“I could say things with colour and shapes that I couldn’t say any other way”: new mysteries

Image by Brigitte Werner from Pixabay

“I found I could say things with color and shapes that I couldn’t say any other way – things I had no words for.” – Georgia O’Keeffe

It is December and time for our last selection of recently acquired crime and fiction titles for 2022. And as it’s time for Christmas sales, some of the biggest names in the crime writing community have titles out, including T.V personality turned mega huge bestselling crime writing sensation Richard Osman; not to mention fabulous new titles by both Ian Rankin and Elly Griffiths, all of whom have featured heavily in many of the best of the year lists already.

And a very special mention goes Dark Deeds Down Under, a compendium of new crime stories  featuring some of Australia’s and New Zealand’s finest modern crime and mystery writers and compiled by no other than Ngaio Marsh Awards supremo Craig Sisterson. 

If you’re looking for something very different, one title that caught our attention was Light on Bone by  Kathryn Lasky; the latest celebrity detective novel to join an ever-growing genre. This time the internationally acclaimed American painter Georgia O’Keefe does the sleuthing; the tale is set in the semi desert landscape of New Mexico – the landscape that inspired so many of her wonderful and  famous paintings.

Light on bone / Lasky, Kathryn
“Kathryn Lasky has written a new adult amateur sleuth mystery set in New Mexico in the 1930s. The sleuth is Georgia O’Keefe. It begins when  she discovers the slain body of a priest in the desert. The plot includes several other murders,  an international espionage plot involving Charles Lindbergh, and lots of intricate twists and turns leading to a thoroughly unforeseen denouement. The strength of this story is how Lasky’s elegant writing captures the emotional depth of this artist’s turmoil and so stunningly reveals O’Keeffe’s perception of the landscape that moves her to paint. ” (Adapted from Catalogue)

The bullet that missed / Osman, Richard
“It is an ordinary Thursday, and things should finally be returning to normal. Except trouble is never far away where the Thursday Murder Club are concerned. A decade-old cold case–their favorite kind–leads them to a local news legend and a murder with no body and no answers. Then a new foe pays Elizabeth a visit. Her mission? Kill or be killed. Suddenly the cold case has become red hot. While Elizabeth wrestles with her conscience (and a gun), Joyce, Ron, and Ibrahim chase down the clues with help from old friends and new. But can the gang solve the mystery and save Elizabeth before the murderer strikes again?” (Adapted from Catalogue) Also available as an eBook.

A heart full of headstones / Rankin, Ian
“John Rebus stands accused: on trial for a crime that could put him behind bars for the rest of his life. Although it’s not the first time the legendary detective has taken the law into his own hands, it might be the last. What drove a good man to cross the line? Or have times changed, and the rules with them? Detective Inspector Siobhan Clarke faces Edinburgh’s most explosive case in years, as a corrupt cop goes missing after claiming to harbour secrets that could sink the city’s police force. But in this investigation, it seems all roads lead to Rebus–and Clarke’s twin loyalties to the public and the police will be tested to their limit. A reckoning is coming–and John Rebus may be hearing the call for last orders…” (Adapted from Catalogue) Also available as an eBook.

Bleeding heart yard / Griffiths, Elly
“DS Cassie Fitzgerald has a secret but it’s one she’s deleted from her memory. In the 1990s when she was at school, she and her friends killed a fellow pupil. Thirty years later, Cassie is happily married and loves her job as a police officer. One day her husband persuades her to go to a school reunion and another ex-pupil, Garfield Rice, is found dead, supposedly from a drug overdose. As Garfield was an eminent MP and the investigation is high profile, it’s headed by Cassie’s new boss, DI Harbinder Kaur. The trouble is, Cassie can’t shake the feeling that one of her old friends has killed again. ” (Adapted from Catalogue)

Dark deeds down under
“This crime and thriller anthology, from Clan Destine Press, showcases the breadth and depth of modern Australian and New Zealand crime writing in a collection of brand-new short stories from some of our brightest storytelling talents: international bestsellers, award winners, and fresh voices. Dark Deeds Down Under features some of crime fiction’s most beloved ‘characters’, including Garry Disher’s Hirsch, Kerry Greenwood’s Corinna Chapman, Vanda Symon’s Sam Shephard.” (Adapted from Catalogue)

