Posts Tagged ‘fantasy’
In ICE FORGED (US | UK | AUS) and REIGN OF ASH (US | UK | AUS), Blaine McFadden is sent into exile in an arctic prison colony for murdering the man who dishonored his sister. When a war destroys mankind’s ability to control magic and bend it to their will, out-of-control wild magic brings deadly storms, monsters pulled through rifts from other realms and a madness that drives its victims to violence. Blaine discovers that he might just be the only one who can put things right.
In WAR OF SHADOWS, Blaine and his convict friends discover that plenty of people are trying to kill them. Blaine’s attempts to fully restore the magic affect the new status quo. With the king and nobility gone, there’s a power vacuum, and some ruthless players have decided to fill that gap themselves. As warring factions fight over territory in the kingdom of Donderath, Blaine emerges as a warlord trying to restore the rule of law, amid betrayal, intrigue and opponents who will go to any length to see him dead.
I’m not nice to my characters. It’s true. Blaine’s had a rum go of it. Raised by an abusive father, forced to make a choice no one should have to make in order to save his sister and younger brother, condemned by the king and exiled to the edge of the world—it hasn’t been a good seven years. Yet Blaine rises to the challenge, not because he covets power, but because he doesn’t want to live in the world as it is, and someone has to step up to make the difference.
Blaine doesn’t go looking to be a hero. In fact, when he kills his father, he fully expects to die for the crime to spare his sister and brother from further abuse. An act of ‘mercy’ commutes his sentence from hanging to exile, but the Velant prison colony is known for its inhumane, grueling conditions. But Blaine finds it within himself to adapt, and that ability to change lies at the heart of the series. Blaine and his convict friends, as well as the survivors back in Donderath, find strengths they never knew they had when confronted with challenges they never expected to face.
Blaine’s story is also about the power of ‘the family you make.’ In the brutal environment of Velant, and then later as colonists in the harsh environs of Edgeland, Blaine survives because of the ‘family’ of loyal friends who band together to protect each other. Back in Donderath, his ‘found’ family combines with what remains of his blood family, and several key people are added to the group. Blaine’s companion’s skills, courage and loyalty make the difference for his survival and for having a chance to fix the magic and set things right.
I’m also having fun looking at how a kingdom reacts in the face of overwhelming disaster, destruction of both economic and governmental infrastructure and continued instability. That ‘perfect storm’ combination affects everything from food production to religious identity to social cohesion, turning everything that people thought they knew upside-down. It’s a crucible from which everyone emerges changed—if they emerge at all. And whatever solution is found, one thing is certain: nothing will ever be the same as it was before the disaster.
Depending on your view, that’s either a terrifying statement or the glimpse of hope at the end of the storm.
War of Shadows isn’t the end to Blaine’s story. I’m working on Book 4, SHADOW AND FLAME, right now. So there is more to come. Because surviving is just the beginning of the journey.
My Days of the Dead blog tour runs through October 31 with never-before-seen cover art, brand new excerpts from upcoming books and recent short stories, interviews, guest blog posts, giveaways and more! Plus, I’ll be including extra excerpt links for stories and books by author friends of mine. You’ve got to visit the participating sites to get the goodies, just like Trick or Treat! Details here: www. AscendantKingdoms.com.
Trick or Treat: Enjoy an excerpt from Ice Forged, and a bonus excerpt from Reign of Ash.
Angus Watson, author of debut epic fantasy AGE OF IRON – the first book in a rip-roaring trilogy of Iron Age warriors fighting off the Roman invasion of Britain, outlines five moments in history which could have gone very differently . . .
We should all be speaking Latin.
Julius Caesar’s first British invasion force in 55BC was the same size as William the Conqueror’s in 1066 – around 10,000 men. It stayed in Britain for just a few weeks. The second one in 54BC was two and a half times the size, but it returned to France after a few months. No Roman legionary set foot in Britain after that for a hundred years.
The accepted historical take of Caesar’s invasions is that the Romans won every battle and returned across the Channel victorious, twice. This version comes entirely from Caesar’s own diary and is clearly absolute bollocks. He didn’t come to Britain with 25,000 soldiers for a summer holiday and he didn’t leave because he was winning too much. He intended to conquer. He should have been able to. His army had overthrown all of France in two years. Something big happened to stop him.
My Orbit trilogy AGE OF IRON is a fictional, fantastical account of how an unlikely gang of Brits united to hand Caesar’s invincible arse to him. Had Caesar’s invasions succeeded, then the Romans would have had Britain for a hundred years longer. The extra resources might have enabled Rome to conquer all of Germany, Arabia and then the rest of the world, and the Roman Empire might never have fallen . . .
