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Tor’s Ice-Cold Villains

They say revenge is a dish best served cold, and you better believe it, because one of those people doing the saying is Khan, titular villain of 1982’s Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan. In the spirit of Khan, and winter—being the time of cold, and of villains in general—being incredibly cool, have inspired us. 

Here’s a rundown of some of Tor’s Ice-Cold Villains™ 😎


Vicious by V.E. SchwabEli & Victor from Vicious by V. E. Schwab

Roommate squabbles are often a sad fact of life. Sometimes dishes pile up and noise happens at unfortunate times and you have to work that stuff out for the communal good of your homespace. Or, you could read Vicious, which has the worst ever case of and they were roommates… Eli and Victor go from arrogant and ambitious college roommates working together to arrogant and ambitious and superpowered ex-roommates now enemy villains.*

Eli would contend that he is not a villain, and in fact saving the world by doing all that murder. And Victor is trying to stop him, but is more of an antihero, in this case, technically


Poster Placeholder of - 24Kreon from Arch-Conspirator by Veronica Roth

Oh, this villain is a classic. Literally. Arch-Conspirator is Veronica Roth’s science fiction retelling of Sophocles’s famous tragedy Antigone. Diligent scholars may note that the spelling “Kreon” is a little different from the original “Creon,” but Antigone goes by Tig in this story too, because it’s the future. Other things have changed too—in Roth’s dystopian world, only those birthed through a eugenic process are considered rightly souled. Tig and her sisters, being born outside of the process, are unnatural, and Kreon doesn’t like that, or women. The rest of the story is pretty deadly, but far be it from us to spoil it, if somehow you’ve managed to avoid learning the deets of a famous story that’s been around for 2464 years. 


starter villain by john scalziCharlie from Starter Villain by John Scalzi

Okay we’re warming things up a little for this one. Charlie isn’t really ice-cold, but he’s a good villain to start with, if you’re more looking to dip toes in the waters of villainy. That’s really what Charlie’s doing, in a lot of ways. He’s new to the gig, the inheritor of an evil organization, weapons, and a cadre of spy cats from his long-lost uncle. This is a cozy story for when you need to steal a little warmth back from an ice-cold world. Cozy villainy. 


The Atlas Six by Olivie BlakeEverybody from The Atlas Six by Olivie Blake

Not only does the rigorous process of higher education often feel like a system designed by a particularly sadistic villain, but sometimes the best way to survive a mad situation is to go a little mad. Enter, the entire cast of The Atlas Six, basically. They’re grad students with a lot of magical powers and even more issues and attractions to work out amongst themselves. And while they work on their research, they also must contend with the mandatory institutional tradition of sacrificing one member of each cohort. Sometimes grad school is murder. 


Image Placeholder of - 15Cairdine Farrier from The Traitor Baru Cormorant by Seth Dickinson

So Cairdine Farrier. This villain wears a lot of hats, including: merchant, explorer, agent, father figure (?!), and patron. He’s part of the Masquerade—the empire that took over Baru’s home and killed her parents. Manipulative and highly savvy, it’s difficult for others to parse his full motives and hidden thoughts. A truly dangerous villain, by which we mean: The kind who knows how to ingratiate. 

shivers

 

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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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Hot eBook Sale: January 2023

start the year right / start the year with ebook deals / you can scroll down to find them / read them and love them

Check it out!


Gardens of the Moongardensifthemoon by Steven Erickson — $3.99

The Malazan Empire simmers with discontent, bled dry by interminable warfare, bitter infighting and bloody confrontations with the formidable Anomander Rake and his Tiste Andii, ancient and implacable sorcerers. Even the imperial legions, long inured to the bloodshed, yearn for some respite. Yet Empress Laseen’s rule remains absolute, enforced by her dread Claw assassins. For Sergeant Whiskeyjack and his squad of Bridgeburners, and for Tattersail, surviving cadre mage of the Second Legion, the aftermath of the siege of Pale should have been a time to mourn the many dead. But Darujhistan, last of the Free Cities of Genabackis, yet holds out. It is to this ancient citadel that Laseen turns her predatory gaze.

