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The Weekly Book Buzz: Salvatore's Latest Drizzt Do'Urden Novel
The Pirate King Hits Store Shelves This Week
By Tim Janson
October 06, 2008
THE PIRATE KING by R.A. Salvatore(2008).
© Wizards of the Coast
Leading the way out of the pack this week is the latest Drizzt Do’Urden novel by R.A. Salvatore, “The Pirate King”. This is the second book in the Transitions series and the follow-up to “The Orc King” published in 2007. Also on the Drizzt front of note is that Devil’s Due Publishing has release the Dark Elf Omnibus which reprints their comic adaptations of the original Dark Elf Trilogy, Homeland, Exile, and Sojourn, into one massive 464 page volume.
Fantasy writer Dennis L. McKiernan revisits his Mithgar series for his latest novel “The City of Jade”. William C. Deitz is back with the 8th novel in his Legion of the Damned series, “When Duty Calls”.
Not a lot of news this week. Two recent genre releases made their debuts on the New York Times Bestseller list: “Paul of Dune” by Brian Herbert checked in at #11 while the latest Star Wars novel, “Order 66” by Karen Traviss, came in at #12.
Recently, the winners of the 2008 British Fantasy Awards were announced and include:
Best Small Press:
Peter Crowther, PS Publishing
The Mammoth Book Of Best New Horror 18
Old Devil Moon
Best Short Fiction:
“My Stone Desire”
(Black Static #1, TTA Press)
“The Scalding Rooms”
Best Novel: The August Derleth Fantasy Award:
The Grin Of The Dark
New In Fantasy
Elfslayer Nathan Long (Games Workshop)
Dwarf Trollslayer Gotrek and his human companion Felix Jaeger, Warhammer’s most famous pair of heroes, head off to a new adventure in the latest novel of this best-selling fantasy series.
Gotrek and Felix reluctantly travel to Marienburg to fulfil a last request from Felix’s dying Father, however a chance meeting with their old acquaintance Max Schreiber sends them in a different direction entirely and right into the heart of danger. The Imperial wizard has been sent north to investigate some disturbing magical phenomena off the northern coast of the Empire. Pretty soon, the heroic duo and their companions find themselves caught up in a new adventure, fighting for their lives against the dark elves!
When Night Falls: Lanternlight Files, Book 2 Parker Dewolf (Wizards of the Coast)
Parker DeWolf continues his exciting series that will plumb the dark depths of Sharn, the most iconic locale in all of the Eberron world. Ulther Whitsun is a fixer. When you've got a problem, if you can't find someone to take care of it, he's your man. Ulther works for money, plain and simple. But when a simple job lands him in the middle of a revolution, not choosing sides may doom him to an early grave. This second book in The Lanternlight Files returns the Eberron story it its hardboiled detective roots.
The Pirate King: Transitions, Book II R.A. Salvatore (Wizards of the Coast)
Drizzt returns to Luskan, and the Realms will never be the same! The Arcane Brotherhood has long held the city of Luskan in their power, but when corruption eats away at their ranks, Captain Deudermont comes to the rescue of a city that has become a safe haven for the Sword Coast's most dangerous pirates. But rescuing a city from itself may not be as easy as Deudermont thinks, and when Drizzt can't talk him out of it, he'll be forced to help. Drizzt is back in action again, and bringing more changes to the Forgotten Realms setting. This all new hardcover adventure will keep Drizzt fans guessing the whole way, with edge-of-your-seat action and plot twists that even the most casual reader of the Forgotten Realms novel line can't afford to miss!
Midnight's Daughter (Dorina Basarab, Dhampir, Book 1) Karen Chance (Onyx)
Dorina Basarab is a dhampir—half-human, half-vampire. Unlike most dhampirs, though, Dory has managed to maintain her sanity. Now Dory’s vampire father has come to her for help— again. Her Uncle Dracula (yes, the Dracula), cruelest among vampires, has escaped his prison. And her father wants Dory to work with gorgeous master vampire Louis-Cesare to put him back there. Although Dory prefers to work alone, Dracula is the only thing that truly scares her—and when she has to face him, she’ll take all the help she can get…
Heir of Kayolin: Dwarf Home, Volume Two Douglas Niles (Wizards of the Coast)
If they can stay alive long enough, they can find the way to a new future. Thorbardin remains closed against the world as two violent factions of dwarves clash in a brutal civil war. Neither side can prevail, and violence threatens destruction of the entire kingdom. Brandon Bluestone returns home to Kayolin to find himself a wanted fugitive. His nation has changed drastically since his departure. Bolstered by the courage of a beautiful dwarf priestess, he battles an ancient enemy, struggles to right a great wrong, and tries to take the only step that allows for a peaceful and prosperous future for all the dwarves of Krynn. And with the fate of two nations hanging in the balance, it falls to the lowest of the low to put the wheels of history in motion.
