Smoke and Mirrors


If I remember correctly, I bought the paperback edition of this book the year I created Pat's Fantasy Hotlist. So yeah, it's been a while. Seventeen years, for those of you who are keeping track. Why wait this long before reading it? I have no idea. Like so many other speculative fiction works I should have read long ago, I figure that Neil Gaiman's Smoke and Mirrors somehow found a way to always fall through the cracks and I never got around to reading it.

A few weeks back, as I was rereading my Sandman omnibus editions prior to watching the Netflix TV series (no, I haven't watched it yet), I realized yet again just how good Gaiman could be. In the mood for more, I turned my attention to his collections of short fiction pieces. There are a few of them now, and the only one I ever read and reviewed was Fragile Things. Hence, it was high time to give his very first collection to be published a shot.

Here's the blurb:

The astonishing and impressive first collection of short stories from New York Times bestselling author Neil Gaiman

An elderly widow finds the Holy Grail beneath an old fur coat in a second-hand store . . .

A stray cat fights and refights a nightly battle to protect his adoptive family from an unimagiable evil . . .

A young couple receives a wedding gift that will reveal a chilling alternate history of their marriage . . .

Beneath a bridge by the railroad tracks, a frightened little boy bargains for his life with a most persistent troll . . .

Such miraculous inventions and more await within Neil Gaiman’s first collection of short fiction, a gift of wonder and delight from one of the most unique literary artists of our day. In his capable hands, magic is no mere illusion, but a powerful means to reveal the nature of our humanity obscured in the smoke of our fears and anxieties . . . and reflected in the funhouse mirrors of our dreams.


Every time I review an anthology or a collection, I bemoan the fact that such works are almost always filled with lackluster filler material, with only a few quality short stories that manage to rise above the others. The rest, unfortunately, is always ordinary or forgettable stuff that fail to make an impression on the reader. I believed that it would be different with Neil Gaiman, that every single piece found throughout the pages of Smoke and Mirrors would be worth a read. Alas, it appears that in my excitement I forgot that this was the author's first collection and that he wasn't yet the powerhouse he would soon become.

Still, some of the short stories were awesome and showed Gaiman's brilliance and weirdness to their full extent. Pieces like "The Wedding Present", "Troll Bridge", "The Goldfish Pool and Other Stories", "Murder Mysteries", and "Snow, Glass, Apples" were memorable in various ways. Others, like "Chivalry", "Changes", "Looking for the Girl", "We Can Get Them for You Wholesale", "Foreign Parts", and "Tastings" were good, but there was something missing from each of them. That little something that would have made them as special as the other tales.

Sadly, the rest of the collection was made up of pieces that for some reason failed to resonate with me, or else bored me from the first page to the last. Thankfully, some of these are quite short.

In the end, Smoke and Mirrors makes for a decidedly uneven reading experience. When it's good, you eat it up with a spoon and can't wait to read the next story. The pieces that fall into the second category, though they don't quite manage to enthrall you, nevertheless manage to keep you interested. Those that I considered duller and a bit uninspired, even if blessedly short, quickly make you lose interest in this book. Which is why it took me so long to finish it. The way the stories have been arranged forces the reader to go through a few of the bland ones before reaching the more notable tales.

Hence, your mileage may vary.

The final verdict: 7/10

For more info about this title, follow this Amazon Associate link. This OneLink will take you to the nearest Amazon site serving your country.

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You can now get your hands on the digital edition of Alastair Reynolds' House of Suns for only 2.99$ by following this Amazon Associate link. This OneLink will take you to the nearest Amazon site serving your country and you'll see if you can take advantage of this sale.

Here's the blurb:

Six million years ago, at the dawn of the star-faring era, Abigail Gentian fractured herself into a thousand male and female clones, which she called shatterlings. She sent them out into the galaxy to observe and document the rise and fall of countless human empires. Since then, every two hundred thousand years, they gather to exchange news and memories of their travels. Only there is no Gathering. Someone is eliminating the Gentian line. And now Campion and Purslane -- two shatterlings who have fallen in love and shared forbidden experiences -- must determine exactly who, or what, their enemy is, before they are wiped out of existence . . .


You can also download The Best of Gene Wolfe: A Definitive Retrospective of His Finest Short Fiction for only 0.99$ here.

Here's the blurb:

From a literary perspective, this will certainly be the best collection of the year in science fiction and fantasy. Gene Wolfe, of whom The Washington Post said, "Of all SF writers currently active none is held in higher esteem," has selected the short fiction he considers his finest into one volume.

There are many award winners and many that have been selected for various Year's Best anthologies. Gene Wolfe has produced possibly the finest and most significant body of short fiction in the SF and fantasy field in the last fifty years, and is certainly among the greatest living writers to emerge from the genres. This is the first retrospective collection of his entire career.

It is for the ages.


This week's New York Times Bestsellers (September 4th)

In hardcover:

Beth Revis' Star Wars: The Princess and the Scoundrel debuts at number 12. For more info about this title, follow this Amazon Associate link.

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You can now download Adrian Tchaikovsky's Cage of Souls for only 1.99$ by following this Amazon Associate link. This OneLink will take you to the nearest Amazon site serving your country and you'll see if you can take advantage of this sale.

Here's the blurb:

The sun is bloated, diseased, dying perhaps. Beneath its baneful light, Shadrapar, last of all cities, harbours fewer than 100,000 human souls. Built on the ruins of countless civilisations, Shadrapar is a museum, a midden, an asylum, a prison on a world that is ever more alien to humanity.

Bearing witness to the desperate struggle for existence between life old and new is Stefan Advani: rebel, outlaw, prisoner, survivor. This is his testament, an account of the journey that took him into the blazing desolation of the western deserts; that transported him east down the river and imprisoned him in the verdant hell of the jungle's darkest heart; that led him deep into the labyrinths and caverns of the underworld. He will meet with monsters, madman, mutants.

The question is, which one of them will inherit this Earth?


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Once again, you can now get your hands on the digital edition of Andy Weir's Project Hail Mary for only 2.99$ by following this Amazon Associate link. This OneLink will take you to the nearest Amazon site serving your country and you'll see if you can take advantage of this sale.

Here's the blurb:

Ryland Grace is the sole survivor on a desperate, last-chance mission—and if he fails, humanity and the earth itself will perish.

Except that right now, he doesn’t know that. He can’t even remember his own name, let alone the nature of his assignment or how to complete it.

All he knows is that he’s been asleep for a very, very long time. And he’s just been awakened to find himself millions of miles from home, with nothing but two corpses for company.

His crewmates dead, his memories fuzzily returning, Ryland realizes that an impossible task now confronts him. Hurtling through space on this tiny ship, it’s up to him to puzzle out an impossible scientific mystery—and conquer an extinction-level threat to our species.

And with the clock ticking down and the nearest human being light-years away, he’s got to do it all alone.

Or does he?

