“I’d have liked to see you in the Royal Guard,” Sabriel said. “And the Old Kingdom, in…I mean before the Stones were broken.”
“In my day, you mean,” said Touchstone. “I would have liked that too. It was more like here, then. Here normally, I mean. Peaceful, and sort of slow. Sometimes I thought life was too slow, too predictable. I’d prefer that now…”
“I used to think like that at school,” Sabriel answered. “Dreaming about the Old Kingdom. Proper Charter Magic. Dead to bind. Princes to be—”
• The Fionavar Tapestry trilogy by Guy Gavriel Kay Goodreads: Five men and women find themselves flung into the magical land of Fionavar, First of all Worlds. They have been called there by the mage Loren Silvercloak, and quickly find themselves drawn into the complex tapestry of events. For Kim, Paul, Kevin, Jennifer and Dave all have their own part to play in the coming battle against the forces of evil led by the fallen god Rakoth Maugrim and his dark hordes.
• Gentleman Bastard series by Scott LynchGoodreads:
An orphan’s life is harsh — and often short — in the island city of Camorr, built on the ruins of a mysterious alien race. But born with a quick wit and a gift for thieving, Locke Lamora has dodged both death and slavery, only to fall into the hands of an eyeless priest known as Chains — a man who is neither blind nor a priest. A con artist of extraordinary talent, Chains passes his skills on to his carefully selected “family” of orphans — a group known as the Gentlemen Bastards. Under his tutelage, Locke grows to lead the Bastards, delightedly pulling off one outrageous confidence game after another. Soon he is infamous as the Thorn of Camorr, and no wealthy noble is safe from his sting.
• The Ascendance trilogy by Jennifer Nielson Goodreads:
In a discontent kingdom, civil war is brewing. To unify the divided people, Conner, a nobleman of the court, devises a cunning plan to find an impersonator of the king’s long-lost son and install him as a puppet prince. Four orphans are recruited to compete for the role, including a defiant boy named Sage. Sage knows that Conner’s motives are more than questionable, yet his life balances on a sword’s point – he must be chosen to play the prince or he will certainly be killed. But Sage’s rivals have their own agendas as well. As Sage moves from a rundown orphanage to Conner’s sumptuous palace, layer upon layer of treachery and deceit unfold, until finally, a truth is revealed that, in the end, may very well prove more dangerous than all of the lies taken together.
Four decades of peace have done little to ease the mistrust between humans and dragons in the kingdom of Goredd. Folding themselves into human shape, dragons attend court as ambassadors, and lend their rational, mathematical minds to universities as scholars and teachers. As the treaty’s anniversary draws near, however, tensions are high. Seraphina Dombegh has reason to fear both sides. An unusually gifted musician, she joins the court just as a member of the royal family is murdered—in suspiciously draconian fashion. Seraphina is drawn into the investigation, partnering with the captain of the Queen’s Guard, the dangerously perceptive Prince Lucian Kiggs. While they begin to uncover hints of a sinister plot to destroy the peace, Seraphina struggles to protect her own secret, the secret behind her musical gift, one so terrible that its discovery could mean her very life.
• The Thinking Woman’s Guide to Real Magic by Emily Croy Barker
Nora Fischer’s dissertation is stalled and her boyfriend is about to marry another woman. During a miserable weekend at a friend’s wedding, Nora wanders off and walks through a portal into a different world where she’s transformed from a drab grad student into a stunning beauty. Before long, she has a set of glamorous new friends and her romance with gorgeous, masterful Raclin is heating up. It’s almost too good to be true. Then the elegant veneer shatters. Nora’s new fantasy world turns darker, a fairy tale gone incredibly wrong. Making it here will take skills Nora never learned in graduate school. Her only real ally—and a reluctant one at that—is the magician Aruendiel, a grim, reclusive figure with a biting tongue and a shrouded past. And it will take her becoming Aruendiel’s student—and learning magic herself—to survive. When a passage home finally opens, Nora must weigh her “real life” against the dangerous power of love and magic.
• The Lost Years of Merlin series by TA Barron Goodreads:
When Merlin, suffering from a case of severe amnesia, discovers his strange powers, he becomes determined to discover his identity and flees to Fincayra where he fulfills his destiny, saving Fincayra from certain destruction and claiming his birthright and true name.
The Ninth was strong and fought with might, But lone Orannis was put out of the light, Broken in two and buried under hill, Forever to lie there, wishing us ill.So says the song. But Orannis, the Destroyer, is no longer buried under hill. It has been freed from its subterranean prison and now seeks to escape the silver hemispheres, the final barrier to the unleashing of its terrible powers. Only Lirael, newly come into her inheritance as the Abhorsen-in-Waiting, has any chance of stopping the Destroyer. She and her companions – Sam, the Disreputable Dog, and Mogget – have to take that chance. For the Destroyer is the enemy of all Life, and it must be stopped, though Lirael does not know how.
