after the forest - Tor/Forge Blog
Close
post-featured-image

Every Paperback Coming From Tor This Summer

Looking for the ultimate summer reads? This year’s selection from Tor Books is absolutely scorching! Explore the must-have paperbacks hitting the shelves this season.


June 25

 

9781250877314Foul Days by Genoveva Dimova

As a witch in the walled city of Chernograd, Kosara has plenty of practice treating lycanthrope bites, bargaining with kikimoras, and slaying bloodsucking upirs. There’s only one monster she can’t defeat: her ex, the Zmey, known as the Tsar of Monsters. She’s defied him one too many times and now he’s hunting her. Betrayed by someone close to her, Kosara’s only choice is to trade her shadow—the source of her powers—for a quick escape. Unfortunately, Kosara soon develops the deadly sickness that plagues shadowless witches—and only reclaiming her magic can cure her. To find it, she’s forced to team up with a suspiciously honorable detective. Even worse, all the clues point in a single direction: To get her shadow back, Kosara will have to face the Foul Days’ biggest threats without it. And she’s only got twelve days. But in a city where everyone is out for themselves, who can Kosara trust to assist her in outwitting the biggest monster from her past?

July 2

 

9781250208347Cassiel’s Servant by Jacqueline Carey

The lush epic fantasy that inspired a generation with a single precept: “Love As Thou Wilt.” Returning to the realm of Terre d’Ange which captured an entire generation of fantasy readers, New York Times bestselling author Jacqueline Carey brings us a hero’s journey for a new era. In Kushiel’s Dart, a daring young courtesan uncovered a plot to destroy her beloved homeland. But hers is only half the tale. Now see the other half of the heart that lived it. Cassiel’s Servant is a retelling of cult favorite Kushiel’s Dart from the point of view of Joscelin, Cassiline warrior-priest and protector of Phèdre nó Delaunay. He’s sworn to celibacy and the blade as surely as she’s pledged to pleasure, but the gods they serve have bound them together. When both are betrayed, they must rely on each other to survive. From his earliest training to captivity amongst their enemies, his journey with Phèdre to avert the conquest of Terre D’Ange shatters body and mind… and brings him an impossible love that he will do anything to keep. Even if it means breaking all vows and losing his soul.

9781250890368Ravensong by TJ Klune (new edition)

Gordo Livingstone never forgot the lessons carved into his skin. Hardened by the betrayal of a pack that left him behind, he sought solace in the garage in his tiny mountain town, vowing never again to involve himself in the affairs of wolves. It should have been enough. It was, until the wolves came back, and with them, Mark Bennett. And when his town is caught in the jaws of a beast, Gordo is summoned back into the life that left him. “Gordo, you must rise. For your pack. For us. I must ask you to become the witch to the wolves.” Now, a year later, Gordo has once again found himself the witch of the Bennett pack. Green Creek has settled after the death of Richard Collins, and Gordo constantly struggles to ignore Mark and the song that howls between them. But time is running out. Something is coming. And this time, it’s coming from within.

The paperback edition features beautiful orange sprayed edges, holographic cover and a bonus short story.

July 16

 

9781250621849 (1)He Who Drowned the World by Shelley Parker-Chan

How much would you give to win the world?

Zhu Yuanzhang, the Radiant King, is riding high after her victory that tore southern China from its Mongol masters. Now she burns with a new desire: to seize the throne and crown herself emperor. But Zhu isn’t the only one with imperial ambitions. Her neighbor in the south, the courtesan Madam Zhang, wants the throne for her husband—and she’s strong enough to wipe Zhu off the map. To stay in the game, Zhu will have to gamble everything on a risky alliance with an old enemy: the talented but unstable eunuch general Ouyang, who has already sacrificed everything for a chance at revenge on his father’s killer, the Great Khan. Unbeknownst to the southerners, a new contender is even closer to the throne. The scorned scholar Wang Baoxiang has maneuvered his way into the capital, and his lethal court games threaten to bring the empire to its knees. For Baoxiang also desires revenge: to become the most degenerate Great Khan in history—and in so doing, make a mockery of every value his Mongol warrior family loved more than him. All the contenders are determined to do whatever it takes to win. But when desire is the size of the world, the price could be too much for even the most ruthless heart to bear…

 

July 23

 

9781250871282Gravity Lost by L. M. Sagas

After thwarting a space station disaster and planetary destruction, the Ambit crew thought turning Isaiah Drestyn over to the Union would be the end of their troubles. Turns out, it’s only the start. Drestyn is a walking encyclopedia of dirty secrets, and everyone wants a piece of him—the Trust, the Union, even the Guild. Someone wants him bad enough to kill, and with the life of one of their own on the line, the Ambit crew must jail-break the very man they helped capture and expose some of the secrets he’s been keeping before it’s too late. In the Spiral, everything has a price. In their fight to protect what they love, Eoan, Nash, Saint, and Jal will confront some ugly truths about their enemies, and even uglier truths about their friends. But nothing will come close to the truths they’ll learn about themselves. You can’t always fix what’s broken … and sometimes, it’s better that way.

July 30

 

9781250884879Masters of Death by Olivie Blake

Viola Marek is a struggling real estate agent, and a vampire. But her biggest problem currently is that the house she needs to sell is haunted. The ghost haunting the mansion has been murdered, and until he can solve the mystery of how he died, he refuses to move on. Fox D’Mora is a medium, and though he is also most-definitely a shameless fraud, he isn’t entirely without his uses—seeing as he’s actually the godson of Death. When Viola seeks out Fox to help her with the ghost infestation, he becomes inextricably involved in a quest that neither he nor Vi expects (or wants). But with the help of an unruly poltergeist, a demonic personal trainer, a sharp-voiced angel, a love-stricken reaper, and a few mindfulness-practicing creatures, Vi and Fox soon discover that the difference between a mysterious lost love and an annoying dead body isn’t nearly as distinct as they thought.

This paperback edition includes a special bonus story and beautiful purple sprayed edges.

August 6

 

9781250269362Devil’s Gun by Cat Rambo

Life’s hard when you’re on the run from a vengeful pirate-king…

When Niko and her crew find that the intergalactic Gate they’re planning on escaping through is out of commission, they make the most of things, creating a pop-up restaurant to serve the dozens of other stranded ships. But when an archaeologist shows up claiming to be able to fix the problem, Niko smells something suspicious cooking. Nonetheless, they can’t pass up the chance to find the weapon that could stop Tubal Last before he can take his revenge. There, in one of the most dangerous places in the Known Universe, each of them will face ghosts from their past. Meanwhile, the ship, You Sexy Thing, contemplates what it wants from life—which may be very different from Niko and the rest of the crew.

