Waiting on Wednesday – The Collarbound by Rebecca Zahabi

Welcome to my weekly segment, Waiting on Wednesday, where I look at upcoming books that I am planning to order and review in the next few months and which I think I will really enjoy.  I run this segment in conjunction with the Can’t-Wait Wednesday meme that is currently running at Wishful Endings.  Stay tuned to see reviews of these books when I get a copy of them.  For my latest Waiting on Wednesday I check out The Collarbound by Rebecca Zahabi, an awesome upcoming fantasy novel from an intriguing author that I think has a great deal of potential.

The Collarbound Cover

I have mentioned multiple times in recent weeks that there are some really great fantasy novels coming out in 2022.  This includes several fantastic and compelling fantasy debuts that will no doubt introduce some brilliant new talents.  One of these upcoming fantasy debuts that has really caught my attention is an interesting novel from relative newcomer Rebecca Zahabi.  Zahabi, who previously wrote the young adult fantasy book The Game Weavers, is presenting her first adult fantasy novel, The Collarbound, which features an intriguing story filled with complex characters.

The Collarbound is a fascinating and awesome sounding book that is currently going to be released in May.  Set in a war-torn fantasy world where a rebel movement is set to attack a fortress full of mages, The Collarbound will tell an epic story of revolution, war, freedom and a bold partnership between a slave and branded mage.  I really like the sound of this cool book, as well as its fantastic cover, and I think that this could be one of the more captivating and unique fantasy reads of 2022.  I look forward to seeing how its interesting story turns out and I am very curious to see if The Collarbound lives up to all its potential.

Synopsis:

As the world faces rebellion and chaos, two people – one an escaped slave, one an amnesiac mage – will discover that their pasts are entwined, and their futures destined to collide.

A MAN MARKED BY MAGIC. A WOMAN MARKED BY HER PAST.

On the other side of the Shadowpass, rebellion is brewing and refugees have begun to trickle into the city at the edge of the world. Looming high on the cliff is The Nest, a fortress full of mages who offer protection, but also embody everything the rebellion is fighting against: a strict hierarchy based on magic abilities.

When Isha arrives as a refugee, she attempts to fit in amongst the other mages, but her Kher tattoo brands her as an outcast. She can’t remember her past or why she has the tattoo. All she knows is that she survived. She doesn’t intend to give up now.

Tatters, who wears the golden collar of a slave, knows that this rebellion is different from past skirmishes. He was once one of the rebels, and technically, they still own him. He plans to stay in the shadows, until Isha appears in his tavern. He’s never seen a human with a tattoo, and the markings look eerily familiar . . .

As the rebellion carves a path of destruction towards the city, an unlikely friendship forms between a man trying to escape his past and a woman trying to uncover hers, until their secrets threaten to tear them apart.

Waiting on Wednesday – Stay Awake by Megan Goldin

Welcome to my weekly segment, Waiting on Wednesday, where I look at upcoming books that I am planning to order and review in the next few months and which I think I will really enjoy.  I run this segment in conjunction with the Can’t-Wait Wednesday meme that is currently running at Wishful Endings.  Stay tuned to see reviews of these books when I get a copy of them.  This week I look at one of the more intriguing thrillers set for release in 2022 with Stay Awake by Megan Goldin.

Stay Awake Cover

Over the last few years one of the more interesting thriller writers has been Australian author Megan Goldin who has been killing it with some captivating and thought-provoking novels.  Debuting in 2017 with The Girl in Kellers Way, Goldin first came to my attention when I was lucky enough to receive a copy of her 2018 book, The Escape Room, which I read in one sitting.  The Escape Room, which subsequently gained substantial popularity following its release in America, was a fantastic and intriguing read that imagined an elaborate revenge plot against a highflying Wall Street investment team.  I deeply enjoyed The Escape Room and it led to me checking out Goldin’s next book, The Night Swim, which ended up being one of the best Australian books of 2020The Night Swim was a powerful and intense novel that detailed the harrowing aftermath of two controversial rape cases from various parts of a town’s history.  Both of these novels were really good and I have been eagerly waiting to see what Goldin comes up with next.

Well, my wait is over as Goldin has a fantastic sounding new novel coming out in August 2022 with Stay Awake.  This excellent and intriguing novel has an amazing plot that sees a women awaken in a terrible situation, with murder, memory loss and deadly surprises.

Synopsis:

Liv Reese wakes up in the back of a taxi with no idea where she is or how she got there. When she’s dropped off at the door of her brownstone, a stranger answers—a stranger who now lives in her apartment and forces her out in the cold. She reaches for her phone to call for help, only to discover it’s missing, and in its place is a bloodstained knife. That’s when she sees that her hands are covered in black pen, scribbled messages like graffiti on her skin: STAY AWAKE.

Two years ago, Liv was living with her best friend, dating a new man, and thriving as a successful writer for a trendy magazine. Now, she’s lost and disoriented in a New York City that looks nothing like what she remembers. Catching a glimpse of the local news, she’s horrified to see reports of a crime scene where the victim’s blood has been used to scrawl a message across a window, the same message that’s inked on her hands. What did she do last night? And why does she remember nothing from the past two years? Liv finds herself on the run for a crime she doesn’t remember committing as she tries to piece together the fragments of her life. But there’s someone who does know exactly what she did, and they’ll do anything to make her forget—permanently.

A complex thriller that unfolds at a breakneck speed, Stay Awake will keep you up all night.

I am deeply intrigued by this awesome and impressive sounding novel, especially as it looks like Goldin has come up with a really complex plot here for Stay Awake.  I love the idea of an amnesia laden plot that involves a shattered mind, secret instructions written on skin, murder and dangerous predator.  I honestly think that this novel has a load of potential, especially in Goldin’s exceedingly capable hands, and I reckon I will probably power through this book in no time at all.

Waiting on Wednesday – Kagen the Damned by Jonathan Maberry

Welcome to my weekly segment, Waiting on Wednesday, where I look at upcoming books that I am planning to order and review in the next few months and which I think I will really enjoy.  I run this segment in conjunction with the Can’t-Wait Wednesday meme that is currently running at Wishful Endings.  Stay tuned to see reviews of these books when I get a copy of them.  For this latest Waiting on Wednesday I check out one of the more interesting fantasy novels coming out in the new year, Kagen the Damned by Jonathan Maberry.

Kagen the Damned Cover

2022 is shaping up to be a very good year for epic fantasy novels, with some incredible and cool-sounding new books set for release, especially in the first six months.  One of the things that I particularly like about some of these upcoming fantasy novels is the fact that they are being written by several authors I generally associate with other genres.  This includes one of my absolute favourite authors, Jonathan Maberry, who is jumping into the fantasy genre for the very first time with his intriguing upcoming novel, Kagen the Damned.

