Narrated by Kate Reading
For centuries, the people of Alera have harnessed the furies—elementals of earth, air, fire, water, wood, and metal—to protect their land from aggressors. But no fury can save them from the dangers they face within. A mysterious attack from across the sea has weakened the First Lord. Should he fall, a bloody civil war is inevitable. The responsibility of fending off assassination attempts and treachery within the First Lord’s circle of spies falls on Tavi, the one man with no fury to call...
When the power-hungry High Lord of Kalare launches a merciless rebellion against the First Lord, young Tavi of Calderon joins a newly formed legion under an assumed name. And when the ruthless Kalare allies himself with a savage enemy of the realm, Tavi finds himself leading an inexperienced, poorly equipped legion—the only force standing between Alera and certain doom...
For a thousand years, the people of Alera have united against the aggressive and threatening races that inhabit the world, using their unique bond with the furies—elementals of earth, air, fire, water, wood, and metal. But in the remote Calderon Valley, the boy Tavi struggles with his lack of furycrafting. At fifteen, he has no wind fury to help him fly, no fire fury to light his lamps. Yet as the Alerans’ most savage enemy—the Marat horde—return to the Valley, Tavi’s courage and resourcefulness will be a power greater than any fury, one that could turn the tides of war...
For Gaius Octavian, life has been one long struggle. Battling ancient enemies, forging new alliances, and confronting the corruption within his own land, he became a legendary man of war and leader of men—and the rightful First Lord of Alera.
Now, the end of all he fought for is close at hand. The brutal, dreaded Vord are on the march, using fear and chaos to turn the Alerans against one another, and forcing those who will not submit to flee to the outer reaches of the realm.
Perhaps for the final time, Gaius Octavian and his legions must stand against the enemies of his people. And it will take all his intelligence, ingenuity, and furycraft to save their world from eternal darkness...
After two years of bitter conflict with the hordes of invading Canim warriors, Tavi of Calderon, now Captain of the First Aleran Legion, realizes that a peril far greater than the Canim exists—the mysterious threat that drove the savage Canim to flee their homeland.
Tavi proposes attempting an alliance with the Canim against their common foe, but his warnings go unheeded. For the Senate’s newly-appointed military commander has long desired to wipe out the Canim “scourge,” and their slave allies.
Now, Tavi must find a way to overcome centuries-old animosities if an alliance is to be forged, and he must lead his legion in defiance of the law, against friend and foe—or none will have a chance of survival...
The novel opens in present-day Paris in a crowded café, where David meets Pandora. She is two thousand years old, a Child of the Millennia, the first vampire ever made by the great Marius. David persuades her to tell the story of her life.
Pandora begins, reluctantly at first and then with increasing passion, to recount her mesmerizing tale, which takes us through the ages, from Imperial Rome to eighteenth-century France to twentieth-century Paris and New Orleans. She carries us back to her mortal girlhood in the world of Caesar Augustus, a world chronicled by Ovid and Petronius. This is where Pandora meets and falls in love with the handsome, charismatic, lighthearted, still-mortal Marius. This is the Rome she is forced to flee in fear of assassination by conspirators plotting to take over the city. And we follow her to the exotic port of Antioch, where she is destined to be reunited with Marius, now immortal and haunted by his vampire nature, who will bestow on her the Dark Gift as they set out on the fraught and fantastic adventure of their two turbulent centuries together.
Look for Anne Rice’s new book, Prince Lestat and the Realms of Atlantis, coming November 29, 2016.
From the Hardcover edition.
A dissident faction of the Clan, the alternate universe group of families that has traded covertly with our world for a century or more, have carried nuclear devices between the worlds and exploded them in Washington, DC, killing the President of the United States. Now they will exterminate the rest of the Clan and keep Miriam alive only long enough to bear her child, the heir to the throne of their land in the Gruinmarkt world.
The worst and deepest secret is now revealed: behind the horrifying plot is a faction of the US government itself, preparing for a political takeover in the aftermath of disaster. There is no safe place for Miriam and her Clan except, perhaps, in the third alternate world, New Britain--which has just had a revolution and a nuclear incident of its own.
Charles Stross's Merchant Princes series reaches a spectacular climax in this sixth volume. Praised by Nobel laureate Paul Krugman as "great fun," this is state of the art, cutting edge SF grown out of a fantastic premise.
Things are going badly for the Clan in this new SF novel of the Merchant Princes, the immensely popular series by Charles Stross. Locked in a vicious civil war for control over the kingdom of Niejwein, their army is bottled up inside a fortress under siege in two parallel universes at once. Duke Angbard, the Clan's leader, has been laid low by a stroke: plotters are already conspiring in readiness for the deadly dance to come.
Miriam, rescued from a tight spot in New Britain, finds the hopes of the young, progressive faction focused on her. But do they want her as a leader or a figurehead? She soon finds herself thrown into a desperate struggle for power. Meanwhile, unbeknownst to the Clan, researchers working for the US government have achieved a technological breakthrough. The War on Terror is about to go transdimensional.
