Posts Tagged ‘Helen Lowe’

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.


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!


The Evolution of Character: Malian of Night and the Heroic Tradition

Recently I was asked, ‘what makes Malian, your main character in The Heir of Night unique in epic fantasy? And what makes a hero, anyway?’ My initial response was ‘aargh, the pressure’—not just of an example, but of encapsulating what is often the slow delicate process of character evolution. And Malian of Night’s character did evolve over many years, from long before I first put pen to paper: sometimes in small increments, occasionally in giant leaps. I have spoken elsewhere of the similar emergence of the Wall of Night world: from around the age of 10 I had a vision of a rugged, shadowy, wind-blasted environment, and the concept of a youthful female protagonist within that world developed at much the same time.

Although both the world and the character have evolved considerably from those first principles, the notion that Malian should initially be a youthful protagonist has remained unchanged. In this first book—of four in the series—she is thirteen, while Kalan, the second protagonist, is fourteen. Although this may seem young to us, thirteen and fourteen year olds have been regarded as adult or near adult through much of history (Shakespeare’s Juliet, for example, is fourteen; marriageable age at that time.) The age of these two central characters, at the cusp between childhood and adult responsibility, is one where—although not yet independent agents—most of us are making choices:  about who we are, what beliefs and values we subscribe to, and whether we buy into the status quo or desire change. In the case of Malian and Kalan, these choices are not just personal but reflect the issues at stake in their wider society, known as the Derai—a people who believe they champion good, but are divided by prejudice, suspicion and fear. (more…)

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

Helen Lowe Wins Creative Writing Residency

a photo of the fantasy author helen lowe in conversationOur congratulations go to Helen Lowe, author of epic fantasy series THE WALL OF NIGHT, who has been awarded The Ursula Bethell Residency in Creative Writing by the University of Canterbury!

Helen says: “I’m absolutely delighted – not least for the recognition for speculative fiction, and I’m really looking forward to working exclusively on THE WALL OF NIGHT series!”

the cover to The Heir of Night, the first novel in the fantasy series The Wall of Night. A girl stand in a fiery doorway, looking determinedThe Ursula Bethell Residency in Creative Writing was founded by the University in 1979 to promote and provide support for New Zealand’s many talented writers. Helen will hold the residency until July 31 2012; the project she will be working on during the residency is THE WALL OF NIGHT Book Three, DAUGHTER OF BLOOD. She shares the prize with the poet David Eggleton.

Book One, THE HEIR OF NIGHT (UK/ANZ) will be out in Mass Market Paperback on the 19th of January 2012.

THE HEIR OF NIGHT triumphs at the Vogel awards!

I am absolutely delighted to report that Helen Lowe won New Zealand’s premier genre award for Best Novel over the  weekend, with her wonderful epic fantasy adventure The Heir of Night. The award was actually shared this year, as Lyn McConchie’s  The Questing Road also took the top spot, showing the strength of the shortlist. The Sir Julius Vogel awards were announced at the ConText convention and  Helen talks more about the award on her blog — and we couldn’t be more excited for her.

Robin Hobb called this wonderful epic fantasy adventure ‘a richly told tale of strange magic, dark treachery and conflicting loyalties, set in a well realized world’. I can’t recommend it highly enough myself and suggest that you get right out and discover all the dark treachery-ness of it for yourselves! Happy reading.

Awards news

We are very happy to have not just one, but several pieces of good news on the awards front, in no particular order:

First of all, Helen Lowe’s The Heir of Night has been nominated in two categories for the prestigious Sir Julius Vogel New Zealand genre awards. She’s up for Best Novel for the book itself and Peter Fitzpatrick has been nominated for Best Professional Artwork for his wonderful map. We’ll be crossing our fingers in the lead up to the awards, to be announced at New Zealand’s ConText convention on 3rd – 6th June in just a few weeks.

Congratulations also go to Marianne de Pierres who has won the award for best Science Fiction Novel at the Aurealis Awards for her novel Transformation Space.

