SF Book Releases This Week: August 5, 2014

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Frostborn (Thrones and Bones)
by Lou Anders
Debut Novel

Fantasy fans of Rick Riordan’s Percy Jackson and John Flanagan’s Ranger’s Apprentice series will embrace this first novel in an adventure-filled, Viking-inspired series by a debut author.

Meet Karn. He is destined to take over the family farm in Norrøngard. His only problem? He’d rather be playing the board game Thrones and Bones.

Enter Thianna. Half human, half frost giantess. She’s too tall to blend in with other humans but too short to be taken seriously as a giant.

When family intrigues force Karn and Thianna to flee into the wilderness, they have to keep their sense of humor and their wits about them. But survival can be challenging when you’re being chased by a 1,500-year-old dragon, Helltoppr the undead warrior and his undead minions, an evil uncle, wyverns, and an assortment of trolls and giants.

Readers will embark on a sweeping epic fantasy as they join Karn and Thianna on a voyage of discovery. Antics and hair-raising escapades abound in this fantasy adventure as the two forge a friendship and journey to unknown territory. Their plan: to save their families from harm.

Debut novelist Lou Anders has created a rich world of over twenty-five countries inhabited by Karn, Thianna, and an array of fantastical creatures, as well as the Thrones and Bones board game.

Available August 5, 2014

The House of the Four Winds: Book One of One Dozen Daughters
by Mercedes Lackey and James Mallory

Mercedes Lackey is the New York Times bestselling author of the Valdemar series and romantic fantasies like Beauty and the Werewolf and The Fairy Godmother. JAMES MALLORY and Lackey have collaborated on six novels. Now. these New York Times and USA Today bestselling collaborators bring romance to the fore with The House of Four Winds.

The rulers of tiny, impoverished Swansgaard have twelve daughters and one son. While the prince’s future is assured, his twelve sisters must find their own fortunes.

Disguising herself as Clarence, a sailor, Princess Clarice intends to work her way to the New World. When the crew rebels, Clarice/Clarence, an expert with rapier and dagger, sides with the handsome navigator, Dominick, and kills the cruel captain.

Dominick leads the now-outlawed crew in search of treasure in the secret pirate haven known as The House of Four Winds. They encounter the sorceress Shamal, who claims Dominick for her own—but Clarice has fallen hard for Dominick and won’t give him up without a fight.

Full of swashbuckling adventure, buoyant magic, and irrepressible charm, The House of the Four Winds is a lighthearted fantasy romp by a pair of bestselling writers.

Available August 5, 2014

Classic Science Fiction and Fantasy Stories
by Stephen Brennan (ed)

The stories of Mary Shelley, H. G. Wells, and Jules Verne paved the way for the fantastic science fiction literature that we all enjoy today. However, full appreciation of these contemporary works is impossible without an understanding of their literary roots. Classic Science Fiction and Fantasy Stories is a wonderful collection, comprising excerpts and short stories from some of the most beloved writers of all time. While many readers have only a cursory knowledge of these works, having either heard about them or skimmed through them, they will now be able to have this entire collection in the palm of their hands.

Included in this comprehensive collection are famous writers spanning multiple centuries, including:

• Edgar Allan Poe
• H. G. Wells
• Mark Twain
• Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
• Jules Verne
• Jack London
• Mary Shelley
• And many more

Classic Science Fiction and Fantasy Stories offers not only a front-row seat to the creation of the famous science fiction and fantasy genres, but also insight on where the great sci-fi minds of today got their inspiration. With the help of Stephen Brennan, this collection is one that all fans of George A. Romero, Max Brooks, and Stephen King should have on their bookshelves.

Available August 5, 2014

Severed Souls (Sword of Truth Book 14)
by Terry Goodkind

From the far reaches of the D’Haran Empire, Bishop Hannis Arc and the ancient Emperor Sulachan lead a vast horde of Shun-Tuk and other depraved “half-people” into the Empire’s heart, raising an army of the dead in order to threaten the world of the living. Meanwhile, far from home, Richard Rahl and Kahlan Amnell must defend themselves and their followers from a series of terrifying threats, despite a magical sickness that depletes their strength and which, if not cured, will take their lives…sooner rather than later.

“Richard saw the point of a sword blade sticking out from between the man’s shoulder blades. He spun back toward Richard after throwing the woman out of the opening, ready to attack. It seemed impossible, but the man looked unaffected by the blade that had impaled him through the chest.

It was then, in the weak light from the fire pit off to the side, that Richard got his first good look at the killer.

Three knives were buried up to their brass cross-guards in the man’s chest. Only the handles were showing. Richard saw, too, the broken end of a sword blade jutting out from the center of the man’s chest. The point of that same blade stuck out from the man’s back.

Richard recognized the knife handles. All three were the style carried by the men of the First File.

He looked from those blades that should have killed the big man, up into his face. That was when he realized the true horror of the situation, and the reason for the unbearable stench of death.”

From Terry Goodkind, author of the Sword of Truth series, comes a sweeping new novel of Richard Rahl, Kahlan Amnell, and their world.