Miriam Beckstein is a young, hip, business journalist in Boston. She discovered in The Family Trade and The Hidden Family that her family came from an alternate reality, that she was very well-connected, and that her family was too much like the mafia for comfort. She found herself caught in a family trap in The Clan Corporate and betrothed to a brain-damaged prince, and then all hell broke loose.
Now, in The Merchants' War, Miriam has escaped to yet another world and remains in hiding from both the Clan and their opponents. There is a nasty shooting war going on in the Gruinmarkt world of the Clan, and we know something that Miriam does not; something that she's really going to hate--if she lives long enough to find out.
A bold new fantasy, The Merchant Princes is a sweeping series from the hottest new writer in science fiction!
Miriam Beckstein is happy in her life. She's a successful reporter for a hi-tech magazine in Boston, making good money doing what she loves. When her researcher brings her iron-clad evidence of a money-laundering scheme, Miriam thinks she's found the story of the year. But when she takes it to her editor, she's fired on the spot and gets a death threat from the criminals she has uncovered.
Before the day is over, she's received a locket left by the mother she never knew-the mother who was murdered when she was an infant. Within is a knotwork pattern, which has a hypnotic effect on her. Before she knows it, she's transported herself to a parallel Earth, a world where knights on horseback chase their prey with automatic weapons, and where world-skipping assassins lurk just on the other side of reality - a world where her true family runs things.
The six families of the Clan rule the kingdom of Gruinmarkt from behind the scenes, a mixture of nobility and criminal conspirators whose power to walk between the worlds makes them rich in both. Braids of family loyalty and intermarriage provide a fragile guarantee of peace, but a recently-ended civil war has left the families shaken and suspicious.
Taken in by her mother's people, she becomes the star of the story of the century-as Cinderella without a fairy godmother. As her mother's heir, Miriam is hailed as the prodigal countess Helge Thorold-Hjorth, and feted and feasted. Caught up in schemes and plots centuries in the making, Miriam is surrounded by unlikely allies, forbidden loves, lethal contraband, and, most dangerous of all, her family. Her unexpected return will supersede the claims of other clan members to her mother's fortune and power, and whoever killed her mother will be happy to see her dead, too.
Behind all this lie deeper secrets still, which threaten everyone and everything she has ever known. Patterns of deception and interlocking lies, as intricate as the knotwork between the universes. But Miriam is no one's pawn, and is determined to conquer her new home on her own terms.
Blending creativity and humor, and the rigor and scope of a science-fiction writer on the grandest scale, Charles Stross has set a new standard for fantasy epics.
The Merchant Princes is a sweeping new series from the hottest new writer in science fiction!
The six families of the Clan rule the kingdom of Gruinmarkt from behind the scenes, a mixture of nobility and criminal conspirators whose power to walk between their world and ours make them rich in both. Braids of family loyalty and intermarriage provide a fragile guarantee of peace, but a recently ended civil war has left the families shaken and suspicious.
Miriam, a hip tech journalist form Boston, discovered her alternate-world relatives with explosive results that shook three worlds. Now, as the prodigal Countess Helge Thorold-Hyorth, she finds herself ensnared in schemes and plots centuries in the making. She is surrounded by unlikely allies, lethal contraband, and, most dangerous of all, her family. With her modern American attitudes, she's not sure she can fit in, or if she even wants to, but to stay alive, she really has no choice.
To avoid a slippery slope down to an unmarked grave, Miriam must build a power-base of her own. She started applying modern business practices and scientific knowledge to a trade heretofore dominated by medieval mercantilists-with unexpected consequences for three different timelines, including the quasi-Victorian one exploited by the hidden family.
Blending the creativity and humor, and the rigor and scope of science-fiction on the grandest scale, Charles Stross has set a new standard for fantasy epics.
Charles Stross is one of the big new SF writers of the 21st century, and the saga of The Merchant Princes is his most ambitious work yet.
Miriam Beckstein has gotten in touch with her roots and they have nearly strangled her. A young, hip, business journalist in Boston, she discovered (in The Family Trade ) that her family comes from an alternate reality, that she is very well-connected, and that her family is a lot too much like the mafia for comfort. In addition, starting with the fact that women are family property and required to breed more family members with the unique talent to walk between worlds, she has tried to remain an outsider and her own woman. And start a profitable business in a third world she has discovered, outside the family reach (recounted in The Hidden Family). She fell in love with a distant relative but he's dead, killed saving her life. There have been murders, betrayals. Now, however, in The Clan Corporate, she may be overreaching. And if she gets caught, death or a fate worse is around the bend. There is for instance the brain-damaged son of the local king who needs a wife. But they'd never make her do that, would they?
The thrilling adventure of Lady Trent continues in Marie Brennan's Tropic of Serpents . . .
