It was another great book with lots of books I really, really want to read – 4 review copies (all of which I’d love to read soon although I’m not sure how realistic that is), 2 books bought, and 1 late Christmas gift (due to the book not actually being out on time for Christmas). I am not buying any books this next week, I promise!
Deathless by Catherynne M. Valente
Deathless will be released in hardcover and as an e-book on March 29, and I am incredibly excited about reading this one. First of all, I loved Valente’s The Orphan’s Tales: In the Night Garden and also really enjoyed The Habitation of the Blessed. Secondly, I love books based on myths or folklore so reading about Koschei the Deathless sounds very interesting (especially now that I know more about his story – coincidentally, I just read about it in the book I’m currently reading, which has a lot about different legends).
Also it is a great year to be a fan of Catherynne Valente’s since this is the first of three of her books being released this year. In May, The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making will be released in actual book form. (This book was previously online and won the Andre Norton Award for Young Adult Literature.) The second volume in A Dirge for Prester John, The Folded World, will be out in November. Although I’m really excited about all three of these, Deathless has to be the one I’ve been most looking forward to reading. I’ll be reading this one very soon.
Koschei the Deathless is to Russian folklore what giants or wicked witches are to European fairy tales: a menacing, evil figure; the villain of countless stories which have been passed on for generations through and storybooks and verbal lore. But Koschei has never looked quite as he does through the eyes of Catherynne M. Valente, whose modernized and transformed take on the legend brings the action to our recent past, spanning many of the great developments of Russian history.
Deathless, however, is no dry, historical tome: it lights up like fire as the young Marya Morevna transforms from a clever peasant girl, to Koschei’s beautiful bride, to his eventual undoing. Along the way there are Stalinist house elves, magical quests, secrecy and bureaucracy, and games of lust and power.
Shades of Milk and Honey by Mary Robinette Kowal
Ever since I heard about this book, described as what fantasy might be if written by Jane Austen, I’ve really wanted to read it. Since it was released in hardcover, though, I never got around to shilling out the money for it and was planning to wait until it was released in paperback. However, I was looking around for cheaper copies of books for the Nebula Readathon and came across this book for $4.99. Even with shipping that was about the same price as a mass market paperback would be, so I snatched it up. I’ll be reading it in May since it’s one of the selections for May 21.
Shades of Milk and Honey is exactly what we could expect from Jane Austen if she had been a fantasy writer: Pride and Prejudice meets Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell. It is an intimate portrait of a woman, Jane, and her quest for love in a world where the manipulation of glamour is considered an essential skill for a lady of quality.
Ember and Ash by Pamela Freeman
Ember and Ash, set in the same world as Freeman’s Castings trilogy, will be released in mass market paperback/ebook on April 26. This is another book I’ve been interested in reading since I’ve heard good things about the Castings trilogy. While the Castings omnibus is on my to-read pile and is also something I really want to read, I’ll probably start with this one since the entire omnibus is huge and will probably take me forever to read from start to finish (and I have a bizarre thing about not liking to read just one book from an omnibus and then putting it aside to read later even though it’s really the same as having books one and two in a series – it just feels like I’m leaving a book unfinished since they’re all in one book and I can’t mark it “read” in Goodreads).
The old ones will have their revenge.
Two peoples have been fighting over the same land for a thousand years. Invaders crushed the original inhabitants, and ancient powers have reluctantly given way to newer magics. But Ember was to change all this with a wedding to bind these warring people together – until her future goes up in flames.
Ember’s husband-to-be is murdered by a vengeful elemental god, who sees peace as a breach of faith. Set on retribution, she enlists the help of Ash, son of a seer. Together they will pit themselves against elementals of fire and ice in a last attempt to end the conflicts that have scarred their past. They must look to the present, as old furies are waking to violence and are eager to reclaim their people.
The Wise Man’s Fear by Patrick Rothfuss
As a #1 New York Times bestseller and one of the most talked about fantasy books at the moment, the second book in the Kingkiller Chronicles most likely needs no introduction. My husband actually pre-ordered me a copy of this book for Christmas from The Signed Page (an awesome place for getting signed books from an assortment of science fiction/fantasy authors – they’ve also had books by Patricia Briggs, Kim Harrison, Lois McMaster Bujold, Steven Erikson, and Jacqueline Carey before). Now that the book is out, my signed copy showed up! I may have to take a vacation just to read it, though – it’s nearly 1,000 pages in hardcover and the print is not large, either.
For nearly four years, science fiction enthusiasts have been eagerly awaiting this second volume to Patrick Rothfuss’ Kingkiller Chronicles. The first volume, The Name of the Wind, won the prestigious Quill Award and was recently voted as the third-best SFF novel of the decade on Tor.com. In this linchpin book of the trilogy, Kvothe continues his perilous search for answers about the Chandrian even as he grapples with more pressing dangers.
Dragonsbane by Barbara Hambly
Originally published in the 1980s, Dragonsbane has been out of print for a while. However, it is going to be coming out sometime in April as an ebook. I’ve been wanting to read this book, especially since Elizabeth Bear mentioned it in my recent interview with her, but since it was out of print I’ve never gotten a copy. It just may be the book that finally inspires me to actually try my husband’s Kindle out. I’m a paper book kind of person, but I do love the sound of this one enough that it may just get me to try it very, very soon.
There are three other books in the Winterlands series following this novel – Dragonshadow, Knight of the Demon Queen, and Dragonstar.
When the Black Dragon seized the Deep of Ylferdun, young Gareth braved the far Winterlands to find John Aversin, Dragonsbane — the only living man ever to slay a dragon. In return for the promise of the King to send help to the Winterlands, Aversin agreed to attempt the nearly impossible feat again.
With them, to guard them on the haunted trip south, went Jenny Waynest, a half-taught sorceress and mother of Aversin’s sons.
But at the decadent Court, nothing was as expected. Rebellion threatened the land. Zyerne, a sorceress of seemingly unlimited power, held the King under an evil spell, and he refused to see them. Meantime, the dragon fed well on the knights who had challenged him.
In the end, Aversin, Jenny, and Gareth had to steal away at night to challenge Morkeleb, largest and wisest of dragons.
But that was only the beginning of the perils they must face.
Ghosts & Echoes by Lyn Benedict
This is the second book in the Shadows Inquiries series (following Sins & Shadows), which I started reading when I discovered Lyn Benedict and Lane Robins were the same person. Although I really enjoyed the first book for its mythological basis and the risks the author was willing to take, I never picked up the second book since I also started getting a little urban fantasied out and have only been keeping up with my absolute top favorite series in the genre (basically, Kate Daniels by Ilona Andrews, Mercy Thompson by Patricia Briggs, and October Daye by Seanan McGuire). So I never realized a quote from my review of the first book was on the back cover, and when I found out, I went out and bought it the next day. Yes, that’s a little pathetic, but it was on my wish list anyway since this is one of the urban fantasy series I do want to get caught up on at some point when I’m ready to read more of it (the others being Ann Aguirre’s Corine Solomon series and Kim Harrison’s Hollows).
The third book in the series, Gods & Monsters, will be released on April 26.
The new urban fantasy series that has readers jumping at shadows.
Chicago cop Adam Wright has picked up a spiritual hitchhiker, the ghost of a dead man who desperately wants to live again. So he turns to supernatural P.I. Sylvie Lightner to rid him of the spirit-a spirit she finds strangely familiar.
The Dragon’s Path by Daniel Abraham
A finished copy of the first book in a brand new series, The Dagger and the Coin, showed up this week. It will be released on April 7 in trade paperback and as an e-book. The ebook includes a bonus ARC of Leviathan Wakes, the first book in a new space opera series Abraham co-authored with Ty Franck as James S. A. Corey, coming out in June. (The Dragon’s Path is another one I’m hoping to read relatively soon.)
Summer is the season of war in the Free Cities.
Marcus wants to get out before the fighting starts. His hero days are behind him and simple caravan duty is better than getting pressed into service by the local gentry. Even a small war can get you killed. But a captain needs men to lead — and his have been summarily arrested and recruited for their swords.
Cithrin has a job to do — move the wealth of a nation across a war zone. An orphan raised by the bank, she is their last hope of keeping the bank’s wealth out of the hands of the invaders. But she’s just a girl and knows little of caravans, war, and danger. She knows money and she knows secrets, but will that be enough to save her in the coming months?
Geder, the only son of a noble house is more interested in philosophy than swordplay. He is a poor excuse for a soldier and little more than a pawn in these games of war. But not even he knows what he will become of the fires of battle. Hero or villain? Small men have achieved greater things and Geder is no small man.
Falling pebbles can start a landslide. What should have been a small summer spat between gentlemen is spiraling out of control. Dark forces are at work, fanning the flames that will sweep the entire region onto The Dragon’s Path — the path of war.