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Our Ongoing Series of 2024

2024 is a big year with a lot of big books! Many of them take place in big worlds established in books that came before. Here’s all of our series that are getting a new entry this year, right here.


the atlas complex by olivie blakeThe Atlas Complex by Olivie Blake

The Atlas Complex marks the much-anticipated, heart-shattering conclusion in Olivie Blake’s trilogy that began with the New York Times bestselling phenomenon, The Atlas Six.

Only the extraordinary are chosen.

Only the cunning survive.

An explosive return to the library leaves the six Alexandrians vulnerable to the lethal terms of their recruitment.

Old alliances quickly fracture as the initiates take opposing strategies as to how to deal with the deadly bargain they have so far failed to uphold. Those who remain with the archives wrestle with the ethics of their astronomical abilities, while elsewhere, an unlikely pair from the Society cohort partner to influence politics on a global stage.

And still the outside world mobilizes to destroy them, while the Caretaker himself, Atlas Blakely, may yet succeed with a plan foreseen to have world-ending stakes. It’s a race to survive as the six Society recruits are faced with the question of what they’re willing to betray for limitless power—and who will be destroyed along the way.

On Sale 1/7/24


kinning by nisi shawlKinning by Nisi Shawl

Kinning, the sequel to Nisi Shawl’s acclaimed debut novel Everfair, continues the stunning alternate history where barkcloth airships soar through the sky, varied peoples build a new society together, and colonies claim their freedom from imperialist tyrants.

The Great War is over. Everfair has found peace within its borders. But our heroes’ stories are far from done.

Tink and his sister Bee-Lung are traveling the world via aircanoe, spreading the spores of a mysterious empathy-generating fungus. Through these spores, they seek to build bonds between people and help spread revolutionary sentiments of socialism and equality—the very ideals that led to Everfair’s founding.

Meanwhile, Everfair’s Princess Mwadi and Prince Ilunga return home from a sojourn in Egypt to vie for their country’s rule following the abdication of their father King Mwenda. But their mother, Queen Josina, manipulates them both from behind the scenes, while also pitting Europe’s influenza-weakened political powers against one another as these countries fight to regain control of their rebellious colonies.

Will Everfair continue to serve as a symbol of hope, freedom, and equality to anticolonial movements around the world, or will it fall to forces inside and out?

On Sale 1/23/24


from the forest by l.e. modesitt, jr.From the Forest by L. E. Modesitt, Jr.

L. E. Modesitt, Jr. continues the Saga of Recluce, the long-running, best-selling epic fantasy series. In a new story arc, From the Forest follows the early life of a man known by many names depending on who you ask—hero, tyrant, emperor.

Alayiakal, who will one day be known by many names —not all of them flattering—has to climb the ranks of Cyador’s Mirror Lancers, fighting against unforeseen weapons and ancient technology.

Alayiakal, however, has secrets of his own to protect: his ties to the Great Forest and his magus abilities. He must silently pretend to be a conventional soldier favored by fate—until that very same fate forces him to choose.

On Sale 1/23/24


heartsong by tj kluneHeartsong by TJ Klune

The Bennett family has a secret: they’re not just a family, they’re a pack. Heartsong is Robbie Fontaine’s story.

All Robbie Fontaine ever wanted was a place to belong. After the death of his mother, he bounces around from pack to pack, forming temporary bonds to keep from turning feral. It’s enough—until he receives a summons from the wolf stronghold in Caswell, Maine. Life as the trusted second to Michelle Hughes—the Alpha of all—and the cherished friend of a gentle old witch teaches Robbie what it means to be pack, to have a home. But when a mission from Michelle sends Robbie into the field, he finds himself questioning where he belongs and everything he’s been told.

Whispers of traitorous wolves and wild magic abound—but who are the traitors and who the betrayed? More than anything, Robbie hungers for answers, because one of those alleged traitors is Kelly Bennett—the wolf who may be his mate.

The truth has a way of coming out. And when it does, everything will shatter.

On Sale 1/30/24


the bezzle by cory doctorowThe Bezzle by Cory Doctorow

New York Times bestseller Cory Doctorow’s The Bezzle is a high stakes thriller where the lives of the hundreds of thousands of inmates in California’s prisons are traded like stock shares.

The year is 2006. Martin Hench is at the top of his game as a self-employed forensic accountant, a veteran of the long guerrilla war between people who want to hide money, and people who want to find it. He spends his downtime on Catalina Island, where scenic, imported bison wander the bluffs and frozen, reheated fast food burgers cost $25. Wait, what? When Marty disrupts a seemingly innocuous scheme during a vacation on Catalina Island, he has no idea he’s kicked off a chain of events that will overtake the next decade of his life.

Martin has made his most dangerous mistake yet: trespassed into the playgrounds of the ultra-wealthy and spoiled their fun. To them, money is a tool, a game, and a way to keep score, and they’ve found their newest mark—California’s Department of Corrections. Secure in the knowledge that they’re living behind far too many firewalls of shell companies and investors ever to be identified, they are interested not in the lives they ruin, but only in how much money they can extract from the government and the hundreds of thousands of prisoners they have at their mercy.

A seething rebuke of the privatized prison system that delves deeply into the arcane and baroque financial chicanery involved in the 2008 financial crash, The Bezzle is a sizzling follow-up to Red Team Blues.

On Sale 2/20/24


lyorn by steven brustLyorn by Steven Brust

All The World’s A Happy Stage. Until the knives come out… Lyorn is the next adventure in Steven Brust’s bestselling Vlad Taltos series

Another Opening…Another Cataclysm?

Vlad Taltos is on the run. Again. This time from one of the most powerful forces in his world, the Left Hand, who are intent on ending his very lucrative career. Permanently.

He finds a hidey-hole in a theatre where the players are putting on a show that was banned centuries ago…and is trying to be shut down by the House that once literally killed to keep it from being played.

Vlad will take on a number of roles to save his own skin. And the skins of those he loves.

And along the way, he might find a part that was tailor-made for him.

One that he might not want…but was always his destiny.

On Sale 4/9/24


forge of the high mage by ian c. esslemontForge of the High Mage by Ian C. Esslemont

A riotous new novel takes readers deeper into the politics and intrigue of the New York Times bestselling Malazan Empire.

After decades of warfare, Malazan forces are poised to consolidate the Quon Tali mainland. Yet it is at this moment that Emperor Kellanved orders a new, some believe foolhardy campaign: the invasion of Falar that lies far to the north . . .

And to fight on this new front, a rag-tag army raised from orphaned units and broken squads is been brought together under Fist Dujek, and joined by a similarly motley fleet under the command of the Emperor himself.

So the Malazans head north, only to encounter an unlooked-for and most unwelcome threat. Something unspeakable and born of legend has awoken and will destroy all who stand in its way. Most appalled by this is the Empire’s untested High Mage, Tayschrenn. All too aware of the true nature of this ancient horror, he fears his own inadequacies when the time comes to confront it. Yet confront it he must.

Falar itself is far from defenseless. Its priests possess a weapon rumored to be a gift from the sea god, Mael—a weapon so terrifying it has not been unleashed for centuries. But two can play at that game, for the Emperor’s flagship is also believed to be not entirely of this world.

These are turbulent, treacherous and bloody times for all caught up in the forging of an Empire and so, amongst the Ice Wastes and in the archipelago of Falar, the Malazans must face two seemingly insurmountable tests, each one potentially the origin of their destruction . . .

On Sale 4/9/24


necrobane by daniel m. fordNecrobane by Daniel M. Ford

Aelis de Lenti, Lone Pine’s newly assigned Warden, is in deep trouble. She has just opened the crypts of Mahlgren, releasing an army of the undead into the unprotected backwoods of Ystain.

To protect her village, she must unearth a source of immense Necromantic power at the heart of Mahlgren. The journey will wind through waves of undead, untamed wilderness, and curses far older than anything Aelis has ever encountered. But as strong as Aelis is, this is one quest she cannot face alone.

Along with the brilliant mercenary she’s fallen for, her half-orc friend, and a dwarven merchant, Aelis must race the clock to unravel mysteries, slay dread creatures, and stop what she has set in motion before the flames of a bloody war are re-ignited.

On Sale 4/23/24


the daughters war by christopher buehlmanThe Daughter’s War by Christopher Buehlman

Enter the fray in this luminous new adventure from Christopher Buehlman, set during the war-torn, goblin-infested years just before The Blacktongue Thief.

The goblins have killed all of our horses and most of our men.

They have enslaved our cities, burned our fields, and still they wage war.

Now, our daughters take up arms.

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.

On Sale 6/25/2024


blood jade by julia vee & ken bebelleBlood Jade by Julia Vee & Ken Bebelle

The follow-up to Ebony Gate, the critically acclaimed debut of Vee and Bebelle’s Phoenix Hoard series.

IT TAKES A KILLER TO CATCH A KILLER

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.

On Sale 7/16/24


gravity lost by l m sagasGravity Lost by L. M. Sagas

L. M. Sagas follows her fast-paced sci-fi adventure Cascade Failure with an equally explosive sequel, Gravity Lost. Everyone’s favorite fierce, messy, chaotic space fam is back with more vibrant worlds, and the wildest crew since Guardians of the Galaxy.

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.

On Sale 7/23/24


brothersong by tj kluneBrothersong by TJ Klune

The Bennett family has a secret: They’re not just a family, they’re a pack. Brothersong is Carter Bennett’s story.

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.

On Sale 7/30/24


the doors of midnight by r r virdiThe Doors of Midnight by R.R. Virdi

Myths begin, and a storyteller’s tale deepens, in the essential sequel to R.R. Virdi’s breakout Silk Road-inspired epic fantasy debut, The First Binding.

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 judgment, 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.

On Sale 8/13/24


breath of oblivion by maurice broaddusBreath of Oblivion by Maurice Broaddus

Maurice Broaddus returns with Breath of Oblivion, the second book in his Astra Black trilogy, that explores the struggles of an empire. Epic in scope and intimate in voice, it follows members of the Muungano empire—a far-reaching coalition of city-states that stretches from Earth to Titan – as it faces renewed threats to their progress.

On Sale 8/27/24


somewhere beyond the sea by tj kluneSomewhere 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 dangerous and magical 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. 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. And there’s the island’s sprite, Zoe Chapelwhite, 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 that 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.

On Sale 9/10/24


rumor has it by cat ramboRumor Has It by Cat Rambo

The crew of the You Sexy Thing navigates the aftermath of facing down a pirate king and the relationships that they have created with one another in Cat Rambo’s action adventure science fiction Rumor Has It, the third book in the Disco Space Opera.

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

On Sale 9/24/24


monstrous nights by genoveva dimovaMonstrous Nights by Genoveva Dimova

Dive into the breakneck conclusion to the Slavic folklore-inspired Witch’s Compendium of Monsters series, which began with Foul Days.

With her magic reclaimed and her role in the community of Chernograd restored, Kosara’s life should finally be back to normal—but, of course, things can’t possibly be that simple.

She is now in possession of twelve witch’s shadows, which belonged to a series of young, magically powerful women lured into the deadly marriage with the Zmey that Kosara only narrowly escaped as a young woman. Holding them may grant her unprecedented power, but that doesn’t mean they’re always willing to do her bidding.

Across the wall in Belograd, Asen chases the only lead on his latest case, one of several unsolved witch murders, even against the orders of his direct superior and the mayor. He’s convinced the smuggling kingpin Konstantin Karaivanov is behind them, and follows his trail to an underground monster auction—which leads him right back to Chernograd.

There, sinister events follow one after another: snow falls in midsummer, a witch with two shadows is found dead, monsters that should only appear during the Foul Days have been sighted, and cracks appear in the sky that only Kosara seems able to see. The barrier between worlds thins… and Kosara can’t help but feel her actions are the cause.

On Sale 10/22/24


usurpation by sue burkeUsurpation by Sue Burke

After her rollicking standalone Dual Memory, Sue Burke returns to her Semiosis series and the world of Pax in Usurpation, which combines the thrill of M. Night Shyamalan’s The Happening with the eco-empowerment of VanderMeer’s Dead Astronauts.

Steveland, the dominant sentient lifeform of Pax, has clandestinely sent some of its progeny to Earth. To explore, to spread, to report back.

Since their germination, Earth has been a powder keg. Human rebellion, robot uprisings, and global pandemics have created chaos, distrust, and deaths.

