Unearthing great fantasy books

Lord of the Rings, A Song of Ice and Fire, A Tale of the Malazan Book of the Fallen? How about something by Ursula Le Guin, Brandon Sanderson or Guy Gavriel Kay? It is likely that the majority of visitors to this site have already read the above works and authors. It is highly likely that they have heard of them. So what is left for those that have read all the classics and are looking for something new and different? Welcome to the Hidden Gems section of the site which features wonderful fantasy works that are a too-well-kept secret, including the torch-beareres for the self and independently published. Read and enjoy a hidden gem today.

1. The Unspoken Name

by A K Larkwood

A. K. Larkwood's The Unspoken Name is a stunning debut fantasy about an orc priestess turned wizard's assassin.

What if you knew how and when you will die?

Csorwe does—she will climb the mountain, enter the Shrine of the Unspoken, and gain the most honored title: sacrifice.

But on the day of her foretold death, a powerful mage offers her a new fate. Leave with him, and live. Turn away from her destiny and her god to become a thief, a spy, an assassin—the wizard's loyal sword. Topple an empire, and help him reclaim his seat of power.

But Csorwe will soon learn—gods remember, and if you live long enough, all debts come due.

Series: The Serpent Gates #1

Published: 2020

Score: 101

Our rating: 10.0/10 (read the review)

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2. Circe

by Madeline Miller

"A bold and subversive retelling of the goddess's story," this #1 New York Times bestseller is "both epic and intimate in its scope, recasting the most infamous female figure from the Odyssey as a hero in her own right" (Alexandra Alter, The New York Times).

In the house of Helios, god of the sun and mightiest of the Titans, a daughter is born. But Circe is a strange child--not powerful, like her father, nor viciously alluring like her mother. Turning to the world of mortals for companionship, she discovers that she does possess power--the power of witchcraft, which can transform rivals into monsters and menace the gods themselves.

Threatened, Zeus banishes her to a deserted island, where she hones her occult craft, tames wild beasts and crosses paths with many of the most famous figures in all of mythology, including the Minotaur, Daedalus and his doomed son Icarus, the murderous Medea, and, of course, wily Odysseus.

But there is danger, too, for a woman who stands alone, and Circe unwittingly draws the wrath of both men and gods, ultimately finding herself pitted against one of the most terrifying and vengeful of the Olympians. To protect what she loves most, Circe must summon all her strength and choose, once and for all, whether she belongs with the gods she is born from, or the mortals she has come to love.

With unforgettably vivid characters, mesmerizing language and page-turning suspense, Circe is a triumph of storytelling, an intoxicating epic of family rivalry, palace intrigue, love and loss, as well as a celebration of indomitable female strength in a man's world.

#1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER--NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY NPR, The Washington Post, People, Time, Amazon, Entertainment Weekly, Bustle, Newsweek, the A.V. Club, Christian Science Monitor and Refinery 29, Buzzfeed, Paste, Audible, Kirkus, Publishers Weekly, Thrillist, NYPL, Self Real Simple, Goodreads, Boston Globe, Electric Literature, BookPage, the Guardian, Book Riot, Seattle Times, and Business Insider

Published: 2018

Score: 100

Our rating: 10.0/10 (read the review)

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3. Nevernight

by Jay Kristoff

Nevernight is the first in an epic new fantasy series from the New York Times bestselling author, Jay Kristoff.

In a land where three suns almost never set, a fledgling killer joins a school of assassins, seeking vengeance against the powers who destroyed her family.

Daughter of an executed traitor, Mia Corvere is barely able to escape her father’s failed rebellion with her life. Alone and friendless, she hides in a city built from the bones of a dead god, hunted by the Senate and her father’s former comrades. But her gift for speaking with the shadows leads her to the door of a retired killer, and a future she never imagined.

Now, a sixteen year old Mia is apprenticed to the deadliest flock of assassins in the entire Republic — the Red Church. Treachery and trials await her with the Church’s halls, and to fail is to die. But if she survives to initiation, Mia will be inducted among the chosen of the Lady of Blessed Murder, and one step closer to the only thing she desires.

Revenge.

Series: The Nevernight Chronicle: Book 1

Published: 2016

Score: 98

Our rating: 10.0/10 (read the review)

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4. The Reapers are the Angels

by Alden Bell

God is a slick god. Temple knows. She knows because of all the crackerjack miracles still to be seen on this ruined globe... Older than her years and completely alone, Temple is just trying to live one day at a time in a post-apocalyptic world, where the undead roam endlessly, and the remnant of mankind who have survived, at times, seem to retain little humanity themselves. This is the world she was born into. Temple has known nothing else. Her journey takes her to far-flung places, to people struggling to maintain some semblance of civilization – and to those who have created a new world order for themselves. When she comes across the helpless Maury, she attempts to set one thing right, if she can just get him back to his family in Texas then maybe it will bring redemption for some of the terrible things she's done in her past. Because Temple has had to fight to survive, has done things that she's not proud of and, along the road, she’s made enemies. Now one vengeful man is determined that, in a world gone mad, killing her is the one thing that makes sense…

Published: 2010

Score: 96

Our rating: 9.3/10 (read the review)

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5. Nightfall

by Will Elliott

Aden awakens naked in a bath tub, knowing only that he is dead. His new world is Nightfall, a place filled with characters bizarre, grotesque and magical: Julius the duke, the monstrous Gorr family, the goddess Muse, Slythe the deadly assassin. On the night Aden awakens, the Forgetting closes in, erasing everything it touches. Aden has little time to discover why this world and its characters seem so familiar to him, and why they call his grandfather the Worldmaker… and he must work out if he is here to save this world, or to help destroy it.

Published: 2012

Score: 96

Our rating: 9.6/10 (read the review)

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6. Hats off to Brandenburg

by Graham Thomas

London, 1815 – The Roxy Playhouse is in trouble! The Roxy Playhouse Irregulars, those libertine artists and dreamers, are up to their necks in debt – “Pay up in one month or its curtains for you all.” Dark times lead to drastic schemes and so the Irregulars decide to reinvent themselves as ‘performance thieves’, infiltrate High Society and ‘Robin Hood’ their way through it. However, getting embroiled in a dark and deadly plot to destroy the Monarchy was never part of their script. The Roxy Irregulars will have to stage the performance of their lives if they want to save the day and make it home in time for last orders.

Published: 2012

Score: 96

Our rating: 9.6/10 (read the review)

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7. Lear's Daughters

by Marjorie B Kellogg

Set in the future on a distant world, Lear’s Daughters tackles the issues of global warming, pollution, exploitation of resources, and disastrous climate change. Long out of print, it has been completely rewritten by the authors to reflect the cutting-edge knowledge and research on environmentalism of the twenty-first century.

Published: 1986

Score: 96

Our rating: 9.6/10 (read the review)

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8. Starsight

by Brandon Sanderson

All her life, Spensa has dreamed of becoming a pilot. Of proving she's a hero like her father. She made it to the sky, but the truths she learned about her father were crushing. The rumors of his cowardice are true--he deserted his flight during battle against the Krell. Worse, though, he turned against his team and attacked them. 

Spensa is sure there's more to the story. And she's sure that whatever happened to her father in his starship could happen to her. When she made it outside the protective shell of her planet, she heard the stars--and it was terrifying. Everything Spensa has been taught about her world is a lie.

But Spensa also discovered a few other things about herself--and she'll travel to the end of the galaxy to save humankind if she needs to.

Series: Skyward #2

Published: 2019

Score: 96

Our rating: 9.4/10 (read the review)

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9. Endymion Spring

by Matthew Skelton

Who or what is Endymion Spring? A power for good, or for evil... A legendary book that holds the secret to a world of knowledge... A young boy without a voice - whose five-hundred-year-old story is about to explode in the twenty-first century... Set in present-day Oxford and Germany at the dawn of printing, one magical book sets two boys’ worlds alight – bringing them unimaginable danger, excitement and power...

Published: 2006

Score: 95

Our rating: 9.1/10 (read the review)

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10. Dante's Journey

by JC Marino

A flash of light and Detective Joe Dante steps through. No longer on the cobblestone streets of 1961 Boston, Joe finds himself in a horrifying new world-Hell itself. Joe was in hot pursuit of his family's killer, drug lord Filippo Argenti, when both were killed, and isn't about to let a little thing like death slow him down. So, with a healthy dose of New England stubbornness and the help of a mysterious guide, Virgil DiMini, Joe must evade angry demons, and search ever-lower through the rings of the original Dante's Inferno in hopes of finding justice for his wife and children. However, Joe will soon discover that behind every sin lies a secret and each secret revealed could land Joe in an eternity of hot water... VERY hot.

Published: 2010

Score: 95

Our rating: 9.4/10 (read the review)

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11. Deep Into The Heart of a Rose

by GT Denny

On a crisp autumn morning, in his cottage in the idyllic land of the Vale, Mr. Edward T. Cozzlebottom composed the following letter for his secret love, the graceful and lovely Mizz Ezmerelda Wimbish. "Dear Mizz Wimbish, Confessions are something to admire. Don't you agree? Far more confessors, of the subtle variety, would make this world a place more agreeable for all. It is in this spirit that I concoct this missive and subtle confession. I have been taken with you for some number of years. I notice that you are quite fond of roses, as am I. Given our mutual interests, and the proximity of our lives, I think it is time for us to meet fate halfway and talk of things that affect us both. We could discuss your roses, or my books, or any matter that concerns you. There are many seemingly quiet things that happen on our very street that I think could fill an evening, if not a lifetime. If my suggestion intrigues you, I will meet you beyond the honeysuckle on the far side of Embry Lane by the fourth gaslight. I will be there Wednesday just before the lamplighter arrives. I encourage you to consider my offer, as it is filled with gravity. Most sincerely and with the respect due to a lady of your type, Edward T. Cozzlebottom. P.S. If it rains, bring an umbrella." Though these two lonely souls occupy homes separated by a matter of feet and inches, they soon discover that it will take many miles of treacherous travel before they can master the short distance between their hearts and doors. Each one goes on a separate journey that takes them from the startling beauty of the Many Mirrored Way to the blackest woods of the Great Dorianic Forest. Along the way, they encounter the Trench Systers, the Wicked Tinker, the Walrus King, and the Brothers of the Black Lodge.

Series: Book of Broken Bindings: Book 1

Published: 2011

Score: 95

Our rating: 9.0/10 (read the review)

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12. The Last Man Standing

by Davide Longo

Italy is on the brink of collapse. Borders are closed, banks withhold money, the postal service stalls. Armed gangs of drug-fuelled youths roam the countryside. Leonardo was a famous writer and professor before a sex scandal ended his marriage and career. Heading north in search of her new husband, his ex-wife leaves their daughter and her son in his care. If he is to take them to safety, he will need to find a quality he has never possessed: courage.

Published: 2012

Score: 95

Our rating: 9.6/10 (read the review)

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13. Ack-Ack Macaque

by Gareth L Powell

In 1944, as waves of German ninjas parachute into Kent, Britain’s best hopes for victory lie with a Spitfire pilot codenamed ‘Ack-Ack Macaque’. The trouble is, Ack-Ack Macaque is a cynical, one-eyed, cigar-chomping monkey, and he’s starting to doubt everything, including his own existence. A century later, in a world where France and Great Britain merged in the late 1950s and nuclear-powered Zeppelins encircle the globe, ex-journalist Victoria Valois finds herself drawn into a deadly game of cat and mouse with the man who butchered her husband and stole her electronic soul. Meanwhile, in Paris, after taking part in an illegal break-in at a research laboratory, the heir to the British throne goes on the run. And all the while, the doomsday clock ticks towards Armageddon.

Published: 2012

Score: 95

Our rating: 9.5/10 (read the review)

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14. The Witchwood Crown

by Tad Williams

New York Times-bestselling Tad Williams’ ground-breaking epic fantasy saga of Osten Ard begins an exciting new cycle! • Volume One of The Last King of Osten Ard

The Dragonbone Chair, the first volume of Memory, Sorrow, and Thorn, was published in hardcover in October, 1988, launching the series that was to become one of the seminal works of modern epic fantasy. Many of today’s top-selling fantasy authors, from Patrick Rothfuss to George R. R. Martin to Christopher Paolini credit Tad with being the inspiration for their own series.

Now, twenty-four years after the conclusion of Memory, Sorrow, and Thorn, Tad returns to his beloved universe and characters with The Witchwood Crown, the first novel in the long-awaited sequel trilogy, The Last King of Osten Ard. 

More than thirty years have passed since the events of the earlier novels, and the world has reached a critical turning point once again. The realm is threatened by divisive forces, even as old allies are lost, and others are lured down darker paths. Perhaps most terrifying of all, the Norns—the long-vanquished elvish foe—are stirring once again, preparing to reclaim the mortal-ruled lands that once were theirs....

Series: Last King of Osten Ard #1

Published: 2017

Score: 95

Our rating: 9.5/10 (read the review)

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15. The Divine Cities Trilogy

by Robert Jackson Bennett

A special omnibus edition, collecting all three books of Robert Jackson Bennett’s acclaimed Divine Cities trilogy in a single volume. 
 
In a world where terrifying, capricious gods once walked the earth, enslaving and brutalizing millions, three unforgettable protagonists struggle to come to terms with the mysteries these divinities left behind— and to make sure these cruel masters do not rise again. 
 
In City of Stairs, an unassuming young woman named Shara Thivani arrives in Bulikov, the city that once wielded the powers of the gods to conquer the world. Officially, she is just another junior diplomat, dispatched by the city’s new colonial masters; unofficially, she is one of her country’s most accomplished spies, on a mission to solve a murder. As she pursues the killer, she begins to suspect that the gods who once guarded Bulikov are not as dead as they seem, and that the city’s cruel reign may begin anew. 
 
In City of Blades, General Turin Mulaghesh—foul-mouthed hero of the battle of Bulikov, rumored war criminal, ally of an embattled prime minister—is pressed into service one last time, investigating a terrifying discovery in the city of Voortyashtan, once the stronghold of the god of war and death. Voortyashtan’s god is most certainly dead, but something is awakening in the city. And someone is determined to make the world tremble at the city’s awful power once again. 
 
In City of Miracles, the formidable, seemingly unkillable Sigrud je Harkvaldsson returns from self-imposed exile on a mission of revenge, only to find himself embroiled in a battle that may be beyond even his abilities to win—a secret, decades-long war that will force him to confront the last mysteries of Bulikov, the city of miracles itself.

Series: The Divine Cities trilogy #1 - #3

Published: 2018

Score: 95

Our rating: 9.5/10 (read the review)

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16. Godsgrave

by Jay Kristoff

The second thrilling installment of the award-winning Nevernight Chronicle, from New York Times bestselling author Jay Kristoff.

In a land where three suns almost never set, a ruthless assassin continues her quest for vengeance against the powers who destroyed her family.

Mia Corvere has found her place among the Blades of Our Lady of Blessed Murder, but many in the Red Church hierarchy think she’s far from earned it. Plying her bloody trade in a backwater of the Republic, she’s no closer to ending the men who destroyed her familia; in fact, she’s told directly that Consul Scaeva is off limits. But after a deadly confrontation with an old enemy, Mia's suspicions about the Red Church’s true motives begin to grow.

When it’s announced that Scaeva will be making a rare public appearance at the conclusion of the grand games in Godsgrave, Mia defies the Church and sells herself to a gladiatorial collegium for a chance to finally end him. Upon the sands of the arena, Mia finds new allies, bitter rivals, and more questions about her strange affinity for the shadows. But as conspiracies unfold within the collegium walls, and the body count rises, Mia will be forced to choose between love and revenge, and uncover a secret that could change the very face of her world.

Series: The Nevernight Chronicle: Book 2

Published: 2017

Score: 95

Our rating: 9.7/10 (read the review)

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17. Fortune's Fool

by Angela Boord

A secret affair. A disfiguring punishment. A burning need for revenge.

Kyrra d’Aliente has a bad reputation and an arm made of metal.

Cast out of the safe and luxurious world of silk to which she was born, played as a pawn in a game of feuding Houses, Kyrra navigates a dangerous world of mercenaries, spies, and smugglers while disguising herself as a man. 

War destroyed her family and the man she loved. 

Vengeance is within her grasp. 

But is she willing to pay its price?

Series: Eterean Empire: Book 1

Published: 2019

Score: 95

Our rating: 9.5/10 (read the review)

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18. The Girl and the Stars

by Mark Lawrence

Only when it's darkest can you see the stars.

East of the Black Rock, out on the ice, lies a hole down which broken children are thrown

On the vastness of the ice there is no room for individuals. No one survives alone.
To resist the cold, to endure the months of night when even the air itself begins to freeze, requires a special breed. Variation is dangerous, difference is fatal. And Yaz is different.

Torn from her family, from the boy she thought she would spend her life with, Yaz has to carve a new path for herself in a world whose existence she never suspected. A world full of danger.

