As you can see featured in the collage, my favourite cover is The Broken Lands by N.K. Jemison closely followed by Wolfsbane (Briggs), Angelica Lost and Found (Hoban) and The Silent Land (Joyce).
Which of this months books are on your list? Which covers do you like?
Edited by Jean Rabe and Martin H. Greenberg
Steampunk can be defined as a subgenre of science fiction that is typically set in an anachronistic Victorian or quasi-Victorian setting, where steam power is prevalent. Consider the slogan: "What the past would look like if the future had come along earlier." The stories in this all-original anthology explore alternate timelines and have been set all over the world, running the gamut from science fiction to mystery to horror to a melding of these genres.
Steampunk II: Steampunk Reloaded
Edited Ann & Jeff VanderMeer
Blending the romantic elegance of the Victorian era with modern scientific advances, the popular Steampunk genre spotlighted in this collection is innovative and stimulates the imagination. This artfully assembled anthology of original fiction, nonfiction, and art can serve as an introduction to the Steampunk culture or provide dedicated fans with more fuel. Stories of outlandishly imaginative technologies, clockwork contraptions, eccentric heroines, and mad scientists are complemented by canon-defining nonfiction and an array of original illustrations. This collection showcases the most sensational Steampunk talents of the last decade, including Daniel Abraham, John Coulthart, William Gibson, and Margo Lanagan, and demonstrates exactly why the future of the past is so excitingly new.
The Way of the Wizard
Edited John Joseph Adams
Power. We all want it, they've got it - witches, warlocks, sorcerers, necromancers, those who peer beneath the veil of mundane reality and put their hands on the levers that move the universe. They see the future in a sheet of glass, summon fantastic beasts, and transform lead into gold . . . or you into a frog. From Gandalf to Harry Potter to the Last Airbender, wizardry has never been more exciting and popular. Now acclaimed editor John Joseph Adams (The Living Dead) brings you thirty of the most spellbinding tales ever written, by some of today's most magical talents, including Neil Gaiman, Simon R. Green, and George R. R. Martin. Enter a world where anything is possible, where imagination becomes reality. Experience the thrill of power, the way of the wizard.
Worlds of Fantasy: The Best of Fantasy Magazine
Edited by Cat Rambo
In the span of just four years, Fantasy Magazine has quickly become one of the premiere fantasy venues for short fiction, and this anthology contains some of the best of those stories from its first two years. With contributions from both the established and the new, ranging from genre to mainstream, Worlds of Fantasy promises to open new doors to new worlds. A collection of stories by Lisa Mantchev, Holly Phillips, Ekaterina Sedia and Catherynne M Valente.
NOVELS, NOVELLA's and SHORT STORIES
The Horns of Ruin
Eva Forge is the last paladin of a dead God. Morgan, God of battle and champion of the Fraterdom, was assassinated by his jealous brother, Amon. Over time, the Cult of Morgan has been surpassed by other gods, his blessings ignored in favor of brighter technologies and more mechanical miracles. Eva was the last child dedicated to the Cult of Morgan, forsaken by her parents and forgotten by her family. Now she watches as her new family, her Cult, crumbles all around her. When a series of kidnappings and murders makes it clear that someone is trying to hasten the death of the Cult of Morgan, Eva must seek out unexpected allies and unwelcome answers in the city of Ash. But will she be able to save the city from a growing conspiracy, one that reaches back to her childhood, even back to the murder of her god?
Bakker, R. Scott
Disciple of the Dog
Publishers Weekly - The cleverness Bakker displayed in his Prince of Nothing fantasy trilogy (The Darkness That Comes Before, etc.) is lacking in this suspense novel introducing Disciple Manning, a Newark, N.J., PI who can remember everything he has ever heard. Jonathan and Amanda Bonjour hire Manning to track down their missing 21-year-old daughter, Jennifer, who's joined a New Age cult known as the Framers, dropped out of nursing school, and is possibly now living at "the Compound," an old horse farm in southeastern Pennsylvania that serves as the cult's retreat. The Framers' leader, former Berkeley philosophy professor Xenophon Baars, has persuaded his followers that the world is more than five billion years older than it is and is about to end. Manning heads to the Compound in search of Jennifer, though he suspects she's already dead. A crude, off-putting hero with a flatulence problem may leave few readers eager for a sequel.
