Notable Sci-Fi/Fantasy Releases – April 2012


Bane of Kings continues the notable Sci-Fi/Fantasy releases feature of The Founding Fields with a look into some of the  novels that you should be looking out for that were released in April 2012.

Previous Notable Sci-Fi/Fantasy Releases 2012: January, February, March.

Long term readers of TFF should be familiar with the drill by now. The following post is basically me giving a run down of various Sci-Fi/Fantasy novels (non-Omnibuses) that have been released in the past month that (at least in my opinion) you should have been reading, usually from the following publishers: Black Library, Orbit and Angry Robot with a few odd books from other publishers that catch my interest. Well, here is no different. We’ve got a wide range of sci-fi/fantasy books for you this month, with everything from what in my opinion is one of the darkest Young Adult novels ever written, to the last chapter in Ben Counter’s action-packed Soul Drinkers series. So then, you’re all bored of my rambling right now, so I guess, let’s get this show on the road.

As always, I’m going to start with Black Library’s Notable Sci-Fi/Fantasy Releases, and in particular, Rob Sanders’ Legion of the Damned, which I own a signed copy of having taken it to Black Library Live 2012, something which I am rather proud of.

Legion of the Damned by Rob Sanders (Space Marine Battles #8)

(Lord of the Night’s Review), (Bane of Kings’ Review), (Shadowhawk’s Review), (EJ Davies’ Review).

Following the trajectory of a blood-red comet, the berserk World Eaters blaze a path of destruction across the galaxy in its wake. The small cemetery world of Certus Minor appeals to the Space Marines of the Excoriators Chapter for protection, but the force dispatched to deal with this grim threat is far too small and their losses against the renegades are high. Just as all seems lost, salvation is borne out of legend itself as sinister spectral warriors descend upon this planet of the dead, and the enemies of the Imperium come face to face with those who have already travelled beyond the realm of the living…

You can check out this novel here.

Lord of the Night’s Verdict: 8.6/10

Bane of Kings’ Verdict: 3.5/5 

Shadowhawk’s Verdict: 9.5/10

EJ Davies’ Verdict: Excellent Read. 

Phalanx by Ben Counter (Soul Drinkers #6)

Phalanx, the great star fort of the Imperial Fists, is playing host to Space Marines from half a dozen Chapters, alongside Inquisitors, Sisters of Battle and agents of the Adeptus Mechanicus. They have come together to witness the end of a Space Marine Chapter, as the once-noble Soul Drinkers, now Chaos-tainted renegades and heretics, are put on trial for their crimes against the Imperium. But dark forces are stirring and even this gathering of might may not be enough to guard against the evil that is about to be unleashed…

You can check out this novel here.

Bane of Kings’ Projected Verdict: 3.5/5





Gotrek and Felix: The Anthology edited by Christian Dunn 

(Shadowhawk’s Review)

Gotrek and Felix: unsung heroes of the Empire, or nothing more than common thieves and murderers? The truth perhaps lies somewhere in between, and depends entirely upon whom you ask… Within these pages you will find the untold tales of the adventuring duo, some of which undoubtedly even they would rather remain a secret. From the wastelands of the north to the mystical cities of Araby, and from the orcs of Karak Azgal to the ogres of Skabrand – their exploits are recalled and their legend grows.

Featuring the brand new novella-length tale Slayer’s Honour by Nathan Long, this anthology also contains a swashbuckling selection of great stories including a previously unpublished tale by renowned SF writer John Brunner. 

You Can Check out this novel here

Shadowhawk’s Verdict: 8/10

Bane of Kings’ Projected Verdict: 4/5

Right, now that’s all of the Black Library stuff that you should be reading that is out this month, let’s move on to the realms of non-tie in fiction with April’s World Releases from Orbit Books, starting off with The Fallen Blade by John Courtenay Grimwood, that’s released in paperback and as an ebook. All of the above novels are released in both paperback and ebook format as well. This month also sees the paperback release of The Dragon’s Path by Daniel Abraham, which was my best Fantasy Novel of 2011, and is considered a must buy.

The Fallen Blade by Jon Courtenay Grimwood (The Assassini #1)

Venice, 1407. The city is at the height of its powers. In theory, Duke Marco commands, but Marco is a simpleton so his aunt and uncle rule in his stead. They seem all powerful, yet live in fear of assassins better than their own.

On the night their world changes, Marco’s young cousin prays in the family chapel for deliverance from a forced marriage. It is her misfortune to be alone when Mamluk pirates break in to abduct her – an act that will ultimately trigger war.

Elsewhere Atilo, the Duke’s chief assassin, cuts a man’s throat. Hearing a noise, he turns back to find a boy drinking from the victim’s wound. The speed with which the angel-faced boy dodges his dagger and scales a wall stuns Atilo. He knows then he must hunt him. Not to kill him, but because he’s finally found what he thought was impossible – someone fit to be his apprentice.

Award-winning author Jon Courtenay Grimwood is a master storyteller. Here, he blends history, politics and dark fantasy in a compelling vision of an alternative Venice.


