Who Fears Death

In a post-apocalyptic Africa, the world has changed in many ways; yet in one region genocide between tribes still bloodies the land. A woman who has survived the annihilation of her village and a terrible rape by an enemy general wanders into the desert, hoping to die. Instead, she gives birth to an angry baby girl with hair and skin the colour of sand. Gripped by the certainty that her daughter is different – special – she names her Onyesonwu, which means ‘Who fears death?’ in an ancient language. It doesn’t take long for Onye to understand that she is physically and socially marked by the circumstances of her conception. She is Ewu – a child of rape who is expected to live a life of violence, a half-breed rejected by her community. But Onye is not the average Ewu. Even as a child, she manifests the beginnings of a remarkable and unique magic. As she grows, so do her abilities, and during an inadvertent visit to the spirit realm, she learns something terrifying: someone powerful is trying to kill her. Desperate to elude her would-be murderer and to understand her own nature, she embarks on a journey in which she grapples with nature, tradition, history, true love, and the spiritual mysteries of her culture, and ultimately learns why she was given the name she bears: Who Fears...

Who Fears Death

In a post-apocalyptic Africa, the world has changed in many ways; yet in one region genocide between tribes still bloodies the land. A woman who has survived the annihilation of her village and a terrible rape by an enemy general wanders into the desert, hoping to die. Instead, she gives birth to an angry baby girl with hair and skin the colour of sand. Gripped by the certainty that her daughter is different – special – she names her Onyesonwu, which means ‘Who fears death?’ in an ancient language. It doesn’t take long for Onye to understand that she is physically and socially marked by the circumstances of her conception. She is Ewu – a child of rape who is expected to live a life of violence, a half-breed rejected by her community. But Onye is not the average Ewu. Even as a child, she manifests the beginnings of a remarkable and unique magic. As she grows, so do her abilities, and during an inadvertent visit to the spirit realm, she learns something terrifying: someone powerful is trying to kill her. Desperate to elude her would-be murderer and to understand her own nature, she embarks on a journey in which she grapples with nature, tradition, history, true love, and the spiritual mysteries of her culture, and ultimately learns why she was given the name she bears: Who Fears...

The Queens of Innis Lear...

Tessa Gratton’s debut epic adult fantasy, The Queens of Innis Lear, brings to life a world that hums with ancient magic, and characters as ruthless as the tides. The erratic decisions of a prophecy-obsessed king have drained Innis Lear of its wild magic, leaving behind a trail of barren crops and despondent subjects. Enemy nations circle the once-bountiful isle, sensing its growing vulnerability, hungry to control the ideal port for all trade routes. The king’s three daughters – battle-hungry Gaela, master manipulator Reagan, and restrained, starblessed Elia – know the realm’s only chance of resurrection is to crown a new sovereign, proving a strong hand can resurrect magic and defend itself. But their father will not choose an heir until the longest night of the year, when prophecies align and a poison ritual can be enacted. Refusing to leave their future in the hands of blind faith, the daughters of Innis Lear prepare for war – but regardless of who wins the crown, the shores of Innis will weep the blood of a house...

The City of Brass

Among the bustling markets of eighteenth century Cairo, the city’s outcasts eke out a living swindling rich Ottoman nobles and foreign invaders alike. But alongside this new world the old stories linger. Tales of djinn and spirits. Of cities hidden among the swirling sands of the desert, full of enchantment, desire and riches. Where magic pours down every street, hanging in the air like dust. Many wish their lives could be filled with such wonder, but not Nahri. She knows the trades she uses to get by are just tricks and sleights of hand: there’s nothing magical about them. She only wishes to one day leave Cairo, but as the saying goes… Be careful what you wish...

Hannah Green and Her Unfeasibly Mundane Existence...

There are a million stories in the world. Most are perfectly ordinary. This one… isn’t. Hannah Green actually thinks her story is more mundane than most. But she’s about to discover that the shadows in her life have been hiding a world where nothing is as it seems: that there’s an ancient and secret machine that converts evil deeds into energy, that some mushrooms can talk — and that her grandfather has been friends with the Devil for over a hundred and fifty years, and now they need her...

