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7 Fantasy Novels Featuring Poison

Fantasy novels are full of swords and magic, knights and wizards. There are large scale battles, individual duels, and assassins galore. One weapon that doesn’t turn up nearly as often as it should, at least in our opinion, is poison. Luckily, when it does turn up, it tends to be in dramatic ways, as demonstrated by these 7 novels.

City of Lies by Sam Hawke

Image Placeholder of - 49 “I was seven years old the first time my uncle poisoned me.” That’s the opening line to Sam Hawke’s debut fantasy novel City of Lies, a story of family, treachery, war, and, of course, poison. Jovan, our hero, is the quiet best friend of the Chancellor’s heir, destined to always be a step behind his friend—because that’s the best place to protect him. Jovan is a proofer, trained in identifying and countering poisons. And, of course, using them if necessary. When the Chancellor is murdered by an unknown poison, it will take all of Jovan’s art to keep the impulsive heir alive while they try to unravel the mystery.

The Farseer Trilogy by Robin Hobb

Poster Placeholder of - 52 A true classic of epic fantasy, Robin Hobb’s Farseer Trilogy is full of magic, violence, and, naturally, poison. FitzChivalry Farseer was born a royal bastard, and is taken in by the royal family so that they can train him to be useful to them—primarily as an assassin. One of the tools in Fitz’s arsenal is poison: deadroot, death angel mushrooms, and nightmist are three of the particularly deadly poisons that show up in the series. Hobb is a masterful writer, and as Fitz learns his craft and begins to use it (and have it used against him) readers will fall in love with his earnest desire to please his royal family.

The Princess Bride by William Goldman

Placeholder of  -16 One of the most famous poisons in fantasy history—both in books and movies—has to be iocaine powder. In one of our favorite scenes in Goldman’s novel, the man in black outwits Vizzini with a rigged psychological game, challenging Vizzini to guess which cup of wine contains the iocaine poison. Of course, we all know both cups were in fact poisoned, but our handsome man in black has built up an immunity to iocaine powder. That’s only one element of this classic fantasy novel, of course (“Hello. My name is Inigo Montoya. You killed my father. Prepare to die.”), but it’s one of our favorites.

Three Dark Crowns by Kendare Blake

Place holder  of - 45 “Three dark queens are born in a glen, sweet little triplets that will never be friends…” because one is destined to kill the other two and claim the crown. That’s the setup for Kendare Blake’s dark novel, featuring three sisters who each have a particular skill or power. Katharine, one of the sisters, is supposed to be a poisoner, immune to any and all poisons. When we meet her, her ability hasn’t manifested yet, so her guardians try to build up her immunity the old fashioned way: by feeding her small amounts of deadly poisons, leaving her physically frail. Will Katharine’s ability ever manifest? And, more importantly, which of the sisters is strong enough to become queen?

Poison Study by Maria V. Snyder

Image Place holder  of - 17 The previous proofers and taste testers in this list have been volunteers or born with natural abilities, but that’s not the case in Maria V. Snyder’s series. Our heroine, Yelena, is an admitted, convicted murderer, who is offered the position of taste tester to the Commander of Ixia only because no one cares if she dies. Luckily, Yelena is strong and, more importantly, has a great palette—she learns how to identify poisons quickly and accurately, and twice survives attacks using the nearly-always-fatal poison My Love. Navigating the politics of life in Ixia is hard enough, but when you’re constantly having to ingest poisons on top of it? Let’s just say that while we love reading about Yelena, we definitely don’t want her life.

A Song of Ice and Fire by George R. R. Martin

In George R. R. Martin’s epic series, poison turns up fairly often, and sometimes in incredibly dramatic fashion. It’s definitely the weapon of choice for many of the women in the series. We see King Joffrey violently murdered with a poison called The Strangler, which causes him to choke and suffocate, dying quickly and very, very publicly. It’s discovered that Lysa Arryn used the Tears of Lys, a slow-acting poison, to kill her husband Jon. The HBO show even decided to up the poison factor, including a poison called The Long Farewell, which is used by Ellaria Sand to poison Myrcella Baratheon–which, of course, causes Myrcella’s mother Cersei to use the same poison to kill Ellaria’s daughter in revenge. With so many poisonings, it’s a good thing the series has a massive cast of characters, otherwise there wouldn’t be anyone left at this point!

