More inexpensive ebook goodies!

For a limited time only, you can get your hands on the first six Fafhrd and the Gray Mouser books by Fritz Leiber for only 1.99$ each here.

Here's the blurb for the first one:

Swords and Deviltry, the first book of Leiber’s landmark series, introduces us to a strange world where our two strangers find the familiar in themselves and discover the icy power of female magic. Three master-magician femme fatales and a sprightly lad illuminate the bonds between father and son, the relationship between the bravado of the imagination and the courage of fools. A hedge wizard explains the cold war between the sexes. Mouse and Fafhrd meet again and learn the truth of how Mouse became the Gray Mouser. Together they traverse the smoke and mirrors of Lankhmar learning more and more of the foggy world in which they live, mapping the sinister silent symptoms of the never-ending night smog. They follow the night smog’s relation to the region’s longing for larceny and the hazy opiate of vanity. Last but certainly not least, they experience the pleasures and pains of the City of Sevenscore Thousand Smokers that will lead them to countless more adventures and misadventures.

You can still download the first volume of Roger Taylor's The Chronicles of Hawklan, The Call of the Sword for only 0.99$ here. The following installments (The Fall of Fyorlund, The Waking of Orthlund, and Into Narsindal) are also available for 2.99$ each.

Here's the blurb for The Call of the Sword:

The castle of Anderras Darion has stood abandoned and majestic for as long as anyone can remember. Then, from out of the mountains, comes the healer, Hawklan - a man with no memory of the past - to take possession of the keep with his sole companion, Gavor.

Across the country, the great fortress of Narsindalvak is a constant reminder of the victory won by the hero Ethriss in alliance with the three realms of Orthlund, Riddin and Fyorlund against the Dark Lord, Sumeral, hundreds of years before. But Rgoric, the ailing king of Fyorlund and protector of the peace, has fallen under the malign influence of the Lord Dan-Tor, and from the bleakness of Narsindal come ugly rumours. It is whispered that Mandrocs are abroad again and that the Dark Lord himself is stirring.

And in the remote fastness of Anderras Darion, Hawklan feels deep within himself the echoes of an ancient power and the unknown, yet strangely familiar, call to arms...

"The Call of the Sword" is Book One of The Chronicles of Hawklan.

You can read an extract from the book here.

In addition, all his other novels, many of which can be read as stand-alones, are also 2.99$ each!

This week's New York Times Bestsellers (November 23rd)

In hardcover:

Stephen King’s The Bazaar of Bad Dreams is down one spot, finishing the week at number 2. For more info about this title: Canada, USA, Europe.

George R. R. Martin's A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms is down eight positions, ending the week at number 18. For more info about this title: Canada, USA, Europe.

In paperback:

Andy Weir's The Martian maintains its position at number 2 (trade paperback).

Andy Weir's The Martian is down one position, ending the week at number 3.

Dean Koontz's Saint Odd is up six spots, finishing the week at number 6.

Ernest Cline’s Ready Player One is up three positions, ending the week at number 11 (trade paperback).

More inexpensive ebook goodies!

Don't know for how long, but the price went down and you can now get your hands on the digital edition of Robert Jackson Bennett's City of Stairs for only 1.99$ here.

Here's the blurb:

An atmospheric and intrigue-filled novel of dead gods, buried histories, and a mysterious, protean city--from one of America's most acclaimed young fantasy writers.

The city of Bulikov once wielded the powers of the gods to conquer the world, enslaving and brutalizing millions—until its divine protectors were killed. Now Bulikov has become just another colonial outpost of the world's new geopolitical power, but the surreal landscape of the city itself—first shaped, now shattered, by the thousands of miracles its guardians once worked upon it—stands as a constant, haunting reminder of its former supremacy.

Into this broken city steps Shara Thivani. Officially, the unassuming young woman is just another junior diplomat sent by Bulikov's oppressors. Unofficially, she is one of her country's most accomplished spies, dispatched to catch a murderer. But as Shara pursues the killer, she starts to suspect that the beings who ruled this terrible place may not be as dead as they seem—and that Bulikov's cruel reign may not yet be over.

Luna: New Moon

Every Ian McDonald adult title I've read since the creation of the Hotlist ended up in my top reads for that year. Hence, you can understand my excitement when I learned that he was taking a break from his foray into the YA market to return to the more hardcore science fiction works that made him an award-winning author. Luna: New Moon is the first installment in a two-book cycle that promises to be memorable.

Not sure exactly what is going to happen with the Everness YA series. A few years back, McDonald told me that he was under contract for three books and that Lou Anders had plans for more. But with three novels published and now that Lou has left Pyr, I don't know if there are future volumes in the works, or if the author will concentrate on adult material for the time being. . . Considering that at his best, Ian McDonald is as good or better than any other science fiction writers out there, I wouldn't mind seeing him spin quality yarns such as River of Gods, Brasyl, and The Dervish House for a while yet.

Here's the blurb:

The Moon wants to kill you. Whether it's being unable to pay your per diem for your allotted food, water, and air, or you just get caught up in a fight between the Moon's ruling corporations, the Five Dragons. You must fight for every inch you want to gain in the Moon's near feudal society. And that is just what Adriana Corta did.

As the leader of the Moon's newest "dragon," Adriana has wrested control of the Moon's Helium-3 industry from the Mackenzie Metal corporation and fought to earn her family's new status. Now, at the twilight of her life, Adriana finds her corporation, Corta Helio, surrounded by the many enemies she made during her meteoric rise. If the Corta family is to survive, Adriana's five children must defend their mother's empire from her many enemies... and each other.

Tor Books has been marketing this title as Game of Thrones on the moon, and I have to admit that it is an apt description. The rivalries between the families/corporations are at the heart of the tale that is Luna: New Moon, yet there's more to it than that. Think more of rival mafia families than competing corporate entities, so it has more to do with The Godfather than Game of Thrones. But you get the gist of it. It's an extremely devious and cutthroat environment. There is no law on the moon. Everything can be negotiated.

Speaking on the moon as the backdrop for this story, McDonald's worldbuilding is nothing short of superb. Seemingly effortlessly (with every new novel, McDonald somehow always makes this look easy), the author manages to capture the essence of what existing and thriving in such harsh conditions entail. As is usually his wont, the author's prose brings the moon and its inhabiants to life in vivid fashion. His undeniable eye for details creates an imagery and an atmosphere that will once again delight and impress readers in myriad ways. His narrative always makes you feel as though you're part of the action, and it's no different in this one.

The majority of past novels by McDonald took some time to get into, as the author habitually uses the early parts of each of his work to build the groundwork for what's to come. The casts of characters are always comprised of disparate protagonists and you can never tell how those multilayered plotlines will come together at the end. And yet, those previous works were all stand-alone books and were thus self-contained stories. As a two-volume series, this new tale moves a lot more slowly than what McDonald has accustomed us to in the past. There is the usual confusion of not really understanding where the author is taking the plot, which was expected. What wasn't was the fact that the ending doesn't offer as much in terms of resolution. Don't get me wrong. It sets the stage for what should be an awesome second installment. But I was expecting Luna: New Moon to stand a little better on its own.

