Excerpt: THE ETERNAL KINGDOM by Ben Peek (Tor)

PeekB-3-EternalKingdomUKThe Eternal Kingdom, the final novel in Ben Peek‘s well-received Children trilogy is now available in the UK. Published by Tor, it concludes the story started in The Godless and Leviathan’s Blood, as well as the prequel novella Saboteurs. To celebrate the release, the publisher has given CR an excerpt to share. But first, the novel’s synopsis:

A nation in fragments

On the shores of Yeflam, Ayae struggles to keep her people together. She acts as liaison between the camp leaders and the immortals who could save them. Zaifyr’s immortal siblings have arrived — but they have their own unfathomable agendas and Ayae is caught in their power games.

An army on the march

Heast has returned to his role as Captain of Refuge, a mercenary unit that answers the call of lost causes. With help from an unexpected source, Heast and his band of mercenaries could turn the tide of war — if they live long enough.

A world in danger

Bueralan Le is trapped in the company of the new god child. Though he fights to prevent her from unleashing her forces on the world, he is bound by blood to her darkest creation. The future of the world may depend on his choices.

And now, on with the Prologue… Continue reading

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Books Received (April)

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Featuring: Andrew Bannister, Stephanie Burgis, Lee Child, Myke Cole, Sebastien de Castell, A.A. Dhand, N.S. Dolkart, Steven Erikson, Christie Golden, Stephen Graham Jones, Jessica Grose, Guy Haley, Peter Hanington, Samantha Hayes, Kaui Hart Hemmings, D.L. Hughley, Kij Johnson, Emma Kavanagh, Laura Lam, Owen Laukkanen, Ken MacLeod, Laurence MacNaughton, Jay McInerney, Barney Norris, Daniel O’Malley, Ann Patchett, Ben Peek, Leif G.W. Perrson, Gae Polisner, Adam Rakunas, Chris Roberson, J. Todd Scott, Helen Sedgwick, J.P. Smythe, Brian Staveley, James Swallow, Michael Swanwick, David Swinson, Adrian Tchaikovsky, Matt Wallace, Robin Yocum

Above Picture: Crop of Injection #7, by Declan Shalvey & Jordie Bellaire (Image)

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Guest Post: “The World Around Me (And the World Within Leviathan’s Blood)” by Ben Peek

PeekB-AuthorPicI was a teenager when I walked through my first snowfield. The snow was artificial, of course. It was winter in Australia and the snow machines sat on the side of the fields, like fallen barrels.

The High School I went to took us up to the snowfields on an excursion. To be honest, I can’t tell you why. It’s strange, but over the years, I’ve forgotten the reasons for all of the excursions I went on in school. Like an amnesiac super soldier, I can’t explain to you why I was in Canberra in 1990, or in Melbourne in 1989. It would be nice if I was part of a secret cartel of child assassins, but in all honesty, I suspect we were just there because our parents needed a break. Whatever shadowy deal the school did with our parents (as schools everywhere do shadowy deals with all parents) the deal was made to take us up to snow fields in June. There, we rode ski lifts up to the top of a mountain that none of us could ski down. Later, we rode the lifts back down. Continue reading

Upcoming: LEVIATHAN’S BLOOD by Ben Peek (Tor UK)

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I shared the cover for Ben Peek‘s second novel a little while ago on Twitter, but Tor UK have recently posted a piece about the cover and novel, and I thought it should be up on CR as well. Leviathan’s Blood is the sequel to The Godless. Here’s what it’s about:

The city of Mireea has been destroyed and its survivors seek shelter, refugees from a great war. Among them, Zaifyr and his companions arrive at the gates of Yeflam, seeking asylum. Zaifyr’s immortal status might gain them access – but will that be enough? And although they are weary indeed, they also face a bigger threat than lack of sanctuary. A new child god has entered the world, and she will do anything to destroy those who might threaten her power. Zaifyr warns Yeflam of the danger she poses. But it’s too late. Priests of the new god have entered the city.

Meanwhile, Ayae becomes enmeshed in Muriel Wagan’s machinations. Now known as Lady of the Ghosts, Muriel seeks leverage to protect her people. But anyone in her way will find politics are more dangerous than the sword. Then on the other side of the world, the saboteur Bueralan returns home. Around his neck he carries a terrible cargo: the soul of a dead man. He’s been set on a dark path by the child god and he must face the consequences. For they will change a whole world.

I like the relatively-simple composition and idea behind the cover — and the execution is quite stunning. It was designed by Neal Lang.

Leviathan’s Blood is due to be published in April 2016.

For more on Ben Peek’s writing and novel, be sure to check out his website, and follow him on Twitter and Goodreads.

Also on CR: Interview with Ben Peek

An Interview with BEN PEEK

ben peekLet’s start with an introduction: Who is Ben Peek?

I’m an author who lives in Sydney, Australia with my partner, Nikilyn Nevins, who is a photographer.

THE GODLESS – the first book in my Children Trilogy – is my fifth book. My previous books are Black Sheep, Twenty-Six Lies/One Truth, and Above/Below, with Stephanie Campisi. My collection, Dead Americans and Other Stories, was released earlier this year. In addition to that, I’ve done a few other things, such as a psychogeography pamphlet, an autobiographical comic, and lectured and taught at various places.

I also may, or may not, be listening to the Velvet Underground as I reply to this.

Your next novel, The Godless, is published in July by Tor UK and St. Martin’s Press in the US. How would you introduce the novel to a new reader?

The book is the first in a fantasy trilogy, and takes place in a world where, fifteen thousand years ago, a war between the gods took place. In its aftermath, the sun was broken into three, the ocean turned black with blood and rose, and the bodies of the gods fell to the ground, where they lay in a state best described as both dead and dying. In the centuries that followed, their powers seeped into the world, altering it, and altering some of the people who lived there. Continue reading