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Saturday, December 31, 2022

2022 Review / 2023 Preview - Oliver K. Langmead


As a reader, I tend to be drawn to books that look as if they’ll take me somewhere new, and I’m glad to report that I was taken to a great many new places this year. This has been a particularly good year for innovative, fresh-feeling horror, which seems like an excellent place to start.

Friday, December 30, 2022

2022 Review / 2023 Preview - Nicole Willson

Thursday, December 29, 2022

2022 Review / 2023 Preview - Ron Walters

 


I’ve always considered myself a voracious reader. This year, however, I don’t think I’ve finished more than half a dozen books. There are a lot of reasons why, but outside of writing my own, the biggest one is because I spent most of my free time playing video games. In my defense, I tend to play games that have strong narratives, so it’s not like my life is without stories, and crawling out of Covid seems to have necessitated, for me at least, a huge shift in habits.



So, with that in mind, let’s kick things off the best games I played this year, starting with The Last of Us Part I & Part 2. I’m not sure I’ll ever experience stories as impactful as these two brutal, beautiful games, especially playing them back to back. It’s rare that I feel like replaying games, but I will absolutely return to these two on a yearly basis.


On the opposite end of that spectrum is Elden Ring. Don’t get me wrong, it’s one the best games I’ve ever played, but after devoting over 150 hours to it, I’m not sure how often I’ll be diving back into the Lands Between. There are far too many other games calling out for my attention, like God of War Ragnarok, which was equally amazing and a great way to cap off the year.



As for books, I’m a sucker for stories set in gritty cities. Throw in a magic system built on deranged gods and manic saints, add in a badass thief and a heaping handful of stunning prose, and I’m in book heaven. If that sounds like something you might be into, then look no further than Gareth Hanrahan’s The Gutter Prayer. It’s one of the most immersive, imaginative fantasies I’ve read in a long, long while.



If heartfelt and funny is more your bag, then I highly advise checking out Kings of the Wyld by Nicholas Eames. Imagine your favorite rock band coming out of retirement and embarking on the most amazing tour of their career, only instead of a rock band it’s a group of grizzled mercenaries carving their bloody way through a fantasy world that feels both comfortably familiar and altogether new. That’s Kings of the Wyld.

Outside of games and books, I spent a lot of time on YouTube watching (surprise, surprise) loads of gaming channels as well as the current campaign of Critical Role. I also finally caught up on The Boys, and just finished the first season of The Peripheral. I highly recommend both.

While I have no doubt that gaming will continue to dominate my free time, I’m definitely looking forward to making a dent in my TBR pile. Chuck Wendig’s Wayward and Tamsyn Muir’s Nona the Ninth are at the top of the list for sure, as well as Nicholas Eames’ Bloody Rose and Christopher Buehlman’s The Blacktongue Thief. In more personal book news, I’m crossing all my fingers that I’ll have some new projects to announce soon. Here’s to 2023!

Bio:

Ron Walters is the author of Deep Dive, an adult sci-fi thriller, and Calix and the Fire Demon, a middle grade fantasy.

2022 Review / 2023 Preview - Sunyi Dean

 

2022 Review/2023 Preview — Sunyi Dean



Best of 2022



Wednesday, December 28, 2022

2022 Review / 2023 Preview - Olivia Atwater




Favourite Novels of 2022:

This year has really been the year for cosy fantasy, so I guess it won’t surprise anyone that two of the three books on my list are in that genre!



My first favourite, chronologically speaking, was The Undertaking of Hart and Mercy by Megan Bannen. While this one was kind of cosy, it was also just… so difficult to describe, in a good way? It’s like a mish-mash of You’ve Got Mail and The Princess Bride and, uh… zombies? Look, this book defies description, but it had a fantastic setting and I really enjoyed it.



One of my other favourites was Notorious Sorcerer by Davinia Evans, which is probably less on the cosy side but also fantastic on the worldbuilding. This book really catered to my geekiness about historical occultism, given that it’s basically “what if alchemy was both metaphorical and literal at the same time”. It also had some great class divides woven into the setting, with upper-class alchemists facing very different challenges from lower-class alchemists, who aren’t technically allowed to practice.



Lastly, I had the chance to read Legends & Lattes by Travis Baldree, which technically came out before this year, but has just been republished by Tor. This book was the most adorable, low-stakes fantasy, with all kinds of nods to people who play Dungeons & Dragons. The best way I can describe it, I think, is if your tabletop character finished their last quest and then immediately started a game of the Sims in order to build a nice coffee shop with all their loot. It was basically stress-free and incredibly cute.

Most Anticipated:



So, this may be cheating a little bit, since this is a fantasy blog and not a romance blog? But I think my most anticipated read at the moment is probably Ship Wrecked by Olivia Dade. I’m going to count it anyway, because all of her romances fall squarely within the geek-o-sphere, even if they’re not technically fantasy. Anyone who watches fantasy television will probably enjoy her fandom jokes and cringeworthy satirical scripts.

In a more traditional fantasy vein, I suppose I’m waiting on Brandon Sanderson’s mystery novels like just about everyone else? (Yes, I did that Kickstarter.)