The scope of the multi-perspective narrative in impressive, yet one has to wonder if there was need for so many POV characters. Time will tell, of course, but at times it does feel that some scenes and/or points of view feel like somewhat extraneous material. The graphic masturbation scene comes to mind as something that felt totally unnecessary. Although the cast is huge, the POVs focus on three generations of the Corta family, from Adriana Corta, the fifth Dragon and the founder of Corta Hélio, down to little Luna, her eight-year-old granddaughter. Like the mafia, family is everything to the Cortas. Which is why it was also interesting to get the perspective of Marina Calzaghe, an unrelated surface worker who unexpectedly gets sucked into the the Cortas' web of intrigue. As a matter of course, some POVs are more interesting than others, yet taken as a whole they give you a good understanding of how the rise of Corta Hélio was orchestrated and how their family/corporation fits in the greater scheme of things.

The pace is relatively slow for the better part of the first 300 pages or so. And then, when the endgame is in sight, things pick up and the proverbial shit hits the fan. If anything, I felt that the endgame was a bit rushed considering how slow the earlier portions of the book turned out to be. A more balanced rhythm may have made the novel more enjoyable. But as I mentioned, the ending makes it well nigh impossible not to want to read the sequel the moment it becomes available!

So how does Luna: New Moon stack up against Ian McDonald's previous masterpieces? Well, with the pacing issues and the fact that it's not a self-contained tale, it's hard to say. However, given the way it ends and with the potential it shows as far as what the second volume will bring to the dance, taken together the two installments could be as good, or even better, than anything McDonald has written to date. Time will tell, but it bodes well.

The final verdict: 7.75/10

Follow this link to read an excerpt from the book.

For more info about this title: Canada, USA, Europe

Win a copy of Terry Brooks' THE ELFSTONES OF SHANNARA

With the TV series soon to hit the screens, I'm giving away a copy of Terry Brooks' The Elfstones of Shannara to one lucky winner! For more info about this title: Canada, USA, Europe.

Here's the blurb:


Thousands of years after the destruction of the age of man and science, new races and magic now rule the world, but an imminent danger threatens. A horde of evil Demons is beginning to escape and bring death upon the land. Only Wil Ohmsford, the last of the Shannara bloodline, has the power to guard the Elven Princess Amberle on a perilous quest to the save the world, while the leader of the Demon force aims to stop their mission at any cost.

The rules are the same as usual. You need to send an email at reviews@(no-spam) with the header "ELFSTONES." Remember to remove the "no spam" thingy.

Second, your email must contain your full mailing address (that's snail mail!), otherwise your message will be deleted.

Lastly, multiple entries will disqualify whoever sends them. And please include your screen name and the message boards that you frequent using it, if you do hang out on a particular MB.

Good luck to all the participants!

More inexpensive ebook goodies!

You can now download Chuck Wendig's Zer0es for only 1.99$ here.

Here's the blurb:

Five hackers—an Anonymous-style rabble-rouser, an Arab Spring hacktivist, a black-hat hacker, an old-school cipherpunk, and an online troll—are detained by the U.S. government, forced to work as white-hat hackers for Uncle Sam in order to avoid federal prison. At a secret complex known only as "the Lodge," where they will spend the next year working as an elite cyber-espionage team, these misfits dub themselves "the Zeroes."

But once the Zeroes begin to work, they uncover secrets that would make even the most dedicated conspiracy theorist's head spin. And soon they're not just trying to serve their time, they're also trying to perform the ultimate hack: burrowing deep into the U.S. government from the inside, and hoping they'll get out alive. Packed with electric wit and breakneck plot twists, Zer0es is an unforgettable thrill ride through the seedy underbelly of "progress."

In addition, you can get your hands on the first thirteen volumes of Robert Jordan's The Wheel of Time for only 4.99$ each here.

Here's the blurb:

The Wheel of Time turns and Ages come and go, leaving memories that become legend. Legend fades to myth, and even myth is long forgotten when the Age that gave it birth returns again. In the Third Age, an Age of Prophecy, the World and Time themselves hang in the balance. What was, what will be, and what is, may yet fall under the Shadow.

Extract from C. S. Friedman's DREAMSEEKER

Thanks to the generosity of the author, here's an extract from C. S. Friedman's Dreamseeker. For more info about this title: Canada, USA, Europe.

Here's the blurb:

When Jessica Drake learned that her DNA didn’t match that of her parents, she had no idea that the search for her heritage would put her family’s lives in danger, or force her to cross into another world. In an alternate Earth dominated by individuals with unnatural powers called Gifts, Jessica learned that there was a curse within her blood, one so feared that all who possessed it were destroyed on sight. For she was a Dreamwalker, and the same dark Gift that would allow her to enter the dreams of others would eventually destroy her mind and spread insanity to all those around her.

Now she is back with her family, but there is no peace to be found. Her childhood home has been destroyed, her mother’s mind is irreparably damaged, and the Gift of the Dreamwalkers is beginning to manifest in her in terrifying ways.

When a stranger invades her dreams and creatures from her nightmares threaten to cross into the waking universe, Jessica knows she must return to the alternate Earth where she was born and seek allies… even if doing so means she must bargain with those she fears the most.

Dreamseeker is the gripping sequel to C.S. Friedman’s Dreamwalker.


Her final dash is sudden, but I’m right behind her, and I’m ready for it. As she enters the arch I launch myself at her, closing the gap between us with all the reckless ferocity of a baseball player sliding into home plate, grabbing hold of her so that she can no longer pass through the dream portal alone. The force of my momentum knocks us both off our feet—and then suddenly we’re falling through the archway together, and we hit the ground on the far side with enough force to drive the breath from my body.

Fear and elation flood my soul: I made it!

But to where?

Thick grey fog surrounds us, so I can’t see much of anything. While I struggle to get my bearings the girl breaks away from me and gets to her feet. I see a flash of fear in her eyes; clearly she didn’t think I could follow her here. Then she’s running again, full speed this time, and by the time I can get to my feet the fog has swallowed her whole.

I look up at the shadows looming over me, tall and thin, their crowns spreading into a dark mass overhead. Trees? Am I in some kind of forest? There are long black streamers trailing down from unseen branches, and I fervently hope they’re just some kind of hanging moss. The ground beneath me is soft and damp, and it takes impressions well; I realize that I can see her footprints clearly.

I start to follow her. The fog changes as I do, shifting in color from bluish gray to a dull green, then to brownish mauve. It’s still thick enough to hide her from my sight, so I’m forced to run blind. The trees are also changing, shrinking in both girth and height, and there is less and less of the black stuff hanging from their branches. All in all the place doesn’t look as threatening as before, but I’m not reassured. I’m chasing a girl who invaded my dreams. The rest of this is just window dressing.

