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Posts Tagged ‘magic’

Benedict Jacka Cover Launch: The Bumper Issue

We’re delighted to launch the cover for MARKED, designed by Ceara Elliot and Emily Courdelle! This is the ninth book in Benedict Jacka’s magic-filled Alex Verus series, publishing in July next year.

MARKED sees probability mage Alex Verus tracking down dangerous magical items unleashed into the world by dark mages. When the Light Council decide they need his help in negotiating with the perpetrators, Alex must use all his cunning and magic to strike a deal…

MARKED continues the bold, colourful new look for the series that we established with BURNED and BOUND. Now – at Alex’s request (and who are we to deny a probability mage’s predictions?) – we’ve given the first six books brand new designs to match. If you think these new covers are vivid and irresistibly eye-catching, well . . . Alex Verus knew you would!

These fabulous new designs – also courtesy of Ceara Elliot and Emily Courdelle – will be appearing in bookstores throughout 2018.

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Cover launch: THE FALL OF THE DAGGER by Glenda Larke

THE FALL OF THE DAGGER by Glenda Larke

THE FALL OF THE DAGGER is the third and final novel in the Forsaken Lands trilogy, a fantasy epic full of scheming, spying, action and adventure.

We’re excited to launch the final cover in this trilogy today, with design by Tracey Winwood and image by Steve Stone.

A king corrupted, a sorcerer on the throne, a land in peril…

Excommunicated cleric Saker returns from exile in the Spice Islands to find his homeland in chaos.
A dark sorcerer controls the ear of the King, turning him against his own son and heir, while a corrupted army gathers in the shadows.
With the illusionist Sorrel and islander Ardhi, armed with magic from Ardhi’s homeland, Saker now must stand between his city and the corruption that threatens to cripple it, before it is too late . . .

The first two books in the series are available now, check out THE LASCAR’S DAGGER and THE DAGGER’S PATH, or read the first chapters on the Orbit site today.

The Forsaken Lands: epic fantasy by Glenda Larke

Praise for this series:

“Outstanding all the way to the last word”
Elizabeth Moon

“Breathtaking adventure, exotic world-building and fabulous characters”
Karen Miller

 

“The Second Book Can’t Come Soon Enough . . .”

And now it’s here! THE PARADOX, the very, very, very much-awaited sequel to Charlie Fletcher’s THE OVERSIGHT is out this week, and . . .

“I’ll certainly be reading the next one” Cory Doctorow, BoingBoing

the critics who loved THE OVERSIGHT . . .

“The start of something amazing” Mike Carey

will clearly . . .

“The second book can’t come soon enough” Booklist (starred review)

be . . .

“If there is a sequel to this then I shall be first in line to read it” Fantasy Book Review

very . . .

“It’s going to be something special” SF Site

happy . . .

“I’d read a prequel this evening, a sequel as soon as.” Niall Alexander, Tor.com

to . . .

“Promises a trilogy worth sinking your teeth into” SciFiNow

hear . . .

“Go on and relish The Oversight without further prompting – then we can all wait eagerly for more!” Locus

that.

If you missed Charlie at the Nine Worlds convention last week, he’ll be at Edinburgh Book Fair on 21st August and Sledge-Lit in Nottingham in November. If you can’t make it to the UK, look out for his upcoming slot on John Scalzi’s The Big Idea, or find out what he’s up to on twitter at @CharlieFletch_r. THE PARADOX is out this week in ebook and print.

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.

The UK’s Bestselling Epic Fantasy Debut of 2013

Next week we’re delighted to publish the paperback edition of BLOOD SONG, which in the UK was the bestselling epic fantasy debut of 2013.

Anthony’s Ryan’s powerful tale of high adventure and deadly intrigue clearly struck a chord with readers, as the critical acclaim that followed the novel’s release was nothing short of astounding. BLOOD SONG currently has over a thousand 5* reviews on Amazon and was selected as Amazon UK’s favourite SFF novel from last year.

With the hugely anticipated sequel, TOWER LORD (UK), looming on the horizon, now is the perfect time to read the epic fantasy blockbuster that took readers by storm last summer. You can find the first chapter here, and an interview with Anthony here.

And if that’s not quite convinced you, then here’s some of the praise that BLOOD SONG has received:

‘An utterly engrossing high-fantasy epic from a major new talent that explores themes of war, faith, and loyalty amidst incredible action scenes and artfully developed characters’
BUZZFEED

‘A top contender for most impressive debut of the year. . . A powerful epic’
SFFWORLD

‘This is epic fantasy at its best with action, rivalries, espionage, the promise of future revelations and ever-present twists’
BOOKBAG

Just impossible to put down . . . Fast-paced, action-packed and character-driven’ FANTASY BOOK CRITIC

An instant sensation . . . an excellent start to this series’
READ DREAM RELAX

‘Smartly-written . . . Compelling’
SFX

‘BLOOD SONG delighted me again and again’
FANTASY FACTION

‘Well wrought characters, a fascinating world, and crackling prose . . . Not to be missed’
KING OF THE NERDS

‘One of the next master storytellers’
FANTASY BOOK REVIEW

‘I still love – and want – that feeling of completely absorbing escapism that good fantasy can supply – and BLOOD SONG brings it in force’
PORNOKITSCH

‘The next epic fantasy book everybody should read’
BLOTTED PAGES

Anthony Ryan lives in London and is a full time writer. You can find him online at his website and on Twitter.