Author

Olivia Atwater writes whimsical historical fantasy with a hint of satire. She lives in Montreal, Quebec with her fantastic, prose-inspiring husband and her two cats. When she told her second-grade history teacher that she wanted to work with history someday, she is fairly certain this isn't what either party had in mind. She has been, at various times, a historical re-enactor, a professional witch at a metaphysical supply store, a web developer, and a vending machine repairperson.
Tuesday, December 27, 2022

2022 Review / 2023 Preview by Travis Baldree

 



Best of 2022


Monday, December 26, 2022

FBC The War Eternal Video Interview with Rob J. Hayes (interviewed by Mihir Wanchoo

 


Official Author Website                                                                                                        
Read Fantasy Book Critic’s review of Titan Hoppers
Read Fantasy Book Critic’s review of Spirits Of Vengeance                    
Read FantasyBook Critic’s review of Pawn’s Gambit                               
Read FantasyBook Critic's review of Never Die                                                 
Read FantasyBook Critic's review of Along The Razor's Edge              
Read FantasyBook Critic's review of The Lessons Never Learned          
Read FantasyBook Critic’s review of From Cold Ashes Risen                          
Read Fantasy Book Critic’s review of Sins Of The Mother
Read FantasyBook Critic's review of City Of Kings                                   
Read FantasyBook Critic's review of Where Loyalties Lie                        
Read FantasyBook Critic's review of The Fifth Empire Of Man           
Read FantasyBook Critic's review of The Heresy Within                       
Read FantasyBook Critic's review of The Colour Of Vengeance         
Read FantasyBook Critic's review of The Price Of Faith  
Read Fantasy Book Critic's review of It Takes A Thief To Catch A Sunrise
Read Fantasy Book Critic's review of It Takes A Thief To Start A Fire
Read Fantasy Book Critic interview with Rob J. Hayes
Read Fantasy Book Critic's Mini Q&A with Rob J. Hayes
Read Fantasy Book Critic trilogy completion interview with Rob J. Hayes
Read Fantasy Book Critic's Best Laid Plans Series Interview with Rob J. Hayes
Read Fantasy Book Critic's SPFBO Aftermath Q&A with Rob J. Hayes
Read Fantasy Book Critic's Post COK interview with Rob J. Hayes
Read Fantasy Book Critic's Never Die Release Interview with Rob J. Hayes
Read Fantasy Book Critic's The War Eternal Trilogy Release Interview
Read Fantasy Book Critic’s Pawn’s Gambit Release Interview                         
Read Fantasy Book Critic’s Spirit’s Of Vengeance Release Interview                          
Read A Game of ̶T̶h̶r̶o̶n̶e̶s̶ Death by Rob J. Hayes (guest post)
 
 
AUTHOR INFORMATION: Rob J. Hayes was born and brought up in Basingstoke, UK. As a child he was fascinated with Lego, Star Wars and Transformers that fueled his imagination and he spent quite a bit of his growing up years playing around with such. He began writing at the age of fourteen however soon discovered the fallacies of his work. After four years at University studying Zoology and three years working for a string of high street banks as a desk jockey/keyboard monkey. Rob lived on a desert island in Fiji for three months. It was there he re-discovered his love of writing and, more specifically, of writing fantasy.

 



2022 Review / 2023 Preview - Sangu Mandanna

 



Best of 2022




Friday, December 23, 2022

A Cup of Tea at the Mouth of Hell: (Or, an Account of Catastrophe by Stoudemire McCloud, Demon) by Luke Tarzian (Reviewed by Lena)

 


Official Author Website
Order the book HERE
 
OFFICIAL AUTHOR INFORMATION: Luke Tarzian was born in Bucharest, Romania. His parents made the extremely poor choice of adopting him less than six months into his life. As such, he’s resided primarily in the United States and currently lives in California with his wife and their twin daughters. Somehow, they tolerate him. Unfortunately, he can also be found online and, to the dismay of his clients, also functions as a cover artist for independent authors. Follow him on social media and be sure to sign up for his newsletter at luketarzian.com.
 
 
OFFICIAL BOOK BLURB: BRIEFLY, A WORD ABOUT ORDER
 
Order is the focal point around which existence revolves. Without order there is only chaos. And in the halls of Damnation (pronounced Dam-NAWT-ion, thank you kindly) the first sign of impending chaos is a cup of tea made without the water having first been well and properly boiled in a kettle.
 
Why is this relevant, o nameless narrator? you ask. Who cares about the preparatory order of tea in the fires of Hell?
 
Lucifer, dear reader. After all, how does one expect to properly greet the newcomers to Hell without having first had a hot cup of tea to bulwark the cold?
 
Behold The Morning Star, frantic on the annual Morning of Souls, the arrival of Damnation’s newest recruits.
 
Someone has misplaced the kettle.
 

FORMAT/INFO: A Cup of Tea at the Mouth of Hell: (Or, an Account of Catastrophe by Stoudemire McCloud, Demon) was released on August 27th 2022. It is 62 pages long and is available in ebook, and paperback formats.
 

OVERVIEW/ANALYSIS: This is one of those stories that touch the very essence of your soul as it is an exploration of trauma and grief in the most beautiful way. 
 
