The Shadow of What Was Lost by James IslingtonEpic Fantasy. Born after the civil war that overthrew the ruling Augurs, 15-year-old Davian of Andarra struggles as one of the Gifted, whose latent magical abilities make him a second-class citizen and an object of suspicion. When Davian learns that he may be an Augur, he embarks on a quest to discover his destiny. Fans of the detailed world-building and complex magic systems found in Brandon Sanderson's Mistborn novels or Brent Weeks' Lightbringer series should enjoy The Shadow of What Was Lost, which is the 1st book in the Licanius trilogy.
The Fate of the Tearling: A Novel by Erika JohansenEpic Fantasy. In this highly anticipated conclusion to the trilogy that began with The Queen of the Tearling, Queen Kelsea Glynn squares off against her enemy, the Red Queen of Mortmesne. Beset by visions of the past, Kelsea knows how much is at stake, which is why she's willing to make the ultimate sacrifice to protect her realm and her people. Infusing a classic battle between good and evil with dystopian and apocalyptic themes, The Fate of the Tearling will appeal most to fantasy readers who don't mind a bit of genre-blending.
Den of Wolves: A Blackthorne & Grim Novel by Juliet MarillierCeltic Fantasy. The laws laid down by the fey are simple: "seek no vengeance, help any who ask, do only good." Yet having endured more than their fair share of tragedy, wise woman Blackthorn and her steadfast companion, Grim, begin to question the rules that govern their mission to serve the kingdom of Dalriada. Den of Wolves is the 3rd installment of the Blackthorn and Grim series, after Dreamer's Pool and Tower of Thorns. Readers who appreciate a strong, if understated, love story should especially enjoy this series, which is set in an ancient Ireland inhabited by the fair folk and steeped in magic.
The Liberation by Ian TregillisAlternate History. Led by rogue Clakker Daniel (formerly "Jax"), the once-enslaved Mechanicals have liberated themselves. Their emancipation will shake the foundations of the Dutch Empire and its colonial ambitions in North America. Meanwhile, tensions between Nieuw Nederland, New France, and the Sacred Guild of Horologists and Alchemists come to a head. With its meticulous world-building, political intrigue, and examination of the social issues surrounding technological innovation, this 3rd and concluding volume in the Alchemy Wars series may appeal to fans of K.J. Parker's Engineer trilogy. However, due to the books' intricate plot, newcomers should start at the beginning with The Mechanical, followed by The Rising.
Wards of Faerie by Terry BrooksEpic Fantasy. As the forces of science (represented by the Federation) and magic (guided by the Druids) clash, threatening the stability of the Four Lands, Druid Aphenglow Elessedil discovers the diary of an elven girl that hints at the fate of the long-vanished Elfstones. Chronologically, this 1st book in the Dark Legacy of Shannara trilogy directly follows the High Druid of Shannara series, which in turn is set some 400 years after the events of the main series (beginning with The Sword of Shannara). However, those disinclined to read the entire 20-book saga in order will be pleased to know that Wards of Faerie stands on its own.
The First Confessor: The Legend of Magda Searus by Terry GoodkindEpic Fantasy. Before there was the heroic duo of Richard and Kahlan, there was lone heroine Magda Searus. This prequel to the Sword of Truth series opens as Madga unexpectedly loses her husband, First Wizard Baraccus, to suicide. Determined to find out why Baraccus chose this drastic course of action, Magda seeks out a spiritist who can speak to the dead -- and, in doing so, learns of a great danger to the realm. However, as a commoner and a magically ungifted woman, Magda faces staunch opposition from those in power when she attempts to carry on her husband's work.
A Cavern Of Black Ice by J.V. JonesEpic Fantasy. The end is nigh, and the only ones who can stop the looming apocalypse are seer Ash March, a foundling raised by the villainous Penthero Iss, Surlord of Spire Vanis, and archer Raif Sevrance, an outcast of the Blackhail Clan. Joining forces against Ash's adoptive father and his sorcery-wielding forces, these reluctant heroes must tap into an ancient magic if they have any hope of prevailing against evil. This book kicks off the Sword of Shadows series, which continues with A Fortress of Grey Ice.
The Eye of the World by Robert JordanEpic Fantasy. When the Trollocs -- half-human, half-beast -- attack the Two Rivers district in the county of Andor, a handful of survivors escape into the wilderness -- including shepherd boy Rand Al'Thor, craftsman Perrin Aybara, and their friend Matrim "Mat" Cauthon. Despite their humble origins, these young men are destined to battle an ancient and powerful evil. Rich in its allusions to world mythology and religion, this opening installment of The Wheel of Time series also boasts a sprawling cast of characters, in-depth world-building, and a highly intricate plot.
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