Book Interviews, Books, podcast

Podcast Episode 14: interview with NY Times bestselling author Julie Kagawa on her new YA fantasy SHADOW OF THE FOX!

Hey guys, Lauren here, and today I want you to think about how you would define an ideal YA fantasy. What elements would you put on your list? Well, I had the pleasure of recently reading Julie Kagawa’s newest book, Shadow of the Fox, and for me it had pretty much everything I love in a good YA fantasy book.

In episode 14 I chat with bestselling author Julie Kagawa about her new book SHADOW OF THE FOX, out today. We chat about how she created the incredible world and characters of this story, including  pulling from Japanese myth, being inspired by anime, and how to put all your favorite elements into a book and blend them successfully.

Also we teamed up with her publisher Harlequin teen to give away a copy of Shadow of the fox! This giveaway goes until October 9th, and is for North America only. be sure to enter below!

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Listen to the podcast on iTunes (click the owl below!), or if you don’t have iTunes, I’ve also posted a link to SoundCloud at the bottom.

Also, don’t forget to follow us on Instagram, facebook, and twitter.

 

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Enter below for a chance to win a copy of the book SHADOW OF THE FOX!

Enteries must be US or Canada only.

Enter until 12 AM EST on October 9th, 2018

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Book Editorial, Books, Editorials

Author guest post- Julie Kagawa talks about going from Fey to Vampires!

When thinking about a topic for Julie Kagawa to write for us, I was wondering what it was like to switch from one type of fantasy to something completely different. Julie has done them both very well, with both series as bestsellers, and I thought she’d have some interesting things to say on switching gears. Without further ado, take it away Julie!

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From the Fey to the Vamps

the iron knightPeople often ask me if it was difficult to switch from writing about faeries to writing about vampires.  While it wasn’t exactly hard, it was very different, as these are two very different creatures with very different flavors, if you will.  In the Faery world of the Nevernever, the setting and characters were almost surreal, or that’s how I tried to portray it.  In building the Nevernever, I had this mental image of a vibrant, dreamlike place where everything was bright and vivid, but there would be something slightly off about it.  I wanted the Nevernever to be a place where you weren’t sure if you were dreaming or not; it was a haunting, dangerous place, and its inhabitants were just as beautiful and deadly.

On creating the denizens of Faery, I tried to remain true to the old tales, where the Good Neighbors were not happy, glittery sprites, but creatures who stole children and sickened livestock and lured mortals away into the forest, never to be seen again.  These were not the fairies of children’s books and Disney tales.  These were the faeries of Shakespeare’s ballads; Oberon, Titania, Mab, and Puck.  Powerful, eternal, and as fickle as the weather.  They cared little for human life, because they were not human.  They were ancient, alien beings with no concept of right or wrong, no conscience to govern their actions.  Faeries were feared in ancient times, for good reason.  I wanted to bring a little of that fear, wonder, and surrealism back.

And then, we have vampires.

the immortal rulesEven more then faeries, the vampire myth has changed tremendously in these modern times.  Where vampires used to be terrible, night-walking monsters, creatures you would never want to meet in a dark alley, they are now tortured souls who hate what they are and drink animal blood so they don’t have to prey on humans.  They can walk in the sunlight, eat normal food, and blend perfectly into human society.  They are sexy and romantic and beautiful, and would do anything to protect the human female they inevitably fall in love with.

There is nothing wrong with this type of vampire.  It just wasn’t the creature I wanted to write about.

I wanted my vamps to be monsters.  The vampires of old, much like the faeries of old, were feared and respected, creatures that people took seriously.  A creature that would rip your throat out before it ever kissed you.  They may remember their human life, they might even feel human emotion at times, but these vampires are predators, and the Hunger for human blood overpowers everything else.  Their world is dark, filled with blood and violence, and that was my inspiration when I created the post-apocalyptic setting of the Blood of Eden.  It was very different then writing the dreamlike world of the Nevernever; this was the real world, where everything had to make sense.  There was no magic or glamour here, this world was bleak and stark and desolate, a perfect fit for the vampires who ruled as monsters.

So, there you have it.  Two very different settings and two very different otherworldly creatures.  And just like the characters of any given series, the places they inhabit must be as vibrant and alive as their population, or risk feeling flat and shallow, underdeveloped.  Setting, in fact, the biggest character of a novel.  And writing it with its own traits and flaws it will make the world seem real and larger than life, which is

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Thanks Julie! Want more? Be sure to check her out on twitter and her website. And don’t forget to enter for a chance to win one of three sets of her Blood of Eden series! 