Godblind

There was a time when the Red Gods ruled the land. The Dark Lady and her horde dealt in death and blood and fire. That time has long since passed and the neighbouring kingdoms of Mireces and Rilpor hold an uneasy truce. The only blood spilled is confined to the border where vigilantes known as Wolves protect their kin and territory at any cost. But after the death of his wife, King Rastoth is plagued by grief, leaving the kingdom of Rilpor vulnerable. Vulnerable to the blood-thirsty greed of the Warrior-King Liris and the Mireces army waiting in the mountains… GODBLIND is an incredible debut from a dazzling new voice of the...

Before Winter

As rumors of Devin’s death at his own bodyguard’s hands reach the capital, the Chancellor is detained on fabricated charges of treason, which may cost him his life. In the provinces, there are signs of people fighting to reclaim their history – but the forces against them are powerful: eradicating the Chronicles, and spreading darkness and death. Accompanied by a wolf pack and a retinue of their closest allies, Gaspard and Chastel must cross the mountains in a desperate attempt to save the Chancellor before winter makes their passage impossible. But the closer they journey towards Coreé, the clearer it becomes that there are those who don’t intend for them to arrive at...

Red Sister

“I was born for killing – the gods made me to ruin” At the Convent of Sweet Mercy young girls are raised to be killers. In a few the old bloods show, gifting talents rarely seen since the tribes beached their ships on Abeth. Sweet Mercy hones its novices’ skills to deadly effect: it takes ten years to educate a Red Sister in the ways of blade and fist. But even the mistresses of sword and shadow don’t truly understand what they have purchased when Nona Grey is brought to their halls as a bloodstained child of eight, falsely accused of murder: guilty of...

Breach of Containment...

Space is full of the unknown . . . most of it ready to kill you. When hostilities between factions threaten to explode into a shooting war on the moon of Yakutsk, the two major galactic military powers, Central Corps and PSI, send ships to defuse the situation. But when a strange artifact is discovered, events are set in motion that threaten the entire colonized galaxy—including former Central Corps Commander Elena Shaw. Now an engineer on a commercial shipping vessel, Elena finds herself drawn into the conflict when she picks up the artifact on Yakutsk—and investigation of it uncovers ties to the massive, corrupt corporation Ellis Systems, whom she’s opposed before. Her safety is further compromised by her former ties to Central Corps—Elena can’t separate herself from her past life and her old ship, the CCSS Galileo. Before Elena can pursue the artifact’s purpose further, disaster strikes: all communication with the First Sector—including Earth—is lost. The reason becomes apparent when news reaches Elena of a battle fleet, intent on destruction, rapidly approaching Earth. And with communications at sublight levels, there is no way to warn the planet in time. Armed with crucial intel from a shadowy source and the strange artifact, Elena may be the only one who can stop the fleet, and Ellis, and save Earth. But for this mission there will be no second chances—and no...

Breach of Containment...

Space is full of the unknown . . . most of it ready to kill you. When hostilities between factions threaten to explode into a shooting war on the moon of Yakutsk, the two major galactic military powers, Central Corps and PSI, send ships to defuse the situation. But when a strange artifact is discovered, events are set in motion that threaten the entire colonized galaxy—including former Central Corps Commander Elena Shaw. Now an engineer on a commercial shipping vessel, Elena finds herself drawn into the conflict when she picks up the artifact on Yakutsk—and investigation of it uncovers ties to the massive, corrupt corporation Ellis Systems, whom she’s opposed before. Her safety is further compromised by her former ties to Central Corps—Elena can’t separate herself from her past life and her old ship, the CCSS Galileo. Before Elena can pursue the artifact’s purpose further, disaster strikes: all communication with the First Sector—including Earth—is lost. The reason becomes apparent when news reaches Elena of a battle fleet, intent on destruction, rapidly approaching Earth. And with communications at sublight levels, there is no way to warn the planet in time. Armed with crucial intel from a shadowy source and the strange artifact, Elena may be the only one who can stop the fleet, and Ellis, and save Earth. But for this mission there will be no second chances—and no...

Assassin’s Fate...

