It’s tough to keep up on all the exciting new fantasy releases every month. But that’s why Black Gate is in your life. That and — admit it — you love Goth Chick’s Halloween Show reports.
April looks pretty exciting from where I sit, with a new fantasy debut from wunderkind Ken Liu, an exciting line up of graphic novels — including new Alan Moore — some fresh installments in popular series, and a lot more. We’re here to point you towards the most exciting releases of the month, so let’s get started.
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I know almost nothing about Peter Newman’s debut fantasy The Vagrant, but the cover caught my eye and, really, that’s all it takes.
The Vagrant is his name. He has no other. Years have passed since humanity’s destruction emerged from the Breach. Friendless and alone he walks across a desolate, war-torn landscape. As each day passes the world tumbles further into depravity, bent and twisted by the new order, corrupted by the Usurper, the enemy, and his infernal horde. His purpose is to reach the Shining City, last bastion of the human race, and deliver the only weapon that may make a difference in the ongoing war. What little hope remains is dying. Abandoned by its leader, The Seven, and its heroes, The Seraph Knights, the last defences of a once great civilisation are crumbling into dust. But the Shining City is far away and the world is a very dangerous place.
Yeah, that description doesn’t make a lot of sense. Whose leader? The Seven? What? Gahhh, I want it anyway. Why am I such a sucker for great cover art? The Vagrant will be released by HarperVoyager in hardcover and trade paperback on April 23 (400 pages, somewhere around $24 in hardcover.)
I want to read some Brandon Sanderson, I really do. But his books are huge. Words of Radiance was 1088 pages — in hardcover! I mean, come on. I barely have time to read the blogs I want to read, they they’re not even two pages. But I’m intrigued by Perfect State, the tale of an all-powerful monarch on a first date, with a girl from another world. It looks cool, sounds fun… and it’s only 71 pages! This could be my chance. Perfect State was released at the beginning of the month by Dragonsteel Entertainment. It is available in digital format only, for $2.99.
God-Emperor Kairominas is lord of all he surveys. He has defeated all foes, has united the entire world beneath his rule, and has mastered the arcane arts. He spends his time sparring with his nemesis, who keeps trying to invade Kai’s world.
Except for today. Today, Kai has to go on a date. Forces have conspired to require him to meet with his equal — a woman from another world who has achieved just as much as he has. What happens when the most important man in the world is forced to have dinner with the most important woman in the world?
Based on back-channel buzz, the biggest fantasy release of the month looks like Ken Liu’s highly anticipated The Grace of Kings, the first novel in The Dandelion Dynasty. We told you all about it in a recent Future Treasures article. It was published by Saga Press on April 7 (620 pages, $27.99 in hardcover.)
We recently covered Tim Lebbon’s horror novel Coldbrook, and back in February we told you about his newest, The Silence, the tale of a global apocalypse that begins when blind subterranean horrors escape onto the surface… creatures that hunt relentlessly by sound. The Silence was published by Titan Books on April 14 (361 pages, $14.95 in trade paperback.)
Interzone magazine called Aidan Harte “a brilliant new voice in historical fantasy,” and in her feature review of the opening volume in The Wave Trilogy, Black Gate‘s own Sarah Avery said “Irenicon would make a perfect action film.” Now Harte continues the story in the second book, The Warring States, published on April 7 by Jo Fletcher Books (511 pages, $26.99 in hardcover.)
After the rout at Rasenna, Concord faces enemies on all fronts, and nobody believes that the last surviving Apprentice is equal to these crises–but Torbidda didn’t become Apprentice by letting himself be manipulated.
While Sofia is struggling to understand her miraculous pregnancy, the City of Towers grows wealthy. But it’s not long before the people of Rasenna start arguing again, and as the city falls apart once more, Sofia realises she must escape Etruria to save her baby. When prophecy leads her to another cesspit of treachery, the decadent Crusader kingdom of Oltremare, Sofia begins to despair, for this time she can see no way out.
Peter Orullian’s Trial of Intentions, the second novel of Vault of Heaven, will be released by Tor on May 26. But in a surprise move, the publisher has just re-released the first novel, The Unremembered — originally published in April 2011 — in an Author’s Definitive Edition, with updates to the original text, a new short story titled “Stories and Music” published here for the first time, and a sneak preview of the sequel. Hard to say if the revised version is worth your money, but I was intrigued to note that this one, at 434 pages in trade paperback, is significantly shorter than the original (which was 669 pages in hardcover, and 922 in paperback.)
Noelle Stevenson and Grace Ellis’s Lumberjanes has gotten a lot of great press, and I’m anxious to check it out now that a collection of issues 1-4 was released last week. Jo, April, Mal, Molly and Ripley are five friends determined to have an awesome summer together… and not even an array of supernatural critters and strange quests can get in their way. Lumberjanes was published by BOOM! Box on April 7, 2015 (128 pages, $14.99 in trade paperback.)
I’m constantly trying to get my 15-year-old daughter interested in comics, without much success. I should have just given her Ms. Marvel from the get go. She devoured the first volume, and started nagging me for the second one in a matter of hours. Thank God she’s has issues of the new Thor to keep her preoccupied until then. Ms. Marvel Volume 2: Generation Why, written by G. Willow Wilson and illustrated by Jacob Wyatt and Adrian Alphona, was released by Marvel Comics on April 7 (136 pages, $15.99 in trade paperback.)
