You get two books today, here goes...
‘Crucible of Gold’ – Naomi Novik (Release Date: March 2012, Del Rey)
For Laurence and Temeraire, put out to pasture in Australia, it seems their part in the war has come to an end just when they are needed most. Newly allied with the powerful African empire of the Tswana, the French have occupied Spain and brought revolution and bloodshed to Brazil, threatening Britain’s last desperate hope to defeat Napoleon.
So the British government dispatches Arthur Hammond from China to enlist Laurence and Temeraire to negotiate a peace with the angry Tswana, who have besieged the Portuguese royal family in Rio—and as bait, Hammond bears an offer to reinstate Laurence to his former rank and seniority as a captain in the Aerial Corps. Temeraire is delighted by this sudden reversal of fortune, but Laurence is by no means sanguine, knowing from experience that personal honor and duty to one’s country do not always run on parallel tracks.
A few years ago, a ‘Temeraire’ book would have been essential reading for me. I really enjoyed the first few books but all of a sudden found myself coming to a sudden halt with ‘Tongues of Serpents’ and I’ve pretty much lost all interest in where the series goes next. I couldn’t even finish ‘Tongues of Serpents’ an incredibly dry book that started to confirm my suspicions that the series was turning into an excuse to visit different countries and showcase the ‘native dragon of the day’. That’s not what the series promised me at the beginning and it’s not a plot shift that I’m interested in pursuing. If readers want to let me know what I’m missing then you might tempt me back but ‘Tongues of Serpents’ is a pretty big obstacle to overcome first.
‘Luthor Huss’ – Chris Wraight (Release Date: February 2012, Black Library)
Witch hunter Lukas Eichmann investigates a series of bizarre murders, which ultimately lead him into the haunted depths of the Empire at the head of an army of fanatical warriors. In the Drakwald Forest, Luthor Huss, warrior priest of Sigmar, battles to free the denizens of the forest from a plague of the walking dead. As their fates entwine, the two warriors confront a threat that will decide their future, while Huss must face a secret from his past if he is to survive and embrace his destiny as the Hammer of Sigmar.
This on the other hand, this I will be reading and probably a lot sooner than its February release date. If Aaron Dembski-Bowden is the rising star of Warhammer 40K fiction (and he is) then Chris Wraight fills the equivalent position for the Warhammer Fantasy line. He’s not too shabby with the 40K stuff either. Wraight’s short fiction hasn’t quite done it for me but I’ve read nearly all of his novels (plus one novella) and none of them have let me down. That’s more than enough reason for me to be eagerly anticipating picking this one up.
I’m guessing that more people will be anticipating ‘Crucible of Gold’, than ‘Luthor Huss’, but I’m throwing the question out there anyway... Do either of these two books catch your eye?