Jonathan Maberry is an awesome author whose work I have been deeply enjoying over the last few years.  Maberry is an author primarily known for his horror work, having written several scary and intense series, including his Pine Deep trilogy, the Rot & Ruin series, the Dead of Night series and the V-Wars anthology/comic series.  I best know Maberry for his incredible Joe Ledger series, which combines fast-paced spy thriller storylines with intriguing science fiction and horror elements.  Every entry in this series was pretty amazing, with some of my favourites including The Dragon Factory, Code Zero, Predator One and Dogs of War.  I also deeply enjoyed his Rogue Team International sequel series, which included Rage (one of the best books and audiobooks of 2019) and Relentless (which I just listed as one of my favourite books and audiobooks of 2021), as well as the standalone horror novel Ink (one of the best books and audiobooks of 2020).  As such, I am a pretty big fan of Maberry, and while I was a little disappointed that his Rogue Team International series wasn’t getting a sequel next year, I am quite intrigued about his first dive in fantasy fiction.

This new fantasy novel, Kagen the Damned, is the first book in a series of the same name from Maberry.  Currently set for release on 10 May 2021, Kagen the Damned is an intriguing-sounding read with an amazing plot that I am extremely excited for and which has a great deal of potential.

Synopsis:

Sworn by Oath
Kagen Vale is the trusted and feared captain of the place guard, charged with protection the royal children of the Silver Empire. But one night, Kagen is drugged and the entire imperial family is killed, leaving the empire in ruins.

Abandoned by the Gods
Haunted and broken, Kagen is abandoned by his gods and damned forever. He becomes a wanderer, trying to take down as many of this enemies as possible while plotting to assassinate the usurper–the deadly Witch-king of Hakkia. While all around him magic–long banished from the world—returns in strange and terrifying ways.

Fueled by Rage
To find the royal children and exact his vengeance, Kagen must venture into strange lands, battle bizarre and terrifying creatures, and gather allies for a suicide mission into the heart of the Witch-king’s empire.

Kings and gods will fear him.

Now this sounds like it is going to be a pretty damn incredible read.  I love the cool story above, especially as it is going to follow a broken and desperate man who goes on an epic revenge mission against an insanely powerful magical foe.  Now if my love of the Joe Ledger novels has taught me anything it is that Maberry is an author who excels at writing a damaged and complex central protagonist, and it sounds like Kagen is going to be pretty special.  In addition, thanks to Maberry’s 2021 release Relentless, I also know that the author can write an extremely mean revenge story, and I am prepared for an exceptional narrative filled with bloody vengeance and a highly determined protagonist.

I am also extremely intrigued by this new fantasy world.  As I mentioned before, I have never had the pleasure of seeing Maberry dive into fantasy before and I think that this will be an interesting change of pace for him.  I do like the sound of the dark fantasy world mentioned in the synopsis above, from the shattered kingdom, the dangerous Witch-king (you have to love a villain known as the Witch-king), the mysterious allies, the destructively returning magic, and so many other cool elements.  All this has buckets of potential, and if Maberry transfers all his usual attention to detail and talent for world building to the fantasy genre, I think we are in for a really cool setting and backdrop to the main revenge narrative.  I am extremely keen to check this new novel out and find out just how awesome a Maberry fantasy book can be.

Overall, I have to say that I am really very excited for Kagen the Damned.  I have made no secret in the past about how I will eagerly grab any new Jonathan Maberry novel that comes out, so Kagen the Damned was always going to be on my 2022 to-read list.  However, I am very intrigued about the cool plot above, as well as Maberry’s transition to the fantasy genre, and I really want to see what happens in this new book.  I think that Kagen the Damned has a lot of potential, especially with the talented Maberry at the helm, and I honestly believe that this could end up being one of the top fantasy books of 2022.  I look forward to finding out if I’m right, and no matter what I am sure that I am going to have an incredible time reading Kagen the Damned.

Waiting on Wednesday – The Martyr by Anthony Ryan

Welcome to my weekly segment, Waiting on Wednesday, where I look at upcoming books that I am planning to order and review in the next few months and which I think I will really enjoy.  I run this segment in conjunction with the Can’t-Wait Wednesday meme that is currently running at Wishful Endings.  Stay tuned to see reviews of these books when I get a copy of them.  In this week’s Waiting on Wednesday I highlight an incredible upcoming fantasy novel that is probably going to be one of the top books of 2022, The Martyr by Anthony Ryan.

The Martyr Cover

Anthony Ryan is a talented author who has been impressing fantasy fans for years with his intense and captivating novels.  Debuting back in 2013 with Blood Song, the first book in his Raven’s Shadow trilogy, Ryan has gone on to write several highly regarded dark fantasy series, including his Slab City Blues series, the Draconis Memoria trilogy and his Seven Swords novella series.  I have been meaning to read some of Ryan’s novels for years, especially after hearing nothing but glowing reviews and positive comments about his previous works.  I finally got the chance earlier this year when I read the first book in his new The Covenant of Steel series, The Pariah.

The Pariah was an incredible and clever fantasy read that follows a bold new protagonist as he embarks on a series of adventures across the land.  The novel focuses on Alwyn Scribe, an outlaw who, after being captured, embarks on a life-changing journey that sees him become a prisoner, a soldier, a spy and most importantly a scribe, as he encounters several charismatic leaders who earn his loyalty.  Told using the chronicle style and set in a grim landscape full of war, rebels and religious persecution, this brilliant tale proved extremely addictive and I had an absolute blast following Alwyn as he embarked on his exciting and often poorly planned adventures.  This was easily one of the best fantasy books of the year, and it recently featured on My Top Audiobooks of 2021 list.

As such, I was extremely happy when I saw that the second Covenant of Steel novel had been announced.  This second novel, The Martyr, is currently set for release on 28 June 2022, and it is already shaping up to be awesome and epic read.  Not only does it already have an incredibly gorgeous cover (which contrast nicely with the cover for the previous novel), but there is also a great plot synopsis out which reveals some intriguing details about the upcoming book.

Synopsis:

The Martyr is the second novel in The Covenant of Steel, a new epic fantasy series of action, intrigue and magic from Anthony Ryan, a master storyteller who has taken the fantasy world by storm.

Times have changed for Alwyn Scribe. Once an outlaw, he’s now a spymaster and sworn protector of Lady Evadine Courlain, whose visions of a demonic apocalypse have earned her the fanatical devotion of the faithful.

Yet Evadine’s growing fame has put her at odds with both Crown and Covenant. As trouble brews in the kingdom, both seek to exploit her position for their own ends.

