Congratulations to Martha Wells for her 2023 Dragon Award win in Best Fantasy Novel category for Witch King!
Benedict Sorellin-Lancaster hasn’t even broken in his lieutenant’s insignia when he’s summoned to meet with the Spirearch of Spire Albion himself for a very special—and very secret—purpose. The Spirearch needs Benedict to retrieve a bag he’s “misplaced” on the Colony Spire known as Dependence, which has strangely cut off all contact with the outside world. It’s a delicate mission at best, a potential bloodbath at worst.
To this end, the Spirearch has supplied Benedict with backup in the form of three Warriorborn. But unlike the courageous lieutenant, this trio has formerly used its special gifts for crime, carnage, and outright bloody murder. And all of them were caught and imprisoned because of Benedict. Now, if they behave—and make it back alive—they’ll go free.
But when the odd squad reaches Dependence, they soon discover something waiting for them: a horrific weapon that could shatter the balance of power among the Spires. And Benedict will have to bring his own Warriorborn skills to bear if he, his team, and Spire Albion are to have any hope of survival . . .
Kirkus: A novella set in the Cinder Spires fantasy universe sees its protagonist caught up in a potentially deadly mission.
Humanity survives in the Spire-cities that tower well above the deadly surface of a steampunk world. Newly minted lieutenant of the Spirearch of Albion’s Guard and warriorborn (denoting a catlike species of humanoids with “enhanced senses and speed”) Sir Benedict Sorellin-Lancaster is called upon by the ruling Spirearch, Lord Albion himself, to go on a secret, undercover mission. He is to take the airship Predator to Colony Dependence, a backwater Spire, on an assignment to retrieve a bag that may or may not contain important intelligence information regarding a looming war with their enemies. Joining him on his mission are three notoriously uncooperative warriorborn, convicted felons who had been captured and put in jail by Benedict and have now been promised their freedom on the condition Benedict survives and successfully returns home. As the ragtag team’s journey proceeds, they investigate the mystery of the inexplicably abandoned Dependence while facing danger and death. While readers familiar with the series will have a better understanding of the ins and outs of the Cinder Spires world, this is mostly a stand-alone story that, despite its brevity, packs a lot of punch in an engaging, fast-paced read with well-defined characters, including Benedict, a reluctant yet fierce hero. But the real standout is one of the secondary characters who follow Benedict into the fray: the warriorborn vigilante serial killer Lady Herringford, who becomes his de-facto second-in-command: “She’d identified his biggest problem and was now attacking it as effectively as an excellent subordinate officer. Evidently, when Matilda Herringford gave her word, she meant it.” Add Steampunk vibes, terrifying monsters, charming talking cats, and an open ending that tantalizes readers into reading the series—this is a recipe for success.
A delectable slice of SF adventure.
Publishers Weekly: Grimshaw Griswold Grimsby returns as the newest—and least magically skilled—Auditor for the Department of Unorthodox Affairs in Butcher’s dynamic urban fantasy sequel to Dead Man’s Hand. Grimsby’s partner, Leslie Mayflower, aka “the Hunstman,” has been AWOL for weeks, limiting Grimsby to routine drudge work—until he swaps out his latest assignment for a RUIN case assigned to his newly distant colleague Auditor Rayne Bathory. Grimsby isn’t ready to investigate the “ritual of unknown intent and nature” alone, so he tracks down Mayflower, who, recognizing something from his past in the ritual’s details, reluctantly agrees to help investigate. Meanwhile, Bathory, who is still searching for her ex-partner, Hives, receives unexpected help from the New York office’s Agent Defaux, who offers to provide some ritual assistance. Complicating things further, the creature Wudge, whom Grimsby rescued in the previous volume, now needs his help to recover an item from the Elsewhere. Functional magic or no, “half-witch” Grimsby stubbornly forges ahead in his mission to save others, making up in heart what he lacks in talent. The message that determination trumps ability will please fantasy readers who love to cheer for the little guy. Butcher proves that this series has legs.
Jim Butcher sold novella WARRIORBORN, in which Benedict Sorellin-Lancaster is sent on a secret mission to the Colony Spire known as Dependence. This new installment marks a return to the world of the Cinder Spires and will be released in September ahead of November’s THE OLYMPIAN AFFAIR (PRH/Ace). VP of Acquisitions at Podium Kate Runde acquired World English rights in a significant deal negotiated via Jennifer Jackson.
