It is one of those weeks where I feel at my most grateful that publishers see fit to send through books. A few of those I received are novels I'd have been queuing up to buy with my own money and I can't quite believe my luck that I'm receiving them for review instead.
The Way of Kings by Brandon Sanderson
According to mythology mankind used to live in The Tranquiline Halls. Heaven. But then the Voidbringers assaulted and captured heaven, casting out God and men. Men took root on Roshar, the world of storms. And the Voidbringers followed ...They came against man ten thousand times. To help them cope, the Almighty gave men powerful suits of armor and mystical weapons, known as Shardblades. Led by ten angelic Heralds and ten orders of knights known as Radiants, mankind finally won. Or so the legends say. Today, the only remnants of those supposed battles are the Shardblades, the possession of which makes a man nearly invincible on the battlefield. The entire world is at war with itself - and has been for centuries since the Radiants turned against mankind. Kings strive to win more Shardblades, each secretly wishing to be the one who will finally unite all of mankind under a single throne. On a world scoured down to the rock by terrifying hurricanes that blow through every few day a young spearman forced into the army of a Shardbearer, led to war against an enemy he doesn't understand and doesn't really want to fight. What happened deep in mankind's past? Why did the Radiants turn against mankind, and what happened to the magic they used to wield?
This is the big daddy of the books that came through this week - one of the most hotly-anticipated fantasy novels of the year; possibly a novel that kick-starts a new fantasy epic to take the place of The Wheel of Time and A Song of Ice and Fire. The buzz surrounding this book is just huge right now, and initial reviews are starting to flow in, most of which incredibly positive. I am beyond excited about this, and so eager to start it and be there right at the beginning.
Published by Tor in the US on 31st August and by Gollancz in the UK on 30th December.
The Black Prism by Brent Weeks
Gavin Guile is the Prism, the most powerful man in the world. He is high priest and emperor, a man whose power, wit, and charm are all that preserves a tenuous peace. But Prisms never last, and Guile knows exactly how long he has left to live: Five years to achieve five impossible goals. But when Guile discovers he has a son, born in a far kingdom after the war that put him in power, he must decide how much he's willing to pay to protect a secret that could tear his world apart.
So, here we have another fantasy epic starting. Many people have had good things to see about Brent Weeks' previous trilogy, although it was one I haven't yet read, and so this first book in his new trilogy is generating real excitement as well. Have to say, it's a lovely chunky hard-back I've been sent, and I really want to give this one some love too!
Published by Orbit on 26th August 2010
Mini Shopaholic by Sophie Kinsella
Becky Brandon (nee Bloomwood) thought motherhood would be a breeze and that having a daughter was a dream come true - a shopping friend for life! But it's trickier than she thought - two-year-old Minnie has a quite different approach to shopping. She can create havoc everywhere from Harrods to Harvey Nicks to her own christening. She hires taxis at random, her favourite word is 'Mine', and she's even started bidding for designer bags on ebay. On top of everything else, there's a big financial crisis. People are having to Cut Back - including all of Becky's personal shopping clients - and she and Luke are still living with Becky's Mum and Dad. To cheer everyone up, Becky decides to throw a surprise birthday party - on a budget - but then things become really complicated. Who will end up on the naughty step, who will get a gold star and will Becky's secret wishes come true?
And now for something completely different... *grin* The Becky Bloomwood novels are one of my very favourite ongoing chick lit series. I think that Kinsella does a wonderful job, with the quirky characters, humorous situations and the slightly cringe-making problems Becky always seems to get herself into. Becky is a wonderful heroine - someone you'd definitely want to go shopping with! I am planning to re-read the preceding novels before getting to this one, so that I can provide reviews of all - and really enjoy the experience of immersing myself in Becky's world.
Published by Transworld on 2nd September 2010.
I did receive a few more books this week, which I shall provide details of in the future, but this mighty triumvirate just had me so excited that the rest paled slightly in comparison (and so I think it would be best to tell you about the others when I can give them due attention!)
Was your mailbox as exciting as mine this week? Which new books did you adopt?