As more and more conflicts break out across Earth, Stevland’s children work in the background, in an attempt to control human behavior and perhaps, bring peace to the planet. Stevland took control of Pax. Earth shouldn’t be too difficult…

On Sale 10/29/24


the relentless legion by j s dewesThe Relentless Legion by J. S. Dewes

J. S. Dewes is back with her acclaimed and action packed Divide series (The Last Watch, The Exiled Fleet) where The Expanse meets the Night’s Watch.

The Sentinels have rallied under the leadership of Adequin Rake, and Cavalon Mercer has uncovered the horrifying genetic solution his grandfather is about to unleash on the unsuspecting outer colonies.

Both Rake and Cavalon race against time to save the universe once again. They’ll need every resource, every ally who might answer the call.

It may not be enough.

On Sale 11/12/24


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

Witch Queen of Redwinter is the third book in Ed McDonald’s Redwinter Chronicles, full of shady politics, militant monks, ancient powers… and a young woman navigating a world in which no one is quite what they seem.

On Sale 11/12/24


overcaptain by l e modesitt, jrOvercaptain by L. E. Modesitt, Jr.

L. E. Modesitt, Jr. continues the Saga of Recluce, the long-running, best-selling epic fantasy series. Overcaptain, the sequel to From the Forest, continues to follow the early life of a man known by many names depending on who you ask—hero, tyrant, emperor.

Alyiakal, overcaptain in the Mirror Lancers of Cyador, has completed his tour of duty as officer-in-charge of a small, remote post. He just wants to finish and see his best friend consorted and assume his next post assignment. If only it were that easy.

He discovers corruption in the Merchanter Clans of Cyador, but investigating Mirror Lancer officers end up dead. Before he can go on leave, he has to replace one of these officers, close a post, dodge an attempt on his life, and an investigation from Magi-i.

At Lhaarat, Alyiakal is assigned as a deputy commander to a post that never had one, and the commander doesn’t want one—and that’s just the beginning of Alyiakal’s problems.

On Sale 11/12/24


The Fate of Silent Godsthe fate of silent gods by scott drakeford by Scott Drakeford

The Fate of Silent Gods continues Scott Drakeford’s epic Age of Ire series that began with Rise of the Mages, where a young warrior and his improbable band of allies faced impossible odds as they sought to rescue his brother from the servants of the Fallen God.

On Sale 11/19/24


wind and truth by brandon sandersonWind and Truth by Brandon Sanderson

The long-awaited explosive climax to the first arc of the #1 New York Times bestselling Stormlight Archive.

Dalinar Kholin has challenged the evil god Odium to a contest of champions, and the Knights Radiant and the nations of Roshar have a mere 10 days to prepare for the worst. The fate of the entire world—and the Cosmere at large—hangs in the balance.

On Sale 12/6/24

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Every Tor Book Coming this Winter

If you’re like us, then your New Year’s resolution is to read more books this winter! This handy list of everything from Tor this season will help ☃️✨

Check it out!


December 5, 2023

All the Hidden Pathsall the hidden paths by foz meadows 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.


January 9, 2024

The Atlas Complexthe atlas complex by olivie blake by Olivie Blake

Only the extraordinary are chosen. Only the cunning survive. An explosive return to the library leaves the six Alexandrians vulnerable to the lethal terms of their recruitment. Old alliances quickly fracture as the initiates take opposing strategies as to how to deal with the deadly bargain they have so far failed to uphold. Those who remain with the archives wrestle with the ethics of their astronomical abilities, while elsewhere, an unlikely pair from the Society cohort partner to influence politics on a global stage. And still the outside world mobilizes to destroy them, while the Caretaker himself, Atlas Blakely, may yet succeed with a plan foreseen to have world-ending stakes. It’s a race to survive as the six Society recruits are faced with the question of what they’re willing to betray for limitless power—and who will be destroyed along the way.


January 16, 2024

To Challenge Heavento challenge heaven by david weber & chris kennedy by David Webber & Chris Kennedy

We’ve come a long way in the forty years since the Shongairi attacked Earth, killed half its people, and then were driven away by an alliance of humans with the other sentient bipeds who inhabit our planet. We took the technology they left behind, and rapidly built ourselves into a starfaring civilization. Because we haven’t got a moment to lose. Because it’s clear that there are even more powerful, more hostile aliens out there, and Earth needs allies. But it also transpires that the Shongairi expedition that nearly destroyed our home planet … wasn’t an official one. That, indeed, its commander may have been acting as an unwitting cats-paw for the Founders, the ancient alliance of very old, very evil aliens who run the Hegemony that dominates our galaxy, and who hold the Shongairi, as they hold most non-Founder species, in not-so-benign contempt. Indeed, it may turn out to be possible to turn the Shongairi into our allies against the Hegemony.


January 23, 2024

Kinningkinning by nisi shawl by Nisi Shawl

The Great War is over. Everfair has found peace within its borders. But our heroes’ stories are far from done. Tink and his sister Bee-Lung are traveling the world via aircanoe, spreading the spores of a mysterious empathy-generating fungus. Through these spores, they seek to build bonds between people and help spread revolutionary sentiments of socialism and equality—the very ideals that led to Everfair’s founding. Meanwhile, Everfair’s Princess Mwadi and Prince Ilunga return home from a sojourn in Egypt to vie for their country’s rule following the abdication of their father King Mwenda. But their mother, Queen Josina, manipulates them both from behind the scenes, while also pitting Europe’s influenza-weakened political powers against one another as these countries fight to regain control of their rebellious colonies. Will Everfair continue to serve as a symbol of hope, freedom, and equality to anticolonial movements around the world, or will it fall to forces inside and out?

From the Forestfrom the forest by l.e. modesitt, jr. by L. E. Modesitt, Jr.

Alayiakal, who will one day be known by many names —not all of them flattering—has to climb the ranks of Cyador’s Mirror Lancers, fighting against unforeseen weapons and ancient technology. Alayiakal, however, has secrets of his own to protect: his ties to the Great Forest and his magus abilities. He must silently pretend to be a conventional soldier favored by fate—until that very same fate forces him to choose.

Stations of the Tidestations of the tide by michael swanwick by Michael Swanwick

The Jubilee Tides will drown the continents of the planet Miranda beneath the weight of her own oceans. But as the once-in-two-centuries cataclysm approaches, an even greater catastrophe threatens this dark and dangerous planet of tale-spinners, conjurers, and shapechangers. A man from the Bureau of Proscribed Technologies has been sent to investigate. For Gregorian has come, a genius renegade scientist and charismatic bush wizard. With magic and forbidden technology, he plans to remake the rotting, dying world in his own evil image—and to force whom or whatever remains on its diminishing surface toward a terrifying and astonishing confrontation with death and transcendence. This novel of surreal hard SF was compared to the fiction of Gene Wolfe when it was first published, and the author has gone on in the two decades since to become recognized as one of the finest living SF and fantasy writers.


January 30, 2024

Heartsongheartsong by tj klune by TJ Klune

All Robbie Fontaine ever wanted was a place to belong. After the death of his mother, he bounces around from pack to pack, forming temporary bonds to keep from turning feral. It’s enough—until he receives a summons from the wolf stronghold in Caswell, Maine. Life as the trusted second to Michelle Hughes—the Alpha of all—and the cherished friend of a gentle old witch teaches Robbie what it means to be pack, to have a home. But when a mission from Michelle sends Robbie into the field, he finds himself questioning where he belongs and everything he’s been told. Whispers of traitorous wolves and wild magic abound—but who are the traitors and who the betrayed? More than anything, Robbie hungers for answers, because one of those alleged traitors is Kelly Bennett—the wolf who may be his mate. The truth has a way of coming out. And when it does, everything will shatter.


February 13, 2024

Projectionsprojections by s.e. porter by S. E. Porter

Love may last a lifetime, but in this dark historical fantasy, the bitterness of rejection endures for centuries. As a young woman seeks vengeance on the obsessed sorcerer who murdered her because he could not have her, her murderer sends projections of himself out into the world to seek out and seduce women who will return the love she denied—or suffer mortal consequence. A lush, gothic journey across worlds full of strange characters and even stranger magic. Sarah Porter’s adult debut explores misogyny and the soul-corrupting power of unrequited love through an enchanted lens of violence and revenge.


February 20, 2024

The Bezzlethe bezzle by cory doctorow by Cory Doctorow

The year is 2006. Martin Hench is at the top of his game as a self-employed forensic accountant, a veteran of the long guerrilla war between people who want to hide money, and people who want to find it. He spends his downtime on Catalina Island, where scenic, imported bison wander the bluffs and frozen, reheated fast food burgers cost 25$. Wait, what? When Marty disrupts a seemingly innocuous scheme during a vacation on Catalina Island, he has no idea he’s kicked off a chain of events that will overtake the next decade of his life. Martin has made his most dangerous mistake yet: trespassed into the playgrounds of the ultra-wealthy and spoiled their fun. To them, money is a tool, a game, and a way to keep score, and they’ve found their newest mark—California’s Department of Corrections. Secure in the knowledge that they’re living behind far too many firewalls of shell companies and investors ever to be identified, they are interested not in the lives they ruin, but only in how much money they can extract from the government and the hundreds of thousands of prisoners they have at their mercy.


March 5, 2024

The Sunlit Manthe sunlit man by brandon sanderson by Brandon Sanderson

Running. Putting distance between himself and the relentless Night Brigade has been Nomad’s strategy for years. Staying one or two steps ahead of his pursuers by skipping through the Cosmere from one world to the next. But now, his powers too depleted to escape, Nomad finds himself trapped on Canticle, a planet that will kill anyone who doesn’t keep moving. Fleeing the fires of a sunrise that melts the very stones, he is instantly caught up in the struggle between a heartless tyrant and the brave rebels who defy him. Failure means a quick death, incinerated by the sun… or a lifetime as a mindless slave. Tormented by the consequences of his past, Nomad must fight not only for his survival—but also for his very soul.


March 19, 2024

Cascade Failurecascade failure by l m sagas by L. M. Sagas

There are only three real powers in the Spiral: the corporate power of the Trust versus the Union’s labor’s leverage. Between them the Guild tries to keep everyone’s hands above the table. It ain’t easy. Branded a Guild deserter, Jal “accidentally” lands a ride on a Guild ship. Helmed by an AI, with a ship’s engineer/medic who doesn’t see much of a difference between the two jobs, and a “don’t make me shoot you” XO, the Guild crew of the Ambit is a little . . . different. They’re also in over their heads. Responding to a distress call from an abandoned planet, they find a mass grave, and a live programmer who knows how it happened. The Trust has plans. This isn’t the first dead planet, and it’s not going to be the last. Unless the crew of the Ambit can stop it.

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Tor’s December eBook Deals of 2023

The year’s almost over, but the eBook deals are just starting! Check out these hot downprices that’ll keep you warm and well-read through the cold winter months.


Everfaireverfair by nisi shawl by Nisi Shawl — $2.99

In this re-imagining of Belgium’s disastrous colonization of the Congo, African American missionaries join forces with British socialists to purchase land from the Congo Free State’s “owner,” King Leopold II. This land, which they name Everfair, is set aside as a safe haven for native populations of the Congo as well as settlers from around the world, including dream-eyed Europeans attempting to create a better society, formerly enslaved people returning from America, and Chinese railroad builders escaping hard labor. Using the combined knowledge of four continents, Everfair becomes a land of spying cats and gulls, nuclear dirigibles buoyed by barkcloth balloons, and silent pistols that shoot poison knives. With this technology, Everfair will attempt to defeat the Belgian tyrant Leopold II. But even if they can defeat their great enemy, a looming world war and political infighting may threaten to destroy everything they have built.

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The Traitor Baru Cormorantthe traitor baru cormorant by seth dickinson by Seth Dickinson — $2.99

Baru Cormorant believes any price is worth paying to liberate her people-even her soul. When the Empire of Masks conquers her island home, overwrites her culture, criminalizes her customs, and murders one of her fathers, Baru vows to swallow her hate, join the Empire’s civil service, and claw her way high enough to set her people free. Sent as an Imperial agent to distant Aurdwynn, another conquered country, Baru discovers it’s on the brink of rebellion. Drawn by the intriguing duchess Tain Hu into a circle of seditious dukes, Baru may be able to use her position to help. As she pursues a precarious balance between the rebels and a shadowy cabal within the Empire, she orchestrates a do-or-die gambit with freedom as the prize. But the cost of winning the long game of saving her people may be far greater than Baru imagines.