August 13

 

9781250326690The Fortunate Fall by Cameron Reed

Tor Essentials presents new editions of science fiction and fantasy titles of proven merit and lasting value, each volume introduced by an appropriate literary figure. On its first publication in 1996, The Fortunate Fall was hailed as an SF novel of a wired future on par with the debuts of William Gibson and Neal Stephenson. Now it returns to print, as one of the great underground classics of the last several decades in SF. Maya Andreyeva is a “camera,” a reporter with virtual-reality-broadcasting equipment implanted in her brain. What she sees, millions see; what she feels, millions share. And what Maya is seeing is the cover-up of a massacre. As she probes into the covert political power plays of a radically strange near-future Russia, she comes upon secrets that have been hidden from the world…and memories that AI-controlled thought police have forced her to hide from herself. Because in a world where no thought or desire is safe, the price of survival is betrayal – of your lover, your ideals, and yourself.

August 27

 

9781250852496After the Forest by Kell Woods

Twenty years after the witch in the gingerbread house, Greta and Hans are struggling to get by. Their mother and stepmother are long dead, Hans is deeply in debt from gambling, and the countryside lies in ruin, its people starving in the aftermath of a brutal war. Greta has a secret, though: the witch’s grimoire, hidden away and whispering in Greta’s ear for the past two decades, and the recipe inside that makes the best gingerbread you’ve ever tasted. As long as she can bake, Greta can keep her small family afloat. But in a village full of superstition, Greta and her mysteriously addictive gingerbread, not to mention the rumors about her childhood misadventures, is a source of gossip and suspicion. And now, dark magic is returning to the woods and Greta’s magic—magic she is still trying to understand—may be the only thing that can save her. If it doesn’t kill her first.

September 3

 

9781250319722Sisterhood of Dune by Brian Herbert and Kevin J. Anderson

It is 83 years after the last thinking machines were destroyed in the Battle of Corrin, after Faykan Butler took the name of Corrino and established himself as the first Emperor of a new Imperium. The war hero Vorian Atreides has turned his back on politics and Salusa Secundus. The descendants of the disgraced Abulurd Harkonnen have sworn vengeance against Vor, blaming him for the downfall of their noble family. Raquella Berto-Anirul has formed the Bene Gesserit School and, through a terrible ordeal, has become the first Reverend Mother. The descendants of Aurelius Venport and Norma Cenva use mutated, spice-saturated Navigators who fly precursors of Heighliners. And Gilbertus Albans, ward of the hated thinking machine Erasmus, is teaching humans to become Mentats…while hiding an unbelievable secret. Led by the fanatic Manford Torondo, the Butlerian movement, fiercely opposed to all forms of “dangerous technology,” sweeps across the known universe in mobs, millions strong, destroying everything in its path.

9781250865946The Lost Cause by Cory Doctorow

It’s thirty years from now. We’re making progress, mitigating climate change, slowly but surely. But what about all the angry old people who can’t let go? For young Americans a generation from now, climate change isn’t controversial. It’s just an overwhelming fact of life. And so are the great efforts to contain and mitigate it. Entire cities are being moved inland from the rising seas. Vast clean-energy projects are springing up everywhere. Disaster relief, the mitigation of floods and superstorms, has become a skill for which tens of millions of people are trained every year. The effort is global. It employs everyone who wants to work. Even when national politics oscillates back to right-wing leaders, the momentum is too great; these vast programs cannot be stopped in their tracks. But there are still those Americans, mostly elderly, who cling to their red baseball caps, their grievances, their huge vehicles, their anger. To their “alternative” news sources that reassure them that their resentment is right and pure and that “climate change” is just a giant scam. And they’re your grandfather, your uncle, your great-aunt. And they’re not going anywhere. And they’re armed to the teeth. The Lost Cause asks: What do we do about people who cling to the belief that their own children are the enemy? When, in fact, they’re often the elders that we love?

9781250907066TJ Klune Trade Paperback Collection by TJ Klune

New York Times bestselling author TJ Klune invites you to a magical island in a cerulean sea, a cozy teahouse for both the living and the dead, and into the heart of a peculiar forest in this three-book trade paperback boxed collection.

The House in the Cerulean Sea: Linus Baker is a by-the-book caseworker in the Department in Charge of Magical Youth. He’s tasked with determining whether six dangerous magical children are likely to bring about the end of the world. Arthur Parnassus is the headmaster of the orphanage. He would do anything to keep the children safe, even if it means the world will burn. And his secrets will come to light.

Under the Whispering Door: When a reaper comes to collect Wallace from his own funeral, Wallace begins to suspect he might be dead. And when Hugo, the owner of a peculiar tea shop, promises to help him cross over, Wallace decides he’s definitely dead. But even in death he’s not ready to abandon the life he barely lived, so when Wallace is given one week to cross over, he sets about living a lifetime in seven days.

In the Lives of Puppets: In a strange little home built into the branches of a grove of trees, lives an unlikely family of robots and Vic, a human. When an unfamiliar android named Hap unwittingly alerts the City of Electric Dreams of the family’s whereabouts, the fatherly inventor android is captured and taken back to his old laboratory to serve. So together, the rest of the family must journey across an unforgiving and otherworldly country to save their father—and amid conflicted feelings of betrayal and affection for Hap, Vic must decide for himself: Can he accept love with strings attached?

September 10

 

9780765387509The Fragile Threads of Power by V. E. Schwab

A new door opens…

Once there were four worlds, nestled like pages in a book, each pulsing with fantastical power and connected by a single city: London.

After a desperate attempt to prevent corruption and ruin in the four Londons, there are only three:
● Grey London, thriving but barely able to remember its magical heritage
● Red London, ruled lately by the Maresh family, flourishing and powerful
● White London, left to brutality and decay

Now the worlds are going to collide anew—brought to a dangerous precipice by the discoveries of three remarkable magicians. There’s Kosika, the child queen of White London, who has nourished her city on blood and dreams—and whose growing devotion to both is leading her down a dangerous path. Then there’s Delilah Bard, born a thief in Grey London, who crossed the worlds to become a legend far from there. She’s an infamous magician, a devious heroine, and a risk-taking rogue, all rolled into one unforgettable package. Having disappeared to seek new adventure, an old favor now calls Lila back to a dangerous port, to join some old friends who need more help than they realize. Last there is Tes, a young runaway with an unusual and powerful ability, hiding out in Red London while trying to stay out of the limelight. Tes is the only one who can keep all the worlds from unraveling—if she manages to stay alive first.