Finally the fog thins out, and I see that the last of the trees are gone. There’s an open plain ahead, and my quarry is visible in the distance. She must sense my approach, because she glances back nervously over her shoulder to see where I am. Too close for her comfort, apparently. She starts running even faster, and I sense desperation in the effort. This time I’m hard-pressed to keep up. But all of that only increases my determination: I’m not going to let this strange creature get away from me until I find out how—and why—she’s invaded my dreamscape.

Now the entire world is changing around me, far more dramatically than before. First I’m running on a field of plain dirt, then it’s a field of grass, then it’s poppies stretching out as far as the eye can see. Overhead the sun is yellow, then white, then red and swollen, filling half the sky. Then yellow again. Whatever dream world we’ve entered, it appears to be totally unstable.

There’s a wide hill ahead of us, and she’s starting up its slope. It’s not very high, but once she goes over the top I won’t be able to see her any more. I try to run even faster, but I’m already going at top speed, and my legs are starting to get tired. How long have I been chasing her? I thought it was only a few minutes, but now it feels like an eternity. Dream time.

But if this is a dream, then I can control it, right? Thus far I’ve been too busy running to think about strategy, but surely I can leverage that to my advantage. As I continue running I try to detach my mind from the pounding rhythm of the chase, focusing my attention on the hill itself, trying to unmake it. God knows, this dream is volatile enough that doing so should be easy, but to my surprise the alien landscape rejects my efforts. I try to make other changes, but nothing responds to me. I can’t make a single poppy wilt or a butterfly leave its perch, much less flatten a multi-ton mound of soil.

She’s nearing the summit now. I’m getting tired. Any minute now I’ll lose sight of her, perhaps for good. And all the answers she might provide will be lost.

I can’t let that happen.

I try again to alter the dreamscape, drawing upon the force of my frustration as a kind of fuel. And after what seems like an eternity the dreamscape finally responds. I see a tiny bit of soil come loose from the top of the hill and roll down the slope, breaking up as it does so, and I know that I caused that. But it’s all I can do. Part of me is elated to have managed even that much, but part of me wants to scream in frustration, because I can’t seem to do anything useful. This unstable world shows amazing tenacity when I’m the one who wants to change it.

I focus all my attention back on running, not wanting to lose her. But by the time I reach the base of the hill she’s already at the top. The slope turns out to be much steeper than I expected, and covered with loose rocks that shift underfoot, forcing me to concentrate on each step. Progress is agonizingly slow. By the time I reach the top she’s long out of sight, and I just pray that from that vantage point I can spot her again.

I pause for a moment at the top to catch my breath and take stock of the situation.

The view on the other side of the hill looks like it’s from a completely different dream. There’s a vast lake stretching out to the horizon in all directions, its water so still that the surface is like a mirror. The sun (still yellow) reflects from it with such painful intensity that I’m forced to squint to see things clearly. I can make out a narrow tongue of land extending into the lake, from the base of the hill, but it’s not made of regular earth, rather some kind of black sand. I can see the girl’s footprints in it, though not as clearly as in the forest soil. Her trail leads down the hillside, along the length of the peninsula, then out into the lake itself.

Or rather, onto the lake.

She’s running on top of it.

At first I figure maybe there are stepping stones right under the surface—the mirrored water could hide anything—but her feet aren’t splashing when they hit the lake, as they would if that were the case. Anyway, there’s no reason dreamwater can’t support a human being, if the dreamer wants it to.

In the distance an island of black rock juts up from the lake; stark and jagged, it’s her obvious destination. There’s a tall building perched on its peak, and at first glance it looks like a castle of some kind. But then I blink and it looks more like a cathedral. Another blink turns it into a ziggurat, only with lines of windows instead of ledges running around the outside in a spiral. It’s like the building itself can’t decide what it wants to be. The only thing that remains constant through all the transformations is the shape of the windows: narrow and peaked, just like the new arches that appeared in my black plain. Through them I can see flickering movement, but though I’m too far away to make out details, I get the sense that no two windows look in on the same interior.

The avatar girl is halfway to the island.

With renewed energy I start down the hill after her, half running, half stumbling. The sight of the strange island has energized me, and even if she manages to lose me now, I might be able to find some answers there. Soon I’m racing down the length of the narrow peninsula, bracing myself to step out onto the lake’s surface, just like she did. Because the same rules should hold for both of us, yes?

No such luck.

My first step splashes down into ice-cold water and I land on something loose and slippery. I lose my balance and go flying forward, landing face first in the frigid stuff with a force that sends up gouts of white spray in all directions. Ripples spread out from me like the concentric circles of a great target. When I surface, coughing, it takes me a few seconds to find a section of the lake bed stable enough to stand on. The stones underwater are slick, and like glass marbles they shift beneath my feet with every movement.

Jesus. How am I supposed to follow the girl now? This water is too cold for me to even contemplate swimming, and there’s no way I can walk any distance on such unstable ground. I look up, and the sight of her walking so easily across the surface of the lake fills me with frustration and anger. Why can she control this dreamscape so easily, while I have to strain to dislodge a single clump of earth? It shouldn’t be that way. A stranger shouldn’t be able to control my own dream better than I can.

Unless, I think suddenly, it isn’t my dream at all.

The mere thought sends a shiver down my spine, but there’s no denying that all the evidence points to that. If I were the true invader here, someone who burst into her world—her mindscape—without invitation, then control of this setting would come naturally to her, and I would be powerless to change things. Which seems to be exactly what’s happening.

No, I remind myself. I’m not completely powerless. I did change this landscape, albeit minimally. And maybe now that I understand the rules of the place I’ll be able to do more.

Reaching down into the water with all the force of my mind, I attempt to reshape the lake bed. It would be foolish to try to make the water itself support me, like she’s doing; one moment’s inattention might get me dumped back into the frigid lake. But moving dirt from one place to another offers a more permanent solution. So, gritting my teeth from the strain of the effort, I try to mold this dream as I would one of my own, superimposing my preferred reality over the current one. The task should require no more than a concentrated thought, but even though I strain my utmost, there’s no response. Then, just as I’m about to give up in frustration, a thin strip of earth begins to rise up from underneath the lake. Water falls back from its flanks as it breaches the surface, and a narrow land bridge takes shape. It’s only a foot wide and a few yards in length, and it’s so close to the water’s surface that ripples lap over the edge of it, but as I climb up onto it I feel confident I can extend it all the way to the black island, and once I do that, it should stay in place even if I get distracted.

Finally I’m standing on it, swaying slightly on its wet, uneven surface, ready to get moving again. I look up to see if my quarry is still visible. She is.

She’s watching me.

She’s almost at the island, but she’s not running any more. She’s just standing on the water’s surface, her eyes, narrow and dark, fixed on me. The message in them is clear: how DARE you try to take control of my dream! Slowly she raises both her hands, like a conductor signaling an orchestra to start, and I know in my gut that something very bad is about to happen. Is she going to try to unmake my land bridge? I prepare to defend it (however on earth you’d do that), but to my surprise, the dream-construct remains steady beneath my feet. That’s not her target. The water surrounding me is beginning to move, however, and slowly it draws back from the shoreline, revealing the lake bottom. Fish are flopping helplessly in tiny pools as the receding tide leaves them stranded—

Oh, shit. I’ve seen too many disaster movies to not know what’s happening. Or, more precisely, what’s about to happen.

