Prince Kellor, cursed by the troll-witch Mandine to live as a north-bear, wrestles with the challenges of his beast form. Pain wracks his body. Unpredictable rages blur his mind. And straight thinking proves elusive, confusing his search for the loopholes that every curse possesses.
His curse turns on the choices of his childhood friend Elle. She once shared Kellor's idyllic rambles through the wilderlands. She now loves all things musical. Might Kellor persuade her to neglect her own dreams to confront his lethal nightmare? Should he?
But no troll-witch permits her prey to escape with ease. The illusory loopholes in Mandine's curse all twist back to its entombing heart.
J.M. Ney Grimm tells a lyrical Beauty and the Beast tale, rife with moments of shining glory, dark magnificence, and unexpected significance. The fate of an empire, a people, and a world unfurls from Kellor's deeds and Elle's choices.
PRAISE FOR TROLL-MAGIC
"...Troll-magic has a certain poetic style I've yet to come across elsewhere. Descriptions are...evocative, characters are natural and complex..." — James J. Parsons
"This is the kind of book that you keep thinking about... All through the day you will find yourself hoping for just a few minutes to pick it up again. Loosely based on a familiar folk tale, the world depicted is magical, but the people are very real." — M.A. Dunn
"Troll-magic was a fun read... This story mixes adventure, romance, life lessons and, of course, magic. J.M. Ney-Grimm has created a fascinating new world. Her detailed descriptions and colourful writing style bring the world of Silmaren and the Norse-lands right off the page and into life." — W. Walsh
"Her work compares favorably with Robin McKinley and Patricia McKillip... if you're looking for an intelligent, fun and interesting read, I highly recommend this book." — Mira
EXCERPT FROM TROLL-MAGIC
In darkness he touched his nose, felt his ears. Oh Sias! They were larger. More deformed. Horror shook his fingertips. What should he do? What could he do?
Chaotic memory gripped him. Stabbing tangerine light and agonizing pain. His body taken by unfathomable force and twisted, reshaped.
What was this? Where was this? None of it made sense. And the absolute blackness didn't help. He took a deep breath. And another. There. He was steadier now. Some sort of solution existed. He could sense it, just out of reach. Closing his eyes against the dark, he stretched his mind. He'd done . . . something . . . last . . . night? It didn't matter when. What was it he'd done? He tried again to call it to mind, pressing against the blankness in his thoughts. Breathing was part of it; patterned breathing. Which reminded him that holding his breath wouldn't help. Someone . . . a teacher, had told him that tension inhibited . . . something. He sighed. Patterned breathing. Fine, he would do some. He breathed out to a slow count of three, then in for the same.
And then he had it. Patterned breathing and patterning. He was a pattern-master. Or, at least, an apprentice one. And he'd done . . . not patterning, last night, but a forbidden version of it. Something other.
When the last of members of a secretive Druid cult are forced to abandon their hidden sanctuary, they send the youngest of their remaining priests in search of Annwr, their chief priestess’s sister, who was abducted by a Saxon war band fifteen years ago. With only a rudimentary grasp of English and the ambiguous guidance of an oracle’s prophecy, Caelym manages to find Annwr living in a hut on the grounds of a Christian convent. Annwr has spent her years of captivity caring for the timid Aleswina, an orphaned Saxon princess who was consigned to the cloistered convent by her cousin, King Gilberth, after he assumed her father’s throne. Just as Caelym and Annwr are about leave together, Aleswina learns that Gilberth, a tyrant known for his cruelty and vicious temper, means to take her out of the convent and marry her. Terrified, she flees with the two Druids—beginning a heart-pounding adventure that unfolds in ways none of them could have anticipated.
'Starts off like a fired bullet and never lets up. A sheer delight' David Baldacci.
At a global tech gala hosted at the British Museum, scientist Tobias Hawke is due to unveil an astonishing breakthrough. His AI system appears to have reached consciousness, making Hawke the leading light in his field.
But when terrorists storm the building, they don't just leave chaos in their wake. They seize Hawke's masterwork, sparking a chain reaction of explosive events which could end the world as we know it.
Michael North, ex-assassin and spy-for-hire, must find the killers and recover the AI. But he can't do it alone. Hawke's wife, Esme, and teenage hacker, Fangfang, have their own reasons to help complete North's mission – and together they unravel a dark and deadly conspiracy which stretches right to the top of the British elite.
Can North survive long enough to uncover the whole truth? Or is it already too late for humanity?