An irresistible interstellar adventure as only Andy Weir could deliver, Project Hail Mary is a tale of discovery, speculation, and survival to rival The Martian—while taking us to places it never dreamed of going.



You can also download Andy Weir's "Randomize" for only 1.99$ here.

Here's the blurb:

In the near future, if Vegas games are ingeniously scam-proof, then the heists have to be too, in this imaginative and whip-smart story by the New York Times bestselling author of The Martian.

An IT whiz at the Babylon Casino is enlisted to upgrade security for the game of keno and its random-number generator. The new quantum computer system is foolproof. But someone on the inside is no fool. For once the odds may not favor the house—unless human ingenuity isn’t entirely a thing of the past.

Andy Weir’s Randomize is part of Forward, a collection of six stories of the near and far future from out-of-this-world authors. Each piece can be read or listened to in a single thought-provoking sitting.


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You can now download Anna Stephens' Godblind for only 2.99$ by following this Amazon Associate link. This OneLink will take you to the nearest Amazon site serving your country and you'll see if you can take advantage of this sale.

Here's the blurb:

The Mireces worship the bloodthirsty Red Gods. Exiled from Rilpor a thousand years ago, and left to suffer a harsh life in the cold mountains, a new Mireces king now plots an invasion of Rilpor’s thriving cities and fertile earth.

Dom Templeson is a Watcher, a civilian warrior guarding Rilpor’s border. He is also the most powerful seer in generations, plagued with visions and prophecies. His people are devoted followers of the god of light and life, but Dom harbors deep secrets, which threaten to be exposed when Rillirin, an escaped Mireces slave, stumbles broken and bleeding into his village.

Meanwhile, more and more of Rilpor’s most powerful figures are turning to the dark rituals and bloody sacrifices of the Red Gods, including the prince, who plots to wrest the throne from his dying father in the heart of the kingdom. Can Rillirin, with her inside knowledge of the Red Gods and her shocking ties to the Mireces King, help Rilpor win the coming war?


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You can now get your hands on the digital edition of James S. A. Corey's Memory's Legion: The Complete Expanse Story Collection for only 3.99$ by following this Amazon Associate link. This OneLink will take you to the nearest Amazon site serving your country and you'll see if you can take advantage of this sale.

Here's the blurb:

From Leviathan Wakes to Leviathan Falls, James S. A. Corey's Hugo Award-winning Expanse series has redefined modern space opera. Now, available in print for the first time comes the complete collection of short fiction set in the Expanse universe, including both a brand-new novella set after the events of Leviathan Falls and author’s notes on each story.

On Mars, a scientist experiments with a new engine that will one day become the drive that fuels humanity's journey into the stars.

On an asteroid station, a group of prisoners are oblivious to the catastrophe that awaits them.

On a future Earth beset by overpopulation, pollution, and poverty, a crime boss desperately seeks to find a way off planet.

On an alien world, a human family struggles to establish a colony and make a new home.

All these stories and more are featured in this unmissable collection of short fiction set in the hardscrabble world of The Expanse.

Contents:
The Expanse Short Fiction
Drive
The Butcher of Anderson Station
The Churn
Gods of Risk
The Vital Abyss
Strange Dogs
Auberon
The Sins of our Fathers

This week's New York Times Bestsellers (August 28th)

There are no speculative fiction bestsellers this week.

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You can now download Frank Miller's The Dark Knight Returns - 30th Anniversary Edition for only 3.99$ by following this Amazon Associate link. This OneLink will take you to the nearest Amazon site serving your country and you'll see if you can take advantage of this sale.

There seems to be a shitload of other Batman omnibus editions by Frank Miller, Chuck Dixon, Alan Moore, Jeph Loeb, Scott Snyder, etc, that are also on sale. You might want to browse around a little. =)

Here's the blurb:

Celebrate 30 years of one of the most influential stories ever told in the comics medium with the anniversary edition of the undisputed graphic novel masterpiece and NEW YORK TIMES bestseller BATMAN: THE DARK KNIGHT RETURNS.

Writer/artist Frank Miller completely reinvents the legend of Batman in this saga of a near-future Gotham City gone to rot, 10 years after the Dark Knight's retirement. Forced to take action, the Dark Knight returns in a blaze of fury, taking on a whole new generation of criminals and matching their level of violence. He is soon joined by a new Robin--a girl named Carrie Kelley--who proves to be just as invaluable as her predecessors.

But can Batman and Robin deal with the threat posed by their deadliest enemies after years of incarceration have turned them into perfect psychopaths? And more important, can anyone survive the coming fallout from an undeclared war between the superpowers--or the clash of what were once the world's greatest heroes?


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You can now download Lev Grossman's The Magicians trilogy for only 2.99$ by following this Amazon Associate link. This OneLink will take you to the nearest Amazon site serving your country and you'll see if you can take advantage of this sale.

Here's the blurb for the first volume:

Quentin Coldwater is a brilliant but unhappy young man growing up in Brooklyn, NY. At 17, he remains obsessed with the fantasy novels he read as a child, set in the magical land of Fillory. One day, returning home from a college interview gone awry, he finds himself whisked to Brakebills, an exclusive college for wizards hidden in upstate New York. And so begins THE MAGICIANS, the thrilling and original novel of fantasy and disenchantment by Lev Grossman, author of the international bestseller Codex and book critic for TIME magazine.

At Brakebills, Quentin learns to cast spells. He makes friends and falls in love. He transforms into animals and gains powers of which he never dreamed. Still, magic doesn’t bring Quentin the happiness and adventure he thought it would, and four years later, he finds himself back in Manhattan, living an aimless, hedonistic existence born of apathy, boredom and the ability to conjure endless sums of money out of thin air.

One afternoon, hung over and ruing some particularly foolish behavior, Quentin is surprised by the sudden arrival of his Brakebills friend and rival Penny, who announces that Fillory is real. This news promises to finally fulfill Quentin’s yearning, but their journey turns out to be darker and more dangerous than Quentin could have imagined. His childhood dream is a nightmare with a shocking truth at its heart.

At once psychologically piercing and magnificently absorbing, THE MAGICIANS pays intentional homage to the beloved fantasy novels of C. S. Lewis, T.H. White and J.K. Rowling, but does much more than enlarge the boundaries of conventional fantasy writing. By imagining magic as practiced by real people, with their capricious desires and volatile emotions, Grossman creates an utterly original world in which good and evil aren’t black and white, love and sex aren’t simple or innocent, and power comes at a terrible price.


Conan the Barbarian: 20 Adventure Tales of Conan


I downloaded Robert E. Howard's Conan the Barbarian: 20 Adventure Tales of Conan years ago and never actually got around to reading it. Back in the late 90s, when I was a huge WoT fan, I tracked down every single Robert Jordan Conan title, but at the time I never gave any thought to giving Conan's creator a shot. The more fool me, I know. But hey, better late than never, right?

