Upcoming: PRIEST OF BONES by Peter McLean (Jo Fletcher Books/Ace)

McLean-PriestOfBonesUKIn October, Jo Fletcher Books (UK) and Ace Books (US) are due to publish the new novel by Peter McLeanPriest of Bones. The first novel in the author’s new series, The War of the Rose Throne, I think it sounds great. This has been variously described as a must for fans of Mark Lawrence, Joe Abercrombie and Scott Lynch. I think, given the synopsis, I think I’d add Daniel Polansky to that list (his Low Town series looks to me to be in the similar sub-genre of fantasy crime/noir). Here’s the synopsis:

‘Sixty-five thousand battle-shocked, trained killers came home to no jobs, no food and the plague. What did Her Majesty think was going to happen?’

Tomas Piety takes his duties seriously: as a soldier, as a priest of Our Lady of Eternal Sorrows and as a leader of men. He has come home from the war to reclaim his family business, to provide for his men and to ensure the horrors of Abingon can never happen in Ellinburg.

But things have changed: his crime empire has been stolen and the people of Ellinburg — his people — have run out of food and hope and places to hide. With his best friend Bloody Anne, his war-damaged brother Jochan and his new gang, the Pious Men, Tomas sets out to reclaim what was his.

And as Tomas is dragged into a web of political intrigue by the sinister Queen’s Men, forced to work against the foreign infiltrators lurking in the backstreet taverns, brothels and gambling dens of the Stink, one thing becomes clear.

The war has just begun.

I think this sounds great. Really looking forward to reading it. McLean’s first series, The Burned Man, is published by Angry Robot Books.

Also on CR: Interview with Peter McLean (2015)

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Upcoming: FOUNDRYSIDE by Robert Jackson Bennett (Crown)

BennettRJ-1-FoundrysideUSRobert Jackson Bennett is one of my favourite authors. From his earlier, stand-alone novels to his Divine Cities series, I think he’s one of the best fantasy authors writing today. Therefore, any new novel from him is to be considered cause for celebration. This year, Crown (North America) and Jo Fletcher Books (UK) are due to release the first novel in his new Founders series: Foundryside. Here are the details:

In a city that runs on industrialized magic, a thief must join forces with the town’s only honest cop to stop a ritual that will kill thousands — and threatens to make their home a battleground between ancient evils.

The city of Tevanne has grown rich, thanks to its mastery of the magical technology known as “scriving” — the art of inscribing an item with sigils to imbue it with some aspects of sentience.

Or more precisely, the four merchant houses who monopolize scriving have grown rich. For their employees, their servants — their slaves — life in the city is orderly, protected. For those forced to live without House protection — and those who choose to throw off House shackles — well, Tevanne’s not such a fun place to be.

And in a town like Tevanne, it’s hard to imagine two more natural enemies than Sancia Grado and Gregor Dandolo. Sancia is a former slave whose ordeals have made her an unnaturally talented thief. Today she uses her skills to steal from the very Houses that Captain Gregor Dandolo is sworn to protect. But when the two clash over Sancia’s theft of a powerful magical artifact, the fallout leads them to confront a common threat — a plot by Tevanne’s masters to develop a weapon capable of unleashing devastating warfare across the world.

Foundryside is due to be published by Crown in North America, and Jo Fletcher Books in the UK, in August 2018. I really can’t wait for this one!

Also on CR: Interview with Robert Jackson Bennett (2012); Guest Post on City of Stairs and the Super Tropey Fantasy Checklist”; Excerpt from City of Stairs; Review of City of Stairs

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Interview with SEAN GRIGSBY

GrigsbyS-AuthorPicLet’s start with an introduction: Who is Sean Grigsby?

Now that’s a complex question! Sounds like something I should use as a mantra while meditating. But I’ll give a simple answer.

I’m a professional firefighter in central Arkansas, USA. Father, husband, sometimes DJ. And now, I’m super-stoked to be a professional writer as well.

Your new novel, Smoke Eaters, will be published by Angry Robot in March. It looks rather fun and interesting: How would you introduce it to a potential reader? Is it part of a series?

