The River of the Dancing Gods by the late Jack L. Chalker, a recipient of the Phoenix and Skylark Awards for his imaginative fiction, is the 1st novel in the Dancing Gods quintet of contemporary portal fantasy, free for a limited time courtesy of publisher Phoenix Pick Press.
This is their featured Free Book of the Month for November, and was originally published in 1984 by Ballantine’s Del Rey imprint, remaining popular enough to be continually reprinted for over a decade. The series is a portal fantasy starring characters from our world who are whisked away to a magical realm where an ancient battle is being fought between good and evil, finding themselves much transformed along the way.
This self-contained installment introduces two strangers about to have a fatal accident in Texas, who are offered a choice by a visiting wizard to instead gain new lives in a new world, which proves to a challenging one as they adjust to its strange wonders and must help prevent the upcoming Armageddon.
Offered DRM-free worldwide through November, available directly from the publisher.
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The Black Tides of Heaven by Singaporean author JY Yang is the 1st novella in the Tensorate series of hybrid science fiction/fantasy exploring social and revolutionary issues, free for a limited time courtesy of publisher Macmillan’s Tor Books.
This is their featured free eBook of the Month Club offer for November and was a finalist for the Hugo, Nebula, and World Fantasy Awards. The series takes place in an East Asian-inspired hybrid science fantasy setting, where a ruthless Protector uses magic to maintain her dominance in a society where children grow up genderless until making their choice at adulthood, and suppressed Machinists turn to technology in the hopes of undermining the regime.
The story stars the twin children of the Protector, traded as infants to a monastery for political gain, one of whom begins displaying a gift for prophetic visions, which causes a deepening rift between the growing twins as they experience divided loyalties upon realizing the truth of their mother’s rule and make different choices at adulthood, leading one towards the rebels’ path as their sibling bond becomes increasingly strained.
Offered through November 16th until midnight Easter Time, available DRM-free to Canada & US only directly from the publisher.
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Key of Behliseth by Lou Hoffmann is the 1st novel in the The Sun Child Chronicles series of young adult portal fantasy, free for a limited time courtesy of LGBT specialty publisher Dreamspinner Press’ Harmony Ink imprint for teen readers.
This is being made free to help promote the newly-released 3rd novel, Ciarrah’s Light.
The series is a portal fantasy, starring a homeless gay teen from our world who winds up stepping through a wizard’s door into a magical fantasy realm at war. This installment sees him discovering the world’s existence and learning of his obligatory destiny and the unsuspected ties which led him there as he begins to come to terms with his new role and powers.
Offered worldwide through October 30th until midnight Eastern Time, available DRM-free directly from the publisher’s webstore and also other major ebook retailers.
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Ravenmoon by British author Peter Tremayne, perhaps best known as the author of the popular Sister Fidelma historical mystery series, is a standalone irish mythological historical fantasy novel, free for a limited time courtesy of publisher Endeavour Press’ Venture imprint.
This was originally published in 1988 by Methuen, and is based upon the Irish mythological tale of The Expulsion of the Déisi from “Cycles of the Kings”, an 8th century narrative about the fictional history of a powerful social group in Ireland’s Early Middle Ages, apparently made up to provide a mythical noble origin for their descendants as heirs to a displaced royal dynasty.
The story is a loosely-adapted fantasy version strongly inspired by the original, recasting it in even more magical ancient times full of heroes, gods, and creatures from the Otherworld, as a boy is born to the Dèsi clan under the curse that he will drive his people out of their land, and the adventures that follow as they flee Eire and the High King’s wrath.
Offered worldwide, available at Amazon.
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Magic Fell by Andi Van is the 1st novel in the The Mages’ Guild trilogy of YA adventure fantasy with strong m/m romantic elements, free for a limited time courtesy of LGBT specialty publisher Dreamspinner Press’ Harmony Ink imprint for teen readers.
This is being made free for a limited time to help promote the newly released 2nd novel, Magic Wept. The trilogy takes place in a high fantasy world where magic has been outlawed for centuries and its practice punishable by death, starring a young man who discovers his suppressed abilities and destiny to resurrect the fabled Mages’ Guild.
