Thursday, September 2, 2010

Speculative Previews ~ Haunted Legends; The Last Passage; Prospero in Hell; and The Sword of the Dawn


Never Ending book collection

The Never Ending Book Collection: 

A note on previews:  Previews tell our readers what we will be reviewing by giving you publisher data, author info, and purchasing links. I do the work so you don’t have to. Since its something I do anyway (I am such a nerd) why not share?  Our personal thoughts will come in the reviews for the books.

This preview list contains the following books sent for review:

  • Haunted Legends ~ edited by Ellen Datlow and Nick Mamatas
  • The Last Passage ~ by Anthony Huso
  • Prospero in Hell ( the second in the series) ~ by L. Jagi Lamplighter
  • The Sword of the Dawn (book 3 of the Hawkmoon saga) ~ by Micheal Moorcock

New Feature ~ Added to these previews will be a small personal “tidbit” about the book that I’ve found when researching for our previews. It will be at the bottom and designated by the format used in this announcement.


41eT1jbLdNL._SL500_AA300_About:  Darkly thrilling, these twenty new ghost stories have all the chills and power of traditional ghost stories, but each tale is a unique retelling of an urban legend from the world over.

Multiple award-winning editor Ellen Datlow and award-nominated author and editor Nick Mamatas recruited Jeffrey Ford, Ramsey Campbell, Joe R. Lansdale, Caitlin Kiernan, Catherynne M. Valente, Kit Reed, Ekaterina Sedia, and thirteen other fine writers to create stories unlike any they've written before. Tales to make readers shiver with fear, jump at noises in the night, keep the lights on.

These twenty nightmares, brought together by two renowned editors of the dark fantastic, are delightful visions sure to send shivers down the spines of horror readers.

  • Hardcover: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Tor Books (September 14, 2010)
  • Horror

Amazon pre purchasing links for US/Canada/and in paper back in the UK

ELLEN DATLOW has won eight World Fantasy Awards, two Bram Stoker Awards, the International Horror Guild Award, two Hugo Awards, and two Locus Awards for her work as an editor. In a career spanning more than twenty-five years, she has been the fiction editor of OMNI and SCIFI.COM. Datlow has edited many successful anthologies, including The Dark, The Coyote Road, and Inferno. She has also co-edited the Year’s Best Fantasy and Horror series, The Faery Reel, A Wolf at the Door, and Swan Sister. She lives in Manhattan.

NICK MAMATAS, co-editor of the groundbreaking fiction magazine Clarkesworld, lives in Northern California.

Layers of Thought:  Recently I have started reading an amazing horror short story collection edited by Datlow.  I am now a big fan due to the book – The Best Horror. Mamatas is also purportedly a dark “slip stream” aficionado.

The Haunted Legends collection has a number of dark fantasy and horror authors which are at the top of my list to read - Kiernan, Valente, Ford, and Lansdale. I am also getting the impression there may be some folklore involved. *silly happy grin*



About:  The city of Isca is set like a dark jewel in the crown of the Duchy of Stonehold. In this sprawling landscape, the monsters one sees are nothing compared to what’s living in the city’s sewers.

Twenty-three-year-old Caliph Howl is Stonehold’s reluctant High King. Thrust onto the throne, Caliph has inherited Stonehold’s dirtiest court secrets. He also faces a brewing civil war that he is unprepared to fight. After months alone amid a swirl of gossip and political machinations, the sudden reappearance of his old lover, Sena, is a welcome bit of relief. But Sena has her own legacy to claim: she has been trained from birth by the Shradnae witchocracy—adept in espionage and the art of magical equations writ in blood—and she has been sent to spy on the High King.

Yet there are magics that demand a higher price than blood. Sena secretly plots to unlock the Cisrym Ta, an arcane text whose pages contain the power to destroy worlds. The key to opening the book lies in Caliph’s veins, forcing Sena to decide if her obsession for power is greater than her love for Caliph.

Meanwhile, a fleet of airships creeps ever closer to Isca. As the final battle in a devastating civil war looms and the last page of the Cisrym Ta waits to be read, Caliph and Sena must face the deadly consequences of their decisions. And the blood of these conflicts will stain this and other worlds forever.

  • Hardcover: 432 pages
  • Publisher: Tor Books (August 17, 2010)
  • Fantasy

Amazon purchasing links for US/ pre-purchasing for UK (9/5) /Canada

ANTHONY HUSO lives in Cedar Park, Texas. The Last Page is his first novel.

Layers of Thought:  This particular author is being compared to China Mieville in style. I have also seen a high rating from one blogger whose opinion I respect. Oh yes and it has a map!



This is the second book in the Prospero’s Daughter series.

About: The exciting, suspenseful story of Miranda’s search for Prospero, the fabled sorcerer of The Tempest.

The search of a daughter for her father is but the beginning of this robust fantasy adventure. For five hundred years since the events of William Shakespeare’s The Tempest, Miranda has run Prospero, Inc., protecting an unknowing world from disasters both natural and man-made. Now her father has been taken prisoner of dark spirits in a place she could only guess. Piecing together clues about her father’s whereabouts and discovering secrets of her shrouded past, she comes to an inescapable conclusion she has dreaded since Prospero was lost.

Prospero has been imprisoned in Hell, kept there by demons who wish to extract a terrible price in exchange for his freedom. As the time of reckoning for Miranda draws near, she realizes that hundreds of years of their family’s magic may not be enough to free her once-powerful father from the curse that could destroy them...and the world.