Legends of the Raven #1
Publishers Weekly - Barclay uses complexly threaded plot lines to follow several heroes, villains, and ordinary people as they attempt to rebuild their lives in the aftermath of the terrible war described in Barclay's Chronicles of the Raven trilogy. After the temple to the elven god Yniss is desecrated, a strange plague known as Elfsorrow begins to ravage the countryside. Led by the Unknown Warrior, the Raven, a group of mercenaries, works to save the elves. Meanwhile, antimagical forces led by Selik of the Black Wings are trying to convince the local barons that the common people have lost their trust in mages and the colleges of magic must be destroyed to save the world. Real enjoyment of this volume requires both familiarity with the previous trilogy and a commitment to reading future installments.
For the last ten years, shapeshifting mercenary Aralorn has led a dangerous existence — a far cry from her noble upbringing. Now she must return home under the most unfortunate circumstances. Her father, the Lyon of Lambshold, has passed away. But when Aralorn and her companion Wolf arrive, the combination of their magic uncovers something wonderful yet alarming — her father is not actually dead, but only appears so. Yet a dark mist is also very much alive within him… The Lyon of Lambshold has been ensorcelled by the ae’Magi, who’s using him as a conduit to finally destroy Aralorn and Wolf. With her father as the pawn, can Aralorn overcome this mysterious sorcery? Or will she finally fall to the blackest of magic, losing not only her one true companion but also her life…?
Over the past few thousand years, Fabio has come to hate his job. As Fate, he's in charge of assigning the fortunes and misfortunes that befall most of the human race-the 83% who keep screwing things up. Frustrated with his endless parade of drug addicts and career politicians, Fate has to watch Destiny guide her people to Nobel Peace Prizes and Super Bowl MVPs. To make matters worse, he has a five- hundred-year-old feud with Death, and his best friends are Sloth and Gluttony. And worst of all? He's fallen in love with a human. Getting involved with a human breaks Rule #1, and about ten others, setting off some cosmic-sized repercussions that could strip him of his immortality-or lead to a fate worse than death.
Vlad Taltos #12
House Jhereg, Dragaera's organized crime syndicate, is still hunting Vlad Taltos. There's a big price on his head on Draegara City. Then he hears disturbing news. Aliera—longtime friend, sometime ally—has been arrested by the Empire on a charge of practicing elder sorcery, a capital crime. It doesn't make sense. Everybody knows Aliera's been dabbling in elder sorcery for ages. Why is the Empire down on her now? Why aren't her powerful friends—Morrolan, Sethra, the Empress Zerika—coming to her rescue? And most to the point, why has she utterly refused to do anything about her own defense? It would be idiotic of Vlad to jump into this situation. He's a former Jhereg who betrayed the House. He's an Easterner—small, weak, short-lived. He's being searched for by the most remorseless killers in the world. Naturally, that's exactly why he's going to get completely involved...
Gilded Latten Bones
Garrett, P.I. #13
For Garrett, P.I., loyalty and love come a close second to survival... Garrett's attempt at domestic bliss with the fiery Tinnie Tate is sidetracked when he waylays a pair of home intruders and learns they've been paid by an unknown source to kidnap Tinnie. But as Garrett rushes to find out who is trying to push his buttons, his best friend is attacked. Now, Garrett has to track down both malefactors. Unless they're really one and the same-in which case Garrett might be next...
Surrender to the Will of the Night
Instrumentalities of the Night Series #3
Piper Hecht’s first and greatest secret is that he knows how to kill gods. What’s not a secret is that he knows how to win wars. Piper Hecht’s secrets make him dangerous, but his skill and his reputation put him in danger—from his enemies, who fear what he might do, or who want revenge for what he has already done; and from his friends, who want to use his military gifts for their own purposes. His sister Heris and his living ancestor Cloven Februaren, the Ninth Unknown, have made Hecht part of their fight against the return of the dark god Kharoulke the Windwalker. At the same time, the half-mad Empress Katrin wants him to lead the armies of the Grail Empire eastward on a crusade against his old coreligionists the Praman. Meanwhile, all around them, the world is changing. The winters are growing longer and harder every year, and the seas are getting shallower. The far north and the high mountain ranges are going under the ice, and fast. The Wells of Power, everywhere, keep getting weaker. And the old evils, the Instrumentalities from the Time Before Time, have begun to ooze back into the world. As ever, the genius of Glen Cook’s storytelling lies in his common touch: in soldiers who are like real soldiers, in men and women who love and laugh and sweat, with real hopes and real fears, united only in their determination to face the oncoming night.