I began Howard's "The Hyborian Age" essay during a road trip once, but never went beyond that. Fast-forward to this year, as I was reaching the end of my Camino de Santiago and was running out of reading material, on my day off in Santiago de Compostela I finally elected to give it another go. And never looked back!

I took my time to go through each short fiction piece and I enjoyed this omnibus edition a lot more than I thought I would! Considering that these stories were all written in the 1930s, I have to admit that the material has aged particularly well. Couldn't resist and went for one of Frank Frazetta's iconic depictions of Conan the Cimmerian instead of the regular cover.

Here's the blurb:

Conan The Barbarian is the original stories about adventure stories of conan the cimmerian written by Robert E. Howard in 1934-1936. In this book contains 20 stories of Conan The Cimmerian.

1.The Hyborian Age, first published in The Phantagraph, February-November 1936.
2.Shadows In the Moonlight, first published in Weird Tales, April 1934.
3.Queen Of the Black Coast, first published in Weird Tales, May 1934.
4.The Devil In Iron, first published in Weird Tales, August 1934.
5.The People Of the Black Circle, first published in Weird Tales, September, October and November 1934.
6.A Witch Shall Be Born, first published in Weird Tales in 1934.
7.The Jewels Of Gwahlur, first published in Weird Tales, March 1935.
8.Beyond the Black River, first published in Weird Tales magazine circa 1935.
9.Shadows In Zamboula, first published in Weird Tales, November 1935.
10.The Hour Of the Dragon, first published in Weird Tales, December 1935-April 1936.
11.Gods Of the North, first published in Fantasy Fan, March 1934.
12.Red Nails, First Published in Weird Tales, July, August-September, October 1936.
13. The Shadow of the Vulture, First published in the pulp magazine Magic Carpet Magazine, January 1934.
14.The Phoenix on the Sword, First published in 1932.
15.The Scarlet Citadel, First published in 1933.
16.The Tower of the Elephant, First published in 1933.
17.Black Colossus, First published in 1934.
18.The Slithering Shadow, First published in 1934.
19.The Pool of the Black One, First published in 1934.
20.Rogues in the House, First published in 1935.

From the get-go, I knew I wanted to read these stories in chronological order. Otherwise, they feature a Conan as young as eighteen and as old as fifty-ish and are all over the place. I wasn't aware that several writers/editors have attempted to organize Howard's Conan stories into a chronological timeline and that there is no consensus among them. After perusing a few articles, I settled on the Miller/Clark/de Camp chronology because it seemed to be the one that has garnered a more general approval among aficionados.

What surprised me the most was the quality of the worldbuilding. These stories visit most kingdoms/regions of Howard's Hyborian Age universe and the author impressed me with his eye for detail. Add to that a disparate cast of men and women of every walk of life, body type, creed, skin color, as well as his depictions of this panoply of cultures and their traditions, myths, and legends, and you have something I couldn't believe was written nearly a century ago. I mean, critics applaud half-assed non-medieval European fantasy backdrops created by authors like S.A. Chakraborty or Wesley Chu, but there's no denying that, for all his faults, Robert E. Howard was already doing it, and doing it better to boot, back in the 30s. There is a lot more depth to Howard's writing than I expected. This is no generic hack-and-slash sword and sorcery fare.

Interestingly enough, I found that I preferred the author's shorter works. Indeed, the short stories and the shorter novellas worked better for me than their longer counterparts, or the novel-length The Hour of the Dragon. This last one was actually overlong and is probably one of my least favorite Conan tales found in this collection. Reading them in chronological order came with a number of issues, chief among them the difference in quality of the stories that were written earlier but occur much later in the timeline. "The Phoenix on the Sword" is a case in point in that regard.

Another thing that surprised me was the fact that there is no filler in this collection. While the quality and originality of each piece differ, not a single tale is a waste of time. Some of my favorites included "Red Nails", "Beyond the Black River", "The People of the Black Circle", "Tower of the Elephant", "A Witch Shall Be Born", and "Rogues in the House".

Just a note regarding this omnibus edition. There are a lot of typos and formatting screw-ups throughout. But having paid 0.99$ for it, I can't really complain much.

Highly recommended. If only to discover that Conan the Barbarian is a more multilayered protagonist than you ever thought possible.

The final verdict: 8/10

For more info about this title, follow this Amazon Associate link. This OneLink will take you to the nearest Amazon site serving your country and you'll see if you can take advantage of this sale. 1740 pages featuring Conan the Cimmerian for less than 1$, it doesn't get much better than this!

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You can now download Unfettered III, an anthology edited by Shawn Speakman, for only 2.99$ by following this Amazon Associate link. This OneLink will take you to the nearest Amazon site serving your country and you'll see if you can take advantage of this sale.

The two previous Unfettered anthologies are also on sale.

Here's the blurb:

From the editor of the award-winning anthology Unfettered comes the newest installment in the science fiction and fantasy series, Unfettered III.

Lacking health insurance when he was diagnosed with cancer, Shawn Speakman asked friends in the science fiction and fantasy writing community to donate short stories he could use to counter mounting medical debt. The result was Unfettered, an anthology offering tales from some of the best authors working today.

Now, in Unfettered III, Speakman continues to pay forward the aid he received, raising money to combat medical debt for SFF artists and authors. He has gathered together a great mix of new and favorite writers―free to write what they like―the result a powerful new anthology perfect for all readers.

Be haunted by the chilling ghost story of Megan Lindholm. Revisit the Magicians world with Lev Grossman. Return to Osten Ard in an epic first look at Tad Williams’s Empire of Grass. Share a heartfelt story of loss and gain with Callie Bates. Cross the sands of the desert planet Dune with Brian Herbert and Kevin J. Anderson. Travel the Ways in a new Wheel of Time novella with Robert Jordan and Brandon Sanderson. Enter the amazing potter city of Seven with Naomi Novik. And many more stories, all wondrous alongside beautiful art by Todd Lockwood!

- Callie Bates
- Terry Brooks
- Delilah S. Dawson
- Jason Denzel
- David Anthony Durham
- Lev Grossman
- John Gwynne
- Brian Herbert and Kevin J. Anderson
- Robert Jordan and Brandon Sanderson
- Megan Lindholm (Robin Hobb)
- Mark Lawrence
- Todd Lockwood
- Seanan McGuire
- Naomi Novik
- Peter Orullian
- Cat Rambo
- Robert V.S. Redick
- Ken Scholes
- Scott Sigler
- Anna Smith Spark
- Shawn Speakman
- Anna Stephens
- Patrick Swenson
- Ramon Terrell
- Marc Turner
- Carrie Vaughn
- Tad Williams
- Deborah A. Wolf

Unfettered III is sure to astound with the magic bound within its pages. All the while raising money for a charitable cause.

Because protecting our artists and authors is as important as the stories they tell.


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You can now download Chris Wooding's The Ember Blade for only 3.99$ by following this Amazon Associate link. This OneLink will take you to the nearest Amazon site serving your country and you'll see if you can take advantage of this sale.

