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The Monkey's Wedding and Other Stories

Joan Aiken

Joan Aiken's stories captivated readers for fifty years. They're funny, smart, gentle, and occasionally very, very scary. The stories in The Monkey's Wedding are collected here for the very first time and include six never before published, as well as two previously published under the pseudonym Nicholas Dee. Here you'll find the story of a village for sale... or is the village itself the story? There's an English vicar who declares on his deathbed that he might have lived an entirely different life. After his death, a large, black, argumentative cat makes an appearance....

This hugely imaginative collection of incongruous, light, and unexpected stories features Shelley Jackson's spooky and eyecatching cover painting inspired by the story "A Mermaid Too Many" and includes introductions by Joan Aiken as well by her daughter, Lizza Aiken.

Table of Contents:

  • Introduction by Joan Aiken
  • Introduction by Lizza Aiken
  • Girl in a Whirl
  • Hair
  • Harp Music
  • Honeymaroon
  • Octopi in the Sky
  • Reading in Bed
  • Red-Hot Favourite
  • Second Thoughts
  • Spur of the Moment
  • The Fluttering Thing
  • The Magnesia Tree
  • The Monkey's Wedding
  • The Paper Queen
  • The Sale of Midsummer
  • Water of Youth
  • Wee Robin
  • A Mermaid Too Many
  • Model Wife
The Helper

The Malacia Tapestry

Brian W. Aldiss

In the timeless city of Malacia, a place swathed in magic and on the brink of war, lives a young man named Perian de Chirolo – a free-spirit, a fearless lover – who embarks on a harrowing odyssey with dramatic consequences for himself and all Malacians. This is a gripping tale of wonder, lust and destiny.

Legends & Lattes: A Novel of High Fantasy and Low Stakes

Travis Baldree

After a lifetime of bounties and bloodshed, Viv is hanging up her sword for the last time.

The battle-weary orc aims to start fresh, opening the first ever coffee shop in the city of Thune. But old and new rivals stand in the way of success - not to mention the fact that no one has the faintest idea what coffee actually is.

If Viv wants to put the blade behind her and make her plans a reality, she won't be able to go it alone.

But the true rewards of the uncharted path are the travelers you meet along the way. And whether drawn together by ancient magic, flaky pastry, or a freshly brewed cup, they may become partners, family, and something deeper than she ever could have dreamed.

Zuleika Dobson

Max Beerbohm

Zuleika Dobson is a stunningly attractive young woman of the Edwardian era, a true femme fatale, who is a prestidigitator by profession, formerly a governess. Zuleika's current occupation (though, more importantly, perhaps, her enrapturing beauty) has made her something of a small-time celebrity and she manages to gain entrance to the privileged, all-male domain of Oxford University because her grandfather is the Warden of Judas College (based on Merton College, Beerbohm's alma mater). There, she falls in love for the first time in her life with the Duke of Dorset, a snobbish, emotionally detached student who--frustrated with the lack of control over his feelings when he sees her--is forced to admit that she too is his first love, impulsively proposing to her. As she feels that she cannot love anyone unless he is impervious to her charms, however, she rejects all her suitors, doing the same with the astonished Duke. The Duke quickly discovers that Noaks, another Oxford student, also claims to have fallen in love with her, without ever having even interacted with her. Apparently, men immediately fall in love with her upon seeing her.

Fireheart Tiger

Aliette de Bodard

Fire burns bright and has a long memory...

Quiet, thoughtful princess Thanh was sent away as a hostage to the powerful faraway country of Ephteria as a child. Now she's returned to her mother's imperial court, haunted not only by memories of her first romance, but by worrying magical echoes of a fire that devastated Ephteria's royal palace.

Thanh's new role as a diplomat places her once again in the path of her first love, the powerful and magnetic Eldris of Ephteria, who knows exactly what she wants: romance from Thanh and much more from Thanh's home. Eldris won't take no for an answer, on either front. But the fire that burned down one palace is tempting Thanh with the possibility of making her own dangerous decisions.

Can Thanh find the freedom to shape her country's fate - and her own?

The New Gulliver, or, The Adventures of Lemuel Gulliver Jr in Capovolta

Esmé Dodderidge

"Although there exist many feminist novels, 'The New Gulliver' is distinctive. In reading it, l felt I had grown, not merely wiser but more humane. It has the uncanny ability to strike at the heart of the contemporary debate about male-female roles and to expose the super?ciality of so much of the prevailing debate. Yet there is nothing strident about it. The New Gulliver is a classic not only of the women's movement but the unending movement to see all people as unique and to judge them on their merits."-Jeffrey L. Lant

Women, take heart! Here at last is a book that will carry the case of women's rights directly to the opposite sex. As delectably readable as it is trenchant, The New Gulliver blends fantasy and social satire in a modern novel that illuminates every aspect of the male-female relationship and exposes every sexist injustice. No one has ever presented women's rights as tellingly because no one has done it so amusingly.

On a secret mission, a spacecraft crashes over unexplored territory. The sole survivor, Lemuel Gulliver, Jr., a handsome young astronaut, awakens in a strange country called Capovolta. There he is nursed back to health by a family whose mother and daughter hold important jobs and whose father cooks and takes care of the household chores. As this modern Gulliver learns the language and falls in love with the daughter. He realizes that his hosts are no exception to the social norm-for Capovolta is an advanced matriarchal culture where the sex roles are the very reverse of our own. Long before Gulliver becomes a "househusband," male readers will be squirming while women will delight in this witty and penetrating twist on what they've always known.

Esme Dodderidge has delivered a brilliant satire of sexism in society. Her amusingly ingenious ploys and the novel's pervasive ironical undertone are the sources for constant surprise. Every woman will want to give this book to the men in her life.

Miranda in Milan

Katharine Duckett

After the tempest, after the reunion, after her father drowned his books, Miranda was meant to enter a brave new world. Naples awaited her, and Ferdinand, and a throne. Instead she finds herself in Milan, in her father's castle, surrounded by hostile servants who treat her like a ghost. Whispers cling to her like spiderwebs, whispers that carry her dead mother's name. And though he promised to give away his power, Milan is once again contorting around Prospero's dark arts.

With only Dorothea, her sole companion and confidant to aid her, Miranda must cut through the mystery and find the truth about her father, her mother, and herself.

Viper Wine

Hermione Eyre

Venetia Stanley was the great beauty of her day, so dazzling she inspired Ben Jonson to poetry and Van Dyck to painting. But now she is married, the adoration to which she has become accustomed has curdled to scrutiny, and she fears her powers are waning. Her devoted husband, Sir Kenelm Digby--explorer, diplomat, philosopher, alchemist-- refuses to prepare a beauty tonic for her, insisting on her continued perfection.

Venetia, growing desperate, secretly engages an apothecary to sell her "viper wine"--a strange potion said to bolster the blood and invigorate the skin. The results are instant, glorious, and addictive, and soon the ladies of the court of Charles I are looking unnaturally youthful. But there is a terrible price to be paid, as science clashes with magic, puritans rebel against the decadent monarchy, and England slides into civil war.

Based on real events and written with anachronistic verve, Viper Wine is an intoxicating brew of love, longing and vanity, where the 17th and 21st centuries mix and mingle in the most enchanting and mind-bending ways.

Summervale: A Fantasy

James Kenward

Recounting the metamorphosis of an unassuming suburban insurance broker into a dog.

The Tricksters

Margaret Mahy

While gathered together for the Christmas holiday, a large New Zealand family and their various guests and hangers-on find their lives suddenly invaded by three fascinating but rather sinister brothers and by New Year nothing is the same again.

