Upcoming: WITCH KING by Martha Wells (Tor.com)

WellsM-WitchKingUSHCWitch King was announced quite some time ago, but with the newly-unveiled cover hitting the internet a couple days ago (maybe yesterday?), I wanted to feature it on CR. Martha Wells is the author, of among other excellent books and stories, the acclaimed Murderbot Diaries (also published by Tor.com). Witch King, the author’s first new fantasy novel since 2017’s The Harbors of the Sun, it is the first in an entirely new setting. Here’s the synopsis:

“I didn’t know you were a… demon.”
“You idiot. I’m the demon.”

After being murdered, his consciousness dormant and unaware of the passing of time while confined in an elaborate water trap, Kai wakes to find a lesser mage attempting to harness Kai’s magic to his own advantage. That was never going to go well.

But why was Kai imprisoned in the first place? What has changed in the world since his assassination? And why does the Rising World Coalition appear to be growing in influence?

Kai will need to pull his allies close and draw on all his pain magic if he is to answer even the least of these questions.

He’s not going to like the answers.

Witch King is due to be published by Tor.com in North America and in the UK, on May 30th, 2023. I really can’t wait to read this.

Also on CR: Reviews of All Systems Red, Artificial Condition, Rogue Protocol, Exit Strategy, Network Effect, and Fugitive Telemetry

Follow the Author: Website, Goodreads, Twitter

Annotated Excerpt: NOTORIOUS SORCERER by Davinia Evans (Orbit)

EvansD-NotoriousSorcererThis evening, we have an annotated excerpt from Notorious Sorcerer by Davinia Evans. The novel is due out tomorrow, to be published by Orbit. Here’s the synopsis:

In a city filled with dangerous yet heavily regulated alchemical magic, a man from the slums discovers he may be its only hope to survive certain destruction in this wickedly entertaining fantasy. 

Welcome to Bezim, where sword-slinging bravi race through the night and rich and idle alchemists make magic out of mixing and measuring the four planes of reality.

Siyon Velo, Dockside brat turned petty alchemist, scrapes a living hopping between the planes to harvest ingredients for the city’s alchemists. But when Siyon accidentally commits an act of impossible magic, he’s catapulted into the limelight — which is a bad place to be when the planes start lurching out of alignment, threatening to send Bezim into the sea.

It will take a miracle to save the city. Good thing Siyon has pulled off the impossible before. Now he just has to master it.

A dazzling fantasy bursting with wild magic, chaotic sword-fighting street gangs, brazen flirting, malevolent harpies, and one defiant alchemist.

Now, over to the author…!

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Excerpt: THE FIRST BINDING by R. R. Virdi (Gollancz/Tor)

VirdiRR-ToT1-FirstBindingUKHCR. R. Virdi‘s The First Binding, book one in the author’s Tales of Tremaine epic fantasy series, generated a lot of great pre-publication buzz. It’s a hefty beast (clocking in at over 800 pages), but one that promises a deep, gripping, and immersive read. The novel is now available in the UK (Gollancz) and North America (Tor Books).

As part of the book tour celebrating the novel’s release, Gollancz has provided an excerpt for me to share with you today. Before we get to that, though, here’s the official synopsis:

All legends are born of truths. And just as much lies. These are mine. Judge me for what you will. But you will hear my story first.

I buried the village of Ampur under a mountain of ice and snow. Then I killed their god. I’ve stolen old magics and been cursed for it. I started a war with those that walked before mankind and lost the princess I loved, and wanted to save. I’ve called lightning and bound fire. I am legend. And I am a monster.

My name is Ari.

And this is the story of how I let loose the first evil.

Thus begins the tale of a storyteller and a singer on the run and hoping to find obscurity in a tavern bar. But the sins of their past aren’t forgotten, and neither are their enemies. Their old lives are catching up swiftly and it could cost them the entire world. No one can escape their pasts and all stories must have an ending.

This excerpt follows directly on from the previous stop on the blog tour, at Stephen’s Bookish Life. So, if you missed that one, go read the excerpt there before continuing below.

