The Steel Remains


Richard K. Morgan - 2008
    Such is the prophecy that dogs Ringil Eskiath—Gil, for short—a washed-up mercenary and onetime war hero whose cynicism is surpassed only by the speed of his sword. Gil is estranged from his aristocratic family, but when his mother enlists his help in freeing a cousin sold into slavery, Gil sets out to track her down. But it soon becomes apparent that more is at stake than the fate of one young woman. Grim sorceries are awakening in the land. Some speak in whispers of the return of the Aldrain, a race of widely feared, cruel yet beautiful demons. Now Gil and two old comrades are all that stand in the way of a prophecy whose fulfillment will drown an entire world in blood. But with heroes like these, the cure is likely to be worse than the disease.

Magic's Pawn


Mercedes Lackey - 1989
    Nor does he seek a warrior's path, wishing instead to become a Bard. Yet such talent as his if left untrained may prove a menace not only to Vanyel but to others as well. So he is sent to be fostered with his aunt, Savil, one of the famed Herald-Mages of Valdemar.But, strong-willed and self-centered, Vanyel is a challenge which even Savil can not master alone. For soon he will become the focus of frightening forces, lending his raw magic to a spell that unleashes terrifying wyr-hunters on the land. And by the time Savil seeks the assistance of a Shin'a'in Adept, Vanyel's wild talent may have already grown beyond anyone's ability to contain, placing Vanyel, Savil, and Valdemar itself in desperate peril...

The Unspoken Name


A.K. Larkwood - 2020
    Leave with him, and live. Turn away from her destiny and her god to become a thief, a spy, an assassin—the wizard's loyal sword. Topple an empire, and help him reclaim his seat of power.But Csorwe will soon learn – gods remember, and if you live long enough, all debts come due.

The Bone Doll's Twin


Lynn Flewelling - 2001
    But the people grew complacent and Erius, a usurper king, claimed his young half sister’s throne. Now plague and drought stalk the land, war with Skala’s ancient rival Plenimar drains the country’s lifeblood, and to be born female into the royal line has become a death sentence as the king fights to ensure the succession of his only heir, a son. For King Erius the greatest threat comes from his own line — and from Illior’s faithful, who spread the Oracle’s words to a doubting populace.As noblewomen young and old perish mysteriously, the king’s nephew — his sister’s only child — grows toward manhood. But unbeknownst to the king or the boy, strange, haunted Tobin is the princess’s daughter, given male form by a dark magic to protect her until she can claim her rightful destiny. Only Tobin’s noble father, two wizards of Illior, and an outlawed forest witch know the truth. Only they can protect young Tobin from a king’s wrath, a mother’s madness, and the terrifying rage of her brother’s demon spirit, determined to avenge his brutal murder....

The Hidden City


Michelle West - 2008
    Nursing Jay back to health is an unusual act for a man who renounced his own family long ago, and the situation becomes stranger still when Jay begins to form a den of other rescued children in Rath's home. But worse perils lurk beneath the slums: the demons that once nearly destroyed the Essalieyan Empire are stirring again, and soon Rath and Jay will find themselves targets of these unstoppable beings.

Blyd and Pearce


Kim Fielding - 2018
    Now he scrapes out a living searching for wayward spouses and missing children. When a nobleman offers him a small fortune to find an entertainer who’s stolen a ring, Daveth takes the case.While Jory Pearce may or may not be a thief, he certainly can’t be trusted. But, enchanted by Jory’s beauty and haunting voice, Daveth soon finds himself caught in the middle of a conspiracy. As he searches desperately for answers, he realizes that he’s also falling for Jory. The two men face river wraiths, assassins, a necromancer, and a talking head that could be Daveth’s salvation on their quest for the truth. But with everyone’s integrity in question and Death eager to dance, Daveth will need more than sorcery to survive.

Havemercy


Jaida Jones - 2008
    The renegade airmen who fly the corps’s mechanical, magic-fueled dragons are Volstov’s greatest weapon. But now one of its members is at the center of a scandal that may turn the tide of victory. To counter the threat, four ill-assorted heroes must converge to save their kingdom: an exiled magician, a naive country boy, a young student—and the unpredictable ace who flies the city’s fiercest dragon, Havemercy. But on the eve of battle, these courageous men will face something that could make the most formidable of warriors hesitate, the most powerful of magicians weak, and the most unlikely of men allies in their quest to rise against it.

The Stone Prince


Fiona Patton - 1997
    As the eternally rebellious Heathlands plot a bold new campaign of war, Crown Prince Demnor must not only overcome traitors within the court and the ever-growing rebel forces, but he must also master the birthright power which could well prove his doom.

