GALAXY CHOICE MAY 2013 ----- I was in and gone instantly with this book, this world. It was love at first sight with the ideas, the world, the story and ALL the characters. There’s just so much to like. The first chapter spilled over me like warm blood down white marble stairs (see Chapter one), and I was happily immersed from then on.
Often with flintlock fantasy (Where gunpowder has been 'invented' but has only gone so far as muskets) you don't get much magic. Technology begins to take over. With this, because of the black powder (and the mages that ingest or use it to gain powers and abilities), you get a whole new world of magic and possibilities, and very cool things happening. You also get the consequences of ingesting too much. The bleeding nose. The powder blindness. I really liked that. Consequence of increased power tickles me big time, especially where magic is concerned, and it makes the world that much more real.
I love the Idea that Brian was doing some civil war re-enactment or such and, when biting the top off a paper cartridge of black powder, go more than a taste in his mouth. The bitter grit sizzled against his tongue and the taste haunted him, made him feel a little ill, and then this whole world was born. (NOTE: I'm just guessing this happened - it has that real, gritty, experienced feel in the writing). This has a feel of renaissance France, or more so Revolutionary France. The King gets kicked off the throne (see Chapter one) for being a … miscreant… at best, and a bunch of nobles get the chop by guillotine, but it is not alternate history at all, so don’t let the reference scare you off.
As with most if not all books that I fall for 'at first sight', this is rich with clever, broken, human characters. What I like to call creatively flawed. People you want to spend time with, go drinking with and listen to the tales of their lives. They are characters you care for, which makes the story of their lives so much better. You are interested in what happens to them You feel for them. I love the plot and how it unfolds itself. The things that go right against the odds, the things that go wrong, regardless of how hard the characters try to prevent it and what an ending!
All in all this is great stuff. Splendid writing with new, clever and well orchestrated ideas, just enough history and world building to give background and depth and not so much to bore me or steal from the momentum and action. This is for fans of Fantasy, Alternate History, Flintlock/Black Powder Fantasy and Action slash Adventure stories. Fans of Abercrombie, Cook, Chris Evans, Flint, and Ringo will eat this up I would think. Really, this is for anyone who just wants a good read. Craig
Field Marshal Tamas's coup against his king sends corrupt aristocrats to the guillotine and brings bread to the starving. But it also provokes war in the Nine Nations, internal attacks by royalist fanatics and a greedy scramble for money and power by Tamas's supposed allies: the Church, workers' unions and mercenary forces. Stretched to his limit, Tamas relies heavily on his few remaining powder mages, including the embittered Taniel, a brilliant marksman who also happens to be Tamas's estranged son, and Adamat, a retired police inspector whose loyalty will be tested to its limit. Now, amid the chaos, a whispered rumour is spreading. A rumour about omens of death and destruction. Just old peasant legends about the gods returning to walk the earth. No modern educated man believes that sort of thing... But perhaps they should.
GALAXY CHOICE MAY 2013 ----- Welcome to Steelhaven... Under the reign of King Cael the Uniter, this vast cityport on the southern coast has for years been a symbol of strength, maintaining an uneasy peace throughout the Free States. But now a long shadow hangs over the city, in the form of the dread Elharim warlord, Amon Tugha. When his herald infiltrates the city, looking to exploit its dangerous criminal underworld, and a terrible dark magick that has long been buried once again begins to rise, it could be the beginning of the end.
The dragons are calling. Civil war is tearing apart the Kingdom of the Isles, for the throne lies empty and rivals are converging. Having spirited his beloved Princess Stephane safely out of Roldem, Hal - now Duke of Crydee - must turn his attention to the defence of the ancient realm so that a king can be anointed by the Congress of Lords, rather than by right of might. But the greatest threat may well lie out of the hands of men. Somewhere in the Grey Towers Mountains something not of this world is emerging. It will require that alliances be made between mortal enemies if disaster is to be averted. Elves and men must stand together, ancient heroes must rise again, dragons must fly and Pug, Magnus and the other magic-users of Midkemia must be prepared to make the ultimate sacrifice if the whole world is to be saved.
GALAXY CHOICE JANUARY 2013 ----- Two exciting short stories set in the engrossing world of The Demon Cycle. 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 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...
