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Darkwind (The Starchaser Saga) by Renee Dugan

SPFBO9

The Middle Kingdom of Talheim has enjoyed peace for decades. But with the threat of war rising from the ruthless South, the dream of a quiet life is fading. And for the noble but naive Princess Cistine, that means embarking on a dangerous quest to the Northern Kingdom, where she hopes to forge an alliance against their southern foes and save her people. But when Cistine is captured by an outlaw and his band of cutthroat warriors, she finds a more deadly adventure than she bargained for - and a greater power within herself than she ever knew. Swept up in the unpredictable tide of a tenuous and shadowy political climate, a ruthless land governed by the stars, and the unexpected revelations that come from her mysterious new companions, Cistine must learn how to fight, how to lead...and above all, how to trust herself. If the young princess can't be forged into a fighter, then her kingdom will fall.


The Soul's Aspect by Mark Holloway

SPFBO8

A healer forced to become a killer for an empire that would grind his country to dust. Kehlem, the sickly son of a widowed physician, has devoted his life to learning his father’s craft. Wanting to finally step out of his father’s shadow, he embarks on a project of his own, seeking out the help of Themia, the town's newly arrived Alchemist and a rare wielder of magic. But Themia has secrets of her own, secrets carried from the heart of the empire itself, secrets that would steal Kehlem away from his home and into the empire’s Academy for magic users. The Isale Academy beckons, but can Kehlem survive the academy and its brutal regime? And if so, what would he have to become?


Three Kings by Freydís Moon

Ethan Shaw—lighthouse keeper and local witch—lives a charmed life in his chilly, coastal hometown. Blessed with a flourishing garden and a stable livelihood, Ethan can’t complain. But when his husband, Captain Peter Vásquez, brings home a wounded leopard seal after an impromptu storm, Ethan is faced with a curious situation: caring for a lost selkie named Nico Locke. As Ethan struggles with the possibility of being infertile, insecurities surrounding his marriage, and a newly formed magical bond with a hostile, handsome selkie, his comfortable life begins to fracture. But could breakage lead to something better? With autumn at their heels and winter on the horizon, Ethan, Peter, and Nico test the boundaries of a new relationship, shared intimacy, and the chance at a future together.


The Look of a King by Tom Dumbrell

SPFBO7

Two young men. One with a dark past, the other with a bright future. Cyrus is a storyteller frustrated by the mundane trappings of village life, while Prince Augustus struggles to meet high expectations after an upbringing of royal privilege in the bustling capital. As both try to forge their own paths, a royal assassination unexpectedly closes the gap between them. The nation of Easthaven is thrown into war with their oppressive neighbours, and so begins a conflict from which neither can walk away. Will a young prince finally measure up to his destiny? Will a storyteller create a legend of his own? Cyrus and Augustus's lives may seem worlds apart, but perhaps they aren't so different after all...


Truth and Other Lies by Lyra Wolf

SPFBO7

Nothing is trickier than the truth. All Loki the trickster god of Asgard wants is a quiet, peaceful life where he’s free to needle Balder, occasionally stir up the inter-realm porridge pot, and get Thor to dress in women’s garments (for all the best reasons). Getting beset by sudden, painful, and terribly inconvenient visions of blood, ash, and death are definitely not on his to-do list. But, because of some small, ridiculous remnant of caring that refuses to be extinguished, Loki feels he must save Asgard...and that means warning Odin, his least favorite god (next to Thor). But getting the gods to believe the boy who cried Fenrir is harder than it looks, and time is running out, not just for Asgard, but also for a mortal woman named Sigyn who may just hold the key to Loki’s future. Loki is about to find out the hard way that the only thing crueler than truth are the lies behind it all. "Truth and Other Lies" is the first book in a new series inspired by Norse mythology, and has snarky anti-heroes, lovers-to-enemies, and strong female characters.


