Upcoming: “Gallow” Trilogy by Nathan Hawke (Gollancz)

HawkeN-Gallow1-CrimsonShieldI caught a tweet the other day from Gollancz’s publicist that copies of the first book in Nathan Hawke’s Gallow series had arrived in their office (oh, how they tease us bibliophiles…). Naturally, this made me seek out some more information about the series. It sounds pretty cool, too. The series is comprised of THE CRIMSON SHIELD, COLD REDEMPTION, and LAST BASTION, and will be published in July, August, and September (respectively). I do like it when publishers release series in quick succession…

Here’s the first synopsis…

I have been Truesword to my friends, Griefbringer to my enemies. To most of you I am just another Northlander bastard here to take your women and drink your mead, but to those who know me, my name is Gallow. I fought for my king for seven long years. I have served lords and held my shield beside common men. I have fled in defeat and I have tasted victory and I will tell you which is sweeter. Despise me then, for I have slain more of your kin than I can count, though I remember every single face.

For my king I will travel to the end of the world. I will find the fabled Crimson Shield so that his legions may carry it to battle, and when Sword and Shield must finally clash, there you will find me. I will not make pacts with devils or bargains with demons for I do not believe in such things, and yet I will see them all around me, in men and in their deeds. Remember me then, for I will not suffer such monsters to live.

Even if they are the ones I serve.

The one thing I’m not sure about is whether or not this is fantasy or historical, or a blend of the two… Nevertheless, this sounds pretty interesting. I’ll try to get my hands on the books to review on the site. Between these and Snorri Kristjansson’s Swords of Good Men, I may come over all Viking this summer…

Here are the other two covers (all three were done by Alejandro Colucci):


Here’s the synopsis for book two, as well (still waiting for the third synopsis to surface on the internets…):

I fought against your people, and I have fought for them. I have killed, and I have murdered. I betrayed my kin and crippled my king. I led countless warriors to their deaths and fought to save one worthless life. I have stood against monsters and men and I cannot always tell the difference.

Fate carried me away from your lands, from the woman and the family I love. Three hellish years but now, finally, I may return. I hope I will find them waiting for me. I hope they will remember me while all others forget. Let my own people believe me dead, lest they hunt me down. Let me return in the dark and in the shadows so no one will know.

But hope is rare and fate is cruel. And if I have to, I will fight.

Upcoming: “The Raven’s Shadow” by Elspeth Cooper (Gollancz)

Cooper-RavensShadowI’ve not been very good at keeping up with Elspeth Cooper’s Wild Hunt series. I enjoyed Songs of the Earth, but still need to catch up with Trinity Rising, the second novel in the series. The Raven’s Shadow is the third of four novel in the series, and will be published in August 2013. Here’s the synopsis:

Three moons are rising.

They are rising over the snowy Archen Mountains, where Teia struggles through the high passes to carry her warning to the Empire: the Nimrothi war band is poised to invade and at their head stands Ytha. She means to release the Wild Hunt – and with it Maegern the Raven, the Keeper of the Dead.

In the desert of Gimrael, the moons are rising over the fires of revolution – flames that have already robbed Gair of a friend and left him alone in a hostile city, unsure even if the Song is still his to command. He has one last duty to discharge, and then nothing will stand between him and his ultimate goal: vengeance.

And in the Nordmen’s chilly halls, Savin plays out a game in which kings and chieftains and men are but pawns on a chessboard that spans the Veil itself.

Three moons are rising. When the trinity is complete, the endgame will begin.

The fourth-and-final book in the series, The Dragon House is due to be published (according to Amazon UK) one month after this, in September 2013… Not sure if that can be right. Regardless, this is an interesting series, and well worth your attention.

Also on CR: Interview with Elspeth Cooper


UPDATE: Just heard back from Elspeth – this is not the final artwork, but just one that Amazon UK has used and that seems to be doing the rounds on the internet. And, also, book four will be published in 2014. Updates to follow, as-and-when information becomes available. I also inserted a new synopsis, provided by the author, substituting it for the Amazon UK synopsis (below).

