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A Prophecy Unsung

A Prophecy Unsung by Adam R. Bishop

William and Baldric were successful in trekking across the uncharted lands of the elves. After reaching the Viridian Veil and warning Lord Thinduill of Dadro’s deceit, they thought their journey had come to a close. But in truth, it had only just begun—and the more they descend into the battle for Cellagor’s fate, the more they’ll learn about their own mysterious pasts. Preceding their arrival to the Veil, Avolin’s visions revealed that William and Baldric were tied to the Book of No Quarter. Upon learning this, Lord Thinduill insisted they accompany him to the elven capital of Leof Ealdwin. Meanwhile, Rhan is no more, and its ashen remains mark the beginning of a new age. Arnion’s sacrifice may have altered the fate of Cellagor, but his father’s resolve continues to be tested. In the north, houses have reunited once again, and the Braxi army slowly encroaches on the Unspoken Border. Talfryn remains the last standing house to refuse Dadro’s rule—but they must rekindle old alliances if they mean to survive further bloodshed. Word of Dadro’s victory over the elves continues to spread across the realm. Thousands have sworn their fealty to him, and whispers of a promising union linger on the horizon. But war does not come without its price. Dadro’s brother has yet to recover from the Battle of Rhan, and the pyromancer Aleister’s treachery remains unseen. With his ambitions still unknown, neither side is safe during this ushering in of a new age.


Perception Check

Perception Check by Astrid Knight

Her favorite tabletop roleplaying game is real, and her kidnapped childhood best friend is trapped in a far off land. Will she be able to save her? Let's roll initiative! Violet Spence wants nothing more than to have a normal life. After witnessing her childhood best friend get abducted by monsters, that’s easier said than done. At twenty-three years old, Violet cannot seem to move past that fateful night ten years ago. Her only solace is Mages of Velmyra, a tabletop roleplaying game filled with goblins, fairies, and all-powerful magicians. But of course, that’s all fantasy. Or, so she thought. As it turns out, the land of Velmyra is very real and the home of the monsters that took her best friend. With the help of her friends (and the creator of the game itself), Violet must navigate the once-fictional creatures and powerful mages of Velmyra to retrieve a set of ancient relics—all in the hopes that the journey will lead her back to her friend. But for Violet, fighting monsters and magic workers doesn’t seem nearly as terrifying as confronting her own demons. And she’ll soon realize fighting the battle within herself can be just as tough as those fought against demigods. Perception Check is the magical first installment of the Mages of Velmyra Saga, great for fans of Dungeons and Dragons, Critical Role, and The Magicians. With endearing and hilarious characters, an exploration of mental health and trauma, LGBTQ+ representation, gut-wrenching twists, and a whirlwind of an ending, you will never want to leave the world of Velmyra.


Shadows of Ivory

Shadows of Ivory by T L Greylock and Bryce O'Connor

SPFBO7 SPFBO Finalist

I burned cities and drowned mountains. I pulled stars from the night sky and scorched the world with their flames. I am the Fisher King, and the grave does not bind me. An academic with a taste for adventure, Eska de Caraval has means and influence, wit and charm... and a knack for acquiring artifacts that may not be hers to claim. But when Eska comes into possession of a strange disc of rune-carved bronze, she finds herself abruptly hunted by all manner of adversaries: an assassin in the shadows, a monster in the deep, a bitter rival burning with vengeance. From sword and fang and flame Eska must defend herself, struggling all the while to unravel the mysteries of a dangerous artifact. An artifact so powerful, a dead tyrant will rise again to wield it.


Privilege: A Trilogy

Privilege: A Trilogy by Bharat Krishnan

SPFBO7 WriteHive Book Club

In this epic saga about privilege and power, Rakshan Baliga will have to choose between the American Dream… and his own. New York’s drug problem is Rakshan's solution. Getting his hands on a super drug called WP could earn him glory, power, and a chance to win back his ex. But stealing it from the Top 1% is costly, and if Rakshan isn’t careful he’ll pay with his life. Discover how Rakshan’s journey sets off a chain of events that changes his city, his country… and the world. This OwnVoices political thriller is perfect for fans of Ocean’s 11 and House of Cards.


The Thread That Binds

The Thread That Binds by Cedar McCloud

The books are restless. At the Eternal Library, books are more than the paper, ink, and thread they're made from--they're full of spirits. Only a handful of people will ever be invited to the Bindery to learn the craft of Illumination: the magical creation of intricate illustrated manuscripts, bound with a secret that will make them last forever. Tabby is a dreamwalker, a witch who escapes into the stories of sleep to avoid a birth family that's never loved em enough. Amane is a cartomancer, a medium who speaks for the Unseen, but doesn’t know how to speak her own needs. Rhiannon is a psychic, an archivist who can See into the past, but only has eyes on the future. Their stories intertwine as they discover the secrets of Illumination, the Library's archives, and those of their mentors--the three of whom are competing to be the next Head Librarian, the Speaker for all the books. How do you know who's truly worth being part of your family? Sometimes we must forge connections in order to heal; other times, those bonds must be broken.