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Fairhaven Risingfairhaven rising by l. e. modesitt, jr. by L. E. Modesitt, Jr. — $2.99

Sixteen years have passed since the mage Beltur helped to found the town of Fairhaven, and Taelya, Beltur’s adopted niece, is now a white mage undercaptain in the Road Guards of Fairhaven. Fairhaven’s success under the Council has become an impediment to the ambition of several rulers, and the mages protecting the town are seen as a threat. Taelya, a young and untried mage, will find herself at the heart of a conspiracy to destroy her home and the people she loves, and she may not be powerful enough to stop it in time.

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Necroscopenecroscope by brian lumley by Brian Lumley — $1.99

Harry Keogh is the man who can talk to the dead, the man for whom every grave willingly gives up its secrets, the one man who knows how to travel effortlessly through time and space to destroy the vampires that threaten all humanity. In Necroscope, Harry is startled to discover that he is not the only person with unusual mental powers—Britain and the Soviet Union both maintain super-secret, psychically-powered espionage organizations. But Harry is the only person who knows about Thibor Ferenczy, a vampire long buried in the mountains of Romania—still horribly alive, in undeath–and Thibor’s insane “offspring,” Boris Dragosani, who rips information from the souls of the dead in a terrible, ever-lasting form of torture. Somehow, Harry must convince Britain’s E-Branch that only by working together can they locate and destroy Dragosani and his army of demonic warriors—before the half-vampire succeeds in taking over the world!

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Kellanved’s Reachkellanved's reach by ian c. esslemont by Ian C. Esslemont — $2.99

The incessant war between the bickering city states of Quon Tali rages. So engrossed are the warring lords and princes in their own petty feuds that few notice that an upstart mage from Dal Hon has gained control of the southern seas. Kellanved could not care less about any of this petty politicking or strategy or war. Something other and altogether more mysterious has caught his attention and he – together with a reluctant and his decidedly skeptical friend Dancer – traverse continents and journey through the Realms. But this ancient mystery that has so captivated Kellanved is neither esoteric nor ephemeral. It involves the Elder races themselves, and more alarmingly, the semi-mythic Army of Dust and Bone. Surely no one in their right mind would be so foolish as to embark on a journey from which none have returned? Well, no one except Kellanved.

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Excerpt Reveal: From the Forest by L. E. Modesitt, Jr.

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from the forest by l.e. modesitt, jr.

L. E. Modesitt, Jr. continues the Saga of Recluce, the long-running, best-selling epic fantasy series. In a new story arc, From the Forest follows the early life of a man known by many names depending on who you ask—hero, tyrant, emperor.

Alayiakal, who will one day be known by many names —not all of them flattering—has to climb the ranks of Cyador’s Mirror Lancers, fighting against unforeseen weapons and ancient technology.

Alayiakal, however, has secrets of his own to protect: his ties to the Great Forest and his magus abilities. He must silently pretend to be a conventional soldier favored by fate—until that very same fate forces him to choose.

Please enjoy this free excerpt of From the Forest by L. E. Modesitt, Jr., on sale 1/23/24


Chapter 1

A youth sits in a chair behind a writing desk in the corner of the study. He looks to the vacant white-oak desk, polished and without papers or any objects upon it, then toward the open door to the hallway before returning his attention to the small book he holds, the cover of which is white leather.

Sometime later, he hears steps approaching the study door, but he keeps his eyes on the angular letters on the page he has stopped reading.

“Alyiakal . . . have you finished your studies?” asks the wiry figure wearing the green-trimmed white uniform of a Mirror Lancer majer.

“Yes, ser.” The youth immediately looks up, his eyes seeming to meet those of his father.

“What have you learned?”

“That chaos must be directed by the least amount of order possible. The greater the order, the more likely it is to weaken the force of chaos.”

“What does that mean?”

“Mean, ser?”

“If you’re going to aspire to the Magi’i, boy, you can’t just parrot the words.” The slightest hint of impatience colors the majer’s words.

“So what do the words mean, ser?” Alyiakal is careful to keep his tone polite.

He doesn’t want another beating.

“You tell me.” The majer’s voice is hard. “Magus Triamon says that you can sense order and chaos, if barely. Your mother would have been disappointed by such sophistry.”

Alyiakal holds the wince within himself at the reference to his mother. “Chaos has no order. It will go where it will. Order is necessary to direct chaos, but order reduces chaos. The skill is to direct chaos without reducing the power of that chaos.”

“Alyiakal . . . you understand. From now on, every stupid question will merit a blow with a switch or lash.”

“Yes, ser.”

“Your supper should have settled. It’s time for your blade exercises and les- sons.”

“Yes, ser.”

The majer turns, heading for the rear terrace.

Alyiakal closes the white-leather book, sets it on the writing desk, and stands. While he is now nearly as tall as his father, he is only sixteen, and slen- der, so far lacking the physical strength of his father. Until the last season, he had dreaded the blade lessons. Although they practiced with wooden wands, he had always ended up with painful bruises. Now, as he walks to the rear terrace of the quarters, he is merely resigned to what may be. He understands all too well that if he fails to satisfy the Magi’i he will follow his father into the Mirror Lancers.

The practice wands—wooden replicas of Mirror Lancer sabres—hang on the rack by the door. As Alyiakal eases his wand from the rack, he considers his lesson. Order must direct chaos, but it also must direct a blade, for an undi- rected blade cannot be effective. Can he use his slight skills at sensing order to determine where his father’s blade must go? He takes a deep breath. It is worth the effort. He cannot be more badly bruised than he has been in the past. He makes his way to the terrace and waits in the warm air of late Spring.

He does not wait long, for the majer appears in moments, his own wand in hand. “Ready?”

“Yes, ser.” Instead of concentrating on his father’s eyes, Alyiakal tries to sense where his father’s wand will go before it does. For the first few moments, he is scrambling, dancing back, allowing touches—but not hard strikes. Then . . . slowly, he begins to feel the patterns and to anticipate them.

He slides his father’s wand, and then comes over the top to pin it down, but he cannot hold the wand against Kyal’s greater strength, and he has to jump back.

“Good technique . . . but you have to finish!” The majer is breathing hard. “Keep at it!”

By the end of half a glass, Alyiakal can slip, parry, or avoid almost every attack his father brings to bear, but he is sweating heavily enough that he can’t see clearly when Kyal abruptly says, “That’s enough for this evening.”

Alyiakal lowers the wand.

“You worked hard, and your defense is much better. Just apply yourself that hard to your studies, and you shouldn’t have that much trouble.”

“I’m still bruised in places, ser.”

“At your age, that’s to be expected.” His father nods. “You’re free to do what you will until dark. Don’t go too far. If you’re going to walk the wall road, don’t forget your sabre.”

“Yes, ser. I won’t.” Alyiakal is sore enough that he isn’t certain he wants to go anywhere. At the same time, being free for a glass or so is a privilege not to be wasted. Still . . .

After several moments, he decides to at least take a walk, if only to show that he appreciates and will use the privilege. He follows his father inside and carefully racks the wand, then goes to wash up and cool down.

Less than a quarter glass later, he walks out the front door and around the small and narrow privacy screen wall, the ancient Mirror Lancer cupridium blade in the scabbard at his waist. He does not breathe easily until the officers’ quarters at Jakaafra are more than a hundred yards behind him, as is the tall building that holds the northernmost of the chaos towers. Before long he walks southeast along the white sunstone road paralleling the whitestone wall that, along with the wards powered by the chaos towers, confines the Accursed Forest.

Alyiakal glances to his right. Between the wall and road, there is neither vegetation nor grass, only bare salted ground. To the left are fields and orchards, and a few cots and barns, fewer with each kay from Jakaafra   until the next town, kays away.

He keeps walking along the road flanking the white wall, glancing back, but he sees no one, and no lancer patrols, not that he expects any. While his eyes remain alert for any movement, especially near the wall, his thoughts consider what had happened during his blade practice   and how he had not previously thought of using order to help in using a sabre.

How else might I use order? He doesn’t have an answer to that question, but he does not have time to pursue it because, some fifty yards ahead, at the base of the whitestone wall is a black beast, a chaos panther, lowering itself, as if to spring and charge him. He draws the antique lancer sabre, knowing that its usefulness against such a massive beast is limited at best.

Then the black predator is gone, and a girl—a young woman, he realizes—stands beside the wall. He starts to walk toward her   and as suddenly as she was there, she also has vanished. He looks around, bewildered, but the salted ground between the patrol road and the wall remains empty—for as far as he can see.

Carefully, if unwisely, he knows, he moves toward where both the black cat- like creature and the young woman had been.

Once there, he studies the ground. There are bootprints, but no pawprints, leading to the wall, not away from it, as if someone had walked from the road to the wall. He can find no bootprints leading away.

A concealing illusion? It had to be, but he can sense neither the heavy black- ness of order nor the whitish red of chaos. And from a woman, when there are no women Magi’i?

Finally, after waiting and watching for perhaps a fifth of a glass, he turns and begins to walk back home, thinking.

Copyright © 2024 from L. E. Modesitt, Jr.

Pre-order From the Forest Here

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Stupendous eBook Deals of September 2023

Oh? Do you hear that sound? It’s the 🚨Book Alarm🚨

Hot eBook deals are on their way! Check them out!


When the Sparrow FallsFalling lineart sparrow and cover text for When the Sparrow Falls by Neil Sharpson by Neil Sharpson — $2.99

Life in the Caspian Republic has taught Agent Nikolai South two rules. Trust No One. And work just hard enough not to make enemies.Here, in the last sanctuary for the dying embers of the human race in a world run by artificial intelligence, if you stray from the path—your life is f orfeit. But when a Party propagandist is killed—and is discovered as a “machine”—he’s given a new mission: chaperone the widow, Lily, who has arrived to claim her husband’s remains. But when South sees that she, the first “machine” ever allowed into the country, bears an uncanny resemblance to his late wife, he’s thrown into a maelstrom of betrayal, murder, and conspiracy that may bring down the Republic for good.

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Daughter of RedwinterCover of Daughter of Redwinter by Ed McDonald by Ed McDonald — $2.99

Raine can see—and speak—to the dead, a gift that comes with a death sentence. All her life she has hidden, lied, and run to save her skin, and she’s made some spectacularly bad choices along the way. But it is a rare act of kindness—rescuing an injured woman in the snow—that becomes the most dangerous decision Raine has ever made. Because the woman is fleeing from Redwinter, the fortress-monastery of the Draoihn, warrior magicians who answer to no king, and who will stop at nothing to reclaim what she’s stolen. A battle, a betrayal, and a horrific revelation force Raine to enter the citadel and live among the Draoihn. She soon finds that her secret ability could be the key to saving an entire nation. Though she might have to die to make it happen . . .

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MordewMordew by Alex Pheby by Alex Pheby — $2.99

God is dead, his corpse hidden in the catacombs beneath Mordew. In the slums of the sea-battered city, a young boy called Nathan Treeves lives with his parents, eking out a meagre existence by picking treasures from the Living Mud and the half-formed, short-lived creatures it spawns. Until one day his desperate mother sells him to the mysterious Master of Mordew. The Master derives his magical power from feeding on the corpse of God. But Nathan, despite his fear and lowly station, has his own strength—and it is greater than the Master has ever known. Great enough to destroy everything the Master has built. If only Nathan can discover how to use it. So it is that the Master begins to scheme against him—and Nathan has to fight his way through the betrayals, secrets, and vendettas of the city where God was murdered, and darkness reigns.

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The Phoenix Unchainedthe phoenix unchained by mercedes lackey & james mallory by Mercedes Lackey & James Mallory — $3.99

After a thousand years of peace, much Magick has faded from the world. The Elves live far from humankind. There are no High Mages, and Wild Mages are seen only rarely. Bisochim, a powerful Wild Mage, is determined to reintroduce Darkness to the world, believing that it is out of Balance. Tiercel, a young Armethalian nobleman, is convinced that High Magic is not just philosophy. He attempts a spell—and draws the unwelcome attention of Bisochim. Tiercel survives Bisochim’s attack and begins trying to turn himself into a High Mage. Next in line to be Harbormaster of Armethalieh, Harrier instead finds himself regularly saving Tyr’s life and meeting magickal people and creatures. To Harrier’s dismay, it seems that he must become a hero.