The Beautiful Ones

Silvia Moreno-Garcia

Antonina Beaulieu is in the glittering city of Loisail for her first Grand Season, where she will attend balls and mingle among high society. Under the tutelage of the beautiful but cold Valerie Beaulieu she hopes to find a suitable husband. However, the haphazard manifestations of Nina's telekinetic powers make her the subject of malicious gossip.

Yet dazzling telekinetic performer and outsider Hector Auvray sees Nina's powers as a gift, and he teaches her how to hone and control them. As they spend more and more time together, Nina falls in love and believes she's found the great romance that she's always dreamt of. But Hector's courtship of Nina is deceptive.

84K

Claire North

Theo Miller knows the value of human life - to the very last penny.

Working in the Criminal Audit Office, he assesses each crime that crosses his desk and makes sure the correct debt to society is paid in full.

But when his ex-lover is killed, it's different. This is one death he can't let become merely an entry on a balance sheet.

Because when the richest in the world are getting away with murder, sometimes the numbers just don't add up.

The Midnight Bargain

C. L. Polk

Beatrice Clayborn is a sorceress who practices magic in secret, terrified of the day she will be locked into a marital collar that will cut off her powers to protect her unborn children. She dreams of becoming a full-fledged Magus and pursuing magic as her calling as men do, but her family has staked everything to equip her for Bargaining Season, when young men and women of means descend upon the city to negotiate the best marriages. The Clayborns are in severe debt, and only she can save them, by securing an advantageous match before their creditors come calling.

In a stroke of luck, Beatrice finds a grimoire that contains the key to becoming a Magus, but before she can purchase it, a rival sorceress swindles the book right out of her hands. Beatrice summons a spirit to help her get it back, but her new ally exacts a price: Beatrice's first kiss... with her adversary's brother, the handsome, compassionate, and fabulously wealthy Ianthe Lavan.

The more Beatrice is entangled with the Lavan siblings, the harder her decision becomes: If she casts the spell to become a Magus, she will devastate her family and lose the only man to ever see her for who she is; but if she marries - even for love - she will sacrifice her magic, her identity, and her dreams. But how can she choose just one, knowing she will forever regret the path not taken?

A Midsummer Night's Dream

William Shakespeare

A Midsummer Night's Dream is a comedy play by William Shakespeare, believed to have been written between 1590 and 1596.

Magic, love spells, and an enchanted wood provide the materials for one of Shakespeare's most delightful comedies. When four young lovers, fleeing the Athenian law and their own mismatched rivalries, take to the forest of Athens, their lives become entangled with a feud between the King and Queen of the Fairies. Some Athenian tradesmen, rehearsing a play for the forthcoming wedding of Duke Theseus and his bride, Hippolyta, unintentionally add to the hilarity. The result is a marvelous mix-up of desire and enchantment, merriment and farce, all touched by Shakespeare's inimitable vision of the intriguing relationship between art and life, dreams and the waking world.

The Tempest

William Shakespeare

The Tempest is a play by William Shakespeare, believed to have been written in 1610-11, and thought by many critics to be the last play that Shakespeare wrote alone.

It is set on a remote island, where Prospero, the rightful Duke of Milan, plots to restore his daughter Miranda to her rightful place using illusion and skilful manipulation. He conjures up a storm, the eponymous tempest, to lure his usurping brother Antonio and the complicit King Alonso of Naples to the island. There, his machinations bring about the revelation of Antonio's lowly nature, the redemption of the King, and the marriage of Miranda to Alonso's son, Ferdinand.

The Porcelain Dove

Delia Sherman

Berthe Duvet, chambermaid to a French duchess, narrates this tale of eighteenth-century Paris, describing the dazzling world of Marie Antoinette, Beaumarchais, and the Marquis de Sade, already living in the shadow of the guillotine.

Tooth and Claw

Jo Walton

A tale of love, money, and family conflict--among dragons.

A family deals with the death of their father. A son goes to court for his inheritance. Another son agonises over his father's deathbed confession. One daughter becomes involved in the abolition movement, while another sacrifices herself for her husband.

And everyone in the tale is a dragon, red in tooth and claw.

Here is a world of politics and train stations, of churchmen and family retainers, of courtship and country houses...in which, on the death of an elder, family members gather to eat the body of the deceased. In which the great and the good avail themselves of the privilege of killing and eating the weaker children, which they do with ceremony and relish, growing stronger thereby.

You have never read a novel like Tooth and Claw.

A Taste of Honey

Kai Ashante Wilson

Sturgeon and Hugo Award nominated novella.

Long after the Towers left the world but before the dragons came to Daluça, the emperor brought his delegation of gods and diplomats to Olorum. As the royalty negotiates over trade routes and public services, the divinity seeks arcane assistance among the local gods.

Aqib bgm Sadiqi, fourth-cousin to the royal family and son of the Master of Beasts, has more mortal and pressing concerns. His heart has been captured for the first time by a handsome Daluçan soldier named Lucrio. in defiance of Saintly Canon, gossiping servants, and the furious disapproval of his father and brother, Aqib finds himself swept up in a whirlwind romance. But neither Aqib nor Lucrio know whether their love can survive all the hardships the world has to throw at them.

A Taste of Honey is a new novella in the world of Kai Ashante Wilson's The Sorcerer of the Wildeeps.

The Ladies of Grace Adieu: And Other Stories

Susanna Clarke

Faerie is never as far away as you think. Sometimes you find you have crossed an invisible line and must cope, as best you can, with petulant princesses, vengeful owls, ladies who pass their time embroidering terrible fates or with endless paths in deep, dark woods and houses that never appear the same way twice. The heroines and heroes bedevilled by such problems in these fairy tales include a conceited Regency clergyman, an eighteenth-century Jewish doctor and Mary, Queen of Scots, as well as two characters from "Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell: Strange himself and the Raven King".

Uncle Silas

Sheridan Le Fanu

As the November winds wail in ivied chimneys we are drawn into a Victorian Gothic atmosphere of menacing, sombre gloom and ebony shadows. Sheridan Le Fanu leaves us in no doubt that we are in for a feast of exciting drama, luring us into the intensely claustrophobic world of the nineteenth century sensational novel. Le Fanu is amongst the top-notch exponents of the creepy, the criminal and the oppressive. In this tale of the orphaned teenage heiress Maud Ruthyn, fearing for her life at the hands of her sinister uncle, he has created a rattling good plot with the depth of a social novel and the power of high romance.

Gulliver's Travels

Jonathan Swift

In Gulliver's Travels, the narrator represents himself as a reliable reporter of the fantastic adventures he has just experienced. But how far can we rely on a narrator who has been impersonated by someone else? The work purports to be a travel book, and describes the shipwrecked Gulliver's encounters with the inhabitants of four extraordinary places: Lilliput, Brobdingnag, Laputa, and the country of the Houyhnhnms. An extraordinarily skillful blend of fantasy and realism makes Gulliver's Travels by turns hilarious, frightening, and profound. Swift's alter ego plays tricks on us, and our gullibility uncovers one of the world's most disturbing satires of the human condition.

Fire & Blood

A Song of Ice and Fire: Targaryen History: Book 1

George R. R. Martin

Centuries before the events of A Game of Thrones, House Targaryen--the only family of dragonlords to survive the Doom of Valyria--took up residence on Dragonstone. Fire & Blood begins their tale with the legendary Aegon the Conqueror, creator of the Iron Throne, and goes on to recount the generations of Targaryens who fought to hold that iconic seat, all the way up to the civil war that nearly tore their dynasty apart.