Czech rights to New York Times bestselling author Martha Wells’ SYSTEM COLLAPSE, the seventh title in the Murderbot Diaries series, to Dobrovský, by Lola Dunton at Prava i prevodi in association with Michael Curry for Jennifer Jackson.
Estonian rights to New York Times bestselling author Martha Wells’ ROGUE PROTOCOL and EXIT STRATEGY, the third and fourth titles in the Murderbot Diaries series, to OÜ Kirjastus Fantaasia, by Nada Popovic at Prava i prevodi in association with Michael Curry for Jennifer Jackson.
Brazilian Portuguese rights to C.L. Polk’s EVEN THOUGH I KNEW THE END, to Companhia das Letras, by Cristina Purchio at International Editors in association with Katie Shea Boutillier for Caitlin McDonald.
Polish rights to Kel Kade’s MAGE OF NO RENOWN, DRAGONS AND DEMONS, and DESTINY OF THE DEAD, to Fabryka Slow, by Lola Dunton at Prava i prevodi in association with Katie Shea Boutillier for Cameron McClure.
Library Journal: Grimshaw Griswald Grimsby has achieved his dream of becoming an auditor for the Department of Unorthodox Affairs, which enforces laws about magic, yet the job is not filled with exciting, magical investigations as expected, but instead with mundane check-ins and mounds of reports. Grimsby takes matters into his own hands by lifting a case file meant for his friend and soon finds himself in the middle of a mysteriously unfinished ritual that mirrors one seen by his reclusive partner, the Huntsman Leslie Mayflower. Except that foe was vanquished by the Huntsman 20 years ago. Grimsby knows he must ensure that this ritual is not completed, for if it is, the cost could be too high—and one of his friends may have to pay. Butcher’s deft dialogue continues with tongue-in-cheek humor, wry commentary, and snark, while this magical Boston setting is both familiar and fantastical.
Swedish rights to New York Times bestselling author Anne Bishop’s DAUGHTER OF THE BLOOD, the first book in the Black Jewels series, to Milla Emrén and Staffan Emrén, by Jeanine Langenberg at Sebes & Bisseling Literary Agency in association with Michael Curry for Jennifer Jackson.
Italian rights to Robert Sheckley’s THE ALCHEMICAL MARRIAGE OF ALASTAIR COMPTON, to Mondadori, by Stefania Fietta at Donzelli Fietta, on behalf of Katie Shea Boutillier for Cameron McClure.
Hungarian rights to Robert Jackson Bennett’s FOUNDRYSIDE, to Fumax, by Lola Dunton at Prava I Prevodi, on behalf of Katie Shea Boutillier for Cameron McClure.
Skye Warren’s HUGHES series, to Petra Kruijt at April (The Netherlands), in a three-book deal, by Vere Bank at Sebes & Bisseling, on behalf of Katie Shea Boutillier.
Ruthanna Emrys’s WINTER TIDE and DEEP ROOTS, to Infortress (Taiwan) by Gray Tan at The Grayhawk Agency on behalf of Katie Shea Boutillier for Cameron McClure.
Sometimes the greatest act of courage is trusting your heart…
After loving and losing the perfect husband, widow Rosemary Mishler can’t imagine ever marrying again. Yet the small Amish community of Bliss Valley keeps playing matchmaker—and the arrival of newcomer Gideon Wingard only makes things worse. But when a little Englisch girl is abandoned in her kitchen and is discovered to be her late husband’s child, Rosemary realizes that her perfect husband clearly had some secrets of his own…
Gideon left his community to escape the matchmakers—only to stumble upon more. And he can’t quite steel himself against the pull of Rosemary’s somber gray eyes and his need to help her with the small kind who’s been left to her care. With his feelings for Rosemary and the little girl growing stronger every day, Gideon can see himself putting down roots in Bliss Valley. But is the hope of love enough for him to plan a future…and a family?
- Nona the Ninth, Tamsyn Muir (Tordotcom)
- “Even Though I Knew the End”, C.L. Polk (Tordotcom)
- The Founders Trilogy, Robert Jackson Bennett (Del Rey; Jo Fletcher)
- The Locked Tomb Series, Tamsyn Muir (Tordotcom)
LODESTAR AWARD FOR BEST YOUNG ADULT BOOK
- Akata Woman, Nnedi Okorafor (Viking)
And special recoginition to Premee Mohamed in BEST SEMIPROZINE for Escape Pod!