A Darker Shade of Magic by V. E. Schwab
Kell is one of the last Travelers-magicians with a rare, coveted ability to travel between parallel universes, connected by one magical city.
There's Grey London, dirty and boring, without any magic, and with one mad king-George III. Red London, where life and magic are revered-and where Kell was raised alongside Rhys Maresh, the rougish heir to a flourishing empire. White London-a place where people fight to control magic, and the magic fights back, draining the city to its very bones. And once upon a time, there was Black London. But no one speaks of that now.
Officially, Kell is the Red Traveler, ambassador of the Maresh empire, carrying the monthly correspondences between the royals of each London. Unofficially, Kell is a smuggler, servicing people willing to pay for even the smallest glimpses of a world they'll never see. It's a defiant hobby with dangerous consequences, which Kell is now seeing firsthand.
Fleeing into Grey London, Kell runs into Delilah Bard, a cut-purse with lofty aspirations. She first robs him, then saves him from a deadly enemy, and finally forces Kell to spirit her to another world for a proper adventure.
Now perilous magic is afoot, and treachery lurks at every turn. To save all of the worlds, they'll first need to stay alive.
City of the Saints by D.J. Butler
War is coming.
In the mounting tention all eyes turn west, to the Kingdom of Deseret. The Madman Orson Pratt’s perfection of air-ship technology already has every power scrambling to get Deseret’s Brigham Young into the war as its ally, or sidelined permanently. The stakes only rise with the rumors that Pratt’s newest invention is a working, deadly, phlogiston cannon.
Sam Clemens of the United States Army rides into Deseret on his amphibious steam-truck, the Jim Smiley. Racing against him on the land-ferry Liahona comes Captain Richard Burton, explorer, linguist, soldier, and hard-headed man of science. Edgar Allan Poe, a master spy presumed dead for a decade, travels in disguise as an exhibitor f Egyptian antiquities, doing his dirty work for the clandestine confederate leadership with flesh-eating clocksprung scarab beetles and a hypnotic hypocephalus. The rivals fight each other tooth and nail and clash with the Kingdom’s loyal but eccentric defender, the Deseret Marshal Orrin Porter Rockwell.
Read more about D.J. Butler’s books at http://davidjohnbutler.com.
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Matt Mitrovich is the founder and editor of Alternate History Weekly Update, a blogger on Amazing Stories and a Sidewise Awards for Alternate History judge. When not writing he works as an attorney, enjoys life with his beautiful wife Alana and prepares for the day when travel between parallel universes becomes a reality. You can follow him on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. Learn how you can support his alternate history projects on Patreon.