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Too Like the Lightningmacmillan-2 by Ada Palmer — $3.99

Mycroft Canner is a convict. For his crimes he is required, as is the custom of the 25th century, to wander the world being as useful as he can to all he meets. Carlyle Foster is a sensayer—a spiritual counselor in a world that has outlawed the public practice of religion, but which also knows that the inner lives of humans cannot be wished away. In this world, Mycroft and Carlyle have stumbled on the wild card that may destabilize the system: the boy Bridger, who can effortlessly make his wishes come true. Who can, it would seem, bring inanimate objects to life…

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The Traitor Baru Cormorantmacmillan-3 by Seth Dickinson — $3.99

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. But the cost of winning the long game of saving her people may be far greater than Baru imagines.

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The Helm of Midnightmacmillan-4 by Marina Lostetter — $2.99

In a daring and deadly heist, thieves have made away with an artifact of terrible power—the death mask of Louis Charbon. Made by a master craftsman, it is imbued with the spirit of a monster from history, a serial murderer who terrorized the city. Now Charbon is loose once more, killing from beyond the grave. But these murders are different from before, not simply random but the work of a deliberate mind probing for answers to a sinister question. It is up to Krona Hirvath and her fellow Regulators to enter the mind of madness to stop this insatiable killer while facing the terrible truths left in his wake.

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Luna: New Moonmacmillan-5 by Ian McDonald — $2.99

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 confronted by the many enemies she made during her meteoric rise.

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Ender’s Shadowmacmillan-6 by Orson Scott Card — $3.99

The human race is at War with the “Buggers”, an insect-like alien race. The first battles went badly, and now as Earth prepares to defend itself against the imminent threat of total destruction at the hands of an inscrutable alien enemy, all focus is on the development and training of military geniuses who can fight such a war, and win. Andrew “Ender” Wiggin was not the only child in the Battle School; he was just the best of the best. In this new book, card tells the story of another of those precocious generals, the one they called Bean—the one who became Ender’s right hand, part of his team, in the final battle against the Buggers.

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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 Placeholder of - 93 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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$2.99 eBook Sale: January 2021

We’re kicking off 2021 in the best way possible—SALES!!!! Below, check out which of our SFF books you can snag as $2.99 ebooks throughout the entire month of January!


Place holder  of - 29Everfair by Nisi Shawl

Shawl’s speculative masterpiece manages to turn one of the worst human rights disasters on record into a marvelous and exciting exploration of the possibilities inherent in a turn of history. Everfair is told from a multiplicity of voices: Africans, Europeans, East Asians, and African Americans in complex relationships with one another, in a compelling range of voices that have historically been silenced. Everfair is not only a beautiful book but an educational and inspiring one that will give the reader new insight into an often ignored period of history.

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Poster Placeholder of - 48Fate of the Fallen by Kel Kade

Everyone loves Mathias. Naturally, when he discovers it’s his destiny to save the world, he dives in head first, pulling his best friend Aaslo along for the ride. However, saving the world isn’t as easy, or exciting, as it sounds in the stories. The going gets rough and folks start to believe their best chance for survival is to surrender to the forces of evil, which isn’t how the prophecy goes. At all. As the list of allies grows thin, and the friends find themselves staring death in the face, they must decide how to become the heroes they were destined to be or, failing that, how to survive.

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Image Placeholder of - 55The Traitor Baru Cormorant by Seth Dickinson

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. But the cost of winning the long game of saving her people may be far greater than Baru imagines.

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Placeholder of  -64Deal with the Devil by Kit Rocha

Nina is an information broker with a mission—she and her team of mercenary librarians use their knowledge to save the hopeless in a crumbling America. Knox is the bitter, battle-weary captain of the Silver Devils. His squad of supersoldiers went AWOL to avoid slaughtering innocents, and now he’s fighting to survive. They could burn down the world, destroying each other in the process… Or they could do the impossible: team up.

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Image Place holder  of - 54The Emperor’s Blades by Brian Staveley

In The Emperor’s Blades by Brian Staveley, the emperor of Annur is dead, slain by enemies unknown. His daughter and two sons, scattered across the world, do what they must to stay alive and unmask the assassins. But each of them also has a life-path on which their father set them, destinies entangled with both ancient enemies and inscrutable gods.

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Wild Cards I by George R. R. Martin

There is a secret history of the world—a history in which an alien virus struck the Earth in the aftermath of World War II, endowing a handful of survivors with extraordinary powers. Some were called Aces—those with superhuman mental and physical abilities. Others were termed Jokers—cursed with bizarre mental or physical disabilities. Some turned their talents to the service of humanity. Others used their powers for evil. Wild Cards is their story.

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The Mongrel Mage by L. E. Modesitt, Jr.

