Summer is gone, and the world is turning to ice.
The Rondian Empress Lyra has lost her husband, her army is defeated and the deadly Masked Cabal have seized the Holy City. Her allies have abandoned her and her empire is spiralling into chaos - and her only weapon is a forbidden magic she dare not use. She can't survive alone - but who can she still trust?
'Vibrant, memorable characters' - SciFi Now
The Eastern conqueror Sultan Rashid is victorious on the battlefield, but now he faces an enemy more deadly than Rondian knights: the winter. Unless he captures a major city to shelter his huge armies, his plans to overthrow the West face ruin in the snow. But standing between his men and safety is the remnants of a defeated army led by a general who knows all about fighting for survival.
'An epic journey of ordinary people destined to change the course of history... alluring... gripping' - BoHoMind.com
There are no easy options left. Lyra and her fellow dwymancers must master their deadly magic, whatever the cost. Even those who believe themselves to be fighting for good must grasp the reins of power with cold-hearted determination, and use even the most terrible weapon, if they are to stop the world from falling apart... for ever.
Jason Beveridge's Emperor of Mu was published in October 2017.
Information about Jason Beveridge (in his own words):
"My creative journey began while living in London designing a fantasy board game, titled the Middle Kingdom of Mu. In quiet moments, often travelling overseas on business, I had fun writing the lore and exploring different realms. Why a board game? Back then, I thought digital games would deprive our two sons of social interaction and limit their development. How the world has changed since.
Although my early career was in marketing, I never thought about creative writing, let alone whether I had the aptitude or the time. On holiday travelling to Bali, I discovered through my new Kindle, emerging novelists writing great fantasy and Sci-Fi, and this encouraged me to have a crack.
So, after years of playing the corporate warrior, I have found time to explore my creative side and give chase to wondrous ideas and storytelling that I never knew existed and sides to me I didn't know about. Yep, it's a bit self-revealing; who would have thought?
I've found that reading fantasy, especially epic fantasy, requires time and effort to allow yourself to be immersed in new worlds and their lore. So, I built a graphic website for readers to explore the World of Mu and learn about its history, lore and key characters. I'm hoping this extra effort will make the reader's journey more enjoyable and easier. Visiting www.sagaofsix.com may help you decide whether this saga is of interest before taking the plunge.
I now live in Sydney helping business owners to develop and grow their businesses (which I enjoy and pays the bills), and with the rest of my time, I pursue the wonderous."
Click here to visit the official Saga of the Six Realms website (Reader's Companion Site).
Information about Emperor of Mu:
It begins on the eve of civil war with Emperor Constantine summoning his closest confidant Salvarre to a private meeting. Sworn to secrecy, he instructs Salvarre to dispatch a letter to the Sorceress of the Powers, but the news arrives too late. Constantine is murdered, and Mu is thrown into turmoil as the rulers of the six realms decide who is to become the next emperor.
While Mu elects a successor, the outland races stir. The hunt for those with forbidden dark elf blood threatens another Elvic War. To the north, rumours spread of dragons returning after a three hundred cycle absence. In the desert lands, the fearless Imanishi defend the empire from the night demons, while South of Mu, the sea invaders consolidate their rule.
This is a story of rivalry, romances, and battles between race and kind alike that keeps you guessing with its twists and turns. Set in the medieval world of Mu, where the powers of the mind and mysticism set apart the extraordinary, this new series redefines what it means to be human.
If you like a fast-moving epic with mystery and intrigue set on a big stage, please consider this page-turner.
REVIEW: EMPEROR OF MU BY JASON BEVERIDGE
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