Beneath the ice, Yaz will learn that Abeth is older and stranger than she had ever imagined. 
She will learn that her weaknesses are another kind of strength. And she will learn to challenge the cruel arithmetic of survival that has always governed her people.

Only when it's darkest can you see the stars.

Series: The Book of the Ice #1

Published: 2020

Score: 95

Our rating: 9.5/10 (read the review)

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19. Along the Razor's Edge

by Rob J Hayes

No one escapes the Pit.

At just fifteen Eskara Helsene fought in the greatest war mankind has ever known. Fought and lost. There is only one place her enemies would send a Sourcerer as powerful as her, the Pit, a prison sunk so deep into the earth the sun is a distant memory. Now she finds herself stripped of her magic; a young girl surrounded by thieves, murderers, and worse. In order to survive she will need to find new allies, play the inmates against each other, and find a way out. Her enemies will soon find Eskara is not so easily broken.

Series: The War Eternal #1

Published: 2020

Score: 95

Our rating: 9.5/10 (read the review)

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20. The Black God's War

by Moses Siregar III

Against the backdrop of epic warfare and the powers of ten mysterious gods, Lucia struggles to understand The Black One. Her father-king wants war. Her messianic brother wants peace. The black god wants his due. She suffers all the consequences. King Vieri is losing his war against the lands of Pawelon. Feeling abandoned by his god, he forces his son Caio, the kingdom's holy savior, to lead his army. Victory ought to come soon. To counter Caio's powers, Pawelon's prince enters the conflict. Rao is a gifted sage, a master of spiritual laws. He joins the rajah to defend their citadel against the invaders. But Rao's ideals soon clash with his army's general. The Black One tortures Lucia nightly with visions promising another ten years of bloodshed. She can no longer tell the difference between the waking world and her nightmares. Lucia knows the black god too well. He entered her bed and dreams when she was ten. The Black One watches, waiting to see Lucia confront an impossible decision over the fates of two men--and two lands.

Series: Splendor and Ruin: Book 1

Published: 2011

Score: 94

Our rating: 9.4/10 (read the review)

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21. Divergent

by Veronica Roth

She turns to the future in a world that’s falling apart. For sixteen-year-old Tris, the world changes in a heartbeat when she is forced to make a terrible choice. Turning her back on her family, Tris ventures out, alone, determined to find out where she truly belongs. Shocked by the brutality of her new life, Tris can trust no one. And yet she is drawn to a boy who seems to both threaten and protect her. The hardest choices may yet lie ahead…

Series: Divergent Trilogy #1

Published: 2011

Score: 94

Our rating: 8.3/10 (read the review)

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22. Kings of Ash

by Richard Nell

Follow the long, bloody journey of Ruka, son of Beyla through the islands of Pyu and the frozen wastes of the Ascom; see the return home of Ratama Kale Alaku, the 'Sorcerer-Prince', and the terrifying rise of his 'miracles'. Before the end, a shocking history will unravel, ancient connections unfold, and all will learn the cost of unleashing the Kings of Ash...

Series: Ash and Sand #2

Published: 2019

Score: 94

Our rating: 9.4/10 (read the review)

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23. Wrath of Storms

by Steven McKinnon

A girl with terrifying powers. An assassin battling his bloodlust. And an ancient evil stirring…

Serena’s fearsome power is growing stronger. After conning her way aboard a luxury airship in search of clues about her past, she walks straight into a sky pirate’s trap. But after her powers are unleashed and apocalyptic visions invade her mind, Serena realises the greatest threat may be herself…

As Damien Fieri struggles against his bloodlust, connections in high places conspire to keep his killer instincts sharp. He’d love to confront the clandestine forces that turned him into a living weapon - but can he find a way to do it that doesn’t shed more blood?

Can Serena and Damien bend their powers for good, or will they become dangerous pawns in a much deadlier game?

Wrath of Storms is the second book in The Raincatcher’s Ballad epic fantasy series. If you like gritty adventure, dangerous magic, and page-turning battles, then you’ll love Steven McKinnon’s expansive saga.

Series: The Raincatcher\'s Ballad #2

Published: 2019

Score: 94

Our rating: 8.9/10 (read the review)

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24. Silver Mage

by CM Debell

In the first age of Andeira, men and dragons brought together the two halves of the elemental magic of the world to create a union through which their magic, and the world, could support and renew itself. When war broke out, that union was destroyed - deliberately severed by the ancient mages in a desperate attempt to stop their enemies. They knew the price of their actions: the dragons would disappear from Andeira until such time as it would be safe for them to return, stripping the world of half the elemental magic it needed to survive. What the mages did not realise was that their enemies would survive the severing of the bond, threatening the prophecy created by the dragons to ensure their return in a later age. Three thousand years on, the world is slowly dying, and the dragons have been forgotten by all but a few. This is the story of one man's search across their ancient homeland, and his desperate bid to fulfil the prophecy and bring the dragons back into the world.

Published: 2008

Score: 93

Our rating: 9.1/10 (read the review)

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25. Year of the Unicorn

by Andre Norton

Far from the besieged home of Simon and Jaelithe, in peaceful Norsdale, we meet Gillan, who longs to leave her dull life in a secluded country abbey. But when her wish comes true, she finds more than a little adventure. As she ventures out, not only is her life in danger, but also the power that lies within her, waiting to be discovered.

Series: Witch World: Book 3

Published: 1965

Score: 93

Our rating: 9.5/10 (read the review)

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26. Knights of the Dead God

by James Jakins

The half-orc girl, Mikaia Goretusk, has been torn from her home. Her world. Her family. Her only allies are the holy knight, Arthur Shield, once sworn to kill everyone she has ever cared for, and the witch, Hazel Midd. 

Arthur struggles with the guilt of being unable to save his god. Hazel seeks desperately for something taken from her. They distrust each other but both are compelled to protect the young girl. 

To return her home they must battle angry mobs, hags, and dark wizards. They will seek the aid of the Knights of Saban. The very god that ordered the extermination of her family. But Saban is dead and not all is as it should be in his temple. The knights have enlisted the use of dark magics to rekindle the fear that was once theirs by right. 

Mikaia’s road home will be a long one. Will her first step in that journey be the last?

Series: Mikaia Goretusk #1

Published: 2018

Score: 93

Our rating: 9.2/10 (read the review)

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27. The Winter Road

by Adrian Selby

The greatest empire of them all began with a road.

The Circle – a thousand miles of perilous forests and warring clans. No one has ever tamed such treacherous territory before, but ex-soldier Teyr Amondsen, veteran of a hundred battles, is determined to try.

With a merchant caravan protected by a crew of skilled mercenaries, Amondsen embarks on a dangerous mission to forge a road across the untamed wilderness that was once her home. But a warlord rises in the wilds of the Circle, uniting its clans and terrorising its people. Teyr’s battles may not be over yet...

All roads lead back to war.

Published: 2018

Score: 93

Our rating: 9.3/10 (read the review)

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28. Son of a Liche

by J Zachary Pike

A doubly disgraced dwarven hero. A band of accident-prone adventurers. Giving redemption a second shot may have been a grave mistake…

Still bruised and heartbroken from their last calamitous quest, Gorm Ingerson and his band of washed-up heroes try to make amends for the Orcs they accidentally betrayed. But justice is put on hold when an old foe marches to the city gates. Gorm is horrified to discover a liche pitching the frightened city-dwellers on the merits of the undead lifestyle… at the head of a corpse army.

To save the city from high-pressure sales tactics and an inevitable siege, the Dwarf warrior and his misfit band hatch a harebrained scheme that lands them at the top of the king’s kill list. With death and dark magic on his heels, Gorm must craft his own pitch to round up the troops and put the undead snake-oil salesman and his army of pushers permanently out of business.

Son of a Liche is the second book in The Dark Profit Saga, a trilogy of humorous epic fantasy novels. If you like rib-tickling shenanigans, second-rate heroes, and imaginative new takes on tired tropes, then you’ll love J. Zachary Pike’s hilarious blend of finance and high fantasy.

Series: The Dark Profit Saga #2

Published: 2018

Score: 93

Our rating: 9.2/10 (read the review)

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29. Beckwood Brae

by David H Webb

The grey monster disappears into the bracken. After the near encounter, Norri is left shaken and wondering. What is it? How did it come to be in the Fornvelt? He has no idea that sighting the creature is just the first portent of great events that are taking shape, much less what his part in them will be. Norri, Tom, and the others find themselves in an epic struggle against the massed armies and navy of the Corriian Empire who unleash demonic weapons of terror and legend against them until all hope of any of them surviving the conflagration seems lost. Norri 's task and the journey he undertakes goes terribly wrong. There, in utter despair, he makes the decision that could shake the world. Thus begins the fantastic voyage of Beckwood Brea.

Series: The Chronicles of the Corriian Wars: Book 1

Published: 0000

Score: 92

Our rating: 8.8/10 (read the review)

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30. The Prophecy Keepers

by Melaine Bryant

There is an ancient legend in the memories of the humans of Niwengeard, that a time will come when Darkness will fall upon the kingdoms of Earde and one will rise who threatens all species. It has been foretold that at this time, a Gifted human child possessing the powers of the magical races--the empyreals--will be born to lead a revolution against the Darkness. But this memory is hazy, like the memories of the beginning of time, of the Creators, of the First and Second Destructions, and even of the empyreal races who share the humans' world. So when a fairy named Rædan appears before fourteen-year-old Lisandra Ackart and tells her that the time of the Third Destruction has begun and that she is the Gifted One, she doesn't believe him. When a series of strange events leaves her hundreds of miles from home, Lisandra is thrust unwillingly into the heart of an epic struggle that has spanned millennia, a conflict between the races of the Dark and the races of the Light. Now that struggle is nearing its end, and Lisandra must find the twenty-three Keepers of the ancient Prophecy, each of whom holds a single piece of the key to saving Earde from the Darkness. But first she must find a way to stop the Dark Queen, Lucifæra--who the Light Ones believe is behind the sudden disappearance of thousands of fairies--and her mysterious hexagonal charm.

Series: Prophecy Keepers: Book 1

Published: 2008

Score: 92

Our rating: 9.0/10 (read the review)

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31. The Fifth Empire of Man

by Rob J Hayes

The Pirate Isles are united under Drake Morrass’ flag, but the war has only just begun. There’s still a long way to go before he’s able to call himself King, and traitors at every turn. The Five Kingdoms and Sarth have assembled a fleet of ships unlike any the world has ever seen and they intend to purge the Pirate Isles once and for all by fire and steel. Revenge, never far from Keelin Stillwater’s mind, is finally within his grasp and he sets sail to the Forgotten Empire. But more than dense jungles and ruined cities await him there. Vengeful gods and malignant spirits now call those cursed lands home, and they are not wisely disturbed. Meanwhile, Elaina Black tries to secure herself powerful allies and the forces those allies can spare. She’s set her course on the throne: either by Drake’s side or over his dead body.

Series: The Best Laid Plans #2

Published: 2017

Score: 92

Our rating: 9.2/10 (read the review)

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32. Kings of Paradise

by Richard Nell

An island prince searches for meaning; a deformed genius struggles to survive. In a changing world where ash meets paradise, only one man can be king…

Ruka, son of Beyla, is a monster. Single-born, twisted, and ugly, Ruka has the bright, golden eyes of a wolf. But his mind is as vast as the open sea.

Born in the frozen, snow-covered wasteland of the Ascom—the land of ash—Ruka was spared from death at birth by his mother’s love. Now, he is an outlaw, and dreams only of vengeance. But can a broken genius find redemption? Can he fulfill his mother’s dreams, and use his gifts to change the world? Or once he has it in his grasp, will he simply break it apart?

Across a vast sea is the white-sand island paradise of Sri Kon.

There, Ratama Kale Alaku is fourth and youngest son of the island monarch men call the Sorcerer King. At sixteen, Kale is a disappointment. His father has sent him away to the navy, perhaps in hopes of salvaging a once-promising child, or perhaps just to get rid of him.

Now Kale must prove his worth - not just to his father, but to himself. He must become more than just a wastrel prince, and quickly, or else lose all hope of purpose, or love.

And though Kale does not yet know how or why, he stands on the cusp of discovery. For his path, his 'Way', is perhaps the only hope for his family, his people, and as the storm gathers in the land of ash, maybe the world itself...

Series: Ash and Sand #1

Published: 2017

Score: 92

Our rating: 9.2/10 (read the review)

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33. The Girl with No Face

by M H Boroson

The adventures of Li-lin, a Daoist priestess with the unique ability to see the spirit world, continue in the thrilling follow-up to the critically-acclaimed historical urban fantasy The Girl with Ghost Eyes.

It’s the end of the Nineteenth Century. San Francisco’s cobblestone streets are haunted, but Chinatown has an unlikely protector in a young Daoist priestess named Li-lin. Using only her martial arts training, spiritual magic, a sword made from peachwood, and the walking, talking spirit of a human eye, Li-lin stands alone to defend her immigrant community from supernatural threats.

But when the body of a young girl is brought to the deadhouse Li-lin oversees for a local group of gangsters, she faces her most bewildering—and potentially dangerous—assignment yet. The nine-year-old has died from suffocation . . . specifically by flowers growing out of her nose and mouth. Li-lin suspects Gong Tau, a dirty and primitive form of dark magic. But who is behind the spell, and why, will take her on a perilous journey deep into a dangerous world of ghosts and spirits.

With hard historical realism and meticulously researched depictions of Chinese monsters and magic that have never been written about in the English language, The Girl with No Face draws from the action-packed cinema of Hong Kong to create a compelling and unforgettable tale of historical fantasy and Chinese lore.

Series: The Daoishi Chronicles #2

Published: 2019

Score: 92

Our rating: 9.1/10 (read the review)

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34. Shorefall

by Robert Jackson Bennett

As a magical revolution remakes a city, an ancient evil is awakened in a brilliant new novel from the Hugo-nominated author of Foundryside and the Divine Cities trilogy.
 
A few years ago, Sancia Grado would’ve happily watched Tevanne burn. Now, she’s hoping to transform her city into something new. Something better. Together with allies Orso, Gregor, and Berenice, she’s about to strike a deadly blow against Tevanne’s cruel robber-baron rulers and wrest power from their hands for the first time in decades.
 
But then comes a terrifying warning: Crasedes Magnus himself, the first of the legendary hierophants, is about to be reborn. And if he returns, Tevanne will be just the first place to feel his wrath.
 
Thousands of years ago, Crasedes was an ordinary man who did the impossible: Using the magic of scriving—the art of imbuing objects with sentience—he convinced reality that he was something more than human. Wielding powers beyond comprehension, he strode the world like a god for centuries, meting out justice and razing empires single-handedly, cleansing the world through fire and destruction—and even defeating death itself.
 
Like it or not, it’s up to Sancia to stop him. But to have a chance in the battle to come, she’ll have to call upon a god of her own—and unlock the door to a scriving technology that could change what it means to be human. And no matter who wins, nothing will ever be the same.
 
The awe-inspiring second installment of the Founders Trilogy, Shorefall returns us to the world Robert Jackson Bennett created in his acclaimed Foundryside . . . and forges it anew.

Series: Founders #2

Published: 2020

Score: 92

Our rating: 9.2/10 (read the review)

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35. love songs for the shy and cynical

by Robert Shearman

The first love song in the world, as composed by a pig in the Garden of Eden... The Devil, alarmed when his hobby of writing romantic fiction begins to upstage his day job... A man finding love with someone who has an allergy to his very own happiness; another losing love altogether when his wife gives him back his heart in a Tupperware box...

Published: 2009

Score: 91

Our rating: 9.1/10 (read the review)

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36. Brood of Bones

by AE Marling

Cursed with endless drowsiness, Enchantress Hiresha sleeps more than she lives. Since she never has had a chance to raise a family, she sometimes feels like every woman is pregnant except for her. This time, she is right. From virgin to grandmother, all the women in her city have conceived. One unexpected pregnancy is a drama; fifty thousand is citywide hysteria. A lurking sorcerer drains power from the unnatural pregnancies, and Hiresha must track him by his magic. Unfortunately, her cultured education in enchantment ill equips her to understand his spellcraft, which is decidedly less than proper. The only person uncivilized enough to help is the Lord of the Feast, a dangerous yet charming illusionist. Associating with him may imperil Hiresha’s city, yet refusing his help will allow the sorcerer to leech godlike power from the mass births.

Published: 0000

Score: 91

Our rating: 8.9/10 (read the review)

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37. Dawn of Wonder

by Jonathan Renshaw

When a high-ranking officer gallops into the quiet Mistyvales, he brings a warning that shakes the countryfolk to their roots. But for Aedan, a scruffy young adventurer with veins full of fire and a head full of ideas, this officer is not what he seems. The events that follow propel Aedan on a journey that only the foolhardy or desperate would risk, leading him to the gates of the nation's royal academy - a whole world of secrets in itself. But this is only the beginning of his discoveries. Something is stirring in the land, something more ominous than the rising threat of hostile nations. Fearful travellers whisper of an ancient power breathing over Thirna, changing it, waking it. In the very heart of these stirrings, Aedan encounters that which defies belief, leaving him speechless with terror - and wonder.

