Sunday, March 7, 2010

The Leaning Pile of Books

It was actually leaning this week since I received 7 review copies and stacked them with the need-to-review pile as they came in (which is now at 5 since I read both The Thief by Megan Whalen Turner and Magic Bites by Ilona Andrews this week - I have started on The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms review and am hoping to finish it soon). These were all unexpected review copies but there are some I will definitely be reading because they do look very interesting.

The Gaslight Dogs by Karin Lowachee

I've heard that Karin Lowachee's science fiction trilogy starting with Warchild is excellent but have never read any of them (they were all out of print, although I've seen Warchild for sale on Amazon recently for a rather hefty chunk of change - $20 for the mass market paperback). So when I heard she had a new fantasy coming out, I was looking forward to reading it and was very happy to find a copy in my mailbox yesterday. I just started this Inuit inspired novel last night, so hopefully I can have a review up around the time it comes out in late March/early April (the publisher website has it listed as April but it is available on Amazon on March 30).

At the edge of the known world, an ancient nomadic tribe faces a new enemy-an Empire fueled by technology and war.

A young spiritwalker of the Aniw and a captain in the Ciracusan army find themselves unexpectedly thrown together. The Aniw girl, taken prisoner from her people, must teach the reluctant soldier a forbidden talent - one that may turn the tide of the war and will surely forever brand him an outcast.

From the rippling curtains of light in an Arctic sky, to the gaslit cobbled streets of the city, war is coming to the frozen north. Two people have a choice that will decide the fates of nations - and may cast them into a darkness that threatens to bring destruction to both their peoples.

The Last Stormlord by Glenda Larke

This is the first book in the Stormlord trilogy (known as the Watergivers trilogy in Australia, where it was first published). From what I read about it, it's supposed to be fairly traditional fantasy but a good one. I actually considered reading this one next and will be giving it a try at some point. The Last Stormlord came out this month, and the second book, Stormlord Rising, will be coming out in the US in August 2010 and in the UK in September 2010 (it just came out at the beginning of this month in Australia).

Shale is the lowest of the low-an outcast from a poor village in the heart of the desert. In the desert water is life, and currency, and Shale has none. But he has a secret. It's the one thing that keeps him alive and may save all the cities of the Quartern in the days to come. If it doesn't get him killed first...

Terelle is a slave fleeing a life as a courtesan. She finds shelter in the home of an elderly painter but as she learns the strange and powerful secrets of his art she fears she may have traded a life of servitude for something far more perilous...

The Stormlord is dying in his tower and there is no one, by accident or design, to take his place. He brings the rain from the distant seas to his people. Without a Stormlord, the cities of the Quartern will wither and die.

Their civilization is at the brink of disaster. If Shale and Terelle can find a way to save themselves, they may just save them all. Water is life and the wells are running dry...

The Folding Knife by K.J. Parker

Since I have heard some good things about other books by K.J. Parker, this was another one I considered reading next and I am planning to read it at some point. I can't find any information on whether it is a stand alone or the start of a series on the publisher or author website (the latter is still in the works and doesn't really have any information at all). The Folding Knife was released last month.

Basso the Magnificent. Basso the Great. Basso the Wise. Basso the Murderer.

The First Citizen of the Vesani Republic is an extraordinary man. He is ruthless, cunning, and above all, lucky. He brings wealth and power and prestige to his people. But with power comes unwanted attention, and Basso must defend his nation and himself from threats foreign and domestic. In a lifetime of crucial decisions, he’s only ever made one mistake.

One mistake, though, can be enough.

The Midnight Mayor by Kate Griffin

Kate Griffin also writes YA under the name Catherine Webb. This is the sequel to A Madness of Angels, an urban fantasy set in London. The first book sounded interesting and there's supposed to be enough information to keep a newcomer from getting lost in this installment, so I'd like to read this one, too. The Midnight Mayor is coming out in hardcover on March 8, although it's already in stock on Amazon.

It’s said that if the ravens ever leave the Tower of London, then the Tower will crumble and the kingdom will fall. As it happens, that’s not so far from the truth…

London faces its gravest threat since the Great Fire, and resurrected sorcerer Matthew Swift is alarmed to find himself thrust into the position of savior. One by one, the magical wards that guard the city are falling: the London Wall defiled with cryptic graffiti, the ravens found dead at the Tower, the London Stone destroyed.

