Blood upon the Sand
By Bradley Beaulieu
Çeda, an elite warrior in service to the kings of Sharakhai, is learning their secrets even as they send her on covert missions to further their rule. She has already uncovered the dark history of the asirim, but it's only when she bonds with them, chaining them to her will, that she feels their pain as her own. They hunger for release, they demand it, but their chains were forged by the gods themselves and are proving unbreakable.Çeda could become the champion the enslaved asirim have been waiting for, but the need to tread carefully has never been greater. The kings are hungry for blood, scouring the city in a ruthless quest for revenge, while Çeda's friend Emre and his new allies in the Moonless Host are laying plans to take advantage of the unrest in Sharakhai, and strike a major blow against the kings and their god-given powers.The shifting tides of power are fickle and dangerous, though. The Kings and the Moonless Host have their own agendas, as does the dangerous blood mage Hamzakiir, whose plotting uncovers a devastating secret that could shatter the power of the hated kings. But it may all be undone if Çeda cannot learn to control the growing anger of the asirim that threatens to overwhelm her...
By Mick Wall
The final word on the only name synonymous with heavy metal - Black Sabbath.Way back in the mists of time, in the days when rock giants walked the earth, the name Ozzy Osbourne was synonymous with subversive and dark. Back then, Ozzy was the singer in Black Sabbath, and they meant business. In an era when it seemed possible to measure a band's musical prowess by how 'heavy' they were, they didn't come any weightier than Black Sabbath. There were, it's probably fair to say, none-more-black.A four-piece formed from the ashes of two locally well-known groups called The Rare Breed (Ozzy and bassist Geezer Butler) and Mythology (guitarist Tony Iommi and drummer Bill Ward), all four founding members of the original Black Sabbath grew up within half-a-mile of each other, in the same narrow, grey streets of Aston, a tiny Birmingham suburb then struggling to come to terms with the mess Hitler's bombs had made of it. Though they all shared a deep love of music - The Beatles for Ozzy, the Mothers of Invention for Geezer, the Shadows and Chet Atkins for Iommi, and Gene Kruppa for Ward - they all saw the opportunity to form a successful group, Ozzy would tell me, 'as the quickest way out of the slums.'This biography tells the story of how they made that dream come true - and how it then turned into a nightmare for all of them. How at the height of their fame, Sabbath discovered they had been so badly ripped off by their managers they did not even own their own songs. How they looked for salvation from Don Arden - an even more notorious gangster figure, who resurrected their career but still left them indebted to him, financially and personally. And how it finally came to a head when in 1979 they sacked Ozzy: 'For being too out of control - even for us,' as Bill Ward put it.Of course the story does not end there. The next 15 years would see a war break out between the two camps: the post-Ozzy Sabbath and Ozzy himself, whose solo career overshadowed Sabbath to the point where, when he offered them the chance to reform around him again, it was entirely on his terms. Or rather, that of his wife and manager - and, to add a further bitter twist to the tale for Sabbath, daughter of Don Arden - Sharon Osbourne.
By Sarah Pinborough
BEAUTY is a beautifully illustrated retelling of the Sleeping Beauty story which takes all the elements of the classic fairytale that we love (the handsome prince, the ancient curse, the sleeping girl and, of course, the haunting castle) and puts a modern spin on the characters, their motives and their desires. It's fun, contemporary, sexy, and perfect for fans of ONCE UPON A TIME, GRIMM, SNOW WHITE AND THE HUNTSMAN and more.
By Ben Aaronovitch
Ben Aaronovitch has stormed the bestseller list with his superb London crime series. A unique blend of police procedural, loving detail about the greatest character of all, London, and a dash of the supernatural.A mutilated body in Crawley. Another killer on the loose. The prime suspect is one Robert Weil - an associate of the twisted magician known as the Faceless Man? Or just a common garden serial killer?Before PC Peter Grant can get his head round the case, a town planner going under a tube train and a stolen grimoire are adding to his case-load. So far so London.But then Peter gets word of something very odd happening in Elephant and Castle, on an housing estate designed by a nutter, built by charlatans and inhabited by the truly desperate. Is there a connection?And if there is, why oh why did it have to be South of the River? Full of warmth, sly humour and a rich cornucopia of things you never knew about London, Aaronovitch's series has swiftly added Grant's magical London to Rebus' Edinburgh and Morse's Oxford as a destination of choice for those who love their crime with something a little extra.