ARCANUM – epic fantasy with a spark of genius

Today we are proud to release ARCANUM (UK | US | ANZ), a majestic standalone epic fantasy from none other than the Philip K. Dick award-winning Simon Morden.

Having won the prestigious award for his science fiction series starring deliciously sociopathic Russian genius Samuil Petrovitch, Simon has now turned his considerable intellect to fantasy. And what’s resulted is rather mind-blowing . . .

Imagine that long ago, the Roman Empire was crushed by wild spell-casting shamen.

Imagine that a thousand years later, a mighty kingdom has been founded on this formidable power – with magic their tool and their ultimate weapon.

The secret to Carinthia’s dominion is the Order of the Hexmasters, whose magic can power cities, build bridges and exterminate whole armies.

But then imagine taking this power away . . .

When the age of magic dies, the world will be ignited. Some believe that any act, no matter how horrific, is justified to bring the magic back. But some believe that when the magic has gone, the age of science will be born anew.

The twelve-year old Felix will be thrust onto the throne after his father’s demise, the fiery Nikoleta must wield her power carefully as the last remaining hexmaster, and the librarian Thaler believes that salvation lies in the knowledge stored in the great library of Carinthia . . .

Chaos and order, future and past, technology and superstition – all will clash with violence in the magnificent ARCANUM, out today.

‘An enthralling read for aficionados of intelligent, impeccably rendered fantasy’ Kirkus

‘A captivating novel as well as an interesting commentary on fantasy as a genre’ Tor.com

‘A masterful foray into an alternate universe . . . An engrossing rollercoaster of a plot winds up with a solidly satisfying climax that leaves the reader craving more’ Publishers Weekly

If you’re based in the UK and would like to celebrate the release with Simon and get hold of a signed copy, there will be a signing held at the Newcastle branch of Forbidden Planet on Saturday 15th February from 1-2pm.

author post

BlackPrism_TP

When I began writing the Night Angel trilogy, I deliberately started with a world in which there were few magic users, and most people would rarely encounter one during their lives. I mentally compared them to professional athletes in our world–if you have a normal job, you might glimpse a seven-foot tall basketball player walking through the airport someday, and be awed. On the other hand, if your job is an athletic trainer or referee, you might see professional athletes every day, so as the Night Angel trilogy progressed and the characters grew, we saw more and more magic.

In Lightbringer, I wanted to go high magic. After all, why not? I soon found out. Mo’ magic, mo’ problems.

Having lots of magic makes for lots of narrative problems. First, the main problem for any secondary world fantasy is setting the stage, defining the rules, the institutions, the time period, the religious and cultural beliefs and all the other expectation-setting that we’ve come to call world building. In Night Angel, I’d given myself a low bar to clear: at least at first, the world is straight-forwardly quasi-medieval European. You’ve been there before, you can make good guesses about how things work. In Lightbringer, we’re in a different place and time entirely: this is a Renaissance era quasi-Mediterranean setting. Not only is there a huge number of real cultures to draw from, but it was already a time of rapid technological and social change.

Take one small example: up until 1480, sailors aimed their cannons by resting them on the gunnel (the gun-wale), literally the side of the boat. You propped it up, moved it closer or farther to adjust elevation, and boom. But if the other ship got too close, you couldn’t hit their decks anymore. Then someone had a bright idea: you put the gun belowdecks and made little doors to open when you wanted to fire. Thus the boat could still be relatively watertight, and you could shoot at the hull of the other ship for as long as you could still shoot.

Within twenty years, the idea of portholes had spread throughout the entirety of the Mediterranean basin. No one was shooting from the gunwale any more.

But no one treats magic like this. In secondary world fantasy, usually the only person to do anything new or game-changing with magic is the protagonist. Entire towers full of magicians do research for hundreds of years, and they never learn anything new.

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Elizabeth Moon’s new fantasy novel ECHOES OF BETRAYAL – published today!

the cover of Elizabeth Moon's fantasy novel Echoes of Betrayal. Shows a man holding a crossbow

We’re excited to announce that the third epic fantasy novel in Elizabeth Moon’s stunning Paladin’s Legacy series, ECHOES OF BETRAYAL (UK | ANZ), is published today in the UK!

Here are just a few of the good things people have been saying about the series!

“What sheer delight . . . an engrossing new adventure.” – Anne McCaffrey

“I am looking forward to reading the next book . . .  The Paladin’s Legacy has its goal in sight, and I for one will be interested to read how it all ends.” – Strange Horizons

Really had me hooked . . . an engrossing read.” – SFFWorld.com

As threats build abroad, treachery strikes at home.

While King Kieri struggles to end the war that plagues his borders, his new subjects are becoming restless. His people include both humans and elves, and their uneasy accord is cracking under the demands of war.

the three covers for the Paladin's Legacy epic fantasy series by Elizabeth Moon

Kieri doesn’t fully appreciate the danger until someone close to him is found slain in the woods, and his beloved new wife also finds her life in danger. Kieri must seek out the corruption within his grandmother’s elvish court, or all he’s achieved will turn to nothing.

Trouble also finds Dorrin Verrakai on the road, riding to command her kingdom’s defences in the war-torn provinces. Her family’s dark power is rising again and it’s down to her to root out the devastating influence of their illicit blood magic. Then her investigations reveal magery in the last place anyone expected . . .

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