Gentleman Takes a Chance Sarah A. Hoyt (Baen Hardcover)
There are those living secretly among us who have the power to change their physical form from that of a human to an animal, even animals thought to be mythical, such as dragons. Throughout out the ages, these shape shifters have come together in a loose organization to protect themselves from humans—and other shape shifters. According to their code, killing another shifter is a crime, no matter if the shifter was slaughtering humans. Kyrie Smith, a young panther shifter, must decide where she will stand: with her group or with humanity at large. And she’ll have to do it while both older shifters and her boyfriend Tom Ormson—a dragon shifter—push her from quandary to quandary and police detective Rafiel Thrall—who happens to be a lion shifter—demands her help in solving mysterious murders that he suspects have been committed by a shifter. But when Tom begins getting telepathic warnings from the Great Sky Dragon that his life is in danger, the same dragon who recently almost killed him, he and Kyrie realize that much more is involved than a homicidal shape shifter. Someone—or something—has been killing shifters in large numbers, and the most ancient and powerful of shifters are converging on the city to find the killer. And anyone, human or shifter, who gets in their way will be eliminated without mercy. . .
City of Jade: A Novel of Mithgar Dennis L. McKiernan (Roc hardcover)
The myth of a lost city carved of precious jade has proven irresistible to many in Mithgar. Now Aravan, captain of the Elven ship Eroean, has undertaken a quest to find it. With his true love Aylis, the Magekind Seeress, beside him and a crew of men and dwarves, he sets sail to follow the lure of legend. The journey will be long and perilous—and the voyagers will find more than treasure awaiting them in the City of Jade. They will find dark sorcery and great danger, and some among them will find death.
The Chosen Sin Anya Bast (Berkley Trade)
The Chosen are vampires fighting for their very existence. It is Daria Morris’s destiny to become one of them…Daria is a special forces agent with one obsession: to wreak vengeance on the vampire who nearly destroyed her. But to succeed, she must become something she detests: a vampire. Her fate rests upon Alejandro Martinez, a sexy vampire with whom she once shared an unforgettable night of scorching passion. Now, while Daria struggles against her newfound bloodlust, the two must slip into the shadows to bring a monster to justice—even as their desire threatens to consume them…
New In Science Fiction
Only In Death Gaunt’s Ghosts Dan Abnett (Games Workshop)
The third Gaunt’s Ghosts story arc reaches its searing conclusion. As the crusade to liberate the Sabbat Worlds continues, Colonel-Commissar Gaunt leads the Tanith First-and-Only into an unforgiving new warzone – the fortress world of Jago. As the enemy assaults increase in fury, Gaunt and his regiment must face the terror of the present alongside the ghosts of their past, for only in death does duty end. The eleventh novel in this phenomenally popular SF series is also released alongside a new paperback edition of its prequel, The Armour of Contempt.
When Duty Calls: A Novel of the Legion of the Damned William C. Deitz (Ace Hardcover)
As the war with the Ramanthian continues, Captain Antonio Santana and his force of biobods and cyborgs find themselves surrounded by enemy forces, faced with annihilation at every turn. On the home front, Santana’s love—diplomat Christine Vanderveen—copes with growing shortages, treacherous allies, and her own emotions. Yet when she meets the charismatic newly elected president of the Clone Republic, she finds herself torn between old love and new loyalty. As Christine fights her own divided heart, light years away, Santana is in a battle for his life. And this battle may be his last…
Slow Train to Arcturus Eric Flint, Dave Freer (Baen Hardcover)
The planet Miran had sent a spaceship to rendezvous with the enormous vessel that was approaching their star system. The vessel’s design was odd—a multitude of separate globular habitats in a framework—and most of the alien team that entered one of the habitats were slaughtered by savage creatures called “humans.” One alien had barely managed to escape to another habitat where the humans were more friendly, if rather technologically backward. But he needed to get back to his spaceship, and he would need one human’s help to do that. They would have to travel through several more habitats, each one isolated from the other, each with its own bizarre dangers and customs. And friendliness toward strangers was not one of those customs. . .