Sometimes those with the greatest potential must withstand the hardest blows. Fate, it seems, has nothing kind in store for Gair. First his lover and now his mentor have been killed – the first by the dangerous, ambitious Savin, the second in a revolutionary uprising. Alone, and with even his magical abilities betraying him, he has only one goal left: revenge. Far to the north, if Teia has one goal it is survival. Attempting to cross a high mountain pass in the teeth of winter is an act of desperation, but the message she carries cannot wait for spring. An invasion force is gathering behind her, and only an ancient order of knights can hold them back. The danger is real, there are enemies in the shadows, and time is running out…

Upcoming: “The Black Guard” by A.J. Smith (Head of Zeus)

SmithAJ-BlackGuardThere’s been a little bit of buzz surrounding this novel, but not as much as I’ve expected. The Black Guard is the first in A.J. Smith’s The Long War fantasy series.

I actually read a little bit of a very early version of The Black Guard on submission when I was interning at a publisher last year, only to discover that Head of Zeus had already picked it up. Nevertheless, I was happy to learn it was going to make it to the shelves, and I look forward to reading the final version.

Here’s the synopsis:

The Duke of Canarn is dead, executed by the King’s decree. The city lies in chaos, its people starving, sickening, and tyrannized by the ongoing presence of the King’s mercenary army. But still hope remains: the Duke’s children, the Lord Bromvy and Lady Bronwyn, have escaped their father’s fate.

Separated by enemy territory, hunted by the warrior clerics of the One God, Bromvy undertakes to win back the city with the help of the secretive outcasts of the Darkwald forest, the Dokkalfar. The Lady Bronwyn makes for the sanctuary of the Grass Sea and the warriors of Ranen with the mass of the King’s forces at her heels. And in the mountainous region of Fjorlan, the High Thain Algenon Teardrop launches his Dragon Fleet against the Red Army. Brother wars against brother in this, the epic first volume of the long war.

It’ll be interesting to see how this shapes up. It’ll be released as a Special Edition and also a “standard” Hardcover in August 2013.

Upcoming: “Riyria Chronicles” by Michael Sullivan (Orbit)

Later this year, Orbit are publishing two more novels set in Michael Sullivan’s Riyria fantasy world. The two books are set before Theft of Swords and the Riyria Revelations series, but do not have to be read first – they fill in some details that are alluded to in the first series (which also includes Rise of Empire and Heir of Novron).


First up is The Crown Tower, which chronicles Royce and Hadrian’s first job together:

Two men who hate each other. One impossible mission. A Legend in the making.

A warrior with nothing to fight for is paired with a thieving assassin with nothing to lose. Together they must steal a treasure that no one can reach. The Crown Tower is the impregnable remains of the grandest fortress ever built and home to the realm’s most valuable possessions. But it isn’t gold or jewels the old wizard is after, and this prize can only be obtained by the combined talents of two remarkable men. Now if Arcadias can just keep Hadrian and Royce from killing each other, they just might succeed.

And secondly, The Rose and the Thorn, in which we see the soon-to-be-legendary “Riyria” starting to take shape:

Two thieves want answers. Riyria is born.

For more than a year Royce Melborn has tried to forget Gwen DeLancy, the woman who saved him and his partner Hadrian Blackwater from certain death. Unable to get her out of his mind, the two thieves return to Medford but receive a very different reception – Gwen refuses to see them. The victim of abuse by a powerful noble, she suspects that Royce will ignore any danger in his desire for revenge. By turning the thieves away, Gwen hopes to once more protect them. What she doesn’t realize is what the two are capable of – but she’s about to find out.

The Crown Tower will be published in August 2013, with The Rose and the Thorn following in September 2013. I’m really looking forward to these.


Riyria Revelations: The Viscount and the Witch, Theft of Swords, Rise of Empire, Heir of Novron

Also on CR: Interview with Michael Sullivan, Guest Post (Heroic vs. Gritty Fantasy)