Hot Off the Proverbial Presses: April 8, 2014

The Eye of Zoltar Jasper FfordeThe Eye of Zoltar: A Last Dragonslayer Novel by Jasper Fforde

Orphaned sixteen-year-old Jennifer Strange runs Kazam, a Mystical Arts Management company that rents out wizards for cash. The Mighty Shandar tells Jennifer that if she finds a mysterious jewel named The Eye of Zoltar, he will spare the dragons he didn’t manage to kill in Book One.

It is said the Eye was last seen around the neck of the really very legendary and not at all likely Sky Captain Morgan, who reputedly plunders jetliners from the back of the equally legendary and probably not real Leviathan, a kind of flying manta ray the size of a coach.

Meanwhile, the King and Queen of Snodd thinks that Jennifer, ‘a young lady of considerable daring, moral worth and resourcefulness’ should take over the tutelage of the hideous spoiled teenage Princess Shazzine, in order that she learns to rule with distinction once the King and Queen are gone.

Jennifer agrees with some reluctance, and together, she, trainee magician Perkins and the princess – cunningly and without any originality disguised as a handmaiden – cross into the neighbouring Cambrian Empire, a dangerous country strewn with peril and a focus for bored daredevils seeking perilous adventures as a form of Jeopardy Tourism.

After procuring a tour guide aged ten named Addie, they venture deep into the heart of the most dangerous place in the most dangerous place in the whole Ununited Kingdoms: The Empty Quarter, within which lies their goal: The legendary Leviathan’s Graveyard, inconveniently perched at the very top of the mountain known as Cadir Idris, its lofty summit permanently shrouded in cloud.

Many people have visited the mountain, but none have returned. Perhaps the legend of Sky Pirate Morgan and the Leviathans are true – or perhaps the clouds that obscure the summit hide a far deeper secret. Pretty soon the Princess, Addie, Jennifer and Perkins are fighting the powers of darkness not just for their lives, but for everything they know and love…

WHY WE’RE EXCITED: Okay, so to be technical, this book doesn’t come out in the UK until the 10th and until October in the US, but we’re sharing it now because YAY NEW JASPER FFORDE book! Although really, when will be getting that Shades of Grey sequel we’ve been waiting for since 2009?

Rebel Belle Rachel HawkinsRebel Belle by Rachel Hawkins

Harper Price, peerless Southern belle, was born ready for a Homecoming tiara. But after a strange run-in at the dance imbues her with incredible abilities, Harper’s destiny takes a turn for the seriously weird. She becomes a Paladin, one of an ancient line of guardians with agility, super strength and lethal fighting instincts.

Just when life can’t get any more disastrously crazy, Harper finds out who she’s charged to protect: David Stark, school reporter, subject of a mysterious prophecy and possibly Harper’s least favorite person. But things get complicated when Harper starts falling for him–and discovers that David’s own fate could very well be to destroy Earth.

With snappy banter, cotillion dresses, non-stop action and a touch of magic, this new young adult series from bestseller Rachel Hawkins is going to make y’all beg for more.

WHY WE’RE EXCITED: Did you not read that pun-tastic title? In the midnight hour she cried, “More more more,” she’s a rebel belle, she cried, “More more more!” Sure, it’s no Hold Me Closer, Necromancer, but we’ll take it.

Dreams of Gods & Monsters Laini TaylorDreams of Gods & Monsters by Laini Taylor

By way of a staggering deception, Karou has taken control of the chimaera rebellion and is intent on steering its course away from dead-end vengeance. The future rests on her, if there can even be a future for the chimaera in war-ravaged Eretz.

Common enemy, common cause.

When Jael’s brutal seraph army trespasses into the human world, the unthinkable becomes essential, and Karou and Akiva must ally their enemy armies against the threat. It is a twisted version of their long-ago dream, and they begin to hope that it might forge a way forward for their people.

And, perhaps, for themselves. Toward a new way of living, and maybe even love.

But there are bigger threats than Jael in the offing. A vicious queen is hunting Akiva, and, in the skies of Eretz … something is happening. Massive stains are spreading like bruises from horizon to horizon; the great winged stormhunters are gathering as if summoned, ceaselessly circling, and a deep sense of wrong pervades the world.

What power can bruise the sky?

From the streets of Rome to the caves of the Kirin and beyond, humans, chimaera and seraphim will fight, strive, love, and die in an epic theater that transcends good and evil, right and wrong, friend and enemy.

At the very barriers of space and time, what do gods and monsters dream of? And does anything else matter?

WHY WE’RE EXCITED: It’s the final book in the far too fantastic Daughter of Smoke & Bone trilogy! Seriously, read this series and read it now!

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