Sent to the Duchy of Alundia to put down a rebellion, Alwyn must rely on old instincts to fight for his new cause. Deadly feuds and ancient secrets are laid bare as war erupts, a war that will decide the fate of the Kingdom of Albermaine and, perhaps, prevent the coming of the prophesied Second Scourge.

I really like the sound of this cool upcoming novel and it looks like Ryan will be taking his already exceptional narrative in some awesome directions.  The Pariah ended with Alwyn and his current patron, the religious fanatic Lady Evadine Courlain, going into hiding, as the forces of the church and the crown attempt to destroy them due to Courlain’s growing popularity and influence as a living saint.  This new novel will apparently follow Alwyn as he attempts to save his lady from manipulation and destruction at the hands of their enemies, using all the skills he developed during his criminal youth.  I think that this storyline has an awful lot of potential, and I cannot wait to see the inevitable combination of political intrigue, backstabbing, manipulation and war.  I am also extremely intrigued to see how the main characters of this series, particularly Alwyn and Courlain, will continue to grow in this latest novel, especially if certain secrets and lies are revealed.

It also sounds like several awesome storylines or potential future events that were hinted at in The Pariah are going to come to fruition in this second novel, which has me pretty excited.  In particular, it looks like there is going to be a repeat of the brutal civil war that was such a defining feature of the first novel, as several storylines were set around it.  This should be pretty awesome, especially as Alwyn is in possession of some damaging information that will greatly benefit one side, and which he will no doubt reveal to advantage his own cause.  In addition, it also appears that we will get some more hints about the prophesied Second Scourge, this world’s version of the apocalypse.  There were several hints about the Second Scourge in The Pariah, and while most characters considered it religious propaganda, you had to know that it was eventually going to lead to something (a Chekhov’s Armageddon if you will).  Whatever happens, I am sure it will be epic and I look forward to seeing all the resultant chaos and betrayals.

Overall, I am really looking forward to The Martyr next year and I am already extremely confident that it will be one of the top books of the year.  Ryan is such an awesome author and reading The Pariah earlier this year has already made me a pretty dedicated fan.  I cannot wait to see how the Covenant of Steel’s impressive story is continued in The Martyr and I think readers will be in for some big surprises and clever twists.  This is easily one of my most anticipated reads of 2022 and I cannot wait to get my hands on it.

Waiting on Wednesday – The Hunger of the Gods by John Gwynne

Welcome to my weekly segment, Waiting on Wednesday, where I look at upcoming books that I am planning to order and review in the next few months and which I think I will really enjoy.  I run this segment in conjunction with the Can’t-Wait Wednesday meme that is currently running at Wishful Endings.  Stay tuned to see reviews of these books when I get a copy of them.  For my latest Waiting on Wednesday I check out one of the most anticipated fantasy novels of 2022, The Hunger of the Gods by John Gwynne.

The Hunger of the Gods Cover

John Gwynne is an insanely talented author who has been setting the fantasy world on fire for nearly 10 years with his amazing and compelling dark fantasy books.  Gwynne debuted back in 2012 with his Norse-inspired The Faithful and the Fallen series, which he later followed up with the sequel Of Blood and Bone series.  These novels are very highly regarded, and I have seen some rave reviews about them over the years.  I personally became more aware of Gwynne’s work earlier this year when I checked out the first book in his brand new Bloodsworn Saga series of novels.

The Bloodsworn Saga is another Norse inspired dark fantasy series set in a dangerous world filled with monsters, roving warbands and other dark creature.  This world was broken generations ago by the gods, whose devastating war rent the land, let demons in, and resulted in the apparent death of every single deity.  In the years that followed, men rose to prominence, and Jarls now battle for control, utilising the distant ancestors of the gods, known as the Tainted, as powerful slaves.  This is a very rich setting for adventure, and Gwynne used it to full advantage in the first novel in this series, The Shadow of the Gods.

The Shadow of the Gods was an awesome and impressive read that is easily one of the best books I have enjoyed this year.  It followed three separate characters as they set out on their own quests throughout the book, only to encounter the same deadly conspiracy that was attempting to unleash evil upon the world.  This was an incredibly epic read, and I deeply enjoyed the cool new world, the complex characters, and the exceptional and brutal action sequences.  The book ended with some big reveals, including the return of the god, and was such an awesome and outstanding read.

As such, I have been eagerly awaiting the next entry in this series, The Hunger of the Gods, and I was very excited when the full details of the book recently came out, including the epic and stunning cover above.  The Hunger of the Gods is currently set for release on 12 April 2022, and if this following plot is anything to go by, this is going to be another amazing read.

Synopsis:

The Hunger of the Gods continues John Gwynne’s acclaimed Norse-inspired epic fantasy series, packed with myth, magic and bloody vengeance.

Lik-Rifa, the dragon god of legend, has been freed from her eternal prison. Now she plots a new age of blood and conquest.

As Orka continues the hunt for her missing son, the Bloodsworn sweep south in a desperate race to save one of their own – and Varg takes the first steps on the path of vengeance.

Elvar has sworn to fulfil her blood oath and rescue a prisoner from the clutches of Lik-Rifa and her dragonborn followers, but first she must persuade the Battle-Grim to follow her.

Yet even the might of the Bloodsworn and Battle-Grim cannot stand alone against a dragon god.

Their hope lies within the mad writings of a chained god. A book of forbidden magic with the power to raise the wolf god Ulfrir from the dead . . . and bring about a battle that will shake the foundations of the earth.

It sounds like The Hunger of the Gods will continue to follow the main character of the first novel, Orska, Varg and Elvar, as they continue their epic and blood-filled quests.  I deeply enjoyed all three character arcs in The Shadow of the Gods, especially as each of their storylines were very well-written and contained a fantastic range of adventures and trials.  It will be great to see what happens to these characters next, especially after the revelations at the end of the first book.  I am particularly keen to learn more of Orska’s backstory, and it will also be extremely cool to see how Elvar, the only non-Tainted main character, will fare going up against a legion of dragonborn and their dark god.

In addition, I am curious to see what happens surrounding the supposedly dead wolf god Ulfrir.  The plot strongly indicates that the protagonists are planning to resurrect him to face Lik-Rifa, and if the incredible cover above is anything to go by, they will succeed.  While I am really keen to see a battle between giant deities (giant wolf vs giant dragon, yeah that has gotten me pretty hyped), I cannot help but think something is going to go wrong there, and the protagonists will end up in an even worse position.  No matter what happens, I am extremely keen to read it, and I am deeply excited to see how this second entry in the Bloodsworn Saga turns out.