Prince FitzChivalry Farseer’s daughter Bee was violently abducted from Withywoods by Servants of the Four in their search for the Unexpected Son, foretold to wield great power. With Fitz in pursuit, the Servants fled through a Skill-pillar, leaving no trace. It seems certain that they and their young hostage have perished in the Skill-river. Clerres, where White Prophets were trained by the Servants to set the world on a better path, has been corrupted by greed. Fitz is determined to reach the city and take vengeance on the Four, not only for the loss of Bee but also for their torture of the Fool. Accompanied by FitzVigilant, son of the assassin Chade, Chade’s protégé Spark and the stableboy Perseverance, Bee’s only friend, their journey will take them from the Elderling city of Kelsingra, down the perilous Rain Wild River, and on to the Pirate Isles. Their mission for revenge will become a voyage of discovery, as well as of reunions, transformations and heartrending shocks. Startling answers to old mysteries are revealed. What became of the liveships Paragon and Vivacia and their crews? What is the origin of the Others and their eerie beach? How are liveships and dragons connected? But Fitz and his followers are not the only ones with a deadly grudge against the Four. An ancient wrong will bring them unlikely and dangerous allies in their quest. And if the corrupt society of Clerres is to be brought down, Fitz and the Fool will have to make a series of profound and fateful sacrifices. ASSASSIN’S FATE is a magnificent tour de force and with it Robin Hobb demonstrates yet again that she is the reigning queen of epic...

The Court of Broken Knives...

They’ve finally looked at the graveyard of our Empire with open eyes. They’re fools and madmen and like the art of war. And their children go hungry while we piss gold and jewels into the dust. In the richest empire the world has ever known, the city of Sorlost has always stood, eternal and unconquered. But in a city of dreams governed by an imposturous Emperor, decadence has become the true ruler, and has blinded its inhabitants to their vulnerability. The empire is on the verge of invasion – and only one man can see it. Haunted by dreams of the empire’s demise, Orhan Emmereth has decided to act. On his orders, a company of soldiers cross the desert to reach the city. Once they enter the Palace, they have one mission: kill the Emperor, then all those who remain. Only from ashes can a new empire be built. The company is a group of good, ordinary soldiers, for whom this is a mission like any other. But the strange boy Marith who walks among them is no ordinary soldier. Marching on Sorlost, Marith thinks he is running away from the past which haunts him. But in the Golden City, his destiny awaits him – beautiful, bloody, and more terrible than anyone could have...

Politics in Fantasy: A Guide for New Writers by Gerrard Cowan Feb01

Politics in Fantasy: A Guide for New Writers by Gerrard Cowan...

There’s a lot that goes into worldbuilding – geography, magic, culture…. But one thing looms over all of this: politics. The extent to which this is true depends very much on the book in question. In my books – the well-reviewed and very reasonably priced The Machinery Trilogy – politics is pretty much at the core of everything. In fact, the whole world is obsessed with politics, you could say, even more than Brexit Britain or Trump’s America. In this world, a machine chooses the leaders of society. The people never see it. They’ve no idea what it looks like. They just get the names of the people it has picked. This has worked out incredibly well, on one level: their country now dominates its landmass. However, during the first novel, the Machinery begins to break, with fantasy-trilogy-spawning consequences. Fantasy obviously allows for an infinite variety of political structures. No matter the precise system, however, I think there are a few things that new authors should bear in mind. A sense of history It’s important to convey a sense of how a political system has evolved over time. This is true even if a novel focuses on a relatively new political entity – if you’re writing about an empire that was formed in the past generation, the reader is going to want to know how it came to be (at least the bare bones). The setting itself often helps: for example, a lot can be contained in a description of one event in a building’s history. Don’t stress every detail As the author, you are obviously expected to know far more about the history of this world than anyone else. You could sit down and write through the history of every royal house, including...

The Strategist

For ten millennia, the Machinery Selected the greatest leaders of humanity, bringing glory to the Overland. But the Machinery came with a Prophecy: in the 10,000th year, it will break, and Ruin will come. Now, the Prophecy is being fulfilled. The Machinery has Selected a terrible being to rule the Overland, an immortal who cares little for the humans she governs. Some call her the Strategist. Others call her the One. Everyone knows her as Mother. Mother will do anything to find the Machinery and finally bring Ruin. But only one creature knows where the Machinery is – the Dust Queen, an ancient being of three bodies and endless power. And if Mother wants the Dust Queen’s help, she must ready herself for a game. A game from older times. A game of memory. A game in which mortals are nothing more than...