You don’t see Alan Moore’s name much anymore. The legendary author of V For Vendetta, Watchmen, The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen and Promethea has nearly retired from comics, so it’s always a delight to see his occasional output on the shelves. The latest example is Nemo: River of Ghosts, the fourth installment of this League of Extraordinary Gentlemen spin-off, created with artist Kevin O’Neill. River of Ghosts follows Janni Dakkar, pirate queen of Lincoln Island and head of the fabled Nemo family, as she embarks on her final voyage down the vastness of the Amazon at the age of 80. Nemo: River of Ghosts was published by Top Shelf on April 7 (56 pages, $14.95 in hardcover.)
The other graphic novel I’m really looking forward to this month is Michael Moreci and Vic Malhotra’s Roche Limit, published by Image Comics on April 7 (128 pages, $9.99 in trade paperback.)
“Our destiny is the stars, and I will lead us there.” Twenty years after this promise, billionaire Langford Skaargard’s dream of cosmic exploration is no more. Roche Limit, a colony situated on the cusp of a mysterious energy anomaly, is a melting pot of crime and terrible secrets. When Bekkah Hudson goes missing, the search to find her will plunge her sister and a cadre of the colony’s underworld figures into an odyssey that reveals a grim future for mankind.
Kimberly Derting’s The Replaced is the second installment in The Taking. Kyra hasn’t been the same since she returned from a mysterious five-year disappearance. On the run from the NSA, Kyra is hiding out with others who, like her, have been Returned, and is searching for Tyler, the boy she loves who was also abducted. When she intercepts a message that Tyler might be alive, Kyra risks everything to get him back. The Replaced will be published by HarperTeen on April 28, (368 pages, $17.99 in hardcover.)
Robert Lettrick’s second novel The Murk features a spunky teen, her little bother named Creeper, and a very nasty swamp creature. When have those ingredients ever resulted in anything less than awesome?
In the Okefenokee Swamp grows a rare and beautiful flower with a power unlike any other. Many have tried to claim it-no one has come out alive. But fourteen-year-old Piper Canfield is desperate, and this flower may be her only chance to keep a promise she made a long time ago. Accompanied by her little brother, Creeper, her friend Tad, and two local guides, Piper embarks on the quest of a lifetime. But there’s a deadly predator lurking unseen in the black water, one nearly as old as the Oke itself. Some say it’s a monster. Others say an evil spirit. The truth is far more terrifying. Piper’s task is simple: find the flower… or die trying.
The Murk will be published by Disney-Hyperion on April 21 (320 pages, $16.99 in hardcover.)
I hear a lot of good things about Faith Hunter’s Jane Yellowrock novels. Dark Heir is the ninth in the series, and I am strongly tempted to jump on here. It was published by Roc on April 7 (384 pages, $7.99 in paperback)
Shapeshifting skinwalker Jane Yellowrock is the best in the business when it comes to slaying vampires. But her latest fanged foe may be above her pay grade…
For centuries, the extremely powerful and ruthless vampire witches of the European Council have wandered the Earth, controlling governments, fostering war, creating political conflict, and often leaving absolute destruction in their wake. One of the strongest of them is set to create some havoc in the city of New Orleans, and it’s definitely personal. Jane is tasked with tracking him down. With the help of a tech wiz and an ex-Army ranger, her partners in Yellowrock Securities, she’ll have to put everything on the line, and hope it’s enough. Things are about to get real hard in the Big Easy.
Kelley Armstrong is widely known for her Darkness Rising, Darkest Powers, and Blackwell Pages series. Sea of Shadows, the first novel in Age of Legends, was published last April, and it became a New York Times bestseller. In the sequel Ashyn and Moria must overcome deadly enemies — not all of them human — as they try to avert a war for the empire. Empire of Night was published by HarperCollins on April 7 (432 pages, $17.99 in hardcover.)
Sisters Moria and Ashyn are the Keeper and Seeker of Edgewood. Or at least they were. Their village is gone. Their friends have betrayed them. And now, the emperor has sent them on a mission to rescue the captured children of Edgewood — accompanied by Prince Tyrus and a small band of imperial warriors. But the journey proves more perilous than any of them could have imagined. And with treachery and unrest mounting in the empire, the girls are running out of places to turn.
Gail Z. Martin has authored several popular adventure fantasy novels, including the Chronicles of the Necromancer series and Deadly Curiosities. War of Shadows is the third book in The Ascendant Kingdoms Saga, and it will arrive in bookstores on April 21 from Orbit (640 pages, $14.99 in trade paperback.)
Amidst the Shadows, Chaos Reigns
Blaine “Mick” McFadden managed to partially restore Donderath’s magic, but not without a cost. He and the magic are now bound together, and the power remains dangerous and erratic — draining the life from him with every use. New threats are rising from the wreckage of the battered kingdoms, and warlords both mortal and undead vie for control. Now, Blaine and his unlikely band of convict heroes must find allies amidst a sea of enemies, and discover a way to rebind magic to the will of mortals before it destroys him. And time is running out…
That wraps it up for the upcoming fantasy releases that have grabbed our attention for April. Be sure to check back here a few times a week as we report on the most intriguing New Treasures.