It’s Wednesday, which means it’s time to look at the new releases of this month. I’m feeling a little fanciful, so let’s look at the newest fantasy novels! I don’t know if I’ll really be able to look beyond the newest Tolkien, but let’s find out together. Other new releases of June 2017 can be found by genre right here on Goodreads.
- The Witchwood Crown by Tad Williams (The Last King of Osten Ard #1)
Publication date: June 24th, 2017
The Dragonbone Chair, the first volume of Memory, Sorrow, and Thorn, was published in hardcover in October 1988, launching the series that was to become one of the seminal works of modern epic fantasy. Many of today’s top-selling fantasy authors, from Patrick Rothfuss to George R. R. Martin to Christopher Paolini credit Tad with being the inspiration for their own series. Now, twenty-four years after the conclusion of Memory, Sorrow, and Thorn, Tad returns to his beloved universe and characters with The Witchwood Crown, the first novel in the long-awaited sequel trilogy, The Last Ki ng of Osten Ard. Thirty years have passed since the events of the earlier novels, and the world has reached a critical turning point once again. The realm is threatened by divisive forces, even as old allies are lost, and others are lured down darker paths. Perhaps most terrifying of all, the Norns–the long-vanquished elvish foe–are stirring once again, preparing to reclaim the mortal-ruled lands that once were theirs…
- Beren and Lúthien by J.R.R. Tolkien & Cristopher Tolkien (Middle-Earth Universe)
Publication date: June 1st, 2017
Restored from Tolkien’s manuscripts and presented for the first time as a fully continuous and standalone story, the epic tale of Beren and Lúthien will reunite fans of The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings with Elves and Humans, Dwarves and Orcs and the rich landscape and creatures unique to Tolkien’s Middle-earth. The tale of Beren and Lúthien was, or became, an essential element in the evolution of The Silmarillion, the myths and legends of the First Age of the World conceived by J.R.R. Tolkien. Returning from France and the battle of the Somme at the end of 1916, he wrote the tale in the following year. Essential to the story, and never changed, is the fate that shadowed the love of Beren and Lúthien: for Beren was a mortal man, but Lúthien was an immortal Elf. Her father, a great Elvish lord, in deep opposition to Beren, imposed on him an impossible task that he must perform before he might wed Lúthien. This is the kernel of the legend; and it leads to the supremely heroic attempt of Beren and Lúthien together to rob the greatest of all evil beings, Melkor, called Morgoth, the Black Enemy, of a Silmaril. In this book, Christopher Tolkien has attempted to extract the story of Beren and Lúthien from the comprehensive work in which it was embedded, but that story was itself changing as it developed new associations within the larger history. To show something of the process whereby this legend of Middle-earth evolved over the years, he has told the story in his father’s own words by giving, first, its original form, and then passages in prose and verse from later texts that illustrate the narrative as it changed. Presented together for the first time, they reveal aspects of the story, both in event and in narrative immediacy, that were afterwards lost.
- Spoonbenders by Daryl Gregory
Publication date: June 27th, 2017
Teddy Telemachus is a charming con man with a gift for sleight of hand and some shady underground associates. In need of cash, he tricks his way into a classified government study about telekinesis and its possible role in intelligence gathering. There he meets Maureen McKinnon, and it’s not just her piercing blue eyes that leave Teddy forever charmed, but her mind—Maureen is a genuine psychic of immense and mysterious power. After a whirlwind courtship, they marry, have three gifted children, and become the Amazing Telemachus Family, performing astounding feats across the country. Irene is a human lie detector. Frankie can move objects with his mind. And Buddy, the youngest, can see the future. Then one night, tragedy leaves the family shattered. Decades later, the Telemachuses are not so amazing. Irene is a single mom whose ear for truth makes it hard to hold down a job, much less hold together a relationship. Frankie’s in serious debt to his dad’s old mob associates. Buddy has completely withdrawn into himself and inexplicably begun digging a hole in the backyard. To make matters worse, the CIA has come knocking, looking to see if there’s any magic left in the Telemachus clan. And there is: Irene’s son Matty has just had his first out-of-body experience. But he hasn’t told anyone, even though his newfound talent might just be what his family needs to save themselves—if it doesn’t tear them apart in the process.
Harnessing the imaginative powers that have made him a master storyteller, Daryl Gregory delivers a stunning, laugh-out-loud new novel about a family of gifted dreamers and the invisible forces that bind us all.
- The Black Elfstone by Terry Brooks (The Fall of Shannara #1)
Publication date: June 13th, 2017
The first book of the triumphant and epic four-part conclusion to the Shannara series, from one of the all-time masters of fantasy. Through forty years of New York Times bestselling Shannara novels, Terry Brooks always had an ending in mind: a series that would bring it all to a grand conclusion. Now that time is here. The Four Lands has been at peace for generations, but now a mysterious army of invaders is cutting a bloody swath across a remote region of the land. No one knows who they are, where they come from, or what they are after—and most seem content to ignore these disturbing events. The only people who sense a greater, growing threat and wish to uncover the truth are society’s outcasts: an exiled High Druid, a conflicted warrior, a teenage girl struggling to master a prodigious magic . . . and a scrappy young orphan, improbably named Shea Ohmsford.
- Soleri by Michael Johnston (Soleri #1)
Publication date: June 13th, 2017
The ruling family of the Soleri Empire has been in power longer than even the calendars that stretch back 2,826 years. Those records tell a history of conquest and domination by a people descended from gods, older than anything in the known world. No living person has seen them for centuries, yet their grip on their four subjugate kingdoms remains tighter than ever. On the day of the annual eclipse, the Harkan king, Arko-Hark Wadi, sets off on a hunt and shirks his duty rather than bow to the emperor. Ren, his son and heir, is a prisoner in the capital, while his daughters struggle against their own chains. Merit, the eldest, has found a way to stand against imperial law and marry the man she desires, but needs her sister’s help, and Kepi has her own ideas. Meanwhile, Sarra Amunet, Mother Priestess of the sun god’s cult, holds the keys to the end of an empire and a past betrayal that could shatter her family. Detailed and historical, vast in scope and intricate in conception, Soleri bristles with primal magic and unexpected violence. It is a world of ancient and elaborate rites, of unseen power and kingdoms ravaged by war, where victory comes with a price, and every truth conceals a deeper secret.
Well, I was wrong. I was able to look beyond Tolkien, three out of five of these books were written by fantasy greats! All of them are now on my to-read list. And I’m also really interested by the third, it sounds like an interesting read. The only one that didn’t really capture my attention is the fifth and last number on the list. I think it could be interesting, but I’ll wait for some reviews. And in any case, it’s a series so I won’t start it until all the books are out, as per usual.
What do you guys think? Quite a heavy-hitting month for Fantasy, am I right?