Finally, don’t forget to vote for your favourite book for this year’s Gemmell Awards. We’re strongly represented across all three categories, firstly with three titles in the running for the Legend Award for best fantasy novel: The War of the Dwarves by Markus Heitz, Towers of Midnight by Brandon Sanderson, and The Black Prism by Brent Weeks. We also have The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms by N. K. Jemisin nominated for the Morningstar award for best fantasy debut. And lastly, this book is nominated yet again in the Gemmell’s Ravenheart category for best fantasy book cover, with Cliff Neilson as illustrator and our Lauren Panepinto as designer.

Good luck to the shortlisted nominees and congratulations again to Marianne de Pierres!

The day’s arrived for The Heir of Night

If you’re in Australia and New Zealand, you’re definitely in the right place to get your hands on some exciting new fantasy as Helen Lowe’s Orbit debut, The Heir of Night, hits bookshelves today in all of its beautifully plotted and blazing red glory!

In case you missed it, the author has explained the world of The Heir of Night for us here, and the blogosphere has already weighed in favourably on this start to a new series:

‘The Heir of Night is a carefully plotted story in a complex world’ –

‘Very promising and fast-paced new epic fantasy.’ –

‘A very rich and complex story with a perfect balance between action and character development that got me hooked from the first page.’ –

‘Helen Lowe’s prose flows effortlessly from the first pages to the last page and she uses magic in a good way.’ – (more…)

Building The Wall of Night: An Interview with Helen Lowe

The Wall of Night quartet is Helen Lowe’s Orbit debut, and we’re so excited to welcome her to the Orbit family that we can’t wait any longer to introduce all of you to this New Zealand author, poet, blogger and radio interviewer with this getting-to-know-Helen-Lowe interview.

1. What’s the best thing about living in New Zealand?

Oh, that is such a hard question, because how do you ever see yourself objectively? But there’s still a lot of open space, compared to other countries I’ve visited, and I really like that—areas where you can drive for miles and not see another person, or a house. But because NZ is long and narrow, even really remote places are never that far away; for example, the location of Edoras, in The Lord of the Rings’ films, wouldn’t be more than a couple of hours drive from Christchurch, where I live. (more…)

THE HEIR OF NIGHT by Helen Lowe – cover launch

I am very excited to have such a fine cover to show off for our wonderful new fantasy The Heir of Night (ANZ | UK), book 1 in The Wall of Night sequence by Helen Lowe. To reference Orbit’s new survey of cover art, there are no unicorns or dragons here, but instead see a seriously on-trend sword, and some  fashion-forward, dark (and meaningful) mist. But the main thing is that it’s gorgeous, richly atmospheric and stand-out to go with the fast-paced breathtakingly good content inside.

The Heir of Night is Helen Lowe’s adult fantasy debut, and we enter a world where the violence of an age-old war casts a long shadow. There we meet Malian who, although she’s being trained to rule, is unprepared for the savagery of her people’s ancient enemy as they attack in the darkest part of the Night.

Helen may be new to adult fiction, but she’s already received critical acclaim for her previous YA novel Thornspell. Last year this won New Zealand’s prestigious Sir Julius Vogel award for Best Novel, Young Adult. Helen won the Vogel award for Best New Talent in the same year, so we are delighted she’s turned her hand to adult fantasy, and you can find a free advance extract for The Heir of Night HERE. The book will be out in Australia and New Zealand in Oct 2010 — and if you are going to WorldCon in September look out for Helen as she’ll be doing some panels and a pre-publication reading. UK readers will have to wait a little longer for the book until  March 2011. But rest assured, it’ll be so worth the wait!

Helen’s been hugely busy in the run up to WorldCon as she’s also preparing for New Zealand’s Christchurch Writers Festival and on top of that she’s just done a pre-AussieCon guest post on Marianne de Pierres’ blog.

I’ll leave you with a quote from Robin Hobb, which perfectly encapsulates this wonderful adventure:

The Heir of Night by Helen Lowe is a richly told tale of strange magic, dark treachery and conflicting loyalties, set in a well realised world’ Robin Hobb