Sunday, November 27, 2011

December’s Top Picks

For some reason, I can’t come up with many novels coming out in December that I’m especially excited about. Or, apparently, actually aware of… So, in the month of Christmas I’ll take the opportunity to get caught up on some novels I’ve got stored up on my Kindle (Kevin Hearne, NK Jemisin, Chris Wooding, Richard Morgan, Howard Jones – to name but a handful), and also get ahead on some reviews for January and February.

There are, however, still three December novels that I’m excited about reading:


I had also anticipated James Rollins’s The Devil Colony, as it is published in the UK in December, but I’ve already managed to read and review it, thanks to the July US publication.

Here are the details for the three novels I’ve yet to read and review:

Cawkwell-GildarRiftSarah Cawkwell’s The Gildar Rift (Black Library)

When the ancient warship Wolf of Fenris emerges from the warp, Imperial forces find that it has been overrun by the dreaded Red Corsairs. However, this is no mere raiding party – Huron Blackheart and his entire renegade fleet soon follow, intent on conquering the Gildar Rift and tightening their grip on the sector. Lance batteries and torpedo salvos burn fiery contrails through the void, and only Captain Arrun of the Silver Skulls Space Marine Chapter can halt the renegades’ advance. The fate of the Rift will not be decided in the heavens but on the surface of Gildar Secundus below.

Sarah’s a newcomer to the Black Library stable. This is her first full-length novel, but she’s written and released a handful of short stories over the past year or so, and we’re going to be seeing a lot more of her work on the shelves (and on the blog) in the coming year: more short stories, and also Valkia the Bloody, her Warhammer Heroes novel (which I’m very much looking forward to).

More on CR: Sarah’s “Influence & Inspirations” Guest Post

King-BloodOfAenarionWilliam King’s Blood of Aenarion (Black Library)

The twins Tyrion and Teclis are the greatest high elf heroes still to walk the earth. They are as different to one another as darkness and light.

Tyrion is an unparalleled swordsman, a superlative warrior and tactician from birth. He inspires courage and loyalty in those around him. Champion of the Everqueen, he is Ulthuan’s greatest protector.

Teclis’s gift is magic. The greatest natural sorcerer of the age, his power rivals that of fabled Caledor. Wise councillor of the high elves, Teclis was amongst those who first taught magic to the race of men and gave them the means to defend themselves against Chaos.

From their humble origin in the wild lands of Chrace, Tyrion and Teclis were meant for a great destiny. They come from the line of Aenarion, the first king of Ulthuan and cursed champion of that magical island.

When the Witch King Malekith learns of the twins’ existence their lives are imperilled and they are taken to Lothern for their protection and to learn the arts of war.

Will King is one of my favourite fantasy authors, and I’ve been following his work ever since his first Gotrek & Felix short story was published in an anthology in the early 1990s. He manages to blend perfectly action, story, humour and proper character development into every novel he’s written, so Blood of Aenarion has long been on my radar. It’s his first Warhammer novel in eight years (I think), so it’s a pretty big event for fans of his work. Tyrion and Teclis, the heroes of this series, are two of the most iconic Warhammer Elf characters, too, so I’m very eager to get stuck into this.

(Sadly, I’ve not been able to read this in advance of its release – due to my travel schedule, my copy’s been sitting in the UK for ages, so I’ve bought the eBook to read in December. The same is true for a number of books, so apologies to publishers who have sent me stuff in advance!)

I’ve seen the artwork for the next two novels in this series, and they are incredible – definitely some of the best pieces commissioned for Black Library fiction. I’ll see if I can convince the publisher to let me post them up on here at some point. Until then, however, here’s a glimpse of the rear-flap of Blood of Aenarion, which features the forthcoming cover artwork (sorry for the low quality):


More on CR: Interview with Will King

Michael Sullivan’s Rise of Empire (Orbit)


The birth of the Nyphron Empire has brought war to Melengar. To save her kingdom, Princess Arista runs a desperate gamble when she defies her brother and hires Royce and Hadrian to perform a dangerous mission behind the enemy’s lines. As the power of the Nyphron Empire grows, so does Royce’s suspicion that the wizard Esrahaddon is using the thieves as pawns in his own shadowy struggle for power. To find the truth, he must unravel the secret of Hadrian’s past. What he discovers leads the thieves to the ends of the world on a journey amid treachery and betrayals, forcing Hadrian to face a past he hoped never to see again.

If you read my review of Theft of Swords, you know I’m a complete convert to Sullivan’s Riyria Revelations series, and this omnibus contains the next two (middle) novels of the six. I’ll start reading this on or around December 9th, so expect the review before Christmas.

More on CR: Interview with Michael Sullivan

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Can anyone think of anything I’ve missed? I am, of course, always happy to add more things to the TBR pile – in any genre.

There will be fewer comic/graphic novel reviews in December, I think, as I’ll no longer be able to pick up new issues every week. I’ll try to get some reviews stored up to post over the course of the month (probably on Thursdays), but things might get back to normal in late January/early February. At the moment, it’s looking like I’ll get Batman Noel, Red Hood: The Lost Days, and Batwoman: Elegy read on the graphic novel front. On the comics side, I’m going to get some more of the New 52 reviewed: Superman, Teen Titans, Justice League, Swamp Thing, and Batwoman. I’ll group the first three together into one mega-review, and I’ll put the Batwoman issues review together with the graphic novel, leaving Swamp Thing with its own, solo review.

January looks like it’s going to shape up into a very busy month for anticipated reads, so expect a busier month on the blog.

1 comment:

  1. Blood of Aenarion looks great. I need to add it to my Christmas wishlist.
    I'm looking forward to the business of the blog. Thanks for the December picks.