Most Anticipated Fantasy Novels of 2017: Publishers’ Choice
We like to think we know a lot about fantasy here at Fantasy-Faction. However, our knowledge and foresight lacks in comparison to the hugely experienced, highly intelligent editors who sit behind the desks of the fantasy departments of big publishing houses.
For that reason, each year we hand Fantasy-Faction over to them for a day, inviting them to shout about titles they’ve got coming up over the course of the coming year.
Here’s five books to add to your TBR list from each of the largest publishers we could contact!
Jo Fletcher Books
Oh my gosh, I am so very late – everyone decided to deliver this week (some late, some early and some exactly on time!) so I have been snowed under. Despite that, I’m sitting here on Christmas Day wishing you all the very Merriest of Christmases and the Happiest of New Years – and here are some little gems to look forward to, in order of publication (I sincerely hope 🙂 ).
Empress of the Fall by David Hair
March 9, 2017
We’ll start with David Hair’s Empress of the Fall. This is the start of his brand-new epic fantasy Sunsurge Quarte – but don’t panic, all of you who have been discovering the magical land of Urte, where the eastern continent, Antiopia, and the western continent of Yuros are at daggers drawn. This new saga continues from where The Moontide Quartet ends. But new readers, also need not fear: we have a new cast of characters, some terrifying masked villains, and a very different cataclysm facing our noble heroes. You do not need to have read the earlier books (although I guarantee once you’re read Empress you’ll want to. They’re big chunky reads, but my gosh, they move along like a runaway train!)
Tyrant’s Throne by Sebastien De Castell
April 20, 2017
Next up is the final book in the Greatcoats saga (well, at least for now): Falcio, Brasti and Kest are so close to putting their king’s daughter Aline on the throne they can almost taste it . . . but this is Tristia, and happy ever after has always been a little in supply. Those of you who follow Sebastien will know he’s been suffering recently from an excessively painful medical condition, now, thankfully, blasted into miniscule fragments . . . see how he translates that agony into yet more fun for poor Falcio!
The City of Miracles by Robert Jackson Bennett
May 4, 2017
Another final book I can’t fail to mention is Robert Jackson Bennett’s much lauded Divine Cities series. Sigrud je Harkvaldsson has few friends, but those he cares about, he cares about very deeply. And he also cares very deeply about revenge. So when former Prime Minister Shara Komayd is assassinated, Sigrud knows he has a mission: no one gets away with taking out Shara. The City of Miracles may be our last visit to Bulikov for a bit, but it’s not one you’ll ever forget.
Rotherweird by Andrew Caldecott
May 18, 2017
Here’s my first debut for the year: Rotherweird by Andrew Caldecott is a magical, eccentric, unforgettable visit to a town somewhere in England that’s completely self-governing – because it hides a terrifying secret. Think of Susannah Clarke crossed with Mervyn Peake by way of Neil Gaiman with a sprinkling of Hope Mirrlees and you’ll be a step in the right direction.
Kin: Helga Finnsdottir Book I by Snorri Kristjansson
September 7, 2017
Now I have to go for something completely different: first came Scandi-crime and Nordic Noir – now it’s time for Viking Crime! Lies. Manipulation. Murder. There’s nothing quite like family, and everyone loves a family reunion, especially in the hands of Snorri Kristjansson, our writer of Icelandic Viking sagas.
Urk! I’ve run out of space – so no room to mention Corpselight, Angela Slatter’s hugely exciting sequel to Vigil, with V finding something even more frightening than a vengeful Weird: motherhood! Or Lisa Tuttle’s second out for ace detectives Jesperson and Lane, this time discovering the Shrieking Pits of Norfolk (they really are there; look them up) – or Tom Fletcher’s dank, dripping, crepuscular Idle Hands, the riveting sequel to Gleam, or Alison Littlewood’s second foray into Victorian esoterica with The Crow Garden, this time exploring all the fun of the nineteenth century madhouse, or Sue Tingey’s last adventure for Lucky de Salle, her Deathbringer Jinx and her Guardian Jamie in Bound, or the one we’ve all be waiting for: Evie Manieri’s Strife’s Bane. There’s no doubt 2017 is going to be a great year for JFB Readers!
Happy New Year, everyone!
