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Cover Launch: OF GODS AND MEN by Stephen Aryan

We’re excited to reveal the stunning cover for an original epic fantasy novella by Stephen Aryan. OF GODS AND MEN (UK|US|ANZ) is set before the events of BATTLEMAGE and focuses on a fan-favourite character from the Age of Darkness trilogy . . .

The gruff and mysterious warrior known as Vargus has meant many things to many people over the course of his long life. But when he hears of mauled livestock and strange disappearances in the village of Morgan’s Creek, he must once again take up the mantle of the Gath – the people’s protector – before any more children go missing.

OF GODS AND MEN will be available to buy in ebook and audio from February. And if you haven’t discovered the original trilogy yet, it’s never too late to dive into this world of furious battles, lethal magic and valiant heroes.

Cover design for OF GODS AND MEN is by the wonderful Elena Kidman.

Praise for the series:

‘A vivid and rousing adventure with the kind of magic that punches you right in the face’  Jen Williams, author of The Ninth Rain

‘Stephen Aryan puts the epic into Epic Fantasy’ Den Patrick, author of The Boy with the Porcelain Blade

‘Aryan’s battle scenes are visceral masterpieces that transport the reader deep into the mêleé’  Taran Matharu, author of the Summoner novels

‘Abundant politics, intrigues, double-crossings, and plot twists to keep the pacing brisk and whet readers’ appetites for future installments’ Publisher’s Weekly

Beware the Age of Dread!

Stephen Aryan stormed onto the epic fantasy scene with his award-nominated debut BATTLEMAGE (UK|US|ANZ) – a thunderous adventure of furious battles, lethal magic and valiant heroes. The epic story continued in BLOODMAGE (UK|US|ANZ) and concludes in CHAOSMAGE (UK|US|ANZ), out this month!

Never fear however, as there’s plenty more magic-infused action where that came from. We’re delighted to announce that we have signed up Stephen for a brand new trilogy – the Age of Dread – which will be set in the same world as his original series. More battles! More magic! More blood . . .

We just can’t wait.

The Age of Dread trilogy was acquired by Orbit Commissioning Editor Jenni Hill, who bought world English rights from Juliet Mushens at United Talent. The first book in the series will be released in October 2017. Plenty of time to sharpen your axes (and to read the previous books if you haven’t already!).

The Age of Darkness trilogy by Stephen Aryan

Stephen Aryan’s BLOODMAGE Tour

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:

Events Round-Up: Stephen Aryan and Claire North

This September we have a fantastic series of events lined up in the UK for Claire North – bestselling author of THE FIRST FIFTEEN LIVES OF HARRY AUGUST and TOUCH – and Stephen Aryan – debut author of magic-fuelled and explosive fantasy epic, BATTLEMAGE (released this month). Follow the event links below for more details:-

‘An Evening with Claire North’ at Waterstones Leeds, Monday 21nd September, 7pm

‘An Evening with Local Author Stephen Aryan’ at Waterstones Leeds, Tuesday 22nd September, 7pm

‘An evening with Claire North’ at Waterstones Manchester Deansgate, Tuesday 22nd September, 7pm

Stephen Aryan signing BATTLEMAGE at Forbidden Planet, Shaftsbury Avenue, London, Tuesday 29th September, 5:30pm

Super Relaxed Fantasy Club – Stephen Aryan reading and drinks at The Grange Holborn Hotel (Rooftop ‘Sky Bar’), 50-60 Southampton Row, London, 29th Sept, 6:30pm until late

‘An evening with Claire North’ at Waterstones Liverpool, Wednesday 30th September, 6.30pm

Also look out for upcoming appearances from Stephen Aryan at Fantasycon in Nottingham in October, and SLEDGE-LIT  – alongside Guest of Honour Charles Stross, and THE OVERSIGHT author Charlie Fletcher – in Derby in November.

september events - claire north and stephen aryan

Meet the author of BATTLEMAGE: Stephen Aryan!

photo by Hannah Webster, copyright Stephen AryanOrbit recently acquired a debut epic fantasy trilogy by British author Stephen Aryan. The first book in the series, BATTLEMAGE, tells the story of mages treated as living weapons during a war between empires. It’s chock full of magic, scheming and truly epic battle scenes as these mages fight hard for an army that fears and distrusts them.

We’re sure you’re curious to meet the newest addition to Orbit, so we’ve created a mini-interview here with Stephen where you can get to know each other!

JH: Hi Stephen! Welcome to the Orbit gang!

SA: It’s a gang?

JH: Yep, we hang around on street corners, publishing books and scaring the neighbours. So what can you tell us about BATTLEMAGE, your very first novel?

SA: It’s an epic fantasy story set during a massive war and told from three main points of view; the front line warriors, the Heads of State and Generals conducting the war, and the Battlemages, wizards trained to fight and kill with their magic. Expect chopping off of limbs, political and espionage shenanigans, and black humour.

JH: Magicians, witches, wizards, we’ve read about them before – what’s different about your Battlemages?

SA: They’re a dying breed and are in demand all over the world. The Grey Council, the people in charge of magical training, abandoned their post years ago: the result is the majority of those born with a sensitivity to magic receive no training at all. Some have a little, which makes them unstable and, quite possibly, explosive as they don’t know how to control their power. Accidents happen quite often which has made a lot of people afraid of magic. So Battlemages are both feared and respected because they have immense power that makes them seem superhuman to most people, but they’re also necessary.

JH: Which books and authors influenced you in the writing of this series?

SA: The Earthsea novels by Ursula Le Guin was one early influence, which focus on Ged, a wizard who has several painful events that shape him as an adult. The other series that really made me think about wizards and magic were the Belgariad and the Malloreon novels by David Eddings. In both series there are only a handful of really powerful magic users who are also demi-gods and they walk that fine line between using their power to guide and protect humanity versus letting events run their natural course. LEGEND by David Gemmell was a big influence in terms of characterisation and my approach to story. Also the the work of Margaret Weis and Tracy Hickman, in particular their Dragonlance novels, as they have magic, non-human races and diverse characters which I have in my books as well.

JH: If there’s one reason that readers should be looking forward to BATTLEMAGE, it is:

SA: Only one? Hmm, because it’s a rollicking good story with plenty of action, memorable characters, epic battles and a sense of humour throughout.

BATTLEMAGE will be out in October 2015, with the sequels to follow six months after. If you’d like to hear more from Stephen in the meantime, you can follow him on twitter at @SteveAryan or check out his website.

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