What really happened during the Dance of the Dragons? Why was it so deadly to visit Valyria after the Doom? What were Maegor the Cruel's worst crimes? What was it like in Westeros when dragons ruled the skies? These are but a few of the questions answered in this essential chronicle, as related by a learned maester of the Citadel and featuring more than eighty all-new black-and-white illustrations by artist Doug Wheatley. Readers have glimpsed small parts of this narrative in such volumes as The World of Ice & Fire, but now, for the first time, the full tapestry of Targaryen history is revealed.

With all the scope and grandeur of Gibbon's The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, Fire & Blood is the the first volume of the definitive two-part history of the Targaryens, giving readers a whole new appreciation for the dynamic, often bloody, and always fascinating history of Westeros.

The Breaker Queen

Dark Breakers: Book 1

C.S.E. Cooney

Elliot Howell is a rising star in the Seafall painting community. He has a promising career as a portrait artist, good friends, and a fabulously wealthy patroness. In other words, he has everything to lose.

Queen Nyx rules the Gentry court in Valwode, the magic country between the mortal world and Bana the Bone Kingdom where goblins dwell. She is powerful, and beautiful, and wise beyond all imagining, but her heir is planning a coup to overthrow her and tear the Antler Crown from her brow.

Elliot and Nyx meet at Breaker House, a building anchored in all three worlds: mortal, Gentry, and goblin. For Elliot, seeing Nyx is love at first sight. For Nyx, loving a mortal man may mean giving up her crown, her country, and her eternal life.

But some things are worth any price.

This novella was reprinted in Lightspeed, October 2017.

Poison or Protect

Delightfully Deadly

Gail Carriger

Can one gentle Highland soldier woo Victorian London's most scandalous lady assassin, or will they both be destroyed in the attempt?

This stand-alone romance novella is set in the author's popular steampunk universe full of manners, spies, and dainty sandwiches.

Lady Preshea Villentia, the Mourning Star, has four dead husbands and a nasty reputation. Fortunately, she looks fabulous in black. What society doesn't know is that all her husbands were marked for death by Preshea's employer. And Preshea has one final assignment.

It was supposed to be easy, a house party with minimal bloodshed. Preshea hadn't anticipated Captain Gavin Ruthven -- massive, Scottish, quietly irresistible, and... working for the enemy. In a battle of wits, Preshea may risk her own heart -- a terrifying prospect, as she never knew she had one.

Delicate Sensibilities? Contains men pleasing women, and ladies who know what they want and ask for it, sometimes in detail. May also contain plaid, appearances from favorite characters, and the strategic application of leather gloves.

The Color of Magic

Discworld: Book 1

Terry Pratchett

The Color of Magic is Terry Pratchett's maiden voyage through the now-legendary land of Discworld. This is where it all begins--with the tourist Twoflower and his wizard guide, Rincewind.

Equal Rites

Discworld: Book 3

Terry Pratchett

In Equal Rites, a dying wizard tries to pass on his powers to an eighth son of an eighth son, who is just at that moment being born. The fact that the son is actually a daughter is discovered just a little too late.

Men at Arms

Discworld: Book 15

Terry Pratchett

Be a MAN in the City Watch! The City Watch needs MEN!

But what it's got includes Corporal Carrot (technically a dwarf), Lance-constable Cuddy (really a dwarf), Lance-constable Detrius (a troll), Lance-constable Angua (a woman...most of the time) and Corporal Nobbs (disqualified from the human race for shoving).

And they need all the help they can get. Because they've only got twenty-four hours to clean up the town and this is Ankh-Morpork we're talking about...

Soul Music

Discworld: Book 16

Terry Pratchett

When her dear old Granddad -- the Grim Reaperhimself -- goes missing, Susan takes over the family business. The progeny of Death's adopted daughter and his apprentice, she shows real talent for the trade. That is until a little string in her heart goes "twang."

With a head full of dreams and a pocketful of lint,Imp the Bard lands in Ankh-Morpork, yearning to become a rock star. Determined to devote his life to music, the unlucky fellow soon finds that all his dreams are coming true. Well almost.

Maskerade

Discworld: Book 18

Terry Pratchett

It's not over till the fat lady sings

There's a Ghost in the Opera House of Ankh-Morpork. It wears a bone-white mask and terrorizes the entire company, including the immortal Enrico Basilica, who eats continuously even when he's singing. Mostly spaghetti with tomato sauce.

What better way to flush out a ghost than with a witch? Enter the Opera's newest diva, Perdita X. Nitt, a wannabe witch with such an astonishing range that she can sing harmony with herself. And does.

To further complicate matters (and why not?) there is a backstage cat who occasionally becomes a person just because it's so easy. Not to mention Granny Weatherwax's old friend, Death, whose scythe arm is sore from too much use. And who has been known to don a mask...

Monstrous Regiment

Discworld: Book 31

Terry Pratchett

War has come to Discworld... again.

And, to no one's great surprise, the conflict centers on the small, insufferably arrogant, strictly fundamentalist duchy of Borogravia, which has long prided itself on it's ability to beat up on its neighbors for even the tiniest imagined slight. This time, however, it's Borogravia that's getting its long overdue comeuppance, which has left the country severely drained of young men.

Ever since her brother Paul marched off to battle a year ago, Polly Perks has been running The Duchess,her family's inn -- even though the revered national deity Nuggan has decreed that female ownership of a business is an Abomination (with, among others, oysters, rocks, and the color blue). To keep The Duchess in the family, Polly must find her missing sibling. So she cuts off her hair, dons masculine garb, and sets out to join him in this man's army.

Despite her rapid mastery of belching, scratching, and other macho habits (and aided by a well-placed pair of socks), Polly is afraid that someone will immediately see through her disguise a fear that proves groundless when the recruiting officer, the legendary and seemingly ageless Sergeant Jackrum, accepts her without question. Or perhaps the sergeant is simply too desperate for fresh cannon fodder to discriminate -- which would explain why a vampire, a troll, a zombie, a religious fanatic, and two uncommonly close "friends" are also eagerly welcomed into the fighting fold. But marching off with little (read: no) training, Polly (now called "Oliver") finds herself wondering about the myriad peculiarities of her new brothers-in-arms. It would appear that Polly "Ozzer" Perks is not the only grunt with a secret. There is no time to dwell on such matters, however.Duty calls. The battlefield beckons. There's a tide to be turned.

And sometimes -- in war as in everything else -- the best man for the job is a woman.

Thud!

Discworld: Book 34

Terry Pratchett

Commander Sam Vimes of the Ankh-Morpork City Watch admits he may not be the sharpest knife in the cutlery drawer -- he might not even be a spoon. But he's dogged and honest and he'll be damned if he lets anyone disturb his city's always-tentative peace -- and that includes a rabble-rousing dwarf from the sticks (or deep beneath them) who's been stirring up big trouble on the eve of the anniversary of one of Discworld's most infamous historical events.

Centuries earlier, in a gods-forsaken hellhole called Koom Valley, a horde of trolls met a division of dwarfs in bloody combat. Though nobody's quite sure why they fought or who actually won, hundreds of years on each species still bears the cultural scars, and one views the other with simmering animosity and distrust. Lately, an influential dwarf, Grag Hamcrusher, has been fomenting unrest among Ankh-Morpork's more diminutive citizens with incendiary speeches. And it doesn't help matters when the pint-size provocateur is discovered beaten to death... with a troll club lying conveniently nearby.

Vimes knows the well-being of his smoldering city depends on his ability to solve the Hamcrusher homicide without delay. (Vimes's secondmost-pressing responsibility, in fact, next to being home every evening at six sharp to read Where's My Cow? to Young Sam.) Whatever it takes to unstick this very sticky situation, Vimes will do it -- even tolerate having a vampire in the Watch. But there's more than one corpse waiting for him in the eerie, summoning darkness of the vast, labyrinthine mine network the dwarfs have been excavating in secret beneath Ankh-Morpork's streets. A deadly puzzle is pulling Sam Vimes deep into the muck and mire of superstition, hatred, and fear -- and perhaps all the way to Koom Valley itself.