The land burns with the fires of a hundred battles as lords and petty kings fight for the Broken Empire. The long road to avenge the slaughter of his mother and brother has shown Prince Honorous Jorg Ancrath the hidden hands behind this endless war. He saw the game and vowed to sweep the board. First though he must gather his own pieces, learn the rules of play, and discover how to break them. A six nation army, twenty thousand strong, marches toward Jorg's gates, led by a champion beloved of the people. Every decent man prays this shining hero will unite the empire and heal its wounds. Every omen says he will. Every good king knows to bend the knee in the face of overwhelming odds, if only to save their people and their lands. But King Jorg is not a good king. Faced by an enemy many times his strength Jorg knows that he cannot win a fair fight. But playing fair was never part of Jorg's game plan.
The great war cannot be stopped. The tyrant Geder Palliako begins a conquest aimed at bringing peace to the world, though his resources are stretched too thin. When things go poorly, he finds a convenient target among the thirteen races and sparks a genocide. Clara Kalliam, freed by having fallen from grace, remakes herself as a loyal traitor and starts building an underground resistance movement that seeks to undermine Geder through those closest to him. Cithrin bel Sarcour is apprenticing in a city that's taken over by Antea, and uses her status as Geder's one-time lover to cover up an underground railroad smuggling refugees to safety. And Marcus Wester and Master Kit race against time and Geder Palliako's men in an attempt to awaken a force that could change the fate of the world.
Zombie P.I. Dan Shamble is on the case, trying to stop an all-out gang war between full-time and full-moon werewolves. As he combs through the tangled clues to hunt down the bald facts, things get hairy fast. Shamble lurches through a loony landscape of voodoo tattoo artists, illicit cockatrice fights, body builders assembling make-your-own-human kits, and perhaps scariest of all, crazed fans in town for the Worldwide Horror Convention. Yet the reign of hair-raising terror grows longer. If Shamble can't snip this off at the roots, the whole world could end up howling mad.
Thousands of years ago the elves were enslaved by the Wytch Lords. Murdered in their thousands, worked to death in slave gangs and divided against themselves, the wounds inflicted by man run deep - and elves have very long memories. Two of them - Auum and Takaar - led the rise against their enslavers, and united their people against men in order to free their nation. Now Calaius is at peace ...but that doesn't mean their nation is safe. Men need their help. The Wytch Lords have rallied, men's magic has grown more powerful, and their politics have become altogether more dangerous. Especially now: one of the mages has created a spell, called Dawnthief, which has the potential to destroy all living things on the planet. All four magical colleges are fighting to seize it and, in the background, the Wytch Lords have schemes of their own. Schemes which involve crushing the elven nation for good. Whoever seizes the spell, it places the elves in tremendous danger. But can Auum and Takaar overcome their differences and work together to save Calaius? And even if they can, is it not already too late ...?
No longer the leader of the Olympians, Konstantin has now gone into hiding. Konstantin is vulnerable, and Anderson believes now is the perfect time to destroy his nemesis. He orders private eye Nikki Glass to use her powers to locate Konstantin, and she balks at the idea until a series of attacks leads her to believe that Konstantin is gunning for her and Anderson instead of remaining safely in hiding. Nikki's search is complicated by Cyrus - Konstantin's son and the new leader of the Olympians - who threatens retribution should his father be killed. The complications mount up as Nikki begins to suspect that Konstantin might not be behind the attacks after all. The only person who hates Konstantin more than Anderson does is Anderson's estranged wife, Emma, who has joined the Olympians. And Nikki knows Emma would be more than happy if Anderson and his people embroil themselves in an all-out war against the Olympians - a war they cannot hope to win. As Nikki tries to figure out who the true enemy is, she deals with her tumultuous relationship with Jamaal, who struggles to control his death magic. But being loved by a descendant of a death goddess is the least of Nikki's worries...
The star of Jim Butcher's New York Times bestselling novel series, The Dresden Files, Harry Dresden is a private investigator whose clients require a detective with supernatural expertise - in other words, he's a wizard for hire. The Windy City has been hit with an outbreak of savage werewolf attacks - a case made even more chaotic and challenging by the fact that Harry's uncovered no less than three lycanthropic groups, each seemingly in conflict with one another. On top of that, Harry's lost the faith of his one friend and ally among the Chicago Police Department, Karrin Murphy. Now she, along with werewolves and hostile FBI Agents, hunts Harry while he races against the rise of the next full moon to discover who - or what - is behind the string of murders!
