On My Radar: Tavern

Dargath Chronicles Book One
By Deston J. Munden

Information, Power. Respect.

Xelnath of the Gnarled Root—a tavern owner, information broker, healer, and guildmaster of the Blackwind Company—has found a place, far better than the forest from which he came in the magical metropolis and city-state of Lladad in the Magiian Empire.

When a simple act of kindness draws the ire of a troubled assassin, his love-stricken Archmage father and an army of magically constructed golems, Xel must scheme with vipers of the high court, mingle with royalty at the castle, blackmail drug dealers in the slums, and fight assassins and mercenaries in the streets.

He needs to lean on the support of his motley crew of a dark elf assassin, a dragon pirate, a high elf royal, and a talking dog artificer to keep him from his own inner demons and doubts.

This debut by Deston J. Munden has been on my radar for a little while now.

I first came across this title, and Deston himself, on twitter when Deck Matthews shared a post of the map he was working on.

If you know me at all, you know I love maps (hi, Chris Rosser) and this one caught my attention. So naturally I had to find out more about it.

The map was of the great city Lladad, for a forthcoming novel by Deston J. Munden. Ugh. A forthcoming novel. So I had to wait. /sigh

I checked out Deston’s site – which you can find here – and followed him on twitter also (N.B. this is not considered stalking…). My interest increased when I discovered that he too plays (or rather played) World of Warcraft, and is a very cool guy with whom I share many similar reading interests.

Tavern was released yesterday, (we are a day ahead in Australia) and I just picked up my copy. I am looking forward to getting into this one – I have a few books ahead of it atm but it has been moved close to the top of the TBR pile – and will write more about it when I do.

Oh! And the tag line on Tavern’s blurb reads:

Perfect for fans of World of Warcraft, Elder Scrolls, Brandon Sanderson, Michael J. Sullivan, Nicholas Eames, and Scott Lynch.

Seriously, you had me at ‘hello’…

Yeah, I’m Excited.

Can you tell?

So, an 8th of October release date – no idea if a UK publisher has picked this up. Orbit UK publish the WoT books but it could be a worldwide deal for TOR on this one.

The cover is a little generic, but it’s not the start of a series so the only branding required really is the ROBERT JORDAN part. But I am digging the blurb.

I can’t wait!

Draw near and listen, or else time is at an end.

The watering holes of the Plain are drying up, the fearsome fanghorn grow more numerous, and bad omens abound. Wulfgar, a leader of the Altaii people, must contend with twin queens, warlords, prophets and magic in hopes of protecting his people and securing their future. Elspeth, a visitor from another world, holds the answers, but first Wulfgar must learn to ask the right questions.

But what if the knowledge that saves the Altaii will also destroy them?

The first, and last, novel by Robert Jordan

A week or so ago TOR made the announcement that they are going be publishing the first – and last? – novel by Robert Jordan.

The story goes that back in ’79, Tom Doherty bought the book when he was publisher for Ace, but for whatever reason it was never published. That it is ‘a standalone fantasy story told with implacable momentum, readers new to Robert Jordan will find Warrior of the Altaii an easy gateway to the author’s artistry.’

I am both excited and apprehensive.

The Wheel of Time was/is very important to me, and Jordan spent so many years working on it, writing it that we fans never got to experience his writing in other works. Yes, I am aware he wrote several Conan novels, but while they are his words, it’s not his world building, and Jordan’s world building is amazing. Yes, he also wrote The Fallon Blood under the name Reagan O’Neal, but this isn’t fantasy. I did try the first novel but didn’t connect it with for whatever reason – maybe I should give it another go, I don’t know.

In any case, as much as I love The Wheel of Time, I was always excited about what he might do after it was concluded, he’d made mention of a story set in a land similar to that of the Seanchan Empire of the WoT books – which as really exciting, in fact I am pretty sure he’s sold the series to TOR but was planning on finishing WoT first – as well as what he called ‘Outrigger’ novels set after the Last Battle of the WoT books I believe. These things were not to be however as Jordan passed away in September 2007, before concluding WoT.

So, to hear his first fantasy novel is finally going to be published, and that it contains ‘themes that Jordan continued to develop in The Wheel of Time’ is exciting, but I wonder how much did Jordan’s writing change from the time he wrote this first fantasy novel to the time that The Eye of the World was released? I guess we will have to wait and see.

Regardless, I will be buying this one for sure.