  • Hardcover: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Tor Books (August 17, 2010)
  • Fantasy

    Amazon purchasing links for US/pre-purchasing for UK (9/5) /Canada


    The first book in the Prospero’s Daughter series.

    About:   More than four hundred years after the events of Shakespeare’s The Tempest, the sorcerer Prospero, his daughter Miranda, and his other children have attained everlasting life. Miranda is the head of her family’s business, Prospero Inc., which secretly has used its magic for good around the world. One day, Miranda receives a warning from her father: "Beware of the Three Shadowed Ones." When Miranda goes to her father for an explanation, he is nowhere to be found.

    Miranda sets out to find her father and reunite with her estranged siblings, each of which holds a staff of power and secrets about Miranda’s sometimes-foggy past. Her journey through the past, present and future will take her to Venice, Chicago, the Caribbean, Washington, D.C., and the North Pole. To aid her, Miranda brings along Mab, an aerie being who acts like a hard-boiled detective, and Mephistopheles, her mentally-unbalanced brother. Together, they must ward off the Shadowed Ones and other ancient demons who want Prospero’s power for their own….

  • Mass Market Paperback: 448 pages
  • Publisher: Tor Fantasy; Reprint edition (June 29, 2010)

    Amazon purchasing links for US/UK/Canada

    JAGI LAMPLIGHTER is the author of Prospero Lost. She lives in northern Virginia.

    Layers of Thought:  This particular series is based on Shakespeare’s The Tempest, with Prospero being a magician/sorcerer. I am guessing there is probably going to be a slight Old English flare.

    ******************************************************************************** 9780765324757

    This is the third book in the Hawkmoon series.

    About: In Michael Moorcock’s vast and imaginative multiverse, Law and Chaos wage war in a never-ending struggling over the fundamental rules of existence. Here in this universe, Dorian Hawkmoon traverses a world of antique cities, scientific sorcery, and crystalline machines as he pulled unwillingly into a war that pits him against the ruthless and dominating armies of Granbretan.

    In The Sword of the Dawn, Dorian Hawkmoon’s quest to destroy the Dark Empire of Granbretan leads him onto the path of a man who possess a rare ring that allows men to travel through time.  Hawkmoon uses this ring to travel to a far future New Orleans, where he must battle the Pirate Lords who possess the Great Sword of the Dawn, which can end the Dark Empire once and for all.

    Originally published in 1964

    • Paperback: 224 pages
    • Publisher: Tor Books; 1 edition (August 3, 2010)
    • Fantasy

    Amazon purchasing links for US/UK/Canada


    The second book in the Hawkmoon series.

    About:   After withstanding the power of the Black Jewel and saving the city of Hamadan from the conquest of the Dark Empire of Granbretan, Hawkmoon set off for Kamarang, where friendship and love await him. But the journey is beyond treacherous. With his boon companion, Oladahn, the beastman of the Bulgar Mountians, Hawkmoon discovers the peaceful city of Soryandum, which holds the power to transcend the confines of time and space. This power, which keeps the city from falling to the Dark Empire, could keep Kamarang safe. But alas his love Yisselda is now a prisoner of the Mad God, whose powerful amulet is linked to Hawkmoon’s ultimate destiny: a power that began at creation and calls heroes to arms throughout existence. Hawkmoon must rip this amulet from the neck of the Mad God if he hopes to save the city of Kamarang and free his friends and his one true love from the Dark Empire's relentless wrath.  

    • Paperback: 208 pages
    • Publisher: Tor Books; 1 edition (March 30, 2010)

    Amazon purchasing links for US/UK/Canada


    The first book in the Hawkmoon series.

    About:; Dorian Hawkmoon, the last Duke of Koln, swore to destroy the Dark Empire of Granbretan.  But after his defeat and capture at the hands of the vast forces of the Empire.  Hawkmoon becomes a puppet co-opted by his arch nemesis to infiltrate the last stronghold of rebellion against Granbretan, the small but powerful city of Kamarang. He's been implanted with a black jewel, through whose power the Dark Empire can control his every decision. But in the city of Kamarang, Hawkmoon discovers the power inside him to overcome any control, and his vengeance against the Dark Empire is filled with an unrelenting fury.

  • Paperback: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Tor Books; 1 edition (January 5, 2010)

    Amazon purchasing links for US/UK/Canada

    MICHAEL MOORCOCK is a prolific English science fiction and fantasy writer. He is the author of the Eternal Champion books, including the Elric, Corum, and Hawkmoon series, as well as the literary novel Mother London. He lives in Texas.

    Layers of Thought:  The above are the first three books from this extended series which was originally first published in the 1960’s. Moorcock also has a link to a rock band which was significant in the UK at the time called Hawkwind: an interesting connection!


    These books were sent to Layers of Thought by Tor for review.

    Hope you all have a great Thursday.


    Blodeuedd said...

    Alwys looking for cool books and that Huso one sounds nice, and I love maps! Lol, I need them, but like Mieville, dunno about it then

    Unknown said...

    Blodeuedd -
    I have not read anything by Mieville yet. John really liked him and read The City & The City ...and did say it was a bit difficult to read.
    I don't recall you disliking him.... hmmm

    I am surprised your not interested in the Prospero books.

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