"Trauma was not a memory; it was a reaction to a memory."
 
It is a very simple story, it begins with Lucifer and Stoudemire trying to find Lucifer's kettle. Which you would think would be funny, instead the deepness of the pain and sorrow and rage and loneliness that threatens to swallow all. The fact that you spend so much time reliving the past only to find that it doesn't help but you can't help it. It's a part of you that doesn't sleep, that tortures you non stop. Forgiveness that doesn't come naturally but that's necessary for your own soul is the hardest thing to do when you haven't said what you needed to.
 
I relate so much to this novelette because of a simple reason, I've been in a very similar place not long ago. I have accepted what happened, and since this year, I've stopped letting it consume me. The pain and memories I left in a locked box inside my heart, so I could start living again.  
 
I think that even though it's sad to relate as I do, it's comforting to feel that you're not alone even if it means such a terrible experience, but one that will eventually make you stronger.
 

CONCLUSION: This wonderful story and essays will remain with me for a very long time and will be one I revisit again and again throughout the years.

 

Thursday, December 22, 2022

Fantasy Book Critic's Most Anticipated Books of 2023 (Part II)


Continuing on from yesterday's list, here's the second and final part of our most anticipated 20223 titles. We have included both trad-published and self-published titles and quite a few titles don't have any cover art to reveal (so far). However there are many books that have not been confirmed and so we cannot include them. We have listed a few books that aren’t a 100% confirmed towards the end.
 
 So onwards to part II now:



The Face of Hekate by Matt Larkin
Series/Standalone: The Tapestry of Fate series #6
Release date: February 7th 2023

Add it on Goodreads
Pre-order the book here
 
Official Blurb: A dark Fate stalks the halls of time

While Pandora remains lost in a foreign world, Hekate finds herself pursued by the relentless machinations of Fate. Her future has been laid out before her in awful clarity, and now, she will do anything to avoid the fate she has seen.

Across Gaia and through time itself Hekate flees, but Fate remains always one step ahead …
While Pandora remains lost in a foreign world, Hekate finds herself pursued by the relentless machinations of Fate. Her future has been laid out before her in awful clarity, and now, she will do anything to avoid the fate she has seen.

Across Gaia and through time itself Hekate flees, but Fate remains always one step ahead …



Witch King by Martha Wells
Series/Standalone: Standalone
Release date: May 30th 2023

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Pre-order the book here
 
Official Blurb: "I didn't know you were a... demon."
"You idiot. I'm the demon."

Kai's having a long day in Martha Wells' WITCH KING....
 
After being murdered, his consciousness dormant and unaware of the passing of time while confined in an elaborate water trap, Kai wakes to find a lesser mage attempting to harness Kai’s magic to his own advantage. That was never going to go well.
 
But why was Kai imprisoned in the first place? What has changed in the world since his assassination? And why does the Rising World Coalition appear to be growing in influence?
 
Kai will need to pull his allies close and draw on all his pain magic if he is to answer even the least of these questions.
 
He’s not going to like the answers.
 


UNTITLED third City of Sacrifice book by Michael R. Fletcher
Series/Standalone: The City of Sacrifice #3
Release date: May(ish) 2023

No Goodreads or Preorder links
 
Unofficial Premise: War! Narcotic sorcery! Mad gods!
Mother Death seeks to be a Pantheon of One.
SHIT GOES BOOM!
 


Champion Of The Fallen by M. L. Spencer
Series/Standalone: Rivenworld #2
Release date:  May 2023

Add it on Goodreads
 
Unofficial Blurb (not yet finalized): Aram’s story continues as he fights enemies both Above and Below…

When the war is brought to Skyhome, Aram is left with no choice but to flee. An awakening evil, more powerful than any he has known, threatens everything and everyone he loves. Separated from both Markus and Calise, Aram travels to the one place he can gain the knowledge needed to strengthen his own magic: the Void between worlds, where the memories of long-forgotten civilizations slumber. 

In this new, heart-gripping saga, journey with Aram and his dragon, Agaroth, on a quest to unlock the secrets of the ancients.

And with Markus, as he searches to find meaning and purpose without the Champion he has sworn to protect.

And Calise, who has been swept away to a dangerous land where she must explore her own wild magic and confront the shadows within herself.

For the danger they face is too great for just one Champion. It will take all the strength and love all three of them possess to heal their riven world.
 


Smoker On The Porch by Dom Watson
Series/Standalone: Standalone
Release date: May 2023

No GR or pre-order links yet
 
Unofficial Blurb: All the kids saw it. There, just beyond the veil of sleep, that sacred place between being and dream. The house made from sponge and peanut butter brittle shined its light in yellowed dreaming murk. And its owner waved back. 

Jake wished he'd never kicked the football into Popcorn's garden. The old man was scary, he just stood there at his window leering outward in moving smoke, the orange ember of his cigarette burning a hole in the town and its hapless souls.

When a local disadvantaged boy goes missing , Jake and his friends go looking. Unfortunately looking means dealing with otherworldly powers, an eldritch god and the the worst thing of all. Adults.

Who are the Forgotten? What is the significance of the Kali 'el Dahar? And what does Popcorn want with Jake's ability to tell stories.  
 


