Samurai struggle with honor in civil war, dragons soar over nuclear wastelands, and Louis L’Amour, Andre Norton, and David Drake return in this roundup of the newest releases in fantasy and adventure fiction.
Blade of Retribution (Blood Samurai #3) –
An emperor’s wraith from the grave that would see the fall of a dynasty and the rise of the samurai.
At great cost to his soul and sanity, Riku believes he has the demon Sutoku under control. With the aid of the witch Takiyasha hime the demon Sutoku is no longer a separate presence but a part of Riku – a part that demands the blood of those he seeks his vengeance upon.
The war that had been brewing has been in stalemate and a supernatural famine is tearing apart the land. Before it reaches it’s breaking point the Taira move against the Minamoto and the Minamoto will be ready.
For they have also made a pack for power and as betrayal after betrayal comes, the dark forces that threaten to consume the land grow stronger and stronger.
Will Riku be able to overcome his past and stop both his and his country’s descent into madness?
Cirsova: Heroic Fantasy and Science Fiction #10 – edited by Cirsova Publishing
Cirsova Magazine is for readers who want exciting tales of daring heroes up against impossible odds in exotic settings. It’s also for authors of adventure SFF.
Dragon Mage – Andre Norton and Jean Rabe
Shy realizes that she is lucky to be taken in by her grandparents after her father dies–but life above an antique store in Slade’s Corners, Wisconsin is not exactly the place a teenage girl wants to be.
One day while going through boxes of her father’s boyhood stuff, she comes upon a rare old set of dragon puzzles … all of which are missing pieces. Her grandmother recalls the fantastic tales Shy’s father would tell about his travels to lands of dragons and adventure. She always thought that these fantasies were inspired by the puzzles Shy has found.
Shy realizes that by mixing and matching the different sets she can complete a single dragon puzzle that combines all of the others. Upon doing so she is whisked away to ancient Babylon where she must continue the duties of her father’s legacy as a servant to the dragon and a savior of the world.
Iron Garland (Harbinger #3) –
For three years, Sera Fitzempress has been a pawn in a gilded prison—the floating manor of Pavenham Sky. Disgraced and exiled from society, she has been isolated from the downtrodden she’s determined to liberate. But although Sera may seem subservient on the outside, the stubborn princess has only become emboldened.
Now in charge of her family’s estate, Cettie Pratt has grown into an independent young woman, although she continues to be tested by the high society of the clouds. Advancing in the magic of the Mysteries, Cettie is also a useful tool of defense during turbulent times. However, as more of Cettie’s mysterious past comes to light, her greatest challenge may be a reckless stranger with a dark secret.
The fog of war is drawing in, and with it comes a startling new enemy who may unravel secrets that both women would prefer stay hidden. But their secrets may be the only way to stop the coming darkness…
For Dafydd ap Gwilym, Welsh poet and minstrel, a life composing poems of chivalry and courtly love while enjoying the patronage of the Black Prince of Wales felt like the dream of every poor second son – until he found himself caught up in the siege of Caen and needed to be rescued by the dangerous Radu the Black, a hardened mercenary of Transylvania.
Forced into an unlikely partnership by the King of England, Gwilym and Radu must solve a murder while hunting down a band of killers led by a mercenary known only as the Nachzehrer, but there is more to this murder than Gwilym suspects…
The fate of Europe is the balance as Radu and Gwilym race to uncover a conspiracy, but can a minstrel and a mercenary find a way to trust one another even as the past comes back to haunt them both?
No Traveller Returns (Louis L’Amour’s Lost Treasures #2) – Louis L’Amour and Beau L’Amour
As the shadows of World War II gather, the SS Lichenfield is westbound across the Pacific carrying eighty thousand barrels of highly explosive naphtha. The cargo alone makes the journey perilous, with the entire crew aware that one careless moment could lead to disaster.
