Upcoming: COLD IRON by Miles Cameron (Gollancz)

CameronM-M&M1-ColdIronUKIn August, Gollancz are due to publish Cold Iron. The first novel in Miles Cameron‘s new Masters & Mages fantasy series, it looks really interesting:

Aranthur is a student. He showed a little magical talent, is studying at the local academy, and is nothing particularly special. Others are smarter. Others are more talented. Others are quicker to pick up techniques. But none of them are with him when he breaks his journey home for the holidays in an inn. None of them step in to help when a young woman is thrown off a passing stage coach into the deep snow at the side of the road. And none of them are drawn into a fight to protect her.

One of the others might have realised she was manipulating him all along…

A powerful story about beginnings, coming of age, and the way choosing to take one step towards violence can lead to a slippery and dangerous slope, this is an accomplished fantasy series driven by strong characters and fast-paced action.

Cold Iron is due to be published in the UK by Gollancz, and in North America by Orbit, in October 2018.

Also on CR: Guest Post on “How I Do Research”

Follow the Author: Website, Goodreads, Twitter

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Interview with LEO CAREW

CarewL-AuthorPicLet’s start with an introduction: Who is Leo Carew?

I am a 26-year-old from London. I studied biological anthropology at university, which played a huge role in The Wolf. Outside of writing, I’m training to be an army doctor and am love exploration, particularly in the Arctic.

Your debut novel, The Wolf, will be published this month by Orbit (US) and Wildfire (UK). It looks interesting: How would you introduce it to a potential reader? Is it part of a series?

It’s the first in a trilogy which imagines that more than one species of human survived the Ice Age. It follows a protagonist from an alternate race of people (the Anakim) after his father is killed in battle and he attempts to inherit the throne. At the same time he has to resist an invasion from another race of humans, forcing him to gather allies as fast as possible, and turn to some people he’d rather not… Continue reading

Review: BEST SERVED COLD by Joe Abercrombie (Gollancz/Orbit)

Abercrombie-BestServedColdUKAbercrombie expands the World of the First Law

Springtime in Styria. And that means war. Springtime in Styria. And that means revenge.

There have been nineteen years of blood. The ruthless Grand Duke Orso is locked in a vicious struggle with the squabbling League of Eight, and between them they have bled the land white. While armies march, heads roll and cities burn, behind the scenes bankers, priests and older, darker powers play a deadly game to choose who will be king.

War may be hell but for Monza Murcatto, the Snake of Talins, the most feared and famous mercenary in Duke Orso’s employ, it’s a damn good way of making money too. Her victories have made her popular — a shade too popular for her employer’s taste. Betrayed, thrown down a mountain and left for dead, Murcatto’s reward is a broken body and a burning hunger for vengeance. Whatever the cost, seven men must die.

Her allies include Styria’s least reliable drunkard, Styria’s most treacherous poisoner, a mass-murderer obsessed with numbers and a Northman who just wants to do the right thing. Her enemies number the better half of the nation. And that’s all before the most dangerous man in the world is dispatched to hunt her down and finish the job Duke Orso started…

Springtime in Styria. And that means revenge.

Joe Abercrombie’s First Law trilogy is one of my favourites: a great story, fantastic characters, superb prose. For some reason, it took me a while to get around to reading Best Served Cold (originally published in 2008). I finally read it after taking a glance at the first pages, and being quickly drawn in by not only the author’s great prose, but also his gift for characterization. Unfortunately, though, I finished the novel with a very different feeling to that I had after finishing Last Argument of KingsContinue reading

Upcoming: FELIX CASTOR SERIES by Mike Carey (Re-Issues, Orbit)

CareyM-FelixCastor2018-1to3

This year, Orbit is re-issuing Mike Carey‘s Felix Castor series: The Devil You Know, Vicious Circle, Dead Men’s Boots, Thicker Than Water and The Naming of the Beasts. Above and below are the new covers. Here’s the synopsis for the first novel:

Felix Castor is a freelance exorcist, and London is his stomping ground. It may seem like a good ghostbuster can charge what he likes and enjoy a hell of a lifestyle, but there’s a risk: sooner or later he’s going to take on a spirit that’s too strong for him.