Look, in all honestly, The Hunger of the Gods has been of my most anticipated books for 2022 for a very long time, and there is no way I won’t be picking it up the moment it becomes available.  This is going to be one of the best fantasy novels of next year, and if Gwynne continues the incredible writing that was featured in The Shadow of the Gods, I know I will have an amazing time with it.  The Hunger of the Gods is going to be epic, and I cannot wait to see what chaos, destruction and bloodshed Gwynne has in store for us here.

Waiting on Wednesday –2022 Star Wars Tie-in Novels

Welcome to my weekly segment, Waiting on Wednesday, where I look at upcoming books that I am planning to order and review in the next few months and which I think I will really enjoy.  I run this segment in conjunction with the Can’t-Wait Wednesday meme that is currently running at Wishful Endings.  Stay tuned to see reviews of these books when I get a copy of them.  For this week’s Waiting on Wednesday, I check out four awesome Star Wars novels guaranteed to dazzle me in early 2022.

It has been a pretty awesome year for Star Wars novels, and I have had a wonderful time reading some of the fantastic 2021 books that tie into the elaborate Star Wars extended universe.  Well it looks like 2022 is going to be just as incredible as there are even more Star Wars novels on the way, with several great new entries in the franchise set for release in the next few months.  As all the relevant details of the earlier releases are available I thought I would take this opportunity to highlight them, especially as many are likely to become some of my favourite reads of the new year.

The first book I want to feature in this article is the exciting and fantastic sounding new entry in The High Republic range of Star Wars novels, The Fallen Star by Claudia Gray.  The High Republic books are a massive interlocked multi-media project that seeks to expand the canon universe by focusing on a range of interesting storylines from the High Republic era of Star Wars History, hundreds of years before the Skywalker Saga.  This series has already featured some exception novels, comics and audio dramas, and I am deeply excited to see what happens in the High Republic storylines next, especially after some recent compelling developments.

Star Wars - The Fallen Star

The Fallen Star looks set to be a particularly intriguing read, as it is continuing some of the main High Republic storylines that were set out in the epic preceding novels, Light of the Jedi and The Rising StormThe Fallen Star currently has a release date of 4 January 2022 and I think it has an immense amount of potential, especially as it is written by the talented Claudia Gray, who did such a wonderful job on her previous Star Wars novel Master & Apprentice.

Synopsis:

In this gripping sequel to Star Wars: The Rising Storm, the light of the Jedi faces its darkest hour.

Time and again, the vicious raiders known as the Nihil have sought to bring the golden age of the High Republic to a fiery end. Time and again, the High Republic has emerged battered and weary, but victorious thank to its Jedi protectors-and there is no monument to their cause grander than the Starlight Beacon.

Hanging like a jewel in the Outer Rim, the Beacon embodies the High Republic at the apex of its aspirations: a hub of culture and knowledge, a bright torch against the darkness of the unknown, and an extended hand of welcome to the furthest reaches of the galaxy. As survivors and refugees flee the Nihil’s attacks, the Beacon and its crew stand ready to shelter and heal.

The grateful Knights and Padawans of the Jedi Order stationed there finally have a chance to recover-from the pain of their injuries and the grief of their losses. But the storm they thought had passed still rages; they are simply caught in its eye. Marchion Ro, the true mastermind of the Nihil, is preparing his most daring attack yet-one designed to snuff out the light of the Jedi.

Star Wars - The Fallen Star Cover 3

I really love the sound of this cool upcoming novel, and I think that The Fallen Star will end up being one of the best Star Wars books of 2022.  It is clear from the plot synopsis that the Nihil, the High Republic’s fascinating main villains, are planning to attack Starlight Beacon, which has served as a central location of the previous novels.  Considering some of the chaos that the Nihil have already caused in the previous High Republic books (the attack on the Republic Fair was just plain crazy), this will no doubt be a major and devastating event, and I am expecting a pretty dangerous death toll.  There has been some cool official artwork released that shows a falling satellite, hinting at a massive cataclysmic event occurring within the book, and I for one cannot wait to see what happens there.

Star Wars - The Fallen Star Cover 2

I am also extremely invested in some of the amazing characters that have been introduced in previous pieces of High Republic fiction, and who will no doubt be strongly featured in The Fallen Star.  These characters have been extremely well set up and most of them have gone through some substantial development and devastating moments.  I look forward to seeing what happens to some of them in The Fallen Star, and I am particularly keen to see how the Jedi survivors of The Rising Storm are faring after that novel’s terrible events.  I have heard rumours that one of the Jedi characters may potentially fall to the Dark Side of the Force, and I will be interested to see if or who it will happen to (there are at least two potential options).  Whatever happens, I think we are in for a wild ride with The Fallen Star and I am planning to read it the moment it comes out.

Star Wars - Midnight Horizon Cover

The next Star Wars novel I want to discuss is Midnight Horizon by Daniel José Older.  Older is a talented author who has been contributing several great novels to the Star Wars canon ever since his 2018 novel, Last ShotMidnight Horizon will be a young adult High Republic novel that will follow some younger Jedi and their masters as they attempt to defeat another Nihil threat.

Synopsis:

After a series of staggering losses, the Republic seems to finally have the villainous Nihil marauders on the run, and it looks like there’s light at the end of the tunnel. Until word comes of a suspected Nihil attack on the industrial cosmopolitan world of Corellia, right in the Galactic Core.

Sent to investigate are Jedi Masters Cohmac Vitus and Kantam Sy, along with Padawans Reath Silas and Ram Jomaram, all fighting their own private battles after months of unrelenting danger. On Corellia, Reath and Ram encounter a brazen young security specialist named Crash, whose friend was one of the victims of the Nihil attack, and they team up with her to infiltrate Corellia’s elite while the Masters pursue more diplomatic avenues. But going undercover with Crash is more dangerous than anyone expected, even as Ram pulls in his friend Zeen to help with an elaborate ruse involving a galactic pop star.

But what they uncover on Corellia turns out to be just one part of a greater plan, one that could lead the Jedi to their most stunning defeat yet….

This sounds like another extremely fun novel from Older and I am very excited to see what cool adventures happens here.  Set for release on 1 February 2022, Midnight Horizon will follow on from some of the previous High Republic young adult novels such as Into the Dark and Out of the Shadows, especially as it follows the character of Padawan Reath Silas and his master who have appeared in both of these books.  It also serves as a continuation of Race to Crashpoint Tower, with the character of Ram Jomaram, also being featured here.  I cannot wait to see what happens to these characters in Midnight Horizon, and I think it will turn out to be another awesome adventure.  I am also curious to see the High Republic version of Corellia and it will be fascinating to see what sort of attack the Nihil can pull off here.  Midnight Horizon is another High Republic novel that I think has a lot of potential, especially with its fantastic cover up above and I look forward to reading it.

