The Mark of the Tala, by Jeffe Kennedy

Publisher: Kensington Books
Publication date: May 27th 2014
Pages: 352
ISBN: 9780758294432


The tales tell of three sisters, daughters of the high king. The eldest, a valiant warrior-woman, heir to the kingdom. The youngest, the sweet beauty with her Prince Charming. No one says much about the middle princess, Andromeda. Andi, the other one.
Andi doesn't mind being invisible. She enjoys the company of her horse more than court, and she has a way of blending into the shadows. Until the day she meets a strange man riding, who keeps company with wolves and ravens, who rules a land of shapeshifters and demons. A country she'd thought was no more than legend--until he claims her as its queen.
In a moment everything changes: Her father, the wise king, becomes a warlord, suspicious and strategic. Whispers call her dead mother a traitor and a witch. Andi doesn't know if her own instincts can be trusted, as visions appear to her and her body begins to rebel.
For Andi, the time to learn her true nature has come. . .


The Fifth Voice, by Paul Connolly

Publisher: Silverwood Books
First publication date: April 16th 2014
Pages: 288
ISBN: 9781781321195


The lives of four singers are far from harmonious. Danny’s marriage is on the rocks, while Vince is struggling with a debilitating illness. Henry is having a mid-life crisis, and Neil is at war with his father. But when they sing together none of that matters. Because something magical happens. 

On a mission to compete against the best quartet singers in Britain, they turn to veteran entertainer, Ken, who inspires them to discover a curious vocal technique called The Fifth Voice. 

Over the course of a year and several adventures, they make discoveries about the power of music and friendship that help each of them shape the rest of their lives. And when they eventually find The Fifth Voice, they discover a prize much greater than the one they imagined. 

'The Fifth Voice' is a poignant and comic tale of four lives and a single passion.



Image: http://www.trollandtoad.com/
Players: 2-4
Duration: 45 minutes
Style: cooperative

Year: 2008
Price: $39,99
Designer: Matt Leacock
Publisher: Z-ManGames

The might of the CDC!

Atlanta, Georgia. The Center for Disease Control receives dreadful news: four viruses are spreading at an alarming speed! It’s their job – and yours, as members of the taskforce – to limit worldwide casualties and prevent a true pandemic! In this cooperative game, players must work together and coordinate their specific skills, in a race against the clock and the board itself.

Designed by Matt Leacock and published firstly by Z-Man Games, this popular game is the first of the cooperative kind that I played, and I earnestly recommend it as an introduction to this style of play. Pandemic is incredibly flexible, accommodating less experienced players as well as veterans. A strong gaming group will welcome a change of pace from competition-heavy games, and families will gather everyone around the table to brainstorm the fastest and most effective way to put out the overwhelming outspreads of disease across the globe.


Thief's Magic, by Trudi Canavan

Publisher: Orbit
First publication date: May 13th 2014
Pages: 528
ISBN: 9780748132379


In a world where an industrial revolution is powered by magic, Tyen, a student of archaeology, discovers a sentient book in an ancient tomb. Vella was once a young sorcerer-maker, until she was transformed into a useful tool by one of the greatest sorcerers of history. Since then she has been gathering information, including a vital clue to the disaster Tyen’s world faces.

Elsewhere, in a land ruled by the priests since a terrible war depleted all but a little magic, Rielle the dyer’s daughter has been taught that to use magic is to steal from the Angels. Yet she knows from her ability to sense the stain it leaves behind that she has a talent for it, and that there are people willing to teach her how to use it, should she ever need to risks the Angels’ wrath.

Further away, a people called the Travelers live their entire lives on the move, trading goods from one world to another. They know that each world has its own store of magic, reducing or increasing a sorcerer’s abilities, so that if one entered a weak world they may be unable to leave it again. Each family maintains a safe trading route passed down through countless generations and modified whenever local strife makes visiting dangerous. But this is not the only knowledge the Travelers store within their stories and songs, collected over millennia spent roaming the universe. They know a great change is due, and that change brings both loss and opportunity.


A Man Came Out of a Door in the Mountain, by Adrianne Harun

Publisher: Penguin Books
First publication date: February 25th 2014
Pages: 256
ISBN: 9780670786107


In an isolated town of British Columbia, young girls, mostly native, begin to vanish from the sides of a notorious highway, the Highway of Tears. Leo Kreutzer and four friends are barely touched by these disappearances—until a series of mysterious and troublesome outsiders arrive on the mountain. Then it seems as if the devil himself has appeared among them. A MAN CAME OUT OF A DOOR IN THE MOUNTAIN  is a seductive and chilling debut novel about what happens to Leo and his group of friends when evil—both human and otherwise—walks right through their town.
Leo and his friends are engulfed in their final days of summer as kids, trying to hold onto what innocence they have left in this poor, hardscrabble logging town in remote British Columbia. A series of dark strangers arrive on the mountain: Kevin Seven beguiles shy Ursie with his fantastical card tricks; bone-white Hana Swann befriends Jackie, and bewitches Brian with ideas of revenge against the tyrannical local drug dealer and neighborhood torturer. As you follow Leo, his friends and their families throughout the novel, you will become entranced, waiting to see just what evil the devil will sow.