Posts Tagged ‘epic fantasy’
- - April 6th, 2016
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:
- Bloodmage Launch, Waterstones Birmingham High Street, Thursday 14th April, 7pm
- Bloodmage Event in conjunction with Sheffield Fantasy and Science Fiction Social Club, Waterstones Sheffield Orchard Square, Tuesday 26th April, 6.30-7.30pm
- Stephen Aryan and Niel Bushnell in Conversation and signing, Waterstones Middlesbrough,Wednesday 27th April, 6-7pm
- Whitley Bay Library Event, Thursday 28th April, 7pm
- - March 30th, 2016
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).
- - March 9th, 2016
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.
Who 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 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.
- - February 11th, 2016
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.
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.
- - January 11th, 2016
THE SUMMON STONE is the start of a brand new epic fantasy series from bestseller Ian Irvine, set in the world of his fan-favourite View from the Mirror series. Today we’re delighted to launch the cover, designed by the fantastic Jack Smyth from the Little, Brown design team.
The Merdrun, cruel warriors blooded by thousands of years of slaughter, are gathering in the void between the worlds.
Their long-hidden summon stone is waking, corrupting good people as well as bad, and turning arcane places into magically polluted wastelands. If it is not destroyed it will create a portal and call this marauding army out of exile.
In a nightmare, a nine-year-old girl sees the Merdrun leader – and he sees her. If Karan and Llian are to save their daughter and their world, they must find a way to stop the greatest warrior in the void.
We’re really excited to share this one with you, and we know there’s a lot of love for Ian out there:
‘Compelling . . . Truly original’ Locus
‘He knows how to spin an epic yarn and tell it with real gusto’ SFX
‘The sort of book you’d pick up if you were prepared to be late for your next appointment’ Bookbag
With over 600,000 copies sold worldwide, plenty of fans of the View from the Mirror series have been eagerly waiting to return to this world and characters, but if you’re a fantasy reader completely new to Ian’s writing, THE SUMMON STONE is a great entry point. Although as it’s not coming out until 17th May, you’ve got plenty of time to catch up and find out what has got those those View from the Mirror fans so excited . . .
- - December 18th, 2015
This week, we’ve released the superb WARLORDS AND WASTRELS (UK|US|ANZ) by Julia Knight. This is the third and final book in her Duellists trilogy, which is a fast and furious fantasy adventure full of ruffians, scoundrels and rogues . . .
This release follows hot on the heels of SWORDS AND SCOUNDRELS (UK | US | ANZ) and LEGENDS AND LIARS (UK | US | ANZ), which were published in October and November 2015. Yes that’s right – we published 3 books in the space of 3 months!
To celebrate, we just wanted to state 3 reasons why 3 books being released in 3 months is great:
- 1. No waiting to find out what happens next! When it comes to a series like the Duellist series, featuring a tension-filled relationship between a constantly sparring brother and sister and edge-of-your-seat sword-wielding action, you simply do not want to have to wait to find out what happens next. With all books out in 3 months, you can binge away to your hearts content – and dammit you won’t stop until you know just who comes out on top.
2. No forgetting what happened in the last book! We all often have to wait at least a year until the next book in our favourite fantasy series comes out. Even though it’s usually worth the wait, I’m sure we all have the issue of forgetting what happened in the last book – exactly who stuck who with their sabre or stiletto – and exactly what reason the traitor gave for betraying the kingdom…When you can read the whole series like Speedy Gonzalez, the events will be fresh in your mind and you wont have the need for a recap!
3. Great for Christmas gifting! The gift of a book at Christmas is one of the most wonderful things for all involved. But if you give a book that’s as much a page turner as a Duellist book by Julia Knight, then I guarantee you, the recipient will be finished in no time. The weather outside at this time of year is rather frightful to have to go outside and buy the new one (if print books are your bag instead of digital). So why not save your fantasy-reading friends and family the time this year and just get them all three in one go?
And here are just a few more reasons why you should get stuck in!
‘With roguish highwaymen and all the intrigue of a bloody revolution, this book will keep you guessing until the end. I can’t wait to read the sequel!’ (Anne Lyle, author of THE ALCHEMIST OF SOULS)
‘Will hold readers in suspense and eager for the next two books’ (RT BOOK REVIEWS)
‘As Knight launches her Duellists trilogy, she skillfully reveals the backstories of the siblings and Egimont, and how Reyes has come to the brink of revolution, illuminating a complex and intriguing world. The accelerating pacing as the present and past converge will hold readers in suspense and eager for the next two books’ (BOOKLIST)
‘For readers who are looking for a fast and fun read, Swords and Scoundrels is perfect . . . quick pacing, witty dialogue, and plenty of adventurous action . . . Great entertainment . . . I’m definitely on board for another Duellist adventure’ (Bibliosanctum)
‘Swordplay, politics, sorcerers and more….The action is nonstop’ (Journey of a Bookseller)
- - December 9th, 2015
The holiday season! So much waiting – waiting to open that Advent calendar, counting the days until the vacation, waiting for that one last online order to arrive so you don’t visit Aunt Ethel’s house empty-handed on Christmas day…
The bad news is we’ve got one more thing you have to wait for – and you’ll be waiting until Spring 2017. The very very good news is that we’re announcing THREE BRAND NEW BOOKS from AGE OF IRON author Angus Watson! And that’s something worth waiting for.