The Surviving Sky by Kritika H. Rao
Series/Standalone: The Rages  Trilogy #1
Release date: June 13th 2023

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Pre-order the book here
 
Official Blurb: This Hindu philosophy-inspired debut science fantasy follows a husband and wife racing to save their living city—and their troubled marriage—high above a jungle world besieged by cataclysmic storms.

High above a jungle-planet float the last refuges of humanity—plant-made civilizations held together by tradition, technology, and arcane science. In these living cities, architects are revered above anyone else. If not for their ability to psychically manipulate the architecture, the cities would plunge into the devastating earthrage storms below.

Charismatic, powerful, mystical, Iravan is one such architect. In his city, his word is nearly law. His abilities are his identity, but to Ahilya, his wife, they are a way for survival to be reliant on the privileged few. Like most others, she cannot manipulate the plants. And she desperately seeks change.

Their marriage is already thorny—then Iravan is accused of pushing his abilities to forbidden limits. He needs Ahilya to help clear his name; she needs him to tip the balance of rule in their society. As their paths become increasingly intertwined, deadly truths emerge, challenging everything each of them believes. And as the earthrages become longer, and their floating city begins to plummet, Iravan and Ahilya's discoveries might destroy their marriage, their culture, and their entire civilization.



The Combat Codes by Alexander Darwin
Series/Standalone: The Combat Codes #1
Release date: June 13th 2023

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Pre-order the book here
 
Official Blurb: The first book in a debut, action-packed and character-driven science fiction trilogy set in a world where the fate of empires  is determined by battle-hardened warriors who are trained to compete in brutal single combat.

In a world long ago ravaged by war, the nations have sworn an armistice never to use weapons of mass destruction again. Instead, highly-skilled warriors known as Grievar Knights represent their nations’ interests in brutal hand-to-hand combat.

Murray Pearson was once a famed Knight until he suffered a loss that crippled his homeland — but now he’s on the hunt to discover the next champion.

In underground and ruthless combat rings, an orphaned boy called Cego is making a name for himself. Murray believes Cego has what it takes to thrive in the world's most prestigious combat academy – but first, Cego must prove himself in the vicious arenas of the underworld. And survival isn’t guaranteed.  

 


Gods of the Wyrdwood by R. J. Barker
Series/Standalone: The Forsaken Trilogy #1
Release date: June 27th 2023

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Pre-order the book here
 
Official Blurb: Ours is a land of many gods, and we are a people with the ability to pick the worst of them.

Cahan du Nahare is known as the forester - a man who can navigate the dangerous Deepforest like no-one else. But once he was more. Once he belonged to the god of fire.

Udinny serves the goddess of the lost, a goddess of small things; when she ventures into the Deepforest to find a lost child, Cahan will be her guide. But in a land where territory is won and lost for uncaring gods, where temples of warrior monks pit one prophet against another - Cahan will need to choose the forest or the fire - and his choice will have consequences for his entire world.

 


Aenigma Of Runelight by J. A. Andrews
Series/Standalone: The Aenigma Lights #1
Release date: End of 2nd quarter of 2023

No GR or pre-order links yet
 
Unofficial Premise: This new series is set in the Keeper world with a new Keeper named Kate. This on takes place twenty years after Keeper Chronicles. It’s like Indiana Jones meets Riyria, except the two main buddy cop characters are a female Keeper and a female elf.

 


Elder Epoch by Zamil Akhtar
Series/Standalone: Gunmetal Gods #3
Release date: First half of 2023

No GR or pre-order links yet
 
Unofficial Blurb: The god who protected the land is dead. A blood plague infests the soil and sea. Wicked angels vie for dominion over hearts and minds. All while war simmers between four mighty kingdoms. The line between truth and falsehood, good and evil, hope and catastrophe is buried deep in blood-soaked sand.
 


Spire Climbers by Rob J Hayes
Series/Standalone: Titan Hoppers #2
Release date: First half of 2023

No GR or pre-order links yet
 
Unofficial Blurb: The sequel to Titan Hoppers, Iro, Emil and the rest of the folks are back. Plus more secrets and magic…
 


Blood Over Bright Haven by M. L. Wang
Series/Standalone: Standalone
Release date: July 1st 2023

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Preorder the book here
 
Official Blurb: Magic has made the city of Tiran an industrial utopia, but magic has a cost—and the collectors have come calling.

An orphan since the age of four, Sciona has always had more to prove than her fellow students. For twenty years, she has devoted every waking moment to the study of magic, fueled by a mad desire to achieve the impossible: to be the first woman ever admitted to the High Magistry. When she finally claws her way up the ranks to become a highmage, however, she finds that her challenges have just begun. Her new colleagues will stop at nothing to let her know she is unwelcome, beginning with giving her a janitor instead of a qualified lab assistant.

What neither Sciona nor her peers realize is that her taciturn assistant was once more than a janitor; before he mopped floors for the mages, Thomil was a nomadic hunter from beyond Tiran’s magical barrier. Ten years have passed since he survived the perilous crossing that killed his family. But working for a highmage, he sees the opportunity to finally understand the forces that decimated his tribe, drove him from his homeland, and keep the Tiranish in power.