Here's the blurb:

Empires rise, civilisations fall and one culture comes to subsume another. It's the way of the world . . . sometimes ways of life are improved, sometimes they are not. But the progression of change is huge and - usually - unstoppable.

In this story, the Ossian way of life is fading and the Dachen way is taking its place and Aren is comfortable with that. Even when his parents are accused of treason he supports the establishment and maintains there's been some 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 overtaken by events when they're rescued, and promptly find themselves in the middle of an ambush. By the time they've escaped, they're unavoidably linked to Garric - their unwelcome saviour - and his quest to overturn to 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. There are no good options - but Aren will still have to choose a path . . .

Designed to return to classic fantasy adventures and values, from a modern perspective, this is a fast-moving coming-of-age trilogy featuring a strong cast of diverse characters, brilliant set-pieces and a strong character and plot driven story.


This week's New York Times Bestsellers (August 21st)

There are no speculative fiction bestsellers this week.

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You can now get your hands on the digital edition of George R. R. Martin's excellent Fevre Dream for only 1.99$ by following this Amazon Associate link. This OneLink will take you to the nearest Amazon site serving your country and you'll see if you can take advantage of this sale.

Here's the blurb:

Abner Marsh, a struggling riverboat captain, suspects that something’s amiss when he is approached by a wealthy aristocrat with a lucrative offer. The hauntingly pale, steely-eyed Joshua York doesn’t care that the icy winter of 1857 has wiped out all but one of Marsh’s dilapidated fleet; nor does he care that he won’t earn back his investment in a decade. York’s reasons for traversing the powerful Mississippi are to be none of Marsh’s concern—no matter how bizarre, arbitrary, or capricious York’s actions may prove. Not until the maiden voyage of Fevre Dream does Marsh realize that he has joined a mission both more sinister, and perhaps more noble, than his most fantastic nightmare—and humankind’s most impossible dream.

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You can now get your hands on the digital edition of Robert V. S. Redick's The Red Wolf Conspiracy for only 3.99$ by following this Amazon Associate link. This OneLink will take you to the nearest Amazon site serving your country and you'll see if you can take advantage of this sale.

Here's the blurb:

Already a publishing sensation in England, The Red Wolf Conspiracy marks the debut of a remarkably gifted young writer. Robert V. S. Redick has been compared to Philip Pullman, George R. R. Martin, and China Miéville, among others, and like them he is a spellbinding storyteller, unafraid to sail his imagination into uncharted waters. With The Red Wolf Conspiracy he launches the first book of a trilogy destined to take its place among the classics of epic fantasy.

The Imperial Merchant Ship Chathrand is the last of her kind. Six hundred years old, the secrets of her construction long forgotten, the massive vessel dwarfs every other sailing craft in the world. It is a palace with sails, a floating outpost of the Empire of Arqual. And it is on its most vital mission yet: to deliver a young woman whose marriage will seal the peace between Arqual and its mortal enemy, the secretive Mzithrin Empire. But the young woman in question-Thasha, the daughter of the Arquali ambassador-has no intention of going meekly to the altar. For the ship's true mission is not peace but war-a war that threatens to unleash an ancient, all-consuming evil.

As the dark conspiracy at the heart of the voyage unfurls, Pazel Pathkendle, a lowly tarboy with an uncanny gift, will find himself in an unlikely alliance with Thasha and her protectors: Hercól, a valet who is more than he appears; Dri, the queen of a race of tiny stowaways who have their own plans for the great ship; and Ramachni, a powerful sorcerer from another world. Arrayed against them are the Chathrand's brutal captain, Nilus Rose; the Emperor's spymaster and chief assassin, Sandor Ott; and the enigmatic Dr. Chadfallow, a longtime friend to Pazel's family whose kind words may hide a vicious betrayal.

As the Chathrand navigates treacherous waters to complete its mission, Pazel, Thasha, and their allies-including a singularly heroic rat-must also navigate a treacherous web of intrigue to uncover the secret of the legendary Red Wolf.


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You can now download Brandon Sanderson's The Alloy of Law for only 2.99$ by following this Amazon Associate link. This OneLink will take you to the nearest Amazon site serving your country and you'll see if you can take advantage of this sale.

Shadows of Self and The Bands of Mourning are also discounted.

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.

This week's New York Times Bestsellers (August 14th)

In hardcover:
 
Emily St. John Mandel's Sea of Tranquility returns at number 15. For more info about this title, follow this Amazon Associate link.

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You can now download Andy Weir's Artemis for only 2.99$ by following this Amazon Associate link. This OneLink will take you to the nearest Amazon site serving your country and you'll see if you can take advantage of this sale.

Here's the blurb:

The bestselling author of The Martian returns with an irresistible new near-future thriller—a heist story set on the moon.

Jasmine Bashara never signed up to be a hero. She just wanted to get rich.

Not crazy, eccentric-billionaire rich, like many of the visitors to her hometown of Artemis, humanity’s first and only lunar colony. Just rich enough to move out of her coffin-sized apartment and eat something better than flavored algae. Rich enough to pay off a debt she’s owed for a long time.

So when a chance at a huge score finally comes her way, Jazz can’t say no. Sure, it requires her to graduate from small-time smuggler to full-on criminal mastermind. And it calls for a particular combination of cunning, technical skills, and large explosions—not to mention sheer brazen swagger. But Jazz has never run into a challenge her intellect can’t handle, and she figures she’s got the ‘swagger’ part down.

The trouble is, engineering the perfect crime is just the start of Jazz’s problems. Because her little heist is about to land her in the middle of a conspiracy for control of Artemis itself.

Trapped between competing forces, pursued by a killer and the law alike, even Jazz has to admit she’s in way over her head. She’ll have to hatch a truly spectacular scheme to have a chance at staying alive and saving her city.

Jazz is no hero, but she is a very good criminal.

That’ll have to do.

Propelled by its heroine’s wisecracking voice, set in a city that’s at once stunningly imagined and intimately familiar, and brimming over with clever problem-solving and heist-y fun, Artemis is another irresistible brew of science, suspense, and humor from #1 bestselling author Andy Weir.


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You can now download Arkady Martine's A Desolation Called Peace for only 2.99$ by following this Amazon Associate link. This OneLink will take you to the nearest Amazon site serving your country and you'll see if you can take advantage of this sale.

Here's the blurb:

A Desolation Called Peace is the spectacular space opera sequel to Arkady Martine's genre-reinventing, Hugo Award-winning debut, A Memory Called Empire.

An alien armada lurks on the edges of Teixcalaanli space. No one can communicate with it, no one can destroy it, and Fleet Captain Nine Hibiscus is running out of options.

In a desperate attempt at diplomacy with the mysterious invaders, the fleet captain has sent for a diplomatic envoy. Now Mahit Dzmare and Three Seagrass—still reeling from the recent upheaval in the Empire—face the impossible task of trying to communicate with a hostile entity.

