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What to Read While You Wait for The Wheel of Time Season 3

by Kaleb Russell

In 2021, Amazon’s long awaited The Wheel of Time TV series arrived onto the scene to instant acclaim for its sumptuous production, compelling cast of characters, and its gorgeously rendered world; brimming with sprawl and wonder. Simply put, a faithful adaptation of the late Robert Jordan’s iconic fantasy series. Unfortunately, the first season ended as soon as it came, leaving many starved for more fantastical storytelling. And then season 2 released and it rocked! But also same problem—what do you do once you’re done watching? Fret not, for we have prepared a feast! Here are 7 fantasy series to tide you over until season 3 arrives!


The First Binding by R. R. VirdiTales of Tremaine — R.R. Virdi

The first book in R.R. Virdi’s Tales of Tremaine series follows an enigmatic singer/storyteller named Ari and his journey to outrun his sinful past. Crafted in the tradition of stories like Patrick Rothfuss’ The Name of the Wind, The First Binding is a harrowing love letter to the fantasy genre and the art of storytelling. Based in a South Asian mythos, readers will find themselves enraptured by Virdi’s dashing prose and elegant world building. And as if you needed even more reasons to start reading, The First Binding is now available in paperback! 


The Mystic TrilogyMystic Skies by Jason Denzel — Jason Denzel

So you loved The Wheel of Time (of course!). You know who else loved Wheel? Jason Denzel. This stalwart Robert Jordan fan founded community fansite Dragonmount.com, and then went on to pen his own trilogy of epic fantasy. In this trilogy, a primal force called Myst pulses at the heart of the world. One young magi will defy law and tradition to unravel its secrets… One lucky reader who’s scrolling this post right now will discover their next fantasy binge… That’s right! The trilogy’s epic conclusion, Mystic Skies, is out now, so you can dive through this entire series in one go!


The Craft SequenceThe Craft Sequence by Max Gladstone — Max Gladstone

The Craft Sequence takes place in a 21st century fantasy world where, after a terrible war that left significant swaths decimated, Gods deal and compete with wizard-run corporations for power and influence while necromantic lawyers levy dark magic to litigate their conflicts. Imagine rogue magicians flying to work on lightning bolts. CEOs taking the form of business suit clad skeletons whose flesh has worn away after years of manipulating elements of the universe. Monasteries operated by the lifeless corpses of their devote followers. Part fantasy epic, part legal thriller, Gladstone explores a myriad of topics including but not limited to religion, faith, finance, climate change, and so much more with an alarming level of wit and innovation. It’s a series that’s strange, wondrous, and terrifying in equal measure. Better yet, one could start with any book in the series as each book functions as interconnected standalones!

AND even BETTER yet, Max has returned to the world of the craft with The Craft Wars—a new series and entry point to this universe. This series is perfect for readers that just itch to squabble with gods and hate capitalism, and starts with Dead Country and will continue in Wicked Problems.

Dead Country by Max Gladstone


The Stormlight ArchiveRhythm of War by Brandon Sanderson — Brandon Sanderson

Who better to read than the author chosen by Robert Jordan himself to bring the The Wheel of Time series to a satisfying conclusion? Sanderson went on to craft a myriad of his own sprawling fantasy worlds, one such being Roshar, a world wracked by storms so violent, the planet’s ecology has taken a rather peculiar evolutionary track with animals growing shells to escape into and plant life developing internal evasive measures to survive. Then there are the Knights Radiant, 10 ancient orders whose magical weapons are the impetus for a cataclysmic war taking place on a ruined landscape known as the Shattered Plains. 10 years in the making, The Stormlight Archive promises to be another operatic fantasy on par with The Wheel of Time.


 

A Chorus of DragonsThe Ruin of Kings by Jenn Lyons — Jenn Lyons

After learning he’s the long-lost son of a treacherous prince, young Kihrin quickly realises the storybooks he was raised on – fanciful tales of heroic royals achieving heroic victories– are the furthest thing from the truth. Trapped in his new family’s web of deceit and maniacal ambitions, Kihrin must fight to find his own path. A path removed from the ruinous fate laid before him, a fate where he’s the villain destined to destroy the world. Intricately weaving two compelling narratives together, Lyons tells a compelling story about harrowing family drama and a boy vying for freedom.


MoonfallThe Cradle of Ice by James Rollins — James Rollins

New York Times bestselling author James Rollins flexes his storytelling chops by seamlessly transitioning from the realm of thrillers to that of science fantasy in the exciting debut of his new Moonfall series: The Starless Crown. The world of Urth has stopped rotating on its axis. Leaving one side of the planet sun swept, the other wreathed in shadow and ice. Follow Nyx, a gifted student who sees visions of a bleak apocalypse, and her band of outcasts in their journey to uncover the secrets of old that might just give them answers necessary to save their world. Wheel of Time fans will surely love this world of floating ships and prophetic gods.

And watch out for its sequel, The Cradle of Ice, on sale now!


Wake the DragonGods and Dragons by Kevin J. Anderson — Kevin J. Anderson

his series marks Kevin J. Anderson’s triumphant return to epic fantasy in this tale of two warring continents setting aside their millenia-long blood feud to fight a common enemy. The reawakening of an ancient race that wants to see the world remade forces the the Three Kingdoms and Ishara to put aside past bloodshed to stand a fighting chance of saving their respective homes from ruin. Dragons, political intrigue, bombastic battles. What’s not to like?

