I'm looking forward to see how this book pans out to be?


Veteran by Gavin Smith

"Three hundred years in our future, in a world of alien infiltrators, religious hackers, a vast convoying nation of Nomads, city sized orbital elevators, and a cyborg pirate king who believes himself to be a mythological demon Jakob is having a bad day: "Nothing gets in the way of a hangover like being reactivated by your old C.O and told to track down an alien killing machine. The same kind of killing machine that wiped out my entire squad. And now it's in my hometown. My name is Jakob Douglas, ex-special forces. I fought Them. Just like we've all been doing for 60 bloody years. But I thought my part in that was done with. My boss has other ideas. If I didn't find the infiltrator then he'd let the Grey Lady loose on me. And believe me; even They've got nothing on her. So I took the job. It went to shit even faster than normal. And now I'm on the run with this teenage hacker who's had enough of prostitution. The only people I can rely on want to turn the internet into God. And now it turns out that They aren't quite what we'd all thought. I've been to the bottom of the sea and the top of the sky and beyond trying to get to the truth. And I still can't get far enough away from the Grey Lady. All things considered I'd rather be back at home deep in a whiskey bottle." Veteran is a fast paced, intricately plotted violent SF Thriller set in a dark future against the backdrop of a seemingly never ending war against an unknowable and implacable alien enemy."

Gritty SF thriller which has an alluring blurb, I'm in for this one as well.


Bitter Seeds by Ian Tregillis
It's 1939. The Nazis have supermen, the British have demons, and one perfectly normal man gets caught in between Raybould Marsh is a British secret agent in the early days of the Second World War, haunted by something strange he saw on a mission during the Spanish Civil War: a German woman with wires going into her head who looked at him as if she knew him. When the Nazis start running missions with people who have unnatural abilities — a woman who can turn invisible, a man who can walk through walls, and the woman Marsh saw in Spain who can use her knowledge of the future to twist the present — Marsh is the man who has to face them. He rallies the secret warlocks of Britain to hold the impending invasion at bay. But magic always exacts a price. Eventually, the sacrifice necessary to defeat the enemy will be as terrible as outright loss would be. "

I'm always up for WWII stories and in this one there's magic as well. Definitely a book to be read.


The Steel Queen by Karen Azinger

In a world of forgotten magic, the kingdoms of Erdhe are nothing more than a chessboard for the gods. The players are being positioned for an epic struggle where lives, loves and crowns hang in the balance, yet few mortals understand the rules. In this game of power, pawns of light and darkness will make the difference in the battle for the future of the world: • Katherine, 'The Imp': a young princess with the stout heart of a warrior will challenge the minions of a thousand-year-old evil. • Liandra: The Spider Queen; who uses her beauty to beguile, her spies to foresee, and her gold to control, will need all of her skill and strength to fight a rebellion with her own blood at it's heart. • Magda, a silver-haired grandmother who has been stripped of all she holds dear will be underestimated in the fight against a false religion. • Cereus, an oracle priestess, will ply her powers of dark magic and seduction in her quest for immortality. • Steffan, the puppeteer, will corrupt the innocent and unwary with greed and desire, as he sets fire to an entire kingdom."

This book looks to be the start of a promising series and while the blurb makes it look generic, I'm more interested in it by the overall female character cast which hasn't been the case with most epic fantasies.


Farlander by Colin Buchanan

"The Heart of the World is a land in strife. For fifty years the Holy Empire of Mann, an empire and religion born from a nihilistic urban cult, has been conquering nation after nation. Their leader, Holy Matriarch Sasheen, ruthlessly maintains control through her Diplomats, priests trained as subtle predators. The Mercian Free Ports are the only confederacy yet to fall. Their only land link to the southern continent, a long and narrow isthmus, is protected by the city of Bar-Khos. For ten years now, the great southern walls of Bar-Khos have been besieged by the Imperial Fourth Army. Ash is a member of an elite group of assassins, the R shun - who offer protection through the threat of vendetta. Forced by his ailing health to take on an apprentice, he chooses Nico, a young man living in the besieged city of Bar-Khos. At the time, Nico is hungry, desperate, and alone in a city that finds itself teetering on the brink. When the Holy Matriarch's son deliberately murders a woman under the protection of the R shun; he forces the sect to seek his life in retribution. As Ash and his young apprentice set out to fulfill the R shun orders - their journey takes them into the heart of the conflict between the Empire and the Free Ports ...into bloodshed and death."

