Every week, the Castalia House Blog spotlights some of the many new releases in independent, pulp, and web novel-influenced science fiction and fantasy.
Echoes of Issel (The Sergey Chronicles #2) – D. T. Read
Reunited with his family, Tristan struggles to find common ground to build a relationship with Lujan Sergey, commander of the Unified Worlds’ special forces and the father he’s never known. A new universe is beginning to open for him when a new crisis occurs, and Tristan is pressed to volunteer for hazardous service.
The alien masuk slavers are about to attack the Issel system and only Tristan, once held captive there, knows the planetary defenses well enough to penetrate them. But he’ll have to pass the demanding Spherzah training—and conquer the demons in his own past—in order to participate.
A new war threatens, and it will take all of the Sergey family to survive it. But when an assassin tries to intervene, will all of the family still be alive to see it through?
The Essence Crystal (Essence Wielder #2) – Dan Michaelson and D. K. Holmberg
The Great Serpent has given a great gift—if only Dax can understand it in time.
With the attack on the Great Serpent stopped, Dax and his friends return to the Academy having changed. They no longer fear the Cult of the Dragon, but the Order now knows of their involvement.
The Academy can only protect them so much.
When Dax discovers strange sentient creatures in the forest near the Academy, he fears the Order has a new plan to attack the empire.
He’ll need to master his essence if he wants to have any chance to understand it. Even that might not be enough to stop the danger that’s coming.
Firebrand #2: The Firetouched – D. E. Oleson
Martel has begun his studies. He’s made a few friends, but most of all, his powers grow.
While hesitant to use fire magic, it’s saved him more than once, and his gift for destruction is undeniable. But others take note, and protecting his secret only gets more difficult. Every day bears the risk that his talent is discovered, and the Empire will force him to fight their conflicts.
Those same wars that flood Morcaster with problems and cause clashes between Asterians and Khivan immigrants, including Martel’s friends.
With every battle on the distant front, the war grows closer, the dead and wounded return in numbers, and the anger threatens to boil over. As tempers become enflamed, the spark of a fire-touched could set the city ablaze – or save it.
Immortal Empire (Path of the Thunderbird #4) – eden Hudson
A dark dragon awakened.
A thunder god returned.
An immortal empire balanced on the edge of a whisper.
As god-protector of the heavens, Ji Yu Raijin is the only one who can stop the universe-ending power of the Dragon. If he fails, everything he’s fought so hard to save will be destroyed, and his immortal throne will be lost forever.
The full might of his enemies is arrayed against him. Legions of cunning immortals, powerful cultivators, and deathless demons stand in his path—but they aren’t the greatest obstacle he faces.
The first time Raijin was betrayed and cast from the heavens, it was with his immortal wife’s sword in his back.
Can he trust Koida to help him retake the throne, or will she stay true to her nature and betray him again?
Moon 2.0 (Eighth Continent #2) – Rhett C. Bruno and Felix R. Savage
The disaster on the moon ruined Nick Morrison’s life…
Nick Morrison’s life crumbled in the wake of a lunar catastrophe, leaving him broken and betrayed. But he’s not one to back down, and now, he’s returning to the Moon to rebuild what was lost.
Lunar prospecting has become a gold rush, and Nick has a bold plan to stake his claim, despite the bone-chilling challenges of survival in space. To succeed, he must form an uneasy alliance with Joe Massad, a man who once nearly cost Nick everything. Joe claims to have changed, but can Nick really trust him?
As deadly accidents pile up on the Moon base, Nick soon realizes that Joe isn’t his only adversary. Powerful enemies on Earth are closing in, threatening not just Nick but the lives of everyone on the lunar surface.
Adventurer Conqueror King System Imperial Imprint (ACKS II) – a crowdfunding campaign from Autaurch
The Adventurer Conqueror King System™ Imperial Imprint (ACKS II) is the new edition of the acclaimed bestselling fantasy role-playing game. Within the pages of ACKS II you’ll find everything you need to enjoy epic fantasy campaigns with a sweeping scope. Whether you want to crawl through dungeons, experiment with alchemy, crossbreed monsters, run a merchant emporium, raise an undead legion, or conquer an empire, ACKS II supports your playstyle.
If you spend enough time in online RPG communities, you’ll have seen someone post something like “They need to make a game that… has mass combat mechanics that work at every scale / keeps fighters competitive with mages / has figured out how to make thieves fun / has an economy that makes sense / could actually simulate my game world.” And someone will inevitably respond: “ACKS already does that. ” And it’s true.
Now, with ACKS II, we’re doing it even better.
This crowdfunding campaign will remain open until 22 November, 2023.
The Burned Book (The Arkwright Saga) – a crowdfunding campaign from Brian Niemeier
An outcast boy with a terrible secret …
A disillusioned priest seeking release from fate …
The restless son of a fading race seeking his destiny …
Thrown together by chance, their historic quest will span a continent. And change all worlds forever.
Zebrin wanders the human-dominated mainland, having fled his people’s rigid island refuge. Alone in barbaric lands, he yearns to find himself in those his race shuns.
But when an ambitious emperor drafts him for a harrowing mission to the farthest ends of the world, will he discover and embrace his divine calling? Or will the kingdom he was ordained to save fall?
The answer lies in the Burned Book.
This crowdfunding campaign will remain open until 2 November, 2023.
Michael Tierney’s Wild Stars: Orphan of the Shadowy Moons – a Kickstarter campaign from Cirsova Publishing
He led Mankind on its first exodus to the stars when Atlantis fell 75,000 years ago, but who is the Ancient Warrior? Old beyond reckoning, his true identity has been forgotten by all, on Earth and in the Wild Stars—including himself!
While on the run from the fleet of Artomique Dreadnoughts, Daestar and Bully Bravo take the Ancient Warrior to one of the Extragalactic worlds where his memories can be unsealed. At last, the origins of the Ancient Warrior can be told!
Abandoned on a savage flooded planet as an infant to die of exposure, a young golden child is found and adopted by a powerful warlord and raised to be his heir. The orphan boy is given the name Strazis—same as the Shadowy Moon under which he was found.
Growing up in the household of the most powerful man on the planet, Strazis finds himself at the center of countless intrigues and machinations of both the Worldlord’s biological children and a mysterious faction of assassins who are somehow connected to the strange appearance of abandoned golden children, including Phaedra: the most beautiful girl young Strazis has ever seen.
When Strazis narrowly escapes raiders who murder many of the Worldlord’s other heirs, he must quickly grow and learn what it means not only to be the Worldlord’s son but be a Worldlord himself.
This crowdfunding campaign will remain open until 6 November, 2023.