Series: The Wakening #1

Published: 2015

Score: 91

Our rating: 8.8/10 (read the review)

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38. The Grey Bastards

by Jonathan French

LIVE IN THE SADDLE. DIE ON THE HOG. 

Such is the creed of the half-orcs dwelling in the Lot Lands. Sworn to hardened brotherhoods known as hoofs, these former slaves patrol their unforgiving country astride massive swine bred for war. They are all that stand between the decadent heart of noble Hispartha and marauding bands of full-blood orcs. 

Jackal rides with the Grey Bastards, one of eight hoofs that have survived the harsh embrace of the Lots. Young, cunning and ambitious, he schemes to unseat the increasingly tyrannical founder of the Bastards, a plague-ridden warlord called the Claymaster. Supporting Jackal’s dangerous bid for leadership are Oats, a hulking mongrel with more orc than human blood, and Fetching, the only female rider in all the hoofs. 

When the troubling appearance of a foreign sorcerer comes upon the heels of a faceless betrayal, Jackal’s plans are thrown into turmoil. He finds himself saddled with a captive elf girl whose very presence begins to unravel his alliances. With the anarchic blood rite of the Betrayer Moon close at hand, Jackal must decide where his loyalties truly lie, and carve out his place in a world that rewards only the vicious. 

Series: The Lot Lands #1

Published: 2015

Score: 91

Our rating: 9.0/10 (read the review)

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39. The Sword of Kaigen

by M L Wang

On a mountainside at the edge of the Kaigenese Empire live the most powerful warriors in the world, superhumans capable of raising the sea and wielding blades of ice. For hundreds of years, the fighters of the Kusanagi Peninsula have held the Empire's enemies at bay, earning their frozen spit of land the name 'The Sword of Kaigen.'

Born into Kusanagi's legendary Matsuda family, fourteen-year-old Mamoru has always known his purpose: to master his family's fighting techniques and defend his homeland. But when an outsider arrives and pulls back the curtain on Kaigen's alleged age of peace, Mamoru realizes that he might not have much time to become the fighter he was bred to be. Worse, the empire he was bred to defend may stand on a foundation of lies.

Misaki told herself that she left the passions of her youth behind when she married into the Matsuda house. Determined to be a good housewife and mother, she hid away her sword, along with everything from her days as a fighter in a faraway country. But with her growing son asking questions about the outside world, the threat of an impending invasion looming across the sea, and her frigid husband grating on her nerves, Misaki finds the fighter in her clawing its way back to the surface. 

When the winds of war reach their peninsula, will the Matsuda family have the strength to defend their empire? Or will they tear each other apart before the true enemies even reach their shores? 

A rich elemental magic system and deep world-building make this martial fantasy perfect for fans of R.F. Kuang, Brandon Sanderson, Leigh Bardugo, and Lian Hearn.

Published: 2019

Score: 91

Our rating: 9.1/10 (read the review)

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40. The Long Walk

by Stephen King

In the near future, where America has become a police state, 100 boys are selected to enter an annual contest where the winner will be awarded whatever he wants for the rest of his life.
The game is simple - maintain a steady walking pace of four miles per hour without stopping. Three warnings and you're out - permanently.

Published: 1979

Score: 91

Our rating: 9.1/10 (read the review)

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41. The Talisman

by Stephen King

Twelve-year-old Jack spends his days alone in a deserted coastal town, his father gone, his mother dying. Then he meets a stranger - and embarks on a terrifying journey. For Jack must find the Talisman, the only thing that can save his mother.

His quest takes him into the menacing Territories, a parallel world where violence, surprise and the titanic struggle between good and evil reach across a mythic landscape.

Published: 1984

Score: 91

Our rating: 9.0/10 (read the review)

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42. The Scholar's Tale

by Reggie Oliver

Bram Stoker's immortal Dracula told us about Count Dracula as an undead vampire. But how did this come to be? Who was Dracula in real life? There has always been speculation, but The Dracula Papers now offers the ultimate answer. It takes us back to the year 1576, to the wild land of Transylvania and to the early life of Prince Vladimir who came to be the horror known as Dracula.

Series: The Dracula Papers: Book 1

Published: 2011

Score: 90

Our rating: 9.0/10 (read the review)

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43. Redheart

by Jackie Gamber

Kallon Redheart lives with his back turned on his fellow dragons, on humans, and on everything he once understood. Riza Diantus is a young woman with dreams too wide to fit inside her village fence. Their unexpected friendship is risky in Leland Province, where drought has stripped the land and superstition has cowed its people. And the danger only grows. Fordon Blackclaw, Dragon Council Leader, resents Leland's time-worn venur system. He has inflamed tensions between dragons and humans to the brink of war. He wants to trample humans into utter submission, or wipe them off the face of the land. Anger erupts, scorching innocent lives in its path. When Riza is threatened, Kallon is the only one with the power to save her. But first, he must confront his past and the future he stopped believing in. He must claim his destiny.

Series: Leland Dragon Series: Book 1

Published: 2008

Score: 90

Our rating: 9.0/10 (read the review)

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44. The Walkers of Legend

by Miles Allen

Two young men are thrown to opposite sides of a war where both will fight to prevent their homeland, the world’s last pocket of free people, from being consumed by a formidable Empire. If they fail, mankind is destined to an existence of slavery and habitual torture. Naïve and inexperienced they must learn fast as they begin their rite of passage, one as a warrior and the other as a Magii, to first survive and then manipulate those around them to save their people.
The Walkers of Legend launches into an epic action fantasy series that will begin to unravel a fearsome and deeply endangered world, and one that holds a staggering ten-thousand year-old secret.

Published: 2011

Score: 90

Our rating: 9.0/10 (read the review)

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45. The Written

by Ben Galley

His name is Farden. They whisper that he’s dangerous. Dangerous is only the half of it. Something has gone missing from the libraries of Arfell. Something very old, and something very powerful. Five scholars are now dead, a country is once again on the brink of war, and the magick council is running out of time and options. Entangled in a web of lies and politics and dragged halfway across icy Emaneska and back, Farden must unearth a secret even he doesn’t want to know, a secret that will shake the foundations of his world. Dragons, drugs, magick, death, and the deepest of betrayals await.

Series: Emaneska Series: Book 1

Published: 0000

Score: 90

Our rating: 8.8/10 (read the review)

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46. Alif the Unseen

by G Willow Wilson

He calls himself Alif - few people know his real name - a young man born in a Middle Eastern city that straddles the ancient and modern worlds. When Alif meets the aristocratic Intisar, he believes he has found love. But their relationship has no future - Intisar is promised to another man and her family's honour must be satisfied. As a remembrance, Intisar sends the heartbroken Alif a mysterious book. Entitled The Thousand and One Days, Alif discovers that this parting gift is a door to another world - a world from a very different time, when old magic was in the ascendant and the djinn walked amongst us. With the book in his hands, Alif finds himself drawing attention - far too much attention - from both men and djinn. Thus begins an adventure that takes him through the crumbling streets of a once-beautiful city, to uncover the long-forgotten mysteries of the Unseen. Alif is about to become a fugitive in both the corporeal and incorporeal worlds. And he is about to unleash a destructive power that will change everything and everyone - starting with Alif himself.

Published: 2012

Score: 90

Our rating: 9.0/10 (read the review)

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47. Zenn Scarlett

by Christian Schoon

Zenn Scarlett is a bright and occasionally a-little-too-smart-for-her-own-good 17-year-old girl training hard to become an exoveterinarian. She specializes in the treatment of exotic alien life forms, mostly large and generally dangerous. Her novice year of training at the Ciscan Cloister Exovet Clinic on Mars was going well - until there are a series of inexplicable animal escapes from the school that Zenn finds herself blamed for. As if this isn't enough to be dealing with, her father vanishes under strange circumstances, and Zenn is worried that she has started hearing the thoughts of the creatures around her... With the help of Liam, a towner boy, and Hamish, an alien bug also training at the clinic, Zenn must try to find her father, rescue the animals and unravel the mystery of who is behind the attacks on the school. And all without failing her first year.

Series: Zenn Scarlett duology #1

Published: 2013

Score: 90

Our rating: 9.0/10 (read the review)

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48. The Rabbit Back Literature Society

by Pasi Ilmari Jaaskelainen

Only very special people are chosen by children's author Laura White to join 'The Society', an elite group of writers in the small town of Rabbit Back. Now a tenth member has been selected: Ella, literature teacher and possessor of beautifully curving lips. But soon Ella discovers that the Society is not what it seems. What is its mysterious ritual, 'The Game'? What explains the strange disappearance that occurs at Laura's winter party, in a whirlwind of snow? Why are the words inside books starting to rearrange themselves? Was there once another tenth member, before her? Slowly, disturbing secrets that had been buried come to light...

Published: 2013

Score: 90

Our rating: 9.0/10 (read the review)

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49. Devourer of Souls

by Kevin Lucia

Welcome to Clifton Heights, an average Adirondack town. It's nice enough, really. Except after dark. Or on cold winter days when you're all alone... Sophan. An ancient game of chance and Fate. One boy's smoldering hate, another boy's need to make things right, and a father's ghosts of Vietnam past. The Man in Yellow. Tahawus is a small, isolated Adirondack town just north of Clifton Heights. A quiet place filled with simple people of an ardent faith, nothing much ever happens there... until the man in yellow comes calling. He knows your worst nightmares, and he can offer your fondest wish. All you need is faith... and a mouth from which to scream.

Series: The Clifton Heights Saga #3

Published: 2014

Score: 90

Our rating: 9.0/10 (read the review)

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50. Senlin Ascends

by Josiah Bancroft

While honeymooning in the Tower of Babel, Thomas Senlin loses his wife, Marya. The Tower of Babel is the greatest marvel of the Silk Age. Immense as a mountain, the ancient Tower holds unnumbered ringdoms, warring and peaceful, stacked one on the other like the layers of a cake. It is a world of geniuses and tyrants, of airships and steam engines, of unusual animals and mysterious machines. Thomas Senlin, the mild-mannered headmaster of a small village school, is drawn to the Tower by scientific curiosity and the grandiose promises of a guidebook. The luxurious Baths of the Tower seem an ideal destination for a honeymoon, but soon after arriving, Senlin loses Marya in the crowd. Senlin’s search for Marya carries him through madhouses, ballrooms, and burlesque theaters. He must survive betrayal, assassination, and the long guns of a flying fortress. But if he hopes to find his wife, he will have to do more than just survive. This quiet man of letters must become a man of action.

Series: The Books of Babel #1

Published: 2013

Score: 90

Our rating: 9.0/10 (read the review)

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51. Becoming Superman

by J Michael Straczynski

With an introduction by Neil Gaiman!

In this dazzling memoir, the acclaimed writer behind Babylon 5, Sense8, Clint Eastwood’s Changelingand Marvel’s Thor reveals how the power of creativity and imagination enabled him to overcome the horrors of his youth and a dysfunctional family haunted by madness, murder and a terrible secret.

For four decades, J. Michael Straczynski has been one of the most successful writers in Hollywood, one of the few to forge multiple careers in movies, television and comics.  Yet there’s one story he’s never told before: his own.

Joe's early life nearly defies belief. Raised by damaged adults—a con-man grandfather and a manipulative grandmother, a violent, drunken father and a mother who was repeatedly institutionalized—Joe grew up in abject poverty, living in slums and projects when not on the road, crisscrossing the country in his father’s desperate attempts to escape the consequences of his past. 

To survive his abusive environment Joe found refuge in his beloved comics and his dreams, immersing himself in imaginary worlds populated by superheroes whose amazing powers allowed them to overcome any adversity. The deeper he read, the more he came to realize that he, too, had a superpower: the ability to tell stories and make everything come out the way he wanted it. But even as he found success, he could not escape a dark and shocking secret that hung over his family’s past, a violent truth that he uncovered over the course of decades involving mass murder.

Straczynski’s personal history has always been shrouded in mystery. Becoming Superman lays bare the facts of his life: a story of creation and darkness, hope and success, a larger-than-life villain and a little boy who became the hero of his own life.  It is also a compelling behind-the-scenes look at some of the most successful TV series and movies recognized around the world.

Published: 2019

Score: 90

Our rating: 9.0/10 (read the review)

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52. Knee-Deep In Grit

by Adrian Collins

Get knee-deep in grit with twenty-five grimdark sci-fi and fantasy short stories from the shadowy vaults of Grimdark Magazine. The top names in dark speculative fiction and the genre’s brightest newcomers bring you stories of war, betrayal, violence, and greed, as anti-heroes and adversaries fight to the bittersweet end.

For the first time, the first two years of fiction from Grimdark Magazine are printed on dead trees and bound together like captive slaves to be read or reread and proudly placed among your favourite tomes on your bookshelf.

Published: 2018

Score: 90

Our rating: 9.0/10 (read the review)

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53. Symphony of the Wind

by Steven McKinnon

A bounty hunter with a death wish. An orphan with her head in the clouds. A conspiracy with the power to bring down a kingdom.

Serena dreams of leaving her harsh desert home behind in her very own airship. But when an assassin's knife meant for Serena kills her friend instead, the rebellious orphan ventures into the corrupt heart of Dalthea to discover who put a price on her head. With each new turn, she edges closer to uncovering the awful truth... And the mystical powers brewing deep within her.

After his fiancée’s death, soldier-turned-bounty hunter Tyson Gallows is eager to sacrifice his life in the line of duty. When a foreign enemy assassinates a high-ranking official, he vows to bring them to justice. On the hunt for a killer, Gallows exposes a sinister plot that proves his fiancée’s death was no accident.

Driven by revenge, Serena and Gallows must join forces to take down the conspiracy before the kingdom falls to ruin.

Series: The Raincatcher\'s Ballad #1

Published: 2018

Score: 90

Our rating: 9.0/10 (read the review)

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54. The Left Hand of Darkness

by Ursula Le Guin

Ursula K. Le Guin’s groundbreaking work of science fiction—winner of the Hugo and Nebula Awards.

A lone human ambassador is sent to the icebound planet of Winter, a world without sexual prejudice, where the inhabitants’ gender is fluid. His goal is to facilitate Winter’s inclusion in a growing intergalactic civilization. But to do so he must bridge the gulf between his own views and those of the strange, intriguing culture he encounters...

Embracing the aspects of psychology, society, and human emotion on an alien world, The Left Hand of Darkness stands as a landmark achievement in the annals of intellectual science fiction.

Published: 1969

Score: 90

Our rating: 9.0/10 (read the review)

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55. Smoke and Stone

by Michael R Fletcher

After a cataclysmic war of the gods, the last of humanity huddles in Bastion, a colossal ringed city. Beyond the outermost wall lies endless desert haunted by the souls of all the world's dead.

Trapped in a rigid caste system, Nuru, a young street sorcerer, lives in the outer ring. She dreams of escape and freedom. When something contacts her from beyond the wall, she risks everything and leaps at the opportunity. Mother Death, a banished god seeking to reclaim her place in Bastion's patchwork pantheon, has found her way back into the city.

Akachi, born to the wealth and splendour of Bastion's inner rings, is a priest of Cloud Serpent, Lord of the Hunt. A temple-trained sorcerer, he is tasked with bringing peace to the troublesome outer ring. Drawn into a dark and violent world of assassins, gangs, and street sorcerers, he battles the spreading influence of Mother Death in a desperate attempt to save Bastion.

The gods are once again at war.

Series: City of Sacrifice #1

Published: 2019

Score: 90

Our rating: 9.0/10 (read the review)

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56. Empire of Grass

by Tad Williams

Set in Williams' New York Times bestselling fantasy world, the second book of The Last King of Osten Ard returns to the trials of King Simon and Queen Miriamele as threats to their kingdom loom...

The kingdoms of Osten Ard have been at peace for decades, but now, the threat of a new war grows to nightmarish proportions.

Simon and Miriamele, royal husband and wife, face danger from every side. Their allies in Hernystir have made a pact with the dreadful Queen of the Norns to allow her armies to cross into mortal lands. The ancient, powerful nation of Nabban is on the verge of bloody civil war, and the fierce nomads of the Thrithings grasslands have begun to mobilize, united by superstitious fervor and their age-old hatred of the city-dwellers. But as the countries and peoples of the High Ward bicker among themselves, battle, bloodshed, and dark magics threaten to pull civilizations to pieces. And over it all looms the mystery of the Witchwood Crown, the deadly puzzle that Simon, Miriamele, and their allies must solve if they wish to survive.

But as the kingdoms of Osten Ard are torn apart by fear and greed, a few individuals will fight for their own lives and destinies—not yet aware that the survival of everything depends on them.