Desperately I look around for high ground. Or something I can climb. Or even something to hang on to, before the great wave that she’s summoning hits me like a giant flyswatter. But there’s only the one low hill behind me, and even a small tsunami would sweep right over that.

No trees in sight.

No protection anywhere.

The water in the center of the lake is starting to rise up now, and a foam-capped ridge is taking shape that stretches from horizon to horizon, blocking the girl from my sight. I can’t be sure of its position, but I can measure its rise as window after window of the strange citadel is hidden from my sight. The ground beneath my feet has started to tremble, and a cold wind gusts across my face. It’s coming fast.

For one brief, crazy instant I want to stand my ground. I want her to see that her dream can’t scare me off, no matter how scary she makes it. Maybe she’d respect such an effort and tell me what’s going on.

Yeah. Right.

I need to wake myself up. Now.

Turning my attention inward, I reach out with my mind, trying to reconnect to the reality of my sleeping body. Waking up should be easy once that’s done. But even as I begin to concentrate, the wave starts to transform. Color bleeds from it, the stormy blue water becomes a dull grey. The foam turns to white mist, then to smoke, then it’s carried away on the wind. The wave itself starts to collapse, and row after row of windows become visible again as it falls back into the lake that spawned it.

Stunned, I hesitate.

I can see the girl now, and her expression is one of pure horror. She’s staring at a point directly above the collapsed wave, where a wraith-like shadow has suddenly appeared. It’s darker than any natural shadow would be, and its presence is so cold that even from where I stand I feel its chill. I sense that it has no substance in the normal meaning of the word, but rather is a void, a gaping wound in the dreamscape into which all reality is draining.

It’s heading straight toward her.

With a cry of terror, the girl begins to run to the island. She’s hasn’t got far to go, but the shadow-wraith is moving quickly, and in its wake the entire dream world seems to be dissolving. Beams of sunlight fade as if the wraith passes through them, the shining surface of the water grows dull beneath it, color bleeds from the sky and the clouds overhead, and even the sun dims as the wraith passes in front of it, its bright golden surface dulled to a muddy brown, its brilliant light all but extinguished.

I need to leave this nightmare now, before the horrific thing notices me. But hard as I try, I can’t seem to wake myself up. That’s really frightening. Ever since my visit to the other world I’ve been able to end my dreams at will, just by shifting my awareness to my sleeping body. The fact that I can’t do so now suggests that the rules I’ve come to take for granted don’t operate here.

I turn back the way I came and start running. Hopefully if I can get closer to the arch—closer to my own dreamscape— I’ll be able to escape this nightmare.

But as I turn, it seems to notice me. And in that instant, as it pauses in mid-air deciding who to go after, I can sense the full scope of its horrific nature.

It is Death. It is Pain.

And it is hungry.

I flee from the terrible thing as an animal would flee, blind in my panic. All thoughts of exhaustion are gone now, all muscular weakness forgotten. I will run till the last ounce of strength leaves my body and I collapse, rather than let this thing touch me.

It’s following me now. I know that because the world is transforming around me, reflecting its horrific nature. I run through a field of poppies, but all the flowers are dead, motionless insects strewn like black snow across their browning petals. I run through an open meadow, but the grass has been eaten away to stumps, and corpses of fallen birds litter the ground as far as the eye can see. I run into a forest, but the ground is buried in fallen branches and rotting leaves, and the place is so putrid with the stench of decay that I can barely breathe.

The arch must be here somewhere. It must be! I have to find it before that thing catches up with me.

Suddenly my foot catches on something underneath the dead leaves. I’m falling—falling!—and I cry out in fear as I hit the ground. Color is draining out of the whole world now, leaving only shades of murky gray, which means the creature is close, very close. I roll over onto my back so that I can defend myself—but how does one defend against an incarnation of Death?

It’s closer than I’d imagined, and though I can see nothing but shadow when I look directly at it, I can sense vast black wings spreading over me, blotting out the last vestiges of sunlight. Instinctively I raise up my arm to guard my eyes, and something sharp and cold rakes across it. The pain is like nothing I have ever felt before. I hear myself crying out in terror, and I try again to wake myself up. No luck. I’m trapped here.

A ghostly voice cries out my name in the distance. My mind is so paralyzed by fear that at first the sound doesn’t register. The death-wraith is lunging at me again, and I roll to one side. The frigid claws pass so close to my face my cheek feels numb. What will happen to my waking mind if this thing kills me here? Will I ever wake up again?


This time I recognize the voice, and I feel a spark of hope. I focus myself body and soul on my brother’s voice, using it as a lifeline to connect me to the world of living things. Even as the death-wraith attacks me again I reach out for Tommy with all the strength that is left in my soul, trying to absorb his perspective into myself as he stands over my sleeping body—



I awoke gasping. My body was shaking violently, and I was sick from terror. But I was also home again, and that meant the creature was gone. Thank God.

My brother was kneeling on the bed, his hands on my shoulders. He’d been shaking me, trying to wake me up, and not until my eyes were fully open did he stop. “Are you okay?”

For a moment I had no words. I just lay there, drinking in reality. “Yeah,” I rasped at last. “I think so.”

“You were moaning in your sleep. I figured whatever dream was causing that, you’d want to wake up.”

I whispered, “Good instinct.” Then I asked, “Did anyone else hear me?”

He shook his head. “They’re all asleep. I wasn’t.” He paused. “It wasn’t that loud, just . . . damn scary-sounding.”

“Damn right,” I muttered. “Thanks.”

What would have happened to me if my brother hadn’t tried to wake me up? Would I have been trapped in that dream forever? I remembered the death-wraith, and I shuddered. At least it lacked the power to follow me here. The waking world was my refuge.

I tried to lever myself up to a sitting position. My muscles were sore, like I’d really been running for hours, and the upper part of my left arm stung fiercely. I winced and used my other arm to push myself upright. The sensations were just echoes of my dream, I knew, and they should fade soon.

“So what scared you so badly?” Tommy asked. “Can you talk about it?”

I sighed. I didn’t feel up to telling the whole story right then, but he deserved at least the bare bones of it. He might well have saved my life. “I ran into the avatar again. This time I followed her through a door, which led me into another dream, not one of mine . . . I think maybe it was her dream. Then a death-wraith appeared and the whole dream fell apart. It was attacking me when you woke me up.” I put my hand on my arm where the claws had torn my flesh—

And I froze.


There was pain in that spot. Way too much pain for a mere dream memory. The sleeve of my sleep shirt was warm and wet.

It was a dream, I told myself. Just a dream. I probably banged my arm against a bedpost while I was trying to wake up. Or something.

Slowly I pushed my sleeve up my arm, not wanting to see what was under it, but knowing I had to. The source of the blood turned out to be a jagged slash that ran diagonally across my arm. It wasn’t deep, but blood was oozing out of it, and the surrounding flesh was red and swollen.