Star Wars - Midnight Horizon Cover 2

I also wanted to mention the upcoming junior High Republic novel, Mission to Disaster by Justina Ireland.  While I do not usually tend to read some of the junior or young reader Star Wars books, I may make an exception for Mission to Disaster.  This is because it will follow on from Ireland’s last novel, Out of the Shadows, and features the fun team of Vernestra Rwoh and Imri Cantaros.  I look curious to see what happens to these two characters next, and I will probably quickly read Mission to Disaster to continue the interesting storyline they had in their last book.

Star Wars - Mission to Disaster Cover

Synopsis:

The Jedi think the dreaded Nihil marauders have been all but defeated. Their leader is on the run and their numbers have dwindled. Jedi Knight Vernestra Rwoh hopes this means she will finally have time to really train her Padawan, Imri Cantaros―but reports of a Nihil attack on Port Haileap soon dash those hopes. For not only have the Nihil attacked the peaceful outpost, they have abducted Vernestra and Imri’s friend, Avon Starros. The two Jedi set off for Port Haileap, determined to figure out where the Nihil have taken their friend. Meanwhile, Avon must put her smarts and skills to the ultimate test as she fights for survival among the Nihil―and uncovers a sinister plan. Can Vernestra and Imri find their friend before disaster strikes?

The final book I want to talk about here is the amazing sounding Brotherhood by Mike Chen.  Rather than another High Republic book, the early May 2022 release, Brotherhood, will instead focus on the team of Obi-Wan Kenobi and Anakin Skywalker during the Clone Wars.

Star Wars - Brotherhood Cover

Synopsis:

Obi-Wan Kenobi and Anakin Skywalker must stem the tide of the raging Clone Wars and forge a new bond as Jedi Knights in a high-stakes adventure set just after the events of Star Wars: Attack of the Clones.

The Clone Wars have begun. Battle lines are being drawn throughout the galaxy. With every world that joins the Separatists, the peace guarded by the Jedi Order is slipping through their fingers.

After an explosion devastates Cato Neimoidia, the jewel of the Trade Federation, the Republic is blamed and the fragile neutrality of the planet is threatened. The Jedi dispatch Obi-Wan Kenobi, one of the Order’s most gifted diplomatic minds, to investigate the crime and maintain the balance that has begun to dangerously shift. As Obi-Wan investigates with the help of a heroic Neimoidian guard, he finds himself working against the Separatists who hope to draw the planet into their conspiracy—and senses the sinister hand of Asajj Ventress in the mists that cloak the planet.

Amid the brewing chaos, Anakin Skywalker rises to the rank of Jedi Knight. Despite the mandate that Obi-Wan travel alone—and his former master’s insistence that he listen this time—Anakin’s headstrong determination means nothing can stop him from crashing the party, and bringing along a promising but conflicted youngling.

Once a Padawan to Obi-Wan, Anakin now finds himself on equal—but uncertain—footing with the man who raised him. The lingering friction between them increases the danger for everyone around them. The two knights must learn a new way to work together—and they must learn quickly, to save Cato Neimoidia and its people from the fires of war. To overcome the threat they face they must grow beyond master and apprentice. They must stand together as brothers.

This sounds like another pretty fantastic Star Wars novel and I am extremely keen to get my hands on this one.  I love the entire Clone Wars period of Star Wars history (if you have seen The Clone Wars animated series you know why) and I am very keen to explore more of it here.  I love the idea of two Jedi attempting to solve a crime on a hostile Separatist World, which will no doubt result in much conflict, suspicion and political treachery.  I am also really keen to see the author’s take on the relationship between Anakin and Obi-Wan.  These two characters have always had an interesting and well-defined dynamic (when they’re not trying to kill each other), and I am curious to see how much this changes in the immediate aftermath of Anakin becoming a Jedi.  No doubt some of this tension and conflict will tie-into the upcoming Obi-Wan Kenobi television series that is coming out soon, and it is possible that Brotherhood might be connected to the planned show in some way.  Throw in an early sighting of Ventress, the awesome Dark Side assassin, and I think that Brotherhood is going to be a pretty exceptional read.

Well that is about it for upcoming Star Wars books at the moment.  There are a few other novels that have been announced for later in the year like Shadow of the Sith and Padawan, but I might wait until the covers are released before I cover them in a Waiting on Wednesday article.  E. K. Johnston’s third and final Padmé Amidala novel, Queen’s Hope, is also due for release in April after it was delayed, although I have previously covered that before.  I am deeply, deeply excited for all these cool upcoming Star Wars novels and I cannot wait to see what outstanding adventures happens within all of them.

Waiting on Wednesday – In the Shadow of Lightning by Brian McClellan

Welcome to my weekly segment, Waiting on Wednesday, where I look at upcoming books that I am planning to order and review in the next few months and which I think I will really enjoy.  I run this segment in conjunction with the Can’t-Wait Wednesday meme that is currently running at Wishful Endings.  Stay tuned to see reviews of these books when I get a copy of them.  For my latest Waiting on Wednesday I check out one of the most anticipated fantasy releases of 2022 with In the Shadow of Lightning by acclaimed author Brian McClellan.

In the Shadow of Lightning Cover

Few fantasy authors have reached the impressive heights that Brian McClellan has in recent years, as this brilliant author has produced two epic fantasy series.  Debuting in 2013, McClellan wowed the world with The Powder Mage trilogy, an incredible trilogy which takes place in a kingdom that has just seen a brutal revolution by the powder mages, military mages who use gunpowder to gain various gun-related abilities.  Unfortunately, many factions opposed their revolution, including the nation’s vengeful god, and the protagonists soon find themselves involved in a desperate fight for survival.  The first book in this series, Promise of Blood, is pretty darn awesome, getting a five-star review from me, and it is one of my favourite debuts of all time.  I still really need to get through the rest of The Powder Mage novels, as well as the sequel Gods of Blood and Powder trilogy, as all the books in this series have garnered rave reviews.  However, McClellan is not slowing down as he has a new series starting next year, the first book of which is In the Shadow of Lightning.

In the Shadow of Lightning is another epic fantasy novel which has a current release date of 21 June 2022.  This book will be the first entry in McClellan’s new Glass Immortals series and looks set to take readers on another intense adventure, laden with magic, politics, intrigue and murder.

Synopsis:

From Brian McClellan, author of The Powder Mage, comes In the Shadow of Lightning, a brand-new epic fantasy where magic is a finite resource—and it’s running out.

