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2018 BookNest Fantasy Awards Finalist for Best Novel

“This book has everything I love: Clean, crisp worldbuilding. Characters that live and breathe. A story that teases and surprises me. I like Master Assassins so much I wish I'd written it, but deep down, I know I couldn't have written it this well.”—#1 New York Times bestselling author Patrick Rothfuss


Two village boys mistaken for assassins become the decisive figures in the battle for a continent in the thrilling new desert-based epic fantasy by the author of The Red Wolf Conspiracy.

Kandri Hinjuman was never meant to be a soldier. His brother Mektu was never meant for this world. Rivals since childhood, they are drafted into a horrific war led by a madwoman-Prophet, and survive each day only by hiding their disbelief. Kandri is good at blending in, but Mektu is hopeless: impulsive, erratic—and certain that a demon is stalking him. Is this madness or a second sense? Either way, Kandri knows that Mektu’s antics will land them both in early graves.

But all bets are off when the brothers’ simmering feud explodes into violence, and holy blood is spilled. Kandri and Mektu are taken for contract killers and must flee for their lives—to the one place where they can hope to disappear: the sprawling desert known as the Land that Eats Men. In this eerie wilderness, the terrain is as deadly as the monsters, ghouls, and traffickers in human flesh. Here the brothers find strange allies: an aging warlord, a desert nomad searching for her family, a lethal child-soldier still in her teens. They also find themselves in possession of a secret that could bring peace to the continent of Urrath. Or unthinkable carnage.

On their heels are the Prophet’s death squads. Ahead lie warring armies, sandstorms, evil spirits and the deeper evil of human greed. But hope beckons as well—if the “Master Assassins” can expose the lie that has made them the world’s most wanted men.
 They are the stuff of nightmarish and cautionary tales told to children. Sirens of the swamps, the Ilsead lure unsuspecting suitors in an effort to climb the ranks of southern society. Then, once entrenched and under the guise of nobility, the Ilsead begin to breed. Their children born skinless, these terrible creatures then rip the flesh from Human babies in order to dress their own. Should you be unfortunate enough to be kissed by the Ilsead, she'll steal your soul and inherit your very spirit, leaving you for dead and getting high from your lifeline. These are the fabled Boo Hags of the southern wilds and, as with most folklore, it leaves such a quite unflattering portrait and, in the end, it's utter b.s. 
In truth, the Ilsead are an ancient order of souls, not of the Third Dimension. They exist to right wrongs in the present timeline. We learn that there are troublesome souls that have been directed to disrupt the preferred end of the Dark Age and these transgressors must be stopped. The Ilsead fulfill this role. Allied with the Third Order of Lucifer, the Ilsead are immortal creatures that set about their mission many millennia before, at the dawn of the Human population on Earth. They are sadly and, at best, misunderstood. In this volume of ASCENSION, we meet one such sect of Ilsead. 

The Gullah understood. At least they once did. The GeeChee of the South Carolina isles revered the Ilsead and took them in as equals and protectors. The Ilsead in turn honored their Human counterparts and made them Symposiarchs; sires that would breed new vessels as needed and direct them to the many wants of the masses. Crops were protected, oppressors were frightened away and, eventually, political offices were taken. It was all for the betterment of the timeline. 

Benny Watt, though, had an agenda. The Ilsead, he'd heard could be crudely utilized as assassins. He had certain enemies that he would prefer removed and so he longed for Edith. He dreamt of her. Perhaps he thought her a pet but he was awfully mistaken. He was predestined to meet her. Unbeknownst to him, Benny is a decedent of a great line of Symposiarchs and Edith was merely calling him home. 

As he discovers his destiny, he also comes to realize that the Ilsead have become lazy. Preoccupied with the spoils of the Third, their mission has gone terribly awry. Petty jealousies and power struggles within the sects of Ilsead had given way to disruption of the mission. While he doesn't stand a chance to right all of the many errors (the sinking of the Titanic, for example, was inexplicably the Ilsead's doing), Benny must come to terms with his role. He and his offspring must set the timeline right and learn to protect the greater good; the cessation of the Human Ascension. 