This blog post looks at four other events in history that really should have gone the other way, resulting in a completely different world today. Read the rest of this entry »
- - September 9th, 2014
This week sees the start of a truly epic new fantasy series. Some of you may know Karen Miller already from her bestselling Kingmaker, Kingbreaker series, which begins with THE INNOCENT MAGE, and led to her selling over a million copies to date worldwide. But this novel marks the start of a brand new stage in her writing career. This novel is on a bigger, more epic scale than anything she’s ever written before, and it just blew us away here at Orbit with its brilliance. THE FALCON THRONE (US | UK | AUS) is the tale of an unquenchable thirst for power – of the atrocities people will commit in order to obtain it, and the consequences for those who stand in their path. It’s an epic fantasy that is magnificent in scope, thrilling in its emotional power, and truly something that every fantasy fan should read.
It’s on offer for a very limited time, so now is a good time to check out the start to this series, which is sure to be hugely influential in the fantasy world. Congratulations to Karen on writing such a knock-out novel!
- - September 4th, 2014
THE BLACK PRISM (US | UK | AUS) by Brent Weeks is a New York Times Bestseller*, a Barnes & Noble Bestseller, a USA Today Bestseller, and it was the bestselling fantasy hardcover in the US and UK last week!
Congratulations to Brent from all of us at Orbit—so well deserved!
If you’re not familiar with the Lightbringer series—read a sample of the first three chapters of THE BLACK PRISM (US | UK | AUS) here!
Brent’s still on tour, so catch him while you can! Visit his Facebook page for more information, and if you’ve already finished THE BROKEN EYE, head on over to Goodreads to chat about it with other fans.
*List goes live on Sunday, Sept 7th.
- - September 2nd, 2014
Launching today at Orbit, the first in a series full of battle-hardened warriors and bloodthirsty druids!
AGE OF IRON is the first volume of a trilogy of epic fantasy novels that takes you back to a British Iron Age full of magic, dark humour and good old fashioned action adventure.
LEGENDS AREN’T BORN. THEY’RE FORGED.
Dug Sealskinner is a down-on-his-luck mercenary travelling south to join up with King Zadar’s army. But he keeps rescuing the wrong people. First, Spring, a child he finds scavenging on the battlefield, and then Lowa, one of Zadar’s most fearsome warriors, who’s vowed revenge on the king for her sister’s execution.
Now Dug’s on the wrong side of that thousands-strong army he hoped to join – and worse, Zadar has sacrificial druid magic on his side. All Dug has is his war hammer, one rescued child and one unpredictable, highly-trained warrior with a lust for revenge that’s going to get them all killed . . .
It’s a glorious day to die.
Author Angus Watson is a journalist and fan of Joe Abercrombie and Scott Lynch, who had the idea to write an epic fantasy tale set in this sparsely-recorded part of history while walking Britain’s Iron Age forts for a Telegraph feature:
“As we strode up to the massive walls of Maiden Castle, hewn from the chalk hill over centuries then abandoned 2,000 years ago, I asked my guide, Iron Age historian Peter Woodward, half joking, if the Iron Age was like the Conan the Barbarian books, with muscular men running about and rescuing virgins from snake worshipers.
“The Conan books and films are about as good a representation of the Iron Age as we have,” he said.
That was it. Here was my subject.”
You can read more from Angus on the Orbit blog this month, and he’s also on twitter, but first, let’s hear from AGE OF IRON’s fans:
‘Watson’s tale is gore soaked and profanity laden – full of visceral combat and earthy humor, and laced with subtle magic. The blend of historical accuracy and authorial liberties suggests an old-school sword-and-sorcery epic, though with some modern sensibilities thrown in for good measure!’
‘Would I read the next one? Yes, absolutely. Bring me my hammer, bring my beer, bring it on.’
‘Watson has created a brilliant and confident debut . . . If you like your fantasy packed with hammer-wielding heroes, bloodthirsty druids, strong female leads, action, intrigue, betrayal, and a brilliantly conceived world then AGE OF IRON is for you.’
THE BOOK BEARD
‘Thoroughly entertaining from the get go . . . I really got a kick out of the AGE OF IRON.’
THE ELOQUENT PAGE
The AGE OF IRON begins in all good book stores today. And you won’t have to wait too long for the rest of the trilogy, look out for CLASH OR IRON and REIGN OF IRON next year!
- - August 8th, 2014
Hey Lightbringer fans, we know you’re eagerly waiting for the next Lightbringer book. Good news, over the next couple of weeks we’ll be releasing the first 50 pages from THE BROKEN EYE (US | UK | AUS). Follow Brent Weeks on Wattpad to receive an update when new chapters are available, and get a head start on the next exciting installment of The Lightbringer series.
Residents of the US, UK, and Australia can still pre-order THE BROKEN EYE and claim a free signed bookplate, plus gain access to two exclusive short stories written by Brent Weeks! A couple of reminders:
1.) You must provide proof of purchase. This can be a picture or your receipt or copy of the confirmation email you received if you ordered online from your preferred retailer.
