Best Science Fiction & Fantasy Books of the Month March 2013

Wards of Faerie: The Dark Legacy of Shannara by Terry Brooks

Wards of Faerie: The Dark Legacy of Shannara by Terry Brooks

Wards of Faerie by Terry Brooks

Book Description
Release date: August 21, 2012 | Series: The Dark Legacy of Shannara
Seven years after the conclusion of the High Druid of Shannara trilogy, New York Times bestselling author Terry Brooks at last revisits one of the most popular eras in the legendary epic fantasy series that has spellbound readers for more than three decades.

When the world was young, and its name was Faerie, the power of magic ruled—and the Elfstones warded the race of Elves and their lands, keeping evil at bay. But when an Elven girl fell hopelessly in love with a Darkling boy of the Void, he carried away more than her heart.

Thousands of years later, tumultuous times are upon the world now known as the Four Lands. Users of magic are in conflict with proponents of science. Elves have distanced their society from the other races. The dwindling Druid order and its teachings are threatened with extinction. A sinister politician has used treachery and murder to rise as prime minister of the mighty Federation. Meanwhile, poring through a long-forgotten diary, the young Druid Aphenglow Elessedil has stumbled upon the secret account of an Elven girl’s heartbreak and the shocking truth about the vanished Elfstones. But never has a little knowledge been so very dangerous—as Aphenglow quickly learns when she’s set upon by assassins.

Yet there can be no turning back from the road to which fate has steered her. For whoever captures the Elfstones and their untold powers will surely hold the advantage in the devastating clash to come. But Aphenglow and her allies—Druids, Elves, and humans alike—remember the monstrous history of the Demon War, and they know that the Four Lands will never survive another reign of darkness. But whether they themselves can survive the attempt to stem that tide is another question entirely.

 

Buffy: The Making of a Slayer by Nancy Holder

Buffy: The Making of a Slayer by Nancy Holder

Buffy: The Making of a Slayer

Book Description
Release date: December 11, 2012
Celebrating the 15th anniversary of Joss Whedon’s Buffy the Vampire Slayer TV series, this lavishly produced book is the first authorized, fully illustrated retrospective of the hit show. Focusing on the making of the series, the book explores the characters and mythology of the Buffy universe and follows the evolution of all seven seasons. Die-hard Whedon fans will also learn about his involvement in other projects, including Angel, Firefly, and more. Housed in a foil-stamped slipcase, this volume features more than 120 images, including rare behind-the-scenes photos, sketches, props and memorabilia from the Twentieth Century Fox archives, along with stills from the most pivotal on-screen moments. Tucked in the inside cover of the case is an envelope holding “Slayer Lore: Texts and Magicks for the Battle.” These 13 removable pieces are replicas of the ancient spells and prophecies the characters used on-screen to defeat vampires, demons, and other monsters, making this a treasure-trove for every Buffy fan.

Product Features:
• 176-page hardcover book with foil-stamped cover
• Foil-stamped clamshell slipcase with magnetic closure
• Envelope containing 13 removable artifacts

 

The Wind Through the Keyhole: A Dark Tower Novel by Stephen King

The Wind Through the Keyhole: A Dark Tower Novel by Stephen King

The Wind Through the Keyhole

Book Description
Release date: April 24, 2012 | Series: Dark Tower
In The Wind Through the Keyhole, Stephen King returns to the rich landscape of Mid-World, the spectacular territory of the Dark Tower fantasy saga that stands as his most beguiling achievement.
Roland Deschain and his ka-tet—Jake, Susannah, Eddie, and Oy, the billy-bumbler—encounter a ferocious storm just after crossing the River Whye on their way to the Outer Baronies. As they shelter from the howling gale, Roland tells his friends not just one strange story but two . . . and in so doing, casts new light on his own troubled past.

In his early days as a gunslinger, in the guilt-ridden year following his mother’s death, Roland is sent by his father to investigate evidence of a murderous shape-shifter, a “skin-man” preying upon the population around Debaria. Roland takes charge of Bill Streeter, the brave but terrified boy who is the sole surviving witness to the beast’s most recent slaughter. Only a teenager himself, Roland calms the boy and prepares him for the following day’s trials by reciting a story from the Magic Tales of the Eld that his mother often read to him at bedtime. “A person’s never too old for stories,” Roland says to Bill. “Man and boy, girl and woman, never too old. We live for them.” And indeed, the tale that Roland unfolds, the legend of Tim Stoutheart, is a timeless treasure for all ages, a story that lives for us.