Attentive readers of Lady Trent's earlier memoir, A Natural History of Dragons, are already familiar with how a bookish and determined young woman named Isabella first set out on the historic course that would one day lead her to becoming the world's premier dragon naturalist. Now, in this remarkably candid second volume, Lady Trent looks back at the next stage of her illustrious (and occasionally scandalous) career.
Three years after her fateful journeys through the forbidding mountains of Vystrana, Mrs. Camherst defies family and convention to embark on an expedition to the war-torn continent of Eriga, home of such exotic draconian species as the grass-dwelling snakes of the savannah, arboreal tree snakes, and, most elusive of all, the legendary swamp-wyrms of the tropics.
The expedition is not an easy one. Accompanied by both an old associate and a runaway heiress, Isabella must brave oppressive heat, merciless fevers, palace intrigues, gossip, and other hazards in order to satisfy her boundless fascination with all things draconian, even if it means venturing deep into the forbidden jungle known as the Green Hell . . . where her courage, resourcefulness, and scientific curiosity will be tested as never before.
In the Labyrinth of Drakes, the thrilling new audiobook in the acclaimed fantasy series from Marie Brennan, the glamorous Lady Trent takes her adventurous explorations to the deserts of Akhia.
Even those who take no interest in the field of dragon naturalism have heard of Lady Trent's expedition to the inhospitable deserts of Akhia. Her discoveries there are the stuff of romantic legend, catapulting her from scholarly obscurity to worldwide fame. The details of her personal life during that time are hardly less private, having provided fodder for gossips in several countries.
As is so often the case in the career of this illustrious woman, the public story is far from complete. In this, the fourth volume of her memoirs, Lady Trent relates how she acquired her position with the Royal Scirling Army; how foreign saboteurs imperiled both her work and her well-being; and how her determined pursuit of knowledge took her into the deepest reaches of the Labyrinth of Drakes, where the chance action of a dragon set the stage for her greatest achievement yet.
Within the Sanctuary of Wings is the conclusion to Marie Brennan's thrilling Lady Trent Memoirs
After nearly five decades (and, indeed, the same number of volumes), one might think they were well-acquainted with the Lady Isabella Trent--dragon naturalist, scandalous explorer, and perhaps as infamous for her company and feats of daring as she is famous for her discoveries and additions to the scientific field.
And yet--after her initial adventure in the mountains of Vystrana, and her exploits in the depths of war-torn Eriga, to the high seas aboard The Basilisk, and then to the inhospitable deserts of Akhia--the Lady Trent has captivated hearts along with fierce minds. This concluding volume will finally reveal the truths behind her most notorious adventure--scaling the tallest peak in the world, buried behind the territory of Scirland's enemies--and what she discovered there, within the Sanctuary of Wings.
The Lady Trent Memoirs
1. A Natural History of Dragons
2. The Tropic of Serpents
3. Voyage of the Basilisk
4. In the Labyrinth of Drakes
5. Within the Sanctuary of Wings
The thrilling adventure of Lady Trent continues in Marie Brennan's Voyage of the Basilisk . . .
Devoted readers of Lady Trent's earlier memoirs, A Natural History of Dragons and The Tropic of Serpents,may believe themselves already acquainted with the particulars of her historic voyage aboard the Royal Survey Ship Basilisk, but the true story of that illuminating, harrowing, and scandalous journey has never been revealed—until now.
Six years after her perilous exploits in Eriga, Isabella embarks on her most ambitious expedition yet: a two-year trip around the world to study all manner of dragons in every place they might be found. From feathered serpents sunning themselves in the ruins of a fallen civilization to the mighty sea serpents of the tropics, these creatures are a source of both endless fascination and frequent peril. Accompanying her is not only her young son, Jake, but a chivalrous foreign archaeologist whose interests converge with Isabella's in ways both professional and personal.Science is, of course, the primary objective of the voyage, but Isabella's life is rarely so simple. She must cope with storms, shipwrecks, intrigue, and warfare, even as she makes a discovery that offers a revolutionary new insight into the ancient history of dragons.
Marie Brennan begins a thrilling new fantasy series in A Natural History of Dragons, combining adventure with the inquisitive spirit of the Victorian Age.
You, dear reader, continue at your own risk. It is not for the faint of heart—no more so than the study of dragons itself. But such study offers rewards beyond compare: to stand in a dragon's presence, even for the briefest of moments—even at the risk of one's life—is a delight that, once experienced, can never be forgotten. . . .
All the world, from Scirland to the farthest reaches of Eriga, know Isabella, Lady Trent, to be the world's preeminent dragon naturalist. She is the remarkable woman who brought the study of dragons out of the misty shadows of myth and misunderstanding into the clear light of modern science. But before she became the illustrious figure we know today, there was a bookish young woman whose passion for learning, natural history, and, yes, dragons defied the stifling conventions of her day.
