BOOM! Studios announced JIM HENSON’S LABYRINTH: MASQUERADE #1, a brand new oversized one-shot issue starring the strange and wondrous characters of Jim Henson’s beloved fantasy classic Labyrinth, from multi-award-nominated author Lara Elena Donnelly (Amberlough), artists French Carlomagno (The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance), Samantha Dodge (Catwoman: Soulstealer), and Pius Bak (The Magicians: Alice’s Story), available in December 2020.
Library Journal: Being cut off from her sorcerous powers is everything that Beatrice Clayborn fears, since being a true Magus is her calling. Yet Beatrice’s family is putting the last of their funds into her place in the Bargaining Season, a time when families gather to strike advantageous marriages. Worse, once married, Beatrice must wear a collar during pregnancy to protect her unborn children by cutting off her power. The key to her becoming a Magus lies in a grimoire she has discovered, but another sorceress, Ysbeta Lavan, finds a way to acquire it for the same reason. Using a spirit to get the book back means paying a price: Beatrice’s first kiss — with Ianthe Lavan, Ysbeta’s brother and a man that Beatrice wonders if she could have a future with. Except making the choice between love and dreams could mean the greatest loss of her life.
VERDICT Polk’s (Witchmark) foray into a society of magic and politics places the woman in the secondary role, but neither Beatrice nor Ysbeta will stay in place. Fans of romantic fantasy set in a multicultural world will find this a fascinating read.
From the beloved World Fantasy Award-winning author of Witchmark comes a sweeping, romantic new fantasy set in a world reminiscent of Regency England, where women’s magic is taken from them when they marry. A sorceress must balance her desire to become the first great female magician against her duty to her family.
Beatrice Clayborn is a sorceress who practices magic in secret, terrified of the day she will be locked into a marital collar that will cut off her powers to protect her unborn children. She dreams of becoming a full-fledged Magus and pursuing magic as her calling as men do, but her family has staked everything to equip her for Bargaining Season, when young men and women of means descend upon the city to negotiate the best marriages. The Clayborns are in severe debt, and only she can save them, by securing an advantageous match before their creditors come calling.
In a stroke of luck, Beatrice finds a grimoire that contains the key to becoming a Magus, but before she can purchase it, a rival sorceress swindles the book right out of her hands. Beatrice summons a spirit to help her get it back, but her new ally exacts a price: Beatrice’s first kiss . . . with her adversary’s brother, the handsome, compassionate, and fabulously wealthy Ianthe Lavan.
The more Beatrice is entangled with the Lavan siblings, the harder her decision becomes: If she casts the spell to become a Magus, she will devastate her family and lose the only man to ever see her for who she is; but if she marries—even for love—she will sacrifice her magic, her identity, and her dreams. But how can she choose just one, knowing she will forever regret the path not taken?
Publishers Weekly: Writing in stirring prose, Hackwith imbues her high-concept, metafictional tale with color, action, and high-flying emotion. This imaginative ode to the power of fiction is sure to delight
In the second installment of this richly imagined fantasy adventure series, a new threat from within the Library could destroy those who depend upon it the most.
The Library of the Unwritten in Hell was saved from total devastation, but hundreds of potential books were destroyed. Former librarian Claire and Brevity the muse feel the loss of those stories, and are trying to adjust to their new roles within the Arcane Wing and Library, respectively. But when the remains of those books begin to leak a strange ink, Claire realizes that the Library has kept secrets from Hell–and from its own librarians.
Claire and Brevity are immediately at odds in their approach to the ink, and the potential power that it represents has not gone unnoticed. When a representative from the Muses Corps arrives at the Library to advise Brevity, the angel Rami and the erstwhile Hero hunt for answers in other realms. The true nature of the ink could fundamentally alter the afterlife for good or ill, but it entirely depends on who is left to hold the pen.
Hungarian rights to New York Times Bestselling author Jim Butcher’s DEAD BEAT and PROVEN GUILTY, books 7 and 8 in the Dresden Files series, to Delta Vision, by Milena Kaplarevic at Prava i Prevodi in association with Michael Curry for Jennifer Jackson.
French rights to Caitlin Starling’s YELLOW JESSAMINE, to Editions du Chat Noir, by Robin Batet at Anna Jarota Agency, on behalf of Katie Shea Boutillier for Caitlin McDonald.
Portuguese rights to New York Times Bestselling author Anne Bishop’s THE QUEEN’S BARGAIN, the newest book in her Black Jewels series, to Saída de Emergência, by Amaiur Fernández at International Editors’ Co. in association with Michael Curry for Jennifer Jackson.
Russian rights to New York Times Bestselling author Jim Butcher’s STORM FRONT and six additional books in the Dresden Files series, to Azbooka-Atticus, by Alexander Korzhenevski at Alexander Korzhenevski Agency in association with Michael Curry for Jennifer Jackson.
Thai rights to Martha Wells’ ALL SYSTEMS RED, ARTIFICIAL CONDITION, ROGUE PROTOCOL, and EXIT STRATEGY, the first four installments in the New York Times bestselling Murderbot Diaries series, to Salt Publishing, by Itzel Hsu at The Grayhawk Agency in association with Michael Curry for Jennifer Jackson.
Kirkus: The author’s penetrating social critique and deeply felt depiction of one woman’s struggle for self-determination are balanced by her charming take on classic Regency romance…. An expertly concocted mélange of sweet romance and sharp social commentary.
Booklist: This book pulls apart what a book is, what a book could be, and gets to the soul of what it means to tell a story, all while delivering queer chemistry and intricate worldbuilding.
In Yellow Jessamine, shipping magnate Evelyn Perdanu controls the dying city of Delphinium with trade deals and secrets. But when mysterious sickness sparks death and obsession, all leading back to her, Evelyn’s brittle existence is strained to breaking. She retreats to her estate, amidst paranoia and poisonous secrets, intent on rooting out this plague before it destroys everything she has built.
Publishers Weekly: World Fantasy Award winner Polk (Witchmark) delivers sharp social commentary in this excellent Regency-flavored fantasy. Sorceress Beatrice Clayborn must marry well or her family will plunge into poverty. But marriage means submitting to a collar that blocks women from access to magic, so Beatrice plans to prove herself as a Mage before anyone can propose, hoping her magical skills will enable her to earn money of her own, making marriage unnecessary. When the Lavan siblings, the equally marriage-averse Ysbeta and her handsome brother, Ianthe, steal Beatrice’s spell book, Beatrice summons Nadi, a luck spirit, to help her get the grimoire back. In exchange, Nadi demands the chance to live vicariously through Beatrice, hoping to experience cake, dancing, and kissing. With Nadi’s help, Beatrice befriends the Lavans and is soon leading a double life: practicing secret magic with Ysbeta, while falling in love with Ianthe over a series of heated debates about structural injustice. To survive the social tightrope, Beatrice summons Nadi more and more frequently, and it becomes her most trustworthy friend, even as its presence in her life puts all her plans at risk. Polk expertly balances propulsive pacing, a rich multicultural world, and a vivid and subversive cast of characters. Readers will be swept away by this powerful and passionate fantasy.