As a reviewer of books this crossover time between years is the greatest. We get the chance to look back on the wonderful reading we have done over the past 12 months and we can also look forward to the anticipated reading of the 12 months to come. As is now becoming tradition here at FBR, Ryan and Josh get together to work through the Most Anticipated books for the year to come, and this year we’ve expanded our categories. We’ll look at books being released by the heavyweights of the industry as well as those books that simply may not be receiving as much attention. We’ll look at what we personally are most looking forward to, but this year we also add a fourth category; those books that Goodreads and other sites are anticipating, but we honestly doubt we’ll see. So jump on in to the Most Anticipated books of 2013.
It’s time now to jump in to those releases expected from the heavyweights of the industry, but beware, some may be missing, waiting for their opportunity to appear in Our Most Anticipated of 2013.
A Memory of Light by Robert Jordan & Brandon Sanderson
Already Released (January 8)
Since 1990, when Robert Jordan’s The Wheel of Time® burst on the world with its first book, The Eye of the World, readers have been anticipating the final scenes of this extraordinary saga, which has sold over forty million copies in over thirty languages.
When Robert Jordan died in 2007, all feared that these concluding scenes would never be written. But working from notes and partials left by Jordan, established fantasy writer Brandon Sanderson stepped in to complete the masterwork. With The Gathering Storm (Book 12) and Towers of Midnight (Book 13) behind him, both of which were # 1 New York Times hardcover bestsellers, Sanderson now re-creates the vision that Robert Jordan left behind.
Edited by Jordan’s widow, who edited all of Jordan’s books, A Memory of Light will delight, enthrall, and deeply satisfy all of Jordan’s legions of readers.
The Wheel of Time turns, and Ages come and pass. What was, what will be, and what is, may yet fall under the Shadow. Let the Dragon ride again on the winds of time.
The Ocean at the End of the Road by Neil Gaiman
Tentative Release Date – 19 June
The Ocean At The End of the Lane is a novel about memory and magic and survival, about the power of stories and the darkness inside each of us.
It began for our narrator forty years ago when he was seven: the lodger stole the family’s car and committed suicide in it, stirring up ancient powers best left undisturbed. Creatures from beyond the world are on the loose, and it will take everything our narrator has just to stay alive: there is primal horror here, and a menace unleashed — within his family, and from the forces that have gathered to destroy it.
His only defense is three women, on a ramshackle farm at the end of the lane. The youngest of them claims that her duckpond is an ocean. The oldest can remember the Big Bang.
The Ocean at the End of the Lane is a fable that reshapes modern fantasy: moving, terrifying and elegiac — as pure as a dream, as delicate as a butterfly’s wing, as dangerous as a knife in the dark.
Republic of Thieves by Scott Lynch
Tentative Release Date – 13 July
After their adventures on the high seas, Locke and Jean are brought back to earth with a thump. Jean is mourning the loss of his lover and Locke must live with the fallout of crossing the all-powerful magical assassins the Bonds Magi. It is a fall-out that will pit both men against Locke’s own long lost love. Sabetha is Locke’s childhood sweetheart, the love of Locke’s life and now it is time for them to meet again. Employed on different sides of a vicious dispute between factions of the Bonds Sabetha has just one goal – to destroy Locke for ever. The Gentleman Bastard sequence has become a literary sensation in fantasy circles and now, with the third book, Scott Lynch is set to seal that success.
Emperor of Thorns by Mark Lawrence
Tentative Release Date – 1 August
To reach the throne requires that a man journey. Even a path paved with good intentions can lead to hell, and my intentions were never good.
The Hundred converge for Congression to politic upon the corpse of Empire, and while they talk the Dead King makes his move, and I make mine. The world is cracked, time has run through, leaving us clutching at the end days, the future so bright that those wh…o see it are the first to burn. These are the days that have waited for us all our lives. These are my days. I will stand before the Hundred and they will listen. I will take the throne whoever seeks to thwart me, living or dead, and if I must be the last emperor then I will make of it such an ending.
This is where the wise man turns away. This is where the holy kneel and call on God. These are the last miles, my brothers. Don’t look to me to save you. Don’t think I will not spend you. Run if you have the wit. Pray if you have the soul. Stand your ground if courage is yours. But don’t follow me.
Follow me, and I will break your heart.
