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Cover Launch: SOUL OF THE WORLD by David Mealing

Here, darkness looms on the horizon. An army marches towards war. And a figure stands on the precipice of destruction. Intrigued yet? Rich. Complex. Brilliant. SOUL OF THE WORLD (US | UK | AUS)  is a masterwork of world-building—an epic of intricate magics, world-ending battles, and matters of empire. Make sure to check out David Mealing’s breathtaking debut June 2017!


Three must fight. Three must die. Three must rise.

It is a time of revolution. In the cities, food shortages stir citizens to riots against the crown. In the wilds, new magic threatens the dominance of the tribes. And on the battlefields, even the most brilliant commanders struggle in the shadow of total war. Three lines of magic must be mastered in order to usher in a new age, and three heroes must emerge.

Erris is a brilliant cavalry officer trying to defend New Sarresant from an enemy general armed with magic she barely understands.

Arak’Jur wields the power of beasts to keep his people safe, but his strength cannot protect them from war amongst themselves.

Sarine is an artist on the streets of New Sarresant whose secret familiar helps her uncover bloodlust and madness where she expected only revolutionary fervor.

Each must learn the secrets of their power in time to guide their people through ruin. But a greater evil may be trying to stop them.

Design by Lauren Panepinto
Art © Arcangel-Images

New Acquisition –SOUL OF THE WORLD by David Mealing

It’s no secret that Orbit loves epic fantasies—massive worlds, dire stakes, bloody battles, intricate magic systems, and a cast of characters that makes you fall in love. Our recent acquisition SOUL OF THE WORLD (US | UK | AUS has all of that plus monsters, murderers, and an invisible dragon creature. In the book, we follow a military general, a street artist, and a warrior as they uncover secret magics and discover a plot that could threaten the entire world. Now that’s big. You’ll get to read it in June 2017. In the meantime, say “Hi” to David Mealing on Twitter at @ddmealing.

Three must fight. Three must die. Three must rise.

It is a time of revolution. In the cities, food shortages stir citizens to riots against the crown. In the wilds, new magic threatens the dominance of the tribes. And on the battlefields, even the most brilliant commanders struggle in the shadow of total war. Three lines of magic must be mastered in order to usher in a new age, and three heroes must emerge.

Sarine is an artist on the streets of New Sarresant whose secret familiar helps her uncover bloodlust and madness where she expected only revolutionary fervor.

Arak’Jur wields the power of beasts to keep his people safe, but his strength cannot protect them from war amongst themselves.

Erris is a brilliant cavalry officer trying to defend New Sarresant from an enemy general armed with magic she barely understands.

Each must learn the secrets of their power in time to guide their people through ruin. But a greater evil may be trying to stop them

‘CONTEMPORARY AND AS GRIMDARK AS IT COMES’: Announcing New Books from Adrian Selby

We were thrilled last year to publish Adrian Selby’s fantasy debut SNAKEWOOD, which has received rave reviews for its razor-sharp action scenes, original worldbuilding and gripping plot. If you’ve not yet read this wonderfully gritty tale about a band of twenty mercenaries who are being assassinated one by one by an unknown enemy, then never fear: the paperback is out this week!

That’s not all – we’re delighted to announce that Orbit have acquired two new books from Adrian and his agent Jamie Cowen, both fantasy adventures set in the same world as SNAKEWOOD. Adrian took twenty years to write his debut tale of twenty mercenaries, but we won’t have to wait that long again – the second book will be out in 2018. We’re counting down the days already.

Adrian can be found online at his website and on Twitter.

