A Must Read

You have no idea of my excitement. I couldn’t possibly describe it to you even if I tried.

I have been waiting for this book for a long time (not that Michelle has not been writing but I’ve been waiting for this particular part of the story!).

It had completely dropped off my radar as well – and for that I feel deeply ashamed.

If you don’t read Michelle West you are missing out on awesomeness!

Beneath the streets of Averalaan, capital city of the Essalieyan Empire, lie the three Princes of the firstborn, doomed to sleep until the end of days. When gods walked the world, they feared the Sleepers. They fear them even now. If the Sleepers wake, the city will not survive—and the Sleepers are waking. 

House Terafin has already felt the con­sequences of their stirring. 

To save the city—and the House over which she rules—Jewel Markess ATerafin must go to face the Oracle. She leaves a House that is still divided, and a city in which demons, in human guise, have begun to move. At no time in Terafin’s history has it faced the dangers it now faces, and it will face them bereft of its leader. 

Jewel has always seen unpredictable glimpses of the future—images of death and destruction which she cannot control and cannot always understand. To master her birthright, she chooses to walk the path of the Oracle. In her hands, she carries the only hope of the Winter Queen. 

But the path she must travel was old when the gods ceased to walk the world. Ancient creatures stalk winter skies at the behest of the demons, who mean to ensure that she will never reach the Oracle’s side.

Secrets, long hidden from all but the first­born, will finally be brought to light. Choices will be made, and paths chosen, from which there will be no return…. 

Oracle is the intricate sixth novel in The House War series. Set in the same rich fantasy universe as Michelle West’s Sacred Hunt duology and her six-book Sun Sword series, the House War novels recount the events leading to the momentous final con­frontation between the demonic minions of the Lord of the Hells and the defenders of the Essalieyan Empire—a realm with a long and bloody history.

Debut: The Garden of Stones

The Garden of Stones
Echoes of the Empire 1
Mark Barnes

An uneasy peace has existed since the fall of the Awakened Empire centuries ago. Now the hybrid Avān share the land with the people they once conquered: the star-born humans; the spectral, undead Nomads; and what remains of the Elemental Masters.

With the Empress-in-Shadows an estranged ghost, it is the ancient dynasties of the Great Houses and the Hundred Families that rule. But now civil war threatens to draw all of Shrīan into a vicious struggle sparked by one man’s lust for power, and his drive to cheat death.

Visions have foretold that Corajidin, dying ruler of House Erebus, will not only survive, but rise to rule his people. The wily nobleman seeks to make his destiny certain—by plundering the ruins of his civilization’s past for the arcane science needed to ensure his survival, and by mercilessly eliminating his rivals. But mercenary warrior-mage Indris, scion of the rival House Näsarat, stands most powerfully in the usurper’s bloody path. For it is Indris who reluctantly accepts the task of finding a missing man, the only one able to steer the teetering nation towards peace.
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This one almost slipped my radar.

New Aussie author Mark T. Barnes debuts this month with The Garden of Stones, Echoes of Empire Book 1 (book 2, The Obsidian Heart looks to be due October).

I met Mark very briefly in January 2011, he is quite a character and left lasting impression on me. I have been looking for his book ever since – it’s taken a little longer than I expected but that happens to the best of us – and I am very keen to have a look at his style.

Unfortunately he doesn’t (as yet) seem to a have  deal with a local publisher so I haven’t been able to get my hands on an advance and am waiting impatiently for my copy to arrive from the US (it’s not due for release until the 21st of May, but one of my suppliers has it in stock and has shipped it already).

He’s been very lucky to land an amazing artist for the cover – how good does it look? Fingers crossed the text inside is even better.

I’ll let you know 😉

In Progress

Mark Lawrence has put up the progress pieces that Jason Chan is doing for the cover of book 3 in his Broken Empire trilogy, The Emperor of Thorns.

Looks freaking awesome! But of course we have to wait something like another 10 months before the book is out *mutter, mutter*.

Mark Lawrence has become one of my favorite authors, although I do wish his books were longer, and while I can’t wait to get my hands on book 3, I am eagerly waiting to see what he might come up with next.

Trudi Canavan and Booktopia’s Ten Terrifying Questions!

The Traitor Queen
Traitor Spy #3
By Trudi Canavan

The gripping final instalment in Trudi Canavan’s latest epic series, the bestselling Traitor Spy trilogy.

Events are building to a climax in Sachaka as Lorkin returns from his exile with the Traitor rebels.

The Traitor Queen has given Lorkin the huge task of brokering an alliance between his people and the Traitors. Lorkin has also had to become a feared black magician in order to harness the power of an entirely new kind of gemstone magic. This knowledge could transform the Guild of Magicians – or make Lorkin an outcast forever.

The Traitor Queen is the triumphant conclusion to the Traitor Spy trilogy, which began with The Ambassador’s Mission and continued with The Rogue.