The Bone Palace
Death is no stranger in the city of Erisín-- but some deaths attract more attention than others. When a prostitute dies carrying a royal signet, Isyllt Iskaldur, necromancer and agent of the Crown, is called to investigate. Her search leads to desecrated tombs below the palace, and the lightless vaults of the vampiric vrykoloi deep beneath the city. But worse things than vampires are plotting in Erisín... As a sorcerous plague sweeps the city and demons stalk the streets, Isyllt must decide who she's prepared to betray, before the city built on bones falls into blood and fire.
The Wolf Age
Wuruyaaria: city of werewolves, whose raiders range over the dying northlands, capturing human beings for slaves or meat. Wuruyaaria: where a lone immortal maker wages a secret war against the Strange Gods of the Coranians. Wuruyaaria: a democracy where some are more equal than others, and a faction of outcast werewolves is determined to change the balance of power in a long, bloody election year. Their plans are laid; the challenges known; the risks accepted. But all schemes will shatter in the clash between two threats few had foreseen and none had fully understood: a monster from the north on a mission to poison the world, and a stranger from the south named Morlock Ambrosius.
Esslemont, Ian C.
Malazan Empire Series
Greymane believed he'd outrun his past. He now ran a school for swordsmanship in Falar and was looking forward to becoming fat and lazy. With him was Kyle, though the plains youth was not quite so contented with civilian life outside the mercenary company the Crimson Guard. Yet it is not so easy to disappear when you are an ex-Fist of the Malazan Empire, especially one denounced and under a death-sentence from that very Empire. For there is a new Emperor on the throne of Malaz, and his thoughts turn to the lingering drain of blood and treasure that is the failed invasion of the Korel subcontinent. In the record vaults beneath Unta, the Imperial capital, lie the answers to that disaster. And out of this buried history surfaces the name Stonewielder. In Korel, Lord Protector Hiam, commander of the Stormguard, faces the potential annihilation of all that he loves as with the blood of his few remaining men and a crumbling stone wall that has seen better days, he labours to stave off the sea-borne Stormriders who would destroy his lands. Meanwhile, religious war has broken out all across these lands as the local cult of the Blessed Lady, who has stood firm for millennia against the assaults of the Stormriders, seeks to stamp out all rivals; a champion refuses to stand against the alien 'Riders' and takes up arms in rebellion; and a local magistrate innocently pursuing the mystery of a series of murders is brought to the very heart of a far larger and far more terrifying ancient crime that has stained the entire subcontinent.
Freeman, Brian James
The Painted Darkness
Publishers Weekly - A free prerelease e-book edition has garnered plenty of advance buzz for this fast-paced, satisfying horror novella from Cemetery Dance Magazine editor Freeman (Blue November Storms). Twenty years after a traumatic childhood incident, Henry has become a professional painter who uses his work as an outlet for his inner demons. Something from his past has taken up residence in the basement of the house he shares with his wife, Sarah, and young son, Dillon, challenging Henry's ability to "paint against the darkness." The narrative builds up to a conclusion that isn't entirely shocking, but it still makes for a compelling read thanks to skillfully composed prose that builds tension and evokes emotional response. The paper edition includes several eerie full-page b&w illustrations by Jill Bauman.
Angelica Lost and Found
In Ariosto's epic 16th-century poem "Orlando Furioso", the beautiful Angelica , chained, naked, to a rock and menaced by a sea monster is rescued by the valiant Ruggiero, riding a 'hippogriff', the offspring of a griffin and a mare - an entirely imaginary winged creature (as readers of "Harry Potter" know). Volatore, as this hippogriff calls himself, has escaped the poem in which he has been confined for centuries and is determined to find his Angelica, even if it takes him to the 21st century and involves some shape-shifting. He lands in contemporary San Francisco and the first person he sets eyes on is Angelica Greenberg, the Jewish owner of a San Franciscan art gallery, who has just dumped her fiance. Volatore rises to her window and they hit it off big-time. But no sooner have they met and fallen in love than events conspire to separate the two so that Volatore must not only seek Angelica but also find the perfect form in which to consummate his undying love. The first is too masculine, the second not enough so, but will the third be just right, and how will Angelica reconcile the imaginary and the real in the perfect lover? "Angelica Lost and Found" contains the familiar drollery, the marvellous turn of phrase, the aesthetic insights and the romance of Russell Hoban, but it also contains a lively, life-enhancing wisdom that is all of its own.
Hoyt, Sarah A.