We Men of Ash and Shadows

We Men of Ash and Shadows by HL Tinsley

SPFBO7 SPFBO Finalist

‘We Men of Ash and Shadow’ is the first book in the Vanguard Series and follows the journey of protagonist, John Vanguard, through the dark and corrupt city of D’Orsee. A Grimdark gas lamp novel, ‘We Men of Ash and Shadow’ explores themes of redemption, loyalty, and betrayal against the backdrop of a world where survival often means compromising your values. Amidst the gas lamp shadows former soldier-turned-mercenary John Vanguard hunts criminals at the behest of his corrupt employer, Captain Felix Sanquain. Shamed by his deserter past and seeking to make amends for his many misdeeds, a chance encounter with Tarryn Leersac – a skilled young would-be-assassin fallen from the graces of high society – leads Vanguard to become an unlikely mentor. Charged with hunting down the killer of two guards left washed up on the banks of the canal, the further Vanguard delves into the underbelly of the city the more he finds himself entangled in a web of secrets and lies. A prominent aristocrat is missing. Crime lords, con men and harlots run amok and the city teeters on the brink of another revolution. With his already precarious reputation hanging by a thread, Vanguard must piece together how and why the last war came to pass, find a way to earn redemption for his mistakes and come to terms with the past in a city where few survive, and even fewer can be trusted.


Envoy

Envoy by Andr Moș

SFINCS

When two descendants of a formerly lost people suddenly reappear in Sol System, Kep, an inexperienced guide with few aspirations, is handed the task of showing them around… and figuring out their true motives. But convoluted bureaucracies, hungry corporations and corrupt guilds conspire to acquire any advantage in a technologically stagnant system. So when a secret is revealed, it’s up to Kep to make sure that it doesn’t land in the wrong hands.


World Running Down

World Running Down by Al Hess

Valentine Weis is a salvager in the future wastelands of Utah. Wrestling with body dysphoria, he dreams of earning enough money to afford citizenship in Salt Lake City—a utopia where the testosterone and surgery he needs to transition is free, the food is plentiful, and folk are much less likely to be shot full of arrows by salt pirates. But earning that kind of money is a pipe dream, until he meets the exceptionally handsome Osric. Once a powerful AI in Salt Lake City, Osric has been forced into an android body against his will and sent into the wasteland to offer Valentine a job on behalf of his new employer—an escort service seeking to retrieve their stolen androids. The reward is a visa into the city, and a chance at the life Valentine's always dreamed of. Finding the androids means navigating both pirate territory and Val and Osric's growing feelings for each other. And as they attempt to recover the "merchandise", they encounter a problem: the android ladies are becoming self-aware, and have no interest in returning to their old lives. The prize is tempting, but carrying out the job would go against everything Valentine stands for, and would threaten the fragile found family that's kept him alive so far. He'll need to decide whether to risk his own dream in order to give the AI a chance to live theirs.


Goodbye to the Sun

Goodbye to the Sun by Jonathan Nevair

SPSFC 2022

A daring rebel pilot. A lost soul pursued by an infamous bounty hunter. One impossible moral choice... On a lone wind-shaped planet, the Motes are on the brink. Razor, a bold and fearless pilot, leads a last-ditch gambit to save her people. The plan - abduct visiting Ambassador Keen Draden and use him as a bargaining chip to restore their independence in the Sagittarius Arm. But when the operation unravels, Razor is forced to renegotiate terms with the arrogant diplomat. GOODBYE TO THE SUN: a nonstop thrill ride across an unstable galaxy, combining moral struggle with character-driven adventure.


Of Blood and Fire

Of Blood and Fire by Ryan Cahill

SPFBO7 SFFOasis

Born in fire. Tempered in blood. Epheria is a land divided by war and mistrust. The High Lords of the South squabble and fight, only kept in check by the Dragonguard, traitors of a time long past, who serve the empire of the North. In the remote villages of southern Epheria, still reeling from the tragic loss of his brother, Calen Bryer prepares for The Proving – a test of courage and skill that not all survive. But when three strangers arrive in the village of Milltown, with a secret they are willing to die for, Calen’s world is ripped from under him and he is thrust headfirst into a war that has been raging for centuries. There is no prophecy. His coming was not foretold. He bleeds like any man, and bleed he will.


Sons of Darkness

Sons of Darkness by Gourav Mohanty

SOME BALLADS ARE INKED IN BLOOD. Bled dry by violent confrontations with the Magadhan Empire, the Mathuran Republic simmers on the brink of oblivion. Krishna and Satyabhama have put their plans in motion within and beyond the Republic's blood-soaked borders to protect it from annihilation. But they will soon discover that neither gold nor alliances last forever. They are however not alone in this game. Mati, Pirate-Princess of Kalinga, has decided to mend her ways to be a good wife. But old habits die hard, especially when one habitually uses murder to settle old scores. Brooding but beautiful Karna hopes to bury his brutal past but finds that destiny is a miser when it comes to giving second chances. The crippled hero-turned-torturer Shakuni limps through the path of daggers that is politics only to find his foes multiply, leaving little time for vengeance. Their lives are about to become very difficult for a cast of sinister queens, naive kings, pious assassins and ravenous priests are converging where the Son of Darkness is prophesied to rise, even as forgotten Gods prepare to play their hand


Reign & Ruin

Reign & Ruin by J. D. Evans

SPFBO7 SPFBO Finalist SPFBO Winner

“All magic is beautiful...and terrible. Do you not see the beauty in yours, or the terror in mine? You can stop a heart, and I can stop your breath.” She is heir to a Sultanate that once ruled the world. He is an unwanted prince with the power to destroy. She is order and intellect, a woman fit to rule in a man's place. He is chaos and violence and will stop at nothing to protect his people. His magic answers hers with shadow for light. They need each other, but the cost of balance may be too high a price. Magic is dying and the only way to save it is to enlist mages who wield the forbidden power of death, mages cast out centuries ago in a brutal and bloody war. Now, a new war is coming. Science and machines to replace magic and old religion. They must find a way to save their people from annihilation and balance the sacred Wheel—but first, they will have to balance their own forbidden passion. His peace for her tempest, his restlessness for her calm… Night and day, dusk and dawn, the end, and the beginning.