King began the Dark Tower series in 1974; it gained momentum in the 1980s; and he brought it to a thrilling conclusion when the last three novels were published in 2003 and 2004. The Wind Through the Keyhole is sure to fascinate avid fans of the Dark Tower epic. But this novel also stands on its own for all readers, an enchanting and haunting journey to Roland’s world and testimony to the power of Stephen King’s storytelling magic.

 

The Frazetta Sketchbook by Frank Frazetta and J. David Spurlock

The Frazetta Sketchbook by Frank Frazetta and J. David Spurlock

The Frazetta Sketchbook

Book Description
Release date: February 27, 2013
“The world’s greatest heroic fantasy artist, Frank Frazetta teams with J. David Spurlock, the bestselling author of How to Draw Chiller Monsters Werewolves, Vampires and Zombies for the all-new art collection entitled, The Frazetta Sketchbook.
In the revolutionary artist’s extensive, May 10, 2010 obituary, The New York Times said, “”Frazetta helped define comic book (and) fantasy heroes like Conan, Tarzan and John Carter of Mars signature images were of strikingly fierce, hard-bodied heroes and bosomy, callipygian damsels”” Frazetta took the sex and violence of the pulp fiction of his youth and added even more action, fantasy and potentcy, but rendered his works with a panache seldom seen outside of Fine Art. Despite his sword-and-sorcery, science-fiction and fantasy subject matter, the quality of the work has not only drawn comparisons to the most brilliant of illustrators, Maxfield Parrish, Frederic Remington, Norman Rockwell, N.C. Wyeth, J. Allen St.John, and Joseph Clement Coll but even to the most brilliant of fine artists including Rembrandt and Michelangelo” and major Frazetta works sell for Fine Art prices. The November 24, 2003 Forbes magazine article Schwarzenegger’s Sargent led with the line, “”Which artist helped make Arnold governor? Frank Frazetta, the Rembrandt of barbarians.””
Vanguard created the comics and fantasy artist sketchbook boom with editions on Al Williamson, Neal Adams, Wally Wood, Jeffrey Jones, John Buscema, John Romita and Alex Horley. Vanguard continues both their original sketchbook series and the Vanguard Frazetta Classics series with The Frazetta Sketchbook which was planned shortly before the icon of fantastic art’s passing. The collection is brimming with rare and previously unpublished drawings and painting preliminaries of the subjects Frazetta is best remembered for including barbarians, wild beasts, Tarzan, buxom beauties, monsters and Conan. Foreword by New Yorker cover artist Peter de Sève.

 

Charon’s Claw: Neverwinter Saga, Book III by R.A. Salvatore

Charon's Claw: Neverwinter Saga, Book III by R.A. Salvatore

Charon’s Claw: Neverwinter Saga

Book Description
Release date: August 7, 2012 | Series: Neverwinter Saga (Book 3)
In the 3rd book of the #4 New York Times best-selling Neverwinter Saga, Drizzt draws his swords once more to aid his friends. His lover, Dahlia Sin’felle, can speak of nothing but the moment she will face the Netherese lord Herzgo Alegni once again. Drizzt has already followed a trail of vengeance beside Dahlia. Can he justify one more battle to settle a grudge he does not understand? Artemis Entreri too seeks vengeance. He offers to aid Dahlia in her mission to destroy Alegni. But Charon’s Claw, Alegni’s sentient sword, dominates Entreri’s movements—if not his mind. And then there’s the way Entreri looks at Dahlia. Can Drizzt trust his old foe?

Praise for the Neverwinter Saga:
“Emotional, respectful of its characters, intelligently written and structured, and finally summons a sense of nostalgic sorrow throughout”–Fantasy Book Review on Gauntlgrym, Neverwinter Saga Book I
“Full of excitement. Salvatore has mastered the art of showing a beautiful fight scene, and he is at the top of his game in this one. We meet many characters with many different fighting styles, and Salvatore does a great job of distinguishing between them. He manages to take these scenes from so much more than just a fight scene, to an integral part of the story.”—The SFF Hub on Gauntlgrym, Neverwinter Saga Book I

“A quick read with some very satisfying fight scenes. It’s also deeply layered with emotional atmosphere” —California Literary Review on Gauntlgrym, Neverwinter Saga Book I

 

Iced: A Fever Novel (Dani O’Malley) by Karen Marie Moning

Iced: A Fever Novel (Dani O'Malley) by Karen Marie Moning

Iced: A Fever Novel by Karen Marie Moning

Book Description
Release date: October 30, 2012 | Series: Dani O’Malley
#1 New York Times bestselling author Karen Marie Moning picks up where Shadowfever leaves off with Iced, the first book in her hotly anticipated new urban paranormal trilogy set in the world of the blockbuster Fever series.