Praise for SNAKEWOOD:

‘Contemporary and as grimdark as it comes’ British Fantasy Society

‘Perfect for fans of Joe Abercrombie’ RT Book Reviews

‘Absolutely fascinating and incredibly original’ Sense of Wonder

‘Relish the well-choreographed action scenes in this debut fantasy’ Library Journal

‘Wears its grimdark on its sleeve … a thrilling tale of adventure, betrayal, triumph and loss’ Interzone

‘A lot to enjoy, especially if you are a fan of dark, gritty, old-soldier stories’ Fantasy Faction

‘Demonstrates the command of style, character, plotting, and world building of a seasoned author’ Booklist

‘A fantasy novel that remembers that battles leave all kinds of scars’ B&N Science Fiction and Fantasy blog

‘I give it nothing but the highest recommendation’ Grimdark magazine

Beware the Age of Dread!

Stephen Aryan stormed onto the epic fantasy scene with his award-nominated debut BATTLEMAGE (UK|US|ANZ) – a thunderous adventure of furious battles, lethal magic and valiant heroes. The epic story continued in BLOODMAGE (UK|US|ANZ) and concludes in CHAOSMAGE (UK|US|ANZ), out this month!

Never fear however, as there’s plenty more magic-infused action where that came from. We’re delighted to announce that we have signed up Stephen for a brand new trilogy – the Age of Dread – which will be set in the same world as his original series. More battles! More magic! More blood . . .

We just can’t wait.

The Age of Dread trilogy was acquired by Orbit Commissioning Editor Jenni Hill, who bought world English rights from Juliet Mushens at United Talent. The first book in the series will be released in October 2017. Plenty of time to sharpen your axes (and to read the previous books if you haven’t already!).

The Age of Darkness trilogy by Stephen Aryan

Cover Reveal: A WAR IN CRIMSON EMBERS by Alex Marshall

War reaches a bloody climax in Alex Marshall’s final book in the Crimson Empire trilogy. Check out this epic cover for A WAR IN CRIMSON EMBERS, the third and final book following A CROWN FOR COLD SILVER (US | UK | AUS) and A BLADE OF BLACK STEEL (US | UK | AUS), to be published in summer 2017. Cover design by Lisa Marie Pompilio, with map by Tim Paul.

marshal_-a-war-in-crimson-embers-hc

The first two books are available now in all good bookstores, and everyone is raving about them! Here is some of the praise we’ve seen so far:

“Feels like a Tarantino movie: a hugely entertaining mix of adventure and comedy, punctuated by moments of darkness, with clever dialogue and explosive set-pieces…a pure joy to read.” – Booklist (starred review) on A Crown for Cold Silver 

A rollicking, obscene, subversive, and zany epic fantasy ride.” – B&N Sci-Fi and Fantasy Blog on A Blade of Black Steel

My favorite kind of fantasy – alternately irreverent and brutal, with a cast of wonderfully scarred and nasty people. Any fans of Steven Erikson, Mark Lawrence, or Joe Abercrombie will love A Crown for Cold Silver.” – Django Wexler

“Cold Zosia’s blood-soaked quest for revenge as she takes up arms again forms the backbone of a narrative that encompasses fanatical religions, ethnic conflict and enough fiendish political maneuvering to make George R.R. Martin jealous.” – Shelf Awareness on A Crown for Cold Silver

“Zosia and her Five Villains are as fun as they are twisted.” – David Dalglish on A Crown for Cold Silver

Exceptional writing, middle-aged warrior heroine, and organically infused gender nonconformity make this fantasy epic a first-rate trailblazer…splendid storytelling, wry humor, and unresolved intrigue.” – Publishers Weekly (starred review) on A Crown for Cold Silver

“Full of bloody battles and strong females…twisted and surprising.” – RT Book Reviews on A Blade of Black Steel

A Crown for Cold Silver drags epic fantasy through the mud — but it does so with wit, wonder and wisdom.” – NPR Books

THE AGE OF ASSASSINS HAS DAWNED!

Confident and stylish, masterful in the execution, once it has you in its grasp it just doesn’t let go . . . RJ Barker’s debut novel AGE OF ASSASSINS has a lot in common with the ruthless killers who inhabit its pages.

