Jewel Markess, Jay, is an orphan living on the streets of Averalaan when she steals from Ararath. Rath has spent his life avoiding personal relationships so he's not sure why he follows her beyond a vague sense that something is different about Jay. When she falls ill he keeps her at his apartment telling himself it's only until she recovers. It's hard to categorize Rath since he's a bit of a confidence man, thief, spy, and scholar. But when he needs money he delves into the undercity, the silent ancient city below Averalaan, that only Rath knows about. Then one night Jay warns him, as he goes to sell some pieces from the undercity, that he's meeting a man who will have him followed. Now Rath has two puzzles. Who is this man that wants to kill him and how did Jay know?
The Books of the Raksura series tells the story of Moon, who is a Raksura but doesn't know it, that is living amongst groundlings and hiding his secret. Moon is able to change form into a fiercely strong winged creature capable of flight, but one that unfortunately resembles the dreaded Fell. The Fell are an evil race of beings that are hated by all others and are responsible for the destruction of many cities of many races. They are the ultimate predator and consider all other beings in the world to be their prey. This resemblance causes Moon to be generally distrusted and he has been cast out of multiple settlements when they start to suspect that he is different and might have some ties to the Fell. He finds himself leading a somewhat nomadic life as he is tormented by the fact that he doesn't know why he is different, but he is certain that he isn't a Fell. Right?
Imagine a world where your nightmares and darkest thoughts take form. Welcome to Erna. Damien Vryce is both a priest and a sorcerer. The Church was formed to focus human thought on the greater good in the hopes that the fae forces of Erna would reflect that belief. But many tap into the earth fae and shape it into sorcery. Damien bridges both concepts. Something of the fae attacks and steals the memory of a Lore Master Adept named Ciani that Damien was flirting with. As Damien is tracking it down he meets a mysterious and sinister adept named Gerald Tarrant who is following the same trail. Gerald wears the oldest symbol of the Church, a disc depicting Earth, but his sorcery consists of something he calls Coldfire, he cannot bear sunlight, and he feeds on fear. As they say, the enemy of my enemy is my friend. Like one of Brandon Sanderson's books the world and magic are completely original and very well thought out.
Elantris, Brandon Sanderson’s first widely distributed book, is named after the ruined city of Elantris, which is the focus of the story. A standalone fantasy novel, the book won the Romantic Times award for best epic fantasy of 2005, was chosen by Barnes and Noble editors as the best fantasy or sf book of the year, and has been released in twenty languages. It is an excellent book and a stand alone story, despite the fact that Brandon does plan to eventually write a sequel. This book started the career of one of the best Fantasy writers alive today and you should not miss out on reading it.
Kaylin Neya is a Hawk, the police arm of the Halls of Law in the city of Elantra. She is always oversleeping, never finds time to do her laundry, and can't be bothered to style her hair. Kaylin is brash, impatient, ignorant, and almost suicidally tactless. Kaylin is very human. She is also covered in ancient writing that gives her enormous power to heal or destroy. Kaylin is the Chosen, though no one has ever explained who chose her or why.
Gen thought it was a good idea to brag about his thieving skills in a wine shop and declare he would prove himself by stealing the King's seal. Which he did. Unfortunately, agents of the King had heard his boasting and thus he finds himself in prison for a while. Then the Magus, chief advisor to the King of Sounis, offers him freedom if he steals an unspecified item from an unknown place. Again Gen says he can steal anything and joins the Magus in a small party heading to a mysterious destination.
Castillar Lupe dy Cazaril feels broken in both body and spirit. After fighting through several wars and then pulling an oar as a galley slave he's finally walking back to the last place he felt at "home". He's 35 going on 70 and his whole desire is a quiet comfortable place to hide. But the gods have need of a good man....
During the 1800s, Arthur Conan Doyle, Mary Shelley, and Bram Stoker all created iconic literary characters. The newspapers were covering sensational murderers such as Jack the Ripper and "Burke and Hare" who killed to sell the bodies to anatomists. Roger Zelazny's last novel, A Night in the Lonesome October, is a whimsical tribute to these roots of the horror and detective genres. For obvious reasons, it's the perfect October read.
Tad Williams offers up a modern view of the struggle between heaven and hell and in his version of the conflict things aren't quite as black and white as you would imagine. Angel Doloriel (Bobby Dollar) is unlike any angel you've ever read about before and his heavenly assignment is to be an advocate for the recently departed. He is responsible for pleading the case on behalf of the deceased's soul to ensure their final judgment results in a trip to heaven or no worse than minimal time in purgatory.
Take what you know about "urban fantasy" and throw it out the nearest window. Rae Seddon, nicknamed Sunshine, lives in a world that has always known magic, vampires, weres, and demons. Sunshine sucks you in with a detailed narrative that is almost stream of consciousness. Rae introduces us to the family coffee shop, its employees, and patrons in fun but very realistic detail. She's just an ordinary baker wishing she didn't have to get up at 4am...until she's taken by the darkest of Others, vampires.