A girl's quest to find her father leads her to an extended family of magical fighting booksellers who police the mythical Old World of England when it intrudes on the modern world. From the bestselling master of fantasy, Garth Nix.
In a slightly alternate London in 1983, Susan Arkshaw is looking for her father, a man she has never met. Crime boss Frank Thringley might be able to help her, but Susan doesn't get time to ask Frank any questions before he is turned to dust by the prick of a silver hatpin in the hands of the outrageously attractive Merlin.
Merlin is a young left-handed bookseller (one of the fighting ones), who with the right-handed booksellers (the intellectual ones), are an extended family of magical beings who police the mythic and legendary Old World when it intrudes on the modern world, in addition to running several bookshops.
Susan's search for her father begins with her mother's possibly misremembered or misspelt surnames, a reading room ticket, and a silver cigarette case engraved with something that might be a coat of arms.
Merlin has a quest of his own, to find the Old World entity who used ordinary criminals to kill his mother. As he and his sister, the right-handed bookseller Vivien, tread in the path of a botched or covered-up police investigation from years past, they find this quest strangely overlaps with Susan's. Who or what was her father? Susan, Merlin, and Vivien must find out, as the Old World erupts dangerously into the New.
Risingshadow has had the honour of interviewing K. V. Johansen about her latest novel, The Last Road.
About the author:
K. V. Johansen is the author of the Gods of Caravan Road fantasy series. Born in Kingston, Ontario, Canada, she developed her lifelong fascination with fantasy literature after reading The Lord of the Rings at the age of eight.
Her interest in the history and languages of the Middle Ages led her to take a Master’s Degree in Medieval Studies at the Centre for Medieval Studies at the University of Toronto, and a second M.A. in English Literature at McMaster University, where she wrote her thesis on Layamon’s Brut, an Early Middle English epic poem. While spending most of her time writing, she retains her interest in medieval history and languages and is a member of the Early English Text Society, as well as the SFWA and the Writers’ Union of Canada.
In 2014, she was an instructor at the Science Fiction Foundation’s Masterclass in Literary Criticism held in London. She is also the author of two works on the history of children’s fantasy literature, two short story collections, and a number of books for children and teens. Various of her books have been translated into French, Macedonian, and Danish.
Connect with the author online:
About The Last Road:
"Simply on a higher level to the vast majority of fantasy books." — Tom Lloyd, Author of Stranger of Tempest
When even the gods are dying, the hope of the world may lie in its most feared enemies. A new god proclaimed as the All-Holy has arisen in the west and leads an army eastward, devouring the gods and goddesses of the lands between, forcibly converting their folk and binding their souls to himself. The very fabric of the world appears threatened by forces beyond the understanding of scholars and wizards alike. Even the great city of Marakand, where the roads of east and west converge, seems powerless to resist the All-Holy, though the devils Moth and Yeh-Lin and the assassin Ahjvar, undead consort of the god of distant Nabban, have come to stand with it. That may avail Marakand little, for the shapeshifting Blackdog, once a champion of the gods, follows obediently at the All-Holy's heel and Lakkariss, the sword of the cold hells, is in his master's hand.
AN INTERVIEW WITH K. V. JOHANSEN ABOUT THE LAST ROAD
Risingshadow has had an opportunity to interview Weiqi Wang.
About the author:
While people may think 'magic fantasy authors' are the opposite of 'scientists', Weiqi Wang preserves his own opinions. As a D. Phil (Doctor of Philosophy, but it actually means a scientific doctor) on bioengineering graduated from Oxford University, Weiqi loves to be both. After all, philosophy is to explain the world; some choose to use scientific languages, some put it also in fantasy.
His latest novel is Legends of Azure and the Masked Planet.
Click here to visit his official website.
About Legends of Azure and the Masked Planet:
Due to a shocking discovery, Soarame now has to undertake a new dangerous journey with his friends. He must cross the largest, most deadly ocean in the world. Battling more powerful, evil wizards, he was forced to escape underwater, and stay in the bottom of the ocean for weeks. But how could a teenage boy survive underwater, especially that there were lethal creatures down there? And what further perils are waiting for him, if he really survives?
AN INTERVIEW WITH WEIQI WANG
Wonderland: An Anthology of Works Inspired by Alice's Adventures in Wonderland (edited by Marie O'Regan and Paul Kane) was published by Titan Books in September 2019.
About the editors:
Marie O’Regan is a British Fantasy Award-nominated writer and editor of horror and dark fantasy fiction. Her anthologies include Mirror Mere, Hellbound Hearts, The Mammoth Book of Body Horror, Carnivale: Dark Tales From the Fairground and The Mammoth Book of Ghost Stories by Women. She is Co-Chair of the UK chapter of the Horror Writers’ Association and lives in Derbyshire, UK.
Click here to visit her official website.
Paul Kane is the award-winning author of over 70 books, including Alone (In the Dark), Touching the Flame, FunnyBones, Signs of Life, The Lazarus Condition, Peripheral Visions, The Hellraiser Films and Their Legacy, RED, Of Darkness and Light, The Gemini Factor and the bestselling Arrowhead trilogy of novels (Arrowhead, Broken Arrow and Arrowland). He is a respected anthologist, editing collections such as Beyond Rue Morgue, Hell-Bound Hearts and Sherlock Holmes and the Servants of Hell.