Athena Hera Sinistra never wanted to go to space. Never wanted see the eerie glow of the Powerpods. Never wanted to visit Circum Terra. Never had any interest in finding out the truth about the DarkShips. You always get what you don’t ask for. Which must have been why she woke up in the dark of shipnight, within the greater night of space in her father’s space cruiser, knowing that there was a stranger in her room. In a short time, after taking out the stranger—who turned out to be one of her father’s bodyguards up to no good, she was hurtling away from the ship in a lifeboat to get help. But what she got instead would be the adventure of a lifetime—if she managed to survive...
The Broken Kingdoms
The gods have broken free after centuries of slavery, and the world holds its breath, fearing their vengeance. The saga of mortals and immortals continues in THE BROKEN KINGDOMS. In the city of Shadow, beneath the World Tree, alleyways shimmer with magic and godlings live hidden among mortalkind. Oree Shoth, a blind artist, takes in a homeless man who glows like a living sun to her strange sight. This act of kindness engulfs Oree in a nightmarish conspiracy. Someone, somehow, is murdering godlings, leaving their desecrated bodies all over the city. Oree's peculiar guest is at the heart of it, his presence putting her in mortal danger -- but is it him the killers want, or Oree? And is the earthly power of the Arameri king their ultimate goal, or have they set their sights on the Lord of Night himself?
Jordan, Robert & Brandon Sanderson
Towers of Midnight
Wheel of Time #13
The Last Battle has started. The seals on the Dark One’s prison are crumbling. The Pattern itself is unraveling, and the armies of the Shadow have begun to boil out of the Blight. The sun has begun to set upon the Third Age. Perrin Aybara is now hunted by specters from his past: Whitecloaks, a slayer of wolves, and the responsibilities of leadership. All the while, an unseen foe is slowly pulling a noose tight around his neck. To prevail, he must seek answers in Tel’aran’rhiod and find a way—at long last—to master the wolf within him or lose himself to it forever. Meanwhile, Matrim Cauthon prepares for the most difficult challenge of his life. The creatures beyond the stone gateways—the Aelfinn and the Eelfinn—have confused him, taunted him, and left him hanged, his memory stuffed with bits and pieces of other men’s lives. He had hoped that his last confrontation with them would be the end of it, but the Wheel weaves as the Wheel wills. The time is coming when he will again have to dance with the Snakes and the Foxes, playing a game that cannot be won. The Tower of Ghenjei awaits, and its secrets will reveal the fate of a friend long lost. This penultimate novel of Robert Jordan’s #1 New York Times bestselling series—the second of three based on materials he left behind when he died in 2007—brings dramatic and compelling developments to many threads in the Pattern. The end draws near. Dovie’andi se tovya sagain. It’s time to toss the dice.
The Silent Land (UK)
In the French Alps around Chamonix, a young married couple is buried under a flash avalanche while skiing. Miraculously, Jake and Zoe dig their way out from under the snow—only to discover the world they knew has been overtaken by an eerie and absolute silence. Their hotel is devoid of another living soul. Cell phones and land lines are cut off. An evacuation as sudden and thorough as this leaves Jake and Zoe to face a terrifying situation alone. They are trapped by the storm, completely isolated, with another catastrophic avalanche threatening to bury them alive . . . again. And as the couple begin to witness unsettling events neither one can ignore, they are forced to confront a frightening truth about the silent land they now inhabit.
Trio of Sorcery
New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Mercedes Lackey presents three exciting short urban fantasy novels featuring three resourceful heroines and three different takes on the modern world and on magics both modern and ancient.
Arcanum 101: Diana Tregarde, practicing witch, romance novelist, Guardian of the Earth. Studying at Harvard, Diana is approached by Joe O’Brian, a young cop who has already seen more than one unusual thing during his budding career. The distraught mother of a kidnap victim is taking advice from a “psychic” and interfering in the police investigation. Will Diana prove that the psychic is a fake? Unfortunately, the psychic is not a fake, but a very wicked witch—and the child’s kidnapper.
Drums: Jennifer Talldeer, shaman, private investigator, member of the Osage tribe. Most of Jennie’s work is regular PI stuff, but Nathan Begay brings her a problem she’s never seen before. His girlfriend, Caroline, is Chickasaw to his Navaho, but that’s not the problem. Somehow, Caroline has attracted the attention of an angry Osage ghost. Thwarted in love while alive, the ghost has chosen Caroline to be his bride in death.