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In the Garden of Idenin the garden of iden by kage baker by Kage Baker — $3.99

In the 24th century, the Company preserves works of art and extinct forms of life (for profit of course). It recruits orphans from the past, renders them all but immortal, and trains them to serve the Company, Dr. Zeus. One of these is Mendoza the botanist. She is sent to Elizabethan England to collect samples from the garden of Sir Walter Iden. But while there, she meets Nicholas Harpole, with whom she falls in love. And that love sounds great bells of change that will echo down the centuries, and through the succeeding novels of The Company.

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The Soprano Sorceressthe soprano sorceress by l.e. modesitt, jr. by L.E. Modesitt, Jr. — $3.99

On Erde, Anna Marshall is no longer just a professional singer. In this world, song is magic, making Anna a sorceress, potentially the strongest in Erde. Here, a wrong note can mean death to a sorcerer, but Anna’s lifetime of training means she can sing more powerfully and precisely than anyone else. Her power does not go unnoticed and makes her a target. To survive, Anna must learn enough song-magic and understand this new world.

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Starfishstarfish by peter watts by Peter Watts — $3.99

A huge international corporation has developed a facility along the Juan de Fuca Ridge at the bottom of the Pacific Ocean to exploit geothermal power. They send a bio-engineered crew–people who have been altered to withstand the pressure and breathe the seawater–down to live and work in this weird, fertile undersea darkness. Unfortunately the only people suitable for long-term employment in these experimental power stations are crazy, some of them in unpleasant ways. How many of them can survive, or will be allowed to survive, while worldwide disaster approaches from below?

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Probability Moonprobability moon by nancy kress by Nancy Kress — $3.99

Humankind has expanded out into interstellar space using star gates-technological remnants left behind by an ancient, long-vanished race. But the technology comes with a price. Among the stars, humanity encountered the Fallers, a strange alien race bent on nothing short of genocide. It’s all-out war, and humanity is losing. In this fragile situation, a new planet is discovered, inhabited by a pre-industrial race who experience “shared reality”-they’re literally compelled to share the same worldview. A team of human scientists is dispatched-but what they don’t know is that their mission of first contact is actually a covert military operation. For one of the planet’s moons is really a huge mysterious artifact of the same origin as the star gates . . . and it just may be the key to winning the war.

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Nightside the Long Sunnightside the long sun by gene wolfe by Gene Wolfe — $3.99

Life on the Whorl, and the struggles and triumphs of Patera Silk to satisfy the demands of the gods, will captivate readers yearning for something new and different in science fiction, for the magic of the future. Enormous in breadth and scope, Wolfe’s ambitious new work opens out into a world of wonders, of gods and humans, aliens and machines, and mysterious adventures far out in space and deep inside the human spirit. It is set on a ship-world whose origins are shrouded in legend, ruled by strange gods who appear infrequently to their worshippers on large screens, and peopled by a human race changed by eons of time, yet familiar.

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On Blue’s Waterson blue's waters by gene wolfe by Gene Wolfe — $3.99

Horn, the narrator of the earlier work, now tells his own story. Though life is hard on the newly settled planet of Blue, Horn and his family have made a decent life for themselves. But Horn is the only one who can locate the great leader Silk, and convince him to return to Blue and lead them all to prosperity. So Horn sets sail in a small boat, on a long and difficult quest across the planet Blue in search of the now legendary Patera Silk. The story continues in In Green’s Jungles and Return to the Whorl.

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Hot Fresh eBook Deals of July 2023

Hey! We’ve got eBook deals! Hot and fresh text for your favorite screen, and they’re ready now, so check them out!


The Ruin of Kingsthe ruin of kings by jenn lyons by Jenn Lyons — $3.99

Kihrin grew up in the slums of Quur, a thief and a minstrel’s son raised on tales of long-lost princes and magnificent quests. When he is claimed against his will as the missing son of a treasonous prince, Kihrin finds himself at the mercy of his new family’s ruthless power plays and political ambitions. Practically a prisoner, Kihrin discovers that being a long-lost prince is nothing like what the storybooks promised. The storybooks have lied about a lot of other things, too: dragons, demons, gods, prophecies, and how the hero always wins. Then again, maybe he isn’t the hero after all. For Kihrin is not destined to save the world. He’s destined to destroy it.

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The Library of the Deadthe library of the dead by tl huchu by T.L. Huchu — $3.99

Ropa dropped out of school to become a ghostalker – and they sure do love to talk. Now she speaks to Edinburgh’s dead, carrying messages to those they left behind. A girl’s gotta earn a living, and it seems harmless enough. Until, that is, the dead whisper that someone’s bewitching children – leaving them husks, empty of joy and strength. It’s on Ropa’s patch, so she feels honor-bound to investigate. But what she learns will rock her world. Ropa will dice with death as she calls on Zimbabwean magic and Scottish pragmatism to hunt down clues. And although underground Edinburgh hides a wealth of dark secrets, she also discovers an occult library, a magical mentor and some unexpected allies. Yet as shadows lengthen, will the hunter become the hunted?

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You Sexy Thingyou sexy thing by cat rambo by Cat Rambo — $3.99

TwiceFar station is at the edge of the known universe, and that’s just how Niko Larson, former Admiral in the Grand Military of the Hive Mind, likes it. Retired and finally free of the continual war of conquest, Niko and the remnants of her former unit are content to spend the rest of their days working at the restaurant they built together, The Last Chance. But, some wars can’t ever be escaped, and unlike the Hive Mind, some enemies aren’t content to let old soldiers go. Niko and her crew are forced onto a sentient ship convinced that it is being stolen and must survive the machinations of a sadistic pirate king if they even hope to keep the dream of The Last Chance alive.

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Luna: New Moonluna: new moon by ian mcdonald by Ian McDonald — $3.99

The Moon wants to kill you. Maybe it will kill you when the per diem for your allotted food, water, and air runs out, just before you hit paydirt. Maybe it will kill you when you are trapped between the reigning corporations-the Five Dragons-in a foolish gamble against a futuristic feudal society. On the Moon, you must fight for every inch you want to gain. And that is just what Adriana Corta did. As the leader of the Moon’s newest “dragon,” Adriana has wrested control of the Moon’s Helium-3 industry from the Mackenzie Metal corporation and fought to earn her family’s new status. Now, in the twilight of her life, Adriana finds her corporation-Corta Helio-confronted by the many enemies she made during her meteoric rise. If the Corta family is to survive, Adriana’s five children must defend their mother’s empire from her many enemies… and each other.

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Isolateisolate by l.e. modesitt, jr. by L. E. Modesitt, Jr. — $3.99

Industrialization. Social unrest. Underground movements. Government corruption and surveillance. Something is about to give. Steffan Dekkard is an isolate, one of the small percentage of people who are immune to the projections of empaths. As an isolate, he has been trained as a security specialist and he and his security partner Avraal Ysella, a highly trained empath are employed by Axel Obreduur, a senior Craft Minister and the de facto political strategist of his party. When a respected Landor Councilor dies of “heart failure” at a social event, because of his political friendship with Obreduur, Dekkard and Ysella find that not only is their employer a target, but so are they, in a covert and deadly struggle for control of the government and economy. Steffan is about to understand that everything he believed is an illusion.

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Psion psion by joan d. vingeby Joan D. Vinge — $3.99

When first published, readers young and old eagerly devoured the tale of a street-hardened survivor named Cat, a half-human, half-alien orphan telepath. Named an ALA Best Book for Young Adults, Cat’s story has been continued by Hugo-award winning and international best-selling author Joan D. Vinge with the very popular Catspaw and Dreamfall. Now, 25 years later, this special anniversary edition of Psion contains a new introduction by the author and “Psiren,” a story never before included in any trade edition of Psion. This tough, gritty tale of an outsider whose only chance for redemption is as an undercover agent for an interstellar government that by turns punishes and helps him, is as fresh and powerful today as it was in 1982.

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Spinspin by robert charles wilson by Robert Charles Wilson — $3.99

One night in October when he was ten years old, Tyler Dupree stood in his back yard and watched the stars go out. They all flared into brilliance at once, then disappeared, replaced by a flat, empty black barrier. He and his best friends, Jason and Diane Lawton, had seen what became known as the Big Blackout. It would shape their lives. The effect is worldwide. The sun is now a featureless disk–a heat source, rather than an astronomical object. As Tyler, Jason, and Diane grow up, space probe reveals a bizarre truth: The barrier is artificial, generated by huge alien artifacts. Time is passing faster outside the barrier than inside–more than a hundred million years per day on Earth. At this rate, the death throes of the sun are only about forty years in our future….

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legacies by l. e. modesitt, jr. Legacies by L. E. Modesitt, Jr.  — $3.99

Millennia ago, a magical disaster caused the fall of a civilization, the end of a golden age. New civilizations emerged from the ancient destruction and chaos, knowing little of the past or the disaster. Corus today is a world of contending countries, humans, and supernatural creatures. It is a place of magical powers, and of a few people who are talented enough to use them. Alusius is drafted into the local Militia and must fight against the invading slave armies of The Matrial, an immortal ruler in a nearby land. If the evil surrounding The Matrial is not brought to an end, the world as he knows it could very well end.

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Every Tor Book Coming in Summer 2023

School might be out for summer (or forever. Some of us have been around a minute), but we’re ALWAYS hitting the books.

Let’s get it.


the woods of arcady by michael moorcockThe Woods of Arcady by Michael Moorcock

In the 1970s, Michael Moorcock, a writer of genre fiction, attempts to save his failing marriage by taking his wife and daughters to Paris. One night in a bar he is amazed to find himself drinking with heroes of story and history. The next day he awakens aboard a sailing ship, kidnapped into another reality by a French highwayman and the four Musketeers, who know Moorcock well from adventures in London’s Alsacia…but that was another Moorcock, from another world. The main narrative of The Woods of Arcady is punctuated by episodes from the story of the Blackstones and by spirited, freewheeling appearances by Captain Buggerly Otherly and his companions from the Second Ether. As readers move deeper into Moorcock’s multiverse, it rises up on all sides, ready to astound.

On Sale 6/6/23


the first bright thing by j.r. dawsonThe First Bright Thing by J.R. Dawson

Ringmaster — Rin, to those who know her best — can jump to different moments in time as easily as her wife, Odette, soars from bar to bar on the trapeze. And the circus they lead is a rare home and safe haven for magical misfits and outcasts, known as Sparks. With the world still reeling from World War I, Rin and her troupe — the Circus of the Fantasticals — travel the midwest, offering a single night of enchantment and respite to all who step into their Big Top. But threats come at Rin from all sides. The future holds an impending war that the Sparks can see barrelling toward their show and everyone in it. And Rin’s past creeps closer every day, a malevolent shadow she can’t fully escape. It takes the form of another circus, with tents as black as midnight and a ringmaster who rules over his troupe with a dangerous power. Rin’s circus has something he wants, and he won’t stop until it’s his.

On Sale 6/13/23


everfair by nisi shawlEverfair by Nisi Shawl

In this re-imagining of Belgium’s disastrous colonization of the Congo, African American missionaries join forces with British socialists to purchase land from the Congo Free State’s “owner,” King Leopold II. This land, which they name Everfair, is set aside as a safe haven for native populations of the Congo as well as settlers from around the world, including dream-eyed Europeans attempting to create a better society, formerly enslaved people returning from America, and Chinese railroad builders escaping hard labor. Using the combined knowledge of four continents, Everfair becomes a land of spying cats and gulls, nuclear dirigibles buoyed by barkcloth balloons, and silent pistols that shoot poison knives. With this technology, Everfair will attempt to defeat the Belgian tyrant Leopold II. But even if they can defeat their great enemy, a looming world war and political infighting may threaten to destroy everything they have built.

On Sale 6/13/23


the frugal wizard's handbook for surviving medieval england by brandon sandersonThe Frugal Wizard’s Handbook for Surviving Medieval England by Brandon Sanderson

A man awakes in a clearing in what appears to be medieval England with no memory of who he is, where he came from, or why he is there. Chased by a group from his own time, his sole hope for survival lies in regaining his missing memories, making allies among the locals, and perhaps even trusting in their superstitious boasts. His only help from the “real world” should have been a guidebook entitled The Frugal Wizard’s Handbook for Surviving Medieval England, except his copy exploded during transit. The few fragments he managed to save provide clues to his situation, but can he figure them out in time to survive?