Another title which looks to be epic and this one has a good cover to boot as well.


Mistification by Kaaron Warren

"Marvo is an incredible magician. His powers are real. His tricks are fatal. But can he make even Death disappear? Cannibalism, cocaine and incredible sleight-of-hand in Kaaron's second astonishing journey into the abyss. Marvo the magician grows up locked in an attic. In the house below him, guerrilla's smuggle drugs, rape women and kill one another. As he watches on his grandmother teaches him an ancent magic, the Mist. which can strip flesh from bones. The guerrillas eventually depart, and Marvo goes out into the world and he must decide: who lives, who dies – and does anyone deserve to live at all?"

Kaaron Warren is a new author with a penchant for horror as seen by her earlier book from Angry Robot. I'm curious to see what she does within this fantasy setup!


Mr. Shivers by Robert Jackson Bennett
It is the time of the Great Depression. The dustbowl has turned the western skies red and thousands leave their homes seeking a better life. Marcus Connelly seeks not a new life, but a death - a death for the mysterious scarred man who murdered his daughter. And soon he learns that he is not alone. Countless others have lost someone to the scarred man. They band together to track him, but as they get closer, Connelly begins to suspect that the man they are hunting is more than human. As the pursuit becomes increasingly desperate, Connelly must decide just how much he is willing to sacrifice to get his revenge."

This sounds like a great atmospheric horror tale and its set in the 1930s America. Will have to read to see how it holds up!


The Great Bazaar and Other Stories by Peter V. Brett
"Humanity has been brought to the brink of extinction. Each night, the world is overrun by demons--bloodthirsty creatures of nightmare that have been hunting and killing humanity for over 300 years. A scant few hamlets and half-starved city-states are all that remain of a once proud civilization, and it is only by hiding behind wards, ancient symbols with the power to repel the demons, that they survive. A handful of Messengers brave the night to keep the lines of communication open between the increasingly isolated populace. But there was a time when the demons were not so bold. A time when wards did more than hold the demons at bay. They allowed man to fight back, and to win. Messenger Arlen Bales will search anywhere, dare anything, to return this magic to the world. Abban, a merchant in the Great Bazaar of Krasia, purports to sell everything a man's heart could desire, including, perhaps, the key to Arlen's quest. In addition to the title novelette, The Great Bazaar and Other Stories contains a number of scenes not included in The Painted Man (published in the US as The Warded Man) as well as a glossary and a grimoire, making it an essential guide to one of the most exciting epic fantasy series currently being published."

This collection features an important tale concerning a plot point in TPM/TWM. Also collected here are several chapters which were axed from the book & for any PBV fan, it's something to be relished. Alongwith the glossary & Grimoire this book becomes a pretty delectable read for those interested in knowing more of the world created by Peter V. Brett.


Galileo's Dream by Kim Stanley Robinson
To the inhabitants of the Jovian moons, Galileo is a revered figure whose actions will influence the subsequent history of the human race. From the summit of their distant future, a charismatic renegade named Ganymede travels to the past to bring Galileo forward in an attempt to alter history and ensure the ascendancy of science over religion. And if that means Galileo must be burned at the stake, so be it. Yet between his brief and jarring visitations to this future, Galileo must struggle against the ignorance and superstition of his own time. And it is here that Robinson is at his most brilliant, showing Galileo in all his contradictions and complexity. Robinson's Galileo is a tour de force of imaginative and historical empathy: the shining center around which the novel revolves. From Galileo's heresy trial to the politics of far-future Jupiter, from the canals of Venice to frozen, mysterious Europa, Robinson illuminates the parallels between a distant past and an even more remote future—in the process celebrating the human spirit and calling into question the convenient truths of our own moment in time."

After reading KSR's "The Years of Rice & Salt", I have been entranced by his imaginative endeavors and this book continues in the same speculative range and in this instance chooses to focus upon the ancient world of Galileo and the future world as well.


Elves: Once Walked with Gods
by James Barclay
"The elves have fled to Calius, seeking to escape the overwhelming power of the demonic Garonin. A desperate last stand in their own dimension saved the race but only at the cost of 100,000 elves lost to the Garonin. The elf who led that fight, Takaar, is blamed for the loss and has gone into hiding. Now the weakened elf race is tearing itself apart in civil war, human mercenaries have arrived in Calius and are ripping the continent apart. Only one elf can unite the race. And only one elf believes in him. A young warrior named Auum sets out to bring back the shamed hero and save the elven race. James Barclay's ELVES trilogy will tell the whole story of his immortal elven race, it will appeal to all fans of Tolkien and fantasy - this is a uniquely entertaining take on a fantasy staple for readers new to Barclay. And old readers of Barclay will welcome a return for one of their favourite creations and will also love seeing once of their favourite characters back - the Tai Gethan warriror Auum destined to be one of the Raven."

