Staff Picks by Tag

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Magic for Liars: A Novel Cover Image
ISBN: 9781250174611
Availability: Coming soon - available for pre-order now
Published: Tor Books - June 4th, 2019

If The Dresden Files and The Magicians had a book baby, this would be it. Our heroine is an ordinary private eye hired to solve a murder at a boarding school for magical teenagers. Unfortunately, it's also the school where her magical twin sister, Tabitha, works. As Ivy gets further involved in the inner workings of the school, its faculty, and its students, she questions her sanity and skill. Can she keep up appearances, find the killer, and reunite with Tabitha?


Excellent storytelling with a plot that had me guessing "whodunnit" until the last 50 pages.

Review by Danielle

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Black Leopard, Red Wolf (The Dark Star Trilogy #1) Cover Image
ISBN: 9780735220171
Availability: On our shelves now at one or more of our stores
Published: Riverhead Books - February 5th, 2019

"Truth is just another story." Herein lies, Tracker's testimony.


A nose for hire who loves no one and believes in nothing, Tracker is recruited by his shape-shifting friend, Leopard, to find a missing boy of mysterious origin. However, truth turns out to be a slippery thing and is always in contention as Tracker struggles to unravel the real reason behind the quest as well as his own motivations for continuing the journey. Who is right and who is wrong? What is truth? Why this child? Half-truths, hidden intentions, unreliable characters and his own mouth are constant sources of conflict for Tracker.


While containing all the classic elements of a fantasy novel (a fellowship, a quest, magical lands, etc.), Marlon James concocts a wholly original tale infused with African myth and lore. James has woven a rich and complex epic packed with violent action and nightmarish creatures both known and unknown.


Warning: This book will demand your full attention, but it's oh so worth it. Rated R.

Review by Laura

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Spellslinger Cover Image
ISBN: 9780316525756
Availability: On our shelves now at one or more of our stores
Published: Orbit - July 17th, 2018

De Castell's Spellslinger series is an adventure to take: magic, intrigue, exile, friends, enemies, frenemies, and eyeball eating Squirrel-Cats. The series has it all. I blazed my way through the first four books of Kellen's journeys and the fifth is almost here (out in May!).

Review by Alex

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A Winter's Promise: Book One of the Mirror Visitor Quartet Cover Image
ISBN: 9781609454838
Availability: On our shelves now at one or more of our stores
Published: Europa Editions - September 25th, 2018

I think I’ve been waiting all my life to find this book. Or, perhaps, I’ve just been waiting for it to find me. With any translated novel there's a kind of unnameable wonder. So, I don’t know if it’s just the beauty of the translation itself from its original French text or something else entirely, but I haven’t read a book this magically alive since Harry Potter. Think of all your expectations of what a fantasy novel can be and know that this novel will surpass every single one. Gah! So this is love.

Review by Claire

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Fire Logic: An Elemental Logic Novel Cover Image
ISBN: 9781618730886
Availability: On our shelves now at one or more of our stores
Published: Small Beer Press - January 29th, 2019

I love almost everything put out by Small Beer Press, and when I got a copy of Fire Logic in the mail, I read it and immediately blazed through the rest of the series. Fire Logic is the first in an epic fantasy series about a brutal civil war where every character and plot point pivots around history, philosophy, and the aftermath of violence. It's gentler, in later books, and slower than series like Erika Johansen's Tearling books or Ann Leckie's Radch series (though if you like Kalr 5 and her tea cups, you'll also love Garland and his ladle). The questions these books ask repeatedly are, what systems are working to narrow our choices? And what kind of radical thinking will allow us to see another path?

Review by Christina

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The Last Sun (The Tarot Sequence #1) Cover Image
ISBN: 9781633884236
Availability: On our shelves now at one or more of our stores
Published: Pyr - June 12th, 2018

I know you need something super gay, magical, and dramatic to start your new year off appropriately. The Last Sun is a tarot-inspired (yes!) noir-fantasy mashup starring a moody fallen prince and his foul-mouthed bodyguard that you will love. Rune and Brand eke out an uneasy existence as mercenaries and criminal dogsbodies, but when they're hired to find a nobleman's missing heir they're plunged into deeper waters than ever before. In New Atlantis, the island kingdom built from a patchwork of scenery borrowed from the human world, the dead rise again, the courts go to war, and Rune must confront the bloody night that destroyed his family.

Review by Christina

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Strange the Dreamer Cover Image
ISBN: 9780316341677
Availability: On our shelves now at one or more of our stores
Published: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers - May 22nd, 2018

You won't want to miss a single sentence, word, not even one comma of this magical adventure. Goddesses, librarians, lost cities, adventures, fantastical dreams--have I convinced you yet? No? Well, then let me just add that this was hands down one of the most beautifully-written and imaginative books I've read in years (and, hold on to your hats folks, because the sequel is even better!). Now, what are you still doing here reading this review? Grab the book and start dreaming--I mean, reading!

Review by Claire

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Weaveworld Cover Image
ISBN: 9780743417358
Availability: On our shelves now at one or more of our stores
Published: Gallery Books - April 2001

Full disclosure: this is my desert island book. Clive Barker (my future husband) displays the fecundity of his imagination by creating a dark fantasy epic on the scale of Tolkien full of deliciously sacrilegious subtext. The characters and scenes within have woven themselves into my psyche never to be unraveled. Thank Goddess.  

Review by Dean

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Empire of Sand (The Books of Ambha) Cover Image
ISBN: 9780316449717
Availability: On our shelves now at one or more of our stores
Published: Orbit - November 13th, 2018

The first in the Books of Ambha, this is an epic fantasy based in Mughal India. Mehr is a young Ambhan noblewoman with the magic of her exiled Amrithi mother running through her veins. Although Amrithi have always been feared and misunderstood for their power, now huge numbers of them are disappearing. To protect her family, Mehr strikes a deal that proves to be more complicated than she could have imagined. Suri has woven an exciting tale of embracing your heritage and acknowledging your privilege, being true to yourself and doing what's right.

Review by Kitri

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Trail of Lightning (The Sixth World #1) Cover Image
ISBN: 9781534413504
Availability: On our shelves now at one or more of our stores
Published: Gallery / Saga Press - June 26th, 2018

Forces--both natural and man made--have changed the world as we know it. Large swaths of the US are gone, and monsters and gods walk the earth. The Dinetah (the Navajo Nation) are now the dominant group--among them Maggie Hoskie, a trained monster hunter. When dark magic rises, Maggie reluctantly pairs with a smooth-talking medicine man named Kai to take it on. Roanhorse's debut is vivid, detailed, raw and human. Her characters are delightfully flawed, the world well-built, with a twisty plot and fast pace. I'm a hard sell when it comes to post-apocalyptic stories, but I loved this one. (And while you're waiting for the sequel, check out Killer of Enemies by Joseph Bruhac!)

Review by Lish