Their failure will guarantee millions of deaths in an endless war. Their success might prevent Teixcalaan’s destruction—and allow the empire to continue its rapacious expansion.

Or it might create something far stranger . . .


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You can get your hands on the digital edition of Neal Stephenson's Fall, or Dodge in Hell for only 2.99$ by following this Amazon Associate link. This OneLink will take you to the nearest Amazon site serving your country and you'll see if you can take advantage of this sale.

Here's the blurb:

A NEW YORK TIMES NOTABLE BOOK

The #1 New York Times bestselling author of Seveneves, Anathem, Reamde, and Cryptonomicon returns with a wildly inventive and entertaining science fiction thriller—Paradise Lost by way of Philip K. Dick—that unfolds in the near future, in parallel worlds.

In his youth, Richard “Dodge” Forthrast founded Corporation 9592, a gaming company that made him a multibillionaire. Now in his middle years, Dodge appreciates his comfortable, unencumbered life, managing his myriad business interests, and spending time with his beloved niece Zula and her young daughter, Sophia.

One beautiful autumn day, while he undergoes a routine medical procedure, something goes irrevocably wrong. Dodge is pronounced brain dead and put on life support, leaving his stunned family and close friends with difficult decisions. Long ago, when a much younger Dodge drew up his will, he directed that his body be given to a cryonics company now owned by enigmatic tech entrepreneur Elmo Shepherd. Legally bound to follow the directive despite their misgivings, Dodge’s family has his brain scanned and its data structures uploaded and stored in the cloud, until it can eventually be revived.

In the coming years, technology allows Dodge’s brain to be turned back on. It is an achievement that is nothing less than the disruption of death itself. An eternal afterlife—the Bitworld—is created, in which humans continue to exist as digital souls.

But this brave new immortal world is not the Utopia it might first seem . . .

Fall, or Dodge in Hell is pure, unadulterated fun: a grand drama of analog and digital, man and machine, angels and demons, gods and followers, the finite and the eternal. In this exhilarating epic, Neal Stephenson raises profound existential questions and touches on the revolutionary breakthroughs that are transforming our future. Combining the technological, philosophical, and spiritual in one grand myth, he delivers a mind-blowing speculative literary saga for the modern age.

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You can download Robert E. Howard's Conan the Barbarian: 20 Adventure Tales of Conan for only 0.99$ by following this Amazon Associate link. This OneLink will take you to the nearest Amazon site serving your country and you'll see if you can take advantage of this sale. 1740 pages featuring Conan the Cimmerian for less than 1$, it doesn't get much better than this!

I'm almost done with this omnibus and I'm enjoying it a lot more than I thought I would!

Here's the blurb:

Conan The Barbarian is the original stories about adventure stories of conan the cimmerian written by Robert E. Howard in 1934-1936. In this book contains 20 stories of Conan The Cimmerian.

1.The Hyborian Age, first published in The Phantagraph, February-November 1936.
2.Shadows In the Moonlight, first published in Weird Tales, April 1934.
3.Queen Of the Black Coast, first published in Weird Tales, May 1934.
4.The Devil In Iron, first published in Weird Tales, August 1934.
5.The People Of the Black Circle, first published in Weird Tales, September, October and November 1934.
6.A Witch Shall Be Born, first published in Weird Tales in 1934.
7.The Jewels Of Gwahlur, first published in Weird Tales, March 1935.
8.Beyond the Black River, first published in Weird Tales magazine circa 1935.
9.Shadows In Zamboula, first published in Weird Tales, November 1935.
10.The Hour Of the Dragon, first published in Weird Tales, December 1935-April 1936.
11.Gods Of the North, first published in Fantasy Fan, March 1934.
12.Red Nails, First Published in Weird Tales, July, August-September, October 1936.
13. The Shadow of the Vulture, First published in the pulp magazine Magic Carpet Magazine, January 1934.
14.The Phoenix on the Sword, First published in 1932.
15.The Scarlet Citadel, First published in 1933.
16.The Tower of the Elephant, First published in 1933.
17.Black Colossus, First published in 1934.
18.The Slithering Shadow, First published in 1934.
19.The Pool of the Black One, First published in 1934.
20.Rogues in the House, First published in 1935.

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You can now get your hands on the digital edition of Kazuo Ishiguro's Klara and the Sun for only 4.99$ by following this Amazon Associate link. This OneLink will take you to the nearest Amazon site serving your country and you'll see if you can take advantage of this sale.

Here's the blurb:

Here is the story of Klara, an Artificial Friend with outstanding observational qualities, who, from her place in the store, watches carefully the behavior of those who come in to browse, and of those who pass on the street outside. She remains hopeful that a customer will soon choose her. Klara and the Sun is a thrilling book that offers a look at our changing world through the eyes of an unforgettable narrator, and one that explores the fundamental question: what does it mean to love?

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You can now download Glen Cook's Sweet Silver Blues, the first installment in the Garrett, P.I. series, for only 2.99$ by following this Amazon Associate link. This OneLink will take you to the nearest Amazon site serving your country and you'll see if you can take advantage of this sale.

Here's the blurb:

It should have been a simple job. But for Garrett, a human detective in a world of gnomes, tracking down the woman to whom his dead pal Danny left a fortune in silver is no slight task. Even with the aid of Morley, the toughest half-elf around, Garrett isn't sure he'll make it out alive from a land where magic can be murder, the dead still talk, and vampires are always hungry for human blood.

This week's New York Times Bestsellers (August 7th)

There are no speculative fiction bestsellers this week.

Dragons of Deceit


Oh man. . . Took me about a week to finally sit down and write this review. There's no way to sugarcoat this. Dragons of Deceit is by far the weakest Dragonlance offering from Margaret Weis and Tracy Hickman.

The Dragonlance Chronicles were my gateway into the fantasy genre. It was my first year of junior high and I was twelve years old. Reading the original trilogy changed my life, so to speak. Dragons of Autumn Twilight was the first "true" fantasy novel I ever read. This was the book that made me fall in love with the genre, and I never looked back! Hence, these two authors will always hold a special place in my heart. Even though they haven't written anything that really captured my imagination since the conclusion of The Deathgate Cycle in 1994, I always give them the benefit of the doubt and give their new material a shot. Unfortunately, since then Weis and Hickman (together, solo, or with other collaborators) have often produced works of average quality at best.

The War of Souls trilogy was a far cry, both in quality and originality, from their popular Dragonlance Chronicles and Legends. That series was followed by The Lost Chronicles a few years later. It was a trilogy that would explore some of the storylines that were not part of the narrative of the original main sequence. Which boded well for fans eager to see Weis and Hickman recapture their erstwhile excellence. After all, they were going back to their old stomping grounds, the world of Krynn, during the War of the Lance. Alas, all three installments were mostly filler and no killer, and the whole series was disappointing.