The long knives / Welsh, Irvine
“Ritchie Gulliver MP is dead. Left to bleed in an empty Leith warehouse. Vicious, racist and corrupt, many thought he had it coming. But nobody could have predicted this. After the life Gulliver has led, the suspects are many: corporate rivals, political opponents, the countless groups he’s offended. And the vulnerable and marginalised, who bore the brunt of his cruelty – those without a voice, without a choice, without a chance. As Detective Ray Lennox unravels the truth, and the list of brutal attacks grows, he must put his personal feelings aside. But one question refuses to go away… Who are the real victims here?”  (Adapted from Catalogue)
Marple : twelve new stories
“A brand-new collection of short stories featuring the Queen of Mystery’s legendary detective Jane Marple, penned by 12 remarkable best-selling and acclaimed authors. This collection of 12 original short stories, all featuring Jane Marple, will introduce the character to a whole new generation. Each author reimagines Agatha Christie’s Marple through their own unique perspective while staying true to the hallmarks of a traditional mystery … ” (Adapted from Catalogue) Also available as an eBook.

The King Arthur case : a Brittany mystery / Bannalec, Jean-Luc
“The forest of Broceliande, with its picturesque lakes and castles, is the last remnant of the fairy kingdom, if Breton lore is to be believed. Innumerable legends spanning thousands of years are set here, including the tale of King Arthur and the Round Table. It seems to be an appropriate destination for Commissaire Dupin and his team to take a late summer field trip. But when the body of a historian turns up, Dupin is called upon to investigate the brutal murder case. Before too long, there are more victims…” (Adapted from Catalogue) Also available as an eBook.

WCL podcast: The best albums of 2022


via GIPHY

Statler: Well, it was good.
Waldorf: Ah, it was very bad.
Statler: Well, it was average.
Waldorf: Ah, it was in the middle there.
Statler: Ah, it wasn’t that great.
Waldorf: I kind of liked it.”
-‘The Muppet Show’.

I’m Mark, the Music & Film Specialist at Wellington City Libraries. Every month this year my colleague Neil and I reviewed some new material that we purchased for the Music collection at our CBD Te Awe library. This podcast is an roundup of some the albums we enjoyed listening to the most over the course of the year. Some of these titles will no doubt feature on various Best of 2022 lists, but others are just albums that struck us as being unique and interesting.

Below are the lists of our Top 10 picks for 2022 that we discuss on the podcast. Along with a some titles from each of us that didn’t quite make the cut, but came close! You can click on the image links from our ‘Top Ten’ to reserve any of these items from the catalogue.

Mark’s Picks:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Neil’s Picks:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Some titles that came close to our ‘Top Ten’:
Space 1.8. / Sinephro, Nala
Mark: Space is the place on this debut album from Caribbean-Belgian, London-based, Jazz composer/harpist Nala Sinephro. Gathering some of the new stars of the UK Jazz scene (including Nubya Garcia), she has created an ambient Jazz classic. Pedal harp, modular synths, and saxophones combine in a swirl of liquid soundscapes to form warm meditative pieces. Like the soundtrack to a journey through the cosmos, or through’s one’s own mind. Deeply relaxing.
Neil: Nala Sinephro uses and blurs the use of acoustic and electronic elements in this ambient cosmic Jazz piece. It is an intimate, mellow, and very relaxing work; yet never dull, more a transfixing lure of sound. It feels like a new movement has begun with albums like this and Promises, the album by Floating Points and Pharoah Sanders in its fold.

Sun’s Signature / Sun’s Signature
Mark: ‘Sun’s Signature’ are Elizabeth Fraser & Damon Reece, and while Fraser has provided guest vocals to numerous tracks over the years, this EP represents the first real release from the ex-Cocteau Twins singer since a 2009 single. More accessible than even late period Cocteau Twins her vocals, once buried in a sonic swirl, cascade down like the warmth of the sun itself. Drawing inspiration from nature, these 5 sensual tracks are as beguiling and uplifting as you would expect from someone who was once described as ‘…the voice of God’. As close as music comes to a religious experience…
Neil: It’s been a long time since the Cocteau Twins split over quarter of a century ago. If you are unfamiliar with their work, they almost single-handedly created the genre of dream pop, and are commonly regarded as one of the UK’s most important bands of all time. Since then their singer, the incomparable Elizabeth Fraser’s, irregular one of guest appearances on albums have often been spectacular, take for example Teardrop on Massive attack’s 1998 album Mezzanine. However, it could be said that her solo work has been rare much more patchy and largely unfocused, however ‘Sun’s Signature’ is a 30 minute EP that is a spectacular return. Elizabeth’s always sublime voice is there and showcased to perfection, and as it has matured it has gained a warmth and humanity. The lyrics show this marked difference too. For a start you can understand and relate to them in a way the ethereal and celestial wordless words of most Cocteau Twins lyrics don’t – one critic once described them as ‘lost in beauty’. It’s also a dense and rich musical production, reportedly ten years in the making and enhanced by the distinctive fingerprint production of Damon Reece. Welcome back.