On Sale 6/27/23


wolfsong by tj kluneWolfsong by TJ Klune

Oxnard Matheson was twelve when his father taught him a lesson: Ox wasn’t worth anything and people would never understand him. Then his father left. Ox was sixteen when the energetic Bennett family moved in next door, harboring a secret that would change him forever. The Bennetts are shapeshifters. They can transform into wolves at will. Drawn to their magic, loyalty, and enduring friendships, Ox feels a gulf between this extraordinary new world and the quiet life he’s known, but he finds an ally in Joe, the youngest Bennett boy. Ox was twenty-three when murder came to town and tore a hole in his heart. Violence flared, tragedy split the pack, and Joe left town, leaving Ox behind. Three years later, the boy is back. Except now he’s a man – charming, handsome, but haunted – and Ox can no longer ignore the song that howls between them. The Green Creek Series is for adult readers.

On Sale 7/4/23


Ebony Gate by Julia Vee & Ken BebelleEbony Gate by Julia Vee & Ken Bebelle

Emiko Soong belongs to one of the eight premier magical families of the world. But Emiko never needed any magic. Because she is the Blade of the Soong Clan. Or was. Until she’s drenched in blood in the middle of a market in China, surrounded by bodies and the scent of blood and human waste as a lethal perfume. The Butcher of Beijing now lives a quiet life in San Francisco, importing antiques. But when a shinigami, a god of death itself, calls in a family blood debt, Emiko must recover the Ebony Gate that holds back the hungry ghosts of the Yomi underworld. Or forfeit her soul as the anchor. What’s a retired assassin to do but save the City by the Bay from an army of the dead?

On Sale 7/11/23


The Eye of the World: The Graphic Novel Part 5The Eye of the World: The Graphic Novel, Volume Five based on the novel by Robert Jordan, written by Chuck Dixon, and illustrated by Marcio Fiorito and Francis Nuguit

In The Eye of the World: the Graphic Novel, Volume Five, Rand al’Thor and his friends and companions have been separated by attacks by Darkfriends and scattered across the lands. Having persevered, they make their way to Caemlyn, where they hope to be reunited. But their roads have grown ever more dangerous. Lan, Moiraine, and Nynaeve rescue Perrin and Egwene from the Whitecloaks. But five traveling together attract more attention than two or three traveling on their own…. Rand and Mat have encountered more than one Darkfriend, often barely escaping without injury. They’re out of money and in too much danger to stop and work for more. Luckily, they make some new friends, but unluckily, Rand tumbles into a royal garden, where he is seized by the Palace Guards and hauled before the Queen….

On Sale 7/25/23


The Eye of the World: The Graphic Novel Part 6The Eye of the World: The Graphic Novel, Volume Six based on the novel by Robert Jordan, written by Chuck Dixon, and illustrated by Andie Tong

The Eye of the World: the Graphic Novel, Volume Six, Rand al’Thor and his companions—his old friends from Emond’s Field; the brave warrior Lan Mandragoran; and Moiraine, the mysterious and powerful Aes Sedai—have at last been reunited. Their journey in search of the Eye of the World nears its climax as they dare the otherworldly Ways, guided by an Ogier, Loial, and narrowly escape the menace of the soul-stealing Machin Shin. When the group reaches the realm of the Green Man, they believe themselves safe. But two of the Forsaken are waiting for them, ready to attack and to guide their dark lord, Ba’alzamon, to the ones he has been seeking!

On Sale 7/25/23


Cassiel's Servant by Jacqueline CareyCassiel’s Servant by Jacqueline Carey

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.

On Sale 8/1/23


ravensong by tj kluneRavensong by TJ Klune

Gordo Livingstone never forgot the lessons carved into his skin. Hardened by the betrayal of a pack who 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. And it was, until the wolves came back, and with them, Mark Bennett. In the end, they faced the beast together as a pack… and won. Now, a year later, Gordo has found himself once again 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 crawling from within. Some bonds, no matter how strong, were made to be broken. The Green Creek Series is for adult readers.

On Sale 8/1/23


masters of death by olivie blakeMasters 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 the difference between a mysterious lost love and an annoying dead body isn’t nearly as distinct as they thought.

On Sale 8/8/23


the salt-black tree by lilith saintcrowThe Salt-Black Tree by Lilith Saintcrow

Nat Drozdova has crossed half the continent in search of the stolen Dead God’s Heart, the only thing powerful enough to trade for her beautiful, voracious, dying mother’s life. Yet now she knows the secret of her own birth—and that she’s been lied to all her young life. The road to the Heart ends at the Salt-Black Tree, but to find it Nat must pay a deadly price. Pursued by mouthless shadows hungry for the blood of new divinity as well as the razor-wielding god of thieves, Nat is on her own. Her journey leads through a wilderness of gods old and new, across a country as restless as its mortal inhabitants, and it’s too late to back out now. Blood may not always prevail. Magic might not always work. And the young Drozdova is faced with an impossible choice: Save her mother’s very existence…or accept the consequences of her own.

On Sale in Trade Paperback 8/8/23


book of night by holly blackBook of Night by Holly Black

Charlie Hall has never found a lock she couldn’t pick, a book she couldn’t steal, or a bad decision she wouldn’t make. She’s spent half her life working for gloamists, magicians who manipulate shadows to peer into locked rooms, strangle people in their beds, or worse. Gloamists guard their secrets greedily, creating an underground economy of grimoires. And to rob their fellow magicians, they need Charlie Hall. Now, she’s trying to distance herself from past mistakes, but getting out isn’t easy. Bartending at a dive, she’s still entirely too close to the corrupt underbelly of the Berkshires. Not to mention that her sister Posey is desperate for magic, and that Charlie’s shadowless and possibly soulless boyfriend, Vince, has been hiding things from her. When a terrible figure from her past returns, Charlie descends into a maelstrom of murder and lies. 

On Sale in Trade Paperback 8/15/23


thornhedge by t. kingfisherThornhedge by T. Kingfisher

There’s a princess trapped in a tower. This isn’t her story. Meet Toadling. On the day of her birth, she was stolen from her family by the fairies, but she grew up safe and loved in the warm waters of faerieland. Once an adult though, the fae ask a favor of Toadling: return to the human world and offer a blessing of protection to a newborn child. Simple, right? But nothing with fairies is ever simple. Centuries later, a knight approaches a towering wall of brambles, where the thorns are as thick as your arm and as sharp as swords. He’s heard there’s a curse here that needs breaking, but it’s a curse Toadling will do anything to uphold…

On Sale 8/15/23


contrarian by l.e. modesitt, jr. Contrarian by L.E. Modesitt, Jr. 

In Contrarian, protests against unemployment and poor harvests have become armed riots as the people sink deeper into poverty. They look to a government struggling to emerge from corruption and conspiracy. Recently elected to the Council of Sixty-Six, Steffan Dekkard is the first Councilor who is an Isolate, a man invulnerable to the emotional manipulations and emotional surveillance of empaths—but not the recent bombing of the Council Office Building by insurrectionists. His patron, the Premier of the Council, has been assassinated, leaving Dekkard with little first-hand political experience and few political allies. Not only must Dekkard handle political infighting, and continued assassination attempts, but it appears that someone high up in the government and corporations has supplied arms and explosives to insurrectionists. Insurrectionists who have succeeded in taking over a naval cruiser that no one can seem to find.

On Sale 8/15/23


he who drowned the world by shelley parker-chanHe Who Drowned the World by Shelley Parker-Chan

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. 

On Sale 8/22/23


knight's wyrd by debra doyle & james d. macdonaldKnight’s Wyrd by Debra Doyle & James D. Macdonald

On the eve of his knighting, Will Odosson learns his wyrd, or destiny: He shall meet death before a year has passed. Will rushes north to release his betrothed from their engagement, but on the way he is beset by all manner of horrors–a man-eating troll, carnivorous mermaids, a magic-working dragon . . . and something far worse: an evil unlike anything Will ever imagined. Knight’s Wyrd is an award-winning gem that’s perfect for revival as a Tor Essential and will appeal to fans of books like Hild and Spear, and films like The Green Knight–-a medieval fantasy with the authentic lived-in strangeness of the real Middle Ages. It was originally published by a pair of YA imprints, but it works equally well as an adult read.

On Sale 8/22/23


devil's gun by cat ramboDevil’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 allow Farren to take them to an ancient site where they may be able 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: Thorn attempts something desperate and highly illegal to regain his lost twin, Atlanta will have to cast aside her old role and find her new one, Dabry must confront memories of his lost daughter, and Niko is forced to find Petalia again, despite a promise not to seek them out.

On Sale 8/29/23


the mystery at dunvegan castle by t.l. huchuThe Mystery at Dunvegan Castle by T.L. Huchu

Everyone’s favorite fifteen-year-old ghostalker, Ropa, arrives at the worldwide Society of Skeptical Enquirers’ biennial conference just in time to be tied into a mystery—a locked room mystery, if an entire creepy haunted castle on lockdown counts. One of the magical attendees has stolen a valuable magical scroll. Caught between Qozmos, the high wizard of Ethiopian magic; the larger-than-life Lord Sashvindu Samarasinghe; England’s Sorcerer Royal; and Scotland’s own Edmund MacLeod, it’s up to Ropa (and Jomo and Priya) to sort through the dangerous secret politics and alliances to figure out what really happened. But she has a special tool—the many ghosts tied to the ancient, powerful castle.

On Sale 8/29/23

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Excerpt Reveal: Contrarian by L. E. Modesitt, Jr.

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Contrarian by L. E. Modesitt, Jr.

L. E. Modesitt, Jr., bestselling author of Saga of Recluce and the Imager Portfolio, continues his gaslamp political fantasy series which began with Isolate and Councilor. Welcome to the Grand Illusion

In Contrarian, protests against unemployment and poor harvests have become armed riots as the people sink deeper into poverty. They look to a government struggling to emerge from corruption and conspiracy.

Recently elected to the Council of Sixty-Six, Steffan Dekkard is the first Councilor who is an Isolate, a man invulnerable to the emotional manipulations and emotional surveillance of empaths—but not the recent bombing of the Council Office Building by insurrectionists.

His patron, the Premier of the Council, has been assassinated, leaving Dekkard with little first-hand political experience and few political allies.

Not only must Dekkard handle political infighting, and continued assassination attempts, but it appears that someone high up in the government and corporations has supplied arms and explosives to insurrectionists.

Insurrectionists who have succeeded in taking over a naval cruiser that no one can seem to find.

Please enjoy this free excerpt of Contrarian by L. E. Modesitt, Jr., on sale 8/15/23


Chapter 1

Duadi

32 Winterfirst 1267

Dekkard glanced out the carriage window at the ironway station platform, the predawn darkness only dimly lit by the tall gas lamps, then back toward the slender but trimly muscular black-haired woman sitting beside him on the dark blue velvet seat. “Well, Ritten Ysella-Dekkard, how does it feel to embark on the next major event of our life?”

“We’ve had enough major events already, dear,” she replied in the slightly sweet tone that suggested he was edging toward a spoutstorm.

“Buying a house together in Gaarlak will be a major domestic event,” he replied in a tone he hoped was conciliatory, “not a catastrophic one like the shelling of the Council Office Building.” And the assassination of the Premier. The man who had given him the chance to become a councilor— and to meet Avraal. If only . . . but who could have foreseen the method of the Meritorist attack?

Avraal shook her head. “I’d never thought we’d end up where we are.”

“I certainly never expected to be a councilor, or to be married to an empath who’s descended from ancient royalty,” Dekkard replied wryly.

“Everyone’s forgotten about the kings of Aloor . . . except my father and brother.”

The first-class steward, wearing a deep blue uniform trimmed with silver piping, strode down the center corridor, saying, “The express will be leaving immediately.”

Less than a minute later, a steam whistle sounded, and with a slight jolt, the carriage began to move.

Since there was little to see through the wide window, at least not clearly, Dekkard studied, as best he could in the dim light, the wooden paneling, a dark stained cherry, rather than the yellow cedar, or even the older black walnut. “I think the paneling in this carriage is the new cherry, most likely from dowry lands Jareem Saarh sold to Guldoran Ironway.”