Series: Last King of Osten Ard #2

Published: 2019

Score: 90

Our rating: 9.0/10 (read the review)

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57. Flight of the Darkstar Dragon

by Benedict Patrick

Impossible world. Impossible dragon. Impossible adventure.

Lost with her ship and crew in an unfamiliar land, Min’s first command could be her last.

Nothing here behaves the way it should:

The magic that powers her skyship has been drained, rendering it immobile.

The sky is an endless twilight, lit by the luminous fish that swim in it.

Off starboard, there’s also the country-sized dragon that is looking particularly hungry.

It will take all of Min’s training and experience to get her people safely back home, but as the truth about the Darkstar Dimension begins to be revealed, Min will have to prove to her crew - and to herself - that she is still the best person for the job.

From the twisted mind that created the ‘delightfully weird’ Yarnsworld series comes a fantasy adventure like no other.

Grab it now, to set sail on a journey you’ll never forget! 

Series: Darkstar #1

Published: 2019

Score: 90

Our rating: 9.0/10 (read the review)

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58. The Lessons Never Learned

by Rob J Hayes

I am the weapon. 

Eskara is free of the Pit, but far from safe. She is beset by the ghosts of those she has killed, and plagued by the ancient horror that possesses her. Enemies dog her heels, determined to see the last Orran Sourcerer dead. Worse still, there is new player in the game, one far more dangerous than anything she has faced before.

But there is one place that might offer her both the safety she needs to survive, and the power she needs to strike back; Ro’shan, the flying home of a God.

Eska will soon learn that all power comes with a cost, and some prices are too high.

The thrilling continuation of The War Eternal trilogy raises the stakes and pits Eska against more dangerous enemies. Perfect for fans of Patrick Rothfuss and Mark Lawrence.

Series: The War Eternal #2

Published: 2020

Score: 90

Our rating: 9.2/10 (read the review)

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59. Return To Allapatria

by Shelley E Parker

Daniel's school holidays are interrupted when, via a ley-line that passes through the goldfish tank in his bedroom, he is transported to a parallel world - in which he has been chosen to fight a battle on behalf of Good against the forces of Evil! Reluctant isn't the word...

Published: 0000

Score: 89

Our rating: 8.7/10 (read the review)

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60. The Adventures of Nana Barb

by John Auckland

The Universe is dangerously close to collapsing. With a shady authority known as the Time Police on their tail, will the Timeseekers be able to save us all? Their only hopes rest with the prophesied ‘chosen one’ who – rather unexpectedly – turns out to be a kind old lady called Barbara. However, Nana Barb, as she is affectionately known by her seven grandkids, one great-granddaughter and the members of her local bridge club, becomes lost in time after the physicist who lives next-door accidentally activates her new invention. Unfortunately the only people who can save Nana Barb (and the entire Universe) are her hapless grandson Dave, his best and idiotic friend Simon and the beautiful yet clumsy physicist Louise. Guided by the omnipotent tentacles of the Fates, Nana Barb ventures through time desperate for a good cuppa, in the process meeting her long-dead parents, spawning a new religion and picking up a futuristic android companion.Will Dave and his new friends shake off the deadly Time Police? Will the Timeseekers stop the Universe from collapsing? And more importantly, will Nana Barb ever find a decent cup of tea?

Series: Lost in Time: Book 1

Published: 0000

Score: 89

Our rating: 8.8/10 (read the review)

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61. By Raven's Call

by J A Devenport

Faced with increasing pressure from rebels, the tyrant king of Dargenn must force a war with the rival nation of Relan to unite the country behind him. To help create chaos, he turns to the most feared assassin in the world, the Raven, a man cursed by ancient demons and forced to kill at their whim; if he fails, he dies. Using his knowledge of the Raven's masters, the king forces the assassin into a contract to kill the only individual who might threaten his plans, a powerful sorcerer and scholar named Enias. 

But the king may have just handed the Raven the key to breaking his curse once and for all.

Series: The Blackwing Cycle #1

Published: 2018

Score: 89

Our rating: 8.9/10 (read the review)

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62. Battle Spire

by Michael R Miller

Jack Kross only wanted to play the game. Now he’s fighting for his life. 

When a mysterious hacker takes control of Hundred Kingdoms, Jack is trapped inside the fantasy VR world along with millions of other players. But Jack is in a worse predicament. He’s cornered in the very tower the terrorists have taken as their base; the only free player left within its walls. Even worse, in the real world, his body lies in a sweltering room with no hope of relief. 

Playing the profession-based class known as the Scavenger, and at a low level, Jack’s prospects of fighting his way out are next to impossible. Crafting gear, traps and weapons, allying with a deadly dungeon master and an AI he can’t fully trust, Jack is in a race against time to save not just himself but the millions of players held hostage.

Battle Spire is a meeting of World of Warcraft and Die Hard, using crunchy LitRPG mechanics with a heavy focus on crafting. Readers can expect to find in depth item and spell descriptions, along with stat tables and profession recipes.

Published: 2019

Score: 89

Our rating: 8.9/10 (read the review)

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63. Sin Eater

by Mike Shel

A year has passed since Auric Manteo descended into the haunted depths of a Djao ruin to return a lethal artifact, only to face down a bloodthirsty, imprisoned god. Now his daughter Agnes comes to bring him back to the capital with promises of hidden secrets finally revealed.

But the city decays, poisonous disorder is rife, and whispered prophecy foretells of cataclysm and doom. Summoned by their no-longer human queen, Auric and Agnes are commanded to carry out an impossible task, one that can be accomplished only with the mysterious blade Szaa’da’shaela, gifted to Auric on a lunatic's whim. 

Can Auric and his daughter survive a journey fraught with blood, menace, and madness? And can they pay the price demanded by a being every bit as evil as the Aching God?

Series: Iconoclasts #2

Published: 2019

Score: 89

Our rating: 8.9/10 (read the review)

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64. Dispel Illusion

by Mark Lawrence

Sometimes being wrong is the right answer.

Nick Hayes’s genius is in wringing out the universe’s secrets. It’s a talent that’s allowed him to carve paths through time. But the worst part is that he knows how his story will end. He’s seen it with his own eyes. And every year that passes, every breakthrough he makes, brings him a step closer. Mia’s accident is waiting for them both in 2011. If it happens then he’s out of choices.

Then a chance 1992 discovery reveals that this seeker of truth has been lying to himself. But why? It’s a question that haunts him for years. A straw he clings to as his long-awaited fate draws near.

Time travel turns out not to be the biggest problem Nick has to work on. He needs to find out how he can stay on his path but change the destination. Failure has never been an option, and neither has survival. But Nick’s hoping to roll the dice one more time. And this new truth begins with a lie.

Series: Impossible Times #3

Published: 2019

Score: 89

Our rating: 9.1/10 (read the review)

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65. Glammenport

by Kevin Lane

Timion the Black has exhausted his options. Reckless, despicable, Timion’s own band of mercenary men turn against him, leaving him for dead in a back alleyway. Fate deposits the usurped buccaneer into the hands of altruistic nuns. There he finds his way to health and into their debt. Revenge, dark magic, and clever technology collide, catapulting Timion beyond the rim of the known world - beyond the mythic Boiling Seas. There he finds a forgotten, corrupt race sharpening their swords for conquest – their dark, evil eyes set upon his home port of call: Glammenport.

Published: 0000

Score: 88

Our rating: 8.7/10 (read the review)

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66. Zak Corbin: Master of Machines

by Tony Russo

All young Zak Corbin wants is a robot - in a time when nearly everyone has one. But there is great fear of the Corbin name. Doctor Elias Corbin was regarded as a famous builder of robots until he unleashed an attack on a military factory. Branded a madman and a traitor, Zak's uncle was sentenced to spend the rest of his days on Penitentiary Island. When fifteen-year-old Zak tries to build a robot of his own, mostly to get the attention of pretty sophomore Lisabeth Ryan, it leads to an adventure of gigantic proportions. Zak builds one of his uncle's banned robots, which he dubs Pogo, and he quickly discovers the machine goes far beyond what ordinary robots can do. But when Zak wishes he could set his uncle free, Pogo breaks Doctor Corbin out of prison, leading to a confrontation with a secret weapon: a terrifying giant war machine.

Published: 0000

Score: 88

Our rating: 8.8/10 (read the review)

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67. Grace Under Fire

by Frog and Esther Jones

It’s the 21st Century, and magic users are outlaws. The public considers summoners evil and in league with the Devil. So when someone or something wipes out the entire Spokane Grove, police are baffled and wary. After all, what is more powerful than a group of summoners? Grace Moore is a foodie – and a mid-level Seattle summoner – sent to investigate the murders. In her search, she discovers Robert, a streetwise teenager, who inherits his summoner uncle’s diary and performs a summoning to get back at a teenage rival – and accidentally attracts a giant demonic raccoon looking to devour anyone with talent. Robert is the most powerful magic user, albeit untrained, she’s ever seen. If the demon raccoon manages to devour him, Grace is sure that the cops won’t be the least of her problems – assuming she lives. But can she keep Robert safe and solve the murder of the magic users before she can become the next item on the demon’s menu?

Published: 0000

Score: 88

Our rating: 8.8/10 (read the review)

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68. Winter Be My Shield

by Jo Spurrier

Sierra has a despised and forbidden gift - she raises power from the suffering of others. Enslaved by the king's torturer, Sierra escapes, barely keeping ahead of Rasten, the man sent to hunt her down. Then she falls in with dangerous company: the fugitive Prince Cammarian and his crippled foster-brother, Isidro. But Rasten is not the only enemy hunting them in the frozen north and as Sierra's new allies struggle to identify friend from foe, Rasten approaches her with a plan to kill the master they both abhor. Sierra is forced to decide what price she is willing to pay for her freedom and her life...

Series: Children of the Black Sun #1

Published: 0000

Score: 88

Our rating: 8.8/10 (read the review)

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69. The Mirror's Truth

by Michael R Fletcher

Where belief defines reality, delusions are both strength and curse: The deeper you sink into madness the more powerful you become. But that power comes with a price. Your darkest nightmares hunt you at night. The face in the mirror hates you and wants to be free. Your fears manifest and plot your destruction. 

******

Bedeckt defined himself by the list of crimes he was unwilling to commit. It was such a short list. How could straying from it have gone so wrong?

Now Bedeckt must undo the damage caused by wandering from his precious list. The Geborene god seeks to remake the world with his obsessive need for cleanliness and perfection, but Bedeckt is going to bring him down. Nothing can stop him. Not even death.

The two friends he abandoned in the Afterdeath chase after Bedeckt, bent on revenge. Psychotic assassins hunt him. Something cold and evil follows, lurking in the clouds above, shredding reality with its delusions. Madness and sanity war, stretching and tearing the very fabric of existence. 

The dead shall rise.

Series: Manifest Delusions #2

Published: 2016

Score: 88

Our rating: 8.8/10 (read the review)

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70. Paternus: Wrath of Gods

by Dyrk Ashton

On the run from an ancient evil and his army of terrors straight out of myths from around the world, Fi and Zeke aid Peter in his globe-trotting quest to seek out the remaining Firstborn, uncover the enemy’s plans, and gather the Warriors of Old for what may become the final battle in the world's oldest war. Along the way, Fi and Zeke discover that they, too, have strengths of their own--though they come at a cost neither may wish to bear.

Series: The Paternus Trilogy #2

Published: 2018

Score: 88

Our rating: 8.8/10 (read the review)

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71. The Glass Dagger

by M D Presley

Some Monsters Secure Our Safety.

Everyone fears a Render, those chosen by Sol to sever the bonds of life with their glass blades. And no Render is more feared than Graff, who single-handedly held the line at Stone Cleaver. Hundreds died by his hand during the Grand War, and hundreds more in the intervening years, despite Graff not spilling a single drop of blood. A relentless monster, Graff has set his sights on the child Caddie, and not even Marta can stop him. 

And now Luca doubts if she even should.

Their band shattered and original mission scattered to the winds, Marta must ally with old enemies as new friends betray her. Worse still, Marta now suspects something dark dwells deep in the child she now considers her own.

Series: Sol\'s Harvest #3

Published: 2019

Score: 88

Our rating: 8.8/10 (read the review)

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72. The Last Sun

by KD Edwards

Rune Saint John, last child of the fallen Sun Court, is hired to search for Lady Judgment's missing son, Addam, on New Atlantis, the island city where the Atlanteans moved after ordinary humans destroyed their original home. With his companion and bodyguard, Brand, he questions Addam's relatives and business contacts through the highest ranks of the nobles of New Atlantis. But as they investigate, they uncover more than a missing man: a legendary creature connected to the secret of the massacre of Rune's Court. In looking for Addam, can Rune find the truth behind his family's death and the torments of his past?

Series: NAThe Tarot Sequence: Book 1

Published: 2018

Score: 88

Our rating: 8.8/10 (read the review)

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73. The Ruthless

by Peter Newman

Return to a world of crystal armour, savage wilderness, and corrupt dynasties in book two of The Deathless series from Gemmell award-winning author Peter Newman.

THE REBEL
For years, Vasin Sapphire has been waiting for the perfect opportunity to strike. Now, as other Deathless families come under constant assault from the monsters that roam the Wild, that time has come.

THE RUTHLESS
In the floating castle of Rochant Sapphire, loyal subjects await the ceremony to return their ruler to his rightful place. But the child raised to give up his body to Lord Rochant is no ordinary servant. Strange and savage, he will stop at nothing to escape his gilded prison.

AND THE RETURNED…
Far below, another child yearns to see the human world. Raised by a creature of the Wild, he knows their secrets better than any other. As he enters into the struggle between the Deathless houses, he may be the key to protecting their power or destroying it completely.

THE WILD HAS BEGUN TO RISE

Series: Deathless #2

Published: 2019

Score: 88

Our rating: 8.8/10 (read the review)

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74. The Wolf's Call

by Anthony Ryan

VAELIN AL SORNA RETURNS

Anthony Ryan's debut novel Blood Song—the first book of the Raven's Shadow series—took the fantasy world by storm. Now, he continues that saga with The Wolf's Call, which begins a thrilling new story of razor-sharp action and epic adventure.

Peace never lasts.

Vaelin Al Sorna is a living legend, his name known across the Realm. It was his leadership that overthrew empires, his blade that won hard-fought battles - and his sacrifice that defeated an evil more terrifying than anything the world had ever seen. He won titles aplenty, only to cast aside his earned glory for a quiet life in the Realm's northern reaches.

Yet whispers have come from across the sea - rumours of an army called the Steel Horde, led by a man who believes himself a god. Vaelin has no wish to fight another war, but when he learns that Sherin, the woman he lost long ago, has fallen into the Horde's grasp, he resolves to confront this powerful new threat.

To this end, Vaelin travels to the realms of the Merchant Kings, a land ruled by honor and intrigue. There, as the drums of war thunder across kingdoms riven by conflict, Vaelin learns a terrible truth: that there are some battles that even he may not be strong enough to win.

Series: Raven\'s Blade #1

Published: 2019

Score: 88

Our rating: 8.4/10 (read the review)

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75. Brightstorm

by Vashti Hardy

A fast-paced fantasy adventure that will set your imagination soaring!

Twins Arthur and Maudie Brightstorm receive word in Lontown that their famous explorer father has died in a failed attempt to reach the southernmost point in the world. Not only that, but he has been accused of stealing fuel before he died!

The twins don't believe the news, and they answer an ad to join a new attempt to reach South Polaris. It's their only hope of learning the truth ... and salvaging their family's reputation.

As the winged ship Aurora sets sail, the twins must keep their wits about them and prove themselves worthy of the rest of the crew. But will Arthur and Maudie find the answers they seek?

Series: A Sky-Ship Adventure #1

Published: 2018

Score: 88

Our rating: 8.8/10 (read the review)

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76. The Riddler’s Gift

by Greg Hamerton

In a time when the world was ravaged by chaos, one kingdom remains; ordered, isolated, protected. Then Tabitha Serannon awakens an ancient power and the world begins to change. She is hunted for her talent. The Shadowcasters whisper in her ears as their evil closes around her. Soon the Riddler walks beside her, but is he on her side? She has a moment to learn the magic before she loses her grasp of the Lifesong, but the path she must follow leads into Darkness; into terror, treachery and desire. To survive she must give voice to a music that she hardly understands, an enchantment that will echo through all time.

Series: The Lifesong Cycle: Book 1

Published: 0000

Score: 87

Our rating: 8.7/10 (read the review)

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77. Faithless

by Graham Austin King

The temples of the Forgefather have fallen. The clerics and defenders that could once be found across the nine lands are no more. Priests huddle in the great temple, clinging to the echoes of their lost religion. But the Father has fallen silent. There are none who still hear his voice.

The mines of Aspiration lie far below the temple's marble halls. Slaves toil in the blackness, striving to earn their way into the church and the light. Wynn has been sold into this fate, traded for a handful of silver. In the depths of the mines, where none dare carry flame, he must meet his tally or die. But there are things that lurk in that darkness, and still darker things within the hearts of men.

