With the nightmare of 2020 and 2021 starting to recede into our rear view vision mirror, SFF in 2022 is looking very exciting and folks, it is time to start adding to those already huge TBR piles. To help make those bookshelves start straining (after all, if the shelves aren’t bendin’, you’re just pretendin’) the GdM team got together and discussed some of the most exciting books they can’t wait to read for 2022.
Wrath Goddess Sing by Maya Deane
Picked by Fabienne Schwizer
Blurb: Drawing on ancient texts and modern archeology to reveal the trans woman’s story hidden underneath the well-known myths of The Iliad, Maya Deane’s Wrath Goddess Sing weaves a compelling, pitilessly beautiful vision of Achilles’ vanished world, perfect for fans of Song of Achilles and the Inheritance trilogy.
The gods wanted blood. She fought for love.
Achilles has fled her home and her vicious Myrmidon clan to live as a woman with the kallai, the transgender priestesses of Great Mother Aphrodite. When Odysseus comes to recruit the “prince” Achilles for a war against the Hittites, she prepares to die rather than fight as a man. However, her divine mother, Athena, intervenes, transforming her body into the woman’s body she always longed for, and promises her everything: glory, power, fame, victory in war, and, most importantly, a child born of her own body. Reunited with her beloved cousin, Patroklos, and his brilliant wife, the sorceress Meryapi, Achilles sets out to war with a vengeance.
But the gods—a dysfunctional family of abusive immortals that have glutted on human sacrifices for centuries—have woven ancient schemes more blood-soaked and nightmarish than Achilles can imagine. At the center of it all is the cruel, immortal Helen, who sees Achilles as a worthy enemy after millennia of ennui and emptiness. In love with her newfound nemesis, Helen sets out to destroy everything and everyone Achilles cherishes, seeking a battle to the death.
An innovative spin on a familiar tale, this is the Trojan War unlike anything ever told, and an Achilles whose vulnerability is revealed by the people she chooses to fight…and chooses to trust.
Read Wrath Goddess Sing by Maya Deane
Engines of Empire by R.S. Ford
Picked by Fiona Denton
Blurb: This epic fantasy tells the tales of clashing Guilds, magic-fueled machines, intrigue and revolution—and the one family that stands between an empire’s salvation or destruction.
The nation of Torwyn is run on the power of industry, and industry is run by the Guilds. Chief among them are the Hawkspurs, and their responsibility is to keep the gears of the empire turning. It’s exactly why matriarch Rosomon Hawkspur sends each of her heirs to the far reaches of the nation.
Conall, the eldest son, is sent to the distant frontier to earn his stripes in the military. It is here that he faces a threat he could have never seen coming: the first rumblings of revolution.
Tyreta’s sorcerous connection to the magical resource of pyrstone that fuels the empire’s machines makes her a perfect heir–in theory. While Tyreta hopes that she might shirk her responsibilities during her journey one of Torwyn’s most important pyrestone mines, she instead finds the dark horrors of industry that the empire would prefer to keep hidden.
The youngest, Fulren, is a talented artificer, and finds himself acting as consort to a foreign emissary. Soon after, he is framed for a crime he never committed. A crime that could start a war.
As each of the Hawkspurs grapple with the many threats that face the nation within and without, they must finally prove themselves worthy–or their empire will fall apart.
Read Engines of Empire by R.S. Ford
Nona the Ninth by Tamsyn Muir
Picked by Christopher Napier
Blurb: The Locked Tomb series—Gideon the Ninth, Harrow the Ninth, Nona the Ninth, and Alecto the Ninth—is an epic science fantasy that blends necromantic theory and thrilling swordplay with a wicked, sacrilegious sense of humor; a modern mix of Dune, Riddick, and Gormenghast.