WEST OF WEST is an action-packed new trilogy full of magic and adventure: a mismatched group of refugees will battle animals and monsters, determined assassins, an unforgiving landscape and each other as they cross a continent to fulfil a prophecy.
Orbit UK and US will be launching worldwide Spring 2017. And until then you’ve got the three amazing books in the AGE OF IRON trilogy to keep you happy … and they make great gifts, too! Order now and they’ll arrive in time for Aunt Ethel. Maybe.
Angus Watson is a fantasy author and journalist living in London. He’s written features for many newspapers including the Times, Financial Times and the Telegraph, and the latter even sent him to America to look for Bigfoot. He is the author of the Iron Age trilogy and the upcoming West of West series. You can find him on twitter at @GusWatson or find his website at: www.guswatson.com. He is represented by Angharad Kowal at Writers House.
- - December 3rd, 2015
We’ve been hearing lots of excitement about the news that Ian Graham is back with a new book, announced on this blog just a few weeks ago, and that his fantasy classic, MONUMENT, is coming out in ebook for the first time ever this month.
And now we’re delighted to share with you the covers for both of these works, designed by the spectacular Nick Castle:
MONUMENT will be released in ebook next week, on the 8th of December.
Our print edition of THE PATH OF THE HAWK will be released August 2016. But first . . .
We’re releasing THE PATH OF THE HAWK in two digital instalments, with BOOK ONE released January 26th 2016 and BOOK TWO following February 23rd 2016.
- - December 1st, 2015
THE FALL OF THE DAGGER is the third and final novel in the Forsaken Lands trilogy, a fantasy epic full of scheming, spying, action and adventure.
We’re excited to launch the final cover in this trilogy today, with design by Tracey Winwood and image by Steve Stone.
A king corrupted, a sorcerer on the throne, a land in peril…
Excommunicated cleric Saker returns from exile in the Spice Islands to find his homeland in chaos.
A dark sorcerer controls the ear of the King, turning him against his own son and heir, while a corrupted army gathers in the shadows.
With the illusionist Sorrel and islander Ardhi, armed with magic from Ardhi’s homeland, Saker now must stand between his city and the corruption that threatens to cripple it, before it is too late . . .
The first two books in the series are available now, check out THE LASCAR’S DAGGER and THE DAGGER’S PATH, or read the first chapters on the Orbit site today.
Praise for this series:
“Outstanding all the way to the last word”
“Breathtaking adventure, exotic world-building and fabulous characters”
- - October 19th, 2015
We interviewed Julia Knight, author of the Duellists trilogy. The first book, SWORDS AND SCOUNDRELS (UK|US|ANZ) is out this month. It’s a fast and furious fantasy adventure about two siblings, Kacha and Vocho, who are known for the finest swordplay in their kingdom – until they are dishonoured and forced to become reluctant highwaymen. The sequels LEGENDS AND LIARS (UK|US|ANZ) and WARLORDS AND WASTRELS (UK|US|ANZ) will follow in November and December 2015.
What was the inspiration behind SWORDS AND SCOUNDRELS?
Lots of things! I was reading a lot about post-Moorish Spain – which was inspiration for the fallen empire in the book – and Renaissance Italy, which inspired all the city states that are at each other’s throats. Then add to this a re-reading of the Musketeers, and my happening across a video for an architect’s design for a clockwork city and….hey presto!
Which was your favourite character to write?
That is a really hard question, as I love them all in different ways. Vocho was a blast to write, because he’s just so vain and unintentionally funny but he does have a heart too (when he remembers). I like Kacha because she takes no crap from anyone, especially Vocho. Petri was supposed to be the bad guy . . . but I found I rather felt for his predicament . . .
Who really is the better duellist – Kacha or Vocho?!
Depends on who you ask . . . As Vocho says, she’s better at technique, but he has an advantage in strength and reach. Both are devious as required. I’d say they both have their strengths but that balances out so they are actually fairly evenly matched.
Where’s your favourite bookshop?
I’m going to cheat and say it’s a toss up between Forbidden Planet in London and my local Waterstones in Horsham, West Sussex. Forbidden Planet because I cannot leave without buying *something* and it is just so very cool. And my local Waterstones because it’s got everything – a café, squishy sofas, staff that really know their books (and are more than happy to chat about them, or help me find something). It also has a decent SFF section which brings me on to the next question…
When you walk into a bookshop which section do you gravitate to first?
I always gravitate to the SFF section first in any bookshop. However I do have a soft spot for other genres – historical (both fiction and non-fiction) and crime in particular, so once I’ve mined the SFF I tend to browse there too. Frankly I’ll read almost anything!
What we can expect from the next Duellists novel LEGENDS AND LIARS?
Dastardly magicians, dashing duellists and warring cities. It gets deeper into the characters, and darker too, though it’s still got plenty of light-hearted moments . . .