Spell, Magic and Fantasy
Laurell K. Hamilton
Penguin Group (USA); February 2006
Tough-as-nails vampire executioner and necromancer Anita Blake is back and hotter than ever in Laurell K. Hamilton's newest, Micahher first Vampire Hunter original paperback release in almost a decade. This stand-alone novel explores the hunky wereleopard Micah's mysterious past and his increasingly intense and complex relationship with Anita. When one of Anita's friends, federal marshal and fellow necromancer Larry Kirkland, is called away because of a family emergency, Anita is forced to fill in for a reanimation in Philadelphia involving a federal witness who died of a heart attack before he could testify in court. As Anita has an irrational fear of flying, one of Anita's lovers, Micah Callahan, a lethally attractive wereleopard with mesmerizing chartreuse eyes, volunteers to accompany her to the City of Brotherly Love for the nocturnal zombie raising. Far away from St. Louis and Anita's bevy of supernatural lovers, she and Micah get to share some intimate one-on-one time with powerfully moving results. After raising a little hell in the hotel room, Anita travels to the Philadelphia cemetery to raise the dead, only to be faced with her wildest, most unexpected zombie reanimation to date. Addictively readable this enlightening glimpse into Micah's past and future with his oversexed leopard queen will surely be a lip-smacking treat for the millions of ravenous Anita Blake fans. Highly recommended, as is an ice-cold shower afterward.
Good Omens: The Nice and Accurate Prophecies of Agnes Nutter, Witch
Neil Gaiman & Terry Pratchett
HarperCollins Publishers; February 2006
There is a distinct hint of Armageddon in the air. According to The Nice and Accurate Prophecies of Agnes Nutter, Witch (recorded, thankfully, in 1655, before she blew up her entire village and all its inhabitants, who had gathered to watch her burn), the world will end on a Saturday. Next Saturday, in fact. So the armies of Good and Evil are amassing, the Four Bikers of the Apocalypse are revving up their mighty hogs and hitting the road, and the world's last two remaining witch-finders are getting ready to fight the good fight, armed with awkwardly antiquated instructions and stick pins. Atlantis is rising, frogs are falling, tempers are flaring. Everything appears to be going according to Divine Plan. Except that a somewhat fussy angel and a fast-living demon, each of whom has lived among Earth's mortals for many millennia and has grown rather fond of the lifestyle are not particularly looking forward to the coming Rapture. If Crowley and Aziraphale are going to stop it from happening, they've got to find and kill the Antichrist (which is a shame, as he's a really nice kid). There's just one glitch: someone seems to have misplaced him.
One Good Knight
Luna; March 2006
One Good Knight, the second novel to take place in Mercedes Lackey's realm of the Five Hundred Kingdoms (and sequel to 2004's The Fairy Godmother), takes two popular mythsthe Greek legend of Andromeda and Perseus, and the medieval fable of St. George and the Dragon, and turns them upside down and inside out. Andromeda is the daughter of the cold and calculating Cassiopeia, the queen of Acadia, one of the lesser-known Five Hundred Kingdoms. Life as a princess, however, isn't exactly exciting, what with all the restrictions and responsibilities. But when a dragon suddenly begins attacking Acadian villages and wreaking havoc, Cassiopeia with the help of Andromeda's adept research and the Queen's Council's advice resorts to a desperate move: while awaiting a Champion to save the people of Acadia, Cassiopeia begins offering virgins to the dragon. The only fair way to choose whom to sacrifice is a lottery, but when Andromeda's name is drawn, her only hope is to be rescued by a tall, dark and handsome Champion. Tradition, however, in the Five Hundred Kingdoms is decidedly untraditional. Readers who like a little romance in their fantasy or a little fantasy in their romance will thoroughly enjoy Lackey's genre-blending Tales of the "Five Hundred Kingdoms" saga.
Compiled by: Sanyat Sattar
(R) thedailystar.net 2006