Posts Tagged ‘fantasy’
Ever since I decided to use Francis as my pen name, the subject has cropped up. Why? Is there some gender reason? Is it because you’re writing from a male first person perspective? In part that’s true – although Francis is a family name, which is why I chose it initially.
Writing as a supposed male has had some interesting side effects though. I’ve surprised a few people who thought I was male, which I’m taking as a compliment about getting the character right. And the other area that surprised me was the idea of author inserts, and the assumptions that come with that.
As a reader, I completely understand the temptation to assume a character (especially in first person) is, somehow, a representation of the author as they are, or who they wish they were. Perhaps because first person is so personal and you get so far inside the character’s head, that it’s difficult to see how they could possibly not be some sort of self-insert. Read the rest of this entry »
- - November 26th, 2013
Released today is LAST TO RISE, the third and final novel in the Rojan Dizon series by Francis Knight, following FADE TO BLACK and BEFORE THE FALL. The ending to this action fantasy series is intensely powerful and moving.
Things are at breaking point for the towering vertical city of Mahala. It has long been a city plagued by corruption, by the exploitation of the weakest – where the pain of the downtrodden has endlessly paid for the whims and fancies of the privileged elite.
But now things are reaching boiling point – as the city is under siege and Rojan’s desperate efforts to save the city using his forbidden magic are driving him further and further into the depths of madness. Although he’d gladly see this city burn, he will give his all to save those who mean something to him – as they’re all he’s got left.
This quote from Publisher’s Weekly really sums up how magnificent it is:
Knight’s Rojan Dizon trilogy conclusion presses its growing cast of characters into intense moments of loyalty and sacrifice to close with a sharp turn into darker, more rewarding territory . . . With Rojan’s best friend anchoring him to humanity on one side and his exhausting, bloody, agonizing magic driving him closer to insanity on the other, the novel takes on a propulsive, fractured energy that mirrors Rojan and Mahala’s increasingly frantic struggle for survival.
The series, which has grown in complexity since the beginning, reaches a profoundly moving conclusion that is both unexpected and entirely satisfying.
If you haven’t picked up the Rojan Dizon novels yet (starting with FADE TO BLACK) I urge you to give them a go, as it’s one of the most dynamic and readable series around from a very promising new British fantasy talent.
- - November 20th, 2013
We’re very proud to present the cover for THIEF’S MAGIC, a thrilling new fantasy novel coming from the number 1 bestselling author Trudi Canavan next May. The illustration is by the very talented Lee Gibbons.
THIEF’S MAGIC is book one in the brand new Millennium’s Rule series. Here in the Orbit office we all pounced on this manuscript as soon as it came in. And we haven’t been able to stop talking about it since – because I’m excited to say it’s truly one of the best things Trudi’s ever written…
Here’s a sneak peek at what’s in store for readers next May:
In a world where an industrial revolution is powered by magic, Tyen, a student of archaeology, unearths a sentient book called Vella. Once a young sorcerer-bookbinder, Vella was transformed into a useful tool by one of the greatest sorcerers of history. Since then she has been collecting information, including a vital clue to the disaster Tyen’s world faces.
Elsewhere, in a land ruled by the priests, Rielle the dyer’s daughter has been taught that to use magic is to steal from the Angels. Yet she knows she has a talent for it, and that there is a corrupter in the city willing to teach her how to use it – should she dare to risk the Angels’ wrath.
But not everything is as Tyen and Rielle have been raised to believe. Not the nature of magic, nor the laws of their lands.
Not even the people they trust.
If you want to be the first to hear news on Trudi and her books, then “like” the official Trudi Canavan Facebook page. This is where we’ll be releasing exclusive extracts, videos and competitions before they’re available anywhere else – so make sure you don’t miss out!
Historian Bruce Catton, in one of his many books about the American Civil War, notes that civilization is a mask, and war gives permission to remove the mask and reveal the beast that always lurks beneath. I wager that one reason post-apocalyptic stories are so enduring is that the end of the world is one of those times when you find out what you—and your neighbors—are really made of.
ICE FORGED (US | UK | AUS) is a post-apocalyptic medieval adventure, set in the unlucky kingdom of Donderath. A devastating war with its neighboring rival has the unexpected—and unintentional—effect of destroying the bonds that made magic a power that could be controlled by people. Not only is the kingdom devastated by fire and storm, but the magic upon which their culture depended is now no longer controllable. In the chaos and anarchy that follow, my characters not only find out what they’re made of, but they discover a world that is now theirs to remake. Of course, they’re not the only ones who have ideas on what the new reality should look like—and that’s when things get interesting.