Here at last, in her own words, is the true story of a pioneering spirit who risked her reputation, her prospects, and her fragile flesh and bone to satisfy her scientific curiosity; of how she sought true love and happiness despite her lamentable eccentricities; and of her thrilling expedition to the perilous mountains of Vystrana, where she made the first of many historic discoveries that would change the world forever.
"Saturated with the joy and urgency of discovery and scientific curiosity."—Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) on A Natural History of Dragons
An NPR Best Book of 2013
"[Narrator Kate Reading] narrates in a smoky tone, and readers will appreciate her varied voices for the large cast of characters." — Booklist
Dynasties battle for the crown in Tessa Gratton's debut adult epic fantasy audiobook, The Queens of Innis Lear.
Three Queens. One crown. All out war.
Gaela. Ruthless Commander.
I am the rightful heir of Innis Lear. No more will I wait in the shadows and watch my mother’s murderer bleed my island dry.
The King’s hold on the crown must end—willingly or at the edge of my sword.
Regan. Master Manipulator.
To secure my place on the throne, I must produce an heir. Countless times I have fed the island’s forests my blood. Yet, my ambition is cursed.
No matter what or whom I must destroy, I will wield the magic of Innis Lear.
Elia. Star-blessed Priest.
My sisters hide in the shadows like serpents, waiting to strike our ailing king. I must protect my father, even if it means marrying a stranger.
We all have to make sacrifices. Love and freedom will be mine.
"Amazing. Just Amazing."--Robin McKinley
Inside a small Yorkshire parsonage, Charlotte, Branwell, Emily, and Anne Brontë have invented a game called Glass Town, where their toy soldiers fight Napoleon and no one dies. This make-believe land helps the four escape from a harsh reality: Charlotte and Emily are being sent away to a dangerous boarding school, a school they might not return from. But on this Beastliest Day, the day Anne and Branwell walk their sisters to the train station, something incredible happens: the train whisks them all away to a real Glass Town, and the children trade the moors for a wonderland all their own.
This is their Glass Town, exactly like they envisioned it…almost. They certainly never gave Napoleon a fire-breathing porcelain rooster instead of a horse. And their soldiers can die; wars are fought over the potion that raises the dead, a potion Anne would very much like to bring back to England. But when Anne and Branwell are kidnapped, Charlotte and Emily must find a way to save their siblings. Can two English girls stand against Napoleon’s armies, especially now that he has a new weapon from the real world? And if he escapes Glass Town, will England ever be safe again?
Together the Brontë siblings must battle with a world of their own creation if they are to make it back to England alive in this magical celebration of authorship, creativity, and classic literature from award-winning author Catherynne M. Valente.
"The audiobook was [a] great listen because of the superb narration. As always, Kate Reading nailed the performance, her voice being the perfect match for Josette's poise and strength." — The BiblioSanctum
Robyn Bennis’ THE GUNS ABOVE is an adventurous military fantasy debut about a nation's first female airship captain.
They say it’s not the fall that kills you.
For Josette Dupre, the Corps’ first female airship captain, it might just be a bullet in the back.
On top of patrolling the front lines, she must also contend with a crew who doubts her expertise, a new airship that is an untested deathtrap, and the foppish aristocrat Lord Bernat, a gambler and shameless flirt with the military know-how of a thimble. Bernat’s own secret assignment is to catalog her every moment of weakness and indecision.
So when the enemy makes an unprecedented move that could turn the tide of the war, can Josette deal with Bernat, rally her crew, and survive long enough to prove herself?
More praise for The Guns Above:
"Narrator Kate Reading's steady voice powers this exciting airship adventure...Reading also captures everyday life amid nations constantly at war, adrenaline-filled skirmishes and battles, and mind-numbing bureaucracy." — AudioFile Magazine
“Full of sass and terrific characters. Great storytelling. Loved it.” — Patricia Briggs
Secret agent Augustus Whittlesby has spent a decade undercover in France, posing as an insufferably bad poet. The French surveillance officers can't bear to read his work closely enough to recognize the information drowned in a sea of verbiage.
New York-born Emma Morris Delagardie is a thorn in Augustus's side. An old school friend of Napoleon's stepdaughter, she came to France with her uncle, the American envoy; eloped with a Frenchman; and has been rattling around the salons of Paris ever since. Widowed for four years, she entertains herself by drinking too much champagne, holding a weekly salon, and loudly critiquing Augustus's poetry.
As Napoleon pursues his plans for the invasion of England, Whittlesby hears of a top-secret device to be demonstrated at a house party at Malmaison. The catch? The only way in is with Emma, who has been asked to write a masque for the weekend's entertainment.
Emma is at a crossroads: Should she return to the States or remain in France? She'll do anything to postpone the decision-even if it means teaming up with that silly poet Whittlesby to write a masque for Bonaparte's house party. But each soon learns that surface appearances are misleading. In this complicated masque within a masque, nothing goes quite as scripted- especially Augustus's feelings for Emma.
