12 spellbinding new science fiction and fantasy books to read this November

Terciel & Elinor by Garth Nix
Terciel & Elinor by Garth Nix /
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Year of the Reaper by Makiia Lucier. Image courtesy HarperCollins
Year of the Reaper by Makiia Lucier. Image courtesy HarperCollins /

November 2021 release: Year of the Reaper – Makiia Lucier

A standalone historical fantasy, Makiia Lucier’s Year of the Reaper is a surprisingly timely story of loss, grief, and community.

Set in a fantasy world that boasts a striking resemblance to 14th century Spain, Year of the Reaper follows the story follows Cas, a young nobleman who has been held prisoner for three years in a hostile neighboring kingdom. The spread of a deadly pestilence offers him a chance to escape and Cas seizes it, heading back to Oliveras with nothing but the scars he’s acquired and a strange ability to see ghosts. (Of which, obviously, there are a lot more now, thanks to the plague.)

No sooner does he arrive home – and reunite with his beloved brother – than Cas discovers that the king and his new bride (a princess from the same country who held him captive) have taken refuge there – and brought their enemies with them.

An assassination attempt sees Cas drawn further into the mystery of the attacks, and leads him to discover a terrible secret, one that could plunge his country back into war.

The official synopsis goes into much greater detail about the story.

"Before an ambush by enemy soldiers, Lord Cassia was an engineer’s apprentice on a mission entrusted by the king. But when plague sweeps over the land, leaving countless dead and devastating the kingdom, even Cas’ title cannot save him from a rotting prison cell and a merciless sickness. Three years later, Cas wants only to return to his home in the mountains and forget past horrors. But home is not what he remembers. His castle has become a refuge for the royal court. And they have brought their enemies with them. When an assassin targets those closest to the queen, Cas is drawn into a search for a killer…one that leads him to form an unexpected bond with a brilliant young historian named Lena. Cas and Lena soon realize that who is behind the attacks is far less important than why. They must look to the past, following the trail of a terrible secret—one that could threaten the kingdom’s newfound peace and plunge it back into war."

Year of the Reaper is available on November 9.