Arenadd Taranisäii, infamous leader of the Northern people, has vanished. Only his half-breed daughter Laela knows what happened to him. Left to rule her father’s Kingdom, Laela is all that stands in the way of the war her cousin Saeddryn wants to declare. But Laela faces a far more dangerous enemy: the Night God herself wants Laela dead. Faced by enemies on all sides, Laela must learn to rule, and survive, with her griffin partner Oeka by her side. As allies come from unexpected places, someone new will enter Laela’s life: the mysterious shapeshifter Kullervo. But soon the Night God will send the most dangerous enemy of all—the deadly Shadow That Walks, an invincible murderer created to fulfill only one mission: kill Laela.
“An immensely entertaining novel” (Tor.com) from the author of The Thousand Names... The King of the Vordan is on his deathbed. Soon his daughter, Raesinia will be the first Queen Regnant in centuries—and a target for those who seek to control her. The most dangerous is Duke Orlanko, Minister of Information, and master of the secret police. He is the most feared man in the kingdom, and he knows an arcane secret that puts Raesinia completely at his mercy. But Raesinia has found unlikely allies in the returning war hero Janus bet Vhalnich, and his loyal deputies, Captain Marcus d’Ivoire and Lieutenant Winter Ihernglass. As Marcus and Winter struggle to find their places in the home they never thought they would see again, they help Janus and Raesinia set in motion events that could shatter Orlanko’s powers, but perhaps at the price of throwing the nation into chaos. But with the people suffering under the Duke’s tyranny, they intend to protect the kingdom with every power they can command, earthly or otherwise.
A mysterious murder at the Qutub Minar triggers a call to ace journalist Chandrasekhar from his cop acquaintance, Inspector Syed Ali Hassan. The victim is unlike anyone Chandra has ever seen: a white Caucasian male who has all the looks of a throwback to Greek antiquity. Soon after, Hassan calls in to report the case has been taken away from him - in all likelihood by RAW - the Research & Analysis Wing, the uber-agency of Indian intelligence. What began as a murder enquiry soon morphs into a deadly game of hide-and-seek within the shadowy world of Pakistan's ISI and India's RAW; and Chandra, his friend history professor Meenakshi Pirzada and Hassan find themselves in a race against time to avert a sub-continental nuclear holocaust. As the action moves to its hair-raising climax in the Hindu Kush mountains of Afghanistan, Chandra must face up to the fact that Inspector Hassan is not all that he seems... The Shadow Throne by Aroon Raman displays taut writing and nail-biting suspense in a debut that is chillingly believable. Will this unlikely trio succeed in navigating the treacherous politics of India and Pakistan?
As such literary movements as interstitial and slipstream gain momentum, more and more authors interweave their traditional stories with gay themes as coming out, homophobia, and self-as-other, with a bit of the strange and weird. Named after one of the founding fathers of gay speculative fiction, Wilde Stories is a new annual anthology that offers readers the best of such stories from the prior year. Editor Steve Berman, a finalist for both the Lambda Literary and Andre Norton Awards, has collected an engaging selection of the fantastical, the strange, and the scary from such notable authors as Victor J. Banis, Hal Duncan and Lee Thomas.
THE CONCLUSION TO K.J. TAYLOR'S "COMPELLING AND EXCITING" (SFFANZ) RISEN SUN TRILOGY Half-breed Queen Laela Taranisäii is in more danger than ever before. Her subjects hate her, her closest allies, including her griffin, have fallen, and, most worryingly, the Night God’s immortal assassin, The Shadow That Walks, is bent upon reaping vengeance. As her enemies close in on all sides, her methods of maintaining power increase in desperation—and violence. Laela’s half-brother, Kullervo, is supposed to be her strongest ally. But as he comes to terms with both who he is and what his sister’s reign means to the land, he begins to doubt his once strong loyalties. With the conflict drawing to its bloody close, he must decide what he’s truly prepared to fight for, a choice that could have dire consequences for all he once held dear. Meanwhile, a new threat is lurking in the darkness, the Night God’s final, deadly pawn. It is this shadow that will decide the outcome of the war—and its power that will seal the fates of all involved…
Laela Redguard was born with the black hair of the Northern kingdom and the blue eyes of the Southern people, forever marking her as a hated half-breed child of both. When her only family tie is severed, the fierce and strong-willed Laela decides to leave her adoptive father’s home in the hopes of finding acceptance in the North, where the ruthless King Arenadd and the dark griffin Skandar rule. While Laela’s Northern features allow her to blend into the crowds of the King’s seat at Malvern, she cannot avoid falling victim to a pair of common thugs. When a stranger saves her life and gives her a place to stay, Laela is shocked to learn he is Arenadd himself—a man said to be a murderer who sold his soul to the Night God—the King without a heart. Arenadd is unsure what compels him to help this girl, but there is something about her that seems familiar, something he cannot remember—something that may rise up to banish the darkness forever…
Gujaareh, the city of dreams, suffers under the imperial rule of the Kisuati Protectorate. A city where the only law was peace now knows violence and oppression. And nightmares: a mysterious and deadly plague haunts the citizens of Gujaareh, dooming the infected to die screaming in their sleep. Trapped between dark dreams and cruel overlords, the people yearn to rise up - but Gujaareh has known peace for too long. Someone must show them the way. Hope lies with two outcasts: the first woman ever allowed to join the dream goddess' priesthood, and an exiled prince who longs to reclaim his birthright. Together, they must resist the Kisuati occupation and uncover the source of the killing dreams . . . before Gujaareh is lost forever.