– Jo Fletcher
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In 2017 Gollancz promises to bring you a year of publishing that is thrilling, endlessly varied, and so very crammed full of fantastical new tomes you will require the acquisition of at least six new bookcases in order to house them all. We’re giddily jumping up and down at the thoughts of a new collection from Joe Hill, the next instalment in The Witcher series, a completely new world from Justina Robson and the third book in Brandon Sanderson’s Stormlight Archive but for you now we thought we’d highlight a few books you hadn’t already carved into your wish list. These are the books of 2017 you need to add to your TBRs right this second.
The Massacre of Mankind by Stephen Baxter
The official sequel to HG Wells’ The War of the Worlds, written by master of the SF genre, Stephen Baxter. It has been 14 years since the Martians invaded England. The world has moved on, always watching the skies but content that we know how to defeat the Martian menace. Machinery looted from the abandoned capsules and war-machines has led to technological leaps forward. The Martians are vulnerable to earth germs, the Army is prepared. So when the signs of launches on Mars are seen, there seems little reason to worry. Unless you listen to one man, Walter Jenkins, the narrator of Wells’ book. He is sure that the Martians have learned, adapted, understood their defeat. He is right. Thrust into the chaos of a new invasion, a journalist – sister-in-law to Walter Jenkins – must survive, escape and report on the war. The Massacre of Mankind has begun.
Rhyming Rings by David Gemmell
Rhyming Rings is a never-before-seen Gemmell novel, discovered by his widow, Stella Gemmell. Merging autobiographical details of Gemmell’s life as a journalist in South London with a serial killer and a tinge of the supernatural, this is perfect for fans of David’s work, as well as readers of gritty crime novels. Set against the backdrop of a London simmering with poverty, change and racial tension, this taut thriller is a fitting legacy for the great writer.
Blackwing by Ed McDonald
This is the smashing first book from Ed McDonald, an author we know will soon join the grimdark and epic fantasy halls of fame, alongside the likes of Mark Lawrence, Scott Lynch and Joe Abercrombie. Blackwing is the story of Galharrow, a bounty hunter and ‘Blackwing’, one who ventures out into The Misery, determined to stop the surge of Drudges and Deep Kings from infringing on what little still passes as human civilisation. That is until he encounters Ezabeth Tanza, a noblewoman and spinner-magician, who might be crazy, or might be right in her belief that the engine that keeps these horrors at bay is failing.
The Ember Blade – Author yet to be announced (Mysterious, aye?)
The Ossian way of life is fading and the Dachen way is taking its place. Our main character Aren is comfortable with that; when his parents are accused of treason he supports the establishment and maintains there’s been some sort of mistake. Which is all it takes to get himself and his best friend arrested. Thrown into a prison mine they plan their escape – only to be accidently rescued. Their unwelcome saviour is Garric and suddenly they are embroiled in his quest to overturn the Dachen way of life. If they leave Garric now, they’ll be arrested or killed by their pursuers. If they turn him in, Garric will kill them. If they stay with him, they’ll be abetting a murderous quest they don’t believe in. When there are no good options which do you choose? A return to classic fantasy adventures and values from a modern perspective. This is a fast-moving coming-of-age story, the first in a trilogy, featuring a strong cast of diverse characters, brilliant set-pieces and a plot driven story.
The Last Namsara by Kristen Ciccarelli
This is a stunning cross-over fantasy by debut author, Kristen Ciccarelli, first in a series perfect for readers who enjoy Victoria Aveyard, Kristin Cashore, and Sarah J. Mass. A sweeping epic focused on strong characters, dangerous escapades and poisonous politics – Kristen Ciccarelli is a superb new voice in the genre. It centres round Asha, an accomplished dragon-slayer and fierce warrior whose homeland is on the brink of a devastating civil war. Unification and peace are still possible – but there are only two ways to achieve it: through an arranged marriage, or if Asha brings the king the head of the oldest and deadliest of all dragons, the dragon who murdered her mother.
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Once again Fantasy-Faction has placed us in a delightfully impossible situation for your reading pleasure. We get to talk about our utterly wonderful books – hurrah! But we only get to choose five – boooo! In order to make the process only slightly simpler for us, we are focusing on debuts and book ones of series for our featured titles. However, in an attempt to share more of the joy that is our list next year, here are just some ‘don’t miss’ fantasy mentions!