The Legend of Black Jack

The Legend of Black Jack by A. R. Witham

SFFOasis SPFBO9

Thrilling fantasy adventure debut from Emmy-winner A. R. Witham. Jack Swift can tell you every element on the periodic table, recite Treasure Island verbatim, and would remember in perfect detail every word you’d ever say to him. He has been alone for a long time, so he has buried himself in books, using them to plan his escape. But no textbook could ever prepare him for the land of Keymark. At 3:33 a.m. on his fourteenth birthday, Jack is kidnapped by a hideous monster to another sphere of existence. Now there are two moons in the sky, and he is surrounded by grotesque creatures and magical warriors training for battle. They want the impossible: Jack must use his abilities to save a life or be trapped in this bizarre world with no chance of rescue. Jack doesn’t have secret magic, a great destiny, or any experience. So why do they all expect him to become a legend?


Bad End

Bad End by A M Blaushild

Archangel Michael's death at the hands of Iofiel may have prevented him from forcing the apocalypse, but it's hardly brought peace. The new Archangel Michael is relentless in his quest for revenge, believing Iofiel is still out there- and shirking his duties to prove it. Afraid of his connection to the traitor, Maalik has fled to Hell, also looking for Iofiel- but what he finds instead is an oddly amicable Morningstar with shocking plans that Maalik may be unable to stop. Archie and Salem, abducted and now working as assistants for the devil, struggle to define their place in what is about to unfold. And on Earth, Santiago and Damien have found refuge in a small American town, comfortably leading a coven of witches. But when magic begins to crop up among ordinary humans, their disguises can only last so long. And what ever happened to Iofiel, The Saintkiller, the Second Traitor? The apocalypse may have been averted, but something is clearly going wrong.


Those Once Forgotten

Those Once Forgotten by N. C. Scrimgeour

They were a memory once forgotten. For millennia, they waited. Now, they are coming. The galaxy has been plunged into chaos, left reeling from the trap Alvera Renata triggered around the ancient alien waystations. As the leaders of the allied systems desperately try to prepare for what might be coming, Ridley and Kojan go on the hunt in search of answers. But the one person who might hold the key—the rogue starship captain who started it all—is missing in action, and her old friends aren’t the only ones looking for her… Meanwhile, tensions between the Coalition and the Idran-Var are at breaking point in the aftermath of a brutal attack. The only hope for peace may lie in a fragile alliance between Rivus and Niole, old enemies thrown unwillingly onto the same side. But even if they can bury their past, what will it take to overcome the centuries of bloodshed dividing their people? As the mysterious signal coming from the waystations counts down, only one thing is for certain: something is coming, and if the fractured factions of the galaxy can’t find a way to stand against it together, it may be the end for them all.


Shadow of a Dead God (Mennik Thorn #1)

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…


Eldritch Sparks: Shadows of Otherside Book 2

Eldritch Sparks: Shadows of Otherside Book 2 by Whitney Hill

The deal that secured Arden Finch a measure of freedom came with strings, and now everybody wants to pull them. Arden has carved out a place for herself in Otherside—at a price. Pressure mounts as she juggles her day job as a private investigator with her new obligations, fraying relationships, and growing elemental powers. If that wasn't enough, a lich has appeared in the Triangle, sowing violence and raising zombies. Everyone wants Arden to get rid of it⁠, including the gods. But the lich offers something Arden has always wanted: enough power to stand alone. All she has to do is put herself first for once...and betray everyone she cares about. Urban fantasy and paranormal fans of Kim Harrison, Faith Hunter, Seanan McGuire, and the early Anita Blake series will find a kick-ass heroine in Arden. Praise for Eldritch Sparks: Shadows of Otherside Book 2 "A compelling book of Otherside that goes from strength to strength." - Kirkus Reviews (starred review)


Cradle of Sea and Soil

Cradle of Sea and Soil by Bernie Anés Paz

Indie Recs Indie

The Primordial Wound has festered with corruption since the birth of the world. The island tribes have warred against its spawn for just as long—and they are losing. Burdened by the same spiritual affliction that drove the first Halfborn insane, Colibrí lives in exile with little more than her warrior oaths and her son. But when Colibrí discovers corrupted land hidden away by sorcery, those same oaths drive her to find answers in an effort to protect the very people who fear her. Narune dreams of earning enough glory to show that he and his mother Colibrí are nothing like the Halfborn that came before them. Becoming a mystic will give him the strength he needs, but first, Narune will need to prove himself worthy in a trial of skill and honor. Together, Colibrí and Narune must learn to become the champions their people need—and face the curse threatening to scour away their spirits with fury.


