Posts Tagged ‘Fantasy books’

Acquisition Announcement: new Melissa Caruso series

We’re thrilled to announce that we have acquired a new trilogy by Melissa Caruso from Naomi Davis of BookEnds Literary! Melissa returns to Raverra and Vaskandar with the story of Ryx, the granddaughter of a Vaskandran Witch Lord, who is born with magic so lethal as to be unusable. She seeks help in Raverra, only to become embroiled in an international magical conflict that threatens to call up destruction from the very depths of Hell. The first book in this series will be published in 2020.

Did you love THE TETHERED MAGE (US | UK)? Bereft at the thought of leaving Raverra at the end of THE UNBOUND EMPIRE? Melissa has you covered with her new series. If you haven’t read her work and you’re hungry for gorgeous epic fantasy full of deadly magic, twisty intrigue, and dangerously complicated families—pick up the Swords and Fire trilogy now, starting with THE TETHERED MAGE and THE DEFIANT HEIR (US | UK).

  

Don’t forget to pre-order the final book of the Swords and Fire trilogy, THE UNBOUND EMPIRE, now!

Pre-order in the US: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Books-A-Million | Google Play | iBooks | Kobo | Chapters

Pre-order in the UK: Amazon | Google Play | iTunes | Kobo | Waterstones | More Stores

Melissa Caruso is the Gemmell Award-nominated author of the Swords and Fire epic fantasy trilogy. Follow her on Twitter @melisscaru and find out more at melissacaruso.net.

Design credit: Lisa Marie Pompilio; Art credit: Crystal Ben & Arcangel

“Pimp My Airship” – Reclaiming Airships for Epic Fantasy

Airships have somehow ended up becoming the ultimate symbol of steampunk fiction. But as much as we love their appearance in established steampunk classics such as Gail Carriger’s fantastic Parasol Protectorate novels, Cherie Priest’s BONESHAKER and Stephen Hunt’s COURT OF THE AIR, I’m making a plea that we remember the humble airship does not have to remain in the domain of steam – and the punkification thereof!

Talking airships in Terry Brooks's brand new Dark Legacy of Shannar novel WARDS OF FAERIE - perfect for fans of Christopher PaoliniI think it’s really time to claim back the airship for epic fantasy. What got me thinking about this was Terry Brooks’s new Dark Legacy of Shannara series, starting with WARDS OF FAERIE (UK / ANZ) and continuing with the recently released BLOODFIRE QUEST (UK / ANZ).

Airships have been in Terry Brooks’ novels for a while, ever since ILSE WITCH I believe, but it’s in his brand new series The Dark Legacy of Shannara that they’re really coming into their own. I couldn’t help thinking – I really, really want to own one of these airships.

Terry Brooks’ airships are like the suped-up, turbo charged versions of the common airship we’re all so familiar with. They’re powered by the sun – using ambient-light sails, something called diapson crystals and radian draws. Light gets converted into energy, and then this energy is expelled through what’s called the parse tubes. They’ve also got sails to gather extra power from the wind. They can easily fly at 1000 feet, and they’re kickass.

In WARDS OF FAERIE, things only get more exciting on the airship front. You don’t have to have read any previous Terry Brooks novels to enjoy this brand new novel, and you don’t have to know a lot about what’s gone before in airship automobile history to appreciate just how cool Terry’s speed-demon designs are.

To set the scene, there are two twins, Redden and Railing Ohmsford, who are thrill-seekers, risking life and limb racing special modified airships of their own design called Sprints.

Now I’m not into fancy cars, superbikes or private jets, but there’s something about these airships that really gets me salivating . . .

Sprints were one wicked pair of machines . . . Painted black from mast to keel, light sheaths black as well to better absorb the power of the sun, they had long, narrow hulls stripped of everything that might slow them down . . .

The controls were set to either side of a shallow depression that served as a cockpit, all within easy reach of the pilot. The pilot lay on his back with his head slightly elevated, facing forward down the length of his body toward the bow . . . Inside the cockpit, the thrusters and steering levers were manipulated by a combination of hands and feet, the cords that ran from the levers to the sheaths, rudder, and fins drawn so tightly that even the smallest amount of pressure would produce a response in the vessel’s handling . . .

These slender black monsters weren’t designed as transports; they were built to race.

Talking airships in Terry Brooks's brand new Dark Legacy of Shannar novel BLOODFIRE QUEST, book two in the series and perfect for fans of Christopher Paolini*HUMANA, HUMANA* . . . It would be pretty cool to pull up outside Orbit Towers in one of those.

Now Terry Brooks certainly isn’t the only author to be using airships in a fantasy setting. A number of other authors doing this in books that are just as much fantasy as pure steampunk (Adrian Tchaikovsky’s Shadow of the Apt books, Philip Pullman’s His Dark Materials, and Neil Gailman’s STARDUST come to mind…).

But I think that Terry Brooks really is one of the pioneers making airships truly sexy. If anyone can think of sexier airships then I’d be open to opinions!

But all I’m going to say for now is, to quote an Amazon reviewer, “Hold onto your diapson crystals – Shannara is back!”

 

The Ultimate Epic Fantasy Author for the Ultimate Epic Fantasy Fan

The fantasy novel The Dark Legacy of Shannara Book One: Wards of Faerie by Terry Brooks, endorsed by Christopher PaoliniAdored by readers and revered by authors, Terry Brooks is a trailblazing epic fantasy author like no other. His action-packed stories and unique characters have captured the imagination of fantasy fans all over the world.

If you’ve been looking for an excuse to start on an epic Brooks adventure, now is your chance. WARDS OF FAERIE (UK | AUS) is out now in paperback, followed up with book two of the Dark Legacy series, BLOODFIRE QUEST (UK | AUS ) on 12th March. With dark powers, an epic adventure, and a fight for survival, Terry Brooks will draw you into the Shannara adventure and not let go.