In the world of Recluce, powerful mages can wield two kinds of magic—the white of Chaos or the black of Order. Beltur, however, has talents no one dreamed of, talents not seen in hundreds of years that blend both magics. On the run from a power hungry white mage, Beltur is taken in by Order mages who set him on the path to discover and hone his own unique gifts and in the process find a home. However, when the white mage he fled attempts to invade his new home, Beltur must hope his new found power will be enough to save them all.

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Soleri by Michael Johnston

Detailed and historical, vast in scope and intricate in conception, Soleri bristles with primal magic and unexpected violence. It is a world of ancient and elaborate rites, of unseen power and kingdoms ravaged by war, where victory comes with a price, and every truth conceals a deeper secret.

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An Illusion of Thieves by Cate Glass

In Cantagna, being a sorcerer is a death sentence. Romy escapes her hardscrabble upbringing when she becomes courtesan to the Shadow Lord, a revolutionary noble who brings laws and comforts once reserved for the wealthy to all. When her brother, Neri, is caught thieving with the aid of magic, Romy’s aristocratic influence is the only thing that can spare his life—and the price is her banishment. Now back in Beggar’s Ring, she has just her wits and her own long-hidden sorcery to help her and Neri survive. But when a plot to overthrow the Shadow Lord and incite civil war is uncovered, only Romy knows how to stop it.

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$2.99 Ebook Sale: The Traitor Baru Cormorant by Seth Dickinson

Placeholder of  -91The ebook edition of The Traitor Baru Cormorant by Seth Dickinson is on sale now for only $2.99! This offer will only last for a limited time, so order your copy today!

About The Traitor Baru Cormorant: 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.

Order Your Copy

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This sale ends March 1st.

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Celebrate Valentine’s Day with our Favorite Relationships in SF/F

The term shipping doesn’t just refer to boats or how fast you can get your package. These days, it also has meaning in relationships—fictional ones, that is. Ships are the couples from fiction, whether books, tv, or movies, that you desperately want to get together in a romantic way—whether the creator intended them to or not. Over time, fans have created some pretty famous ships (cough*Harry-and-Draco*cough) and some super bizarre ships (Elsa and Jack Frost, really?). Many have gained a life of their own, with fan art, fan fic, and more.

Since it’s Valentine’s Day, we started thinking about our favorite relationships as well as our favorite ships in science fiction and fantasy. We’re celebrating the holiday by sharing our list with you! What couples are your list?

Phèdre nó Delaunay and Joscelin Verreuil

Poster Placeholder of - 28 One of the things we love about Jacqueline Carey’s Kushiel’s Legacy series is the number of relationships to wish for, root for, and cry buckets over. Alcuin and Delaney, Ysandra and Drustan, Phèdre and Hyacinthe, Phèdre and Melisande, Phèdre and Joscelin…okay, really Phèdre and anyone who can make her happy. But we polled the Tor staff, and found that most of us were rooting for the opposites attract relationship of Phèdre, courtesan to kings, and Joscelin, warrior-priest and sworn virgin (at least, at the beginning). Those crazy kids belong together, and they prove it by supporting each other through increasingly dire and dangerous situations, all the way to the ends of the world.

Mat Cauthon and Tuon (Fortuona Athaem Devi Paendrag, Daughter of the Nine Moons)

Image Placeholder of - 47 The Wheel of Time is full of relationships, both good and bad. How could it not be, with 14 books spanning years? And while Rand and his relationship with Elayne, Aviendha, and Min was fun to read, our favorite relationship in WoT is the one between Mat and Tuon. The scene where Mat accidentally marries Tuon (be careful what you repeat three times in fantasy novels, guys!) made some of us laugh, and when she finally completes the ceremony, there may have been tears. Their elaborate courtship dance in between, and the sense that Tuon is always one step ahead of Mat, just makes their romance even better.

Baru Cormorant and Tain Hu

Image Place holder  of - 15 Sometimes you just want a relationship that makes you cry. Amid all the politics, intrigue and plot twists that made The Traitor Baru Cormorant such a fantastic read, the budding—and forbidden—romance between Baru Cormorant and Tain Hu was definitely a highlight. Two ruthless, competent women who begin on opposite sides, but come together to start a revolution against an ever-growing colonial force—what more could you want? Of course, love in wartime is never easy, and there are plenty of hidden agendas at play that make it even harder. Fair warning: not every favorite romance has a happy ending.