It's an insurmountable task but the comedy of errors that leads Benny and Edith together is told, at first, in tribute to the American Romantic stylings of Edgar Allen Poe and Washington Irving, the story then takes a decidedly comic and more modern turn as readers are jolted into present day as we learn of the legacy of Benny Watt's Ilsead and their haphazard attempt at completing their mission, all the while attempting to overcome the beauty and distractions of the Third Dimension.
 Casper is a modern man with decidedly modern problems. His chain of pizza shops is preparing the risky task of changing their menu. In addition to their traditional fare, he'll now begin serving grinders and chicken wings. Casper is doing so in an effort to compete with the likes of Dominos and Pizza Hut and it's costing him a lot money to do so. There are long nights experimenting to discover the perfect dressing for certain subs. He has radio advertising to purchase and menus to print. It's stressful. 
Couple this with his now sexless marriage, two teenage kids and a mortgage that he can barely afford, Casper is being pushed to his limits. As the bills pile up, so does his anxiety and he eventually suffers a nervous breakdown. Dissatisfied with the benzos prescribed to him (they only make him sleepy, and his wife swipes them regularly), Casper turns to internet forums and discovers a promising research chemical that has received rave reviews from those with similar debilitations. 

This drug makes everything better. He's more confident and focused; his libido is through the roof. Unable to find sexual satisfaction at home, Casper, once again, takes refuge online. He meets a beautiful, young escort and begins an ongoing tryst. In his stupor, he concludes that this is his perfect scenario. That is, until her pimp begins to cause problems. 

It is then that Casper recalls a talent from his youth. Since he was a child, he has always been able to stop time. Although long dormant, the research chemical he's taking seems to reawaken this ability. A chance meeting with his courtesan's handler, which promptly turns violent, results in Casper putting the world on pause and manipulating his surroundings. People die and now he's on the run. Casper is no longer the owner of a pizza shop chain, he's now an outlaw, evading the authorities with an effortless zeal, his pretty, young, and understandably confused, escort in tow. 

It is then that Casper gets the call from the Front Office. He's being called into service. They've been waiting for years for him to come around. He's given a handbook and a shortwave radio. His instructions and procedures will be outlined therein. These are simple matters, really. Stop a bus and prevent a child from being crushed beneath its tires, for this child serves a purpose. Push an old man in front of that bus instead, as he does not. Certain souls belong in this timeline - others do not. The shortwave will tell him who to remove. The goal is to assure the Human Ascension. Casper is also told to beware the Ilsead; nasty bitches they are, fighting against the cause and allied with the Third Order of Lucifer. 

Of course, this is all quite overwhelming for Casper. His trusted assistant manager is running the pizza shops but is quickly becoming overtasked, he's lying to his wife (he's attending a never ending convention of dough manufacturers it seems), he has this hooker to take care of, and now he has to make sure that certain people die. He's also constantly concerned that he will face a terrible withdrawal should he not keep a steady supply of the addictive research chemical on hand. 

Quickly, Casper becomes quite unliked among all involved. A Despicable Man, indeed. But he now has a purpose. He's dangerous. He's feared and respected. He thinks he might get used to this.
Travis Crichton and Jacey Roden's weekend orienteering contest in a vintage Mark 4 Jaguar car becomes a journey through a belt of fog and into a strange village called The Valley that is not shown on any map. The store and people there appear to be living in the 1950s, a time when the car was new. Jacey realises that this is more than random misfortune and that they are caught up in something more sinister.

Back home through the fog, the authorities are interested in the Jaguar and it is no coincidence that an elderly Susan, a retired professor called Kevin and a second vintage Jaguar are involved. A ruthless enemy attacks one car and their only escape is to return to The Valley in the other car where their adventures begin.

Seen mainly through Travis's eyes, Jacey and the others try to find the truth but become more involved in the time space continuum. Life identities from the future are involved, as is an organisation called Sago comprising of solids, androids, gaseous and organic intelligent species. Sago is using her family to prove or otherwise that humans are an inferior life species who revert to barbarism when under pressure. This test is but one to show that androids have superseded humans as the superior solid life identity.

In this task, the Roden family are but the pieces in an intergalactic chess game with the umpires seemingly neutral but in reality either for or against the human family becoming unified. How can one play by the rules when the umpires are biased?