The premise for Dragons of Deceit was quite similar and got fans (myself included) excited once more. After all, it was Weis and Hickman's first Dragonlance novel to be released in over a decade. Then came the whole fiasco, what with the publisher trying to shelf the project and prevent its publication. In retrospect, I have to wonder if the inherent quality (or lack thereof) of the books had anything to do with that decision. Because simply put, this is probably Weis and Hickman's worst novel to date.

Here's the blurb:

Margaret Weis and Tracy Hickman return to the unforgettable world of the New York Times bestselling Dragonlance series as a new heroine—desperate to restore her beloved father to life—sets off on a quest to change time.

Destina Rosethorn—as her name implies—believes herself to be a favored child of destiny. But when her father dies in the War of the Lance, she watches her carefully constructed world come crashing down. She loses not only her beloved father but also the legacy he has left her: the family lands and castle. To save her father, she hatches a bold plan—to go back in time and prevent his death.

First, she has to secure the Device of Time Journeying, last known to be in the possession of the spirited kender Tasslehoff Burrfoot. But to change time, she’ll need another magical artifact—the most powerful and dangerous artifact ever created. Destina’s quest takes her from the dwarven kingdom of Thorbardin to the town of Solace and beyond, setting in motion a chain of disastrous events that threaten to divert the course of the River of Time, alter the past, and forever change the future.


The first part of the novel sets up Destina Rosethorn as the main protagonist. It spans her early years prior to the coming of the dragons, the bloody conflict and the return of the gods, and the aftermath of the War of the Lance. As many other reviewers pointed out, though slow and at times a little boring, it's the first time that readers get a chance to experience a slice of life on Krynn. It adds layers to the tale and gives this small corner of Solamnia a more lived in sort of atmosphere. It's following Destina's father's death and the end of the war that the girl's world comes crashing down and then this books goes down the proverbial crapper. From that point on, the story is all over the place and almost nothing makes sense.

Characterization has always been Weis and Hickman's bread and butter. Over the years, these two have created a variety of memorable characters. One only has to think about the Heroes of the Lance; Raistlin, Caramon, Tanis, Sturm, Tasslehoff, Lauranna, and the rest of the gang. The original Dragonlance series also featured a number of great secondary characters such as Lord Soth, Dalamar, and Kitiara. The Darksword trilogy had Joram, Saryon, Simkin, and Mosiah. The Rose of the Prophet had Matthew, Khardan, and Zohra. The Death Gate Cycle featured Haplo, Alfred, Hugh the Hand, Xar, Marit, Zifnab, and more. These characters are the main reason why millions of readers kept coming back, begging for more stories from these two bestselling authors.

Unfortunately, Destina will never join the ranks of these unforgettable characters. Indeed, she could well be the dumbest protagonist in the franchise's history. Having lost my mother last year, it's easy to understand her pain and feel for her. But then to see her blundering around in a clueless yet hypocritical way, as she quotes the Measure at every opportunity and claims to hate magic at every turn, and yet her crazy plan requires the aid of various magical artifacts, it just makes you want to throw the book across the room. Initially, I hoped that the appearance of Tasslehoff and other familiar faces would help the plot. Alas, though he has always been silly in a good-hearted fashion, the kender's silliness takes a turn that stretches credulity to its breaking point. Add to that the time-travel aspect and you end up with a recipe for disaster. Literally.

True, hardcore Dragonlance fans will buy Dragons of Deceit no matter what people say about it. And I guess that in the end, this is what helped settle the lawsuit. But I have to wonder how an editor (the same one who edited GRRM's A Song of Ice and Fire) could let such an uninspired addition to the Dragonlance franchise be released as it was. There were seeds of a very good story in this book. Yet it feels as though Weis and Hickman didn't even try to make them work. That they're simply going through the motions, never trying to accomplish anything worthwhile.

Another things that needs to be said is that they're not writing for teenagers anymore. Most Dragonlance fans are in their 30s, 40s, even their 50s. We have grown older and our tastes in books have evolved. It's the same with the Star Wars franchise. For once, just for once, I'd like for the powers that be to remember that and offer us material that we can enjoy and relate to as adults. Perhaps, if I was still fourteen, I would have loved this novel and would have overlooked all its flagrant flaws. But as an adult?

It's just plain bad. . .

The final verdict: 3/10

For more info about this title, follow this Amazon Associate link.

You can read an extract from the book here.

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You can now download Raymond E. Feist's Magician: Apprentice for only 1.99$ by following this Amazon Associate link. This OneLink will take you to the nearest Amazon site serving your country and you'll see if you can take advantage of this sale.

Here's the blurb:

A worthy pupil . . . A dangerous quest

To the forest on the shore of the Kingdom of the Isles, the orphan Pug came to study with the master magician Kulgan. But though his courage won him a place at court and the heart of a lovely Princess, he was ill at ease with the normal ways of wizardry.

Yet Pug's strange sort of magic would one day change forever the fates of two worlds. For dark beings from another world had opened a rift in the fabric of spacetime to being again the age-old battle between the forces of Order and Chaos.


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All of Neil Gaiman's The Sandman omnibus editions are on sale for 3.99$ each. Follow this Amazon Associate link to take advantage of this sale. This OneLink will take you to the nearest Amazon site serving your country and you'll see if you can take advantage of this sale.

If, like me, you wanted to read, or reread, the source material before watching the Netflix TV series, this is a great opportunity!

Here's the blurb for the first volume:

Neil Gaiman's seminal series, THE SANDMAN, celebrates its 30th anniversary with an all-new edition of THE SANDMAN VOL. 1: PRELUDES & NOCTURNES!

New York Times best-selling author Neil Gaiman's transcendent series THE SANDMAN is often hailed as the definitive Vertigo title and one of the finest achievements in graphic storytelling. Gaiman created an unforgettable tale of the forces that exist beyond life and death by weaving ancient mythology, folklore and fairy tales with his own distinct narrative vision.

In PRELUDES & NOCTURNES, an occultist attempting to capture Death to bargain for eternal life traps her younger brother Dream instead. After his 70 year imprisonment and eventual escape, Dream, also known as Morpheus, goes on a quest for his lost objects of power. On his arduous journey Morpheus encounters Lucifer, John Constantine, and an all-powerful madman.

This book also includes the story "The Sound of Her Wings," which introduces us to the pragmatic and perky goth girl Death.

Collects THE SANDMAN #1-8.


This week's New York Times Bestsellers (July 31st)

There are no speculative fiction bestsellers this week.

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You can now download Charles Soule's Star Wars: Light of the Jedi for only 3.99$ by following this Amazon Associate link. This OneLink will take you to the nearest Amazon site serving your country and you'll see if you can take advantage of this sale.