By Fire Above is a rip-roaring new audiobook adventure from Robyn Bennis's military airship fantasy series that Patricia Briggs hails as “full of sass and terrific characters.”
"All's fair in love and war," according to airship captain Josette Dupre, until her hometown of Durum becomes occupied by the enemy and her mother a prisoner of war. Then it becomes, "Nothing's fair except bombing those Vins to high hell."
Before she can rescue her town, however, Josette must maneuver her way through the nest of overstuffed vipers that make up Garnia's military and royal leaders in order to drum up support. The foppish and mostly tolerated Mistral crew member Lord Bernat steps in to advise her, along with his very attractive older brother.
Between noble scheming, under-trained recruits, and supply shortages, Josette and the crew of the Mistral figure out a way to return to Durum—only to discover that when the homefront turns into the frontlines, things are more dangerous than they seem.
Praise for By Fire Above:
“Marvelous, witty and action-packed steampunk with exquisite attention to detail. Bennis's writing is incredible, her vocabulary impressive, and she honest to God made me believe you could build an airship from spare parts.”—New York Times and USA Today Bestselling author Ann Aguirre
Charles Stross builds a new series with Empire Games. Expanding on the world he created in the Family Trade series, a new generation of paratime travellers walk between parallel universes. The year is 2020. It's seventeen years since the Revolution overthrew the last king of the New British Empire, and the newly-reconstituted North American Commonwealth is developing rapidly, on course to defeat the French and bring democracy to a troubled world. But Miriam Burgeson, commissioner in charge of the shadowy Ministry of Intertemporal Research and Intelligence--the paratime espionage agency tasked with catalyzing the Commonwealth's great leap forward--has a problem. For years, she's warned everyone: "The Americans are coming." Now their drones arrive in the middle of a succession crisis, for their leader, First Man Adam, is dying of cancer, and the vultures are circling.
In another timeline, the U.S. has recruited Rita, Miriam's own estranged daughter, to spy across timelines in order to bring down any remaining world-walkers who might threaten national security. But her handlers are keeping information from her.
Two nuclear superpowers are set on a collision course. Two increasingly desperate paratime espionage agencies are fumbling around in the dark, trying to find a solution to the first contact problem that doesn't result in a nuclear holocaust. And two women--a mother and her long-lost, adopted-out daughter--are about to find themselves on opposite sides of the confrontation.
Hugo Award-winning author Charlie Stross dives deep into the underbelly of paratime espionage, nuclear warfare, and state surveillance in this provocative techno-thriller audiobook set in The Merchant Princes multi-verse
Dark State ups the ante on the already volatile situations laid out in the sleek techno-thriller Empire Games, the start to Stross' new story-line and a perfect entry point for new listeners, in The Merchant Princes series.
In the near-future, the collision of two nuclear superpowers across timelines, one in the midst of a technological revolution and the other a hyper-police state, is imminent. In Commissioner Miriam Burgeson’s timeline, her top level agents run a high risk extraction of a major political player. Meanwhile, a sleeper cell activated in Rita's, the Commissioner's adopted daughter and newly-minted spy, timeline threatens to unravel everything.
With a penchant for intricate world-building and an uncanny ability to realize alternate history and technological speculation, Stross' prose will captivate listeners who like hi-tech thrillers, inter-dimensional political intrigue, and espionage.
THE NEW YORK TIMES BOOK REVIEW
Demonstrating once again her gift for spellbinding storytelling, Anne Rice makes real for us a great dynasty of four centuries of witches--a family given to poetry and incest, murder and philosophy, a family that over the ages is itself haunted by a powerful, dangerous, and seductive being called Lasher who haunts the Mayfair women..
Moving in time from today's New Orleans and San Francisco to long-ago Amsterdam and the France of Louis XIV, from the coffee plantations of Port-au-Prince to Civil War New Orleans and back to today, Anne Rice has spun a mesmerizing tale that challenges everything we believe in.
Now, Anne Rice brings us again--even more magically--into the midst of the dynasty of witches she introduced in The Witching Hour.
At the center: the brilliant an beautiful Rowan Mayfair, queen of the coven, and Lasher, the darkly compelling demon whom she finds irresistible and from whose evil spell and vision she must now flee. She takes with her their terrifying and exquisite child, one of "a brood of children born knowing, able to stand and talk on the first day."
Rowan's attempt to escape Lasher and his pursuit of her and their child are at the heart of this extraordinary saga. It is a novel that moves around the globe, backward and forward through time, and between the human and demonic worlds. Its many voices--of women, of men, of demons and angels, present and past--haunt and enchant us. With a dreamlike power, the novel draws us through twilight paths, telling a chillingly hypnotic story of occult and spiritual aspirations and passion.
--The Washington Post Book World
"CAPTIVATING...TALTOS IS A WONDERFUL OFFERING...THE BEST SHE'S DONE....There is a new member of Anne Rice's macabre family of monsters, and he's probably the loneliest, most melancholy creature on earth....Rice keeps the mystic fires burning strong."
