Upcoming: “Tower Lord” by Anthony Ryan (Orbit)

RyanA-RS2-TowerLordAnthony Ryan’s Blood Song was published to much fanfare in the middle of last year. For some reason I didn’t actually get around to reading it. I think this was a combination of everyone else talking/writing about it, and because I can be difficult, this made me want to delay reading it. Also, I think I got it during a protracted SFF reading funk that I was going through at the time.

Anyway, with the second novel in the series now announced (not to mention that it’s due to be published rather soon), I really will have to get caught up in time for Tower Lord. Here’s the synopsis [caution – spoilers for book one]…


Vaelin Al Sorna is tired of war. He’s fought countless battles in service to the Realm and Faith. His reward was the loss of his love, the death of his friends and a betrayal by his king. After five years in an Alpiran dungeon, he just wants to go home.

Reva intends to welcome Vaelin back with a knife between the ribs. He destroyed her family and ruined her life. Nothing will stop her from exacting bloody vengeance – not even the threat of invasion from the greatest enemy the Realm has ever faced.

Yet as the fires of war spread, foes become friends and truths turn to lies. To save the Realm, Reva must embrace a future she does not want – and Vaelin must revisit a past he’d rather leave buried.

TOWER LORD will be published on July 3rd 2014 in hardback, trade format and eBook, in both the UK and US. Anthony Ryan can also be found online at his website and on Twitter.

On a somewhat related note – I’m actually way behind on reading Orbit titles. I love Orbit’s roster of authors, and have been reading them voraciously ever since I got my mitts on Brent Weeks’s Night Angel trilogy, back in 2008 – a series that I absolutely loved. I must get caught up! Expect more to feature in the coming months.

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: “Blood Song” by Anthony Ryan (Ace)


Anthony Ryan’s Blood Song was originally self-published, but Penguin snapped it up in 2012. I know a few other reviewers have already read the novel, and general consensus seems to be that it’s one to watch.

An epic fantasy exploring themes of conflict, loyalty and religious faith.

We have fought battles that left more than a hundred corpses on the ground and not a word of it has ever been set down. The Order fights, but often it fights in shadow, without glory or reward. We have no banners.

Vaelin Al Sorna’s life changes forever the day his father abandons him at the gates of the Sixth Order, a secretive military arm of the Faith. Together with his fellow initiates, Vaelin undertakes a brutal training regime – where the price of failure is often death. Under the tutelage of the Order’s masters, he learns how to forge a blade, survive the wilds and kill a man quickly and quietly.

Now his new skills will be put to the test. War is coming. Vaelin is the Sixth Order’s deadliest weapon and the Realm’s only hope. He must draw upon the very essence of his strength and cunning if he is to survive the coming conflict. Yet as the world teeters on the edge of chaos, Vaelin will learn that the truth can cut deeper than any sword.

Blood Song, the first book in Ryan’s Raven’s Shadow series, will be published by Ace Books in July 2013 in the US.

UPDATE: Rather quietly, it was announced that Orbit has bought publishing rights for the UK. The novel will be released as an eBook in April, and a Hardcover later in July. The UK artwork has been added to the top of the post, on the right.