The Long War by Terry Pratchett and Stephen Baxter
Tentative Release Date – June
A generation after the events of The Long Earth, mankind has spread across the new worlds opened up by Stepping. Where Joshua and Lobsang once pioneered, now fleets of airships link the stepwise Americas with trade and culture. Mankind is shaping the Long Earth — but in turn the Long Earth is shaping mankind… A new ‘America’, called Valhalla, is emerging more than a million steps from Datum Earth, with core American values restated in the plentiful environment of the Long Earth — and Valhalla is growing restless under the control of the Datum government…
Meanwhile the Long Earth is suffused by the song of the trolls, graceful hive-mind humanoids. But the trolls are beginning to react to humanity’s thoughtless exploitation… Joshua, now a married man, is summoned by Lobsang to deal with a gathering multiple crisis that threatens to plunge the Long Earth into a war unlike any mankind has waged before.
Magician’s End by Raymond E. Feist
Tentative Release Date – June 17
Thirty years ago Raymond E. Feist wrote his first novel, Magician, a story about an orphan boy named Pug who travels to a place known as the Kingdom of the Isles to study wizardry a Master Magician. Magician introduced us to Midkemia and the Riftwar, an epic series of battles between Good and Evil that have scarred this imaginative new world for generations. Now, after twenty-nine books (authored and co-authored), Feist delivers the crowning achievement of his renowned bestselling career: Magician’s End, the final chapter in his extraordinary Riftwar saga.
Pug — who has assumed the mantle of the greatest magician of all time — must risk everything he has fought for and everything he cherishes in the hope of destroying an evil enemy once and for all. But to achieve peace and save untold millions of lives, he will have to pay the ultimate price…
The Daylight War by Peter V Brett
Tentative Release Date – February 12
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.
Unfettered Anthology by Shawn Speakman (Anthology)
Tentative Release Date – May
Unfettered is a fantasy short story anthology built to eliminate the medical debt Shawn garnered from treating uninsured cancer in 2011.
All of the authors are donating short stories to the themeless anthology. They are writing exactly what they want, free to express themselves in all ways, making this is a unique sort of book for fantasy fans everywhere!
The writers who will be contributing are: Terry Brooks Patrick Rothfuss Naomi Novik Brandon Sanderson RA Salvatore Tad Williams Jacqueline Carey Daniel Abraham Peter V. Brett Robert VS Redick Peter Orullian Todd Lockwood Carrie Vaughn Blake Charlton Kevin Hearne Mark Lawrence David Anthony Durham Jennifer Bosworth Lev Grossman Michael J. Sullivan Eldon Thompson Shawn Speakman
Bloodfire Quest by Terry Brooks
Tentative Release Date – March 12
The quest for the long-lost Elfstones has drawn the leader of the Druid order and her followers into the hellish dimension known as the Forbidding, where the most dangerous creatures banished from the Four Lands are imprisoned. Now the hunt for the powerful talismans that can save their world has become a series of great challenges: a desperate search for kidnapped comrades, a relentless battle against unspeakable predators, and a grim race to escape the Forbidding alive. But though freedom is closer than they know, it may come at a terrifying price.
Back in the village of Arborlon, the mystical, sentient tree that maintains the barrier between the Four Lands and the Forbidding is dying. And with each passing day, as the breach between the two worlds grows larger, the threat of the evil eager to spill forth and wreak havoc grows more dire. The only hope lies with a young Druid, faced with a staggering choice: cling to the life she cherishes or combat an army of darkness by making the ultimate sacrifice.
Blood and Bone: A Novel of the Malazan Empire by Ian C. Esslemont
Tentative Release Date – late December ’12 or May ’13 (depends where you read)
In the western sky the bright emerald banner of the Visitor descends like a portent of annihilation. On the continent of Jacuruku, the Thaumaturgs have mounted yet another expedition to tame the neighboring wild jungle. Yet this is no normal wilderness. It is called Himatan, and it is said to be half of the spirit-realm and half of the earth. And it is said to be ruled by a powerful entity whom some name the Queen of Witches, and some a goddess: the ancient Ardata. Saeng grew up knowing only the rule of the magus Thaumaturgs — but it was the voices out of that land’s forgotten past that she listened to. And when her rulers mount an invasion of the neighboring jungle, those voices send her and her brother on a desperate mission.
To the south, the desert tribes are united by the arrival of a foreign warleader, a veteran commander in battered ashen mail whom his men call, the Grey Ghost. This warleader takes the tribes on a raid like none other, deep into the heart of Thaumaturg lands. While word comes to K’azz, and mercenary company the Crimson Guard, of a contract in Jacuruku. And their employer… none other than Ardata herself.