Strange mornings in the garden / Loyal Seas
Mark: ‘Strange Mornings in the Garden’ is the debut album from The Loyal Seas, which is a collaboration between Tanya Donelly (Throwing Muses, The Breeders, Belly) and Brian Sullivan (Dylan in the Movies). They both get a chance to shine on individual tracks, but the best moments are when they combine their vocals, as their vocal tones and sparkling harmonies meld perfectly together (his a low register growl, hers the sound of sweet honey). Shimmering, lush, indie folk-pop that mixes a big heartland rock, orchestral elements, washed of synths and reverb laden guitars. A refreshingly original album that moves from sweeping ballads to tightly-knit, kinetic pop-rock.
Neil: Tanya Donelly and Brian Sullivan have been friends and worked together for nearly thirty years, and these decades of friendship show in the easy and relaxed nature of this album. ‘Strange mornings in the garden’ is a glittering, shimmering, gorgeous melodic indie pop work very much its own thing, but it reminded me in places of the more mellow works of bands like The Beach Boys or The Byrd’s. There is definitely an uplifting summery vibe to the poetic lyrics and radiant supporting music. I liked this release a lot.

Targala, la maison qui n’en est pas une. / Parrenin, Emmanuelle
Mark: 73 year old Emmanuelle Parrenin is a cult French musician whose debut solo album came out in 1977. A singer, harpist & hurdy-gurdy player she began in the traditional folk genre, but her strange life & musical journey has taken her through punk, techno and the avant-garde. Parrenin spent her first period of lockdown on the edge of the desert in Morocco, having been invited there to play a festival, and this album is a kind of psych-folk meander of ambient harp, dulcimer, synths, guitars, percussion & saxophones, creating an atmosphere that has the feel of a shimmering desert dream. The most unique & original music is being made on the fringes like this, and you won’t find a more interesting or haunting ambient album than this.

Patina / Tallies (Musical group)
Mark: More dream pop with this Canadian Quartet, fronted by singer Sarah Cogan, whose ambition seems to be a note perfect recreation of that early 90s 4AD alternative-pop sound. Their 2019 debut was supposedly such a perfect amalgamation of that Lush/Sundays/Cocteau Twins sound, that it came to the attention of ex-Cocteau Simon Raymonde’s Bella Union label – who snapped them up for this, their follow up release. Shimmery, jangly guitars, shoegaze, sweet ethereal vocals drenched in reverb, it’s all there on this album, but with enough variation on each track to keep things interesting. Dream pop has become one of the most watered down genres of recent times, and while Tallies just seem like another band mining those same influences, they are just so good at it, that it’s like hearing it for the first time all over again. Recommended.

I love you Jennifer B / Jockstrap
Mark: Jockstrap are a London experimental pop duo, Georgia Ellery and Taylor Skye, both graduates of the prestigious Guildhall School of Music & Drama, and ‘I love you Jennifer B’ is their debut full-length following 2 EPs in 2018 & 2020. This really is something completely different, a bonkers deconstructionist melange of elements of chamber pop, electronic beats, introverted cabaret, Jazz, Punk-pop, and Baroque chamber folk based around an 18-piece orchestra & Ellery’s remarkable vocal facility. Full of tonal shifts, chaotic song structures, and eccentric character sketches, all immaculately produced. One the most original albums of 2022.

KiCk i. / Arca
Neil: Hyperpop is perhaps the most uniquely 21st century of musical forms, its origins can be traced to around 2010, and the work of artists such as Sophie and A.G. Cook. ‘Kick I’ is very much a maximalist hyperpop album in that genres mould, and features a glittering array of guest artists such as Shygirl, Björk and Sophie (recorded before their tragic death). If you are unfamiliar with the genre, it’s comprised of high energy, heavily layered, genre jumping, experimental sounds, mashed together into dancefloor tracks. Arca really embraces the joy in this and who they as a person. The album revels in the in-between spaces present in genres, languages, and genders, and is a bold experimental and radical dancefloor album that is genuinely exciting to listen to.