The Serrano Connection Elizabeth Moon (Baen Hardcover)
Two Full-Length Novels of Space Adventure:
Once a Hero: Esmay Suiza wasn’t a member of a great Navy family like the Serranos. She’d had to make her way on grit alone, which meant it wasn’t likely she’d make admiral, but all she wanted was to be part of the Fleet. But then she ended up a raging space battle, and was the only one who could stop a superior office turned traitor. She had never wanted to be a hero, but fate had other ideas. . . .
Rules of Engagement: Brun Meager is a young woman from a rich and powerful family, which had a lot to do with why Esmay Suiza didn’t get along with her, not to mention both having an amorous interest in Barin Serrano. When Brun was abducted by a repressive religious militia movement that makes the 21st century Taliban look like a bunch of Unitarians, Esmay was suspected of having connived in the capture to eliminate a rival. To clear herself, it looked like Esmay would have to locate and rescue Brun. Time to be a hero again. . .
Crusade: Destroyermen, Book II Taylor Anderson (Roc Hardcover)
Lieutenant Commander Matthew Reddy, along with the men and women of the USS Walker, have chosen sides in a war not of their making. Swept from the World War II Pacific into an alternate world, they have allied with the Lemurians—a mammalian race threatened by the warlike reptilian Grik. The Lemurians are vastly outnumbered and ignorant of warfare, and even the guns and technology of Walker cannot turn the tide of battle. Luckily they are not alone—Reddy finally finds Mahan, the other destroyer that passed through the rift. Together, the two American ships will teach the Lemurians to make a stand. Or so they think. For the massive Japanese battleship Amagi, the very ship that Walker was fleeing from when the rift took them, has followed them through. And now the Amagi is in the hands of the Grik.
New in Horror
Blood Memories Barb Hendee (Roc Trade)
Eleisha Clevon has the face of a teen angel, but she is no angel. Unlike most vampires, she doesn’t like to kill, but self-preservation comes first. When an old friend destroys himself by walking into sunlight right in front of her, Eleisha is shocked. And what she finds afterwards points to how very sick of his existence her friend had become—piling drained corpses in the basement and keeping records of other vampires’ real names and addresses. That’s a problem. Because now, there are policemen on the case: two very special humans with some gifts of their own. They know who Eleisha is, and, even more dangerous, what she is.
The Watchers Out of Time H.P. Lovecraft, August Derleth (Del Rey)
Venture at your own risk into a realm where the sun sinks into oblivion–and all that is unholy, unearthly, and unspeakable rises. These rare, hard-to-find collaborations of cosmic terror are back in print, including
• Wentworth’s Day A fellow figures his debt to a dead man is null and void, until he discovers just how terrifying interest rates can be.
• The Shuttered Room A sophisticated gentleman must settle his grandfather’s estate, only to find that the house shelters dark secrets.
• The Dark Brotherhood A beautiful woman and her companion meet the likes of Edgar Allan Poe, in a tale as terrifying as anything Poe himself ever created.
• Innsmouth Clay A sculptor returns from Paris to create a statue not entirely of this world–and not at all under his control.
• Witches’ Hollow A new schoolteacher puts his soul in peril while trying to save one of his students from a ravenous creature.
Vampire Zero: A Gruesome Vampire Tale David Wellinigton (Three Rivers Press)
One man stood between them and us. U.S. Marshal Jameson Arkeley—the country’s foremost authority on vampires—taught police investigator and vampire fighter Laura Caxton everything she knows about monsters. After a bloody war visited upon Gettysburg by an army of vampires, Arkeley gave up his own life to save others. Except he didn’t exactly die . . .Arkeley accepted the curse and is now a vampire himself. What’s worse, he’s the savviest vampire ever—he knows all the tricks better than anyone. Caxton is now faced with the task of destroying him. But Arkeley knows all her tactics too; after all, he taught them to her. Caxton realizes she must finish Arkeley before he succeeds in his quest to exterminate his own family, one member at a time. But even more important, she has to prevent him from becoming a beast exponentially more dangerous—a Vampire Zero.