The year is 1 AWC—After the Wall Crash. The Fae are free and hunting us. It’s a war zone out there, and no two days are alike. I’m Dani O’Malley, the chaos-filled streets of Dublin are my home, and there’s no place I’d rather be.

Dani “Mega” O’Malley plays by her own set of rules—and in a world overrun by Dark Fae, her biggest rule is: Do what it takes to survive. Possessing rare talents and the all-powerful Sword of Light, Dani is more than equipped for the task. In fact, she’s one of the rare humans who can defend themselves against the Unseelie. But now, amid the pandemonium, her greatest gifts have turned into serious liabilities.

Dani’s ex–best friend, MacKayla Lane, wants her dead, the terrifying Unseelie princes have put a price on her head, and Inspector Jayne, the head of the police force, is after her sword and will stop at nothing to get it. What’s more, people are being mysteriously frozen to death all over the city, encased on the spot in sub-zero, icy tableaux.

When Dublin’s most seductive nightclub gets blanketed in hoarfrost, Dani finds herself at the mercy of Ryodan, the club’s ruthless, immortal owner. He needs her quick wit and exceptional skill to figure out what’s freezing Fae and humans dead in their tracks—and Ryodan will do anything to ensure her compliance.

Dodging bullets, fangs, and fists, Dani must strike treacherous bargains and make desperate alliances to save her beloved Dublin—before everything and everyone in it gets iced.

 

The Art and Making of The Dark Knight Trilogy by Jody Duncan Jesser, Janine Pourroy, Michael Caine and Christopher Nolan

The Art and Making of The Dark Knight Trilogy by Jody Duncan Jesser, Janine Pourroy, Michael Caine and Christopher Nolan

The Art and Making of The Dark Knight Trilogy

Book Description
Release date: July 20, 2012
In 2005, director Christopher Nolan redefined the Batman legend with Batman Begins, starring Christian Bale as the Caped Crusader. A fresh, dynamic reboot of the franchise, Batman Begins explored the comic book hero’s origins and his evolution from billionaire Bruce Wayne to dark avenger who fights crime and corruption in Gotham City. A 2008 sequel, The Dark Knight, took those compelling, character-driven foundations and raised the stakes, pitting Batman against a deranged master criminal, the Joker, in an all-out war for Gotham’s soul. Now, the final film of Nolan’s trilogy, The Dark Knight Rises, is 2012’s most anticipated film release.
The Art and Making of The Dark Knight Trilogy tells the complete behind-the-scenes story of these three monumental films. Based on in-depth interviews with Nolan and all of the films’ key cast and crew—including cowriters David S. Goyer and Jonathan Nolan, cinematographer Wally Pfister, and more—the book reveals the creative process behind the epic Dark Knight Trilogy, supported by lavish art and never-before-seen photography.

 

Unnatural Creatures: Stories Selected by Neil Gaiman

Unnatural Creatures: Stories Selected by Neil Gaiman

Unnatural Creatures: Stories Selected by Neil Gaiman

Book Description
Release date: April 23, 2013
Unnatural Creatures is a collection of short stories about the fantastical things that exist only in our minds—collected and introduced by beloved New York Times bestselling author Neil Gaiman.

The sixteen stories gathered by Gaiman, winner of the Hugo and Nebula Awards, range from the whimsical to the terrifying. The magical creatures range from werewolves to sunbirds to beings never before classified. E. Nesbit, Diana Wynne Jones, Gahan Wilson, and other literary luminaries contribute to the anthology.

Sales of Unnatural Creatures benefit 826DC, a nonprofit organization dedicated to supporting students in their creative and expository writing, and to helping teachers inspire their students to write.

 

King of Thorns (The Broken Empire) by Mark Lawrence

King of Thorns (The Broken Empire) by Mark Lawrence

King of Thorns by Mark Lawrence

Book Description
Release date: August 7, 2012 | Series: The Broken Empire (Book 2)
In Book One of the Broken Empire, Mark Lawrence brought to life the “morbidly gripping”* (Publishers Weekly) story of a boy in search of power and vengeance. Now, in King of Thorns, that boy’s journey into manhood takes him to the dark depths waiting within his soul…

The boy who would be King has gained the throne…

Prince Honorious Jorg Ancrath vowed when he was nine to avenge his slaughtered mother and brother—and punish his father for not doing so. When he was fifteen, he began to fulfill that vow. Now he is eighteen—and he must hold on by strength of arms to what he took by torture and treachery.