The Sorcerer of the Wildeeps by Kai Ashante Wilson

Poison plays a smaller role in Kai Ashante Wilson’s novella than in the previous books on this list, but we wanted to include it because it shows an interesting side of poison that many fantasy novels don’t touch on–the fact that poisons aren’t, in fact, all bad. Many even have medical benefits and are only lethal in large doses. In The Sorcerer of the Wildeeps, one of the characteristics that makes our protagonist Demane a demigod is that he secretes poison from his skin. He uses that poison, in small doses of course, as an anaesthetic in his unofficial role as medic to a band of mercenaries. A lot of dangerous things have a good side if used carefully!

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New eBook Bundles: 1/9/18

Here’s the new ebook bundles that went on sale today!

The Goddess War Trilogy by Kendare Blake

Placeholder of  -55 Old gods never die…. Or so Athena thought.

As horrific afflictions bring the ancient immortal Olympians to their knees, a thoroughly modern Athena and Hermes travel the world searching for answers. What they find is Cassandra, the ordinary girl who can’t remember her extraordinary past life. The Goddess War begins in Antigoddess, the first book in a riveting new horrorseries from Kendare Blake, critically acclaimed author of Anna Dressed in Blood.

This discounted ebundle includes Antigoddess, Mortal Gods, and Ungodly.

Mistborn: The Wax and Wayne Series by Brandon Sanderson

Image Placeholder of - 15 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.

Waxillium Ladrian, a rare Twinborn, 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.

This discounted ebundle includes Alloy of Law, Shadows of Self, and The Bands of Mourning

A Sword of Truth Set: Chainfire by Terry Goodkind

Place holder  of - 62 After being gravely injured in battle, Richard awakes to discover Kahlan missing. To his disbelief, no one remembers the woman he is frantically trying to find. Worse, no one believes that she really exists, or that he was ever married. Alone as never before, he must find the woman he loves more than life itself…if she is even still alive. If shewas ever even real.

On the day she awoke remembering nothing but her name, Kahlan Amnell became the most dangerous woman alive. For everyone else, that was the day that the world began to end.

This discounted ebundle includes Chainfire, Phantom, and Confessor.

The Chronicles of the Exile by Marc Turner

Poster Placeholder of - 51 The sword & sorcery epic is reborn in this debut fantasy trilogy teeming with renegade guardians, dark mages, undead armies, Storm Lords, sea dragons, scheming priests, troublesome gods…and so much more.

This discounted ebundle includes When the Heavens Fall, Dragon Hunters, and Red Tide.

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New Releases: 3/7/17

Here’s what went on sale today!

A Shattered Circle by Kevin Egan

Placeholder of  -35 A private investigator needs Judge Lonergan’s help in investigating the murder of a well-known lawyer in upstate New York. A bitter litigant files a grievance against the judge with the Judicial Conduct Commission. Driven by loyalty and guilt, court officer Foxx is looking into a decades-old courthouse murder to exonerate a childhood friend who is dying in prison. He hits many dead ends, until he learns that Barbara Lonergan, who worked as a stenographer long before she married the judge, likely has information about the murder victim.

After the judge is attacked, Barbara decides they should leave New York City. Arriving at their summer house, Barbara believes that she and the judge are safe. She could not be more wrong.

Gather Her Round by Alex Bledsoe

Image Place holder  of - 95 Young Tufa woman Kera Rogers disappears while hiking in the woods by Needsville. Soon, her half-eaten remains are found, and hunters discover the culprits: a horde of wild hogs led by a massive boar with seemingly supernatural strength.

Kera’s boyfriend Duncan Gowen mourns her death, until he finds evidence she cheated on him with his best friend Adam Procure. When Adam’s body is the next one found, who is to blame: Duncan or the monstrous swine?

Seven Surrenders by Ada Palmer

Poster Placeholder of - 23 In a future of near-instantaneous global travel, of abundant provision for the needs of all, a future in which no one living can remember an actual war…a long era of stability threatens to come to an abrupt end.