Cursed Song

Cursed Song by Samantha Krose

Bound by Song. Cursed by Fate Ruyne, Leader of the Dusksinger bards, travels with his band from town to town, thrilling crowds with inspiring music born from an ancient magic. He leads a charmed life with his brother, and two life-long best friends. Disaster strikes when Ruyne ignores a cryptic message from a loved one. The band’s idyllic peace is shattered by a monster from the past, and the horrifying truth behind their magic is revealed, leaving their lives in tatters and the hearts of the four men forever scarred. Scattered and broken, can they harmonize their Song in time to prevent a tragedy of apocalyptic proportions?


Lightblade

Lightblade by Zamil Akhtar

SPFBO8 SPSFC 2022

In three days, Jyosh will slay the God Emperor, or die trying. But first he must train his lightblade skills. While asleep. Each hour of sleep equals a day in a lucid dream, plenty of time to master the essential lightblade techniques and hopefully get skilled enough to defeat the monster who enslaved him and beheaded his parents and sister. When Jyosh awakens to learn that the God Emperor has surrendered to an even crueler foe, a mysterious lightblade master who can summon divine dragons to burn whole cities, he’ll face a trial by fire against forces far more frightening than he could ever dream. That is, if he’s not still in one.


The Rarkyn's Familiar

The Rarkyn's Familiar by Nikky Lee

An orphan bent on revenge. A monster searching for freedom. A forbidden pact that binds their fates together. Lyss has heard her father’s screams; smelled the iron-tang of his blood. She’s witnessed his execution. And plotted her revenge. Then a violent encounter traps Lyss in a blood-pact with a rarkyn from the otherworld and imbues her with the monster’s forbidden magic. A magic that will erode her sanity. To break the pact, she and the rarkyn must journey to the heart of the Empire. All that stands in their way are the mountains and the Empire’s soldiers—and each other. But horrors await them on the road, horrors even rarkyns fear. The most terrifying monster isn’t the one Lyss travels with... It’s the one that’s awoken inside her. Monsters of a feather flock together...


The Beast Hunters

The Beast Hunters by Christer Lende

When a monster brutally kills her parents, Ara is saved by two beast hunters. Becoming their apprentice, she discovers serums, secret bestiary knowledge, and remarkable abilities-all to save unsuspecting souls from the same fate her parents suffered. But, terrifying creatures lurk everywhere and Ara must master the art of beast hunting quickly if she is to uncover the elusive creature plaguing the village of Cornstead. An epic monster-slaying story starring an orphaned girl turned beast hunting apprentice named Ara. This is the ultimate in escape fiction.


Unsouled

Unsouled by Will Wight

Sacred artists follow a thousand Paths to power, using their souls to control the forces of the natural world. Lindon is Unsouled, forbidden to learn the sacred arts of his clan. When faced with a looming fate he cannot ignore, he must rise beyond anything he's ever known...and forge his own Path.


Aestus, Book 1: The City

Aestus, Book 1: The City by S. Z. Attwell

SPSFC 2022

An underground city, built centuries ago to ride out the devastating heat. A society under attack. And a young solar engineer whose skills may be the key to saving her city…if she doesn’t get herself killed first. When Jossey was ten, the creatures of the aboveground took her brother and left her for dead, with horrible scars. Now, years later, she’s a successful solar engineer, working to keep her underground city’s power running, but she’s never really recovered. After she saves dozens of people during a second attack, she is offered a top-secret assignment as a field Engineer with Patrol, but fear prevents her from taking it…until Patrol finds bones near where her brother disappeared. She signs on and finds herself catapulted into a world that is far more dangerous, and requires far more of her, than she ever imagined. The creatures and the burning heat aboveground are not the only threats facing the City, and what she learns during her assignment could cost her her life: one of the greatest threats to the City may in fact lie within. With thousands of lives at stake, can she act in time? Aestus is an adult dystopian science-fiction series set centuries after climate change has ravaged much of Earth. An epic story of vengeance, power, shifting loyalties, and survival that looks at just how far people will go to protect what they love, brought to you by science writer S.Z. Attwell, Aestus paints a picture of a world in which far too little has changed.


The Monsters We Feed

The Monsters We Feed by Thomas Howard Riley

SPFBO9

The morning before he found the dead body, Jathan Algevin thought he had his whole life just the way he wanted it. He knows his city inside and out, and doesn't bother carrying a sword, trusting his wits and his fists well enough to get by, hustling extra coin by ratting out loathsome magi to the law for execution. He and his sister, Lyra, have watched out for each other ever since the day they were orphaned by a bloodthirsty rogue sorcerer, and now they finally have steady work, good friends, and the freedom to spend every night laughing at the bottom of a bottle. But nothing lasts forever.When he stumbles across a brutal murder, Jathan discovers a strange crystal lens that opens his eyes to an invisible world of magick and terror lurking just beneath the surface of his own, making him question everything he thought he knew. But will gazing into this new arcane realm lead Jathan to save lives, or help destroy them?With dangerous people hunting for the lens, monstrous lies unraveling his life, and a hidden underworld calling to him, it is only a matter of time before his whole world comes crashing down. Will he find the answers he is looking for, or will he only find a monster needing to be fed?Rated-R Dark Fantasy Noir in a city of hope, lust, and brutality, where swords are banned, and magick is just as likely to get you killed as it is to save your life.There are always things about ourselves that we don't want to see.There are always things we can't stop doing no matter how hard we try.We all lie. We all have secrets.We are all feeding monsters.