Demir Grappo is an outcast—he fled a life of wealth and power, abandoning his responsibilities as a general, a governor, and a son. Now he will live out his days as a grifter, rootless, and alone. But when his mother is brutally murdered, Demir must return from exile to claim his seat at the head of the family and uncover the truth that got her killed: the very power that keeps civilization turning, godglass, is running out.

Now, Demir must find allies, old friends and rivals alike, confront the powerful guild-families who are only interested in making the most of the scraps left at the table and uncover the invisible hand that threatens the Empire. A war is coming, a war unlike any other. And Demir and his ragtag group of outcasts are the only thing that stands in the way of the end of life as the world knows it.

This new novel sounds extremely fun, and McClellan is clearly setting up another rich and complex fantasy novel.  Based on the awesome above synopsis, it looks like In the Shadow of Lightning has a lot of amazing features that should translated into an incredible read.  A former noble turned grifter returning to get revenge and power sounds pretty cool, especially as it will see him get embroiled in a vast conspiracy, while also fighting to defeat rival houses and ambitious beings.  Throw in a cast of outcasts and rebels, as well as a fascinating new magical system (what does godglass do, what is happening to it? I really want to know), and you have an intriguing hit, especially in the hands of a talented author like McClellan.

Based on how McClellan wrote The Powder Mage novels, I am expecting In the Shadow of Lightning to be particularly complex and impressive read, which will no doubt drag me in and get me obsessed with its fun characters and fascinating landscape.  Honestly, I knew I would be grabbing this book the moment that I saw McClellan was writing it, and it will be great to get on board an ongoing series from this talented author.  However, I also really like the fun story described in the synopsis, and I think this book has the potential to be one of the top reads of 2022.  I cannot wait to see how this fantastic upcoming novel turns out, and I think I will have to try to read the rest of The Powder Mage trilogy before In the Shadow of Lightning comes out.

Waiting on Wednesday – Rise of the Mages and The Justice of Kings

Welcome to my weekly segment, Waiting on Wednesday, where I look at upcoming books that I am planning to order and review in the next few months and which I think I will really enjoy.  I run this segment in conjunction with the Can’t-Wait Wednesday meme that is currently running at Wishful Endings.  Stay tuned to see reviews of these books when I get a copy of them.  In this week’s Waiting on Wednesday article, I look at two fun upcoming fantasy debuts that I think have an immense amount of potential.

Here at The Unseen Library, we have a lot of love for debut novels, and it is always awesome to read and review the first book a new author has produced or to see a writer break into a completely new genre.  I have had a brilliant time reading some great debuts in recent years, with some proving to be quite exceptional reads.  For example, two amazing debut novels of 2020, The Kingdom of Liars by Nick Martell and The Thursday Murder Club by Richard Osman, ended up being some of the best books (and audiobooks) of the year.  This year has been no different, as I had read some exceptional debuts in 2021, such as The Councillor by E. J. Beaton and The Frenchman by Jack Beaumont.  I have some other glowing reviews for debut novels coming up shortly, and I am planning to do a Top Ten List highlighting some of the best debut novels of 2021 in a few weeks.  However, before I do any of that, I thought I would take the chance to look at two exceptional upcoming fantasy novels that are likely to be some of the best debuts of 2022.

Rise of the Mages Cover

The first of these books is Rise of the Mages by Scott Drakeford.  Currently set for release on 25 January 2022, Rise of the Mages in an interesting epic fantasy novel that will serve as the first book in The Age of Ire trilogy.  Rise of the Mages has an outstanding story of blood, magic and rebellion, as well as an awesome cover, and I really like the sound of this cool novel.

Synopsis:

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. 

This book has an awesome synopsis, and I am deeply intrigued by the fantastic sounding story that Rise of the Mages looks set to have.  Dark rebellions, rogue wizards and fallen gods are all excellent bases for great fantasy books and I very interested in the idea of a “Mage King”.  Based on this synopsis, it sounds like Drakeford is looking to produce a pretty epic and intense read, and I look forward to seeing all the magic-fuelled action, adventure and blood shed that Rise of the Mages contains.

The Justice of Kings Cover

The other book I really want to highlight in this post is the brilliant sounding The Justice of Kings by Richard Swan.  Set to be the first book in his proposed Empire of the Wolf trilogy, The Justice of Kings is Swan’s debut fantasy novel, after he previously wrote several intriguing science fiction novels, such as The Art of War trilogy.  The Justice of Kings currently has a release date of 22 February 2022 and I think it has the potential to be one of the best books of next year.

Synopsis:

The Justice of Kings, the first in a new epic fantasy trilogy, follows the tale of Sir Konrad Vonvalt, an Emperor’s Justice – a detective, judge and executioner all in one. As he unravels a web of secrets and lies, Vonvalt discovers a plot that might destroy his order once and for all – and bring down the entire Empire.

As an Emperor’s Justice, Sir Konrad Vonvalt always has the last word. His duty is to uphold the law of the empire using whatever tools he has at his disposal: whether it’s his blade, the arcane secrets passed down from Justice to Justice, or his wealth of knowledge of the laws of the empire. But usually his reputation as one of the most revered—and hated—Justices is enough to get most any job done.

When Vonvalt investigates the murder of a noblewoman, he finds his authority being challenged like never before. As the simple case becomes more complex and convoluted, he begins to pull at the threads that unravel a conspiracy that could see an end to all Justices, and a beginning to lawless chaos across the empire.

This sounds like such an outstanding and compelling read, and I am deeply intrigued by the proposed combination of crime fiction, legal thriller, and epic fantasy fiction elements.  The Justice of Kings’ plot about an honourable knight concerned only with justice, hunting through an elaborate conspiracy with magic and a sword has an amazing amount of promise, and I cannot wait to see what clever and complex mystery Swan has written around this.  I have already heard some substantial buzz around this book, with several reviewers I follow raving about The Justice of King’s story and fantasy elements after receiving advanced copies.  As such, I am extremely excited for this novel and I cannot wait to see if it lives up to all the hype.

2022 is already shaping up to be an excellent year for debut fantasy novels, especially with Rise of the Mages by Scott Drakeford and The Justice of Kings by Richard Swan.  Both these exceptional sounding novels have an immense amount of potential and promise, and I know I am going to have a great time reading them.  These two novels have amazing synopses, and I am extremely interested to find out how these compelling plots turn out.  Out of the two, I think that I am a little keener for The Justice of Kings, due to what I have already heard about it, but I am sure that Rise of the Mages will prove to be just as epic and fantastic.