--The Milwaukee Journal
"SPELLBINDING...MYTHICAL...Anne Rice is a pure storyteller."
"RICE IS A STYLISH WRITER...What works best throughout the book is the magical collusion of the real and the mythical, the intermingling of the Taltos and witches with ordinary mortals in the present-day world."
--New York Newsday
--Kirkus Reviews (starred)
"WHAT CAN I CONFESS? I'M ASHLAR. I'M A TALTOS.
It's centuries since I've seen one single other member of my own species. Oh, there have been others. I've heard of them, chased after them, and in some instances almost found them. Mark, I say almost. But not in centuries have I touched my own flesh and blood, as humans are so fond of saying. Never in all this time....[pg. 64]
When Ashlar learns that another Taltos has been seen, he is suddenly propelled into the haunting world of the Mayfair family, the New Orleans dynasty of witches forever besieged by ghosts, spirits, and their own dizzying powers. For Ashlar knows this powerful clan is intimately linked to the heritage of the Taltos.
In a swirling universe filled with death and life, corruption and innocence, this mesmerizing novel takes us on a wondrous journey back through the centuries to a civilization half-human, of wholly mysterious origin, at odds with mortality and immortality, justice and guilt. It is an enchanted, hypnotic world that could only come from the imagination of Anne Rice . . .
A powerful historical novel by the late Ariana Franklin and her daughter Samantha Norman, The Siege Winter is a tour de force mystery and murder, adventure and intrigue, a battle for a crown, told by two courageous young women whose fates are intertwined in twelfth century England’s devastating civil war.
1141. England is engulfed in war as King Stephen and his cousin, the Empress Matilda, vie for the crown. In this dangerous world, not even Emma, an eleven-year-old peasant, is safe. A depraved monk obsessed with redheads kidnaps the ginger-haired girl from her village and leaves her for dead. When an archer for hire named Gwyl finds her, she has no memory of her previous life. Unable to abandon her, Gwyl takes the girl with him, dressing her as a boy, giving her a new name—Penda—and teaching her to use a bow. But Gwyn knows that the man who hurt Penda roams free, and that a scrap of evidence she possesses could be very valuable.
Gwyl and Penda make their way to Kenilworth, a small but strategically important fortress that belongs to fifteen-year-old Maud. Newly wedded to a boorish and much older husband after her father’s death, the fierce and determined young chatelaine tempts fate and Stephen’s murderous wrath when she gives shelter to the empress.
Aided by a garrison of mercenaries, including Gwyl and his odd red-headed apprentice, Maud will stave off Stephen’s siege for a long, brutal winter that will bring a host of visitors to Kenilworth—kings, soldiers . . . and a sinister monk with deadly business to finish.
A new adult novel from Michael Scott and Colette Freedman...
The Hallows. Ancient artifacts imbued with a primal and deadly power. But are they protectors of this world, or the keys to its destruction?
A gruesome murder in London reveals a sinister plot to uncover a two-thousand-year-old secret.
For decades, the Keepers guarded these Hallows, keeping them safe and hidden and apart from each other. But now the Keepers are being brutally murdered, their prizes stolen, the ancient objects bathed in their blood.
Now, only a few remain.
With her dying breath, one of the Keepers convinces Sarah Miller, a practical stranger, to deliver her Hallow—a broken sword with devastating powers—to her American nephew, Owen.
The duo quickly become suspects in a series of murders as they are chased by both the police and the sadistic Dark Man and his nubile mistress.
As Sarah and Owen search for the surviving Keepers, they unravel the deadly secret the Keepers were charged to protect. The mystery leads Sarah and Owen on a cat-and-mouse chase through England and Wales, and history itself, as they discover that the sword may be the only thing standing between the world... and a horror beyond imagining.
The Thirteen Hallows is the beginning of a spellbinding new saga, a thrilling tale of ancient magic and modern times by a New York Times bestselling author and an award-winning playwright.
Mary Jekyll’s life has been peaceful since she helped Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson solve the Whitechapel Murders. Beatrice Rappaccini, Catherine Moreau, Justine Frankenstein, and Mary’s sister Diana Hyde have settled into the Jekyll household in London, and although they sometimes quarrel, the members of the Athena Club get along as well as any five young women with very different personalities. At least they can always rely on Mrs. Poole.
But when Mary receives a telegram that Lucinda Van Helsing has been kidnapped, the Athena Club must travel to the Austro-Hungarian Empire to rescue yet another young woman who has been subjected to horrific experimentation. Where is Lucinda, and what has Professor Van Helsing been doing to his daughter? Can Mary, Diana, Beatrice, and Justine reach her in time?