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Ancient Magic in the Modern Age: 4 Spins on Baba Yaga

by a cat

This article is about high magic and high-rises! That’s right: We’ve got the comfortable amenities and coldness of modernity mingling with the evocative mystique of legend, right here. Read on to see how Baba Yaga’s getting on in the present age! 


Spring's Arcana by Lilith SaintcrowImage Placeholder of - 65The Dead God’s Heart Duology by Lilith Saintcrow

In her new duology, Lilith Saintcrow introduces us to a wide and dangerous America full of terror, wonder, and hungry divinities that would love to eat Nat Drozdova. Of course, Nat can’t let that happen because A) sounds like a rough way to go, and B) she has a mission to complete. 

In Baba Yaga’s imposing and cold skyscraper office, the old witch made Nat a deal: If she returns to Baba Yaga a lost relic of great power, her mother will be delivered from the illness that threatens her life. 

This duology opens with Spring’s Arcana and explosively concludes in The Salt-Black Tree, so you can read the whole story back-to-back right now. The wilderness that belongs to the old gods and the new is waiting. 


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

Olivie Blake takes us to the bright lights and long shadows of Manhattan in One for My Enemy: a modern retelling of Romeo & Juliet where dynasties of cunning witches hold the wealth and power. 

The daughters of underground alchemist and poison-purveyor Baba Yaga are faced with the sons of Manhattan’s shadow-kingpin, Koschei the Deathless. All will have to choose where they stand, and decide they want bad enough to lose everything else. 


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

Admittedly, the Baba Yaga connection with this thrilling urban fantasy is a bit stretched, but when you’re searching for information about adaptations of Baba Yaga online, a prominent result is the following: “Why is John Wick called Baba Yaga?” 

This is a fair question, but not one this article is going to answer. Instead, we’re going to talk about Ebony Gate, a contemporary fantasy set in San Francisco’s Chinatown that’s got the vibes of John Wick, but with dragon magic. 


when among crows by veronica rothWhen Among Crows by Veronica Roth

The release date for this new novella from Veronica Roth is a fair while away, but we’d be so wrong not to include it on this list. When Among Crows is a contemporary fantasy where the various entities of Slavic folklore have come to settle in modern Chicago. It’s a story about the families we make, and the families we destroy. 

On Sale 5/14/24

 

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4 Urban Fantasies for the Current Year

by Julia Bergen

Do you recall 13+ (at time of writing) years ago in the late aughts? Before the internet soured and everything got complicated and worse? Just kidding. The aughts saw the rise of smart phone ubiquity and broadband connectivity’s revolution. And amid the tech boom, if you were to stroll in an analog bookshop, you’d fine rows and rows of books in the hot genre, urban fantasy.

It’s a broad term that technically just means fantasy set in a city, however time passes and changes and so do our lives and so do our cities. But it’s 2023 now—fanny packs are back, and so is urban fantasy. Both look a little different—in the 90’s I never would have worn my Sesame Street fanny pack over my shoulder, and I wouldn’t have been able to read these excellent urban fantasies from Tor that are perfect for our current year.

Hold onto your fanny packs and check them out!


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

One of the best parts about urban fantasy is taking myths and legends and refitting them for the modern world. In Ebony Gate, Julia Vee and Ken Bebelle draw on Chinese mythology to build a magical system full of demons, parallel dimensions, and dragon magic. What’s better, they set their story in San Francisco, a key city for the history of Asian diaspora. They masterfully use the idea of a magical world parallel to ours as a metaphor for the immigrant experience.


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

If you haven’t started T. L. Huchu’s Edinburgh Nights series, you are missing out on some of the best urban fantasy around! Teenager Ropa uses Zimbabwean magic to solve ghostly mysteries on the streets of Edinburgh. In this addition to her series, she’s moved from the streets to a haunted castle. After all, a key component of living in the city is getting out for a little bit…and of course in urban fantasy there is no getaway without plenty of ghosts and murder. The blending of cultures and mythologies, plus the quality of prose and dialogue make this series an absolute delight to read.


book of night by holly blackBook of Night by Holly Black

The Masshole* in me is skeptical about calling anywhere Westa Woosta** urban, but Holly Black definitely gives central/western Massachusetts perfect urban fantasy vibes, earning Book of Night a solid spot on this list. What makes Book of Night feel so new and fresh is Black’s ability to create a unique type of shadow magic that she builds the rest of her fantasy world around. She weaves in societal conflicts analogous to those taking place in cities the world over, with the privileged, powerful, and wealthy hoarding knowledge and magic for themselves while others struggle to get by.


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

What makes any urban fantasy better? Baba Yaga. Add in battling witch families in a magical, contemporary Manhattan, and mix in a healthy dose of forbidden romance, and you have Olivie Blake’s knockout One for My Enemy. Genres come and go, but starcrossed lovers on opposite sides of a family conflict are forever.


  • Tor Blog-cat’s note: Masshole = intrastate slang for ‘resident of Massachusetts.
  • Tor Blog-cat’s note: Westa Woosta = Masshole slang for anywhere west of Worchester, MA

 

 

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Five Sites in SC that Highlight the History and Culture of the Gullah

The Last Dreamwalker

By Zoe Bushman:

From Hurston/Wright Legacy Award-winning author Rita Woods, The Last Dreamwalker tells the story of two women, separated by nearly two centuries yet inextricably linked by the Gullah-Geechee Islands off the coast of South Carolina—and their connection to a mysterious and extraordinary gift passed from generation to generation.