Waiting on Wednesday – Upcoming Warhammer 40,000 Novels

Welcome to my weekly segment, Waiting on Wednesday, where I look at upcoming books that I am planning to order and review in the next few months and which I think I will really enjoy.  I run this segment in conjunction with the Can’t-Wait Wednesday meme that is currently running at Wishful Endings.  Stay tuned to see reviews of these books when I get a copy of them.  For my latest Waiting on Wednesday column, I look at four awesome upcoming novels set in the turbulent and grim future of the Warhammer 40,000 universe.

Readers familiar with this blog will know that I am a massive sucker for tie-in novels, and I am very well acquainted with several fandoms who have extensive expanded universes.  One of the more interesting ones that I have recently been getting into are the amazing and deeply exciting Warhammer extended universes.  Built around the various table-top games of Games Workshop and published by the Black Library, the Warhammer novels, are a massive collection of compelling and action-packed novels that add some outstanding backstory and extended universe inclusions to the already well-established lore introduced in the background of the various races and factions.

Throughout the last year or so I have been really getting into the Warhammer fiction, having read some incredible and fun novels, including the first three Gotrek and Felix novels, Trollslayer, Skavenslayer and Daemonslayer, from the Warhammer Fantasy franchise.  However, I have primarily been getting into the incredible science fiction adventures that make up the Warhammer 40,000 universe.  Warhammer 40,000 fiction is set far in the future and envisions a dark and gothic universe, filled with constant warfare between a range of colourful and chaotic groups.  I have had an outstanding time with several great books set in this universe, including Deathwatch: Shadowbreaker, Kal Jerico: Sinner’s Bounty, Fire Made Flesh and The Twice-Dead King: Ruin.  Each of these novels has been pretty epic, and I am very much in the mood to read more of these books.  Luckily for me, there are huge number of new releases on the horizon, and four interesting books coming out here in Australia in the first half of 2022 have already caught my attention.

The first of these books is the intriguing and intense sounding Steel Tread by Andy Clark.  Steel Tread will be part of the Astra Militarum series, and will follow a group of Imperial Guard, the basic human soldiers, as they face off against the forces of Chaos.  In particular, the book will follow a tanker who is transferred to a new unit and must learn to command a new tank with an unusual crew.

Steel Tread Cover

Synopsis:

The Astra Millitarum are a blunt instrument of violence, wrought on a galactic scale. This new series from Black Library will explore some of their regiments.

On the war-torn world of Croatoas, the armies of the Astra Militarum do battle with the twisted servants of the Ruinous Powers. Against the backdrop of this increasingly desperate conflict, tanker Hadeya Etsul finds herself consolidated into a Cadian regiment, and placed in command of the Leman Russ Demolisher Steel Tread. Haunted by nightmares, surrounded by a dysfunctional crew and striving to find her place amidst a proud and insular regiment with a culture so different from her own, Etsul must guide her crew to victory. But, as her regiment rolls out beneath the poisonous light of the Great Rift to join a death-or-glory offensive, the crew of Steel Tread are about to face the fight of their lives. If they cannot learn to work as one, how can they hope to survive?

This cool first novel has a lot of potential and is set for release right at the start of 2022.  Steel Tread looks set to be a classic and powerful war story and I am extremely excited to once again get to grips with the common human solider in this universe of gods, monsters and demons.  I love the idea of an awesome tank-based story, especially as the author, Andy Clark, has a great deal of experience writing some cool science fiction and fantasy Warhammer stories.  I cannot wait to see how this book turns out, and I am expecting a dark and brooding science-fiction version of Fury.

The next Warhammer 40,000 novel that I want to read is The Bookkeeper’s Skull by Justin D. Hill.  The Bookkeeper’s Skull will be an inclusion in the Warhammer Horror sub-series, which sets terrifying and creepy horror tales in the wider Warhammer universe.  This is a bit of a win-win for me, as I have been keen to read more horror and Warhammer books, so this should be a good opportunity for me.  The Bookkeeper’s Skull will be set on an agricultural world in the Warhammer 40,000 universe, which has descended into madness as one young man attempts to stop the horrors and blasphemy of Chaos.

The Bookkeeper's Skull Cover

Synopsis:

Spine-chilling tales set in the Worlds of Warhammer.

On the capital world of Potence, young enforcer cadet Rudgard Howe is caught up in a bitter internecine feud to inherit his father’s position of Chief Enforcer. As the tithe fleets approach, he is sent on his first mission to ensure that the planet’s distant agri-facilities fulfil their quotas to the God-Emperor.

Farmed with serfs and managed by ex-Militarum soldiers, the agri-facilities are places of shocking brutality and hopelessness. But when he is sent to the outlying farmstead of Thorsarbour, Rudgard discovers a community where the crops are left to rot as the inhabitants indulge in the bloody ecstasy of a sanguinary cult.

As Rudgard imposes the strict Lex Imperialis upon the farmstead, he begins to uncover a place where sanity is rapidly slipping. But he is just one step along this nightmarish mission when a series of cruel deaths threatens to dismantle everything he has ever known about the Imperium, his faith in the Emperor, and the strength of his very soul.

This is another awesome sounding novel with a really interesting plot to it.  Deranged Chaos cultists are a fantastic part of Warhammer lore, and I am extremely intrigued to see a dark and trippy horror novel written around it.  The Bookkeeper’s Skull is a relatively short novel, so this will no doubt be an extremely fast-paced read, with a lot of nightmares and insanity compressed into it.  I am very keen to read my first Warhammer Horror novel, and I cannot wait to see how dark and scary a horror novel in this universe can be.

The third book I wanted to highlight in this article is Day of Ascension by bestselling science fiction author Adrian Tchaikovsky.  Tchaikovsky is an extremely highly regarded science fiction author best known for his epic Shadows of the Apt series, and I have been really keen to read some of his work for a while.  Day of Ascension will be Tchaikovsky’s first Warhammer 40,000 novel and will examine one of the more unique and terrifying creatures in Warhammer canon, the Genestealers.

Day of Ascension Cover

Synopsis:

Exciting new Warhammer 40,000 novel from Adrian Tchaikovsky

On the forge world of Morod, the machines never stop and the work never ends. The population toil in the mines and factoria to protect humanity from the monsters in the void, while the Adeptus Mechanicus enjoy lives of palatial comfort.

Genetor Gammat Triskellian seeks to end this stagnant corruption. When he learns of a twisted congregation operating within the shadows, one which believes that the tech-priests are keeping the people from their true salvation – a long-prophesied union with angels – he sees in them an opportunity to bring down Morad’s masters and reclaim the world in the name of progress.

But sometimes, the only hope for real change lies in the coming of monsters.