The Black Mausoleum
By Stephen Deas
Two years have passed since the events of The Order of the Scales. Across the realms, dragons are still hatching. Hatching, and hatching free.Skorl is an Ember, a soldier trained from birth to fight dragons. He is a living weapon, one-shot only, saturated with enough dragon-poison to bring down a monster all on his own. Misanthrope, violent and a drunk, to fulfil his purpose and slay a dragon, means to be eaten. Now Skorl has a choice: he can hang for his crimes, or he can go with the last of the Adamantine Men, fighting against an enemy he was born to face.Rat is an Outsider. He's on the run and he's stumbled onto something that's going to make him rich beyond all his dreams. It's just a shame that the end of the world has started without him.Kataros is an alchemist, one of the order responsible for keeping the dragons in check. One of the order that has just failed, and disastrously so.Two men, one woman. One chance to save the world from a storm of dragons ...
By Kristin Cashore
The long-awaited companion to the New York Times bestsellers Graceling and FireEight years have passed since the young Princess Bitterblue and her country were saved from the vicious King Leck. Now Bitterblue is the queen of Monsea, and her land is at peace.But the influence of her father, a violent psychopath with mind-altering abilities, lives on. Her advisers, who have run the country on her behalf since Leck's death, believe in a forward-thinking plan: to pardon all of those who committed terrible acts during Leck's reign; and to forget every dark event that ever happened. Monsea's past has become shrouded in mystery, and it's only when Bitterblue begins sneaking out of her castle - curious, disguised and alone - to walk the streets of her own city, that she begins to realise the truth. Her kingdom has been under the thirty-five-year long spell of a madman, and now their only chance to move forward is to revisit the past.Whatever that past holds.Two thieves, who have sworn only to steal what has already been stolen, change her life forever. They hold a key to the truth of Leck's reign. And one of them, who possesses an unidentified Grace, may also hold a key to her heart ...
By Sam Sykes
Lenk and his band of fellow mismatched and grumpy adventurers are shipwrecked on an island. An island that is a graveyard for demons and dragonmen alike. An island inhabited by lizard men. An island of secrets that is about to become a battleground.And back in civilisation Bralston, a very different Librarian, is being sent out to learn exactly what has happened to the Tome of the Undergates and to punish those that have misused magic. And Bralston will uphold the law.But the Tome will be read and it is calling to those who would read it and open the gates to hell.Sam Sykes' unique and energetic fantasy has carved out its own place in the fantasy landscape. Critics are arguing about the book but readers have fallen for its dark and twisted charms. This is a key fantasy for the new decade.
Bored Of The Rings
By The Harvard Lampoon
Sometimes childish, sometimes rude, always clever and always very, very funny, this book has delighted most, and outraged a few, Tolkien fans in the US for more than 40 years.Pulling in references to popular culture and fantasy literature as a whole, this is a killingly effective parody of THE LORD OF THE RINGS. From the dreary Goddamn (Gollum) to the feckless Arrowroot (Aragorn), the bungling Goodgulf (Gandalf) to the timid, mean-minded boggies Frito (Frodo) and Dildo (Bilbo), no character is safe. Fleeing the Nozdrul, bored by acid-casualty Tim Benzedrine and harassed throughout by the minions of Sorhed, the fellowship move through a Middle Earth like no other. Short, sharp and very much to the point, even Tolkien would be hard-pressed to surpress a giggle at BORED OF THE RINGS.
The Broken Sword
By Poul Anderson
The sword Tyrfing has been broken to prevent it striking at the roots of Yggdrasil, the great tree that binds earth, heaven and hell together ... but now the mighty sword is needed again to save the elves, who are heavily involved in their war against the trolls, and only Scafloc, a human child kidnapped and raised by the elves, can hope to persuade the mighty ice-giant, Bolverk, to make the sword Thor broke whole again. But things are never easy, and along the way Scafloc must also confront his shadow self, Valgard the changeling, who took his place in the world of men.A superb dark fantasy of the highest, and most Norse, order The Broken Sword is a fantasy masterpiece.