A Voyage to Arcturus

Frontiers of Imagination: Book 21

David Lindsay

After attending a séance, Maskull, a restless and rootless man, finds himself embarking on a journey to the planet Tormance, which orbits Arcturus. Alone, he wanders the startling landscape, open to a bewildering range of experiences from love to ritual murder, encountering new monsters at every turn, metamorphosing, constantly seeking the truth about the divinity known as Shaping, Surtur and Crystalman.

A Voyage to Arcturus is David Lindsay's masterpiece, an extraordinary imaginative tour de force.

The Witness for the Dead

Goblin Emperor: The Cemeteries of Amalo: Book 1

Katherine Addison

When the young half-goblin emperor Maia sought to learn who had set the bombs that killed his father and half-brothers, he turned to an obscure resident of his father’s Court, a Prelate of Ulis and a Witness for the Dead. Thara Celehar found the truth, though it did him no good to discover it. He lost his place as a retainer of his cousin the former Empress, and made far too many enemies among the many factions vying for power in the new Court. The favor of the Emperor is a dangerous coin.

Now Celehar lives in the city of Amalo, far from the Court though not exactly in exile. He has not escaped from politics, but his position gives him the ability to serve the common people of the city, which is his preference. He lives modestly, but his decency and fundamental honesty will not permit him to live quietly. As a Witness for the Dead, he can, sometimes, speak to the recently dead: see the last thing they saw, know the last thought they had, experience the last thing they felt. It is his duty use that ability to resolve disputes, to ascertain the intent of the dead, to find the killers of the murdered.

Now Celehar's skills lead him out of the quiet and into a morass of treachery, murder, and injustice. No matter his own background with the imperial house, Celehar will stand with the commoners, and possibly find a light in the darkness.

Titus Groan

Gormenghast Series: Book 1

Mervyn Peake

The first volume of the GORMENGHAST trilogy of fantasy novels. Titus Groan is born the heir to Gormenghast castle, and finds himself in a world predetermined by complex rituals that have been made obscure by the passage of time. Along the corridors of the castle, the child encounters some of the dark characters who will shape his life.

Gormenghast

Gormenghast Series: Book 2

Mervyn Peake

Titus Groan is seven years old. Lord and heir to the crumbling castle Gormenghast. Gothic labyrinth of roofs and turrets, cloisters and corridors, stairwells and dungeons, it is also the cobwebbed kingdom of Byzantine government and age-old rituals, a world primed to implode beneath the weight of centuries of intrigue, treachery, and death. Steerpike, who began his climb across the roofs when Titus was born, is now ascending the spiral stairacse to the heart of the castle, and in his wake lie imprisonment, manipulation, and murder.

Gormenghast is the second volume in Mervyn Peake's widely acclaimed trilogy, but it is much more than a sequel to Titus Groan--it is an enrichment and deepening of that book. And back in single volumes for the first time in years, a new generation of fantasy fans will grow to love this tour de force that ranks as one of the twentieth century's most remarkable feats of imaginative writing.

The Death of the Necromancer

Ile-Rien: Book 2

Martha Wells

Nicholas Valiarde is a passionate, embittered nobleman with an enigmatic past. Consumed by thoughts of vengeance, he is consoled only by thoughts of the beautiful, dangerous Madeline. He is also the greatest thief in all of Ile-Rien...

On the gas light streets of the city, he assumes the guise of a master criminal, stealing jewels from wealthy nobles to finance his quest for vengeance the murder of Count Montesq. Montesq orchestrated the wrongful execution of Nicholas's beloved godfather on false charges of necromancy--the art of divination through communion with spirits of the dead--a practice long outlawed in the kingdom of Ile-Rein.

But now Nicholas's murderous mission is being interrupted by a series of eerie, unexplainable, even fatal events. Someone with tremendous magical powers is opposing him. Children vanish, corpses assume the visage of real people, mortal spells are cast, and traces of necromantic power that hasn't been used for centuries are found. And when a spiritualist unwittingly leads Nicholas to a decrepit mansion, the monstrous nature of his peril finally emerges in harrowing detail.Nicholas and his compatriots must destroy an ancient and awesome evil. even teh help of Ile-Rien's greatest sorcerer may not be enough, for Nicholas faces a woefully mismatched battle--and unthinkable horrors await the loser.

Ironskin

Ironskin: Book 1

Tina Connolly

Jane Eliot wears an iron mask.

It's the only way to contain the fey curse that scars her cheek. The Great War is five years gone, but its scattered victims remain--the ironskin.

When a carefully worded listing appears for a governess to assist with a "delicate situation"--a child born during the Great War--Jane is certain the child is fey-cursed, and that she can help.

Teaching the unruly Dorie to suppress her curse is hard enough; she certainly didn't expect to fall for the girl's father, the enigmatic artist Edward Rochart. But her blossoming crush is stifled by her scars and by his parade of women. Ugly women, who enter his closed studio... and come out as beautiful as the fey.

Jane knows Rochart cannot love her, just as she knows that she must wear iron for the rest of her life. But what if neither of these things are true? Step by step Jane unlocks the secrets of a new life--and discovers just how far she will go to become whole again.

Shades of Milk and Honey

Jane Ellsworth: Book 1

Mary Robinette Kowal

The fantasy novel you've always wished Jane Austen had written

Shades of Milk and Honey is exactly what we could expect from Jane Austen if she had been a fantasy writer: Pride and Prejudice meets Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell. It is an intimate portrait of a woman, Jane, and her quest for love in a world where the manipulation of glamour is considered an essential skill for a lady of quality.

Jane and her sister Melody vie for the attentions of eligible men, and while Jane's skill with glamour is remarkable, it is her sister who is fair of face. When Jane realizes that one of Melody's suitors is set on taking advantage of her sister for the sake of her dowry, she pushes her skills to the limit of what her body can withstand in order to set things right-and, in the process, accidentally wanders into a love story of her own.

Glamour in Glass

Jane Ellsworth: Book 2

Mary Robinette Kowal

Mary Robinette Kowal stunned readers with her charming first novel Shades of Milk and Honey, a loving tribute to the works of Jane Austen in a world where magic is an everyday occurrence. This magic comes in the form of glamour, which allows talented users to form practically any illusion they can imagine. Shades debuted to great acclaim and left readers eagerly awaiting its sequel. Glamour in Glass follows the lives of beloved main characters Jane and Vincent, with a much deeper vein of drama and intrigue.

In the tumultuous months after Napoleon abdicates his throne, Jane and Vincent go to Belgium for their honeymoon. While there, the deposed emperor escapes his exile in Elba, throwing the continent into turmoil. With no easy way back to England, Jane and Vincent's concerns turn from enjoying their honeymoon... to escaping it.

Left with no outward salvation, Jane must persevere over her trying personal circumstances and use her glamour to rescue her husband from prison... and hopefully prevent her newly built marriage from getting stranded on the shoals of another country's war.

Sorcery and Cecelia or The Enchanted Chocolate Pot

Kate and Cecelia: Book 1

Patricia C. Wrede
Caroline Stevermer

Two girls contend with sorcery in England's Regency age

Since they were children, cousins Kate and Cecelia have been inseparable. But in 1817, as they approach adulthood, their families force them to spend a summer apart. As Cecelia fights boredom in her small country town, Kate visits London to mingle with the brightest lights of English society.

