Upcoming: THE CATHEDRAL OF KNOWN THINGS by Edward Cox (Gollancz)

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Gollancz unveiled the cover for Edward Cox‘s second Relic Guild novel today: The Cathedral of Known Things. Because I’m a fan of the first novel, as well as a friend of Ed’s (full disclosure), I’m sharing it here as well. It’s quite stunning, I think – shares the same aesthetic/style of the first novel’s cover (below). And that purple really pops… It’s due to be published in the UK in October 2015. I couldn’t find a synopsis, but I’m sure I’ll share it here when I do.

Also on CR: Interview with Edward Cox; Guest Post on “Writes & Wrongs”; Review of The Relic Guild

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Quick Review: THE RELIC GUILD by Edward Cox (Gollancz)

CoxE-RG1-RelicGuild2014The first part in an exciting new fantasy trilogy

In the sealed Labyrinth, a young woman must find a way to control her magic and escape her prison in this remarkable debut fantasy.

Magic caused the war. Magic is forbidden. Magic will save us.

It was said the Labyrinth had once been the great meeting place, a sprawling city at the heart of an endless maze where a million humans hosted the Houses of the Aelfir. The Aelfir who had brought trade and riches, and a future full of promise. But when the Thaumaturgists, overlords of human and Aelfir alike, went to war, everything was ruined and the Labyrinth became an abandoned forbidden zone, where humans were trapped behind boundary walls 100 feet high.

Now the Aelfir are a distant memory and the Thaumaturgists have faded into myth. Young Clara struggles to survive in a dangerous and dysfunctional city, where eyes are keen, nights are long, and the use of magic is punishable by death. She hides in the shadows, fearful that someone will discover she is touched by magic. She knows her days are numbered. But when a strange man named Fabian Moor returns to the Labyrinth, Clara learns that magic serves a higher purpose and that some myths are much more deadly in the flesh.

The only people Clara can trust are the Relic Guild, a secret band of magickers sworn to protect the Labyrinth. But the Relic Guild are now too few. To truly defeat their old nemesis Moor, mightier help will be required. To save the Labyrinth – and the lives of one million humans – Clara and the Relic Guild must find a way to contact the worlds beyond their walls.

This is a fantastic debut, and one that worked for me on pretty much every level. I’ve now read two different versions of The Relic Guild. The first was an early draft, back in 2012. I don’t say this to brag.* But rather, because it was interesting to be able to see some of the process – issues were ironed out, and the novel improved considerably between the two versions. I really enjoyed this, and definitely think Cox is an author to watch. This is a great first installment, and a must-read of 2014. Continue reading

Guest Post: “Writes & Wrongs” by Edward Cox

CoxE-AuthorPicIt’s time for me to admit that I might have taken the longest route possible to getting an agent. I’m something of a blunderer by nature, and learning the hard way is the theme of my life. So much so that I sometimes wonder how I managed to get an agent at all.

The original version of The Relic Guild is very different from the version that was signed by Gollancz. It was written for a Master’s degree that I concluded in in 2009. When I was coming to the end of that degree, I had been wondering if my work could hold its own with the bigger names in the publishing industry. I sent the first three chapters and a synopsis of the novel to the man who is now my agent. It impressed him enough to request the remainder of the book. However, although that early version of The Relic Guild gained me an MA, it didn’t quite make the grade with my agent.

For the sake of avoiding long and boring explanations, let’s just say that the original version was something akin to an academic exercise. The result fell somewhere between a fantasy adventure and a pseudo-intellectual dystopian wannabe. It was right for academic purposes, but wrong for the publishing industry. It had potential, but lacked focus and commercial value. Make it the fantasy adventure it wants to be, my agent said, and then we’ll do business. Continue reading

An Interview with EDWARD COX

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Let’s start with an introduction: Who is Edward Cox?

EdwardCox-AuthorPicI am a woefully undereducated village idiot, with gladness for blood and nothing but sunshine in my head. Every day I try – really hard – to be a cool and moody writer, but every day I fail. I have eternal faith in the human race, which some might say comes from naivety, but I do not care; I refuse to give up on us. Outside of my obsession for writing, I simply don’t know what I’m doing, and I’m always the last to understand what’s going on. I am also a husband and a father to two ladies who I love beyond measure.

However… If I ever do discover the secret to cool and moody, I will change my name to Thundermaster Volcanofists, and all shall fear me.

I thought we’d start with your fiction: Your debut novel, The Relic Guild, will be published by Gollancz in September 2014. How would you introduce the novel to a new reader?

A balls out fantasy adventure! Or, to be more professional, I like to think of The Relic Guild as a story about people doing the right thing even when they’ve been given every reason not to. Also, I’ve been trying to refine a pitch for the book, and this is what I’m currently down to:

At the centre of a gigantic labyrinth, in a sprawling city trapped behind walls one hundred feet high, young Clara is about to become the unwitting participant in the machinations of higher magic. It falls to her to reunite the last of a secret band of magickers called the Relic Guild. Together they must find a way to save one million humans from an age old menace that is about to return. Continue reading

Upcoming: “The Relic Guild” by Edward Cox (Gollancz)

CoxE-RG1-RelicGuild2014I’ve been lucky enough to read a (very) early draft of this, about a year and a half ago, before it was submitted to publishers for consideration. I can’t wait to see the final version. This cover, unveiled earlier this week, is awesome. The Relic Guild is, in my opinion, a must-read of 2014.

Here’s the synopsis:

Magic caused the war. Magic is forbidden. Magic will save us.

It was said the Labyrinth had once been the great meeting place, a sprawling city at the heart of an endless maze where a million humans hosted the Houses of the Aelfir. The Aelfir who had brought trade and riches, and a future full of promise. But when the Thaumaturgists, overlords of human and Aelfir alike, went to war, everything was ruined and the Labyrinth became an abandoned forbidden zone, where humans were trapped behind boundary walls a hundred feet high.

Now the Aelfir are a distant memory and the Thaumaturgists have faded into myth. Young Clara struggles to survive in a dangerous and dysfunctional city, where eyes are keen, nights are long, and the use of magic is punishable by death. She hides in the shadows, fearful that someone will discover she is touched by magic. She knows her days are numbered. But when a strange man named Fabian Moor returns to the Labyrinth, Clara learns that magic serves a higher purpose and that some myths are much more deadly in the flesh.

The only people Clara can trust are the Relic Guild, a secret band of magickers sworn to protect the Labyrinth. But the Relic Guild are now too few. To truly defeat their old nemesis Moor, mightier help will be required. To save the Labyrinth – and the lives of one million humans – Clara and the Relic Guild must find a way to contact the worlds beyond their walls.

Be sure to check out Edward Cox’s Tumblr and Twitter for more on his writing and exuberant personality (directly inverse to just how awesomely dark, atmospheric and Peake-ian his novel is). The Relic Guild is due to be published by Gollancz, on September 18th, 2014. It is also part of the publisher’s £1.99 Debut eBook promotion – which means there is no excuse for you to not check out this great new author. (At the time of writing, there weren’t yet any retail links to pre-order the novel, but I’ll be sure to share it ASAP.)