close

The Qwillery | category: Jonathan French

home

The Qwillery

A blog about books and other things speculative

qwillery.blogspot.com

The View From Monday ... On Tuesday - September 29, 2020

 
It is the last Tuesday in September.

There is one debut this week:

Bestiary by K-Ming Chan.
 
The View From Monday ... On Tuesday - September 29, 2020
Clicking on a novel's cover will take you to its Amazon page.




From formerly featured DAC Authors:
 
The True Bastards (The Lot Lands 2) is out in Trade Paperback;
 
A Blight of Blackwings (Seven Kennings 1) by Keven Hearne is out in Mass Market Paperback;
 
and
 
The Kraken's Tooth (The Seven Swords 2) by Anthony Ryan.
Clicking on a novel's cover will take you to its Amazon page.



The View From Monday ... On Tuesday - September 29, 2020



Debut novels are highlighted in blue. Novels, etc. by formerly featured DAC Authors are highlighted in green.
 
September 29, 2020
TITLEAUTHORSERIES
Tricky Treats: Halloween Delights for Appetizers, Snacks, Dinner, and Dessert! Vincent Amiel Cooking
God of War - The Official Novelization (tp2mm) J.M. Barlog MTI/F
A Witch to Remember Heather Blake PCM - A Wishcraft Mystery 9
The Cabin on Souder Hill Lonnie Busch Th
Battle Ground Jim Butcher UF - Dresden Files17
The Cunning Man D.J. Butler
Aaron Michael Ritchey
UF
Bestiary (D) K-Ming Chang LF/MR/Asian American
The Nesting C. J. Cooke SupTh/H/CW
Target Rich Environment, Volume 2 (h2mm) Larry Correia F - Collection
The Gossamer Mage (h2tp) Julie E. Czerneda F/DF
Lethal Game (h2mm) Christine Feehan R/PNR - GhostWalker 16
The Constant Rabbit Jasper Fforde CF/HU/F
1636: The China Venture (h2mm) Eric Flint
Iver P. Cooper
SF/TT - Ring of Fire 27
Uprising Denny Flowers SF/AP/PA - Necromunda
The Dragon Waiting John M. Ford AH/F
The True Bastards (h2tp) Jonathan French F/DF - The Lot Lands 2
Dreaming Death Heather Graham SupTh/Sus/GH/PNR - Krewe of Hunters 32
Forgotten Work Jason Guriel LF/Satire/CyP/Dys
The Midnight Library Matt Haig CW/SF/TT/LF
A Discovery of Witches (ri) Deborah Harkness Occ/Sup/R/Th - All Souls 1
A Blight of Blackwings (h2mm) Kevin Hearne F/P - Seven Kennings 2
Burning Roses S. L. Huang F/FairyT/FolkT/LM
Null Set (h2mm) S. L. Huang SF/TechTh/HU - Cas Russell 2
The Loop Jeremy Robert Johnson SupTh
Rita Hayworth and Shawshank Redemption Stephen King H
The Case of the Spellbound Child (h2mm) Mercedes Lackey HistF/Gaslamp - Elemental Masters 14
Snakeskins (tp2mm) Tim Major SF/TechTh
Mutation Michael McBride SupTh/AC - A Unit 51 Novel
Star Trek: Picard: The Last Best Hope (h2tp) Una McCormack SF - Star Trek: Picard
A Deadly Education Naomi Novik F/CF/CoA - The Scholomance 1
Blue Planet Jane O'Reilly SF/SO/AC/SFR - Second Species Trilogy 3
Night Train (e) David Quantick H/SF/BHU
House of Suns (ri) Alastair Reynolds SF/HSF/SE/SO
Pushing Ice (ri) Alastair Reynolds SF/HSF/SE/SO
Sleep Donation Karen Russell LF/H/VM - Vintage Contemporaries
Clerk Guillermo Saccomanno
Andrea G. Labinger (Tr)
LF/SF/Noir/Psy
Immortal Angel Lynsay Sands PNR - Argeneau Vampire 31
Fantastic Tales Iginio Ugo Tarchetti
Lawrence Venuti (Tr)
Gothic/SS/HistF
Last Chancers: Armageddon Saint Gav Thorpe SF - Warhammer 40,000
The Sinner (h2mm) J.R. Ward PNR - Black Dagger Brotherhood 18
Mrs. Morris and the Ghost of Christmas Past Traci Wilton PCM - A Salem B&B Mystery 3



September 30, 2020
TITLEAUTHORSERIES
Edited By Ellen Datlow (Ed) H/SF/SF - Anthology
Dancers in the Dark & Layla Steps Up: The Layla Collection Charlaine Harris UF
The Kraken's Tooth Anthony Ryan F - The Seven Swords 2



D - Debut
e - eBook
Ed - Editor
h2mm - Hardcover to Mass Market Paperback
h2tp - Hardcover to Trade Paperback
Ke - Kindle eBook
ri - reissue or reprint
tp2mm - Trade Paperback to Mass Market Paperback
Tr - Translator



AB - Absurdist
AC - Alien Contact
AH - Alternative History
AP - Apocalyptic
CF - Contemporary Fantasy
CoA - Coming of Age
Cr - Crime
CW - Contemporary Women
CyP - CyberPunk
DF - Dark Fantasy
Dys - Dystopian
F - Fantasy
FairyT - Fairy Tales
FL - Family Life
FolkT - Folk Tales
FR - Fantasy Romance
GenEng - Genetic Engineering
GH - Ghost(s)
GothicR - Gothic Romance
H - Horror
HC - History and Criticism
Hist - Historical
HistF - Historical Fantasy
HistM - Historical Mystery
HistR - Historical Romance
HistTh - Historical Thriller
HSF - Hard Science Fiction
HU - Humorous
LC - Literary Criticism
LF - Literary Fiction
LM - Legend and Mythology
M - Mystery
Med - Medical
MR - Magical Realism
MTI - Media Tie-In
Occ - Occult
P - Paranormal
PA - Post Apocalyptic
PCM - Paranormal Cozy Mystery
PNR - Paranormal Romance
Pol - Political
PolTh - Political Thriller
PopCul - Popular Culture
Psy - Psychological
R - Romance
RF - Romantic Fantasy
ScF - Science Fantasy
SE - Space Exploration
SF - Science Fiction
SFR - Science Fiction Romance
SFTh - Science Fiction Thriller
SH - Superheroes
SO - Space Opera
SP - Steampunk
SpecFic - Speculative Fiction
SS - Short Stories
STR - Small Town and Rural
Sup - Supernatural
SupM - Supernatural Mystery
SupTh - Supernatural Thriller
Sus - Suspense
TechTh - Technological Thriller
Th - Thriller
TT - Time Travel
TTR - Time Travel Romance
UF - Urban Fantasy
VM - Visionary and Metaphysical

Note: Not all genres and formats are found in the books, etc. listed above.

The View From Monday - October 7, 2019


Happy 1st Monday in October!

There are 3 debuts this week:

salt slow by Julia Armfield;

Ninth House by Leigh Bardugo;

and

The Furies by Katie Lowe.

The View From Monday - October 7, 2019The View From Monday - October 7, 2019
The View From Monday - October 7, 2019
Clicking on a novel's cover will take you to its Amazon page.



From formerly featured DAC Authors:

How Rory Thorne Destroyed the Multiverse (The Thorne Chronicles 1) by K. Eason;

The Oyster Thief by Sonia Faruqi out in Trade Paperback;

The True Bastards (The Lost Lands 2) by Jonathan French;

The Princess Beard (Tales of Pell 3) by Kevin Hearne and Delilah S. Dawson;

A Cathedral of Myth and Bone: Stories by Kat Howard is out in Trade Paperback;

A Lush and Seething Hell: Two Tales of Cosmic Horror by John Hornor Jacobs;

and

A Conjuring of Light Collector's Edition (Shade of Magic 3) by V. E. Schwab.

The View From Monday - October 7, 2019The View From Monday - October 7, 2019
The View From Monday - October 7, 2019The View From Monday - October 7, 2019
The View From Monday - October 7, 2019The View From Monday - October 7, 2019
The View From Monday - October 7, 2019
Clicking on a novel's cover will take you to its Amazon page.



The View From Monday - October 7, 2019



Debut novels are highlighted in blue. Novels, etc. by formerly featured DAC Authors are highlighted in green.

October 7, 2019
TITLEAUTHORSERIES
Wasteland (ri) Terry Goodkind F - Children of D'Hara 3
Iron & Velvet Alexis Hall UF - Kate Kane, Paranormal Investigator 1



October 8, 2019
TITLEAUTHORSERIES
salt slow (D) Julia Armfield SS/LF/SF/AP/PA
The Penguin Book of Mermaids Cristina Bacchilega (Ed)
Marie Alohalani Brown (Ed)
FairyT/FolkT/LM/Sup
Ninth House (D-Adult) Leigh Bardugo SupTh/Occ/Sup
The Remaking Clay McLeod Chapman H/SupTh/Occ/Sup
Metropolitan Stories Christine Coulson LF/SS
The Princess Beard Delilah S. Dawson
Kevin Hearne
F/HU/FairyT/FolkT/LM - Tales of Pell 3
Merlin Redux Dave Duncan HistF - Enchanter General 3
How Rory Thorne Destroyed the Multiverse K. Eason SF/SO/HU - The Thorne Chronicles 1
The Oyster Thief (h2tp) Sonia Faruqi F
The True Bastards Jonathan French F/DF - The Lot Lands 2
Sudden Traveler: Stories Sarah Hall SS
Duchamp Versus Einstein Christopher Hinz
Etan Ilfeld
SF/AC/AP/PA
A Cathedral of Myth and Bone: Stories (h2tp) Kat Howard SS
A Lush and Seething Hell: Two Tales of Cosmic Horror John Hornor Jacobs H
Warrior of the Altaii Robert Jordan F
Dark Ink Gary Kemble H/AH/SupTh
The Furies (D) Katie Lowe Th/CoA
Collateral Damage David Mack SF - Star Trek: The Next Generation
Hazards of Time Travel (h2tp) Joyce Carol Oates Dys
Before the Devil Fell Neil Olson LF/M&D/Cr
The Forbidden Stars Tim Pratt SF/HSF - The Axiom Series 3
Tuesday Mooney Talks to Ghosts Kate Racculia LF
Human Compatible: Artificial Intelligence and the Problem of Control Stuart Russell Tech & Eng/Robotics/Biotechnology
A Conjuring of Light Collector's Edition V. E. Schwab HistF/Gaslamp - Shades of Magic 3
Skin (ri) Ilka Tampke HistF
A Punk Rock Future Steve Zisson (Ed) SF/F - Anthology



October 9, 2019
TITLEAUTHORSERIES
Afrofuturism Rising: The Literary Prehistory of a Movement Isiah Lavender III LC - New Suns: Race, Gender, and Sexuality



D - Debut
e - eBook
Ed - Editor
h2mm - Hardcover to Mass Market Paperback
h2tp - Hardcover to Trade Paperback
mm - Mass Market Paperback
ri - reissue or reprint
tp2mm - Trade Paperback to Mass Market Paperback
Tr - Translator



AB - Absurdist
AC - Alien Contact
AH - Alternative History
AP - Apocalyptic
CF - Contemporary Fantasy
CoA - Coming of Age
Cr - Crime
CW - Contemporary Women
DF - Dark Fantasy
Dys - Dystopian
F - Fantasy
FairyT - Fairy Tales
FL - Family Life
FolkT - Folk Tales
GenEng - Genetic Engineering
GH - Ghost(s)
H - Horror
Hist - Historical
HistF - Historical Fantasy
HSF - Hard Science Fiction
HU - Humorous
LC - Literary Criticism
LF - Literary Fiction
LM - Legend and Mythology
M&D - Mystery & Detective
MR - Magical Realism
MTI - Media Tie-In
Occ - Occult
P - Paranormal
PA - Post Apocalyptic
PNR - Paranormal Romance
PolTh - Political Thriller
PsyTh - Psychological Thriller
RF - Romantic Fantasy
SE - Space Exploration
SF - Science Fiction
SH - Superheroes
SO - Space Opera
SP - Steampunk
SS - Short Stories
Sup - Supernatural
SupTh - Supernatural Thriller
Sus - Suspense
TT - Time Travel
UF - Urban Fantasy

Note: Not all genres and formats are found in the books, etc. listed above.

The View From Monday - March 18, 2019


Happy Monday!

There are 2 debuts this week:

The Perfect Assassin (Chronicles of Ghadid 1) by K. A. Doore;

and

The Municipalists by Seth Fried.

The View From Monday - March 18, 2019The View From Monday - March 18, 2019
Clicking on a novel's cover will take you to its Amazon page.



From formerly featured DAC authors:

The Grey Bastards (The Lot Lands 1) by Jonathan French is out in Trade Paperback;

Rainbirds by Clarissa Goenawan out in Trade Paperback;

The Light Brigade by Kameron Hurley;

MEM by Bethany C. Morrow is out in Trade Paperback;

and

Boundary Broken (Boundary Magic 4) by Melissa F. Olson.

The View From Monday - March 18, 2019The View From Monday - March 18, 2019
The View From Monday - March 18, 2019The View From Monday - March 18, 2019
The View From Monday - March 18, 2019
Clicking on a novel's cover will take you to its Amazon page.



The View From Monday - March 18, 2019



Debut novels are highlighted in blue. Novels, etc. by formerly featured DAC Authors are highlighted in green.

March 19, 2019
TITLEAUTHORSERIES
Knights of the Empire Dan Abnett F - Warhammer Chronicles
Macragge's Honour Dan Abnett SF/SO - Horus Heresy
The Skinner (ri) Neal Asher SF - Spatterjay 1
Soulkeeper David Dalglish F/DF - Keepers 1
Tomorrow (h2tp) Damian Dibben Hist/HistF/MR
HALO: The Flood (ri) William C. Dietz SF - HALO
Radicalized Cory Doctorow SF/CyP - Collection
The Perfect Assassin (D) K. A. Doore F - Chronicles of Ghadid 1
The Deepest Blue Sarah Beth Durst F - Tales of Renthia
The Grey Bastards (h2tp) Jonathan French F/DF - The Lot Lands 1
The Municipalists (D) Seth Fried SF/TechTh
Rainbirds (h2tp) Clarissa Goenawan Psy/Cr/MR
Zero Bomb M.T Hill TechTh/SF
The Light Brigade Kameron Hurley SF/TT
The Man Who Walked Through Cracks: The Collected Short Fiction of R.A. Lafferty, volume 5 R. A. Lafferty H/SS
Firefly - The Magnificent Nine (e) James Lovegrove MTI/SF/SO
Inspection Josh Malerman PsyTh/H/CoA
Luna: Moon Rising Ian McDonald SF/SE/HSF/SO - Luna 3
The Witch's Kind Louisa Morgan MR/Occ/Sup/HistF
MEM (h2tp) Bethany C. Morrow F/HistF
HALO: The Fall of Reach Eric Nylund SF - HALO
HALO: First Strike (ri) Eric Nylund SF - HALO
Boundary Broken Melissa F. Olson UF - Boundary Magic 4
Sooner or Later Everything Falls Into the Sea: Stories Sarah Pinsker CF/SF - Collection
Black Moon: The Complete Tales of Jules de Grandin, Volume Five Seabury Quinn SF - Complete Tales of Jules de Grandin 5
Permafrost Alastair Reynolds SF/TT/HSF/AP/PA
Shadespire: The Mirrored City Josh Reynolds F - Warhammer: Age of Sigmar
The Chaos Function Jack Skillingstead SF/AP/PA
War Criminals Gavin G. Smith SF/HSF/CyP/AC - Bastard Legion 3
Unfettered III Shawn Speakman (Ed) F/SF - Anthology



D - Debut
e - eBook
Ed - Editor
h2mm - Hardcover to Mass Market Paperback
h2tp - Hardcover to Trade Paperback
ri - reissue or reprint
tp2mm - Trade Paperback to Mass Market Paperback
Tr - Translator



AB - Absurdist
AC - Alien Contact
AH - Alternative History
AP - Apocalyptic
CF - Contemporary Fantasy
CoA - Coming of Age
Cr - Crime
CyP - Cyberpunk
DF - Dark Fantasy
Dys - Dystopian
F - Fantasy
FairyT - Fairy Tales
FolkT - Folk Tales
FR - Fantasy Romance
GenEng - Genetic Engineering
GH - Ghost(s)
H - Horror
Hist - Historical
HistF - Historical Fantasy
HSF - Hard Science Fiction
HU - Humor
LF - Literary Fiction
LM - Legend and Mythology
M - Mystery
MR - Magical Realism
MTI - Media Tie-In
Occ - Occult
P - Paranormal
PA - Post Apocalyptic
PCM - Parnormal Cozy Mystery
PerfArts - Performing Arts
PNR - Paranormal Romance
Psy - Psychological
PsyTh - Psychological Thriller
RF - Romantic Fantasy
SE - Space Exploration
SF - Science Fiction
SFR - Science Fiction Romance
SH - Superheroes
SO - Space Opera
SP - Steampunk
Spec - Speculative
SpecFic - Speculative Fiction
SS - Short Stories
Sup - Supernatural
SupTh - Supernatural Thriller
Sus - Suspense
TechTh - Technological Thriller
Th - Thriller
TT - Time Travel
UF - Urban Fantasy
VisM - Visionary and Metaphysical

Note: Not all genres and formats are found in the books, etc. listed above.

Interview with Jonathan French, author of The Grey Bastards - And 2 Reviews


Please welcome Jonathan French to The Qwillery, as part of the 2018 Debut Author Challenge Interviews. The Grey Bastards was published on June 19th by Crown.



Interview with Jonathan French, author of The Grey Bastards - And 2 Reviews




TQWelcome to The Qwillery. What is the first fiction piece you remember writing?

Jonathan:  Let's see...It was a fantasy story I wrote in 4th grade. I was living in England at the time and my teacher, Ms. Carlsen, was an amazing Dutch woman that read The Hobbit to her class every year as a tradition. I'd already read it, but I loved hearing her read it aloud because she had such love for the story. She encouraged me to read The Lord of the Rings, to draw scenes from the book, and to write my own fiction. I ended up writing this multi-chapter short story that was more akin to Dragonlance and the Golden Axe video game than to Tolkien. But she was still unbelievably supportive to the point that she had me read it aloud to the class, which was simultaneously awkward and exhilarating.



TQAre you a plotter, a pantser or a hybrid?

Jonathan:  I'm a hybrid who leans heavily to the pantsing side.



TQWhat is the most challenging thing for you about writing?

Jonathan:  Consistency. I don't defend my writing time very well. My son is 5 and the stuff he is doing is just so much more fun than staring at a screen and thumping at keys. I also hate trying to describe architecture. And physics.



TQWhat has influenced / influences your writing?

Jonathan:  Living abroad as a kid was a major influence. I was this 9-year-old from Tennessee that had recently discovered Dungeons & Dragons and comic books, and the next thing I know I'm living in a place where medieval castles and cathedrals can be visited after school. And it all compounded from there. The interests spread to military history, weapons/warfare, wargaming, art history, all while beginning to absorb book after book: Middle-earth, Prydain, Discworld, Redwall, Conan. Those trends have continued almost uninterrupted as I've gotten older, but have also been supplemented by new pursuits like fatherhood and an interest in wilderness survival.



TQDescribe The Grey Bastards in 140 characters or less.

Jonathan:  #TheGreyBastards is a raucous tale of half-orcs riding huge war pigs. It’s been hailed as one of the filthiest books ever written. It’s now available!



TQTell us something about The Grey Bastards that is not found in the book description.

Jonathan:  Halflings in this world live underground, but instead of nice cozy hobbit-holes, they dwell in the ancient tomb of a fallen human god, sending out pilgrims to endlessly search the world for every last relic of the deity's time as a mortal warlord.



TQWhat inspired you to write The Grey Bastards? What appeals to you about writing Epic Fantasy?

Jonathan:  My wife was the one that insisted I write the story as a novel. Originally, the story was a half-formed idea for a Dungeons & Dragons game. I had painted a bunch of cool half-orc models that I wanted to use for my next game and I always like to provide my players with an element that firmly connects their characters out of the gate. Sons of Anarchy gave me the notion of a mounted gang, so I figured on having that gang be “half-orcs only.” My wife suggested I use hogs instead of horses, though I was concerned it was a little too obvious. She also said, “Forget the game. Write the fucking book.” That pretty much set the tone for the entire thing!

Far as Epic Fantasy goes, it’s always called to me as a reader and I write what I want to read. The possibilities are endless and, for me, it only gets better when married to elements from our own world history. Robert E. Howard's Hyborian Age as an alternate version of our own past, Tolkien's use of Anglo-Saxon folklore, even the original Old World of Warhammer, I find all of that to be such a wonderful gateway into learning about real world events. I would love for The Grey Bastards to spark some young reader's interest in medieval Spain. So many people find history to be dull, but fantasy can be the sugar that helps the medicine go down.



TQWhat sort of research did you do for The Grey Bastards?

Jonathan:  I did a massive amount of reading about Reconquista-era Spain. S.S. Wyatt's translation of Daily Life in Portugal in the Middle Ages by A. H. de Oliveira Marques was invaluable. I also had to do a fair amount of internet research about different species of swine in order to make the riding hogs believable.



TQPlease tell us about the cover for The Grey Bastards.

Jonathan:  The cover was designed by artist and photographer Larry Rostant, along with Little, Brown Book Group creative director Duncan Spilling. It depicts the POV protagonist, Jackal; a young, cunning half-orc rider and member of the Grey Bastards.



TQIn The Grey Bastards who was the easiest character to write and why? The hardest and why?

Jonathan:  Oats was probably the easiest. Mostly because he never gave me any problems. I always knew what he was going to say and how he was going to react. Plus, he’s both overestimated and underestimated at the same time; he’s pretty vulnerable despite his size and strength, and also far from stupid despite initial appearances. My inspiration for him was a mix of Jayne Cobb (from my favorite TV show Firefly) and the late, great MMA fighter Kimbo Slice, so I had a solid foundation to work with when writing him.

The most difficult to write was definitely Starling. I knew having a female character that was seemingly helpless through most of the book would cause trouble for some readers. But I was (and still am) playing a rather long game with her, so I kept the course despite second-guessing it on many, MANY occasions.



TQWhy have you chosen to include or not chosen to include social issues in The Grey Bastards?

Jonathan:  It was never a conscious choice. I didn't have that moment where I thought: "I'm going to address X issue!" However, I don't see how they can be avoided in a believable world. They exist, period. Bigotry, racism, and sexism are certainly a part of real life, and I could not avoid their inclusion in a book about mixed-race characters living in a male-dominated society. As a pantser, the issues came to the page organically, so I was forced to face them down. Or rather, the characters were. I tried to keep my opinions out of it and not preach or come down on any side. The characters are flawed, but they are also products of their experiences and there were opportunities that allowed them to evolve. This shit is complicated and messy in real life, so I hope that's what came to the page.



TQWhich question about The Grey Bastards do you wish someone would ask? Ask it and answer it!

Jonathan:  The question would be: Do you ever dream about The Grey Bastards being adapted into a tabletop wargame? And the answer is: Yes! Everyone raves about A Song of Ice & Fire getting an HBO show, but I think GRR Martin's real victory was getting a miniatures wargame. I daydream all the time about a gorgeous line of models: half-orc hog-riders, centaur marauders, orc raiders, noble and low-born cavaleros, Unyar scouts. I write up army lists for each of the hoofs and mull over a rules set for a game focused on mounted combat.



TQGive us one or two of your favorite non-spoilery quotes from The Grey Bastards.

Jonathan:  Oh, these are always tricky because my memory is awful! Here goes:

1) Jackal likened religion to madness. He had heard that in the north, in the great cities of Hispartha, there were more temples than well-fed children, that a hundred faceless gods received the wealth of the nobles and the fearful pleas of the peasants. He found that difficult to imagine, but Delia, Ignacio, and others had assured him it was true. Thankfully, such belief was all but unknown in Ul-wundulas. Perhaps the badlands were gods-forsaken, but Jackal preferred to think that the Lots were home to those who had no need of invisible old men, dog-headed demons, and sour-faced crones. Here, faith was better placed in a strong mount, a loaded stockbow, and a few solid companions.

and

2) Roundth was standing in his stirrups, balanced perfectly, and windmilling his exposed cock around in one hand as he passed. The damn thing was as thick as a floppy tankard.



TQWhat's next?

Jonathan:  The sequel is next! More Bastards are coming in March 2019. Sex! Violence! Vulgarity! Half-orc! Hogs! For those that wish to return to The Lots, it'll be a fun ride!



TQThank you for joining us at The Qwillery.

Jonathan:  Are you kidding? It was my pleasure. Thank you for having me!





The Grey Bastards
The Lot Lands 1
Crown, June 19, 2018
Hardcover and eBook, 432 pages

Interview with Jonathan French, author of The Grey Bastards - And 2 Reviews
“A dirty, blood-soaked gem of a novel [that reads] like Mad Max set in Tolkien’s Middle Earth. A fantasy masterwork.”Kirkus Reviews (starred)


Live in the saddle.

Die on the hog.

Call them outcasts, call them savages—they’ve been called worse, by their own mothers—but Jackal is proud to be a Grey Bastard.

He and his fellow half-orcs patrol the barren wastes of the Lot Lands, spilling their own damned blood to keep civilized folk safe. A rabble of hard-talking, hog-riding, whore-mongering brawlers they may be, but the Bastards are Jackal’s sworn brothers, fighting at his side in a land where there’s no room for softness.

And once Jackal’s in charge—as soon as he can unseat the Bastards’ tyrannical, seemingly unkillable founder—there’s a few things they’ll do different. Better.

Or at least, that’s the plan. Until the fallout from a deadly showdown makes Jackal start investigating the Lot Lands for himself. Soon, he’s wondering if his feelings have blinded him to ugly truths about this world, and the Bastards’ place in it.

In a quest for answers that takes him from decaying dungeons to the frontlines of an ancient feud, Jackal finds himself battling invading orcs, rampaging centaurs, and grubby human conspiracies alike—along with a host of dark magics so terrifying they’d give even the heartiest Bastard pause.

Finally, Jackal must ride to confront a threat that’s lain in wait for generations, even as he wonders whether the Bastards can—or should–survive.

Delivered with a generous wink to Sons of Anarchy, featuring sneaky-smart worldbuilding and gobs of fearsomely foul-mouthed charm, The Grey Bastards is a grimy, pulpy, masterpiece—and a raunchy, swaggering, cunningly clever adventure that’s like nothing you’ve read before.





About Jonathan
Interview with Jonathan French, author of The Grey Bastards - And 2 Reviews
Photo by Casey Gardner
JONATHAN FRENCH lives in Atlanta with his wife and son. He is a devoted reader of comic books, an expert thrower of oddly shaped dice, and a serial con attendee.













Website  ~  Twitter @JFrenchAuthor  ~  Facebook







Melanie's Thoughts (during the 2016 Self-Published Fantasy Blog-Off)

If you take the orcs, the elves and the dwarves from Middle Earth, mix in some rampaging centaurs with a big helping of not very nice humans, quite a bit of swearing and a multi-layered plot then you have The Grey Bastards. Set in the bleak landscape of ‘the Lotlands’ The Grey Bastards, an elite group of half orc militia. protect their community from almost everyone else. The hero of this tale is not a tall dark and handsome knight on a white charger but rather, a greyish green half orc named Jackal who thunders onto the battle field on enormous multi-tusked hog. That doesn’t make him any less heroic. When Jackal discovers that elvin women are being held captive by a sludge monster, that the leader of Bastards might be involved and there are more and more incursions of full blooded orcs killing his friends and community then Jackal decides to take a stand….and one he might not survive.

I tentatively started The Grey Bastards as I wasn’t completely sure I would like it. I am not normally a fan of this type of fantasy so when I found myself staring at the cover I decided to give it a go. I loved it. This isn’t a book if you are sensitive to blood, guts and swearing so be warned but the plot is soo engaging. Despite Jackal’s penchant for prostitutes, overuse of certain misogynistic words used by some presidents and the fact he had tusks, he was very much the traditional hero – tall, handsome, fights the good fight and protects the innocent.

French has crafted an ambitious but intricate plot. I never knew what was going to happen next or whether Jackal would live to tell the tale. This is a sign of a good book in my view. I could very easily recommend this as one of the best books of SPFBO 2016 and potentially one of my favourite books of this year.



Doreen's Thoughts (now)

When I first started reading The Grey Bastards, I knew it was an homage to the television show, “Sons of Anarchy,” but when discovering the names of the main characters, Jackal (Jax), Oats (Opie), and the Claymaster (Clay), I thought they were a little too close to the real thing. Then I discovered that these half-orcs rode hogs – real, animal hogs – and I almost gave up reading what I thought might be a spoof. I kept reading, and despite my misgivings, I started to get caught up in the story.

There is some tremendous world-building here. I loved the description of the kiln, their hideout, where the walls can be heated to kill any intruders. Then there was the Hogback, which is a ramp that can be raised and lowered to let the hogs and their riders out over the walls. There are the sludges, gelatinous creatures that can envelop and suck the life out of a creature, and the Rohks, flying predators who could carry a whole hog. The magic is different, created out of smoke and sparks.

Given the nature of the show, I expected the sex and violence to be more graphic than it is; however, many of the other descriptions are just as graphic and gross as can be.

Just as in “Sons of Anarchy,” this hoof (club) is being run by a corrupt tyrant whose time has come. Jackal has discovered that the Claymaster is making deals and paying for them using elves, a violation of the treaty they have which could lead to war. As he comes closer to taking over leadership of the Bastards, he discovers that perhaps they are not the fierce proctors of the Lot lands that they think they are; perhaps they are simply the dregs of humanity left to survive on scraps. Along with his backups, Fetching and Oats, and the wizard, Crafty, Jackal will find out about the Bastards and their place in the Lot Lands, even if it kills them all.

The View From Monday - June 18, 2018


Happy Monday!

There are 4 debuts this week:

The Grey Bastards (The Lot Lands 1) by Jonathan French;

The Robots of Gotham by Todd McAulty;

Witchmark by C.L. Polk;

and

The Anomaly by Michael Rutger.

The View From Monday - June 18, 2018 The View From Monday - June 18, 2018
The View From Monday - June 18, 2018 The View From Monday - June 18, 2018
Clicking on a novel's cover will take you to its Amazon page.



From formerly featured DAC Authors:

An Alchemy of Masques and Mirrors (The Risen Kingdoms 1) by Curtis Craddock is out in Trade Paperback;

The Synapse Sequence by Daniel Godfrey;

Dance of the Heart (Muse Chronicles 6) by Lisa Kessler;

Godsgrave (The Nevernight Chronicle 2) by Jay Kristoff is out in Trade Paperback;

Arabella and the Battle of Venus (The Adventures of Arabella Ashby 2) by David D. Levine is out in Trade Paperback;

and

Vampire's Faith (Dark Protectors 8) by Rebecca Zanetti.

The View From Monday - June 18, 2018 The View From Monday - June 18, 2018
The View From Monday - June 18, 2018 The View From Monday - June 18, 2018
The View From Monday - June 18, 2018 The View From Monday - June 18, 2018
Clicking on a novel's cover will take you to its Amazon page.



The View From Monday - June 18, 2018



Debut novels are highlighted in blue. Novels, etc. by formerly featured DAC Authors are highlighted in green.

June 17, 2018
TITLEAUTHORSERIES
Blue Shift Jane O'Reilly SF/SO/AC/SFR - Second Species Trilogy 1



June 18, 2018
TITLEAUTHORSERIES
Night Myst (e)(ri) Yasmine Galenorn PNR - Indigo Court 1
Dance of the Heart (e) Lisa Kessler PNR - Muse Chronicles 6
Hunter's Pride (e) Shiloh Walker PNR - Hunter's World



June 19, 2018
TITLEAUTHORSERIES
The Completionist Siobhan Adcock LF
The Skaar Invasion Terry Brooks F - The Fall of Shannara 2
Thicker Than Water Mike Carey SupTh/Occ/Sup/GH/Th - Felix Castor 4
An Alchemy of Masques and Mirrors (h2tp) Curtis Craddock F/Gaslamp/SP - The Risen Kingdoms 1
It Will All Hurt Farel Dalrymple F
Curse of the Black Swan (e) Alyssa Day PNR - League of the Black Swan 2
The Grey Bastards (D) Jonathan French F/DF - The Lot Lands 1
Ghost Frequencies Gary Gibson SF/F - Newcon Press Novellas Set 4 1
The Synapse Sequence Daniel Godfrey SF
The Mermaid Christina Henry HistF/FairyT/FolkT/LM/CW
The Thousand Year Beach TOBI Hirotaka
Matt Treyvaud (Tr)
SF - The Thousand Year Beach
The Privilege of Peace Tanya Huff SF/HSF - Peacekeeper 3
The Reign of the Departed Greg Keyes CF/F - The High and Faraway 1
Godsgrave (h2tp) Jay Kristoff F - The Nevernight Chronicle 2
Arabella and the Battle of Venus (h2tp) David D. Levine SF/SP - The Adventures of Arabella Ashby 2
The Twilight Herald Tom Lloyd F - The Twilight Reign 2
The Stormcaller: Collector's Tenth Anniversary Limited Edition Tom Lloyd F - The Twilight Reign 1
Black Mad Wheel (h2tp) Josh Malerman Fict
The Robots of Gotham (D) Todd McAulty SF
Stray Magic (e) Kelly Meding PNR - Strays 1
Outcasts of Order L. E. Modesitt, Jr. F - Saga of Recluce 20
Witchmark (D) C. L. Polk F/Gaslamp/RF
The Anomaly (D) Michael Rutger Sus/PsyTh/FairyT/FolkT/LM
Best of British Science Fiction 2017 Donna Scott (Ed) SF - Anthology
Jurassic, Florida (e) Hunter Shea H - Hunter Shea: One Size Eats All 1
Storm Glass Jeff Wheeler F - The Harbinger Series 1
Tell the Machine Goodnight Katie Williams CoA/FL/LF
Embracing The Demon Beth Woodward DF/SupTh/P/H - Dale Highland 2
Vampire's Faith Rebecca Zanetti PNR - Dark Protectors 8



June 20, 2018
TITLEAUTHORSERIES
Shattered Blades (e) Marie Brennan F - Born to the Blade Season 1, Episode 10



D - Debut
e - eBook
Ed - Editor
h2mm - Hardcover to Mass Market Paperback
h2tp - Hardcover to Trade Paperback
ri - reissue or reprint
tp2mm - Trade Paperback to Mass Market Paperback
Tr - Translator



AC - Alien Contact
AH - Alternate History
AP - Apocalyptic
CF - Contemporary Fantasy
CoA - Coming of Age
Cr - Crime
CulH - Cultural Heritage
CW - Contemporary Woman
CyP - Cyberpunk
DF - Dark Fantasy
Dys - Dystopian
F - Fantasy
FairyT - Fairy Tales
Fict - Fiction
FL - Family Life
FolkT - Folk Tales
FR - Fantasy Romance
GenEng - Genetic Engineering
GH - Ghost(s)
Gothic - Gothic
H - Horror
HC - History and Criticism
Hist - Historical
HistF - Historical Fantasy
HSF - Hard Science Fiction
HU - Humor
LC - Literary Criticism
LegalTh - Legal Thriller
LF - Literary Fiction
LM - Legend and Mythology
M - Mystery
Med - Medical
MR - Magical Realism
MTI - Media Tie-In
MU - Mash Up
NF - Near Future
Occ - Occult
P - Paranormal
PA - Post Apocalyptic
PI - Private Investigator
PM - Paranormal Mystery
PNR - Paranormal Romance
Pol - Political
PopCul - Popular Culture
Psy Th - Psychological Thriller
Rel - Religious
SF - Science Fiction
SFR - Science Fiction Romance
SH - Superheroes
SocSci - Social Science
SO - Space Opera
SP - Steampunk
Sup - Supernatural
SupTh - Supernatural Thriller
Sus - Suspense
Tech - Technological
TechTh - Technological Thriller
Th - Thriller
TT - Time Travel
TTR - Time Travel Romance
UF - Urban Fantasy
VisM - Visionary and Metaphysical
W - Western

Note: Not all genres and formats are found in the books, etc. listed above.

2018 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - June Debuts


2018 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - June Debuts


Each month you will be able to vote for your favorite cover from that month's debut novels. At the end of the year the 12 monthly winners will be pitted against each other to choose the 2018 Debut Novel Cover of the Year. Please note that a debut novel cover is eligible in the month in which the novel is published in the US. Cover artist/illustrator/designer information is provided when we have it.

I'm using PollCode for this vote. After you the check the circle next to your favorite, click "Vote" to record your vote. If you'd like to see the real-time results click "View". This will take you to the PollCode site where you may see the results. If you want to come back to The Qwillery click "Back" and you will return to this page. Voting will end sometime on June 30, 2018, unless the vote is extended. If the vote is extended the ending date will be posted.

Vote for your favorite June 2018 Debut Cover!
 
pollcode.com free polls




2018 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - June Debuts
Cover design by Brian Lemus
Cover image © Cultura Exclusive/Manuel Sulzer/Getty Images




2018 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - June Debuts
Jacket design © Leo Nickolls Design
Jacket photograph © All Canada Photos/Alamy Stock Photo




2018 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - June Debuts
Cover design by Adam Simpson




2018 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - June Debuts




2018 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - June Debuts
Cover design by Cameron Cornelius




2018 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - June Debuts
Cover art by Mingchen Shen




2018 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - June Debuts
Jacket design by Duncan Spilling LBBG
Jacket photograph © Larry Rostant




2018 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - June Debuts
Cover design by Micaela Alcaino




2018 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - June Debuts
Cover art by Micah Epstein




2018 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - June Debuts
Cover design by Gregg Kulick
Cover image by Antarworks




2018 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - June Debuts
Cover design by Mark Robinson




2018 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - June Debuts
Cover art by Tommy Arnold




2018 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - June Debuts
Cover art by Jan Weßbecher




2018 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - June Debuts




2018 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - June Debuts
Cover by Will Staehle

2018 Debut Author Challenge - June Debuts


2018 Debut Author Challenge - June Debuts


There are 15 debut novels for June.

Please note that we use the publisher's publication date in the United States, not copyright dates or non-US publication dates.

The June debut authors and their novels are listed in alphabetical order by author (not book title or publication date). Take a good look at the covers. Voting for your favorite June cover for the 2018 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars will take place starting on June 15, 2018.

If you are participating as a reader in the Challenge, please let us know in the comments what you are thinking of reading or email us at "DAC . TheQwillery @ gmail . com" (remove the spaces and quotation marks). Please note that we list all debuts for the month (of which we are aware), but not all of these authors will be 2018 Debut Author Challenge featured authors. However, any of these novels may be read by Challenge readers to meet the goal for June 2018. The list is correct as of the day posted.



K. D. Edwards

The Last Sun
Pyr, Jun 12, 2018
Trade Paperback and eBook, 384 pages

2018 Debut Author Challenge - June Debuts
In this debut novel and series starter, the last member of a murdered House searches for a missing nobleman, and uncovers clues about his own tortured past.

Rune Saint John, last child of the fallen Sun Court, is hired to search for Lady Judgment's missing son, Addam, on New Atlantis, the island city where the Atlanteans moved after ordinary humans destroyed their original home.

With his companion and bodyguard, Brand, he questions Addam's relatives and business contacts through the highest ranks of the nobles of New Atlantis. But as they investigate, they uncover more than a missing man: a legendary creature connected to the secret of the massacre of Rune's Court. In looking for Addam, can Rune find the truth behind his family's death and the torments of his past?




Jeremy Finley

The Darkest Time of Night
St. Martin's Press, June 26, 2018
Hardcover and eBook, 336 pages

2018 Debut Author Challenge - June Debuts
Investigative journalist for WSMV-TV in Nashville, Jeremy Finley's debut thriller explores what happens to people’s lives when our world intersects with the unexplainable.

"The lights took him."

When the seven-year-old grandson of U.S. Senator vanishes in the woods behind his home, the only witness is his older brother who whispers, “The lights took him,” and then never speaks again.

As the FBI and National Guard launch a massive search, the boys' grandmother Lynn Roseworth fears only she knows the truth. But coming forward would ruin her family and her husband’s political career.

In the late 1960s, before she became the quiet wife of a politician, Lynn was a secretary in the astronomy department at the University of Illinois. It was there where she began taking mysterious messages for one of the professors; messages from people desperate to find their missing loved ones who vanished into beams of light.

Determined to find her beloved grandson and expose the truth, she must return to the work she once abandoned to unravel the existence of a place long forgotten by the world. It is there, buried deep beneath the bitter snow and the absent memories of its inhabitants, where her grandson may finally be found.

But there are forces that wish to silence her. And Lynn will find how far they will go to stop her, and how the truth about her own forgotten childhood could reveal the greatest mystery of all time.

The Darkest Time of Night is a fast-paced debut full of suspense and government cover-ups, perfect for thriller and supernatural fans alike.

June 2018 SIBA Okra Selection




R.S. Ford

A Demon in Silver
War of the Archons 1
Titan Books, June 12, 2018
Trade Paperback and eBook, 400 pages

2018 Debut Author Challenge - June Debuts
In a world where magic has disappeared, rival nations vie for power in a continent devastated by war.

When a young farm girl, Livia, demonstrates magical powers for the first time in a century there are many across the land that will kill to obtain her power. The Duke of Gothelm’s tallymen, the blood-soaked Qeltine Brotherhood, and cynical mercenary Josten Cade: all are searching for Livia and the power she wields.

But Livia finds that guardians can come from the most unlikely places… and that the old gods are returning to a world they abandoned.




Jonathan French

The Grey Bastards
The Lost Lands 1
Crown, June 19, 2018
Hardcover and eBook, 432 pages

2018 Debut Author Challenge - June Debuts
Live in the saddle.
Die on the hog.

Call them outcasts, call them savages—they’ve been called worse, by their own mothers—but Jackal is proud to be a Grey Bastard.

He and his fellow half-orcs patrol the barren wastes of the Lot Lands, spilling their own damned blood to keep civilized folk safe. A rabble of hard-talking, hog-riding, whore-mongering brawlers they may be, but the Bastards are Jackal’s sworn brothers, fighting at his side in a land where there’s no room for softness.

And once Jackal’s in charge—as soon as he can unseat the Bastards’ tyrannical, seemingly unkillable founder—there’s a few things they’ll do different. Better.

Or at least, that’s the plan. Until the fallout from a deadly showdown makes Jackal start investigating the Lot Lands for himself. Soon, he’s wondering if his feelings have blinded him to ugly truths about this world, and the Bastards’ place in it.

In a quest for answers that takes him from decaying dungeons to the frontlines of an ancient feud, Jackal finds himself battling invading orcs, rampaging centaurs, and grubby human conspiracies alike—along with a host of dark magics so terrifying they’d give even the heartiest Bastard pause.

Finally, Jackal must ride to confront a threat that’s lain in wait for generations, even as he wonders whether the Bastards can—or should–survive.

Delivered with a generous wink to Sons of Anarchy, featuring sneaky-smart worldbuilding and gobs of fearsomely foul-mouthed charm, The Grey Bastards is a grimy, pulpy, masterpiece—and a raunchy, swaggering, cunningly clever adventure that’s like nothing you’ve read before.




Caleb Johnson

Treeborne
Picador, June 5, 2018
Hardcover and eBook, 320 pages

2018 Debut Author Challenge - June Debuts
"I can’t remember the last time I read a book I wish so much I’d written. Treeborne is beautiful, and mythic in ways I would never have been able to imagine...I can’t say enough about this book."—Daniel Wallace, national bestselling author of Extraordinary Adventures and Big Fish: A Novel of Mythic Proportions

One of Southern Living's Best New Books Coming Out Summer 2018

Janie Treeborne lives on an orchard at the edge of Elberta, Alabama, and in time, she has become its keeper. A place where conquistadors once walked, and where the peaches they left behind now grow, Elberta has seen fierce battles, violent storms, and frantic change—and when the town is once again threatened from without, Janie realizes it won’t withstand much more. So she tells the story of its people: of Hugh, her granddaddy, determined to preserve Elberta’s legacy at any cost; of his wife, Maybelle, the postmaster, whose sudden death throws the town into chaos; of her lover, Lee Malone, a black orchardist harvesting from a land where he is less than welcome; of the time when Janie kidnapped her own Hollywood-obsessed aunt and tore the wrong people apart.

As the world closes in on Elberta, Caleb Johnson’s debut novel lifts the veil and offers one last glimpse. Treeborne is a celebration and a reminder: of how the past gets mixed up in thoughts of the future; of how home is a story as much as a place.




Cameron Johnston

The Traitor God
Angry Robot, June 5, 2018
Trade Paperback and eBook, 432 pages

2018 Debut Author Challenge - June Debuts
A city threatened by unimaginable horrors must trust their most hated outcast, or lose everything, in this crushing epic fantasy debut.

After ten years on the run, dodging daemons and debt, reviled magician Edrin Walker returns home to avenge the brutal murder of his friend. Lynas had uncovered a terrible secret, something that threatened to devour the entire city. He tried to warn the Arcanum, the sorcerers who rule the city. He failed.

Lynas was skinned alive and Walker felt every cut. Now nothing will stop him from finding the murderer. Magi, mortals, daemons, and even the gods – Walker will burn them all if he has to.

After all, it wouldn’t be the first time he’s killed a god…

File Under: Fantasy [ Look Who’s Back | Blood Sorcery | Tyrants & Titans | Mind Mates ]




Jane Rosenberg LaForge

The Hawkman: A Fairy Tale of the Great War
Amberjack Publishing, June 5, 2018
Trade Paperback and eBook 320 pages

2018 Debut Author Challenge - June Debuts
A great war, a great love, and the mythology that unites them; The Hawkman: A Fairy Tale of the Great War is a lyrical adaptation of a beloved classic.

Set against the shattering events of the late 19th and early 20th centuries, at the tale’s heart are an American schoolteacher—dynamic and imaginative—and an Irish musician, homeless and hated—who have survived bloodshed, poverty, and sickness to be thrown together in an English village. Together they quietly hide from the world in a small cottage.

Too soon, reality shatters their serenity, and they must face the parochial community. Unbeknownst to all, a legend is in the making—one that will speak of courage and resilience amidst the forces that brought the couple together even as outside forces threaten to tear them apart.




Todd McAulty

The Robots of Gotham
John Joseph Adams/Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, June 19, 2018
Hardcover and eBook, 688 pages

2018 Debut Author Challenge - June Debuts
“J.D. Barker is a one-of-a-kind writer and that’s a rare and special thing. Stephen King comes to mind and Lee Child, John Sanford.  All one-of-a-kinds.  Don’t miss anything J.D. writes.”  James Patterson

A thrilling adventure in a world one step away from total subjugation by machines

After long years of war, the United States has sued for peace, yielding to a brutal coalition of nations ruled by fascist machines. One quarter of the country is under foreign occupation. Manhattan has been annexed by a weird robot monarchy, and in Tennessee, a permanent peace is being delicately negotiated between the battered remnants of the U.S. government and an envoy of implacable machines.

Canadian businessman Barry Simcoe arrives in occupied Chicago days before his hotel is attacked by a rogue war machine. In the aftermath, he meets a dedicated Russian medic with the occupying army, and 19 Black Winter, a badly damaged robot. Together they stumble on a machine conspiracy to unleash a horrific plague—and learn that the fabled American resistance is not as extinct as everyone believes. Simcoe races against time to prevent the extermination of all life on the continent . . . and uncover a secret that America’s machine conquerors are desperate to keep hidden.




C. L. Polk

Witchmark
Tor.com, June 19, 2018
Trade Paperback and eBook, 320 pages

2018 Debut Author Challenge - June Debuts
C. L. Polk arrives on the scene with Witchmark, a stunning, addictive fantasy that combines intrigue, magic, betrayal, and romance.

One of Publishers Weekly's Most Anticipated Books of Spring 2018!

In an original world reminiscent of Edwardian England in the shadow of a World War, cabals of noble families use their unique magical gifts to control the fates of nations, while one young man seeks only to live a life of his own.

Magic marked Miles Singer for suffering the day he was born, doomed either to be enslaved to his family's interest or to be committed to a witches' asylum. He went to war to escape his destiny and came home a different man, but he couldn’t leave his past behind. The war between Aeland and Laneer leaves men changed, strangers to their friends and family, but even after faking his own death and reinventing himself as a doctor at a cash-strapped veterans' hospital, Miles can’t hide what he truly is.

When a fatally poisoned patient exposes Miles’ healing gift and his witchmark, he must put his anonymity and freedom at risk to investigate his patient’s murder. To find the truth he’ll need to rely on the family he despises, and on the kindness of the most gorgeous man he’s ever seen.




Rebecca Roanhorse

Trail of Lightning
Sixth World 1
Saga Press, June 26, 2018
Trade Paperback and eBook, 304 pages

2018 Debut Author Challenge - June Debuts
“An excitingly novel tale.” —Charlaine Harris, #1 New York Times bestselling author of the Sookie Stackhouse series and Midnight Crossroads series

“Fun, terrifying, hilarious, and brilliant.” —Daniel José Older, New York Times bestselling author of Shadowshaper and Star Wars: Last Shot

“[C]rafts a powerful and fiercely personal journey through a compelling postapocalyptic landscape.” —Kate Elliott, New York Times bestselling author of Court of Fives and Black Wolves

While most of the world has drowned beneath the sudden rising waters of a climate apocalypse, Dinétah (formerly the Navajo reservation) has been reborn. The gods and heroes of legend walk the land, but so do monsters.

Maggie Hoskie is a Dinétah monster hunter, a supernaturally gifted killer. When a small town needs help finding a missing girl, Maggie is their last best hope. But what Maggie uncovers about the monster is much more terrifying than anything she could imagine.

Maggie reluctantly enlists the aid of Kai Arviso, an unconventional medicine man, and together they travel the rez, unraveling clues from ancient legends, trading favors with tricksters, and battling dark witchcraft in a patchwork world of deteriorating technology.

As Maggie discovers the truth behind the killings, she will have to confront her past if she wants to survive.

Welcome to the Sixth World.




Jordy Rosenberg

Confessions of the Fox
One World, June 26, 2018
Hardcover and eBook, 352 pages

2018 Debut Author Challenge - June Debuts
A love story set in the eighteenth-century London of notorious thieves and queer subcultures, this genre-bending debut tells a profound story of gender, desire, and liberation.

Jack Sheppard and Edgeworth Bess were the most notorious thieves, jailbreakers, and lovers of eighteenth-century London. Yet no one knows the true story; their confessions have never been found.

Until now. Reeling from heartbreak, a scholar named Dr. Voth discovers a long-lost manuscript—a gender-defying exposé of Jack and Bess’s adventures. Dated 1724, the book depicts a London underworld where scamps and rogues clash with the city’s newly established police force, queer subcultures thrive, and ominous threats of the Plague abound. Jack—a transgender carpenter’s apprentice—has fled his master’s house to become a legendary prison-break artist, and Bess has escaped the draining of the fenlands to become a revolutionary.

Is Confessions of the Fox an authentic autobiography or a hoax? Dr. Voth obsessively annotates the manuscript, desperate to find the answer. As he is drawn deeper into Jack and Bess’s tale of underworld resistance and gender transformation, it becomes clear that their fates are intertwined—and only a miracle will save them all.

Confessions of the Fox
is, at once, a work of speculative historical fiction, a soaring love story, a puzzling mystery, an electrifying tale of adventure and suspense, and an unabashed celebration of sex and sexuality. Writing with the narrative mastery of Sarah Waters and the playful imagination of Nabokov, Jordy Rosenberg is an audacious storyteller of extraordinary talent.




Amber Royer

Free Chocolate
Angry Robot, June 5, 2018
Trade Paperback and eBook, 448 pages

2018 Debut Author Challenge - June Debuts
In the far future, chocolate is Earth’s sole unique product – and it’s one that everyone else in the galaxy would kill to get their hands, paws, and tentacles on

Latina culinary arts student, Bo Benitez, becomes a fugitive when she’s caught stealing a cacao pod from the heavily-defended plantations that keep chocolate, Earth’s sole valuable export, safe from a hungry galaxy. Forces arraying against her including her alien boyfriend and a reptilian cop. But when she escapes onto an unmarked starship things go from bad to worse: it belongs to the race famed throughout the galaxy for eating stowaways. Surrounded by dangerous yet hunky aliens, Bo starts to uncover clues that the threat to Earth may be bigger than she first thought.

File Under: Science Fiction [ Heiress Apparent | Sticky Fingers | Pod People | The Milky Way ]




Michael Rutger

The Anomaly
Grand Central Publishing, June 19, 2018
Hardcover and eBook, 352 pages

2018 Debut Author Challenge - June Debuts
Not all secrets are meant to be found.

If Indiana Jones lived in the X-Files era, he might bear at least a passing resemblance to Nolan Moore — a rogue archaeologist hosting a documentary series derisively dismissed by the “real” experts, but beloved of conspiracy theorists.

Nolan sets out to retrace the steps of an explorer from 1909 who claimed to have discovered a mysterious cavern high up in the ancient rock of the Grand Canyon. And, for once, he may have actually found what he seeks. Then the trip takes a nasty turn, and the cave begins turning against them in mysterious ways.

Nolan’s story becomes one of survival against seemingly impossible odds. The only way out is to answer a series of intriguing questions: What is this strange cave? How has it remained hidden for so long? And what secret does it conceal that made its last visitors attempt to seal it forever?




Peng Shepherd

The Book of M
William Morrow, June 5, 2018
Hardcover and eBook, 496 pages

2018 Debut Author Challenge - June Debuts
"Eerie, dark, and compelling, [The Book of M] will not disappoint lovers of The Passage (2010) and Station Eleven (2014)." --Booklist

WHAT WOULD YOU GIVE UP TO REMEMBER?

Set in a dangerous near future world, The Book of M tells the captivating story of a group of ordinary people caught in an extraordinary catastrophe who risk everything to save the ones they love. It is a sweeping debut that illuminates the power that memories have not only on the heart, but on the world itself.

One afternoon at an outdoor market in India, a man’s shadow disappears—an occurrence science cannot explain. He is only the first. The phenomenon spreads like a plague, and while those afflicted gain a strange new power, it comes at a horrible price: the loss of all their memories.

Ory and his wife Max have escaped the Forgetting so far by hiding in an abandoned hotel deep in the woods. Their new life feels almost normal, until one day Max’s shadow disappears too.

Knowing that the more she forgets, the more dangerous she will become to Ory, Max runs away. But Ory refuses to give up the time they have left together. Desperate to find Max before her memory disappears completely, he follows her trail across a perilous, unrecognizable world, braving the threat of roaming bandits, the call to a new war being waged on the ruins of the capital, and the rise of a sinister cult that worships the shadowless.

As they journey, each searches for answers: for Ory, about love, about survival, about hope; and for Max, about a new force growing in the south that may hold the cure.

Like The Passage and Station Eleven, this haunting, thought-provoking, and beautiful novel explores fundamental questions of memory, connection, and what it means to be human in a world turned upside down.




Raymond A. Villareal

A People's History of the Vampire Uprising
Mulholland Books, June 5, 2018
Hardcover and eBook, 432 pages

2018 Debut Author Challenge - June Debuts
In this ambitious and wildly original debut–part social-political satire, part international mystery–a new virus turns people into something a bit more than human, upending society as we know it.

This panoramic fictional oral history begins with one small mystery: the body of a young woman found in an Arizona border town, presumed to be an illegal immigrant, disappears from the town morgue. To the young CDC investigator called in to consult with the local police, it’s an impossibility that threatens her understanding of medicine.

Then, more bodies, dead from an inexplicable disease that solidified their blood, are brought to the morgue, only to also vanish. Soon, the U.S. government–and eventually biomedical researchers, disgruntled lawmakers, and even an insurgent faction of the Catholic Church–must come to terms with what they’re too late to stop: an epidemic of vampirism that will sweep first the United States, and then the world.

With heightened strength and beauty and a stead diet of fresh blood, these changed people, or “Gloamings,” rapidly rise to prominence in all aspects of modern society. Soon people are beginning to be “re-created,” willingly accepting the risk of death if their bodies can’t handle the transformation. As new communities of Gloamings arise, society is divided, and popular Gloaming sites come under threat from a secret terrorist organization. But when a charismatic and wealthy businessman, recently turned, runs for political office–well, all hell breaks loose.

Told from the perspective of key players, including a cynical FBI agent, an audacious campaign manager, and a war veteran turned nurse turned secret operative, A People’s History of the Vampire Uprising is an exhilarating, genre-bending debut that is as addictive as the power it describes.

The 2018 Debuts I Am Most Looking Forward To - Part 3


The 8th year of the The Qwillery's Debut Author Challenge began on January 1, 2018. Here are the 10 debuts being published in May and June that I am most looking forward to.


K. D. Edwards

The Last Sun
The Tarot Sequence 1
Pyr, June 12, 2018
Trade Paperback and eBook, 384 pages

The 2018 Debuts I Am Most Looking Forward To - Part 3
In this debut novel and series starter, the last member of a murdered House searches for a missing nobleman, and uncovers clues about his own tortured past.

Rune Saint John, last child of the fallen Sun Court, is hired to search for Lady Judgment's missing son, Addam, on New Atlantis, the island city where the Atlanteans moved after ordinary humans destroyed their original home.

With his companion and bodyguard, Brand, he questions Addam's relatives and business contacts through the highest ranks of the nobles of New Atlantis. But as they investigate, they uncover more than a missing man: a legendary creature connected to the secret of the massacre of Rune's Court. In looking for Addam, can Rune find the truth behind his family's death and the torments of his past?





Jonathan French

The Grey Bastards
The Lot Lands 1
Crown, June 19, 2018
Hardcover and eBook, 432 pages

The 2018 Debuts I Am Most Looking Forward To - Part 3
Live in the saddle.
Die on the hog.

Call them outcasts, call them savages—they’ve been called worse, by their own mothers—but Jackal is proud to be a Grey Bastard.

He and his fellow half-orcs patrol the barren wastes of the Lot Lands, spilling their own damned blood to keep civilized folk safe. A rabble of hard-talking, hog-riding, whore-mongering brawlers they may be, but the Bastards are Jackal’s sworn brothers, fighting at his side in a land where there’s no room for softness.

And once Jackal’s in charge—as soon as he can unseat the Bastards’ tyrannical, seemingly unkillable founder—there’s a few things they’ll do different. Better.

Or at least, that’s the plan. Until the fallout from a deadly showdown makes Jackal start investigating the Lot Lands for himself. Soon, he’s wondering if his feelings have blinded him to ugly truths about this world, and the Bastards’ place in it.

In a quest for answers that takes him from decaying dungeons to the frontlines of an ancient feud, Jackal finds himself battling invading orcs, rampaging centaurs, and grubby human conspiracies alike—along with a host of dark magics so terrifying they’d give even the heartiest Bastard pause.

Finally, Jackal must ride to confront a threat that’s lain in wait for generations, even as he wonders whether the Bastards can—or should–survive.

Delivered with a generous wink to Sons of Anarchy, featuring sneaky-smart worldbuilding and gobs of fearsomely foul-mouthed charm, The Grey Bastards is a grimy, pulpy, masterpiece—and a raunchy, swaggering, cunningly clever adventure that’s like nothing you’ve read before.





Cameron Johnston

The Traitor God
Angry Robot, June 5, 2018
Trade Paperback and eBook, 400 pages

The 2018 Debuts I Am Most Looking Forward To - Part 3
A city threatened by unimaginable horrors must trust their most hated outcast, or lose everything, in this crushing epic fantasy debut.

After ten years on the run, dodging daemons and debt, reviled magician Edrin Walker returns home to avenge the brutal murder of his friend. Lynas had uncovered a terrible secret, something that threatened to devour the entire city. He tried to warn the Arcanum, the sorcerers who rule the city. He failed. Lynas was skinned alive and Walker felt every cut. Now nothing will stop him from finding the murderer. Magi, mortals, daemons, and even the gods – Walker will burn them all if he has to. After all, it wouldn’t be the first time he’s killed a god…

File Under: Fantasy [ Look Who’s Back | Blood Sorcery | Tyrants & Titans | Mind Mates ]





R. F. Kuang

The Poppy War
Harper Voyager, May 1, 2018
Hardcover and eBook, 544 pages

The 2018 Debuts I Am Most Looking Forward To - Part 3
A brilliantly imaginative talent makes her exciting debut with this epic historical military fantasy, inspired by the bloody history of China’s twentieth century and filled with treachery and magic, in the tradition of Ken Liu’s Grace of Kings and N.K. Jemisin’s Inheritance Trilogy.

When Rin aced the Keju—the Empire-wide test to find the most talented youth to learn at the Academies—it was a shock to everyone: to the test officials, who couldn’t believe a war orphan from Rooster Province could pass without cheating; to Rin’s guardians, who believed they’d finally be able to marry her off and further their criminal enterprise; and to Rin herself, who realized she was finally free of the servitude and despair that had made up her daily existence. That she got into Sinegard—the most elite military school in Nikan—was even more surprising.

But surprises aren’t always good.

Because being a dark-skinned peasant girl from the south is not an easy thing at Sinegard. Targeted from the outset by rival classmates for her color, poverty, and gender, Rin discovers she possesses a lethal, unearthly power—an aptitude for the nearly-mythical art of shamanism. Exploring the depths of her gift with the help of a seemingly insane teacher and psychoactive substances, Rin learns that gods long thought dead are very much alive—and that mastering control over those powers could mean more than just surviving school.

For while the Nikara Empire is at peace, the Federation of Mugen still lurks across a narrow sea. The militarily advanced Federation occupied Nikan for decades after the First Poppy War, and only barely lost the continent in the Second. And while most of the people are complacent to go about their lives, a few are aware that a Third Poppy War is just a spark away . .
.
Rin’s shamanic powers may be the only way to save her people. But as she finds out more about the god that has chosen her, the vengeful Phoenix, she fears that winning the war may cost her humanity . . . and that it may already be too late.





Harriet Alida Lye

The Honey Farm
Liveright, May 29, 2018
Hardcover snd eBook, 336 pages

The 2018 Debuts I Am Most Looking Forward To - Part 3
Lily King meets Patricia Highsmith in this slyly seductive debut set on an eerily beautiful farm teeming with secrets.

The drought has discontented the bees. Soil dries into sand; honeycomb stiffens into wax. But Cynthia knows how to breathe life back into her farm: offer it as an artists’ colony with free room, board, and “life experience” in exchange for backbreaking labor. Silvia, a wide-eyed graduate and would-be poet, and Ibrahim, a painter distracted by constant inspiration, are drawn to Cynthia’s offer, and soon, to each other.

But something lies beneath the surface. The Edenic farm is plagued by events that strike Silvia as ominous: taps run red, scalps itch with lice, frogs swarm the pond. One by one, the other residents leave. As summer tenses into autumn, Cynthia’s shadowed past is revealed and Silvia becomes increasingly paralyzed by doubt. Building to a shocking conclusion, The Honey Farm announces the arrival of a bold new voice and offers a thrilling portrait of creation and possession in the natural world.





Todd McAulty

The Robots of Gotham
John Joseph Adams/Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, June 19, 2018
Hardcover and eBook, 688 pages

The 2018 Debuts I Am Most Looking Forward To - Part 3
A thrilling adventure in a world one step away from total subjugation by machines

After long years of war, the United States has sued for peace, yielding to a brutal coalition of nations ruled by fascist machines. One quarter of the country is under foreign occupation. Manhattan has been annexed by a weird robot monarchy, and in Tennessee, a permanent peace is being delicately negotiated between the battered remnants of the U.S. government and an envoy of implacable machines.

Canadian businessman Barry Simcoe arrives in occupied Chicago days before his hotel is attacked by a rogue war machine. In the aftermath, he meets a dedicated Russian medic with the occupying army, and 19 Black Winter, a badly damaged robot. Together they stumble on a machine conspiracy to unleash a horrific plague—and learn that the fabled American resistance is not as extinct as everyone believes. Simcoe races against time to prevent the extermination of all life on the continent . . . and uncover a secret that America’s machine conquerors are desperate to keep hidden.





C. L. Polk

Witchmark
Tor.com, June 19, 2018
Trade Paperback and eBook, 320 pages

The 2018 Debuts I Am Most Looking Forward To - Part 3
C. L. Polk arrives on the scene with Witchmark, a stunning, addictive fantasy that combines intrigue, magic, betrayal, and romance.

One of Publishers Weekly's Most Anticipated Books of Spring 2018!

In an original world reminiscent of Edwardian England in the shadow of a World War, cabals of noble families use their unique magical gifts to control the fates of nations, while one young man seeks only to live a life of his own.

Magic marked Miles Singer for suffering the day he was born, doomed either to be enslaved to his family's interest or to be committed to a witches' asylum. He went to war to escape his destiny and came home a different man, but he couldn’t leave his past behind. The war between Aeland and Laneer leaves men changed, strangers to their friends and family, but even after faking his own death and reinventing himself as a doctor at a cash-strapped veterans' hospital, Miles can’t hide what he truly is.

When a fatally poisoned patient exposes Miles’ healing gift and his witchmark, he must put his anonymity and freedom at risk to investigate his patient’s murder. To find the truth he’ll need to rely on the family he despises, and on the kindness of the most gorgeous man he’s ever seen.





Rebecca Roanhorse

Trail of Lightning
The Sixth World 1
Saga Press, June 26, 2018
Hardcover, Trade Paperback, and eBook, 304 pages

The 2018 Debuts I Am Most Looking Forward To - Part 3
While most of the world has drowned beneath the sudden rising waters of a climate apocalypse, Dinétah (formerly the Navajo reservation) has been reborn. The gods and heroes of legend walk the land, but so do monsters.

Maggie Hoskie is a Dinétah monster hunter, a supernaturally gifted killer. When a small town needs help finding a missing girl, Maggie is their last—and best—hope. But what Maggie uncovers about the monster is much larger and more terrifying than anything she could imagine.

Maggie reluctantly enlists the aid of Kai Arviso, an unconventional medicine man, and together they travel to the rez to unravel clues from ancient legends, trade favors with tricksters, and battle dark witchcraft in a patchwork world of deteriorating technology.

As Maggie discovers the truth behind the disappearances, she will have to confront her past—if she wants to survive.

Welcome to the Sixth World.





Amber Royer

Free Chocolate
Angry Robot, June 5, 2018
Trade Paperback and eBook

The 2018 Debuts I Am Most Looking Forward To - Part 3
In the far future, chocolate is Earth’s only unique commodity one that everyone else in the galaxy is willing to kill to get their hands, paws and tentacles on

Latina culinary arts student, Bo Benitez, becomes a fugitive when she’s caught stealing a cacao pod from one of the heavily-defended plantations that keep chocolate, Earth’s sole valuable export, safe from a hungry galaxy.

Forces array against her including her alien boyfriend and a reptilian cop. But when she escapes onto an unmarked starship things go from bad to worse: it belongs to the race famed throughout the galaxy for eating stowaways! Surrounded by dangerous yet hunky aliens, Bo starts to uncover clues that the threat to Earth may be bigger than she first thought.

File Under: Science Fiction [ Sticky Fingers | Chef Celebrity | Pod People | The Milky Way ]





Peng Shepherd

The Book of M
William Morrow, June 5, 2018
Hardcover and eBook, 496 pages

The 2018 Debuts I Am Most Looking Forward To - Part 3
Set in a dangerous near future world, The Book of M tells the captivating story of a group of ordinary people caught in an extraordinary catastrophe who risk everything to save the ones they love. It is a sweeping debut that illuminates the power that memories have not only on the heart, but on the world itself.

One afternoon at an outdoor market in India, a man’s shadow disappears—an occurrence science cannot explain. He is only the first. The phenomenon spreads like a plague, and while those afflicted gain a strange new power, it comes at a horrible price: the loss of all their memories.