I think I was more afraid in that moment than I had been while the wraith was actually attacking me. Because however frightening that had been, it was just a dream. This . . . this was real.

It was my brother who found his voice first, and with it the perfect words for that moment.

“Holy crap,” he muttered.

More inexpensive ebook goodies!

Until the end of the year, you can download Brandon Sanderson's The Alloy of Law for only 2.99$ here.

Here's the blurb:

Fresh from the success of The Way of Kings, Brandon Sanderson, best known for completing Robert Jordan’s Wheel of Time®, takes a break to return to the world of the bestselling Mistborn series.

Three hundred years after the events of the Mistborn trilogy, Scadrial is now on the verge of modernity, with railroads to supplement the canals, electric lighting in the streets and the homes of the wealthy, and the first steel-framed skyscrapers racing for the clouds.

Kelsier, Vin, Elend, Sazed, Spook, and the rest are now part of history—or religion. Yet even as science and technology are reaching new heights, the old magics of Allomancy and Feruchemy continue to play a role in this reborn world. Out in the frontier lands known as the Roughs, they are crucial tools for the brave men and women attempting to establish order and justice.

One such is Waxillium Ladrian, a rare Twinborn, who can Push on metals with his Allomancy and use Feruchemy to become lighter or heavier at will. After twenty years in the Roughs, Wax has been forced by family tragedy to return to the metropolis of Elendel. Now he must reluctantly put away his guns and assume the duties and dignity incumbent upon the head of a noble house. Or so he thinks, until he learns the hard way that the mansions and elegant tree-lined streets of the city can be even more dangerous than the dusty plains of the Roughs.

At the publisher's request, this title is being sold without Digital Rights Management software (DRM) applied.

You can also get your hands on the author's definitive edition of Peter Orullian's The Unremembered for only 2.99$ here.

Here's the blurb:

Peter Orullian's epic fantasy debut The Unremembered has been critically acclaimed, earning starred reviews and glowing praise. But now it gets even better. In anticipation of the second volume in Orullian's epic series, and for one of the few times in our publishing history, we at Tor are choosing to relaunch a title with an author's definitive edition.

In addition to stunning updates to the original text, we're also including an exclusive short story set in the world of Vault of Heaven as well as a sneak preview of the sequel, Trial of Intentions, and a glossary to the universe.

The gods who created this world have abandoned it. In their mercy however, they sealed the rogue god-and the monstrous creatures he created to plague mortal kind-in the vast and inhospitable wasteland of the Bourne. The magical Veil that protected humankind for millennia has become weak and creatures of nightmare have now come through. Those who stand against evil know that only drastic measures will prevent a devastating invasion.

Tahn Junell is a hunter who's unaware of the dark forces that imperil his world, in much the same way his youth is lost to memory. But an imperious man who wears the sigil of the feared Order of Sheason and a beautiful woman of the legendary Far have shared with Tahn the danger. They've asked him, his sister, and his friends to embark with them on a journey that will change their lives . . . and the world . . . forever. And in the process, he'll remember . . .

A bit of humor. . .

Didn't know Yoda was such a pervert! :P

Patrick Rothfuss contest winners!

Thanks to the generosity of the great folks at Daw Books, these three winners will get their hands on a copy of the trade paperback edition of Patrick Rothfuss' The Slow Regard of Silent Things! For more info about this title: Canada, USA, Europe.

The winners are:

- Steve Howard, from Stamford, Connecticut, USA

- Bobby V. Berry, Jr., from Highlands Ranch, Colorado, USA

- Jason Bellows, from Orem Utah, USA

Many thanks to all the participants!

More inexpensive ebook goodies!

There are quite a few Raymond E. Feist titles available on the cheap! Shadow of a Dark Queen, opening chapter of the Serpentwar series, can be downloaded for only 2.99$ here!

Here's the blurb:

Acclaimed, New York Times bestselling fantasist Raymond E. Feist gets his masterful Serpentwar Saga off to a spectacular start with Shadow of a Dark Queen. Feist’s classic epic fantasy adventure returns readers to ever-imperiled Midkemia, a breathtaking, richly imagined realm of magic and intrigue, where two unlikely heroes must rally the forces of the land to stand firm against a malevolent race of monsters intent upon conquest and annihilation. Locus magazine calls Shadow of a Dark Queen, “the place to start for those yet to discover Feist’s fantasy worlds.” For fans of Terry Goodkind, George R. R. Martin, and Terry Brooks—and for anyone not already in the thrall of this astonishing author’s literary magic—that is excellent advice indeed.

The sequel, Rise of the Merchant Prince, is available for the same low price here.

You can also sample another one of the author's bestselling series with Talon of the Silver Hawk, first volume of the Conclave of Shadows series, available for only 2.99$ here.

Here's the blurb:

A sweeping new epic fantasy series from worldwide bestselling author Raymond E Feist, marking the 20th year since the first publication of his first novel, Magician. Featuring one of the most fascinating characters and scenarios ever created in the genre, The Conclave of Shadows promises to become one of the great all-time classics in the field.

Among the Orosini tribe, every boy must undergo the traditional manhood ritual in order to understand his place in the universe and discover his manhood name. Kielianapuna must survive on the remote mountain peak of Shatana Higo until the gods grant him his vision. But Kieli has already waited for four days and nights, and now he is cold, lonely, despairing, and very, very tired…

When he is woken by the terrifying sensation of sharp claws piercing his skin and finds a rare silver hawk upon his arm, it is such a disorientating moment that he is not sure whether it has even happened, or whether it was a vision.

Returning to his home, nameless and still a child, Kieli stumbles upon devastation. His village is being burned, his people slaughtered. Although it means certain death, Kieli throws himself into the battle…

Against all the odds, he survives, alone of all the Orosini, who have been cut down where they stand: every last man, woman and child.

A distant voice echoes in his mind: Rise up and be a talon for your people…

The visitation of the bird on Shatana Higo was indeed his naming vision. He is a boy called Kielianapuna no more. Now he is Talon of the Silver Hawk, a man who must avenge the murder of his people, whatever that may take…

You can also get the digital edition of the second installment, King of Foxes, for only 3.99$ here.

There are a number of other Feist titles available in the 2.99$-3.99$ range, including some Demonwar books and Prince of the Blood. Check it out!

Author Guy Gavriel Kay receiving the Member of the Order of Canada

Guy Gavriel Kay is Canada’s foremost author of speculative fiction. His novels are intricate fusions of history and the fantastic, with imagined characters and settings inspired by recognizable, real-world cultures, and grounded in rigorous research. Since 1990, all of his books have become national bestsellers, and his writing has been published in over 25 languages, to great acclaim. He addresses powerful subjects such as cultural imperialism, religious extremism, and the relationship between art and power, distinctively fusing narrative strength with the elegant prose and ambitious themes of literary fiction.


Fully deserved! Congratulations to Guy Gavriel Kay! =)

More inexpensive ebook goodies!

You can now download Max Gladstone's Three Parts Dead for only 4.99$ here.