Scattered throughout London, this multitude of magical defenses – a mix of international tourist attractions and forgotten urban legends – add up to a formidable magical shield. Protection for the City of London against . . . well, that’s the question, isn’t it?

If Matthew Swift is lucky, he might just live long enough to find the answer.

The Mage in Black by Jaye Wells

This is the second book in the Sabina Kane series, following Red-Headed Stepchild. I was considering reading this one but from what I read on the author's website it sounds like it may not be a good idea if you haven't read the first one, which I don't have. This book is coming out in April 2010 according to the publisher's website, but Amazon has it available starting on March 30.

Sabina Kane doesn't have the best track record when it comes to family. After all, her own grandmother, the leader of the vampire race, just tried to kill her. When she arrives in New York to meet the mage side of her family, the reunion takes the fun out of dysfunctional.

On top of that, the Hekate Council wants to use her as a pawn in the brewing war against the vampires. Her mission will take her into the bowels of New York's Black Light district, entangles her in mage politics, and challenges her beliefs about the race she was raised to distrust. And Sabina thought vampires were bloodthirsty.

The War of the Dwarves by Markus Heitz

This is the second book in the Dwarves series following The Dwarves. It is by a German author and is a bestseller in Europe, so the series is now being released in the English language. The War of the Dwarves is coming out on March 23.

The mood in Girdlegard is buoyant, but while Tungdil and the dwarves are celebrating their victory over the treacherous Nôd’onn, an army of orcs is heading north, on course for the dwarven kingdom. The sinister magic of the dead glades has lent the orcs an almost supernatural power and Tungdil and his friends must summon all their strength to keep the beasts at bay.

Unbeknownst to them, greater dangers lie ahead: eleven descendants of the dark lord Tion are marching on Girdlegard’s western border, accompanied by an army of warriors. But real dwarves never give in, no matter how bad the odds…

Book Girl and the Suicidal Mime by Mizuki Nomura

This one wins for title and description that made me the most curious. This is the first novel in the Book Girl series (YA books) and it is coming out in July 2010.

For self-styled 'book girl,' third-year high school student Tooko Amano, being the head of the literary club is more than just an extracurricular activity with minor perks. It's her bread and butter ...literally! Tooko is actually a literature-gobbling demon, and instead of the less palatable option of water-soaked bread, she opts to munch on torn out pages from all kinds of stories. But for Tooko, the real delicacies are handwritten stories. And to satisfy her gourmet tastes, she's employed (aka. browbeaten) one Konoha Inoue, an underclassman who has retreated from writing novels after his experiences with getting published at an early age. So day in and day out, Konoha scribbles away to satisfy Tooko's appetite. But when, one day, another student comes knocking on the literary club door to seek advice on writing love letters, will Tooko discover a new kind of delicacy to whet her voracious appetite?

Whew! That one took a while to put together. So are there any books in particular you'd like to see reviewed from that list?


Anastasia said...

Definitely I'd like to read the Karin Lowachee review - I'm a fan of her previous books, and have been waiting a long time for her new book. Also curious about K.J. Parker and Kate Griffin (heard conflicting reports about that one). Actually, all the books in this bunch sound interesting. But how in the world are you going to read that fast?

Kristen said...

Anastasia - Yes, unless I am suddenly gifted with independent wealth and/or extreme speed reading, I'm afraid I won't be able to read all those in the next month or so. If there are one or two that seem especially interesting to a lot of people, I may move them closer to the top of the pile and try to review them sooner rather than later, though. I'm curious about both the K.J. Parker and the Kate Griffin ones, too, as well as the Glenda Larke one.

ediFanoB said...


So many good books and so little time.....

Kristen said...

ediFanoB - Yes, there is too little time. I have about 10 books I'd like to read and review this month and it just isn't possible!

orannia said...

Oh, spoilt for choice :) I like the sound of The Last Stormlord, The Midnight Mayor and The Folding Knife. I think all but the last one are on my TBR list. The Gaslight Dogs also sounds interesting.

Kristen said...

Orannia - Good picks, I like the sound of all those as well. I usually alternate one of my books with one review copy now, but I'm going to read one of the review copies next since I read 2 of mine in a row while I was sick. It sounds like The Folding Knife might be the one with the most interest.

The Gaslight Dogs is getting good. I didn't get into immediately but after about page 40, I started really wanting to know what happens next.