Read Nona the Ninth by Tamsyn Muir
Priest Of Crowns by Peter McLean
Picked by Eugene Vassilev
Blurb: ‘Praise be to Our Lady of Eternal Sorrows, and blessed be the Ascended Martyr.’ Those were the words on lips of the faithful: Blessed be the Ascended Martyr, and woe betide you if you thought otherwise. The word Unbeliever had become a death sentence on the streets in those days.
Gangster, soldier, priest. Governor, knight, and above all, Queen’s Man.
Once, Tomas Piety looked after his men, body and soul, as best he could. Then those who ran his country decided his dark talents would better serve in the corridors of power.
Crushed by the power of the Queen’s Men and with the Skanian menace rising once more on the streets of Ellinburg, Tomas Piety is forced to turn to old friends, old debts and untrustworthy alliances.
Meanwhile in the capital city of Dannsburg, Dieter Vogel is beginning to wonder if the horror he has unleashed in the Martyr’s Disciples might be getting out of control.
With revolution brewing and tragedy and terrorism running rife in the cities, Piety and Vogel must each weigh the cost of a crown.
Read Priest Of Crowns by Peter McLean
Age of Ash by Daniel Abraham
Picked by Angela Gualtieri
Blurb: From New York Times bestselling and critically acclaimed author Daniel Abraham, co-author of The Expanse , comes a monumental epic fantasy trilogy that unfolds within the walls of a single great city, over the course of one tumultuous year, where every story matters, and the fate of the city is woven from them all.
“An atmospheric and fascinating tapestry, woven with skill and patience.” –Joe Abercrombie, New York Times bestselling author of A Little Hatred
Kithamar is a center of trade and wealth, an ancient city with a long, bloody history where countless thousands live and their stories unfold.
This is Alys’s.
When her brother is murdered, a petty thief from the slums of Longhill sets out to discover who killed him and why. But the more she discovers about him, the more she learns about herself, and the truths she finds are more dangerous than knives.
Swept up in an intrigue as deep as the roots of Kithamar, where the secrets of the lowest born can sometimes topple thrones, the story Alys chooses will have the power to change everything.
Read Age of Ash by Daniel Abraham
Outlaw Empire by Nicholas Eames
Picked by Mike Myers
Blurb: Set 14 years after Bloody Rose. Blurb to come.
Read books 1 and 2 while waiting for Outlaw Empire by Nicholas Eames
Book of Night by Holly Black
Picked by Jodi Crump
Blurb: #1 New York Times bestselling author Holly Black makes her stunning adult debut with Book of Night, a modern dark fantasy of shadowy thieves and secret societies in the vein of Ninth House and The Night Circus
In Charlie Hall’s world, shadows can be altered, for entertainment and cosmetic preferences—but also to increase power and influence. You can alter someone’s feelings—and memories—but manipulating shadows has a cost, with the potential to take hours or days from your life. Your shadow holds all the parts of you that you want to keep hidden—a second self, standing just to your left, walking behind you into lit rooms. And sometimes, it has a life of its own.
Charlie is a low-level con artist, working as a bartender while trying to distance herself from the powerful and dangerous underground world of shadow trading. She gets by doing odd jobs for her patrons and the naive new money in her town at the edge of the Berkshires. But when a terrible figure from her past returns, Charlie’s present life is thrown into chaos, and her future seems at best, unclear—and at worst, non-existent. Determined to survive, Charlie throws herself into a maelstrom of secrets and murder, setting her against a cast of doppelgangers, mercurial billionaires, shadow thieves, and her own sister—all desperate to control the magic of the shadows.
With sharp angles and prose, and a sinister bent, Holly Black is a master of shadow and story stitching. Remember while you read, light isn’t playing tricks in Book of Night, the people are.
Read Book of Night by Holly Black
Rise of the Mages by Scott Drakeford
Picked by James Tivendale
Blurb: Scott Drakeford’s epic fantasy debut, Rise of the Mages combines gripping, personal vengeance with compelling characters for an action packed first book in a trilogy.
Emrael Ire wants nothing more than to test to be a weapons master. His final exam will be a bloody insurrection, staged by corrupt nobles and priests, that enslaves his brother.
