Next SFF Author: Ben Aaronovitch

Order [book in series=yearoffirstbook.book# (eg 2014.01), stand-alone or one-author collection=3333.pubyear, multi-author anthology=5555.pubyear, SFM/MM=5000, interview=1111]: 2001.04


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Penric’s Demon: A new Five Gods story!

Penric’s Demon by Lois McMaster Bujold

It’s been ten years since Lois McMaster Bujold, one of my favorite authors, published a story set in her FIVE GODS fantasy world. This is the award-wining series that consists of The Curse of Chalion (2001, Mythopoeic Fantasy Award), The Paladin of Souls (2003, Hugo, Nebula, Locus Award) and The Hallowed Hunt (2005). I read these when they were first released, and I loved them, so maybe you can imagine how happy I was to hear that Bujold has written a new novella set in the same world.


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The Forever Knight: Brutal and tragic

The Forever Knight by John Marco

The Forever Knight is a follow-up novel that takes place after John Marco’s BOOKS OF THE BRONZE KNIGHT, but Marco does such a good job of filling in the gaps for new readers that it’s meant to be able to be read separately. If you’re interested in a kind of brutal, really tragic fantasy, then this is worth a read.

Lukien is the Forever Knight. He has betrayed his best friend and the love of his life is dead,


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Finch: I may never look at a shitake mushroom the same way again

Finch by Jeff VanderMeer

Finch, by Jeff VanderMeer, is an intricate, immersive fantasy novel with grace notes of detective noir and even espionage thriller. VanderMeer’s setting, the city of Ambergris, is one he is very familiar with and he uses specific detail to paint the city, decaying rapidly under the assault of its fungal overlords, vividly for the reader.

John Finch was not born with that name, nor is he a detective by training. Heretic, the “gray cap” or fungus-based life form to whom Finch reports,


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Valentine’s Rising: Action, hard choices, cool characters

Valentine’s Rising by E.E. Knight

Valentine’s Rising takes place immediately following the disastrous end of the previous novel, Tale of the Thunderbolt. The disaster was widespread and has changed Southern Command forever, and David Valentine and his remaining men must find ways to survive the situation. Valentine’s Rising is a tale of espionage, sacrifices, and all-out war.

E.E. Knight sticks with the same format he’s always used in the Vampire Earth novels: plenty of action,


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A Darkling Plain: Raw creativity and rich world-building

A Darkling Plain by Philip Reeve

Whatever becomes of us, we’ll be together…

I read the first installment of THE HUNGRY CITY CHRONICLES back in 2003 with Mortal Engines and now I finally come to the end of the four-part story with A Darkling Plain. There is still a prequel to enjoy, but for all intents and purposes, this is the last chapter of Tom Natsworthy and Hester Shaw’s adventures in a world filled with airships, traction cities,


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The Magician’s Apprentice: Not recommended

The Magician’s Apprentice by Trudi Canavan

The Magician’s Apprentice is the stand-alone prequel to Trudi Canavan’s The Black Magician trilogy. It tells the story of young healer and magician apprentice Tessia who is caught up in the struggle between her native Kyralia and the Sachakan invaders who are trying to reestablish rule over their prior province.
I haven’t read the trilogy and am evaluating the book as the solo novel it is purported to be.

The first sentence of The Magician’s Apprentice reaches out and grabs your attention.


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Set the Seas on Fire: Appealing historical fantasy

Set the Seas on Fire by Chris Roberson

Author of many short stories and novels, the three-time World Fantasy Award-nominated and two-time John W. Campbell Award-nominated Chris Roberson is also a co-founder of the writers’ collective Clockwork Storybook and owner/operator of the indie publisher MonkeyBrain Books (Michael Moorcock, Alan Moore, Jeff VanderMeer). Set the Seas On Fire is part of the Bonaventure-Carmody universe which includes the books Cybermancy, Incorporated (2001-Clockwork), Here,


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Kushiel’s Scion: So glad to be back in Terre d’Ange

Kushiel’s Scion by Jacqueline Carey

Return to Terre d’Ange with Kushiel’s Scion, sequel to the Kushiel’s Legacy trilogy. This book follows Phèdre’s adopted son, Imriel, son of the treacherous Melisande and third in line for the D’Angeline throne. Carey does an excellent job of developing Imriel into a complicated, troubled young man without in any way betraying the character he was in Kushiel’s Avatar: haunted but with the proverbial heart of gold.

Imriel is coming of age here,


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What the Cards Said: So darn predictable

What the Cards Said by Isobel Bird

What the Cards Said is the fourth book in the Circle of Three series, a fifteen-volume set that chronicles the learning experiences of three adolescent girls — Kate, Annie and Cooper, in their year and a day of study in the religion of Wicca.

In this book Annie has discovered her skills in tarot reading, and after she’s been talked into playing “Miss Fortune” at the school fair, others pick up on her uncanny habit to accurately predict things.


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Next SFF Author: Ben Aaronovitch

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