- RAVENSHEART AWARD (Best Cover Art): Best Served Cold – Didier Graffet, Dave Senior and Laura Brett.
Starred Review. Abercrombie returns to the blood-drenched arena of the First Law trilogy (The Blade Itself, etc.) with this skillfully crafted and bleakly humorous sword and sorcery adventure. Duke Orso imagines that he can become king by ending the civil wars that have devastated Styria, but he errs by trying to kill his overly popular general, mercenary Monza Murcatto. Recovering from her massive injuries and mourning her murdered brother, Monza vows vengeance on Orso and half a dozen of his accomplices. Employing her own motley crew of death dealers, Monza gets her revenge, but it’s neither simple nor satisfying; each target requires fresh strategy, and each death has unexpected effects. Abercrombie is both fiendishly inventive and solidly convincing, especially when sprinkling his appallingly vivid combat scenes with humor so dark that it’s almost ultraviolet. (Aug.)
- MORNINGSTAR AWARD (Newcomer award): The Cardinal’s Blades by Pierre Pevel.
The Cardinal’s Blades is part historical novel, part old-fashioned swashbuckling high-action adventure, and part classic fantasy. Pierre Pevel has woven some of the best-loved fantasy tropes – musketeer-style adventuring, daring swordsmen, political intrigue, non-stop action and dragons – into a stunning new fantasy series. Paris, 1633. Louis XIII reigns over France …and Cardinal Richelieu governs the country. One of the most dangerous and most powerful men in Europe, Richelieu keeps a constant, sharp eye on the enemies of the Crown to avoid their assassination attempts, thwart their spies and avert their warmongering. But he’s up against people who will stop at nothing to achieve their goals, even going so far as to forge alliances with France’s oldest and deadliest enemies. Spain, and the Court of Dragons. The nobility keep tiny dragonnets as pets; royal couriers ride tame wyverns, and lethal man-shaped scaled dracs ropam the country. But the power rising from the Court of Dragons is anything but mundane; the Black Claw sect draws on dragons as they once were: ancient, terrible, utterly merciless …and poised to move against France
- LEGEND AWARD (Best Novel): Empire by Graham McNeill.
Having driven back the orc invaders, Sigmar unites the tribes of men and founds the Empire. The fledgling realm grows, but its prosperity is not assured. When a Chaos invasion sweeps down from Norsca, the ensuring conflict tests the courage of Sigmar and his chieftains to the utmost.