Book Interviews, Books, Interviews

Exclusive interview- ten questions with Julie Kagawa (The ‘Blood of Eden’ series)

Julie Kagawa was nice enough to do an exclusive interview for Lytherus about her amazing Blood of Eden series, of which the last book, The Forever Song, hit shelves on April 15th. We asked Julie about the characters and world of the Blood of Eden books, as well as what she’s been reading, how she writes, and more. Warning, we talk general plot points that are relevant in more than the first book, so their may be some spoilers for those who haven’t read further than that.

Enjoy!

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forever song1- In your own words, summarize the Blood of Eden series for those who haven’t read it.

Sixty years after a devastating virus wiped out most of Earth’s population, vampires now rule the world. Seventeen year old Allison Sekemoto lives in a vampire city, hunted and starving, but unable to leave because of the mutant rabids that roam the land after dark, killing all they come across. She hates the vampire overlords, and refuses to submit to them even though it would make her life easier. Until one night she is fatally attacked by rabids, and a mysterious stranger appears with a choice: die as a human, or become a vampire. Now the creature that she once despised, Allie must struggle to hold onto her humanity, to not succumb to the monster within. Her journey takes her across a plague ravaged America, battling rabids, human raiders, a vampire king who is more than he appears, and a terrifyingly insane Master vampire who possesses the secret to destroying the world.

2- This is such an interesting world. Take us into the creation of the premise, with the vampire cities, Red Lung virus, and all the supporting elements. It’s like combining two types of story into a wonderful blend of both. Were there any challenges with this?

Well, originally, I wasn’t going to write a vampire book. I was finishing up the Iron Fey series, and I wanted to do something a bit darker for my next series. I had this idea for a bleak, post-
apocalyptic world where a plague had wiped out most the population, but didn’t really have a plot for it…until my agent suggested I might try writing a vampire series. Then I wondered: what would happen if I combined the two–vampires and post-apocalyptic–and from that, the Immortal Rules was born.

3- I really enjoyed Allie and Zeke’s story. There was a lot of trust that went into their relationship, and a lot of hope and support. Was it challenging, writing their love, with her as a vampire and he a human, and the dynamics with that? Was it hard as a writer to shift that once he was changed?

I think the most challenging thing about Allie and Zeke’s love story was making Zeke a gentle, loving, truly good-hearted badass, as strange as that sounds. In the beginning, Allie is still struggling with her monster side. She was cynical and jaded, and doesn’t really think she could be redeemed. She needed someone like Zeke to believe in her, to show her she wasn’t a demon, and that there was still good in the world. He was the reason she fought for her humanity, to be worthy of the love of a human. When Zeke was Turned, the roles were reversed. Allie was now the teacher; she had to show Zeke that he wasn’t a monster, and she was able to do so because he had taught her, back when he was human.

4- Your villain is pretty bonkers. Though there are lots of obstacles against the protagonists, Sarren is the over-arching baddie. Talk to us about getting inside his head and what it took as a writer to bring him to that level (I’m thinking how lethal he is with the torture and messing with the mind)

Oh, Sarren was a fun and but extremely complex character to write. I needed a villain that was truly scary, one that would even challenge three very strong vampires. And to me, the scariest villains are the ones that are not only extremely smart, but also have valid reasons for the things they do. Sarren is psychotic and insane, but he was driven that way by Kanin’s betrayal. He believes the world is corrupt and twisted and full of evil, beyond redemption, so better to hit the reset button and let everything start over. There are methods to his madness; he doesn’t do anything without reason, which makes him a realistic and more frightening villain. And of course, because he is also brilliant and a master of manipulation, he knows how to push the character’s buttons, how to hit them hardest and make them question everything.

5- Though I really loved Allie, I thoroughly enjoyed the side characters of Kanin and Jackal. Though totally opposite, they both added a nice breadth to the dynamics of the story. How was it developing these characters? They, to me, are the two sides of Allie that she’s constantly struggling with. Was that intentional, or did it just sort of turn out that way? Who was your favorite?

It was definitely intentional. Kanin represented the vampire who had made peace with his monster by living by his own moral code and striving to keep his darker nature under control. Jackal had made peace with his monster by giving into it completely and not fighting his instincts. Both showed a side that Allie could become, and both had compelling reasons for being that way. In the end, Allie had to choose what kind of vampire she wanted to be for herself. As for favorites, I honestly couldn’t tell you. That’s like asking a mom to choose between her kids; I love them both in different ways. ^__^

Julie Kagawa Author Photo6- With the vampire market pretty saturated these days, why did you decide to pursue a vampire story? Any things you did to try and keep the story new and fresh and exciting for readers who might have been a bit wary to pick it up?

