October 13th, 2009

books

happy release day

New series from Laura Anne Gilman officially launches today: Flesh and Fire: Book One of The Vineart War

With a unique, pleasingly consistent magic system based on the production and consumption of wine, urban fantasist Gilman (the Retrievers series) turns a standard coming-of-age tale into something wholly new. Young Jerzy, a vineyard slave, possesses the rare and extraordinary ability of the Vinearts, magicians who create spellwines from the most potent grapes. When someone begins sabotaging the fields of the traditionally reclusive winemakers, it is up to Jerzy and his master to save their way of life. A slow build of tension as Jerzy progresses from slave to student to spy keeps the reader engaged without any need for frenetic fight scenes. The tale is dominated by vivid, absorbing characters, and Jerzy's powerful narrative voice makes his joys and sorrows dramatic, authentic and potent. This intoxicating high fantasy will satisfy oenophiles and bibliophiles alike. --Publishers Weekly, Starred Review




scholes-canticleToday marks the official release of: Canticle (The Psalms of Isaak) by Ken Scholes

The conspiracy deepens in this sequel to Scholes' epic, marvelously complex fantasy debut (Lamentation, 2009).

In the previous installment, ancient spells of the Wizard King Xhum Y'Zir leveled the city of Windwir, repository of knowledge from the Old World. The instigator of the destruction, a Y'Zirite cult, reveals itself as the sequel opens by assassinating several major political figures, an act which the cult sees as the necessary prelude to the advent of its prophesied Crimson Empress. As civil war spreads across the Named Lands, nobleman schemer Vlad Li Tam and his extensive family search for the stronghold of their foe; the Gypsy King Rudolfo seeks a cure for his ailing infant son Jakob, heralded by Y'Zirites as the Child of Promise; Windwir survivor and prophetic dreamer Neb seeks his destiny in the Churning Wastes; and his beloved, the young Marsh Queen Winters, faces the unpleasant, deadly truth that the Y'Zirite cult sprang from her own people. Not only is Scholes a capable world builder, he ably handles the tough task of keeping the series momentum going, intensifying the mystery so deftly that even if readers can't foresee where the story's going, it's clear that the author knows exactly what he's doing. --Kirkus, Starred Review