Another summer has come and gone, and here at Orbit, we’re already hard at work on next year’s exciting line-up! Here are some of the jackets we have ready so far with more to follow over the next few months.
Click on the images below to see a larger version and appreciate each cover in its full glory. Pin, tweet, and comment away with reckless abandon. Let us know which books have already piqued your interest!
Art Credits: Reign of Ash: Illustration by Larry Rostant; Heaven’s Queen: Design by Kirk Benshoff; Dance of Shadows: Photo Illustration by Gene Mollica & Michael Frost, Design by Kirk Benshoff; The Girl With All The Gifts: Design by Duncan Spilling; Cibola Burn: Illustration by Daniel Dociu, Design by Kirk Benshoff; Baptism of Fire: Illustration by BARTŁOMIEJ GAWEŁ, PAWEŁ MIELNICZUK, MARCIN BŁASZCZAK, ARKADIUSZ MATYSZEWSKI,MARIAN CHOMIAK , Design by Lauren Panepinto; Path to Power: Illustration by Raphael Lacoste, Design by Kirk Benshoff; Justice: Design by Wendy Chan; Broken Eye: Photo by Shirley Green, Illustration by Silas Manhood, Design by Lauren Panepinto; The Ripper Affair: Photo by Shirley Green, Illustration by Craig White, Design by Lauren Panepinto; Cursed Moon: Photo by Shirley Green, Illustration by Don Sipley, Design by Lauren Panepinto; The Fifth Season: Design by Lauren Panepinto; The Widow’s House: Design by Kirk Benshoff
The second book in a trilogy is always tricky to write. Unless the author is very careful it can be the weakest of the three books, because it’s neither the beginning of the beginning nor the end of the end.
The way I solve this critical problem is to give each book its own driving storyline, with a powerful beginning and an even stronger ending, both of which dovetail neatly into the overarching story of the trilogy. It’s easy to say that, of course, but not so easy to do, and it takes a lot of planning and rewriting to get right.
What’s Rebellion about?
REBELLION (US | UK | AUS), book 2 of my epic fantasy trilogy The Tainted Realm, is set in an isolated island nation, once Cython but now called Hightspall, which is forever tainted by the brutal way it was colonised two thousand years ago. But now the conquered land is fighting back with one natural disaster after another, the Cythonians’ long-dead alchymist-king Lyf is rising again, and they know it’s time to take back their country.
Only one person can prevent Hightspall from running with blood – Tali, a slave in Cython who, as an eight-year-old girl, saw her mother murdered for the magical ebony pearl secretly cultured inside her head. Tali, now 18, is determined to bring the killers to justice, but discovers that she too bears an ebony pearl – the master pearl, in fact. And every villain in the land wants to hack it out of her head, including the killers.
In Book 1, VENGEANCE, Tali pursued the killers, and was hunted by them, through a land at war. To avenge her murdered mother she, a timid slave, had to take on the wizard-king, Lyf, who first died two thousand years ago.
This week, the follow-up to VENGEANCE (US | UK | AUS) releases everywhere. Magic is failing and there are dark days ahead for the land of Hightspall . . .
If you haven’t picked up the first book of The Tainted Realm series, you can check our the first chapter here or find out what fans are already saying about it on Ian’s Facebook page.
The action does not let up in the latest novel, REBELLION (US | UK | AUS). From the first pages you’ll be caught up in the epic struggle as Rix and Tali fight against a villain hellbent on destroying the world in order to rebuild it according to his desires. Read an excerpt below.
“Lord Rixium?” Her voice was desperate. “You gotta get up now. The enemy are coming. Coming fast.”
Rix’s right wrist throbbed abominably, and so did the back of his head. He groaned, rolled over and cracked his ear on a stone edge. His cheek and chest were numb, as if he’d been lying on ice.
“What . . . ?” he mumbled. “Where . . . ?” His eyes were gummed shut and he didn’t want to open them. Didn’t want to see.
“Chancellor’s stolen Tali and Rannilt away, to milk their healing blood.”
I wish I knew everything I know now, because when I began writing fantasy, I didn’t have a clue about the art of storytelling.
How I began
I devoured books from the age of four, I was good at English, and I wrote all the time in my work (I’m a marine scientist). Yet when I started writing my first book 25 years ago (A Shadow on the Glass), I discovered that I didn’t truly understand how fiction worked, and the books I read on writing, worthy though they were, weren’t much help. I understood their messages but couldn’t see how to apply them to my story.
My first novel had a long gestation, because I’d been world-building for ten years before I started writing. I’d created maps the size of doors (small versions can be seen here) designed a whole world of nations and ecosystems, and worked out 10,000 years of history, as one does. I’d also spent a lot of time planning the book. At least, trying to.
But the story plan didn’t seem real. I had no idea where it was going and every idea seemed dumb and derivative. In despair, and sure the book wasn’t going to work, I started to write ‘organically’ – that’s the technical term for ‘making it up as you go along’.
Internationally bestselling author Ian Irvine kicked off a new series this April with VENGEANCE (US | UK | AUS), a gritty adventure for the discerning epic fantasy reader. Tali is a slave in a subterranean world governed by fear and violence. She has never seen the light of day. Rix is a young Lord of Hightspall who lives in the light but is tormented by dark, apocalyptic visions. A shocking act of violence from the past connects this unlikely pair, who must unite to stand against a powerful foe.
This is epic fantasy at its best: Irvine’s world is lovingly built, and full of action, intrigue, and depth. And deadly shapeshifting beasts! We hope you’ll share our enthusiasm for a writer “comfortably ranked next to … Robert Jordan and David Eddings and, more appropriately, the mighty Anne McCaffrey” (SFX).
Ten years ago, two children witnessed a murder that still haunts them as adults. Now a chance meeting brings these two strangers together to uncover the secrets of a kingdom and evil that will throw the land into chaos.
VENGEANCE (US | UK | AUS) is an epic tale of revenge and redemption from Ian Irvine, one of fantasy’s finest storytellers. Read an excerpt from the first book of The Tainted Realms series.
“Matriarch Ady, can I check the Solaces for you?” said Wil, staring at the locked basalt door behind her. “Can I, please?”
Ady frowned at the quivering, cross-eyed youth, then laid her scribing tool beside the partly engraved sheet of spelter and flexed her aching fingers. “The Solaces are for the matriarchs’ eyes only. Go and polish the clangours.”
Wil, who was neither handsome nor clever, knew that Ady only kept him around because he worked hard. And because, years ago, he had revealed a gift for shillilar, morrow-sight. Having been robbed of their past, the matriarchs used even their weakest tools to protect Cython’s future.
Though Wil was so lowly that he might never earn a tattoo, he desperately wanted to be special, to matter. But he had another reason for wanting to look at the Solaces, one he dared not mention to anyone. A later shillilar had told him that there was something wrong, something the matriarchs weren’t telling them. Perhaps—heretical thought—something they didn’t know.