“He’ll end up losing everything in the long run, and I wouldn’t care in the slightest, except that it wouldn’t be fair to Maelle.”

“At the Yearend Ball, he did say that she was likely running the lands better than he could.”

“He believed it. I could sense that,” replied Avraal. “For her sake, I hope he was right . . . but he’s been wrong about more than a few things, like getting together with Palafaux and Schmidtz.”

“Exactly, and I have the feeling that that trio has something else planned.”

“No doubt connected to Ulrich and Siincleer Shipbuilding. Speaking of those two . . . do you think Ulrich might have been the one behind that story in the Tribune?”

“Our most honorable former premier, who likely ordered the assassination of his devoted former aide to keep anyone from tying corporacion aid to the New Meritorists? How could you possibly believe that?” Dekkard’s voice dripped with sardonicism.

“I don’t feel that sorry for Jaime Minz, not after the times he tried to get others to kill you, and his funneling explosives to the New Meritorists. But still . . . he did all of Ulrich’s dirty work, and Ulrich or one of his cronies just disposed of him like that, and no one’s even looking at Ulrich.”

“Guard Captain Trujillo is, but there’s no hard evidence,” Dekkard pointed out. “Just like with Lamarr’s and Decaro’s deaths. I still wonder about how much Jens Seigryn was involved with Decaro’s death.” Thinking of the Craft Party political coordinator for the Gaarlak district, Dekkard couldn’t help but shake his head. “I wasn’t the one who schemed to make me councilor instead of him. That was Gretna Haarl, and I didn’t even know about it. Jens had to know that.”

“I’m not sure that will make him any happier. I don’t like it that you had to use him to organize tomorrow’s breakfast meeting with all the guildmeisters.”

“What else could we do? We don’t have much choice, not with so little time, especially since he’s the Advisory Committee’s representative in Gaarlak, in addition to being the Craft Party coordinator.”

“I still wish there had been another way, without involving him.” Avraal frowned. “I’ll be carrying my knives, and so will you.”

“All the time now. I did bring my personal truncheon, in case it appears necessary.” He smiled wryly. “It may be that the safest place I’ll be is at Plainfields on Findi afternoon.”

“It was kind of Emilio and Patriana to invite us for an early dinner.”

“I suspect he wants to hear about the Landor councilors we both know. Patriana may not miss his being a councilor, but I suspect he does at times.”

After a short silence, Avraal said, “How do you think Nincya and Emrelda will get along?”

“Without us there, you mean? They’ll do fine. Nincya respects your sister, and she’s enough of an empath that she can sense if something’s troubling Emrelda, and Emrelda’s direct without being overbearing. If you want to worry about something, worry about whether we can find a decent house in the right place.” Dekkard shook his head. “I just hope that the property legalist that Namoor Desharra recommended understands our particular situation.”

“Our limitations, you mean?”

“I know your parents gave you that personal bond, but . . .” I don’t want you using it all, even if we do have to buy something in Gaarlak because I’m a councilor.

“Stop feeling guilty. Part of the reason they sent it was because I married a man whom they could brag about, rather than avoid talking about.”

“As in,” Dekkard continued in an archly haughty tone, imitating an arrogant Landor, “‘Avraal did marry a councilor of the Sixty-Six, not quite the same as a Landor heir, but given that she’s an empath, she did quite well’?”

Avraal tried . . . and failed . . . to hide a sardonically amused smile. “You did that rather well . . . almost like Cliven.”

Dekkard winced.

Avraal laughed, then leaned over and kissed his cheek.

━━ ˖°˖ ☾☆☽ ˖°˖ ━━━━━━━

Chapter 2

Just before the first morning bell, Dekkard and Avraal left their second-floor room at the Ritter’s Inn and started down the wide staircase, the heavy maroon carpeting on the steps muffling the sound of their boots.

Dekkard hadn’t slept well after waking up in the middle of the night from another nightmare about the shelling of the Council Office Building. At least the nightmares are getting less frequent. With that thought, he looked out over the lobby, but didn’t yet see Jens Seigryn.

For the coming breakfast meeting, Dekkard wore one of his gray winter suits with the red cravat unofficially suggesting a councilor, while Avraal wore a conservative dark blue suit with trousers and a light blue head-scarf, draped over her shoulders. She also wore a golden lapel pin with a small red stone in the center, a quiet but necessary statement that she was a certified security empath.

Dekkard couldn’t help noticing that the brass lighting fixtures on the wall didn’t seem quite as well-polished as when they had stayed at the inn the previous summer. He also hoped he could put the names he’d studied to the faces of the guildmeisters he and Avraal would shortly encounter, since they’d only met several briefly.

From the staircase, the two walked across the smooth dark gray slate floor, past the small restaurant, already more than half full, toward the private dining room.

Jens Seigryn—short and wiry, with thinning brown hair and a high forehead—waited beside the open door. As he caught sight of the couple, he smiled broadly.

“Steffan, Avraal . . . or should I say Councilor and Ritten?”

“Steffan and Avraal is fine, Jens,” said Dekkard cheerfully. “I appreciate your arranging the breakfast for us, especially on such short notice.”

“That’s what political coordinators do. Everyone wanted to come, and that’s unusual.” Seigryn paused. “Gretna Haarl . . . insisted . . .”

“That she wanted to be seated next to me . . . or Avraal?”

Seigryn looked surprised at Dekkard’s last words. “Avraal . . . you really thought she might want to be next to Avraal?”

“It was a definite possibility. When she wrote to congratulate me, she only had two questions. When was I coming to Gaarlak and was I smart enough to listen to Avraal.” That wasn’t how Haarl had written it, but it was definitely what she’d meant. Then Dekkard looked directly at Seigryn. “I trust you know that I had no idea what Gretna had in mind.”

Seigryn smiled ruefully. “I knew that from the moment she became guildmeister she wouldn’t support anyone either Axel or I proposed. You were the only one of those she proposed that anyone else would accept.” After a moment, he went on, his voice both subdued and slightly cautious.

“Later, when you have a moment, could we talk . . . about Axel?”

“We’d be more than happy to. He always spoke well of you.”

“Thank you.” After a momentary hesitation, Seigryn said, “We’d better go in . . . several of the guildmeisters are already here.”

“Including Gretna?” asked Avraal.

“She was the first.”

Seigryn led the way into the private dining room, just an oblong chamber some eight yards long and six wide. Dark oak paneled the walls below the chair rail, with cream plaster walls above the rail. The maroon carpeting was the same as that on the main stairs, and the crown molding matched the carpet.

Three people stood beside the large round table, set with silver cutlery and a plain white linen cloth. Dekkard immediately picked out the thin, almost frail figure of Gretna Haarl, and the stocky Yorik Haansel of the Stonemasons, but had to mentally struggle a moment to place the other woman before finally coming up with the name of Arleena Desenns, the head of the Weavers Guild.

“Councilor and Ritten Dekkard were a bit early,” announced Seigryn. “We’ll wait a few more minutes before we sit down, but I thought you’d all like a few words.”

Dekkard immediately went to Gretna Haarl, smiled, and said, “I got here at the first opportunity, and, as I wrote you, I’d already taken your counsel in not letting go of Avraal.”

“You’ve been a most pleasant surprise as a councilor, Steffan,” replied Haarl. “You pushed through Security reforms. Myram Plassar tells me you’re pushing reforms for working women.”

“We’re also working on broader pay reform legislation. That might take longer.” Dekkard regretted that Plassar couldn’t have been at the breakfast, but since she was only a regional steward and not a guildmeister, her inclusion would have raised the hackles of the other regional stewards, and including everyone would have made the breakfast too large . . . and too costly for his expense account.

“That’s good to hear.” Haarl looked to Avraal. “How much of that was your idea?”

Avraal smiled. “Steffan came up with it all.”

“Not that she hasn’t been encouraging . . . and kept me from making certain mistakes,” added Dekkard.

“Amazing . . . a man with initiative who also listens.”

“It happens occasionally.” Dekkard gave a slight chuckle, then sobered. “Premier Obreduur did both.”

“Look where it got him,” interjected Yorik Haansel, who then smiled at Dekkard and added, “It’s good to see you here, Councilor.”

“As I said, I came as soon as it was possible.”

“The newssheets said that the Meritorists destroyed your office. How did you escape and Premier Obreduur didn’t?” asked Haansel. “There was some question . . .”

Dekkard managed to maintain a pleasant expression, despite his dismay at the possibility that the Tribune story had reached Gaarlak. “They fired at his office first and at mine last. When I heard and saw the first explosion I got my staff out of the office and into the stone-walled stairwell. The attack didn’t last more than ten minutes.”

“Why did they stop that soon?” asked Haarl.

“Either their makeshift steam cannon or one of their handmade shells exploded as they fired, and that destroyed the cannon, any remaining explosives, and them. Otherwise, it could have been much, much worse.” Dekkard saw two more guildmeisters arrive—Alastan Cleese, of the Farmworkers, and Charlana Boetcher, who had replaced Johan Lamarr as guildmeister of the Crafters.

Jens Seigryn closed the door to the private dining room and walked toward the table. Then he stopped and said, “If you’d find your seats . . . we’ll have the blessing.” Seigryn nodded to Dekkard. “Councilor . . .”

From his time visiting and campaigning with Obreduur, Dekkard knew that the Trinitarian faith was stronger in smaller cities, and that a blessing before a meal was expected. He found the card bearing his name and stood behind the chair while the others sorted themselves out. He did notice that Avraal was across the table from him flanked by Gretna Haarl and Arleena Desenns, while Charlana Boetcher stood on his right and Alastan Cleese on his left.

Dekkard bowed his head slightly, then began. “Almighty and Trinity of Love, Power, and Mercy, in this time of trial and upheaval, we thank you for the solidity you bring to this world. We humbly ask that you grant us the wisdom to see illusions for what they are and to understand that all material goods are fleeting vanities, and that the greatest vanity of all is to seek and hoard power, rather than to share it in doing good. We humbly ask you to bless this gathering and the food we will partake, in the name of the Three in One.”

“The Three in One,” murmured those around the table.

“Good short blessing,” declared Yorik Haansel to no one in particular, as he sat down between Boetcher and Desenns.

Immediately, servers appeared and poured café for everyone, then provided two platters of croissants, and one with ham strips.

“Councilor,” began Cleese, as soon as everyone had served themselves, his tone of voice almost apologetic, “I’m sure you’ve followed the weather . . .”

“It’s been terrible all across Guldor. I’ve been worried about the impact on farmworkers and what will happen to food prices.”

“You say that so easily . . .”

“I’m not casual about it. There have been at least four large disturbances in Machtarn in recent weeks over food prices. One ended in such violence that an entire block burned to the ground, and a score of people died. Girls are selling themselves on the streets in poor neighborhoods to earn marks for food. That doesn’t count events in other cities across Guldor. I imagine similar problems have happened in Gaarlak. That’s one reason we’re here. I need to know what I don’t see and the newssheets don’t cover.”

“You were elected two months ago.”

“Alastan,” said Desenns, “stop being a complete idiot. The councilor is new. Despite that, he did manage to pass reforms to get rid of the Security Ministry. Last year you were complaining about that. Don’t you read the newssheets? He’s been the target of the New Meritorists and the Commercers. His office was destroyed. The Council has been in session the whole time since he was elected. What exactly do you expect?”

“We’ve still got problems here, Arleena. Close to a quarter of my farmworkers don’t have enough marks to feed their families right now.”

“That’s the sort of thing I need to know,” Dekkard said quietly. “I personally read every single letter and petition, but no one has yet written me and told me what you just said. I want to find someone I can put on my staff here in Gaarlak, someone that you can talk to so that I’ll learn about issues sooner.”

“If you do that,” said Desenns, “it’ll be the first time in my life.”

“Sounds like a good idea,” boomed out Haansel. “Why didn’t Raathan do that?”

“I don’t know,” replied Dekkard. “Perhaps he relied on his family.”

“Exactly,” declared Cleese. “All he heard about was Landor problems. Nothing about farmworkers, crafters, millworkers . . . the ones who need to be heard.”

“Don’t forget about the artisans,” said Charlana Boetcher, her voice almost acid.

“You artisans have it easy. You’re not out in the weather all the time.”

“Do we have it easy, Councilor?” asked Boetcher sweetly.

