A nobleman’s daughter with magic in her blood. An empire built on the dreams of enslaved gods.
The Amrithi are outcasts; nomads descended of desert spirits, they are coveted and persecuted throughout the Empire for the power in their blood. Mehr is the illegitimate daughter of an imperial governor and an exiled Amrithi mother she can barely remember, but whose face and magic she has inherited. Unbeknownst to her, she can manipulate the dreams of the gods to alter the face of the world.
When Mehr’s power comes to the attention of the Emperor’s most feared mystics, she is coerced into their service, as they are determined to harness her magic for the glory of the Empire. She must use every ounce of will, subtlety, and power she possesses to resist the mystics’ cruel agenda — and should she fail, the gods themselves may awaken seeking vengeance...
Risingshadow has the honour of hosting an exclusive excerpt from The Arrival of Missives by Aliya Whiteley (published by Titan Books).
About Aliya Whiteley:
Aliya Whiteley was born in Devon in 1974, and currently lives in West Sussex, UK. She writes novels, short stories and non-fiction and has been published in places such as The Guardian, Interzone, McSweeney’s Internet Tendency, Black Static, Strange Horizons, and anthologies such as Unsung Stories’ 2084 and Lonely Planet’s Better than Fiction I and II. She has been shortlisted for a Shirley Jackson Award, British Fantasy and British Science Fiction awards, the John W Campbell Award, and a James Tiptree Jr award. Her stories are unpredictable; they can be terrifying, tender, ferocious and deeply funny. She also regularly reviews film, books and television for Den of Geek. She blogs at: aliyawhiteley.wordpress.com and she tweets most days as @AliyaWhiteley.
About The Arrival of Missives:
In the aftermath of the Great War, Shirley Fearn dreams of challenging the conventions of rural England, where life is as predictable as the changing of the seasons. The scarred veteran Mr. Tiller, left disfigured by an impossible accident on the battlefields of France, brings with him a message: part prophecy, part warning. Will it prevent her mastering her own destiny? As the village prepares for the annual May Day celebrations, where a new queen will be crowned and the future will be reborn again, Shirley must choose: change or renewal?
EXCLUSIVE EXCERPT FROM THE ARRIVAL OF MISSIVES BY ALIYA WHITELEY
Risingshadow has the honour of publishing a guest post by Linnea Hartsuyker.
About the author:
Linnea Hartsuyker is a graduate of NYU's Fiction MFA program and Cornell University's Engineering school, and has been researching the rise and reign of Harald Fairhair since she first discovered she was descended from him at the age of seventeen, when her family traced its ancestry back through 1200 years of Swedish and Norwegian church records. Since then she has read extensively of Icelandic sagas, kayaked and skied the fjordland settings for this novel, and even become proficient in lifting Husafjell stones, as the Vikings did to become stronger.
Linnea Hartsuyker is the author of The Half-Drowned King and The Sea Queen.
Click here to visit her official website.
About The Half-Drowned King:
Since the death of Ragnvald Eysteinsson's father in battle, he has worked hard to protect his sister Svanhild and planned to inherit his family's land when he comes of age. But when the captain of his ship tries to kill him on the way home from a raiding excursion, he must confront his stepfather's betrayal, and find a way to protect his birthright. It is no easy feat in Viking-Age Norway, where a hundred petty rulers kill over parcels of land, and a prophesied high king is rising.
But where Ragnvald is expected to bleed, and even die, for his honour, Svanhild is simply expected to marry well. It's not a fate she relishes, and when the chance to leave her stepfather's cruelty comes at the hand of her brother's arch-rival, Svanhild is forced to make the ultimate choice: family or freedom.
Drawing from the Icelandic Sagas, The Half-Drowned King takes inspiration from the true story of Ragnvald of Maer, the right hand man of King Harald Fairhair, first king of all Norway, and his sister, Svanhild, as she tries to find freedom in a society where the higher her brother rises, the greater her worth as a political pawn.
About The Sea Queen:
The epic Viking saga begun in The Half-Drowned King continues with this exhilarating tale filled with the excitement, romantic adventure, political intrigue, violence, and rich history that have made Game of Thrones, Outlander, and Neil Gaiman’s Norse Mythology popular bestsellers.
Six years after The Half-Drowned King, Ragnvald Eysteinsson is now king of Sogn, but fighting battles for King Harald keeps him away from home, as he confronts treachery and navigates a political landscape that grows more dangerous the higher he rises.
Ragnvald’s sister Svanhild has found the freedom and adventure she craves at the side of the rebel explorer Solvi Hunthiofsson, though not without a cost. She longs for a home where her quiet son can grow strong, and a place where she can put down roots, even as Solvi’s ambition draws him back to Norway’s battles again and keeps her divided from her brother.