Eddi McCandry and the Phouka

Place holder  of - 32 This classic urban fantasy is both a slice of rock life in the 80s (you know Prince was totally one of the fey), and a delightful story of learning who you are accompanied by a wonderful romance. We’ve all been Eddi McCandry at some point—juggling the one-two punch of a bad ex and trying to figure out your life—and the Phouka is a babe.
 
 
Richard St. Vier and Alec

Placeholder of  -59 Not only is this a wonderful, tangled world of duels fought with swords and over tea in parlors, but the heart of the story is the tangled, snarled, tricky, unlikely and utterly swoon-worthy pairing of a sword for hire and his difficult inamorata. Fireworks, banter, tension (all kinds), and so much more in a beloved m/m pair. As Jo Walton says in her Tor.com review, is Richard and Alec’s relationship love, or is it a duel? Finding out is part of the fun.

Nienna and Ulmo

Two literary characters who we think deserve one another are Nienna and Ulmo from J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Silmarillion. Nienna is one of the Valar, whose purview is grief, mourning, and mercy, ever turning sorrow to wisdom. While Ulmo, the Lord of the Waters, is the Vala who was fondest of the Children of Ilúvatar (Elves and Men). But like Nienna, Ulmo is a loner. All the other godlike Valar were married—why not these two?

Quick Ben and Kalam

If ever there was a “they argue like an old married couple” in Epic Fantasy, it is Quick Ben and Kalam. One is a trickster mage who might be the most powerful magician around, the other is an Assassin that really distrusts magic. They’ve been together since they were rebels fighting the empire, so long that they’re reached the pinnacle of couple-dom in fiction: they can finish each other’s sentences.

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Books to Fill the Long Wait Until the Final Season of Game of Thrones

Season 7 of Game of Thrones went out with a bang. The final season may air in 2018, but we may also have to wait until 2019 to see how everything is going to wrap up. So what are we going to do in the meantime? Read, of course! We asked our fellow Tor employees what books they would recommend for Game of Thrones fans, and they came through in a big way. In no particular order, here’s a reading list with enough books to keep you busy until 2019 (unless you’re a speed reader).

Image Placeholder of - 86 Malazan Book of the Fallen by Steven Erikson
The Malazan series is big, sprawling, nihilistic epic fantasy perfect for a Game of Thrones fan. The series is complete, so there’s no waiting for the next book. Start with book one, Gardens of the Moon, or pick up the entire 7,392 page series as an ebook bundle: The Complete Malazan Book of the Fallen.
Recommended by Christopher Morgan, Associate Editor

Poster Placeholder of - 19 The Emperor’s Blades by Brian Staveley
Is your favorite part of Game of Thrones watching the Stark children try to survive in the wake of their father’s death? Try The Emperor’s Blades, the first novel in the epic fantasy Chronicle of the Unhewn Throne trilogy. The story focuses on the three children of a slain emperor as they battle conspiracies, meddlesome gods, and each other, in the struggle to hold their empire together.
Recommended by Marco Palmieri, Senior Editor

Place holder  of - 95 The Black Company by Glen Cook
If you’re a fan of the fact that no one is safe on GoT, try this one. Released in 1984, The Black Company is arguably the reason GrimDark became a thing. Think of it as Game of Thrones from the view of the infantry. The story follows a band of mercenaries as they struggle to survive lose-lose situations.
Recommended by Robert Davis, Manager of Administration, and Christopher Morgan, Associate Editor

Image Place holder  of - 77 Red Sister by Mark Lawrence
If Arya had ended up meeting a warrior nun instead of the Faceless Man, she and the heroine of Red Sister would be best friends. Raised in a convent of warrior, assassin nuns, Nona may be their most powerful. Dark and gritty and moving, with heroines you adore.
Recommended by Diana Gill, Executive Editor

Placeholder of  -86 The Traitor Baru Cormorant by Seth Dickinson
Do you love conflicted characters like Jaime Lannister? Try The Traitor Baru Cormorant, a geopolitical tragedy of empire and colonization. Filled with intrigue, treachery, rebellion, weaponized economics, and a protagonist who is simultaneously the hero and villain of her own story.
Recommended by Marco Palmieri, Senior Editor, and Joseph Bendel, Channel Marketing Manager

The Red Wolf Conspiracy by Robert V.S. Redick
Pazel, a war orphan, is working as a tar boy on a ship–and has to deal with magical fits that allow him to speak any language. Like Game of Thrones, there’s a lot of focus on politics, with the backdrop of magic. No dragons, sadly, but there’s a magical ferret and a rat that doesn’t know when to stop talking.
Recommended by Lauren Levite, Publicity Assistant

