Rachel Neumeier

Fantasy and Young Adult Fantasy Author

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New fantasy novels coming in February:

Via a post at tor.com. Take a look:

Despite that truncated photo above, there are 27 books on their list.

Without clicking through just yet to look at all these in detail, do any covers in that photo catch my eye? Let me take a look.

All right, I like this traditional fantasy cover, guy on a pony and woman with a sword.

Third book of a series. Hmm, here’s a bit of the description:

Vanquished, facing a doomed existence, any hope for a future slowly slips away as the best efforts of Dárja and Marnej prove inadequate. When they both fail to safeguard those closest to them, the bond between these two unlikely allies, forged by necessity and emboldened by a tentative passion, may not be enough to overcome the secrets and lies that have shadowed their lives. When betrayal and shame guide the future, the outcome can be treacherous.

Well, that sounds pretty awful. Vanquished, doomed, hope slipping away, best efforts inadequate, betrayal, shame . . . yeah, I don’t think so.

Okay, I like this cover too:

Rather Mines of Moria, isn’t it? Fifth book in a series. This does make the descriptions confusing, as apparently the description is written with the already-knowledgeable fan in mind.

[T]he only chance for the living rests with the dead. Having made their fateful choice, can a handful of misfits do the impossible, or are they forever lost to an inescapable grave? As in Virgil’s Aeneid, Dante’s Divine Comedy, and Milton’s Paradise Lost, the most epic tales transcend the world of the living. It’s time to see what lies in Elan’s Age of Death.

We’re apparently heading for the underworld. That’s intriguing. Michael Sullivan has a bunch of books out, but I don’t believe I’ve ever read anything by him. Have any of you? What did you think?

Most confusing cover:

In the larger size, I like this cover a lot! In the tiny thumbnail, I couldn’t see it properly. You want to know what it looked like? A weird face with a gaping mouth — highly unappealing. My eye interpreted the off-white space as hair, the word “in” as nostrils, the arms as the sides of a narrow, inhuman face, and the clock as the mouth. The eyes of the face were hidden behind “witch.” Wow, that’s not a great way to see the cover. When I go back up and look at the thumbnail again, that’s still what I see! Ugh.

I sincerely hope none of you see the thumbnail that way. Not at all what the artist probably wants! Or the author, or the publisher. In a larger size, this is a pleasantly restrained, evocative, interesting cover.

Helen Lambert has lived several lives-a young piano virtuoso in 1890s Paris, an actress in 1930’s Hollywood, a rock star in 1970s Los Angeles-only she doesn’t know it. Until she meets a strange man who claims he’s watched over her for centuries, bound to her from the beginning. …. Caught in a curse, Helen will be forced to relive the same tragic events that ruined her previous lives. But with each rebirth, she’s developed uncanny powers. And as the most powerful version of herself, Helen must find a way to break the curse before her time runs out.

One imagines she succeeds. This one is evidently a standalone, and sounds much less hopeless and doomed and so on, so that’s a plus.

Okay, aside from the covers, what do we see? Just skimming the titles, assassins and death, both seem big. A Conjuring of Assassins, The Queen’s Assassin, Death Knell, Age of Death. Let me see, which titles actually appeal to me the most?

All right, how about:

Carved from Stone and Dream. That’s a very good title, certainly my favorite title of any on this list. This book is by T Frohock, hmm. I know she writes very dark. This is the second book of a series set in an alternate 1939, with a war going on between angels and daimons.

Okay, now, which books are by authors I know I like? . . .

All right, here is The King of Crows by Libba Bray. Forth book in a series.

The Deepest Blue by Sarah Beth Durst — this is connected to her Queen of Blood series.

Breaking Silence, in the Serrated Edge series by Mercedes Lackey. I didn’t know that series was still going. I have the first couple, I believe. This book is co-written. Interesting.

And — worth looking through the list to find out about this one —

The Initiate by James L Cambias.

It’s their world. He’s going to take it away from them.

The Apkallu are masters of magic. Theirs is a secret tradition stretching back to the dawn of civilization. They rule the world from the shadows, using mind control and deadly monsters to eliminate any threat to their power. If they know your name, or have a trace of your blood, you can never defy them. Sam Arquero lost his family to a demon, and knew that nobody would believe the truth. An old man named Lucas offers him the chance to find out who is responsible, and bring down the Apkallu forever. All he has to do is join them. Under a new identity Sam learns the secrets of magic, infiltrates the Apkallu, and walks a razor’s edge as he picks off their leaders while avoiding supernatural detectives on his trail. But Sam faces a greater threat: As he fights monsters, what is he becoming?

Ah! “Assassin” isn’t in the title, but it’s certainly in the story, very much in keeping with the assassin/death themes of February releases. Well, I must say, Cambias is one of the most variable authors I can think of. Near future anthropological SF! Very near future thriller SF! Much farther future adventure SF! And now this, a fantasy novel. Well, sure, I’m interested. This is one I’ll want to remember so I can give it a try. Comes out the first week of February.

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9 Comments New fantasy novels coming in February:

  1. Elaine T

    My husband likes Michael Sullivan a lot and I read the first trilogy to see if I did. It was ok at the time – I remember an impression of ‘stiffness’. I haven’t gone on to more.

  2. Elaine T

    I really tried to look at the Witch in Time cover. It’s creepy even at large size. i did finally make out what it really is, but…
    Nope. Just Nope.

  3. Rachel

    Yes, kind of! I know it has been very slow to appear, but I’m writing the last chapter right now. I need to finish one scene and write maybe one more short scene and that’ll be it, finally. I will need to do some revision, run it past beta readers, revise again, and then it will be good to go. I don’t want to rush, so I would say June or July. I am virtually certain I can make that.

    I do have a novella written that is set after Copper Mountain. I really hope I will write several more novellas and bring out another Black Dog stories collection this year as well, preferably by Halloween.

    Thanks for asking! It’s very motivating to get questions like that.

  4. Evelyn M. Hill

    Well, then, please feel motivated!
    I was refraining from asking for fear you would feel pressured. I will look forward to more Black Dog stories once they are ready to be read :)

  5. Mary Beth

    Oh YAY, Black Dog news! Another reason to look forward to this summer. :)

    Out of the books Tor.com listed, I’m most interested in AK Larkwood’s THE UNSPOKEN NAME. It falls in with the assassin trend, but also suffered from the misfortune of having the first line of the summary left off. Here’s the full thing:

    What if you knew how and when you will die?

    Csorwe does. She will climb the mountain, enter the Shrine of the Unspoken, and gain the most honored title: sacrifice. On the day of her foretold death, however, a powerful mage offers her a new fate.

    Csorwe leaves her home, her destiny, and her god to become the wizard’s loyal sword-hand — stealing, spying, and killing to help him reclaim his seat of power in the homeland from which he was exiled.

    But Csorwe and the wizard will soon learn – gods remember, and if you live long enough, all debts come due.

  6. Rachel

    I never feel pressured by questions like that, but I may feel guilty!

    Anyway, this one was so slow, but thankfully it’s finally almost there! It’s 130,000 words as of this morning, but I will probably trim it down. And I have some boldfaced notes to myself about continuity and foreshadowing. And I need to put in Spanish and Latin here and there. Still, the end is very much in sight at last!

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