At the initiation of a powerful magician into the Royal College of Wizards, Kate finds herself alone with a mysterious witch who offers her a sip from a chocolate pot. When Kate refuses the drink, the chocolate burns through her dress and the witch disappears. It seems that strange forces are convening to destroy a beloved wizard, and only Kate and Cecelia can stop the plot. But for two girls who have to contend with the pressures of choosing dresses and beaux for their debuts, deadly magic is only one of their concerns.

The Grand Tour

Kate and Cecelia: Book 2

Patricia C. Wrede
Caroline Stevermer

On their honeymoons, Kate and Cecelia confront a plot against Europe

Ocean voyages do not agree with wizards, and seasickness during the Channel crossing is the price Cecelia must pay for her budding magical skill. As her nausea ebbs, she is comforted by her new husband, James, and the knowledge that at long last they are on their honeymoon. In their company is Cecelia's cousin Kate, newly minted as the Marchioness of Schofield, and her husband Thomas. The shared journey guarantees the two couples a happy start to married life, if they can survive the perils of the Continent.

In Calais, a mysterious woman visits Cecelia with a package intended for Thomas's mother. Inside is an alabaster flask of noble manufacture, one of the royal artifacts that have been vanishing all over Europe as part of a magical plot against the French crown. This is no simple honeymoon: On their tour of Europe, Kate and Cecelia must save the monarchy from an emperor-in-exile named Napoleon.

Witchmark

Kingston Cycle: Book 1

C. L. Polk

In an original world reminiscent of Edwardian England in the shadow of a World War, cabals of noble families use their unique magical gifts to control the fates of nations, while one young man seeks only to live a life of his own.

Magic marked Miles Singer for suffering the day he was born, doomed either to be enslaved to his family's interest or to be committed to a witches' asylum. He went to war to escape his destiny and came home a different man, but he couldn't leave his past behind. The war between Aeland and Laneer leaves men changed, strangers to their friends and family, but even after faking his own death and reinventing himself as a doctor at a cash-strapped veterans' hospital, Miles can't hide what he truly is.

When a fatally poisoned patient exposes Miles' healing gift and his witchmark, he must put his anonymity and freedom at risk to investigate his patient's murder. To find the truth he'll need to rely on the family he despises, and on the kindness of the most gorgeous man he's ever seen.

Stormsong

Kingston Cycle: Book 2

C. L. Polk

Dame Grace Hensley helped her brother Miles undo the atrocity that stained her nation, but now she has to deal with the consequences. With the power out in the dead of winter and an uncontrollable sequence of winter storms on the horizon, Aeland faces disaster. Grace has the vision to guide her parents to safety, but a hostile queen and a ring of rogue mages stand in the way of her plans. There's revolution in the air, and any spark could light the powder. What's worse, upstart photojournalist Avia Jessup draws ever closer to secrets that could topple the nation,and closer to Grace's heart.

Can Aeland be saved without bloodshed? Or will Kingston die in flames, and Grace along with it?

Soulstar

Kingston Cycle: Book 3

C. L. Polk

For years, Robin Thorpe has kept her head down, staying among her people in the Riverside neighborhood and hiding the magic that would have her imprisoned by the state. But when Grace Hensley comes knocking on Clan Thorpe's door, Robin's days of hiding are at an end. As freed witches flood the streets of Kingston, scrambling to reintegrate with a kingdom that destroyed their lives, Robin begins to plot a course that will ensure a freer, juster Aeland. At the same time, she has to face her long-bottled feelings for the childhood love that vanished into an asylum twenty years ago.

Can Robin find happiness among the rising tides of revolution? Can Kingston survive the blizzards that threaten, the desperate monarchy, and the birth throes of democracy?

A Natural History of Dragons: A Memoir by Lady Trent

Lady Trent: Book 1

Marie Brennan

You, dear reader, continue at your own risk. It is not for the faint of heart - no more so than the study of dragons itself. But such study offers rewards beyond compare: to stand in a dragon's presence, even for the briefest of moments - even at the risk of one's life - is a delight that, once experienced, can never be forgotten. . . .

All the world, from Scirland to the farthest reaches of Eriga, know Isabella, Lady Trent, to be the world's preeminent dragon naturalist. She is the remarkable woman who brought the study of dragons out of the misty shadows of myth and misunderstanding into the clear light of modern science. But before she became the illustrious figure we know today, there was a bookish young woman whose passion for learning, natural history, and, yes, dragons defied the stifling conventions of her day.

Here at last, in her own words, is the true story of a pioneering spirit who risked her reputation, her prospects, and her fragile flesh and bone to satisfy her scientific curiosity; of how she sought true love and happiness despite her lamentable eccentricities; and of her thrilling expedition to the perilous mountains of Vystrana, where she made the first of many historic discoveries that would change the world forever.

Marie Brennan introduces an enchanting new world in A Natural History of Dragons.

The Tropic of Serpents

Lady Trent: Book 2

Marie Brennan

Attentive readers of Lady Trent's earlier memoir, A Natural History of Dragons, are already familiar with how a bookish and determined young woman named Isabella first set out on the historic course that would one day lead her to becoming the world's premier dragon naturalist. Now, in this remarkably candid second volume, Lady Trent looks back at the next stage of her illustrious (and occasionally scandalous) career.

Three years after her fateful journeys through the forbidding mountains of Vystrana, Mrs. Camherst defies family and convention to embark on an expedition to the war-torn continent of Eriga, home of such exotic draconian species as the grass-dwelling snakes of the savannah, arboreal tree snakes, and, most elusive of all, the legendary swamp-wyrms of the tropics.

The expedition is not an easy one. Accompanied by both an old associate and a runaway heiress, Isabella must brave oppressive heat, merciless fevers, palace intrigues, gossip, and other hazards in order to satisfy her boundless fascination with all things draconian, even if it means venturing deep into the forbidden jungle known as the Green Hell... where her courage, resourcefulness, and scientific curiosity will be tested as never before.

Voyage of the Basilisk: A Memoir by Lady Trent

Lady Trent: Book 3

Marie Brennan

Six years after her perilous exploits in Eriga, Isabella embarks on her most ambitious expedition yet: a two-year trip around the world to study all manner of dragons in every place they might be found, from feathered serpents in the ruins of a fallen civilization to the mighty sea serpents of the tropics. Facing storms, shipwrecks, and warfare, she makes a discovery that offers a revolutionary new insight into the ancient history of dragons.

Magician's Ward

Mairelon: Book 2

Patricia C. Wrede

Happy in her new life as an apprentice to the powerful magician Mairelon, 16-year-old Kim is horrified when a nosy relative determines to turn Kim - a former street urchin - into... a lady! But real trouble begins when several wizards of Kim's acquaintance disappears. Then Mairelon's magic disappears!

It's up to Kim to unravel the mystery. And to do that she will have to return to her old life back in the dark and dirty streets of London.

Havemercy

Metal Dragons: Book 1

Jaida Jones
Danielle Bennett

This stunning epic fantasy debut introduces two exciting new authors—and a world brimming with natural and man-made wonders, extraordinary events, and a crisis that will test the mettle of men, the boundaries of magic, and the heart and soul of a kingdom.

Thanks to its elite Dragon Corps, the capital city of Volstov has all but won the hundred years’ war with its neighboring enemy, the Ke-Han. The renegade airmen who fly the corps’s mechanical, magic-fueled dragons are Volstov’s greatest weapon. But now one of its members is at the center of a scandal that may turn the tide of victory. To counter the threat, four ill-assorted heroes must converge to save their kingdom: an exiled magician, a naive country boy, a young student—and the unpredictable ace who flies the city’s fiercest dragon, Havemercy. But on the eve of battle, these courageous men will face something that could make the most formidable of warriors hesitate, the most powerful of magicians weak, and the most unlikely of men allies in their quest to rise against it.