Once, in a city known as Bessa, there was a sultan named Bokhari Al-Bokhari, who was thrown down by the zealots of the ascetic Hakkim Mehdad. The sultan, his wives and children were put to the sword, while his 365 concubines were sent to a neighbouring caliph as tribute, Hakkim having no use for the pleasures of the flesh. But a day after the caravan had departed from Bessa, Hakkim discovered the terrible secret that the concubines had hidden from him.His reaction was swift and cruel. Kill the women of the harem forthwith, along with their children and maidservants. Let not one survive. Their bodies let the desert claim, and their names be fed to silence. This, then, is the tale - or tales - of how a remarkable group of women fight together to survive both the fury of Hakkim and the rigours of the desert. It is the tale of Zuleika, whose hidden past holds the key to their future, and of Rem, the librarian whose tears are ink. Of the wise Gursoon, who defines the group's conscience, and of the silver-tongued thief, Anwar Das, who knows when to ignore that conscience. This is the tale of the forging of a rabble of concubines, children, camel-herds and thieves into an army of silk and steel. It is the tale of the redemption and rise of Bessa, fabled City of Women. And it is the tale of an act of kindness that carries the seed of death, and will return to bring darkness and the end of a dream...
The time has come at last for Elspeth Gordie to leave the Land on her quest to find and stop the computermachine Sentinel from unleashing the deadly Balance of Terror arsenal. But before she can embark on her journey, she must find a lost key. And although she has long prepared for this day, nothing is as she anticipated. Elspeth's search will take her where she never thought to go, and bestow upon her stranger companions than any she ever imagined. It will lead her far from her destination to those she believed lost forever. And it will test her, as she has never been tested before...
Love and lies can corrupt even the purest heart...In the magical underworld of Victorian London, Tessa Gray finds her heart drawn more and more to Jem, while her longing for Will, despite his dark moods, continues to unsettle her. But something is changing in Will - the wall he has built around himself is crumbling. Could finding the Magister free Will from his secrets and give Tessa the answers to who she is and what she was born to do? As their search for the truth leads the three friends into peril, Tessa's heart is increasingly torn, especially when one of their own betrays them.
Two years have passed since the events of the Order of the Scales. Across the realms, dragons are still hatching. Hatching, and hatching free. Skorl is an Ember, a soldier trained from birth to fight dragons. He is a living weapon, one-shot only, saturated with enough dragon-poison to bring down a monster all on his own. Misanthrope, violent and a drunk, to fulfil his purpose and slay a dragon, means to be eaten. Now Skorl has a choice: he can hang for his crimes, or he can go with the last of the Adamantine Men, fighting against an enemy he was born to face. Rat is an Outsider. He's on the run and he's stumbled onto something that's going to make him rich beyond all his dreams. It's just a shame that the end of the world has started without him. Kataros is an alchemist, one of the order responsible for keeping the dragons in check. One of the order that has just failed, and disastrously so. Two men, one woman. One chance to save the world from a storm of dragons...
In a world where elves, faeries, trolls, werewolves, and vampires swim free in a sea of humanity, sometimes you need an edge. Looking for a little love? Need some luck? Desperate for revenge? Gage can give you what you need. The most talented tattoo artist in town, he knows the right symbol and the right mix of ingredients and ink to achieve your heart's desire. One tattoo is all it takes. But remember, everything has its price...Gage learned that lesson long ago, in ways he'd rather not remember. But the cruel and powerful wizards in the dreaded Ivory Towers he escaped aren't about to let him forget. Though Gage has managed to stay out of sight, he can't outrun the past forever. The wizards know Gage is using forbidden magic, and they intend to punish him for his transgressions. Too bad if innocent humans and monsters-entire cities-get in the way. They will quell a nascent magical uprising and Gage will be the sacrifice they need. First, though, they have to find him.
'This was the original game of thrones' George R.R. Martin From the publishers that brought you A Game of Thrones comes the series that inspired George R.R. Martin's epic work. Accursed! Accursed! You shall be accursed to the thirteenth generation! The Iron King - Philip the Fair - is as cold and silent, as handsome and unblinking as a statue. He governs his realm with an iron hand, but he cannot rule his own family: his sons are weak and their wives adulterous; while his red-blooded daughter Isabella is unhappily married to an English king who prefers the company of men. A web of scandal, murder and intrigue is weaving itself around the Iron King; but his downfall will come from an unexpected quarter. Bent on the persecution of the rich and powerful Knights Templar, Philip sentences Grand Master Jacques Molay to be burned at the stake, thus drawing down upon himself a curse that will destroy his entire dynasty...
A political operative and a volunteer are brutally murdered while in a compromising position. Written in their blood on the wall of the crime scene: Its Good to Be Back.
