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Posts Tagged ‘historical fantasy’

Meet the Author: Angus Watson

We interviewed Angus Watson, author of the Iron Age trilogy. Angus debuted last year with the action-packed historical fantasy adventure AGE OF IRON. The final book in the trilogy, REIGN OF IRON, comes out this month.

Angus Watson

What would be your quick pitch for the Iron Age trilogy?

Buy this book or I’ll drown these baby raccoons. Not really! AGE OF IRON is the best adventure story set in the Iron Age that you will ever read. Although younger readers might be better off with the Asterix books.

The final book in the series comes out this month, how does it feel to have completed the series?

I loved school and was sad to leave, but also looking forward to the next adventures. Finishing AGE OF IRON after around five years’ work feels like that. I used to think it was pretentious and a lie when authors said that characters had become their friends, but, annoyingly, it is rather like that when you spend days, weeks then months and even years sitting at your desk with only these made up people for company (and, in my case, two cats).

So, wanky as it sounds, I’m genuinely sad to leave old friends when we’ve been through so much together. However, I’m looking forward to meeting new people in the next trilogy and I daresay that some of my old friends, or at least parts of them, will be reincarnated.

And how does it feel to see the amazing reactions the book is getting?

It feels brilliant. Like spending ages on a project and then walking into a big room full of people telling you how much they like it and how well you’ve done. The odd bad review I’ve received is the opposite of that – like someone walking up to you and telling you that you’re an idiot. Luckily there aren’t enough of those yet to fill a big room, or even a small one.

The Iron Age Trilogy by Angus Watson: Age of Iron, Clash of Iron and Reign of Iron

Which character did you most enjoy writing?

Probably Dug, because he could say or think whatever the badger’s balls he wanted to.

Who are your biggest influences?

Douglas Adams, Joe Abercrombie, Patrick O’Brian, Scott Lynch, Carl Hiaasen, Iain Banks, Thomas Hardy and my Mum.

When you walk into a bookshop which section do you gravitate to first?

I buy pretty much all books online, so I’m most likely to be in a bookshop to meet a friend (note to everyone, especially internet daters – bookshops are great places to meet before pub, dinner or whatever). I used to go straight to the comic / graphic novel section so that I’d have a chance to read a substantial part of something before whoever turned up. Now I go to the fantasy section to make sure that my books are displayed prominently enough.

Where’s your favorite bookshop?

The Waterstones in Westfield, Shepherd’s Bush, London. Westfield is a vast shopping center full of the dreariest, see-them-everywhere, uninspiring, unchallenging clothes shops you can imagine. Waterstones may be a chain, but, since it sells books, it stands out from the other shops like a towering volcano island of quality and knowledge from a slurry sea of vacuous crap.

What are you working on next, can you give us a hint?

I’ve researched for a few months, and now just started writing a new epic fantasy trilogy in which a mismatched group of refugees will battle animals and monsters, determined assassins, depraved tribes, an unforgiving landscape and each other as they cross a continent to fulfil a prophesy . . . how’s that for a hint?

“The Second Book Can’t Come Soon Enough . . .”

And now it’s here! THE PARADOX, the very, very, very much-awaited sequel to Charlie Fletcher’s THE OVERSIGHT is out this week, and . . .

“I’ll certainly be reading the next one” Cory Doctorow, BoingBoing

the critics who loved THE OVERSIGHT . . .

“The start of something amazing” Mike Carey

will clearly . . .

“The second book can’t come soon enough” Booklist (starred review)

be . . .

“If there is a sequel to this then I shall be first in line to read it” Fantasy Book Review

very . . .

“It’s going to be something special” SF Site

happy . . .

“I’d read a prequel this evening, a sequel as soon as.” Niall Alexander,

to . . .

“Promises a trilogy worth sinking your teeth into” SciFiNow

hear . . .

“Go on and relish The Oversight without further prompting – then we can all wait eagerly for more!” Locus


If you missed Charlie at the Nine Worlds convention last week, he’ll be at Edinburgh Book Fair on 21st August and Sledge-Lit in Nottingham in November. If you can’t make it to the UK, look out for his upcoming slot on John Scalzi’s The Big Idea, or find out what he’s up to on twitter at @CharlieFletch_r. THE PARADOX is out this week in ebook and print.

Cover Launch: THE PARADOX, sequel to THE OVERSIGHT by Charlie Fletcher

We’re delighted to launch the cover for THE PARADOX, the much-anticipated sequel to THE OVERSIGHT, coming out in August this year. The reviewers will be pleased…

‘This feels like the start of something amazing’ M. R. Carey, author of THE GIRL WITH ALL THE GIFTS

‘I’ll certainly be reading the next one’ Cory Doctorow,

‘It’s oh so moreish a morsel. I’d read a prequel this evening, a sequel as soon as‘ Niall Alexander,

‘A trilogy worth sinking your teeth into’ SciFiNow

‘The second book can’t come soon enough’ Booklist (starred review)

The Paradox: the sequel to The Oversight by Charlie Fletcher


Those who belong to the secret society called The Oversight know many things. They know cold iron will hold back the beasts in the darkness. They know it is dangerous to stand between two mirrors. And they know that, despite their dwindling numbers, it remains their duty to protect humanity from the supernatural.  And vice versa.

But two of the society’s strongest members, Mr Sharp and Sara Falk, are trapped in the world between the mirrors, looking for each other, searching for a way back home. What they discover there will have ominous consequences both for The Oversight and the world it protects, effects that will make them question everything they thought they knew.