Shadow Magic

Metal Dragons: Book 2

Jaida Jones
Danielle Bennett

Led to victory by its magic-fueled Dragon Corps, Volstov has sent a delegation to its conquered neighbors to work out the long-awaited terms of peace. Among those in the party are the decorated war hero General Alcibiades and the formerly exiled magician Caius Greylace. But even this mismatched pair can’t help but notice that their defeated enemies aren’t being very cooperative. The hidden truth is that the new emperor is harboring a treacherous secret—and once it is revealed, Alcibiades and Caius may be powerless to stop it.

With their only ally an exiled prince now fleeing his brother’s assassins, the countryside rife with terror, and Alcibiades and Caius all but prisoners, it will take the most powerful kind of magic to heal the rift between two strife-worn lands and unite two peoples against a common enemy: shadow magic.

Penguin Island

Ron Miller Science Fiction Classics: Book 49

Anatole France

Penguin Island (1908) has been called "the best social satire ever written" (Toni Ungerer).

The story takes place in Antarctica, where a fictional penguin population mirrors the foibles of human beings. With the devil's help, a missionary arrives in Antartica and baptizes the local penguins. With God's help, he then turns them into human beings. As a result, the penguins must now try to figure out how to live together and create a civilization. They experience their own barbaric Ancient Times and Middle Ages, and in their efforts to create a modern age, they undergo social conflicts and devastating wars.

Written in the spirit of rationalism and enlightenment,Penguin Island is a wickedly funny, incisive portrait of religious fanatacism.

The Sea Lady: A Tissue of the Moonshine

Ron Miller Science Fiction Classics: Book 66

H. G. Wells

The story involves a mermaid who comes ashore in Edwardian England. Based on past knowledge gleaned from literature cast into the sea, and with the help of newly made human friends, she attempts to become part of well mannered society.

Point of Honour

Sarah Tolerance: Book 1

Madeleine E. Robins

In a Regency London that isn't quite the one we know, young women of family whose reputations have been ruined are known as the Fallen. Young Sarah Tolerance is one such: a daughter of the nobility who ran away with her brother's fencing-master. Now that the fencing-master has died, everyone expects her to earn her living as a whore.

But Sarah is unwilling. Instead, she invents a new role for herself, and a new vocation: "investigative agent." For Sarah, with her equivocal position in society, is able to float between social layers, unearth secrets, find things that were lost, and lose things too dangerous to be kept. Her stock in trade is her wits, her discretion, and her expertise with the smallsword -- for her fencing-master taught her that as well.

She will need all her skills soon, when she is approached by an agent of the Count Verseillon, for a task that seems routine: reclaim an antique fan he once gave to "a lady with brown eyes." The fan, he tells her, is an heirloom; the lady, his first love. But as Sarah Tolerance unravels the mystery that surrounds the fan, she discovers that she--and the Count--are not the only ones seeking it, and that nothing about this task is what it seems.

Petty Treason

Sarah Tolerance: Book 2

Madeleine E. Robins

Miss Sarah Tolerance refuses to follow the path of the Fallen Women who have gone before her. She's a straight shooter, with her pistol as well as her wit, and her mind is as sharp as the blade of her sword.

Miss Tolerance is an Agent of Inquiry, a private investigator of sorts--the sole one of her kind in London, in this year of 1810 with mad King George III on the throne and Queen Charlotte acting as his Regent. Her aim was to trace lost trinkets, send wastrel husbands back to their wives, and occasionally provide protection to persons with more money than sense--but she is continually drawn into the plots of others.

Her newest case poses a puzzle unlike any she has faced before: who killed the Chevalier d'Aubigny? The French émigré was beaten to death in his own bed, found by his retainers the next morning, all the doors and windows of the house sealed tight. The murder is a classic locked-room mystery, but Miss Tolerance knows she can find the key.

As Miss Tolerance examines the situation and interviews witnesses and suspects, she realizes things are far more complicated than she originally suspected--for the Chevalier had more enemies than he had friends, and Miss Tolerance is hard pressed to find someone who didn't wish him dead. Her search for his killer takes her from the lowest brothels of the seedy London underworld, where men go to indulge their more aggressive desires, to the Royal Family and a Duke who must hide his perversions or risk the Throne.

The Transformation of Miss Mavis Ming: A Messiah at the End of Time

Tales from the End of Time: Book 2

Michael Moorcock

A self-proclaimed savior has arrived at the End of Time, home of the deliciously decadent and frightfully bored. Unfortunately, the last thing they need is a messiah. Especially one like Fireclown--who offers such unlikely gifts as Madness, Pain and Doom.

Tess of the Road

Tess: Book 1

Rachel Hartman

In the medieval kingdom of Goredd, women are expected to be ladies, men are their protectors, and dragons can be whomever they choose. Tess is none of these things. Tess is...different. She speaks out of turn, has wild ideas, and can't seem to keep out of trouble. Then Tess goes too far. What she's done is so disgraceful, she can't even allow herself to think of it. Unfortunately, the past cannot be ignored. So Tess's family decide the only path for her is a nunnery.

But on the day she is to join the nuns, Tess chooses a different path for herself. She cuts her hair, pulls on her boots, and sets out on a journey. She's not running away, she's running towards something. What that something is, she doesn't know. Tess just knows that the open road is a map to somewhere else--a life where she might belong.

Returning to the spellbinding world of the Southlands she created in the award-winning, New York Times bestselling novel Seraphina, Rachel Hartman explores self-reliance and redemption in this wholly original fantasy.

In the Serpent's Wake

Tess: Book 2

Rachel Hartman

At the bottom of the world lies a Serpent, the last of its kind. Finding the Serpent will change lives.

Tess is a girl on a mission to save a friend.
Spira is a dragon seeking a new identity.
Marga is an explorer staking her claim on a man's world.
Jacomo is a priest searching for his soul.

There are those who would give their lives to keep it hidden. And those who would destroy it.

But the only people who will truly find the Serpent are those who have awakened to the world around them--with eyes open to the wondrous, the terrible, and the just.

Prudence

The Custard Protocol: Book 1

Gail Carriger

ON BEHALF OF QUEEN, COUNTRY... AND THE PERFECT POT OF TEA

When Prudence Alessandra Maccon Akeldama (Rue to her friends) is given an unexpected dirigible, she does what any sensible female would under similar circumstances - names it the Spotted Crumpet and floats to India in pursuit of the perfect cup of tea.

But India has more than just tea on offer. Rue stumbles upon a plot involving local dissidents, a kidnapped brigadier's wife and some awfully familiar Scottish werewolves. Faced with a dire crisis and an embarrassing lack of bloomers, what else is a young lady of good breeding to do but turn metanatural and find out everyone's secrets, even thousand-year-old fuzzy ones?

Lady Midnight

The Dark Artifices: Book 1

Cassandra Clare

The Shadowhunters of Los Angeles star in the first novel in Cassandra Clare's newest series, The Dark Artifices, a sequel to the internationally bestselling Mortal Instruments series. Lady Midnight is a Shadowhunters novel.

It's been five years since the events of City of Heavenly Fire that brought the Shadowhunters to the brink of oblivion. Emma Carstairs is no longer a child in mourning, but a young woman bent on discovering what killed her parents and avenging her losses.

Together with her parabatai Julian Blackthorn, Emma must learn to trust her head and her heart as she investigates a demonic plot that stretches across Los Angeles, from the Sunset Strip to the enchanted sea that pounds the beaches of Santa Monica. If only her heart didn't lead her in treacherous directions...

