From the New York Times–bestselling “standard-bearer for alternate history”: A spy takes on the enemies of the Byzantine Empire (USA Today). In another, very different timeline—one in which Mohammed embraced Christianity and Islam never came to be—the Byzantine Empire still flourishes in the fourteenth century, and wondrous technologies are emerging earlier than they did in our own. Having lost his family to the ravages of smallpox, Basil Argyros has decided to dedicate his life to Byzantium. A stalwart soldier and able secret agent, Basil serves his emperor courageously, going undercover to unearth Persia’s dastardly plots and disrupting the dark machinations of his beautiful archenemy, the Persian spy Mirrane, while defusing dire threats emerging from the Western realm of the Franco-Saxons. But the world Basil so staunchly defends is changing rapidly, and he must remain ever vigilant, for in this great game of empires, the player who controls the most advanced tools and weaponry—tools like gunpowder, printing, vaccines, and telescopes—must certainly emerge victorious. A collection of interlocking stories that showcase the courage, ingenuity, and breathtaking derring-do of superspy Basil Argyros, Agent of Byzantium presents the great Harry Turtledove at his alternate-world-building best. At once intricate, exciting, witty, and wildly inventive, this is a many-faceted gem from a master of the genre.
In the vein of Wicked, The Woodcutter, and Boy, Snow, Bird, a luminous reimagining of a classic tale, told from the perspective of Agnes, Cinderella’s "evil" stepmother.
We all know the story of Cinderella. Or do we?
As rumors about the cruel upbringing of beautiful newlywed Princess Cinderella roil the kingdom, her stepmother, Agnes, who knows all too well about hardship, privately records the true story. . . .
A peasant born into serfdom, Agnes is separated from her family and forced into servitude as a laundress’s apprentice when she is only ten years old. Using her wits and ingenuity, she escapes her tyrannical matron and makes her way toward a hopeful future. When teenaged Agnes is seduced by an older man and becomes pregnant, she is transformed by love for her child. Once again left penniless, Agnes has no choice but to return to servitude at the manor she thought she had left behind. Her new position is nursemaid to Ella, an otherworldly infant. She struggles to love the child who in time becomes her stepdaughter and, eventually, the celebrated princess who embodies everyone’s unattainable fantasies. The story of their relationship reveals that nothing is what it seems, that beauty is not always desirable, and that love can take on many guises.
Lyrically told, emotionally evocative, and brilliantly perceptive, All the Ever Afters explores the hidden complexities that lie beneath classic tales of good and evil, all the while showing us that how we confront adversity reveals a more profound, and ultimately more important, truth than the ideal of "happily ever after."
Michael Crichton, the #1 New York Times bestselling author of Jurassic Park, returns to the world of paleontology in this recently discovered novel—a thrilling adventure set in the Wild West during the golden age of fossil hunting.
The year is 1876. Warring Indian tribes still populate America’s western territories even as lawless gold-rush towns begin to mark the landscape. In much of the country it is still illegal to espouse evolution. Against this backdrop two monomaniacal paleontologists pillage the Wild West, hunting for dinosaur fossils, while surveilling, deceiving and sabotaging each other in a rivalry that will come to be known as the Bone Wars.
Into this treacherous territory plunges the arrogant and entitled William Johnson, a Yale student with more privilege than sense. Determined to survive a summer in the west to win a bet against his arch-rival, William has joined world-renowned paleontologist Othniel Charles Marsh on his latest expedition. But when the paranoid and secretive Marsh becomes convinced that William is spying for his nemesis, Edwin Drinker Cope, he abandons him in Cheyenne, Wyoming, a locus of crime and vice. William is forced to join forces with Cope and soon stumbles upon a discovery of historic proportions. With this extraordinary treasure, however, comes exceptional danger, and William’s newfound resilience will be tested in his struggle to protect his cache, which pits him against some of the West’s most notorious characters.
A page-turner that draws on both meticulously researched history and an exuberant imagination, Dragon Teeth is based on the rivalry between real-life paleontologists Cope and Marsh; in William Johnson readers will find an inspiring hero only Michael Crichton could have imagined. Perfectly paced and brilliantly plotted, this enormously winning adventure is destined to become another Crichton classic.
