Science fiction and fantasy protagonists are always faced with grueling tasks and adventures that take them all over fictional kingdoms, alternate dimensions and planets very far from our own. But they all have a final goal that they must fight to complete, so today we bring you some July's top-rated science fiction and fantasy novels, sorted by what their characters are trying to accomplish, to help you find the perfect story.
When it comes to taking down authority figures big or small, July’s heroes and heroines are ready for the challenge. Kate Elliott concludes her Spiritwalker Trilogy with Cold Steel, in which heroine Cat must rescue her kidnapped husband from her dangerous father, all while an uprising is brewing against the tyrannical princes ruling her land. Devon Monk’s steampunk adventurers are experiencing their fair share of corrupt authority in Cold Copper when an evil town mayor who isn’t entirely human threatens their lives.
We’re all looking for something, whether it be on this earth or in the afterlife or on other planets. In Ofir Touche Gafla’s unusual fantasy The World of the End, protagonist Ben kills himself expecting to be reunited with his dead wife beyond the grave. While he does find his deceased family members, he must hire a detective to track down his wife’s missing spirit. Meanwhile, in our own galaxy thousands of years into the future, Charles Stross’ Neptunes Brood introduces readers to heroine Krina, a metahuman cyborg that has been hired as a courier to transport valuable items between planets. But she’s got her own agenda — she is on a search for her missing sibling with valuable information that could put both of their lives at risk.
Fighting off evil is a long-known source of conflict for fantasy protagonists. Fan favorite Terry Brooks delivers a delightful finale to his Dark Legacy of Shannara trilogy with Witch Wraith. The walls keeping terrible demons from destroying their land are crumbling, and Elf Arlingfant Elessedil is in danger of having to sacrifice herself in order to keep the Four Lands safe. Meanwhile, the Straken Lord is being held captive with the demons and is threatening to blast a hole through the wall with his deadly army, bringing the Four Lands to their knees. Sounds like an epic battle might be brewing! In Melissa Marr’s The Arrivals, a group of misfits are thrown from our world into the Wasteland, a place reminiscent of the Wild West where demons and the evil Ajani threatens their livelihood. But when Ajani takes interest in one of their own, will they know who to trust?
You can pick up all of these titles, available in stores this month. Looking for more great books? Make sure to visit RT's Everything Science Fiction & Fantasy Page.