When the souls bound to the great forge are released in a failed ritual, one novice flees down into the darkness of the mines. The soulwraiths know only hunger, the risen know only hate. In the blackest depths Kharios must seek a light to combat the darkness which descends.

Published: 2017

Score: 87

Our rating: 8.7/10 (read the review)

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78. The Woven Ring

by M D Presley

A fantasy reimagining of the American Civil War, The Woven Ring pits muskets against magic, massive war machines against mind readers, and glass sabers against soldiers in psychic exoskeletons. 

In exile since the civil war that tore the nation of Newfield apart, former spy and turncoat Marta Childress wants nothing more than to quietly live out her remaining days in the West. But then her manipulative brother arrives with one final mission: Transport the daughter of a hated inventor deep into the East. Forced to decide between safely delivering the girl and assassinating the inventor, Marta is torn between ensuring the fragile peace and sparking a second civil war. 

Aided by an untrustworthy Dobra and his mysterious mute companion, Marta soon discovers that dark forces, human and perhaps the devil herself, seek to end her quest into the East. 

Series: Sol\'s Harvest #1

Published: 2017

Score: 87

Our rating: 8.7/10 (read the review)

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79. City of Kings

by Rob J Hayes

War makes monsters and corpses of us all. 

For generations the blooded have ruled the Wilds, cultivating a lawless frontier and bleeding the good folk dry. The Black Thorn, once the most wanted outlaw the world has ever seen, is set on stopping them, and bringing an end to the great game that oppresses them all. 

Crucible is the only blooded fortress left, but not for nothing is it called the City of Kings. Its defenses are unbreakable, its walls unassailable, all built so one hundred can hold back a thousand. Worse yet, the Black Thorn is running out of time and there are darker things hiding underground, looking to turn the city into a tomb.

A new stand alone First Earth saga novel.

Published: 2018

Score: 87

Our rating: 8.7/10 (read the review)

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80. Never Die

by Rob J Hayes

Ein is on a mission from God. A God of Death.

Time is up for the Emperor of Ten Kings and it falls to a murdered eight year old boy to render the judgement of a God. Ein knows he can't do it alone, but the empire is rife with heroes. The only problem; in order to serve, they must first die.

Ein has four legendary heroes in mind, names from story books read to him by his father. Now he must find them and kill them, so he can bring them back to fight the Reaper's war.

Published: 2019

Score: 87

Our rating: 8.7/10 (read the review)

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81. Trial of Stone

by Andy Peloquin

A kingdom of death. A war for power and profit. Young heroes caught in the crossfire.

Kodyn expected hardships along his journey to return a kidnapped girl to her father.  Yet harsh deserts and cutthroat bandits prove far less lethal than the foes that await him in Shalandra, the City of the Dead.

In the shadows of golden spires carved from mountain stone, currents of corruption and vice run deep. Priests of the god of death rule with an iron fist, imposing a rigid caste system that elevates some to a life of privilege and condemns others to miserable squalor.

Together with Aisha, a fierce warrior from the north with the mystical ability to speak to the dead, Kodyn must survive the cesspool of high society deceit and betrayal.

Polite smiles hide sharp knives. Killers, criminals, and bloodthirsty cultists lurk around every corner. Can these youths overcome impossible odds to save the realm?

Series: Heirs of Destiny #1

Published: 2019

Score: 87

Our rating: 8.7/10 (read the review)

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82. Breaking Chaos

by Ben Galley

The endgame has begun.

The battle for the emperor’s throne grows ever fiercer. The City of Countless Souls cowers behind locked doors as the whims of the downtrodden and the powerful bring the great game of Araxes to its chaotic conclusion.

With the soulblade at his hip and magic in his soul, Caltro’s freedom is almost within reach. But as Temsa reign of murder clashes with Widow Horix’s plans, the locksmith’s fate becomes all the more entwined with the needs of dead gods, the Cult, and vengeful royals. Caltro realises his struggle is not just for his redemption, but for that of the entirety of the Far Reaches.

While the Core Districts descend into chaos, debts left unpaid in the desert haunt Nilith’s long-awaited arrival in the city. A new foe is hunting her through the streets, an enemy with enough power to rival even that of the Cloudpiercer. 

And yet all their struggles pale in comparison to the dark omen that is spreading through the Arctian Empire:

The River Nyx is drying up.

Series: Chasing Graves #3

Published: 2019

Score: 87

Our rating: 8.7/10 (read the review)

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83. The God King's Legacy

by Richard Nell

God-king Marsun, the 'Demon King', has ruled for centuries. But nothing lasts forever. Once just an illiterate tribal chief, Marsun trapped an ancient evil within his mighty soul, united scattered tribes, then retreated from the world. But his sacrifice is all but forgotten by those he now rules. Technology marches on; new ambitious powers rise; unhappy lords plot rebellion; and from every corner of civilization, savage enemies gather. The God King's legacy has just begun...

From the author of Kings of Paradise comes two tales in a world of knights and demons, muskets and cannon fire. Flintlock fantasy mixed with the grit of Game of Thrones.

1) Rebellion of the Black Militia
Johann Planck, bastard and scribe of the god-king's tower, is yanked from his peaceful life of academia, and ordered to capture an immortal creature of darkness. If the knight he's accompanying doesn't kill him, or the demon 'Sazeal', fresh rebellion just might.

2) Devil of the 22nd
A crumbling empire. An abandoned army. Kurt Val Clause is an ordinary soldier trying to keep it all together because no one else has the balls. Now he has one chance to win a glorious future, die in agony, or lose his soul. He just might do all three.

Published: 2019

Score: 87

Our rating: 8.7/10 (read the review)

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84. Legacy of Ghosts

by Alicia Wanstall Burke

Four years have passed since Lidan’s world was ripped apart, and time is running out to change her father’s mind about the succession before the bargain with her mother expires. Torn between what she wants and what she knows is right, she is faced with an impossible choice; will her brother live, or will he die?

Within the walls of the Hidden Keep, Ranoth holds his secrets close as he tries to harness his wild magic. But when life in the Keep descends into chaos, he is cast once more into the outside world, forced upon a southward path toward unknown lands and untold danger.

With Ran set on seeking justice and revenge, and Lidan fighting to find her feet and follow her heart, journeys will converge, and the ghosts of a past thought long dead will rise.

Series: The Coraidic Sagas #2

Published: 2019

Score: 87

Our rating: 8.7/10 (read the review)

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85. Golgotha Falls: Genesis

by George Udenkwo

Golgotha Falls: A city of carnal nightmare and monstrous appetite, nowhere in all the worlds of empire will you find its equal. Forged from dark science and steeped in ancient myth, it is a city ruled by ancient gods and policed by angels, where your every desire can be satiated and your every terror made flesh. Here in this sweating, convulsive metropolis of ninety million souls, the spider-god Desdemona, is the most feared of all the city's deities. Sixteen spell-binding tales unfold the chronicles of this new age medusa, a hero unlike any you have ever encountered before.

Published: 0000

Score: 86

Our rating: 8.6/10 (read the review)

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86. Interregnum

by SJA Turney

For twenty years civil war has torn the Empire apart; the Imperial line extinguished as the mad Emperor Quintus burned in his palace, betrayed by his greatest general. Against a background of war, decay, poverty and violence, men who once served in the proud Imperial army now fight as mercenaries, hiring themselves to the greediest lords.

Published: 0000

Score: 86

Our rating: 8.6/10 (read the review)

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15+

87. The Nation of Madness

by Jeffrey Hall

The thrilling conclusion to the series readers are calling Stranger Things meets The Hobbit in the jungle. 

Betrayed. Hunted. On the run. 

Irtha Vimbi and her brother have once again been forced from the safety of civilization in order to find acceptance elsewhere. 

Now their only salvation may lie in the Nation of Madness, a land ruled by lunatics and shadow. 

To reach it they must outrun a group of trained killers across the Deep, an expansive jungle where no man goes for fear of the strange magic that lurks inside and the creatures who call it home. 

With the help of a dangerous group of outcasts, they must navigate the treacherous landscape and not only escape their enemies, but defeat their own demons to finally find their freedom. 

Brimming with originality, action, and memorable characters, The Nation of Madness is the second book in the Welkin Duology, a series set in Chilongua, a unique fantasy world inspired by the abundant life and terrors found in the jungle. 

Series: The Welkin Duology #2

Published: 2018

Score: 86

Our rating: 8.6/10 (read the review)

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88. The Imbued Lockblade

by M D Presley

Over the Mueller Line and stalking across the Eastern homeland she betrayed during the Grand War, Marta Childress now cares for the catatonic Caddie Hendrix, whom she has been tasked to deliver to the child’s father. Too bad Marta secretly intends on killing the man to save the nation of Newfield a second civil war.  Executed on the spot if anyone uncovers her identity, Marta also flees the relentless Render Graff and an unstoppable glassman, only to learn too late that worse horrors await her in the East. Fortunately, she can depend on her new freebooter friends Isabelle and Luca.  Yet Luca harbors secrets of his own, a grubber boy born with nothing but whose ambition earned him an imbued lockblade enchanted to ensure his victory so long as he holds it in hand. 

Series: Sol\'s Harvest #2

Published: 2017

Score: 86

Our rating: 8.6/10 (read the review)

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89. Nightmare Keep

by Phil Tucker

I've managed to survive my first week in Euphoria Online. But I couldn't have done it without my new friends. Lotharia. Falkon. The Green Liver goblins.

But now Lotharia's gone missing. Swallowed by that nightmare keep. Lost to the darkness. 

Everyone's telling me that going after her is madness. That I don't have a chance in hell. 

But I'm not the kind of guy to turn my back on my friends. 

Damn the odds. 

I'm going to find her.

Series: Euphoria Online #2

Published: 0000

Score: 86

Our rating: 8.6/10 (read the review)

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90. The Lore of Prometheus

by Graham Austin King

John Carver has three rules: Don't drink in the daytime, don't gamble when the luck has gone, and don't talk to the dead people who come to visit. 

It has been almost five years since the incident in Kabul. Since the magic stirred within him and the stories began. Fleeing the army, running from the whispers, the guilt, and the fear he was losing his mind, Carver fell into addiction, dragging himself through life one day at a time.

Desperation has pulled him back to Afghanistan, back to the heat, the dust, and the truth he worked so hard to avoid. But there are others, obsessed with power and forbidden magics, who will stop at nothing to learn the truth of his gifts. Abducted and chained, Carver must break more than his own rules if he is to harness this power and survive. 

Published: 2018

Score: 86

Our rating: 8.6/10 (read the review)

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91. Velocity Weapon

by Megan E O Keefe

Dazzling space battles, intergalactic politics, and rogue AI collide in Velocity Weapon, the first book in this epic space opera by award-winning author Megan O'Keefe.

Sanda and Biran Greeve were siblings destined for greatness. A high-flying sergeant, Sanda has the skills to take down any enemy combatant. Biran is a savvy politician who aims to use his new political position to prevent conflict from escalating to total destruction.

However, on a routine maneuver, Sanda loses consciousness when her gunship is blown out of the sky. Instead of finding herself in friendly hands, she awakens 230 years later on a deserted enemy warship controlled by an AI who calls himself Bero. The war is lost. The star system is dead. Ada Prime and its rival Icarion have wiped each other from the universe.
Now, separated by time and space, Sanda and Biran must fight to put things right.

Series: The Protectorate #1

Published: 2019

Score: 86

Our rating: 8.8/10 (read the review)

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92. Blue Fire Burning

by Hobb Whittons

In the dead of night, a covered wagon driven by a hooded, faceless being is careering through the forest at breakneck speed. Inside the wagon, sit two jittery Goblin men: Grot and Mouldy. Suddenly, the contents of the sack they are staring at begin to glow... Consumed by the desire for revenge, the Goblins' wicked Dark Mistress sets diminutive winged telepaths, the Pahleen, a riddle they must work out if they are to get back what they have lost and save the world known as Wadjamaat. Desperately, King Kilron searches high and low but fi nds no clue.Then, something unexpected happens in Haggles Cove and therace is on again...but there is a sting in the tail. To have a chance of succeeding, Kilron must now face the prospect of doing something always forbidden to his ancient race. Meanwhile, unaware of the planet's 'ticking clock', the cosmopolitan human population of the walled naval port of Bellana are busy getting their wondrous Mermaid Stadium ready for the grand Argia Final. With canine companion Wolf in tow, country girl Hahmi Merkin gets a hostile reception when she enters the city. She heads for the sanctuary of blacksmith friend, Aristide Brindle's house where she leaves her horse and cart. Entrusted with his son's 'paddywhack', she sets off for the stadium. What happens after that is beyond even her wildest imagining...

Published: 2011

Score: 85

Our rating: 8.4/10 (read the review)

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93. Children of the Different

by SC Flynn

Nineteen years ago, a brain disease known as the Great Madness killed most of the world’s population. The survivors all had something different about their minds. Now, at the start of adolescence, their children enter a trance-like state known as the Changeland and emerge either with special mental powers or as cannibalistic Ferals. In the great forest of South West Western Australia, thirteen-year-old Arika and her twin brother Narrah go through the Changeland. They encounter an enemy known as the Anteater who feeds on human life. He exists both in the Changeland and in the outside world, and he wants the twins dead. After their Changings, the twins have powers that let them fight their enemy and face their destiny on a long journey to an abandoned American military base on the north-west coast of Australia…if they can reach it before time runs out.

Published: 2016

Score: 85

Our rating: 8.5/10 (read the review)

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94. Where Loyalties Lie

by Rob J Hayes

Everybody knows Captain Drake Morass is only out for himself. As the fires of a dying city burn on a distant shore, Drake sees an opportunity to unite the other pirate Captains under his flag and claim a crown for himself. If he is to succeed, he will need allies and the Oracle named Keelin Stillwater, the best swordsman in the isles, as his right hand. With enemy ships sailing his waters and setting fire to his cities, and the sinister Tanner Black threatening to steal the throne before Drake even has a chance to sit upon it, Drake Morass must somehow convince the other Captains that his best interests are also theirs.

Series: The Best Laid Plans #1

Published: 2017

Score: 85

Our rating: 8.5/10 (read the review)

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95. Art of War: Anthology for Charity

by Petros Triantafyllou

"War, my friend, is a thing of beauty." 

How do you get forty fantasy authors to contribute short stories for a war-themed anthology without paying them? It sounds as if there should be a good punchline to that, but all Petros Triantafyllou did was twist the moral thumbscrews and tell them all the profits would go to Doctors Without Borders, a charity that works tirelessly across the world to alleviate the effects of conflict, sickness and poverty. 

So, with clear consciences, several busloads of excellent and acclaimed fantasy authors have applied themselves to the task of penning a veritable mountain of words on the subject of The Art of War, expect bloodshed, gore, pathos, insight, passion, and laughs. Maybe even a wombat. Who knows. Anyway, as the original blurb said: "It's good. Buy it." 
-Mark Lawrence

Featuring: Mark Lawrence, Ed Greenwood, Brian Staveley, Miles Cameron, John Gwynne, Sebastien De Castell, Mitchell Hogan, Stan Nicholls, Andrew Rowe, C.T. Phipps, Rob J. Hayes, Nicholas Eames, Mazarkis Williams, Ben Galley, Michael R. Fletcher, Graham Austin-King, Ed McDonald, Anna Stephens, Anna Smith Spark, RJ Barker, Michael R. Miller, Benedict Patrick, Sue Tingey, Dyrk Ashton, Steven Kelliher, Timandra Whitecastle, Laura M Hughes, J.P. Ashman, M.L. Spencer, Steven Poore, Brandon Draga, D. Thourson Palmer, D.M. Murray, Anne Nicholls, R.B. Watkinson, Charles F Bond, Ulff Lehmann, Thomas R. Gaskin, Zachary Barnes & Nathan Boyce. With a Foreword by Brian D. Anderson. Print version includes 40 black & white interior art pieces.

Published: 2018

Score: 85

Our rating: 8.5/10 (read the review)

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96. Rebellion of the Black Militia

by Richard Nell

Johann, bastard and scribe of the tower, is yanked from his quiet, peaceful life of academia, and told to capture a creature of legend. Things only get worse from there...

Beside him and hopefully guiding him rides Lam the squire—incessantly rude, incessantly smoking, and possibly insane. Or maybe fearless.