James Barclay is another favourite of mine and with this tale he has chosen to return to the world of Balaia & give us a rare glimpse in to the background of one the Raven. This one is eagerly anticipated.


Directive 51 by John Barnes

"Heather O'Grainne is the Assistant Secretary in the Office of Future Threat Assessment, investigating rumors surrounding something called "Daybreak." The group is diverse and radical, and its members have only one thing in common-their hatred for the "Big System" and their desire to take it down. Now, seemingly random events simultaneously occurring around the world are in fact connected as part of Daybreak's plan to destroy modern civilization - a plan that will eliminate America's top government personnel, leaving the nation no choice but to implement its emergency contingency program. Directive 51."

This book looks to be a thriller from the blurb and while there's not much info available about it, it seems to be the type which I'm might be interested in.


Amortals by Matt Forbeck

"Today you die. Today you are reborn. Today you hunt the man who killed you!
It's Lee Child vs. Altered Carbon in a high-tech blast of tough-as-nails future thrills. Matt Forbeck arrives as the new king of high-concept – with a blockbuster action movie in a book. In the near future, scientists solve the problem of mortality by learning how to backup and restore a persons memories into a vat-bred clone. When Secret Service agent Ronan "Methusaleh" Dooley is brutally murdered, he's brought back from the dead yet again to hunt his killer, and in doing so uncover a terrible conspiracy."

Matt Forbeck is another rising star from Angry Robot & this SF thriller looks to be right up my mind's alley.


Vegas Knights by Matt Forbeck

"a modern fantasy heist/con story set in the City of Sin, in which two college freshman decide to use Spring Break to wage a magic assault on the gambling tables of Las Vegas & try to break the bank , little can they imagine that Vegas harbours a dark magical secret of its own! the whole place is run by magic, and an undead Harry Houdini's in charge. Action-packed fantasy adventure from the new king of high-concept, Matt Forbeck."

Another title from Matt Forbeck but this one involving Magic & Las Vegas gambling, a very captivating scenario indeed!


Under Heaven by Guy Gavriel Kay
In the novel inspired by the glory and power of Tang Dynasty China in the 8th century, Shen Tai is the son of a general who led the forces of imperial Kitai in the empire's last great war against its western enemies, twenty years before. Forty thousand men, on both sides, were slain by a remote mountain lake. General Shen Gao himself has died recently, having spoken to his son in later years about his sadness in the matter of this terrible battle. To honour his father's memory, Tai spends two years in official mourning alone at the battle site by the blue waters of Kuala Nor. Each day he digs graves in hard ground to bury the bones of the dead. At night he can hear the ghosts moan and stir, terrifying voices of anger and lament. Sometimes he realizes that a given voice has ceased its crying, and he knows that is one he has laid to rest. The dead by the lake are equally Kitan and their Taguran foes; there is no way to tell the bones apart, and he buries them all with honour. It is during a routine supply visit led by a Taguran officer who has reluctantly come to befriend him that Tai learns that others, much more powerful, have taken note of his vigil. The White Jade Princess Cheng-wan, 17th daughter of the Emperor of Kitai, presents him with two hundred and fifty Sardian horses. They are being given in royal recognition of his courage and piety, and the honour he has done the dead. You gave a man one of the famed Sardian horses to reward him greatly. You gave him four or five to exalt him above his fellows, propel him towards rank, and earn him jealousy, possibly mortal jealousy. Two hundred and fifty is an unthinkable gift, a gift to overwhelm an emperor. Tai is in deep waters. He needs to get himself back to court and his own emperor, alive. Riding the first of the Sardian horses, and bringing news of the rest, he starts east towards the glittering, dangerous capital of Kitai, and the Ta-Ming Palace - and gathers his wits for a return from solitude by a mountain lake to his own forever-altered life."

GGK is a one of Fantasy's best kept secrets; he has been putting out standalone pseudo-historical titles which have been captivating to read as well. And he's back with another one focusing on 8th century China, what can I say more about if you like GGK you are going to read this book along with me.


