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I feel that I have a bit of a disclaimer to make. Trudi Canavan’s books were some of the very first fantasies I read, and even a year ago - when I read The Ambassador’s Mission - I had not nearly read as much fantasy as I have now. As such, when I began reading reading The Rogue, I had the feeling not that this latest was any worse than any of Canavan’s previous books, but that it didn’t quite hold up to other reading experiences I’ve had in the past year. This initial sentiment, however, faded as the magic of Canavan’s writing and the compelling return to Kyralia and familiar faces won me over once more.

With the amount of praise being piled onto him from all sides, when I first heard he had a new book coming out, I though it was about time I finally delved into Eric Brown’s work. Not to mention The Kings of Eternity, his latests, was being hailed by such high standing science fiction figures as Stephen Baxter as Brown’s ‘best yet.’ The experience was indeed deserving of all the praise. This riveting ‘dual’ story is in many ways a nostalgic ode to science fiction of the past, while at the same time it is a thoughtful exploration of human nature (within a sci-fi concept) and an entertaining, mysterious tale to boot!

Even amongst all of this spring’s hyped titles - and there have been quite a few - Douglas Hulick’s surprising debut, Among Thieves has been able to draw a favorable amount of attention. In fact it quickly became one of the most anticipated debuts amongst SFF bloggers, including myself. Being sold as something of a cross between Brent Weeks and Scott Lynch, Among Thieves had a lot to live up to. Certainly, Hulick’s first draws easy comparisons to the works of Lynch and Weeks, but it is very much its own beast, and a quality one at that.

Hard SF isn’t what I would consider my forte - though I enjoy it every once a while I don’t exactly I don’t partake in the reading of it to the same degree as I do say fantasy. This means that I can be a particularly exigent reader when it comes to this particular sub-genre, but it also means that when I encounter a quality hard SF I’m not afraid to say so. M. J. Locke’s debut, Up Against It, is just one such quality read. An intelligent, solid plot and plenty of science counterbalance some unfortunately weak characterization to achieve a very attractive debut for fans of hard SF but which will not satisfy readers trying to approach this sub-genre for the first time.

One word: wow! This artwork completely blew me away. I've mentioned before that I've like the intention behind Gollancz's branded Sanderson covers - I loved them on the Mistborn Trilogy, for which they were originally created, not so much for The Way of Kings and but thought it fit Elantris a bit better. Recently the artwork for the Gollancz edition of Warbreaker also made its first appearance, but I think there is no denying that the atmospheric style of these covers always befitted the world of Mistborn best. The blue mist is back in this cover of the upcoming new Mistborn novel, The Alloy of Law. This novel is set some ways down the line from the first three Mistborn books, and this is reflected in the artwork by that strange piece of metalwork. I'm much prefer this cover to the slightly generic US art by Chris McGrath. This artwork is striking, intriguing and I'm sure it will sit nicely on my shelf next to the other Mistborn books. Scroll down or click through for the blurb and more information on the release.

Equations of Life is a novel that surprised me. Coming from planetary geophysics PhD Simon Morden, this short, intense and fun-filled novel won me over. It is by no means a deep and reflective piece, but should rather be praised for what it intends to be: a wild and raucous science fiction thriller written, for the most part, for entertainment purposes. This doesn’t mean that Morden shies away from writing brilliant, witty, and most importantly, memorable characters which drive this nifty story. In short, Equations of Life is well-executed and easily accessible by which you should let yourself be taken in for no other reason that for a short bout of sci-fi fun.

The Dragon’s Path is without a doubt one of the most anticipated fantasy books of the year, and though he isn’t as big a hitter as some of them, Abraham’s latest featured in the ‘Most Anticipated’ lists right up there with the new Abercrombie or Rothfuss. His very much loved Long Price Quartet demonstrated that there was very little wrong that this man could do. There were high expectations and I’m glad to say that Abraham met them blow for blow. His take on the more typical Epic Fantasy story, though he sacrifices the atmospheric and exotic feel, is just as original and captivating as his first series. A set of solid, driven and engaging characters complement the plot wonderfully, making this one of the very best ‘classic’ epics I’ve read in quite a while.

The Dragon's Path, Daniel Abraham (Orbit)

For many fantasy fans Daniel Abraham's name has become synonymous excellence. His Long Price Quartet was truly some of the best fantasy I've read... ever. The Dragon's Path starts off an all new series, The Dagger and the Coin. This is Abraham's take on your more typical epic fantasy and, having had the chance to read it, I can say it's good. Perhaps this slightly more generic fantasy will finally attract the audience Abraham deserves... we'll see. Review up later.

Among Thieves, Douglas Hulick (Tor UK/Roc)

Much good has already been said about this book. It's being marketed as something similar to Brent Weeks, but still very unique. I've been eagerly waiting to get me hands on this and... I'm still waiting. This new assassin-fantasy (yes, I think it's about time we start referring to it as its own sub-genre) comes from debut author Douglas Hulick, whom you can meet in a couple of interviews run on other blogs: here at Civilian-Reader and here at Fantasy Faction.

The Kings of Eternity, Eric Brown (Solaris)

My science fiction pick for the month, The Kings of Eternity, comes from much praised author Eric Brown. I've been meaning to get into Eric Brown's stuff for a while now and came extremely close to picking up his previous book, Guardians of the Phoenix, and this looks like the perfect jumping point into his work. The Kings of Eternity has been described as an accessible and highly enjoyable read - we'll see how I feel about it. This time travel story based around the lives a eccentric writer and a link he has to another writer from the 1930s is intriguing in premise, and if it holds up to the praise, should by all means be great fun.

The Unremembered, Peter Orullian (Tor Books)

Tor Books is setting this one up to be the next big epic fantasy sequence, you know the one, with thick and numerous volumes, to accompany Sanderson's Stormlight Archives as the front-runners of the Tor fantasy catalog. As such, this looks to be a fairly typical storyline, if no less interesting. The beautiful cover from Kekai Kotaki goes far to make me more interested in this book. Good or bad, we'll all be hearing a lot about this one, I'm sure.

The Scar-Crow Men, Mark Chadbourn (Bantam)

Mark Chadbourn's The Sword of Albion, the first Will Swyfte book, was an intrepid mix of James Bond and Elizabethan England with plenty of intrigue, sword-fighting and, yes, magic. Swyfte is back for a second adventure in The Scar-Crow Men which appears to promise more of the same - in this case a good thing. I've been looking forward to rejoining Will since finishing The Sword of Albion. If the first book is anything to go by, Chadbourn should not disappoint on this second outing.

Equations of Life, Simon Morden (Orbit)

Equations of Life didn't come to my attention until very recently when it's very peculiar artwork caught my eye. Written by a PhD in planetary geosphysics, this science fiction thriller is one filled with mobsters, AIs and nukes. Set in a post nuclear holocaust London, now known as the Metrozone, Equations of Life follows Sam Petrovitch who wants to stay unseen and out of trouble but just can't seem to manage it. I'm lucky enough to have already read this and can say that it is very recommendable, with just the right amounts of wit, action and character.