Worse still; Jacey and Travis do not even know why it is happening, who is helping and who is hindering their efforts to find out the truth.

After all access back home is broken, a journey through strange realms with links with other humans from both the past and their future, hold the key. Are the vintage Jaguar cars the catalyst to this random journey through the cosmos or is it Jacey herself? Only by embracing the fog will they discover more about their lives, both in the past, present and future.

An instant #1 New York Times Bestseller and a USA Today and Indie Bestseller!

The Stormlight Archive saga continues in Rhythm of War, the eagerly awaited sequel to Brandon Sanderson's #1
New York Times bestselling Oathbringer, from an epic fantasy writer at the top of his game.

After forming a coalition of human resistance against the enemy invasion, Dalinar Kholin and his Knights Radiant have spent a year fighting a protracted, brutal war. Neither side has gained an advantage, and the threat of a betrayal by Dalinar’s crafty ally Taravangian looms over every strategic move.

Now, as new technological discoveries by Navani Kholin’s scholars begin to change the face of the war, the enemy prepares a bold and dangerous operation. The arms race that follows will challenge the very core of the Radiant ideals, and potentially reveal the secrets of the ancient tower that was once the heart of their strength.

At the same time that Kaladin Stormblessed must come to grips with his changing role within the Knights Radiant, his Windrunners face their own problem: As more and more deadly enemy Fused awaken to wage war, no more honorspren are willing to bond with humans to increase the number of Radiants. Adolin and Shallan must lead the coalition’s envoy to the honorspren stronghold of Lasting Integrity and either convince the spren to join the cause against the evil god Odium, or personally face the storm of failure.

Other Tor books by Brandon Sanderson

The Cosmere

The Stormlight Archive

The Way of Kings
Words of Radiance
Edgedancer (Novella)
Oathbringer
Rhythm of War


The Mistborn trilogy
Mistborn: The Final Empire
The Well of Ascension
The Hero of Ages

Mistborn: The Wax and Wayne series
Alloy of Law
Shadows of Self
Bands of Mourning


Collection
Arcanum Unbounded

Other Cosmere novels
Elantris
Warbreaker

The Alcatraz vs. the Evil Librarians series
Alcatraz vs. the Evil Librarians
The Scrivener's Bones
The Knights of Crystallia
The Shattered Lens
The Dark Talent

The Rithmatist series
The Rithmatist

Other books by Brandon Sanderson

The Reckoners

Steelheart
Firefight
Calamity

At the Publisher's request, this title is being sold without Digital Rights Management Software (DRM) applied.
Kyri

"You thought you could walk right into Az-ca, take over where you left off centuries ago, and everybody would just fall in with your plans. Is that it?"

"I didn't count on her—never saw her in all my divinations."

He meant Sherra. An unseeable. He'd divined Thorn II, just not his Queen and partner. "So. You wanted to take over after practically destroying their current King—who was a very good King, and before that, an excellent Commander of the army. That's a hell of a way to get Az-ca's population to adore you, isn't it?"

"I can offer them peace," he began.

"Except you can't. Kaakos is still alive, remember, and he'll be coming for you—of that I have no doubt. You know it, too, and you can't take him on without Az-ca's army at your back."

"I thought we could work together—Thorn II and I. That he'd see the reason in it after a while."

"And, as he's currently powerless, what choice would he have?" I sniped.


* * * 


The present King of Az-ca has been rendered powerless through an unsuspected coup, and is overcome with despair.

Kaakos has escaped death, but is forced to leave Ny-nes. Now, his sole focus is revenge.

Az-ca's citizens have fallen victim to the enemy's lies, and civil war threatens to split the country.

Sherra is forced to divide her attention between searching for the enemy, dealing with traitors and struggling with the King's misery and desolation. When the blood spell that rendered Kerok powerless takes a turn even its maker didn't expect, only her dreamwalker, with help from another, can hope to turn the tide...