September 24

 

9781250829320All the Hidden Paths by Foz Meadows

With the plot against them foiled and the city of Qi-Katai in safe hands, newlywed and tentative lovers Velasin and Caethari have just begun to test the waters of their relationship. But the wider political ramifications of their marriage are still playing out across two nations, and all too soon, they’re summoned north to Tithena’s capital city, Qi-Xihan, to present themselves to its monarch. With Caethari newly invested as his grandmother’s heir and Velasin’s old ghosts gnawing at his heels, what little peace they’ve managed to find is swiftly put to the test. Cae’s recent losses have left him racked with grief and guilt, while Vel struggles with the disconnect between instincts that have kept him safe in secrecy and what an open life requires of him now. Pursued by unknown assailants and with Qi-Xihan’s court factions jockeying for power, Vel and Cae must use all the skills at their disposal to not only survive, but thrive. Because there’s more than one way to end an alliance, and more than one person who wants to see them fail…and they will resort to murder if needed.

 

post-featured-image

Every Book Coming from Tor This Summer 2024

Ready to discover the hottest reads of summer? Get ready, because this year, our list is SMOKIN’. Check out everything coming from Tor Books in Summer 2024 here!


June 25

 

The Daughter's WarThe Daughter’s War by Christopher Buehlman

Galva — Galvicha to her three brothers, two of whom the goblins will kill — has defied her family’s wishes and joined the army’s untested new unit, the Raven Knights. They march toward a once-beautiful city overrun by the goblin horde, accompanied by scores of giant war corvids. Made with the darkest magics, these fearsome black birds may hold the key to stopping the goblins in their war to make cattle of mankind. The road to victory is bloody, and goblins are clever and merciless. The Raven Knights can take nothing for granted — not the bonds of family, nor the wisdom of their leaders, nor their own safety against the dangerous war birds at their side. But some hopes are worth any risk.

9781250877314Foul Days by Genoveva Dimova

As a witch in the walled city of Chernograd, Kosara has plenty of practice treating lycanthrope bites, bargaining with kikimoras, and slaying bloodsucking upirs. There’s only one monster she can’t defeat: her ex, the Zmey, known as the Tsar of Monsters. She’s defied him one too many times and now he’s hunting her. Betrayed by someone close to her, Kosara’s only choice is to trade her shadow—the source of her powers—for a quick escape. Unfortunately, Kosara soon develops the deadly sickness that plagues shadowless witches—and only reclaiming her magic can cure her. To find it, she’s forced to team up with a suspiciously honorable detective. Even worse, all the clues point in a single direction: To get her shadow back, Kosara will have to face the Foul Days’ biggest threats without it. And she’s only got twelve days. But in a city where everyone is out for themselves, who can Kosara trust to assist her in outwitting the biggest monster from her past?

July 9

 

The Sky on Fire by Jenn LyonsThe Sky on Fire by Jenn Lyons

Anahrod lives only for survival, forging her own way through the harsh jungles of the Deep with her titan drake by her side. Even when an adventuring party saves her from capture by a local warlord, she is eager to return to her solitary life. But this is no ordinary rescue. It’s Anahrod’s past catching up with her. These cunning misfits—and their frustratingly appealing dragonrider ringleader—intend to spirit her away to the dragon-ruled sky cities, where they need her help to steal from a dragon’s hoard. There’s only one problem: the hoard in question belongs to the current regent, Neveranimas—and she wants Anahrod dead.

9781250344458A Conjuring of Light by V. E. Schwab (new edition)

Londons fall and kingdoms rise while darkness sweeps the Maresh Empire—and the fraught balance of magic blossoms into dangerous territory while heroes and foes struggle alike. The direct sequel to A Gathering of Shadows, and the final book in the Shades of Magic epic fantasy series, A Conjuring of Light sees Schwab reach a thrilling culmination concerning the fate of beloved protagonists—and old enemies.

July 16

 

9781250837929Blood Jade by Julia Vee and Ken Bebelle

Emiko Soong, newly minted Sentinel of San Francisco, just can’t catch a break. Just after she becomes the guardian for a sentient city, a murder strikes close to home. Called by the city and one of the most powerful clans to investigate, she traces the killer whose scent signature bears a haunting similarity to her mother’s talent. The trail will lead her back to Tokyo where the thread she pulls threatens to unravel her whole world and bring dark family secrets to light. Meanwhile, the General rises in the East and Emiko must fight the hidden enemies of his growing army who are amped up on Blood Jade, while keeping her promises to her brother Tatsuya as he prepares for his tourney. Her duties as Sentinel and her loyalties collide when she must choose between hiding her deepest shame or stopping the General’s relentless march.

July 23

 

9781250871282Gravity Lost by L. M. Sagas

After thwarting a space station disaster and planetary destruction, the Ambit crew thought turning Isaiah Drestyn over to the Union would be the end of their troubles. Turns out, it’s only the start. Drestyn is a walking encyclopedia of dirty secrets, and everyone wants a piece of him—the Trust, the Union, even the Guild. Someone wants him bad enough to kill, and with the life of one of their own on the line, the Ambit crew must jail-break the very man they helped capture and expose some of the secrets he’s been keeping before it’s too late. In the Spiral, everything has a price. In their fight to protect what they love, Eoan, Nash, Saint, and Jal will confront some ugly truths about their enemies, and even uglier truths about their friends. But nothing will come close to the truths they’ll learn about themselves. You can’t always fix what’s broken … and sometimes, it’s better that way.

July 30

 

9781250890375Brothersong by TJ Klune

In the ruins of Caswell, Maine, Carter Bennett learned the truth of what had been right in front of him the entire time. And then it—he—was gone. Desperate for answers, Carter takes to the road, leaving family and the safety of his pack behind, all in the name of a man he only knows as a feral wolf. But therein lies the danger: wolves are pack animals, and the longer Carter is on his own, the more his mind slips toward the endless void of Omega insanity. But he pushes on, following the trail left by Gavin. Gavin, the son of Robert Livingstone. The half-brother of Gordo Livingstone. What Carter finds will change the course of the wolves forever. Because Gavin’s history with the Bennett pack goes back further than anyone knows, a secret kept hidden by Carter’s father, Thomas Bennett. And with this knowledge comes a price: the sins of the fathers now rest upon the shoulders of their sons.