The Way of Kings by Brandon Sanderson
Is the sheer scope of Game of Thrones your favorite part about it? Then Brandon Sanderson’s Stormlight Archive series is for you. Truly epic fantasy on the grand scale, it will keep you reading (hopefully) until GRRM finishes The Winds of Winter.
Recommended by Diana Gill, Executive Editor

The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms by N. K. Jemisin
The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms is all about revenge and a battle for the throne…though there are actual gods involved. Jemisin has won back-to-back Hugo Awards and devoted fans, and you can see why in her debut effort. You won’t be disappointed.
Recommended by Diana Gill, Executive Editor

Luna: New Moon by Ian McDonald
Do you love Game of Thrones, but think it would be even better if it took place IN SPACE? Luna: New Moon is definitely for you. On the moon, corporate families attempt to outmaneuver each other. McDonald substitutes cocktails for GoT’s eel pie though.
Recommended by Christopher Morgan, Associate Editor, and Desirae Friesen, Publicist

Kushiel’s Dart by Jacqueline Carey
If you love Dorne, the Red Viper, and the Sand Snakes, Kushiel’s Dart is for you. Imagine if Littlefinger used his courtesan spies for good! Phaedre’s journey slides the razor edge of pain and pleasure, and you will love every minute.
Recommended by Diana Gill, Executive Editor, and Theresa Delucci, Associate Director of Advertising and Promotions

The Queens of Innis Lear by Tessa Gratton
Sure, it’s not out yet, but it will be out before the next season of Game of Thrones. Loosely based on Shakespeare’s King Lear, Gratton’s epic fantasy novel features three daughters fighting for a throne as surrounding kingdoms look to prey on the island’s vulnerability. The perfect read if you’re loving the battle of the queens in GoT.
Recommended by a bunch of raccoons in a trench coat, Associate Digital Marketing Manager, and Miriam Weinberg, Senior Editor

The Ice Dragon by George R.R. Martin
If you just want to stay in Westeros a little while longer, let us recommend the beautifully illustrated The Ice Dragon. These ice dragons aren’t the same as what became of poor Viserion, but they’re still terrifying beasts. Read the story of the brave winter child Adara and her friend, the ice dragon.
Recommended by Cassie Ammerman, Assistant Director of Digital Marketing

Feature image courtesy of HBO

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Genre Novels with LGBTQ+ Characters

Happy Pride! In between the parades and parties, relax with books that celebrate the range of diversity. From epic fantasy to urban steampunk, here are some recent novels featuring LGBTQ+ characters for your reading pleasure.

The Traitor Baru Cormorant by Seth Dickinson

Poster Placeholder of - 22 Tomorrow, on the beach, Baru Cormorant will look up and see red sails on the horizon.

The Empire of Masks is coming, armed with coin and ink, doctrine and compass, soap and lies. They will conquer Baru’s island, rewrite her culture, criminalize her customs, and dispose of one of her fathers. But Baru is patient. She’ll swallow her hate, join the Masquerade, and claw her way high enough up the rungs of power to set her people free.

 

Amberlough by Lara Elena Donnelly

Image Placeholder of - 31 Trust no one with anything—especially in Amberlough City.

Covert agent Cyril DePaul thinks he’s good at keeping secrets, especially from Aristide Makricosta. They suit each other: Aristide turns a blind eye to Cyril’s clandestine affairs, and Cyril keeps his lover’s moonlighting job as a smuggler under wraps.

Cyril participates on a mission that leads to disastrous results, leaving smoke from various political fires smoldering throughout the city. Shielding Aristide from the expected fallout isn’t easy, though, for he refuses to let anything—not the crooked city police or the mounting rage from radical conservatives—dictate his life.

Winter Tide by Ruthanna Emrys

Placeholder of  -92 After attacking Devil’s Reef in 1928, the U.S. government rounded up the people of Innsmouth and took them to the desert, far from their ocean, their Deep One ancestors, and their sleeping god Cthulhu. Only Aphra and Caleb Marsh survived the camps, and they emerged without a past or a future.

The government that stole Aphra’s life now needs her help. FBI agent Ron Spector believes that Communist spies have stolen dangerous magical secrets from Miskatonic University, secrets that could turn the Cold War hot in an instant, and hasten the end of the human race. Aphra must return to the ruins of her home, gather scraps of her stolen history, and assemble a new family to face the darkness of human nature.