Well, like I said, I’d told myself I wasn’t going to write a vampire book, mainly for those exact reasons. There were so many vampire books out there, I felt I didn’t have anything new to add. But once I came up with the post-apocalyptic bent, I felt pretty good about the story. I knew I wanted to bring back the old-school vampires, the vampires that weren’t nice or friendly or “just like us,” who could survive on animal blood. I wanted them to be more like the original children of the night. The creatures that caused people to flee inside and bar their doors when the sun went down. I wanted these vampires to be monsters. That, and the bleak, post-apocalyptic setting, combined with rabid zombies, bloody fight scenes, and an Asian katana-wielding vampire heroine, I hoped would be enough to intrigue people to pick it up.

7- Talk about your writing process. How do you get ideas to the page? Many of our readers are writers too, so any suggestions are great!

I usually have a beginning and the ending of a book in mind, and a high points I know have to happen in the story, and I write toward those scenes. But those “valleys” in between usually come to me as I write. I’ve learned that you can’t wait for inspiration to hit, because you could be waiting forever. You just need to sit down and write; ideas will come to you as you go along. If I get stuck on a scene, I’ll either slog through it, or I’ll skip that scene and keep going. I can always fix it later. The most important thing is to put words on the page.

8-Take us through a typical day for you. Any routines you need in place to help you write?

I get up. I do morning things, I let the dogs out to do their morning things. Then I head outside to feed the chickens and gather eggs. After that, I come in, go to my office and check email, Twitter, Facebook, Goodreads, and various other sites. (Read: procrastinating.) Sometimes I’ll open Pandora and get some music started. Eventually, I’ll open the document from the previous day and get to writing. I try to write 1,000 words a day, every day, whether I’m “feeling it” or not. They don’t have to be a perfect 1,000 words, they just have to be on the page. Barring life and the unexpected, that’s what I do every day, until I’ve finished a book.

9-What have you read lately that you’ve loved? We’re always looking for new book recommendations!

I know I’ve been living under a rock lately, or maybe deep in the writing cave. My most recently finished books were Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo, Divergent by Veronica Ross, and The Fault in our Stars by the fabulous John Green. All wonderful, wonderful books, but I think everyone could have told me that.

10-What can you tell us about Talon, the first book in your new series coming out in the fall?

Dragons! It has dragons! Modern day dragons that walk among us in human form. And dragon slayers with guns. And a centuries old war between them. Did I mention it has dragons? Lol, sorry. I’m super excited for Talon, if you couldn’t tell. Dragons have always been my favorite subject; I’ve loved them since I was a kid. Talon tells the story of Ember, a dragon caught in the middle of a war, whose path crosses those of a young soldier and a rogue dragon, and the choices they all have to make. It’s not just a love story; it’s a story about war, power, blind prejudice, and what makes something “other.” There is a love story in Talon, but there’s also hate and betrayal, battles and death, heartbreak, sacrifice and, of course, dragons.

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Thanks Julie! Be sure to enter for a chance to win one of three sets of the Blood of Eden series!

 

Book Events, Books, Events

Giveaway- win one of THREE SETS of the ‘Blood of Eden’ series!

 

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For the Julie Kagawa Featured Author Week the publisher was kind enough to donate THREE sets of the whole Blood of Eden series (The Immortal Rules, The eternity Cure and The Forever Song)! Not sure what the books are about? Be sure to check out our review of the series! 

Our giveaway process is simple, but unfortunately only open to residents of North America (sorry, international fans!). If you’re under 18, please make sure to get your parents’ permission to enter the giveaway. You can earn a total of six entries in the giveaway:

  • ONE entry for simply entering the giveaway
  • TWO entries for following us on Twitter
  • TWO entries for “liking” us on Facebook
  • ONE entry for talking about the giveaway on Twitter

The giveaways will stay open until Tuesday, May 20th , at 11:59 pm. Winners will automatically be chosen at random via Rafflecopter. The first name of the winners will be announced on this post and the winners will be contacted by a member of our staff to begin the process of shipping out your prize. Good luck!

 

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Book Reviews, Books, Reviews

The Blood of Eden series by Julie Kagawa is excellent vampire YA with urban fantasy & dystopian twists

Reviewing a series is not always easy. It’s hard to give opinions on all the books without giving too much away, for those who haven’t read the series. But I’m going to give it my best, because Julie Kagawa’s Blood of Eden is one of the best series I’ve read in a really long time, and I want to spread the word about the awesomeness.

I had never read any of Julie’s works before, even though I have her Fey books on my shelves (too many books, not enough time). But this series sounded interesting to me, and I thought I could at least give the first 100 pages of book one a chance. Nights of falling asleep with the book on my chest because I couldn’t stop reading followed, it was so good. And so followed book two. I’m so excited Lytherus is featuring these books, because if you’re a YA urban fantasy lover, they are definitely worth a read. Here are my thoughts on the books, one at a time.