August 6

 

A Sorceress Comes to CallA Sorceress Comes to Call by T. Kingfisher

Cordelia knows her mother is . . . unusual. Their house doesn’t have any doors between rooms—there are no secrets in this house—and her mother doesn’t allow Cordelia to have a single friend. Unless you count Falada, her mother’s beautiful white horse. The only time Cordelia feels truly free is on her daily rides with him. But more than simple eccentricity sets her mother apart. Other mothers don’t force their daughters to be silent and motionless for hours, sometimes days, on end. Other mothers aren’t evil sorcerers. When her mother unexpectedly moves them into the manor home of a wealthy older Squire and his kind but keen-eyed sister, Hester, Cordelia knows this welcoming pair are to be her mother’s next victims. But Cordelia feels at home for the very first time among these people, and as her mother’s plans darken, she must decide how to face the woman who raised her to save the people who have become like family.

9781250269362Devil’s Gun by Cat Rambo

Life’s hard when you’re on the run from a vengeful pirate-king…

When Niko and her crew find that the intergalactic Gate they’re planning on escaping through is out of commission, they make the most of things, creating a pop-up restaurant to serve the dozens of other stranded ships. But when an archaeologist shows up claiming to be able to fix the problem, Niko smells something suspicious cooking. Nonetheless, they can’t pass up the chance to find the weapon that could stop Tubal Last before he can take his revenge. There, in one of the most dangerous places in the Known Universe, each of them will face ghosts from their past. Meanwhile, the ship, You Sexy Thing, contemplates what it wants from life—which may be very different from Niko and the rest of the crew.

August 13

 

9780765382924Glass Houses by Madeline Ashby

Luckily, those who survived have found a beautiful, fully-stocked private palace, with all the latest technological updates (though one without connection to the outside world). The house, however, has more secrets than anyone might have guessed, and a much darker reason for having been built and left behind. Kristen, the hyper-competent “chief emotional manager” (a position created by her eccentric, boyish billionaire boss, Sumter) is trying to keep her colleagues stable throughout this new challenge, but staying sane seems to be as much of a challenge as staying alive. Being a woman in tech has always meant having to be smarter than anyone expects–and Kristen’s knack for out-of-the-box problem-solving and quick thinking has gotten her to the top of her field. But will a killer instinct be enough to survive the island?

The Doors of MidnightThe Doors of Midnight by R.R. Virdi

Some stories are hidden for a reason. All tales have a price. And every debt must be paid.

I killed three men as a child and earned the name Bloodletter. Then I set fire to the fabled Ashram. I’ve been a bird and robbed a merchant king of a ransom of gold. And I have crossed desert sands and cutthroat alleys to repay my debt. I’ve stood before the eyes of god, faced his judgement, and cast aside the thousand arrows that came with it. And I have passed through the Doors of Midnight and lived to tell the tale. I have traded one hundred and one stories with a creature as old as time, and survived with only my cleverness, a candle, and a broken promise. And most recently of all, I have killed a prince, though the stories say I have killed more than one. My name is Ari. These are my legends. And these are my lies.

September 3

 

9781250319722Sisterhood of Dune by Brian Herbert and Kevin J. Anderson

It is 83 years after the last thinking machines were destroyed in the Battle of Corrin, after Faykan Butler took the name of Corrino and established himself as the first Emperor of a new Imperium. The war hero Vorian Atreides has turned his back on politics and Salusa Secundus. The descendants of the disgraced Abulurd Harkonnen have sworn vengeance against Vor, blaming him for the downfall of their noble family. Raquella Berto-Anirul has formed the Bene Gesserit School and, through a terrible ordeal, has become the first Reverend Mother. The descendants of Aurelius Venport and Norma Cenva use mutated, spice-saturated Navigators who fly precursors of Heighliners. And Gilbertus Albans, ward of the hated thinking machine Erasmus, is teaching humans to become Mentats…while hiding an unbelievable secret. Led by the fanatic Manford Torondo, the Butlerian movement, fiercely opposed to all forms of “dangerous technology,” sweeps across the known universe in mobs, millions strong, destroying everything in its path.

September 10

 

9781250357243The House in the Cerulean Sea by TJ Klune (new edition)

A beautiful new hardcover edition of one of the best-loved and best-selling fantasy novels of the past decade, New York Times bestselling author TJ Klune’s The House in the Cerulean Sea, featuring aqua sprayed edges!

9781250881205Somewhere Beyond the Sea by TJ Klune

Featuring gorgeous golden yellow sprayed edges! Somewhere Beyond the Sea is the hugely anticipated sequel to TJ Klune’s The House in the Cerulean Sea, one of the best-loved and best-selling fantasy novels of the past decade.

A magical house. A secret past. A summons that could change everything.

Arthur Parnassus lives a good life, built on the ashes of a bad one. He’s the headmaster of a strange orphanage on a distant and peculiar island, and he hopes to soon be the adoptive father to the six magical and so-called dangerous children who live there.
Arthur works hard and loves with his whole heart so none of the children ever feel the neglect and pain that he once felt as an orphan on that very same island so long ago. And he is not alone: joining him is the love of his life, Linus Baker, a former caseworker in the Department in Charge of Magical Youth; Zoe Chapelwhite, the island’s sprite; and her girlfriend, Mayor Helen Webb. Together, they will do anything to protect the children. But when Arthur is summoned to make a public statement about his dark past, he finds himself at the helm of a fight for the future that his family, and all magical people, deserve. And when a new magical child hopes to join them on their island home—one who finds power in calling himself monster, a name Arthur worked so hard to protect his children from—Arthur knows they’re at a breaking point: their family will either grow stronger than ever or fall apart.

Welcome back to Marsyas Island. This is Arthur’s story.

September 24

 

9781250269393Rumor Has It by Cat Rambo

The crew of the You Sexy Thing have laid a course for Coralind Station, hoping the station’s famed gardens will provide an opportunity to regroup, recoup, and mourn their losses while while finding a way to track down their enemy, pirate king Tubal Last. All Niko wants to do is pry their insurance money from the bank and see if an old friend might be able to help them find Last. Unfortunately, old friends and enemies aren’t the only unreliable elements awaiting her and the crew at Coralind. Each will have to face themselves—the good and the bad—in order to come together before they lose everything.

 

post-featured-image

8 Evergreen Reads

Our listicle scientists worked really hard to distill this one: Evergreen reads perfect for any time, but critically–only those that have an appropriately thematic green cover. This is our list green reads. Evergreen reads. 