In the wake of her mother’s passing, Layla Hurley unexpectedly reconnects with her mother’s sisters, women she hasn’t been allowed to speak to, or of, in years.

Her aunts reveal to Layla that a Gullah-Geechee island off the shore of South Carolina now belongs to her. As Layla digs deeper into her mother’s past and the mysterious island’s history, she discovers that the terrifying nightmares that have plagued her throughout her life and tainted her relationship with her mother and all of her family, is actually a power passed down through generations of her Gullah ancestors. She is a Dreamwalker, able to inhabit the dreams of others—and to manipulate them.

As Layla uncovers increasingly dark secrets about her family’s past, she finds herself thrust into the center of a potentially deadly, decades-old feud fought in the dark corridor of dreams.

The Last Dreamwalker is a gripping, contemporary read about power and agency; family and legacy; and the ways trauma, secrets, and magic take shape across generations.

The Last Dreamwalker features the Gullah people and the Gullah-Geechee islands off the South Carolina coast. In honor of its upcoming release in trade paperback, here are five sites in South Carolina that highlight the unique history and culture of the Gullah!


McLeod Plantation

McLeod Plantation - Wikipedia

Part of the Gullah/Geechee Historical Corridor, the McLeod Plantation is now a historic site that examines the history of the plantation while emphasizing the perspectives and humanity of the enslaved. The McLeod Plantation explores the emergence of Gullah culture from the Africans enslaved on the South Carolina coast.

Gullah Geechee Gallery

10 Ways to Experience Gullah Culture in Charleston - Explore Charleston Blog

Located in the International African American Museum in Charleston, the Gullah Geechee Gallery features both the history of the Gullah and their contemporary culture. With a variety of displays, from a full-size boat to media showcasing modern-day community organizing, the Gullah Geechee Gallery links past to present while grappling with the meaning of Gullah Geechee identity.

Gullah Museum of Hilton Head Island

Home | The Gullah Museum of Hilton Head Island

Found on Hilton Head Island off the coast of South Carolina, the Gullah Museum was founded in 2003 to preserve and share the history of Gullah culture on the island from before it was linked to the mainland. The museum provides lectures, displays artifacts, and works to maintain traditions, songs, stories, and more.

Gullah Grub Restaurant

Gullah Grub – The Gullah Grub Restaurant

The Gullah Grub Restaurant is dedicated to serving authentic Gullah food while also honoring traditions such as sustainable, local eating. If you’re in Beaufort, stop by for a delicious bite!

Penn Center

Penn Center

Built on St. Helena Island, the Penn School was the first school in the American South dedicated to teaching Black students (including freed, formerly enslaved Gullah children) and has served as a community center in the years since. Often used as a center for civil rights conferences and organizations such as the NAACP, SCLC, and SNCC, the center was visited several times by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr, and declared a National Historic Landmark in 1974.


Click below to pre-order your trade paperback edition of The Last Dreamwalkeravailable 8.15.23!

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Books That We’re Grateful For <3

It’s been a long 2022, so we’re taking a moment to think about all the books that helped us make it through the year. As we prepare to jump into 2023, Tor Publishing Group’s staff looks back on some of the stories we’re thankful for!


The Atlas ParadoxThe Atlas Paradox by Olivie Blake by Olivie Blake

I’m grateful for Blake’s incredible Atlas series, and The Atlas Paradox in particular. I often find the world a bit scary and overwhelming, and as a result really enjoy media that unpacks the thorniness of being alive. None of the powerful magicians that comprise the cast of Paradox are okay, but in watching the complicated ways they struggle against, help, and even hurt each other, the real world feels less confusing and intimidating.

a cat, Digital Marketing Coordinator


Nettle & BoneNettle & Bone by T. Kingfisher by T. Kingfisher

I’m grateful for Nettle & Bone because despite its little fairy tale package, it’s real and raw, full of rage and blood and determination and love. Sometimes you just need a story that will gnaw uncomfortably at your insides and yet give you hope that impossible tasks are possible and you can earn your happy ending.

Tessa Villanueva, Editorial Assistant


Book of NightBook of Night by Holly Black by Holly Black

I’m thankful to exist in the same universe as Holly Black, and I’m so thankful that with Book of Night she’s expanding the type of stories she tells. I’ve loved her young adult books, and to see her progress into a different realm of storytelling has been fantastic. I’m so excited to be able to keep reading her, and see what she does next!

Julia Bergen, Marketing Manager


The Genesis of MiseryThe Genesis of Misery by Neon Yang by Neon Yang

I’m grateful for The Genesis of Misery because it’s an outrageously creative work of space opera, a delightfully genderspun/queered mecha novel, and also a deeply nuanced genre-reception/refraction/retelling of the Joan of Arc mythos. But more than that, I’m grateful for Neon Yang for 1) existing, 2) writing this book, and 3) continuing to be one of the most lovable human beings on the planet with one of the most staggeringly vast imaginations.