Together they must track and capture the demon Sazeal, an ancient, unkillable creature of darkness, and in the meantime discover how it was released in the first place. If it was released at all…

From the author of Kings of Paradise comes a world of muskets and cannon, knights and demons. This is the story of one man’s crucible, one man’s war against evil, and himself, brought about by rebellion…

Published: 2017

Score: 85

Our rating: 8.5/10 (read the review)

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97. Steel, Blood and Fire

by Allan Batchelder

On the march, around the campfire, and in the taverns, they tell incredible stories about Tarmun Vykers – how he’s never been cut in battle, how he once defeated hundreds of men by himself, how he exterminated an entire people over an insult. These stories make Vykers seem like a god; he is a man, an arrogant, ruthless and bloodthirsty man. And he may be the only thing standing between the human race and utter annihilation at the hands of the mad sorcerer whose name is also his only goal: the End of All Things. Against this backdrop, smaller, lesser folks struggle to fulfill their own destinies, folks like Long Pete, the former gigolo and jack-of-all trades, and Spirk Nessno, the enigmatic, over enthusiastic simpleton. Struggling, too, is the Mender, Aoife, burdened with a secret so dark she is driven to do the unimaginable. Can Tarmun Vykers save them all, or will he simply hasten their demise?

Are you a fan of Grimdark, Joe Abercrombie, Steven Erikson, Glen Cook or George R. R. Martin? You will love this book!

The author does not recommend this book for anyone under the age of seventeen, due to violence and mature language and themes.

Series: Immortal Treachery #1

Published: 2013

Score: 85

Our rating: 8.5/10 (read the review)

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98. The Prince of Cats

by Daniel E Olesen

To stay alive, Jawad must succeed where all others have failed: he must catch the Prince of Cats. More legend than man, the Prince is draped in rumours. He can steal the silver teeth from your mouth in the blink of a smile. He is a ghost to walls and vaults, he laughs at locks, and Jawad must capture him before powerful people lose their patience and send the young rogue to the scaffold.

Ever the opportunist, Jawad begins his hunt while carrying out his own schemes. He pits the factions of the city against each other, lining his own pockets in the process and using the Prince as a scapegoat. This is made easy as nobody knows when or where the Prince will strike, or even why.

As plots collide, Jawad finds himself pressured from all sides. Aristocrats, cutthroats, and the Prince himself is breathing down his neck. Unless Jawad wants a knife in his back or an appointment with the executioner, he must answer three questions: Who is the Prince of Cats, what is his true purpose, and how can he be stopped?

Published: 2018

Score: 85

Our rating: 8.5/10 (read the review)

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99. Orconomics

by J Zachary Pike

A disgraced Dwarven hero. A band of deadbeat adventurers. His last shot at redemption could get him killed.

If Gorm Ingerson really wanted to drink himself to death, he never should have helped the Goblin. When his good deed lands him in a bad contract, Gorm finds himself entangled in a quest that will pit him against business magnates, the king of the Freedlands, and a mad goddess trying to fulfill a suicidal prophecy.

But Gorm’s tarnished circumstances may be hiding a golden opportunity. If he and his half-baked party can overcome deep conspiracies and dark magics, he just might redeem himself and his career enough to be a professional hero once more.

Orconomics: A Satire is the first book in The Dark Profit Saga, a trilogy so funny it’s epic. If you like down-and-out heroes, sidesplitting misadventures, and ingenious world-building, then you’ll love J. Zachary Pike’s dark and delightful ribbing of high fantasy.

Buy Orconomics to join the campaign for a high-energy, hilarious fantasy adventure today!

Series: The Dark Profit Saga #1

Published: 2014

Score: 85

Our rating: 8.5/10 (read the review)

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100. Faycalibur

by Liam Perrin

Legend tells of an impostor-sword crafted by a witch-queen, destined to destroy a king. The whole story has never been told. Until now.

Recently appointed to the Table of Less Valued Knights, Sir Thomas the Hesitant doesn't mind that the credit always goes to celebrity-knights. He tells himself this frequently. He doesn't truly believe it. The truth is, he thinks it's rubbish.

When five armies attack England, everyone on the Round Table is too busy to track down the missing court wizard. Seizing the opportunity to shine a light on the Less Valued, Thomas vows to rescue Merlin and sets himself on a collision course with a talented but overconfident rookie sorceress, a lizard with delusions of grandeur, and one rather unfortunate pigeon.

Only one thing is certain - things are not as they seem. They seldom are.

Series: Less Valued Knights #2

Published: 2019

Score: 85

Our rating: 8.5/10 (read the review)

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101. Marik's Way

by Nick Brown

Stay out of trouble. 

Though this is Marik’s mantra, he rarely seems able to follow it. Having escaped a brutal civil war in his native South, the former soldier now roams the distant North, trying to forget his past and forge some kind of future. Marik suspects he is paying the price for the moment of weakness that caused him to flee his comrades and family and everything he knew. Because however hard he tries, intrigue and danger are never far away …

After an unlikely series of events see him employed as a bodyguard, Marik survives a terrifying shipwreck and washes up on a distant shore. He finds himself in the Salka Delta, an isolated region of islands and marshes. Here, a mercenary named Reverrik has enslaved the local people and Marik is soon recruited by a tiny band of rebels. As well as traitors and outlandish creatures, he also faces Hammerhand, a giant enforcer feared by all. 

Staying out of trouble is never easy. 

Published: 2018

Score: 85

Our rating: 8.5/10 (read the review)

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102. Shadowing: A Henchman's Tale

by Kat Zantow

The moon has not changed in the fifty years of the dark lord Magna’s rule – but everything else has. All too often, the servants of Dark Overlords are dispatched with a lazy flick of the hero’s sword. But in Shadowing, the job benefits of fire, mayhem, and shapeshifting almost make up for it. In between burning down villages, the minion’s primary directive is taking out heroes. When a man in golden armour and his faithful companions sneak across the border on a quest to assassinate the Dark Lord Magna, long live the Magna, it’s up to the Shadows to cut his quest short. As always, things do not go quite according to plan, and one henchman ends up lone-wolfing it across the permafrost lands, following the stench of valour.

Series: Moonblind: Book 1

Published: 2011

Score: 84

Our rating: 8.4/10 (read the review)

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103. Death March

by Phil Tucker

I sacrificed everything for my family. It wasn't enough. I lost my mother, and now I'm about to lose my brother.

I've got only one thing left to gamble: my life. Which is why I'm willing to play Euphoria Online in Death March mode.

If I survive six months in-game against a lethal array of wyverns, ogres, necromancers, and more, I'll earn my brother a pardon.

If I lose?

Well. I'm done with losing.

Series: Euphoria Online #1

Published: 2018

Score: 84

Our rating: 8.4/10 (read the review)

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104. Hero Forged

by Josh Erikson

Gabe thought he had covered all the angles, but it’s tough to plan a contingency for accidentally trapping an evil god in your brain.

Gabriel Delling might call himself a professional con artist, but when walking superstitions start trying to bite his face off, his charm is shockingly unhelpful. It turns out living nightmares almost never appreciate a good joke. Together with a succubus who insists on constantly saving his life, Gabe desperately tries to survive a new reality that suddenly features demons, legends, and a giant locust named Dale—all of whom pretty much hate his guts.
And when an ancient horror comes hunting for the spirit locked in his head, Gabe finds himself faced with the excruciating choice between death...or becoming some kind of freaking hero.

Hero Forged is the first book in the new series, Ethereal Earth, a modern fantasy adventure that challenges the natures of myth, humanity, and what it means to be the good guy.

Series: Ethereal Earth #1

Published: 2018

Score: 84

Our rating: 8.3/10 (read the review)

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105. The Thief Who Pulled On Troubles Braids

by Michael McClung

Amra Thetys lives by two simple rules—take care of business, and never let it get personal. Thieves don't last long in Lucernis otherwise. But when a fellow rogue and good friend is butchered on the street in a deal gone wrong, she turns her back on burglary and goes after something more precious than treasure: Revenge. Revenge, however, might be hard to come by. A nightmare assortment of enemies, including an immortal assassin and a mad sorcerer, believe Amra is in possession of The Blade That Whispers Hate—the legendary, powerful artifact her friend was murdered for—and they'll do anything to take it from her. Trouble is, Amra hasn't got the least clue where the Blade might be. She needs to find the Blade, and soon, or she'll be joining her colleague in a cold grave instead of avenging his death. Time is running out for the small, scarred thief.

Series: Amra Thetys Series #1

Published: 0000

Score: 83

Our rating: 8.3/10 (read the review)

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106. We Lie with Death

by Devin Madson

Into Kisia’s conquered north, a Levanti empire is born.

Loyal to the new emperor, Dishiva e’Jaroven must tread the line between building a new life and clinging to the old. Only Gideon can lead them, but when he allies himself with a man returned from the dead it will challenge all she thinks she knows and everything she wants to believe.

Now empress of nothing, Miko is more determined than ever to fight for her people, yet with her hunt for allies increasingly desperate, she may learn too late that power lies not in names but in people.

Rah refused to bow to the Levanti emperor, but now abandoned by the Second Swords he must choose whether to fight for his people, or his soul. Will honour be his salvation, or lead to his destruction?

Sold to the Witchdoctor, Cassandra’s only chance of freedom is in his hands, but when her fate becomes inextricably linked to Empress Hana, her true nature could condemn them both.

There is no calm after the storm.

Series: The Reborn Empire #2

Published: 2019

Score: 83

Our rating: 8.3/10 (read the review)

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107. Widow's Welcome

by DK Fields

Dead bodies aren't unusual in the alleyways of Fenest, capital of the Union of Realms. Especially not in an election year, when the streets swell with crowds from near and far. Muggings, brawls gone bad, debts collected - Detective Cora Gorderheim has seen it all. Until she finds a Wayward man with his mouth sewn shut.

His body has been arranged precisely by the killer and left conspicuously, waiting to be found. Cora fears this is not only a murder, but a message.

As she digs into the dead man's past, she finds herself drawn into the most dangerous event in the Union: the election. In a world where stories win votes, someone has gone to a lot of trouble to silence this man. Who has stopped his story being told?

Series: Tales of Fenest: Book 1

Published: 2019

Score: 83

Our rating: 8.5/10 (read the review)

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108. From the Shadows of the Owl Queen's Court

by Benedict Patrick

If you value your life, stay out of the forest.

As a captive of the Owl Queen’s Court, Nascha’s life has always been one knife’s edge away from disaster. But when she is threatened for nothing more than the colour of her hair, Nascha attempts the unthinkable: escape through the dreaded Magpie King’s forest.

Hunted by sharp toothed and sharper witted foxfolk, and hated by all for being a witch, Nascha fears herself doomed until she joins forces with a mysterious young man. With him she finds a glimmer of hope, even as her own unpredictable powers flicker into existence.

But hope is fleeting.

The forces arrayed against her are insurmountable, and Nascha soon comes to realise that pursuit of her own freedom will come at a greater cost to the forest. As the darkness closes in around them, Nascha is forced to ask:

At what price is she willing to purchase her life?

How dearly is she willing to sell it?

From the Shadows of the Owl Queen’s Court is the fourth standalone book in Benedict Patrick’s Yarnsworld series, returning for the first time to the setting of the #1 bestseller They Mostly Come Out At Night.

Grab your copy today, to discover new reasons to be afraid of the dark!

Series: Yarnsworld #4

Published: 2018

Score: 82

Our rating: 8.2/10 (read the review)

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109. The Thousand Scars

by Michael R Baker

The greatest war since the time of ancient Chaos has reached the Balian Empire. 

Within the Balian council, a rogue faction unleashes an unthinkable dark magic to defeat its enemies. As the Empire loses ground, disgraced scholar and exile Tyrone Cessil is forced to go on the run. His only chance is with a band of cutthroat mercenaries, the Thousand Scars. 

Tyrone’s new commander is the notorious and hated Necromancer, Tyir of Irene. Life with the Scars is hard, but Tyrone believes the Necromancer can stop the Empire’s forbidden sorcery. Tyir leads the Scars on a campaign of bloody vengeance, and they commit acts of horrific brutality, leading Tyrone to question the price he is willing to pay to survive. 

The Thousand Scars will bleed the world. And they will save it.

Series: Counterbalance #1

Published: 2017

Score: 82

Our rating: 8.2/10 (read the review)

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110. Daughter from the Dark

by Marina and Sergey Dyachenko

Late one night, fate brings together DJ Aspirin and ten-year-old Alyona. After he tries to save her from imminent danger, she ends up at his apartment. But in the morning sinister doubts set in. Who is Alyona? A young con artist? A plant for a nefarious blackmailer? Or perhaps a long-lost daughter Aspirin never knew existed? Whoever this mysterious girl is, she now refuses to leave.

A game of cat-and-mouse has begun.

Claiming that she is a musical prodigy, Alyona insists she must play a complicated violin piece to find her brother. Confused and wary, Aspirin knows one thing: he wants her out of his apartment and his life. Yet every attempt to get rid of her is thwarted by an unusual protector: her plush teddy bear that may just transform into a fearsome monster.

Alyona tells Aspirin that if he would just allow her do her work, she'll leave him – and this world. He can then return to the shallow life he led before her. But as outside forces begin to coalesce, threatening to finally separate them, Aspirin makes a startling discovery about himself and this ethereal, eerie child.

Published: 2006

Score: 82

Our rating: 8.2/10 (read the review)

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111. Dartmoor... The Saving

by BJ Burton

Beneath the wide-open spaces of Dartmoor live the Dini. Now just two feet tall, their bodies no longer able to bare children, the Dini are dying out. Only ten survive on the moor. According to their own folklore they are descendants of the Celtic tribe, the Votadini, who were great warriors and horsemen. Led by their kinsman warlord, whose battle name was Artos (now remembered as Arthur), they defeated the Saxon invaders. The witch Demetia, responsible for the treacherous downfall of Artos, sought to punish his loyal kinsmen and cursed the Votadini so that generation by generation they shrunk in size. After 1,000 years, the Dini were forced by the cruelty of the Biguns to live in hiding in the wild places. But staying hidden is growing difficult as modern-day Biguns pour into the wild places to enjoy their stark beauty. Is it time to stop hiding and fight back? A series of strange events arouses the suspicions of Dartmoor Ranger Bob Johnson. Is he going mad or can there really be tiny people living on the moor? If he is going mad, he’s not the only one – there’s a strange old man who believes he is the re-incarnation of Merlin. Is it Bob’s role to save them? Is there an even bigger task for him? Inspired by the Spirit of Artos, Bob becomes Robert Edgar Johnson, Guardian of the Earth, Companion of Kings. Maybe, just maybe, he can help to save us all.

Published: 0000

Score: 81

Our rating: 8.0/10 (read the review)

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112. City of Burning Shadows

by Barbara Webb

Joshua "Ash" Drake is a man in hiding. Hiding from the past, from the horror of his life as a priest after the gods disappeared. Hiding from his emotions, denying the nightmares that haunt his sleep and the anger that fuels his days. Most of all, hiding from the truth - that no matter how much he keeps his head down, no matter how he clings to the echoes of everyday life, his city - his world - is dying. When a new technology offers salvation to his desperate city, Ash must reach out to people he left behind and step back into the world that almost killed him. But coming out of hiding now could be the worst mistake Ash has ever made. Because there are monsters in the darkness, feeding the chaos, watching the city burn. And once those monsters know his name, Ash will never be able to hide again.

Series: Apocrypha: The Dying World

Published: 0000

Score: 81

Our rating: 8.1/10 (read the review)

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113. Aching God

by Mike Shel

The days of adventure are passed for Auric Manteo. Retired to the countryside with his scars and riches, he no longer delves into forbidden ruins seeking dark wisdom and treasure. That is, until old nightmares begin plaguing his sleep, heralding an urgent summons back to that old life.

To save his only daughter, Auric must return to the place of his greatest trauma: the haunted Barrowlands. With only a few inexperienced companions and an old soldier, he must confront the dangers of the ancient and wicked Djao civilization. Auric has survived fell beasts, insidious traps, and deadly hazards before. But can he contend with the malice of a bloodthirsty living god?

First book in the Iconoclasts trilogy, Aching God is the debut novel of RPG adventure designer Mike Shel. He is working on book 2, Sin Eater. The first two chapters of Sin Eater are included at the end of Aching God.

Series: Iconoclasts #1

Published: 2018

Score: 81

Our rating: 8.1/10 (read the review)

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114. Cloak of Magic

by SA Rule

Somewhere along the line where human nature meets human imagination, myths are created. Somewhere in that space lives the spirit that created and sustains Shehaios, the Fair Land. One man embodies the gifts of the spirit. A man all too susceptible to the human flaws that lie beneath the cloak of magic. The journey of self-discovery for Kierce, heir to the Lord High Magician, and Caras, heir to the chief of Oreath, is inextricably bound up with the history of their land. The survival of their self-sufficient agrarian culture is threatened by the might of the sophisticated Empire of the Sacred Union, and neither Kierce's cunning nor Caras's courage may be enough to save the Fair Land. A story that will take you on a wonderful trip into a fantasy world and maybe reveal aspects of the real one.