In INVOCATION, the Earth bound Humans are the attack dogs of the universe. Feared throughout galaxies, we are an aggressor species, bred by our makers, specifically for war. Unaware of our destiny, we have been left to develop on Earth since our inception. We are now being called into service. So discovers Alicia Parker, a field reporter for a major news organization, sent to Alabama to cover a remarkable tear in dimensions appearing in the sky above a tiny, rural town. From the tear, a yellow fog is now enveloping the Earth and a voice on the radio is promising all Humans a grand enlightenment. A teenage girl, claiming to be a princess from another dimension, however, tells a different story. Princess Sariana, as she calls herself, relays to Alicia the history of all souls on Earth. It seems that the planet Lucifer, once located between our present Mars and Jupiter, was home to a civilization of ascended souls living peacefully in the third dimension. However, a great civil war erupted on the planet as a sect of Luciferians announced their intentions to ascend ultimately to the realm of God. As this is forbidden by universal law, the offending Luciferians were cast out from the planet to live in exile, in the far reaches of the universe. They returned, however, more powerful than before and now calling themselves "Humans." They destroyed the planet Lucifer, took captive the surviving souls and finally did the unthinkable. The Humans created new, vicious souls in their image and bred them on Earth with the sole purpose of occupying the front lines of a large, inter-dimensional war. Today, the rings of Saturn are all that remain of the planet Lucifer and the Humans are poised for domination of all dimensions. They've come now to collect their disposable soldiers. Sariana maintains that she is Alicia's grand-daughter. She insists that it is Alicia's destiny to lead a revolt of Earth-bound souls and to become the Grand Queen of the Third Order of Lucifer. The ascension must be stopped, and the lost souls of Lucifer must be found in order to halt the Human aggression. While Alicia is quite certain that the girl is more than a bit troubled, something about her seems familiar. Her story seems to explain a lot including the Human preoccupation with war and the apparent isolation of Earth in a densely populated omniverse. Nevertheless, being a Luciferian Queen will surely have a negative impact on her career. While outraged pundits debate vigorously on television and merchandising runs rampant, the gravity of the situation eludes most of mankind. Alicia must decide her role in the coming rapture and, perhaps, the fate of all Earth-bound souls. On the upside, free commemorative glasses are available with the purchase of any value meal at participating fast food merchants.
NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY BUZZFEED

The first three novels in Peter V. Brett’s groundbreaking Demon Cycle series—The Warded Man, The Desert Spear, and The Daylight War—set a new standard for heroic fantasy. The powerful saga of humans winnowed to the brink of extinction by night-stalking demons, and the survivors who fight back, has kept readers breathless as they eagerly turned the pages. Now the thrilling fourth volume, The Skull Throne, raises the stakes as it carries the action in shocking new directions.

The Skull Throne of Krasia stands empty.

Built from the skulls of fallen generals and demon princes, it is a seat of honor and ancient, powerful magic, keeping the demon corelings at bay. From atop the throne, Ahmann Jardir was meant to conquer the known world, forging its isolated peoples into a unified army to rise up and end the demon war once and for all.

But Arlen Bales, the Warded Man, stood against this course, challenging Jardir to a duel he could not in honor refuse. Rather than risk defeat, Arlen cast them both from a precipice, leaving the world without a savior, and opening a struggle for succession that threatens to tear the Free Cities of Thesa apart.

In the south, Inevera, Jardir’s first wife, must find a way to keep their sons from killing one another and plunging their people into civil war as they strive for glory enough to make a claim on the throne.

In the north, Leesha Paper and Rojer Inn struggle to forge an alliance between the duchies of Angiers and Miln against the Krasians before it is too late.

Caught in the crossfire is the duchy of Lakton—rich and unprotected, ripe for conquest.

All the while, the corelings have been growing stronger, and without Arlen and Jardir there may be none strong enough to stop them. Only Renna Bales may know more about the fate of the missing men, but she, too, has disappeared. . . .

