Leo’s Top Ten Anticipated Reads for 2012

It’s a decent time of year to release a list like this, and hey, everyone’s doing it, so I figured I’d get my two cents paid and scripted.

2011 was a fantastic year, for me, for new releases. I am unashamedly a fan of brand new releases and I get far more excited about them than I do reading through older titles and series that I might have only discovered. Of course, as per the activity on this blog, The Dresden Files are a different cup of fish, since I only discovered them this year, and have been actively back-reading.

I’ve posted about my highlights of 2011 (top titles being Songs of the Earth, by Elspeth Cooper, The Wise Man’s Fear by the godly Rothfuss, and Among Thieves, by Douglas Hulick) recently, and unsurprisingly, many of the names on that list feature in this one—it seems once I like I an author, it’s for life. I’m a hard fan to shake off, like a loving limpet who will willingly lay money at your feet and buy every different-covered edition of your book, let alone if I can get one signed and special edition!

Basically I’m saying don’t be surprised if there aren’t any new, super-super new writers on the list, and certainly don’t be surprised if a few sequels show their faces.

10. “Currently untitled” (hopefully not anything suggested by James Long (@SpecHorizons) 😉 and involving the phrase “Mourning Wasps”),  by Mark Charan Newton (Legends of the Red Sun #4)

I expected I’d be anticipating this book just that little bit more, but I’m afraid of how the series might turn after The Book of Transformations started taking the series down a different route. I adored Nights of Villjamur and City of Ruin was fantastic. But Book of Transformations didn’t live up to them, and I’m terrified that I’ll be disappointed by the final book in the series. I am, however, trying to have utmost faith in Newton, and focus on how awesome the Villjamur Knights were, whilst trying to wipe Dartun and Frater Mercury out of my mind. The Knights win out, it has to be said. They make the book five stars.

9. The Outcast Blade, by Jon Courtenay Grimwood (Act Two of the Assassini)

This is here because although I found the first book a difficult read to begin with, I eventually learned how to read it, and thoroughly enjoyed it. I’m excited to see how things with pan out with Tycho and Desdemona and the rest of the cast. I’m expecting more theatrics, more Othello, and a lot more intrigue, fun and thrills. It’s going to be a good one.

 

 

 

 

8. Shadow’s Master, by Jon Sprunk (Shadow Saga #3)

This is going to be good. There’s nothing quite like a good Sword & Sorcery yarn, and that’s exactly what Sprunk brings to the table. I’m excited, to say the least. Shadow’s Son was fantastic, Shadow’s Lure was better, so let’s just say I have very high hopes for this baby. It’s going to filled with blood, grit, power, magic, love, intrigue and danger. The hell else do you want?! Pre-order this book, now.

 

7.  The Gray Wolf Throne, by Cinda Williams Chima

Apparently this is YA fantasy. I actually don’t care. It was presented in my local Waterstone’s with the rest of the adult fantasy, so that’s how I take it. The single reason this features as number seven, and not number eight (with Shadow’s Lure taking this spot) is because it was supposed to be out already—this September, in fact—and I’ve been waiting for it for a while. Originally it was the final book in the Seven Realms trilogy, however, Williams was contracted for a fourth book after this one.  I’m excited to see how the story will evolve following the slightly darker events of The Exiled Queen, and definitely looking forwards to the real story progressing.

 

 

6. The Blinding Knife, by Brent Weeks (Lightbringer #2)

It’s pretty obvious to anyone who has read The Black Prism why this book is here. I have my own theories as to what might happen, and as to how the book will pan out, but they’re just theories for now. The Black Prism was an excellent book and with the massively gripping ending, it’s any wonder I can even bear to wait until September 2012 to read the next part of Gavin Guile’s story.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

5. Cold Days, by Jim Butcher (The Dresden Files #14)

Sure, I’ve not read the whole back-series yet. But I am getting there, and with how much of a raving Dresden fanboy I am, there’s no reason this can’t feature on the list, given that I am indeed anticipating it! I can’t put much of a blurb here, given, that I’ve read up to Dead Beat and am still a ways off reading Ghost Story. But, I am still very excited for this release, as I will be caught up by then in order to read this upon release.  


4. Besieged, by Rowena Cory Daniells (Outcast Chronicles #1)

I enjoyed King Rolen’s Kin, and I’m placing this so highly in my anticipated reads, mainly, because I am I intrigued. New books by writers I like will always be very high on lists like these. Sometimes, rather than discovering a new writer with a new series, I’d rather a writer I love write something new. I’m a fan of comfy old shoes, you see. I’ve not read much into this new series, and frankly, I probably won’t: I like Daniells’ work, and this is a new series—those reasons alone are enough to make me want to read this. The cover is very, very sexy, too. And that’s not a factor at all, my friends, not one bit.

 

 

 

 

 

3.  The Broken Blade, by Kelly McCullough (Kingslayer Chronicles #1) 

This is here for the exact same reasons as Besieged: I like McCullough’s work (the Webmage series) and I am very, very excited for this book, given that it sees McCullough traverse the path into “proper-fantasy”, after the very sci-fantasy Webmage books. I was disappointed when this book was put back from its original date, but good things to those who wait, so, I am waiting.

 

 

 

2. Trinity Moon, by Elspeth Cooper (The Wild Hunt #2)

The single reason this book is at number two, and not number one will be explained below. Otherwise, hey, number two is a pretty auspicious spot. I loved Songs of the Earth and holy crap, I am going to love this. I just know it. That feeling when you know a writer can do no wrong? Yep. Ellie’s got it. I know she won’t screw up. Obviously by this I mean that she won’t take the series in a direction I personally don’t like, not that she’ll literally screw up. I know she’ll take good care of the world and characters she’s created and I know she’ll stay true to the spirit and theme of her work—you can just tell. There are writers I don’t “trust” with their work, their stories, and I sit there, holding back on character attachment and sometimes even immersion, because I’m sitting there waiting for them to do something that features on my list of “I don’t like this stuff”. Trinity Moon is going to kick some serious ass.

 

1. Sworn in Steel, by Douglas Hulick (A Tale of the Kin #2)

The reason this tops Songs of the Earth is because I can’t get enough of Drothe. He’s a character that the self-indulgent side of me who likes to think I’m braver, quirkier and more roguish than I am, can’t get enough of, and likes to identify with (in my dreams). He’s short, I’m short! He’s witty, I’m witty! Basically, I love Drothe. (Not so much on the US cover, mind, since there’s far too much of a Jack Sparrow thing going on in the face there… see it? No? But the UK cover kicks butt.)
Drothe is amazing. I usually don’t enjoy first person narrative as much as third—I just don’t—but I wouldn’t have this book any other way. (Obviously the first person of Rothfuss escapes this… he’s generally the exception to every rule, ever. Again, he can do no wrong.) My brother and I are anticipating this book so damned much that we’re buying not one, but TWO copies. The pre-orders are sitting patiently on Amazon, waiting for the release date top drop and there to be two fanboys sitting in silence as all life stops, the world grinding to a halt as they both immerse themselves in the most anticipated book of 2012. Hulick, Drothe; I salute you.

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One thought on “Leo’s Top Ten Anticipated Reads for 2012

  1. So glad you’re looking forward to Broken Blade. Thanks!

    A quick note on dates. Broken Blade is still on it’s original release schedule (Nov 29th 2011). It is out of order for the release windows of the WebMage books, but it’s been that way from the start–it took a while for my editor and I to figure out which of several series that I’d proposed made the most sense. On the upside, book two will be a spring release for 2012 ala the WebMage books and three comes out the end of November again since these are on a six month schedule instead of annually.

    All best,
    Kelly

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