Max Frei has discovered that the one place he really fits in is the parallel world of Echo. In our world he's a loser, an insomniac with dubious social skills and an addiction to cigarettes. But in Echo, the reality is far stranger. There he is Sir Max, a superb magician and one of the powerful few chosen to defend the land against all possible enemies. And he's finally happy. But when one of his esteemed Knight colleagues tells Max of a strange dream - one that seems disturbingly familiar to Max - Max realises he will have to investigate. The subsequent series of events will remind our hero - and the people he protects - just how tenuous happiness can be. It could be his most dangerous mission yet, but The Stranger's Magic may win him through.
This continues the adventures of Sir Max - the one-time loser who now heads the Minor Secret Investigative Force - as he hunts down trespassing monsters and investigates the use of illegal magic in the supernatural world of Echo. Joining Max on his adventures are Sir Melifaro, Sir Juffin Hully, Sir Kofa Yox, and a bizarre cast of otherworldly characters. When people begin to die in Echo, Max must travel to the Dark Side of Echo to destroy the Lonely Shadow - the shadows of the dead. But defeating the Lonely Shadow isn't the end of this battle. Someone has been using the shadows to attack Echo, which will lead the redoubtable Max into a realm of unparalleled danger. Will he be able to defend his adopted home, or will he be forced to return to our mundane world?
Return to the lands of Aurian. Return to a time when even the land was a different shape. When the fabled Artefacts of Power were shaped. And when a race was fighting for freedom... Corisand, shaman of the Xandim, is locked in a desperate fight to free her tribe from slavery, accompanied by her friend, the blind Wizard Iriana. They have achieved the first step; the recovery of the powerful Fialan stone, but now the evil Magefolk are plotting a ruinous war, and the Archwizard Cyran wants to take the stone and use it as a weapon. Will Corisand succeed in mastering the enigmatic Fialan before she and her people are swept up in a conflict that that will change the world for ever? Maggie Furey's new series is the perfect introduction to the richness and wonder of Aurian - a world like no other. It tells the story of the genesis of the Artefacts of Power and charts the epic struggle for freedom of cursed people. This is fantasy at its purest and most magical. The Xandim are a people enslaved by the fey and powerful Phaerie, masters of the Old Magic. They were trapped in their horse forms for so long they forgot their human shapes, until their shaman, Windeye, found a way to rouse some of her people and bring them back to their humanity. But the quest to free the Xandim is not over. Indeed, the fight for freedom has only just begun.
Joey Harker is a hero... After mastering the ability to walk between dimensions, Joey helped save the Altiverse from destruction. But rival powers of magic and science are still out there, seeking to control all worlds. InterWorld's peacekeeping mission is far from finished. And when a stranger follows Joey back to BaseTown things get even more complicated. No one knows who she is or where she's from and, more importantly, why she knows so much about InterWorld. Dangerous times lie ahead...
New York Times bestseller by award-winning writers Neil Gaiman and Michael Reaves. Joey Harker isn't a hero...Joey Harker is the kind of guy who gets lost in his own house. But one day, Joey gets really lost. He walks straight out of his world and into another dimension. This walk between worlds makes Joey prey to armies of magic and science, both determined to harness Joey's power to travel between dimensions. The only thing standing in their way is Joey - or to be more precise an army of Joeys, all from different dimensions...Now Joey must make a choice: return to the life he knows or join the battle.
Deep within the rotting bowels of The City, in its rank catacombs, crumbling sewers and ancient tunnels, society's dregs and dispossessed - and those who are fleeing punishment or who simply want to disappear - struggle to survive. Above ground, the streets and markets teem as people go about their daily lives, and the palaces of the privileged gleam in the sunlight. All seems well. But in truth, the City teeters on the brink of disaster. It is place of cruelty and fear, where the rule of its seemingly immortal and quite possibly insane ruler has brought his dominion to its knees through waging almost constant war over hundreds of years. Amongst the outcasts living beneath are a brother and sister with no memory of their past and an old man who wishes to keep his secret. Disaster will separate them but years later, the memory of a tattooed corpse and something akin to fate will reunite them as players in a monumental conspiracy to liberate their world...
Seventeen-year-old Astor thinks she is about to wed the handsome plutocrat Lorrain Swale. But to her horror, her mother and stepfather abandon her, and she finds herself a lowly governess in the Swale household. Treated with contempt by the whole family, Astor is determined to escape. Help arrives unexpectedly in the form of the charismatic and mysterious Verrol. Together they plunge into the slums of Brummingham and find themselves in a street band, making wild music - a new kind of music that takes the world by storm. But the Swale brothers haven't finished with them yet...A story of changing fortunes, romance and the power of music.