New In Non-Fiction
The Science of Heroes: The Real-Life Possibilities Behind the Hit TV Show Yvonne Carts-Powell (Berkeley Trade)
Ordinary people with extraordinary powers populate the world of the hit television show Heroes, where characters exhibit such abilities as flight, telepathy, tissue regeneration, prognostication, invisibility, and teleportation through space and time. The Science of Heroes explores these superpowers and many more through real-world research into the potential of human physical and mental capabilities. Citing the work of renowned scientists and engineers, Yvonne Carts-Powell reveals that even the least likely of powers has been studied—and in some cases, even developed. From the wonders found in nature and cutting-edge technological achievements to the latest discoveries in genetics and mutations, humanity might just possess the knowledge to achieve the extraordinary.
100 Ways To Paint The Coolest Fantasy Figures Francis Tsai (Impact Books)
Presents 100 exciting and ingenious ways to design and draw better fantasy figures--from developing characters to adding costumes, props and backdrops. Hollywood concept designer Francis Tsai shares tips and tricks for creating imaginative figures, giving readers a unique opportunity to gain guidance from a real pro. Highly accessible and featuring a wealth of ideas, this sourcebook includes an inspirational mix of styles and approaches, with influences ranging from Celtic, Greek, Roman, Oriental and Medieval to 19th Century Gothic--something for every fantasy artist!
New in Graphic Novels & Comic Trades
Batman and the Outsiders Vol. 1 (DC Comics)
Collecting the first five issues of the new action series by acclaimed writer Chuck Dixon! The new Outsiders investigate a strange Omac-like entity — but things are made all the more difficult when the team meets Batman's new recruit!
DC Comics Goes Ape (DC Comics)
You'll go bananas for this new title collecting simian stories from Superboy #76, Superman #138, The Flash (VOL. 1) #127, Detective Comics #339 and 482, Hawkman #16, Wonder Woman #170, Strange Adventures #201, Shazam #9, Super Friends #30 and The Flash (VOL. 2) #151!
Daredevil: Cruel and Unusual (Marvel)
Still reeling from the conclusion of his battle with Mr. Fear, an old friend drags
Matt Murdock back into the light of day by bringing him the last-minute appeal of a Marvel villain now sitting on death row. What will Matt do when confronted with a bad guy who is completely innocent of the crime of which he was convicted? Collecting Daredevil #106-110.
Iron Man: The Dragon Seed Saga (Marvel)
One of the greatest heroes of this era against one of the greatest monsters of the era before! Iron Man's nemesis, the Mandarin, has risen again, his ten rings of power more awesome than before! But the power in his hands hasn't kept him from being a puppet in someone else's, and war with his ironclad enemy may have to take a backseat against ten awakened dragons...one for each ring! Can even two Iron Men handle such a multiple menace? Collecting Iron Man #270-275.
Ms. Marvel Vol. 5: Secret Invasion Premiere (Marvel)
Is Ms. Marvel on the front lines of the Secret Invasion...or is she part of the invasion?! Out—gunned and on the run, with S.H.I.E.L.D. convinced she’s a Skrull impostor, Ms. Marvel must fight for her identity and her life against her very own Lightning Strike Force! But when the Strike Force has a Ms. Marvel of their own, even Carol can’t be sure she’s Carol anymore! Collecting
Ms. Marvel #25-30.
Savage Sword of Conan Vol. 4 (Dark Horse)
Editing and charting Conan's course in the influential Savage Sword of Conan magazine, Roy Thomas led a phenomenal assemblage of talented illustrators boldly through the end of the seventies and into the eighties, unfettered by page counts and the limiting thumb of the Comics Code. Thomas scripted the continuing adventures of Conan, drawing from Robert E. Howard's original tales-along with other Conan adventures-and working with such esteemed artists as John Buscema, Sal Buscema, Ernie Colon, Klaus Janson, and the amazing Gil Kane! The Savage Sword of Conan brought the world thrilling adaptations of "Sons of the White Wolf," "The Legions of the Dead," and "The Treasure of Tranicos." The real treasure in this massive tome, however, is the sprawling, ambitious adaptation of the Conan the Buccaneer novel by the powerhouse team of Roy Thomas, John Buscema, and Tony DeZuniga! This volume is sure to deliver brutal barbarian violence as well as horrific, chilling surprises. This volume collects Savage Sword of Conan the Barbarian issues 37 to 48.
