Books for November

It’s been a tad quiet here, but I’ve been too busy diving into the November new release goodness to post (excuses, eh?).  Here are the ones on my must-get list – warning: it’s long and pretty much all fantasy.  What are yours?

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Juliet Marillier‘s FLAME OF SEVENWATERS (fantasy): This is one of the books that has been occupying my time over the past week.  I have such love for these books.  Which meant I approached this book with slight trepidation – knowing that it was (very likely) the last in the series, I was dreading that FLAME wouldn’t quite live up to expectations. But I shouldn’t have been worried – from the very first paragraph, I was drawn into the captivating world of Sevenwaters that I’ve grown to know and love over the past five books.  The choice of Maeve as the protagonist was an inspired one – Juliet Marillier writes such strong heroines, and I liked how she didn’t shy away from tackling Maeve’s disability and its impact.  And the ending was very fitting, for both the book and the series.

Maeve, daughter of Lord Sean of Sevenwaters, was badly burned as a child and carries the legacy of that fire in her crippled hands. After ten years she’s returning home as a courageous, forthright woman with a special gift for taming difficult animals. But while her body’s scars have healed, her spirit remains fragile, as she fears the shadows of her past.

Sevenwaters is in turmoil. The fey prince Mac Dara has become desperate to see his only son, who is married to Maeve’s sister, return to the Otherworld. To force Lord Sean’s hand, Mac Dara has caused a party of innocent travelers on the Sevenwaters border to vanish

When Maeve finds one of the missing travelers murdered in the woods, she and her brother Finbar embark on a journey that may bring about the end of Mac Dara’s reign — or lead to a hideous death. But if she is successful, Maeve may open a door to a future she has not dared to believe possible…

Out now (excerpt)

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Tanya Huff‘s THE SILVERED (fantasy): And this is the book that’s currently keeping me up very late.  I don’t want to say very much and jinx things, because I’m only halfway through, but if it continues the way it started off, this could be a fantastic book. Yes, there are werewolves and mages in THE SILVERED, but it is so not your standard shapeshifter fantasy (so don’t stop reading here!).  For one, it isn’t urban fantasy – it’s this really interesting fantasy world, and gah, I really can’t describe it so I’m just going to grab the author’s one-sentence description from her LJ: “New standalone book, created world fantasy, with werewolves as the good guys, Naploeonic tech level…”.  I know, I’m so articulate.

On a side note, Tanya Huff has become an auto-buy author for me over the years – I wasn’t completely won over by her early fantasy books, but have loved her more recent works.  I am also very impressed by her versatility – she writes with such ease across high fantasy, urban fantasy, and military SF genres.

The Empire has declared war on the small, were-ruled kingdom of Aydori, capturing five women of the Mage-Pack, including the wife of the were Pack-leader. With the Pack off defending the border, it falls to Mirian Maylin and Tomas Hagen—she a low-level mage, he younger brother to the Pack-leader—to save them. Together the two set out on the kidnappers’ trail, racing into the heart of enemy territory. With every step the odds against them surviving and succeeding soar…

Out now (excerpt)

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Ilona AndrewsSTEEL’S EDGE (paranormal romance): I’m guessing I’m not the only one counting down the days to this release.  Even better, Ilona Andrews has promised a UK ebook release.  I am keeping my fingers crossed that they decide to release with a placeholder cover, instead of holding off the release until they get the proper series covers.  I mean, it’s the content that counts, isn’t it?  We can always get the cover later…

While I am more fond of their Kate Daniels books, the Edge series has some incredibly creative world-building happening.  I’m looking forward to whatever they decide to write next, now that they’ve wrapped this series up.

The Edge lies between worlds, on the border between the Broken, where people shop at Wal-Mart and magic is a fairy tale—and the Weird, where blueblood aristocrats rule, changelings roam, and the strength of your magic can change your destiny…

Charlotte de Ney is as noble as they come, a blueblood straight out of the Weird. But even though she possesses rare magical healing abilities, her life has brought her nothing but pain. After her marriage crumbles, she flees to the Edge to build a new home for herself. Until Richard Mar is brought to her for treatment, and Charlotte’s life is turned upside down once again.

Richard is a swordsman without peer, future head of his large and rambunctious Edger clan—and he’s on a clandestine quest to wipe out slavers trafficking humans in the Weird. So when his presence leads his very dangerous enemies to Charlotte, she vows to help Richard destroy them. The slavers’ operation, however, goes deeper than Richard knows, and even working together, Charlotte and Richard may not survive…

Out Nov 27 (excerpt)

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Sharon Shinn‘s STILL LIFE WITH SHAPESHIFTER (urban fantasy): It’s probably fair to say that I wasn’t in love with Sharon Shinn’s first foray into urban fantasy.  But as it wasn’t the writing I had problems with, I’m going to give this companion book a shot.  I’ve taken a quick peek at the early reviews, and they seem to be fairly positive…

Melanie Landon and her half-sister share a unique bond. For her entire life, Melanie has hidden the fact that Ann is a shape-shifter. The never-ending deception is a heavy weight to bear, but Melanie is determined to keep Ann’s secret and protect her from a world that simply wouldn’t understand.