But yet another sort of peril haunts the Lichenfield. Even beyond their day-to-day existence, the lives of the crew are mysteriously intertwined. Though each has his own history, dreams and jealousies, longing and rage, all are connected by a deadly web of chance and circumstance.
Some are desperately fleeing the past; others chase an unknown destiny. A few are driven by the desire for adventure, while their shipmates cling to the Lichenfield as their only true home. In their hearts, these men, as well as the women and children they have left behind, carry the seeds of salvation or destruction. And all of them—kind or cruel, strong or broken—are bound to the fate of the vessel that carries them toward an ever-darkening horizon.
Radioactive Evolution – Richard Hummel
How far would you go to change humanity’s fate?
Jared Cartwright has spent the last two years delving into the twisted, scarred wastelands of an earth ravaged by nuclear war. The rich and powerful have taken to the oceans and skies on floating utopias, escaping destruction and leaving the rest of humanity to fend off the mutated creatures that roam the earth.
To face his new reality, Jared must become an apex predator if he hopes to survive. He must evolve beyond human limitations to confront those that left mankind to die.
Jared’s quest takes a new turn when he discovers dragons are real.
Red Skies (The Valens Legacy #11) – Jan Stryvant
With the President on his side and the failure of the Vestibulum’s last-ditch attempt to stop him, it seems that Sean’s goal is almost complete. Until, that is, the First moves up Sean’s timetable to deal with Canada and Mexico. Also it seems that a group in Congress is starting to push back against the President’s executive order, but no one really seems to know why. Or even who’s behind it.
Canada proves to be full of unexpected surprises, but when events start heating up in Washington D.C., Sean is forced to switch gears and reassess his priorities. Things are not always what they seem, of course, and things that didn’t make sense before start to take on an ominous meaning as Sean begins to learn about the real enemy that he is facing.
And he’ll be facing them much sooner than anyone suspected.
The Spark (Time of Heroes #1) – David Drake
In the time of the Ancients the universe was united—but that was so far in the past that not even memory remains, only the broken artifacts that a few Makers can reshape into their original uses. What survives is shattered into enclaves—some tiny, some ruined, some wild.
Into the gaps between settlements, and onto the Road that connects all human reality and the reality that is not human and may never have been human, have crept monsters. Some creatures are men, twisted into inhuman evil; some of them are alien to Mankind—and there are things which are hostile to all life, things which will raven and kill until they are stopped.
A Leader has arisen, welding the scattered human settlements together in peace and safety and smashing the enemies of order with an iron fist. In his capital, Dun Add, the Leader provides law and justice. In the universe beyond, his Champions advance—and enforce—the return of civilization.
Pal, a youth from the sticks, has come to Dun Add to become a Champion. Pal is a bit of a Maker, and in his rural home he’s been able to think of himself as a warrior because he can wield the weapons of the Ancient civilization. Pal has no idea of what he’s really getting into in Dun Add. On the other hand, the Leader and Dun Add have no real idea of what might be inside this hayseed with high hopes.
Web of Eyes (Buried Goddess Saga #1) –
The kingdom’s only hope against evil is a rotten thief.
Self-proclaimed “World’s Greatest Thief”, Whitney Fierstown, has yet to find a trinket or treasure he couldn’t steal. He nearly pulls off the heist of the century by snatching the Glass Crown off the dying king’s head until rotten luck throws him into the path of Torsten Unger, a steadfast knight determined to save his vulnerable kingdom.
Torsten offers this ultimatum: rot and die in a dank cell or join him on a dangerous expedition and put his skills to good use. The Queen’s treasonous brother has cursed the Crown Prince by taking a piece of his soul and hiding it in the haunted Webbed Woods. Only a master thief can steal it back.
Rebellion building in the south. Madness seated upon the throne. Famine and death spreading throughout the land. The kingdom is in peril.
If this unlikely pair is to thwart their devious target, save the prince, and survive the horrifying monster lurking in the darkness, they must first put aside their differences…or die trying.