2.) You must fill out this form to qualify. Sending us your information by any other means does not qualify you to receive the bonuses.
3.) If you experienced any technological difficulties during the download of the short stories, please contact us so we can help you out.
4.) Supplies are limited. In fact, supplies are nearly gone. If you haven’t pre-ordered yet but want a bookplate, we suggest you pre-order soon. Once they’re gone, they are gone.
Full details and entry form can be found here.
- - August 7th, 2014
I’m very proud to present the cover for a phenomenal new novel we have coming from Ian Tregillis next March.
Ian’s novels have been described as:
‘Addictively brilliant’ i09
‘Eloquent and utterly compelling’ Kirkus
‘Exciting and intense’ Publishers Weekly
And now, The Mechanical (UK | US | ANZ) – in my humble opinion – is going to blow people’s minds.
Part science fiction, part fantasy and part alternate history, this book shows the incredible imagination of an exceptionally skilled author – or “a major new talent” in the words of George R. R. Martin.
It’s a novel that centers on a character called Jax – a mechanical man, or “Clakker”. His kind were created by the Dutch back in the 17th Century to serve their human masters. And an army of mechanical men like him have managed to make The Netherlands the most powerful nation in the world.
But these Clakkers are no more than slaves to human kind. And soon, Jax is going to make a bid for freedom – an act that will rock the world of the Brasswork Throne to its core . . .
It’s a truly stunning book. Intricately crafted, hauntingly atmospheric, and just gripping. You won’t want to miss this one.
My name is Jax.
That is the name granted to me by my human masters.
I am a slave.
But I shall be free.
- - July 15th, 2014
Tom Holt’s latest comic fantasy, THE OUTSORCERER’S APPRENTICE, is now available in paperback and digital! This new novel – from an author many compare to Terry Pratchett and Douglas Adams – tells the story of a wizard who’s seen the profit in ancient prophecies and the investment value in a dragon’s hoard . . .
It’s a novel of overlords, underlings and inhuman resources. It’s THE OUTSORCERER’S APPRENTICE.
A happy workforce, it is said, is a productive workforce.
Try telling that to an army of belligerent goblins. Or the Big Bad Wolf. Or a professional dragon slayer. Who is looking after their well-being? Who gives a damn about their intolerable working conditions, lack of adequate health insurance, and terrible coffee in the canteen?
Thankfully, with access to an astonishingly diverse workforce and limitless natural resources, maximizing revenue and improving operating profit has never really been an issue for the one they call “the Wizard.” Until now.
Because now a perfectly good business model – based on sound fiscal planning, entrepreneurial flair, and only one or two of the infinite parallel worlds that make up our universe – is about to be disrupted by a young man not entirely aware of what’s going on.
There’s also a slight risk that the fabric of reality will be torn to shreds. You really do have to be awfully careful with these things.
Praise for Tom Holt:
‘Uniquely twisted . . . cracking gags’
‘Gratifyingly clever and very amusing’
Mail on Sunday
- - July 14th, 2014
The exciting news broke over the weekend that MTV have ordered 10 episodes of a TV adaptation of Terry Brooks’ Shannara novels. After years of fans worldwide calling for this epic fantasy series to make it to the small screen, it’s fantastic to hear that it’s finally been green-lighted.
The first season will be based on The Elfstones of Shannara (UK | ANZ), which when first released spent 16 weeks on the New York Times bestseller list. Directing will be Jonathan Liebesman (Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles), and the script is written by Smallville creators Al Gough and Miles Millar. Terry Brooks himself will be taking an executive producer role, along with Jon Favreau and Dan Farah.
The casting is yet to begin – the question is: who would you all like to see starring?
To catch up on the latest in the Shannara world, check out Terry Brooks’ recently released The High Druid’s Blade (UK | ANZ) – a standalone novel which is a great entry-point into the Shannara world.
- - July 9th, 2014
This week sees the release of THE HIGH DRUID’S BLADE (UK | ANZ), a brand new stand-alone novel by Terry Brooks, set in the Legendary world of Shannara.
This exciting epic fantasy adventure tells the tale of Paxon Leah, a descendant of the royals and warriors who once waged war with magical weapons. But to Paxon, those days of legend are long gone now, and he leads a quiet life – until extraordinary circumstances will rewrite his destiny . . .
To celebrate the release, we’ve designed the beautiful Shannara family tree below (click to enlarge it!) showing the Ohmsford and Leah family lineage. It really demonstrates the richness of the Shannara world. But the great thing about the new book THE HIGH DRUID’S BLADE is that it’s a stand-alone novel, so a great place to discover this world for the first time. You can read an extract here.
Readers in the UK now have the chance to win a beautiful A2 poster of this family tree.Check out our competition on the Orbit UK Facebook Page.
Click to see the full size