Series: Shaihen Heritage: Book 1

Published: 0000

Score: 80

Our rating: 8.0/10 (read the review)

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115. The Converted

by CR Hindmarsh

With his patients dead and his genetic research in tatters, Dr. Anton Springmann fled his homeland as a fugitive, taking a one-way diesel ship to New Alania. But within hours of his arrival, screams ring through the night. Hordes of gray, humanoid creatures--devils, to the townspeople--attack Anton's new home. Among the dead, Anton finds a single survivor: a young girl, Elisa Pierce. Her skin grows cracked and she begins to mutate. She's becoming a devil. Anton's seen it before. Tormented by past sins, Anton struggles to save Elisa before the change takes her completely. But old enemies have pursued him across the seas, and now Anton is being hunted by more than just devils. Redemption doesn't come cheap in New Alania.

Published: 2011

Score: 80

Our rating: 8.0/10 (read the review)

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116. Merkabah Rider

by Edward M Erdelac

The last of an ancient order of Jewish mystics capable of extraplanar travel, The Merkabah Rider roams a demon haunted American West in search of his renegade teacher. But as the trail grows fresher, shadows gather, and The Hour Of The Incursion draws near... Four novella episodes in one book. This ain't your grandpappy's old west.

Series: Tales of a High Planes Drifter: Book 1

Published: 2009

Score: 80

Our rating: 8.0/10 (read the review)

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117. Darkness Visible

by Pip Janssen

In an alternate version of London in 1895, a few talented people can travel instantly between locations through Thresholds - tears in the fabric of reality. Lord Henry Lewis is a Warden, working to close dangerous Thresholds to prevent the sickness that flows from the darkness outside reality. William Marsh loses his family to the sickness when several undirected Thresholds are opened in his home. Marsh has the born talent to open Thresholds, and Lord Lewis's superiors order him to train the young man. Their relationship is strained, but they slowly come to rely on each other. The number of rogue Thresholds is increasing and times are dangerous. Lewis and Marsh discover that a cult, disillusioned by the scientific advances of the age, is opening the rogue Thresholds to destroy mankind. As London falls into darkness, they must race against time to stop the end of the world.

Series:

Published: 0000

Score: 80

Our rating: 8.0/10 (read the review)

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118. Winter's Reach

by Craig Schaefer

Pope Benignus is dying, and the man who takes his throne will hold the reins of an empire. Conspiracies swirl like shadows around Livia, the pope's daughter, who refuses to be anyone's pawn: chasing the whispers of a deadly coup, she vows to expose the truth and save her church from disaster. Livia has secrets of her own, though, and one wrong move could cost her life and her soul. Felix is the scion of a dying merchant house, a man with just one chance to save his family and the woman he loves. His last hope lies in the snowbound hell of Winter's Reach, a former prison colony turned "free city" under a brutal tyrant's reign. Livia and Felix have never crossed paths, but they've both been snared in a far greater web than they can imagine. They - along with a pair of veteran bounty hunters, an exiled politician, and a sadistic coven of witches - are cogs in one man's apocalyptic plan for revenge. A plan that, if it succeeds, will leave an entire nation in flames.

 

Series: The Revanche Cycle #1

Published: 2014

Score: 80

Our rating: 8.0/10 (read the review)

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119. Those Brave, Foolish Souls from the City of Swords

by Benedict Patrick

Don't draw your blade in the City of Swords, unless you're willing to kill... or ready to die. Young and filled with idealistic fervor, Arturo packs his blade and travels to the fabled City of Swords in the hopes of joining the dashing Bravadori. Yet upon arriving he discovers these masked vigilantes have more in common with brutal thugs than noble monster slayers. Disillusioned and mocked, he stubbornly refuses to give up his dreams. When an impending bandit attack threatens untold depravities upon a distant village, and no others will heed the call for help, Arturo joins forces with a worthless outcast and a walking legend to attempt the impossible, to traverse the demon-haunted wilderness and prove that in the City of Swords, true heroes can rise from the unlikeliest of places.

Series: Yarnsworld #3

Published: 2017

Score: 80

Our rating: 8.0/10 (read the review)

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120. Paternus: Rise of Gods

by Dyrk Ashton

Even myths have legends. And not all legends are myth. When a local hospital is attacked by strange and frightening men, Fiona Patterson and Zeke Prisco save a catatonic old man named Peter--and find themselves running for their lives with creatures beyond imagination hounding their every step. 

With nowhere else to turn, they seek out Fi's enigmatic Uncle Edgar. But the more their questions are answered, the more they discover that nothing is what it seems--not Peter, not Edgar, perhaps not even themselves. 

The gods and monsters, heroes and villains of lore--they're real. And now they've come out of hiding to hunt their own. In order to survive, Fi and Zeke must join up with powerful allies against an ancient evil that's been known by many names and feared by all. The final battle of the world's oldest war has begun. 

Series: The Paternus Trilogy #1

Published: 2016

Score: 80

Our rating: 8.0/10 (read the review)

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121. The Silver Mask

by Christian Ellingsen

The gods and goddesses are dead, killed two hundred years ago. With their destruction the moon split apart, the sun dwindled and the land was devastated. Civilisation has re-emerged from the carnage, but twisted creatures still prowl the savage Wildlands between the city-states. In the skies above the city of Vasini, a falling star, a fragment of the dead moon goddess Serindra, heads to earth. In the Palace district, Dame Vittoria Emerson, darling of the city, has been found dead, lying amongst her own vomit. As Captain Marcus Fox of the Inspectorate hunts the killer, Dr. Elizabeth Reid searches for the remnants of Serindra determined to make sure the poisonous quicksilver it contains is not used. With Vittoria’s death threatening to draw the city’s political elite into a war of assassins, Fox and Reid must rush to expose the secrets that lie within Vasini before they tear the city-state apart.

 

Series: The Vasini Chronicles #1

Published: 2016

Score: 80

Our rating: 8.0/10 (read the review)

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122. Sufficiently Advanced Magic

by Andrew Rowe

Five years ago, Corin Cadence’s brother entered the Serpent Spire — a colossal tower with ever-shifting rooms, traps, and monsters. Those who survive the spire’s trials return home with an attunement: a mark granting the bearer magical powers. According to legend, those few who reach the top of the tower will be granted a boon by the spire’s goddess. 

He never returned. 

Now, it’s Corin’s turn. He’s headed to the top floor, on a mission to meet the goddess. 

If he can survive the trials, Corin will earn an attunement, but that won’t be sufficient to survive the dangers on the upper levels. For that, he’s going to need training, allies, and a lot of ingenuity. 

The journey won’t be easy, but Corin won’t stop until he gets his brother back.

Series: Arcane Ascension series #1

Published: 2017

Score: 80

Our rating: 8.0/10 (read the review)

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123. Darklands

by ML Spencer

Compelled to obey the dark god he pledged his soul to, Darien finds himself tasked with delivering the people of the Black Lands from under the curse of darkness which shrouds the skies. With the enemy mage Azár, Darien sets out across a barren darkscape to assume his place as the leader of a people who despise him.
As he journeys deeper into the shadowed waste, Darien is confronted with difficult truths that force him to question every loyalty he has ever held. For there, in the brutal proving grounds of the north, Darien will be inexorably forged into the most dangerous adversary the Rhen has ever faced.

Series: The Rhenwars Saga #2

Published: 2017

Score: 80

Our rating: 8.0/10 (read the review)

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124. The Empire of the Dead

by Phil Tucker

Acharsis has always loved long shots. But even with a perfect scheme and a handpicked squad of godsblooded grifters and fighters, breaking into the undead lord's Akkodaisis' ziggurat is suicidally impossible. Good thing Archarsis is a fallen demigod with more than one trick up his sleeve...

Unpredictable, fast paced, and packed with memorable characters, The Empire of the Dead is a gripping tale of revenge replete with demons, ancient magic and a high stakes heist.

Series: The Godsblood Trilogy #1

Published: 2017

Score: 80

Our rating: 8.0/10 (read the review)

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125. FALL

by JP Ashman

She survived the mission, the drop; the fall.

But what now? What can she do when the very thing that produced her new name left her scarred in far more ways than one?

Fight on, that's what. Seek out the next job. The next mission. Even if it means doing the despicable. Even if it means risking her life once again. For she risks it to protect the many at the cost of the few. For the greater good.

She'll be saving the next generation, after all...

...won't she?

Published: 2018

Score: 80

Our rating: 8.0/10 (read the review)

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126. Blackwood Marauders

by K S Villoso

Growing up in a quiet farm, Luc "Lucky" son of Jak didn't think much of the world until he fails the military entrance exam and finds himself responsible for a group of vicious, bloodthirsty mercenaries. Raised to be honest, upright, and true, his own ideals clash with the mercenaries' shaky morals. His problems take a turn for the worst when he falls into a trap set by Roena Blackwood.

The eldest of Duke Iorwin's daughters, Roena is adamant that life can only go her way. A high priest's prophecy causes her to rethink her options and take the path less travelled: that of a travelling mercenary. 

But killing monsters and saving villages can only get interesting for so long. Luc and Roena find themselves in a twisted plot concocted by none other than the merchant Ylir yn Garr. Together, they must learn to set aside their differences and work together to prevent disaster, even if it means confronting what they ran away from in the first place.

Published: 2018

Score: 80

Our rating: 8.0/10 (read the review)

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127. We Ride the Storm

by Devin Madson

War built the Kisian Empire and war will tear it down. And as an empire falls, three warriors rise.

Caught in a foreign war, Captain Rah e’Torin and his exiled warriors will have to fight or die. Their honour code is all they have left until orders from within stress them to breaking point, and the very bonds that hold them together will be ripped apart.

Cassandra wants the voice in her head to go away. Willing to do anything for peace, the ageing whore takes an assassination contract that promises answers, only the true price may be everyone and everything she knows.

A prisoner in her own castle, Princess Miko doesn’t dream of freedom but of the power to fight for her empire. As the daughter of a traitor the path to redemption could as easily tear it, and her family, asunder.

As an empire dies they will have to ride the storm or drown in its blood.

Series: The Reborn Empire #1

Published: 2018

Score: 80

Our rating: 8.2/10 (read the review)

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128. Grimdark Magazine #17

by Adrian Collins

Grimdark Magazine presents the darker, grittier side of fantasy and science fiction. Each quarterly issue features established and new authors to take you through their hard-bitten worlds alongside articles, reviews and interviews. Our stories are grim, our worlds are dark and our morally grey protagonists and anti-heroes light the way with bloody stories of war, betrayal and action.

FICTION:
- A Risk of Malice by Devin Madson
- Child of the Emptyness by Amanda J. Spedding
- A Place of Peace and Joy and Rest by Brian Staveley

NON-FICTION:
- An Interview with Sebastien de Castell
- Review: City of Kings by Rob J. Hayes
- Review: Chasing Graves by Ben Galley
- An interview with Jen Williams
- Writing Relatable Anti-Heroes, or Learning how to Love the Broken Ones by Anna Stephens

Series: Grimdark Magazine #17

Published: 2018

Score: 80

Our rating: 8.0/10 (read the review)

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129. The Silver Sorceress

by Alec Hutson

The epic story that began in The Crimson Queen continues . . . 

Following the deadly assault on the Scholia by the kith'ketan, Keilan and Nel pursue the paladin Senacus south, hoping to catch him before he vanishes into the Gilded Cities. Nel desires vengeance for the death of her lover, while Keilan hopes to find answers about the immortal sorcerers who sought to challenge the Crimson Queen . . . 

In the Empire of Swords and Flowers a young woman is called upon to avenge her father's death and return honor to her family . . . 

And after a millennia-long imprisonment, the monstrous Chosen are again free to work their dark will upon the world of man . . .

Series: The Raveling #2

Published: 2018

Score: 80

Our rating: 8.0/10 (read the review)

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130. Behind the Vale

by Brian D Anderson

Thousands of years after the war of the ancients, a single bastion of human life survives - The Vale. And at its core the magnificent city of Troi. Here the mana flows from the great power station, bringing light and life to all. It is a beacon of hope in a sick and dying world. But all is not as it appears. Even as the Order of High Mages seeks to cure the land, sinister forces move to gain absolute control over The Vale and its citizens.
Drake Sharazi, disgraced Royal Guard turned bounty hunter, has been exiled from Troi to the surrounding provinces, where resources are limited and starvation is commonplace. It is in this squalor and poverty he believes he shall spend his remaining days. But after years of labor and suffering, he has been given the chance to go home; to return to the life he has longed for since the moment he left his beloved city. But he quickly discovers that the life he desires is built on a foundation of lies. 
Now he must choose between what is right and what is easy. But what is right could cost more than he is willing to pay. And to save his home, he might have to destroy it…and all he has ever loved.

Series: The Vale #1

Published: 2018

Score: 80

Our rating: 8.0/10 (read the review)

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131. Grim Solace

by Ben Galley

Nothing is certain in Araxes. Not even death.

Stolen from the widow’s clutches, master thief and ghost Caltro Basalt must learn new ways to survive the cutthroat society of the Arctian Empire. His one hope for freedom and justice? A gift from the dead gods, who continue to beg for a saviour.

Breaking a soul takes time, and Caltro’s spirit is far from broken. Many try to weave him into their plots, but he is set on salvation by no means but his own.

As Caltro finds himself ever ensnared in Araxes’ cruel games, Nilith fights to survive the Dune Plains in her quest for redemption, Sisine continues her game of claiming ruler, and Temsa works toward his reign of chaos, one noble at a time

The board is set. The players chosen. Who will win the great game of Araxes?

Series: Chasing Graves #2

Published: 2019

Score: 80

Our rating: 8.0/10 (read the review)

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132. Grimdark Magazine #18

by Adrian Collins

Grimdark Magazine presents the darker, grittier side of fantasy and science fiction. Each quarterly issue features established and new authors to take you through their hard-bitten worlds alongside articles, reviews and interviews. Our stories are grim, our worlds are dark and our morally grey protagonists and anti-heroes light the way with bloody stories of war, betrayal and action.

FICTION:
- Rage Wolf by Andy Remic
- The Hunger and the Lady by Peter McLean
- Hatred for Heroes by Cameron Johnston

NON-FICTION:
- An Interview with Devin Madson by Tom Smith
- Building a Career with Small Presses by Alan Baxter
- Review: The Ingenious by Darius Hinks (Review by malrubius)
- An interview with Cameron Johnston by Tom Smith
- Scene and Summary: An Indispensable Internal Structure of Showing and Telling by Mike Myers

Series: Grimdark Magazine #18

Published: 2019

Score: 80

Our rating: 8.0/10 (read the review)

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133. The Gods of Men

by Barbara Kloss

Top 10 Finalist in Mark Lawrence's SPFBO 2018

Sable hated the gods. She hated what men did in their name. 

Magic is forbidden throughout the Five Provinces; those born with it are hunted and killed. Sable doesn't know her music holds power over souls--not until, at age nine, she plays her flute before the desert court and accidentally stops her baby sister's heart, killing her. Horrified by what she's done and fearing for her life, she flees north, out of Provincial jurisdiction and into the frigid land of exiles and thieves, known as The Wilds. There, Sable lives in hiding, burdened by guilt, and survives as a healer. But now, ten years later, someone--or something--is hunting her. 

On the run again, Sable's best chance for survival is Jos, a lethal man from the Five Provinces, who claims to need her skills as a healer to save his dying father, and she needs the large sum of money he's offered. There's something about him Sable doesn't trust, but she doesn't have many options. A spirit of the dead is hunting her, summoned by a mysterious necromancer, and it's getting closer. 

Sable soon discovers she's just the start of the necromancer's plan to take over the Five Provinces, and she's the only one with the power to stop it. But harnessing her forbidden power means revealing it to the world, and the dangerous Provincial, Jos, she's beginning to fall for. 

Fans of Brandon Sanderson, Naomi Novik, and Victoria Schwab will love this dark and epic fantasy adventure.

Published: 2018

Score: 80

Our rating: 8.0/10 (read the review)

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134. Zed

by Joanna Kavenna

From the winner of the Orange Award for New Writing comes a blistering, satirical novel about life under a global media and tech corporation that knows exactly what we think, what we want, and what we do—before we do. 

One corporation has made a perfect world based on a perfect algorithm . . . now what to do with all these messy people?

Lionel Bigman is dead. Murdered by a robot. Guy Matthias, the philandering founder and CEO of the mega-corporation Beetle, insists it was human error. But was it? Either the predictive algorithms of Beetle's supposedly omniscient 'lifechain' don't work, or, they've been hacked. Both scenarios are impossible to imagine and signal the end of Beetle's technotopia and life as we know it.

Dazzlingly original and darkly comic, Zed asks profound questions about who we are, what we owe to one another, and what makes us human. It describes our moment—the ugliness and the beauty—perfectly. Kavenna is a prophet who has seen deeply into the present—and thrown back her head and laughed.

Published: 2019

Score: 80

Our rating: 8.0/10 (read the review)

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135. Into Bones like Oil

by Kaaron Warren

People come to The Angelsea, a rooming house near the beach, for many reasons. Some come to get some sleep, because here, you sleep like the dead. Dora arrives seeking solitude and escape from reality. Instead, she finds a place haunted by the drowned and desperate, who speak through the sleeping inhabitants. She fears sleep herself, terrified that the ghosts of her daughters will tell her "it’s all your fault we’re dead." At the same time, she’d give anything to hear them one more time.