Ringlander: The Path and the Way

Ringlander: The Path and the Way by Michael S. Jackson

SPFBO7

The first book in the Ringlander Series: a fast-paced, epic fantasy adventure full of games, grit and magic. Holes between worlds are tearing through Rengas. Firestorms are raging as multiple realities battle for control of the elements. Even the Way, the turbulent channel that separates Nord, Határ and Kemen, the lifeblood of the city of Tyr, has turned. Kyira’s search for her missing brother draws her away from the familiar frozen lines of Nord and south into the chaotic streets of Tyr where games are played & battles fought. As reality tears Kyira must choose between her family or her path before the worlds catch up with her.


Searching for Sun

Searching for Sun by Elizabeth Kaida

Genetically altered to be the perfect botanist, Asami and her diva android desperately want to make planet Gliese their new home-and escape from the overburdened and industrialized Earth. But it's been over eighty years since the first settlers began terraforming; and before she's even landed, the paradise of the Gliese colony slowly reveals shades of horror. Gliese isn't new Earth, and it isn't a dead planet. Caught between a virulent plague, a rogue colonist faction, and a deadly alien army, Asami must uncover Gliese's secrets if she wants to save the lives of her crew. In a desperate gamble, Asami must adapt her view of what being human means as she becomes something other than human herself. Through unlikely friendships, and some dangerous sentient objects, Asami unravels the truth behind a war that began before her birth, and the means to change her new world.


The Long Lost War

The Long Lost War by Jeff Walker

SFINCS

Far from Earth, in a distant solar system, clone soldiers are stuck in an on-going battle against colonial separatists. John 999801 must battle against an enemy that refuses to give up, and dreams of a woman he feels he's seen before. The life of this low ranking clone soldier is about to take a turn for the worst. Or is it going to open his eyes to the truth? Can one clone soldier make a difference? And who is the woman in his dream? Answers and horrors await him as he joins his fellow replicas to the surface of a planet called... Hell.


The Forgotten Lyric

The Forgotten Lyric by Carolina Cruz

How can an assassin retire and live with everything they’ve done? Some men turn to drink, while others choose to live in denial. Kennet Peders, on the other hand, is just trying to be a better person. Saving a young girl from death by poison seems to be the perfect place to start, yet even as he takes a job that does nothing but good, Kennet can’t fully escape his past… With the supernatural ability to influence other people’s emotions, Asa never felt quite comfortable in the society they were raised in. Luckily, being a bard means they can easily leave that society to find a home somewhere new—and the country of Bladland is very new to them. Here Asa finds themself presented with an opportunity: use their influence to help save a young girl and befriend a mysterious (and handsome) sword-for-hire in the process. It’s an adventure they’d be a fool to pass up on. The Forgotten Lyric is the second book in the Creed of Gethin trilogy.


A Canticle of Two Souls

A Canticle of Two Souls by Steven Raaymakers

A magic sword forged of a demon. A broken boy seeking revenge. A grim coming-of-age tale with a Sanderson-esque magic system. Raziel watched the Rhotian Empire slaughter his family. When a sentient sword promises him the head of the emperor, Raziel carves a bloody path in an epic journey across a land filled with banshees and mercenaries in pursuit of his revenge. But forced to travel with a strange young woman with a dark past, will Raziel even reach his destination? Alicia has plans of her own. Gifted with a terrible magic that can bend others to her will, she also has revenge on her mind and Raziel in her sights. Can two enemies put aside their differences to seek a higher goal, or will mistrust and inner-demons condemn their fates? Magic is a dangerous thing. So is hope. The ‘Aria of Steel Trilogy’ is a heavy-metal power ballad of clashing blades, blood-soaked betrayal, and sweet revenge. Will you walk away or join the fight?


Memories of Blood and Shadow

Memories of Blood and Shadow by Aaron S. Jones

SPFBO8

Guilt cuts deeper than the deadliest of blades. Tavar Farwan lives alone past the Undying Sands. During a violent storm, he is attacked by two young warriors claiming a need for vengeance for pain from ages past. Tavar defends himself, killing one of the intruders and leaving the other to bleed on the floor. Weary and filled with regret, Tavar offers to tell the young man his story: a story of how, in a world of Naviqings, Leviathans, and Shadow Warriors; a poor, nomadic orphan rose to inspire a kingdom, and kill a God.


Legacy of the Brightwash

Legacy of the Brightwash by Krystle Matar

SPFBO7 Indie Recs Indie SPFBO Finalist

Follow the law and you’ll stay safe. But what if the law is wrong? Tashué’s faith in the law is beginning to crack. Three years ago, he stood by when the Authority condemned Jason to the brutality of the Rift for non-compliance. When Tashué’s son refused to register as tainted, the laws had to be upheld. He’d never doubted his job as a Regulation Officer before, but three years of watching your son wither away can break down even the strongest convictions. Then a dead girl washed up on the bank of the Brightwash, tattooed and mutilated. Where had she come from? Who would tattoo a child? Was it the same person who killed her? Why was he the only one who cared? Will Tashué be able to stand against everything he thought he believed in to get the answers he’s looking for?