Yvonne Ye, Ad/Promo Assistant


Legends & LattesLegends & Lattes by Travis Baldree by Travis Baldree

This year, I am immensely grateful for Legends & Lattes by Travis Baldree and even more grateful for my extremely patient coworkers, as they listened to me rant about how much I loved this book at least three times per week since I read it. No, I am not sorry, and yes, you should definitely add this to the top of your TBR pile as soon as possible. I didn’t know I needed cozy fantasy in my life until I got my hands on this book. Warm, comforting, and joyful, Legends & Lattes follows Viv, a battle weary orc who hangs up her sword and takes a chance on building something for herself-the first ever coffee shop in the town of Thune. This book has found family, giant cinnamon rolls, and a gentle love story that will have you savoring this tale until you’ve turned the final page.

Rachel Taylor, Senior Marketing Manager


The Traitor Baru CormorantImage Place holder  of - 91 by Seth Dickinson

I am grateful for Seth Dickinson’s epic fantasy novel The Traitor Baru Cormorant because it made my cold, dead heart feel so many things. This gorgeously written, tragic book was without a doubt one of my favorite reads of the year. Baru, a young woman from a colonized land who joins the enemy empire to take them down from the inside, is one of the most interesting characters I’ve ever read. I found myself rooting for her even as she made horrible, heart-rending decisions. If you want to cry ugly tears in 2023, give this one a read.

Merlin Hoye, Marketing Assistant


Just Like HomeJust Like Home by Sarah Gailey by Sarah Gailey

I’m grateful for Sarah Gailey and their novel Just Like Home. I’ve never read a haunted house book like this one, and believe me, I’ve read a lot of haunted house books. I took so much gratification in hand-selling Just Like Home this year at New York and San Diego Comic Cons. I’m so grateful I get to work with authors who are not only great writers, but great people.

Jordan Hanley, Senior Marketing Manager

What books are you thankful for? Let us know in the comments! 

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Series That Ended This Year You Can Binge Read Now!

Here’s one for the marathon readers. The book-jockeys who devour quadruple digit pages in single digit days. Here’s a list of fantasy series that ended this year to satiate even the most voracious word-eater. Enjoy your book binge 😈


Wake the Dragon seriesgods and dragons by Kevin J. Anderson

Co-author of the Dune sequels, Kevin J. Anderson’s Gods and Dragons marks his triumphant return to epic fantasy and magnanimous finish to his epic fantasy Wake the Dragons series.  Two continents at war: the Three Kingdoms and Ishara have been in conflict for a thousand years. But when an outside threat arises—the reawakening of a powerful ancient race that wants to remake the world—the two warring nations must somehow set aside generations of hatred to form an alliance against a far more deadly enemy. 

The Sorceror’s Song trilogyThe Sword's Elegy by Brian D. Anderson by Brian D. Anderson

The Sword’s Elegy is the third book in a new epic fantasy trilogy from successful self-published author Brian D. Anderson, perfect for fans of The Wheel of Time and The Sword of Truth. The doom of humankind has at last been realized. Belkar’s prison is broken and his army is on the move. The nations of Lamoria, unaware of the greater danger, look to repel the aggression of Ralmarstad. In the end, it is not great power, terrible armies, or mighty warriors who will influence the course of fate. But two lovers and the unbreakable bond they share. All questions are answered. All mysteries revealed.

Place holder  of - 50A Chorus of Dragons series by Jenn Lyons

The Discord of Gods marks the epic conclusion to Jenn Lyons’s A Chorus of Dragons series, closing out the saga that began with The Ruin of Kings, for fans of Brandon Sanderson and Patrick Rothfuss. Do you like it when demons run rampant? When political intrigue and ancient rituals intersect? How about becoming the living avatar of a star? This epic fantasy series about a long-lost royal whose fate is tied to the future of an empire will take you on a thrilling ride you won’t forget and might not survive. 

Placeholder of  -82The Serpent Gates duology by A. K. Larkwood

The gods remember. And if you live long enough, all debts come due. This epic fantasy series about an orcish death priest who starts a new career as an assassin for a wizard to avoid becoming the god of death’s new bride is an amazing, swashbuckling, screaming-in-frustration, heart-racing cascade of emotion and action. Snake goddesses, ancient ruins, sibling rivalry for the favor of a garbage wizard. What more can you ask for? 

Poster Placeholder of - 92The Lotus Kingdoms trilogy by Elizabeth Bear

Hugo Award-winning author Elizabeth Bear returns with The Origin of Storms, the stunning conclusion to her acclaimed epic fantasy trilogy, The Lotus Kingdoms. The Lotus Kingdoms are at war, with four claimants to the sorcerous throne of the Alchemical Emperor, fielding three armies between them. Alliances are made, and broken, many times over—but in the end, only one can sit on the throne. And that one must have not only the power, but the rightful claim.

The Fall of the Gods seriesImage Place holder  of - 16 by Ryan Van Loan

Ryan Van Loan concludes his pulse-pounding fantasy series with sea battles, hidden libraries, warring deities, old enemies, and one woman’s desire for liberation and revenge all wrapped up in one epic novel—The Memory in the Blood. When her quest to destroy the Gods began, Buc was a child of the streets. Now she is a woman of steel, shaped by gaining and losing power, tempered by love and betrayal, and honed to a fine edge by grief and her desire for vengeance. If Buc has to destroy all Gods, eat the rich, and break the world’s economy to save the people, she will do it. Even if it costs her everything.