Thaddeus Sharpe's life is dedicated to the hunting and killing of clockworkers. When a mysterious young woman named Sofiya Ekk approaches him with a proposition from a powerful employer, he cannot refuse. A man who calls himself Mr. Griffin seeks Thad's help with mad clockwork scientist Lord Havoc, who has molded a dangerous machine. Mr. Griffin cares little if the evil Lord lives or dies; all he desires is Havoc's invention. Upon Thad's arrival at Havoc's laboratory, he is met with a chilling discovery. Havoc is not only concealing his precious machine; he has been using a young child by the name of Nikolai for cruel experiments. Locked into a clockwork web of intrigue, Thad must decipher the dangerous truth surrounding Nikolai and the chaos contraption before havoc reigns....
The river Irenicon is a feat of Concordian engineering. Blasted through the middle of Rasenna in 1347 using Wave technology, it divided the only city strong enough to defeat the Concordian Empire. But no one could have predicted it would become sentient, and hostile. Sofia Scaligeri, the soon-to-be Contessa of Rasenna, is inheriting a city tearing itself apart from the inside. She can see no way of stopping Rasenna's culture of vendetta...until a Concordian engineer arrives to build a bridge over the Irenicon. He shows her that the feuding factions of Rasenna can continue to fight each other, or they can unite against Concord. And they will need to stand together - for Concord is about to unleash the Wave again...
In a small village in the nation of Droevinka, orphaned sisters Celine and Amelie Fawe scrape out a living selling herbal medicines in their apothecary shop. Celine earns additional money by posing as a seer and pretending to read people's futures. But they exist in a land of great noble houses, all vying for power, and when the sisters refuse the orders of a warlord prince, they must flee and are forced to depend on the warlord prince's brother, Anton, for a temporary haven. A series of bizarre deaths of pretty young girls is plaguing the village surrounding Prince Anton's castle. He offers Celine and Amelie permanent protection if they can use their skills to find the killer. With little choice, the sisters enter a world unknown to them - of fine gowns and banquets and advances from powerful men. Their survival depends on catching a murderer who appears to walk through walls and vanish without a trace - and the danger grows with each passing night.
It's been three months since Drothe killed a legend and unexpectedly elevated himself into the ranks of the underworld elite. Now, as the newest Gray Prince managing the city's underbelly, he's learning how good he used to have it. With barely an organization to his name, Drothe is already being called out by other Gray Princes. And to make matters worse, when one dies, all signs point to Drothe as wielding the knife. Members of the Kin begin choosing sides - mostly against him - for what looks to be another impending war. Then Drothe is approached by a man who has the solution to Drothe's problem and an offer of redemption. The only problem is the offer isn't for him. Now Drothe finds himself on the way to the Despotate of Djan, the empire's long-standing enemy, with an offer to make and a price on his head. And the grains of sand in the hour glass are running out, fast ...
Jack Winter and his girlfriend Pete Caldecott have encountered a lot of strange creatures in the Black - primordial demons, hungry ghosts, witch hunters, and the Prince of Hell himself, Belial. When Belial asks Jack for one last favor to help him keep his throne, Jack may have finally met his match because Belial's rival is something that no one - human or demon - has ever seen before... There's a revolution brewing in Hell, and Jack might be the only one who can stop Belial's rival from ripping a hole between the Black and the mortal world - a catastrophe that could be worse than Armageddon. But to win, Jack will have to do the one thing he swore he never would: become a servant to the Morrigan, and risk losing everything he knows and loves... including Pete.
COULD YOU FIND A HOTEL FOR A HARPY? OR A BAR FOR A BIGFOOT? Following the disaster that was her last job, Zoe is searching for a fresh start as a travel writer in New York City. After stumbling across a seemingly perfect position, though, Zoe is blocked at every turn because of the one thing she can't take off her resume - human. Not to be put off by anything - especially not her blood-drinking boss or death goddess co-worker - Zoe delves deep into the monster world. But her assignments turn deadly when the careful balance between humans and monsters starts to crumble with Zoe right in the middle.
