One of my most anticipated books of 2012 has been Range of Ghosts by Elizabeth Bear ever since she mentioned it in an interview I did with her earlier this year. I love her books, and the way she described this novel in the interview made it sound especially fantastic:
I just handed in the first novel of my first real epic fantasy trilogy. It’s called Range of Ghosts, and it forthcoming from Tor in 2012. I’m a little in love with this world–it’s a cod-Medieval Central Asian fantasy in the mode of the cod-Medieval European fantasy we see so much of. It’s fascinating to me that there are these vast empires and amazing trading societies, socially and technologically advanced, the history of which is almost absent from the Western psyche except when they are invoked as boogeymen–Genghis Khan, Attila the Hun. My Cossack ancestors claim descent from the Golden Horde, and it was incredibly interesting to bury myself in that history.
These are not, I hasten to say, historical fantasies. They’re high fantasy, but they draw their inspiration from sources usually ignored–or cast as the invading enemy–in most of the Western fantasy tradition. And it’s a largely unvisited realm, outside of the adventures of Conan the Cimmerian. The far East gets some attention, but not the vast empires of the Himalayas and the Steppe.
Temur, grandson of the Great Khan, is walking away from a battlefield where he was left for dead. All around lie the fallen armies of his cousin and his brother, who made war to rule the Khaganate. Temur is now the legitimate heir by blood to his grandfather’s throne, but he is not the strongest. Going into exile is the only way to survive his ruthless cousin.
Once-Princess Samarkar is climbing the thousand steps of the Citadel of the Wizards of Tsarepheth. She was heir to the Rasan Empire until her father got a son on a new wife. Then she was sent to be the wife of a Prince in Song, but that marriage ended in battle and blood. Now she has renounced her worldly power to seek the magical power of the wizards.These two will come together to stand against the hidden cult that has so carefully
brought all the empires of the Celadon Highway to strife and civil war through guile and deceit and sorcerous power.
I can’t wait! Range of Ghosts will be released in March 2012.
Actually, I’d highly recommend checking out the whole catalog since there are some great sounding books here, even if a frustrating number are sequels to books I’ve been wanting to read and haven’t read yet. Some of the books mentioned are:
- Touchstone by Melanie Rawn (February 2012)
- Among Others by Jo Walton (coming to paperback in January 2012 – this looked really good!)
- Girl Genius Omnibus Volume One: Agatha Awakens by Phil and Kaja Foglio (January 2012)
- The Scar by Sergey and Marina Dyachenko, translated by Elinor Huntington (February 2012)
- Shadow and Betrayal by Daniel Abraham (omnibus of first two Long Price books, coming out March 2012)
- The Fractal Prince by Hannu Rajaniemi (sequel to The Quantum Thief, to be released in September 2012)
- Glamour in Glass by Mary Robinette Kowal (sequel to Shades of Milk and Honey, coming out April 2012)
- Blue Magic by A. M. Dellamonica (sequel to Indigo Springs, will be released April 2012)
That’s just a few of them – I could spend all night writing about all the books that look good. I’m really excited about The Scar, which I hadn’t heard of before now. Here’s the description for that one:
Reaching far beyond sword and sorcery, The Scar is a story of two people torn by disaster, their descent into despair, and their reemergence through love and courage. Sergey and Marina Dyachenko mix dramatic scenes with romance, action and wit, in a style both direct and lyrical. Written with a sure artistic hand, The Scar is the story of a man driven by his own feverish demons to find redemption and the woman who just
might save him.
Egert is as a brash, confident member of the elite guards and an egotistical philanderer. But after he kills an innocent student in a duel, a mysterious man known as “The Wanderer” challenges Egert and slashes his face with his sword, leaving Egert with a scar that comes to symbolize his cowardice. Unable to end his suffering by his own hand, Egert embarks on an odyssey to undo the curse and the horrible damage he has caused, which can only be repaired by a painful journey down a long and harrowing path. Toria, the woman whose fiancé Egert killed, hates Egert, and is saddened and numb, but comes to forgive the drastically changed Egert. Plotted with the sureness of Robin Hobb and colored with the haunting and ominous imagination of Michael Moorcock, The Scar tells a story that cannot be forgotten.
Eek, there’s too many books from 2011 I still want to read to be drooling over next year’s books! Are there any books coming out next year you’re excited about already?