Where Shadows Lie by Allegra Pescatore

SPFBO6

The Chosen One Is Dead. Magic Is Going Haywire. Time Is Running Out. When the King of Lirin murders Elenor's brother during a failed coup attempt, she must choose between turning a blind eye to her people's suffering or joining the rebellion and helping bring down the tyrant king. There's only one problem--the king is her father. Helped along the way by a grouchy old doctor, a boisterous group of nobles, and a well-meaning assassin, Elenor is forced to dance between duty and defiance as she tries to save her kingdom. Meanwhile, from the rainy streets of Lirin to the scorching dunes of the Mondaer Desert, the ripples of her actions have inadvertently broken a chain of events five centuries in the making. Ancient forces move in the shadows, calling in debts and striking deals. A monster with a thousand faces fingers his knife, ready to kill, and a pair of fugitives run for their lives. Where Shadows Lie is a non-stop, epic fantasy ride featuring an lgbtq+ and disabled protagonist and filled with court intrigue, sizzling romance, adorable baby dragons, and the battle between oppression and freedom. Dive in and get swept away!


Shadow of a Dead God (Mennik Thorn #1) by Patrick Samphire

SPFBO6 SPFBO Finalist

A dead god. A brutal murder. A second-rate mage. It was only supposed to be one little job – a simple curse-breaking for Mennik Thorn to pay back a favor to his oldest friend. But then it all blew up in his face. Now he's been framed for a murder he didn't commit. So how is a second-rate mage, broke, traumatized, and with a habit of annoying the wrong people supposed to prove his innocence when everyone believes he's guilty? Mennik has no choice if he wants to get out of this: he is going to have to throw himself into the corrupt world of the city’s high mages, a world he fled years ago. Faced by supernatural beasts, the mage-killing Ash Guard, and a ruthless, unknown adversary, it’s going to take every trick Mennik can summon just to keep him and his friend alive. But a new, dark power is rising in Agatos, and all that stands in its way is one damaged mage…


Wings So Soft by Dani Finn

Can love bloom in war’s darkest hour? Mara and her owl work surveillance to keep Kuppham safe, but the news on the Stream is grim. The humans are coming, and she and her owl will soon be in the line of fire. Her once-vibrant city is a ghost town, with little to distract her as she waits for the skin-covered hordes to overrun the Maer capital. Until one day, this timid little artificer wanders into the aerie, asking to watch her owl land over and over. Uffrin makes owls powered by clockwork and magic to guard the great automatons on the northern front. He visits the aerie to study the owls’ flight mechanics, but it’s the owl handler who captures his attention. So gentle, so in control, with quick eyes that seem to stay with his all the time. Amid the looming clouds of war, hearts intertwine and feathers fly, but duty soon flings these two lovebirds apart. If the war goes as badly as everyone seems to fear, how will they ever find each other again? Love might be the only thing that saves them. Fly away from your troubles with this standalone fantasy romance, part of the Time Before trio. It’s steamy, with over 150 kisses, and includes a picnic in the park, a date in a basement speakeasy, and a secret mountain lake far from the ravages of war.


The Chaos Circus by Renee Dugan

SPFBO6

All Tessa LaRoche wants is to be the most ordinary person on Barrow Island. After a stint in a mental asylum, she's had quite enough of being anything else, thank you very much. But when a commission at her new reporting job forces her into the path of a not-quite-human murder suspect, Tessa finds that the unordinary is not through with her yet. Spirited away by a devilishly charming Nicolai to the Mirror Lands-- a parallel reality manipulated by the immortal Deathless-- Tessa loses one of the most precious tethers to her sanity. In order to reclaim it, she must risk entering The Chaos Circus: a citywide fair where mortals trade years for prizes in vicious attractions from which the Deathless draw their power. But there's a catch: if Tessa can't defeat the Deathless at their own freakish carnival games, she will lose her mind...and Nicolai will lose his life. Forced to rely on one another despite the secrets that come between them, Tessa and Nicolai embark on a dangerous adventure through the deceptively beautiful life of the Circus, where little is as it seems--even the games, their pasts, and the strange whirlwind of memories that Tessa can no longer recall.