So we are simply delighted to announce that we’ve acquired this epic fantasy trilogy from a supremely talented British debut author. AGE OF ASSASSINS, the gripping first book in RJ Barker’s trilogy, is packed full of intrigue, adventure and magic. It tells the story of Girton Club-foot, a young man apprenticed to a master assassin, who is thrust into a world of politics and treachery when the queen hires the duo not to cause an assassination, but to prevent one.

The trilogy was acquired by Orbit in a three-book deal for World English language rights, from Ed Wilson of Johnson and Alcock literary agency. AGE OF ASSASSINS will hit the shops in summer 2017.

Stephen Aryan’s BLOODMAGE Tour

Stephen Aryan exploded onto the fantasy scene late last year with BATTLEMAGE, the magic-fuelled, fireball-throwing debut which author Den Patrick said ‘puts the epic into epic fantasy’.

Fantasy fans are in for a treat this month, as Stephen follows up his debut with BLOODMAGE, an adventure which begins with a murder investigation in the city most ravaged by the Battlemage war.

Not only does Stephen have a new book out in April, but he’s going on tour! These are the dates you can meet him and get a signed copy:

Glenda Larke Wins Inaugural Sara Douglass Award

Huge Orbit congratulations go to Glenda Larke this week for winning the inaugural Sara Douglass Award for her Watergivers trilogy!

Glenda says she is ‘So honoured. So chuffed. So breathtakingly amazed’ and writes a little more about the award and its namesake at her blog. The award was given at the Aussi Natcon 2016 in Brisbane during the Aurealis ceremony over the weekend, and is given to an entire series, not a single novel.

The Watergivers trilogy is available from Orbit in print and ebook and begins with THE LAST STORMLORD (UK|US).

The Stormlord Trilogy: Award-winning epic fantasy by Glenda Larke

 

Meet the Author of SNAKEWOOD: Adrian Selby

We interviewed Adrian Selby, debut author of SNAKEWOOD (UK|US|ANZ), an epic fantasy of mystery, betrayal and bloody revenge publishing this month via Orbit.

Can you give us your best elevator pitch for SNAKEWOOD?
Fifteen years after the legendary mercenary crew Kailen’s Twenty disbanded, they’re being killed off one by one.  Told through a ‘found footage’ collection of journals and interviews, SNAKEWOOD is a record of their glory, their demise and the final days of those left alive as they desperately try to evade a lethal and relentless assassin.

When did you first know you were going to write this particular book?
1989. Back then it was the desire to tell a story of two old soldiers, buddies all their lives, crumbling apart from a life of war, with only each other to rely on as an enemy from their past came after them.  All these years later it became a more layered narrative, an exploration of how they and their old mercenary crew fell apart, a glimpse also of their glory years and the story also of the assassin hunting them down.

Faded glory and absent comrades are a great theme in the book – what is it about the ‘old soldier’ motif that’s so attractive to you as a writer?
It’s many things all bound up.  They’re more vulnerable.  This particular crew of soldiers were so badass in their prime, winning every purse, that it wouldn’t have been that interesting to focus on them back then.  But having saved each other’s lives so often, there are debts of honour that will now make them take risks for each other.  There is an ennui that pervades our middle age, when the people that made us who we are drift slowly away, leaving us only the joy of having known them, something we treasure and, in Gant and Shale’s case, honour enough to act on when these old friends are dying, and in so honouring perhaps do one good thing before their own time is up.

