Fantasy and Science Fiction
No Country for Old Gnomes
by Delilah Dawson and Kevin Hearne
The best-selling authors of Kill the Farm Boy present their latest madcap adventure in the irreverent fantasy universe of Pell, where a goth gnome distinguishes himself from his cardigan-wearing brethren by fighting back against the warmongering, alpaca-riding halflings.
The Perfect Assassin by K.A. DooreWhat it's about: Just as 19-year-old Amastan Basbowen completes his five-year apprenticeship, the city of Ghadid outlaws the assassin trade. This leaves Amastan free to investigate when a city leader is murdered.
Why you might like it: This opening installment of the Chronicles of Ghadid series combines mystery, adventure, and light m/m romance.
For fans of: the atmospheric world-building of Tasha Suri's Empire of Sand; the well-developed assassin culture of R.J. Barker's Age of Assassins.
The Light Brigade by Kameron HurleyIntroducing: Dietz, a stateless "ghoul"-turned-soldier fighting a for-profit war in which troops are deployed to far-off battlefields in the form of particles of light.
Want a taste? "I didn't think about what would happen after I signed up. Or who I would need to become. I thought the world was simple: good guys and bad guys, citizens and ghouls, corporate patriots and socialist slaves."
A Memory Called Empire by Arkady MartineWhat it's about: Newly appointed ambassador Mahit Dzmare investigates the suspicious death of her predecessor while navigating political intrigue within the expansionist Teixcalaanli Empire.
Why you might like it: This debut by a Byzantine historian boasts an intricately layered, slowly unfolding plot as well as detailed depictions of alien cultures.
For fans of: Ann Leckie's Imperial Radch trilogy or Katherine Addison's The Goblin Emperor.
The Chaos Function by Jack SkillingsteadWhat happens: On assignment in Syria, American war correspondent Olivia Nikitas comes in contact with an artifact that enables her to change the past, putting her on a collision course with the Society, the self-appointed guardians of this mysterious technology.
For fans of: time travel-themed SF thrillers with apocalyptic overtones such as Tom Sweterlitsch's The Gone World.
Brief Cases: More Stories from the Dresden Files by Jim ButcherStarring: Chicago wizard-for-hire Harry Dresden and his associates.
Includes: the Lovecraftian "Cold Case," baseball-themed "Curses" (featuring the Chicago Cubs), and "Zoo Day," a novella from the POV of minor characters Maggie and Mouse.
Should you start here? This collection is best for Dresden Files fans who are all caught up on the main series, which begins with Storm Front.
Fire & Blood by George R.R. Martin; illustrated by Doug WheatleyWhat it is: Book 1 of a two-volume history of the Targaryens, which recounts how the dragonlord dynasty came to Westeros.
Who it's for: Samwell Tarly, as well as ASOIAF completists interested in the fiery reign of Aegon the Conqueror.
Don't miss: 75 black-and-white illustrations depicting important events in the history of the Seven Kingdoms.
The Slow Regard of Silent Things by Patrick Rothfuss; illustrated by Nate TaylorWhat it is: a companion novella to the Kingkiller Chronicle that focuses on supporting character Auri, who dwells in the labyrinth-like Underthing.
Should you start here? Although Auri's adventures underground don't intersect with series protagonist Kvothe's storyline, newcomers will want to start with The Name of the Wind.
Reviewers say: The Slow Regard of Silent Things is "a charming, lyrical meditation on the meaning of home" (NPR).
Arcanum Unbounded: The Cosmere Collection by Brandon SandersonWhat it is: a collection of eight stories and one graphic novel excerpt set in the Cosmere -- the universe that contains author Brandon Sanderson's Elantris, Mistborn novels, and the Stormlight Archive series.
Why you might like it: Arcanum Unbounded displays the author's intricate yet expansive world-building and inventive systems of magic.
Reviewers say: "required reading for Sanderson fans" (Publishers Weekly).
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