The roaringly-fun fantasy Windwitch is out in January, followed in February by Adrian Tchaikovsky’s immersive tale of clans and invasion – The Bear and the Serpent. Also in February, Col Buchanan brings his gripping quartet to an end with Fierce Gods. Then Laura Lam is spoiling us with her dark circus tale Masquerade (her SF thriller Shattered Minds comes out later in the year). The Never King is a dark standalone by the pseudonymous James Abbott, featuring a quest for justice and revenge. Ben Peek brings his so very epic fantasy trilogy to an end with The Eternal Kingdom. And Lucy Hounsom has a treat in store for fantasy fans with her stunningly good Worldmaker trilogy: look out for the reissue of Starborn, plus Heartland and Firestorm in 2017! And fans will be delighted to hear that Genevieve Cogman brings us more Invisible Library adventure with The Lost Plot at the end of the year. For news on all this and more, we can be found on twitter @UKTor and on Facebook as Tor UK.
Glided Cage by Vic James
We raved about Gilded Cage last year, and are going to rave about it AGAIN this year. (It’s not cheating – it’s out in paperback in 2017!) This electrifying debut is the first in a trilogy set in an alternative version of modern Britain. Here, everyone must endure ten years of slavery in service to a magically gifted aristocracy. A teenage boy dreams of rebellion, his sister yearns for love and knowledge. And a dangerous young aristocrat will remake the world with his dark gifts. The ebook was published in December, and we’re thrilled that it’s already garnered some amazing reviews! The paperback will be available 26th January 2017.
Empire Games by Charles Stross
A new Charles Stross book is always a cause for celebration, and Empire Games is no exception. A fast-paced SF thriller, this book features timeline-hopping assassins, political revolution and a cold war that is threatening to turn white hot. The story follows reluctant spy Rita Douglas as she jumps between realities in the service of the US government. If you’re a fan of treachery and intrigue, political paranoia with a SF twist, and drama that spans multiple universes, this is the book to look out for. For fans of Stross’ Merchant Princes series, this book is set in the same world but is a whole new story. Top-notch stuff!
Skullsworn by Brian Staveley
Brian Staveley’s rich and immersive Chronicles of the Unhewn Throne universe is just the thing for fans of epic fantasy. It’s a world where you can happily lose yourself (but watch your step – it’s a dangerous place). Skullsworn is a standalone novel set in this world, so as with Empire Games above it’s a great book to draw you in if you’re new to Brian Staveley – but it will also delight existing fans. Protagonist Pyrre is a priestess who serves the god of death. Or she will be, if she manages to pass her trial. She has fourteen days to kill seven people listed in an ancient song, including one true love ‘who will not come again’. But Pyrre has never been in love, and if she doesn’t pass her trial she’ll be sacrificed to her god. She’s not afraid to die, but she hates to fail. So she returns to the city of her birth where she hopes to find love – and end it with the edge of her knife. Hooked yet? You should be. The clock is ticking.
The Space Between the Stars by Anne Corlett
You have to wait until June for this one, but we promise it’s worth it. The Space Between the Stars is a poignant debut novel about love, loss, and impossible choices, set in a post-apocalyptic future. Here humanity has mastered space travel and colonized new worlds, but they can’t stop a plague sweeping through the galaxy – which leaves few alive. Our protagonist Jamie awakes from her fever, possibly the sole survivor on her distant planet and realizes everyone she knew might now be dead. Then she receives a garbled message from Earth. It’s clear that someone she once loved might have survived. Joining up with a misfit band of survivors, Jamie makes a journey across land and space in a bid to escape her troubled past, and embrace a hopeful future. This is Station Eleven territory – a hugely accessible, character-driven novel with a science-fiction setting. We loved everything from the people, to the plot, to its beautiful, imaginative prose.
