August Publications

Fans of John C. Wright's SF trilogy (The Golden Age, etc.) will welcome his thought-provoking fantasy debut, The Last Guardian of Everness: Being the First Part of the Dreaming. Watchman Galen Waylock, whose family has guarded the dream-gate for 1,000 years, chooses an unexpected third way when forced to decide between the powers of Darkness and those of Light in their battle to rule humankind. Agent, James Frenkel.(Tor, $27.95 332p ISBN 0-312-84871-4)

Derring-do, varied beddings and lurid executions abound in Mick Farren's campy alternative military history, Kindling, in which the vast evil Mosul Empire attacks the pathetically outnumbered Kingdom of Albany (New York, Pennsylvania and Connecticut). The wrenching, sudden splits in perspective will appeal to all-age adolescent appetites whetted by R-rated computer effects. Agent, Susan Cohen at Riverside Literary Agency.(Tor, $27.95 416p ISBN 0-765-30656-5)

In Sarah Zeitel's absorbing The Firebird's Vengeance: A Novel of Isavalta, the third in this well-received fantasy series, Bridget Lederle, now a court sorcerer, seeks her daughter, Anna, while the Firebird seeks revenge for its 30-year confinement by the Empress Meleoan. Readers unfamiliar with the previous books will find the character-driven action easy to follow. Agent, Shawna McCarthy.(Tor, $27.95 416p ISBN 0-765-30812-6)

A little cutting might have benefited A Flame in Hali: Book Three of the Clingfire Trilogy, by Marion Zimmer Bradley and Deborah J. Ross, but fans should find this tale of incessant war among the Hundred Kingdoms a worthy addition to Bradley's original Darkover series. The menacing dragon on the jacket will cue high fantasy fans. Agent, Russell Galen.(DAW, $24.95 480p ISBN 0-7564-0218-2)

In Andrew Fox's zany Bride of the Fat White Vampire, the uneven sequel to Curse of the Fat White Vampire (2003), quarter-ton vampire Jules Duchon must first change back from his current form of 200 white rats in order to play detective, but in so doing a vital organ goes missing. The New Orleans setting helps redeem a plot with too many surprises not suggested beforehand and incongruously peaceful, if not happy, resolutions to bloody conflicts. Agent, Dan Hooker.(Ballantine, $14.95 paper 448p ISBN 0-345-46408-7)