April 8, 2016

The Friday 5: Series Debuts of 2016 I'm Most Excited For

5. Sharp Ends by Joe Abercrombie
Publication Date: April 26, 2016
Blurb: Sharp Ends combines previously published, award-winning tales with exclusive new short stories. Violence explodes, treachery abounds, and the words are as deadly as the weapons in this rogue's gallery of side-shows, back-stories, and sharp endings from the world of the First Law.

I've really enjoyed my time with the First Law trilogy. As I near the end of the series I am eager to get into some of the back stories and characters in the same world. I've never really been one for short stories, by hopefully this one will be a pleasant exception.

4. In the Shadow of the Gods by Rachel Dunne
Publication Date: June 21, 2016
Blurb: A breathtaking talent makes her debut with this first book in a dark epic fantasy trilogy, in which a mismatched band of mortals, led by violent, secretive man, must stand against a pair of resentful gods to save their world.

I hadn't heard of Rachel Dunne or In the Shadow of the Gods until I was offered an advanced copy by the publisher. But after reading the back flap and the first few pages, I'm very excited to dig in when time allows.

3. Dancer's Lament by Ian C. Esslemont
Publication Date: May 31, 2016
Blurb: Esslemont's all-new prequel trilogy takes readers deeper into the politics and intrigue of the New York Times bestselling Malazan Empire. Dancer's Lament focuses on the genesis of the empire, and features Dancer, the skilled assassin, who, alongside the mage Kellanved, would found the Malazan empire.

It has been easy for me to get lost in the vastness of the Malazan Empire between what Steven Erikson and Ian Esslemont have been able to produce together. I really can't get enough of Malazan as it has become one of my favorites all time. I'm eager for this prequel debut.

2. Age of Myth by Michael J. Sullivan
Publication Date: June 28, 2016
Blurb: Since time immemorial, humans have worshipped the gods they call Fhrey, truly a race apart: invincible in battle, masters of magic, and seemingly immortal. But when a god falls to a human blade, the balance of power between men and those they thought were gods changes forever. Now, only a few stand between humankind and annihilation: Raithe, reluctant to embrace his destiny as the God Killer, Suri, a young seer burdened by signs of impending doom, and Persephone, who must overcome personal tragedy to lead her people. The Age of Myth is over; the time of rebellion has begun.

The Riyria Revelations is one of the best high fantasy series of recent memory. Having just recently finished the series, I'm excited to see what author Michael J. Sullivan can do in the same world with different characters years before the ones I know and love. 

1. The Waking Fire by Anthony Ryan
Publication Date: July 5, 2016
Blurb: The Waking Fire is set in a vibrant new world where the blood of drakes—creatures similar to dragons—is valued beyond reckoning, and can be distilled into elixirs that grant fearsome powers to those who are “blood-blessed.” The novel follows an unregistered blood-blessed as he searches for an elusive variety of drake so potent, its capture would mean unrivalled riches; the second in command of a blood-burning ironclad ship; and a young woman in a lifelong contract to a trading syndicate, whose espionage mission places her on the front lines of a newly declared war. As empires clash and arcane mysteries reveal themselves, these characters are tested again and again and soon discover that the fate of the world rests on their shoulders. 

Anthony Ryan's Blood Song was one of the best series debuts ever written. Although many people's opinions differ as to the sequels, I found his first fantasy series to be a strong well written series with careful attention to character development and world building. If this one is anything like the Raven's Shadow Trilogy I will be a very happy man.

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