Mercenary Librarians seriesDance with the Devil by Kit Rocha by Kit Rocha

The Mercenary Librarians and the Silver Devils are back in the explosive conclusion to USA Today and New York Times bestselling author Kit Rocha’s post-apocalyptic action/romance in Dance with the Devil. How to describe the Mercenary Librarians series? Post-apocalyptic corporate autocracy with a rebellious streak of sweet and sexy romance. Rogue information brokers on a mission to save a crumbling America collide with a team of disillusioned AWOL supersoliders. It’s intense. It’s dangerous. It’s hot. 

mysticThe Mystic Trilogy by Jason Denzel

In Mystic Skies, the epic conclusion to Jason Denzel’s The Mystic Trilogy, which spans decades and timeless realms and dreams, Pomella must confront her greatest and most personal challenge yet. For the Deep mysteries of the world will reveal themselves only to the most powerful and dedicated of Mystics. This series from the founder of Dragonmount is perfect for all fans of swords and sorcery. Do you love Robert Jordan? Brandon Sanderson? Dungeons & Dragons? You HAVE to check out The Mystic Trilogy. 

The Caladan Trilogysnek by Brian Herbert & Kevin J. Anderson

In Dune: The Heir of Caladan, the final book in the Caladan trilogy by New York Times bestselling authors Brian Herbert and Kevin J. Anderson, we step into the shoes of Paul Atreides. A boy not yet a man and about to enter a world he could never have imagined. The story that began with Duke Leto Atreides’s rise to power, then continued with the consequences of Lady Jessica’s betrayal, will now conclude with Paul becoming the person that he needs to be to become the Muad’Dib.

Mistborn: Wax and Wayne serieslost-metal by Brandon Sanderson

Return to #1 New York Times bestseller Brandon Sanderson’s Mistborn world of Scadrial as its second era, which began with The Alloy of Law, comes to its earth-shattering conclusion in The Lost Metal

The Mistborn series is a bold saga of epic fantasy that asks the question: What happens if the hero of prophecy fails? And also: What if ingesting various metals gave you special powers? 

You simply cannot tell us you’re not curious…

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Tor Books EPIC Holiday Gift Guide For Your Oddball Family

Hello hello, and welcome back to our annual TOR BOOKS HOLIDAY GIFT GUIDE, where we give you what we think are the best gifts for the hyper specific, super chaotic individuals in your life. From your childhood BFF to your mildly traumatized game master, we have a whole slew of bookish picks for you this holiday season. Enjoy, and Happy Holidays, y’all!

By Rachel Taylor and a cat


For your long suffering GM (Game Master) who just wants a break from your party

Stranger Things' Eddie Munson hosting a session of DnD

via tenor

Anyone who acts as game master for Dungeons & Dragons (or any other TTRPG, to be frank) deserves an award for powering through all the shenanigans their party puts them through. From attempting to fight a dragon with a fork to accidentally leading your party off a cliff, your deeply stressed out GM deserves a cozy novel to help them decompress. Legends & Lattes by Travis Baldree is out now and, for an extra little something, you can submit your receipt to get an adorable acrylic charm, a perfect addition to your gift!


For your cousin who remained loyal and never left Tumblr 

Books whimsically flying off a shelf to a concerned-looking guy

via GIPHY

You remember the Tumblr exodus of 2019, and for shame—you were part of it, you fragile soul. But not your cousin. Resolute, they stood by their blog and posted through the long, long night. Three years later, Tumblr is resurging and you need a gift for the one who never lost faith. What’s more Tumblr than magic danger-nerds alternatively hooking up with and hating each other as they conduct research and mainline caffeine and/or alcohol? Redeem your past mistakes with the perfect bookly gifts for your cousin: Olivie Blake’s The Atlas Six and thrilling sequel, The Atlas Paradox.


For the enthusiastic players who got their GM Legends & Lattes

Cartoon Doge Rogue—a 'Dogue'

@lookhuman via GIPHY

You love the players at your table, but even after years of collaborative TTRPG storytelling, you’ve never once anticipated the many ways they have conspired to unravel every plot thread you’ve ever written. How then could you ever predict what they might like as a gift? Easy. Just listen to us: Daughter of Redwinter by Ed McDonald is a fantastic epic fantasy about a girl who can A) see ghosts, and B) turn people into them with an expertly placed arrow, if she takes the mind. Of course, if anyone finds out about her power, she’s dead, and circumstances have led her to become a ward in the monastery of the very warrior-magi that would execute her. Oops! What gamesplayer can resist a quick-paced and twisting tale of magic, adventure, and deceit?


For your ex-boyfriend who’s still blowing up your phone with House of the Dragon TikTok’s

Daemon Targaryen very sexily receiving troubling news that his brother Viserys loves him with the GIF ending frames before he does something evil. I'm so sorry whoever's reading this I'm not perfect

via GIPHY

So your ex-boyfriend (who you’re still friends with, DESPITE THE ADVICE OF OTHERS) just finished House of the Dragon and he won’t stop texting you about how much it sucks to have to wait 2 years for season 2. He’s right, but you can still give him a new epic fantasy to obsess over with The First Binding by R.R. Virdi. At over 800 pages, it’ll keep him busy for quite a while AND it also doubles as a premium bludgeoning weapon for you if he doesn’t appreciate your gift. Win win!


