City of Scars by Steven Montano, review at Fantasy Book Critic
It’s been three decades since the Blood Queen led her legions on a brutal campaign of conquest and destruction, and the Empires are still struggling to rebuild. Now, in the distant aftermath of the war, the real battle is about to begin.
Haunted by the crimes of his past, fallen knight Azander Dane ekes out a mercenary existence as he drifts from one city to the next. His latest job is to hunt down Ijanna Taivorkan, a powerful outlaw witch desperate to escape her destiny.
Dane and Ijanna find themselves in Ebonmark, the City of Scars, where deadly crime guilds and shadowy agents of the White Dragon Empire prepare for a brutal confrontation. Pursued by apocalypse cults, mad alchemists, exiled giants and werewolf gangs, Dane and Ijanna soon learn a deadly lesson – in Ebonmark, only the cruelest and most cunning can survive.
Enter an epic fantasy world that echoes with the thunder of muskets and the clang of steel—but where the real battle is against a subtle and sinister magic....
Captain Marcus d’Ivoire, commander of one of the Vordanai empire’s colonial garrisons, was resigned to serving out his days in a sleepy, remote outpost. But that was before a rebellion upended his life. And once the powder smoke settled, he was left in charge of a demoralized force clinging tenuously to a small fortress at the edge of the desert.
To flee from her past, Winter Ihernglass masqueraded as a man and enlisted as a ranker in the Vordanai Colonials, hoping only to avoid notice. But when chance sees her promoted to command, she must win the hearts of her men and lead them into battle against impossible odds.
The fates of both these soldiers and all the men they lead depend on the newly arrived Colonel Janus bet Vhalnich, who has been sent by the ailing king to restore order. His military genius seems to know no bounds, and under his command, Marcus and Winter can feel the tide turning. But their allegiance will be tested as they begin to suspect that the enigmatic Janus’s ambitions extend beyond the battlefield and into the realm of the supernatural—a realm with the power to ignite a meteoric rise, reshape the known world, and change the lives of everyone in its path.
The World of the End by Ofir Touche Gafla, review at Bookworm Blues
As an epilogist, Ben Mendelssohn appreciates an unexpected ending. But when that finale is the untimely demise of his beloved wife in a bizarre accident, Ben is incapable of coping. Marian was more than his life partner; she was the fiber that holds together all that he is, and Ben is willing to end his own life and enter the unknown beyond if it means any chance of getting her back.
One bullet to the brain later, Ben is in the Other World, where he discovers a vast and curiously material existence utterly unlike anything he could have imagined, and where the deceased from every age live an eternal second life. There Ben finds everyone from his grandparents to Marilyn Monroe. But he can’t find Marian.
Desperate for a reunion, no matter the cost, Ben hires an unconventional afterlife investigator to track her down. But as evidence mounts that Marian is actually alive and well and living in Tel Aviv, Ben also uncovers unexpected truths that will haunt him throughout eternity.
I have listed these titles in earlier SSS posts: check out my SSS Books Page for links to more reviews:
Jack Glass by Adam Roberts, review at The Book Smugglers
The Lives of Tao by Wesley Chu, review at Fantasy Faction
The Ocean At The End Of The Lane by Neil Gaiman, review at Fantasy Faction
A Fantastical Librarian shares her thoughts in the upcoming releases:
Favorite Reads of the Year
2012 Locus Awards Announced
The Thousand Names by Django Wexler at Fantasy Book Critic
The World of the End by Ofir Touche Gafla at Bookworm Blues