When Castor accepts a seemingly simple ghost-hunting case at a museum in the shadowy heart of London, what should have been a perfectly straightforward exorcism is rapidly turning into the Who Can Kill Castor First Show, with demons and ghosts all keen to claim the big prize.

But that’s business as usual: Castor knows how to deal with the dead. It’s the living who piss him off…

Carey has recently been publishing as M.R. Carey, including the critically-acclaimed and best-selling The Girl With All the Gifts and its sequel, The Boy on the Bridge. The Felix Castor novels are published by Orbit in the US and UK.

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Also on CR: Review of The Girl With All the Gifts

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(Very) Quick Review: OF GODS AND MEN by Stephen Aryan (Orbit)

AryanS-B0-OfGodsAndMenA prequel to the Age of Dread trilogy

The gruff and mysterious warrior known as Vargus has meant many things to many people over the course of his long life. But when he hears of a village suffering strange attacks in the dead of night, he must take up the role of the Gath — the people’s protector — once again, before any more children go missing.

Of Gods and Men is a very good introduction to the fantasy world Stephen Aryan has created. In this novella, we are introduced to Vargus, one of the main characters of the novels.

I enjoyed the novella — Vargus is an interesting protagonist, and through the mystery that is at the core of the story we learn a fair bit about him: who he is (albeit, with a fair bit of mystery remaining in place), what his motivations are, and what his relationship is to Lanny. To begin with, I was a little confused by certain things — who was who, for example, wasn’t immediately apparent, but I quickly oriented myself. Continue reading

Review: AGE OF ASSASSINS by RJ Barker (Orbit)

BarkerRJ-AgeOfAssassinsUSAn interesting new debut fantasy series

It’s a game of assassin versus assassin

Girton Club-foot has no family, a crippled leg, and is apprenticed to the best assassin in the land.

He’s learning the art of taking lives, but his latest mission tasks him with a far more difficult challenge: to save a life. Someone is trying to kill the heir to the throne, and it is up to Girton to uncover the traitor and prevent the prince’s murder — and his own.

This is the first new fantasy series that I’ve read in quite some time. In fact, it’s only the second this year (the other was Ed McDonald’s Blackwing). Long-time readers of CR may have noticed that I’ve been struggling with the genre for a while, but Age of Assassins really worked for me. This is the start of an interesting, engaging and entertaining new fantasy series. I’m really looking forward to the sequel. Continue reading

Upcoming: ADRIFT by Rob Boffard (Orbit)

BoffardR-AdriftUSNext summer, a new sci-fi novel from Rob Boffard will be hitting shelves! Adrift is due to be published by Orbit, and it sounds pretty cool:

In the far reaches of space, a tour group embarks on what will be the trip of a lifetime – in more ways than one…

At Sigma Station, a remote mining facility and luxury hotel in deep space, a group of tourists boards a small vessel to take in the stunning views of the Horsehead Nebula.

But while they’re out there, a mysterious ship with devastating advanced technology attacks the station. Their pilot’s quick thinking means that the tourists escape with their lives – but as the dust settles, they realize they may be the only survivors . . .

Adrift in outer space on a vastly under equipped ship, they’ve got no experience, no weapons, no contact with civilization. They are way out of their depth, and if they can’t figure out how to work together, they’re never getting home alive.

Because the ship that destroyed the station is still out there. And it’s looking for them…

Adrift will be published in both the US and UK by Orbit next year. The author’s previous series, Outer Earth, is also published by Orbit in the US and UK.

Also on CR: Interview with Rob Boffard (2015); Guest Posts on “What to Do if You’re Set Adrift in Space” and “Rob Boffard Raps 64 SFF Books”; Review of Tracer

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