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TOWER LORD by Anthony Ryan

TOWER LORD Anthony Ryan

Following on from 2013′s bestselling epic fantasy debut is the second novel in the Raven’s Shadow series – a powerful epic fantasy from an exciting new British talent.
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THE BROKEN EYEBrent Weeks

The third explosive novel in the New York Times bestselling Lightbringer series!
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Posts Tagged ‘Seven Princes’

Epic Fantasy Interview Swap: John R. Fultz interviews Gail Z. Martin

Today John R. Fultz interviews Gail Z. Martin about epic fantasy and her new novel ICE FORGED (US | UK | AUS). If you’re just joining us, here is the first part of the discussion.

Seven Kings, the second novel in John R. Fultz's Shaper series, an epic fantasy series of huge proportions, perfect for fans of Dungeons and Dragons     Martin_IceForged-TP

John R. Fultz: ICE FORGED is a “fresh start” in a new fantasy world, one that is separate from your previous five books (which were all set in the same world). Why start fresh after six books’ worth of fleshing out your first fictional universe? Along those lines, what was your initial inspiration for ICE FORGED and the Ascendant Kingdoms?

Gail Z. Martin:I love my characters and the world I created in my previous series (Chronicles of the Necromancer series and The Fallen Kings Cycle), but the action had come to a natural resting point.  I still hope to tell more stories about that world, but there is a natural break in the action for the characters, so it seemed like a good time to go do something else myself for a while.

I got some of the inspiration for Ice Forged and the new Ascendant Kingdoms Saga series by turning a few elements of my original series upside-down.  In my first series, my main character is a necromancer, with very powerful magic.  In Ice Forged, my main character has very little magic, more on the hedge witch level of power.  In the Chronicles of the Necromancer/Fallen Kings books, my main character keeps magic from failing.  In Ice Forged, the magic upon which the civilization depends becomes impossible to harness and wipes out much of civilization.  In my original series, my main character was wrongfully hunted as an outlaw.  In Ice Forged, my main character not only actually committed the murder for which he is exiled, he is unrepentant about it.

Stories, for me, begin with the question, “What if?”  What if…a civilization depended on magic like we depend on the power grid—and the magic could no longer be controlled?  What if…the only one who might be able to restore the magic was someone exiled to the farthest reaches of the world? What if…the future of the kingdom depended on a handful of convicts?

My other favorite question is, “And then what?”  As I think through a plot, I always ask myself, “And then what?”  So they have a battle—and then what? So there’s a confrontation with the forces of the opposition—and then what? So they win a battle—and then what?  Even after a victory, there are messes to clean up.  For me, that’s where the story starts.

Read the rest of this entry »

Epic Fantasy Interview Swap – Gail Z. Martin interviews John R. Fultz

2013 is off to a great start, and if you’re a fantasy reader there are a ton of great books to choose from. With the releases of A MEMORY OF LIGHT (UK AUS), ICE FORGED (US | UK | AUS), and  now SEVEN KINGS (UK |US | ANZ),  you have a lot of reading to do.

Today let’s talk epic fantasy with authors Gail Z. Martin and John R. Fultz. Below is the first of a two part interview about writing in the genre and the most recent projects of these two authors. Come back tomorrow for the second half.

Seven Kings, the second novel in John R. Fultz's Shaper series, an epic fantasy series of huge proportions, perfect for fans of Dungeons and Dragons     Martin_IceForged-TP

Gail Z. Martin: SEVEN KINGS is your second novel, and you’ve said that you think it is even better than your debut work.  What did you learn writing your first book, and how did that affect your new book?

John R. Fultz: What a great question… I think that writing SEVEN PRINCES was very freeing for me because at the time I wrote it I had no guidelines, no publisher, no deadlines, no expectations except those I built myself. I remember telling a friend: “I’m going to write this story and let it be as long as it wants to be, and take as long as it needs to take.” After years of writing short stories it was time to make the transition to novelist, and all the advice I’d been given said “First, you must write the novel—everything else will follow.” So I took a “damn the torpedoes” approach and wrote the novel that I most wanted to write, with all the elements that had fascinated and attracted me to epic fantasy for decades. I came up with some fascinating characters, dropped them into an interesting setting, and basically let them run. It was very cathartic, and I finished the novel in far less time than I thought I would—I had built up some serious momentum. I usually write novels over the summer when I’m not teaching, and I’ve written three more “summer novels” since then. Of course the “idea work” begins months earlier, but summer is my official “writing season,” when I go nocturnal and spend as much time as I want in front of the keyboard. With SEVEN PRINCES I also had some great advice from a local writing group to help me get the early chapters just right.