REVIEWS FOR CURSE THE DAY:
'A slick, fast-paced thriller from a master storyteller ... Do yourself a favour and buy this book!' LJ Ross.
'A rip-roaring road trip into the dark heart of a corrupt, cynical British establishment' Financial Times.
'With a plot Fleming or Forsyth would be proud of and a hero to rival Jack Reacher, Curse the Day just might be the Thriller of the Year' Howard Linksey.
'Relentlessly plotted with a blistering pace, Curse the Day is a sharply drawn, gleefully witty conspiracy thriller. Tackling tomorrow's nightmare today, this is a superb novel' M.W. Craven.
'A brilliant technothriller that reads like a Bond movie, complete with terrific action sequences, memorable characters, and the fate of the world at stake ... The pace never lets up and the story stays with you long after the final page' Zoe Sharp.
'Packed with no-holds-barred action and memorable characters. It's a blast!' James Swallow.
PRAISE FOR JUDITH O'REILLY:
'A terrific future-shock thriller full of pace, tension, character, and emotion' Lee Child. 'Fast-paced and packed with action' Mick Herron. 'A high-octane plot that centres around the dark heart of British political power' Sunday Times. 'Thought-provoking, pacy and thrilling' Sunday Mirror. 'A gritty, action-packed, page-turner' Andy McNab. 'New thriller writers come and go. I suspect this lady will stick around'Frederick Forsyth. 'A constantly surprising, heart-felt, desperately exciting super-thriller – and a truly standout action-adventure novel ... Left me both smiling and breathless' Rob Parker.
It is the late twenty-first century, and Momo is the most celebrated dermal care technician in all of T City. Humanity has migrated to domes at the bottom of the sea to escape devastating climate change. The world is dominated by powerful media conglomerates and runs on exploited cyborg labor. Momo prefers to keep to herself, and anyway she’s too busy for other relationships: her clients include some of the city’s best-known media personalities. But after meeting her estranged mother, she begins to explore her true identity, a journey that leads to questioning the bounds of gender, memory, self, and reality.First published in Taiwan in 1995, The Membranes is a classic of queer speculative fiction in Chinese. Chi Ta-wei weaves dystopian tropes—heirloom animals, radiation-proof combat drones, sinister surveillance technologies—into a sensitive portrait of one young woman’s quest for self-understanding. Predicting everything from fitness tracking to social media saturation, this visionary and sublime novel stands out for its queer and trans themes. The Membranes reveals the diversity and originality of contemporary speculative fiction in Chinese, exploring gender and sexuality, technological domination, and regimes of capital, all while applying an unflinching self-reflexivity to the reader’s own role. Ari Larissa Heinrich’s translation brings Chi’s hybrid punk sensibility to all readers interested in books that test the limits of where speculative fiction can go.
In the quiet streets of Westminster, Rowanne's life is changed forever when a fateful encounter leads to her death. But when the enigmatic and brooding Alexander Black storms into her life like the North Wind, bringing her back from the brink, their two worlds collide in ways neither of them ever expected, and both their lives are irrevocably changed. The search for the truth about her own death, subsequent revival, and the mysterious family ties she discovers along the way, lead Rowanne down a dangerous path, and into whole other worlds. But can she trust the newcomer... or will the dark secrets he harbours destroy them both?
Imagine a world where everyone is the same. Ordinary people look and behave just like celebrities and influencers. The lower class shares the same privileges and consequences as the upper class. There is no separation among people and no isolation among cliques. No conflicts. No competition. No envy. A world where there is complete freedom to do anything and everything without consequences. A world where morality is forbidden and driven by unspoken rules of commonality. Imagine a world where differences and personalities become extinct. Imagine a world where conscience and emotions create destruction and death.
How do you stop being a thief? Zizy assumed quitting her job, stealing from her boss, and flitting magically across the continent was one way to give it a go.
Getting in and out of sticky situations is her specialty. A little spellwork here, a little deception there and she's home free. But even a quick-fingered, fast-talking, charming gnome can find danger . . . even if she does have the skills to keep herself from getting killed.
Pressed into a mission she can't say no to, Zizy feels desperate, out of place, and as lonely as before. But when she meets a charming book hoarder with bold curiosity, Zizy can't help but want to bring her along on this one last job. She'll just hide her past, her present, and the complicated info about herself. What could go wrong?
Either she finishes the job and protects those she loves, or it all falls apart. Is this journey the final key to unlock a new path or just another sticky situation she has to run from? She'll use every tool she's got to get what she wants.
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