 

What readers have been saying about WARDS OF FAERIE:

Brings back the magic that was in the first Shannara series” – Goodreads 5 star review

“Terry Brooks has provided me with a lifelong love of Fantasy” – Orbit reader

“He writes with such detail to create a world that is wholly believable and which you can sink into for hours at a time” – Orbit reader

“Transports you to a world of fantasy that you can get lost in” – Orbit reader

Everything a good fantasy story should be – full of adventure, romance, magic and danger” – Goodreads 5 star review

“Threads are so marvellously woven together, and the tapestry they form is one of action, mystery and sorrow” – Bookreporter.com

The Ultimate Epic Fantasy Hero Infographic
Since we think Terry Brooks is an ultimate fantasy writer, to celebrate the release of WARDS OF FAERIE, we asked readers to tell us what their ultimate fantasy hero might look like. Here are the results…
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My top six anti-heroes in film and literature

Yes, it was supposed to be five but . . .

I love an anti-hero. I think they appeal to my non-conformist nature – they tend to do what they want, as far as possible, even if it gets them into trouble. Plus there’s that whole bad-boy vibe and, very often, a darkly cynical sense of humour, which I am a sucker for.

So, that said, here’s a few of my favourites.

© AVCO Embassy Pictures
© AVCO Embassy Pictures

6. Snake Plissken (from Escape from New York). I mean, what’s not to like? Under a totalitarian government, he thumbs his nose at them and does what he wants for the most part, at least until he’s forced to do what “they” want. Weirdly – and perhaps essentially – he appears sometimes to have more morals than the “good” guys. It does not hurt that Kurt Russell looks good in leather.

5. Conan the Barbarian. Your classic anti-hero. He’s out for himself, always. He’s dark, he’s brooding, he’s itching for a fight. But if you’ve got a bad guy you want rid of, he’s your guy. Just don’t expect him not to ravish your girlfriend while he’s saving you.

4. Sandman Slim. You don’t get much downer and dirtier than the Sandman. His saving grace is, apart from his black humour, no matter how bad he gets, pretty much everyone else is worse. He’s on your side for the right price, but if he hates the guys you want dead, maybe you’ll get a freebie. Plus he has a nice little redeeming feature of falling hopelessly in love. Even men from hell just want a bit of lovin’.

© Walt Disney Pictures
© Walt Disney Pictures

3. Jack Sparrow. He lies and cheats and steals, but he doesn’t hide it, he flaunts it. But of course he’s a pirate, and who hasn’t wanted to throw off the yoke and just sail about doing whatever you felt like, especially if it involves a bit of swashbuckling and derring do? Again, crucially, he has morals. They just aren’t quite the same as everyone else’s. (more…)

The challenges of building a vertical city

While world-building a city is an exercise in imagination, it’s always preferable, I think, to make sure you’re grounded in at least the basics of reality.

It’s possible to make buildings that can support many, many levels, so why not a city that can do the same? It takes a little extra forethought and planning perhaps. In the case of Mahala, it didn’t start off meaning to grow up, that’s just the way it happened. They ran out of room sideways, so they began building up. While this is fine to start with, just building as and when, at some point things are going to start to collapse under their own weight. Not to mention other considerations, such as “what do you do with all the waste?”.

isbn9780356501666-detailSo at some point in the past, well before the story of Fade to Black starts, a bright mage-king decided it was time to sort it all out. A superstructure was grafted on to what already existed and gave a backbone for more and bigger buildings. As Mahalians are well known for their inventiveness and ingenuity, it wasn’t just any old superstructure – the steel was strengthened to withstand almost anything. Archive details are hazy, but it seems likely that magic was involved in this – in those days magic was involved in everything. The only thing the superstructure couldn’t withstand, so it turned out, was mages. But never mind, the resulting Slump made a handy dumping ground for bodies, especially when space for crypts was at a premium.

A second problem was light – once you go up far enough, light is at a premium at the bottom. That same thoughtful mage-king made sure that even the poor sods far below his sun drenched palace got at least a minute of daylight a day by the cunning installation of lightwells and mirrors to bounce all that light around, and I’m sure everyone was jolly well grateful.

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A Day With Nico

One of the best fantasy books around - The Legend of Eli Monpress by Rachel Aaron (an omnibus of The Spirit Thief, The Spirit Rebellion and The Spirit Eater)Author’s Note: If you haven’t read my books yet, you should totally try the new omnibus. For one, the price is fantastic, but also, the omnibus contains the first three Eli books, ending with The Spirit Eater. You can try the first few chapters of The Spirit Thief for free on my site.  And if you’ve already finished the first three, I’ve got a big chunk of the fourth book, The Spirit War, up on my site just for you, complete with more Nico!  There are, of course, spoilers for the first three, so read at your own peril.

One of the things I love as a writer is when people send me messages talking about their favorite characters. Eli is, of course, very popular (Eli: of course. Rachel: Shut up). Josef and Miranda are also up there, as is Slorn. But what never ceases to amaze me is how many people write to say how much they love Nico.

For those of you who haven’t read my books, Nico is the only girl in the Eli thief trio. She’s also a demonseed who is excessively dangerous and who has had a very hard life. She came in with Josef, my serious swordsman, and sticks by him though everything, an aspect which has always delighted me. Eli might be the leader, but Josef is the glue that holds the Monpress thieves together. Ahhh, group dynamics. Anyway, I’m always a bit surprised how many people really seem to like Nico. Not because she’s not worth liking, but because in the whole series, she was the hardest character for me to write. (more…)