For known only to a few, the leaders of the great Hives, nations without fixed location, have long conspired to keep the world stable, at the cost of just a little blood. A few secret murders, mathematically planned. So that no faction can ever dominate, and the balance holds. And yet the balance is beginning to give way.

Smells Like Finn Spirit by Randy Henderson

Place holder  of - 59 Finn Graymare is back in the final installment of Randy Henderson’s Familia Arcana series, Smells Like Finn Spirit.

Finn’s re-adaptation to the human world is not going so well. He’s got a great girlfriend, and is figuring out how things like the internet work, but he is still carrying the disembodied personality of Alynon, Prince of the Silver Demesne, the fae who had occupied his body during his imprisonment. And he’s not getting along at all with his older brother. And oh, by the way, his dead grandfather is still trying to possess him in order to bring about Armageddon.

Standard Hollywood Depravity by Adam Christopher

Image Placeholder of - 41 As the band shook the hair out of their British faces, stomping and strumming, the go-go dancer’s cage swung, and the events of that otherwise average night were set in motion. A shot, under the cover of darkness, a body bleeding out in a corner, and most of Los Angeles’ population of hired guns hulking, sour-faced over un-drunk whiskey sours at the bar.

But as Ray tries to track down the package he was dispatched to the club to retrieve, his own programming might be working against him, sending him down a long hall and straight into a mobster’s paradise. Is Honey still the goal—or was she merely bait for a bigger catch?

Just your standard bit of Hollywood depravity, as tracked by the memory tapes of a less-than-standard robot hitman.

Ungodly by Kendare Blake

As ancient immortals are left reeling, a modern Athena and Hermes search the world for answers in Ungodly, the final Goddess War novel by Kendare Blake, the acclaimed author of Anna Dressed in Blood.

For the Goddess of Wisdom, what Athena didn’t know could fill a book. That’s what Ares said.

So she was wrong about some things. So the assault on Olympus left them beaten and scattered and possibly dead. So they have to fight the Fates themselves, who, it turns out, are the source of the gods’ illness. And sure, Athena is stuck in the underworld, holding the body of the only hero she has ever loved.

Just because things haven’t gone exactly according to plan, it doesn’t mean they’ve lost. They’ve only mostly lost. And there’s a big difference.

Without Mercy by Col. David Hunt & R.J. Pineiro

The unthinkable has happened: ISIS, covertly assisted by Pakistan’s intelligence services, has acquired nuclear weapons and the ability to deliver them anywhere in the world. They begin with an attack at Bagram Airfield, America’s largest military base in Afghanistan. A second weapon is detonated in Battery Park in New York City.

The blast levels a square mile of Manhattan, including the Financial District. Hundreds of thousands perish. The American economy is in chaos. Banks close their doors. The U.S. supply chain is disrupted. Riots and looting break out while enemies in the Middle East burn U.S. flags in celebration.

The stakes skyrocket when Islamabad CIA Station Chief Bill Gorman unearths evidence of a third bomb headed our way. Across two continents the chase is on to find the runaway terrorists led by the ruthless and capable Salma Bahmani, star agent of Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence, the dread ISI. She will stop at nothing to deliver what could be the final nail in America’s coffin.

NEW IN PAPERBACK:

Above His Proper Station by Lawrence Watt-Evans

After the Bugles and Llano River by Elmer Kelton

Design for Dying by Renee Patrick

Fatal Thunder by Larry Bond

NEW IN MANGA: 

A Certain Scientific Accelerator Vol. 5 Story by Kazuma Kamachi; Art by Yamaji Arata

Masamune-kun’s Revenge Vol. 4 Story by Takeoka Hazuki; Art by Tiv

On the Road: Tor/Forge Author Events in November

Mystic by Jason DenzelWheel of Time Companion by Team JordanMade to Kill by Adam Christopher

Tor/Forge authors are on the road in November! Once a month, we’re collecting info about all of our upcoming author events. Check and see who will be coming to a city near you:

Kendare Blake, Ungodly

Monday, November 2
University Bookstore
Also with Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff.
Seattle, WA
7:00 PM