For your chronically-online uncle who needs to stop doomscrolling for his own health

very cool neon void road this artist is so good (@dualvoidanima)

@dualvoidmania via GIPHY

He’s mister doom-and-gloom. If there’s an upsetting tweet, you’ve seen it because he’s retweeted it. You don’t quite know him well enough to be comfortable with direct intervention. You need to gift him Last Exit by Max Gladstone. It’s a book about the death of idealism and the rot that creeps through the cracks of reality like so many corrosively fecund vines. It’s about a generation who thought they would transform the world and failure’s fallout. He’ll still be very DOOM-ful, but in an artistically fun, yet still scary way.


For your brother who is OBSESSED with The Wheel of Time on Amazon Prime

Rosamund Pike casting some overpowered magic. Queen

via GIPHY

So your brother watched The Wheel of Time on Amazon Prime and has fallen down the 14+ book-deep rabbithole that is Robert Jordan’s timeless epic fantasy series. Help him delve even further into the lore with Origins of the Wheel of Time by Michael Livingston! He’ll be able to learn even more about all the mythology and legends that inspired Robert Jordan’s universe and you’ll get some peace and quiet while he’s absorbed in his new book.


For your sister who is always has at least 5 open browser tabs of Ao3 fics

dancing, logging in to ur laptop for fanfiction time!

via Gfycat

Who among us hasn’t spent some time reading fix-it fics on Ao3? Well, no one compares to your sister, who currently has 30 tabs open on her iPhone filled with her favorite OTP falling in love 30 different ways (IF THE SHOW WON’T GIVE THEM A HAPPILY EVER AFTER, THE INTERNET WILL). You can’t buy her the perfect 100 chapter slow burn coffee shop fix-it fic of her OTP, but you CAN buy her Ocean’s Echo by Everina Maxwell! It features all the choicest tropes like mutual pining, slowburn, and fake dating and will be sure to put a smile on her face for the holidays.


For your estranged mother, to subtly let her know that your relationship still requires some Conversations

Lucille Bluth: "If you're saying I play favorites, you're wrong. I love all my children equally."

*Earlier that day* Lucille Bluth: "I don't care for Gob."

via GIPHY & tenor

Do you want to give your mother a gift that’s also a hint about how you feel about your tumultuous parental relationship? Just Like Home by Sarah Gailey is the gift for her! It’s got great thriller vibes, with a daughter coming back to her family home for the first time after her father was arrested for being a serial killer…which she kind of caused. And mom’s still holding a grudge over a DECADE later. It’s got drama, monsters, and enough parallels to make your mom go ‘Wait, is this f*cking play about US?!’


For the loved one in your life who waited 2.5 years to finally see My Chemical Romance live in Fall 2022

dark spell book with eye on the cover it's VERY cool

@KyleeConriquez via GIPHY

A million years ago (Or two and a half. Whatever. Time is meaningless mush) your loved one planned to attend the My Chemical Romance reunion. A show that would eventually be put off and off and off due to ongoing events until earlier this year. It was epic, but you know what else is? Book of Night by Holly Black. Your loved one won’t have to wait 900~ days for this literary event, and just like an MCR show, they’ll want to acquire (more) goth clothes and tattoos after.


For the childhood BFF everyone called a ‘voracious reader’ growing up / anyone who was ‘a delight to have in class’

Matilda reading. "She devoured one book after another"

via Goodreads

Did your childhood BFF simply devour every book in front of her? Is she still That Person whose TBR pile is precariously stacked in the corner of her living room, a threat to anyone who brushes too close? Give her a book to really whet her appetite for reading in The Book Eaters by Sunyi Dean, where a very special family literally sustains themselves entirely by eating books. Did we bite a book while reading this to see if we were book eaters? Who’s to say.


For your college best friend with at least one historical quote tattoo

Joan of Arc look at the MET Gala

via GIPHY

Does your college best friend have an encyclopedic knowledge of historical retellings? Do they have, at minimum, one historically linked tattoo that prompts a 20 minute lecture whenever someone asks what it means? Do they have five different editions of The Song of Achilles on their shelf? And most importantly, do they crave a new, queer retelling to sink their teeth into? Look no further! Neon Yang has a Joan of Arc inspired, post-apocalyptic sci-fi story for you. Check out The Genesis of Misery, ​​starring a queer and diverse array of pilots, princesses, and prophetic heirs.


For the ambiguously LGBTQ+ niece whose fashion sense you try to understand, but ultimately makes you feel insecure about how fast you’re aging

wildly cool psychedelic snake meets girl shadow

@yifan via GIPHY

You love them, but no one makes you feel old like your nebulously but definitely queer niece. They’re so cool, and are very helpful in keeping you up to date on the hippest trends, but every time you talk to them, you feel the pent-up years in your joints. Get your niece A. K. Larkwood’s The Serpent Gates series, including The Unspoken Name and The Thousand Eyes. It’s about a gay orc death priestess who rebrands herself as a garbage wizard’s personal assassin and picks up a gods-cursed, magi-baddie mid-adventure. There are cosmic gods, ancient ruins, devious machinations, and a lot of awesome gay stuff.


For the sibling on their third+ rewatch of The Expanse

The Expanse's incredible Naomi Nagata: "I'm using my last remaining brain cells to try and kill my last remaining brain cells."

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We get it. Your sibling buddy is bummed that The Expanse has finished its TV run and is still hopelessly in love with its marriage of adrenaline-flooding action and introspective parsing of human expansion / empire. Again, we do get it, and what you need to get is Sweep of Stars by Maurice Broaddus.