The Fiery Angels by David Herter

Not much is known about this novella by the author of the heralded "Czech trilogy" & Ceres storm other than it will be an Interplanetary romance wherein the vectors aren't the American Western, but rather the fractured, apocalyptic world of Vienna, Prague, Berlin, leading up to the conflagration of World War One. Gustav Meyrink, the Austrian fantasist, was a crucial influence -- he haunts this story as a character, and has informed the style of this tale, the author was also hugely inspired by Leigh Brackett and C.L. Moore (her Northwest Smith stories in particular). I was very much looking forward to read this tale & thanks to the benevolent gesture on Mr. Herter's part, I have the novella and will be reviewing it in the month of January along with October Dark another horror novel of his.


Lightborn by Alison Sinclair
"The Darkborn aristocracy has rejected magic, viewing the pursuit of science as the only worthy goal. But Lady Telmaine Hearne does not have that luxury. She has kept her own powers secret, fearful of being ruined in society… until her husband Balthasar draws her into a conspiracy to protect the archduke and his brother against a magical enemy. But who will protect them from her?"

This is the sequel to last year's Darkborn and it will be intresting to see how Alison proceeds with the story as well give us a look into this unique society from the side of the Lightborn.


Sarah Beauhall has more on her plate than most twenty-somethings: day job as a blacksmith, night job as a props manager for low-budget movies, and her free time is spent fighting in a medieval reenactment group. After the lead actor breaks Sarah's favorite, one-of-a-kind sword, one of the extras, who claims to be a dwarf, offers to help repair the blade. And that's when things start to get weird. Could the sword really be magic, as the "dwarf" claims? Are dragons really living among us as shapeshifters? As if things weren't surreal enough, Sarah's girlfriend Katie breaks out the dreaded phrase… "I love you." Her life falls apart; Sarah hits rock bottom. At this moment, when she has lost everything she once prized, one of the dragons makes a move. Sarah will have to decide if she can reject what is safe and become the heroine who is needed to save her world."

I'm a sucker for Urban fantasy & this is the kind of blurb which will make me read the book! Looking forward to this debut with anticipation.


God's War by Kameron Hurley

"God's War is an SF novel of faith, betrayal and submission played out in the contaminated deserts of Nasheen, a matriarchal nation engaged in a centuries-old holy war. Nyxnissa "Nyx" so Dasheem is a bel dame, one of the brutal women engaged in hunting deserters. After getting caught selling out her womb to gene pirates, she is stripped of her bel dame title and forced to make a tenuous living as a less-than-respectable bounty hunter. Nyx's luck appears to improve when she's offered a bounty on an interstellar gene pirate who's fled – or been kidnapped – from the royal compound. While trying to keep together her ragtag crew of mercenaries, Nyx pursues the elusive alien across Nasheen's parched interior and over the war-torn border with Chenja. There, under the dim lights of Chenja's underground fighting rings, Nyx must face a black market boxer, a traitorous magician, and the betrayal of one of her team members. As her crew begins to unravel, Nyx finds herself hunted by her former bel dame sisters and a notorious war veteran. If Nyx can salvage her crew and outwit her rivals, she could hold the key to ending Nasheen's centuries-old conflict in her bloody hands"

Here is the author's own trailer for the book which I must say is very catchy as well. This book is a bit hard to classify and the blurb details are enough for me to be entranced by the author's vision. With male authors riding the gritty wavefront, it will be interesting to see the grittier side of speculative fiction from a female perspective


The Seven Voyages of Abu Nuwas by Andrew Kileen
"Ismail the Storyteller swore he would never return to Baghdad. Destiny will not be denied, however, and a summons from Harun al-Rashid, Commander of the Faithful, is not to be disobeyed. On the streets of the greatest city in the world, Ismail encounters the man he hoped and feared to see. Abu Nuwas, known as the Father of Locks, is a notorious poet, libertine, and part-time spy, and was once Ismail's friend and mentor. The Father of Locks is usually in trouble of some kind, but this time his problem is serious: somebody is trying to kill him. An old enemy has come to the city, and Abu Nuwas asks Ismail's help in tracking him down. As they blunder through the Baghdad night, uncertain whether they are the hunters or the hunted, they tell each other stories, tales of the adventures of Abu Nuwas around the tumultuous and colourful world of the early middle ages. Gradually the secrets of past and present converge, leading to shocking revelations and a new solution to one of history's greatest puzzles."