Cover design by Lauren Panepinto and DogEared Design

Cover Launch: Clash of Iron and Reign of Iron

Angus Watson’s Iron Age trilogy burst onto the epic fantasy scene last September with AGE OF IRON, an action-packed adventure in which battle-hardened warriors take on a ruthless warlord and his sadistic druids. Today we’re proud to launch the next two covers in the series! CLASH OF IRON continues the story in April this year, and the epic finale REIGN OF IRON will end the series in September.

Read AGE OF IRON today, or see what people are saying…

‘Unflinchingly bloodthirsty and outrageously entertaining’ Christopher Brookmyre

‘It simply grabbed me by the throat and wouldn’t let go’ Bibliosanctum (five stars)

‘Watson’s tale is gore soaked and profanity laden – full of visceral combat and earthy humor, and laced with subtle magic’ Publishers Weekly

‘Would I read the next one? Yes, absolutely. Bring me my hammer, bring my beer, bring it on!’ SF Crowsnest

‘A fun and addictive read’ Fantasy Faction

CLASH OF IRON and REIGN OF IRONCovers by Larry Rostant, designed by Ceara Eliot.

author post

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 »

Age of Iron: What They’re Saying (the Twitter Edition)

Not only have you been filling your blogs with praise for AGE OF IRON, but twitter has been full of love for this action-packed and darkly humorous fantasy debut! Here’s just a sample of your tweets:

What They’re Saying: Age of Iron

This month we released AGE OF IRON, a mega epic fantasy debut by stunning new British talent Angus Watson, and it seems bloggers are loving this one just as much as we do!

‘This debut is a whole heap of frenetic chaos, and is thoroughly entertaining from the get go … ferocious, unashamedly adult, fun with some fantastic characters and some great action packed moments.’ The Eloquent Page

‘A very down and dirty, gripping, enjoyable read. It is dark, twisted, funny and exciting.’ Tenacious Reader

‘AGE OF IRON brilliantly weaves the elements of history, fantasy, action and humor in this gripping novel. This is a solid must read for epic fantasy fans. I simply cannot wait to meet Dug, Lowa and Spring in the next installment. Say It With Books

‘The acid test is would I read the next one? Yes, absolutely. Bring me my hammer, bring my beer, bring it on.’ SF Crowsnest

‘Lots of action and adventure with some dark humour thrown in.  I found myself throughout the story often sitting with a grin on my face, or even chuckling to myself.’ Opinionated Cupcakes

‘AGE OF IRON packs quite a punch. If you like your fantasy action-packed, drenched in gore, dressed up with some black gallows humor – and revealing quite a bit about an age we know nothing about, then AGE OF IRON is right up your alley.’ Smorgasbord Fantasia

‘I absolutely loved AGE OF IRON. I raced through the novel and didn’t want to put it down. Each of the characters had something endearing which means that there’s not a chapter that feels like a waste. I would recommend this to history fans and readers who are looking for a read with strong female characters.’ A Universe in Words

‘Watson brings the setting to life vividly and his writing is entertaining and gripping. It really is a fantastic debut.’ Chicks That Read

Huge congratulations to Angus Watson on his absolutely stellar debut novel! You can follow Angus on Twitter for all the latest news about the Iron Age series, and pick up your copy of AGE OF IRON from all good bookshops and online retailers.

author post

My Orbit-published epic fantasy trilogy AGE OF IRON is set in Britain during the . . . you guessed it . . . Iron Age. After looking around for about twenty years, I learnt about Britain in the Iron Age and I’d knew I’d found the perfect place and time to set a novel. Here’s why.

An Almost Blank Canvas

The Iron Age ran from roughly 800BC to 43AD, so was relatively recent. Your great times ninety grandparents might have been running around then. The Age of Iron trilogy is set near the end of the period, between 61BC and 54BC.

This period of history was much busier than most would think. There were roads, towns and massive hillforts all over the country. However, we know almost nothing about it because the ancient Brits didn’t write and in 43AD – a hundred years after my book is set – the Romans invaded successfully, stayed for 400 years and wiped out any oral histories. The pre-Roman population was pretty big, the estimates range from one to three million, so there were loads of people, and they weren’t cavemen who sat around saying ‘ug’. They were men and women like us – full of wit, passion, inquisitiveness, jealousy, anger, love and so on. So, throughout the long Iron Age, there must have been epic love affairs, huge wars, intrigues, trysts, adventures, disasters and more, all of which we know absolutely nothing about, which, for me, screams out an invitation for us to create stories to fill the void.

It was a massive joy to learn as much as I could about the period and then make up a world and people to fill it. Anyone else can walk up a hillfort and do the same (see point five for the best hillfort to do this on). Read the rest of this entry »

The AGE OF IRON Begins Today!

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.


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.’

‘Thoroughly entertaining from the get go . . . I really got a kick out of the AGE OF IRON.’

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!

Cover Launch: The Dagger’s Path

We’re proud to share this gorgeous cover from designer Hannah Wood and artist Steve Stone today! THE DAGGER’S PATH is Glenda Larke’s newest epic fantasy, the superb sequel to THE LASCAR’S DAGGER (UK|US|ANZ).

The Dagger's Path


When sailors came to Ardhi’s island home, they plundered not only its riches, but its magic too. Now Ardhi must retrieve what was stolen, but there are ruthless men after this power, men who will do anything to possess it . . .

Sorcerers, lascars, pirates and thieves collide in this thrilling sequel to Glenda Larke’s epic fantasy adventure, THE LASCAR’S DAGGER.

‘Outstanding all the way to the last word.’ – Elizabeth Moon on The Lascar’s Dagger

‘If you don’t read Glenda Larke you’re missing out on a treat’ – Karen Miller


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