For the nephew who you gifted The Way of Kings to last year

Old book leafing through pages

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Your nephew reads through books at speeds generally known only to muscle cars and lightning, and he needs long fantasy books now! The time required to produce the next installment in an epic series is often as long as the books themselves, which is unfortunate since it’s time for you to gift your nephew another book. Here’s the good news: Brandon Sanderson writes as fast as your nephew reads, and his long-awaited continuation of the Mistborn series, The Lost Metal, is the perfect gift. And then next year you can get him the next Brando Sando, and the book cycle of giving goes on and on and on.

We hope you and your loves ones have a happy and safe holiday season! Did we miss a super niche friend/family member that you want to see a gift for? Let us know in the comments! 

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How Long Our Fav Characters Would Survive in a Horror Novel

HI EVERYBODY IT’S OUR FAVORITE TIME OF YEAR IT’S HALLOWEEN SEASON AT LAST YES 🎃👻🍬🍭🕸🕷🦇😈🧟‍♂️🔮🕯

Whew, okay that was a lot of emoji’s there BUT y’all get it. We’re excited for Halloween! And in an excess of autumnal holiday warm feelings, we’re asking folks around our virtual office how long they think some of their favorite characters would survive if transplanted into a horror novel.

Check it out! (And also check out that fantastic header image made for us by a really cool person on tumblr)


The Unspoken Name by A. K. LarkwoodTalasseres Charossa — The Unspoken Name by A. K. Larkwood

My favorite character / unrequited love interest Talasseres Charossa is as petulant and grouchy as he is brave and gay. He’s gone toe-to-toe and steel-on-steel with god(s) and garbage wizards, but would he survive a horror novel? Unfortunately not. Let’s be real. He’s gonna trip and fall into a patch of evil quicksand, or willingly surrender to a hot vampyre lord of advanced age.

a cat, Digital Marketing Coordinator


Nettle & Bone by T. KingfisherThe Demon-chicken — Nettle & Bone by T. Kingfisher

Would this chicken survive? Absolutely. This chicken would be the VILLAIN of the horror movie. But just as the protagonists wipe the blood off their brows and the sun breaks over the horizon and hope seems to burn anew, the camera would slowly pan to the side until we are greeted with the beady black eyes of the demon-chicken. You will gaze into those eyes and witness the abyss, understanding that the true horror is that we will never escape from its fowl [sic] clutches.

Yvonne Ye, Ad/Promo Assistant


Legends & Lattes by Travis BaldreeViv — Legends & Lattes by Travis Baldree

So I know my favorite character and general light of my life, Viv from Legends & Lattes, would absolutely DEMOLISH anything that came at her in a horror novel. A bad-ass orc barbarian who’s spent years on the road packing steel and raising hell as a sword for hire? Yeah, she’ll be fine. PLUS she has a cozy coffee shop filled with lattes, giant cinnamon rolls, and other treats to make it home to. What other motivation does she need? 💪

Rachel Taylor, Senior Marketing Manager


Book of Night by Holly BlackCharlie Hall — Book of Night by Holly Black

Back again with another character because authors are simply too good at their game and have created too many favs. Next up, I’m choosing Charlie Hall from Book of Night and I’m saying she’s Final Girl™️ material and she’s going to survive. So Charlie occupies a world of devious shadow magic practitioners and they’re all kind of in competition with each other to access more techniques, knowledge, and power. The presence of supernatural powers puts vanilla human Charlie at a disadvantage, but that’s why she’d survive a horror novel. She’s used to this shit, y’all. Also she’s really cool and Book of Night makes me want to buy goth clothes and get another tattoo.

 a cat, Digital Marketing Coordinator


Nettle Bone by TKingfisherThe Demon-chicken (again) — Nettle & Bone by T. Kingfisher

For me, T. Kingfisher is the ultimate horror author. Whether she’s writing low stakes fantasy or high stakes horror, you know it’s gonna be spooky and that I’m gonna be wrapped in a blanket with a cup of tea in my paw and it’s GONNA be raining. Therefore, I choose the chicken familiar from Nettle & Bone. This chicken is literally possessed by an evil entity but only helps our protagonist princess to her end goal. The chicken only uses her evil powers for good. In conclusion, the chicken familiar is quite literally a horror novel unto herself; not only would she survive, she’d help her friends along the way, and maybe even lay an egg or two.

Jordan Hanley, Senior Marketing Manager


Vicious by V. E. SchwabVictor Vale — Vicious by V. E. Schwab

Cold, calculating Victor Vale is as ambitious as he is intelligent. He also has a tendency to be ruthless and obsessive, willing to push the limits of his own body to the brink of death in the pursuit of powers beyond imagination. With his ability to manipulate the pain of others he may last until the grand finale of the horror movie, but his tendency to adopt kids and dogs with his former cellmate will inevitably get him killed. The real question is whether he’ll stay dead or if he might rise up in the post-credits scene to star in a horror movie of his own.

Becky Yeager, Senior Manager of Ad/Promo & Marketing

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Forge’s Father’s Day Gift Guide

Still shopping for that perfect Father’s Day gift? We’ve got you! We’ve put together a list of book recommendations based on the type of Dad in your life to make sure he’ll get a book he genuinely loves, and doesn’t give away at the next family white elephant.