Whether you call it Catton’s “beast,” Freud’s “Id” or Jung’s “Shadow,” there’s always tension regarding the choices to be made. Perhaps Dumbledore said it best when he talked about the choice “between what is right, and what is easy.” Or maybe Babylon 5 was onto something in the dichotomy between the Vorlons, who asked “Who are you?” and the Shadows, who asked “What do you want?” When there are no rules, no law and no social constraint, men (and women) either rise to be the hero, or sink to their baser nature. Lord of the Flies is always just one catastrophic power grid failure away.
Blaine McFadden, in ICE FORGED, is acquainted with his shadow side. He killed his father, a minor lord, to stop him from abusing Blaine’s sister. Blaine expected to die for his crime, but the king was “lenient” and sent Blaine instead to a brutal prison colony in the arctic north, a place from which no one ever returned. Blaine survived six harsh years, first as an inmate and then as a convict-colonist, during which he learned just what he was made of and what he would do to survive. When the homeland is destroyed and magic fails, Blaine discovers he might be the only one who can restore the magic and put things right. He’s got a choice to make. Read the rest of this entry »
- - October 9th, 2013
We hope you’ve been enjoying the Art Department’s behind-the-scenes look at the making of the Shadowdance covers. The photos and video footage that came out of the photo shoot were phenomenal! If you haven’t seen them yet, what are you waiting for?
Today, we thought we’d treat you all to a set of wallpapers featuring the awesome cover art from A DANCE OF CLOAKS to celebrate the book’s release.
1024 x 768 | 1280 x 800 | 1440 x 900| 1680 x 1050 | 1920 x 1200 | iPhone | iPad | Facebook
To find out more about A DANCE OF CLOAKS and the Shadowdance series, check out this interview with David Dalglish or read an excerpt. Books two and three will be out this fall, so don’t forget to pre-order A DANCE OF BLADES (US | UK | AUS) and A DANCE OF MIRRORS (US | UK | AUS). With the breakneck pace of these novels, you won’t want to wait a minute longer than necessary for the next exciting installment.
Praise for A DANCE OF CLOAKS:
- - October 8th, 2013
The big day is finally here, A DANCE OF CLOAKS by David Dalglish releases today! Look for it online and in stores everywhere. And if you haven’t been following along, be sure to check out the art team’s excellent behind-the-scenes look at the development of the Shadowdance covers.
In high school I devoured R. A. Salvatore’s Drizzt books. I loved the sense of adventure, the epic feel to the characters, but as is probably common when you read any author far too much, quirks here and there started to annoy me (a few of which I’m sure aren’t even Salvatore’s fault). The biggest was the sense that things were kept toned down to appeal to a wider audience. The really adult stuff was only hinted at, the darker stuff kept safely in the shadows.
That’s kind of a problem given how much I love villains. Love them. Probably too much, really. This is something the Shadowdance series actually suffers from a bit, because with so many morally gray characters I don’t have too many out and out villains to give the spotlight to (though I’m finally bringing in one such character in book 5, and by god I’m having a ball with him). For as far back as I can remember, I’ve disliked bland, two-dimensional villains. Even worse, though, are villains that aren’t really villains, just men that happen to be on the opposite side of a conflict with the heroes. Don’t mistake me here, I like it when it’s done well…but deep down I crave a villain like the Joker from the Dark Knight. I want a villain who can grab someone’s gun, put it to his head, and growl about how chaos is fair. I want a villain that everyone in the world can see is evil, yet at the same time, cannot deny the pull they have, the sheer charisma that surrounds them. Doing that means treading into the dark waters. Doing that means characters you love might stumble and fall.
While I was still in college I began what would eventually become my very raw and uneven Half-Orc books. I took everything I loved and tried to boil it all down to its very essence. I’ve never been confident in my world-building, my setting up of cities and families. But I knew what I wanted my characters to go through, the story I wanted to tell. I wanted it brutal, with characters that wouldn’t always live up to the standards they desired for themselves (kind of like, you know, real people). I had one main character’s daughter die, and there was no one at fault, and yet everyone’s at the same time. Yet no matter how grand the fights, how ridiculously over the top, I’d do whatever I could to keep the fights personal, and the reader invested.
That is what I do, what I try every time I sit down to write. When the fights begin, whether it be massive armies, assassins, paladins, or mythical creatures, I try to go to the furthest extreme of awesomeness in the conflict…yet when it all calms down, it’s about a man loving his brother, yet also hating him for the choices he’s made and the loved ones he’s hurt. Or a paladin torn over his friendship for a man his god calls for him to execute. Or in A DANCE OF CLOAKS (US | UK | AUS), it’s about a son wishing he could find approval from his father without being the monster his father would have him become.