As the Romans expand their rule from their newly founded capital city, the civilization of their elegant forerunners, the Etruscans, is waning. Into this era of flux and change strides a young figure destined to become one of the classical world's greatest mythic heroes. When Vesi, a young Etruscan noblewoman, is raped by a supernatural being who was once human, a child is conceived. Outcast from Etruria, Vesi bears a son she calls Horatrim: a child who is dangerous both to the Etruscans and to his own father, he is gifted with arcane knowledge and supernaternatural abilities, but has a human heart. Separated from his mother, he travels to Rome and is adopted by a businessman who changes his name to Horatius - a name that will ring down the ages. More than glory awaits the young man, however: his demon sire is pursuing Horatrim to kill him. This is fantasy of the highest order. Into a bold and colorful weave of action and adventure, Lylwelyn and Scott skillfully incorporate the classical themes underlying imaginative fiction.
Walking the streets of our cities are the Others. These men and women are guardians of the Twilight, a shadowy parallel world that exists alongside our own. Each has sworn allegiance to one side, fighting for the Light, or the Darkness. But now, beyond the continuing struggle comes a peril that threatens their very world... At Moscow airport, Higher Light Magician Anton Gorodetsky overhears a child screaming that a plane is about to crash. He discovers that the child is a prophet: an Other with the gift of foretelling the future. When the catastrophe is averted, Gorodetsky senses a disruption in the natural order, one that is confirmed by the arrival of a dark and terrifying predator. From the Night Watch headquarters Gorodetsky travels to London, to Taiwan and across Russia in search of clues, unearthing as he goes a series of increasingly cataclysmic prophecies. He soon realises that what is at stake is the existence of the Twilight itself - and that only he will be able to save it.
Haviland Tuf is an honest space-trader (one of the few), and he likes cats. So how is it that, despite being up against the worst villains in the universe, he has become the proud owner of the last working seedship, pride of Earth's Ecological Engineering Corps? We'll leave that aside for now - just be thankful that the most powerful weapon in space is in good hands, hands which now control cellular material for thousands of outlandish creatures. With his unique equipment and powerful spacecraft, Tuf is set to tackle the myriad problems that human settlers have created during their colonisation of far flung worlds. Hosts of hostile monsters, a population addicted to procreation, a dictator who is willing to unleash plagues to get his own way - and all that stands between the colonists and disaster is Tuf's ingenuity, and his reputation as an honest dealer in a universe of rogues...
In 1925, earthquakes and a rising sea level left Lower Manhattan submerged under more than thirty feet of water, so that its residents began to call it The Drowning City. Those unwilling to abandon their homes created a new life on streets turned to canals and in buildings whose first three stories are underwater. Fifty years have passed since then, and The Drowning City is full of scavengers and water rats, poor people trying to eke out an existence, and those too proud or stubbom to be defeated by circumstance. Among them are fourteen year old Molly McHugh and her friend and employer, Felix Orlov. Once upon a time Orlov the Conjuror was a celebrated stage magician, but now he is an old man, a psychic medium, contacting the spirits of the departed for the grieving loved ones left behind. When a seance goes horribly wrong, Felix Orlov is abducted by strange men wearing gas masks and rubber suits. Molly finds herself on the run. Her flight leads her into the company of Simon Hodge, a Victorian detective who's kept himself alive with magic and steampunk mechanics, and the stalwart sidekick, Joe Golem, whose own past and true identity is a mystery to him, but who walks his own dreams as a man of stone and clay, brought to life for the sole purpose of hunting witches.
This is an excellent series, and Echoes of Betrayal is particularly well done. [Elizabeth Moon] is a consistently entertaining writer, and this book lives up to her standards. -- San Jose Mercury News. All is not well in the Eight Kingdoms. In Lyonya, King Kieri is about to celebrate marriage to his beloved, the half-elf Arian. But uncanny whispers from the spirits of his ancestors continue to warn of treachery and murder, and a finger of suspicion points in a shocking direction. Meanwhile, in Tsaia, the young king Mikeli grapples with unrest among his own nobility after granting the title and estates of a traitorous magelord to a Verrakaien--who not only possesses the forbidden magic but is a woman. The controversial decision and its consequences put the king's claim to the throne in peril. But even greater danger looms. A dragon's wild offspring are sowing death and destruction, upsetting the ancient balance of power. A collision seems inevitable. Yet when it comes, it will be utterly unexpected--and all the more devastating for it. Fans of epic fantasy . . . should enjoy this series. --Library Journal Rousing action and intriguing plot twists. --Kirkus Reviews. Includes a preview of the next book in the Paladin's Legacy series, Limits of Power
Former Aerial Corps captain Will Laurence and his faithful dragon, Temeraire, have been put out to pasture in Australia - and it seems their part in the war has ended just when they are needed most. The French have invaded Spain, forged an alliance with Africa's powerful Tswana empire, and brought revolution to Brazil. With Britain's last desperate hope of defeating Napoleon in peril, the government that sidelined Laurence swiftly offers to reinstate him, convinced that he's the best man to enter the fray and negotiate peace. So the pair embark for Brazil, only to meet with a string of unmitigated disasters that forces them to make an unexpected landing in the hostile territory of the Incan empire. With the success of the mission balanced on a razor's edge, an old enemy appears and threatens to tip the scales toward ruin. Yet even in the midst of disaster, opportunity may lurk - for one bold enough to grasp it.