Here's the blurb:

A god has died, and it’s up to Tara, first-year associate in the international necromantic firm of Kelethres, Albrecht, and Ao, to bring Him back to life before His city falls apart.

Her client is Kos, recently deceased fire god of the city of Alt Coulumb. Without Him, the metropolis’s steam generators will shut down, its trains will cease running, and its four million citizens will riot.

Tara’s job: resurrect Kos before chaos sets in. Her only help: Abelard, a chain-smoking priest of the dead god, who’s having an understandable crisis of faith.

When Tara and Abelard discover that Kos was murdered, they have to make a case in Alt Coulumb’s courts—and their quest for the truth endangers their partnership, their lives, and Alt Coulumb’s slim hope of survival.

Set in a phenomenally built world in which justice is a collective force bestowed on a few, craftsmen fly on lightning bolts, and gargoyles can rule cities, Three Parts Dead introduces readers to an ethical landscape in which the line between right and wrong blurs.

Follow this link to read an extract from the novel.

You can also get your hands on the sequel, Two Serpents Rise, for the same price here.

All three volumes of Bernard Cornwell's The Warlord Chronicles are available for 4.99$ each!

- The Winter King
- Enemy of God
- Excalibur

Here's the blurb for the first volume:

It takes a remarkable writer to make an old story as fresh and compelling as the first time we heard it. With The Winter King, the first volume of his magnificent Warlord Chronicles, Bernard Cornwell finally turns to the story he was born to write: the mythic saga of King Arthur.

The tale begins in Dark Age Britain, a land where Arthur has been banished and Merlin has disappeared, where a child-king sits unprotected on the throne, where religion vies with magic for the souls of the people. It is to this desperate land that Arthur returns, a man at once utterly human and truly heroic: a man of honor, loyalty, and amazing valor; a man who loves Guinevere more passionately than he should; a man whose life is at once tragic and triumphant.

As Arthur fights to keep a flicker of civilization alive in a barbaric world, Bernard Cornwell makes a familiar tale into a legend all over again.

In addition, Neil Gaiman's collection of short story, Fragile Things, can be downloaded for only 5.99$ here.

Here's the blurb:

Fragile Things is a sterling collection of exceptional tales from Neil Gaiman, multiple award-winning (the Hugo, Bram Stoker, Newberry, and Eisner Awards, to name just a few), #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Graveyard Book, Anansi Boys, Coraline, and the groundbreaking Sandman graphic novel series. A uniquely imaginative creator of wonders whose unique storytelling genius has been acclaimed by a host of literary luminaries from Norman Mailer to Stephen King, Gaiman’s astonishing powers are on glorious displays in Fragile Things. Enter and be amazed!

There are a few more Gaiman titles available for the same price:

- Coraline
- Smoke and Mirrors
- Stardust
- Anansi Boys

This week's New York Times Bestsellers (November 16th)

In hardcover:

Stephen King’s The Bazaar of Bad Dreams debuts at number 1. For more info about this title: Canada, USA, Europe.

George R. R. Martin's A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms is down one position, ending the week at number 10. For more info about this title: Canada, USA, Europe.

Gregory Maguire’s After Alice is up one spot, finishing the week at number 17.

In paperback:

Andy Weir's The Martian maintains its position at number 2.

Andy Weir's The Martian is down one position, ending the week at number 2 (trade paperback).

Dean Koontz's Saint Odd debuts at number 12.

Ernest Cline’s Ready Player One maintains its position at number 14 (trade paperback).

More inexpensive ebook goodies!

There is a slew of good deals available and I'm not sure how long they will last. The two volumes of Gene Wolfe's The Book of the New Sun are available for 4.99$ each.

- Shadow and Claw
- Swords and Citadel

Here's the blurb:

The Book of the New Sun is unanimously acclaimed as Gene Wolfe's most remarkable work, hailed as "a masterpiece of science fantasy comparable in importance to the major works of Tolkien and Lewis" by Publishers Weekly, and "one of the most ambitious works of speculative fiction in the twentieth century" by The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction. Shadow & Claw brings together the first two books of the tetralogy in one volume:

The Shadow of the Torturer is the tale of young Severian, an apprentice in the Guild of Torturers on the world called Urth, exiled for committing the ultimate sin of his profession -- showing mercy toward his victim.

Ursula K. Le Guin said, "Magic stuff . . . a masterpiece . . . the best science fiction I've read in years!"

The Claw of the Conciliator continues the saga of Severian, banished from his home, as he undertakes a mythic quest to discover the awesome power of an ancient relic, and learn the truth about his hidden destiny.

"Arguably the finest piece of literature American science fiction has yet produced [is] the four-volume Book of the New Sun."--Chicago Sun-Times

"The Book of the New Sun establishes his preeminence, pure and simple. . . . The Book of the New Sun contains elements of Spenserian allegory, Swiftian satire, Dickensian social consciousness and Wagnerian mythology. Wolfe creates a truly alien social order that the reader comes to experience from within . . . once into it, there is no stopping."--The New York Times Book Review

The same thing goes for all four volumes of Daniel Abraham's The Long Price Quartet.

- A Shadow in Summer
- A Betrayal in Winter
- An Autumn War
- The Price of Spring

Here's the blurb for the first volume:

The powerful city-state of Saraykeht is a bastion of peace and culture, a major center of commerce and trade. Its economy depends on the power of the captive spirit, Seedless, an andat bound to the poet-sorcerer Heshai for life. Enter the Galts, a juggernaut of an empire committed to laying waste to all lands with their ferocious army. Saraykeht, though, has always been too strong for the Galts to attack, but now they see an opportunity. If they can dispose of Heshai, Seedless's bonded poet-sorcerer, Seedless will perish and the entire city will fall. With secret forces inside the city, the Galts prepare to enact their terrible plan.

In the middle is Otah, a simple laborer with a complex past. Recruited to act as a bodyguard for his girlfriend's boss at a secret meeting, he inadvertently learns of the Galtish plot. Otah finds himself as the sole hope of Saraykeht, either he stops the Galts, or the whole city and everyone in it perishes forever.

The same for the first two Runelords installments by David Farland.

- The Runelords
- Brotherhood of the Wolf

Here's the blurb for the first book:

Young Prince Gaborn Val Orden of Mystarria is traveling in disguise on a journey to ask for the hand of the lovely Princess Iome of Sylvarresta. Armed with his gifts of strength and perception, Prince Gaborn and his warrior bodyguard stop in a local tavern along the way. Immediately, they spot a pair of assassins who have their sights set on Princess Iome's father. As the prince and his bodyguard race to warn the king of this impending danger, they realize that more than the royal family is at risk, the very fate of the Earth is in jeopardy.

Peter Watts' Firefall books are also available for 4.99$ each.

- Blindsight
- Echopraxia

Here's the blurb for Blindsight:

Two months since the stars fell...

Two months since sixty-five thousand alien objects clenched around the Earth like a luminous fist, screaming to the heavens as the atmosphere burned them to ash. Two months since that moment of brief, bright surveillance by agents unknown.