Look for Peter V. Brett’s complete Demon Cycle:
THE WARDED MAN | THE DESERT SPEAR | THE DAYLIGHT WAR | THE SKULL THRONE | THE CORE

Praise for Peter V. Brett’s novels of The Demon Cycle

The Warded Man

“There is much to admire in Peter Brett’s writing, and his concept is brilliant. There’s action and suspense all the way.”—Terry Brooks

“[A] fast-paced and thoroughly enjoyable dark fantasy.”The Miami Herald

The Desert Spear

“Inspired, compelling, and totally addictive: the most significant and cinematic fantasy epic since The Lord of the Rings.”—Paul W. S. Anderson, director of Resident Evil: Afterlife

“Fans of epic fantasy in the tradition of Robert Jordan and George R. R. Martin will enjoy the arrival of a strong voice in multivolume epic fantasy.”Library Journal

The Daylight War

“Highly entertaining, fast-paced, and action-packed.”—SF Site

“[Brett is] at the top of his game.”Tordotcom

The Skull Throne

“Heart-thumping, adrenaline-pumping . . . The crescendo is near perfect.”—Book Frivolity

“As soon as we dive into The Skull Throne, it quickly becomes obvious that Brett knows exactly what he’s doing. . . . Brett is setting up his world and the characters in order to tell his epic fantasy tale in a way that is both personal and global. It’s a page-turner, and quite possibly the best so far.”Starburst Magazine
"...an incomparably mesmerizing read... and stunningly interwoven plot." —OnlineBookClub


Juneau disappears trying to escape a malicious hunter. Unknown and dangerous aliens follow Essi to Earth. Shannon vows to save her friends—and the world—even if it means sacrificing her own life.


As the first book of the Power Rising trilogy, Power of Three, comes to a close, Shannon Kendricks has recovered from the devastating illness that followed her battle with sinister aliens and looks forward to furthering her quest to free the beluga whale Juneau. 

 

In this thrilling sequel, Shannon has won for Juneau one day of freedom from captivity at the Dickson Research Center in Alaska. Now the time for Juneau to come home has arrived. But she doesn’t return. To complicate matters even more, Shannon’s former love, Luke Quintana, arrives unexpectedly. As Shannon waits for Juneau in the Underwater Complex at the Dickson, an explosion of water roars through its corridors and sweeps Shannon out into the chilling Alaskan Sea. 

 

At the same time, her alien friends, Essi and Salesti appear unannounced on Earth. Essi carries a virus that threatens everyone on the planet, and two aliens from FireWorld are hunting her to take that virus. One is determined to extract the virus without harm to Essi or Earth, the other, vicious and reckless, plans to release the virus, causing massive loss of life.

 

Shannon embarks on a strange and life-threatening journey to once again save Essi, Juneau, and everyone on Earth, but the stakes are even higher this time: the survival of life on a second planet, RiverWorld, rests on Shannon's shoulders as well. Will she succeed, or lose everything?

We live in a world of Light and Dark, Day and Night, Good and Evil. How do we deal with evil? Despite its power and resources, the state with all its laws and police is neither omnipotent nor omnipresent. It is not always enough.

 There is a place called Pera which lies beyond the Light Veil, on the other side of reality. There are light trees there that eat sunlight and bear fruit that, in turn, lights up and energises (literally) the community of Pera. There are light birds that glitter in the night because they have eaten the seed of the lightberry. The House of Light and Dark, which is the domain of the Sun and her brother, Twilight, welcomes all creatures living in Pera. But in the midst of all the glitter, laughter and the songs, it must be remembered that the lightberry is poisonous to the non-Pera born, and the Land is afraid when the Sun retreats, for it is then that Twilight walks the streets...

 In Pera, as in our world, there is deceit and cruelty. There are people who would harm defenceless children, and those who would jeopardise the health and wealth of their communities for personal gain. What happens, though, when the Sun is not able to shine her light into the repulsive crevices of humanity? When, with all the goodwill in the world, we cannot keep the children safe, or the forests intact. What happens when the rivers are polluted irreversibly, and we can hear the land groan: barren and toxic? And the people have lost their savings, their homes and their communities…

Then, the Dark shall do what Light cannot.


With some of the characters that we originally met in LiGa™, Sanem Ozdural’s first novel, the Dark shall do what Light cannot transports us from New York to the colourful and wonderful world of Pera. On the way we meet the pirate Patron and her ship the Flying Fish, the only one that can sail through the Light Veil; Orion (Imm.), the Hunter, respected by some and feared by others; and Shadow, the formidable soul of Pera. 

NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER

With The Warded Man and The Desert Spear, Peter V. Brett surged to the front rank of contemporary fantasy, standing alongside giants in the field such as George R. R. Martin, Robert Jordan, and Terry Brooks. The Daylight War, the eagerly anticipated third volume in Brett’s internationally bestselling Demon Cycle, continues the epic tale of humanity’s last stand against an army of demons that rise each night to prey on mankind.

On the night of the new moon, the demons rise in force, seeking the deaths of two men, both of whom have the potential to become the fabled Deliverer, the man prophesied to reunite the scattered remnants of humanity in a final push to destroy the demon corelings once and for all.

Arlen Bales was once an ordinary man, but now he has become something more—the Warded Man, tattooed with eldritch wards so powerful they make him a match for any demon. Arlen denies he is the Deliverer at every turn, but the more he tries to be one with the common folk, the more fervently they believe. Many would follow him, but Arlen’s path threatens to lead to a dark place he alone can travel to, and from which there may be no returning.

The only one with hope of keeping Arlen in the world of men, or joining him in his descent into the world of demons, is Renna Tanner, a fierce young woman in danger of losing herself to the power of demon magic.

Ahmann Jardir has forged the warlike desert tribes of Krasia into a demon-killing army and proclaimed himself Shar’Dama Ka, the Deliverer. He carries ancient weapons—a spear and a crown—that give credence to his claim, and already vast swaths of the green lands bow to his control.

But Jardir did not come to power on his own. His rise was engineered by his First Wife, Inevera, a cunning and powerful priestess whose formidable demon bone magic gives her the ability to glimpse the future. Inevera’s motives and past are shrouded in mystery, and even Jardir does not entirely trust her.

Once Arlen and Jardir were as close as brothers. Now they are the bitterest of rivals. As humanity’s enemies rise, the only two men capable of defeating them are divided against each other by the most deadly demons of all—those lurking in the human heart.

Look for Peter V. Brett’s complete Demon Cycle:
THE WARDED MAN | THE DESERT SPEAR | THE DAYLIGHT WAR | THE SKULL THRONE | THE CORE

Praise for The Daylight War

“[Peter V. Brett] confirms his place among epic fantasy’s pantheon of greats amid the likes of George R. R. Martin, Steven Erikson, and Robert Jordan.”—Fantasy Book Critic

“Brett’s prose and flow remain virtually flawless, providing for a smooth read during which you don’t feel guilty for skipping two meals so you can lie on the couch and keep reading.”—Fixed on Fantasy

“The best book yet in The Demon Cycle. If you are looking for a great series, look no further.”—Roqoo Depot

“After the phenomenal success of both The Warded Man and The Desert Spear, I was tentative about The Daylight War; surely it couldn’t get much better? Well, I was wrong. . . . This will be a strong contender for one of the best books of the year, even this early on.”—Jet Black Ink

“Brett has his hooks in me and I want more of The Demon Cycle.”—Best Fantasy Books
The Pale King has been defeated, his legions decimated. The Dark God Mohg has been destroyed. And the evil corporation, Duratek, has been disbanded, foiled in its efforts to strip-mine the world of Eldh. And for our heroes, three years have passed in relative peace. But only relative, because every one of them know in their hearts that their duties are not yet ended. For perihelion approaches, as the two worlds continue to grow nearer. And bad things are coming in its wake.

In the skies over Earth, astronomers have noted an anomaly which seems to be swallowing stars whole. On Eldh, these rifts in the sky are appearing as well--and the dragon Sinfathisar tells Grace Beckett that, if left unchecked, these holes of anti-being will annihilate all of creation forever. He adds that only Travis Wilder--whom the Mournish believe is fated to raise the lost city of Morindu the Dark from the desert sands that hide and hold it--can save the world. But what is the connection between the lost city of the sorcerers and the wounds that rift the heavens?

As Grace goes in search of Travis and Travis goes in search of his kidnapped daughter, all the threads of fate begin to pull together, revealing ancient mysteries on both worlds, and connections within connections that carry all the way back through time. With both worlds increasingly wracked by tempests and earthquakes and a palpable sense of hopelessness and despair, and with magic sputtering and dying around them, can our heroes patch together the missing pieces of the puzzle before all of life is annihilated?
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