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Latest Recommended Books

Cumulative '97 Recommended SF novels | Fantasy/Horror novels | First Novels | Collections | Anthologies | Nonfiction & art books | Reprints

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Cumulative '97 Recommended Novellas | Novelettes | Short Stories

1997 Fantasy & Horror Novels

The Eagle and the Sword, A.A. Attanasio (HarperPrism 6/97, $14.00, tp) Unusual Arthurian fantasy with an unlikeable adolescent king-in-the-making, images and ideas drawn from SF, and the trademark Attanasian exoticism; part of an ongoing series where the author rethinks British legendry.

Winter Tides, James P. Blaylock (Ace 8/97, $21.95, hc) Dark fantasy with an earthly villain, a malevolent ghost, and a theater troupe in a mild yet menacing Southern California winter, where the shivers come from within.

Lady of Avalon, Marion Zimmer Bradley (Viking 6/97, $24.95, hc) Pre-Arthurian fantasy novel linking the worlds of Bradley's acclaimed Mists of Avalon and Forest House, as it tells of three holy women in Roman Britain.

The Shadow Matrix, Marion Zimmer Bradley (DAW 8/97, $22.95, hc) Swashbuckling and romance enliven this new "Darkover" novel, a sequel to Exile's Song.

Running With the Demon, Terry Brooks (Del Rey 9/97, $25.95, hc) A knight and a demon contest over the soul of a 14-year-old girl on a hot Fourth of July weekend in Hopewell, Illinois, in this atypical dark fantasy more influenced by Barker than by Tolkien.

Freedom & Necessity, Steve Brust & Emma Bull (Tor 3/97, $25.95, hc) Echoes of Shakespeare, and political debate, are taken back to an alternate mid-19th-century England as romance flourishes amid intrigue and philosophical discussion, in this quasi-historical, fantasy-tinged work from the viewpoints of four strong, memorable characters.

Wizard of the Winds, Allan Cole (Del Rey 7/97, $12.95, tp) Fantasy novel, written in a humorously sarcastic Leiberian vein, of an orphaned prince and a young sorcerer coming into their powers, for good and ill.

Briar Rose, Robert Coover (Grove Press 2/97, $18.00, hc) Literary novella take on ''Sleeping Beauty'', featuring a dreaming beauty, the fairy in her dreams, and a prince trapped in the briars.

Bijapur, Kara Dalkey (Tor 4/97, $23.95, hc) Fantasy novel, sequel to Goa, also set during the Inquisition, but in the Portuguese colony, in which the British hero moves deeper into the dangerous, exotic interior of India, and political intrigue mixes with magic.

Trader, Charles de Lint (Tor 2/97, $24.95, hc) When an amorous wastrel and an honest lute-maker awake in each other's bodies, in de Lint's fictional Canadian city of Newford, Devlin the lady-killer prospers, while Max Trader the luthier must learn to make the best of a bad situation, with the help of new friends.

Lord of the Isles, David Drake (Tor 8/97, $25.95, hc) Drake begins a new epic fantasy series, introducing a large cast of complex characters in a broad yet convincingly detailed setting where mighty sorcery would be a thing of the past ... if not for a few strange survivors.

My Soul to Keep, Tananarive Due (HarperCollins 7/97, $24.00, hc) Dark fantasy of a Miami investigative reporter who finds her perfect man, an immortal, only to find she must pay a price to gain eternal life.

Future Indefinite, Dave Duncan (Avon 8/97, $23.00, hc) In this conclusion of the "Great Game" fantasy trilogy, Duncan's earthly hero becomes the prophesied messiah of a religion in the making on the world known as Nextdoor, in an adventure which also offers witty insights into humanity, ethics, and more.

King's Dragon, Kate Elliott (DAW 2/97, $22.95, hc) A land faces both civil war and otherworldly interventions, with a young couple in the midst of it all, in Volume One of ''Crown of Stars'', to begin Elliott's first solo epic fantasy.

The Seventh Heart, Marina Fitch (Ace 6/97, $5.99, pb) Contemporary fantasy novel where California disasters result from some disgruntled spirits of place, and the heroine must try to cope with both the difficulties of daily life and a fantastical search for solutions. A first novel.

Neverwhere, Neil Gaiman (Avon 7/97, $24.00, hc) Surreal dark fantasy of an ordinary young man thrust into a strangely transformed London and its labyrinthine Underground.