For those who are caught up… on with the excerpt!

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Upcoming: GODKILLER by Hannah Kaner (Harper Voyager)

KanerH-1-GodkillerUKHCI hadn’t heard of Hannah Kaner‘s new novel before I spotted it on NetGalley this morning (unsurprising, given that it’s a debut). That cover, though, really grabbed my attention and piqued my interest. The first novel in a new series, I’m really looking forward to giving Godkiller a try. Here’s the synopsis:

You are not welcome here, godkiller

Kissen’s family were killed by zealots of a fire god. Now, she makes a living killing gods, and enjoys it. That is until she finds a god she cannot kill: Skedi, a god of white lies, has somehow bound himself to a young noble, and they are both on the run from unknown assassins.

Joined by a disillusioned knight on a secret quest, they must travel to the ruined city of Blenraden, where the last of the wild gods reside, to each beg a favour.

Pursued by demons, and in the midst of burgeoning civil war, they will all face a reckoning – something is rotting at the heart of their world, and only they can be the ones to stop it.

Hannah Kaner’s Godkiller is due to be published by Harper Voyager in the UK, on January 19th, 2023. (At the time of writing, I couldn’t find any information about a North American publisher.)

Follow the Author: Website, Goodreads, Twitter

Excerpt: THE GARDEN OF EMPIRE by J. T. Greathouse (Gollancz)

GreathouseJT-P&P2-GardenOfEmpireUKHCTo help kick off the blog tour marking the release of The Garden of EmpireJ. T. Greathouse‘s second Pact & Pattern novel, Gollancz has provided CR with an excerpt! Picking up the story after The Hand of the Sun King, here’s the synopsis:

WAR MAKES MONSTERS OF EVERYONE.

Foolish Cur, once named Wen Alder, finds that his allies in the rebellion might cross any line if it means freedom from the Empire. But he can’t overcome a foe as strong as Emperor Tenet alone.

REBELLION HAS UNINTENDED CONSEQUENCES.

Koro Ha, Foolish Cur’s former tutor, discovers the Empire is not so forgiving of those who raise a traitor. And their suspicion may cost him and his people more than he can imagine.

THE GODS ARE LURKING IN THE SHADOWS.

As war against the Empire rages, Foolish Cur knows there is a greater threat. The emperor plans his own coup against the gods, and they will wreak destruction if he tries. To stop him, Foolish Cur might have to risk everything – and resort to ancient magics that could tear the world apart.

It’s quite a substantial excerpt, so read on and enjoy!

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Upcoming: DUNGEONS & DRAGONS: HONOR AMONG THIEVES (Paramount)

This trailer has been doing the rounds ever since it was unveiled at Comic-Con. The past attempts to make a D&D movie have not been stellar successes, but I have my fingers crossed for this one. (Interesting fact, perhaps: I’ve never played D&D.) Starring Chris Pine and Michelle Rodriguez, Hugh Grant and more. This looks like a lot of fun.

Dungeons & Dragons: Honor Among Thieves is due to be released by Paramount Pictures in March 2023.

Dungeons&Dragons-HonorAmongThieves_Poster

Excerpt: UNTIL THE LAST by Mike Shackle (Gollancz)

ShackleM-LW3-UntilTheLastUKHCThe final novel in Mike Shackle‘s excellent Last War series, Until the Last, is one of my most-anticipated novels of the year. The first in the series, We Are the Dead is one of the best fantasy debuts I’ve read: it did everything a modern fantasy novel should do, and I was hooked from very early on. Today, Gollancz has provided an excerpt to share. First, though, here’s the synopsis:

SEKINOWARI – THE LAST WAR – HAS ARRIVED.

The breakneck conclusion to the trilogy that started with We Are the Dead. To beat the ultimate evil, sometimes the price is more than you can pay…

The war with the Egril has changed Tinnstra forever. A coward no more, she’ll go to any length to defeat every last one of her enemies.