With SEVEN KINGS, things had changed. New challenges presented themselves, and my priorities were quite different. I had already established a great cast of characters that I loved writing about, as well as the world they inhabited and most of the major conflicts that drove the narrative. The rules of sorcery were there (if not fully revealed yet), as well as the threads of many plotlines that would carry throughout all three books. So my job with Book II: SEVEN KINGS was to “deepen” the pot. I wanted to introduce some new characters, and to reveal more of the mystery that is Iardu the Shaper, including his role in the history of the world. I had always planned to explore the dichotomy of Lyrilan and Tyro as the Twin Kings, two very different brothers attempting to rule the same kingdom. And I knew I would stay with Vireon and Sharadza, the Children of Vod. My Book I antagonists had been defeated but not completely vanquished in the first book, so I needed to take them to a new level. Finally, I wanted to explore more of the deep history of the Shaper’s world, and reveal some heretofore obscure regions of it. This is why I decided to begin SEVEN KINGS deep in the jungles of Khyrei, a nation ruled by wicked powers that the rest of the world hates and fears.

There were also some “happy endings” in SEVEN PRINCES that I always intended to reveal were far from “happily ever after.” For example, Sharadza’s marriage to D’zan seems like a fairytale ending in the first book, but in the second book you find out the marriage is a failure—and for a reason that Sharadza refuses to reveal. Likewise with Vireon and Alua’s seemingly “perfect” family…there is more going on here than either of them suspects and it takes seven years to manifest. Life rarely serves up genuine happy endings, and I wanted to reflect that in this series by going back and showing the consequences of the new situations established at the end of the first book.

I guess you could say my goal with SEVEN KINGS was to raise the bar on the conflict, the characters, the threat, and above all the sorcery. Someone told me that SEVEN PRINCES was really all about sorcery, and I agreed. If that’s true then it also applies to the entire series. In some ways I wanted to subvert all the victories of the first book and show that the real story is far more vast and complex, like magic itself. Hopefully this mirrors how difficult it is to be a King, as opposed to a Prince. A King actually has to rule the kingdom, fight the wars, confront the overwhelming threats, and live with the terrible choices he makes. Kings rarely get second chances.

In many ways SEVEN KINGS is the “Act Two” of the trilogy, and traditionally the second act of any drama expands and complicates the elements of the first act. This is also why the second part of any trilogy is often considered “darker,” and I expect that to be said of SEVEN KINGS as well. It is decidedly darker: The worst is yet to come for these characters and the world they have built. Also, Book II: SEVEN KINGS takes place seven years after Book I, but Book III will take place only seven DAYS after Book II. So there is a much more immediate connection between Books II and III than between I and II.

Read the rest of this entry »

SEVEN KINGS – epic fantasy with a capital EPIC

Seven Kings, the second novel in John R. Fultz's Shaper series, an epic fantasy series of huge proportions, perfect for fans of Dungeons and DragonsToday is the worldwide release date for the SEVEN KINGS (UK |US | ANZ), the masterful second book in the Shaper series by John R. Fultz.

Starting with SEVEN PRINCES (UK |US | ANZ), this whole epic fantasy series really made a big impact on us here in Orbit. It’s crazily imaginative, powerful, energetic and so damn enjoyable.

We loved an io9.com review which said:

‘Breakneck pacing and nonstop insanity . . . It’s epic with a capital EPIC’

. . . as that just about summed it up for us.

With giants walking alongside men, monstrous serpents wreaking havoc and kingdoms doing battle with sorcery, we think this is ideal for anyone who likes their fantasy big, epic and about the ultimate clash between good and evil.

Whilst in some ways the series could be said to hearken back to the “old school” or “traditional” type of fantasy, in many other ways we really felt this series was one of the most original we’ve read in years – having a beautifully lyric, mythical tone and what we considered to be a very unique, distinguished style.

Seven Princes, the first novel in John R. Fultz's Shaper series, an epic fantasy series of huge proportions, perfect for fans of Tolkien and Dungeons and DragonsWe were really interested to hear about how this style of writing came about. So we asked John what the influences behind his series were:

I could write a whole book answering this question, but I’ll try to contain myself.

Lord Dunsany was perhaps the inventor of the modern fantasy tale. His work never ceases to inspire me, and his novel The King of Elfland’s Daughter is an immortal classic. His gift for speaking with clever metaphor and concise imagery is stunning, even a hundred years later. Fantasy writers should study his works the way classical composers study Mozart and Bartok.

I’m also a big Robert E. Howard and H. P. Lovecraft fan, but Clark Ashton Smith is my favorite of the old-school Weird Tales writers. In my opinion Smith invented the whole dark fantasy genre. He had the lost cities, the sorcerers, the creatures from beyond space and time, the mummies, the vampires, the decadent dying empires of Zothique and the primordial ooze of Hyperborea. Read the rest of this entry »

Best Books of 2012

We were thrilled to see some Orbit books and authors on “Best of” round-ups for 2012. See below for some great recommendations!