Found light / Veirs, Laura
Neil: ‘Found light’ is a mysterious haunting album, like a collection of ancient and modern folklore song tales and poems set to beautiful music. There is sparse instrumentation here, but the core of the work is Laura’s expressive voice and crystal bright shimmering guitar. It sounds like an artist exploring a vibrant dream, an exploration of passing seasons and weather, fleeting colours and senses, tastes slowly dissolving on the tongue, moments of time that gradually move on and fade. In its own very gentle way, I found the album riveting.

Drive my car : original soundtrack. / Ishabashi, Eiko
Neil: A cool smooth and nuanced film soundtrack. The film which it accompanies explores acceptance betrayal and grief and is an adaptation of a Haruki Murakami short story. In many circles the movie has been heralded as a masterpiece, and the music soundtrack perfectly mirrors the highly reflective nature of the film.

Short Stories by Māori Authors

Get a taste of the many facets of te ao Māori through these collections of ngā kōrero poto.

Huia short stories 14 : contemporary Māori fiction
“These stories present the best writing from the Pikihuia Awards for Māori writers 2021. The authors are a mix of new writers and known authors. The stories they tell have characters that will stay with you, descriptions that evoke strong sense of time and place, and situations that are funny, tense, sad and wistful.” (Catalogue)

 

 

Black marks on the white page
“Stones move, whale bones rise out of the ground like cities, a man figures out how to raise seven daughters alone. Here are the glorious, painful, sharp, and funny 21st-century stories of Māori and Pasifika writers from all over the world. Vibrant, provocative and aesthetically exciting, these stories expand our sense of what is possible in Indigenous Oceanic writing. Witi Ihimaera and Tina Makereti present the very best new and uncollected stories and novel excerpts, creating a talanoa, a conversation, where the stories do the talking.” (adapted from Catalogue)

Get on the waka : best recent Māori fiction
“Get on the Waka is a fresh, energetic collection of fiction writing by Maori since 2000, selected and with an introduction by Witi Ihimaera. It showcases 17 stories and extracts from established writers, most of whom have won awards and recognition in New Zealand and overseas.” (Catalogue)

 

 

Where’s Waari? : a history of the Maori through the short story
A collection of short stories from authors such as Patricia Grace, Keri Hulme, Witi Ihimaera, J.C. Sturm, and more.

 

 

 

Pounamu Pounamu / Ihimaera, Witi
“First published in 1972, Pounamu Pounamu introduced an exciting new voice into New Zealand literature. Most of Witi Ihimaera’s stories, based on the East Coast, describe a traditional rural, communal way of life facing huge pressures from the drift by many Māori to the cities. This was to be a constant theme in Ihimaera’s future writing.” (Catalogue)

 

Pūrākau : Māori myths retold by Māori writers
“Ancient Māori creation myths, portrayals of larger-than-life heroes and tales of engrossing magical beings have endured through the ages. Some hail back to Hawaiki, some are firmly grounded in New Zealand and its landscape. Through countless generations, the stories have been reshaped and passed on. This new collection presents a wide range of traditional myths that have been retold by some of our best Maori wordsmiths” (Catalogue)

Close to Home: Fiction Set In and Around Wellington

There’s nothing quite like the feeling of reading a novel and recognising the locations and events in the pages, because they’re set in your home town.  We’re lucky in Wellington, we have a plethora of novels set right here in the windy little capital.  Here are a selection to get you started.


The wives of Henry Oades : a novel / Moran, Johanna
“In 1890, Henry Oades decided to undertake the arduous sea voyage from England to New Zealand in order to further his family’s fortunes. Here they settled on the lush but wild coast – although it wasn’t long before disaster struck in the most unexpected of ways.” (Catalogue)

The nature of Ash / Hager, Mandy
“Ash McCarthy thought he finally had it made: away from home and all its claustrophobic responsibilities, he’s revelling in the freedom of student hostel life. But life is about to take a devastating turn, when two police officers knock on his door. Their life-changing news forces him to return home to his Down Syndrome brother Mikey, and impels him into a shady world of political intrigue, corruption, terrorism and lies . . . so many lies.” (Adapted from Catalogue)