As a growing rebellion unites King Harald’s enemies, Ragnvald suspects that some Norse nobles are not loyal to Harald’s dream of a unified Norway. He sets a plan in motion to defeat all of his enemies, and bring his sister back to his side, while Svanhild finds herself with no easy decisions, and no choices that will leave her truly free. Their actions will hold irrevocable repercussions for the fates of those they love and for Norway itself.
The Sea Queen returns to the fjords and halls of Viking-Age Scandinavia, a world of violence and prophecy, where honor is challenged by shifting alliances, and vengeance is always a threat to peace.
GUEST POST: Gods as Characters in Fantasy Novels by Linnea Hartsuyker
Michael W. Garza's NeverHaven was published by NeverHaven Press in October 2018.
Information about Michael W. Garza:
Michael W. Garza often finds himself wondering where his inspiration will come from next and in what form his imagination will bring it to life. The outcomes regularly surprise him and it's always his ambition to amaze those curious enough to follow him and take in those results. He encourages readers to peek at his latest work as well as the material he's published in the past. He sincerely hopes that everyone will find something that astonishes, surprises, or simply scares the heck out of you.
Click here to visit his official website.
Information about Neverhaven:
The bond between twins can bend but never break.
Elizabeth is crazy, at least that’s what everyone believes. She sees things, terrible things no one wants to hear about. Her twin sister, Jessica, used to see things too, but she convinced herself long ago it was all in her head. The sixteen-year-old was left to drift through the chaos alone, abandoned by her other half. But now the darkness has come calling.
Vision of the Elder
This YA Paranormal Series follows the trail of those children forced to bear witness to the sacred rites of the Cult of the Elder. Their eyes are opened to the darkness beyond the void, and their lives are forever changed.
REVIEW: NEVERHAVEN BY MICHAEL W. GARZA
Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Anna Waterhouse's Mycroft and Sherlock was published by Titan Books in October 2018.
Information about the authors:
Kareem Abdul-Jabbar is a huge Holmesian - 7‘2”, NBA’s all-time leading scorer, six-time MVP, Basketball Hall of Fame inductee, and recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom as well as a New York Times bestselling author, and a regular contributor to the Guardian and the Hollywood Reporter. He has written fifteen books, including children’s stories, three autobiographies, several historical works, and essays. His recent titles are Becoming Kareem (2017) and Coach Wooden and Me: Our 50-Year Friendship On and Off the Court (2016). His first novel, Mycroft Holmes starring Sherlock Holmes’s less well known but more talented older brother, was published in 2015 (Titan Books).
Click here to visit his official website.
Anna Waterhouse is a professional screenwriter and script consultant. She was supervising producer and co-writer (with Kareem Abdul-Jabbar) of the critically acclaimed On the Shoulders of Giants (Netflix and Showtime), which won Best Documentary NAACP Image Award and two Telly awards. She has written several how-to screenwriting seminars for Writer’s Digest and has taught screenwriting at both Chapman University in Orange, CA, and at the University of Southern California.
Information about Mycroft and Sherlock:
It is 1872, and a series of gruesome murders is the talk of London. Mycroft Holmes - now twenty-six and a force to be reckoned with at the War Office - has no interest in the killings; however his brother Sherlock has developed a distasteful fascination for the macabre to the detriment of his studies, much to Mycroft’s frustration.
When a ship carrying cargo belonging to Mycroft’s best friend Cyrus Douglas runs aground, Mycroft persuades Sherlock to serve as a tutor at the orphanage that Douglas runs as a charity, so that Douglas might travel to see what can be salvaged. Sherlock finds himself at home among the street urchins, and when a boy dies of a suspected drug overdose, he decides to investigate, following a trail of strange subterranean symbols to the squalid opium dens of the London docks. Meanwhile a meeting with a beautiful Chinese woman leads Mycroft to the very same mystery, one that forces him to examine the underbelly of the opium trade that is enriching his beloved Britain’s coffers.
As the stakes rise, the brothers find that they need one another’s assistance and counsel. But a lifetime of keeping secrets from each other may have catastrophic consequences...
REVIEW: MYCROFT AND SHERLOCK BY KAREEM ABDUL-JABBAR AND ANNA WATERHOUSE
Risingshadow has had the honour of interviewing Matt Maxwell.
About the author:
Matt Maxwell is the author of Queen of No Tomorrows (Broken Eye Books, 2018).
Click here to visit his official website.
About Queen of No Tomorrows:
Los Angeles, the eighties.
Cait MacReady is a part-time library scientist, part-time forger of books old and rare. Books of magic. Her latest, the Smoking Codex, is a work of complete fiction and all her own, nothing but vodka-fueled occult nonsense and heartfelt desire. It’s a fake - no history, no power.
Or is it? The book takes on a life of its own and someone wants it very badly. The police get involved when her ex-lover fence is murdered. Now Cait must somehow manage to stop a thing that has already happened: the book’s secret god is already known.
And its name has been spoken.
AN INTERVIEW WITH MATT MAXWELL