I guess if asked what sets me apart, what makes me special, I’d say that is it. No pretention. I’ll never try to impress anyone with my vocabulary or research or ability to describe a scene. But I think I can make you care about my characters. I think I can make you hurt when one dies, and cheer when the villains get the crap beat out of them, all while blazing through my book at a breakneck pace. I’ll never treat you like an idiot, nor avoid the issues in their lives that might not have easy answers. In other words: I’ll entertain you. Honestly, if I can do that, I feel like I’ve done my job.
After devouring A DANCE OF CLOAKS, be sure to pre-order A DANCE OF BLADES (US | UK | AUS) and A DANCE OF MIRRORS (US | UK | AUS) – coming in November and December.
- - September 9th, 2013
As Summer comes to an end, here at Orbit we’re already looking forward to the amazing selection of books that next Spring brings. We’re very pleased to present a selection of covers for some of our exciting releases in the first half of 2014. It promises to be a very good year.
Click on each of the covers to see a larger version, and let us know your favourites.
Art Credits: Reign of Ash: Illustration by Larry Rostant; Heaven’s Queen: Design by Kirk Benshoff; Dance of Shadows: Photo Illustration by Gene Mollica & Michael Frost, Design by Kirk Benshoff; The Girl With All The Gifts: Design by Duncan Spilling; Cibola Burn: Illustration by Daniel Dociu, Design by Kirk Benshoff; Path to Power: Illustration by Raphael Lacoste, Design by Kirk Benshoff; Justice: Design by Wendy Chan; Broken Eye: Photo by Shirley Green, Illustration by Silas Manhood, Design by Lauren Panepinto; The Ripper Affair: Photo by Shirley Green, Illustration by Craig White, Design by Lauren Panepinto; Cursed Moon: Photo by Shirley Green, Illustration by Don Sipley, Design by Lauren Panepinto; The Fifth Season: Design by Lauren Panepinto; The Widow’s House: Design by Kirk Benshoff
- - September 5th, 2013
We’re proud to present the cover for the start of a breathtaking new epic fantasy series which will be launched internationally in 2014.
THE PATH TO POWER is the majestic opening to The Tarnished Crown Quintet – a major new series from Karen Miller, the bestselling author of THE INNOCENT MAGE (UK | US).
It is a powerful epic set against a tapestry of political intrigue, supernatural skulduggery, plague and war.
Much awaits those who will follow the path to power. Royal houses will rise and fall. Trading empires will be destroyed and reborn. Friends will become enemies, and enemies friends. All of this will come to pass, and the only certainty is that nothing will remain as it once was.
Brace yourselves to discover THE PATH TO POWER in July 2014.
- - September 3rd, 2013
We’re proud to reveal the cover to JUSTICE, the shattering final volume in Ian Irvine’s fantasy epic – the Tainted Realm trilogy.
THE FINAL BATTLE – THE ULTIMATE PRICE
The once beautiful land of Hightspall is being carved up by warring armies led by figures from out of legend. One army is headed by the charismatic brute, Axil Grandys, and the other by Lyf, resurrected sorcerer-king and Axil’s ancient nemesis.
Only the escaped slave Tali and her unreliable magic stand in their way – but Tali’s gift grows more painful every time she uses it. As the armies converge on the fateful peak of Touchstone, Tali and her ally Rix must find a way to overcome Lyf and prevent Axil from using the Three Spells that will destroy Hightspall forever.
JUSTICE concludes the story which began in VENGEANCE (UK|US|ANZ) and REBELLION (UK|US|ANZ), that of Tali and Rix, and their quest to save their homeland from its dark history.
Cover design by Lauren Panepinto.
- - August 28th, 2013
We’re delighted to present the beautiful new cover for NIGHT BROKEN, the stunning eighth novel in Patricia Briggs’ Mercy Thompson series. It’s released as a hardback on 4th March next year, and urban fantasy fans are in for a treat! Check out what lies in store . . .
An unexpected phone call heralds a new challenge for Mercy. Her mate Adam’s ex-wife is in trouble, on the run from her new boyfriend. Adam won’t turn away a person in need, but with Christy holed up in Adam’s house, Mercy can’t shake the feeling that something isn’t right.
Soon, Mercy learns that Christy has the farthest thing from good intentions. She wants Adam back and will anything to get him, including turning Adam’s pack against Mercy.
On top of this, there’s an even more dangerous threat circling. Christy’s ex is more than a bad man – in fact, he may not be human at all. As the bodies pile up, Mercy must put her personal troubles aside to face a creature with the power to tear her world apart.
If you’re new to Patricia Briggs, you can get hold of other books in the Mercy Thompson series right now – they begin with MOON CALLED (UK |ANZ). And if you’ve already devoured both this and Patricia Briggs’ other urban fantasy series Alpha and Omega, there’s something new you can try too: check out ARALORN (UK | ANZ), the tale of a noble, shapeshifter and spy . . .