Publishers Weekly Best Books 2012, SF/Fantasy/Horror
THE TROUPE by Robert Jackson Bennett
THE KILLING MOON by N.K. Jemisin

NPR Year’s Best Science Fiction
2312 by Kim Stanley Robinson

Library Journal Best Books 2012, SF/Fantasy
STRAY SOULS by Kate Griffin
2312 by Kim Stanley Robinson

RT Book Reviews, Editors’ Best of 2012
THE KILLING MOON by N.K. Jemisin

Los Angeles Public Library, Best of 2012: Fiction
TIMELESS by Gail Carriger

io9, The Best Science Fiction and Fantasy Books of 2012
2312 by Kim Stanley Robinson
THE KILLING MOON and THE SHADOWED SUN by N.K. Jemisin

Explorations: The B&N SciFi and Fantasy Blog, The Best Fantasy Releases of 2012
THE BLINDING KNIFE by Brent Weeks
SEVEN PRINCES by John R. Fultz
RED COUNTRY by Joe Abercrombie
THE KILLING MOON by N.K. Jemisin

Best Paranormal Fantasy Releases of 2012
BLUE-BLOODED VAMP by Jaye Wells
COLD DAYS by Jim Butcher
TEMPEST’S FURY by Nicole Peeler
Best Apocalyptic Fiction Releases of 2012 and Best Zombie Fiction Releases of 2012
BLACKOUT by Mira Grant

Reddit r/Fantasy Best of 2012
THE BLINDING KNIFE by Brent Weeks

The Book Smugglers
THE KILLING MOON by N.K. Jemisin

Fantasy Faction
RED COUNTRY by Joe Abercrombie
THE BLINDING KNIFE by Brent Weeks
BITTER SEEDS by Ian Tregillis

The Wertzone
2312 by Kim Stanley Robinson
RED COUNTRY by Joe Abercrombie
SHARPS by K.J. Parker
THE KILLING MOON by N.K. Jemisin
EXISTENCE by David Brin
THE KING’S BLOOD by Daniel Abraham

The Midnight Garden
BLACKOUT by Mira Grant

Rob’s Blog o’Stuff
THE TROUPE by Robert Jackson Bennet
THE KING’S BLOOD by Daniel Abraham
RED COUNTRY by Joe Abercrombie
EXISTENCE by David Brin
BLACKOUT by Mira Grant
CALIBAN’S WAR by James S.A. Corey
SEEDS OF EARTH by Michael Cobley
The Eli Monpress series by Rachel Aaron

The Speculative Scotsman
2312 by Kim Stanley Robinson

The Ranting Dragon
THE KILLING MOON by N.K. Jemisin
SHARPS by K.J. Parker
THE BLINDING KNIFE by Brent Weeks

To find out more about these titles and where you can purchase them, visit our corporate websites in the (US | UK | AUS). Feel free to share your favorites from 2012 in the comments below.

Read an excerpt from SEVEN KINGS by John R. Fultz

SEVEN KINGS by John R. FultzRead Chapter One of SEVEN KINGS (US | UK| AUS) by John R. Fultz, the second instalment of a magnificent story of an age of legends – where the children of giants do battle with ancient sorcerers, and no less is at stake than the fate of the world.

1Three Lives

The colors of the jungle were bloody red and midnight black.

Whispers of fog rustled the scarlet fronds, and the poison juices of orchids glistened on vine and petal. Red ferns grew in clusters about the roots of colossal carmine trees. Patches of russet moss hid the nests of red vipers and coral spiders. Black shadows  danced beneath a canopy of branches that denied both sun and moon. Toads dark as ravens croaked songs of death among the florid mushrooms. Clouds of hungry insects filled the air, and red tigers prowled silent as dreams.

Death waited for him in the jungle. There was nothing else to find here. No refuge, no escape, no safety or comfort. This place offered none of those, only a savage end to suffering and a blinding slip into eternity. Tong expected to die here, and he welcomed it. He would die a free man, his knees no longer bent in slavery. He ran barefoot and bleeding through the bloodshot wilderness.

Yes, he would die soon. But not yet. He would take more of their worthless lives with him. This was why he fled the scene of his first murder and entered the poison wilderness. It was not to save himself from the retribution of his oppressors. He fled so they would chase him into this scarlet realm of death. The dense jungle and its dangers gave him precious time. Time to steal the lives of the men who chased him. He would survive just long enough to kill them all; then he would give his life gladly to the jungle and its cruel mercy.

Only then would he allow himself to seek Matay in the green fields of the Deathlands.

Read more…

Want to start from the beginning? Read the prologue and first chapter from SEVEN PRINCES – the exciting fantasy debut of John R. Fultz.