Auē / Manawatu, Becky
“Taukiri was born into sorrow. Auē can be heard in the sound of the sea he loves and hates, and in the music he draws out of the guitar that was his father’s. It spills out of the gang violence that killed his father and sent his mother into hiding, and the shame he feels about abandoning his eight-year-old brother to another violent home. But Arama is braver than he looks, and he has a friend and his friend has a dog, and the three of them together might just be strong enough to turn back the tide of sorrow.” (Adapted from Catalogue)

She’s a killer / McDougall, Kirsten
“The world’s climate is in crisis and New Zealand is being divided and reshaped by privileged immigrant wealthugees. Thirty-something Alice has a near-genius IQ and lives at home with her mother with whom she communicates by Morse code. When Alice meets a wealthugee named Pablo, she thinks she’s found a way out of her dull existence. But then she meets Pablo’s teenage daughter, Erika – an actual genius full of terrifying ambition.” (Adapted from Catalogue)

Mysterious mysteries of the Aro Valley / McLauchlan, Danyl
“A returning hero. A desolate valley. A missing mathematician. A glamorous council bureaucrat with a hidden past. A cryptic map leading to an impossible labyrinth. An ancient conspiracy; an ancient evil. A housing development without proper planning permission. All leading to the most mysterious mystery of all. Mysterious Mysteries of the Aro Valley is a dark and forbidding comic farce.” (Catalogue)

The unlikely escape of Uriah Heep / Parry, H. G.
“For his entire life, Charley Sutherland has concealed a magical ability he can’t quite control: he can bring characters from books into the real world. But then, literary characters start causing trouble in their city, making threats about destroying the world… and for once, it isn’t Charley’s doing. There’s someone else who shares his powers. It’s up to Charley and a reluctant Rob to stop them, before these characters tear apart the fabric of reality.” (Adapted from Catalogue)

One night out stealing / Duff, Alan
“Boys’ homes, borstal, jail, stealing, then jail again – and again. That’s been life for Jube and Sonny. One Pakeha, the other Maori, only vaguely aware of life beyond pubs and their hopeless cronies . . . Reviewers found it compulsive and unforgettable, one saying: ‘Brutal, foul-mouthed, violent, despairing and real . . . it can’t be ignored’. In this novel Alan Duff confirms his skills as a gripping story-teller and a masterful creator of characters and situations.” (Adapted from Catalogue)

A mistake / Shuker, R. Carl
“Elizabeth Taylor is a surgeon at a city hospital, a gifted, driven and rare woman excelling in a male-dominated culture. One day, while operating on a young woman in a critical condition, something goes gravely wrong” (Catalogue)

Sodden downstream / Gnanalingam, Brannavan
“Thousands flee central Wellington as a far too common ‘once in a century’ storm descends. For their own safety, city workers are told that they must go home early. Sita is a Tamil Sri Lankan refugee living in the Hutt Valley. She’s just had a call from her boss – if she doesn’t get to her cleaning job in the city she’ll lose her contract.” (Catalogue)

Victory Park / Kerr, Rachel
“Kara lives in Victory Park council flats with her young son, just making a living by minding other people’s kids – her nightly smoke on the fire escape the only time she can drop her guard and imagine something better. But the truth is life is threadbare and unpromising until the mysterious Bridget moves in to the flats. The wife of a disgraced Ponzi schemer she brings with her glamour and wild dreams and an unexpected friendship. Drawn in, Kara forgets for a moment who she’s there to protect.” (Catalogue)

Miramar morning / Edwards, Denis
“In 1947 a young woman is found murdered on the slopes of Wellington’s Mt Victoria. The events that follow create a frightening undertow of corruption, menace, lies and violence. In 1972 a woman in Sydney is blown to pieces by a letter bomb. A few days later her sister in Auckland receives a suspicious parcel at work. What is the link between the two crimes?” (Adapted from Catalogue)

Year’s Best Aotearoa New Zealand Science Fiction and Fantasy: Interview with editor Emily Brill-Holland

One of Aotearoa’s most essential annual fiction anthologies (and an excellent way to spot the rising stars of the genre) is the wonderful,  award-winning Year’s Best Aotearoa New Zealand Science Fiction & Fantasy (now in its fourth  volume).

As always, the fourth instalment of the annual treat for science fiction and fantasy fans highlights and draws attention to the good and the great, the established and the newly arrived, and continues to provide a fabulous platform and spotlight for the wide variety of talent and diversity in Aotearoa.

