Lada Dracul has no allies. No throne. All she has is what she’s always had: herself. After failing to secure the Wallachian throne, Lada is out to punish anyone who dares to cross her blood-strewn path. Filled with a white-hot rage, she storms the countryside with her men, accompanied by her childhood friend Bogdan, terrorizing the land. But brute force isn’t getting Lada what she wants.
Empires will topple, thrones will be won . . . and souls will be lost
And I for one, cannot wait.
A Closed and Common Orbit, Becky Chambers
Lovelace was once merely a ship’s artificial intelligence. Together, Pepper and Lovey will discover that no matter how vast space is, two people can fill it together.
I have already raved about A Closed and Common Orbit, which you can read here. Becky Chambers writes glorious sci-fi and I am not ashamed to praise it to the rafters. This book moves away from the previous book’s cast to focus on AI system Lovelace, rebooted and lacking her memories of the rag-tag crew of the Wayfarer.
The Crown’s Game, Evelyn Skye
Vika Andreyeva can summon the snow and turn ash into gold. Nikolai Karimov can see through walls and conjure bridges out of thin air. They are enchanters—the only two in Russia—and with the Ottoman Empire and the Kazakhs threatening, the tsar needs a powerful enchanter by his side.
And so he initiates the Crown’s Game, an ancient duel of magical skill—the greatest test an enchanter will ever know. The victor becomes the Imperial Enchanter and the tsar’s most respected adviser. The defeated is sentenced to death.
In a land where three suns almost never set, a fledgling killer joins a school of assassins, seeking vengeance against the powers who destroyed her family.
Daughter of an executed traitor, Mia Corvere is barely able to escape her father’s failed rebellion with her life. Alone and friendless, she hides in a city built from the bones of a dead god, hunted by the Senate and her father’s former comrades. But her gift for speaking with the shadows leads her to the door of a retired killer, and a future she never imagined.
“You’ll be a rumor. A whisper. The thought that wakes the bastards of this world sweating in the nevernight. The last thing you will ever be, girl, is someone’s hero.”
Writing like this can either be horrendously pretentious and thoroughly off-putting, or it can be delightful and engaging, drawing you entirely into the world. I hope to find out which side Nevernight manages to fall on.
Jay Kristoff’s name adorns the front of Illuminae and Gemina, two of my favourite YA reads of 2016. I’m not really certain what he contributed to them, but I’m willing to take a punt at Nevernight. It’s essentially an assassin origin story, and apparently it features footnotes. Footnotes can be hilariously used to add cracking commentary to a novel, my favourite use of them has to be in Jonathon Stroud’s Bartimaeus Sequence. They’re fricking hilarious. Hopefully Nevernight can avoid being obnoxious and cringey by mistake. It’s a fine line to walk.
The Bear and the Nightingale
At the edge of the Russian wilderness, winter lasts most of the year and the snowdrifts grow taller than houses. But Vasilisa doesn’t mind—she spends the winter nights huddled around the embers of a fire with her beloved siblings, listening to her nurse’s fairy tales. Above all, she loves the chilling story of Frost, the blue-eyed winter demon, who appears in the frigid night to claim unwary souls. Wise Russians fear him, her nurse says, and honor the spirits of house and yard and forest that protect their homes from evil.
Whatever you’ve heard about Caraval, it doesn’t compare to the reality. It’s more than just a game or a performance. It’s the closest you’ll ever find to magic in this world . . .
Welcome, welcome to Caraval―Stephanie Garber’s sweeping tale of two sisters who escape their ruthless father when they enter the dangerous intrigue of a legendary game.
“Every person has the power to change their fate if they are brave enough to fight for what they desire more than anything.”
Alongside a killer cover, Caraval also reportedly has a cruel, cruel ending that, combined with a game-based plot and carnival setting, propels to my number one most anticipated paperback of 2017.
What is your most anticipated paperback of the year?