Posts Tagged ‘fantasy’

New Short Fiction: Spirit’s Oath is out!

Rachel Aaron’s Spirit’s Oath is releasing today! It’s a novella set in the world of Eli Monpress. But instead of focusing on our loveable rogue — we are shifting to the Spirit Court and more specifically, the story of how Gin and Miranda met.

Four years before the events of The Spirit Thief, Miranda Lyonette was a young apprentice Spiritualist on the cusp of a promising career. But on the eve of her return from bonding a wind spirit, a night that should have been a celebration, she finds instead that her father has come to take her home. Now, Miranda must choose between her duty to her family and her future at the Spirit Court. But while she’s trying to make her parents see reason and avoid an arranged marriage to a man she can’t stand, she stumbled across the one one spirit who needs her more than any other, a caged ghosthound who doesn’t want her help. To save him, Miranda will have to earn the dog’s trust, but what she gets in return is a friendship deeper than anything she expected.

Check it out here! And if you’re curious about Eli, read the first chapter of The Legend of Eli Monpress ( US | UK | ANZ) here.

What are you afraid of?

I’m a firm believer that the things that scare us make a good starting point for fiction.  By that token, THE DREAD covers a wide range of fears: war, famine, plague, family discord, demonic possession, the restless undead, gruesome lingering death, ghostly visitations, maleficent necromancers, and rampaging zombies, shapeshifters and vampires.  And, oh yeah, the prospect of divine, soul-sucking retribution.

What’s not to love?

My characters have the bad luck to live in interesting times, when their kingdoms are threatened from within by revolution, treason, anarchy and plague, and from without by foreign invaders.  Fate has put them smack in the path of key events, but despite prowess in battle and magic, my characters definitely aren’t certain of victory.  As with many of the things we fear in real life, putting things back the way they were before isn’t an option.  So they’ve got a choice between really, really bad and maybe-we-survive-and-its-not-as-bad-as-it-could-have-been.  Sound familiar?  I’ve been there, and I’m betting you have, too.

Throw into the mix some very human characters who have their own hopes and fears.  A warrior hopes to live long enough to see the birth of his twins.  A queen is given a Hobson’s Choice between her duty to her crown and her obligation to her child.  A king must sacrifice his honor—and maybe his soul—to save his people.

Because most of us have been in a bad place trying to decide whether we have a way to make it, if not into a better place, at least into a not-as-bad place, I think that readers can identify with the struggle.  Lately, we’ve all also watched the world we knew shift and buckle around us, transforming into something very different…and grappled with the idea that the new “normal” may never resemble the old familiar past.

When that kind of shift occurs (and we all know that shift happens), humans display a range of reaction: rage, violence, hyper-religiosity, denial, bargaining, and sometimes, self-destruction.  All of those factors play out across the war-scarred canvass of THE DREAD, as it becomes increasingly clear to peasants and kings alike that nothing will ever again be as it had been.

The real question is, when all of life’s moorings have come undone, what will you make of where you find yourself?  Will it bring out your inner hero, or your internal traitor?  Will you freeze or fight?  When the choice is adapt or die, will you survive, and can you do it with some kind of honor left?

Those aren’t easy questions, and no one really knows how he or she will respond until they’re in that situation.  My characters find themselves facing those choices, and as their world crumbles around them, it’s up to each of them to see what he or she is really made of.

THE DREAD – Dark magics, swordmanship and sorcery

The Dread, the second fantasy title by Gail Z Martin in the Fallen Kings cycle, set int he same world as the Summoner seriesOut now is The Dread (US | UK | ANZ), the second and final part in Gail Z. Martin‘s Fallen Kings Cycle. This compelling epic fantasy series began with The Sworn ( US | UK | ANZ) and is set in the same world as her highly regarded Chronicles of the Necromancer series, and I’m very happy to say this has turned out to be a magnificent finale to the whole story arc. If you haven’t tried any of Gail’s books yet – don’t worry, you can jump right in at The Sworn without having read any of the Necromancer series. And here’s why it’s worth giving it a go:

Gail’s a master at weaving together a world together intricately and spectacularly – and you simply cannot resist being awed by the strong sense of atmosphere she creates . . .  In the dark, medieval-gothic world of the Fallen Kings Cycle, necromancers wield deathly powers of magic, ghosts toy with the living, and vampires, werewolves and demons roam the land.  See some of the fantastic reviews this series has earned so far:

‘Top notch, engrossing fantasy’ SFRevu.com

‘Those who enjoy the large-scale fantasy of George R.R. Martin and Robert Jordan should enjoy this’ Library Journal

‘I found myself caught up in the story and the characters almost from the first page …very enjoyable’ Bookgeeks.co.uk

‘Very well-written and intricately plotted . . .  I can’t wait for the second book in the cycle, The Dread’ Civilian Reader

You can also read a sample extract right here. (more…)

The Legend of Eli Monpress

The whimsical fantasy tale The Legend of Eli Monpress containing The Spirit Thief, The Spirit Rebellion and The Spirit Eater, perfect for fans of K. E. Mills' Rogue Agent series and Scott Lynch's The Lies of Locke Lamora Released in February is The Legend of Eli Monpress ( US | UK | ANZ) – Rachel Aaron‘s fantasy tale of the incorrigible thief who plans to pull of the greatest heist in history . . . If you’re a fan of K. E. Mills’ Rogue Agent series or Scott Lynch’s Lies of Locke Lamora then this is likely right up your street. You can sample the delights of an extract right here.