• The Iron Druid Chronicles by Kevin Hearne Goodreads:
Atticus O'Sullivan, last of the Druids, lives peacefully in Arizona, running an occult bookshop and shape-shifting in his spare time to hunt with his Irish wolfhound. His neighbors and customers think that this handsome, tattooed Irish dude is about twenty-one years old–when in actuality, he’s twenty-one “centuries” old. Not to mention: He draws his power from the earth, possesses a sharp wit, and wields an even sharper magical sword known as Fragarach, the Answerer. Unfortunately, a very angry Celtic god wants that sword, and he’s hounded Atticus for centuries. Now the determined deity has tracked him down, and Atticus will need all his power–plus the help of a seductive goddess of death, his vampire and werewolf team of attorneys, a bartender possessed by a Hindu witch, and some good old-fashioned luck of the Irish–to kick some Celtic arse and deliver himself from evil.
• The Heralds of Valdemar series by Mercedes Lackey Goodreads:
Talia, a young runaway, is made a herald at the royal court after she rescues one of the legendary Companions. When she uncovers a plot to seize the throne, Talia must use her empathic powers to save the queen.
• The Mortal Coils series by Eric Nylund Goodreads:
Nothing interesting ever happened to fifteen-year-old orphans Eliot and Fiona while they've lived in the strict, oppressive household of their grandmother. A chance visit, however, reveals that there is much more to the twins. They are the offspring of a goddess and Lucifer, Prince of Darkness. Now, to settle the epic custody battle between these two families, the fallen angels create three diabolical temptations, and the gods fashion three heroic trials to test Eliot and Fiona. More than ever they need to stick together to survive and to learn how to use their budding supernatural abilities … for family allegiances are ever-shifting in the ancient, secret world they have entered.
“Five Great Charters knit the land
Together linked, hand in hand
One in the people who wear the crown
Two in the folk who keep the Dead down
Three and Five became stone and mortar
Four sees all in frozen water.”
Well guys, she did it. With the help of Alex. And we played it.
It was some REALLY EPIC SHIT, my character (the Abhorsen-in-Training) NEARLY DIED, and I CANNOT WAIT until we play again!!! We have some more of the logistics to work out, but if you have any questions about what we did or how Anna and Alex made this beautiful RPG, go chat to Anna on Twitter!
SABRIEL. The first book of my favorite YA fantasy series–the underrated Abhorsen/Old Kingdom chronicles by Garth Nix–gets a new, breathtaking face from freelance artist Sebastian Ciaffaglione.
The top illustration is the covert art; bottom is the unused cover rough. Ciaffaglione got to paint the covers for ALL FOUR BOOKS in the series.Nix will be revealing his Lirael art on the fourth.
(Stop for a sec and let that sink in, fellow bookworms–we’re finally going to see Clariel: The Lost Abhorsen in all her ’necromantic’ glory! For more than a decade I’ve always wondered what Chlorr of the Mask looked like or what she was like before…well, before she got “lost”. She’s a villain I totally love, creepy golden mask and all. The US edition’s cover of Clariel was revealed last month. I admit, I was a little disappointed that she’s a dead ringer of Leo and Diane Dillon’s Lirael there. I mean the only difference is she’s got a dragon instead of a Disreputable Dog)
The new Aus editions will be out in September 2014.
I rarely prefer books with characters/faces on the cover, but I’ll choose these over the ones with charter marks on them. :p
A woman, or something that had once been a woman. She wore a mask of dull bronze, and the heavy furs of the Northern barbarians. Unnecessary, and uncomfortable, in this weather … unless her skin felt something other than the sun. She wore several rings of bone upon her silk-gloved fingers.
The small piece I did in antipation of meeting Garth Nix today. (I’ll say more about that in a seperate post). Haven’t had the chacne to read Goldenhand properly thanks to a lot of university work and society responsablity. But this is inspired by the prologue.
Also trying to get the age difference right was difficult…
Outcast (ish) necromancer’s (ish) who haunt libraries and prevent the end of the world unite! I feel like Lirael and Dorian could actually make good friends. It figures the first time I’d draw Dorian it would be for a silly Old Kingdom AU floating around in my brain.
This… is slightly inspired by me messing around in DA:I and making a Lirael inquisitor…. poor Lirael needs to stop loosing hands. And a Mabari.
“Above all, be the heroine of your life, not the victim.” ―Nora Ephron
“My first (and probably still my favorite) fictional lady hero was Princess Cimorene from Dealing with Dragons, which, for those of you who never had the privilege of reading it, is the first in a magical and funny and rad four-book fantasy series by Patricia C. Wrede. Cimorene is a total BAMF who a) runs away from her parents when they try to make her marry a dopey prince, b) gets a job and moves into a cave with a delightfully sassy talking dragon, c) refuses to be rescued, d) makes friends with a cool witch, and e) ends up saving the day, which I won’t go into because you should find out the details for yourself. Basically, Cimorene is hella smart and hot and capable and what’s great is that she KNOWS it; she’s not some fainting ingenue who has to be convinced of her own virtue. She’s ready to take charge from page one. —Rachel Sanders”
Cimorene is absolutely fabulous. I had to struggle to pick which one to “pull” from the list–Sabriel, Meg Murry, & Hermione are the other frontrunners, FYI–but Cimorene ultimately won. But the whole list is full of phenomenal women