Here's the blurb:

#1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • Long before the First Order, before the Empire, before even The Phantom Menace . . . Jedi lit the way for the galaxy in The High Republic

It is a golden age. Intrepid hyperspace scouts expand the reach of the Republic to the furthest stars, worlds flourish under the benevolent leadership of the Senate, and peace reigns, enforced by the wisdom and strength of the renowned order of Force users known as the Jedi. With the Jedi at the height of their power, the free citizens of the galaxy are confident in their ability to weather any storm But the even brightest light can cast a shadow, and some storms defy any preparation.

When a shocking catastrophe in hyperspace tears a ship to pieces, the flurry of shrapnel emerging from the disaster threatens an entire system. No sooner does the call for help go out than the Jedi race to the scene. The scope of the emergence, however, is enough to push even Jedi to their limit. As the sky breaks open and destruction rains down upon the peaceful alliance they helped to build, the Jedi must trust in the Force to see them through a day in which a single mistake could cost billions of lives.

Even as the Jedi battle valiantly against calamity, something truly deadly grows beyond the boundary of the Republic. The hyperspace disaster is far more sinister than the Jedi could ever suspect. A threat hides in the darkness, far from the light of the age, and harbors a secret that could strike fear into even a Jedi’s heart.


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You can now get your hands on Neil Gaiman's American Gods: The Tenth Anniversary Edition for only 2.99$ by following this Amazon Associate link. This OneLink will take you to the nearest Amazon site serving your country and you'll see if you can take advantage of this sale.

Here's the blurb:

First published in 2001, American Gods became an instant classic—an intellectual and artistic benchmark from the multiple-award-winning master of innovative fiction, Neil Gaiman. Now discover the mystery and magic of American Gods in this tenth anniversary edition. Newly updated and expanded with the author’s preferred text, this commemorative volume is a true celebration of a modern masterpiece by the one, the only, Neil Gaiman.

A storm is coming . . .

Locked behind bars for three years, Shadow did his time, quietly waiting for the magic day when he could return to Eagle Point, Indiana. A man no longer scared of what tomorrow might bring, all he wanted was to be with Laura, the wife he deeply loved, and start a new life.

But just days before his release, Laura and Shadow’s best friend are killed in an accident. With his life in pieces and nothing to keep him tethered, Shadow accepts a job from a beguiling stranger he meets on the way home, an enigmatic man who calls himself Mr. Wednesday. A trickster and rogue, Wednesday seems to know more about Shadow than Shadow does himself.

Life as Wednesday’s bodyguard, driver, and errand boy is far more interesting and dangerous than Shadow ever imagined—it is a job that takes him on a dark and strange road trip and introduces him to a host of eccentric characters whose fates are mysteriously intertwined with his own. Along the way Shadow will learn that the past never dies; that everyone, including his beloved Laura, harbors secrets; and that dreams, totems, legends, and myths are more real than we know. Ultimately, he will discover that beneath the placid surface of everyday life a storm is brewing—an epic war for the very soul of America—and that he is standing squarely in its path.

Relevant and prescient, American Gods has been lauded for its brilliant synthesis of “mystery, satire, sex, horror, and poetic prose” (Michael Dirda, Washington Post Book World) and as a modern phantasmagoria that “distills the essence of America” (Seattle Post-Intelligencer). It is, quite simply, an outstanding work of literary imagination that will endure for generations.

This week's New York Times Bestsellers (July 24th)

There are no speculative fiction bestsellers this week.

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You can now get your hands on the digital edition of Mira Grant's The Rising: The Newsflesh Trilogy for only 2.99$ by following this Amazon Associate link. This OneLink will take you to the nearest Amazon site serving your country and you'll see if you can take advantage of this sale.

Here's the blurb:

Now, for the first time, Mira Grant's complete New York Times bestselling NEWSFLESH trilogy is available in a single volume.

"Alive or dead, the truth won't rest. My name is Georgia Mason, and I am begging you. Rise up while you can."

The year was 2014. We had cured cancer. We had beat the common cold. But in doing so we created something new, something terrible that no one could stop. The infection spread, virus blocks taking over bodies and minds with one, unstoppable command: FEED.

Now, twenty years after the Rising, Georgia and Shaun Mason are on the trail of the biggest story of their lives —the dark conspiracy behind the infected. The truth will out, even if it kills them.


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You can now download Margaret Weis and Tracy Hickman's Dragon Wing, first volume in the Death Gate Cycle, the authors' very best series, for only 2.99$ by following this Amazon Associate link. This OneLink will take you to the nearest Amazon site serving your country and you'll see if you can take advantage of this sale.

The second volume, Elven Star, is also on sale.

Here's the blurb:

Preeminent storytellers Margaret Weis and Tracy Hickman have redefined epic fantasy. Since the publication of their Dragonlance series, millions of readers have enjoyed their imaginative world-building, rich characterization, and intricate storylines. Now these best-selling authors bring their talents to one of the most innovative fantasy creations ever in Dragon Wing, the first volume in The Death Gate Cycle.

An assassin and the royal child he has been hired to kill form an unlikely and unstable alliance as the plots of human sorcerers, elven pirates, and dwarf revolutionaries threaten to overwhelm the airborne kingdoms of Arianus.

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You can now get your hands on the digital edition of Daniel Abraham's Age of Ash for only 2.99$ by following this Amazon Associate link. This OneLink will take you to the nearest Amazon site serving your country and you'll see if you can take advantage of this sale.

Here's the blurb:

From New York Times bestselling and critically acclaimed author Daniel Abraham, co-author of The Expanse, comes a monumental epic fantasy trilogy that unfolds within the walls of a single great city, over the course of one tumultuous year, where every story matters, and the fate of the city is woven from them all.

Kithamar is a center of trade and wealth, an ancient city with a long, bloody history where countless thousands live and their stories unfold.

This is Alys's.

When her brother is murdered, a petty thief from the slums of Longhill sets out to discover who killed him and why. But the more she discovers about him, the more she learns about herself, and the truths she finds are more dangerous than knives.

Swept up in an intrigue as deep as the roots of Kithamar, where the secrets of the lowest born can sometimes topple thrones, the story Alys chooses will have the power to change everything.



You can now download Robert Jordan's The Eye of the World for only 2.99$ by following this Amazon Associate link. This OneLink will take you to the nearest Amazon site serving your country and you'll see if you can take advantage of this sale.

Here's the blurb:

The Wheel of Time ® is a PBS Great American Read Selection! Now in development for TV!

Since its debut in 1990, The Wheel of Time® by Robert Jordan has captivated millions of readers around the globe with its scope, originality, and compelling characters.

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.

When The Two Rivers is attacked by Trollocs—a savage tribe of half-men, half-beasts— five villagers flee that night into a world they barely imagined, with new dangers waiting in the shadows and in the light.

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You can now get youur hands on the digital edition of Steven Erikson's The Fiends of Nightmaria for only 2.99$ by following this Amazon Associate link. This OneLink will take you to the nearest Amazon site serving your country and you'll see if you can take advantage of this sale.

