Books Received, March 4 — March 10
The Splinter in the Sky by Kemi Ashing-Giwa (July 2023)
The dust may have just settled in the failed war of conquest between the Holy Vaalbaran Empire and the Ominirish Republic, but the last Emperor’s surrender means little to a lowly scribe like Enitan. All she wants is to quit her day job and expand her fledgling tea business. But when her lover is assassinated and her sibling is abducted by Imperial soldiers, Enitan abandons her idyllic plans and weaves her tea tray up through the heart of the Vaalbaran capital. There, she will learn just how far she is willing to go to exact vengeance, free her sibling, and perhaps even secure her homeland’s freedom.
Wild Spaces by S. L. Coney (August 2023)
An eleven-year-old boy lives an idyllic childhood exploring the remote coastal plains and wetlands of South Carolina alongside his parents and his dog Teach. But when the boy’s eerie and estranged grandfather shows up one day with no warning, cracks begin to form as hidden secrets resurface that his parents refuse to explain.
The longer his grandfather outstays his welcome and the greater the tension between the adults grows, the more the boy feels something within him changing —physically — into something his grandfather welcomes and his mother fears. Something abyssal. Something monstrous.
Nightborn: Coldfire Rising by C. S. Friedman (July 2023)
A prequel to the lauded Coldfire trilogy, Friedman’s latest novel mixes the best of dark fantasy and chilling sci-fi.
A ship full of colonists arrive on a seemingly hospitable planet, only to discover that it harbors a terrifying secret. Soon the settlers find themselves caught up in a desperate battle for survival against the fae, a natural force with the power to prey upon the human mind itself, bringing a person’s greatest fears and darkest nightmares to life.
As Colony Commander Leon Case and Chief Medic Lise Perez struggle to find a way to control the fae before more people die, other settlers have ideas of their own…and they may prove more of a threat to colony than the fae itself.
Nightborn: Coldfire Rising is a tale that blends sci-fi, fantasy, and horror, suspenseful and emotionally intense, as a handful of humans struggle to survive on an alien world that seems determined to kill them. In the end they will have to draw upon both scientific knowledge and mystical traditions to save themselves.
Whether you’re just discovering the Coldfire universe through this prequel or returning to it as a classic favorite, Nightborn: Coldfire Rising is the perfect entry point to this unique, genre-blending space fantasy epic.
The Court War by Violette Malan (July 2023)
The second book in this epic fantasy saga spins a tale of magic and danger, as a healer finds herself pulled deeper into a web of secrets and world-ending magic.
With innovative worldbuilding, witty banter, and world-ending magic, The Court War is epic fantasy at its best and most compelling.
Fenra Lowens, with her partner Elvanyn Karamisk, has already faced the Godstone. Now she has a different, simpler problem: getting the stick-in-the-mud practitioners of the White Court to return to the old ways of practice, the ways that keep the World healthy.
But before she has a chance to present her case, the uneasy balance of power between the practitioners of the White Court and the mundanes of the Red Court — in existence since the World itself began — suddenly erupts into open warfare.
Fenra is torn between helping her friends and fellow practitioners and moving ahead with the demands of an increasingly impatient World. Though she has help from unexpected allies, Fenra begins to suspect that this conflict isn’t just about politics. The hand of an old enemy may be at work here.…
The Salt-Black Tree by Lilith Saintcrow (August 2023)
What happens when you find a way to save your loved one… but the price might not be worth it — the stunning conclusion to New York Times bestseller Lilith Saintcrow’s The Dead God’s HeartNat Drozdova has crossed half the continent in search of the stolen Dead God’s Heart, the only thing powerful enough to trade for her beautiful, voracious, dying mother’s life. Yet now she knows the secret of her own birth — and that she’s been lied to all her young life.
The road to the Heart ends at the Salt-Black Tree, but to find it Nat must pay a deadly price. Pursued by mouthless shadows hungry for the blood of new divinity as well as the razor-wielding god of thieves, Nat is on her own. Her journey leads through a wilderness of gods old and new, across a country as restless as its mortal inhabitants, and it’s too late to back out now.
Blood may not always prevail. Magic might not always work. And the young Drozdova is faced with an impossible choice: Save her mother’s very existence.…..or accept the consequences of her own.
Shigidi and the Brass Head of Obalufon by Wole Talabi (August 2023)
A mythic tale of disgruntled gods, revenge, and a heist across two worlds, perfect for fans of Nnedi Okorafor, Neil Gaiman, Marlon James, and Karen Lord**
Shigidi is a disgruntled and demotivated nightmare god in the Orisha spirit company, reluctantly answering prayers of his few remaining believers to maintain his existence long enough to find his next drink. When he meets Nneoma, a sort-of succubus with a long and secretive past, everything changes for him.
Together, they attempt to break free of his obligations and the restrictions that have bound him to his godhood and navigate the parameters of their new relationship in the shadow of her past. But the elder gods that run the Orisha spirit company have other plans for Shigidi, and they are not all aligned — or good.
From the boisterous streets of Lagos to the swanky rooftop bars of Singapore and the secret spaces of London, Shigidi and Nneoma will encounter old acquaintances, rival gods, strange creatures, and manipulative magicians as they are drawn into a web of revenge, spirit business, and a spectacular heist across two worlds that will change Shigidi’s understanding of himself forever and determine the fate of the Orisha spirit company.
After the Forest by Kell Woods (September 2023)
After the Forest is a dark and enchanting fantasy debut that explores the repercussions of a childhood filled with magic and a young woman contending with the truth of “happily ever after.”Ginger. Honey. Cinnamon. Flour.
Twenty years after the witch in the gingerbread house, Greta and Hans are struggling to get by. Their mother and stepmother are long dead, Hans is deeply in debt from gambling, and the countryside lies in ruin, its people starving in the aftermath of a brutal war.
Greta has a secret, though: the witch’s grimoire, secreted away and whispering in Greta’s ear for the past two decades, and the recipe inside that makes the best gingerbread you’ve ever tasted. As long as she can bake, Greta can keep her small family afloat. But in a village full of superstition, Greta and her mysteriously addictive gingerbread, not to mention the rumors about her childhood misadventures, is a source of gossip and suspicion.
And now, dark magic is returning to the woods and Greta’s magic — magic she is still trying to understand — may be the only thing that can save her. If it doesn’t kill her first.