Tuesday, November 3
Barnes & Noble
Also with Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff.
Lynnwood, PA
7:00 PM

Saturday, November 7
Woodstock: Portland’s Book Festival
Toil and Trouble: Monsters, Witches, and Ghosts, Oh My! – also with Virginia Boecker, Paige McKenzie, McCormick Templeman, April Genevieve Tucholke, and Cat Winters.
Portland, OR
12:00 PM

Orson Scott Card, Gatefather

Tuesday, November 10
Barnes & Noble
Greensboro, NC
7:00 PM

Adam Christopher, Made to Kill

Tuesday, November 3
KGB Bar
New York, NY
7:00 PM

Wednesday, November 11
Joseph-Beth Booksellers
Lexington, KY
7:00 PM

Thursday, November 12
Fountain Books
Richmond, VA
6:30 PM

Friday, November 13
The Doylestown Bookshop
Doylestown, PA
6:30 PM

Saturday, November 14
Flyleaf Books
Chapel Hill, NC
6:00 PM

Jason Denzel, Mystic

Tuesday, November 3
Barnes & Noble
Also with Michael Livingston, Harriet McDougal, Alan Romanczuk, and Maria Simons.
Mt. Pleasant, SC
7:00 PM

Wednesday, November 4
University Temple United Methodist Church
Also with Harriet McDougal, Alan Romanczuk, and Maria Simons.
Seattle, WA
7:00 PM

Thursday, November 5
Borderlands Books
Also with Harriet McDougal, Alan Romanczuk, and Maria Simons.
San Francisco, CA
6:00 PM

Friday, November 6
Copperfield’s Books
Also with Harriet McDougal, Alan Romanczuk, and Maria Simons.
Petaluma, CA

Saturday, November 7
Vroman’s Bookstore
Also with Harriet McDougal, Alan Romanczuk, and Maria Simons.
Pasadena, CA
6:00 PM

Sunday, November 8
Mysterious Galaxy
Also with Harriet McDougal, Alan Romanczuk, and Maria Simons.
San Diego, CA
2:00 PM

Monday, November 9
Clark County Library
Also with Harriet McDougal, Alan Romanczuk, and Maria Simons
Las Vegas, NV
7:00 PM

Tuesday, November 10
Jean Cocteau Cinema
Also with George R.R. Martin, Harriet McDougal, Alan Romanczuk, and Maria Simons.
Sante Fe, NM
7:00 PM

Wednesday, November 11
Murder by the Book
Also with Harriet McDougal, Alan Romanczuk, and Maria Simons.
Houston, TX
6:30 PM

Thursday, November 12
Anderson’s Bookshop
Also with Harriet McDougal, Alan Romanczuk, and Maria Simons.
Naperville, IL
7:00 PM

Saturday, November 14
Barnes & Noble
Sacramento, CA
2:00 PM

Sunday, November 15
Trent’s Bookshelf
Elk Grove, CA
2:00 PM

Saturday, November 28
Avid Reader
Davis, CA
7:30 PM

Team Jordan, The Wheel of Time Companion

Tuesday, November 3
Barnes & Noble
Also with Michael Livingston and Jason Denzel.
Mt. Pleasant, SC
7:00 PM

Wednesday, November 4
University Temple United Methodist Church
Also with Jason Denzel.
Seattle, WA
7:00 PM

Thursday, November 5
Borderlands Books
Also with Jason Denzel.
San Francisco, CA
6:00 PM

Friday, November 6
Copperfield’s Books
Also with Jason Denzel.
Petaluma, CA
7:00 PM

Saturday, November 7
Vroman’s Bookstore
Also with Jason Denzel.
Pasadena, CA
6:00 PM

Sunday, November 8
Mysterious Galaxy
Also with Jason Denzel.
San Diego, CA
2:00 PM

Monday, November 9
Clark County Library
Also with Jason Denzel.
Las Vegas, NV
7:00 PM

Tuesday, November 10
Jean Cocteau Cinema
Also with George R.R. Martin and Jason Denzel.
Sante Fe, NM
7:00 PM

Wednesday, November 11
Murder by the Book
Also with Jason Denzel.
Houston, TX
6:30 PM