It's a welcome return to the world of Abu Nuwas & this time there's an urgency to his problems, the sequel to the wonderful Father of Locks will be a book to look forward to when it gets released.


The Machinery of Light by David J. Williams

This book is the conclusion to the Autumn Rain trilogy and from what has been previously written by David J. Williams, this one will be sure to shock the readers and make the climax of this tale a worthy one. Very much anticipated!


2010 Probables:

These are the titles which are awaited by many of us & if they are released in 2010, will be read expeditiously:

White Luck Warrior - Scott Bakker *

The sequel to the Judging Eye which will a heralded return to the world of Earwa felt very much like a extended prologue to the tale, hopefully with this book Mr. Bakker will get to the threads which will eventually lead to the main tale of the "Second Apocalypse"


A Dance with Dragons - GRRM *

There's probably nothing I can say which will add any more clarity to this book. I'm as eagerly awaiting this book as most other fans to see what has been happening with Dany, Tyrion, Bran & the rest of the stellar cast to whom we have been bereft since the publication of "A Storm of Swords"


Wise Man's Fear - Patrick Rothfuss *

A return to Kvothe's story & this time we will be learning much about him hopefully into his turn as a hero & then eventually an assassin. Pat Rothfuss's writing & this dual view tale is another title which has had the fans trembling with anticipation for it.


God Sword/GSC-III by James Clemens *

The Godslayer series has been a personal favourite of mine since Shadowfall was released in 2005, the third book tentatively title "God Sword" is much awaited by Clemens fans & though it might not be released, it's the one book amongst all of these which I would probably wish for as much as ADWD by GRRM.


The Bastards and the Knives: The Mad Baron's Mechanical Attic and The Choir of Knives: An Omnibus by Scott Lynch
"These two novellas tell the story of how Locke, Jean and the other gentleman bastards acquired the Austershalin brandy that played such a key role in the con at the centre of THE LIES OF LOCKE LAMORA and how they managed to avoid being killed by the elite assassins known as the Choir of Knives. These two novellas will fill in the backstory of the Bastards and allow fans to revisit the pleasures of the banter and antics of Caldo, Galdo and Bug as well discover how Locke and Jean forged their gang. They will also serve as an excellent introduction to Locke and his world for new readers. And because these are novellas by Scott Lynch they will also provide 100,000 words full of devious con-work, high adventure, razor sharp dialogue and rich atmosphere."

One of the highlights about TLOLL by Scott Lynch for me was the banter & antics of the gentlemen bastards and going by the blurb these 2 novellas focus on the crucial events which were given a mention in the 1st book. The omnibus chooses to tell the tale of how it all fell into place & has been called as "A prequel in two parts" by the author. I do not know whether Mr. Lynch has started writing these stories or whether he will do so upon completion of the "Republic of Thieves" However this specific omnibus is a must read for me whenever Mr. Scott Lynch should finish writing these tales & it gets published. Even ahead of the remaining books in the Gentleman Bastard series.


Anonymous said...

You can call the Peter V. Brett series, The Demon Cycle for the time being. He's mentioned in a couple of places that's the way he personally feels the series is called, though nothing official has been made. Thanks for the list. <-- here's Brett's mention of Demon Cycle.

ediFanoB said...

I really like lists like yours because the mostly contain books which haven't been on my radar.

Thank you for all the information.

Nayan said...

hey, thanx for the great request - can you please do this every month and come out with a "most awaited books for the month"?

The Reader said...

@ Anon.

Thanks for the update, Demon cycle it is currently, I hope he does come up with a better series title in the future though :)


The Reader said...

@ EdiFANoB

Thanks I'm glad you found new books to look forward to.

@ Nayan

Hello :) Such lists are featured every month as the "Monthly Spotlight" wherein we list the releases which, we as a team feel, are the ones to look out for!

If you look at the front page indexes[upper left hand corner] all spotlights have been listed! Thanks for reading!


Madigan Mirza said...

Amazing post! But so lengthy! I feel like I've run a marathon, just finishing reading it.

I'll definitely be adding a some (or most) of these books to my "to read" pile for the upcoming year.

Thank you!

The Reader said...

Thanks Madigan, I hope you have a great reading year ahead.


Jon Sprunk said...


Thank you for mentioning my debut book (Shadow's Son). I hope it lives up to your expectations. Feel free to contact me with your thoughts and comments at



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