First up is book one, The Immortal Rules. Here’s the summary of the book from Amazon:

immortal rulesTo survive in a ruined world, she must embrace the darkness…

Allison Sekemoto survives in the Fringe, the outermost circle of a walled-in city. By day, she and her crew scavenge for food. By night, any one of them could be eaten. Some days, all that drives Allie is her hatred of them—the vampires who keep humans as blood cattle. Until the night Allie herself dies and becomes one of the monsters.

Forced to flee her city, Allie must pass for human as she joins a ragged group of pilgrims seeking a legend—a place that might have a cure for the disease that killed off most of civilization and created the rabids, the bloodthirsty creatures who threaten human and vampire alike. And soon Allie will have to decide what–and who–is worth dying for…again.

Enter Julie Kagawa’s dark and twisted world as an unforgettable journey begins.

There are two things that really grabbed me about this story, and they are the things that should captivate any reader- an interesting world and characters I wanted to know more about. Immediately the world that Julie set up with vampire cities, terrible viruses, monster people, and Allison’s life in the midst of these things was really fun to read. I definitely felt some serious tension multiple times throughout this book, and she managed to write a world that felt fresh and new, and characters that, even in this unfamiliar landscape, still struggled with relatable emotions. Do we have the choice to change into vampires? Sadly, no. But Allie’s struggles with wanting to fit in and be human, and with her choice to turn, were still something familiar. The characters were great, diverse, and interesting, and I loved reading their story. Plus the unexpected romance developing between Allie and Zeke was a pleasure to read. I couldn’t put this book down and jumped immediately to book two.

BOOK TWO- DON’T READ IF YOU DON’T WANT ANY SPOILERS!

Book two, The Eternity Cure was as great as book one. The story continued smoothly. The stakes were higher, and the villain was something to be feared, for sure. Here’s the summary of book two:

51ZvKsoEUXLIn Allison Sekemoto’s world, there is one rule left: Blood calls to blood

She has done the unthinkable: died so that she might continue to live. Cast out of Eden and separated from the boy she dared to love, Allie will follow the call of blood to save her creator, Kanin, from the psychotic vampire Sarren. But when the trail leads to Allie’s birthplace in New Covington, what Allie finds there will change the world forever—and possibly end human and vampire existence.

There’s a new plague on the rise, a strain of the Red Lung virus that wiped out most of humanity generations ago—and this strain is deadly to humans and vampires alike. The only hope for a cure lies in the secrets Kanin carries, if Allie can get to him in time.

Allison thought that immortality was forever. But now, with eternity itself hanging in the balance, the lines between human and monster will blur even further, and Allie must face another choice she could never have imagined having to make.

This is where I really fell in love with the secondary characters, especially Allie’s creator Kanin, and her blood brother Jackal. Their dynamics of stoic leader and sarcastic ass were a wonderful balance to Allie’s struggles and personality. I really think the story grew some depth in this book. The roots we were exposed to in book one grew deeper in this story, and the stakes were higher — and I felt them too. There was a whole new level of fear added for; her and her kind, and it definitely brought new, scary things to the table.  Plus, of course, the awesome love story between human Zeke and vamp Allie. It was really nicely done, and it made me happy to see how they progressed. And wow, the ending was a killer cliffhanger. We are left with knowledge that Allie doesn’t have, and I was dying to see how Julie was going to resolve these story lines in book three.

BOOK THREE- DON’T READ IF YOU DON’T WANT ANY SPOILERS!

I have a few mixed emotions about book three, The Forever Song. I liked it, and I’m glad I read it, but it didn’t surprise me as much as the other two books did. I’m happy the plot went the direction it did, but I saw it coming, which didn’t happen nearly as much in the first two books. But I was invested in these characters thanks two the first two books, and I was really happy to see how their story played out. Overall, I think it was an excellent end to the series.

Here’s the description of book three:

forever songVENGEANCE WILL BE HERS

Allison Sekemoto once struggled with the question: human or monster?

With the death of her love, Zeke, she has her answer.

MONSTER

Allie will embrace her cold vampire side to hunt down and end Sarren, the psychopathic vampire who murdered Zeke. But the trail is bloody and long, and Sarren has left many surprises for Allie and her companions—her creator, Kanin, and her blood brother, Jackal. The trail is leading straight to the one place they must protect at any cost—the last vampire-free zone on Earth, Eden. And Sarren has one final, brutal shock in store for Allie.

In a ruined world where no life is sacred and former allies can turn on you in one heartbeat, Allie will face her darkest days. And if she succeeds, triumph is short-lived in the face of surviving forever alone.