Making things even more complicated, Julian's brother Mark--who was captured by the faeries five years ago--has been returned as a bargaining chip. The faeries are desperate to find out who is murdering their kind--and they need the Shadowhunters' help to do it. But time works differently in faerie, so Mark has barely aged and doesn't recognize his family. Can he ever truly return to them? Will the faeries really allow it?

Glitz, glamours, and Shadowhunters abound in this heartrending opening to Cassandra Clare's Dark Artifices series.

The Lies of Locke Lamora

The Gentleman Bastard Sequence: Book 1

Scott Lynch

An orphan's life is harsh -- and often short -- in the island city of Camorr, built on the ruins of a mysterious alien race. But born with a quick wit and a gift for thieving, Locke Lamora has dodged both death and slavery, only to fall into the hands of an eyeless priest known as Chains, a man who is neither blind nor a priest. A con artist of extraordinary talent, Chains passes his skills on to his carefully selected family of orphans -- a group known as the Gentlemen Bastards. Under his tutelage, Locke grows to lead the Bastards, delightedly pulling off one outrageous confidence game after another. Soon he is infamous as the Thorn of Camorr, and no wealthy noble is safe from his sting.

Passing themselves off as petty thieves, the brilliant Locke and his tightly-knit band of light-fingered brothers have fooled even the criminal underworld's most feared ruler, Capa Barsavi. But there is someone in the shadows more powerful -- and more ambitious -- than Locke has yet imagined.

Known as the Gray King, he is slowly killing Capa Barsavi's most trusted men -- and using Locke as a pawn in his plot to take control of Camorr's underworld. With a bloody coup under way threatening to destroy everyone and everything that holds meaning in his mercenary life, Locke vows to beat the Gray King at his own brutal game -- or die trying....

The Goblin Emperor

The Goblin Emperor: Book 1

Katherine Addison

The youngest, half-goblin son of the Emperor has lived his entire life in exile, distant from the Imperial Court and the deadly intrigue that suffuses it. But when his father and three sons in line for the throne are killed in an "accident," he has no choice but to take his place as the only surviving rightful heir.

Entirely unschooled in the art of court politics, he has no friends, no advisors, and the sure knowledge that whoever assassinated his father and brothers could make an attempt on his life at any moment.

Surrounded by sycophants eager to curry favor with the naïve new emperor, and overwhelmed by the burdens of his new life, he can trust nobody. Amid the swirl of plots to depose him, offers of arranged marriages, and the specter of the unknown conspirators who lurk in the shadows, he must quickly adjust to life as the Goblin Emperor. All the while, he is alone, and trying to find even a single friend... and hoping for the possibility of romance, yet also vigilant against the unseen enemies that threaten him, lest he lose his throne – or his life.

The Masked City

The Invisible Library: Book 2

Genevieve Cogman

Librarian-spy Irene is working undercover in an alternative London when her assistant, Kai, goes missing. She discovers he's been kidnapped by the fae faction, and the repercussions could be fatal -- not just for Kai, but for whole worlds.

Kai's dragon heritage means he has powerful allies but also powerful enemies in the form of the fae. With this act of aggression, the fae are determined to trigger a war between their people -- and the forces of order and chaos themselves.

Irene's mission to save Kai and avert Armageddon will take her to a dark, alternate Venice where it's always Carnival. Here Irene will be forced to blackmail, fast talk, and fight. Or face death.

A Restless Truth

The Last Binding: Book 2

Freya Marske

Magic! Murder! Shipboard romance!

Maud Blyth has always longed for adventure. She expected plenty of it when she volunteered to serve as an old lady's companion on an ocean liner, in order to help her beloved older brother unravel a magical conspiracy that began generations ago.

What she didn't expect was for the old lady in question to turn up dead on the first day of the voyage. Now she has to deal with a dead body, a disrespectful parrot, and the lovely, dangerously outrageous Violet Debenham, who's also returning home to England. Violet is everything that Maud has been trained to distrust yet can't help but desire: a magician, an actress, and a magnet for scandal.

Surrounded by the open sea and a ship full of suspects, Maud and Violet must first drop the masks that they've both learned to wear before they can unmask a murderer and somehow get their hands on a magical object worth killing for?without ending up dead in the water themselves.

Timeless

The Parasol Protectorate: Book 5

Gail Carriger

Alexia Tarabotti, Lady Maccon, has settled into domestic bliss. Of course, being Alexia, such bliss involves integrating werewolves into London High society, living in a vampire's second best closet, and coping with a precocious toddler who is prone to turning supernatural willy-nilly. Even Ivy Tunstell's acting troupe's latest play, disastrous to say the least, cannot put a damper on Alexia's enjoyment of her new London lifestyle.Until, that is, she receives a summons from Alexandria that cannot be ignored. With husband, child, and Tunstells in tow, Alexia boards a steamer to cross the Mediterranean. But Egypt may hold more mysteries than even the indomitable Lady Maccon can handle. What does the vampire Queen of the Alexandria Hive really want from her? Why is the God-Breaker Plague suddenly expanding? And how has Ivy Tunstell suddenly become the most popular actress in all the British Empire?

A City Stained Red

The Scion's Gate: Book 1

Sam Sykes

Every city has its secrets, every man has his demons.

The city of Cier'Djaal has grown rich from the silk its horse-sized spiders spin. From their unimaginable wealth, the fasha ruling class built a city the likes of which legends strain to capture: spires that glitter gold in the desert sunlight, streets choked with people carrying burdens of coin and silk, a world where the differences between thieves and nobles are so small that an outsider might not even know.

And where there is wealth, there is war.

A radical upstart cult has risen from the slums and sewers of the city, intent on toppling its wealthy masters and spilling their gold upon the streets for the downtrodden. The ruling thieves' guild has come to meet them with fire and blade, intent on preserving the rule of their own bloody law. Foreign armies intent on conquering the city and their opportunity to use the violence as an excuse to seize the city's vast wealth for itself. And beneath human heels, the tribal shicts and ferocious tulwar clans seethe, waiting to strike back against the society that has trampled them underfoot.

And into this, Lenk comes seeking a new life. A life where he can set his sword down and leave the violence of his adventuring life behind him.

But there are whispers of something darker behind the wars, a sinister hand moving pieces across a board, intent upon ushering in a new world, free of gods, of fear, of humanity. And its gaze has just settled upon Lenk.

Sorcerer to the Crown

The Sorcerer Royal: Book 1

Zen Cho

In Regency London, Zacharias Wythe is England's first African Sorcerer Royal. He leads the eminent Royal Society of Unnatural Philosophers, but a malicious faction seeks to remove him by fair means or foul. Meanwhile, the Society is failing its vital duty -- to keep stable the levels of magic within His Majesty's lands. The Fairy Court is blocking its supply, straining England's dangerously declining magical stores. And now the government is demanding to use this scarce resource in its war with France.

Ambitious orphan Prunella Gentleman is desperate to escape the school where she's drudged all her life, and a visit by the beleaguered Sorcerer Royal seems the perfect opportunity. For Prunella has just stumbled upon English magic's greatest discovery in centuries -- and she intends to make the most of it.

At his wits' end, the last thing Zachariah needs is a female magical prodigy! But together, they might just change the nature of sorcery, in Britain and beyond.

The True Queen

The Sorcerer Royal: Book 2

Zen Cho

When sisters Muna and Sakti wake up on the peaceful beach of the island of Janda Baik, they can't remember anything, except that they are bound as only sisters can be. They have been cursed by an unknown enchanter, and slowly Sakti starts to fade away. The only hope of saving her is to go to distant Britain, where the Sorceress Royal has established an academy to train women in magic.