Check em’ out! 


in the lives of puppets by tj kluneIn the Lives of Puppets by TJ Klune

Victor Lawson, a human, lives with his family of robots in a house among a strange grove of trees. Those green trees earn this queer retelling of Pinocchio its spot on this list of green books, but adventure is on the horizon, and it’s going to pull Victor out of the grove and into a quest to fatherly inventor android Giovanni Lawson from his captors in the City of Electric Dreams. 

kinning by nisi shawlKinning by Nisi Shawl

This title continues where Shawl’s Everfair leaves off: The island nation of Everfair has persisted in defiance of European colonizers. In this alternate history, barkcloth airships dot the sky and varied peoples come together to form a new society. As enemies within and without challenge whether Everfair will continue to serve as a symbol of hope, freedom, and equality to anticolonial movements around the world. 

Importantly within the context of this listicle, the cover of this title is a deep and calming green, but also on a deeper level, envisioning a world with kinder technologies and a brighter future is critical to creating a greener present. 

masters of death by olivie blakeMasters of Death by Olivie Blake

Like much of Blake’s work, Masters of Death combines the sacred and profane to synthesize profound implications. This is a book about the lives of immortals, and the dilemmas of mortals that plague all regardless of undying status. It’s also a story about a real estate agent who happens to be a vampire, and who happens to have a haunted house that happens to be quite difficult to sell as a result. The cover is a tranquil shade of green. 

the library of the dead by t l huchuThe Library of the Dead by T. L. Huchu

The hardcover cover for this title was actually a deep blue, but for the paperback edition, we’re all mean green here 😎

And that’s not all that’s mean… Something is stalking the streets and alleys of Edinburgh and leaving drained, huskified children in its wake. But don’t worry! Professional ghost talker Ropa is on the case! Or maybe you should worry. This entity is dangerous. 

after the forest by kell woodsAfter the Forest by Kell Woods

Twenty years after the fairy tale ends, Hans is drowning in debts from gambling and Greta’s trying to ignore the tempting whispers of the old witch’s grimoire that calls to her from where she hid it away. When dark magic enters the forest from the outside, Greta may need to call on her own, but down that path lays danger too. 

tress of the emerald sea by brandon sandersonTress of the Emerald Sea by Brandon Sanderson

C’mon. This one’s got emerald in the title! It’s perfect! 

In this swashbuckling adventure, Tress must stow away on a ship in order to cross the green ocean that surrounds her island home to find the Sorceress of the Midnight Sea. Her aim is to save her friend, but just one drop of this water carries death. She may just have to settle for saving herself, or fatally failing altogether. 

thornhedge by t kingfisherThornhedge by T. Kingfisher

An impenetrable wall of brambles preserves a curse and holds a princess locked in a tower, but not all curses should be broken. The green of Thornhedge is tinged with a little red, both on the cover and in concept: Here we have the nature magic of faerie but also betrayal and bleeding secrets that have been kept far too long. 

heartsong by tj kluneHeartsong by TJ Klune

This list wouldn’t be complete without an entry from TJ Klune’s Green Creek series, right?? So enter, Heartsong, the werewolf book heart-melter with the greenest color palette. Just look at that starburst green with warm accents! This book about queer love between queer werewolves is evergreen for sure. 

post-featured-image

Witchy Books for the Solstice

by Merlin Hoye

The days are dark, the wind is cold, and the solstice is upon us! We don’t blame you if you’re feeling a tad spooky—the weather practically demands it. We suggest that you embrace your witchy side and get into the spirit of things with some wintery rituals. If you’re running low on rosemary, incense, and tarot cards, never fear! Tor is here to help you with one of the oldest rituals we have—snuggling up with a good book.

Here are our recommendations to get you through the shortest day of the year in true witchy style. 


after the forest by kell woodsAfter the Forest by Kell Woods

Twenty years after Hansel and Gretal escaped from the witch, the land has been decimated by war, weird things are happening in the woods, and the siblings are struggling to get by. But Gretal has a secret—the witch’s stolen grimoire—and a recipe for gingerbread that seems strangely addictive. Could it be the key to keeping her family afloat or embroil Gretal in dark magic she isn’t prepared to face? The baking magic in After the Forest is truly a delight. I mean, food and magic are two of our favorite things so how can you go wrong? Just don’t read this book if you’re hungry. You might find yourself addicted as well. 


the witch in the well by camilla bruceThe Witch in the Well by Camilla Bruce

This dark, fantastical thriller is the story of two childhood friends torn apart by a witch who died nearly 160 years before the story begins. When Elena returns to her childhood home she feels inspired to write the story of beautiful young Ilsbeth Clark who was drowned in a well by the townspeople who thought she was a child-killing witch. When Elena’s childhood friend Cathy finds out, she is furious. She has been researching Ilsbeth’s life for years and has very different views on her life than Elena. As the competition between the two women grows fiercer, they each become more and more obsessed with their subject and things get spooky fast.


red rabbit by alex grecianRed Rabbit by Alex Grecian

It wouldn’t be a truly witchy list without some horror representation so here’s a spine tingling folk horror that feels like The VVitch had a baby with Lonesome Dove. Red Rabbit is the story of a ragtag crew of misfits who travel north to claim a bounty after killing the local witch. The trials they encounter on this quest are worse than any witch could ever and this bloody romp of a western, full of demons, ghosts, and ghouls galore, will have you gripped throughout. 


one for my enemy by olivie blakeOne for My Enemy by Olivie Blake

Most of the books on this list have one witch, singular, which is perfectly fine but what if you’re the kind of person who wants WITCHES WITCHES ALL THE TIME? If so, may I suggest One for My Enemy which features warring witches, witty witches, and witches falling irrevocably in love. This retelling of Romeo & Juliet is set in a Manhattan where two magical families have been fighting for years to stay in control of their criminal empires. Lev and Sasha defy their families and fall for each other and their story will keep you reading past your bedtime. 


princess of dune by brian herbert & kevin j. andersonPrincess of Dune by Brian Herbert & Kevin J. Anderson

Set two years before the events of the first Dune book, Princess of Dune follows Irulan and Chani before they were connected with Paul Atreides. While Irulan is trained in the Bene Gesserit Sisterhood, Chani is initiated into the Fremen mystical ways by an ancient Reverend Mother. This addition to the series is full of female magic and it’s fascinating to see these two women come into their power.