Through their fractious relationship, mage and outsider uncover an ancient secret that could change the course of magic forever—if it doesn’t get them killed first. Sciona has defined her life by the pursuit of truth, but how much is one truth worth with the fate of civilization in the balance?

 


The Judas Blossom by Stephen Aryan
Series/Standalone: The Nightingale and the Falcon series #1
Release date: July 11th 2023

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Pre-order the book here
 
Official Blurb: 1260, Persia

Due to the efforts of the great Genghis Khan, the Mongol Empire covers a vast portion of the known world. In the shadow of his grandfather, Hulagu Khan, ruler of the Ilkhanate, is determined to create a single empire that covers the entire world. His method? Violence.

His youngest son, Temujin Khan, struggles to find his place in his father’s bloody rule. After another failure, Temujin is given one last chance to prove himself to Hulagu, who is sure there is a great warrior buried deep inside. But there’s something else rippling under the surface… something far more powerful and dangerous than they could ever imagine…

Reduced to the position of one of Hulagu’s many wives, the famed Blue Princess Kokochin is the last of her tribe. Alone and forgotten in a foreign land, Kokochin is unwilling to spend her days seeking out trivial pursuits. Seeking purpose, she finds herself wandering down a path that grants her more power than a wife of the Khan may be allowed.

Kaivon, the Persian rebel who despises the Mongols for the massacre of his people, thirsts for revenge. However, he knows alone he cannot destroy the empire. When given the opportunity to train under the tutelage of Hulagu, Kaivon must put aside his feelings and risk his life for a chance to destroy the empire that aims to conquer the world.

Family and war collide in this thrilling and bloody reimagining of the Mongol Empire’s invasion of Persia.

 


Dark Water Daughter by H M Long
Series/Standalone: The Winter Sea series #1
Release date: July 11th 2023

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Pre-order the book here
 
Official Blurb: A fearsome young woman stormsinger and pirate hunter join forces against a deathless pirate lord in this swashbuckling Jacobean adventure on the high-seas. 

Mary Firth is a Stormsinger: a woman whose voice can still hurricanes and shatter armadas. Faced with servitude to pirate lord Silvanus Lirr, Mary offers her skills to his arch-rival in exchange for protection - and, more importantly, his help sending Lirr to a watery grave. But her new ally has a vendetta of his own, and Mary's dreams are dark and full of ghistings, spectral creatures who inhabit the ancient forests of her homeland and the figureheads of ships.

Samuel Rosser is a disgraced naval officer serving aboard The Hart, an infamous privateer commissioned to bring Lirr to justice. He will stop at nothing to capture Lirr, restore his good name and reclaim the only thing that stands between himself and madness: a talisman stolen by Mary.

Finally, driven into the eternal ice at the limits of their world, Mary and Samuel must choose their loyalties and battle forces older and more powerful than the pirates who would make them slaves.

 


The Traitor by Anthony Ryan
Series/Standalone: The Dark Water Daughter series #1
Release date: July 11th 2023

Add it on Goodreads
Pre-order the book here
 
Official Blurb: It’s been a long journey for Alwyn Scribe. Born a bastard and raised an outlaw, he’s now a knight and the most trusted advisor to Lady Evadine Courlain. Together they’ve won countless battles and helped to bring order to a fractured kingdom. 
 
Yet Evadine is not the woman Alwyn once knew. As puritanical fury increasingly replaces her benevolent faith, Alwyn begins to question what her true motives really are. 
 
As the kingdom braces itself for one final battle, Alwyn’s conscience fights its own war with his heart. Now, more than ever, he must decide whose side he’s really on.
 
 


The Jasad Heir by Sara Hashem
Series/Standalone: Unknown
Release date: July 18, 2023

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Pre-order the book here
 
In this Egyptian-inspired debut fantasy, a fugitive queen strikes a deadly bargain with her greatest enemy and finds herself embroiled in a complex game that could resurrect her scorched kingdom or leave it in ashes forever.

At ten years old, the Heir of Jasad fled a massacre that takes her entire family. At fifteen, she buried her first body. At twenty, the clock is ticking on Sylvia's third attempt at home. Nizahl's armies have laid waste to Jasad and banned magic across the four remaining kingdoms. Fortunately, Sylvia's magic is as good at playing dead as she is.

When the Nizahl Heir tracks a group of Jasadis to Sylvia’s village, the quiet life she's crafted unravels. Calculating and cold, Arin's tactical brilliance is surpassed only by his hatred for magic. When a mistake exposes Sylvia’s magic, Arin offers her an escape: compete as Nizahl’s Champion in the Alcalah tournament and win immunity from persecution. 

To win the deadly Alcalah, Sylvia must work with Arin to free her trapped magic, all while staying a step ahead of his efforts to uncover her identity. But as the two grow closer, Sylvia realizes winning her freedom means destroying any chance of reuniting Jasad under her banner. The scorched kingdom is rising again, and Sylvia will have to choose between the life she's earned and the one she left behind.
 
 


Storming Heaven by Miles Cameron
Series/Standalone: The Age of Bronze series #1
Release date: July 25th 2023

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Pre-order the book here
 
Official Blurb: What if gods could be killed . . . and what if men themselves could become gods?