Lesser Known Monsters

Lesser Known Monsters by Rory Michaelson

Being the chosen one isn’t always a good thing. Oscar Tundale is useless, or at least that's what he's always thought. He and his friends are about to discover that not only are monsters real, but some of them are very interested in Oscar. Now, they must find out what the monsters want, before something terrible happens to London; or worse yet, the world. Lesser Known Monsters is an own voices queer dark fantasy featuring diverse characters on a found family adventure. Perfect for fans of action and paranormal romance seeking LGBTQ+ heroes. This is the first book in the Lesser Known Monsters series.


Duckett & Dyer: Dicks For Hire

Duckett & Dyer: Dicks For Hire by G.M. Nair

SFFOasis SPSFC

Michael Duckett is fed up with his life. His job is a drag, and his roommate and best friend of fifteen years, Stephanie Dyer, is only making him more anxious with her lazy irresponsibility. Things continue to escalate when they face the threat of imminent eviction from their palatial 5th floor walk-up and find that someone has been plastering ads all over the city for their Detective Agency. The only problem is: He and Stephanie don’t have one of those. Despite their baffling levels of incompetence, Stephanie eagerly pursues this crazy scheme and drags Michael, kicking and screaming, into the fray only to find that they are way out of their depth. They stumble upon a web of missing people that are curiously linked to a sexually audacious theoretical physicist and his experiments with the fabric of space-time. And unless Michael and Stephanie can put their personal issues aside and fix the multi-verse, the concept of existence itself may, ironically, no longer exist.


A Pale Box on the Distant Shore

A Pale Box on the Distant Shore by P.J. Nwosu

A silent killer stalks the slum towers of Death City. In the shadow of a drowned death god, a young soldier risks his life to solve a violent crime. To catch a killer, Soldier Honnan Skyin carves a bloody trail over the behemoth bones of a dead giant and through the deepest forest of a frozen island. But some secrets should stay buried. Welcome to Death City. The Red Kingdom is a new series of dark mysteries in fantasy worlds that delve into a land of vicious crimes, strange lore and Purge House zealots.


Trail Markers

Trail Markers by Cym Aros

Indie Recs Indie

This tale - the first in a series of three - opens in the summer of 1874, in a prison camp south of Carson City. Falsely accused and incarcerated, two half-brothers find themselves in a losing battle to survive corrupt and brutal conditions. Cole Franklin, twenty-nine, is the privileged scion of the late, much-lionized patriarch of a wealthy California family. Jesse, twenty-four, is that patriarch's bastard son, a fact unknown to Jesse or the surviving Franklins until a scant year and a half before. Jesse had come to the Franklins as an itinerant cowboy. He is the younger of the two men, but he had ridden a long, hard trail of poverty, prejudice, and violence in his few years. Jesse had grown up a dirt-poor, hard-working, fatherless boy in a dying Sierra mining town; by age sixteen, he had seen three years of combat as a scout and sharpshooter for the Union Army, and spent the last eight months of the war interred in a Confederate prisoner-of-war camp. Cole is a strong man, and brave, but their current predicament is unlike any battlefield he has ever faced. Jesse understands too well where they are, and what might lie ahead. He takes desperate action to ensure Cole's freedom. The consequences of that action, for Jesse and the Franklin family, are severe and far-reaching. Trail Markers begins with the brothers' struggle against raw criminality - first, for simple survival; ultimately, for justice. Jesse faces bigotry, mob violence, and the shattering of his own mental health as he battles to regain his freedom and find an honorable path home to family and to the woman he loves.


A Circle of Stars

A Circle of Stars by Craig Montgomery

SPFBO10

Sometimes you have to leave home to find it… All Casper Bell has ever wanted is to belong. But now, abandoned by his friends and family after being outed, he has nothing left to lose when the people of Novilem abduct him. Except Earth. Teleported to a world where stars grant humans magic, Casper discovers he has the rare ability to draw power from all twelve astrological signs — a gift that makes him a political pawn for the Estellar Council. But Novilem’s inhabitants seem as hard and cold as the stone their city is carved from, and Casper’s new role leaves him more isolated than ever. Until he meets the grandson of the council’s most powerful woman. Helix is kind, playful, and heartbreakingly handsome, yet it’s how Helix makes him feel that gives Casper hope. As rebellion brinks in the city, even the Council starts to fracture, reaching for extreme measures that could cost Casper not only his newfound abilities, but the first place he has ever wanted to call home. Together with Helix, he must uncover the secrets of his full potential — because the survival of Novilem hinges on Casper’s powers, whether he’s using them or not. Set inside a hidden lunar city, where astrology is magic and your birth sign defines your social status, A Circle of Stars is a queer young adult fantasy filled with political intrigue and romance.


Hotel Fen

Hotel Fen by Meri Benson, Marie Sinadjan

The Shining meets Norse mythology in this tale of star-crossed romances, ancient prophecies, and revenge. Are you ready for the vacation of a lifetime? Victor has always had a passion for Norse history and mythology, but after hitting a dead end with his book on valkyries, not even that passion is enough to move him forward. Just when he's ready to abandon the project, he receives an email: he's won a free trip to Hotel Fen, a remote vintage resort in the Scandinavian Mountains. Silje has always felt that her life was fairly unremarkable. She cares deeply about people and that has led her to find her purpose at a nursing home in Oslo. When a resident dies and leaves her an all-expense paid vacation package to Hotel Fen, however, she takes the opportunity to experience something different. It all starts innocently enough, with a little meet-cute in the hotel elevator that takes forever to arrive on their floor. But the longer Victor and Silje remain together, the more dangerous the hotel becomes, and the more they question where reality ends and the impossible begins.