Thursday, November 12
Anderson’s Bookshop
Also with Jason Denzel.
Naperville, IL
7:00 PM

Saturday, November 21
Quail Ridge Books & Music
Raleigh, NC
4:00 PM

Michael Livingston, Shards of Heaven

Tuesday, November 3
Barnes & Noble
Also with Jason Denzel, Harriet McDougal, Alan Romanczuk, and Maria Simons.
7:00 PM

Sarah Monette & Elizabeth Bear, An Apprentice to Elves

Tuesday, November 3
Pandemonium Books and Games
Cambridge, MA
7:00 PM

Michael Ransom, The Ripper Gene

Saturday, November 14
The College of New Jersey
Ewing, NJ
2:00 PM

Monday, November 16
Penn Bookstore
Philadelphia, PA
6:00 PM

Hank Phillippi Ryan, What You See

Sunday, November 1
Book Carnival
Orange, CA
3:00 PM

Tuesday, November 3
Poisoned Pen
Scottsdale, AZ
7:00 PM

Monday, November 16
Bridgewater Library
Bridgewater, MA
6:30 PM

Tuesday, November 17
Tewksbury Public Library
Tewksbury, MA
7:00 PM

Wednesday, November 18
Abington Public Library
Abington, MA
7:00 PM

Monday, November 30
Bookends
Winchester, MA
6:00 PM

Catherynne M. Valente, Radiance

Thursday, November 5
The Toadstool Bookshop
Milford, NH
6:30 PM

Sunday, November 8
Phoenix Books
Burlington, VT
2:00 PM

Thursday, November 12
Gibson’s Bookstore
Concord, NH
7:00 PM

Anne A. Wilson, Hover

Saturday, November 7
Velma Teague Branch Library
Glendale, AZ
1:00 PM

Wednesday, November 11
Changing Hands Bookstore
Tempe, AZ
7:00 PM

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Sneak Peek: Ungodly by Kendare Blake

Ungodly by Kendare BlakeAs ancient immortals are left reeling, a modern Athena and Hermes search the world for answers in Ungodly, the final Goddess War novel by Kendare Blake, the acclaimed author of Anna Dressed in Blood. Please enjoy this excerpt.

Chapter One: At Large

The California coast. Soft, hot sand beneath her feet and an expanse of blue before her eyes. Cassandra pulled a deep breath in through her nose: dry heat, and oil from the fryer in the café behind her. A hint of engine exhaust, too, from somewhere, and underneath all the rest, barely detectable on the edges of the air, the smell of salt and deep, dark cold.

Deep, and dark. And blue. But I know what moves farther out underneath the currents. Behind the waves. I’ve seen their fins, and their lidless eyes. I’ve tasted their blood.

(more…)

On the Road: Tor/Forge Author Events in October

Mortal Gods by Kendare BlakeTruth Be Told by Hank Phillippi RyanThe League of Seven by Alan GratzThe Midnight Plan of the Repo Man

Tor/Forge authors are on the road in October! Once a month, we’re collecting info about all of our upcoming author events. Check and see who’ll be coming to a city near you:

  • R. S. Belcher, The Shotgun Arcana

October 16
Copperfield’s Books
Santa Rosa, California
7:00 PM

October 18
Borderlands Books
San Francisco, California
8:00 PM

October 31
Barnes & Noble at Vanderbilt
Nashville, Tennessee
7:00 PM

  • Kendare Blake, Mortal Gods

October 13
Books of Wonder
New York, NY
6:00 PM

October 19
Anderson’s Bookshop
Naperville, IL
2:00 PM

October 21
Red Balloon Book Shop
St. Paul, MN
6:30 PM

October 22
Schuler Books and Music
Lansing, MI
7:00 PM

October 25
Linden Tree Books
Palo Alto, CA
4:00 PM

October 26
Powell’s Cedar Hill
Beaverton, OR
4:00 PM

October 28
Third Place Books
Lake Forest, IL
7:00 PM

  • W. Bruce Cameron, The Midnight Plan of the Repo Man

October 28
Rainy Day Books
Fairway, KS
6:30 PM

October 29
Anderson’s Bookshop
Naperville, IL
7:00 PM

October 30
Highland Park Public Library
Highland Park, IL
7:00 PM

  • Tina Connolly, Silverblind

October 7
Powell’s Cedar Hill
Beaverton, OR
7:00 PM

  • Matt Cook, Sabotage

October 5
Barnes & Noble at The Grove
Los Angeles, CA
4:00 PM

October 7
Mysterious Galaxy
San Diego, CA
7:30 PM

October 11
Clive Cussler Convention
Scottsdale, AZ

October 14
Poisoned Pen
Scottsdale, AZ
7:00 PM

October 31
Noircon, “Three Minutes of Terror”
Society Hill Playhouse
Philadelphia, PA

  • A.M. Dellamonica, Child of a Hidden Sea

October 28
University Bookstore
Bellevue, WA
6:00 PM

Steven Gould, Exo

October 19
Barnes & Noble
New York, NY
7:00 PM

  • Alan Gratz, The League of Seven

October 1
Booksellers at Laurelwood
Memphis, TN
6:30 PM

October 3
Square Books
Oxford, MS
4:00 PM

October 8
The Fountainhead Bookstore
Hendersonville, NC
5:00 PM

October 11
Books by the Banks Festival
Cincinnati, OH

October 13
Blue Marble Books
Fort Thomas, KY
4:00 PM

October 14
The Book Stall at Chestnut Court
Winnetka, IL
4:30 PM

October 16
Anderson’s Bookshop
Naperville, IL
7:00 PM

  • Dan Krokos, The Black Stars

October 11
Books of Wonder
Fantastic Middle Grade Reads
New York, NY
1:00 PM

  • David Lubar, The Bully Bug

October 11
Books of Wonder
Fantastic Middle Grade Reads
New York, NY
1:00 PM

  • Jon McGoran, Deadout

October 2-5
Iowa City Book Festival
Iowa City, IA

October 11
Collingswood Book Festival
Collingswood, NJ

October 29
Noir at the Bar
Misconduct Tavern
Philadelphia, PA
(Time TBD)

  • Hank Phillippi Ryan, Truth Be Told

October 7
Brookline Booksmith Launch Party
Brookline, MA
7:00 PM

October 8
Gibson’s Bookstore
Concord, NH
7:00 PM

October 9
Aunt Agatha’s
Ann Arbor, MI
7:00 PM

October 10
Seattle Mystery Bookshop
Seattle, WA
12:00 PM

October 11
Copperfield’s
San Rafael, CA
6:00 PM

October 12
Investigating Mystery
Oakland Public Library
Oakland, CA
2:00 PM

October 15
Murder on the Beach
Delray Beach, FL
7:00 PM

October 16
Atlanta Eagle Eye Bookstore
Decatur, GA
7:00 PM

October 20
Vero Beach Book Center
Vero Beach, FL
4:00 PM

October 23
Posioned Pen
Scottsdale, AZ
7:00 PM

October 24
Vroman’s
Pasadena, CA
7:00 PM

October 25
Book Carnival
Orange, CA
3:00 PM

October 26
Mysterious Galaxy
San Diego, CA
7:00 PM

October 27
Porter Square Books
Cambridge, MA
7:00 PM

October 28
Ann Katz Festival of Books and Arts
Indianapolis, IN
7:00 PM

October 29
Rockport Public Library
Hosted by Toad Hall Books
Rockport, MA
7:00 PM

October 30
Writing Across Gender Panel
Boston Women’s National Book Association, Brookline Booksmith
Brookline, MA
7:00 PM

  • John Scalzi, Lock In

October 7
The Bell House
Shipwreck, NY
8:00 PM

October 10
Barnes & Noble Union Square
NYCC: SciFi vs Fantasy
Amber Benson, Peter V. Brett, Pierce Brown, Richard Kadrey, Caitlin Kittredge, and C.L. Wilson will participate with John Scalzi moderating.
8:00 PM

October 11
Books by the Banks Festival
Cincinnati, OH

October 21
Seminary Coop Bookstore
Chicago, IL
6:00 PM

  • Ben Tripp, The Accidental Highwayman

October 12
Books of Wonder
New York, NY
1:00 PM

New Releases: 6/17/2014

Chasers of the Wind by Alexey PehovChernobyl by Frederik PohlDance in the Vampire Bund: Forgotten Tales by Nozomu TamakiFlight of the Golden Harpy by Susan KlausGakuen Polizi Vol. 1 by  Morinaga MilkGirl of Nightmares by Kendare BlakeHaganai: I Don’t Have Many Friends Vol. 7 by Yomi Hirasaka, art by ItachiStrike Witches: The Sky That Connects Us by Humikane Shimada, art by Yuuki Tanaka

See upcoming releases.