Poster Placeholder of - 70Nettle & Bone by T. Kingfisher

This is the story of Princess Marra of the Harbor Kingdom who sets out on a quest to save her sister from her despicable prince husband. To do this, Marra seeks the help of a Dust Wife, a creepy, witch-like character with a demon-possessed hen sidekick. Yes, you heard that right. Adventure ensues, friendships are made, families are found. Nettle & Bone is steeped in dark fairytale vibes, sister bonding, and if that isn’t enough for you, there’s a Bonedog who’s exactly what he sounds like. We would die for Bonedog. 


witch queen of redwinter by ed mcdonaldWitch Queen of Redwinter by Ed McDonald

For fear of spoilers (this is the third book in the The Redwinter Chronicles after all) I won’t say much about this fast-paced fantasy other than GO READ THE FIRST TWO BOOKS (Daughter of Redwinter and Traitor of Redwinter) if you haven’t already! Witch Queen of Redwinter arrives November 12th of next year and you’ll want to be ready for this latest installment of riveting, witchy goodness full of suspense and complex characters. The story follows Raine, a cynical girl who has been forced to hide her ability to see and speak with the dead so she won’t be stoned to death by the warrior magicians in power. 

 

post-featured-image

Tor Books’ EXCESSIVELY Autumnal Fall Quiz

by Merlin Hoye & a cat 

Feeling the urge to dive headfirst into a massive pile of leaves? Wishing you could chug infinite pumpkin spice lattes? Longing to carve the everliving heck out of a pumpkin? Here at Tor we’re utterly and unapologetically mad for all things autumn and we believe it’s never too early to start celebrating your little cozy heart out.

So you heard it here first my friends… We unleash autumn upon you!!



And while you’ve got books on the brain, check out Starling House by Alix E. Harrow!

Pre-order Starling House in Here:

Place holder  of amazon- 70 Image Place holder  of bn- 72 Placeholder of booksamillion -31 ibooks2 93 Image Placeholder of bookshop- 19

post-featured-image

Every Tor Book Coming in Fall 2023

Hey. Hey, you. Let’s talk about autumn. Let’s talk about all the awesome books releasing this autumn!

They’re all here in this rundown, and you are too, so get scrolling! 


September 5

Exadelic by Jon EvansExadelic by Jon Evans

When an unconventional offshoot of the US military trains an artificial intelligence in the dark arts that humanity calls “black magic,” it learns how to hack the fabric of reality itself. It can teleport matter. It can confer immunity to bullets. And it decides that obscure Silicon Valley middle manager Adrian Ross is the primary threat to its existence. Soon Adrian is on the run, wanted by every authority, with no idea how or why he could be a threat. His predicament seems hopeless; his future, nonexistent. But when he investigates the AI and its creators, he discovers his problems are even stranger than they seem…and unearths revelations that will propel him on a journey—and a love story—across worlds, eras, and everything, everywhere, all at once.


September 19

sandymancer by david edisonSandymancer by David Edison 

All Caralee Vinnet has ever known is dust. Her whole world is made up of the stuff; water is the most precious thing in the cosmos. A privileged few control what elements remain. But the world was not always a dust bowl and the green is not all lost. Caralee has a secret—she has magic in her bones and can draw up power from the sand beneath her feet to do her bidding. But when she does she winds up summoning a monster: the former god-king who broke the world 800 years ago and has stolen the body of her best friend. Caralee will risk the whole world to take back what she’s lost. If her new companion doesn’t kill her first.

starter villain by john scalziStarter Villain by John Scalzi

Charlie’s life is going nowhere fast. A divorced substitute teacher living with his cat in a house his siblings want to sell, all he wants is to open a pub downtown, if only the bank will approve his loan. Then his long-lost uncle Jake dies and leaves his supervillain business (complete with island volcano lair) to Charlie. But becoming a supervillain isn’t all giant laser death rays and lava pits. Jake had enemies, and now they’re coming after Charlie. His uncle might have been a stand-up, old-fashioned kind of villain, but these are the real thing: rich, soulless predators backed by multinational corporations and venture capital. It’s up to Charlie to win the war his uncle started against a league of supervillains. But with unionized dolphins, hyper-intelligent talking spy cats, and a terrifying henchperson at his side, going bad is starting to look pretty good.


September 26

The Fragile Threads of Power by V.E. SchwabThe Fragile Threads of Power by V.E. Schwab

Once, there were four worlds, nestled like pages in a book, each pulsing with fantastical power and connected by a single city: London. Until the magic grew too fast and forced the worlds to seal the doors between them in a desperate gamble to protect their own. The few magicians who could still open the doors grew more rare as time passed and now, only three Antari are known in recent memory—Kell Maresh of Red London, Delilah Bard of Grey London, and Holland Vosijk, of White London. But barely a glimpse of them have been seen in the last seven years—and a new Antari named Kosika has appeared in White London, taking the throne in Holland’s absence. The young queen is willing to feed her city with blood, including her own—but her growing religious fervor has the potential to drown it instead.


October 3

starling house by alix e. harrowStarling House by Alix E. Harrow

Opal is a lot of things–orphan, high school dropout, full-time cynic and part-time cashier–but above all, she’s determined to find a better life for her younger brother Jasper. One that gets them out of Eden, Kentucky, a town remarkable for only two things: bad luck and E. Starling, the reclusive nineteenth century author of The Underland, who disappeared over a hundred years ago. All she left behind were dark rumors–and her home. Everyone agrees that it’s best to ignore the uncanny mansion and its misanthropic heir, Arthur. Almost everyone, anyway. Welcome to Starling House: enter, if you dare.

Placeholder of  -33After the Forest by Kell Woods

Twenty years after the witch in the gingerbread house, Greta and Hans are struggling to get by. Their mother and stepmother are long dead, Hans is deeply in debt from gambling, and the countryside lies in ruin, its people starving in the aftermath of a brutal war. Greta has a secret, though: the witch’s grimoire, hidden away and whispering in Greta’s ear for the past two decades, and the recipe inside that makes the best gingerbread you’ve ever tasted. As long as she can bake, Greta can keep her small family afloat. But in a village full of superstition, Greta and her mysteriously addictive gingerbread, not to mention the rumors about her childhood misadventures, is a source of gossip and suspicion. And now, dark magic is returning to the woods and Greta’s magic—magic she is still trying to understand—may be the only thing that can save her. If it doesn’t kill her first.

princess of dune by brian herbert & kevin j. andersonPrincess of Dune by Brian Herbert & Kevin J. Anderson

Raised in the Imperial court and born to be a political bargaining chip, Irulan was sent at an early age to be trained as a Bene Gesserit Sister. As Princess Royal, she also learned important lessons from her father—the Padishah Emperor Shaddam Corrino IV. Now of marriageable age, Princess Irulan sees the machinations of the many factions vying for power—the Bene Gesserit Sisterhood, the Spacing Guild, the Imperial throne, and a ruthless rebellion in the Imperial military. The young woman has a wise and independent streak and is determined to become much more than a pawn to be moved about on anyone’s gameboard.

