With the holiday season now upon us, this roundup of the newest releases in fantasy and adventure is bursting at the seams, featuring a wife pressed back into her former role as an assassin, a desperate fight to save a friend from a magical kangaroo court, the first hard-boiled detective fighting the Klan, and a quest for revenge that will not end until a murder’s head sits upon a pike.
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The Awful Truth About Forgetting (Books of Unexpected Enlightenment #4) – L. Jagi Lamplighter
What she knows, she dare not tell.
Rachel Griffin should be having an amazing freshman year. She has the Princess of Magical Australia and crazy orphan Sigfried the Dragonslayer for friends and a handsome sorcerer boyfriend romancing her with charms magical and otherwise.
But otherworldly forces conspire against those she loves.
While all others can be made to forget the truth, Rachel cannot. When she runs afoul of the hidden force hiding these terrible secrets, Rachel must face her most desperate hour yet.
This on top of winter fairies, missing friends, Yule gifts, flying practice, and a rampaging ogre…oh, and schoolwork.
Then there is the matter of a certain undeniably attractive older boy…
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Ghost in the Glass (Ghost Night #2) – Johnathan Moeller
Caina Amalas was once a deadly Ghost nightfighter, a spy and agent of the Emperor of Nighmar. Now she only wishes to live quietly with her husband.
But civil war grips the Empire, and Caina’s skills are needed against the cruel sorcerers of the malevolent Umbarian Order. Now Caina has a deadly problem.
Specifically, she carries the Ring of Rasarion Yagar, a relic created by the tyrannical necromancer-king who once ruled Ulkaar. The deadly sorcerers of the malevolent Umbarian Order wish to seize the Ring for themselves, as do the sinister priests of the ruthless Temnoti cult.
And to make matters worse, the Ring is not the only powerful relic of Rasarion Yagar.
And unless Caina can escape her foes, the wielders of those relics will kill her…
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Graduation Day (Schooled in Magic #14) – Christopher G. Nuttall
Frieda is one of Emily’s closest friends, a young girl she saved from Mountaintop and brought back to Whitehall. But Frieda found herself the victim of a deadly soul-destroying plot – and the true target may well be Emily herself. Now, after Emily saved Frieda from a magician who was slowly driving her mad, Frieda stands accused of attempted murder – and worse. She must now stand trial for her crimes.
Worse, Fulvia – Matriarch of House Ashworth – has returned. Humiliated by Emily, years ago, Fulvia burns for revenge – and the chance to regain her lost power. Calling in favors from all over the world and rigging the trial against Frieda – and Emily – it looks as if her time is finally at hand. With no clear proof of Frieda’s innocence – and a jury that can be manipulated at will – Fulvia has all the leverage she needs to bring Emily to heel.
Gathering her friends around her, and calling in favors of her own, Emily must find a way to outwit a kangaroo court and save her friend from a fate worse than death, little realizing that Fulvia’s true target is Emily herself …
… And that Fulvia’s desperate quest for revenge will bring the entire world crashing down.
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Head Down (The Valens Legacy #4) – Jan Stryvant
Things are starting to look up for Sean, he has a safe place to stay, allies, way too many wolves and a couple of dangerously cute werefoxes around now as well. However the other Councils now know that he’s serious, after the raid on Gradatim that left several important people dead.
Battle lines are starting to be drawn and the Council of the Ascendants realizes that they’re next in line and starts to take precautions while the other councils start to play politics and jockey for position. Even the Council of Vestibulum, the most powerful in both Reno and the rest of the country, is starting to be concerned.
And how could any conflict between these major powers be complete without the assassin hired twelve years ago, being brought back to deal with the son of the man he killed?
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Knights of the Open Palm (Race Williams #1) – Carroll John Daly
The first hard-boiled detective Race Williams, runs up against the Klan in his premiere adventure, which leads him to fast and tragic action. Plus two other early Daly hard-boiled classics: “The False Burton Combs” and “Dolly.” Story #1 in the Race Williams series.
Carroll John Daly (1889–1958) was the creator of the first hard-boiled private eye story, predating Dashiell Hammett’s first Continental Op story by several months. Daly’s classic character, Race Williams, was one of the most popular fiction characters of the pulps, and the direct inspiration for Mickey Spillane’s Mike Hammer.