With the aid of his War Master tutor, herself an undercover mage, Emrael discovers his own latent and powerful talents.
To rescue his brother, Emrael must embrace not only his abilities as a warrior but also his place as last of the ancient Mage Kings—for the Fallen God has returned.
And he is hungry.
Read Rise of the Mages by Scott Drakeford
An Elegy For Hope by Sarah Chorn
Picked by Carrie Chi Lough
Blurb: Blurb to come. Book #2 in the Bloodlands series, and a follow up to Seraphina’s Lament which our reviewer said, “… an apocalyptic dark fantasy that uses elementalist magic, a fantasy version of Stalin’s oppression of the Ukraine, and a zombie apocalypse to tell a diverse LGBT+ friendly story.”
Read an Elegy for Hope by Sarah Chorn
A Night of Flames by Matthew Harffy
Picked by Aaron Jones
Blurb: A wild land. A lethal fanatic. A violent revolt.
Northumbria, AD 794.
Those who rule the seas, rule the land. None know the truth of this more than the Vikings. To compete with the sea-faring, violent raiders, the king of Northumbria orders the construction of his own longships under the command of oath-sworn Norseman, Runolf.
When the Northern sea wolves attack for the second year, the king sends cleric turned warrior, Hunlaf, on a mission across the Whale Road to persuade the king of Rogaland into an alliance. But Runolf and Hunlaf have other plans; old scores to settle, kin to seek out, and a heretical tome to find in the wild lands of the Norse.
Their voyage takes them into the centre of a violent uprising. A slave has broken free of his captors, and, with religious fervour, he is leading his fanatical followers on a rampage – burning all in his path.
Hunlaf must brave the Norse wilderness, and overcome deadly foes to stop this madman. To fail would see too many die…
Read A Night of Flames by Matthew Harffy
Azura Ghost by Essa Hansen
Picked by Beth Tabler
Blurb: Following Nophek Gloss comes the second book in this highly imaginative new space opera trilogy by debut author Essa Hansen – an action-packed adventure perfect for fans of Star Wars, Children of Time and A Long Way to a Small Angry Planet.
Caiden has been on the run for ten years with his unique starship in order to keep his adversary, Threi, imprisoned. But when an old friend he’d once thought dead reappears, he is lured into a game of cat and mouse with the one person whose powers rival Threi’s: Threi’s sister Abriss.
Now with both siblings on the hunt for Caiden and his ship, Caiden must rescue his long-lost friend from their clutches and uncover the source of both his ship’s power and his own origins in order to stop Abriss’s plan to collapse the multiverse.
Read Azura Ghost by Essa Hansen
36 Streets by T.R. Napper
Picked by Adrian Collins
Blurb: Altered Carbon and The Wind-Up Girl meet Apocalypse Now in this fast-paced, intelligent, action-driven cyberpunk, probing questions of memory, identity and the power of narratives.
Lin ‘The Silent One’ Vu is a gangster and sometime private investigator living in Chinese-occupied Hanoi, in the steaming, paranoid alleyways of the 36 Streets. Born in Vietnam, raised in Australia, everywhere she is an outsider.
Through grit and courage Lin has carved a place for herself in the Vietnamese underworld where Hanoi’s crime boss, Bao Nguyen, is training her to fight and lead. Bao drives her hard; on the streets there are no second chances. Meanwhile the people of Hanoi are succumbing to Fat Victory – a dangerously addictive immersive simulation of the US-Vietnam war.
When an Englishman comes to Hanoi on the trail of his friend’s murderer, Lin’s life is turned upside down. She is drawn into the grand conspiracies of the neon gods – of regimes and mega-corporations – as they unleash dangerous new technologies.
Lin must confront the immutable moral calculus of unjust wars. She must choose: family, country, or gang. Blood, truth, or redemption. No choice is easy on the 36 Streets.
Read 36 Streets by T.R. Napper
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