Racing against the clock to save Lucinda from certain doom, the Athena Club embarks on a madcap journey across Europe. From Paris to Vienna to Budapest, Mary and her friends must make new allies, face old enemies, and finally confront the fearsome, secretive Alchemical Society. It’s time for these monstrous gentlewomen to overcome the past and create their own destinies.
Winner of the 2018 Audie Award for Best Fantasy
Based on some of literature’s horror and science fiction classics, this is the story of a remarkable group of women who come together to solve the mystery of a series of gruesome murders—and the bigger mystery of their own origins.
Mary Jekyll, alone and penniless following her parents’ death, is curious about the secrets of her father’s mysterious past. One clue in particular hints that Edward Hyde, her father’s former friend and a murderer, may be nearby, and there is a reward for information leading to his capture…a reward that would solve all of her immediate financial woes.
But her hunt leads her to Hyde’s daughter, Diana, a feral child left to be raised by nuns. With the assistance of Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson, Mary continues her search for the elusive Hyde, and soon befriends more women, all of whom have been created through terrifying experimentation: Beatrice Rappaccini, Catherin Moreau, and Justine Frankenstein.
When their investigations lead them to the discovery of a secret society of immoral and power-crazed scientists, the horrors of their past return. Now it is up to the monsters to finally triumph over the monstrous.
Winter has arrived in Broward's Rock, South Carolina, and business has slowed for Annie Darling, owner of mystery bookstore Death on Demand. So when the island's resident writer publishes the latest in her popular mystery series, Annie jumps at the chance to host a book signing, even though it conflicts with her shift at the local charity shop, Better Tomorrow.
Luckily, fellow volunteer Gretchen Burkholt agrees to sub for her. The signing goes well, but Gretchen interrupts the event multiple times, leaving voice mails about scandalous news she's dying to share. Even though Gretchen tends to be excitable, Annie heads over to Better Tomorrow, where she finds Gretchen dead on the floor, an axe by her side.
Annie enlists the help of her husband, Max, to piece together a puzzle involving an overturned kayak, a stolen motorboat, a troubled love affair, and a reckless teenager. And she must tread carefully in her investigation, because a killer is on the loose, and that killer works well in the foggy days of winter...
Massachusetts Chief Medical Examiner Kay Scarpetta has just returned from working one of the worst mass murders in U.S. history when she’s awakened at an early hour by Detective Pete Marino.
A body, oddly draped in an unusual cloth, has just been discovered inside the sheltered gates of MIT and it’s suspected the identity is that of missing computer engineer Gail Shipton, last seen the night before at a trendy Cambridge bar. It appears she’s been murdered, mere weeks before the trial of her $100 million lawsuit against her former financial managers, and Scarpetta doubts it’s a coincidence. She also fears the case may have a connection with her computer genius niece, Lucy.
At a glance there is no sign of what killed Gail Shipton, but she’s covered with a fine dust that under ultraviolet light fluoresces brilliantly in three vivid colors, what Scarpetta calls a mineral fingerprint. Clearly the body has been posed with chilling premeditation that is symbolic and meant to shock, and Scarpetta has reason to worry that the person responsible is the Capital Murderer, whose most recent sexual homicides have terrorized Washington, D.C. Stunningly, Scarpetta will discover that her FBI profiler husband, Benton Wesley, is convinced that certain people in the government, including his boss, don’t want the killer caught.
In Dust, Scarpetta and her colleagues are up against a force far more sinister than a sexual predator who fits the criminal classification of a “spectacle killer.” The murder of Gail Shipton soon leads deep into the dark world of designer drugs, drone technology, organized crime, and shocking corruption at the highest levels.
With unparalleled high-tension suspense and the latest in forensic technology, Patricia Cornwell once again proves her exceptional ability to surprise—and to thrill.
When King Henry II's mistress is found poisoned, suspicion falls on his estranged queen, Eleanor of Aquitaine. The king orders Adelia Aguilar, expert in the science of death, to investigate-and hopefully stave off civil war. A reluctant Adelia finds herself once again in the company of Rowley Picot, the new Bishop of St. Albans...and her baby's father. Their discoveries into the crime are shocking- and omens of greater danger to come.
From the Trade Paperback edition.
At Annie Laurance's Death on Demand bookstore on Broward's Rock Island, South Carolina, murder suddenly isn't confined to the well-stocked shelves. Author Elliot Morgan's abrupt demise during a weekly gathering of famous mystery writers called the Sunday Night Regulars is proof positive that a bloody sword is sometimes mightier than a brilliant pen. With Annie in the unenviable position of primary police suspect, the pretty young mystery maven and her wealthy paramour, Max Darling, embark on an investigation into a classic locked-room mystery with high stakes. Failing to unmask a brutal and ingenious killer could mean prison for Ms. Laurance. Success could mean her death. Who could plot a murder better than a mystery writer?
"If I were to teach a class on how to write a mystery, I would make Carolyn Hart required reading." (Los Angeles Times)
From the Cassette edition.
