This is a quick post during a busy week for me, but I did want to let you know about these two debuts in particular.
(Complementary hardcover provided by Tor Books.)
The city of Isca is set like a dark jewel in the crown of the Duchy of Stonehold. In this sprawling landscape, the monsters one sees are nothing compared to what’s living in the city’s sewers.
Twenty-three-year-old Caliph Howl is Stonehold’s reluctant High King. Thrust onto the throne, Caliph has inherited Stonehold’s dirtiest court secrets. He also faces a brewing civil war that he is unprepared to fight. After months alone amid a swirl of gossip and political machinations, the sudden reappearance of his old lover, Sena, is a welcome bit of relief. But Sena has her own legacy to claim: she has been trained from birth by the Shradnae witchocracy—adept in espionage and the art of magical equations writ in blood—and she has been sent to spy on the High King.
Yet there are magics that demand a higher price than blood. Sena secretly plots to unlock the Cisrym Ta, an arcane text whose pages contain the power to destroy worlds. The key to opening the book lies in Caliph’s veins, forcing Sena to decide if her obsession for power is greater than her love for Caliph.
Meanwhile, a fleet of airships creeps ever closer to Isca. As the final battle in a devastating civil war looms and the last page of the Cisrym Ta waits to be read, Caliph and Sena must face the deadly consequences of their decisions. And the blood of these conflicts will stain this and other worlds forever.
I’m going to be giving this one a try in the upcoming weeks. It looks very suspenseful. I’m intrigued by a heroine who is trying to do something evil but doesn’t seem to quite be able to do it. I just hope the characters aren’t too dark. On Tuesday, John Scalzi had the author as a guest for a Big Idea post .
I’ll become the Sea
by Rebecca Rogers Maher
ebook – 3.99
Jane Elliott has found peace. By all accounts, she’s a success story: a survivor of childhood abuse who has dedicated her life to teaching. She’s also engaged to marry Ben, an ambitious documentary filmmaker.
But hers is a false and fragile peace. Focusing on her students at an urban Jersey Shore school and maintaining a relationship with an absentee fiancé conveniently keep Jane from feeling much of anything at all.
This safe existence is threatened when she meets David, a musician who runs an afterschool program for at-risk kids. Because of her commitment to Ben, Jane can deny her attraction to David and convince herself they are just good friends.
But an accident, a death, a grim family obligation and her own intense desire force Jane to overcome the past, rethink the present—and take a genuine risk on love.
I don’t normally feature contemporary romance, but this book is getting some awesome reviews so I wanted to bring it to your attention. Romantic Times gave it 4.5 stars.