Like I said above, it was a great end to the series. The villain Sarren was a serious freak, and definitely written well. What he put the main characters through was definitely emotionally stressful. Though I saw some of it coming, mainly the whole plotline with Zeke, it was the direction I wanted the story to go, so I was happy to tag along for the journey. A lot of this book involved traveling, so there was time to get introspective with the characters. Allie’s and Zeke’s personal struggles were fantastically done, and I think we can all relate to the choices they made, in our own way. How do we want to be as people? How do we let the good in us win out over evil? And of course the ending was very satisfying. I don’t want to say too much and give anything away, but I’m really glad I read these books all the way to the end, and I’ll definitely be recommending this series to my YA-loving friends. Be sure to check it out if you haven’t yet!

Book Editorial, Book Events, Book Interviews, Book Reviews, Books, Editorials, Events, Featured Author Week, Interviews, Reviews

Featured Author Week: Julie Kagawa (‘Blood of Eden’) visits Lytherus!

 

FAW Julie Kagawa Author Photo

Julie Kagawa will be joining us at Lytherus as our featured author of the week! As part of her stay, the staff of Lytherus will be offering a review of her Blood of Eden series (The Immortal Rules, The Eternity Cure,  and The Forever Song), in addition to giveaway copies, a guest post, and an exclusive interview with the author!

What’s the series about? Here’s the summary of the first book, The Immortal Rules:

immortal rulesTo survive in a ruined world, she must embrace the darkness…

Allison Sekemoto survives in the Fringe, the outermost circle of a walled-in city. By day, she and her crew scavenge for food. By night, any one of them could be eaten. Some days, all that drives Allie is her hatred of them—the vampires who keep humans as blood cattle. Until the night Allie herself dies and becomes one of the monsters.

Forced to flee her city, Allie must pass for human as she joins a ragged group of pilgrims seeking a legend—a place that might have a cure for the disease that killed off most of civilization and created the rabids, the bloodthirsty creatures who threaten human and vampire alike. And soon Allie will have to decide what–and who–is worth dying for…again.

Enter Julie Kagawa’s dark and twisted world as an unforgettable journey begins.

To help make navigating this week’s awesome content easier, here’s a full breakdown and schedule of what to expect from Julie Kagawa’s stay:

Looking for more of your favorite authors’ featured author weeks? View our past archive of featured authors, with a stellar lineup including Brandon Sanderson, Leigh Bardugo, Marissa Meyer, and more!

 

Book News, Books, News

New Releases, Week of January 23rd, 2011

Here’s a list of all the fantasy, sci-fi, and horror books coming out this week.
Released Tuesday, January 25th, 2011

The World House, by Guy Adams

Combining the puzzle box of Hellraiser with the explorartion of Tad Williams’ Otherland series, this is  the perfect blend of fantasy and adventure, an exceptional modern fantasy debut.

THERE IS A BOX. INSIDE THAT BOX IS A DOOR. AND BEYOND THAT DOOR IS A WHOLE WORLD.

In some rooms, forests grow. In others, animals and objects come to life. Elsewhere, secrets and treasures wait for the brave and foolhardy.
And at the very top of the house, a prisoner sits behind a locked door waiting for a key to turn. The day that happens, the world will end…

Crossed: A Void City Novel, by J. F. Lewis

COMMITTED. CONFLICTED. AND UTTERLY CHAOTIC.

In spite of his continuing hot-blooded affair with his soon-to-be sister-in-law Rachel, Eric’s plan is simple: Give his vampire girlfriend Tabitha the fancy wedding she’s always wanted, then head off to Paris for their honeymoon in the hopes of tracking down his sire, the Empress vampire Lisette. The City of Love proves anything but romantic when the True Immortal rulers of Europe try to block Eric from entering the Continent—and subject Tabitha to a series of challenges to prove her vampire worth. Back home in Void City, Eric’s volatile daughter Greta is getting lonely and bored—and that’s not good news for anyone. And when, like a bat out of hell, Lisette descends upon Void City to wipe Eric and his brood off the face of the earth—forever—this much is clear: the honeymoon is over.

The Sworn (The Fallen Kings Cycle), by Gail Z. Martin

Summoner-King Martris Drayke must attempt to meet this great threat, gathering an army from a country ravaged by civil war. Tris seeks new allies from among the living – and the dead – as an untested generation of rulers face their first battle. Meanwhile, the legendary Dread are stirring in their burrows after millennia of silence and no one knows what hand wakes them and whom they will serve when they rise.

Now, Drayke turns to the Sworn, a nomadic clan of warriors bound to protect the Dread. But even the mighty Sworn do not know what will happen when the Dread awake. All are certain, though, that war is coming to the Winter Kingdoms.

THE SWORN is the beginning of a new adventure set in the world of The Chronicles of the Necromancer.

Harbringer of the Storm: Obsidian & Blood, Book 2, by Aliette de Bodard

Death, magic and intrigue in this hotly-anticipated follow-up to Servant of the Underworld. A sumptuously-detailed Aztec world, which will appeal to fans of magical fantasy, historical drama, political intrigue and murder mysteries.