Hailed as one of the greatest novels of all time and a classic of world literature, War and Peace is a tale of strivers in a world fraught with conflict, social and political change, and spiritual confusion, Tolstoy's magnificent work continues to entertain, enlighten, and inspire readers around the world. Both an intimate study of individual passions and an epic history of Russia and its people, 'War and Peace' is nothing more or less than a complete portrait of human existence.
Among its many unforgettable characters is Prince Andrey Bolkonsky, a proud, dashing man who, despising the artifice of high society, joins the army to achieve glory. Badly wounded at Austerlitz, he begins to discover the emptiness of everything to which he has devoted himself. His death scene is considered one of the greatest passages in Russian literature. Terror swiftly engulfs the country as Napoleon's army marches on Russia, and the lives of three young people are changed forever. The stories of quixotic Pierre, cynical Andrey and impetuous Natasha interweave with a huge cast, from aristocrats and peasants, to soldiers and Napoleon himself. In War and Peace (1868-9), Tolstoy entwines grand themes—conflict and love, birth and death, free will and fate.
The ninth installment of Bernard Cornwell’s bestselling series chronicling the epic saga of the making of England, “like Game of Thrones, but real” (The Observer, London)—the basis for The Last Kingdom, the hit television series coming to Netflix in Fall 2016.
A fragile peace reigns in Wessex, Mercia and East Anglia. King Alfred’s son Edward and formidable daughter, Aethelflaed, rule the kingdoms. But all around the restless Northmen, eyeing the rich lands and wealthy churches, are mounting raids.
Uhtred of Bebbanburg, the kingdoms’ greatest warrior, controls northern Mercia from the strongly fortified city of Chester. But forces are gathering against him. Northmen allied to the Irish, led by the fierce warrior Ragnall Ivarson, are soon joined by the Northumbrians, and their strength could prove overwhelming. Despite the gathering threat, both Edward and Aethelflaed are reluctant to move out of the safety of their fortifications. But with Uhtred’s own daughter married to Ivarson’s brother, who can be trusted?
In the struggle between family and loyalty, between personal ambition and political commitment, there will be no easy path. But a man with a warrior’s courage may be able to find it. Such a man is Uhtred, and this may be his finest hour.
Borman’s latest book, The Private Lives of the Tudors, was a New York Times Book Review Editors’ Choice and published in hardcover to strong sales and favorable reviews, cited as an “authoritative work” (New York Times Book Review) and “riveting history” (O, The Oprah Magazine). The book was the basis for a multi-part documentary series, hosted by Borman, which aired on British television in June 2016.
Americans continue to be fascinated by the Tudors, from the Showtime dramatic series to Philippa Gregory and Hilary Mantel’s novels (and their TV and stage adaptations). The King’s Witch will appeal to readers of Mantel’s Wolf Hall and Bring Up the Bodies, Alison Weir’s Six Tudor Queens series, and Gregory’s The Last Tudor.
HBO is producing a three-part mini-series entitled Gunpowder that focuses on the Gunpowder Plot of 1605, which is also the culmination of Borman’s novel. The adaptation is premiering in December 2017 in the U.S. and includes many of the real-life characters also seen in The King’s Witch, such as Robert Catesby, King James I, and Guy Fawkes.
Borman is the joint Chief Curator of Historic Royal Palaces in the UK, working daily in the palaces that formed the private world of the Tudors.
Desperate times call for desperate measures in Kalteis’s lightning-fast crime caper story
Sonny and Clara Myers struggle on their Kansas farm in the late 1930s, a time the Lord gave up on: their land’s gone dry, barren, and worthless; the bankers are greedy and hungry, trying to squeeze them and other farmers out of their homes; and, on top of that, their marriage is in trouble. The couple can struggle and wither along with the land or surrender to the bankers and hightail it to California like most of the others. Clara is all for leaving, but Sonny refuses to abandon the family farm.
In a fit of temper, she takes off westward in their old battered truck. Alone on the farm and determined to get back Clara and the good old days, Sonny comes up with an idea, a way to keep his land and even prosper while giving the banks a taste of their own misery. He sets the scheme in motion under the cover of the commotion being caused by a rainmaker hired by the mayor to call down the thunder and wash away everyone’s troubles.
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