Full Fathom Five by Max Gladstone

Image Place holder  of - 93 On the island of Kavekana, Priestess Kai builds gods to order—sort of. Kai’s creations are perfect vehicles for Craftsmen and Craftswomen operating in the Old World. For beyond the ocean, true deities still thrive, untouched by the God Wars that stransformed the city-states of Alt Coulumb and Dresediel Lex.

When Kai tries to save a friend’s dying idol, she’s gravely injured—then sidelined from the business, her near-suicidal rescue attempt offered up as proof of her instability. But when Kai gets tired of hearing her boss, her coworkers, and her ex-boyfriend call her crazy, and digs into the cause of the idol’s death, she uncovers a conspiracy of silence and fear that will break her if she can’t break it first.

Kushiel’s Legacy series by Jacqueline Carey

Place holder  of - 56 In this epic fantasy series, step into the land of Terre d’Ange, a place of unsurpassed beauty and grace. The inhabiting race rose from the seed of angels and men, and they live by one simple rule: Love as thou wilt.

Phèdre nó Delaunay was sold into indentured servitude as a child. Her bond was purchased by a nobleman, the first to recognize that she is one pricked by Kushiel’s Dart, chosen to forever experience pain and pleasure as one. He trained Phèdre in the courtly arts and the talents of the bedchamber—and, above all, the ability to observe, remember, and analyze.

 

A Companion to Wolves by Sarah Monette and Elizabeth Bear

A Companion to Wolves is the story of a young nobleman, Isolfr, who is chosen to become a wolfcarl—a warrior who is bonded to a fighting wolf. Isolfr is deeply drawn to the wolves, and though as his father’s heir he can refuse the call, he chooses to go.

The people of this wintry land depend on the wolfcarls to protect them from the threat of trolls and wyverns, though the supernatural creatures have not come in force for many years. Men are growing too confident. The wolfhealls are small, and the lords give them less respect than in former years. But the winter of Isolfr’s bonding, the trolls come down from the north in far greater numbers than before, and the holding’s complaisance gives way to terror in the dark.

Karen Memory by Elizabeth Bear

Set in the late nineteenth century—in a city a lot like what we now call Seattle Underground—when airships plied the trade routes, would-be gold miners were heading to the gold fields of Alaska, and steam-powered mechanicals stalked the waterfront, Karen is a young woman on her own, is making the best of her orphaned state by working in Madame Damnable’s high-quality bordello. Through Karen’s eyes we get to know the other girls in the house—a resourceful group—and the poor and the powerful of the town.

Trouble erupts one night when a badly injured girl arrives at their door, begging sanctuary, followed by the man who holds her indenture, and who has a machine that can take over anyone’s mind and control their actions. And as if that wasn’t bad enough, the next night brings a body dumped in their rubbish heap—a streetwalker who has been brutally murdered.

Green by Jay Lake

Her exquisite beauty and brilliant mind were not enough to free her from captivity. That took her skills with a knife, plus the power of a goddess.

She was born in poverty, in a dusty village under the equatorial sun. She does not remember her mother, she does not remember her own name—her earliest clear memory is of the day her father sold her to the tall pale man. In the Court of the Pomegranate Tree, where she was taught the ways of a courtesan…and the skills of an assassin…she was named Emerald, the precious jewel of the Undying Duke’s collection of beauties. She calls herself Green.

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New Releases: 11/29/16

Here’s what went on sale today!

Hawk by Steven Brust

Hawk by Steven BrustYears ago, Vlad Taltos came to make his way as a human amidst the impossibly tall, fantastically long-lived natives of the Dragaeran Empire. He joined the Jhereg, the Dragaeran House (of which there are seventeen) that handles the Empire’s vices: gambling, rackets, organized crime. He became a professional assassin. He was good at it. But that was then, before Vlad and the Jhereg became mortal enemies.

The Traitor Baru Cormorant by Seth Dickinson

The Traitor Baru Cormorant by Seth DickinsonTomorrow, on the beach, Baru Cormorant will look up and see red sails on the horizon. The Empire of Masks is coming, armed with coin and ink, doctrine and compass, soap and lies. They will conquer Baru’s island, rewrite her culture, criminalize her customs, and dispose of one of her fathers. But Baru is patient. She’ll swallow her hate, join the Masquerade, and claw her way high enough up the rungs of power to set her people free.

NEW IN MANGA:

Haganai: I Don’t Have Many Friends Vol. 14 Story by Yomi Hirasaka; Art by Itachi

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