 

Two new short stories from Orbit Short Fiction

We’re shaking things up this March by publishing TWO new pieces of short fiction for fantasy and science fiction readers alike. Whether you like swords or railguns, Orbit Short Fiction has something to suit your fancy.

STRANGE DAYS IN OLD YANDRISSA by John. R. Fultz: In an age of untamed miracles and curses, a mad vagabond may solve the mystery of a king’s dilemma. Yet in a world gone mad, the only wise man is a fool. This is a great story for readers who enjoy new voices in epic fantasy. John R. Fultz’s short fiction has appeared in Black Gate, Weird Tales, Lightspeed, and Space & Time.

A PEOPLE’S ARMY by T.C. McCarthy: In the distant future, on an ice-bound world, Choi Chung Ho is a loyal soldier in the Dear Leader’s army. Stuck in a damaged tank with the American advance quickly approaching, he must find a way to survive. Survive the Americans, the blindly patriotic members of his own crew, and, most dangerous of all, the shifting politics of the North Korean military. T.C. McCarthy  explores the nature of military and political conflict in vivid and graphic detail in a futuristic world war like no other.

If this is your first time reading the work of either author, be sure and check out their full-length novels too.

Praise for SEVEN PRINCES:

“A stand-out fantasy series from an author with an exceptional talent for characterization and world building.” — Library Journal (Starred Review)

“What Seven Princes [offers] is breakneck pacing and nonstop insanity. It’s epic with a capital EPIC.”
— io9.com, 2012

Praise for GERMLINE and EXOGENE

“Simultaneously heartbreaking and triumphant.”
— Publishers Weekly, 2012  (Starred Review)

“This exciting and thoughtful story marks McCarthy as one of sci-fi’s most promising new talents.”
— Kirkus, 2012  (Starred Review)

Seven Days for SEVEN PRINCES: The Competition

This competition is now closed. Winners will be notified by email.

To celebrate this week’s release of the majestic epic fantasy adventure that is Seven Princes (UK | US | ANZ) by John R. Fultz, we’re giving  7 copies of this title away absolutely free. To enter, all you need to do is fill in the form for your relevant territory, and 7 winners will be picked at random worldwide next week. Good luck!

 

The cover for the debut fntasy Seven Princes by John R Fuktz

author post

7 days for SEVEN PRINCES

 “As a small child, I felt in my heart two contradictory feelings, the horror of life and the ecstasy of life.” — Baudelaire

In today’s world Fantasy fiction is split into many genres: Epic, High, Low, Heroic Urban, Suburban, Historical, Science, Weird, Dark…you’re likely to find any of these words in front of “Fantasy” these days. Many authors enjoy blending and “splicing” genres together, which can often lead to new sub-genres and even anti-genre approaches. There are two enduring genres that have always gone well together, seamlessly blending one into the other, and their combination continues to be a popular pairing.

Often Horror and Fantasy are lumped together like fraternal twins forced to wear the same plaid sweater. Many are the theories defining exactly what each one of the genres actually IS, and the closer you look at either, the more splintering you find, the more sub-genres, the more distinctions being made on the “microcosmic” level. Yet examples of Horror/Fantasy blends continue to amaze and terrify readers.  Read the rest of this entry »

Seven Days for SEVEN PRINCES: The Wallpapers

As part of our 7-day celebration of the epic fantasy Seven Princes (UK | US | ANZ) by John R. Fultz we’re giving away wallpapers of the awesome cover artwork to spruce up all your fancy devices. And I know we’ve had some gorgeous wallpapers, but I think the illustration for these is so much sexier BIG that trust me, you’re going to want it on every screen you have. The art is by the fantastic Richard Anderson and he really just knocked it out of the park. It’s like epic fantasy impressionistic, such a fresh style. (You can read an interview with him and John R. Fultz over at Black Gate.) Enjoy!

1024 x 768 | 1280 x 800 | 1440 x 900 | 1680 x 1050 |1920 x 1200 iPhone | iPad

 

(and yes I think we’ve finally mastered the iPad flippable art thing. ha!)

author post

7 days for SEVEN PRINCESI’m proud to tell anyone who asks me about it that I write fantasy novels. The publication of SEVEN PRINCES represents many years of hard work, commitment and stubborn dedication to one man’s mad vision. Writers are obsessed with their ideas. They have to be.

I also write in the horror and sci-fi genres. Yet fantasy has always been my first love — specifically high fantasy, or epic fantasy, as some folks like to call it. Although the term dark fantasy is also one of which I’m rather fond. A lot of my favorite fantasies are indeed “dark,” and you will find some darkness in every fantasy — if only to provide contrast to the sweetness and light. The murkier the darkness, the brighter the light. Read the rest of this entry »

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