Two months of silence, while a world holds its breath.

Now some half-derelict space probe, sparking fitfully past Neptune's orbit, hears a whisper from the edge of the solar system: a faint signal sweeping the cosmos like a lighthouse beam. Whatever's out there isn't talking to us. It's talking to some distant star, perhaps. Or perhaps to something closer, something en route.

So who do you send to force introductions on an intelligence with motives unknown, maybe unknowable? Who do you send to meet the alien when the alien doesn't want to meet?

You send a linguist with multiple personalities, her brain surgically partitioned into separate, sentient processing cores. You send a biologist so radically interfaced with machinery that he sees x-rays and tastes ultrasound, so compromised by grafts and splices he no longer feels his own flesh. You send a pacifist warrior in the faint hope she won't be needed, and the fainter one she'll do any good if she is. You send a monster to command them all, an extinct hominid predator once called vampire, recalled from the grave with the voodoo of recombinant genetics and the blood of sociopaths. And you send a synthesist—an informational topologist with half his mind gone—as an interface between here and there, a conduit through which the Dead Center might hope to understand the Bleeding Edge.

You send them all to the edge of interstellar space, praying you can trust such freaks and retrofits with the fate of a world. You fear they may be more alien than the thing they've been sent to find.

But you'd give anything for that to be true, if you only knew what was waiting for them...

And there are plenty of other titles by authors such as Neil Gaiman, R. A. Salvatore, Robert Jordan, Bernard Cornwell, Charles Stross, Chuck Wendig, Elizabeth Bear, Elizabeth Haydon, Frank Herbert, Isaac Asimov, Jack Whyte, and much, much more!

Wizard and Glass

With Stephen King finishing the series a few years back, I had been meaning to return to The Dark Tower for quite some time. My review of The Waste Lands dates from January 2012, so it was high time to give the fourth installment a shot. And given that Wizard and Glass turned out to be the best of the bunch thus far, I'm glad I elected to do so!

With many of the new releases failing to truly capture my imagination these last couple of months, I'm planning on finishing King's magnum opus before the end of 2016. The same goes for Jacqueline Carey's first Kushiel trilogy. I know that it's important that I should review a lot of new books every year. The SFF blogosphere is a great place to help spread the word about quality reads and the reason why publishers send out review copies in the first place. Still, the number of "older" titles and series I want to read keeps growing (well over 200 novels as far as I'm concerned), so I will have to find a way to create a better balance between newer and older published works that I review from now on.

Here's the blurb:

Roland, Eddie, Susannah, Jake, and Jake’s pet bumbler survive Blaine the Mono’s final crash, only to find themselves stranded in an alternate version of Topeka, Kansas, one that has been ravaged by the superflu virus. While following the deserted I-70 toward a distant glass palace, they hear the atonal squalling of a thinny, a place where the fabric of existence has almost entirely worn away. While camping near the edge of the thinny, Roland tells his ka-tet a story about another thinny, one that he encountered when he was little more than a boy. Over the course of one long magical night, Roland transports us to the Mid-World of long-ago and a seaside town called Hambry, where Roland fell in love with a girl named Susan Delgado, and where he and his old tet-mates Alain and Cuthbert battled the forces of John Farson, the harrier who—with a little help from a seeing sphere called Maerlyn’s Grapefruit—ignited Mid-World’s final war.

Early on, worldbuilding did not play much of a role in the series. Stephen King played his cards pretty close to his chest, and readers learned next to nothing about the series' universe in both The Gunslinger and The Drawing of the Three. Everything changed in The Waste Lands, which was great. To begin with, the author finally elaborated on the physics by which the world operates, especially the six beams running between twelve portals which mark the edges of Mid-World. And standing at the point where the beams cross at the center of the universe lies the Dark Tower. A few hints seemed to indicate that the Dark Tower might lie at the center of all worlds. With more revelations regarding the Guardians of the Beam and the layout of the land, it became abundantly clear that tale resounded with depth. And Wizard and Glass turned it up a notch or two.

Sadly, this fourth volume suffers from a lackluster beginning. Understandably, it begins right where its predecessor ended, with the ka-tet squaring off against Blaine the Mono in a contest of riddles. Problem is, this face-off drags for too long. Once done, the four of them appear to find themselves in the version of our world that King depicted in The Stand. During their journey, Blaine needs to recharge its batteries at the Fall of the Hounds, a massive waterfall with two enormous stone protrusions shaped like snarling dog heads. It is implied that the technology used to recharge the train could predate the civilization of the Old Ones. As always, I continue to hope that we'll learn much more about the Dark Tower's universe's past. Indeed, I find all those little tantalizing glimpses to be quite fascinating.

I knew that one of the books in the series was mostly a flash-back sequence, but I wasn't aware that it was Wizard and Glass. As I'm all about back stories, I relished the opportunity to discover more about Roland's past. I must admit that it felt a bit weird at first, what with King leaving the ka-tet hanging as they first encounter the mysterious dimensional hole the Gunslinger calls a thinny and focusing on Roland's tale as he recounts to the others his own first encounter with the strange phenomenon. Having said that, very quickly we realize that this side-story will shape Roland in a profound way and make us understand how he became the man he is today. From then on, I was enthralled and didn't want this tale to reach its end.

As a no-nonsense kind of cowboy, Roland of Gilead immediately became a fan favorite. Although the first two installments featured an interesting supporting cast, the main focus essentially remained on Roland. What differentiated The Waste Lands from its predecessors was that Eddie, Susannah, and Jake truly came into their own and took their rightful place in the narrative. It became obvious that all three would play important roles in what was to come. Hence, to discover that Wizard and Glass focused on an entire cast of new men and women felt like quite a gamble. But in a few short chapters, Stephen King sets our minds at ease and it's a pleasure to follow Roland, Alain, and Cuthbert, as they discover that there is a devious plot between the elite of Barony of Mejis and John "The Good Man" Farson, whose rebel faction has already started a war in the North, being hatched with no one the wiser. Add some interesting characters like Susan Delgado, the witch Rhea of the Cöos, and the Big Coffin Hunters, and you have all the ingredients necessary for a terrific story. Though young and inexperienced, Roland and his companions come to realize that all is not well in Hambry, and they must rely on their foes' underestimating them to get to the root of the conspiracy. The tragic love story between Roland and Susan gave the whole flash-back sequence an emotional punch that leaves no one indifferent.

It actually feels weird to return to the "present" once Roland's tale is done. But as the book comes to an end and the Gunslinger makes other revelations about his past, revelations which explain why he's been searching for the Dark Tower for all these years, King closes the show on a high note that makes you beg for more. Wizard and Glass is indeed the best volume in the series so far and sets the bar quite high for what will come next.

Impossible to put down!

The final verdict: 9/10

For more info about this title: Canada, USA, Europe

US cover art for R. Scott Bakker's THE GREAT ORDEAL

Crap, never saw the cover art until now. My bad. Clearly sleeping at the wheel. . . :/ R. Scott Bakker's eagerly anticipitated The Great Ordeal will be released on July 5th 2016! For more info about this title: Canada, USA, Europe.