Now that supernatural halfling Jane has an army, she needs a target. Soon enough she gets word that her sworn enemy Jarl's been amassing his own force, and he's chosen his battleground: Arthur's Seat, in Edinburgh. Everyone knows that whoever holds the high ground wins the war, so Jarl definitely seems to have pipped Jane at the post. But before Jarl can call himself King of the Hill, Jane and her friends come up with a plan so kooky, it just might work. In Jane's estimation, all they need is love, lots of magic, one immature garden gnome with a penchant for pastel suits and dirty books, and snacks for Jane. After all, a girl does have to eat!
Ever since her boyfriend Nathan had died in a tragic accident, Emma had been coming to the graveyard at night. During the day she went through the motions at her prep school, in class, with her friends, but that's all it was. For Emma, life had stopped with Nathan's death. But tonight was different. Tonight Emma and her dog were not alone in the cemetery. There were two others there - Eric, who had just started at her school, and an ancient woman who looked as though she were made of rags. And when they saw Emma there, the old woman reached out to her with a grip as chilling as death... Emma was not quite like others teenagers. It was true that other girls had experienced grief. Other girls had also lost their fathers, or had their boyfriends die in a senseless accident. But though she hadn't known it till that night in the graveyard, unlike those other girls, she could see, touch, and speak with the dead. In fact, Emma could draw upon the essence of the dead to work magic. That was what Necromancers did. But Emma had no desire to be a Necromancer. She just wanted to help the ghosts who walked the streets of Toronto, unable to escape from the land of the living. And that was just as well, because had she chosen the path of the Necromancer, Eric would have had to kill her. Instead, Eric and his fellow Necromancer hunter Chase found themselves violating every rule they were sworn to follow, becoming part of Emma's group, helping her to stand against those who preyed upon the dead. But whether Emma and her friends could survive such a battle was anyone's guess. And whether Emma could learn to use the magic of the dead against her enemies without herself falling victim to the lure of such power remained to be seen. Eric seemed to think she could, and her living friends would never abandon her. But only time would tell what Emma's true destiny was...
Nathan died the summer before his final year in high school. But he wakes in his room - or in the shrine of his room his mother's made - confused, cold, and unable to interact with anyone or anything he sees. The only clear memory he has is a dream of a shining city and its glorious queen, but the dream fades, until he once again meets his girlfriend Emma by the side of his own grave. Nathan wants life. He wants Emma. But, even if Emma can deliver what he desires, the cost may be too high to pay...
The service of Britannia is not for the faint of heart or conscience. Rumours of a devastating new weapon reach the Queen's ears, and sorceress Emma Bannon is sent on a mission to find its creator. The genius Archibald Clare, is only too happy to help. It will distract him from pursuing his nemesis, and besides, Clare is not as young as he used to be. A spot of Miss Bannon's excellent hospitality and her diverting company may be just what he needs. Unfortunately their quarry is a fanatic, and his poisonous discovery is just as dangerous to Britannia as to Her enemies. Now a single man has set Londinium ablaze, and Clare finds himself racing against time and theory to find a cure. Miss Bannon has troubles of her own, for the Queen's Consort Alberich is ill and Her Majesty unhappy with Bannon's loyal service. And there is still no way to reliably find a hansom cab when one needs it most... The game is afoot. And the Red Plague rises.
Near-purebred home nocturnus Adrian Breze and his human mate, Ellen, thought they had dealt with his twin sister, Adrienne. In fact, they thought she was dead. But she survived and now leads a faction of the Shadowspawn - the ancient, shape-shifting, blood-drinking breed who secretly control the world - that wants to leave just enough of the human race alive to satisfy their hunger and serve their needs. She has nothing but hatred and contempt for her brother, who remains on the side of humanity, fighting with the Brotherhood against the Shadowspawn. To defeat him, she has suborned his mentor - the greatest warrior of the Brotherhood. The man thinks he's bringing a weapon to the Council of Shadows that will wipe out the Shadowspawn's leaders. In truth, his actions will make Adrienne demon-goddess of the world... unless Adrian and Ellen can turn him back in time.
