cover image Tower Lord

Tower Lord

Anthony Ryan. Ace, $28.95 (624p) ISBN 978-0-425-26562-8

Ryan draws readers deeper into a dangerous landscape of warring religions, political ambitions, and diverse cultures in the second Raven's Shadow grimdark fantasy (following Blood Song). Vaelin Al Sorna, aka Darkblade, led forces in a bloody war that failed to fulfill King Janus's dream of uniting Asreal and the rival Volarian Empire. Now Vaelin wants nothing further to do with anyone involved. Unfortunately, his plan to peacefully retire as Tower Lord of the remote Northern Reaches is thwarted by schemers on all sides who want to use him and his blood-song power for their own purposes. Dividing the story among several characters, Ryan deftly reveals a chaotic land splintered by ambition and uncertainty. With a twisting, multi-layered plot knitted from complex intrigues and constantly shifting alliances, Ryan builds masterfully from Blood Song, tying up enough loose ends to satisfy while leaving plenty to create suspense for the next installment. (July) The Gentleman Jewel Thief Jessica Peterson Berkley Sensation, $7.99 mass market (336p) ISBN 978-0-425-27207-7 Peterson's debut is an entertaining Regency romp where witty banter and passionate tempers collide. Violet Rutledge lives a stable life, caring for her ailing father and handling the family's finances, but she yearns for adventure. At a lavish affair in the home of Mr. Hope, her family's banker, Violet shows off his most recent acquisition, the French Blue (also known as the Hope Diamond). Lord William Townshend, Earl of Harclay, decides that both woman and jewel should be his. After Violet is ambushed and the jewel is stolen, she vows to get it back, and soon deduces that Harclay is behind the whole matter. An entertaining game of cat and mouse ensues. Violet is a breath of fresh air%E2%80%94spirited, sassy, and not too ladylike. Harclay is also a surprise; underneath the rogue exterior lies the heart of a true romantic. The two make a very strong pair in this charming caper. Agent: Alexandra Machinist, ICM Partners. (July)