The Tiger's Daughter


K. Arsenault Rivera - 2017
    Now, their border walls begin to crumble, and villages fall to demons swarming out of the forests.Away on the silver steppes, the remaining tribes of nomadic Qorin retreat and protect their own, having bartered a treaty with the empire, exchanging inheritance through the dynasties. It is up to two young warriors, raised together across borders since their prophesied birth, to save the world from the encroaching demons.This is the story of an infamous Qorin warrior, Barsalayaa Shefali, a spoiled divine warrior empress, O-Shizuka, and a power that can reach through time and space to save a land from a truly insidious evil.

Naamah's Kiss


Jacqueline Carey - 2009
    But generations ago, the greatest of them all broke a sacred oath sworn in the name of all his people. Now only small gifts remain to them. Through her lineage, Moirin possesses such gifts—the ability to summon the twilight and conceal herself, and the skill to coax plants to grow.Moirin has a secret, too. From childhood onward, she senses the presence of unfamiliar gods in her life—the bright lady and the man with a seedling cupped in his palm. Raised in the wilderness by her reclusive mother, Moirin learns only when she comes of age how illustrious, if mixed, her heritage is. The great-granddaughter of Alais the Wise, child of the Maghuin Donn and a cousin of the Cruarch of Alba, Moirin learns her father was a D'Angeline priest dedicated to serving Naamah, goddess of desire.After Moirin undergoes the rites of adulthood, she finds divine acceptance... on the condition that she fulfill an unknown destiny that lies somewhere beyond the ocean. Or perhaps oceans. Beyond Terre d'Ange, where she finds her father, in the far reaches of distant Ch'in, Moirin's skills will be a true gift when facing the vengeful plans of an ambitious mage, a noble warrior-princess desperate to save her father's throne, and the spirit of a celestial dragon.

Shadows for Silence in the Forests of Hell


Brandon Sanderson - 2013
    Amid a forest where the shades of the dead linger all around, every homesteader knows to follow the Simple Rules: "Don't kindle flame, don't shed the blood of another, don't run at night. These things draw shades." Silence Montane has broken all three rules on more than one occasion. And to protect her family from a murderous gang with high bounties on their heads, Silence will break every rule again, at the risk of becoming a shade herself.

Swordspoint


Ellen Kushner - 1987
    Award-winning author Ellen Kushner has created a world of unforgettable characters whose political ambitions, passionate love affairs, and age-old rivalries collide with deadly results.SwordspointOn the treacherous streets of Riverside, a man lives and dies by the sword. Even the nobles on the Hill turn to duels to settle their disputes. Within this elite, dangerous world, Richard St. Vier is the undisputed master, as skilled as he is ruthless--until a death by the sword is met with outrage instead of awe, and the city discovers that the line between hero and villain can be altered in the blink of an eye.

Dynasty of Ghosts


P.L. Nunn - 2008
    A younger son of a younger son from a backwater mountain province, he is a nobody in the king’s army until he comes to the notice of the Prince Knight himself, the spoiled, stubborn heir to the kingdom of Aldania.Caught up in a war that has raged for generations between Aldania and a neighboring kingdom, captured and imprisoned by a mad king, Illya and Prince Ashe discover a history of lies, betrayal and assassination, and the ghostly truth beneath it all. Opposites in every way, they forge a common bond that pain, war and betrayal will test to the very limit of their strength. To end a dynasty of madness and suffering, Illya must embrace the ability he has always hated, and look to the dead for answers.

Kei's Gift


Ann Somerville - 2007
    Kuprij is made up of a thousand crowded islands – thrusting, ambitious, war-like, driven by a booming population and a desire to bring its religion and its laws to the whole world. Twenty years ago, it conquered south Darshian, now it has greedy eyes on the north. The war brings Kei, a gentle, fun-loving healer from an isolated village, into collision with Arman, an embittered, honourable general, a man trapped in a loveless marriage and joylessly wedded to duty. The fate of two nations will rest on these two men–and somehow they must not only learn to overcome their own personal difficulties but bring peace with honour to their countries. If they fail...many innocents will die.

Gideon the Ninth


Tamsyn Muir - 2019
    She packs up her sword, her shoes, and her dirty magazines, and prepares to launch her daring escape. But her childhood nemesis won't set her free without a service.Harrowhark Nonagesimus, Reverend Daughter of the Ninth House and bone witch extraordinaire, has been summoned into action. The Emperor has invited the heirs to each of his loyal Houses to a deadly trial of wits and skill. If Harrowhark succeeds she will become an immortal, all-powerful servant of the Resurrection, but no necromancer can ascend without their cavalier. Without Gideon's sword, Harrow will fail, and the Ninth House will die.Of course, some things are better left dead.