Ozark fantasy, mercenary guilds, and swashbuckling provocateurs grace this week’s new releases.
Anvil Dark (Backyard Starship #3) – J. N. Chaney and Terry Maggert
The guild is under attack, and Van is right in the middle of it all.
When Master Yewlo is abducted by unknown forces, the Peacemakers are thrown into chaos as the rescue mission begins. Finding Yewlo will be hard, but the search reveals secrets the guild might not survive—secrets about a system so corrupt, it will take Van and his team’s best efforts to untangle the truth.
And they might not like what they find.
On the grimy station known as Halcyon, Van will track and confront thieves who deal in stolen lives, all in order to save a Master who might not have the guild’s best interest at heart. With Sorcerers and Cloaks and every other kind of criminal, Van, Torina, Perry and Icky learn that friends come in all shapes and sizes—and so do enemies.
From the depths of space to Iowa, join Van as he fights to save his guild, free stolen lives, and discover that money makes the universe go around—money and lies, that is.
And Van will find the truth, no matter what the cost.
Aurora: EV-01 (The Frontiers Saga: Fringe Worlds #1) – Ryk Brown
A new ship…
A new crew…
A new crisis…
A friend at risk…
The Confederated Systems Alliance has spread to dozens of systems, creating the first true interstellar alliance dedicated to bringing peace and prosperity to all inhabited worlds. Unfortunately, some see this new alliance as a threat to their own seats of power, and would do anything to stop it.
After a well deserved rest, Captain Nathan Scott is once again called into action. This time, it is not the fate of the galaxy that is on his shoulders, but the life of one of his dearest friends.
But not all is as it appears.
Darkness Stirs (The Renewed World Saga #1) – Luke Kramarz
The Jarl’s raiding party is missing, winter closes in, and an enemy long thought dead has returned.
With his father gone, the son who was left behind has a decision to make. Will Bjorn venture into the unknown? Or will he continue to wallow in the shame of past defeats…
A messenger washes up on shore.
The Jarl and his warriors are alive, but only just. Something pulled them into the desolate West, a land overtaken with horrors that Bjorn could barely imagine. The same horrors that had brought about the Decimation and ended humanity’s Golden Age.
Seeking to rebuild his name, Bjorn sets out into the unknown in search of a father that may be far past saving.
Hero Killer (Neverstone #2) – Ned Caratacus
Era Gualtieri — public enemy #1, swashbuckler, provocateur, hero, villain, philosopher, madman — is about to have the worst Holiday Season of his life…
For starters: Prince Raphael Koschei, the so-called Hero of Luminar, is dead. Good riddance and all, but the assassin was none other than Era’s bestie and perpetual “it’s complicated,” Liv.
As the Empire mourns its problematic fave, Era sees his chance to put a stop to House Koschei’s “Island” conspiracy. But when he finds what he seeks, let’s just say too much truth can be a biohazard.
As for Liv, she sets off on a desert pilgrimage to save a friend caught in the crossfire. When that goes off the rails, she’s caught between a vengeful tyrant’s plot and her own self-destructive brain.
The Koscheis’ tyranny extends into not only this world, but the afterlife itself. And despite it all, Era, Liv, and Noah are the only three people who stand a chance against them — if they can stop having a new mental breakdown every five vogging minutes!
Lich Hollow (Fae Nexus #2) – Nathan Ameye
A lich, a storm dragon’s claws, and a battle for freedom.
Gage has ten days to rescue his loved ones before they’re sacrificed, but if he’s going to fight through an army of demons to get them out of the prison camp, he’s going to need a powerful weapon.
An ex-Demon Hunter turned lich is rumored to have just the thing: the claws of an ancient storm dragon that will give Gage the powers of a Storm Lord. But the lich was banished into the Dreaming a century ago, so tracking him down won’t be easy.
Stealing treasure from a lich is no simple task, but if he has to, Gage will pry the weapon from the monster’s cold, undead hands.
Three Steps to Oblivion (Four Horsemen Universe: Guild Wars #15) – Ian J. Malone and Chris Kennedy
It’s hard to live when you’re on the run…
Taylor Van Zant, the owner of Swamp Eagle Security, thought he was doing a good thing when he destroyed the slave ring operating out of Droxis, even though the slavers blew up the red diamond mine there as they tried to escape.
Unfortunately, the mine belonged to the synthetic intelligence running the Merchant Guild, and it was…displeased with the mine’s destruction, so it put out a death contract on all the members of Swamp Eagle Security.
Sometimes, though, the best way to get rid of a price on your head is to kill the person—or the SI—who put the mark on you in the first place, and when Sansar Enkh, the head of the Golden Horde mercenary company, invites Taylor into a group that is trying to dispatch the SI, all he can say is, “Yes.”
But the SI has amassed a huge fleet and has the ability to take over any person that opposes its will, so getting close enough to kill the SI will be perilous. As the Guild Wars draw to a close, it is quickly becoming a matter of “us or them,” and it will take all of Taylor’s experience, Sansar’s intel, and the help of a number of merc companies for them to have even a small chance of success…if indeed they have any at all.