Dread by John Gwynne
John Gwynne’s towering quartet, The Faithful and the Fallen, came to a dramatic conclusion in Wrath in November 2016 (the paperback is out in May 2017). But FEAR NOT, faithful fans, for Dread takes us back to the Banished Lands! Dread is the first in a new trilogy, set one hundred years after the end of Wrath. And it’s a great jumping on point if you’ve never read John Gwynne before – he’s pitched it perfectly for the new reader. Here the Banished Lands are experiencing a new era of peace, imposed often forcibly by the angelic Ben-Elim. But this peace is fragile, and something rotten lurks at its heart. Meanwhile, in the shadows, there are demons biding their time and waiting to strike. Spine tingling? Mine is. This is thunderingly good – a mighty epic of honour and betrayal set against a vast and vivid fantasy landscape. John Gwynne is a rising star in the world of fantasy, so to say we are excited would be an understatement. I’m sure we’ll be roaring along (maybe just in our heads . . .) to the battle-cry ‘TRUTH AND COURAGE’ in November. For when Dread hits shelves, it’ll be time to engage. Until then, sit back and admire the greatest author photo we’ve ever seen.
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Solaris & Abaddon Books
Djinn running rampant! Masked heroes taking down steam-driven Nazis! Cannibal chefs! Yes, 2017 is shaping up to be a good one at Rebellion, as Solaris and Abaddon continue on their quests to put out the most daring and original fiction to be found anywhere in the multiverse. We’re publishing bright new talents, big names, and even venturing into non-fiction for the first time. It’s going to be a busy one – read on for our essential picks for the year ahead.
The Djinn Falls in Love and Other Stories edited by Jared Shurin and Mahvesh Murad
March 9, 2017
Mahvesh Murad (Midnight in Karachi) and Jared Shurin (Pornokitch) have put together an anthology quite unlike anything we’ve encountered before. The Djinn Falls in Love showcases a dazzling and diverse array of talent, including the likes of Nnedi Okorafor, Amal El-Mohtar and Saad Hossein, as they tell stories rooted in deep tradition. Forward looking, innovative and fresh, this is a fascinating study of legend and myth. And it also has a Neil Gaiman story, so there’s that.
The El Sombra Trilogy by Al Ewing (Abaddon)
January 10, 2017
Al Ewing is quite possibly mad, but almost certainly a genius, and The El Sombra Trilogy proves both points. What begins as an homage to the pulp heroes of yesterday, as Mexican superhero El Sombra battles the Nazi evils of a steam-driven Hitler and his Ultimate Reich, ultimately evolves into a daring and spectacular assault on the senses. Three very fine novels in one reality-warping package.
Generation Decks by Titus Chalk (Solaris)
April 6, 2017
Fans of Magic: the Gathering, this is for you! The first non-fiction title Solaris has ever published, Generation Decks is an unofficial history of the world’s greatest trading card game. Titus Chalk is your incredibly personable guide, and he has written a guide to Magic that is as much a treatise on geek inheritance of the Earth as it is an exploration of the effect the game has had on his own life. A fascinating story, and an insightful memoir that even non-Magic fans will enjoy. We can’t wait for you to read it.
Raven Stratagem by Yoon Ha Lee (Solaris)
June 13, 2017
Okay, strictly speaking this is science fiction – and really quite hard SF at that – but the technology in Yoon Ha Lee’s richly imagined space opera is so far advanced that it certainly feels like a fantasy at times. The sequel to Yoon’s astonishing debut Ninefox Gambit, Raven Stratagem is a stunning follow up from one of the brightest new voices in genre. Complex, ambitious, utterly compelling, this is really essential stuff.
Gods and Monsters: Food of the Gods by Cassandra Khaw (Abaddon)
May 9, 2017
Cass Khaw’s star is rapidly ascending, and we’re delighted to have been among the first to spot her talents. We introduced the world to Cass’s misanthropic servant of the gods in her debut novella Rupert Wong Cannibal Chef, and we’re publishing a collected print edition (which features a second, stellar, Rupert story) in the spring.
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As always, we have a huge amount of awesome to unleash this year! To narrow our selection down to just five books, however, we locked all of our authors in a room, and asked them to fight to the – no, just kidding. Instead we picked five fantastic debuts and starts of new series from established authors that we have lined up for the first half of 2017.
Kings of the Wyld by Nicholas Eames
A retired group of mercenaries must get the band back together for one last seemingly impossible mission in this fun, fast-paced fantasy debut full of heroes, humour and heart. John Gwynne described Kings of the Wyld as ‘a rollicking, page-turning, edge of your seat road trip of a book’, we couldn’t have put it better ourselves!
Sins of Empire by Brian McClellan
Brian McClellan – author of the Gemmell Morningstar award-winning debut Promise of Blood – is back with a brand new series set in his hugely popular Powder Mage world, featuring a host of vivid new characters (not to mention one or two familiar faces).