In late-eighteenth-century London, a young girl takes her first singing lessons with a mysterious castrato in exile. Her life is forever changed. Having learned everything he can teach her, Anna leaves behind all the security and familiarity of home and journeys to Naples and Venice to struggle and triumph in Italy’s greatest opera houses. Only sixteen, she finds herself in an intoxicating world of theaters, nobility, and vice, overwhelmed by her newfound freedom and fame. Her first bitter experience of love and heartbreak inevitably follows.
Within a few years, Anna is invited to sing in Vienna, the City of Music, by the emperor himself. There, in a teasing game of theft and play, Anna first meets Mozart, a young virtuoso pianist and striving, prodigiously talented composer. They are matched in intellect and talent, and an immediate and undeniable charge occurs between the two, despite both being married to others.
As her star rises in Vienna and her personal life deteriorates, Anna experiences an ultimate crisis. During this trying time, her only light is Mozart: his energy, his determination for her, and his art. She, in turn, becomes his hope and inspiration, and his joy, as he writes for her some of his most exquisite and enduring arias—music that will live on as his masterworks.
Rich in historical detail and beautifully wrought by Vivien Shotwell, an author who is herself an opera singer, Vienna Nocturne is a dramatic tour de force of a woman’s struggle to find love and fame in an eighteenth-century world that controls and limits her at every turn.
Advance praise for Vienna Nocturne
“You don’t have to be an opera buff to fall deep into Vienna Nocturne. Vivien Shotwell catapults you straight into the eighteenth century with abundant, vivid detail. I found Anna Storace’s journey from prodigy to prima donna an irresistible tale.”—Nancy Horan, author of Loving Frank and Under the Wide and Starry Sky
“Passionate and yet precise, dense with feeling yet as clean as a bird in flight: This novel emulates Mozart’s music even as it beautifully imagines his love for a memorable singer. What an excellent debut!”—Andrea Barrett, National Book Award–winning author of Archangel and Ship Fever
“Vienna Nocturne is as finely intelligent as it is lushly romantic, and beautifully renders how much music can convey, even when it’s hardly the only expressive tool lovers have at hand. Very few novels have expressed as persuasively how it feels to be taken up by the kind of passions that, despite everything, can make a soul huge with life and joy.”—Jim Shepard, author of National Book Award finalist Like You’d Understand, Anyway
“Vivien Shotwell has written a novel that, like her heroine, the singer Anna Storace, is brilliant, warm, irresistible, and infinitely moving. Her descriptions of music, of her characters, of Venice and Vienna are so vivid and so richly compelling that I was amazed to look up from these pages and discover that I was still in Massachusetts.”—Margot Livesey, author of The House on Fortune Street and The Flight of Gemma Hardy
From the Hardcover edition.
Margaret Mayfield is nearly an old maid at twenty-seven in post–Civil War Missouri when she marries Captain Andrew Jackson Jefferson Early. He’s the most famous man their small town has ever produced: a naval officer and a brilliant astronomer—a genius who, according to the local paper, has changed the universe. Margaret’s mother calls the match “a piece of luck.”
Margaret is a good girl who has been raised to marry, yet Andrew confounds her expectations from the moment their train leaves for his naval base in faraway California. Soon she comes to understand that his devotion to science leaves precious little room for anything, or anyone, else. When personal tragedies strike and when national crises envelop the country, Margaret stands by her husband. But as World War II approaches, Andrew’s obsessions take a different, darker turn, and Margaret is forced to reconsider the life she has so carefully constructed.
Private Life is a beautiful evocation of a woman’s inner world: of the little girl within the hopeful bride, of the young woman filled with yearning, and of the faithful wife who comes to harbor a dangerous secret. But it is also a heartbreaking portrait of marriage and the mysteries that endure even in lives lived side by side; a wondrously evocative historical panorama; and, above all, a masterly, unforgettable novel from one of our finest storytellers.
From the Hardcover edition.
Max Darling hasn’t been interested in crime since his brush with a seductive young woman put him in danger of losing his freedom. He even refuses to talk to a woman who calls for help and says she is afraid. The caller leaves word she’s hidden something in the antebellum house Max and his wife, Annie, are restoring. When Annie finds out, she hurries to the woman’s home, only to discover her shot. Annie hears her final whisper as she holds the dying woman’s hand.
Evidence links the dead woman to a nearby home, where a fortune in gold coins has gone missing. The gold coins, rare Double Eagles, were stolen from a house filled with visiting family members, twentysomethings hungry for money and several with secrets they must keep. Is one of them willing to kill for a fortune in coins? Or is it the dead woman’s high school dropout son? Max is there when the police arrest the son, but the boy’s shock upon learning of his mother’s death convinces Max of his innocence. Max and Annie plunge wholeheartedly into the investigation.
But are the coins hidden in Annie and Max’s Franklin house? The intruder who shoots at Max seems to think so. And who walks in when Annie discovers the secret of that house?
From the Compact Disc edition.