RANGE OF GHOSTS
The first novel in the Eternal Sky series is so very interesting — the worldbuilding is subtle but thorough, Temur and Samarkar are wonderful characters (as are the other point-of-view characters) and the writing is crisp and clear while still managing to convey lots of meaning and subtext. Bear has a delicate touch with all the different cultures represented: It is clear that they differ in some pretty fundamental ways, which serves to illuminate and enrich the story.
Temur, one of the many grandsons of the Great Khagan, wakes up on a battlefield after having been left for dead. A civil war rages in his homeland, and Temur is not on the winning side — so he finds a horse (or does the horse find him?) and heads into exile. At the same time, the Once-Princess Samarkar wakes up from the surgery that will allow her to find out if she has magical ability. Throughout the region, factions move against each other and work to shift the balance toward themselves, all while Temur and Samarkar move toward each other. (TOR, Mar., 336 pp., $25.99)