Sins of Empire showcases Brian’s storytelling prowess as its very best, with deadly politics, bone-crunching action and explosive magic. We just love the smell of gunpowder in the morning.
Soul of the World by David Mealing
David blew us away with his debut novel, Soul of the World, which has a great twist on a classic premise – what if instead of one ‘chosen one’, you had three? And what if they all have to lead their respective peoples against a rising darkness, or the world will fall?
David spins a fantastic tale of action, magic and adventure in a wonderfully vibrant fantasy world. This is one epic fantasy debut you will not want to miss.
You Die When You Die by Angus Watson
Dark humour! Visceral action! And a lot of blood. Yes, Angus Watson – author of the acclaimed Iron Age trilogy – is back with a bang.
His brilliant new novel, You Die When You Die, follows the story of Finn, a young warrior whose fledgling settlement is razed by invaders. Cast adrift on a strange new continent, Finn must undertake a perilous journey, battling monsters and hostile tribes while assassins snap at his heels. The good news is that he’s not alone on this adventure. The bad news is that some of his companions pose just as much danger to him as the unknown landscape.
Strange Practice by Vivian Shaw
After winning a legion of followers with her fan fiction, Vivian Shaw has now written her first novel, Strange Practice. With a heroine who treats rather than fights supernatural beings, this witty and fast-paced debut is sure to sweep you off your feet.
After inheriting a highly specialised medical practice Dr Greta Helsing spends her days keeping London’s supernatural community not-alive and well. But when a sect of murderous monks starts attacking Londoners, undead and human alike, Greta must use all her unusual skills to keep her supernatural clients – and the rest of London – safe.
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Angry Robot Books
A Man of Shadows by Jeff Noon
You may remember Jeff’s stunning acid-house inspired cyberpunk novel Vurt, which won the 1994 Arthur C Clarke award. Well, Jeff’s back with this spectacular noir science fiction, set in a place fixed half in daylight and half in night, where a detective must trace a missing young woman while catching a serial killer known only as Quicksilver. Comparable to China Mieville’s The City and The City.
The Stars Are Legion by Kameron Hurley
Described as “badass” by John Scalzi, this dark and brutal space opera is not for the faint of heart. A mix of thriller, sci-fi and horror it’s not an easy read but it’s completely enthralling. Hugo award winner Kameron is one of the most acclaimed new science fiction writers out there and this book is set to launch her into the stratosphere.
Dr. Potter’s Medicine Show by Eric Scott Fischl
A snake-oil shyster in a travelling show touts his magical cure-all elixir to the masses, but to some the tonic brings something much worse than they ever imagined. Bringing to mind Katherine Dunn’s Something Wicked This Way Comes Eric Scott Fischl’s debut is part history lesson, part fantasy and part horror that brings to alive a tantalising world of carnival folk and weird alchemical sorcery.
Hunger Makes the Wolf by Alex Wells
Dune meets Sons of Anarchy. A group of mercenaries, the Ghost Wolves, are operating on the fringes of a planet run by mega corporation Transrifts Inc. When member Hob Ravani’s uncle turns up dead and her best friend is kidnapped by creepy beings the Weathermen, Hob must fight with everything she has to uncover the truth. Alex Wells’ full-length debut is not to be missed.
The Rebellion’s Last Traitor by Nik Korpon
In a dystopian world ravaged by war and environmental collapse, one man fights history to discover the truth about his wife and child. Mystery and science fiction are combined in this stunning novel that can be described as Blade Runner meets Inception, with the Easter Uprising of 1916 thrown in for good measure. If that sounds weird, well it is, but it makes for an absolutely stunning novel.
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It doesn’t feel a year can have passed since Marc Aplin and His Band of Merry Fantasy Factioneers last challenged us to the unenviable task of selecting five of our most anticipated titles for the forthcoming year. However we’re delighted to have been invited back once again to pick through our 2017 booklist and single out our favourite children. Luckily for you dear reader (and unluckily for us poor picker) we have a stellar year coming up with even more great titles from some of our favourite bestselling authors and new discoveries since last year, so the challenge was real in narrowing it down to five titles that represent some of the dark fantasy, epic fantasy, magic fantasy and goblin-tastic fantasy that make up our remarkable list for 2017.