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Book Trailer: Antigoddess by Kendare Blake

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Antigoddess by Kendare Blake

The Goddess War begins in Antigoddess, the first installment of the new series by acclaimed author of Anna Dressed in Blood, Kendare Blake.

Old Gods never die…

Or so Athena thought. But then the feathers started sprouting beneath her skin, invading her lungs like a strange cancer, and Hermes showed up with a fever eating away his flesh. So much for living a quiet eternity in perpetual health.

Desperately seeking the cause of their slow, miserable deaths, Athena and Hermes travel the world, gathering allies and discovering enemies both new and old. Their search leads them to Cassandra — an ordinary girl who was once an extraordinary prophetess, protected and loved by a god.

These days, Cassandra doesn’t involve herself in the business of gods — in fact, she doesn’t even know they exist. But she could be the key in a war that is only just beginning.

Because Hera, the queen of the gods, has aligned herself with other of the ancient Olympians, who are killing off rivals in an attempt to prolong their own lives. But these anti-gods have become corrupted in their desperation to survive, horrific caricatures of their former glory. Athena will need every advantage she can get, because immortals don’t just flicker out.

Every one of them dies in their own way. Some choke on feathers. Others become monsters. All of them rage against their last breath.

The Goddess War is about to begin.

Antigoddess, by Kendare Blake, released on September 10th!

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Throwback Thursdays: The Best, Worst, and BESTWORST Stephen King Adaptations

Welcome to Throwback Thursdays on the Tor/Forge blog! Every other week, we’re delving into our newsletter archives and sharing some of our favorite posts.

On September 10th, Kendare Blake begins a brand new series with the first book in The Goddess Wars, Antigoddess. With Antigoddess, Kendare brings her talent for horror to a whole new world, so to celebrate, we thought we’d dip into our archives and share an article she wrote in August 2012, for the publication of Anna Dressed in Blood. Enjoy this blast from the past, and be sure to check back every other Thursday for more!

Poster Placeholder of - 36

Written by Kendare Blake

A couple of months ago, a friend and I were talking about Stephen King adaptations (they were running Stephen King with Story Notes on AMC that week) and got to wondering exactly how many movies had been made from his work. We were able to name so many: Carrie, The Shining, The Stand, Cujo, Misery, The Tommyknockers, Hearts in Atlantis; we could go on and on.

“How many books has the guy written?” my friend wanted to know. “I wonder what percentage have been made into movies?”

So I said, let’s count. “And remember, it’s not only King novels, but short stories that have to be tallied. Movies have been made from short stories, too. 1408, for example. And we might want to track which works have been optioned for film without ever being produced.”

“You’re getting too involved in this,” my friend said.

Based on the rough and lazy count that followed, we arrived at this rough and lazy answer: Stephen King writes a lot of stuff, and a lot of that stuff gets made into movies. Pick up a short story collection, and somewhere inside, a film awaits. The novels are probably optioned before they’re even written. When will we see a movie version of Under The Dome or 11/22/63? The answer?

Someday. Probably. Odds are looking good.

This conversation got me thinking about the best and worst Stephen King adaptations, and I thought I’d share my list, including a special category for the BESTWORST adaptation. And oh yeah, there will probably be spoilers. Here we go.

THE BEST

Stand By Me

Raise your hand if you thought I was going to say The Shawshank Redemption. Ha! Well I didn’t. That would’ve been the obvious choice. Instead I say that this tale, adapted from King’s pensive novella “The Body” does all the things that King does best in his non-supernatural work: it studies the transitory nature of childhood friendships; short-lived but often the most memorable of your life. It’s a beautiful, careful film, carried along by genuine good times and undercut with the constant menace of knowing these kids are in real danger.