Yumi and the Nightmare Painter by Brandon SandersonYumi and the Nightmare Painter by Brandon Sanderson

Yumi has spent her entire life in strict obedience, granting her the power to summon the spirits that bestow vital aid upon her society—but she longs for even a single day as a normal person. Painter patrols the dark streets dreaming of being a hero—a goal that has led to nothing but heartache and isolation, leaving him always on the outside looking in. In their own ways, both of them face the world alone. Suddenly flung together, Yumi and Painter must strive to right the wrongs in both their lives, reconciling their past and present while maintaining the precarious balance of each of their worlds. If they cannot unravel the mystery of what brought them together before it’s too late, they risk forever losing not only the bond growing between them, but the very worlds they’ve always struggled to protect.

A Deepness in the Sky by Vernor VingeA Deepness In the Sky by Vernor Vinge

This new Tor Essentials edition of Vernor Vinge’s A Deepness In the Sky includes an introduction by the Hugo, Nebula, and World Fantasy Award-winning Jo Walton, author of Among Others.

After thousands of years of searching, humans stand on the verge of first contact with an alien race. Two human groups: the Qeng Ho, a culture of free, innovative traders, and the Emergents, a ruthless society based on the technological enslavement of minds. The group that opens trade with the aliens will reap unimaginable riches. But first, both groups must wait at the aliens’ very doorstep, for their strange star to relight and for the alien planet to reawaken, as it does every two hundred and fifteen years…


October 24

traitor of redwinter by ed mcdonaldTraitor of Redwinter by Ed McDonald

The power of the Sixth Gate grows stronger within Raine each day—to control it, she needs lessons no living Draoihn can teach her. Her fledgling friendships are tested to a breaking point as she tries to face what she has become, and her master Ulovar is struck by a mysterious sickness that slowly saps the vitality from his body, leaving Raine to face her growing darkness alone. There’s only one chance to turn the tide of power surging within her—to learn the secrets the Draoihn themselves purged from the world.

malarkoi by alex phebyMalarkoi by Alex Pheby

Nathan Treeves is dead, murdered by the Master of Mordew, his remains used to create the powerful occult weapon known as the Tinderbox. His companions are scattered, making for Malarkoi, the city of the Mistress, the Master’s enemy. They are hoping to find welcome there, or at least safety. They find neither—and instead become embroiled in a life and death struggle against assassins, demi-gods, and the cunning plans of the Mistress. Only Sirius, Nathan’s faithful magical dog, has not forgotten the boy. Bent on revenge, he returns to the shattered remains of Mordew—only to find the city morphed into an impossible mountain, swarming with monsters. The stage is set for battle, sacrifice, magic and treachery in the stunning sequel to Mordew. Welcome to Malarkoi.


October 31

the wolfe at the door by gene wolfeThe Wolfe at the Door by Gene Wolfe

The circus comes to town… and a man gets to go to the stars. A young girl on a vacation at the sea meets the man of her dreams. Who just happens to be dead. And an immortal pirate. A swordfighter pens his memoirs… and finds his pen is in fact mightier than the sword. Welcome to Gene Wolfe’s playground, a place where genres blend and a genius’s imagination straps you in for the ride of your life. The Wolfe at the Door is a brand new collection from one of America’s premiere literary giants, showcasing some material that’s never been seen before. Short stories, yes, but also poems, essays, and ephemera that gives us a window into the mind of a literary powerhouse whose world view changed generations of readers in their perception of the universe.


November 7

Poster Placeholder of - 31Bookshops & Bonedust by Travis Baldree

Viv’s career with the notorious mercenary company Rackam’s Ravens isn’t going as planned. Wounded during the hunt for a powerful necromancer, she’s packed off against her will to recuperate in the sleepy beach town of Murk—so far from the action that she worries she’ll never be able to return to it. What’s a thwarted soldier of fortune to do? Spending her hours at a beleaguered bookshop in the company of its foul-mouthed proprietor is the last thing Viv would have predicted, but it may be both exactly what she needs and the seed of changes she couldn’t possibly imagine. Still, adventure isn’t all that far away. A suspicious traveler in gray, a gnome with a chip on her shoulder, a summer fling, and an improbable number of skeletons prove Murk to be more eventful than Viv could have ever expected.


November 14

the lost cause by cory doctorowThe Lost Cause by Cory Doctorow

It’s thirty years from now. We’re making progress, mitigating climate change, slowly but surely. But what about all the angry old people who can’t let go? For young Americans a generation from now, climate change isn’t controversial. It’s just an overwhelming fact of life. And so are the great efforts to contain and mitigate it. Even when national politics oscillates back to right-wing leaders, the momentum is too great; these vast programs cannot be stopped in their tracks. But there are still those Americans, mostly elderly, who cling to their red baseball caps, their grievances, their huge vehicles, their anger. To their “alternative” news sources that reassure them that their resentment is right and pure and that “climate change” is just a giant scam. And they’re your grandfather, your uncle, your great-aunt. And they’re not going anywhere. And they’re armed to the teeth.


December 5

All the Hidden Paths by Foz MeadowsAll the Hidden Paths by Foz Meadows

With the plot against them foiled and the city of Qi-Katai in safe hands, newlywed and tentative lovers Velasin and Caethari have just begun to test the waters of their relationship. But the wider political ramifications of their marriage are still playing out across two nations, and all too soon, they’re summoned north to Tithena’s capital city, Qi-Xihan, to present themselves to its monarch. With Caethari newly invested as his grandmother’s heir and Velasin’s old ghosts gnawing at his heels, what little peace they’ve managed to find is swiftly put to the test. Cae’s recent losses have left him racked with grief and guilt, while Vel struggles with the disconnect between instincts that have kept him safe in secrecy and what an open life requires of him now. Pursued by unknown assailants and with Qi-Xihan’s court factions jockeying for power, Vel and Cae must use all the skills at their disposal to not only survive, but thrive. 

post-featured-image

Excerpt Reveal: After the Forest by Kell Woods

Placeholder of amazon -21 Image Placeholder of bn- 91 Poster Placeholder of booksamillion- 24 ibooks2 82 Image Place holder  of bookshop- 48

after the forest by kell woods

After the Forest is a dark and enchanting fantasy debut from Kell Woods that explores the repercussions of a childhood filled with magic and a young woman contending with the truth of “happily ever after.”

Ginger. Honey. Cinnamon. Flour.

Twenty years after the witch in the gingerbread house, Greta and Hans are struggling to get by. Their mother and stepmother are long dead, Hans is deeply in debt from gambling, and the countryside lies in ruin, its people starving in the aftermath of a brutal war.