Wintersong by S. Jae-Jones
February 7, 2017
“All her life, Liesl has heard tales of the beautiful, dangerous Goblin King. They’ve enraptured her and inspired her musical compositions. Now eighteen, Liesl feels that her childhood dreams are slipping away. And when her sister is taken by the Goblin King, Liesl has no choice but to journey to the Underground to save her. But with time and the old laws working against her, Liesl must discover who she truly is before her fate is sealed.”
A beautiful, gothic re-working of a classic German fairy-tale meets Jim Henson’s Labyrinth. When the manuscript of S. Jae-Jones’ debut Wintersong reached Titan Towers we were blown away by her detailed and wondrous worldbuilding. We couldn’t think of a better story to officially be Titan’s first ever YA publication. If you’ve loved some of our bestselling titles from Christina Henry or V. E. Schwab in 2016 this is one you do not want to miss.
A Conjuring of Magic by V. E. Schwab
February 21, 2017
“Londons fall and kingdoms rise as darkness sweeps the Maresh Empire…”
And speaking of the Schwablin Queen, also in February we are bidding a bitter-sweet farewell to some of our favourite characters as we reach the concluding book in the bestselling Darker Shade of Magic trilogy. Last year Schwab left us on the edge of our seats with the cliff-hanger to end all cliff-hangers in A Gathering of Shadows, and now Kell, Rhys and Lila are back in a dazzlingly world of magical Londons and pirates. Will Lila finally get the ship of her dreams? Will Rhy be okay? Will Kell ever crack a smile? And most importantly, will Schwab leave anyone standing? We can’t say too much, but this is a white-knuckled ride to the very last line: you have been warned.
Hekla’s Children by James Brogden
March 7, 2017
“A decade ago teacher Nathan Brookes saw four students walk up a hill and vanish. Only one returned and with no memory of where she’d been. Now ten years later a body has surfaced bearing similarities to one of the missing children, but dating back to the Bronze Age. As Nathan begins to suffer terrible visions of his lost students, the sole survivor of the group emerges once more, desperate to return the body to the ground, because she knows the terrible secret to the Bronze Age warrior and the ancient evil he guards.”
A veritable literary feast of dark fantasy, mythic fiction and ancient history goodness, Hekla’s Children left us guessing what would happen next until the very last page. If you like the surreal horror of Joe Hill’s Horns and the beautiful arcane fantasy of Robert Holdstock’s classic Mythago Wood then this title from British new-comer Brogden is definitely one to check out.
Relics by Tim Lebbon
March 21, 2017
“Beneath the surface of London there exists a black market unlike anything we could imagine. Where for the right price and with the right connections collectors of the mysterious can become the proud owner of a mummified satyr, gryphon claws, and much, much more. These arcane relics offer a glimpse of a world that few ever believe existed, and Vince is an expert at finding such items. When he goes missing it’s down to Angela to track him down through the deadly underside of this world, but she’s going to have to be careful as it soon becomes clear her investigations threaten to let loose a deadly and ancient secret into the world.”
Deadly black market for mythical items? Check! Epic chase sequences? Check! Blood soaked deaths that would make Clive Barker proud? Check! It’s no secret we’ve long been fans of Tim Lebbon’s writing having published a number of novels from his prolific catalogue of works, but when read the pitch for a new series that would combine his commercial writing talents with his thrilling err thrillers and read-with-the-lights-on horror we were sold, and luckily in Relics Tim Lebbon more than delivered.
The Dragon’s Legacy by Deborah A. Wolf
April 4, 2017
“The last Aturan King is dying. Control of his weakening power over sa and ka is a lure; the Emperor stirs in his Forbidden City; in the Seared Lands, Eth bring secret death. Eight men and women take their first steps to war, unaware that they will face a greater threat; at the heart of the world, the Dragon stirs. A warrior will become Queen, a Queen will become a monster, and a boy plays his bird-skull flute to keep the shadows of death at bay.”
From living on a deserted island to growing up in a wildlife refuge in Alaska to working as an Arabic linguist, debut author Deborah A. Wolf has certainly gathered an eclectic array of life experiences. And luckily for us she’s put them all to great use in her first novel, which is a sumptuous start to an epic fantasy story that has us hooked from page one with the incredible and vivid worldbuilding that had us reminiscing about reading the Earthsea books for the very first time.