If Muna is to save her sister, she must learn to navigate high society, and trick the English magicians into believing she is a magical prodigy. As she's drawn into their intrigues, she must uncover the secrets of her past, and journey into a world with more magic than she had ever dreamed.

Between Two Thorns

The Split Worlds: Book 1

Emma Newman

Something is wrong in Aquae Sulis, Bath's secret mirror city.

The new season is starting and the Master of Ceremonies is missing. Max, an Arbiter of the Split Worlds Treaty, is assigned with the task of finding him with no one to help but a dislocated soul and a mad sorcerer.

There is a witness but his memories have been bound by magical chains only the enemy can break. A rebellious woman trying to escape her family may prove to be the ally Max needs.

But can she be trusted? And why does she want to give up eternal youth and the life of privilege she's been born into?

Any Other Name

The Split Worlds: Book 2

Emma Newman

Cat has been forced into an arranged marriage with William - a situation that comes with far more strings than even she could have anticipated, especially when she learns of his family's intentions for them both.

Meanwhile, Max and the gargoyle investigate The Agency - a mysterious organisation that appears to play by its own rules - and none of them favourable to Society.

Over in Mundanus, Sam has discovered something very peculiar about his wife's employer - something that could herald a change for everyone in both sides of the Split Worlds.

All Is Fair

The Split Worlds: Book 3

Emma Newman

In love and war nothing is safe. William Iris struggles to keep the throne of Londinium whilst hated by his own court and beset by outsiders, while Cathy discovers the legacy of her former governess. But those who dare to speak out about Society are always silenced. Sometimes for good. While trying to avoid further torments from the mercurial fae, Sam finds himself getting tangled in the affairs of the Elemental Court. But an unexpected offer from the powerful and enigmatic Lord Iron turns out to be far more than Sam bargained for.

Max and the gargoyle are getting closer to uncovering who is behind the murder of the Bath Chapter and the corruption in London and Max finds the gargoyle's controversial ideas harder to ignore. Can he stay true to his sworn duty without being destroyed by his own master, whose insanity threatens to unravel them all?

A Little Knowledge

The Split Worlds: Book 4

Emma Newman

The long-awaited return to Emma Newman's popular fantasy series, A Little Knowledge takes us back to the Split Worlds, where dynastic families feud across the ages, furthering the agendas of their cruel supernatural patrons.

"Emma Newman is an extraordinary new voice in SF/F." ?Paul Cornell, Hugo Award winner, and author of London Falling and Saucer Country

Cathy and Will are now the Duchess and Duke of Londinium, the biggest Fae-touched Nether city, but they have different ideas of what their authority offers. Pressured by his Fae patron, Lord Iris, Will struggles to maintain total control whilst knowing he must have a child with his difficult wife. Cathy wants to muscle the Court through two hundred years of social change and free it from its old-fashioned moral strictures. But Cathy learns just how dangerous it can be for a woman who dares to speak out...

Meanwhile, as Sam learns more about the Elemental Court it becomes clear that the Fae are not the only threat to humanity. Sam realises that he has to make enemies of the most powerful people on the planet, or risk becoming the antithesis of all he believes in.

Threatened by secret societies, hidden power networks, and Fae machinations, can Sam and Cathy survive long enough to make the changes they want to see in the world?

All Good Things

The Split Worlds: Book 5

Emma Newman

As the Iris family consolidates their hold on society within the secret world of the Nether, William Iris finds himself more powerful and yet more vulnerable than ever. His wife, Cathy, has left him, a fact that will destroy him if it becomes public. To keep his position -- and survive -- he needs to get her back, whatever the cost.

Cathy has finally escaped the Nether, but hates that she must rely so heavily on Sam's protection. When the strange sorceress Bea offers her a chance to earn true freedom by joining the quest Sam has been bound to, Cathy agrees. But can she and Sam navigate Bea's plans for the future without becoming two more of her victims?

And Bea, a self-taught and powerful killer, is not without her enemies. Rupert, the last sorcerer of Albion, is obsessed with finding and destroying her. He orders Max and his gargoyle to help him, pulling them away from protecting innocents. As the Arbiter and his partner face the ugly side of their responsibilities to Rupert, they begin to question where their loyalties should truly lie.

Amidst death, deceit, and the fight for freedom, friendships are tested, families are destroyed, and heroes are forged as the battle to control the Split Worlds rages to its climatic conclusion.

Swordspoint

The World of Riverside: Book 1

Ellen Kushner

Hailed by critics as "a bravura performance" (Locus) and "witty, sharp-eyed, [and] full of interesting people" (Newsday), this classic melodrama of manners, filled with remarkable plot twists and unexpected humor, takes fantasy to an unprecedented level of elegant writing and scintillating wit. Award-winning author Ellen Kushner has created a world of unforgettable characters whose political ambitions, passionate love affairs, and age-old rivalries collide with deadly results.

On the treacherous streets of Riverside, a man lives and dies by the sword. Even the nobles on the Hill turn to duels to settle their disputes. Within this elite, dangerous world, Richard St. Vier is the undisputed master, as skilled as he is ruthless--until a death by the sword is met with outrage instead of awe, and the city discovers that the line between hero and villain can be altered in the blink of an eye.

The Fall of the Kings

The World of Riverside: Book 2

Ellen Kushner
Delia Sherman

This stunning follow-up to Ellen Kushner's cult-classic novel, Swordspoint, is set in the same world of labyrinthine intrigue, where sharp swords and even sharper wits rule. Against a rich tapestry of artists and aristocrats, students, strumpets, and spies, a gentleman and a scholar will find themselves playing out an ancient drama destined to explode their society's smug view of itself–and reveal that sometimes the best price of uncovering history is being forced to repeat it.

Generations ago the last king fell, taking with him the final truths about a race of wizards who ruled at his side. But the blood of the kings runs deep in the land and its people, waiting for the coming together of two unusual men, Theron Campion, a young nobleman of royal lineage, is heir to an ancient house and a modern scandal. Tormented by his twin duties to his family and his own bright spirit, he seeks solace in the University. There he meets Basil St. Cloud, a brilliant and charismatic teacher ruled by a passion for knowledge–and a passion for the ancient kings. Of course, everyone now knows that the wizards were charlatans and the kings their dupes and puppets. Only Basil ins not convinced–nor is he convinced that the city has seen its last king…

The Privilege of the Sword

The World of Riverside: Book 3

Ellen Kushner

Welcome to Riverside, where the aristocratic and the ambitious battle for power in the city's ballroom, brothels and boudoirs. Into this alluring world walks Katherine, a well-bred country girl versed in the rules of conventional society. Her mistake is thinking that they apply. For Katherine's host and uncle, Alec Campion, aka the Mad Duke Tremontaine, is in charge here--and to him, rules are made to be broken.

When Alec decides it would be more amusing for his niece to learn swordplay than to follow the usual path to marriage, her world changes forever. Blade in hand, it's up to Katherine to navigate a maze of secrets and scoundrels--and to gain the self-discovery that comes to those who master....

Mira's Last Dance

The World of the Five Gods: Penric: Book 4

Lois McMaster Bujold

In this sequel to the novella Penric's Mission, the injured Penric, a Temple sorcerer and learned divine, tries to guide the betrayed General Arisaydia and his widowed sister Nikys across the last hundred miles of hostile Cedonia to safety in the Duchy of Orbas.

In the town of Sosie the fugitive party encounters unexpected delays, and even more unexpected opportunities and hazards, as the courtesan Mira of Adria, one of the ten dead women whose imprints make up the personality of the chaos demon Desdemona, comes to the fore with her own special expertise.