Norse Mythology for Bostonians: A Transcription of the Impudent Edda

Norse Mythology for Bostonians: A Transcription of the Impudent Edda by Rowdy Geirsson

Norse Mythology for Bostonians is a humorous retelling of the trials and tribulations of Odin, Thor, and the other Norse gods. Regarded as an authentic, new "Edda" (as the original Icelandic source material is called), the main narrative is told in the charmingly quaint dialect of a foul-mouthed Bostonian. New mythological episodes, such as Thor's attempt to renew his driver's license and Odin's mysterious journey to Boston Common, supplement the more traditional stories such as Odin's acquisition of the mead of poetry and the theft of Idunn's apples of youth. Substantial historical background information about the myths is provided in the introductory material, as well as in the footnotes that occur throughout the volume. Based on the long-running McSweeney's Internet Tendency column Norse History for Bostonians, Norse Mythology for Bostonians, introduces readers to a fresh, new perspective on both familiar and previously unknown narratives of Norse mythology.


Stone & Sky

Stone & Sky by Z.S. Diamanti

SPFBO10

First book in the award-winning classic style epic fantasy adventure series. Come fly away on griffin-back! Fly off to the world of Finlestia in this epic fantasy story for readers looking for adventure, magic, and just plain fun; a tale where friendships must overcome insurmountable odds and remind readers to never lose hope. From across the sea, a shadow rises. A lone survivor may be the kingdom’s only hope against annihilation. Orin is a sworn protector. As a stalwart member of the Griffin Guard, he’s proud to protect the kingdom against a dreaded nation of orcs. But when the fires of war burn bright from the north, his entire squadron falls to deadly wyvern riders, leaving the devastated Orin bloody and alone. With his squad dead, Orin has his mind set on saving others from the same fate. Teaming up with a local huntsman’s family, Orin and his new friends must push themselves past their limits to face mysterious dangers and ancient magics. Shocked to discover the orcs’ secret weapon, the lone guardian’s last chance to save his home could require the ultimate sacrifice. Buy Stone & Sky to join the battle today!


Blood of Vanris

Blood of Vanris by Nikki McCormack

Kasiel’s healing injuries still trouble him, almost as much as the memories of what he did at the Hall in Katovan. Though he trains to become a better fighter and mind-crafter, a deeper understanding of the roles he is expected to fill makes it harder for him to come to terms with his place in Vanrian society. Then the southern kingdoms emerge with a new weapon for fighting Vanrian mind-crafters. One that could change the course of the war. The situation leads to Kasiel being required to take a more active role in the conflict sooner than planned. With his country’s growing need of mind-crafters like him, Kasiel learns what it really means to be at war, and what it feels like to lose. He is about to discover how far he’s willing to go to protect the ones he loves.


Spirits of Vengeance

Spirits of Vengeance by Rob J. Hayes

SPFBO8

He'll die as many times as it takes. The Ipian Empire was once a land that welcomed dragons and spirits alike, but a century of war and bloodshed saw them all but vanish. Now, the lost things are returning and the Onryo have gathered. Five legendary spirits with mysterious powers, bent on freeing an ancient evil that would wreak havoc on humanity. Haruto swore his soul to the God of Death for the chance to hunt down the vengeful ghost of his wife. Now an onmyoji, he’s tasked by the Imperial Throne to hunt down monsters and malicious spirits. But he knows not all spirits are evil and not all deserve the peace of the sword. Kira is a student at Heiwa, an academy for children with dangerous techniques. But she has a secret, she’s not like the other students. When the school is attacked, she flees with one of the tutors, determined to hide both from those who would kill her, and those who would use her. As a plague of spirits sweeps across the land, the Onryo leave a bloody trail for Haruto to follow. But who’s hunting who? The Mortal Techniques novels are a series of stand-alone stories that can be read entirely independently, set in the award-winning Mortal Techniques universe.


The Worthy

The Worthy by Anna K Moss

Blood is thicker than water. Tell that to Prince Barsten, betrayed and abandoned on foreign soil. His sister is intent on claiming the throne and he’s intent on stealing it back. One of them might succeed, if it weren’t for a sacred creature infecting people with its emotions. Rage, fear, paranoia, despair. As their country collapses, the royal siblings must stay true to themselves or find out just how thick their blood really is. Moss’s compelling debut novel dives into a desperate kingdom, full of intrigue, treachery and sapphic-longing. Fast-paced and awash with sinful characters and fetid settings, The Worthy is a must-read for all lovers of dark fantasy. Content warning: This novel contains scenes of violence, assault and occasional dialogue of a homophobic and racist nature. The opinions of the awful characters herein are not the authors own.


Errant

Errant by Montrez

16 year old Savannah becomes New York's most wanted while struggling to reclaim her life after the devastating loss of her father. As things continue going downhill Savannah witnesses an impossible phenomenon that triggers the emergence of a wild and powerful gift. While being hunted she finds refuge in a group of ragtag misfits. A Supernatural war is coming and Savannah will need to adapt to her new world or die trying.