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Del Rey prides itself on publishing diverse, high-concept books bursting with big ideas, the kind of book that anyone can pull off the shelf and fall in love with. We’ve got post-apocalyptic dogs, hard-hitting epic fantasy thrillers, secret agencies besieged by super-powered commandos, wintry Russian fairytales, and the dark side of romantic destiny – so dig in, because no matter what you’re after, Del Rey has something that’ll fit the bill. Diaries at the ready, because here they come.
The Bear and the Nightingale by Katherine Arden
January 10, 2017
Del Rey kicks off 2017 with the most wonderful literary fantasy debut from Katherine Arden, THE BEAR AND THE NIGHTINGALE. This is a personal favourite of mine. I was the first person to finish this book in house (long commute!) and was chivvying the rest of the team to finish it so we could discuss how absolutely beautiful it is. As a huge fan of dark subversive fairy tales, it was an utterly captivating read for me. While it will appeal to all fantasy readers, this is a book with crossover appeal. It essentially reads like a Russian fairy story; full of folklore, mystery, snow and deep winter magic and with a wonderful female protagonist. It’s the most brilliant start to a series. – Gillian Green, Publishing Director
The One by John Marrs
May 4, 2017
In May we publish THE ONE by John Marrs – a completely addictive psychologic thriller our whole office has been raving about. John initially self-published this novel under the title A THOUSAND SMALL EXPLOSIONS, and it’s essentially Love, Actually with the darkness of Black Mirror. Set in a world where a scientist has discovered that everyone shares a gene with one other person – their soul mate – we follow five people as they search for love. But nothing’s ever as easy as it seems, and we very quickly learn that even soul mates have secrets, and some can be deadly. This novel is extraordinarily unique and original. It’s the true definition of a page-turner. – Emily Yau, Commissioning Editor
The Last Dog on Earth by Adrian J. Walker
June 15, 2017
In 2016 we published THE END OF THE WORLD RUNNING CLUB, by Adrian J. Walker, the explosive race-against-time thriller which was featured in Simon Mayo’s Radio 2 book club. We’re absolutely delighted that in 2017, Adrian’s second novel with Del Rey is being published: THE LAST DOG ON EARTH. Narrated by Lineker, an incredibly sweary yet lovable mongrel, and his nervous owner Reg, this is the story of a man and his dog doing all they can to survive in a post-apocalyptic London. When they find an orphan seeking refuge in their stairwell, they must take it upon themselves to rescue her, and in doing so, rescue themselves. This novel has all the warmth and wit of Matt Haig, the action-adventure pace of Joe Hill and an originality that is all its own. – Emily Yau, Commissioning Editor
The Regional Office is Under Attack! by Manuel Gonzales
April 12, 2017
We will also be publishing critically acclaimed Manuel Gonzales’ debut novel THE REGIONAL OFFICE IS UNDER ATTACK! This is an utter whirlwind of a book which I keep pitching at people as feminist Die Hard. (Which is obviously the way you improve Die Hard!) It’s smart, subversive and funny – a complete romp of a novel and a must for anyone who grew up watching Buffy the Vampire Slayer or enjoys the tv/films from the Marvel Universe. Not surprisingly the film rights have been snapped up. – Gillian Green, Publishing Director
Infernal (Paperback) by Mark de Jager
June 15, 2017
Coming to paperback in June is INFERNAL, a dungeon-plunging, sword-and-sorcery tornado of a novel from first-timer Mark de Jager. In a war-torn land hurtling towards a magical apocalypse, Stratus wakes alone, with only three things to his name: incredible physical and magical power, an unquenchable thirst for vengeance, and the bone-deep knowledge that he is not human.
Much like its anti-hero, INFERNAL is fast, bloody and brutal. It’s a riveting page-turning fantasy revenge thriller – think The Bourne Identity with a dash of Joe Abercrombie’s bestselling First Law books – all building towards the devastating truth behind Stratus’s phenomenal abilities. Mark de Jager delivers a jaw-dropping thrill ride of a debut novel that makes every page count, staking his claim as a striking new voice in fantasy – miss it at your peril.
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And that’s it for another year of Fantasy-Faction’s Publishers’ Choice. Do make sure you use the comment section below and let us know which covers you liked, which novels you were already excited for, which authors/books you’d never heard of before but are now on your radar!