Ghost in the Machine: Ellen McBridge: computer programmer extraordinaire, techno-shaman. The programmers and players of a new MMORPG find that the game’s “boss,” a wendigo, is “killing” everyone—even the programmers’ characters with their god-like powers. A brilliant debugger, Ellen discoveres that the massive computing power of the game’s servers have created a breach between the supernatural world and our own. This wendigo isn’t a bit of code, it’s the real thing . . . and it’s on the brink of breaking out of the computers and into the real world.
Lansdale, Joe R.
Flaming Zeppelins: The Adventures of Ned the Seal
Cross-pollinating famous 19th-century fictional characters and historical figures from disparate sources, this wild, steampunk fantasy presents two consecutive tales of madcap adventure. Hilarious and unpredictable, the first section follows Wild Bill Hickock, Annie Oakley, George Custer, Sitting Bull, and Buffalo Bill Cody’s head—which is affixed to the top of a mechanical body—as they take the Wild West Show to Japan by zeppelin. Further exploits involve Frankenstein as an aphrodisiac for a local shogun, encounters with Captain “Bemo” and his submersible, and a trip to the “island of Dr. Momo.” The second phase of this nonstop romp—partly inscribed by a courageous young seal on his trusty notepad—accompanies Mark Twain and Jules Verne against the backdrop of a Martian invasion. Escaping the carnage on a speedboat converted into a touring balloon, the boisterous group encounters more perilous experiences in the form of an island of pirates, a steam-powered robot, a Kong-sized ape, and multiple tears in the space-time continuum. Raucous and inventive, this dime-store pulp parody is rife with absurdist comedy while maintaining a literary scope.
Valisar Trilogy #3
The thrilling conclusion to the breathtaking saga of power, blood, birthright, and enchantment. The barbarian King Loethar may have gained his throne through brutality and bloodshed, but he has ruled Penraven with unexpected wisdom. Now his innumerable past sins threaten his reign—as Valisars who escaped slaughter prepare to rise up. Loyalties shift and new alliances are formed as the truth of history begins to emerge. King-in-exile Leonel hungers for revenge against the man he considers the usurper of his throne. Yet Leo is unaware of another who wields the enchantment he covets—the once-charming "halfwit" brother Piven, now a powerful youth whose exceptional cunning is matched only by his ruthless desire for the throne. But the efforts of all three to hold or gain control of Penraven may well be in vain, for the true inheritor of the Valisar Legacy is being called home... to claim her crown.
Law of the Broken Earth
Griffin Mage Trilogy #3
In Feierabiand, in the wide green Delta, far from the burning heat of the griffin's desert, Mienthe's peaceful life has been shaken. Tan - clever, cynical, and an experienced spy - has brought a deadly secret out of the neighboring country of Linularinum. Now, as three countries and two species rush toward destruction, Mienthe fears that even her powerful cousin Bertaud may be neither able nor even willing to find a safe path between the secret Linularinum would kill to preserve and the desperate ferocity of the griffins. But can Mienthe? And, in the end, will Tan help her... or do everything in his power to stand in her way?
On the Banks of the River of Heaven
On the Banks of the River of Heaven presents fourteen stories by Richard Parks, an "unrepentant storyteller," according to Locus Magazine. In his third collection, you'll find stories about a ghoul with an identity crisis; a girl who can be anyone she wants except herself; a woman from heaven and a man very much from earth; gardening tips from hell; ten aspects of a goddess all searching for one wayward husband, and many other thrilling wonders. With his light touch and imaginative storytelling, Parks takes readers into the past as well as the future, to lands foreign as well as nearby, and from matters sublime to ones familiar (but never trivial or predictable). One of the most versatile fantasists of his generation, for Parks it is never style over the substance (or the other way around) - it is always a seamless melding of both.
Publishers Weekly - Combining fantasy with slow-burning, dreamlike horror, Rickert's second collection (after 2006's Map of Dreams) includes several seasonal stories that make The Nightmare Before Christmas look like a Charlie Brown special. In "Memoir of a Deer Woman," a woman's incurable slow transformation into a deer comes upon her like a cancer. The cheerful brutality of a disturbed child is a fatally bad match for tiny fairies in "Was She Wicked? Was She Good?" A happy little girl is turned into an unknowing suicide bomber by her own mother in "Traitor." In the World Fantasy Award winner "The Kingdom," a girl is seduced into unlife and a widower finds peace by successfully courting death. Fans of Rickert's talent for atmospheric, artistic terror will find plenty to enjoy in this slim volume.