King Jorg is a man haunted: by the ghost of a young boy, by a mysterious copper box, by his desire for the woman who rides with his enemy. Plagued by nightmares of the atrocities he committed, and of the atrocities committed against him when he was a child, he is filled with rage. And even as his need for revenge continues to consume him, twenty thousand men march toward the gates of his castle. His enemy is far stronger than him. Jorg knows that he cannot win a fair fight.

But he has found, in a chamber hidden beneath the castle, ancient and long-lost artifacts. Some might call them magic. Jorg is not certain—all he knows is that the secrets they hold can be put to terrible use in the coming battle…

 

Captain Vorpatril’s Alliance (Vorkosigan Saga) by Lois McMaster Bujold

Captain Vorpatril's Alliance (Vorkosigan Saga) by Lois McMaster Bujold

Captain Vorpatril’s Alliance by Lois McMaster Bujold

Book Description
Release date: November 6, 2012 | Series: Vorkosigan Saga
A new installment in the New York Times best-selling, award-winning Vorkosigan science fiction adventure series.
Book Fourteen in the best-selling Vorkosigan series.

GOOD INTENTIONS, BAD INTEL

Captain Ivan Vorpatril sometimes thinks that if not for his family, he might have no troubles at all. But he has the dubious fortune of the hyperactive Miles Vorkosigan as a cousin, which has too-often led to his getting dragged into one of Miles’ schemes, with risk to life and limb—and military career—that Ivan doesn’t consider entirely fair. Although much practice has made Ivan more adept at fending off his mother’s less-than-subtle reminders that he should be getting married and continuing the Vorpatril lineage.

Fortunately, his current duty is on the planet Komarr as staff officer to Admiral Desplains, far from both his cousin and his mother back on their homeworld of Barrayar. It’s an easy assignment and nobody is shooting at him. What could go wrong?

Plenty, it turns out, when Byerly Vorrutyer, an undercover agent for Imperial Security, shows up on his doorstep and asks him to make the acquaintance of a young woman, recently arrived on Komarr, who seems to be in danger. That Byerly is characteristically vague about the nature of the danger, not to mention the lady’s name, should have been Ivan’s first clue, but Ivan is no more able to turn aside from aiding a damsel in distress than he could resist trying to rescue a kitten from a tree.

It is but a short step down the road of good intentions to the tangle of Ivan’s life, in trouble with the Komarran authorities, with his superiors, and with the lethal figures hunting the mysterious but lovely Tej and her exotic blue companion Rish—a tangle to test the lengths to which Ivan will go as an inspired protector.

But though his predicament is complicated, at least Ivan doesn’t have to worry about hassle from family. Or so he believes . . .

 

Dark Storm (Carpathian) by Christine Feehan

Dark Storm (Carpathian) by Christine Feehan

Dark Storm by Christine Feehan

Book Description
Release date: October 2, 2012
A DARK STORM IS ON THE HORIZON…Return to Christine Feehan’s “steamy and dreamy” (Publishers Weekly) world of her New York Times bestselling Carpathian novels as roiling passions collide in a perfect storm of dangerous desire that only a precious few can hope to outrun…

Awakening after all this time in a world of absolute darkness and oppressive heat, Dax wonders in how many ways the world above must have changed. But it is how he has changed that fills him with dread and loathing. Buried alive for hundreds of years in a volcano in the Carpathian Mountains, Dax fears that he has become the full-fledged abomination that every Carpathian male fears, a victim of the insidious evil that has crept relentlessly into his mind and body over the centuries.

But there are some things that never change.

His name is Mitro, the vampire Dax had hunted all these long centuries. Second in command to the prince of the Carpathian people he is the epitome of everything malevolent, and perpetrator of one of the most shocking killing sprees known to man—and beast. Even his friends and family weren’t safe from Mitro’s bloodlust. Neither was Mitro’s lifemate, Arabejila, an extraordinary woman with extraordinary gifts.

But now that Dax has re-emerged, so too has Mitro. The ultimate battle between good and evil has been re-engaged. Between Dax and Mitro, a violent game has begun—one that has marked Riley Parker, the last descendent of Arabejila, as the reward.

 

 

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