For months, Melanie hasn’t seen or heard from Ann, in either of her forms. When a man shows up saying he’s there about her sister, Melanie fears the worst. But Brody Westerbrook doesn’t have information about Ann—he’s in search of it.

A freelance writer, Brody intends to include Ann in a book he’s writing about the existence of shape-shifters. While Melanie is immediately drawn to the stranger on her doorstep, she denies his claims, knowing that trusting him isn’t an option.

But when Ann finally appears looking thin and sick, Melanie realizes exposure is the least of their worries. Protecting her sister has always been such an enormous part of Melanie’s life, but as Ann’s health rapidly deteriorates, Melanie must come to grips with the fact that saving her may mean letting go…

Out now (excerpt)

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Laini Taylor‘s DAYS OF BLOOD & STARLIGHT (YA fantasy): Sequel to DAUGHTER OF SMOKE & BONE, this one appears to be on everyone’s November reading list.  I loved the imaginative world-building in the first book, and want to see where the story goes next.

Once upon a time, an angel and a devil fell in love and dared to imagine a world free of bloodshed and war.

This is not that world.

Art student and monster’s apprentice Karou finally has the answers she has always sought. She knows who she is—and what she is. But with this knowledge comes another truth she would give anything to undo: She loved the enemy and he betrayed her, and a world suffered for it.

In this stunning sequel to the highly acclaimed Daughter of Smoke & Bone, Karou must decide how far she’ll go to avenge her people. Filled with heartbreak and beauty, secrets and impossible choices, Days of Blood & Starlight finds Karou and Akiva on opposing sides as an age-old war stirs back to life.

While Karou and her allies build a monstrous army in a land of dust and starlight, Akiva wages a different sort of battle: a battle for redemption. For hope.

But can any hope be salvaged from the ashes of their broken dream?

Out now (excerpt)

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Jim Butcher‘s COLD DAYS (urban fantasy): Speaking of books on everybody’s November list… the recent Dresden Files books have taken Harry’s story to a different level, and COLD DAYS promises to be as much of a page-turner as the previous books.  I know I keep grumbling around the lack of feeling in Harry’s relationships, but the story-telling makes up for the somewhat out-of-the-box female characters.

Spoiler-y description if you haven’t read the previous books, so I’ll skip this part.

Out Nov 27 (excerpt)

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Kevin Hearne‘s TRAPPED (urban fantasy): And speaking of Harry Dresden…  I’ve been meaning to pick up Kevin Hearne’s Iron Druid series for quite a while (the first three was released in quick succession towards the end of last year, IIRC) as I’ve been hearing good things – and usually combined with a “If you like the Dresden books…”.

While I would love to be original, yep, that’s a pretty good comparison, though with the plus of a refreshing take on various pantheons and mythologies.  I finally got around to reading these books while I was on holiday earlier in the year, and was just about to file them in my Pleasant-But-Not-Groundbreaking-UF bucket, when at the end of the third book, Hearne raises the stakes.  I love it when that happens in a series.  So yes, I’m planning on reading this one.

After twelve years of secret training, Atticus O’Sullivan is finally ready to bind his apprentice, Granuaile, to the earth and double the number of Druids in the world. But on the eve of the ritual, the world that thought he was dead abruptly discovers that he’s still alive, and they would much rather he return to the grave.

Having no other choice, Atticus, his trusted Irish wolfhound, Oberon, and Granuaile travel to the base of Mount Olympus, where the Roman god Bacchus is anxious to take his sworn revenge—but he’ll have to get in line behind an ancient vampire, a band of dark elves, and an old god of mischief, who all seem to have KILL THE DRUID at the top of their to-do lists.

Out Nov 27 (book page)

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21 Comments

Filed under New Releases

21 responses to “Books for November

  1. Okay, now THIS short intro made me buy The Silvered right away. So it’s your fault now.

    • Another thing – I’m not sure it’s a good idea to enter a new market where you haven’t had much presence with a place holder cover on an ebook, but what do I know.

      And while I love DAW for still releasing lots of midlist authors, I wish the first mention of the name Tomas in the ebook – the very first one – hadn’t been without capital letters. *sigh* Well, I’ll jailbreak that and fiddle with it in Calibre.

    • I agree with the so-far last Edge book as a must buy. The teaser chapters were very tasty and dark. I’m hoping for as much romance as plot, as I didn’t much like the romance aspect in the previous book. But it can be angsty romance ^^ and I think it will probably be that.

    • Ha – I hope I haven’t steered you wrong! I’m finishing it off now – REALLY liking it (and wanting a sequel in the same world, despite it being standalone). I have thoroughly enjoyed Tanya Huff’s recent books – the last Valor SF book, The Enchantment Emporium, and now this. More please.