Assassin's Quest, Robin Hobb (Bantam Spectra 4/97, $22.95, hc) The "Assassin" fantasy trilogy concludes with a journey into strange realms, numerous surprises, and a bittersweet complexity rare in the genre. Hobb (aka Megan Lindholm) has worked wonders.

The Barbed Coil, J.V. Jones (Warner Aspect 9/97, $22.00, hc) Violent action meets complex, well-drawn characters in this stand-alone fantasy novel of a modern woman swept away to a dark world of magic.

The Blackgod, J. Gregory Keyes (Del Rey 4/97, $24.00, hc) In this dramatic sequel to The Waterborn, inspired by Native American and ancient myths, Keyes creates complex characters where even the villains are likeable, and best of all, this volume completes the duology!

The Dark Tower IV: Wizard and Glass, Stephen King (Donald M. Grant, $45.00, hc) Even if most of it turns out to be a vast prequel to the main story, this latest volume of King's major fantasy series combines splendid writing, tragic doomed romance, and gonzo framing episodes, along with wonderfully dark, sophisticated full-color illustrations by Dave McKean.

Blood and Chocolate, Annette Klause (Delacorte 9/97, $13.45, hc) Young-adult werewolf novel of a young female shapechanger who falls for a human boy, and dark magic takes on elements of vivid romance.

The Dark Shore, Adam Lee (Avon 4/97, $13.00, tp) Writing under a pen-name, SF writer A. A. Attanasio introduces a floating city under attack, and begins a large fantasy sage, "The Dominions of Irth".

Merlin's Gift, Ian McDowell (AvoNova 8/97, $5.99, pb) The unorthodox, darkly fantastic take on the Arthurian saga that began in Mordred's Curse continues in this new volume from the perspective of King Arthur's bastard son.

The Moon and the Sun, Vonda McIntyre (Pocket 9/97, $23.00, hc) History, fantasy, and an almost SFnal take on a mythic, singing sea creature combine in this impressive novel set in the Versailles of Louis XIV, the Sun King.

Rose Daughter, Robin McKinley (Greenwillow 9/97, $16.00, hc) Acclaimed for Beauty, her first retelling of "Beauty and the Beast", now McKinley has returned to the tale for an entirely new, more complex, version.

Dry Water, Eric S. Nylund (Avon 2/97, $12.50, tp) A science fiction writer inadvertantly gets involved with a dark magic that permits tinkering with the past, in an American Southwest infused with Old World mysteries.

The Subtle Knife, Philip Pullman (Knopf 8/97, $20.00, hc) The continuing saga that began with The Golden Compass grows even more menacing and complex in this second volume of "His Dark Materials", as two children search for their lost fathers amid the dangers of a number of fantastic realms.

The Stars Dispose, Michaela Roessner (Tor 4/97, $23.95, hc) A thoroughly charming, witty, and delicious historical fantasy of Renaissance Florence, where politics, witchery, art, and cuisine all mingle -- and the recipes are included.

Beneath the Vaulted Hills, Sean Russell (DAW 9/97, $24.95, hc) This prequel to World Without End introduces new series "The River Into Darkness", where science and magic are dangerously at odds in an exotic world.

Ever: The War in the Waste, Felicity Savage (HarperPrism 9/97, $14.00, tp) First in a new fantasy series set in a world peculiarly like our own in the early days of the Industrial Revolution -- with daemons as a substitute for steam power.

Dogland, Will Shetterly (Tor 6/97, $25.95, hc) Fictionalized autobiography with touches of magical realism, this novel portrays a boy's early years in a South on the brink of tumultuous change.

Sorcerers of Majipoor, Robert Silverberg (HarperPrism 8/97, $23.00, hc) The vast, colorful world of Majipoor is threatened as never before when its many races are drawn toward war in this distant prequel to the "Lord Valentine" series.

Thessalonica, Harry Turtledove (Baen 1/97, $5.99, pb) Here Turtledove takes on fantasy in the manner of Thomas Burnett Swann, featuring a Christian shoemaker in an ancient world beset by both Greek gods and pagan demons.

City on Fire, Walter Jon Williams (HarperPrism 1/97, $22.00, hc) Urban fantasy novel of a world city powered by Plasm, sequel to Metropolitan.

Waking Beauty, Paul Witcover (HarperPrism 2/97, $24.00, hc) On a patriarchal world, the scent of Beauty can draw men to their doom at night, and women the long-time caretakers are moving toward rebellion, in this mixture of fairytale and worldbuilding by a first novelist who melds religion, fairytale, and the battle of the sexes with a sophistication recalling Gene Wolfe.