THE AZTEC EMPIRE TEETERS ON THE BRINK OF EXTINCTION.
As the political infighting starts within the imperial court, Acatl, High Priest for the Dead, makes a macabre discovery in the palace: a high-ranking nobleman has been torn to pieces by an invocation – and it looks like the summoner belongs to the court itself…

A Brush of Darkness, by Allison Pang

Fun and utterly vibrant, A BRUSH OF DARKNESS takes off running from the first page and keeps you hooked. I loved independent-but-just-a-little-broken Abby, the sexy incubus love interest, and, of course, the unicorn! Anyone looking for wit, verve, and a fascinatingly complex world in their urban fantasy can stop right here! Allison Pang has what you need.

The Griffin’s Flight (The Fallen Moon), by K. J. Taylor

Although he was once chosen as a griffin’s companion, Arren Cardockson was reviled, betrayed, and ultimately killed. Brought back to life by a power beyond his understanding, Arren flees for the frozen sanctuary of the North. With the man-eating griffin Skandar by his side, and an entire country hunting him, Arren has little hope of reaching the place of his ancestry and of lifting his curse. But then he comes across a wild woman who may hold the key to making his lifeless heart beat once more.

The River Kings’ Road, by Liane Merciel

A fragile period of peace between the eternally warring kingdoms of Oakharn and Langmyr is shattered when a surprise massacre fueled by bloodmagic ravages the Langmyrne border village of Willowfield, killing its inhabitants—including a visiting Oakharne lord and his family—and leaving behind a scene so grisly that even the carrion eaters avoid its desecrated earth. But the dead lord’s infant heir has survived the carnage—a discovery that entwines the destinies of Brys Tarnell, a mercenary who rescues the helpless and ailing babe, and who enlists a Langmyr peasant, a young mother herself, to nourish and nurture the child of her enemies as they travel a dark, perilous road . . . Odosse, the peasant woman whose only weapons are wit, courage, and her fierce maternal love—and who risks everything she holds dear to protect her new charge . . . Sir Kelland, a divinely blessed Knight of the Sun, called upon to unmask the architects behind the slaughter and avert war between ancestral enemies . . . Bitharn, Kelland’s companion on his journey, who conceals her lifelong love for the Knight behind her flawless archery skills—and whose feelings may ultimately be Kelland’s undoing . . . and Leferic, an Oakharne Lord’s bitter youngest son, whose dark ambitions fuel the most horrific acts of violence. As one infant’s life hangs in the balance, so too does the fate of thousands, while deep in the forest, a Maimed Witch practices an evil bloodmagic that could doom them all. . . .

Of Blood and Honey, by Stina Leicht

Liam never knew who his father was. The town of Derry had always assumed that he was the bastard of a protestant – his mother never spoke of him, and Liam assumed he was dead. But when the war between the fallen and the fey began to heat up, Liam and his family are pulled into a conflict that they didn’t know existed. A centuries old conflict between supernatural forces seems to mirror the political divisions in 1970’s era Ireland, and Liam is thrown headlong into both conflicts! Only the direct intervention of Liam’s real father, and a secret catholic order dedicated to fighting “The Fallen” can save Liam… from the mundane and supernatural forces around him, and from the darkness that lurks within him.

Death’s Disciples, by J. Robert King

A very up-to-the-minute novel with the taboo-busting confidence of modern horror’s finest, delivered with the blissful pace of a techno-thriller…

SHE THOUGHT SHE WAS DEAD.

When she woke up in the hospital, she could barely remember getting on the flight, let alone the terrorist bomb of which she was the only survivor.
But she can hear the voices in her head, for they are the spirits of the dead passengers. They cannot rest until they have delivered their terrifying message: the terrorists know she survived.
And they’re coming for her!

Countdown: The Liberators, by Tom Kratman

A brand new original paperback series from a military man–and a skilled writer of military adventure.

Old soldiers never die…except inside…when they lack a reason to live. Old soldier Wes Stauer is dying inside, from sheer lack of purpose. And then comes the knock on the door: “Our leader’s son and heir has been kidnapped. We don’t know where he is. We need you to get him back for us. The people who have him are numerous, warlike, and well armed. But money is no object.”

And then old soldiers—sailors and airmen, too—stop fading away and come back into sharp focus.

Bound in Blood, by P. C. Hodgell

When Jame returned to Knorth hall to help her brother Torisen name all the fallen fighters’ death banners stored there, she made the disturbing discovery that those banners splattered with their owners’ blood also have trapped their owners’ souls. She also found a contract proving her cousin Kindrie to be legitimate, proving that there are three full-blooded Knorth. Three full-blooded Knorth means that the Three-Faced God can be manifested—something that none of the three are likely to want to do, if they have any choice in the matter. .