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At last! My interview with Trudi Canavan has gone up on the Booktopia Blog 😀

1. To begin with why don’t you tell us a little bit about yourself – where were you born? Raised? Schooled?

I was born, raised and schooled in Melbourne, mostly in and around the foot of the Dandenong Ranges.

2. What did you want to be when you were twelve, eighteen and thirty? And why?

Twelve: I wanted to make films, something I had decided after seeing the Empire Strikes Back.

Eighteen: a writer AND something to do with art and design. Writer because of the Lord of the Rings, which I read at fourteen, and something to do with art because I love art and design and I knew that writers didn’t make much money.

Thirty? Still a writer, but I was hoping to be a published one so I could afford to spend more time doing it.

3. What strongly held belief did you have at eighteen that you do not have now?

That I was too shy to ever try, let alone enjoy, public speaking. The thought of it used to repel me, probably thanks to being humiliated during ‘drama’ classes at school, but since being published I’ve gradually done more of it. While I still get nervous before hand, once I get before an audience, if I’m well prepared, I find I relax and have fun.

4. What were three works of art – book or painting or piece of music, etc – you can now say, had a great effect on you and influenced your own development as a writer?

The original The Little Mermaid. I was aghast that a fairytale could have a tragic ending. But when about twelve or thirteen, when challenged by a librarian to come up with a story on the spot, I made up one about a man who paid a witch to turn him into a merman so he could pursue a mermaid he’d fallen in love with, but when it came to the ending I realised ‘happily ever after’ didn’t cut it as a good ending.

I have quite eclectic tastes in music, and there are too many songs or pieces of music to list that have become soundtracks to stories, or simply motivation to pursue my dreams. The same is true of art and other imagery. I have a pinboard in front of my desk covered in postcards, photos and pages torn from magazines that I find inspiring.

5. Considering the innumerable artistic avenues open to you, why did you choose to write a novel?

It seemed a large and worthy challenge. I changed my ambition from making films to writing books after reading The Lord of the Rings. It was the fact that Tolkien had invented such a fleshed out world that inspired me. Also, my father used to write down little notes for a book he wanted to write, and it seemed like a mysterious and worthy thing to do. That said, I didn’t think that I would have to choose between all my artistic, creative interests. When you’re young, you think you have all the time in the world.

6. Please tell us about your latest novel …

Traitor Queen is the third and final book in the Traitor Spy Trilogy, which is a sequel to the Black Magician Trilogy (but you don’t have to read the Black Magician Trilogy first). Everyone’s plans are stymied when the Sachakan king imprisons Sonea’s son after Lorkin refuses to agree to a mind read to find out what he knows of the Traitors. Dannyl’s friendship with the Sachakan adviser, Ashaki Achati is tested, Sonea must add negotiating her son’s release to her plans to meet with the Traitors. And Cery, Gol and Anyi have nobody left to call on to hide them from the Rogue Skellin, except Lilia.

7. What do you hope people take away with them after reading your work?

I hope they have been entertained, moved and perhaps left with something to think about, be it some aspect of the world and the issues people face in it, or wondering what might happen to the characters next. And I hope they like my writing enough to meet the other characters and worlds I write about.

8. Whom do you most admire in the realm of writing and why?

I admire anybody with enough motivation and love of writing to finish a novel, because I know how much work is involved. I admire both publishers and people who self publish, for their belief and love for books whether their own or someone else’s. I admire booksellers who stick to selling books despite it being an industry with constant shifting boundaries and new challenges. Of writers I admire most those with the courage to be opinionated and vocal, especially women and writers who experience discrimination and disadvantage.

9. Many artists set themselves very ambitious goals. What are yours?

To never stop trying to improve my writing. To write more short stories. To find the time for more art and perhaps one day do an illustrated book.

10. What advice do you give aspiring writers?

Read a lot. Write a lot. Get a lot of feedback. And most of all, enjoy it!

Trudi, thank you for playing


Mage’s Blood

You may recall I posted about this title back in July (it truly doesn’t feel that long ago) and it had a different cover.

That cover has been updated.

Mage’s Blood
Moontide Quartet #1
By David Hair
BUY IT

The Moontide Bridge is about to open. The world trembles on the brink of cataclysm…

Most of the time the Moontide Bridge lies deep below the sea, but every 12 years the tides sink and the bridge is revealed, its gates open for trade.

The Magi are hell-bent on ruling this new world, and for the last two Moontides they have led armies across the bridge on “crusades” of conquest. Now the third Moontide is almost here and, this time, the people of the East are ready for a fight… but it is three seemingly ordinary people that will decide the fate of the world.
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Not bad. I didn’t mind the previous cover but thought the orange was a little too similar to Evie Manieri’s Blood’s Pride. 
Unfortunately I don’t have a reading copy to look at so I will have to decide if I actually want to purchase it when it comes out – Pan Macmillan are very difficult to get a hold of. It sounds promising so we shall see.
In the meantime I shall continue with The Red Knight by Miles Cameron. Despite the cover it is awesome!
Oh! And I got my second review up on the Booktopia blog – of course you read it here first but still, it’s cool 🙂