The Fall

Headed towards Eirena, kept in captivity aboard the Remnant by Adam and Zhao, with her family now lost in space, all that Char fought for has been destroyed. But this isn’t the first time Char has lost it all. And out in space, inching closer to death, only a fight can bring everything...

The Forever Ship

They were born together and they will die together. One strong Alpha twin and one mutated Omega; the only thing they share is the moment of their death. The Omegas live in segregation, cast out by their families as soon as their mutation becomes clear. Forced to live apart, they are ruthlessly oppressed by their Alpha counterparts. The Alphas are the elite. Once their weaker twin has been cast aside, they’re free to live in privilege and safety, their Omega twin far from their thoughts. Cass and Zach are both perfect on the outside: no missing limbs, no visible Omega mutation. But Cass has a secret: one that Zach will stop at nothing to expose. The power to change the world lies in both their hands. One will have to defeat the other to see their vision of the future come to pass, but if they’re not careful both will die in the struggle for...

The Idiot Gods

An epic tale of a quest for a new way of life on earth, told by an orca. When Arjuna of the Blue Aria Family encounters three signs of cataclysm, he leaves his home in the Arctic Ocean to seek out the Idiot Gods and ask us why we are destroying the world. But the whales’ ancient Song of Life is beyond our understanding, and we know nothing of the Great Covenant between our kinds. Arjuna is captured, starved, tortured and made to do tricks in a tiny pool at Sea Circus. His love for a human linguist gives him hope, even as he despairs that other people twist his words and continue the worldwide slaughter. As the whales’ beloved Ocean turns toward the Blood Solstice the fate of humanity hangs in the balance: for if Arjuna gains the Voice of Death he could destroy mankind. But if understanding can prevail, he may, through the whales’ mysterious power of quenging, create a new Song of Life and enable human evolution to...

The Seven

Years have passed since the Vagrant journeyed to the Shining City, Vesper in arm and Gamma’s sword in hand. Since then the world has changed. Vesper, following the footsteps of her father, journeyed to the breach and closed the tear between worlds, protecting the last of humanity, but also trapping the infernal horde and all those that fell to its corruptions: willing or otherwise. In this new age it is Vesper who leads the charge towards unity and peace, with seemingly nothing standing between the world and a bright new future. That is until eyes open. And The Seven...

Shatter the Darkness

Since The Takeover, Seattle belongs to the Eklyptor government. Human sovereignty has been lost and Marci Guerrero is now working undercover, surrounded by enemies. But even in the darkest times, Marci continues to ask questions. Can a cure for this evil be found? Can Seattle break free and lead other cities to regain human sovereignty? Can Marci love again? Marci must hold on to her faith in the fight, her faith in humanity, her faith that the darkness will shatter and the light will...

The inspiration for Coldmaker by Daniel A. Cohen Dec20

The inspiration for Coldmaker by Daniel A. Cohen...

COLDMAKER came out of two burning desires (pun intended). First and foremost, I very much wanted to explore a societal structure where the currency had a high inherent value, instead of just an assumed value. Basically I wanted to explore the barter system on steroids. I wanted the reader to feel the need for a particular currency, which in this world happens to be Cold itself, coming in five varying denominations (from least to most potent: Wisps, Drafts, Shivers, Chills, and the most holy of all, the Frost). Even though the cold/hot trope has been widely explored, I’ve always found the idea of barren landscape to be simultaneously poetic and devastating. How do native peoples, desert travelers, and vagabonds survive in such harsh conditions? It takes a certain level of ingenuity (enter MICAH, the inventor protagonist of COLDMAKER) and a driving sense of survival in order to carry on. I figured a land as hot and barren as they come would give me the perfect set-up for this kind of desperate world, making Cold itself the currency, which automatically bestows that inherent value. The World Cried is scorching. Terrible. Merciless. And there’s only one way to survive. The second desire I wished to explore came from my intense interest in the power of lies. As much as we don’t want to believe it, people lie. Why people lie is up to much scientific and theological research and debate (all of which is way above my pay grade) but the simple fact is that for some reason, humans are built with this mechanism with which to escape the truth. People lie. Some people lie a lot. Some people believe their lies so much that they aren’t even part of the lying process any longer. These...