Quick Review: THE TYRANNY OF FAITH by Richard Swan (Orbit)

SwanR-EotW2-TyrannyOfFaithIncreased stakes, increased danger, an Empire in peril… but a little less focus?

A Justice’s work is never done.

The Battle of Galen’s Vale is over, but the war for the Empire’s future has just begun. Concerned by rumors that the Magistratum’s authority is waning, Sir Konrad Vonvalt returns to Sova to find the capital city gripped by intrigue and whispers of rebellion. In the Senate, patricians speak openly against the Emperor, while fanatics preach holy vengeance on the streets.

Yet facing down these threats to the throne will have to wait, for the Emperor’s grandson has been kidnapped – and Vonvalt is charged with rescuing the missing prince. His quest will lead him – and his allies Helena, Bressinger and Sir Radomir – to the southern frontier, where they will once again face the puritanical fury of Bartholomew Claver and his templar knights – and a dark power far more terrifying than they could have imagined.

Richard Swan’s The Justice of Kings was one of my favourite reads last year, and certainly one of my favourite new fantasy books of a few yeast (joining Mike Shackle’s We Are the Dead as a best debut in a few years). The Justice of Kings was a great blend of mystery and fantasy, focusing on a conspiracy in a regional town, far from the politics and action of an imperial capital. Swan’s story was character-focused, interesting, and well-paced. The Tyranny of Kings was, therefore, one of my most-anticipated novels of 2023. I’m happy to report that I quite enjoyed it. Continue reading

New Books (November-December)

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The final New Books posts for titles received in 2022. It’s been a pretty great year for reading: plenty of great new books, as well as plenty of great advance review copies. I’ve already made quite a dent in my 2023 reading, which is a nice change — I’m still too prone to “saving for later” when it comes to books, even ones I am most anticipating or eager to read. No idea why I keep doing this. I guess one of my resolutions is to read what I want, when I want. There’s no reason why I have to stick to any kind of schedule.

So, a fond farewell to 2022, and here’s to a great 2023 of reading!

Featuring: Nicole Arend, M. R. Carey, Christopher Farnsworth, Rebecca Fraimow, K. J. Parker, Deena Mohamed, Kirthana Ramisetti, Scott J, Shapiro, Caitlin Shetterly, Richard Swan, Daniel Torday, Chris Wraight

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Interview with RICHARD SWAN, Author of THE JUSTICE OF KINGS

SwanR-AuthorPicLet’s start with an introduction: Who is Richard Swan?

I am a 32 year-old writer from the UK! I have a wife and two very young boys, and for the better part of the last 10 years I was living in London working as a commercial litigator. As of October 2021, we moved to Sydney, where I am currently enjoying some time away from the world of law and focusing on my writing.

Your debut novel, The Justice of Kings, will be published by Orbit tomorrow. I’ve been lucky and have already read the novel (which I very much enjoyed). How would you introduce it to a potential reader? Is it part of a series?

Here’s how I pitched it to my agent – I think it still holds up:

“[The Justice of Kings] is told through the eyes of Helena Sedanka, the clerk to and protégé of Sir Konrad Vonvalt. Sir Konrad is the titular Emperor’s Justice, a fantastical combination of C J Sansom’s Matthew Shardlake and Robert Harris’ Cicero, blessed with the powers of both a medieval Judge Dredd and Andrzej Sapkowski’s Geralt of Rivia. In essence, he is an Imperial policeman, mage and itinerant court rolled into one. Continue reading

Quick Review: THE JUSTICE OF KINGS by Richard Swan (Orbit)

SwanR-EotW1-JusticeOfKingsAn excellent start to a new fantasy series

NO MAN IS ABOVE THE LAW

The Empire of the Wolf simmers with unrest. Rebels, heretics and powerful patricians all challenge the power of the imperial throne.

Only the Order of Justices stands in the way of chaos. Sir Konrad Vonvalt is the most feared Justice of all, upholding the law by way of his sharp mind, arcane powers and skill as a swordsman. In this he is aided by Helena Sedanka, his clerk and protégé, orphaned by the wars that forged the empire.

When the pair investigate the murder of a provincial aristocrat, they unearth a conspiracy that stretches to the very top of imperial society. As the stakes rise and become ever more personal, Vonvalt must make a choice: will he abandon the laws he’s sworn to uphold in order to protect the empire?

I remember reading the synopsis for Richard Swan’s debut quite a while ago. “That sounds interesting,” I thought to myself, and made a note. The buzz for the novel grew over the next few months, as it was sent out to authors for blurbs. So, when I was able to read an early copy, I jumped at the chance. The Justice of Kings is a very strong debut, and an engaging start to a new fantasy/crime series. I really enjoyed this. Continue reading

New Books (October-November)

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Featuring: Tom Beckerlegge, William Brewer, Michael Connelly, Katie Cotugno, Eli Cranor, Scott Drakeford, Ren Hutchings, James Kestrel, Andrew Lipstein, Ellery Lloyd, H. M. Long, Cassidy Lucas, William Martin, T. R. Napper, Dan Ozzi, K. J. Parker, Kal Penn, Andrew Rice, Will Smith, Richard Swan, Gav Thorpe, Vanessa Veselka, Donald E. Westlake

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Upcoming: THE JUSTICE OF KINGS by Richard Swan (Orbit)

SwanR-EotW1-JusticeOfKingsPrinted ARCs of Richard Swan‘s debut novel, The Justice of Kings, have already been doing the rounds among the lucky few, and the reception seems to have been pretty universally positive (even glowing). I’m always on the look-out for new fantasy series (well, any series, really) to give a try, and this one sounds rather intriguing. Here’s the synopsis:

Sir Konrad Vonvalt, an Emperor’s Justice, who is a detective, judge and executioner all in one. But these are dangerous times to be a Justice…

No man is above the law.

The Empire of the Wolf simmers with unrest, rife with rebels, heretics and powerful patricians who would challenge the power of the imperial throne.

Only the Order of Justices stands in the way of chaos. Sir Konrad Vonvalt is the most feared Justice of all, upholding the law by way of his sharp mind, arcane powers and skill as a swordsman. In this he is aided by Helena Sedanka, his clerk and protégé, orphaned by the wars that forged the empire.

When the pair investigate the murder of a provincial aristocrat, they unearth a conspiracy that stretches to the very top of Imperial society. As the stakes rise and become ever more personal, Vonvalt must make a choice: will he abandon the laws he’s sworn to uphold in order to protect the empire?

The Justice of Kings is due to be published by Orbit Books in North America and in the UK, on February 22nd, 2022.

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