      Re the Edge books, I can see both sides of the argument re covers… I’m just being selfish! And yes, I am hoping for lots of angst…

      • I didn’t like The Wild Ways as much as the first Gale Family book, buuuuut… I like her old fantasy and the Blood books, which I read and discovered before there was a TV series.

        We will get angst. All the snippets have been angsty in some way.

      • Yay for angst ;-)

        Yep, I liked the first Gale book better than TWW too, possibly because there was more Gale family in that one! I loved her Smoke trilogy (spin-off from the Blood books) too.

  2. Lots of good looking books there!

  3. I’m so excited for the Ilona Andrew book! I have it pre-ordered so it shows up at my house the day it’s release. WOOT!

    • I am torn between pre-ordering the US version now, or waiting until the UK version shows up for sale – as my small part to prove there IS a UK market for their books. Dilemmas, eh?

  4. I haven’t yet read the first in that Shinn series, mainly because of the unanimous negative comments. If this one’s good, that might make it worth it to start at the beginning. The one I’m really waiting for is the Troubled Waters sequel, though!

    • YES to the Troubled Waters Sequel! I am looking forward to that.

      It’s the way the various themes were handled in the first book that frustrated me. As I said in my post, I thought the writing was good – in fact, it kept me reading even though I hated the storyline. I’m not sure whether the second is a proper sequel or more of a companion book – if the latter, you could probably jump straight to the second.

  5. Ah!!! I’m SO excited for Flame of Sevenwaters and Steel’s Edge, even though I need to read other books in both series before I can get to them. I DO have Fate’s Edge on my end table atm. =)

    Also excited to hear your final verdict on The Silvered, I hadn’t heard of it before, but it really looks like something I might enjoy. I’ve been torn on trying Shinn’s UF as well since I didn’t see the best reactions to the first book. If the second’s a big improvement, I may give it a go.

    • I’m somewhat envious you still have unread Sevenwaters books to go! Looking forward to hearing your thoughts when you get around to reading them.

      I really enjoyed THE SILVERED – I definitely recommend it if you’re in the mood for fantasy. Especially a standalone fantasy, as they’re so rare. Though having said that, I very much want another story in the same world now, I wonder what are the chances of that happening…

      I’m looking out for Shinn reviews as well – I will cave and get it soon, I think. I’m so easy ;-)

  6. Ohhhh, THe Silvered sounds really good!! So, are you going to review it, Li? Please say yes, LOL!

    I’m definitively getting Cold Days. I can’t wait! And while I’m a romance reader at heart, I have to say there’s so much going on in this series, I don’t mind Harry’s lack of love life.

    And LOL, that’s exactly why I picked up the Iron Druid Chronicles… but I don’t know, it wasn’t as good. I think the first three books were a bit too much all over the place when it came to the world building. Maybe I’ll go back one day, but right now, I don’t feel the urge.

    I pre-ordered Steel’s Edge because it’s Ilona Andrews, but I just don’t like this series as much as the Kate Daniels. My issue is the world building. It’s very creative, yes… but I don’t know, something’s lacking… and I think it’s coherence between the three different worlds.

    Anyway, looks like November is a good month for you :)

    • THE SILVERED was good! I will try to blog properly about it, as opposed to a “I loved it so much, go read it” one-sentence mention ;-)

      COLD DAYS is very much still a must-read for me. I don’t think I’m as keen as some other Dresden fans, but I’m certainly looking forward to finding out what happens NOW.

      What intrigues me about this Iron Druid installment is that there’s a lot of fast-forwarding – the fifth book is set 12 years after the fourth book, from what I gather. I’m guessing in view of the fact Atticus is 2000 years old, that’s like a blink of an eye.

      Re the Edge books, maybe it’s the fact that there are different protagonists in each book (as opposed to the Kate books)? I’m certainly less invested in the h/hs, so I pay more attention to the setting.

      And yes, November has been surprisingly good!

  7. I picked up the Ilona Andrews book, but I’m still behind one book so I need to do some catching up on that series. I’m thinking of just picking up Cold Days by Butcher, reading it and continuing to read the backlist books on the side. Is that possible? What do you say?

  8. Noooo!! I think Cold Days, together with the last two books, needs to be read in order because some MAJOR events happen. Having said that, I haven’t picked up Cold Days yet…

    I still haven’t read Steel’s Edge either, waiting for that UK Kindle release. Sigh.

    • LOL, okay… I guess I have to bite the bullet and read this series in order. Maybe I just won’t review them all, and just read, read, read until I catch up! Hmm… maybe I’ll just review the ones that really make an impact on me. :D

      • That’s what I did when I read the Dresden books – umm… the reading part, not the reviewing ;-). I caught up on the first eight books in less than one month, IIRC (I also was on holiday during that month, in my defense).

  9. Pingback: Tanya Huff’s THE SILVERED | Me and My Books

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