FALL OF RUIN AND WRATH

A compelling first book in a new fantasy series will leave readers wanting more.

A courtesan uses her power of intuition to save a Hyhborn immortal.

After growing up in an orphanage, Calista made a deal with Claude, the Baron of Archwood. In exchange for his protection and a place in his court, Calista agrees to use her magical abilities to gather information for him. Her intuition is so powerful that she's compelled to follow its directives, and she can also divine a person’s future by touching them, skills unusual in a lowborn human. Calista values the safety and security of this arrangement even though she has the uneasy feeling that her skills have made her a pawn in a political game she doesn’t understand. One night, she overhears a strange conversation about an immortal being in trouble, and her intuition forces her to investigate. Calista finds Thorne, the Prince of Vytrus and right hand of King Euros, being tortured and drained of blood to be sold on the black market for use in illegal bone magic. She saves him and becomes his lover and companion for his time in Archwood. Thorne reveals that the king has sent him to deliver a message to Claude about the dangers facing the city: Archwood is being targeted by a rebel faction of lowborns, and the King and other Hyhborn immortals are considering destroying the city rather than involve themselves in a messy human conflict. Armentrout delivers a standard palace intrigue plot, but the characters and story are sexy and compelling. Thorne is more mysterious and opaque compared to Calista, who has a well-developed arc. She abandons her passive acceptance of her circumstances and tries to uncover the truth about her past and her magical abilities, but she fears the truth will pit her against Thorne as malevolent forces threaten the city.

A compelling first book in a new fantasy series will leave readers wanting more.

Pub Date: Sept. 12, 2023

ISBN: 9781250750198

Page Count: 432

Publisher: Bramble Books

Review Posted Online: June 10, 2023

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2023

Awards & Accolades

Likes

  • Readers Vote
  • 13


Our Verdict

  • Our Verdict
  • GET IT


  • New York Times Bestseller

TRESS OF THE EMERALD SEA

Engrossing worldbuilding, appealing characters, and a sense of humor make this a winning entry in the Sanderson canon.

Awards & Accolades

Likes

  • Readers Vote
  • 13


Our Verdict

  • Our Verdict
  • GET IT


  • New York Times Bestseller

A fantasy adventure with a sometimes-biting wit.

Tress is an ordinary girl with no thirst to see the world. Charlie is the son of the local duke, but he likes stories more than fencing. When the duke realizes the two teenagers are falling in love, he takes Charlie away to find a suitable wife—and returns with a different young man as his heir. Charlie, meanwhile, has been captured by the mysterious Sorceress who rules the Midnight Sea, which leaves Tress with no choice but to go rescue him. To do that, she’ll have to get off the barren island she’s forbidden to leave, cross the dangerous Verdant Sea, the even more dangerous Crimson Sea, and the totally deadly Midnight Sea, and somehow defeat the unbeatable Sorceress. The seas on Tress’ world are dangerous because they’re not made of water—they’re made of colorful spores that pour down from the world’s 12 stationary moons. Verdant spores explode into fast-growing vines if they get wet, which means inhaling them can be deadly. Crimson and midnight spores are worse. Ships protected by spore-killing silver sail these seas, and it’s Tress’ quest to find a ship and somehow persuade its crew to carry her to a place no ships want to go, to rescue a person nobody cares about but her. Luckily, Tress is kindhearted, resourceful, and curious—which also makes her an appealing heroine. Along her journey, Tress encounters a talking rat, a crew of reluctant pirates, and plenty of danger. Her story is narrated by an unusual cabin boy with a sharp wit. (About one duke, he says, “He’d apparently been quite heroic during those wars; you could tell because a great number of his troops had died, while he lived.”) The overall effect is not unlike The Princess Bride, which Sanderson cites as an inspiration.

Engrossing worldbuilding, appealing characters, and a sense of humor make this a winning entry in the Sanderson canon.

Pub Date: April 4, 2023

ISBN: 9781250899651

Page Count: 384

Publisher: Tor

Review Posted Online: April 11, 2023

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 2023

GODKILLER

An un-put-down-able start to an engrossing low-fantasy trilogy bordering on grimdark.

In a kingdom that slaughtered the gods and criminalized their worship, two god-slayers—a mercenary and a knight—join forces on a pilgrimage to save two other lives.

Years ago, Kissen lost her leg after the people of her village shifted their allegiance to a fire god and burned her family home to the ground. Only a desperate bargain with the sea god her father served saved her life. Now she works as a veiga: a state-sanctioned killer of gods. Under young King Arren's rule, all forms of worship have become illegal, as it is humans' faith that gives birth to the gods and powers them. A series of violent events leaves Kissen as sole protector to Inara, a young girl orphaned by fire and treachery and bound to a small, shrineless god called Skedi. Together, the three must journey to Blenraden, the city where the gods died, to sever Inara and Skedi's connection. Unbeknownst to Kissen and her charges, another godkiller walks in their midst. Knight-turned-baker Elo witnessed the carnage in Blenraden firsthand. It cost him everything. His mothers left the kingdom in the war's aftermath, unwilling to give up their faith. Then the king waltzes back into his orbit, afflicted with a deadly curse. Elo must join the next pilgrimage he can find—Kissen's pilgrimage—if he wants to save his old friend. No sooner has the group set out for the dead city than a god-summoned monster attacks their caravan, forcing Kissen and Elo to reveal their capabilities—and their godkilling weapons as well. In addition to being exquisitely paced and character-driven, Kaner's novel features a widely diverse cast. Queerness does not draw ridicule in Kaner's invented world, and Kissen is bisexual. Many secondary and tertiary characters are queer. Both heroes and two secondary characters have disabilities; he's living with PTSD, while she's an amputee and ambulatory wheelchair user with a handcrafted metal leg. One secondary character also uses a wheelchair, and another is deaf. Elo is coded as Black. Inara and several tertiary characters are coded as nonwhite. Kissen is white, and Skedi is a fantasy creature resembling a jackalope.

An un-put-down-able start to an engrossing low-fantasy trilogy bordering on grimdark.

Pub Date: Sept. 12, 2023

ISBN: 9780063348271

Page Count: 304

Publisher: Harper Voyager

Review Posted Online: June 21, 2023

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 2023

Close Quickview