Since we know dads are picky, we’ve given you two options for each dad-type.

For the Mystery-Loving Dad:

Has your dad watched Castle six times? Does he live and die by Law and Order? Here are a couple of options for you!

Carolina MoonsetCarolina Moonset by Matt Goldman:

A son returns to his South Carolina hometown to take care of his father suffering from dementia, but some of his father’s resurfacing memories point to revelations that could shatter lives. Which is already a lot, especially when a fresh murder happens.

 

 

The ChaseThe Chase by Candice Fox:

An inmate at Pronghorn Correctional Facility falsely convicted of killing his wife and son orchestrates the biggest jailbreak in history so he can discover what really happened that fateful night. Because you know your dad would totally do something like this for you (or at least try to).

 

For the History Dad:

If your dad has more World War II facts than the History Channel, he’s going to love one or both of these books!

December '41December ’41 by William Martin:

This WWII thriller is as intense as Day of the Jackal, with the ultimate manhunt to stop a German agent from assassinating FDR as he lights the National Christmas Tree in the first weeks of World War II.

 

 

 

A Thousand StepsA Thousand Steps by T. Jefferson Parker:

Laguna Beach, 1968, the summer of love, but sixteen-year-old Matt isn’t reveling in the Age of Aquarius; he has to find what happened to his missing sister before it’s too late. Perfect for dads who remember 1968, and are shocked to be reminded how long ago that really was…

 

For the Spy Dad:

For the dad who always seemed to know where you were, or for the dad who dreams of being James Bond, these books are sure to delight any Spy Dad!

Omega RulesOmega Rules by Eric Van Lustbader:

Lustbader continued the Jason Borne series after Robert Ludlum passed away, and his own books have that same white-knuckle spy thriller action that will keep your dad turning the pages faster than he changes the TV channel.

 

 

Assassin's EdgeAssassin’s Edge by Ward Larsen:

A U.S. spy plane crashes off the northern coast of Russia at the same time that a Mossad operative is abducted from a street in Kazakhstan. The two events seem unrelated, but as suspicions rise, the CIA calls in its premier operative, David Slaton.

 

 

For the Dad-Joke Dad

You love him, even if your eyes are permanently rolled to the back of your head from all the times you’ve heard “Hi Bored, I’m Dad.” So, treat him to some new material.

A Bathroom Book for People Not Pooping or Peeing but Using the Bathroom as an EscapeA Bathroom Book for People Not Pooping or Peeing but Using the Bathroom as an Escape by Joe Pera, illustrated by Joe Bennett:

If your dad spends a lot of time in the bathroom, he definitely needs this book. And yes, this is Joe Pera of Adult Swim’s hit series Joe Pera Talks With You.

 

I Will Not Die AloneI Will Not Die Alone by Dera White, illustrated by Joe Bennett:

A hilarious, feel-good story about the end of the world. Full of affirmations that are sure to make your dad smile.

 

 

 

For the Dog Dad:

Dog dads deserve to be celebrated too, with some books about dad’s best friend!

A Dog's CourageA Dog’s Courage by W. Bruce Cameron:

Any Dog Dad who hasn’t read a W. Bruce Cameron book needs to start ASAP. A Dog’s Courage in particular is the perfect gift, as it tells the story of a very good dog who must find her way home to her family.

Tender Is the BiteTender Is the Bite by Spencer Quinn:

Chet the dog helps his human, PI Bernie Little, solve crimes that require a little more than human intelligence to unravel. The Boston Globe called Chet, “the most lovable narrator in crime fiction,” which will obviously appeal to your most lovable Dog Dad.

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The Coolest Laguna Beach Locations in A Thousand Steps by T. Jefferson Parker

A Thousand Steps by T. Jefferson Parker is set in Laguna Beach, California in 1968 and Matt Anthony, the main character, lives and visits other real and iconic locations in southern California. When Matt’s sister Jazz goes missing, and the police have prioritized drug busts over finding her, he takes it upon himself to look all over the city for her – in places such as Mystic Arts World, Top of the World, and of course, the Thousand Steps Beach.

Top of the World Neighborhood

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One of the first locations Matt looks for Jazz after she goes missing is the Top of the World. The neighborhood is full of the elite with their fancy houses – and Matt heard that Jazz went to one of the parties in Top of the World shortly before she disappeared.

Dodge City

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At one point in the story, Matt’s mom Julie gets a new job and moves her and Matt to Dodge City. The housing is included with her new tomato canning job, but Dodge City is full of some of the biggest and hardest drug users in Laguna Beach.

Mystic Arts World

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Before Jazz vanished, she worked part time at Mystic Arts World, delivering packages to their customers. In a grab for money and a way to live independently from his mother, Matt agrees to also run packages such as copies of The Tibetan Book of the Dead.

 

Pacific Coast Highway

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In Matt’s quest to find Jazz, he borrows her car and drives all around the places she’s been to around the city on the Pacific Coast Highway. He also drives the highway on the way to dates, adventures, and to the iconic Thousand Steps Beach.

Thousand Steps Beach

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And of course, Matt visits the Thousand Steps Beach. The can be accessed by walking down 218 steps (not actually a thousand). The steps are also a regular location for photographers to take photos of models, and it’s from one of the regular models (who Matt befriends) that Matt learns Jazz had modeled there recently.

Pre-order a copy of A Thousand Steps—available January 11th, 2022!

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