The tyranny of the gods is absolute, and they are capricious, malevolent and almost all-powerful, playing cruel games with the fates of mortals for their own ends . . .

No one should have such power, and certainly not gods with no understanding of the hard, mortal life.

But of course, taking on the gods means taking on power themselves . . . and power corrupts. If
they manage to, once they have taken it from the gods, what it to stop our heroes from keeping
it for themselves . . . ?

The people caught up in toils of the gods are merely trying to survive. Victims of vicious whims, trapped by their circumstances or pushed beyond what the mortal frame can bear, a handful of god-touched mortals - a scribe, a warlord, a dancer and a child - are about to be brought together in a conspiracy of their own.

 


The Sun And The Void by Gabriela Romero Lacruz
Series/Standalone: The Warring Gods #1
Release date: July 25 2023

Add it on Goodreads
Pre-order the book here
 
Official Blurb: In a lush world inspired by the history and folklore of South America, a sweeping epic fantasy of colonialism, ancient magic, and two young women's quest for belonging unfolds. 

Reina is desperate. 
Stuck living on the edges of society, her only salvation lies in an invitation from a grandmother she’s never known. But the journey is dangerous, and prayer can’t always avert disaster.

Attacked by creatures that stalk the region, Reina is on the verge of death until her grandmother, a dark sorceress, intervenes. Now dependent on the Doña’s magic for her life, Reina will do anything to earn—and keep—her favor. Even the bidding of an ancient god who whispers to her at night. 

Eva Kesare is unwanted. 
Illegitimate and of mixed heritage, Eva is her family’s shame. She tries her best to be perfect and to hide her oddities. But Eva is hiding a secret: magic calls to her. 

Eva knows she should fight the temptation. Magic is the sign of the dark god, and using it is punishable by death. Yet, it’s hard to deny power when it has always been denied to you. Eva is walking a dangerous path, one that gets stranger every day. And, in the end, she’ll become something she never imagined.
 


Light Bringer by Pierce Brown
Series/Standalone: Red Rising Saga #6
Release date: July 25 2023

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Official Blurb: “The measure of a man is not the fear he sows in his enemies. It is the hope he gives his friends.”—Virginia au Augustus

The Reaper is a legend, more myth than man: the savior of worlds, the leader of the Rising, the breaker of chains.

But the Reaper is also Darrow, born of the red soil of Mars: a husband, a father, a friend.

The worlds once needed the Reaper. But now they need Darrow. Because after the dark age will come a new age: of light, of victory, of hope.
 


A WAR TO END ALL by Michael R. Fletcher
Series/Standalone: Manifest Delusions #3
Release date: Summer 2023

No Goodreads or Preorder links
 
Unofficial Premise: A deranged boy-god bent on making the world a place of cleanliness and sanity wages war on all reality.

Only the Greatest Swordsman in the World can possibly stop him.



 
The Art of Destiny by Wesley Chu
Series/Standalone: War Arts Saga series #2
Release date: August 22nd 2023

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Official Blurb: Once there was a prophecy that a Chosen One would rise to defeat the Eternal Khan, an immortal god king. 

But the prophecy was wrong. 

Now Jian, the former chosen hero of prophecy, is just an ordinary young man trying to find his own way. But he may yet have an extraordinary destiny, because he joins forces with Taishi, his grumpy grandmaster who instructs him in the ways of her powerful family war art. Jian still has a long way to go before he can become her heir, so she recruits a band of elderly grandmasters who have come out of retirement to whip him into shape and help with this one last job.

And there are others who are also seeking their own destiny: Qisami, an assassin on a secret mission to protect a powerful noblewoman from her enemies. But as Qisami goes undercover to complete her mission, she takes on a new identity that gives her something she never had before: friendship, found family, and a new purpose.

And Sali also thought her fate was already laid before her. She was supposed to be looking for the next Eternal Khan, and now finds her clain exiled from everything she ever knew. As she leads the survivors in search of a new home, Sali discovers that she's something she never thought she could be: a leader and revolutionary.

Because sometimes destiny is grander than any prophecy can foresee. And the greatest destiny of all is the one you choose for yourself.


 
House of Odysseus by Claire North
Series/Standalone: Songs of Peneleope #2
Release date: August 22, 2023

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Official Blurb: In the palace of Odysseus, a queen lies dreaming . . .

On the isle of Ithaca, queen Penelope maintains a delicate balance of power. Many years ago, her husband Odysseus sailed to war with Troy and never came home. In his absence, Penelope uses all her cunning to keep the peace—a peace that is shattered by the return of Orestes, King of Mycenae, and his sister Elektra.

Orestes' hands are stained with his mother's blood. Not so long ago, the son of Agamemnon took Queen Clytemnestra's life on Ithaca's sands. Now, wracked with guilt, he grows ever more unhinged. But a king cannot be seen to be weak, and Elektra has brought him to Ithaca to keep him safe from the ambitious men of Mycenae.

Penelope knows destruction will follow in his wake as surely as the furies circle him. His uncle Menelaus, the blood-soaked king of Sparta, hungers for Orestes' throne—and if he can seize it, no one will be safe from his violent whims.

