The Serpent Gates - Tor/Forge Blog
Close
post-featured-image

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.

Placeholder of  -75A 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. 

Image Place holder  of - 39The 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 - 35The 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 seriesPlace holder  of - 71 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…

post-featured-image

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."

via GIPHY

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

via GIPHY

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! 

post-featured-image

The Official The Unspoken Name .GIF Recap

The Thousand Eyes by A. K. Larkwood, the hotly anticipated sequel to 2020’s The Unspoken Name, is out now! To bring you up to speed with just what happened to Csorwe, her friends, and her foes, we’ve assembled this handy .GIF recap. Reacquaint yourself with a multiverse of orcs, wizards, ancient serpent societies, and the Maze that connects them all. Take a look! And here’s two words of warning: spoilers abound!


Csorwe, an orc priestess, is destined to become the next sacrifice for the Unspoken One until she is offered a chance to escape with the powerful wizard Belthandros Sethennai.

Csorwe becomes Sethennai’s assassin-in-training. Sethennai plots to take back the Chancellorship of Tlaanthothe and recover a lost and ancient artifact known as the Reliquary.

During her training, Sethennai takes Csorwe to visit the Withered City in Enchentyr. The city of serpents was destroyed by their very own goddess, Iriskavaal. Oranna, the librarian from the shrine of the Unspoken One, crosses their path. She is also on the search for the Reliquary and has come here to explore the ruins for clues.

Once she is ready, Csorwe and Sethennai travel to Tlaanthothe. Before they can overthrow the city, Csorwe must infiltrate the guards’ fortress and assassinate their general. She disguises herself by taking a job in the kitchen.

After a successful but harrowing assassination, Csorwe rejoins with Sethennai. She might have had an easier time if not for Talasseres Charossa and his attempt to sabotage her, take the credit, and return to Sethennai’s side in good favor. Sethennai battles the sitting Chancellor and wins. Tal and Csorwe become rivals and begrudging allies. They begin searching for the Reliquary together under Sethennai’s orders.

Five years pass. Csorwe and Qanwa Shuthmili, a Qarsazhi girl with immense forbidden power, meet at the research compound in Precursor World A-20-22-17. Csorwe and Tal join the Imperial Survey Office of Qarsazh under the guise of doctoral students studying the Hollow Monument in the area.

Shuthmili is kidnapped from camp. Csorwe and Tal enter the Hollow Monument with the Qarsazhi in search of her. Oranna has taken Shuthmili hostage since she is the only one powerful enough to break the bonds sealing the Reliquary in the heart of the Hollow Monument. Oranna takes the Reliquary, but does not know how to open it. The Hollow Monument collapses.

Everyone is split up after the collapse. Csorwe and Shuthmili escape the Precursor World together after fighting off some revenants. Their friendship begins to blossom and is definitely the start of something more. Oranna takes Tal captive and interrogates him. The Qarsazhi begin a manhunt to find Shuthmili.

Csorwe and Shuthmili return to Tlaanthothe. Soon after, Shuthmili feels duty bound to return to Qarsazh. Csorwe accompanies her on her journey and overhears what will happen to Shuthmili if she returns. She and Shuthmili embark on finding the key to the Reliquary.

Csorwe convinces Shuthmili to run with her. They return to the shrine where Csorwe grew up to ask the Unspoken One the location of the key to the Reliquary. The key is a place, the throne of Iriskavaal herself, but the Unspoken One will not disclose where the throne is because Csorwe is no longer a faithful follower like Oranna. “The Reliquary opens before the throne and earthly mansion of Iriskavaal.” (310)

Time for some map shopping! (More like map stealing.) Csorwe and Shuthmili shoplift a map showing the location of the Lignite Spire (the supposed location of Iriskavaal’s throne) from a pirate.

It’s time for a showdown at the Lignite Spire! Oranna awakens Iriskavaal and discovers the Lignite Spire is not the place where her throne is kept. The Qarsazhi take Shuthmili back by force. Csorwe challenges Oranna and takes the Reliquary and Oranna back to Tlaanthothe. When Csorwe gives Sethennai the Reliquary he manages to open it, learn the truth of its contents, but keeps it to himself.

Csorwe begins to doubt her devotion to Sethennai. Shuthmili is alive, but Sethnnai does nothing to help Csorwe free Shuthmili from her fate. Csorwe goes to see Oranna and they make a deal. If Csorwe will free Oranna, Oranna will ask the Unspoken One where Shuthmili is being imprisoned. Sethennai doesn’t believe that Csorwe has the capacity to betray him.

There’s only one mission on Csorwe’s mind: BUST SHUTHMILI OUT OF PRISON. Csorwe murders an important and powerful Qarsazhi in procress and suffers some perilous wounds herself. Shuthmili does some serious damage to her captors too. Oranna brings back Csorwe from the brink of death.

Sethennai and Tal track down Oranna and Csorwe and return Shuthmili to the Qarsazhi once more. Oranna reveals she has discovered that Sethennai is the actual throne and earthly mansion of Iriskavaal. Tal eavesdrops on this conversation and realizes, like Csorwe, that he could never have been anything more than a pawn to Sethennai after all. Tal decides to betray Sethennai by freeing Csorwe and stealing the Reliquary. Tal also gives the Reliquary to Csorwe.

Shuthmili is sentenced to a public execution for her crimes, but Csorwe saves her before it’s too late. Before Csorwe can do much else Sethennai, from among the spectators, stops time and confronts her and Shuthmili.

Csorwe uses the Reliquary as leverage to force Sethennai to let her and Shuthmili go. By standing before Sethennai, the actual throne and earthly mansion of Iriskavaal, Csorwe is able to open the Reliquary and discovers Sethennai’s heart lying inside the box. She threatens to destroy it if he will not relent.

Csorwe and Shuthmili leave on their own ship and begin travelling the worlds together.

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