According to Michelle Sagara West's newsgroup, her long out-of-print "Sundered" series will be reprinted in the near future by BenBella Books. The four book series was originally released between 1991 and 1994, under the name Michelle Sagara. The series will be printed in trade paperback format, but it isn't certain whether it will be as a single omnibus, two books, or again as four books.
I debated on whether to post this to the group, since it is the fourth book in a four-book set, but thought why not. I know other people here enjoy YA.
THE REALMS OF THE GODS is the final book in Tamora Pierce's Immortals Quartet. In the first three books, Daine goes from a confused near-feral girl to a powerful wild magic wielder. She discovers the ability to directly communicate with any animal, as well as shapechange into them. Daine has come into her power at a time when greedy humans have broken the barrier that protected the human world from the world of the immortals - creatures from dragons to harpies to hypogriffs to giant spider-people. Immortals are formed of myth and never die unless killed. Some of the immortals are friendly, some indifferent, but a lot are inimical to humans. Daine and her new-found friends/family are fighting in an ever escalating war with evil immortals and their human allies.
At the beginning of book 4, Daine is travelling with her teacher and mentor, the legendary sorcerer Numair, when they are ambushed. They are saved when they are yanked into the realm of the gods by old friends and family. After initial relief, they realize they are now stuck in this realm while their friends are fighting desperate battles back home. Now they have to travel through hostile gods and a bizarre and dangerous landscape to find the dragons, who they know will have no interest in helping them. Daine is regularly tormented with true visions of the chaos and death back home. As they travel, Daine comes to realize that her feelings towards her mentor are much more than friendship. Numair himself has been in love with Daine for a long time, but since he is substantially older than her as well as being her teacher, utterly refuses to admit it. Eventually they make it back to the human world just in time for the final gigantic battle. Only after both of them are sure the other is dead do they admit their feelings.
The Immortals Quartet isn't my favorite Pierce series (Daine gets a bit _too_ powerful) but it's fun, fast, engrossing reading, with complex issues that aren't easily solved and people that aren't easily classified and undergo real change. Pierce brings in a wide range of mythological creatures, but doesn't overwhelm you with the need to get every last sphinx and unicorn in there. In particular, the darkings - tiny ink-blobs with unknown loyalties - are great. I just reread these because they have recently been released in hardcover for the first time with gorgeous covers, so of course I had to have them! (They are still available in mass-market.) --rebekah
From the Susan Sizemore newsletter: "In other writing news, I'm ecstatic to announce that I'm going to be writing an epic fantasy novel for Tor Books, to be released in their Women in Fantasy line. The book is tentatively titled BLUE DEATH. It is a dark, sensual fantasy that's been in my head for years. I'm looking forward to the challenge of writing BLUE DEATH."
This "Women in Fantasy line" that Sizemore refers to sounded intriguing, so I looked around for more info. From the Tor website, Women in Fantasy seems more like a statement of editorial intent than a new imprint: "Driven by our commitment to publishing only the most engaging fantasy titles, Tor is proud of its Women in Fantasy Program, which showcases the very finest fiction from today's compelling new female authors. Whether they have been previously published to high acclaim, or are publishing their first novels, Tor's Women in Fantasy authors are some of today's freshest and most imaginative literary voices." They list as their featured authors Jacqueline Carey, Sara Douglass, Jennifer Fallon, Elizabeth Haydon, Jane Lindskold, and Juliet Marillier.
The cover of the next Anita Blake book, INCUBUS DREAMS, is gorgeous, but I'm guessing it'll make people feel more comfortable ordering the book online than in the store. And now I don't have to do either! You see, someone posted an early version of chapter 38 of INCUBUS DREAMS in their LiveJournal, and reading it was enough kill any lingering interest I had in Anita Blake's life. These characters are unrecognizable from the ones I loved in the first books. I'm still interested in Merry Gentry's life, though...for now.