Available August 5, 2014

The Widow’s House (The Dagger and the Coin)
by Daniel Abraham

THE RISE OF THE DRAGON AND THE FALL OF KINGS

Lord Regent Geder Palliako’s war has led his nation and the priests of the spider goddess to victory after victory. No power has withstood him, except for the heart of the one woman he desires. As the violence builds and the cracks in his rule begin to show, he will risk everything to gain her love or else her destruction.

Clara Kalliam, the loyal traitor, is torn between the woman she once was and the woman she has become. With her sons on all sides of the conflict, her house cannot stand, but there is a power in choosing when and how to fall.

And in Porte Oliva, banker Cithrin bel Sarcour and Captain Marcus Wester learn the terrible truth that links this war to the fall of the dragons millennia before, and that to save the world, Cithrin must conquer it.

Available August 5, 2014

Dust and Light: A Sanctuary Novel
by Carol Berg

National bestselling author Carol Berg returns to the world of her award-winning Flesh and Spirit and Breath and Bone with an all-new tale of magic, mystery, and corruption….

How much must one pay for an hour of youthful folly? The Pureblood Registry accused Lucian de Remeni-Masson of “unseemly involvement with ordinaries,” which meant only that he spoke with a young woman not of his own kind, allowed her to see his face unmasked, worked a bit of magic for her….After that one mistake, Lucian’s grandsire excised half his magic and savage Harrowers massacred his family. Now the Registry has contracted his art to a common coroner. His extraordinary gift for portraiture is restricted to dead ordinaries—beggars or starvelings hauled from the streets.

But sketching the truth of dead men’s souls brings unforeseen consequences. Sensations not his own. Truths he cannot possibly know and dares not believe. The coroner calls him a cheat and says he is trying to weasel out of a humiliating contract. The Registry will call him mad—and mad sorcerers are very dangerous….

Available August 5, 2014

The Revenant
by Elise Abram

He wears neither cape nor cowl, but Zulu is a superhero, nevertheless.

Raised from the dead as a revenant more than a century ago, Zulu possesses superhuman speed, undetectable stealth, and a keen intellect. His only companion is Morgan the Seer, an old man cursed with longevity and the ability to see the future. Zulu has spent a lifetime training with Morgan to save the people in his visions from certain and violent death.

Malchus, Morgan’s long dead twin brother and a powerful necromancer, returns to the living to settle a score with Morgan. Believing Morgan responsible for his death and out for revenge, Malchus raises an army of undead minions to hunt Morgan down. As Malchus closes in on Morgan and his charge, they soon realize the people most in need of saving are themselves.

Shadows (The Masks of Aygrima)
by E.C. Blake

In Masks, Mara Holdfast’s life changed forever. As the daughter of the Autarch’s Master Maskmaker, she had a clearly defined future: a quiet, ordered life in the capital, making Masks with her father and doing work important to the ruling Autarch. But when her Mask, specially made by her own father, cracked and fell to pieces during her Masking ceremony, Mara was exiled from everything she once knew.

Now she has become part of an underground rebellion, rejecting the unjust rules of a Masked society. She must try to understand her unprecedented ability to use all types of magic—and to tear magic from the living bodies of those around her. But Mara has yet to discover just how horrifying her power can be….

Available August 5, 2014

Alien Hunter: Underworld (Alien Hunter Series)
by Whitley Strieber

Alien Hunter: Underworld, the searing sequel to Alien Hunter from bestselling author Whitley Strieber

Flynn Carroll works for the most secret police unit on the planet, seeking the most brilliant and lethal criminals who have ever walked free: thieves and murderers from another world.

As part of a top secret CIA alien communications project, Flynn’s unit has been tasked with tracking down rogue agents from the planet Aeon. While Aeon claims to be a free planet desiring open communications with humanity, Aeon criminals have committed a series of brutal and bizarre murders on Earth. Flynn has been forbidden to take lethal action against the alien murderers—but as the bodies begin to pile up, something must be done.

Flynn finds himself cut off from his team, struggling to unearth Aeon secrets while protecting Earthling civilians from the deadly creatures. But as Flynn gets closer to the truth, he finds himself facing not only some of the most dangerous and frightening criminals ever seen on Earth, but also questions about his own existence. In order to crack the case, Flynn must come to grips with the greatest mystery he has yet confronted: who—or what—is he?

Available August 5, 2014

Dark Lightning (Thunder and Lightning)
by John Varley

Known for “superior science fiction” (The Philadelphia Inquirer), author John Varley returns to his Thunder and Lightning series with a novel of how one man’s volatile genius could alter a starship’s epic plunge into a future where human survival is just a theory…

On a voyage to New Earth, the starship Rolling Thunder is powered by an energy no one understands, except for its eccentric inventor Jubal Broussard. Like many of the ship’s inhabitants, Jubal rests in a state of suspended animation for years at a time, asleep yet never aging.