Click here to visit his official website.
Join Alice as she is thrown into the whirlwind of Wonderland
Within these pages you’ll find myriad approaches to Alice, from horror to historical, taking us from the nightmarish reaches of the imagination to tales that will shock, surprise and tug on the heart-strings. So, it’s time now to go down the rabbit hole, or through the looking-glass or... But no, wait. By picking up this book and starting to read it you’re already there, can’t you see?
Brand-new works from the best in fantastical fiction
REVIEW: WONDERLAND: AN ANTHOLOGY OF WORKS INSPIRED BY ALICE'S ADVENTURES IN WONDERLAND (EDITED BY MARIE O'REGAN AND PAUL KANE)
Bruce Woods' Dragon Blood was published by Penmore Press in July 2019.
Information about Bruce Woods:
History with a Bite - Bruce Woods is a professional writer/editor with more than 30 years in magazine publishing, having worked as editor of Mother Earth News and Alaska Magazine, among others, and has published both nonfiction and poetry books. Prairie Schooner magazine featured his work in its “Writing from Alaska” issue. His Birdhouse Book, brought out by Sterling/Lark, is still in print and has sold more than 100,000 copies.
After leaving the editor’s position at Alaska Magazine in late 1998, Woods began a second career in External Affairs for the Alaska Region of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Eventually serving as the de facto writer/editor for the agency’s largest region, as well as providing information and an initial contact point for state, national, and international media on topics affecting Alaska’s often controversial wildlife and land management issues, Woods retired in the spring of 2013 in order to focus on fiction writing.
In addition to the Birdhouse Book referenced above, Woods has published three nonfiction volumes and several books of poetry with small presses. During his magazine editing career he also served as editor/contributor to numerous nonfiction volumes. Several of his essays have been anthologized, as well.
Woods currently lives in Anchorage, Alaska with his wife Mary and his two cats, Lucy Fur and Boswell. Gardening and bicycling (the latter usually upon a single-speed road bike named “Yellow Snow” that he built from an old track frame bought online) are chief among his many interests outside of reading and writing. He has two children, Ethan, who studied music composition at Bennington College and now resides in Asheville, N.C., and his daughter Alice, who recently graduated from Minneapolis College of Art and Design and currently lives in Minneapolis.
Click here to visit the author's Facebook page.
Guest short stories by the author:
Information about Dragon Blood:
Paulette is sent on a mission to China with the words of her mentor ringing in her ears. “A hot wind is now fanning the flames of racism in China, Paulette." Said Lady Ellen Terry. "And, like dust in a drought, it has blown up an army. They call themselves 'the boxers’ society of righteous and harmonious fists,' or some variation thereof, and practice rituals that they claim bestow invulnerability and more. They are ill-armed and poorly trained but potentially numberless.
“Recently an auxiliary movement has sprung up. Reportedly consisting of young virgin women, from the ages of 12 to 18 and accounted uncommonly beautiful. They carry the name “Red Lanterns,” and claim the powers of flight, fire-starting, and miraculous healing. It is these I wish you to investigate for any sign of Kindred activity.
“More to the point, however, and though the Boxers alone present a threat through sheer force of numbers, the Dowager is perched upon a knife edge. Two camps of courtiers vie for her attention, moderates who would have her eliminate the Boxers for fear that, with the foreigners gone, they would turn upon her throne; and conservatives who urge her to throw in her hand with them to rid the Empire off all peoples and technologies from beyond its borders.”
She is to face great danger and the very real risk that despite her remarkable powers she will not survive. It will take skill and courage to avoid the multiple perils, and risk of exposure for what she really is, that await her in an increasingly turbulent China.
REVIEW: DRAGON BLOOD BY BRUCE WOODS
Tim Lebbon's The Edge was published by Titan Books in June 2019.
Information about Tim Lebbon:
Tim Lebbon is the New York Times bestselling author of Coldbrook, The Silence, the Relics trilogy and the movie novelizations of 30 Days of Night and The Cabin in the Woods. He has also written many successful movie novelizations and tie-ins for Alien and Firefly as well as critically acclaimed horror and dark fantasy novels. Tim has won three British Fantasy Awards, a Bram Stoker Award, a Shocker, a Tombstone and been a finalist for the International Horror Guild and World Fantasy Awards. The Silence is now a Netflix Original Movie, starring Stanley Tucci.
Click here to visit his official website.
Information about The Edge:
There exists a secret and highly illegal trade in mythological creatures and their artifacts. Certain individuals pay fortunes for a sliver of a satyr’s hoof, a gryphon’s claw, a basilisk’s scale, or an angel’s wing. Embroiled in the hidden world of the Relics, creatures known as the Kin, Angela Gough is now on the run in the United States.
Forty years ago the town of Longford was the site of a deadly disease outbreak that wiped out the entire population. The infection was contained, the town isolated, and the valley in which it sits flooded and turned into a reservoir. The truth - that the outbreak was intentional, and not every resident of Longford died - disappeared beneath the waves.
Now the town is revealed again. The Kin have an interest in the ruins, and soon the fairy Grace and the Nephilim leader Mallian are also drawn to them. The infection has risen from beneath silent waters, and this forgotten town becomes the focus of the looming battle between humankind and the Kin.
REVIEW: THE EDGE BY TIM LEBBON