This is the third and final part of a post which will look at the most anticipated books for 2011. Vague Release Date Books, Random Other Books of 2011 and My Most Anticipated Books of 2011 (today). Enjoy. – Josh
My most anticipated books of 2011
Inheritance by Robin Hobb
Release Date: April 2011
I used to love Robin Hobb. Her Farseer Trilogy, The Liveship Traders Trilogy, and The Tawny Man Trilogy were all breathtakingly brilliant, and I long for the day that I can reread them again. However she took a turn when she moved onto the Soldier Son Trilogy, even though I actually liked the first book (the only one I’ve read). But it was with The Rain Wild Chronicles that I thought she had really taken a dramatic downturn in her writing. There is still a little blue sticky note sitting in Dragon Keeper where I stopped, within the first third of the book.
That being said, this collection of short stories might bring me back to why I loved Robin Hobb. I can only hope.
Bingtown heiresses rub shoulders in this wonderful collection with vampires and alien musicians, tramps and feral cats.
In The Homecoming, Lady Carillion Carrock and a number of other Jamaillian nobles are sailing to the Cursed Shores. Their journey is not by choice: for plotting against the Satrap, their wealth has been confiscated and they have been exiled. Until now, Carillion has done nothing but lead a life of privilege. She believes they are bound for wondrous cities, cities where ancient kings and queens dusted their skin with gold and wore jewels above their eyes. But when she is marooned by the ship’s unscrupulous captain, she will soon discover the grim reality of what survival in the Rain Wilds entails.
The Silver Lady is a would-be writer, eking out a dull existence by working in a Sears store. The one day a man comes in: fortyish, pleasant-looking. Nothing out of the ordinary. Except he says his name is Merlin, and he’s about to change her life.
Rosemary got involved with the wrong man. Pell is lazy, good for nothing, a bully. Her best friend Hilia knew it and so did her tom cat, Marmalade. But love is blind: Rosemary had Pell’s baby, renovated the cottage his grandfather left in his will, turned its land to good use; and then he left her for another woman. Now he’s back, and something must be done …
Bitterblue by Kristen Cashore
Release Date: September 2011
I don’t know what it is about Kristin Cashore, but I love her writing. She definitely doesn’t write epic fantasy, my favourite, but what she does write is intriguing and different and spellbinding, all the while being just that little bit simpler than what I normally read. So I’m really looking forward to this next book in the same universe she has written in with Graceling and Fire.
Set in the same world as her previous two novels, Bitterblue picks up the story of the Seven Kingdoms six years after the events of Graceling.
The Republic of Thieves by Scott Lynch
The Gentlemen’s Bastards book 3
Release Date: December 2011
The Gentlemen’s Bastards series is easily one of my favourite series. It combines great fantasy elements, together with great characters and thieves. It’s fantastic, and Scott Lynch knows how to tell a great story. I have been hanging out for this book, and I can only hope that The Republic of Thieves does in fact make it out this year.
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.
Now look what I’ve done? There are two books coming out this year, hopefully, that I can’t break apart, in terms of my excitement for them. So let me have this one, and with any luck we’ll make it to the end of 2011 having read both of these books.
The Crippled God by Steven Erikson
Book Ten of The Malazan Book of the Fallen
Release Date: March 1, 2011
There has never been a series of books like Steven Erikson’s The Malazan Book of the Fallen. I still haven’t started Dust of Dreams, though I’m hesitant to until I know exactly when The Crippled God is coming, as I’ve heard it finishes on a cliffhanger. Either way, this book is definitely one of the ones I’ll be looking forward to most.
Savaged by the K’Chain Nah’Ruk, the Bonehunters march for Kolanse, where waits an unknown fate. Tormented by questions, the army totters on the edge of mutiny, but Adjunct Tavore will not relent. One final act remains, if it is in her power, if she can hold her army together, if the shaky allegiances she has forged can survive all that is to come. A woman with no gifts of magic, deemed plain, unprepossessing, displaying nothing to instill loyalty or confidence, Tavore Paran of House Paran means to challenge the gods — if her own troops don’t kill her first.
Awaiting Tavore and her allies are the Forkrul Assail, the final arbiters of humanity. Drawing upon an alien power terrible in its magnitude, they seek to cleanse the world, to annihilate every human, every civilization, in order to begin anew. They welcome the coming conflagration of slaughter, for it shall be of their own devising, and it pleases them to know that, in the midst of the enemies gathering against them, there shall be betrayal. In the realm of Kurald Galain, home to the long lost city of Kharkanas, a mass of refugees stand upon the First Shore. Commanded by Yedan Derryg, the Watch, they await the breaching of Lightfall, and the coming of the Tiste Liosan. This is a war they cannot win, and they will die in the name of an empty city and a queen with no subjects.
Elsewhere, the three Elder Gods, Kilmandaros, Errastas and Sechul Lath, work to shatter the chains binding Korabas, the Otataral Dragon, and release her from her eternal prison. Once freed, she will be a force of utter devastation, and against her no mortal can stand. At the Gates of Starvald Demelain, the Azath House sealing the portal is dying. Soon will come the Eleint, and once more, there will be dragons in the world. And so, in a far away land and beneath indifferent skies, the final cataclysmic chapter in the extraordinary ‘Malazan Book of the Fallen’ begins.
The Wise Man’s Fear by Patrick Rothfuss
Kingkiller Chronicles, Day 2
March 1, 2011
What fantasy list for 2011 would be complete without Patrick Rothfuss’ latest installation in the Kingkiller Chronicles. This book has been read twice since it was released, for me, and will probably be read again before I get to The Wise Man’s Fear. A marvel of storytelling, Rothfuss has skill that I’ve only rarely had the pleasure to read, and realise that I probably won’t encounter it much again in my life.
My name is Kvothe.
I have stolen princesses back from sleeping barrow kings. I burned down the town of Trebon. I have spent the night with Felurian and left with both my sanity and my life. I was expelled from the University at a younger age than most people are allowed in. I tread paths by moonlight that others fear to speak of during day. I have talked to Gods, loved women, and written songs that make the minstrels weep.
You may have heard of me.
So begins the tale of a hero told from his own point of view — a story unequaled in fantasy literature. Now in The Wise Man’s Fear, Day Two of The Kingkiller Chronicle, an escalating rivalry with a powerful member of the nobility forces Kvothe to leave the University and seek his fortune abroad. Adrift, penniless, and alone, he travels to Vintas, where he quickly becomes entangled in the politics of courtly society. While attempting to curry favor with a powerful noble, Kvothe uncovers an assassination attempt, comes into conflict with a rival arcanist, and leads a group of mercenaries into the wild, in an attempt to solve the mystery of who (or what) is waylaying travelers on the King’s Road.
All the while, Kvothe searches for answers, attempting to uncover the truth about the mysterious Amyr, the Chandrian, and the death of his parents. Along the way, Kvothe is put on trial by the legendary Adem mercenaries, is forced to reclaim the honor of the Edema Ruh, and travels into the Fae realm. There he meets Felurian, the faerie woman no man can resist, and who no man has ever survived…until Kvothe.
In The Wise Man’s Fear, Kvothe takes his first steps on the path of the hero and learns how difficult life can be when a man becomes a legend in his own time.
If I could, I would put The Sending by Isobelle Carmody and A Dance With Dragons by George R. R. Martin in my top books as well, but I just can’t guarantee that they’ll be out this year. Even if they were, they would only have plugged in between Bitterblue and The Republic of Thieves, so the top three books that I’m looking forward to this year are clear.
Have your say below in the comments, and let me know why you think your favourite author is actually popular, despite not being on this list. (I kid, because I love).