Deadmen, Warriors, & Gods | Fantasy Previews, May 2018


Andrews, Ilona. Magic Triumphs. Ace: Penguin. May 2018. 352p. ISBN 9780425270714. $26; ebk. ISBN 9780698136823. CD/downloadable: Brilliance Audio.  FANTASY
Mercenary Kate Daniels has settled into love and family with the former Beast Lord, but it can’t last. Her father is testing her prodigious powers, the Witch Oracle foresees blood, and the strange box that’s just landed on her doorstep suggests that war is coming soon. The pseudonymous husband-and-wife team spin out the next in the No. 1 New York Times best-selling urban fantasy series (Magic Binds).

Durst, Sarah Beth. The Queen of Sorrow.  Harper Voyager. (Queens of Renthia, Bk. 3). May 2018. 432p. ISBN 9780062413383. $21.99; ebk. ISBN 9780062413390. FANTASY
In Renthia, only the queen can prevent the malevolent spirits that possess trees, rocks, and everything else from destroying all humans, and she gets busy in this wrap-up to the trilogy begun with the Alex Award–winning The Reluctant Queen and The Queen of Sorrow. With Queen Naelin ruling by her side, Queen Daleina hopes for some peace, but then Naelin’s children are kidnapped by spirits, and the devious Queen Merecot of Semo is blamed. With a 50,000 copy first printing.

Feist, Raymond E. King of Ashes. Harper Voyager. (Firemane Saga, Bk. 1). May 2018. 512p. ISBN 9780061468452. $29.99; ebk. ISBN 9780062315991. FANTASY
Famed for his Riftwar novels (over 15 million copies out there), Feist launches a new series about two young men who must save their world, Garn. With the betrayal of Ithrace, ruled by Steveren Langene, called “the Firemane” for his vivid red hair, his orphaned son is raised in secret on an island where spies and assassins are trained. Years later, he meets brilliant young swordsmith Declan, in danger because he knows the secret of forging the King’s Steel, and together they seek to determine who has threatened their world since Ithrace fell. With a 100,000-copy first printing.

Fine, Julia. What Should Be Wild. Harper. May 2018. 352p. ISBN 9780062684134. $26.99; ebk. ISBN 9780062684158. FANTASY/LITERARY
Born with a touch that can kill or resurrect, Maisie grows up hidden away in her father’s manor house, told that men who wander into the nearby woods return with their minds shattered. What she doesn’t know is that her female ancestors have routinely walked into the woods, never emerging, but she has to do something when her father disappears. A big debut; with a 40,000-copy first printing.

Harris, Joanne M. The Testament of Loki. Saga. May 2018. 336p. ISBN 9781481449496. $25.99; ebk. ISBN 9781473202429. FICTION/MYTHOLOGY
In this follow-up to The Gospel of Loki from protean Chocolat author Harris, Ragnarok, the anticipated end of the world, has come and gone. Loki was trapped in purgatory but has managed to escape, only to find himself stuck in the mind of a teenage girl named Jumps, who would have preferred hammer-wielding tough guy Thor. Her friends have been preempted by other Norse gods, and Odin is plotting to bring back Norse power, but, really, do you expect Loki to cooperate?

Kenyon, Sherrilyn. Death Doesn’t Bargain: A Deadman’s Cross Novel. Tor. May 2018. 304p. ISBN 9780765385710. $27.99; ebk. ISBN 9780765385727. CD: Macmillan Audio. FANTASY
It’s back to the “Deadman’s Cross” series as the perennial No. 1 New York Times best-selling Kenyon continues an epic new pirate fantasy adventure set in the Dark-Hunter universe. Among the demons that have punched their way out of supposedly eternal imprisonment is the vengeful Vine, determined to destroy those who sought to destroy her. Now she’s got Kalder Dupree, and Hellchaser Cameron Jack is determined to free him, never mind that he’s not exactly Mr. Nice Guy.

Kuang, R.F. The Poppy War. Harper Voyager. May 2017. 544p. ISBN 9780062662569. $26.99; ebk. ISBN 9780062662590. FANTASY
Top scores on an empire-wide test land Rin at the most prestigious military school in Nikan, but being a dark-skinned peasant girl from the south gets her taunted by classmates. That’s how she learns she possesses shamanic powers, which connect her with gods long thought dead. With the Third Poppy War in the offing, those powers will come in handy, but Rin will use them at a price. Drawing on 20th-century Chinese history; the 75,000-copy first printing says that this book deserves attention, especially as it’s a debut.

Penelope, L. Song of Blood and Stone. St. Martin’s. (Earthsinger Chronicles, Bk. 1.) May 2018. 384p. ISBN 9781250148070. $25.99; ebk. ISBN 9781250148087. CD: Macmillan Audio. FANTASY
In this series starter, which won the Black Caucus of the ALA Self-Publishing Award, Jasminda has been thrown out of Elsira because she possesses the terrifying gift of Earthsong. Soldiers invading her remote cabin bring along an injured spy whom she heals by singing. Then they go off to rescue Elsira. Drawing on Native American and African mythologies; I love that it’s billed as Romeo and Juliet meets Return of the King.

Saintcrow, Lilith. Afterwar. Orbit: Hachette. May 2018. 352p. ISBN 9780316558242. pap. $15.99; ISBN 9780316558259. SF
The Second Civil War is finally over, but for Swann’s Riders, the trouble has just begun. They’re working for the Federal Army, looking for war criminals, including the officials who ran the heinous Firster kamp system, and they’re targeting someone with enough explosives to blow the entire continent into the sky. And Lara, one of the riders, is out for revenge. With a 75,000-copy first printing.

Teller, Danielle. All the Ever Afters: The Untold Story of Cinderella’s Stepmother. Morrow. May 2018. 304p. ISBN 9780062798206. $26.99; ebk. ISBN 9780062798084. FICTION/FAIRY TALES
Things aren’t always as they seem, as the now-popular retellings of iconic fairy tales remind us. Here, Agnes, the besmirched stepmother of lovely new princess Cinderella, defends herself by relating a story that includes an impoverished childhood, enforced servitude by age ten, seduction by an older man, love for her child, and, finally, being hired as nursemaid to little Ella, whose father she eventually marries. What happens between Agnes and Ella?


Barbara Hoffert About Barbara Hoffert

Barbara Hoffert (, @BarbaraHoffert on Twitter) is Editor, LJ Prepub Alert; past chair of the Materials Selection Committee of the RUSA (Reference and User Services Assn.) division of the American Library Association; and past president, treasurer, and awards chair of the National Book Critics Circle.

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