Nine years ago, Steve Clarke was just a teenage boy in love with the girl of his dreams. Then a freak chemical spill transformed him into Reaver, the man whose super-powerful fists can literally take a year off a bad guy's life. Days ago, he found himself at the mercy of his arch-nemesis Octagon and a whole crew of fiendish super-villains, who gave him two weeks to settle his affairs-and prepare to die. Now, after years of extraordinary adventures and crushing tragedies, the world's greatest hero is returning to where it all began in search of the boy he once was... and the girl he never forgot. Exciting, scandalous, and ultimately moving, Prepare to Die! is a unique new look at the last days of a legend.
Appleton is a small town nestled on the coast of Scotland. Though it was once famous for the apples it produced, these days it's a shadow of its former self. But in a hidden orchard a golden apple dangles from a silver bough, an apple believed lost forever. The apple is part of a legend, promising either eternal happiness to the young couple who eat from it secure in their love - or a curse, for those who take its gift for granted. Now, as the town teeters on the edge of decline, the old rituals have been forgotten and the mists are rolling in. And in the mist, something is stirring...
AN ALL-NEW COMPREHENSIVE GUIDE TO ONE OF THE MOST BRILLIANTLY CONSTRUCTED WORLDS IN ALL OF FICTION
Stephen King's bestselling multi-volume Dark Tower series is the author's most inspired and imaginative creation. The story of Roland Deschain of Gilead, the last gunslinger, and his lifelong quest to reach the tower and save humanity across infinite parallel worlds is one that has consumed King throughout his career as characters and concepts crossed back and forth between the series and the rest of his fictional universe. The mythos continues to be chronicled and expanded in graphic novels overseen by King, interactive adventures on his website, a proposed film adaptation, and in a new Dark Tower novel.
The Dark Tower Companion is the ultimate compendium to King's evolving magnum opus, presenting the mythology, history, and geography of this epic fantasy that has captivated generations of readers. Featuring interviews with Stephen King, Ron Howard, Dark Tower expert Robin Furth and others, Bev Vincent reveals The Dark Tower 's influential literary origins, examines its connections to the vast majority of King's other novels, explores the expanded universe, catalogs the major characters, locations and concepts, and includes a travel guide to the story's real-world locations, giving fans who have followed Roland's journey--or those who are discovering it for the first time--a fascinating overview of the series and an inside look at the creative process of one of the world's most popular authors.
Here is a tale of a family dealing with the death of their father, a son who goes to court for his inheritance, a son who agonizes over his father's deathbed confession, a daughter who falls in love, a daughter who becomes involved in the abolition movement, and a daughter sacrificing herself for her husband. <br>Here is what sounds for all the world like an enjoyable Victorian novel, perhaps by Anthony Trollope...except that everyone in the story is a dragon, red in tooth and claw. <br>Here are politics and train stations, churchmen and family retainers, courtship, and country houses...in which, on the death of an elder, family members gather to eat the body of the deceased. In which society's high and mighty members avail themselves of the privilege of killing and eating the weaker children, which they do with ceremony and relish, growing stronger thereby. <br>You have never read a novel like Tooth and Claw.
The gods and goddesses are real. And they are here on Earth. A polytheistic pantheon--a tangle of gods and divine hierarchies--once kept the world at an arm's length, warring with one another, using mankind's belief and devotion to give them power. In this way, the world had balance: a grim and bloody balance, but a balance just the same. But a single god sought dominance and gathered his armies of angels behind him to oust the other gods in a shattering of the cosmic order, a sundering of the divinities. As Lucifer fell to Hell, the gods and goddesses fell to earth. And it's there they remain--seemingly eternal, masquerading as humans and managing only a fraction of the power they once had as gods. They fall to old patterns, collecting sycophants and worshippers in order to war against one another in the battle for the hearts of men. They bring with them their children young and old, demi-gods who are half-human, half-divine. And they bring with them their monstrous races--crass abnormalities created to serve the gods. Undead eunuch magicians. Rampaging minotaurs. Shapeshifting yokai. They would do anything to usher in a rebirth of the old ways. To reclaim the seat of true power.