This year’s anthology is a fantastic and phantasmagorical collection of the weirdest, wildest, and most wonderful short fiction to come out of Aotearoa in 2022.

Including contributions from Andi C Buchanan, Anuja Mitra, James Rowland, Juliet Marillier, Kirsteen Ure, M. Darusha Wehm, Melanie Harding-Shaw, Nat Baker, Octavia Cade, Rem Wigmore, Samantha Lane Murphy and Tehnuka.

With all this in mind, we decided to interview the editor of this year’s instalment of the series Emily Brill-Holland and ask her a few questions about the anthology.

We wish to extend our heartfelt thanks and appreciation to Emily  for taking the time out of her busy schedule and “brave lightning Storms” to answer our questions, and for providing such an illuminating insight into her world and work. For more information about the anthology, check out the Paper Road Press website.

This interview was done in conjunction with Caffeine and Aspirin, the arts and entertainment review show on Radioactive FM. You can hear the full interview below:

Links to borrow the various anthologies from the library can also be found below.


Year’s best Aotearoa New Zealand science fiction & fantasy. VI
“Collected together for the first time, the very best science fiction and fantasy short stories published by New Zealand authors in 2018″–Publisher information.” (Adapted from Catalogue) Also available as an eBook.

 

 

Year’s best Aotearoa New Zealand science fiction & fantasy. V2
“Ancient myths go high-tech a decade after the New New Zealand Wars. Safe homes and harbours turn to strangeness within and without.Splintered selves come together again – or not. Twelve authors. Thirteen stories. The best short science fiction and fantasy from Aotearoa New Zealand in 2019. With works by: Juliet Marillier, Nic Low, Rem Wigmore, Andi C Buchanan, Octavia Cade, A.J. Fitzwater, Nicole Tan, Melanie Harding-Shaw, Alisha Tyson, James Rowland, Zoë Meager, and Casey Lucas.” (Adapted from Catalogue) Also available as an eBook.

Year’s Best Aotearoa New Zealand science fiction and fantasy, V3
“When borders closed last year, Kiwi science fiction and fantasy took readers on flights of imagination through space and time. This anthology contains a selection of the best short science fiction and fantasy stories published by Aotearoa New Zealand writers in 2020.” (Adapted from Catalogue) Also available as an eBook.

 

 

Year’s best Aotearoa New Zealand science fiction & fantasy. v. 4
“Contents : Introduction. I will teach you magic by Andi C. Buchanan,  A thorn in your side by M. Darusha Wehm, Rabbit by Samantha Lane Murphy ,  Clutch, stick, shift by Tehnuka, Plague year by Anuja Mitra,  Basil and the wild by Rem Wigmore,  Data migration by  Melanie Harding-Shaw, Domestic goddess  by Kirsteen Ure,  Below salt-heavy tides by Andi C. Buchanan,  The women who didn’t win Nobels, and how world trees are not a substitute by Octavia Cade, Why we make monsters by  Rem Wigmore,  Interview with the sole refugee from the A303 Incident by James Rowland, Last Bird Island by  Nat Baker and Washing the plaid by Juliet Marillier.” ( Adapted from Catalogue) 

After The Witcher – More Dark Fantasy to Enjoy

Henry Cavill as Geralt of Rivia from Netflix’s The Witcher

We’re all gutted to hear the news that Henry Cavill is leaving The Witcher; for many of us there will be no other Geralt of Rivia.  We’ve turned to reading the original books (again) by Andrzej Sapkowski to keep the fantasy alive (you can find them here), but what happens when they run out? Rest assured, there are plenty of other wonderful dark fantasy titles that you can enjoy, and we’ve put together a list for you here.  Quite a few of them would be perfect future roles for Henry if he decides he wants to go back to making fantasy film or television!