This installment sees him begining on his quest with the aid of his sister and a strange cat, encountering an elf journeying on a parallel quest to the human lands—drawn by mysterious dreams of someone resembling the young mage—who joins the siblings to see where they will lead.
Offered worldwide through October 2nd until midnight Eastern Time, available DRM-free directly from the publisher and also standard retail stores.
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The Warlock in Spite of Himself by the late Christopher Stasheff is the 1st novel in the Warlock of Gramarye subseries of the Gramarye universe science fiction/fantasy hybrid adventures, free for a limited time courtesy of publisher Phoenix Pick Press.
This was originally published in 1969 by Ace Books and was the beginning of a very popular series spanning 12 further novels and then another 10 related spin-off sequels. I read this a long time ago and it was somewhat old-fashioned, but light, retro fun and I liked it enough to buy the sequels on sale.
The series is a humorous science fiction/fantasy hybrid, taking place in a future where humanity has settled the stars, starring Rod Gallowglass, an agent for a galactic concern, and his trusty robosteed companion, who become involved with magical adventures, both simulated and real.
This adventure sees him discovering the hidden planet Gramarye— which appears to be a medievaloid society with magical witches, warlocks, and mythical creatures but actually has an Earth-based scientific origin and explanation for its “powers”—and foiling plots by rival groups to undermine the government in between getting to know the locals and uncover more about their world.
Offered DRM-free worldwide through September, available directly from the publisher.
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Regnate by R. M. Dorn is a standalone fantasy adventure novel, free again for a limited time courtesy of publisher Endeavour Press’ Venture imprint.
The story is an epic-style quest fantasy to defeat a tyrannical ruler and save the realm, with the twist that the ruler is the hero’s own brother, who had won the tournament for the crown and intended to change the cruel ways of the regime, only to seemingly become corrupted by some mysterious force behind it, which must be rooted out.
Offered worldwide, available at Amazon.
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Harmonious Hearts 2014 is an annual volume anthology in the Harmonious Hearts series of young adult multi-genre short stories, free for a limited time courtesy of LGBT specialty publisher Dreamspinner Press’ Harmony Ink imprint for teen readers.
The series showcases selections from Harmony Ink Press’ annual Young Author Challenge, selecting the best YA LGBTQ-themed stories submitted by authors between the ages of 14 to 21, across multiple genres. This is apparently being made free for a limited time to help promote an accompanying ebook sale in the publisher’s various imprints’ webstores.
This volume features coming of age, romance, adventure, and other stories in fantasy, science fiction, historical and contemporary settings from the 1st annual contest,
Offered worldwide through September 25th until midnight Eastern Time, available DRM-free directly from the publisher and also at multiple other retailers.
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All the Birds in the Sky by Charlie Jane Anders is a standalone contemporary science fiction/urban fantasy hybrid novel, free for a limited time courtesy of publisher Macmillan’s Tor Books.
This is their featured free eBook of the Month Club offer for September and won the 2017 Nebula, Locus, and William L. Crawford Fantasy Award, as well as being a Hugo finalist. It’s being made free to help promote Anders’ upcoming standalone science fiction novel, The City in the Middle of the Night, due early next year. I read this for Hugo voting last year and it’s a charming, quirky light humorous tale.
The story takes place in a near future with both advanced technology and magic in it, featuring the conflict between a secret society of witches and an ambitious think tank of genius inventors, which is played out via the changing friendship between two young students who eventually join the different factions as they grow up, and the world begins to experience the Unraveling which threatens to destroy it.
Offered through 11:59 Eastern Time on September 21st in Canada & the US only, available DRM-free to 21st directly from the publisher.
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An Unholy Crusade by British author Edmund Glasby is the 3rd novel in the The Daemondamned trilogy of satirical grimdark epic fantasy novels, free for a limited time courtesy of publisher Endeavour Press’ Venture imprint.
The series is an apparently satirical take on “grimdark” epic fantasy, exploring its common tropes in a deadpan comedic way by setting a disillusioned cynical assassin cultist zealot on a quest for a magical McGuffin at the behest of the power-hungry evil god he intends to betray.
This installment wraps up the story, as his scheme is derailed by the attentions of other forces seeking to co-opt his plans to suit their own agenda, pitting evil against evil in the race to get revenge first.
Offered worldwide, available at Amazon.
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