Now this sounds like a very intriguing novel, and it will probably end up being one of the more unique and compelling Warhammer reads of 2022.  I absolutely love the plot for Day of Ascension described in the synopsis above, especially as Tchaikovsky will be combining a planned revolution with the introduction of a Genestealer Cult.  Genestealer Cults are the forerunners of the Tyranids, an insidious and unstoppable alien species, that range ahead of the wider Tyranid fleets infiltrating societies, infecting human populations, and causing rebellion and chaos.  The Genestealers are some of the most dangerous and scary Warhammer creatures, and storyline about an idealistic revolutionary becoming involved with them while not realising that they are planning to consume the entire planet and kill everyone, sounds pretty damn awesome.  This novel has an insane amount of potential, especially in Tchaikovsky’s very capable hands, and I cannot wait to see this fantastic and incredible story unfold.

The final book in this article is the very cool Gaunt’s Ghosts prequel novel, The Vincula Insurgency by one of the most highly regarded and prolific authors of Warhammer fiction, Dan Abnett.  The Gaunt’s Ghosts books are wildly considered to be one of the best and most iconic pieces of Warhammer 40,000 fiction, perfectly highlighting the many battles and issues surrounding the Imperial Guard.  Following a small and tragic Imperial Guard regiment, the Tanith First and Only, the Gaunt’s Ghost series ran for years, and only finished in 2019 with the release of the 16th and final book.  I read the first book in this series, First and Only, earlier this year, and it was an exceptional and clever military read, perfectly capturing the many issues of the common solider in the trenches.  As such, I am extremely keen to read a new entry in the series, especially as it contains an interesting prequel narrative.

The Vincula Insurgency Cover

Synopsis:

 Gaunt’s Ghosts are back in a fresh new look at the beginning.

The war may be over, but duties remain for the brave soldiers of the Astra Militarum. In the ruined border town of Vincula, the newly formed Ghosts of Tanith, along with their commander Ibram Gaunt, find themselves in a thankless police action, trying to establish a permanent peace. But what exactly is stalking them through the shadowed streets, and what dark secrets will the untested, new-founded Ghosts learn about themselves? The Vincula Insurgency is an intense new combat thriller of the Ghosts’ early days, pulled directly from the ultra-classified Ghost Dossier.

This should be another captivating and interesting inclusion in the Warhammer 40,000 canon from Abnett.  Another relatively shorter entry, this first book in the Ghost Dossier series, is currently set for release in May 2022 (although a version was released earlier this year) and will no doubt be a fantastic, fast-paced read.  I love the idea of a very early Gaunt’s Ghosts story set right after the tragic loss of their planet and before they fully come together as a regiment.  There should be some really interesting and compelling storylines in this novel and I cannot wait to see what early horrors the Ghosts were forced to face.

As you can from the above, there are some extremely cool Warhammer 40,000 novels coming out in the next few months.  Each of the above sound extremely amazing and I am really keen to check them all out.  I think the above collection of books really highlights the fascinating and fantastic range of this franchise, and I look forward to expanding my Warhammer 40,000 knowledge very soon.

Waiting on Wednesday – The Starless Crown by James Rollins

Welcome to my weekly segment, Waiting on Wednesday, where I look at upcoming books that I am planning to order and review in the next few months and which I think I will really enjoy.  I run this segment in conjunction with the Can’t-Wait Wednesday meme that is currently running at Wishful Endings.  Stay tuned to see reviews of these books when I get a copy of them.  For this week’s Waiting on Wednesday, I check out a cool upcoming fantasy novel from an intriguing author, with The Starless Crown by James Rollins.

The Starless Crown Cover

James Rollins is a great author who I have had the pleasure of reading before.  I best known Rollins as an author of intense thriller novels, having enjoyed some of his awesome SIGMA Force novels which follow an elite team of soldiers as they face all manner of unique and crazy threats.  I have been meaning to read some more of Rollins work recently, especially as, after finishing the Joe Ledger series by Jonathan Maberry, I have been really in the mood for more weird science stuff.  Not only have I been thinking about once again diving into his SIGMA Force novels (his last book apparently took the protagonists to Tartarus, now that is cool), but I also have a copy of his 2000 thriller/horror novel, Excavation, sitting on my bookshelf waiting to be read.  However, before seeing the details of his latest book, I never realised that Rollins previously wrote fantasy fiction.

It turns out that Rollins used to write fantasy fiction under the penname of James Clemens.  Indeed, Rollin’s debut novel was the fantasy novel Wit’ch Fire, which came out a year before his thriller debut, Subterranean.  Rollins ended up releasing two fantasy series as James Clemens, The Banned and the Banished series and The Godslayer series.  However, despite his history as James Clemens, his next fantasy novel will instead be released using the James Rollins name.  This upcoming book, The Starless Crown, is set for release in early January 2022, and will be the first book in the intriguing new Moon Fall fantasy series.

Synopsis:

An alliance embarks on a dangerous journey to uncover the secrets of the distant past and save their world in this captivating, deeply visionary adventure from #1 New York Times bestselling thriller-master James Rollins.

A gifted student foretells an apocalypse. Her reward is a sentence of death.

Fleeing into the unknown she is drawn into a team of outcasts:

A broken soldier, who once again takes up the weapons he’s forbidden to wield and carves a trail back home.

A drunken prince, who steps out from his beloved brother’s shadow and claims a purpose of his own.

An imprisoned thief, who escapes the crushing dark and discovers a gleaming artifact – one that will ignite a power struggle across the globe.

On the run, hunted by enemies old and new, they must learn to trust each other in order to survive in a world evolved in strange, beautiful, and deadly ways, and uncover ancient secrets that hold the key to their salvation.

But with each passing moment, doom draws closer.

WHO WILL CLAIM THE STARLESS CROWN?


The Starless Crown
sounds like it is going to be a very fun and compelling novel, and I really like the cool plot synopsis that has been released.  Having four unique protagonists come together to survive and save the world is classic fantasy fare, and their separate and distinctive storylines will probably come together into a big epic narrative.  I am rather intrigued about the idea of the key protagonist predicting the apocalypse and then getting hunted for it, and I am sure that will result in quite a cool story.  The three supporting characters also sound suitably eclectic, and it will be great to see four disparate personalities come together as the book continues.

Overall, I like the sound of The Starless Crown and I have a feeling it is going to be an awesome and captivating read with some cool fantasy elements to it.  I must admit that I am mostly keen to grab this book to see how a Rollin’s fantasy novel turns out, although I am extremely confident that this talented author will produce something truly amazing.  This upcoming book does have a great sounding story, and I honestly believe that it has an awful lot of potential.  I am very excited to check The Starless Crown out, and no doubt it will be a great start to Moon Fall series, which I am hoping will be a major feature of the fantasy genre for the next few years.