This edition contains the three titles The Spirit Thief, The Spirit Rebellion and The Spirit Eater – all in one handy volume and topped off with this gorgeous packaging from Sam Weber (see this great post here showing him at work in his studio on these very illustrations).

Take a minute to stop by Rachel Aaron’s attractive new site, where’s she’s posted some very interesting tidbits recently, such as this fantastic book trailer put together by our friends at Orbit France for the très sophistiquée French version of The Legend of Eli Monpress. Also, check out this extremely creative pictorial review for The Spirit Thief, part one of the Legend. Good effort!

Read on for the blurb and some great reviews: (more…)

Heir of Novron: Out Now!

the UK and US covers for Michael J Sullivan's fantasy Heir of Novron

A double execution. A forced wedding. Two thieves have other plans.

 The New Empire intends to mark its victory over the Nationalists with a bloody celebration. On the high holiday of Wintertide, their Empress will be married against her will and two alleged traitors to the realm will be publicly executed. And if the Empress she then suffer a fatal accident, the New Empire would be happy indeed . . .

There’s just one problem – master thieves Royce and Hadrian have finally found the Heir of Novron. But they need to keep him alive long enough to claim his throne.

The publication of HEIR OF NOVRON means that you can now buy all six books of Michael J. Sullivan’s acclaimed Riyria Revelations in these beautiful omnibus editions from Orbit! Available to read as paperbacks or ebooks, these three volumes collect the entire series:-

 THEFT OF SWORDS (UKUS | ANZ) collects books one and two of the Riyria Revelations The Crown Conspiracy and Avempartha. Hired merely to steal a crown, thieves Royce and Hadrian become unwitting scapegoats in a plot to murder the king himself.

RISE OF EMPIRE (UKUS | ANZ) collects books three and four, Nyphron Rising and The Emerald Storm. An imposter is on the throne, and the adventures of Royce and Hadrian continue when they’re hired to perform a dangerous mission behind enemy lines . . .

HEIR OF NOVRON  (UKUS | ANZ)  – the thrilling conclusion! Collects books five and six, Wintertide and Percepliquis.

 all three uk cvoers for the epic fantasy series Riyria Revelations

 all three American covers for the fantasy series Riyria Revelations

Heir of Night Released Today!

the mass market cover for fantasy debut The Heir of NightHelen Lowe’s brilliant debut fantasy novel, THE HEIR OF NIGHT (UK|ANZ), comes out today in mass market paperback.

A DARK ENEMY. AN ANCIENT WAR. A NEW CHAMPION.

Young Malian is being trained to rule. Her people garrison the mountain range known as the Wall of Night against an ancient enemy, keeping a tide of shadow from the rest of their world. Malian is expected to uphold this tradition, yet she’s known little of real danger until the enemy attacks her fortress home and the Keep of Winds becomes a bloodbath.

Malian flees deep into the Old Keep – and when the danger is greatest her own hidden magic flares into life. But if she accepts its power, she must prepare to pay the price.

THE HEIR OF NIGHT by Helen Lowe is a richly told tale of strange magic, dark treachery and conflicting loyalties, set in a well realized world.”
– Robin Hobb

the cover for 'The Gathering of the Lost', the second book in Helen Lowe's fantasy series The Wall of Night

THE HEIR OF NIGHT is the first novel in Helen’s skillfully weaved epic fantasy series, The Wall of Night. The second volume in this series, THE GATHERING OF THE LOST, (UK|ANZ)  will be released from Orbit UK on the 5th of April this year. Only three months to wait now!

 

Gathering of the Lost – We Unveil the Cover!

We’re really pleased to reveal the cover for the second volume of Helen Lowe ‘s epic fantasy series, THE GATHERING OF THE LOST, (UK|ANZ) which will be out this April! Click on the images below for the super high-resolution versions…

The cover for Helen Lowe's second Wall of Night novel, Gathering of the Lost. Shows a girl standing against a forest background, holding a sword, with the rain beating down and the moon shining through the trees.

The covers have been designed by Duncan Spilling, one of our in-house designers here at Orbit, and we feel that they really get across the spirit of this fantastic series. The first book in the Wall of Night series, HEIR OF NIGHT (UK|ANZ), is coming out in paperback next week, on January 19th! HEIR OF NIGHT has also got a beautiful cover, we’re sure you’ll agree… 

the cover for the heir of night - a girl stands in a castle doorway, surrounded by fire and smoke

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

Seven Days for SEVEN PRINCES: The Horror/Fantasy Connection

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.  (more…)