Instead of writing one huge post of all the books I’m looking forward to in 2012, I decided to highlight some of these books in their own posts throughout the rest of this year. That way I can include as much information as I want about each one without it being an 8-mile long post and can just compile a list of links to these posts at the end of the year.

Range of Ghosts by Elizabeth Bear

Range of Ghosts is the first book in Eternal Sky, a new epic fantasy trilogy by Elizabeth Bear. It will be available in March 2012.

This is a book I’d read just because it’s by Elizabeth Bear. I love her books – they’re not always the easiest books to read since she has a tendency to throw you in without all the details but they are beautifully written, intelligent books. They also often use a lot of different mythologies, which I’m also drawn to. The Sea Thy Mistress by her is one of my favorites from this year.

Elizabeth Bear’s description of it from an interview I did with her earlier this year got me very excited about it:


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.

Since preparing this post, I have gotten an electronic copy to read from the author, and I couldn’t resist looking at the opening pages. The writing is just as lovely as I expected. Now I’m eager to get a chance to finish reading it! I don’t generally read a lot of ebooks since I just don’t have as much fun reading them, but I will read this any way I can. It’s one of those books I’d read even if my copy was handwritten on napkins.

About Range of Ghosts:

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.

Other Books of 2012: