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Review: Fool's Quest by Robin Hobb


Fool’s Quest
Author:  Robin Hobb
Series:  The Fitz and the Fool Trilogy 2
Publisher:  Del Rey, August 11, 2015
Format:  Hardcover and eBook, 768 pages
List Price:  $28.00 (print); $13.99 (eBook)
ISBN:  9780553392920 (print); 9780553392937 (eBook)
Upcoming Format:  Mass Market Paperback, July 26, 2016

Review: Fool's Quest by Robin Hobb
Ranking alongside George R. R. Martin as a groundbreaking master of fantasy, Robin Hobb delivers the second book in her long-awaited Fitz and the Fool trilogy.

The harrowing adventures of FitzChivalry Farseer and his enigmatic friend the Fool continue in Robin Hobb’s triumphant follow-up to Fool’s Assassin. But Fool’s Quest is more than just a sequel. With the artistry and imagination her fans have come to expect, Hobb builds masterfully on all that has gone before, revealing devastating secrets and shocking conspiracies that cast a dark shadow over the history of Fitz and his world—a shadow that now stretches to darken all future hope.

Long ago, Fitz and the Fool changed the world, bringing back the magic of dragons and securing both the Farseer succession and the stability of the kingdom. Or so they thought. But now the Fool is near death, maimed by mysterious pale-skinned figures whose plans for world domination hinge upon the powers the Fool may share with Fitz’s own daughter.

Distracted by the Fool’s perilous health, and swept up against his will in the intrigues of the royal court, Fitz lets down his guard . . . and in a horrible instant, his world is undone and his beloved daughter stolen away by those who would use her as they had once sought to use the Fool—as a weapon.

But FitzChivalry Farseer is not without weapons of his own. An ancient magic still lives in his veins. And though he may have let his skills as royal assassin diminish over the years, such things, once learned, are not so easily forgotten.

Now enemies and friends alike are about to learn that nothing is more dangerous than a man who has nothing left to lose.



Doreen’s Thoughts

Fool’s Quest is the second novel in Robin Hobb’s third trilogy* about FitzChivalry Farseer and his Fool. With just as much violence, politics, and magic as George R. R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire, all of Hobb’s novels are all set in her same exotic world, which ranges from Buckkeep Holding to the Rain Wild Forest, with bonding wolves and swimming dragons. Her sword fights are realistic and well-orchestrated, and the magic of the portal travel is well constructed. She writes complex, conflicted characters who grow and change. More importantly, though, after eight novels following the same characters, she still has new things to reveal about Fitz’s world and his life.

At the close of the first novel, Fool's Assassin, Fitz had found the Fool lying in the street of a nearby town. Unfortunately, he had attacked and stabbed the Fool, seeing him only as a filthy beggar holding onto his daughter, Bee. Once he recognized the Fool, he had sent Bee home with Lant and Shun while he carried the injured through the portals back to Buckkeep for help and healing. Fool’s Quest opens with the Fool in perilous health, desperate for Fitz to travel with him back to the White Island and eliminate those who had tortured and harangued him.

For the first part of the story, Fitz himself remains totally unaware that his daughter, Bee, has been kidnapped and his home destroyed by a dangerous new enemy. It takes several chapters before he is informed of the grievous loss, and until then, he settles into royal life much as he ever had as directed by Chade. The intrigue of the royal life still remains as tangled as ever, while the King and his wife negotiate treaties and contracts with various other kingdoms. Fitz, however, remains as aloof as ever, simply playing the role of a spy in his own home, never having been thoroughly accepted by his peers and family.

Once Fitz becomes aware of Bee’s kidnapping, the story moves much more quickly. As with Fool’s Assassin, the story alternates several chapters from Fitz’s perspective with a chapter from Bee’s perspective. Through her observations and through the Fool’s storytelling, the reader becomes aware of why the Whites have stolen Bee and their intents long before Fitz himself accepts the truth.

Here is where Robin Hobb really shines. She has taken characters and scenes that she has explored in-depth at least twice and added enough spice and intrigue to make them all new again. There is a relationship between the Chaldaceans and the Whites that needs to be explained, and the Whites’ agenda must be established. Fitz must take on an entirely new role in his family, one for which he is ill-prepared by everything else that has gone on before.

In addition, Hobb’s storytelling still can bring a reader to tears. The scene where Fitz expects to be chastised for his actions and instead is helped to grieve for little Bee tore me up inside. Fitz was honored and astonished to see the new and former queen’s actions to support his grief.

In the other books, Fitz has always been able to rely upon the Fool and his mentor, Chade; yet both of these characters suffer greatly and are not expected to recover. Fitz feels he is on his own to rescue Bee. However, both Lant and the little horse boy, Perseverance, persist in their efforts to force Fitz to include them in his plans. While both are young and untried, this is an opportunity to Fitz to mentor as well.

Overall, I sped through Fool’s Quest and can hardly wait for the next novel. However, reading this story reminded me of the other two trilogies and the actions and prophecies that occurred in those. I may just have to pull out those older books and reread them while I wait.




*The Farseer Trilogy

1.  Assassin's Apprentice
2.  Royal Assassin
3.  Assassin's Quest


The Tawny Man Trilogy

1.  Fool's Errand
2.  Golden Fool
3.  Fool's Fate


The Fitz and the Fool Trilogy

1.  Fool's Assassin
2.  Fool's Quest

Interview with C.A. Higgins, author of Lightless


Please welcome C.A. Higgins to The Qwillery as part of the 2015 Debut Author Challenge Interviews. Lightless is published on September 29th by Del Rey.



Interview with C.A. Higgins, author of Lightless




TQWelcome to The Qwillery. When and why did you start writing?

CAH:  I’ve written, in some form or another, for as long as I can remember, but in college I started to write more seriously. Writing to complete something, rather than just for the fun of it, gave me a sense of purpose that I found (and still find) very satisfying.



TQAre you a plotter, a pantser or a hybrid?

CAH:  I am such a plotter that friends who are also plotters look at me sideways and say, “Calm down with those outlines, Higgins.”



TQWhat is the most challenging thing for you about writing?

CAH:  The time I have in which to do it—or lack thereof. I work during the week, and if I tried to write after I got home from work, I would end up exhausted. So I write one day out of the weekend, all day, and I defend my time on that day ferociously. If I didn’t, I wouldn’t get anything done.



TQ:  Who are some of your literary influences? Favorite authors?

CAH:  I love the 19th century. Dostoevsky is my favorite—the part of THE IDIOT that stretches from about the argument between Aglaia and Nastasya to the end of the novel is the most perfect hundred and fifty pages I’ve ever read. I am also a huge fan of Robin Hobb’s Farseer books.



TQDescribe Lightless in 140 characters or less.

CAH:  “The capture of a criminal on a spaceship has consequences that throw the ship, its crew, and their government into chaos.”



TQTell us something about Lightless that is not found in the book description.

CAH:  The book jacket mentions Althea and Ivan, but there is another major character named Ida Stays. Ida is an interrogator, and as much an outsider to the Ananke as Ivan is. Ivan has information that she needs, and there’s very little she wouldn’t be willing to do to get it—including things that might put the Ananke at risk.



TQWhat inspired you to write Lightless? Is Lightless hard SF, Space Opera? Genre-wise how would you describe it?

CAHLightless is a space opera and a thriller. I was inspired to write it in a physics class where we were learning about thermodynamics. We were doing an exercise where we determined the equation of state of particles in a box and I, rather fancifully, imagined those particles as people. A group of people in an isolated container aren’t that much different from an ideal gas—put pressure on them, and things heat up. As for what “box” I would put the characters in, I envisioned this strange spaceship that has a very close relationship with the concept of entropy—and that became the Ananke.



TQWhat sort of research did you do for Lightless?

CAH:  I was in college for physics at the time, which was pretty helpful for a science fiction novel, especially since I was concentrating in astronomy! I did take an elective on robotic motion to get a better sense of how the computer of the Ananke would relate to its physical surroundings (and struggled with the class—I am no Althea Bastet). Otherwise, I did a bit of research on some varied psychological topics that related to the characters in the novel. And one very memorable and somewhat traumatizing research session was focused on learning about how bodies decay in different environments, which has surely, surely put me on an FBI watch-list somewhere.



TQWho was the easiest character to write and why? The hardest and why?

CAH:  Ivan was the easiest. I feel the closest connection to him, as troubling as that statement is, and so it was always easy to slip into his skin. Plus, he is the character who incites most of the action. Whenever I wrote a scene with Ivan in it, it never lacked for conflict.

The hardest character was Constance Harper. Like all the characters connected with Ivan’s past, certain truths about her had to be obscured—or at least, there had to be the appearance of obscurity—but Constance always wanted to be very clear and open and bold about herself and her character. Mattie, Milla, and Abigail all have more shadowy personas, but Constance is very inflexible.



TQWhich question about Lightless do you wish someone would ask? Ask it and answer it!

CAH:  “How did your characters get their names?” I had fun naming them. For the crew of the Ananke: Ananke is the Greek goddess of compulsion. Althea’s name means “healing”, but she was also the mother of Meleager. Domitian is the name of a Roman emperor, and yet it translates to “tamed”. Ida is named after Mount Ida, the birthplace of Zeus. Gagnon means “guard dog”.



TQGive us one or two of your favorite non-spoilery lines from Lightless.

CAH:  There’s a character in the novel who speaks more poetically than the other characters do, and I’m very fond of a lot of her language. Unfortunately, everything she says is very spoilery! My favorite non-spoilery lines would have to be:

“She stood silently, ethereal wind stirring the wavelengths of her invented hair, the sightless eyes of the hologram watching Althea without a word.”

And,

““How exciting,” he said, in a tone that contended with the sun side of Mercury for aridity.”



TQWhat's next?

CAH:  LIGHTLESS will have two sequels. The next one, called SUPERNOVA, picks up where things left off in the first book and follows some of the characters as they deal with the effects of the events in LIGHTLESS. It’s got a lot of action, and it was a very exciting book to write.



TQThank you for joining us at The Qwillery.

CAH:  Thank you for having me!






Lightless
Del Rey, September 29, 2015
Hardcover and eBook, 304 Pages

Interview with C.A. Higgins, author of Lightless
With deeply moving human drama, nail-biting suspense—and bold speculation informed by a degree in physics—C. A. Higgins spins a riveting science fiction debut guaranteed to catapult readers beyond their expectations.

Serving aboard the Ananke, an experimental military spacecraft launched by the ruthless organization that rules Earth and its solar system, computer scientist Althea has established an intense emotional bond—not with any of her crewmates, but with the ship’s electronic systems, which speak more deeply to her analytical mind than human feelings do. But when a pair of fugitive terrorists gain access to the Ananke, Althea must draw upon her heart and soul for the strength to defend her beloved ship.

While one of the saboteurs remains at large somewhere on board, his captured partner—the enigmatic Ivan—may prove to be more dangerous. The perversely fascinating criminal whose silver tongue is his most effective weapon has long evaded the authorities’ most relentless surveillance—and kept the truth about his methods and motives well hidden.

As the ship’s systems begin to malfunction and the claustrophobic atmosphere is increasingly poisoned by distrust and suspicion, it falls to Althea to penetrate the prisoner’s layers of intrigue and deception before all is lost. But when the true nature of Ivan’s mission is exposed, it will change Althea forever—if it doesn’t kill her first.





About C.A. Higgins

Interview with C.A. Higgins, author of Lightless
© Lisa Verge-Higgins
C.A. HIGGINS or Caitlin Higgins, is a debut author who writes novels and short stories. She was a runner up in the 2013 Dell Magazines Award for Undergraduate Excellence in Science Fiction and Fantasy Writing and has a B. A. in physics from Cornell University. Lightless is her first novel, written during her time as an undergrad at Cornell.




Website  ~ Twitter @C_A_Higgs

Tumblr  ~  Facebook

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Melanie's Week in Review - September 27, 2015


Melanie's Week in Review - September 27, 2015


It has been an exciting week for me as a few books from my favourite series have landed on my doorstep/Kindle. I have tried to read them all but felt I needed to save a few for next week.  So what did I read?

Melanie's Week in Review - September 27, 2015
 I started the week with Kai Ashante Wilson's debut - The Sorcerer of the Wildeeps. The story is centered on Demane who is a child of the gods that have abandoned him for the Heavens. Now earthbound he is now labelled a sorcerer and along with his companion Captain they must help their caravan of brothers survive the perilous journey across the Wildeeps.

I found The Sorcerer of the Wildeeps a struggle mainly because of the overly verbose language. Let me give you some a couple of examples to demonstrate:

"...besoaking gleam..."

"But most sapiens—even those of us with fully expressed theogenetica—haven’t yet attained the psionic phylogeny necessary to sublimnify the organism."

I spent far too much of this story trying to figure out what was going on by re-reading passages several times and figuring out what all the extraneous words actually meant. The story is also very violent which did fit the setting and the plot. However, when the only scenes you can follow are those where someone is being gutted or having his head sliced off  then it does make for a rather tedious read. I suspect this is just not my kind of fantasy.


Melanie's Week in Review - September 27, 2015I also read Sleeping Giants by Sylvain Neuvel which I received from the publisher via NetGalley. What I didn't notice until I started to write this review is that this book will not be released until April 2016 and is debut novel!!!!  I can't believe that I got it and read it so early and now can't go into detail about what I thought of it. Hopefully, the publisher won't mind me saying that I LOVED IT and it is one of my fave reads of this year. Make sure you pre-order it for next year. You are sure to enjoy it as much as I did.


Melanie's Week in Review - September 27, 2015
This has also been a year for me to forget that I have already read and reviewed certain books. You may remember a couple of months ago I ended up re-reading (and buying) Cold Days by Jim Butcher as I didn't recognise the story based on the book description. This time I ended up buying Seanan McGuire's The Winter Long which is the 8th book of the October Daye series. I got slightly confused as on Amazon it has a release date of May 2015 but I missed that was only for the Kindle version. I actually read this book for the first time last September and my reviewing colleague Doreen provided you with a great full review in January.  I still loved it and have now bought book 9 - A Red Rose Chain which I hope you tell you about next week.


That I am afraid is it for me this week. I hope I have something a bit more to tell you about next week but until then Happy Reading.






The Sorcerer of the Wildeeps
Tor.com, September 1, 2015
Trade Paperback and eBook, 224 pages

Melanie's Week in Review - September 27, 2015
Critically acclaimed author Kai Ashante Wilson makes his commercial debut with this striking, wondrous tale of gods and mortals, magic and steel, and life and death that will reshape how you look at sword and sorcery.

Since leaving his homeland, the earthbound demigod Demane has been labeled a sorcerer. With his ancestors' artifacts in hand, the Sorcerer follows the Captain, a beautiful man with song for a voice and hair that drinks the sunlight.
The two of them are the descendants of the gods who abandoned the Earth for Heaven, and they will need all the gifts those divine ancestors left to them to keep their caravan brothers alive.
The one safe road between the northern oasis and southern kingdom is stalked by a necromantic terror. Demane may have to master his wild powers and trade humanity for godhood if he is to keep his brothers and his beloved captain alive.



Sleeping Giants
Del Rey, April 26, 2016
Hardcover and eBook, 320 pages

Melanie's Week in Review - September 27, 2015
An inventive debut in the tradition of World War Z and The Martian, told in the cutting-edge cadences of interviews, journal entries, transcripts, and news articles, Sleeping Giants is a literary thriller fueled by a quest for truth—and by a struggle for control of earthshaking power.

A girl named Rose is riding her new bike near her home in Deadwood, South Dakota, when she falls through the earth. She wakes up at the bottom of a square-shaped hole, its walls glowing with intricate carvings. But the firemen who come to save her peer down upon something even stranger: a little girl in the palm of a giant metal hand.

Seventeen years later, the mystery of the bizarre artifact remains unsolved—the object’s origins, architects, and purpose unknown. Carbon dating defies belief; military reports are redacted; theories are floated, then rejected.

But some can never stop searching for answers.

Rose Franklin is now a highly trained physicist leading a top-secret team to crack the hand’s code. And along with her colleagues, she is being interviewed by a nameless interrogator whose power and purview are as enigmatic as the relic they seek. What’s clear is that Rose and her compatriots are on the edge of unraveling history’s most perplexing discovery—and finally figuring out what it portends for humanity. But once the pieces of the puzzle are in place, will the result be an instrument of lasting peace or a weapon of mass destruction?



The Winter Long
October Daye 8
DAW, September 2, 2014
Mass Market Paperback and eBook, 358 pages

Melanie's Week in Review - September 27, 2015
Toby thought she understood her own past; she thought she knew the score.

She was wrong.

It's time to learn the truth.


2015 Debut Author Challenge Update - Lightless by C.A. Higgins


2015 Debut Author Challenge Update - Lightless by C.A. Higgins


The Qwillery is pleased to announce the newest featured author for the 2015 Debut Author Challenge.



C.A. Higgins

Lightless
Del Rey, September 29, 2015
Hardcover and eBook, 304 Pages

2015 Debut Author Challenge Update - Lightless by C.A. Higgins
With deeply moving human drama, nail-biting suspense—and bold speculation informed by a degree in physics—C. A. Higgins spins a riveting science fiction debut guaranteed to catapult readers beyond their expectations.

Serving aboard the Ananke, an experimental military spacecraft launched by the ruthless organization that rules Earth and its solar system, computer scientist Althea has established an intense emotional bond—not with any of her crewmates, but with the ship’s electronic systems, which speak more deeply to her analytical mind than human feelings do. But when a pair of fugitive terrorists gain access to the Ananke, Althea must draw upon her heart and soul for the strength to defend her beloved ship.

While one of the saboteurs remains at large somewhere on board, his captured partner—the enigmatic Ivan—may prove to be more dangerous. The perversely fascinating criminal whose silver tongue is his most effective weapon has long evaded the authorities’ most relentless surveillance—and kept the truth about his methods and motives well hidden.

As the ship’s systems begin to malfunction and the claustrophobic atmosphere is increasingly poisoned by distrust and suspicion, it falls to Althea to penetrate the prisoner’s layers of intrigue and deception before all is lost. But when the true nature of Ivan’s mission is exposed, it will change Althea forever—if it doesn’t kill her first.

Review: The Conquering Dark by Clay Griffith and Susan Griffith


The Conquering Dark
Authors:  Clay Griffith and Susan Griffith
Series:  Crown & Key 3
Publisher:  Del Rey, July 28, 2015
Format:  Mass Market Paperback and eBook, 338 pages
List Price:  $7.99 (print)
ISBN:  9780345540508 (print)
Review Copy:  Provided by the Publisher

Review: The Conquering Dark by Clay Griffith and Susan Griffith
A thrilling new Victorian-era urban fantasy for fans of Kevin Hearne’s Iron Druid Chronicles, the Showtime series Penny Dreadful, and the Sherlock Holmes movies featuring Robert Downey, Jr.

The Crown and Key Society face their most terrifying villain yet: Gaios, a deranged demigod with the power to destroy Britain.

To avenge a centuries-old betrayal, Gaios is hell-bent on summoning the elemental forces of the earth to level London and bury Britain. The Crown and Key Society, a secret league consisting of a magician, an alchemist, and a monster-hunter, is the realm’s only hope—and to stop Gaios, they must gather their full strength and come together as a team, or the world will fall apart.

But Simon Archer, the Crown and Key’s leader and the last living magician-scribe, has lost his powers. As Gaios searches for the Stone of Scone, which will give him destructive dominion over the land, monster-hunter Malcolm MacFarlane, alchemist extraordinaire Kate Anstruther, gadget geek Penny Carter, and Charlotte the werewolf scramble to reconnect Simon to his magic before the world as they know it is left forever in ruins.



Melanie's Thoughts

The Conquering Dark is the exciting end to the Crown & Key series. The instalment starts as dramatically as the prior two books with our heroes saving the royal family and a number of aristocrats from certain death from a group of part man/part machine villains. Gaios is determined to get his hands on the Stone of Scone which he believes will give him free reign to destroy Great Britain. What he doesn't realise that between him and certain victory are a magician without any powers, an alchemist, a monster hunter, a maker of gadgets and weapons, a teenage werewolf and a young woman irrevocably changed by an evil doctor. Failure is not an option or everything they know and love will die under the hands of the would be god Gaios.

This instalment is non-stop action from page 1 through to the end. Our motley band of heroes are at a distinct disadvantage when Simon loses his powers towards the end of book number 2 - The Undying Legion. It almost seems impossible that they could prevail when at such a disadvantage. The 'gang' have to play to their individual strengths until such time as Simon can regain his powers, if he ever does. The writing duo continue to fully develop the individual characters while at the same time build the relationships between the characters, and not just the ones with a romance element. Obviously, there is the culmination of the romance between Simon and Kate but we also see Malcolm start to truly care for both the young werewolf Charlotte and there are hints at romance between him and Penny. Simon and Malcolm's relationship changes and Simon faces some hard facts about his long time friend Nick. The Griffiths all but hammered home the importance of friendship through all the books but more-so in this final instalment. This is very much a tale of good versus evil and the power of friendship.

I enjoyed this final instalment but I did find it a tad stereotypical and a bit cliched in parts. The non-stop action, however, made it a more enjoyable read than if it was more conversation based. The romance between Kate and Simon was subtle but quite bland.  Simon was billed in book 1 to be quite the ladies man and rake but he was nothing but a true gentleman to Kate. This made this romance a bit lackluster unfortunately. I much preferred the 'frisson' between Malcolm and Penny and Malcolm's reluctance to like werewolf Charlotte as these interactions seemed more real and true to the individual characters. As a group they had a good dynamic, which along with the overall plot arch made it an enjoyable read overall. I liked this book, I liked the series and LOVED the cover of The Conquering Dark.

Review: The Undying Legion by Clay Griffith and Susan Griffith


The Undying Legion
Authors:  Clay Griffith and Susan Griffith
Series:  Crown & Key 2
Publisher:  Del Rey, June 30, 2015
Format:  Mass Market Paperback and eBook, 336 pages
List Price:  $7.99 (print)
ISBN9780345540485 (print)
Review Copy:  Provided by the Publisher

Review: The Undying Legion by Clay Griffith and Susan Griffith
A thrilling new Victorian-era urban fantasy for fans of Kevin Hearne’s Iron Druid Chronicles, the Showtime series Penny Dreadful, and the Sherlock Holmes movies featuring Robert Downey, Jr.

With a flood of dark magic about to engulf Victorian London, can a handful of heroes vanquish a legion of the undead?

When monster-hunter Malcolm MacFarlane comes across the gruesome aftermath of a ritual murder in a London church, he enlists the help of magician-scribe Simon Archer and alchemist extraordinaire Kate Anstruther. Studying the macabre scene, they struggle to understand obscure clues in the ancient Egyptian hieroglyphics carved into the victim’s heart—as well as bizarre mystical allusions to the romantic poetry of William Blake. One thing is clear: Some very potent black magic is at work.

But this human sacrifice is only the first in a series of ritualized slayings. Desperate to save lives while there is still time, Simon, Kate, and Malcolm—along with gadget geek Penny Carter and Charlotte, an adolescent werewolf—track down a necromancer who is reanimating the deceased. As the team battles an unrelenting army of undead, a powerful Egyptian mummy, and monstrous serpentine demons, the necromancer proves an elusive quarry. And when the true purpose of the ritual is revealed, the gifted allies must confront a destructive force that is positively apocalyptic.



Melanie's Thoughts:

The Undying Legion starts not long after the cataclysmic events of book 1. Simon is still living with Kate, Kate is still trying to cure her sister while Malcolm continues to be Malcolm. Everything changes when a young woman is discovered ritually murdered with hieroglyphics carved into her heart. When another dies the same way and the dead start to come to life again there is only one thing for our heroes to do - save the day of course! Boy do our heroes have their work cut out for them as they try to find the necromancer who is reanimating the dead. An ancient evil is loose in London and it won't be long before its undead legion bring about the end of the world.

I really started to enjoy this series with this second instalment. There were three main things that I thought the authors did to really 'add some flesh to the bones' of this series:

1) They start to more fully round out all of the characters and not just the main three - Kate, Simon and Malcolm. We get much more time with Penny who contributes to the 'day saving' with cool weaponry and other gadgets. I feel that she she has turned into a solid secondary character rather than just an extra. There is one quite touching scene between Simon and Penny which I thought was effective in developing both characters. The young lycan Charlotte gets more page time and becomes Malcolm's sidekick (although reluctantly from Malcolm's perspective). Malcolm and Charlotte become quite a good double act. Through both Charlotte and Kate's sister Imogen we get a clearer picture of Kate's true nature as she tries to stabilise Charlotte and cure her sister.

2) The plot keeps the pace from the first few pages all the way to the end. There is a lot happening in this story and the action starts early on. There are fight scenes galore, gory murder scenes, the secret of Simon's key from book 1 is uncovered and something happens to Simon to totally change things for this character. The ending also leaves us with a delightful teaser for book 3.

3) The authors avoid tying up the plot with a nice bow. The Griffith's aren't afraid to have bad things happen to their characters and avoid resolving their issues by the end of the book. There were some scenes with Kate's sister Imogen that had me wishing for something good to happen to this character. Simon is another character who gets both a physical and emotional blow in this instalment.

These three factors make Undying Legion a much more substantial and well-rounded book. There is a lot more happening than just finding the necromancer as the authors start to set up the plot arc with the two super evil demi-gods Ash and Gaios. There were hints of these two villains in the last book but they start to become the focus of the plot and set things in motion that will inevitably be resolved in book 3 - The Conquering Dark which I am really looking forward to reading.

Review: The Shadow Revolution by Clay Griffith and Susan Griffith


The Shadow Revolution
Author:  Clay Griffith and Susan Griffith
Series: Crown & Key 1
Publisher:  Del Rey, June 2, 2015
Format:  Mass Market Paperback and eBook, 320 pages
List Price:  $7.99 (print)
ISBN:  978034553950 (print)
Review Copy:  Provided by the Publisher

Review: The Shadow Revolution by Clay Griffith and Susan Griffith
A thrilling new Victorian-era urban fantasy for fans of Kevin Hearne’s Iron Druid Chronicles, the Showtime series Penny Dreadful, and the Sherlock Holmes movies featuring Robert Downey, Jr.

They are the realm’s last, best defense against supernatural evil. But they’re going to need a lot more silver.

As fog descends, obscuring the gas lamps of Victorian London, werewolves prowl the shadows of back alleys. But they have infiltrated the inner circles of upper-crust society as well. Only a handful of specially gifted practitioners are equipped to battle the beasts. Among them are the roguish Simon Archer, who conceals his powers as a spell-casting scribe behind the smooth veneer of a dashing playboy; his layabout mentor, Nick Barker, who prefers a good pub to thrilling heroics; and the self-possessed alchemist Kate Anstruther, who is equally at home in a ballroom as she is on a battlefield.

After a lycanthrope targets Kate’s vulnerable younger sister, the three join forces with fierce Scottish monster-hunter Malcolm MacFarlane—but quickly discover they’re dealing with a threat far greater than anything they ever imagined.



Melanie's Thoughts

The writing couple of Susan and Clay Griffith set their new series in Victorian London but in a version of London where the supernatural and magic reign supreme. The authors quickly introduce the reader to the characters that will monopolise the story over the coming chapters. The opening chapters introduce us to Simon Archer, the rogue and ladies man whose body is covered with magical tattoos, and his friend and mentor, Nick Barker.  The pair walk on the fringes of society, never fully accepted but never far away from it either. Neither have exploited their magical talents and Simon's magical abilities are still largely untested. He has let his studies with Nick slide in favour of a night on the tiles with his friend. Everything is about to change when fate intervenes in the form of a vicious and deadly werewolf that rampages through a ball when they end up being helped by the aristocratic Kate Anstruther. It would seem that Kate has everything going for her - social standing, wealth, a famous family name, and intelligence. She could be one of society's darlings if she wasn't more interested in alchemy and science than her social standing. Finally there is Malcolm MacFarlane the gun toting Scottish hunter who dislikes Simon on sight. Things irrevocably change when Kate's sister is kidnapped and it is linked to a key that Simon wears around his neck. This group of misfits are drawn together to stop a a deadly predator that will take every weapon they have to defeat.

I think The Shadow Revolution suffered a bit from an identity crisis. It read in parts like steampunk but without any of the 'coolness' that comes from this genre. Simon relies on his magic, Malcolm on his weaponry and Kate on her alchemy. Separately they are almost insignificant but together they are a powerhouse. Their strengths did not, however, help them with the challenges they face when up against a legion of werewolves and a much older evil that threatens not just London. I have to completely disagree with the comparison to Kevin Hearne's Iron Druids series, Penny Dreadful or Sherlock Holmes (with Robert Downey Jr? almost an insult to Arthur Conan Doyle). These comparisons subjugate the Griffiths' characters and are not accurate. In my view neither the plotline nor the characters are like any of these other stories.

Overall, I liked this book but I was a bit surprised at its simplicity. I guessed nearly every plot twist or big reveal well before it happened. I didn't think it was as a challenging of a read as Griffiths' other series The Vampire Empire. I never knew what was going to happen next in that series yet in book 1 of The Crown and Key I guessed every one. It is still enjoyable and I do so like the plucky Kate and the acerbic Malcolm. Bring on book 2 - The Undying Legion.

Guest Blog by Clay & Susan Griffith - Writing Movies - June 1, 2015


Please welcome Clay and Susan Griffith to The Qwillery. The Shadow Revolution, the first novel in the Crown & Key series will be published on June 2nd by Del Rey. The Shadow Revolution will be followed by The Undying Legion on June 30th and The Conquering Dark on July 28th.



Guest Blog by Clay & Susan Griffith - Writing Movies - June 1, 2015




Writing Movies
Clay & Susan Griffith

Fade In:

There are times when we just can’t write. It’s just not coming. So we watch movies. It’s not procrastinating. No, really. It’s inspirational. We’re working on our craft. Sometimes.

When we give workshops on writing genre fiction, we talk a lot about movies. There are several reasons. One is purely practical. Movies are more likely to be a shared experience among our audience than even a bestselling book. When we give an example from Star Wars, we’re more likely to reach most of the audience. If we give an example from even a famous book like The Great Gatsby or Dune, we hit fewer targets (unless they’ve also seen the movies).

The second, and more important reason, for talking about movies is that movies can teach prose writers, particularly genre writers, a lot about writing. Movies are about characters and action in concert. Successful movies teach lessons in how to stick to the point, cut the fat, keep it moving, raise the stakes, focus on character and plot and setting.

Obviously just dozing while watching a movie won’t teach you anything. Nor will watching the same type of movie all the time. Just as with books, we recommend stretching outside your comfort zone. Watch everything. Drama. Comedy. Musicals. Westerns. Horror. Blockbuster and indie. American and foreign. Study them. What is their point? How do they accomplish their goals?

And don’t limit yourself to contemporary movies. Some of the masters made their mark decades ago. Sure those movies may look dated because they’re black and white. You may not be able to relate to people wearing fedoras and saying “Say, baby, that’s swell!” But that’s like saying you won’t read Shakespeare because the characters “talk funny.” It’s okay to have preferences – we do. But you will be stunned by the things you can learn about storytelling from classic movies.

Another thing we do, and recommend for other writers, is to read books on screenwriting. Of course, there are millions of them out there because the “I Want to be a Millionaire Screenwriter” market is just as large as the “I Want to be a Millionaire Novelist” one. Maybe larger. So we’re careful not to fall down the rabbit hole of finding the next “How to Sell Your Screenplay” book. There are a handful that will suffice as the best in the field, and we’ve read most of them. It’s pretty easy to pick out a few of the good ones with a little snooping around online, like Adventures in the Screen Trade by William Goldman and Screenplay by Syd Field.

Our novels such as our new CROWN & KEY trilogy and our VAMPIRE EMPIRE series are often reviewed as being “fast-moving” and “cinematic” which is the very thing we are going after. However, readers also talk about how they fall in love with our characters, and we take great pride in that. Our ability to balance these two elements – character and action – owes much to being movie people (as well as comic book people, but that’s another blog post entirely!). In a movie, characters can’t usually have long internal monologues to explain their feelings. You have to see them. We try to show our characters doing things that define them.

Obviously in a novel, we have the resource of words on a page to accentuate important emotions. In literary fiction, the expression or revelation of emotion is often the point of the story. Since we write fantasy adventure novels, the point of emotional revelation is to let the reader know what the character is feeling as he or she moves forward in the action, so the reader can react with them. We try hard to blend the prose and film approaches in our genre fiction – seeing the characters act and feeling their emotions at the same time.

We want our readers to love our characters (or hate them), but do it while engaged in a thrill ride. We wouldn’t mind if readers feel an urge for popcorn while they read our books.

Fade Out.
The End.


More screenplay resources:
Story by Robert McKee
Save the Cat! by Blake Snyder
Writing Movies for Fun and Profit by Robert Ben Garant and Thomas Lennon.





Crown & Key

The Shadow Revolution
Crown & Key 1
Del Rey, June 2, 2015
Mass Market Paperback and eBook, 320 pages

Guest Blog by Clay & Susan Griffith - Writing Movies - June 1, 2015
A thrilling new Victorian-era urban fantasy for fans of Kevin Hearne’s Iron Druid Chronicles, the Showtime series Penny Dreadful, and the Sherlock Holmes movies featuring Robert Downey, Jr.

They are the realm’s last, best defense against supernatural evil. But they’re going to need a lot more silver.

As fog descends, obscuring the gas lamps of Victorian London, werewolves prowl the shadows of back alleys. But they have infiltrated the inner circles of upper-crust society as well. Only a handful of specially gifted practitioners are equipped to battle the beasts. Among them are the roguish Simon Archer, who conceals his powers as a spell-casting scribe behind the smooth veneer of a dashing playboy; his layabout mentor, Nick Barker, who prefers a good pub to thrilling heroics; and the self-possessed alchemist Kate Anstruther, who is equally at home in a ballroom as she is on a battlefield.

After a lycanthrope targets Kate’s vulnerable younger sister, the three join forces with fierce Scottish monster-hunter Malcolm MacFarlane—but quickly discover they’re dealing with a threat far greater than anything they ever imagined.




The Undying Legion
Crown & Key 2
Del Rey, June 30, 2015
Mass Market Paperback and eBook, 336 pages
Guest Blog by Clay & Susan Griffith - Writing Movies - June 1, 2015
A thrilling new Victorian-era urban fantasy for fans of Kevin Hearne’s Iron Druid Chronicles, the Showtime series Penny Dreadful, and the Sherlock Holmes movies featuring Robert Downey, Jr.

With a flood of dark magic about to engulf Victorian London, can a handful of heroes vanquish a legion of the undead?

When monster-hunter Malcolm MacFarlane comes across the gruesome aftermath of a ritual murder in a London church, he enlists the help of magician-scribe Simon Archer and alchemist extraordinaire Kate Anstruther. Studying the macabre scene, they struggle to understand obscure clues in the ancient Egyptian hieroglyphics carved into the victim’s heart—as well as bizarre mystical allusions to the romantic poetry of William Blake. One thing is clear: Some very potent black magic is at work.

But this human sacrifice is only the first in a series of ritualized slayings. Desperate to save lives while there is still time, Simon, Kate, and Malcolm—along with gadget geek Penny Carter and Charlotte, an adolescent werewolf—track down a necromancer who is reanimating the deceased. As the team battles an unrelenting army of undead, a powerful Egyptian mummy, and monstrous serpentine demons, the necromancer proves an elusive quarry. And when the true purpose of the ritual is revealed, the gifted allies must confront a destructive force that is positively apocalyptic.




The Conquering Dark
Crown & Key 3
Del Rey, July 28, 2015
Mass Market Paperback and eBook, 352 pages

Guest Blog by Clay & Susan Griffith - Writing Movies - June 1, 2015
A thrilling new Victorian-era urban fantasy for fans of Kevin Hearne’s Iron Druid Chronicles, the Showtime series Penny Dreadful, and the Sherlock Holmes movies featuring Robert Downey, Jr.

The Crown and Key Society face their most terrifying villain yet: Gaios, a deranged demigod with the power to destroy Britain.

To avenge a centuries-old betrayal, Gaios is hell-bent on summoning the elemental forces of the earth to level London and bury Britain. The Crown and Key Society, a secret league consisting of a magician, an alchemist, and a monster-hunter, is the realm’s only hope—and to stop Gaios, they must gather their full strength and come together as a team, or the world will fall apart.

But Simon Archer, the Crown and Key’s leader and the last living magician-scribe, has lost his powers. As Gaios searches for the Stone of Scone, which will give him destructive dominion over the land, monster-hunter Malcolm MacFarlane, alchemist extraordinaire Kate Anstruther, gadget geek Penny Carter, and Charlotte the werewolf scramble to reconnect Simon to his magic before the world as they know it is left forever in ruins.





About Clay and Susan

Guest Blog by Clay & Susan Griffith - Writing Movies - June 1, 2015
Clay Griffith and Susan Griffith met at a bookstore thanks to The Uncanny X-Men #201. They had to get married because of a love of adventure stories with heroes who save the day and fall in love. Soon they were writing stories together, including The Shadow Revolution and the Vampire Empire series. After years of comics, short stories, and novels, they remain happily married. When not writing or talking about writing, the couple watch classic movies, play Warcraft, and struggle to entertain their cat. They still have that copy of The Uncanny X-Men #201.





Facebook ~ Blog ~ Twitter @clayandsusan

Interview with Alan Smale, author of Clash of Eagles - March 20, 2015


Please welcome Alan Smale to The Qwillery as part of the 2015 Debut Author Challenge Interviews. Clash of Eagles was published on March 17th by Del Rey.



Interview with Alan Smale, author of Clash of Eagles - March 20, 2015




TQ:  Welcome to The Qwillery. When and why did you start writing?

Alan:  My mother taught me to read early, which meant that I read faster than other kids and quickly got through the (limited) supply of books available at my primary schools. I’ve always thought this must be why I started making up my own stories, though I can’t know for sure. But I did start writing when very young; my first story was called “The Mountain Children”, and it was about two girls and a boy, Val, Su, and Chay, who lived in the jungle. It was obviously completely derivative, based on the Tarzan movies and cartoons, but I apparently had fun with it at the time. By my teen years I was writing novels about intrepid men of action while hiding in my room. I took a break from writing while I was getting my degrees and moving from England to the U.S., but I knuckled down and got serious about writing for publication in the mid-1990s.



TQ:  Are you a plotter or a pantser?

Alan:  When I write short stories I’m definitely a pantser. I find a character or a setting I like and start free associating, and see where the story takes me. I’m often most of the way through before I figure out how it should end. Now I’m writing novels (and quite long novels, with a substantial cast of characters), by necessity I’ve switched around to being a rather careful plotter. In the giant wildernesses of ancient America, even getting my characters to where they need to be through the forests and along the rivers and all at the right times of year when such travel is possible, requires planning and a bit of arithmetic. Plus, for the Clash of Eagles books there’s an intricacy about the plotlines and the various relationships that it would be tough for me to wing. The details of the scenes unfold in real time while I’m writing them, and I’m often forced to make course corrections when my characters insist on doing things I hadn’t originally intended, but I always know my end-points.

I’m also fond of Kurt Vonnegut’s definitions of Bashers and Swoopers: bashers go one sentence at a time getting everything right and when they get to the last word of the story, they’re all done. Swoopers write quickly in a torrent of words and then go back to fix “everything that is just plain awful.” I’m 100% Swooper.



TQ:  What is the most challenging thing for you about writing?

Alan:  Finding the time and the quiet to get into the deep concentration mode that works best for me when I’m writing scenes for the first time.



TQ:  Who are some of your literary influences? Favorite authors?

Alan:  When I was twelve I read War and Peace and Lord of the Rings in the same summer holiday. I still think I broke myself a little bit doing that, but it did give me the taste for large-panorama epics, centered around a few critical characters. I think ever since then I’ve been more interested in stories set in the past than those set in the future.

For influences, I’d have to list some of the more inventive and offbeat writers: Stephen Baxter, John Kessel, Ursula Le Guin, James Morrow, Tim Powers, Keith Roberts, Michael Swanwick, Harry Turtledove, Jo Walton, Walter Jon Williams, Connie Willis. I also have a weakness for pulp time travel novels, but don’t tell anyone. These days I try to read as broadly as possible, but I’m very aware that I don’t have time to read as much as I should. Once I finish this trilogy I’m going to put myself on a hardcore reading program to try to catch up.



TQ:  Describe Clash of Eagles in 140 characters or less.

Alan:  When Gaius Marcellinus’s legion is destroyed deep in newly-discovered North America, he struggles to find a place and purpose in this strange new world.



TQ:  Tell us something about Clash of Eagles that is not in the book description.

Alan:  There are a lot of small, personal, human moments. The book description (correctly) focuses on describing the world and the major conflicts, the broad brush-strokes of the story, but beyond the legions and battles, adventures and culture clashes there are also quiet scenes of human beings trying to understand one another better, work together, solve problems, make things happen. I’m actually rather fond of a number of these scenes.



TQ:  What appeals to you about writing alternate history? How easy or difficult was it to go from the short form, the "A Clash of Eagles" novella, to the novel length for Clash of Eagles, which is set in the same world?

Alan:  Knowing the real history adds depth and resonance to the altered history. I believe that a great deal of history is contingency. When you read the recorded thoughts and feelings of people who lived in a particular place and time, and what they believed was going to happen next, their predictions are often very sane and sensible and equally often completely wrong. History can go off in all kinds of different directions. I find it fascinating to consider other paths that human history could have taken.

In this case it was very easy to transition from short-form to long-form. The novella version that won the Sidewise Award is actually not all that short: as published in the Panverse Two anthology it ran to about 25,000 words. I did a fairly extensive rewrite when it became the first part of the novel, but the characters, setting, and ambience of the novella are still rather similar. I knew very early on in the novella-writing process that I would be going further. I knew this was the story I wanted to tell.



TQ:  What sort of research did you do for Clash of Eagles?

Alan:  Now that I’ve become a fanatical plotter I’m also an obsessive record-keeper, and so I know that I’ve read over 120 books in the course of researching this series. Many of them have been about Cahokia, Rome, the Norse, everything I would need for the series, even tangentially. I’ve been reading about ancient Rome all my life, but I needed a much greater depth of knowledge about Roman armies, weaponry, and so on, to be able to write about them effectively.

Without doubt, the areas that required the most research were related to the pre-Columbian civilizations of North America. In the era when Clash of Eagles is set the Mississippian culture dominated the Mississippi valley and much of the Ohio valley. Its central city of Cahokia covered an area of over five square miles and had a population of twenty thousand people or more. The Mississippians were a mound-building culture, and Cahokia had at least 120 mounds of various types: square platform mounds, conical mounds, ridge mounds. You can still see its remains at the Cahokia Mounds State Historical Site, near St. Louis. I’ve read everything I can find about Cahokia, from popular books to quite dense academic works, and also quite widely about Native American cultures in general to try to make the details of the city and its people as authentic as I can.



TQ:  Who was the easiest character to write and why? The hardest and why?

Alan:  My hero, Gaius Marcellinus, is the easiest to write, because he’s the most like me. He comes from a triumphalist European culture, he’s well-traveled, a cynic, a pragmatist. I think it’s relatively easy to put myself into his Roman mindset. The hardest characters are the Cahokians, because despite all my research they inhabit a culture that’s greatly separated from me in space and time. There would naturally be many differences between us in how we view the world – but I think there would also be some similarities. Adding to the mix, the story is told from the close perspective of Marcellinus, so we only directly discover what the Cahokian characters are thinking if they choose to tell him. We’re limited by his perceptions. And since Marcellinus is career military, and is coming very late to some of the ideas of family and community, there are places in Clash where things should be apparent to the reader that Marcellinus himself completely misses or misinterprets. That requires a bit of care while I’m writing.



TQ:  Which question about Clash of Eagles do you wish someone would ask? Ask it and answer it!

