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Range of Ghosts by Elizabeth Bear
Temur, grandson of the Great Khan, is walking from a battlefield where he was left for dead. All around lie the fallen armies of his cousin and his brother who made war to rule the Khaganate. Temur is now the legitimate heir by blood to his grandfather’s throne, but he is not the strongest. Going into exile is the only way to survive his ruthless cousin.
Once-Princess Samarkar is climbing the thousand steps of the Citadel of the Wizards of Tsarepheth. She was heir to the Rasan Empire until her father got a son on a new wife. Then she was sent to be the wife of a Prince in Song, but that marriage ended in battle and blood. Now she has renounced her worldly power to seek the magical power of the wizards.
Crown of Vengeance by Mercedes Lackey and James Mallory
The child Vielle is the daughter of a mad king and queen, her lands lost before her birth, her family erased from history. Born on a night of storm and terror, raised in hiding, then banished from the only home she has ever known—the final stroke of a war begun centuries before.
Vieliessar, grown into the long adulthood that is Elven life, secretly studies hidden lore to discover the prophecy that heralded her birth, secretly studies the use of magic everyone assumes she does not have. Dark dreams teach lessons of war and duty, of strategy and magecraft, that she could not learn in a thousand lifetimes.
The Tiger’s Daughter by K. Arsenault Rivera
The Hokkaran empire has conquered every land within their bold reach—but failed to notice a lurking darkness festering within the people. Now, their border walls begin to crumble, and villages fall to demons swarming out of the forests.
Away on the silver steppes, the remaining tribes of nomadic Qorin retreat and protect their own, having bartered a treaty with the empire, exchanging inheritance through the dynasties. It is up to two young warriors, raised together across borders since their prophesied birth, to save the world from the encroaching demons.
Truthwitch by Susan Dennard
On a continent ruled by three empires, everyone is born with a “witchery,” a magical skill that sets them apart from others. Now, as the Twenty Year Truce in a centuries long war is about to end, the balance of power-and the failing health of all magic-will fall on the shoulders of a mythical pair called the Cahr Awen.
The Way of Kings by Brandon Sanderson
It has been centuries since the fall of the Knights Radiant, but their mystical swords and armor remain, transforming ordinary men into near-invincible warriors. Men trade kingdoms for them. Wars are fought for them and won by them.