I was pleasantly suprised by Kelley Armstrong's DIME STORE MAGIC. I found Paige very annoying in STOLEN, but here, with her own voice, she was quite interesting. Also, she admits in the narrative that she has matured a lot since STOLEN. There's lots of interesting information on Armstrong's supernatural world, some great action, and a nice romance. My only quibble is that it did take Paige a long time to get a clue as to the real character of some of the people around her, but the action still kept me engaged. Definitely looking forward to the next in the series.--Shelley
I too read and enjoyed Charlaine Harris' DEAD TO THE WORLD. I really like the Sookie Stackhouse books and enjoyed her relationship with Eric in this volume. In fact, I actually enjoy Eric more than Bill. I find Bill rather one note, but Eric--even with his memory and in devious mode--is an interesting character. I would not mind seeing more of him now that he has his memory back.--Shelley
The May 2004 issue of Locus Magazine includes the Hugo and RetroHugo nominations, winners for the Nebula, Phillip K. Dick and James Tiptree Jr. awards, and interviews with writers Terry Pratchett and Liz Williams
Some news: --Catherine Asaro sold a new "Skolian Empire" novel to Tor. --S.L. Viehl sold REBEL ICE and CLANSON, "StarDoc" 6 and 7, to Roc. --New author Cherie Priest sold three "historical-paranormal-investigation-occult-family-sagas"--FOUR AND TWENTY BLACKBIRDS, WINGS TO THE KINGDOM, and a third untitled--to Tor. --Steve Miller & Sharon Lee resold BALANCE OF TRADE and two untitled "Liaden" novels, originally sold to Meisha Merlin, to Ace. --Laurell K. Hamilton delivered "Anita Blake" novel INCUBUS DREAMS to Berkley. --Simon R. Green delivered HEX AND THE CITY, fourth in his "Nightside" series, to Ace. --Barb Hendee & J.C. Hendee delivered SISTER OF THE DEAD, third in their "Noble Dead" series, to Roc.
And from author Rachel Caine: "Roc has just agreed to THREE MORE Weather Warden novels! I'm working on Book 4, WINDFALL right now for a turn-in date of October 31, with books 5 and 6 due in 2005."
I also recommed A SCHOLAR OF MAGICS. I never read A COLLEGE OF MAGICS, but it didn't detract from the reading experience of this book at all. I've been very much in the mood for a Regency novel so enjoyed this Edwardian-style novel (close enough) immensely. I really think those who love Regency romances but never read fantasy novels should try this as their first walk on the magical side. Similarly, those who hate the slower style of the Regency may hate this. But for myself, I loved the characters, the witty and subtle remarks, the slow but steady escalation of the mystery, and even the slow, unknowing (to the participants) growth of friendship, liking, and attraction between the hero and heroine. Suzanne mentions a next book in this series in her comments. I hope this is true--I'd like to see more of this couple.--Linda
I can't comment about DHAMPIR since I got stuck about a third of the way through and never finished. It's not awful; it's just not grabbing me, and with (extremely) limited reading time these days, my new policy is not to read anything that I don't feel excited about. Technically speaking, I guess that's a discommend...--Danielle
I love the character of Sookie Stackhouse; her dignity in the face of the underlying tragedy of her life hooks me in every book. DEAD TO THE WORLD was no exception. It's another great entry in the "Southern Vampire" series, although if I had to rank the four books so far, this would place last. Her relationship with Bill the Vampire over (for now), she's finally receptive to Eric the vampire's romantic overtures--but it takes the personality change in Eric from mysterious amnesia to accomplish the deed.
Sookie is surprised to find Eric naked in the night on a dark road with no memory and shelters him. Amnesia reveals a sweetly charming and vulnerable Eric far removed from his more unpredictably dangerous normal self. Sookie takes it upon herself to protect Eric and figure out what's going on. Without his memory he's frighteningly unprotected against deadly enemies and maybe even some of his vampire brethren.
Sure there was actually an interesting external plot with evil witches and some of the werewolves from the last book that culminated in a gory bloodbath, but I don't even try to pretend that I read these books for anything but the offbeat characters, the humor, and Sookie's love life. And boy did her love life get more interesting in this book. The "Southern Vampire" mystery series still has me hooked. Can't wait for the next book already.--Preeti