Here's the blurb:

The king is dead, long live King Bauchelain the First, crowned by the Grand Bishop Korbal Broach. Both are, of course, ably assisted in the running of the Kingdom of Farrog by their slowly unravelling servant, Emancipor Reese. However, tensions are mounting between Farrog and the neighboring country of Nightmaria, the mysterious home of the Fiends. Their ambassador, Ophal D Neeth Flatroq, seeks an audience with King Bauchelain, who has thus far rebuffed his overtures. But the necromancer has some other things on his plate.

To quell potential rebellion nearly all the artists, poets, and bards in the city have been put to death. A few survivors languish in the dungeons, bemoaning their fates. Well, just moaning in general really…and maybe plotting escape and revenge.


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You can now download Max Brooks' Devolution for only 1.99$ by following this Amazon Associate link. This OneLink will take you to the nearest Amazon site serving your country and you'll see if you can take advantage of this sale.

Here's the blurb:

FINALIST FOR THE LOCUS AWARD

As the ash and chaos from Mount Rainier’s eruption swirled and finally settled, the story of the Greenloop massacre has passed unnoticed, unexamined . . . until now. The journals of resident Kate Holland, recovered from the town’s bloody wreckage, capture a tale too harrowing—and too earth-shattering in its implications—to be forgotten. In these pages, Max Brooks brings Kate’s extraordinary account to light for the first time, faithfully reproducing her words alongside his own extensive investigations into the massacre and the legendary beasts behind it. Kate’s is a tale of unexpected strength and resilience, of humanity’s defiance in the face of a terrible predator’s gaze, and, inevitably, of savagery and death.

Yet it is also far more than that.

Because if what Kate Holland saw in those days is real, then we must accept the impossible. We must accept that the creature known as Bigfoot walks among us—and that it is a beast of terrible strength and ferocity.

Part survival narrative, part bloody horror tale, part scientific journey into the boundaries between truth and fiction, this is a Bigfoot story as only Max Brooks could chronicle it—and like none you’ve ever read before.


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You can now download V. E. Schwab's The Invisible Life of Addie Larue for only 4.99$ by following this Amazon Associate link. This OneLink will take you to the nearest Amazon site serving your country and you'll see if you can take advantage of this sale.

Here's the blurb:

In the vein of The Time Traveler’s Wife and Life After Life, The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue is New York Times bestselling author V. E. Schwab’s genre-defying tour de force.

A Life No One Will Remember. A Story You Will Never Forget.

France, 1714: in a moment of desperation, a young woman makes a Faustian bargain to live forever—and is cursed to be forgotten by everyone she meets.

Thus begins the extraordinary life of Addie LaRue, and a dazzling adventure that will play out across centuries and continents, across history and art, as a young woman learns how far she will go to leave her mark on the world.

But everything changes when, after nearly 300 years, Addie stumbles across a young man in a hidden bookstore and he remembers her name.



You can also get your ends on the digital edition of Olivie Blake's The Atlas Six for only 3.99$ here. This OneLink will take you to the nearest Amazon site serving your country and you'll see if you can take advantage of this sale.

Here's the blurb:

The Alexandrian Society, caretakers of lost knowledge from the greatest civilizations of antiquity, are the foremost secret society of magical academicians in the world. Those who earn a place among the Alexandrians will secure a life of wealth, power, and prestige beyond their wildest dreams, and each decade, only the six most uniquely talented magicians are selected to be considered for initiation.

Enter the latest round of six: Libby Rhodes and Nico de Varona, unwilling halves of an unfathomable whole, who exert uncanny control over every element of physicality. Reina Mori, a naturalist, who can intuit the language of life itself. Parisa Kamali, a telepath who can traverse the depths of the subconscious, navigating worlds inside the human mind. Callum Nova, an empath easily mistaken for a manipulative illusionist, who can influence the intimate workings of a person’s inner self. Finally, there is Tristan Caine, who can see through illusions to a new structure of reality—an ability so rare that neither he nor his peers can fully grasp its implications.

When the candidates are recruited by the mysterious Atlas Blakely, they are told they will have one year to qualify for initiation, during which time they will be permitted preliminary access to the Society’s archives and judged based on their contributions to various subjects of impossibility: time and space, luck and thought, life and death. Five, they are told, will be initiated. One will be eliminated. The six potential initiates will fight to survive the next year of their lives, and if they can prove themselves to be the best among their rivals, most of them will.

Most of them.


This week's New York Times Bestsellers (July 17th)

In hardcover:

Adam Christopher's Star Wars: Shadow of the Sith debuts at number 11. For more info about this title, follow this Amazon Associate link.

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You can now get your hands on the digital edition of Shelley Parker-Chan's She Who Became the Sun for only 2.99$ by following this Amazon Associate link. It's a OneLink that will take you to the closest Amazon site that serves your country and you can see if the sale price applies to you.

Here's the blurb:

To possess the Mandate of Heaven, the female monk Zhu will do anything.

“I refuse to be nothing…”

In a famine-stricken village on a dusty yellow plain, two children are given two fates. A boy, greatness. A girl, nothingness…

In 1345, China lies under harsh Mongol rule. For the starving peasants of the Central Plains, greatness is something found only in stories. When the Zhu family’s eighth-born son, Zhu Chongba, is given a fate of greatness, everyone is mystified as to how it will come to pass. The fate of nothingness received by the family’s clever and capable second daughter, on the other hand, is only as expected.

When a bandit attack orphans the two children, though, it is Zhu Chongba who succumbs to despair and dies. Desperate to escape her own fated death, the girl uses her brother's identity to enter a monastery as a young male novice. There, propelled by her burning desire to survive, Zhu learns she is capable of doing whatever it takes, no matter how callous, to stay hidden from her fate.

After her sanctuary is destroyed for supporting the rebellion against Mongol rule, Zhu takes the chance to claim another future altogether: her brother's abandoned greatness.

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


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You can now get your hands on the digital edition of Joe Abercrombie's Red Country for only 2.99$ by following this Amazon Associate link.

Here's the blurb:

A New York Times bestseller!

They burned her home.
They stole her brother and sister.
But vengeance is following.

Shy South hoped to bury her bloody past and ride away smiling, but she'll have to sharpen up some bad old ways to get her family back, and she's not a woman to flinch from what needs doing. She sets off in pursuit with only a pair of oxen and her cowardly old step father Lamb for company. But it turns out Lamb's buried a bloody past of his own. And out in the lawless Far Country the past never stays buried.

Their journey will take them across the barren plains to a frontier town gripped by gold fever, through feud, duel and massacre, high into the unmapped mountains to a reckoning with the Ghosts. Even worse, it will force them into an alliance with Nicomo Cosca, infamous soldier of fortune, and his feckless lawyer Temple, two men no one should ever have to trust . . .

RED COUNTRY takes place in the same world as the First Law trilogy, Best Served Cold, andThe Heroes. This novel also represents the return of Logen Ninefingers, one of Abercrombie's most beloved characters.