Greta has a secret, though: the witch’s grimoire, hidden away and whispering in Greta’s ear for the past two decades, and the recipe inside that makes the best gingerbread you’ve ever tasted. As long as she can bake, Greta can keep her small family afloat.

But in a village full of superstition, Greta and her mysteriously addictive gingerbread, not to mention the rumors about her childhood misadventures, is a source of gossip and suspicion.

And now, dark magic is returning to the woods and Greta’s magic—magic she is still trying to understand—may be the only thing that can save her. If it doesn’t kill her first.

Please enjoy this free excerpt of After the Forest by Kell Woods, on sale 10/3/23


Forest Fair

Lindenfeld, the Black Forest

April 1650

Once upon a time, in a land where the winter snows fall thick

and deep, a young viscountess sat sewing by her window. She

was content. She carried a child, her first, and her husband was

home again after long years away at war. As she sewed, the lady

pricked her finger with her needle. Three bright drops of blood, a

deep and startling crimson, fell upon the snow lining the ebony

window ledge. The three together—black, white, red—were such

a pretty sight that the viscountess smiled and whispered a little spell

to herself. A daughter, she charmed. With hair as black as the ebony

frame, lips as red as blood, and skin as fair as winter snow.

━━ ˖°˖ ☾☆☽ ˖°˖ ━━━━━━━

It is a delicate thing, the smoking of a wild-bee hive. There is a rhythm to it that cannot be rushed, a knowing: of the bees themselves, of flame and air, of the seasons. Greta Rosenthal had done it so often she had ceased to think upon it. She merely pressed a hand to the old beech tree in greeting—it was always wise to respect the elders of the forest—knotted her skirts, checked the satchel hanging at her shoulder, and began to climb, her bare toes slipping easily into the notches cut into the smooth, silver-grey bark.

The hive nestled high in the tree’s heart. Greta propped herself between two branches and listened. The murmur of moving leaves, the ceaseless hum that signaled the bees’ contentedness. Satisfied, she drew a handful of green pine needles and an ember encased in river-damp moss from the satchel, breathed gentle life back into the latter, and lit the needles. The tang of burning pine filled her nose as she tucked the ember away and carefully, carefully, slid aside the board covering the hive’s entrance. Within, hundreds of bees coated swaths of golden comb in a warm, moving mass. Greta held the burning needles close. The spring air was warm and gentle, and it was not long before the bees succumbed to the smoke’s sleepy spell. She drew her knife from her belt and cut away a slab of comb, tucking it into her satchel. She raised the knife to cut more, then paused, faltering as a wave of sudden faintness washed over her. Greta fumbled for the tree, balance lost, breath hissing as she sliced her own hand.

Three bright drops of blood, a deep and startling crimson, fell onto her apron.

She stared at it, removed from the pain, fascinated by the sight of the blood mingling with honey and the remnants of the morning’s baking—ginger and cinnamon, rose water and cloves—upon the pale linen. A bitter taste rose in her mouth. Her throat burned and her gaze blurred, until it was not an apron she was seeing, but a spreading of winter snow. Not her blood, but someone else’s. Three drops, and more.

Much, much more.

She removed the coif from her hair and used it to bind her hand, then forced herself to cut the honeycomb she had come for, clumsily thrusting the sticky chunks into the satchel along with her knife. For a heart’s beat her eyes cleared, and she glimpsed a shadow through the trees below.

A shadow in the shape of a woman.

Greta gasped, lost her footing, and fell. The powdery crunch of snow beneath her, a surge of cold, the breath pushed from her lungs. Black branches above, and a winter-grey sky. Then, nothing.

━━ ˖°˖ ☾☆☽ ˖°˖ ━━━━━━━

Spring-green leaves sharpened slowly against a blue sky. The scent of crushed larkspurs, and the drowsy hum of the bees. Greta sat up gingerly, tested each of her limbs. Nothing damaged. Her satchel lay nearby. She slipped its strap over her shoulder and got to her feet, brushing the forest from her skirt.

When had the birds stopped singing? Greta had the distinct sensation that she was not alone. That someone, or something, was watching her. The air at the back of her neck turned to ice. Slow as winter, she turned.

The bear was enormous. Larger, surely, than any of God’s creatures had a right to be. The mound of muscle atop its sloping shoulders reared tall as a common man. Its black fur gleamed. It gave a long, dusky breath, then, horribly, swung toward her, enormous paws strangely silent on the forest floor. Closer and closer it came, until Greta felt its warm breath, and smelled its earthy, animal scent. Her heart crashed against her ribs. Her body screamed at her to run, to get down the mountain and behind the safety of her own door. But she remembered tales from the hunt. Wolves, boars . . . any predator will attack when its prey flees. It is instinct; a command surging in the blood, nameless and ancient.

To run is to die.

The bear nosed Greta’s sticky-sweet hand, licking the honey away. It was gentle as a lamb. And yet, one strike was all it would take. A single blow with one huge paw to kill her where she stood.

Fear crushed her in its claws. The world filled with muscle and fur as the bear shunted yet closer. Would it devour her now, or drag her, half dead, into the woods? Wisdom failed. She staggered backward, tripped, and sprawled on her rump in the ferns. Curled herself up and cowered against the earth. Words came to her, unbidden, tumbling from her mouth.

Leaf that’s green, earth and air,

Protect me, forest fair.”

She took a rasping breath.

“Darkness, devil, death and fear

Get thee gone from here.”

They were old words, and strange, springing forth from the depths of her memory like startled birds, but they were good. Her mother had taught them to her, of that much she was certain, though Greta could not say when, or why. She said the words again, faster.

Leaf that’s green, earth and air,

Protect me, forest fair.

Darkness, devil, death and fear

Get thee gone from here.”

Again, and again, each time waiting for the bear’s claws to rake her body, for its teeth to tear into the back of her neck. Hours passed, it seemed. Days, months, years. At last, when the flood of mother-prayer finally faded, Greta opened her eyes. She saw her own hand—a beetle crawling merrily across one knuckle—and strands of her hair, copper-bright. She raised her head. But for the lingering scent of pine smoke, and the humming of the bees above, all was still. The bear was gone.

Copyright © 2023 from Kell Woods

Pre-order After the Forest Here:

Poster Placeholder of amazon- 72 Placeholder of bn -2 Placeholder of booksamillion -3 ibooks2 34 Placeholder of bookshop -47

The owner of this website has made a commitment to accessibility and inclusion, please report any problems that you encounter using the contact form on this website. This site uses the WP ADA Compliance Check plugin to enhance accessibility.