Ory and his wife Max have escaped the Forgetting so far by hiding in an abandoned hotel deep in the woods. Their new life feels almost normal, until one day Max’s shadow disappears too.

Knowing that the more she forgets, the more dangerous she will become to Ory, Max runs away. But Ory refuses to give up the time they have left together. Desperate to find Max before her memory disappears completely, he follows her trail across a perilous, unrecognizable world, braving the threat of roaming bandits, the call to a new war being waged on the ruins of the capital, and the rise of a sinister cult that worships the shadowless.

As they journey, each searches for answers: for Ory, about love, about survival, about hope; and for Max, about a new force growing in the south that may hold the cure.
Like The Passage and Station Eleven, this haunting, thought-provoking, and beautiful novel explores fundamental questions of memory, connection, and what it means to be human in a world turned upside down.

SPFBO 2016 - Our Top 3 Finalists


Here are our thoughts our top 3 Self-Published Fantasy Blog-Off 2016 finalists (excluding the novel that we chose as a finalist).


The Grey Bastards 
Author:  Jonathan French
Publisher: Self-Published, October 2015
Format:  Trade Paperback and eBook, 386 pages
ISBN:  9780988284555 (print); 9780988284562 (eBook)

SPFBO 2016 - Our Top 3 Finalists
LIVE IN THE SADDLE. DIE ON THE HOG.

Such is the creed of the half-orcs dwelling in the Lot Lands. Sworn to hardened brotherhoods known as hoofs, these former slaves patrol their unforgiving country astride massive swine bred for war. They are all that stand between the decadent heart of noble Hispartha and marauding bands of full-blood orcs.

Jackal rides with the Grey Bastards, one of eight hoofs that have survived the harsh embrace of the Lots. Young, cunning and ambitious, he schemes to unseat the increasingly tyrannical founder of the Bastards, a plague-ridden warlord called the Claymaster. Supporting Jackal’s dangerous bid for leadership are Oats, a hulking mongrel with more orc than human blood, and Fetching, the only female rider in all the hoofs.

When the troubling appearance of a foreign sorcerer comes upon the heels of a faceless betrayal, Jackal’s plans are thrown into turmoil. He finds himself saddled with a captive elf girl whose very presence begins to unravel his alliances. With the anarchic blood rite of the Betrayer Moon close at hand, Jackal must decide where his loyalties truly lie, and carve out his place in a world that rewards only the vicious.


Melanie's Review

If you take the orcs, the elves and the dwarves from Middle Earth, mix in some rampaging centaurs with a big helping of not very nice humans, quite a bit of swearing and a multi-layered plot then you have The Grey Bastards. Set in the bleak landscape of ‘the Lotlands’ The Grey Bastards, an elite group of half orc militia. protect their community from almost everyone else. The hero of this tale is not a tall dark and handsome knight on a white charger but rather, a greyish green half orc named Jackal who thunders onto the battle field on enormous multi-tusked hog. That doesn’t make him any less heroic. When Jackal discovers that elvin women are being held captive by a sludge monster, that the leader of Bastards might be involved and there are more and more incursions of full blooded orcs killing his friends and community then Jackal decides to take a stand….and one he might not survive.

I tentatively started The Grey Bastards as I wasn’t completely sure I would like it. I am not normally a fan of this type of fantasy so when I found myself staring at the cover I decided to give it a go. I loved it. This isn’t a book if you are sensitive to blood, guts and swearing so be warned but the plot is soo engaging. Despite Jackal’s penchant for prostitutes, overuse of certain misogynistic words used by some presidents and the fact he had tusks, he was very much the traditional hero – tall, handsome, fights the good fight and protects the innocent.

French has crafted an ambitious but intricate plot. I never knew what was going to happen next or whether Jackal would live to tell the tale. This is a sign of a good book in my view. I could very easily recommend this as one of the best books of SPFBO 2016 and potentially one of my favourite books of this year.





Paternus
Author:  Dyrk Ashton
Publisher: Self-Published, March 2016 (print); May 2016 (eBook)
Format:  Trade Paperback and eBook, 478 pages
ISBN:  9780997173703 (print)
ASIN: B01CXPD8T4 (eBook)

SPFBO 2016 - Our Top 3 Finalists
Gods, monsters, angels, devils. Call them what you like. They exist. The epic battles between titans, giants, and gods, heaven and hell, the forces of light and darkness. They happened. And the war isn't over.

17 year old Fi Patterson lives with her stuffy English uncle and has an internship at a local hospital for the aged. She doesn't know what she wants to do with her life, misses her dead mother, wonders about the father she never knew. One bright spot is caring for Peter, a dementia-ridden old man whose faraway smile can make her whole day. And there's her conflicted attraction to Zeke -- awkward, brilliant, talented -- who plays guitar for the old folks. Then a group of very strange and frightening men show up for a "visit"...

Fi and Zeke's worlds are shattered as their typical everyday concerns are suddenly replaced by the immediate need to stay alive -- and they try to come to grips with the unimaginable reality of the Firstborn.

"Keep an open mind. And forget everything you know..."


Tracey's Review

Paternus delves deeply into myth, folklore, and fairytales, and the result is a harrowing, edge of your seat adventure. Firstborn Kleron, also known as Lucifer, has plans to eradicate those of his kin whose allegiance lie with their Father, Pater. Kleron has assembled an army of mythological badasses that possess wicked powers of destruction and enjoy using them. Eighteen year old Fiona and her almost boyfriend Zeke become inextricably entangled in this bloodbath. While working at St. Augustine's hospital, she becomes attached to a patient suffering from severe dementia. As Kleron and his assassins begin to take out their adversaries, Zeke and Fiona are trapped in the middle of a violent assault with Fiona's elderly friend Peter, the intended target.

The idea of familiar (and some not so familiar) figures from mythology and folklore springing to life is very appealing. All the events are basically happening simultaneously and I was fascinated with the many different locations and subsequent deities associated with them. Each chapter gives enough backstory to familiarize the reader with figures that they might not recognize, or explains twists to very familiar legends, which I thoroughly enjoyed. Although there is a great deal of hopping from place to place, author Dyrk Ashton's skillfully keeps events clear, concise, and extremely exciting.

I did, however, find it hard to establish a connection to Fiona and Zeke. I realize Fiona is discovering enormous chunks of information about herself and doesn't stand much of a chance to shine because of the larger than life nature of her cohorts. I like Zeke a little better; in addition to his special ability, his wide knowledge of obscure legends makes him unique. Unfortunately, his humanness often left me feeling he was superfluous and inadequate. I found their characterizations to be mediocre but I suspect they will be given a chance to bloom in further installments.

This is definitely an action driven story, full of magic and arcane weapons, and at times is pretty violent. Although its many characters are introduced helter-skelter throughout the story, they each play an integral part, and I believe Ashton does a magnificent job weaving each piece together seamlessly. Also fascinating is Ashton's idea of traveling through different dimensions by "slipping" from one place to the next, and the well-explained laws that make it possible and extremely dangerous.

I am a fan of the mythology behind the many beings that populate the story and I loved learning the histories of their creation as well as the reason Kleron's faction have embarked on their bloody quest. Fast-paced, well-written, and enjoyable, Paternus is a distinctly different, adrenaline fueled fantasy that will keep readers flipping pages well into the wee hours.





Fionn: Defence of Ráth Bládhma
Author:  Brian O'Sullivan
Series:   The Fionn mac Cumhaill Series 1
Publisher: Self-Published, February 2014
Format:  Trade Paperback and eBook, 284 pages
ISBN: 9780992254575 (print); 9780994106261 (eBook)

SPFBO 2016 - Our Top 3 Finalists
The Fionn mac Cumhaill Series - Book 1: Defence of Ráth Bládhma:

Ireland: 192 A.D. A time of strife and treachery. Political ambition and inter-tribal conflict has set the country on edge, testing the strength of long-established alliances.

Following the massacre of their enemies at the battle of Cnucha, Clann Morna are hungry for power. Elsewhere, a mysterious war party roams the forests of the ‘Great Wild’ and a ruthless magician is intent on murder.

In the secluded valley of Glenn Ceoch, disgraced druid Bodhmhall and her lover, the woman warrior Liath Luachra, have successfully avoided the bloodshed for many years. Now, the arrival of a pregnant refugee threatens the peace they have created together. Run or fight, the odds are overwhelming.

And death stalks on every side.

Based on the ancient Fenian Cycle texts, the Fionn mac Cumhaill Series by Irish author Brian O’Sullivan is a gritty and authentic retelling of the birth and early adventures of Ireland’s greatest hero, Fionn mac Cumhaill. Tender, gripping, and utterly action-packed, this is Irish/Celtic fiction as you’ve never read it before.

Finalist for the 2016 SPFBO Competition.


Melanie's Review

When I started the first few pages of Fionn: Defence of Ráth Bládhma I did a bit of an inner groan. I was convinced I wasn't going to like it but was pleasantly surprised. Set in 193 AD Ireland druid Bodmall leads a clan of outcasts in a small rath (village) in a secluded valley of Glenn Ceo. I was certain that I wasn't going to enjoy either the setting or the story however, I really enjoyed it. The characters were well developed, the plot was gripping and the characters were both realistic and interesting. It was however, the prose that really made this book. It was so very well written. Hats off to Brian O'Sullivan for telling this myth in a truly evocative way.

The View From Monday ... On Tuesday - September 29, 2020The View From Monday - October 7, 2019The View From Monday - March 18, 2019Interview with Jonathan French, author of The Grey Bastards - And 2 ReviewsThe View From Monday - June 18, 20182018 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - June Debuts2018 Debut Author Challenge - June DebutsThe 2018 Debuts I Am Most Looking Forward To - Part 3SPFBO 2016 - Our Top 3 Finalists

Report "The Qwillery"

Are you sure you want to report this post for ?

Cancel
×