The House of Discarded Dreams
Trying to escape her embarrassing immigrant mother, Vimbai moves into a dilapidated house in the dunes... and discovers that one of her new roommates has a pocket universe instead of hair, there's a psychic energy baby living in the telephone wires, and her dead Zimbabwean grandmother is doing dishes in the kitchen. When the house gets lost at sea and creatures of African urban legends all but take it over, Vimbai turns to horseshoe crabs in the ocean to ask for their help in getting home to New Jersey.
Valente, Catherynne M.
The Habitation of the Blessed
This is the story of a place that never was: the kingdom of Prester John, the utopia described by an anonymous, twelfth-century document which captured the imagination of the medieval world and drove hundreds of lost souls to seek out its secrets, inspiring explorers, missionaries, and kings for centuries. But what if it were all true? What if there was such a place, and a poor, broken priest once stumbled past its borders, discovering, not a Christian paradise, but a country where everything is possible, immortality is easily had, and the Western world is nothing but a dim and distant dream? Brother Hiob of Luzerne, on missionary work in the Himalayan wilderness on the eve of the eighteenth century, discovers a village guarding a miraculous tree whose branches sprout books instead of fruit. These strange books chronicle the history of the kingdom of Prester John, and Hiob becomes obsessed with the tales they tell. The Habitation of the Blessed recounts the fragmented narratives found within these living volumes, revealing the life of a priest named John, and his rise to power in this country of impossible richness. John's tale weaves together with the confessions of his wife Hagia, a blemmye--a headless creature who carried her face on her chest--as well as the tender, jeweled nursery stories of Imtithal, nanny to the royal family. Hugo and World Fantasy award nominee Catherynne M. Valente reimagines the legends of Prester John in this stunning tour de force.
Above His Proper Station
Anrel Murau, a simple scholar, is secretly the notorious revolutionary Alvos the Orator—the Empire's most wanted man. On the run and nearly penniless, Anrel finds himself forced to seek refuge in the capital city's Pensioner’s Quarter, a den of thieves, murderers, and con men. Barely scraping out an existence on the fringe of respectable society, Anrel never forgets his demands for justice, nor the love of the woman he left behind. The civil unrest that has long been simmering in the Empire is beginning to boil over into violent protests and Anrel's enemy, Lord Allutar, continues to corrupt the Grand Council. But Anrel's alter-ego, Alvos the Orator, has taken on a life of his own and many factions of the Grand Council seek a way to harness his followers' political might for their own ends. Which means they need Anrel to take on a surprising new role and gain access to one of the Empire's greatest secrets to stop the rampant evil. The adventure of Alvos the Orator continues with more action, more intrigue, and more suspense than ever before as Anrel seeks to at last clear his name and seek retribution against his old enemy once and for all.
In Dreams Begin
In a Victorian Ireland of magic, poetry, and rebellion, Ida Jameson, an amateur occultist, reaches out for power-but captures Laura Armstrong, a modern-day graphic artist, instead. When Ida channels Laura into the body of celebrated beauty and Irish freedom-fighter Maud Gonne, Laura falls in love with the young poet W. B. Yeats. Their love affair entwines with Irish history and weaves through Yeats' poetry- until Ida discovers something she wants more than magic in the subterranean spaces between Laura's time and her own. With Laura's Irish past threatening her orderly present, she and Yeats must find a way to make their love last over time, in changing bodies...or lose each other forever.
Thousands of years ago the gods fought and fell in the deeps beneath what is now Southmarch Castle, then were banished into eternal sleep. Now at least one of them is stirring again, dreaming of vengeance against humankind. Southmarch haunts the dreams of men as well as gods. Royal twins Barrick and Briony Eddon, the heirs of Southmarch’s ruling family, are hurrying back home as well: Barrick now carries the heritage of the immortal Qar inside him, and Briony has a small army at her back and a fiery determination to recover her father’s throne and revenge herself on the usurpers. The cruel and powerful southern ruler known as the Autarch of Xis wants the power of the gods for his own, a power he can only gain if he conquers Southmarch. And nobody knows what the Qar want, only that the mysterious fairy - folk are prepared to die for it — or to kill every living thing in Southmarch Castle and in all the lands around. It will come to an apocalyptic conclusion on Midsummer Night, when the spirits of the haunted past and the desperate struggles of the present come together in one great final battle. Many will die. Many more will be transformed out of all recognition, and the world will be forever changed.