Let’s take a quick look to see what’s arrived in the mail here at the Geek Compound.
End of the Century by Chris Roberson
UNCOVER THE SECRETS OF THE HOLY GRAIL
Three people. Three eras. One city. Endless possibilities. <i>End of the Century</i> is a novel of the distant past, the unimaginable future, and the search for the Holy Grail. Set in the city of London, the narrative is interlaced between three ages, in which a disparate group of heroes, criminals, runaways, and lunatics are drawn into the greatest quest of all time.
Twilight – Londinium, Sixth Century, CE
Galaad, a young man driven by strange dreams of a lady in white and a tower of glass, travels to the court of the high king Artor in Londinium, abandoned stronghold of the Roman Empire in Britain. With the dreams of Galaad as their only guide, Artor and his loyal captains journey west to the Summerlands, there to face a threat that could spell the end of the new-forged kingdom of Britain.
Jubilee – London, 1897
Consulting detective Sandford Blank, accompanied by his companion Roxanne Bonaventure, is called upon to solve a string of brutal murders on the eve of Queen Victoria’s Diamond Jubilee. The police believe that Jack the Ripper is back on the streets, but Blank believes that this is a new killer, one whose motive is not violence or mayhem, but the discovery of the Holy Grail itself. And what of the corpse-white Huntsman and his unearthly hounds, who stalks the gaslit streets of London?
Millennium – London, 1999
At the eve of the new millennium, American teenager Alice Fell is on the run, and all alone. On the streets of a strange city, friendless and without a pound to her name, Alice is not sure whether she’s losing her mind, or whether she is called by inescapable visions to some special destiny. Along with a strange man named Stillman Waters, who claims to be a retired occultist and spy, she finds herself pursued by strange creatures, and driven to steal the priceless vanishing gem that may contain the answers to the mysteries that plague her.
The three narratives Dark Ages fantasy, gaslit mystery, and modern-day jewel heist alternate until the barriers between the different times begin to break down, and the characters confront the secrets that connect the Grail, the Glass Tower, and the vanishing gem. And lurking behind it all is the entity known only as Omega.
I reviewed this for the San Antonio Current.
|The latest novel in the author’s Bonaventure-Carmody Sequence, End of the Century requires no previous experience with any of his other books, though as events unfold, prior knowledge of Roxanne Bonaventure and her extended family grant the experienced reader additional insights. A World Fantasy Award finalist and winner of the Sidewise Award for Best Alternate History Short Form, Roberson ultimately delivers a superior multi-linear novel.
The Pretender’s Crown by C. E. Murphy
Magic, lust, and power collide in this sexy novel set amid the glittering courts of Echon, from the author of The Queen’s Bastard
C. E. Murphy is the author of several successful urban paranormal romance series for Harlequin Luna. Her first novel for Del Rey, The Queen’s Bastard, was eagerly received by her fans. Now the story continues in this second novel.
Belinda Primrose is the queen’s bastard—the illegitimate daughter of Lorraine, first queen to sit on the Aulunian throne. She is also the queen’s deadliest weapon, trained as a spy from the age of twelve.
In The Queen’s Bastard, Belinda discovered that she had powers unshared by her mother. Now, in The Pretender’s Crown, events spiral as one queen is murdered, another is suspected of having plotted to kill her, and armies marshal on both sides. Belinda learns that she is a pawn in a game much greater than she could ever have suspected—and suddenly stumbles upon a shocking secret that changes her life forever. Her powers at their greatest, she turns away from her mother for the first time ever, and must decide how to forge a life of her own.
Ice Song by Kirsten Imani Kasai
For fans of Jacqueline Carey and Ursula K. LeGuin, a lush, literary debut fantasy of love, ruin, and the ties of blood
Sorykah Minuit is a scholar, an engineer, and the sole woman aboard an ice-drilling submarine in the frozen land of the Sigue.What no one knows is that she is also a rare Trader, who can switch genders without warning. When a wealthy, reclusive madman known as the Collector abducts Sorykah’s infant twins to use in his dreadful experiments, Sorykah and her male alter ego, Soryk, must cross icy wastes and a primeval forest to get them back. Complicating the dangerous journey is the fact that Sorykah and Soryk do not share memories; each transformation is as much of a jolt as if awakening from a deep and dreamless sleep.
The world through which the sundered halves of Sorykah and Soryk travel is both familiar and surreal. Environmental degradation and genetic mutation run amok; humans have become distorted into animals and animal bodies mask a wild humanity. But it is also a world of unexpected beauty and wonder, where kindness and love endure amidst the ruins.
Alluring, intense, and gorgeously rendered, Ice Song is a remarkable debut by a fiercely original new writer.
Kings and Assassins by Lane Robins
Controlled by an aristocracy whose depraved whims bow to neither law nor god, the kingdom of Antyre is under siege from the only man who can save it. He is Janus Ixion, the new Earl of Last, a man whose matchless fighting abilities and leadership strike terror in Antyre’s powerful noble houses.
For Janus is the illegitimate son who has returned from the brutal slums to reclaim his birthright, and will go to any lengths to become king and reverse his country’s decline. But with a conquering foreign prince sowing chaos throughout the kingdom, Janus must battle the terrifying power of Antyre’s forgotten god, one who has gifted Janus’s vengeful wife with mysterious and dangerous skills. As Antyre nears irrevocable collapse, Janus’s manipulations and all-consuming ambition will force him and his country to choose between the rule of resurgent gods, or a victor’s throne of ashes.