Returning with this unwelcome knowledge to school at Tentir, Jame continued to dodge the attentions of an unwanted admirer, strengthen her link to her feline hunting ounce, work with the rathorn colt Death’s-head to insure that it doesn’t resume its attempts to kill her, and, of course, kept causing plenty of unintended havoc. She also had to help fight off attacks from hillmen, repel a stampede of yarkcarn (think warthogs the size of mammoths), fight in the Winter War (a mock conflict—or, at least, that’s how it was supposed to be), and solve the mystery behind the death of her evil uncle, who somehow is still spectrally manifesting himself in nasty ways.

No doubt about it—Jame is back, and with a vengeance, as the popular and critically-praised fantasy adventure series continues.

Play Dead (A Dog Days Novel), by John Levitt

Mason used to be an enforcer, ensuring that those magic practitioners without a moral compass walked the straight and narrow. But now he just wants to keep his head down, play guitar, and maintain a low profile with Lou, his magical canine companion. But Mason is down on his luck, and when a job with a large payout comes along, he finds the offer hard to resist-not knowing it might mean sacrificing what both man and his best friend hold most dear.

Bloodshot, by Cherie Priest

Raylene Pendle (AKA Cheshire Red), a vampire and world-renowned thief, doesn’t usually hang with her own kind. She’s too busy stealing priceless art and rare jewels. But when the infuriatingly charming Ian Stott asks for help, Raylene finds him impossible to resist—even though Ian doesn’t want precious artifacts. He wants her to retrieve missing government files—documents that deal with the secret biological experiments that left Ian blind. What Raylene doesn’t bargain for is a case that takes her from the wilds of Minneapolis to the mean streets of Atlanta. And with a psychotic, power-hungry scientist on her trail, a kick-ass drag queen on her side, and Men in Black popping up at the most inconvenient moments, the case proves to be one hell of a ride.

The Sentinel Mage, by Emily Gee

Her magic may be the only thing that can save a prince—and the Seven Kingdoms. In a distant corner of the Seven Kingdoms, an ancient curse festers and grows, consuming everything in its path. Only one man can break it: Harkeld of Osgaard, a prince with mage’s blood in his veins. But Prince Harkeld has a bounty on his head—and assassins at his heels. Innis is a gifted shapeshifter. Now she must do the forbidden: become a man. She must stand at Prince Harkeld’s side as his armsman, protecting and deceiving him. But the deserts of Masse are more dangerous than the assassins hunting the prince. The curse has woken deadly creatures, and the magic Prince Harkeld loathes may be the only thing standing between him and death.

The Charmed Return, by Frewin Jones

By the light of the pure eclipse, two worlds will be as one . . .

She was once a princess of Faerie, the seventh daughter of King Oberon. But sixteen-year-old Anita Palmer has no memory of the Faerie Realm; her true Faerie princess identity; her love, Edric; or her quest to save Faerie from a deadly plague that ravaged it. With the help of an unexpected ally, Anita must figure out a way to reawaken Tania, her Faerie self—but how?

Now Anita—or is she Tania?—doesn’t know who, or what, to trust, including her own memories. With no time to spare, Anita must act. A thrilling final battle is soon to be waged that will affect not only her destiny but the fate of both Faerie and the Mortal World. Loyalties will be tested, true love questioned, and nothing is what it seems.

Throat, by R. A. Nelson

R. A. Nelson takes us on a supernatural thrill ride, a modern-day vampire story set on a NASA base and filled with space-and-science intrigue. Seventeen-year-old Emma feels cursed by her epilepsy—until the lost night. She’s shocked to wake up in the hospital one morning, weak from blood loss. When her memories begin to return, she pieces together that it was a man—a monster—who attacked her: a vampire named Wirtz. And it was her very condition that saved her: a grand mal seizure interrupted Wirtz and left Emma with all the amazing powers of a vampire—heightened senses, rapid speed—but no need to drink blood. Is Emma now a half-vampire girl? One thing soon becomes clear: the vampire Wirtz is fierce and merciless, feared even by his own kind, and won’t leave a job undone.

Red Riding Hood, by Sarah Blakley-Cartwright & David Leslie Johnson

The body of a young girl is discovered in a field of wheat. Her flesh mutilated by telltale claw marks. The Wolf has broken the peace.

When Valerie learns that her sister has been killed by the legendary creature, she finds herself at the center of a dark mystery, one that has plagued her village for generations. It is revealed that the werewolf lives among them, and everyone in the village immediately becomes a suspect. Could her secret love Peter be behind the attacks on her town? Is it her betrothed, Henry? Or someone even closer to her?

