Shelf-bending fantasy that is action-packed, intricately plotted, and breakneck paced.

GODS AND DRAGONS

The concluding volume of Anderson’s Wake the Dragon trilogy wraps up the epic fantasy tale chronicling a grand-scale war between nations, races, and even family members that could raise a mythical creature and destroy the world.

As the novel opens, hatred and resentments that have been smoldering for thousands of years are finally igniting. The three kingdoms—led by the newly crowned but unbalanced Konag Mandan—are going to war against the nation of Ishara. Adan Starfall, king of Suderra, and Kollanan, king of Norterra, understand that Ishara isn’t the three kingdoms' biggest worry—that would be the wreths, a race of magical humanoid creatures who believe their ultimate destiny is to awaken, and slay, the great dragon Ossus so that the god Kur can remake the world. Attempting to kill Ossus would require the wreths to wake the monstrosity from its slumber underneath a mountain range—and waking it could not only remake the world, but destroy it. Adan and Kollanan are also aware that dethroning Mandan is of utmost importance in stopping an unwanted war with Ishara. In Ishara, a power-hungry priest named Klovus has grabbed control after attempting to kill Empra Iluris, the nation’s spiritual leader. Barely alive, and hidden away, Iluris must somehow win back her people and country. Meanwhile, Koru, queen of the frostwreths, plots to kill the sandwreth queen in order to unite all wreths before waking the dragon….Although the narrative—parceled out in the form of multiple storylines from a diversity of characters—is a bit unwieldy in the opening chapters, those storylines slowly converge and intertwine, propelling the grand-scale action forward at what turns out to be a relentless pace. The numerous threads eventually meet in an earth-shattering bloodbath of a final conflict that will have fans of George R.R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire standing up and applauding.

Shelf-bending fantasy that is action-packed, intricately plotted, and breakneck paced.

Pub Date: Jan. 11, 2022

ISBN: 978-1-250-30220-5

Page Count: 496

Publisher: Tor

Review Posted Online: Oct. 27, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 15, 2021

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Lots of buzz after a seven-year hiatus, but even die-hard Outlander fans might need more action.

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GO TELL THE BEES THAT I AM GONE

The ninth book in Gabaldon’s Outlander series finds the Fraser family reunited in the midst of the American Revolution.

It’s 1779, and Claire and Jamie Fraser have found each other across time and space and are living peacefully in the American Colony of North Carolina. This novel opens with the mysterious return to Fraser’s Ridge of their daughter, Brianna, her husband, Roger, and their children. In a previous book, Brianna’s family time-traveled to 20th-century America and planned to stay there permanently. It’s clear that Jamie and the others expect the troubles the family faced in the future will follow them to the past; unfortunately, after their return, the book pauses for several hundred pages of exposition. Gabaldon reintroduces characters, summarizes past events and tragedies, and introduces new characters. The text features not one but two family trees (the one in the back is updated to include the events of the book), and readers will need both to keep track of all the characters and relationships. The Outlander series has always been concerned with themes of time and place, and this novel contains intricate details and descriptions of daily life in Colonial America, clearly the result of countless hours of research. But Claire and Jamie have always been the major draw for readers. Now that they are grandparents, their love story is less epic and more tender, exploring the process of aging, the joys of family, and the longing for community and home. The last third is more plot-driven and action-packed, but the cliffhanger ending might leave readers feeling as if the book is just filler for the promised 10th installment.

Lots of buzz after a seven-year hiatus, but even die-hard Outlander fans might need more action.

Pub Date: Nov. 23, 2021

ISBN: 978-1-101-88568-0

Page Count: 928

Publisher: Delacorte

Review Posted Online: Dec. 24, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2022

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Spanning centuries and continents, this is a darkly romantic and suspenseful tale by a writer at the top of her game.

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THE INVISIBLE LIFE OF ADDIE LARUE

When you deal with the darkness, everything has a price.

“Never pray to the gods that answer after dark.” Adeline tried to heed this warning, but she was desperate to escape a wedding she didn’t want and a life spent trapped in a small town. So desperate that she didn’t notice the sun going down. And so she made a deal: For freedom, and time, she will surrender her soul when she no longer wants to live. But freedom came at a cost. Adeline didn’t want to belong to anyone; now she is forgotten every time she slips out of sight. She has spent 300 years living like a ghost, unable even to speak her own name. She has affairs with both men and women, but she can never have a comfortable intimacy built over time—only the giddy rush of a first meeting, over and over again. So when she meets a boy who, impossibly, remembers her, she can’t walk away. What Addie doesn’t know is why Henry is the first person in 300 years who can remember her. Or why Henry finds her as compelling as she finds him. And, of course, she doesn’t know how the devil she made a deal with will react if he learns that the rules of their 300-year-long game have changed. This spellbinding story unspools in multiple timelines as Addie moves through history, learning the rules of her curse and the whims of her captor. Meanwhile, both Addie and the reader get to know Henry and understand what sets him apart. This is the kind of book you stay up all night reading—rich and satisfying and strange and impeccably crafted.

Spanning centuries and continents, this is a darkly romantic and suspenseful tale by a writer at the top of her game.

Pub Date: Oct. 6, 2020

ISBN: 978-0-7653-8756-1

Page Count: 448

Publisher: Tor

Review Posted Online: July 1, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 2020

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