It's a nice cover that is stylistically similar to its predecessors. But did they really need to steal the face from the soldier on the cover of Alan Smale's Clash of Eagles???

Here's the blurb:

The much-anticipated third installment of R. Scott Bakker’s acclaimed series, The Aspect-Emperor.

Praised by fans and critics worldwide, R. Scott Bakker has become one of the most celebrated voices in fantasy literature. With The Great Ordeal, Bakker presents the long-anticipated third volume of The Aspect-Emperor, a series that stands with the finest in the genre for its grandiose scope, rich detail, and thrilling story.

As Fanim war-drums beat just outside the city, the Empress Anasurimbor Esmenet searches frantically throughout the palace for her missing son Kelmomas. Meanwhile and many miles away, Esmenet’s husband’s Great Ordeal continues its epic march further north. But in light of dwindling supplies, the Aspect-Emperor’s decision to allow his men to consume the flesh of fallen Sranc could have consequences even He couldn’t have foreseen. And, deep in Ishuäl, the wizard Achamian grapples with his fear that his unspeakably long journey might be ending in emptiness, no closer to the truth than when he set out.

The Aspect-Emperor series follows Bakker’s Prince of Nothing saga, returning to the same world twenty years later. The Great Ordeal follows The Judging Eye and The White-Luck Warrior, and delivers the first half of the conclusion to this epic story. Returning to Bakker’s richly imagined universe of myth, violence, and sorcery, The Aspect-Emperor continues to set the bar for the fantasy genre, reaching new heights of intricacy and meaning.

More inexpensive ebook goodies!

All four omnibus editions of Glen Cook's Chronicles of the Black Company are available for only 5.99$ each! That's a hell of a deal!

- Chronicles of the Black Company
- The Books of the South
- The Return of the Black Company
- The Many deaths of the Black Company

Here's the blurb for the first omnibus:

Darkness wars with darkness as the hard-bitten men of the Black Company take their pay and do what they must. They bury their doubts with their dead.

Then comes the prophecy: The White Rose has been reborn, somewhere, to embody good once more…

This omnibus edition comprises The Black Company, Shadows Linger, and The White Rose—the first three novels in Glen Cook's bestselling fantasy series.

A bit of humor. . .

An oldie but a goodie! :P

More inexpensive ebook goodies!

For a limited time, the digital omnibus containing all 10 volumes of Steven Erikson's The Malazan Book of the Fallen is available for only 52.62$ here!

Here's the blurb:

Included in this collection are:

Gardens of the Moon
Deadhouse Gates
Memories of Ice
House of Chains
Midnight Tides
The Bonehunters
Reaper’s Gale
Toll the Hounds
Dust of Dreams
The Crippled God

At the publisher's request, this title is being sold without Digital Rights Management software (DRM) applied.

You can also download Brian Staveley's The Emperor's Blades for only 4.99$ here!

Here's the blurb:

In The Emperor's Blades by Brian Staveley, the emperor of Annur is dead, slain by enemies unknown. His daughter and two sons, scattered across the world, do what they must to stay alive and unmask the assassins. But each of them also has a life-path on which their father set them, destinies entangled with both ancient enemies and inscrutable gods.

Kaden, the heir to the Unhewn Throne, has spent eight years sequestered in a remote mountain monastery, learning the enigmatic discipline of monks devoted to the Blank God. Their rituals hold the key to an ancient power he must master before it's too late.

An ocean away, Valyn endures the brutal training of the Kettral, elite soldiers who fly into battle on gigantic black hawks. But before he can set out to save Kaden, Valyn must survive one horrific final test.

At the heart of the empire, Minister Adare, elevated to her station by one of the emperor's final acts, is determined to prove herself to her people. But Adare also believes she knows who murdered her father, and she will stop at nothing—and risk everything—to see that justice is meted out.

Ian McDonald contest winner!

Thanks to the generosity of the folks at Tor Books, this winner will receive a copy of Ian McDonald's Luna: New Moon. For more info about this title: Canada, USA, Europe.

The winner is:

- Craig Joly, from Arlington, Massachusetts, USA

Many thanks to all the participants!

More inexpensive ebook goodies!

Don't know for how long, but you can get your hands on the digital edition of Jacqueline Carey's Kushiel's Dart, which could well be the very best fantasy debut ever, for only 4.99$ here!

Here's the blurb:

The land of Terre d'Ange is a place of unsurpassing beauty and grace. It is said that angels found the land and saw it was good...and the ensuing race that rose from the seed of angels and men live by one simple rule: Love as thou wilt.

Phèdre nó Delaunay is a young woman who was born with a scarlet mote in her left eye. Sold into indentured servitude as a child, her bond is purchased by Anafiel Delaunay, a nobleman with very a special mission...and the first one to recognize who and what she is: one pricked by Kushiel's Dart, chosen to forever experience pain and pleasure as one.

Phèdre is trained equally in the courtly arts and the talents of the bedchamber, but, above all, the ability to observe, remember, and analyze. Almost as talented a spy as she is courtesan, Phèdre stumbles upon a plot that threatens the very foundations of her homeland. Treachery sets her on her path; love and honor goad her further. And in the doing, it will take her to the edge of despair...and beyond. Hateful friend, loving enemy, beloved assassin; they can all wear the same glittering mask in this world, and Phèdre will get but one chance to save all that she holds dear.

Set in a world of cunning poets, deadly courtiers, heroic traitors, and a truly Machiavellian villainess, this is a novel of grandeur, luxuriance, sacrifice, betrayal, and deeply laid conspiracies. Not since Dune has there been an epic on the scale of Kushiel's Dart-a massive tale about the violent death of an old age, and the birth of a new.

You can also get Kushiel's Chosen, the excellent second volume, for the same price here. The same thing goes for the last installement in the series, Kushiel's Avatar, here.

You can now download Matthew Woodring Stover's Heroes Die for only 1.99$ here.

Here's the blurb:


But Caine's no hero. He's an assassin.

Renowned throughout the land of Ankhana as the Blade of Tyshalle, Caine has killed his share of monarchs and commoners, villains and heroes. He is relentless, unstoppable, simply the best there is at what he does. He is free.

At home on Earth, Caine is Hari Michaelson, a superstar whose adventures command an audience of billions. Yet he is shackled by a rigid caste society, bound to ignore the grim fact that men die on a far-off world for the entertainment of his own planet--bound to keep his rage in check.

But now Michaelson has crossed the line. His estranged wife, Pallas Rill, has mysteriously disappeared in the slums of Ankhana. To save her, he must confront the greatest challenge of his life: a lethal game of cat and mouse with the most treacherous rulers of two worlds.

Matthew Woodring Stover has created a spectacular, page-turning epic where a Jackal-type assassin maneuvers through a vivid Tolkienesque world. With a plot as driven as its main character and drawn against a setting as vivid as the very best in fantasy, Heroes Die is a brilliant feat of the imagination.