Hi again folks, here’s Hidden Gems issue number 5.
I hope you find something you enjoy.
Please do let me know if you ever decide to pick up a book you saw on one of my hidden gems features!
A World Broken
Carol A. Park
In every end, there is a beginning…
They say that long ago, the world was unbroken. That there was no war—nor poverty, nor disease, nor famine. That the gods themselves walked among mortals—choosing some to be their instruments of peace and justice among the races. They even say that there was no winter.
Then, it all fell apart.
Book One of the Chronicles of the Lady Sar
The five races of Erets have lived in one accord since the inception of the world. But now, the seeds of hostility are growing due to a dispute over an innocuous plant, and three people find themselves entangled in affairs they would have once found unbelievable.
An advocate—trained to promote mutual understanding between the races—must confront the unimaginable prospect that peace is out of reach.
A priest—one who refuses to bend the knee to the gods he serves—finds that the only vow to those gods he has made might be harder to keep than he expects.
And a seeker—a gentle warrior sent to uncover the truth behind an unthinkable murder—stumbles into a labyrinth of lies that could shatter the world.
These three must save the world that they know.
But are they already too late?
Strange Beasts of China
In the fictional Chinese town of Yong’an, human beings live alongside spirits and monsters, some of which are almost indistinguishable from people. Told in the form of a bestiary, each chapter of Strange Beasts introduces us to a new creature – from the Sacrificial Beasts, who can’t seem to stop dying, to the Besotted Beasts, an artificial breed engineered by scientists to be as loveable as possible. The narrator, an amateur cryptozoologist, is on a mission to track down each breed in turn, but in the process discovers that she might not be as human as she thought.
Under the Lesser Moon
“Dragons once led our people across the wastelands, away from storms, and toward hunting grounds.”
That’s what the elders say, but Akrist has squinted at empty skies his whole life. The dragons have abandoned them, and it’s Akrist’s fault. He’s cursed. Like every other firstborn son, he has inherited the sins of his ancestors. In his camp, he’s the only eldest boy left. Something happened to the others. Something terrible.
When Akrist befriends Tanar, an eldest boy from another tribe, he discovers the awful truth: they’re being raised as sacrifices to appease the Goddess and win back her dragons. The ritual happens when the dual moons eclipse. Escape is the only option, but Akrist was never taught to hunt or survive the wastelands alone. Time is running out, and he has to do something before the moons touch.
The Hands of the Emperor
An impulsive word can start a war.
A timely word can stop one.
A simple act of friendship can change the course of history.
Cliopher Mdang is the personal secretary of the Last Emperor of Astandalas, the Lord of Rising Stars, the Lord Magus of Zunidh, the Sun-on-Earth, the god.
He has spent more time with the Emperor of Astandalas than any other person.
He has never once touched his lord.
He has never called him by name.
He has never initiated a conversation.
One day Cliopher invites the Sun-on-Earth home to the proverbially remote Vangavaye-ve for a holiday.
The mere invitation could have seen Cliopher executed for blasphemy.
The acceptance upends the world.
They took his daughter, so Micah comes to take their kingdom. Fifty thousand gun-toting paladins march behind him, all baptized in angel blood, thirsty to burn unbelievers.
Only the janissaries can stand against them. Their living legend, Kevah, once beheaded a magus amid a hail of ice daggers. But ever since his wife disappeared, he spends his days in a haze of hashish and poetry.
To save the kingdom, Kevah must conquer his grief and become the legend he once was. But Micah writes his own legend in blood, and his righteous conquest will stop at nothing.
When the gods choose sides, a legend will be etched upon the stars.
Dr. Julia Morrow and her graduate students, David and Marisol, embark on a research trip to explore a remote section of the Amazon rainforest. When their trails seem to change direction at will and they find themselves lost and without communication, the trio worry they may be in for more than just the latest scientific discovery. Banding together, they’re left deciding which is more important – finding out how to escape the unexpected horrors lurking within the rainforest or getting back home in one piece. The deeper they travel into the jungle, the more they realize that some places are meant to remain untouched.