Dawnstar (Starchaser Saga Book 2) by Renee Dugan

A missing friend. A hunt for answers. A path to vengeance. With her Warden stolen, her hopes of an easy alliance thwarted, and her trust in her own kingdom shattered, Princess Cistine Novacek faces her greatest challenge yet: using wit and steel to bring down a wicked Chancellor and prove herself to the cabal's tentative allies in the Courts. As friendships are tested, bonds broken, and love put to the test, the princess must face the growing threats within the Northern Kingdom – and learn to rise a queen. Locked away in a desert prison, Asheila Kovar faces the struggle of her life: surviving the ruthless Blood Hive, returning to her princess, and avenging a betrayal against the heart of her kingdom. But there are more secrets and schemes than just hers lurking in the catacombs…and the struggle between powerful forces above and below the sands will test Ashe’s loyalty in dangerous ways. Ways that may spell death for people the cabal cannot afford to lose.


Red Darkling by L. A. Guettler

SPSFC 2023

Red Darkling’s ship is a weevil-infested piece of junk. Her smuggling business barely brings in enough credits to buy cheap beer. Alien creeps think a blaster can get them favors when their charm fails. Her only company is a glitchy cat and the occasional hook-up. Her life is dirty, dangerous, and lonely: just how she likes it. It all takes a turn for the worse when things start going well. A little too well. Partying with movie stars, weekends in paradise, troublesome people turning up dead—it’s maddening. Who is this anonymous benefactor, and why does he think she needs protecting?


Voice of War (Threadlight Book 1) by Zack Argyle

SPFBO6 SPFBO Finalist

Chrys Valerian is a threadweaver, a high general, and soon-to-be father. But to the people of Alchea, he is the Apogee—the man who won the war. When a stranger's prophecy foretells danger to Chrys' child, he must do everything in his power to protect his family—even if the most dangerous enemy is the voice in his own head. To the west, a sheltered girl seeks to find her place in the world. To the south, a young man's life changes after he dies. Together, they will change the world—whether they intend to or not.


The Wild Court by E. G. Radcliff

SFFOasis

What perils await on the other side of the veil? In the seventh year of Áed's reign, night descends on the autumn festival. But a time of revelry turns into one of fiery destruction—as fae pour across the veil and the Gut becomes a battlefield in an otherworldly war. Determined to protect his kingdom and the people he loves, Áed finds himself catapulted into a realm as unfamiliar as it is dangerous, where magic is king and wild courts vie for supremacy. While the faerie Queen's missing consort holds the key to life and death, tenuous alliances raise questions about Áed’s connection to the mysterious Bone Court. His survival hinges on cunning as much as illusion. On a mission like no other, only one thing is certain: no one will survive unscathed.


A Touch of Death by Rebecca Crunden

SPSFC

A thousand years in the future, the last of humanity live inside the walls of the totalitarian Kingdom of Cutta. The rich live in Anais, the capital city of Cutta, sheltered from the famine and disease which ravage the rest of the Kingdom. Yet riches and power only go so far, and even Anaitians can be executed. It is only by the will of the King that Nate Anteros, son of the King’s favourite, is spared from the gallows after openly dissenting. But when he’s released from prison, Nate disappears. A stark contrast, Catherine Taenia has spent her entire life comfortable and content. The daughter of the King’s Hangman and in love with Thom, Nate’s younger brother, her life has always been easy, ordered and comfortable. That is, where it doesn’t concern Nate. His actions sullied not only his future, but theirs. And unlike Thom, Catherine has never forgiven him. Two years pass without a word, and then one night Nate returns. But things with Nate are never simple, and when one wrong move turns their lives upside down, the only thing left to do is run where the King’s guards cannot find them – the Outlands. Those wild, untamed lands which stretch around the great walls of the Kingdom, filled with mutants and rabids.


The Hidden King (The Coming of Áed #1) by E.G. Radcliff

SPFBO6 Indie Recs Indie SFFOasis

Hidden truths. Hidden power. Hidden destiny. On the shores of a rusty sea, in the streets of a starving city, a young man named Áed scraps to build a life for himself and the makeshift family he loves. Scarred by a trauma he cannot remember, and haunted by the brutal damage it left behind, he has no idea of the courage his future will demand. When tragedy strikes, a desperate Áed risks a treacherous, life-changing journey in his last chance to save the only family he has left - but an ancient legacy smoldering within him is about to turn deadly. Neither he - nor a kingdom - will ever be the same.


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