A falling moon, an anti-refuge for portal fantasy children, and an epic quest for sisters are among January 2022’s fantasy offerings. Happy New Year!
The Starless Crown by James Rollins
Publisher: Tor Books
Release date: Jan. 4
Den of Geek says: Sigma Force author James Rollins turns his decades of thriller experience to epic fantasy, with the start of the Moon Fall series.
Publisher’s summary: An alliance embarks on a dangerous journey to uncover the secrets of the distant past and save their world in this captivating, deeply visionary adventure from #1 New York Times bestselling thriller-master James Rollins.
A gifted student foretells an apocalypse. Her reward is a sentence of death.
Fleeing into the unknown she is drawn into a team of outcasts:
A broken soldier, who once again takes up the weapons he’s forbidden to wield and carves a trail back home.
A drunken prince, who steps out from his beloved brother’s shadow and claims a purpose of his own.
An imprisoned thief, who escapes the crushing dark and discovers a gleaming artifact—one that will ignite a power struggle across the globe.
On the run, hunted by enemies old and new, they must learn to trust each other in order to survive in a world evolved in strange, beautiful, and deadly ways, and uncover ancient secrets that hold the key to their salvation.
But with each passing moment, doom draws closer.
Where the Drowned Girls Go by Seanan McGuire
Publisher: Tordotcom Publishing
Release date: Jan. 4
Den of Geek says: We love it when an author inverts their own premise, which is exactly what is at play in the seventh Wayward Children novella: a school for the children of portal fantasies that may end their adventures instead of prolong them…
Publisher’s summary: In Where the Drowned Girls Go, the next addition to Seanan McGuire’s beloved Wayward Children series, students at an anti-magical school rebel against the oppressive faculty.
“Welcome to the Whitethorn Institute. The first step is always admitting you need help, and you’ve already taken that step by requesting a transfer into our company.”
There is another school for children who fall through doors and fall back out again.
It isn’t as friendly as Eleanor West’s Home for Wayward Children.
And it isn’t as safe.
When Eleanor West decided to open her school, her sanctuary, her “Home for Wayward Children,” she knew from the beginning that there would be children she couldn’t save; when Cora decides she needs a different direction, a different fate, a different prophecy, Miss West reluctantly agrees to transfer her to the other school, where things are run very differently by Whitethorn, the Headmaster.
She will soon discover that not all doors are welcoming…
The Beholden by Cassandra Rose Clarke
Publisher: Erewhon Books
Release date: Jan. 18
Den of Geek says: Cassandra Rose Clarke’s penchant for inventive, poignant speculative stories makes for an intriguing tale of sisters settling divine debts while holding on to the destinies they’ve negotiated for themselves.
Publisher’s summary: Two sisters, a pregnant aristocrat and a scholar-magician, and themselves at the center of a conflict between the immortal being Decay and the Emperor himself…
Orphaned as young women, Celestia and Izara De Malena are land-rich but destitute, with only a failing rainforest acreage, Celestia’s perfect manners, and Izara’s nascent magic to their aristocratic names. With their money running out, Izara summons the Lady of the Seraphine to demand a favor: a husband for Celestia, one rich enough for the sisters to keep their land and restore their family name. But a favor from the river goddess always comes at a cost…
Five years later, as war and disease spread across the land, the Emperor calls Celestia’s husband away on a secret mission and the Lady returns to collect her due. Izara is forced to leave the academy where she studies to become a mage; Celestia is pulled from her now-flourishing farm while pregnant with her first child.
Together, they must repay their debt—embarking on an impossible quest that pits them against Celestia’s husband, the Emperor, and a god even more powerful than the Lady of the Seraphine. Gorgeous, compelling, and utterly captivating, The Beholden follows Celestia and Izara as they journey from lush rainforest to frozen desert to find a god who doesn’t want to be found, and prevent the end of the world.