The moments when Jubal emerges from suspended animation are usually a cause for celebration for his family, including his twin daughters—Cassie and Polly—and their uncle who is captain of the Rolling Thunder. But this time, Jubal makes a shocking announcement…

The ship must stop, or everyone will die.

These words from the mission’s founder, the man responsible for the very existence of the Rolling Thunder, will send shock waves throughout the starship—and divide its passengers into those who believe and those who doubt. And it will be up to Cassie and Polly to stop a mutiny, discover the truth, and usher the ship into a new age of exploration…

Available August 5, 2014

Assail: A Novel of the Malazan Empire
by Ian C. Esslemont

This followup to Ian C. Esslemont’s Blood and Bone is sure to delight Malazan fans.

Tens of thousands of years of ice is melting, and the land of Assail, long a byword for menace and inaccessibility, is at last yielding its secrets. Tales of gold discovered in the region’s north circulate in every waterfront dive and sailor’s tavern, and now countless adventurers and fortune-seekers have set sail in search of riches. All these adventurers have to guide them are legends and garbled tales of the dangers that lie in wait — hostile coasts, fields of ice, impassable barriers and strange, terrifying creatures. But all accounts concur that the people of the north meet all trespassers with the sword. And beyond are rumoured to lurk Elder monsters out of history’s very beginnings.

Into this turmoil ventures the mercenary company, the Crimson Guard. Not drawn by contract, but by the promise of answers: answers to mysteries that Shimmer, second in command, wonders should even be sought. Arriving also, part of an uneasy alliance of Malazan fortune-hunters and Letherii soldiery, comes the bard Fisher kel Tath. And with him is a Tiste Andii who was found washed ashore and cannot remember his past life, yet who commands far more power than he really should. Also venturing north is said to be a mighty champion, a man who once fought for the Malazans, the bearer of a sword that slays gods: Whiteblade.

And lastly, far to the south, a woman guards the shore awaiting both her allies and her enemies. Silverfox, newly incarnated Summoner of the undying army of the T’lan Imass, will do anything to stop the renewal of an ages-old crusade that could lay waste to the entire continent and beyond.

Casting light on mysteries spanning the Malazan empire, and offering a glimpse of the storied and epic history that shaped it, “Assail” is the final chapter in the epic story of the Empire of Malaz.

Available August 5, 2014

The Magician’s Land: A Novel
by Lev Grossman

The stunning conclusion to the New York Times bestselling Magicians trilogy

Quentin Coldwater has lost everything. He has been cast out of Fillory, the secret magical land of his childhood dreams that he once ruled. Everything he had fought so hard for, not to mention his closest friends, is sealed away in a land Quentin may never again visit. With nothing left to lose he returns to where his story began, the Brakebills Preparatory College of Magic. But he can’t hide from his past, and it’s not long before it comes looking for him. Meanwhile, the magical barriers that keep Fillory safe are failing, and barbarians from the north have invaded. Eliot and Janet, the rulers of Fillory, embark on a final quest to save their beloved world, only to discover a situation far more complex—and far more dire—than anyone had envisioned.

Along with Plum, a brilliant young magician with a dark secret of her own, Quentin sets out on a crooked path through a magical demimonde of gray magic and desperate characters. His new life takes him back to old haunts, like Antarctica and the Neitherlands, and old friends he thought were lost forever. He uncovers buried secrets and hidden evils and ultimately the key to a sorcerous masterwork, a spell that could create a magical utopia. But all roads lead back to Fillory, where Quentin must face his fears and put things right or die trying.

The Magician’s Land is an intricate and fantastical thriller, and an epic of love and redemption that brings the Magicians trilogy to a magnificent conclusion, confirming it as one of the great achievements in modern fantasy. It’s the story of a boy becoming a man, an apprentice becoming a master, and a broken land finally becoming whole.

Available August 5, 2014

Revenant: A Greywalker Novel
by Kat Richardson

Harper Blaine was your average small-time PI until she died—for two minutes. Now Harper is a Greywalker, treading the thin line between the living world and the paranormal realm. And these abilities are landing her all sorts of “strange” cases….

Turmoil, sickness, and destruction are sweeping through Europe—and its effects are being felt all the way across the world in Seattle. Harper Blaine and her lover, Quinton, suspect that Quinton’s father, James Purlis—and his terrifying Ghost Division—are involved.

Following a dark trail of grotesque crimes and black magic across the Old World, the pair slowly draws closer to their quarry. But finding and dismantling the Ghost Division won’t be enough to stop the horror that Purlis has unwittingly set in motion.

An ancient and forgotten cult has allied with Quinton’s mad father. And their goals are far more nightmarish than Harper and Quinton—or even Purlis—could ever imagine.

The pursuit leads to Portugal, where the desecrated tomb of a sleeping king and a temple built of bones recall Harper’s very first paranormal case and hold clues to the cult’s true intentions. Harper and Quinton will need all the help they can get to avert a necromantic cataclysm that could lay waste to Europe and drag the rest of the world to the brink of war.

Available August 5, 2014

R Junker Robert Junker – AISFP Contributor

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