Are you ready for some more hidden gems? Here’s issue two. If you didn’t catch the first issue, you can check it out here. Not every book on the Hidden Gems feature is an obscure one, but hopefully you’ll find something new you hadn’t seen before! Enjoy and as always I make no apologies for extending that pesky TBR list.
“We are born in the shadow of fading memories and fallen dreams, living our days within the decaying bones of an age long gone.”
When the Engineer, Actaeon, arrives at Pyramid in the heart of Redemption, nothing goes according to plan. Mysterious raiders pursue him relentlessly across the shattered remains of the ancient metropolis, and the leaders of his homeland pay no heed to his ambitious ideas. Meanwhile, deep beneath Pyramid, a deadly creature stirs. And, when Actaeon meets a skilled young Knight Arbiter with brilliant blue eyes, he starts down a path he could never have imagined.
The vast, fallen city of the Ancients is home to a new people who face the constant struggle to find resources needed to survive in the dangerous ruins. For the Engineer, however, Redemption is a treasure trove of technology, opportunity, and answers. But his unique skills make him a target for those who would use his talents to achieve their own dreams of power and control.
In his endless quest for the truth, will Actaeon discover the fallen city’s greatest secrets? Or will he share the same fate as the Ancients of whom nothing remains but a whisper?
One thing is certain: in Redemption, everything comes with a cost.
The Traitor God
A city threatened by unimaginable horrors must trust their most hated outcast, or lose everything, in this crushing epic fantasy debut.
After ten years on the run, dodging daemons and debt, reviled magician Edrin Walker returns home to avenge the brutal murder of his friend. Lynas had uncovered a terrible secret, something that threatened to devour the entire city. He tried to warn the Arcanum, the sorcerers who rule the city. He failed. Lynas was skinned alive and Walker felt every cut. Now nothing will stop him from finding the murderer. Magi, mortals, daemons, and even the gods – Walker will burn them all if he has to. After all, it wouldn’t be the first time he’s killed a god…
Jean Lowe Carlson
Wrongfully accused of treason, veteran Kingsman Elohl seeks the truth of a betrayal that caused the Kingsmen to vanish a decade ago. Inked with the Blackmark and despised for it, Elohl uncovers the truth and exposes ancient enemies. Now, he must give everything to shatter the hidden sect that usurps power from the throne. A bloody war will be reaped in the shadows, that will burn nations and bring kings to their knees.
This dark and gritty sword and sorcery series from award winning author Jean Lowe Carlson explores a complex world of treachery, passion, sex, and magic.
A Threat of Shadows
J A Andrews
Do some choices change us too much for us to ever change back?
There was a time when Alaric was a Keeper, one of the men entrusted with counseling the queen, protecting the people’s histories and ancient stories, and working magic in defense of the land.
But in a desperate attempt to save his dying wife, he has sacrificed it all— abandoning his duties, betraying his deepest beliefs and falling ever deeper into darkness.
So far, he has done nothing but fail, and his wife’s time is growing short.
Now, haunted by his past, Alaric has found one last chance at a cure, hidden in a magical Wellstone buried a century ago. With the help of a handful of quirky companions, the stone—and the cure—are finally within his grasp.
But he’s not the only one searching for the Wellstone.
His quest grows more perilous as he discovers that his companions are harboring dangerous secrets their own. It becomes almost impossible when he unearths rumors of a gathering shadow threatening the land—whispering of the return of a dark lord, thought to be defeated.
To face this enemy, and have any chance of saving his wife, Alaric needs to be the Keeper he used to be, not the broken man he has become.
Can he put the failures and pain of his past behind him to stand against the approaching threat? Or, in the face of all the growing shadows, will it be the darkness within himself that destroys everything?
J A Andrews is the author of the Keeper Chronicles Trilogy, and her new book Dragon’s Reach is part of a new Keeper Origins series. This is the gorgeous cover:
Aurelia is a princess, but they call her a witch.
Surrounded by spirits and burdened with forbidden magic, she lives in constant fear of discovery by the witch-hunting Tribunal and their bloodthirsty mobs. When a devastating assassination attempt reveals her magical abilities, Aurelia is forced to flee her country with nothing but her life.
Alone and adrift in an enemy kingdom, Aurelia plans her revenge against the Tribunal, desperate to bring down the dark organization that has wrought terror upon her people for hundreds of years. But there’s something deeply amiss in her new home, too, and soon she finds herself swept into a deadly new mystery with a secretive prince, the ghost of an ancient queen, and a poison vine called Bloodleaf.
Aurelia is entangled in a centuries-long game of love, power, and war, and if she can’t break free before the Tribunal makes its last move, she may lose far more than her crown.
During times of war, no one goes unscathed. By Ultner, even in times of peace, few can escape suffering. Ardia is on the brink of civil war, though most citizens are woefully unaware of this fact.
Fenrir de Trenton, a disgraced guardsman-turned-ineffective-criminal, is accustomed to taking orders. So much so that, despite the danger, he finds himself neck-deep in the politicking of his current superiors as well as the rulers of the country. The fact that Fenrir’s father would rather see him dead doesn’t help matters.
Emma Dram, a handmaiden of the great Lady Escamilla, hates Fenrir with a fiery passion and with good reason: he lopped off most of her hand. Nonetheless, she finds herself in close proximity to her former lover as she seeks to serve her lady liege in fomenting her own rebellion.
Hafgan Iwan is a Wasmer, a race reviled by humans, who serves the same masters as Fenrir. His efforts to assimilate with human culture only earn him the derision of his own race, and he seeks to find belonging amidst the escalating conflict.
Meanwhile, Merigold Hinter, a serving girl with an unusual power, lives a simple existence, hoping for love, adventure, and to see the world. Her life should be untouched by political maneuvering and war. However, her world becomes a crucible—how much can one woman bear before breaking?
A story of love lost and family destroyed, of bigotry and belonging, of suffering and strength, and of religion and magic, SOLACE LOST grows from a character-driven tale to something grand in scale, perhaps even involving the gods, themselves.