Firefighters vs. dragons… in the future. The ancient monsters have returned from beneath the ground and wreak havoc. Thankfully, a few people have been born with the ability to breathe dragon smoke and resist immense heat: smoke eaters. Cole Brannigan is a fire captain about to retire, and on his last fire call, he discovers he has these abilities and is recruited into the elite dragon-fighting force. The book has laser swords, ghosts, robots, and an evil plot involving them all. Continue reading

Interview with STEPHEN ARYAN

AryanS-AuthorPicLet’s start with an introduction: Who is Stephen Aryan?

Stephen Aryan is a really tall Englishman. He writes epic fantasy novels for Orbit that feature lots of wizards and magic, wars, warriors and non-human races. He reads a lot of books and comics, spends a lot of time outdoors in the forest, loves chocolate, genre TV and films.

Your latest book is a prequel novella to your Age of Dread series, Of Gods and Men, which I really enjoyed. How would you introduce it to a new reader, and what can fans of the trilogy expect from the prequel?

Of Gods and Men works in two ways. If you’ve never read any of my books before it acts as an introduction to my style of writing, pacing, my focus on characters and it still tells a complete story. And, if you liked it then you’ve got a good idea of what to expect in the novels that follow. Continue reading

Excerpt: ECHOES OF UNDERSTOREY by Thoraiya Dyer (Tor Books)

DyerT-TF2-EchoesOfUnderstoreyUSToday, we have an excerpt from the second novel in Thoraiya Dyer‘s Titan’s Forest series: Echoes of Understorey. First, however, here is the synopsis:

Great deeds are expected of Imeris.

Raised by accomplished warriors and skilled healers, and being the sister to a goddess, Imeris always felt pressured to be the best fighter in Understorey. Yet during a mission to capture the body-snatching sorceress Kirrik, Imeris fails disastrously. With death on her conscience and in hiding from her peers, Imeris climbs up to the sun-kissed world of Canopy to learn new ways to defeat Kirrik. What she doesn’t expect is to be recruited in a Hunt for the Ages, against a terrifying divine monster that will take all of her skills to stop.

Echoes of Understorey is published by Tor Books tomorrow, in the US and UK.

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Continue reading

Upcoming: RAVENCRY by Ed McDonald (Ace/Gollancz)


This is the sequel to Ed McDonald‘s very well-received debut, Blackwing. Featuring a bleak, grimdark post-apocalyptic world and an interesting magic system and cast of characters, I’m quite looking forward to continuing Galharrow’s story. Ravencry is due to be published by Ace Books (US) and Gollancz (UK), here’s the synopsis:

For Ryhalt Galharrow, working for Crowfoot as a Blackwing captain is about as bad as it gets — especially when his orders are garbled, or incoherent, or impossible to carry out.

The Deep Kings are hurling fire from the sky, a ghost in the light known only as the Bright Lady had begun to manifest in visions across the city, and the cult that worship her grasp for power while the city burns around them.

Galharrow may not be able to do much about the cult – or about strange orders from the Nameless — but when Crowfoot’s arcane vault is breached and an object of terrible power is stolen, he’s propelled into a race against time to recover it. Only to do that, he needs answers, and finding them means travelling into nightmare: to the very heart of the Misery.

Also on CR: Interview with Ed McDonald (2017)

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Upcoming: THE TRAITOR GOD by Cameron Johnston(Angry Robot)

JohnstonC-TheTraitorGodI hadn’t heard of this novel until today, but Jan Weßbecher‘s cover artwork caught my attention when I was browsing Angry Robot’s website. Then I read the synopsis (below), and I popped it on my list of debuts to look out for.

The Traitor God is Cameron Johnston‘s fantasy debut.

After ten years on the run, dodging daemons and debt, reviled magus Edrin Walker returns home to avenge the brutal murder of his friend. Lynas had uncovered a terrible secret, something that threatened to devour the entire city. He tried to warn the Arcanum, the mageocracy who rule the city. He failed.

Lynas was skinned alive and Walker felt every cut. Now nothing will stop him from finding the murderer. Magi, mortals, daemons, and even the gods – Walker will burn them all if he has to.

After all, it wouldn’t be the first time he’s killed a god…

The Traitor God is due to be published by Angry Robot Books in June 2018.

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