Dekkard was beginning to wish that Jon Eliver, the Farmworkers assistant guildmeister, whom he’d met during his previous visit, had come in place of Cleese, but he replied pleasantly, “The five years I spent as a plasterer’s apprentice were the hardest of my life. Artisans don’t have it easy, but most people who work with their hands and bodies don’t. I’ve never forgotten that.”

“You did that? Nobody told me,” declared Cleese defensively.

Boetcher sighed loudly. “I was there when Jon Eliver told you that. So was Gretna Haarl. That’s why we all wanted Steffan as councilor.”

“I heard it, too,” declared Gretna Haarl loudly.

Cleese looked as if he might dispute it, when Yorik Haansel grinned and said, “Give it up, Alastan. My ears are bad, and I heard it.”

Cleese closed his mouth and shook his head.

For a moment, there was silence, and Dekkard let it draw out for a moment, then said, quietly but firmly, “Both Avraal and I do understand. She understands, partly because she’s an empath and partly because she worked her way up, starting in the prisons as a parole screener.” He paused to let that sink in. “We don’t know all that you and the hardworking people you represent have gone through, and the Council has to do better. I’ll do the best I can. For too long the Council has listened only to corporacion and Landor needs and problems, but the current Council has already made a good start in changing that. To keep that momentum, we need to know specific problems and needs that the Council can address. The Council can’t change the weather, but we can look into and seek change in work practices or freight rates . . . or in safety rules. You know where your problems are. So let me know. But remember, we can’t fix everything at once, just like you can’t craft a desk overnight, or get in a harvest in a few bells.”

“If there even is a harvest,” replied Cleese. “More failed this year than in past years.”

For a moment, Dekkard didn’t know what to say that wouldn’t sound flippant or uncaring, but he finally managed to say, “It’s been a hard year everywhere for growers.”

“The Commercers don’t make it easier,” said Haarl. “Premier Obreduur’s wife won a legal action against Gaarlak Mills. They have to pay women as much as the men for the same jobs, but Lakaan Mills still won’t do it. Their legalists file motion after motion, and each motion costs the guild hundreds of marks.”

Dekkard nodded, then said, “Ritten Obreduur told me that mill owners and others would force legal action for every mill corporacion until and unless the Council made the law specifically adhere to the ruling of the High Justiciary. I’m already working on legislation that will do that, but it’s likely to take a while to get such a law through the Council.”

“There are real problems in the Lakaan Brickworks. Others, too, I’d wager,” declared Haansel. “They’ve got new steam driers, and it’s giving the setters consumption . . . leastwise they call it consumption . . .”

After that, it seemed to Dekkard that every guildmeister had a problem or two, sometimes three, but he listened carefully, then responded, ending with a polite request that they send him a letter with as many details as they could.

By the time Dekkard had heard them all out, it was close to third bell, and he was just grateful that there weren’t any frowns or scowls . . . at least, not that he had seen. He just hoped that Avraal had sensed anyone unhappy so that he could follow up with them, although he also hoped that wouldn’t be necessary.

Dekkard then immediately turned to Alastan Cleese. “I’m sorry. I didn’t realize just how bad . . .”

Cleese shook his head. “Not your fault. You’re a fair-minded young fellow trying to do your best . . . unlike some.”

“I am concerned about farmworkers and those who work with their hands. The rest of the winter is going to be hard. I’ll do what I can to improve working conditions, but, as I said earlier, if you have any other specific ideas about what would help, especially on a permanent basis, I’d like to hear from you.”

“Let me think about it. You’ll hear when I have.” Cleese stood.

So did Dekkard, as he said, “Thank you.” Then he turned to Charlana Boetcher as soon as Cleese moved away.

She rose from the table.

Dekkard inclined his head and said, “I trust you won’t mind if I visit some of the crafters’ shops and businesses over the next week.”

“I’d hoped you would.” She smiled and handed him a card. “Come by if you have any questions.”

“Thank you.” Before slipping the card into his suit pocket, Dekkard took a quick look at the name on the card—Boetcher Silver. “Is there any place or area you’d recommend where I might start . . . in addition to yours, of course?”

“It doesn’t really matter where you start, just so long as it’s not with us and that you visit several areas so that people won’t get the impression that you just made a few token appearances.”

“What you’re suggesting, I think,” Dekkard replied wryly, “is that token appearances might be worse than no appearances.”

“I didn’t say that,” Boetcher replied with an amused smile, “but I didn’t have to.”

After Boetcher stepped away, Gretna Haarl appeared. “I had a very good talk with Avraal. Keep listening to her.”

“I’ve never stopped listening to her, and I don’t intend to now.” Especially now.

“Excellent. I look forward to seeing you on Furdi.” “Avraal has the details?”

“She does.” Haarl smiled. “You do well in difficult situations. Until Furdi.”

Dekkard thought she seemed satisfied as she left, although he wondered just what Avraal had committed them to.

Yorik Haansel was the last to come up to Dekkard. “Glad to see you talked to Alastan before he left. I’ll talk to him, too. He’s a good man. He just doesn’t like to admit that his ears aren’t what they used to be.” He paused, then said, “Guldor lost a great man when those idiots killed Axel.”

Dekkard lowered his voice and said, “They weren’t idiots; they were corporacion tools out to weaken the Council. Part of that was already proved, but there isn’t evidence to go further.”

Haansel nodded slowly. “Doesn’t surprise me. Seemed unlikely that Meritorists would do that by themselves. You just be careful.” He smiled. “It was a good breakfast.” Then he turned and headed for the door.

In moments, Dekkard and Avraal were alone in the room with Jens Seigryn.

“You sounded like Obreduur . . . a younger Obreduur,” said Seigryn.

“Who do you think I learned it from?” Dekkard paused. “They certainly had a lot of pointed questions.”

“This is the first time in more than a century that guildmeisters here in Gaarlak have a chance to question their own councilor in person. The Landor councilors avoided meeting with them like this.”

“Jens,” said Dekkard, “you wanted to talk about Axel . . .”

For just an instant, Seigryn looked surprised, as if he hadn’t expected Dekkard to bring up Obreduur. “How did it really happen? He was always so careful.”

“The New Meritorists had help building a steam cannon and makeshift shells. Then they hid it inside a canvas-topped stake lorry, drove it down the service road behind the Council Office Building, stopped, and targeted his office from about fifty yards. In less than a sixth they took out five offices. The Justiciary Ministry and the head of the Council Guards suspect the help and expertise came from corporacions, but there was no hard evidence. They captured one low-level corporate officer, and he was immediately assassinated. Officially, it was all his doing.”

“The bastards . . . Axel was the best chance they had of a better life.”

“The Meritorist leaders are fanatics, and the corporate types are very good at manipulation,” replied Dekkard. “You’ve seen more than a little of that.”

“Landors . . . Commercers . . . they’ll never change.”

Dekkard smiled. “Then . . . I guess it’s up to us Crafters.” He paused, then said, “Thank you for arranging the breakfast. We appreciate it.”

“You’re welcome. You paid for it,” said Seigryn with a touch of humor. “Now . . . if you need anything else . . .”

“We’ll let you know. This is just a low-key visit. We need to get more familiar with Gaarlak and look into the possibilities of fashioning a ‘permanent tie to the district’ . . . as the Great Charter phrases it.” Dekkard inclined his head. “Thank you, again. We’ll walk out with you.” He gestured toward the door.

“What are your plans?” asked Seigryn as he walked beside Dekkard.

“First, to sign for a steamer, and then we’ll see. We have some exploring to do.” Dekkard turned and looked to Avraal. “Shall we go?”

Once they saw Seigryn off at the inn’s lobby doors, Dekkard looked to Avraal. “How bad was the damage?”

“From what I sensed, you contained it all.”

“With your help.”

“Jens definitely tried to set you up,” said Avraal quietly. “He must have suggested that they all bring their problems . . . saying something like now that they had a Crafter councilor they should let you know what really needed to be done. Gretna also didn’t request to be seated by me.”

“You sorted that out, I take it.”

Avraal smiled. “We sorted it out. She seemed irritated. So I just asked her if she had any questions for me because Jens had indicated that she wanted to be seated near me. She managed not to explode. After a long moment, she asked if he’d really said that. I told her exactly what you said and Jens’s reply.”

“And?”

“She asked that neither of us do anything unless we heard from her. Right now, it’s probably better that she handles it.”

“I don’t think this is going to turn out well for Jens,” said Dekkard.

“He’s having trouble realizing that Guldor’s changing. That’s another reason why he shouldn’t have been councilor. I promised that you’d show up at Gaarlak Mills, outside the larger building, at fourth bell on Furdi, to meet any millworkers who wanted to see you. After that, Arleena Desenns, Gretna, and I decided that you should do the same thing on Unadi afternoon outside the buildings at Lakaan Mills. Arleena said she’d come up with a banner and have it at Gaarlak Mills tomorrow afternoon.”

“That was kind and helpful of her.”

“She knows that you’re the only kind of Crafter who can hold the Gaarlak district, and that otherwise it would go to the Commercers.”

“I can see that. In the last election, the Commercer candidate, Wheiter, had twice the votes of the Landor candidate, and was less than two thousand votes behind Decaro.” Dekkard paused, then said, “I committed to Charlana that we’d visit craft establishments all around the city while we’re here.”

“Good.”

“How was Alastan Cleese feeling when he left? I tried to smooth that over, and Yorik Haansel said he’d talk to Cleese.”

“He was mainly feeling a little embarrassed when he left.”

“We should find him and drop by in a day or so, or maybe on Findi.” “Findi,” said Avraal. “I already got his home address from Arleena.” “Thank you. It’s going to take both of us to do my job . . . but then, you already knew that.”

“I did.” She smiled warmly. “But it’s nice to hear you say it.”

“I’ll finish the paperwork for the steamer, and we need to go see Namoor.”

“I’ll get our overcoats from the room while you’re doing that.” She paused. “Do you have your cards with you, or do I need to get them?”

“I remembered them, but thank you.”

As Avraal headed for the staircase, Dekkard went to the lobby desk, where he signed for the small Gresynt steamer that he had arranged for, knowing that he and Avraal needed to become more familiar with the city, and they couldn’t do that by being driven around. Having a steamer would allow for much more flexibility, given all that they needed to do in the limited time they had.

“The steamer’s out front, sir,” said the concierge as he handed over the keys. “It’s the dark blue one.”

“Thank you.” Then Dekkard turned to join Avraal near the foot of the staircase, where he donned his overcoat and Avraal eased the headscarf over her hair, before the two walked out to the Gresynt. It was much like Emrelda’s model, but the dark blue paint was more subdued than Emrelda’s brilliant teal.

In minutes, Dekkard headed east just past the center square, and its imposing marble statue of Laureous the Great, before turning north through the few blocks containing banques and office buildings. Most of the façades of the three and four-story buildings looked tired, worn, and grimy. Shortly, he turned left, driving through the North Quarter’s grand houses, some of which had definitely seen better days. He tried to remember the route to the more modest dwelling that had been converted to hold the legal offices of Namoor Desharra. Three turns later—one of them wrong, necessitating the other two—Dekkard brought the Gresynt to a stop in front of the three-story, brownish brick dwelling on West Oak Street with the small sign in front reading desharra & associates.

“That wasn’t too bad from memory.” Dekkard grinned ruefully, then got out, closed his door, and walked around to open the steamer door on Avraal’s side.

They walked up three steps and then another five yards to the door. Dekkard was about to try the bellpull when Avraal pointed to a small sign.

IF THE DOOR IS UNLOCKED, PLEASE ENTER.

Dekkard tried the door. It was unlocked. He opened it and motioned for Avraal to precede him.

Before either of them had taken three steps into the foyer, which had a closed door on the right and one on the left that stood open to an empty sitting room, the gray-haired Namoor Desharra appeared and walked through the sitting room toward them.

“Councilor and Ritten Dekkard, you’re a bit earlier than I expected. Jens said it might be after fourth bell.”

Her words reminded Dekkard that part of Desharra’s legal practice was as the legalist for the Craft Party of Gaarlak. He smiled. “Lately, Jens has been a bit confused, at least where we’ve been concerned. I wouldn’t be surprised if that continued.”

“You did know that he wanted to be councilor?”

“Not until after I’d been sworn in. I could tell that Axel was stunned that I’d been recommended by the Gaarlak Craft Party.”