SNAKEWOOD was a fantasy twenty years in the making: can you tell us a bit about the path to publication?
I finally got my head together and researched and wrote the novel over a ten year span, a growing family edging its progress to the corners of my days.  I finished the first draft in February 2013, and started querying literary agents in May.  Jamie Cowen, of the Ampersand Agency, expressed an interest in reading the full manuscript in December 2013 and offered to represent me the following month.  He helped me get the manuscript into shape for a pitch to publishers and in the summer of 2014 approached Orbit, who appeared to quite like it! Now the editing’s done and the first hardbacks have just arrived from the printers, the culmination of all those years of work and a wonderful collaboration with the brilliant Jamie and everyone at Orbit.

inspirationWho inspires you as a writer?
I have favourite writers, Hilary Mantel, Ian McEwan, Annie Proulx, and many others who write exquisite prose in the service of magnificent and moving stories.  While I’m a sucker for a great page turner, and I’m looking at you Tim Powers, I am also inspired by those writers who deliver hugely original and/or well realised worlds, from the master, Tolkien, to the strange and vivid worlds of John Crowley, Jeff Vandermeer, Robert Holdstock, Brian Aldiss, Jack Vance and Hannu Rajaniemi.  Then there are the writers who deliver on all three, such as David Mitchell and China Miéville.

SNAKEWOOD would definitely fall into that category of ‘strange and vivid worlds’, with its varied poisons and ‘fightbrews’ (potions taken by soldiers to enhance their fighting skill) made from ingredients found naturally in their world. No other fantasy writer has explored this in quite the same way – how did this change the story you were writing?
It is in the story’s DNA, as all magic systems must be.  The power of the One Ring in Middle-earth moves every living thing in it like the tides as it journeys south with Frodo.  In my own world of Sarun, the magic is in the plant life; it is widespread, capable of being harnessed by anyone who can figure out the recipes with which to make effective magic of it.  Such power is inevitably held with those who know and own the recipes, and can thus control the rest, not unlike the control of literacy in the dark to middle ages.  The political order of the world is shaped by the knowledge of ‘plant’ and the race to innovate and learn new recipes.  Such things therefore govern trade, conspiracies, conquests and alliances.

Clearly Quentin Tarantino would have to direct any adaptation of SNAKEWOOD – a dark and gritty tale of assassins, soldiers and mercenaries on the run – but who would be your dream cast?
This was rather harder than I first thought! I see Javier Bardem as Gant, because I’ve seen him be a complete badass and yet he has a sensitive, expressive quality, softly spoken, perfect for an old mercenary that holds a strong love for old friends.  Shale, his lifelong buddy and in a way his rock is more Russell Crowe, all Gladiator – calm, ruthless and more stony in demeanour.  Karen Gillan would be a great Galathia, a vengeful young princess estranged from her throne.  She could easily bring out Galathia’s intelligence and rage.  Kailen, the genius former leader of Kailen’s Twenty, has to be Gabriel Byrne.  He can transfix you with those eyes, he has a great presence, commanding authority, but can give the impression of being able to crush you with his eloquence or slit your throat just as easily!

Adrian Selby, author of the groundbreaking fantasy epic SNAKEWOODADRIAN SELBY studied creative writing at university before embarking on a career in video game production. He is a Tolkien fanatic and an online gaming addict, and lives with his wife and family on the south coast of England. His debut novel Snakewood is an epic and inventive fantasy about a company of mercenaries and the assassin trying to destroy them. You can find Adrian on Twitter, tweeting as @adrianlselby.

Cover Launch: HOPE AND RED by Jon Skovron

The Orbit offices in both the US and the UK haven’t stopped talking about this fantastic adventure fantasy since it first came in a year ago.  And we’re delighted to introduce it to you! Thanks very much to Lauren Panepinto and artist Bastien Deharme for the awesome cover.

Skovron_HopeAndRed-PMM.jpg

Here is a bit of a sneak peek as HOPE AND RED (US | UK) will be out this June:

A KILLER FANTASY ADVENTURE

HOPE, the lone survivor of a village massacred by the emperor’s forces, secretly trains asa  warrior and dreams of vengeance.

RED, an orphan adopted by a notorious matriarch of the criminal underworld, learns to be an expert thief and con artist.

TOGETHER THEY WILL TAKE DOWN AN EMPIRE.

If you’d like to know more — please visit the author’s website and sign up there! New newsletter subscribers will receive the first chapter in their inboxes this Monday.

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