Prince of Thorns / Lawrence, Mark
“When he was nine, he watched his mother and brother killed before him. By the time he was thirteen, he was the leader of a band of bloodthirsty thugs. By fifteen, he intends to be king… It’s time for Prince Honorous Jorg Ancrath to return to the castle he turned his back on, to take what’s rightfully his.  Life and death are no more than a game to him-and he has nothing left to lose. But treachery awaits him in his father’s castle. Treachery and dark magic. No matter how fierce, can the will of one young man conquer enemies with power beyond his imagining?” (Adapted from catalogue)

The blade itself / Abercrombie, Joe
“Infamous Logen Ninefingers has finally run out of luck. Caught in one feud too many, he’s on the verge of becoming a dead barbarian. He is caught in murderous conspiracies and old scores, along with Captain Jezal dan Luthar, Inquisitor Glokta and the wizard Bayaz, who all must try to survive the coming war.” (Catalogue)

Goblin : a novel in six novellas / Malerman, Josh
“These six novellas tell the story of a place where the rain is always falling, nighttime is always near, and your darkest fears and desires await. Welcome to Goblin… ” (Adapted from Catalogue)

Master of poisons : a novel / Hairston, Andrea
“Award-winning author Andrea Hairston weaves together African folktales and postcolonial literature into unforgettable fantasy in Master of Poisons. There is magic in the world, but good conjure is hard to find. Awash in the rhythms of folklore and storytelling and rich with Hairston’s characteristic lush prose, Master of Poisons is epic fantasy that will bleed your mind with its turns of phrase and leave you aching for the world it burns into being.”  (Adapted from catalogue)

Assassin’s apprentice / Hobb, Robin
“Young Fitz is the bastard son of the noble Prince Chivalry, raised in the shadow of the royal court by his father’s gruff stableman. He is treated as an outcast by all the royalty except the devious King Shrewd, who has him secretly tutored in the arts of the assassin. For in Fitz’s blood runs the magic Skill–and the darker knowledge of a child raised with the stable hounds and rejected by his family. As barbarous raiders ravage the coasts, Fitz is growing to manhood. Soon he will face his first dangerous, soul-shattering mission. And though some regard him as a threat to the throne, he may just be the key to the survival of the kingdom.” (Adapted from Catalogue)

The rage of dragons / Winter, Evan
“The Omehi people have been fighting an unwinnable fight for almost two hundred years. Their society has been built around war and only war. The lucky ones are born gifted. One in every two thousand women has the power to call down dragons. One in every hundred men is able to magically transform himself into a bigger, stronger, faster killing machine.” (Catalogue)

Witches be crazy : a tale that happened once upon a time in the middle of nowhere / Hunder, Logan J
“Real heroes never die. But they do get grouchy in middle age. The beloved King Ik is dead, and there was barely time to check his pulse before the royal throne was supporting the suspiciously shapely backside of an impostor pretending to be Ik’s beautiful long-lost daughter. With the land’s heroic hunks busy drooling all over themselves, there’s only one man left who can save the kingdom of Jenair. Together with an eccentric and arguably insane hobo named Jimminy, he journeys out into the world he’s so pointedly tried to avoid as the only hope of defeating the most powerful person in it. ” (Adapted from Catalogue)

The Red Knight / Cameron, Miles
“Twenty eight florins a month is a huge price to pay, for a man to stand between you and the Wild. Twenty eight florins a month is nowhere near enough when a wyvern’s jaws snap shut on your helmet in the hot stink of battle, and the beast starts to rip the head from your shoulders. But if standing and fighting is hard, leading a company of men – or worse, a company of mercenaries – against the smart, deadly creatures of the Wild is even harder. It takes all the advantages of birth, training, and the luck of the devil to do it. The Red Knight has all three, he has youth on his side, and he’s determined to turn a profit.” (Adapted from catalogue)

City of lies / Hawke, Sam
“Outwardly, Jovan is the lifelong friend of the Chancellors charming, irresponsible Heir. Quiet. Forgettable. In secret, he’s a master of poisons and chemicals, trained to protect the Chancellors family from treachery. When the Chancellor succumbs to an unknown poison and an army lays siege to the city, Jovan and his sister Kalina must protect the Heir and save their city-state. But treachery lurks in every corner, and the ancient spirits of the land are rising … and angry” (Catalogue)

Markswoman / Mehrotra, Rati
“Kyra is the youngest Markswoman in the Order of Kali, a highly trained sisterhood of elite warriors armed with telepathic blades. Guided by a strict code of conduct, Kyra and the other Orders are sworn to protect the people of Asiana. But to be a Markswoman, an acolyte must repudiate her former life completely. Kyra has pledged to do so, yet she secretly harbors a fierce desire to avenge her dead family. When Kyra’s beloved mentor dies in mysterious circumstances, and Tamsyn, the powerful, dangerous Mistress of Mental Arts, assumes control of the Order, Kyra is forced on the run.” (Adapted from catalogue)