Published: 2019

Score: 80

Our rating: 8.0/10 (read the review)

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136. The Millennial Manifesto

by Michael R Fletcher

Only barbarians plot terrorism before tea.

Tired of ineffectual marches and rallies, Millennials turn to terrorist tactics to force change on Corporate America. Setting their sites on the company responsible for poisoning the local water supply, they declare war.

But now they swim with sharks.

After all, you don’t claw your way to the top of the corporate ladder by being a pushover.

Published: 2019

Score: 80

Our rating: 8.0/10 (read the review)

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137. A Threat of Shadows

by JA Andrews

Do some choices change us too much for us to ever change back? There was a time when Alaric was a Keeper, one of the men entrusted with counseling the queen, protecting the people’s histories and ancient stories, and working magic in defense of the land. But in a desperate attempt to save his dying wife, he has sacrificed it all - abandoning his duties, betraying his deepest beliefs and falling ever deeper into darkness. So far, he has done nothing but fail, and his wife’s time is growing short. Now, haunted by his past, Alaric has found one last chance at a cure, hidden in a magical Wellstone buried a century ago. With the help of a handful of quirky companions, the stone - and the cure - are finally within his grasp. But he’s not the only one searching for the Wellstone. His quest grows more perilous as he discovers that his companions are harboring dangerous secrets their own. It becomes almost impossible when he unearths rumors of a gathering shadow threatening the land - whispering of the return of a dark lord, thought to be defeated. To face this enemy, and have any chance of saving his wife, Alaric needs to be the Keeper he used to be, not the broken man he has become. Can he put the failures and pain of his past behind him to stand against the approaching threat? Or, in the face of all the growing shadows, will it be the darkness within himself that destroys everything?

Series: The Keeper Chronicles #1

Published: 2016

Score: 79

Our rating: 7.8/10 (read the review)

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138. Liefdom

by Jesse Teller

A zealous guardian in a peaceful city, Gentry Mandrake is a fairy unlike any other. Cast out and hated for his differences, his violent nature makes him wonder at the purity of his soul. He hunts for belonging while fighting to protect the human child bound to him. Explore the mythical realm of The Veil, the grating torture of the Sulfur Fields, and the biting tension between power and purpose in this wondrous struggle against a demonic wizard and his denizens. Can Mandrake overcome such terrible foes to defend those he loves?

Series: Perilisc

Published: 2016

Score: 79

Our rating: 7.9/10 (read the review)

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139. Revenant Winds

by Mitchell Hogan

As a secret cabal schemes to awaken an evil thought defeated millennia ago, the lives of three unlikely heroes are fated to converge:

Aldric, a veteran priest and sorcerer, who seeks acceptance from the church that shuns him. On the brink of their approval, he receives a mission that brings him face to face with a long-buried evil.

Niklaus, master swordsman, and slave to his goddess, who plots to split the veil between life and death and ascend to become her equal.

Kurio, the runaway daughter of a noble family, now turned to thievery, who stumbles across a disturbing secret that binds her future to infernal designs.

Drawn toward a horrifying endgame by an unknown force, Aldric, Niklaus, and Kurio find themselves in a battle not only for their lives, but for the beliefs that have come to define them.

A wrong decision, an overreaching ambition, or the failure of an already tormented faith, is all it will take to plunge mankind into an eternal dark.

Series: The Tainted Cabal #1

Published: 2017

Score: 79

Our rating: 7.9/10 (read the review)

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140. Skulls

by Tim Marquitz

Life held little interest for Jacob... until he found death. Abused and neglected, Jacob's only solace comes when he is alone in the woods or in the arms of his new girlfriend. But when he stumbles across a hidden bunker filled with human skulls, he learns what true suffering is. Drawn to examine the skulls, he finds there is more than just empty blackness behind their lifeless stares. Through their eyes he watches them die. With every glance, he witnesses another murder, the memories of the dead playing out inside his mind until reality becomes a blur. A primal cruelty awakening, Jacob returns to the morbid comfort of the skulls, over and over again. But when he happens upon a fresh skull, a victim tortured and slain for his amusement alone, he knows his time has come. Face to face with death, Jacob must choose whether to resist the darkness that dwells inside or condemn himself forever, murdering his innocence on the edge of an axe.

Published: 2011

Score: 78

Our rating: 7.8/10 (read the review)

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141. Fate of the Fallen

by Kel Kade

Not all stories have happy endings.

Everyone loves Mathias. Naturally, when he discovers it’s his destiny to save the world, he dives in head first, pulling his best friend Aaslo along for the ride.

However, saving the world isn’t as easy, or exciting, as it sounds in the stories. The going gets rough and folks start to believe their best chance for survival is to surrender to the forces of evil, which isn’t how the prophecy goes. At all. As the list of allies grows thin, and the friends find themselves staring death in the face they must decide how to become the heroes they were destined to be or, failing that, how to survive.

At the Publisher's request, this title is being sold without Digital Rights Management Software (DRM) applied.

Series: The Shroud of Prophecy #1

Published: 2019

Score: 78

Our rating: 8.3/10 (read the review)

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142. A Dark Inheritance

by Todd Herzman

It’s a dark path to power.

When Ruben is bound by blood magic and hauled across the sea to where the God King reigns, he has only one goal: escape.

As he tries to resist his master’s pull, he discovers a secret—the reason he was taken from his family—Ruben is a mage.

On his journey to understand his power, his desire to become stronger takes him to dark places, driving him to do even darker things.

If he can gain his freedom, will he be able to return to the life he once knew, after what he’s become?

For fans of Brandon Sanderson and Will Wight, A Dark Inheritance is the first book in the Hollow Fate series, an epic fantasy by Todd Herzman.

Series: Hollow Fate Book 1

Published: 2020

Score: 78

Our rating: 8.0/10 (read the review)

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143. The Heart of Stone

by Ben Galley

Merciless. Murderer. Monster. He has been called many names in his time.

Built for war and nothing else, he has witnessed every shade of violence humans know, and he has wrought his own masterpieces with their colours. He cared once, perhaps, but far too long ago. He is bound to his task, dead to the chaos he wreaks for his masters.

Now, he has a new master to serve and a new war to endure. In the far reaches of the Realm, Hartlund tears itself in two over coin and crown. This time he will fight for a boy king and a general bent on victory.

Beneath it all he longs for change. For something to surprise him. For an end to this cycle of warfare.

Every fighter has a last fight. Even one made of stone.

Published: 2017

Score: 77

Our rating: 7.7/10 (read the review)

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144. Exile

by Martin Owton

Aron of Darien, raised in exile after his homeland is conquered by a treacherous warlord, makes his way in the world on the strength of his wits and skill with a sword. Both are sorely tested when he is impressed into the service of the Earl of Nandor to rescue his heir from captivity in the fortress of Sarazan. The rescue goes awry. Aron and his companions are betrayed and must flee for their lives. Pursued by steel and magic, they find new friends and old enemies on the road that leads, after many turns, to the city of the High King. There Aron must face his father’s murderer before risking everything in a fight to the death with the deadliest swordsman in the kingdom.

Series: The Nandor Tales #1

Published: 2016

Score: 77

Our rating: 7.7/10 (read the review)

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145. In Shadows We Fall

by Devin Madson

Empress Li is out of favour at court. Foreign-born and past her prime, she is to be set aside. But she won’t go quietly. With nothing left to lose, Li will do anything to stop Emperor Lan signing a secret alliance that could tear the empire apart. Yet when her life is threatened, old mistakes come back to haunt her and only a three-year-old boy can change the course of history.

With everything at stake, could an innocent child be the best assassin?

Series: The Vengeance Trilogy #0.5

Published: 2017

Score: 77

Our rating: 7.7/10 (read the review)

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146. The Story of Tomkin and the Dragon

by JA Andrews

Tomkin Thornhewn, youngest son of the Duke of Marshwell, has a problem: he’s not heroic. Regardless of his aspirations, the bookish, untrained young man is better suited to recording the deeds of heroes than being one himself. Which becomes an obvious problem when he finds himself clinging to a ledge above a sleeping dragon. And instead of wielding his family’s great sword with valor and skill, he drops it - onto the dragon. The problem grows immeasurably worse when Tomkin himself falls off the ledge - also onto the dragon. And his problem reaches its peak when Tomkin, after being captured, discovers a maiden locked in a tower. But this is no sweet damsel. Not only does she refuse to be rescued, she refuses to even admit she’s in distress. It’s too bad for the people of Marshwell that Tomkin is the only thing standing - or falling - in the dragon’s way.

Series: A Keeper\'s Tale

Published: 2016

Score: 75

Our rating: 7.5/10 (read the review)

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147. Cage of Deceit

by Jennifer Anne Davis

Sixteen-year-old Allyssa appears to be the ideal princess of Emperion—she’s beautiful, elegant, and refined. She spends her days locked in a suffocating cage, otherwise known as the royal court. But at night, Allyssa uses her secret persona—that of a vigilante—to hunt down criminals and help her people firsthand.

Series: Reign of Secrets #1

Published: 2015

Score: 75

Our rating: 7.5/10 (read the review)

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148. City of Shards

by Steve Rodgers

In the gang-ridden Wormpile District, 16-year-old Larin shouts nonsense words into the decaying alleyways, a magical tourette’s syndrome that has brought him grief from every neighborhood thug. Protected from the worst beatings by his drug-addicted warrior-uncle, Larin’s life is one of loneliness, trapped in his uncle’s four block safe zone where no gang member dares tread. But when he learns his words have marked him as servant to Lord of Demons, things go from bad to worse. For that phrase has shoved him into the middle of an ancient war between his Master and the Six-Legged gods, both of whom regard humanity as mere playthings. 

With his home facing threats from every direction, Larin will have to tread the narrow path between two evils, his only allies his drug-addicted uncle, a permanently drunk priestess, and a high-born wizardress who must hold her nose and work with the street rabble she despises. For as bad as Larin's Master is, refusing to follow him will only plunge his empire into a greater darkness—an abyss so deep, it will turn mankind’s soul to ash.

Series: Spellgiver #1

Published: 2018

Score: 75

Our rating: 7.5/10 (read the review)

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149. Sworn to the Night

by Craig Schaefer

Marie Reinhart is an NYPD detective on the trail of a serial killer. When she sleeps, though, she dreams of other lives; she dreams of being a knight, in strange wars and strange worlds. On the other side of the city, Nessa Roth is a college professor trapped in a loveless marriage, an unwilling prop in a political dynasty. She's also a fledgling witch, weaving poppets and tiny spells behind closed doors.  When Marie's case draws her into Nessa's path, sparks fly. What comes next is more than a furtive whirlwind affair; it's the first pebbles of an avalanche. Nessa and Marie are the victims of a curse that has pursued them across countless lifetimes; a doom designed to trap them in a twisted living fairy tale, with their romance fated to end in misery and death.  They aren't going out without a fight. As they race to uncover the truth, forces are in motion across the country. In Las Vegas, a professional thief is sent on a deadly heist. In a Detroit back alley, witches gather under the guidance of a mysterious woman in red. Just outside New York, an abandoned zoo becomes the hunting-ground for servants of a savage and alien king. The occult underground is taking sides and forming lines of battle. Time is running out, and Nessa and Marie have one chance to save themselves, break the curse, and demand justice.  This time, they're writing their own ending.

Series: The Wisdom\'s Grave Trilogy #1

Published: 2018

Score: 75

Our rating: 7.5/10 (read the review)

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150. Kurintor Nyusi

by Aaron Michael Hall

As the gods battle in the heavens, darkness descends on earth. 

The Keepers of Nine guide the primordial Kurintor warriors protecting the mortal world from the demons of Ashemohn. But after a god’s corruption empowered their demon goddess, Sokka, her manipulations have brought the Kurintor to the brink of extinction. 

Can the Keepers of Nine awaken the Kurintor descendants in time to defend the Fifth Kingdom, or will the eidolons Sokka has sent forth destroy them? 

It isn’t prophecy, destiny, or a birthright, that will decide the fate of the mortal world. 

It is choice. 

Series: Kurintor Nyusi Series#1

Published: 2019

Score: 75

Our rating: 7.5/10 (read the review)

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151. Chasing Graves

by Ben Galley

Meet Caltro Basalt. He’s a master locksmith, a selfish bastard, and as of his first night in Araxes, stone cold dead.

They call it the City of Countless Souls, the colossal jewel of the Arctian Empire, and all it takes to rule it is to own more ghosts than any other. For in Araxes, the dead do not rest in peace in the afterlife, but live on as slaves for the rich.

While Caltro struggles to survive, those around him strive for the emperor’s throne in Araxes’ cutthroat game of power. The dead gods whisper from corpses, a soulstealer seeks to make a name for himself with the help of an ancient cult, a princess plots to purge the emperor from his armoured Sanctuary, and a murderer drags a body across the desert, intent on reaching Araxes no matter the cost.

Only one thing is certain in Araxes: death is only the beginning.

Series: Chasing Graves #1

Published: 2018

Score: 73

Our rating: 7.3/10 (read the review)

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152. The Valley of the Gods

by Phil Tucker

Is victory worthwhile if it comes at the expense of everything you love?

To avoid seeing the River Cities destroyed in their efforts to defeat Irella, Acharsis and his friends set forth on a quest that will take them from the darkest depths of hell to the perilous heights of the Gods' Mountain.

A quest that will pit them against the fearsome powers of the daughter of death, a race against time to prevent her from not only conquering the known world, but tearing aside the very veil that separates the spirits of the dead from the land of the living.

A quest whose culmination will force Acharsis and Jarek to decide just how much they are willing to sacrifice in order to save all that they love.

Series: The Godsblood Trilogy #3

Published: 2019

Score: 0

Our rating: 8.0/10 (read the review)

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153. Blitzcat

by Robert Westall

She made her way down the cliff, and on to the beach. At the edge of the waves, she stopped, shaking her wet paws. She knew that somewhere ahead was her person, but far, far away. She miaowed plaintively; stood staring at the moving blur of uncrossable sea.

She led the way to safety, out of the blazing hell of blitzed Coventry. People touched her for luck; feared her as an omen of disaster. Wherever she went, she changed lives…

From her beginning to her end she never wavered.

She was the Blitzcat.

Published: 1989

Score: 0

Our rating: 8.6/10 (read the review)

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154. The Seventh Sun

by Lani Forbes

Thrust into leadership upon the death of his emperor father, young Prince Ahkin feels completely unready for his new position. Though his royal blood controls the power of the sun, he’s now responsible for the lives of all the Chicome people. And despite all Ahkin’s efforts, the sun is fading—and the end of the world may be at hand.

For Mayana, the only daughter of the Chicome family whose blood controls the power of water, the old emperor’s death may mean that she is next. Prince Ahkin must be married before he can ascend the throne, and Mayana is one of six noble daughters presented to him as a possible wife. Those who are not chosen will be sacrificed to the gods.

Only one girl can become Ahkin’s bride. Mayana and Ahkin feel an immediate connection, but the gods themselves may be against them. Both recognize that the ancient rites of blood that keep the gods appeased may be harming the Chicome more than they help. As a bloodred comet and the fading sun bring a growing sense of dread, only two young people may hope to change their world.

Series: The Age of the Seventh Sun Series: Book 1

Published: 2020

Score: 0

Our rating: 8.5/10 (read the review)

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12+

155. The Obsidian Psalm

by Clayton Snyder

Betrayed by those he trusted. Resurrected by a man he should loathe. A head full of memories he didn’t make. Rook is forced into a bargain that might kill him if he refuses, and if he accepts, could mean the end of existence. Trapped in a shadow war between necromancers, his choices are dwindling to one: Cut a bloody swathe of revenge across humanity’s last remaining city.

Published: 2020

Score: 0

Our rating: 8.7/10 (read the review)

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15+

156. From Cold Ashes Risen

by Rob J Hayes

The Corpse Queen Comes.

Eskara has lost everything. The War Eternal has cost her everything she loves, and the Iron Legion has taken the rest. Yet there is something that is still hers, something that kept her warm during her time in the Pit. Anger and a lust for vengeance. First on the list of those who must pay, the Emperor of Terrelan.

Her friends counsel peace, but her inner demons push for war, and Eska finds herself caught in the middle. Will she find a way to reap her vengeance? Or will the enemies of her past catch up to her first?

One thing is certain. The world will soon know fear when the Corpse Queen ascends her throne.

The stunning conclusion to The War Eternal trilogy sees Eska facing her most dangerous enemies yet, both within and without. Perfect for fans of Patrick Rothfuss and Mark Lawrence. Find out how Eskara's story ends in this emotional finale.

Series: The War Eternal #3

Published: 2020

Score: 0

Our rating: 8.8/10 (read the review)

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