The Wolf in Me: Survive

The Wolf in Me: Survive by Alex Smith

The 23rd century is nearing its end. Having been treated as subhuman (and worse) for over 300 years, the Wolves - a race of wolf-human hybrids - have reached their breaking point. With a clear threat of war rising daily, the US Military devises a plan to destroy the beasts they helped create. However, utilizing their intelligence and raw bestial instincts, the Wolves hatch a plan of their own: plunge the entire world into a war to end all wars! In the aftermath of a deadly airship crash, Percy - a six-year-old human boy - finds himself behind enemy lines; in the claws of the creatures he's been taught to fear his entire life. Xander - a twenty-eight-year-old elite black ops Wolf, finds himself with a very difficult choice to make; kill the innocent child he has found, or be ostracized by his own kind and protect the boy? What is a small, frail, boy to do when surrounded by beasts fighting to end his very existence? Survive!


Meshkwadoon

Meshkwadoon by Alex Tilley

Meshkwadoon is a psychological, atmospheric experience, more focused on the individual perception of events rather than on the events themselves. As a perspective driven tale, it delves into the minds of a woman, a man, and a boy, as they are dragged through an experience of fear, obsession, trauma, and terror. Where the foundational spirit of the land seeks to fulfill its obligation to an exchange of life for the life of all. Discover the unspoken impact a melting pot society has on the folk lore and language of a land whose roots go deeper than 150 years. A world whose spirits carry on despite the hunger of the living. Genre: Fiction/ Thriller/ Folk Horror/ Magic Realism Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/alexander_tilley/


Pallas Lost

Pallas Lost by Jake Morrison

SPSFC 2022 SPSFC 2023

When Ensign Vasyli Nikonov’s ship happened upon a drifting derelict, he had no idea how drastically his life was about to change. Not only had the crew been killed in an impossible manner, the Captain of the ship left a reference to the child’s tale of the lost colony of Pallas. Elsewhere in the Fifteen Systems, scholar Eliot Charter gamely starts his own fool’s quest to prove that Pallas is real. Armed with nothing but naivety and knowledge, he hires mercenary Captain Skadi Ulfsdöttir to help him on his journey. Things quickly spiral out of hand, leaving them all wondering if Pallas was truly Lost...


The Wife in the Attic

The Wife in the Attic by Rose Lerner

Goldengrove’s towers and twisted chimneys rose at the very edge of the peaceful Weald, a stone’s throw from the poisonous marshes and merciless waters of Rye Bay. Young Tabby Palethorp had been running wild there, ever since her mother grew too ill to leave her room. I was the perfect choice to give Tabby a good English education: thoroughly respectable and far too plain to tempt her lonely father, Sir Kit, to indiscretion. I knew better than to trust my new employer with the truth about my past. But knowing better couldn’t stop me from yearning for impossible things: to be Tabby’s mother, Sir Kit’s companion, Goldengrove’s new mistress. All that belonged to poor Lady Palethorp. Most of all, I burned to finally catch a glimpse of her. Surely she could tell me who had viciously defaced the exquisite guitar in the music room, why all the doors in the house were locked after dark, and whose footsteps I heard in the night…


Aestus: Book 2: The Colony

Aestus: Book 2: The Colony by S. Z. Attwell

An underground city. A deadly project. And an Intelligence agent who can help Jossey take down the City...if she can trust him again.Jossey grew up believing the Onlar, creatures of the aboveground, were monsters. But when they kidnapped her, she found out terrible secrets about her city and her family. Her choice to help the Onlar against the City almost cost her her life. And the Intelligence agent she'd thought was her friend was the one tasked with carrying out her execution.But he didn't quite succeed.Now Jossey, barely alive, has been sent to the Onlar by a mysterious figure from the City. And time is of the essence - her solar network project could mean disaster not only for the Onlar, but for thousands of citizens as well. She can’t do much from the Onlar camp, but Gavin, Jossey’s Patrol leader and longtime friend, isn’t convinced she’s dead. And Patrol has started to learn the truth.As tentative alliances form, Jossey begins to think this might be easier than she’d thought. But a terrible miscalculation has been made, one that may cost her and her friends both the City and their lives. Can she see it before it’s too late?Aestus is an adult dystopian science-fiction series set centuries after climate change has ravaged much of Earth. An epic story of vengeance, power, shifting loyalties, and survival that looks at just how far people will go to protect what they love, brought to you by science writer S.Z. Attwell, Aestus paints a picture of a world in which far too little has changed.


Consequences: A Wilders Finale

Consequences: A Wilders Finale by Cass Kim

The exciting conclusion to the captivating Wilders Series. The virus is morphing and moving fast. Wilders aren't following the three rules anymore. Nobody is safe. Running low on supplies while waiting for a response from their plea for help, the camp in the Adirondak forest can't wait any longer. Emerson is selected to lead a supply run on what should be a short trip into town. With the world sliding dangerously close to a full apocalypse, his team will have to make hazardous decisions. Back in the camp, help arrives. But the form it takes is unexpected. Renna doesn't know who to trust. Or how she'll survive. Bold choices always have consequences. Now it's time to face them.


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