You can check out this novel here

Bane of Kings’ Projected Verdict: 4/5

The Dragon’s Path by Daniel Abraham (The Dagger and the Coin Book #1)

(Bane of Kings’ Review)

The dragons are gone, the powerful magics that broke the world diluted to little more than parlour tricks, but the kingdoms of men remain and the great game of thrones goes on. Lords deploy armies and merchant caravans as their weapons, manoeuvring for wealth and influence. But a darker power is rising – an unlikely leader with an ancient ally threatens to unleash again the madness that destroyed the world once already. Only one man knows the truth and, from the shadows, must champion humanity. The world’s fate stands on the edge of a Dagger, its future on the toss of a Coin . . .

You can check out this book here

Bane of Kings’ Verdict: 4.5/5

Next up, we’re moving onto Angry Robot Books, with a whole heap of fantastic novels that are released this month, with stuff ranging from a spandex-clad superhero to an Elizabethan England inhabited by not just humans, but also mysterious Skraylings. Enjoy!

  The Alchemist of Souls by Anne Lyle (The Night’s Masque #1)

(Bane of Kings and Shadowhawk’s Double Review)

When Tudor explorers returned from the New World, they brought back a name out of half-forgotten Viking legend: skraylings. Red-sailed ships followed in the explorers’ wake, bringing Native American goods – and a skrayling ambassador – to London. But what do these seemingly magical beings really want in Elizabeth I’s capital?

Mal Catlyn, a down-at-heel swordsman, is seconded to the ambassador’s bodyguard, but assassination attempts are the least of his problems. What he learns about the skraylings and their unholy powers could cost England her new ally – and Mal Catlyn his soul.

File Under: Fantasy [ Midsummer Magic | Skraylings | Double Trouble | Comedy of Terrors ]

You can check out this novel here.

Bane of Kings’ Verdict: 4.5/5

Shadowhawk’s Verdict: 9/10

Costume Not Included by Matthew Hughes (To Hell and Back #2)

Chesney’s efforts to ‘Save the Day’ and ‘Win the Girl’ make slow progress. This superhero lark is a bit more complicated than he thought.

But even as Chesney is trying to learn the ropes, Boss Greeley has made a deal with the Devil. A deal that is making Greeley stronger by the minute. Soon he will be untouchable. Meanwhile Reverend Hardacre digs deeper and finds that not everything in reality is quite what it seems…

Now Chesney, the one-time actuary-turned superhero must continue the fight.

File Under: Fantasy [ Everything’s Meta | Britney’s Peers | Dance With The Devil | The Demonic Duo ]

You can check out this novel here.

Bane of Kings’ Projected Verdict: 3.5/5


  Omega Point by Guy Hayley (Richards and Klein #2)

(Shadowhawk’s Review)

The second Richards & Klein Investigation

The powerful artificial intelligence designated k52 has a plan to take over the world.

If it were to create an artificial reality based on our own universe it could theoretically gain enough data to be able to alter reality itself, turning k52 into the ultimate arbiter of mankind’s fate.

It’s down to Richards and Klein to stop k52 – even though the alternative could be worse!

File Under: Science Fiction [ Ghost In The Machine | Where’s Waldo? | Consulting Defective | Robot Death ]

You can check out this book here.

Shadowhawk’s Verdict: 8/10

Bane of Kings’ Projected Verdict: 4/5

That’s all from our regular publishers, Black Library, Orbit and Angry Robot. Now, our next two books are both science fiction, both published by Solaris Books, but only one of them is written by Guy Hayley, author of the above Omega Point. That’s right folks, Guy Hayley has two books, from different publishers, that came out last month, and both books you should have read. So, without further ado, here is book number two:

  Champion of Mars by Guy Hayley

In the far future, Mars dies a second time. The Final War between man and the spirits is beginning. In a last bid for peace, disgraced champion Yoechakanon Val Mora and his spirit lover Cybele are set free to find the long-missing Libararian of Mars, the only hope to save the remnants of mankind.

In the near-future Dr Holland, a scientist running from a painful past, joins the Mars colonisation effort, cataloguing the remnants of Mars’ biosphere before it is swept away by the terraformation programme. When an artefact is discovered deep in the caverns of the red planet, the actions of Holland and his team lead to tragedy, with profound consequences that ripple throughout time, affecting Holland’s present, the distant days of Yoechakenon, and the eras that brige the aeons between.
You can check out this book here.
Bane of Kings’ Projected Verdict: 4/5
  Age of Aztec by James Lovegrove (The Pantheon Series #4)

The date is 4 Jaguar 1 Monkey 1 House – November 25th 2012 by the old reckoning – and the Aztec Empire rules the world.

The Aztecs’ reign is one of cruel and ruthless oppression, encompassing regular human sacrifice. In the jungle-infested city of London, one man defies them: the masked vigilante known as the Conquistador.

Then the Conquistador is recruited to spearhead an uprising, and discovers a terrible truth. The clock is ticking. Apocalypse looms, unless the Conquistador can help assassinate the mysterious, immortal Aztec emperor, the Great Speaker. But his mission is complicated by Mal Vaughn, a police detective who is on his trail, determined to bring him to justice.
You can check out this novel here.
Bane of Kings’ Projected Verdict: 4.5/5



Milo, aka Bane of Kings, is a SFF/Comic reader, and watches a lot of TV. His favourite authors are Neil Gaiman, China Mieville, Jim Butcher, Brandon Sanderson & Iain M. Banks, whilst his favourite TV shows are Battlestar Galactica (2003), Person Of Interest, Firefly, Game of Thrones, & Buffy the Vampire Slayer