Alan:  I’m always surprised that people don’t ask me if I really believe the Roman Empire could possibly have survived until the thirteenth century. In fact, I do believe that, quite strongly. Historical trends and events tend to look inevitable when viewed in hindsight, but I believe there’s no inherent reason why the Roman Empire had to fall when it did. With the kind of strong leadership the Empire had in the first and second centuries A.D. it might well have been able to weather the Crisis of the Third Century. And without the civil wars and the economic decline of the third century Rome would have been stronger, it’s borders better guarded, and the Empire as a whole more able to deal with the “barbarian” migrations of the later period. Rome had dealt with much worse in the past. I’ve written in more detail about that elsewhere.



TQ:  Give us one or two of your favorite non-spoilery lines from Clash of Eagles.

Alan:

         Every day took the Legion farther from the coast and stretched their provisions even thinner. Battle was ahead, a city to be sacked, spoils to be had – but how far? His men grumbled, and even Leogild’s sunny Visigoth humor began to cloud over.

and

         [The new Emperor, Hadrianus III] had figured that if he set the wheels moving quickly enough and remained popular enough to die of old age, he might leave as his legacy a world where the sun never set on the Roman Imperium.
         Candidly, Marcellinus thought the man was cracked.




TQ:  What's next?

AlanClash of Eagles is the first of three books. I’ve already turned in the second to Del Rey, and I’m currently writing notes and drafting scenes for the third. I’m really excited about writing the concluding book in the trilogy; it contains scenes, adventures, and emotional resolutions that I’ve been looking forward to writing for years. Aside from that, I’m collaborating on a short story with another writer – it’s only the second time I’ve co-written a story, and it’s a very different process. A novella of mine, “Visionaries of Bedlam”, has just appeared in the Apollo’s Daughters anthology, and a novelette called “English Wildlife” is scheduled for the big fall issue of Asimov’s. “English Wildlife” is a bizarre secret history that’s completely different from Clash and from most other things I’ve written, and I’m looking forward to seeing what reception it gets. After that? I’m wondering if people will be interested enough in Clash for me to be able to write more stories in that world!



TQ:  Thank you for joining us at The Qwillery.

Alan:  Thank you for inviting me!





Clash of Eagles
Clash of Eagles Trilogy 1
Del Rey, March 17, 2015
Hardcover and eBook, 432 pages

Interview with Alan Smale, author of Clash of Eagles - March 20, 2015
Perfect for fans of action-adventure and historical fiction—including novels by such authors as Bernard Cornwell, Steve Berry, Naomi Novik, and Harry Turtledove—this stunning work of alternate history imagines a world in which the Roman Empire has not fallen and the North American continent has just been discovered. In the year 1218 AD, transported by Norse longboats, a Roman legion crosses the great ocean, enters an endless wilderness, and faces a cataclysmic clash of worlds, cultures, and warriors.  

Ever hungry for land and gold, the Emperor has sent Praetor Gaius Marcellinus and the 33rd Roman Legion into the newly discovered lands of North America. Marcellinus and his men expect easy victory over the native inhabitants, but on the shores of a vast river the Legion clashes with a unique civilization armed with weapons and strategies no Roman has ever imagined.

Forced to watch his vaunted force massacred by a surprisingly tenacious enemy, Marcellinus is spared by his captors and kept alive for his military knowledge. As he recovers and learns more about these proud people, he can’t help but be drawn into their society, forming an uneasy friendship with the denizens of the city-state of Cahokia. But threats—both Roman and Native—promise to assail his newfound kin, and Marcellinus will struggle to keep the peace while the rest of the continent surges toward certain conflict.





About Alan

Interview with Alan Smale, author of Clash of Eagles - March 20, 2015
Alan Smale grew up in Yorkshire, England, and now lives in the Washington, D.C., area. By day he works at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center as a professional astronomer, studying black holes, neutron stars, and other bizarre celestial objects. However, too many family vacations at Hadrian’s Wall in his formative years plus a couple of degrees from Oxford took their toll, steering his writing toward alternate, secret, and generally twisted history. He has sold numerous short stories to magazines including Asimov’s and Realms of Fantasy, and he won the 2010 Sidewise Award for Best Short-Form Alternate History.





Website  ~  Facebook  ~  Twitter @AlanSmale

2015 Debut Author Challenge Update - Clash of Eagles by Alan Smale


2015 Debut Author Challenge Update - Clash of Eagles by Alan Smale


The Qwillery is pleased to announce the newest featured author for the 2015 Debut Author Challenge.



Alan Smale

Clash of Eagles
Clash of Eagles Trilogy 1
Del Rey, March 17, 2015
Hardcover and eBook, 432 pages

2015 Debut Author Challenge Update - Clash of Eagles by Alan Smale
Perfect for fans of action-adventure and historical fiction—including novels by such authors as Bernard Cornwell, Steve Berry, Naomi Novik, and Harry Turtledove—this stunning work of alternate history imagines a world in which the Roman Empire has not fallen and the North American continent has just been discovered. In the year 1218 AD, transported by Norse longboats, a Roman legion crosses the great ocean, enters an endless wilderness, and faces a cataclysmic clash of worlds, cultures, and warriors.  

Ever hungry for land and gold, the Emperor has sent Praetor Gaius Marcellinus and the 33rd Roman Legion into the newly discovered lands of North America. Marcellinus and his men expect easy victory over the native inhabitants, but on the shores of a vast river the Legion clashes with a unique civilization armed with weapons and strategies no Roman has ever imagined.

Forced to watch his vaunted force massacred by a surprisingly tenacious enemy, Marcellinus is spared by his captors and kept alive for his military knowledge. As he recovers and learns more about these proud people, he can’t help but be drawn into their society, forming an uneasy friendship with the denizens of the city-state of Cahokia. But threats—both Roman and Native—promise to assail his newfound kin, and Marcellinus will struggle to keep the peace while the rest of the continent surges toward certain conflict.

Review: Fool's Quest by Robin HobbInterview with C.A. Higgins, author of LightlessMelanie's Week in Review - September 27, 20152015 Debut Author Challenge Update - Lightless by C.A. HigginsReview: The Conquering Dark by Clay Griffith and Susan GriffithReview: The Undying Legion by Clay Griffith and Susan GriffithReview: The Shadow Revolution by Clay Griffith and Susan GriffithGuest Blog by Clay & Susan Griffith - Writing Movies - June 1, 2015Interview with Alan Smale, author of Clash of Eagles - March 20, 20152015 Debut Author Challenge Update - Clash of Eagles by Alan Smale

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