As the men in the village hunt for the beast, Valerie turns to her grandmother for help. She gives Valerie a handmade red riding cloak, and guides her through the web of lies and deception that has held her town together for so long. Will Valerie discover the werewolf’s identity before the town is ripped apart?

This is a dangerous new vision of a classic fairy tale, the happy ending could be hard to find.

Blessed, by Cynthia Leitich Smith

Quincie P. Morris, teen restaurateuse and neophyte vampire, is in the fight of her life — or undeath. Even as she adjusts to her new appetites, she must clear her best friend and true love, the hybrid werewolf Kieren, of murder charges; thwart the apocalyptic ambitions of Bradley Sanguini, the seductive vampire-chef who “blessed” her; and keep her dead parents’ restaurant up and running. She hires a more homespun chef and adds the preternaturally beautiful Zachary to her wait staff. But with hundreds of new vampires on the rise and Bradley off assuming the powers of Dracula Prime, Zachary soon reveals his true nature — and a flaming sword — and they hit the road to staunch the bloodshed before it’s too late. Even if they save the world, will there be time left to salvage Quincie’s soul?

The Iron Queen, by Julie Kagawa

My name is Meghan Chase.

I thought it was over. That my time with the fey, the impossible choices I had to make, the sacrifices of those I loved, was behind me. But a storm is approaching, an army of Iron fey that will drag me back, kicking and screaming. Drag me away from the banished prince who’s sworn to stand by my side. Drag me into the core of conflict so powerful, I’m not sure anyone can survive it.

This time, there will be no turning back.

Dark Goddess (A Devil’s Kiss Novel), by Sarwat Chadda

New enemies, new romance, and new horrors,

Billi’s back, and it seems like the Unholy just can’t take a hint. Still reeling from the death of her best friend, Kay, Billi’s thrust back into action when the Templars are called to investigate werewolf activity.  And these werewolves are like nothing Bilil’s seen before.
They call themselves the Polenitsy – Man Killers. The ancient warrior women of Eastern Europe, supposedly wiped out centuries ago. But now they’re out of hiding and on the hunt for a Spring Child — an Oracle powerful enough to blow the volcano at Yellowstone — precipitating a Fimbulwinter that will wipe out humankind for good. The Templars follow the stolen Spring Child to Russia, and the only people there who can help are the Bogatyrs, a group of knights who may have gone to the dark side. To reclaim the Spring Child and save the world, Billi needs to earn the trust of Ivan Romanov, an arrogant young Bogatyr whose suspicious of people in general, and of Billi in particular. Dark Goddess is a page-turning, action-packed sequel that spans continents, from England to the Russian underworld and back. This is an adventure of folklore and myth become darkly real. Of the world running out of time. And of Billi SanGreal, the only one who can save it.

Vesper: A Deviants Novel, by Jeff Sampson

This smart and good-humored addition to the current werewolf wave, the first in the Deviants series, should tickle the fancy of girls who like their genre reading spicy without being crude. Emily Webb, 16, is a geek very aware of the glamorous crowd at school, and even more conscious of her uncomfortably curvaceous body. When the class’ other Emily is murdered, Emily W.’s relatively quiet existence gets left behind. Those familiar with contemporary werewolf plotting will recognize Emily W.’s shape-shifting well before she does but will nevertheless enjoy the ride as she sleuths the other Emily’s death, gets on the literal scent track of an unidentified but highly attractive boy, and creates havoc at parties she once never considered attending. Intercut between these high-action chapters are scenes from Emily W.’s interrogation by what is clearly an evil force. This conceit proves an effective and unusual way of alerting readers to the potential of Emily W.’s werewolf world.

Released Thursday, January 27th, 2011

The Fallen Blade: Act One of the Assassini, by Jon Courtenay Grimwood

Venice in the early fifteenth century is at the height of its power. In theory Duke Marco commands. But Marco is a simpleton so his aunt and uncle rule in his stead. Within the Serene Republic, their word is law, but for all their influence, Venice’s fate still lies in other hands . . .

Lady Giulietta is the Duke’s cousin. She enjoys greater privilege than many can even dream of, but her status will demand a terrible price.

Atilo Il Mauros is head of the Assassini, the shadow army that enforces Venice’s will – both at home and abroad.

Prince Leopold zum Bas Friedland is the bastard son of the German emperor and leader of the krieghund – the only force in Venice more feared than Atilo’s assassins.

And then there is Atilo’s angel-faced apprentice. Only a boy, Tycho is already stronger and faster than any man has a right to be. He can see in the dark, but sunlight burns him. It is said that he drinks blood.

Award-winning author Jon Courtenay Grimwood seamlessly blends history, politics and dark fantasy in a compelling vision of a Venice that might have been.

List from Borders.com and descriptions/reviews from Amazon.com