“I understand that acrimonious would not have been an inappropriate description for the selection meeting, although that might even have understated feelings.” Desharra smiled warmly. “It’s good that you’re here.” She motioned to the sitting room. “We have some time before Kelliera Heimdell will be here.”

“She’s the legalist property agent?” asked Dekkard.

“She’s very good . . . and trustworthy.” Desharra settled into the armchair facing the dark blue couch.

Dekkard and Avraal took the couch, and Avraal eased the scarf off her hair.

“Before we get to that,” Dekkard began, “Gretna Haarl mentioned the legal difficulty with getting Lakaan Mills to comply with the terms the High Justiciary imposed on Gaarlak Mills. Ingrella had mentioned that legal action against each mill corporacion might be necessary . . . unless the Council acted to legislate that change.”

“They’ll try to litigate that as well.” Desharra smiled sardonically.

“Sometime during this session of the Council, I’d thought I’d try to introduce legislation to cut any stalling short. Do you have any suggestions that would reduce the scope of litigation?”

“I like the way you said that, Councilor.”

“Steffan . . . please.”

“I could send you the language of our brief and the language of the High Justiciary affirming the lower justiciary ruling.”

“My legalists would find that incredibly useful, especially since much of their earlier work went up in smoke . . . literally.”

“Ingrella wrote me that your office was one of those destroyed. She thinks highly of you, by the way.”

“I think incredibly highly of her.”

“I’m glad you do. You should.”

“I know I’ve imposed on you, but I’d like your thoughts on another matter.” Dekkard leaned forward. “I really need someone here in Gaarlak whom people can contact and who can relay information and concerns to me. Previous councilors relied on family, I suspect.”

“If they even bothered.” Desharra’s lips curled in contempt.

“I don’t have inherited wealth, and neither does Avraal. That means any pay for an assistant, an office, and any expenses have to come out of my office account, and it’s not exactly capacious.”

Desharra frowned for a moment. “We might be able to help. You could sublet from us. There’s a tiny room on the other side of the foyer. We’ve used it as a storage area, but anyone coming would have direct access.”

“So they wouldn’t be going through your space.”

“Exactly. Let me talk to the others, and we’ll see what would cover the expense. Much as I’d like to, under the law we can’t donate it, even for the official business of a councilor.”

“I can see that . . . and if you know of any young legalists who might like a low-paying position . . .”

Desharra laughed. “That will be the least of your problems. Entry-level legalist or legal clerk positions are hard to come by. Some, if it were legal, would pay you.”

“I need someone honest enough to tell me what is actually happening, whether they think I want to hear it or not.”

“I can think of several possibilities, and you can talk to them later this week.”

“Both of us will talk to them,” said Dekkard. “I thought as much,” replied the legalist.

“Do you have an address where I could reach Myram Plassar? Her contact information vanished in the attack on the office.”

“She mentioned you were looking into expanding the rights to a legalist for working women who weren’t eligible to join the guild. She has a small office west of the central square, on Goldenwood Avenue, as I recall. I’ll get the exact address while you talk to Kelliera.”

The three discussed setting up the office for another third, when a red-haired woman in a gray overcoat walked through the front door, wearing a matching gray headscarf.

“Kelliera . . . come meet the Councilor and Ritten Ysella-Dekkard.”

Dekkard immediately stood as the property legalist entered the sitting room, realizing as he did that Kelliera Heimdell was even shorter than Avraal.

At that point Avraal and Desharra stood as well, and the legalist said, “I’ll leave you in Kelli’s very capable hands. I’ll have the documents ready for your office by tomorrow afternoon, and I’m here most of the time if you need anything else.”

Heimdell smiled pleasantly. “I understand you’re looking for a house. What are your requirements and expectations?”

“It’s not so much expectations as limitations.” Dekkard gestured to the armchair. “We might as well sit down.” Once all three were seated, he went on. “We’re not endowed with inherited wealth. So we’re looking for something modest in a decent neighborhood, preferably with three bedrooms, a sitting room, a dining room, a study, and two bathrooms . . . and a garage. What would something like that in good repair run . . . or is there anything?”

“Houses here are cheaper than in Machtarn. I’d say, based on what I’ve reviewed, you could get all of that in a nice neighborhood for around four thousand marks. Five thousand bordering the North Quarter.”

Dekkard looked to Avraal.

“What would another thousand marks possibly gain us?” asked Avraal. “And what would be the additional fees and taxes?”

“You’d have to make a deposit to cover half the house taxes for the year, and the property legalist fees are included in the house price. Usually the additional costs are less than five percent. Another thousand marks would give you more space or more rooms . . . or a slightly better location. It just depends on the property.” Heimdell shrugged and paused. “It might be better if we took a drive, and I show you houses that are possibilities. If any interest you, I can arrange for you to see them.”

Avraal nodded.

“With one condition,” added Dekkard. “One of us drives. We also need to learn to get around Gaarlak.”

Kelliera Heimdell offered an amused smile. “Of course. Now?”

“Now,” said Avraal firmly, rising to her feet.

Before the three left the office Dekkard turned to accept a card from Namoor Desharra, with the address of Myram Plassar, then hurried to catch up to Avraal.

Copyright © 2023 from L. E. Modesitt, Jr.

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Series That Will Cross the Finish Line in 2023

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Check out these final books in series slated to arrive in stores this year!


The Salt-Black TreeImage Place holder  of - 98 by Lilith Saintcrow

Nat Drozdova has crossed half the continent in search of the stolen Dead God’s Heart, the only thing powerful enough to trade for her beautiful, voracious, dying mother’s life. Yet now she knows the secret of her own birth—and that she’s been lied to all her young life. The road to the Heart ends at the Salt-Black Tree, but to find it Nat must pay a deadly price. Pursued by mouthless shadows hungry for the blood of new divinity as well as the razor-wielding god of thieves, Nat is on her own. Her journey leads through a wilderness of gods old and new, across a country as restless as its mortal inhabitants, and it’s too late to back out now. Blood may not always prevail. Magic might not always work. And the young Drozdova is faced with an impossible choice: Save her mother’s very existenc…or accept the consequences of her own.

On sale 8/8/23


ContrarianPlaceholder of  -63 by L. E. Modesitt, Jr. 

L. E. Modesitt, Jr. is the bestselling author of The Saga of Recluce and the Imager Portfolio, and with Contrarian, he concludes his new gaslamp political fantasy series, The Grand Illusion. Recently elected to the Council of Sixty-Six, Steffan Dekkard is the first Councilor who is also an Isolate, a person invulnerable to the emotional manipulations and emotional surveillance of empaths—but not not, as it turns out, invulnerable to explosions. His patron has been assassinated. He has little political experience, less allies, and so many enemies. Perhaps even nested high within his own camp. Insurrectionists are being supplied with illicit ordinance, but more than that: they stole a naval cruiser, and no one can seem to find it. 

On sale 8/15/23


He Who Drowned the WorldImage Placeholder of - 35 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 she’s not the only contender. The courtesan Madam Zhang wants the throne for her husband, and Zhu’s only chance at mustering the strength to match is to ally 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. Speaking of, newcomer and scorned scholar Wang Baoxiang has manipulated his way into the capital, where his maneuvering threatens to topple the empire. His one desire: 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.

On sale 8/22/23

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Poster Placeholder of - 23The Magic of Recluce by L. E. Modesitt, Jr.

Young Lerris yearns to find a place in the world better suited to his skills and temperament. In Recluce this means taking one of two options: permanent exile from Recluce or the dangergeld, a complex, rule-laden wanderjahr in the lands beyond. Many do not survive. Lerris chooses dangergeld. Lerris will need magic in the lands beyond, where the power of the Chaos Wizards reigns unchecked, and he must learn to use his powers in an orderly way before his wanderjahr, or fall prey to Chaos.

Place holder  of - 5The Stone in the Skull by Elizabeth Bear

The Stone in the Skull, the first volume in her new trilogy, takes readers over the dangerous mountain passes of the Steles of the Sky and south into the Lotus Kingdoms. The Gage is a brass automaton created by a wizard of Messaline around the core of a human being. His wizard is long dead, and he works as a mercenary. He is carrying a message from the most powerful sorcerer of Messaline to the Rajni of the Lotus Kingdom. With him is The Dead Man, a bitter survivor of the body guard of the deposed Uthman Caliphate, protecting the message and the Gage. They are friends, of a peculiar sort. They are walking into a dynastic war between the rulers of the shattered bits of a once great Empire.

Image Place holder  of - 28The Collapsing Empire by John Scalzi

Our universe is ruled by physics. Faster than light travel is impossible—until the discovery of The Flow, which can take us to other planets around other stars. Riding The Flow, humanity spreads to innumerable other worlds. Earth is forgotten. A new empire arises, the Interdependency, based on the doctrine that no one human outpost can survive without the others. It’s a hedge against interstellar war—and, for the empire’s rulers, a system of control. The Flow is eternal—but it’s not static. Just as a river changes course, The Flow changes as well. In rare cases, entire worlds have been cut off from the rest of humanity. When it’s discovered that the entire Flow is moving, possibly separating all human worlds from one another forever, three individuals—a scientist, a starship captain, and the emperox of the Interdependency—must race against time to discover what, if anything, can be salvaged from an interstellar empire on the brink of collapse.

Placeholder of  -61Lock In by John Scalzi

Not too long from today, a new, highly contagious virus makes its way across the globe. Most who get sick experience nothing worse than flu, fever and headaches. But for the unlucky one percent – and nearly five million souls in the United States alone – the disease causes “Lock In”: Victims fully awake and aware, but unable to move or respond to stimulus. The disease affects young, old, rich, poor, people of every color and creed. The world changes to meet the challenge. A quarter of a century later, in a world shaped by what’s now known as “Haden’s syndrome,” rookie FBI agent Chris Shane is paired with veteran agent Leslie Vann. The two of them are assigned what appears to be a Haden-related murder at the Watergate Hotel, with a suspect who is an “integrator” – someone who can let the locked in borrow their bodies for a time. If the Integrator was carrying a Haden client, then naming the suspect for the murder becomes that much more complicated.

Image Placeholder of - 86Off Armageddon Reed by David Weber 

Earth and her colonies are smoldering ruins, and the few survivors have fled to distant, Earth-like Safehold to try to rebuild. But the Gbaba can detect the emissions of an industrial civilization, so the human rulers of Safehold have taken extraordinary measures: with mind control and hidden high technology, they’ve built a religion in which every Safeholdian believes, a religion designed to keep Safehold society medieval forever. 800 years pass. In a hidden chamber on Safehold, an android from the far human past awakens. This “rebirth” was set in motion centuries before, by a faction that opposed shackling humanity with a concocted religion. Via automated recordings, “Nimue” – or, rather, the android with the memories of Lieutenant Commander Nimue Alban – is told her fate: she will emerge into Safeholdian society, suitably disguised, and begin the process of provoking the technological progress which the Church of God Awaiting has worked for centuries to prevent.

The Omen Machine by Terry Goodkind 

Hannis Arc, working on the tapestry of lines linking constellations of elements that constituted the language of Creation recorded on the ancient Cerulean scroll spread out among the clutter on his desk, was not surprised to see the seven etherial forms billow into the room like acrid smoke driven on a breath of bitter breeze. Like an otherworldly collection of spectral shapes seemingly carried on random eddies of air, they wandered in a loose clutch among the still and silent mounted bears and beasts rising up on their stands, the small forest of stone pedestals holding massive books of recorded prophecy, and the evenly spaced display cases of oddities, their glass reflecting the firelight from the massive hearth at the side of the room.

Earth Unaware by Orson Scott Card and Aaron Johnston

A hundred years before Ender’s Game, humans thought they were alone in the galaxy. Humanity was slowly making their way out from Earth to the planets and asteroids of the Solar System, exploring and mining and founding colonies. The mining ship El Cavador is far out from Earth, in the deeps of the Kuiper Belt, beyond Pluto. Other mining ships, and the families that live on them, are few and far between this far out. So when El Cavador‘s telescopes pick up a fast-moving object coming in-system, it’s hard to know what to make of it. It’s massive and moving at a significant fraction of the speed of light. But the ship has other problems. Their systems are old and failing. The family is getting too big. There are claim-jumping corporates bringing Asteroid Belt tactics to the Kuiper Belt. Worrying about a distant object that might or might not be an alien ship seems…not important. They’re wrong.

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