THE WORST

Dreamcatcher

Raise your hand if you thought I was going to say Maximum Overdrive. Well I didn’t. I like Maximum Overdrive. It’s hilarious.

No, my vote has to go to Dreamcatcher, a big pile of turd of a movie, complete with horrible CGI aliens that go up your butt and I don’t know, incubate until you poo them out again. If Ridley Scott’s aliens had taken this route, we would never have been able to watch Prometheus, because no other Alien movies would have been made.

Right now, Dreamcatcher is whispering in my ear about how good the acting was, by Jason Lee and Thomas Jane and Damian Lewis and heck, even Morgan Freeman. It’s telling me that the strong childhood friendships are back in abundance. But dammit, no, Dreamcatcher! Just, no.

THE BESTWORST

I was tempted to say Riding the Bullet, because it’s laughably watchable on a Sunday afternoon. And I do recommend you see it, because it’s great watching David Arquette try to make those scary faces. But in my mind, the BESTWORST Stephen King adaptation will always be the 1990 TV miniseries of IT.

I love IT. I own IT, and once a year I order Chinese food and watch IT, and eat right at the part where they get to the Chinese restaurant, because the eyeball in the fortune cookie always makes me giggle. It’s terrible, and fantastic, and features a pre-puberty Seth Green, and a just slightly post puberty John Boy Walton. Is it scary? Not exactly. But Tim Curry flashing between those hanging white bed sheets is undeniably one more reason to distrust clowns.

So there you have it. My list. With so many films based on King’s work, I expect that few will agree with my choices. I invite you to make your case for your own.

It’s important to note that this list is reflective of the movies only, not the works on which they were based. While I don’t doubt that these days King could have a lot of input on how his tales are adapted, I also don’t doubt that for many of these films he had little control, just like most authors. Someday, it would be cool if Anna Dressed in Blood was adapted, and I could be one of those no-control authors. But in case it doesn’t, here’s a short Best/Worst/BestWorst list of possibilities:

Best: Anna Dressed in Awesome: Directed by the dream team of Joss Whedon and Tim Burton, from an adapted screenplay by Neil Gaiman, a dark, visceral tale with undertones the book didn’t even think of and visuals to kill for.

Worst: Anna Dressed in a Red Dress: Anna reimagined as a 1940’s crime noir, in which Anna is a deranged socialite who murders her wealthy stepfather. Hard-boiled private detective Cas Lowood must run down the mystery in a dark coat and one of those hats. Starring an undiscovered Hemsworth brother and a rapidly aging Kardashian sister.

BestWorst: Anna Dressed in Blood: The Musical.

This article is originally from the August 2012 Tor/Forge newsletter. Sign up for the Tor/Forge newsletter now, and get similar content in your inbox twice a month!

Starred Review: Antigoddess by Kendare Blake

Image Placeholder of - 41“Blake presents a gory, thrilling vision of the twilight of the gods, in all their pettiness and power, while letting readers draw their own messages and conclusions.”

Kendare Blake’s Antigoddess got a starred review in Publishers Weekly!

Here’s the full review, from the August 5th issue:

starred-review-gif Blake has a real affinity for the way history shapes the present. In Anna Dressed in Blood, a ghost from the 1950s touched an alienated teen in the present; here, the gods of ancient Greece are living out their final days in agony and war, and taking modern mortals down with them. Cassandra Weaver is an ordinary teenager, aside from her psychic abilities, and she struggles to understand the bloody visions that plague her. She senses a connection with the dying characters in them, but why? And why does her boyfriend, Aidan, so readily accept what’s going on? The action is riveting as tattooed and pierced incarnations of Athena and Hermes close in on Cassandra and Aidan; the more context one brings to the images, the eerier they become. Demeter as a leathery skin stretched across the American desert is creepy; in the context of climate change, she is tragic. Blake presents a gory, thrilling vision of the twilight of the gods, in all their pettiness and power, while letting readers draw their own messages and conclusions. Ages 12–up. Agent: Adriann Ranta, Wolf Literary Services. (Sept.)

Antigoddess published on September 10th.

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