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Lifemarked (The Fatemarked #5) – David Estes
The Four Kingdoms and the fatemarked face the most powerful army the world has ever seen…
In Phanes, Roan Loren, the Peacemaker, has high hopes for a united response to the threat from the Horde, but swiftly realizes the only true ally he has is his arch nemesis, Bane. Meanwhile, Rhea Loren, a new mother with a secret must decide whether to protect her child or share what she knows with the fatemarked…
To the north, Annise Gäric, Tarin Sheary and their allies are hunted mercilessly by the army of barbarians known as the Horde, led by her long-lost uncle Helmuth, now known as Klar-Ggra. While she seeks refuge in the east, Tarin once more struggles with his own demons…
In the west, Ennis Loren and his brothers, including self-proclaimed king of the west, Sai, return to Knight’s End against the advice of the fatemarked, who they despise. Secretly, they plot another attack on the south…
In the east, Gareth Ironclad returns to Ferria hoping to find a unified people with a common enemy, but instead faces a fractured kingdom uncertain of its future. But when he makes a drastic decision, everything begins to unravel…
In Calyp, Raven Sandes returns with the most unlikeliest of friends: Gwendolyn Storm. But when tragedy strikes at the heart of the empire, the survivors are left behind and forced to pick up the pieces…
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Necrosis (Omens of Gaia #1) – H. C. Damrosch
A tyrant has conquered the land she holds dear; friends and family slain to build a kingdom of despair. Her own faith has fallen into doubt…
She must escape, no matter the cost.
Visions of light and shadow beckon from beyond the world’s edge; haunting dreams, waking nightmares, rivers of energy beneath the earth…
There is a warrior who would oppose death itself to uncover the secrets of his birth.
Subhuman and superhuman creatures arise to test them; powers of earth and spirit whose revelations shake the very foundations of reality.
Is it wisdom to believe, or madness…?
Only by coming to terms with their own humanity can they defeat the Lord of the Necrow.
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Shadow Games (The Collector Chronicles #2) – D. K. Holmberg
Born of shadow magic. Gifted with the power to control the flame that burns within her. A master strategist. Tested by the mysterious Collector.
With the Collector thwarted, Carth realizes that until she uncovers his allies in Keyall, he will continue to threaten the city. When the city is attacked, the ruling tribunal blames Carth and uses the power of the city to confine her.
The Collector demands that Carth find the Elder Stone in exchange for her freedom, but there is much more to the demand than it seems. Now she’s caught in a game that she might not be able to win and manipulated by someone more skilled than her. In this game, not only is her life at stake, but the lives of her friends are in danger if she loses.
Worse, the person making the moves might be someone much closer to her than she had ever realized.
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Thunderbolt (Dynasty of Storms #2) – Brandon Cornwell
After the liberation of the Greenreef islands, Elias has returned to the mainland of Lonwick, a new purpose burning in his heart; hunting down and killing the Felle general who murdered his love, and purging the land of the scourge that is the Felle. When he returns, he finds that the war brewing to the south is on the verge of erupting, and his allies back home have found themselves in dire situations. Can he muster the strength to build an army strong enough to find the vengeance he and his companions yearn for? Will the cost be too great? And what power lies behind the sudden emergence of the unholy Felle army?
In the second book of the Dynasty of Storms saga, Brandon Cornwell brings us back to the mainland of Erde to follow Elias of Stromgard as he forges a path through ancient forests, burning caverns, and wintery mountains. Challenges await and dangers lurk on his quest to find Darius Tessermyre and put his head where it belongs – on a pike.
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War Hammer (Nate Temple #8) – Shayne Silvers
Two old dudes want to kill me. Oh, and one of them is my ancestor…
And after centuries of practice, they’re pretty good at the whole murder thing. But at least they want to kill each other just as badly.
Now, I’ve taken down a Greek Goddess, worn a Horseman’s Mask, and I ride a homicidal unicorn who hates rainbows with a passion. Some might say sending two senior citizens to a permanent retirement home should be a breeze.
Because that’s not my biggest concern. One of my friends is in danger, or possibly dying, and I need to get her back before her fiancé kills me. But finding her introduces me to new worlds of pain. The biggest of these being my own past – which has been a blatant lie – and a parting gift from my parents – which might have just been the coin toss for the Apocalypse Olympics.
I’m beginning to realize that none of the old Gods, Legends, or Monsters have been idle the last few centuries. They’ve been waiting, picking sides, and scheming schemes.
Of course, maybe one of those two old dudes will punch my ticket and save me the headache. A wizard can Hope, right? Because either way, I’m about to have a very bad series of days…