Everybody’s Dead (IDW)
College can be tough. Making new friends, falling in love, being one of the few people left on Earth who isn't a bloodthirsty zombie... welcome to the world of Everybody's Dead! Ten friends remain the only ones on campus who have survived an overnight apocalypse. Now they must fend off legions of the undead and restart civilization in their own image! (Civilization, course, is doomed.)
Transformers: More Than Meets the Eye Volume 1 (IDW)
This series provides bios of the Generation 1 Transformers characters, all illustrated by some of the most popular Transformers artists of all time including Don Figueroa, Guido Guidi, and Pat Lee. This volume is packed with so many facts and figures on Transformers that you'll need a memory upgrade!
Forgotten Realms - The Dark Elf Trilogy Omnibus Volume 1 (Devil’s Due)
Based on R.A. Salvatore's best-selling The Legends of Drizzt series of novels, the Forgotten Realms Trilogy: Omnibus combines all three books - Homeland, Exile, and Sojourn - into one great book! This story takes you from the moments before the birth of Drizzt to the point where he leaves his home world and ventures to the unknown.
Tales of the Fallen Book 1: Awakenings David G. Barnett (Necro Publications)
Barnett’s Tales of the Fallen is the first of a planned series of novellas and short stories centering on the battle for heaven. Book 1 features three tales, all separate, but connected and all with decidedly different tones. “Of Angels Fallen” is about a low-life drug addict who is pulled out of the depths to become an elite assassin for the forces of Hell. His final assignment is to kill a powerful and benevolent man who is more than he seems. Mal has to check his moral compass to decide what to do next.
In “Daddy Demon’s Day Out”, Travis Burnsfield seeks revenge against the man who murdered his wife and conjures a demon to aid him. The demon is willing to help him out, but not before he indulges in a night out on the town in Vegas to appease his many appetites. “The Sleepers Awaken” finds an old man looking upon the evils on earth and knows it’s time to act. He has to find those he’s hidden on Earth millennia ago. It’s time for them to awake and remember what they are.
Tales of the Fallen doesn’t break any new ground, we’ve read these Heaven Vs. Hell stories before, but Barnett does provide a fresh take on the plot with stories that are both humorous and heartrending ad the same time. Moreover, his characters are all painted in shades of gray, even those that are evil have their benevolences. Strong start to what I hope will be a continuing series. Grade B+
Old Flames Jack Ketchum (Cemetery Dance)
Dora’s boyfriend has just dumped her…and she’s not taking it very well. The New York antiques dealer has a chance meeting with an old friend who tells her about a unique detective agency that specializes in tracking down old flames. In high school she and Jim were a hit item that continued into college but she’s lost track of him over twenty odd years. Dora learns that Jim is now living the American dream in the Los Angeles hills…a highly regarded lawyer with a wife, two kids, dog, and a swimming pool. Dora isn’t about to let little details like that dissuade her from trying to pickup where she left off with Jim.
Ketchum never ceases to amaze the way he can take everyday life and make it more terrifying than any supernatural horror story. He shows that no horror is worse than man (or woman) himself. Dora makes the Glenn Close character from Fatal Attraction look like a den mother. Yet Ketchum handles the plot and character with such subtlety that you really believe Dora has Jim’s best interests at heart. Suburban horror at its finest! Grade A-
Number of the Beast (DC Comics/Wildstorm)
This trade reprints issues # 1 – 8 of the Wildstorm superhero series. The team known as the Paladins is thrown into a battle for the very fate of the world. The Apocalypse has started and the Four Horsemen have arrived. Yet something is not quite right. Heroes thought to be dead such as The High have returned and yet as powerful as he is, he cannot seem to fly past the city limits. The Paladins will soon learn they are pawns in an unending game but who is pulling their strings?
Number of the Beast is a superteam version combination of “The Matrix” and “Dark City”. The heroes are know more than lab specimens kept in tubes by the government and forced to fight the same battle in a never-ending loop. I hadn’t read a Wildstorm title since it was still an Image imprint and was pleasantly surprised at the complexity of this story. It may have some of the worst names for superheroes ever (Mago, Tumbleweed, The High) but the story by Scott Beatty was enthralling. Chris Sprouse’s art was exceptional without being over-indulgent. Unfortunately the story doesn’t end here which is always a let down in a trade paperback where story arcs typically have a start and finish. Grade B.