Trapped between two mad kings, Penelope must find a way to keep her home from being crushed by the machinations of a battle that stretches from Mycenae and Sparta to the summit of Mount Olympus itself. Her only allies are Elektra, desperate to protect her brother, and Helen of Troy, Menelaus' wife. And watching over them all is the goddess Aphrodite, who has plans of her own.




The Phoenix King by Aparna Verma
Series/Standalone: The Ravence Trilogy #1
Release date: August 29th 2023

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Official Blurb: “If we carry the burdens of our fathers, we’ll never know what it means to be free.”
 
For Elena Aadya Ravence, fire is yearning. She longs to feel worthy of her Phoenix god, of her ancestors who transformed the barren dunes of Sayon into a thriving kingdom. But though she knows the ways and wiles of the desert better than she knows her own skin, the secrets of the Eternal Flame elude her. And without them, she’ll never be accepted as queen.
 
For Leo Malhari Ravence, fire is control. He is not ready to give up his crown—there’s still too much work to be done to ensure his legacy remains untarnished, his family protected. But power comes with a price, and he’ll wage war with the heavens themselves to keep from paying it.
 
For Yassen Knight, fire is redemption. He dreams of shedding his past as one of Sayon’s most deadly assassins, of laying to rest the ghosts of those he has lost. If joining the court of flame and serving the royal Ravence family—the very people he once swore to eliminate—will earn him that, he’ll do it no matter what they ask of him.
 
But the Phoenix watches over all and the fire has a will of its own. It will come for all three, will come for Sayon itself….and they must either find a way to withstand the blaze or burn to ash.
 
 


The Doors of Midnight by RR Virdi
Series/Standalone: Tales Of Tremaine #2
Release date: October 3rd 2023

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Unofficial Premise: We are going to see more of Ari's legends and lies come to light, old debts called to be answered for, new problems and magics, and new places in the world journeyed to.

You're going to learn more about his nicknames and legends and other titles. And see analogs to other cultures.
 


The Bitter Crown by Justin Lee Anderson
Series/Standalone: The Eidyn Saga #2
Release date: October 2023

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Official Blurb: The second novel in Justin Lee Anderson's sensational epic fantasy series where the war for a kingdom exits the shadows now that a terrifying secret has been revealed.
The fog of war is lifted and the conspiracy at the heart of Eidyn finally exposed.

Now they know the truth, Aranok and his allies must find a way to free a country that doesn't know it's held captive.

But with divided loyalties and his closest friendship shaken, can their alliance hold against overwhelming odds? The quest to retake the country begins here.

 


Traitor of Redwinter by Ed McDonald
Series/Standalone: The Redwinter Chronicles #2
Release date: October 24th 2023


 
Official Blurb: The power of the Sixth Gate grows stronger within Raine each day—to control it, she needs lessons no living Draoihn can teach her. Her fledgling friendships are tested to breaking point as she tries to face what she has become, and her master Ulovar is struck by a mysterious sickness that slowly saps the vitality from his body, leaving Raine to face her growing darkness alone. There’s only one chance to turn the tide of power surging within her—to learn the secrets the Draoihn themselves purged from the world

The book can teach her. She doesn’t know where she found it, or when exactly, but its ever changing pages whisper power that has lain untouched for centuries.

As the king’s health fails and the north suffers in the grip of famine, rebellious lords hunger for the power of the Crown, backed by powers that would see the Crowns undone. Amidst this growing threat, Raine’s former friend Ovitus brings a powerful new alliance, raising his status and power of his own. He professes support for the heir to the throne even as others would see him take it for himself, and desperately craves Raine’s forgiveness—or her submission.

But the grandmaster has her own plans for Raine, and the deadly training she has been given has not been conducted carelessly. In Raine she seeks to craft a weapon to launch right into her enemy’s heart, as Redwinter seeks to hold onto power.

Amidst threats old and new, Raine must learn the secrets promised by the book, magic promised by a queen with a crown of feathers. A queen to whom Raine has promised more than she can afford to give…

 


The Ashfire King by Chelsea Abdullah
Series/Standalone: The Sandsea Trilogy #2
Release date: November 14th 2023

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Premise: The magical sequel to The Stardust Thief, Chelsea Abdullah's unmissable debut that weaves a tale of myth and magic in a world steeped in Middle Eastern folklore, perfect for fans of The City of Brass and The Bone Shard Daughter

 


Unnamed God Dust Saga book 2  by Sadir S. Samir
Series/Standalone: The God Dust Saga #2
Release date: Autumn/Fall 2023

See details on the author’s website
 
Unofficial Premise: We get to see and learn more about the world as a secret plot threatening all of Harrah comes to light. Varcade will make some new friends, and we'll see some familiar faces again as his investigation takes him across the continent in search for answers. Expect more of action and more craziness in the sequel to THE CREW!

 


Kraken Rider Z by Dyrk Ashton & Davis Estes
Series/Standalone: Kraken Rider Series #1
Release date: Fourth quarter of 2023

No GR or pre-order links yet
 
Official Blurb: If there's one thing dragons fear, it's a kraken.

Luckily for the dragons, and their riders, no one has seen a kraken in a thousand years.