Zorique has grown into her powers. It’s time for her to lead her army into Jia and spearhead the fight for her homeland.

But at what cost? The Egril emperor Raaku – the Son of Kage himself – is waiting for them. And he intends to destroy Zorique, Tinnstra and all their allies.

They will need to put everything on the line if Jia hopes to see the dawn.

And now, on with the excerpt…

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Annotated Excerpt: HOOKED by A. C. Wise (Titan)

WiseAC-AuthorPic_CreditSteveSchultzBelow is an except from the first chapter of Hooked, the companion novel to my debut, Wendy, Darling, which came out last year. Wendy, Darling is itself is a sequel to and reimagining of the classic story of Peter Pan, originally written by J.M. Barrie. There are some elements of Hooked that function like a sequel and some that function like a prequel, but at the same time, it aims to be a complete story in itself, exploring how Peter Pan’s greatest enemy came to be and following what happened to him after he managed to escape Neverland.

First, here’s the synopsis:

Once invited, always welcome.
Once invited, never free.

Captain James Hook, the immortal pirate of Neverland, has died a thousand times. Drowned, stabbed by Peter Pan’s sword, eaten by the beast swimming below the depths, yet James was resurrected every time by one boy’s dark imagination. Until he found a door in the sky, an escape. And he took the chance no matter the cost.

Now in London twenty-two years later, Peter Pan’s monster has found Captain Hook again, intent on revenge. But a chance encounter leads James to another survivor of Neverland. Wendy Darling, now a grown woman, is the only one who knows how dark a shadow Neverland casts, no matter how far you run. To vanquish Pan’s monster once and for all, Hook must play the villain one last time…

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Excerpt: LOCKLANDS by Robert Jackson Bennett (Jo Fletcher Books)

BennettRJ-F3-LocklandsUKHCToday we have an excerpt from Robert Jackson Bennett‘s third novel in his Founders series: Locklands. Published today by Jo Fletcher Books in the UK (who kindly provided the excerpt) and Del Rey in North America, first let’s check out the official synopsis:

Once, Sancia Grado was just a thief with a grudge and a rare talent. Then she learned how to use that talent, and beat the great merchant houses of Tevanne at their own game. With Clef and Berenice, she even saw off an immortal hierophant – but the war they’re fighting now is one they know they can’t win.

This time, they’re not facing robber-baron elites or an immortal hierophant, but an entity whose intelligence is spread over half the globe: a ghost in the machine using the magic of scriving to possess and control not just objects, but human minds.

Despite all their efforts their enemy marches on, implacable, unstoppable – and it’s closing in on its true prize: an ancient doorway that leads to the centre of creation itself.

Sancia and her friends glimpse a last desperate opportunity to stop this unbeatable foe – but to do so, they’ll have to unlock the centuries-old mystery of scriving’s origins and pull off the most daring heist they’ve ever attempted.

And as if that weren’t enough, their adversary might just have a spy in their ranks – and a last trick up its sleeve…

Now, on with the excerpt!

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Annotated Excerpt: THE PATH OF THORNS by A. G. Slatter (Titan)

SlatterAG-AuthorPhotoToday, we have an annotated excerpt from A. G. Slatter‘s latest gothic fantasy novel, The Path of Thorns. Due to be published by Titan Books tomorrow, here’s the synopsis:

Asher Todd comes to live with the mysterious Morwood family as a governess to their children. Asher knows little about being a governess but she is skilled in botany and herbcraft, and perhaps more than that. And she has secrets of her own, dark and terrible – and Morwood is a house that eats secrets. With a monstrous revenge in mind, Asher plans to make it choke. However, she becomes fond of her charges, of the people of the Tarn, and she begins to wonder if she will be able to execute her plan – and who will suffer most if she does. But as the ghosts of her past become harder to control, Asher realises she has no choice.

From the award-winning author of All the Murmuring Bones, dark magic, retribution and twisted family secrets combine to weave a bewitching and addictive tale.

Now, over to Angela…!

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