In a nautical society and world, royal Dragon Knights guard the king's ships from pirates and hostile empires. They're trained in an exclusive school only for the rich and well-connected.

Enter a poor teenager named Zee who has no chance to get in - except Zee saved the life of a baby kraken when he was just seven years old, and now may become the first Kraken Rider in history.
 

(UNOFFICIAL ART NOT AFFLIATED WITH THE BOOK)


Descending Dragon by Richard Nell
Series/Standalone: Standalone
Release date: Latter half of 2023

No GR or pre-order links yet
 
Unofficial Premise: It is a kind of ‘progression’ fantasy story about a young man descending into a demonic pit beneath his hometown to save his friends. It’s a bit comedy (yes, I make jokes), a bit fantasy horror, with a dash of Diablo (the video game) inspiration. Oh and there’s a talking sword and a baby dragon, as well as a six-legged horse demon.

 

(DRAFT COVER NOT FINAL)


The Hexologists by Josiah Bancroft
Series/Standalone: The Hexologists series #1
Release date: November 2023

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Unofficial Blurb: Iz and Warren Wilby are quite accustomed to helping desperate clients with the bugbears of city life. Aided by hexes and a bag of charmed relics, the Wilbies have recovered children abducted by chimney-wraiths, removed infestations of barb-nosed incubi, and ventured into the Gray Plains of the Unmade to soothe a troubled ghost. Well-acquainted with the weird, the Hexologists never shy away from a challenging case.

But when they are approached by the royal secretary and told the king pleads to be baked into a cake—going so far as to wedge himself inside a lit oven—the Wilbies soon find themselves embroiled in a mystery that could very well see the nation turned on its head. Their effort to expose a royal secret buried under forty years of lies brings them nose to nose with a violent antiroyalist gang, avaricious ghouls, alchemists who draw their power from a hell-like dimension, and a bookish dragon who only occasionally eats people.

Armed with a love toughened by adversity and a stick of chalk that can conjure light from the darkness, hope from the hopeless, Iz and Warren Wilby are ready for whatever springs from the alleys, graves, and shadows next.
 


THE STORM BENEATH THE WORLD by Michael R. Fletcher
Series/Standalone: The Children of Corruption saga #3
Release date: Late 2023

No Goodreads or Preorder links
 
Unofficial Premise: Cursed by the gods, the insectile ashkaro live on flying islands travelling the eternal River of Days. The sky above endless cloud, a hellish firestorm devours the world below. The high caste brights live in the luxurious windward rainforest while the servile dulls scrape out a desperate existence in the leeward desert. Dangerous new ideas of equality and individuality splinter a civilization clinging to ancient ideals of hive.

When the island of the Mad Queen Yil changes direction and heads toward the peaceful Nysh Queendom, war is inevitable. Raids and skirmishes escalate as the two draw close.

Joh, a dull male with a talent for suggestion, and Ahk, a bright female with a talent for stealth, are torn from their families to study at a school for the Corrupt. Forced to embrace their gods-given curses, they’re to be trained as assassins.

United by purpose, divided by caste, only they can save the island from the Mad Queen.
 


Ice & Ivy by J. D. Evans
Series/Standalone: Mages Of The Wheel #4
Release date: Second half of 2023

No GR or pre-order links yet
 
Official Blurb: She is a void, the empty balance of magic.

When the Grand Vizier seeks to humiliate a man who has crossed him, a woman of the humblest origins is entangled in political webs far beyond her understanding, and bound into a marriage she cannot escape. She does not know who is an ally, and who is an enemy. But she does know she is drawn to the man whose dreams and heart seem made of ice.

He is a mage broken, whose magic has been warped.

The Blight ravages both Tamar and Sarkum, and their people, and armies, are starving. Violence and protests in Narfour have the city on the brink of rebellion. When Ihsan sees a chance to gain an ally with the only productive land left in Tamar for his cousin, the Sultana, he takes it. But nothing is as it seems when Behram Kadir is involved. Ihsan knows he should not trust the woman who has upended his life, even if she is the first warmth he has felt since fire stole everything from him.
 


Fool’s Promise by Angela Boord
Series/Standalone: Eterean Empire #2
Release date: Second half of 2023

No GR or pre-order links yet
 
Unofficial Premise: “It should have been the kind of beginning that comes at the end of a fairy story. The part where the lovers begin their new lives together and live to a ripe old age in peace and happiness”

“But magic patched me together. And once it was invited, it didn’t want to leave”

There’s also the following forthcoming titles of which we have no specific release information about, but we are very excited for their release:

The Crystal Calamity #2 by Rachel Aaron

The Sharded Few #2 (Umbral Storm sequel) by Alec Hutson

Never Send Roses (Harmony Black #7) by Craig Schaefer

Songs Of Chaos #3 by Michael Miller

The Land Of Lost Things by John Connolly

Ms. Percy #3 by Quenby Olsen

Legacy Of The Watcher (Half-Orcs #9)by David Dalglish

 There are also forthcoming titles by Sarah Ash, Peter ClinesDavis AshuraTeresa Frohock, Cam Johnston, Zack Argyle, Ilana C. Myer, Douglas Preston & Lincoln Child that we are eagerly awaiting but have no details about.

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