A genre-defying page turner that fuses thriller and speculative fiction with dark fantasy in a hidden world in the heart of Cold War Europe.
It's 1964 and Christopher Winter is trying to carve a new life, a new identity, beyond his days in British Intelligence. Recruited by London's gangland he now finds himself on the wrong side of the law - and about to discover that the secret service has a way of claiming back its own. Who is the fatally alluring succubus working honeytraps for foreign paymasters? What is the true secret of the Shadowless, a fabled criminal cabal deadlier than the Mafia? And why do both parties covet long-buried caskets said to hold the hearts of kings? Winter must confront the buried knowledge of his own past to survive - but is he ready to embrace the magic that created the darkness of Tobias Hart?
Blake Charlton is a new American fantasy author, who is working to establish a dual career in fiction and medicine. He is the author of Spellwright, which is the first book of The Spellwright Trilogy.
Here's a short description of Spellwright from the author's official website:
Imagine a world in which you could peel written words off a page and make them physically real. You might pick your teeth with a sentence fragment, protect yourself with defensive paragraphs, or thrust a sharply-worded sentence at an enemy’s throat.
Such a world is home to Nicodemus Weal, an apprentice at the wizardly academy of Starhaven. Because of how fast he can forge the magical runes that create spells, Nicodemus was thought to be the Halcyon, a powerful spellwright prophesied to prevent an event called the War of Disjunction, which would destroy all human language. There was only one problem: Nicodemus couldn’t spell.
Runes must be placed in the correct order to create a spell. Deviation results in a "misspell" – a flawed text that behaves in an erratic, sometimes lethal, manner. And Nicodemus has a disability that causes him to misspell texts simply by touching them.
Now twenty-five, Nicodemus lives in the aftermath of failing to fulfill prophecy. He finds solace only in reading knightly romances and in the teachings of Magister Shannon, an old blind wizard who’s left academic politics to care for Starhaven’s disabled students.
But when a powerful wizard is murdered with a misspell, Shannon and Nicodemus becomes the primary suspects. Proving their innocence becomes harder when the murderer begins killing male cacographers one by one... and all evidence suggests that Nicodemus will be next. Hunted by both investigators and a hidden killer, Shannon and Nicodemus must race to discover the truth about the murders, the nature of magic, and themselves.
Click here to visit Blake Charlton's official website.
Click here to read Risingshadow.net's review of Spellwright.
Risingshadow.net has had the honour of interviewing Blake Charlton. You can read the interview here:
AN INTERVIEW WITH BLAKE CHARLTON
Ramsey Campbell's new book, The Seven Days of Cain, was published in September 2010 by PS Publishing.
Ramsey Campbell is a British horror author, who has written several books and short stories.
Ramsey Campbell's official website can be found here.
Here's the official description of The Seven Days of Cain:
"I'm the voice you're not sure if you're hearing. I'm the man who tells you what to think and you believe you're thinking it yourself. Anything you do, I've already thought of it. You can't even dream unless I give you dreams. Perhaps you only see what I put into your head. I'm what you have for a soul..."
A street performer is murdered in Barcelona, and a playwright is tortured to death in New York. Andy Bentley is a photographer who works for his family's firm in a British suburb. Why is the killer emailing him to boast about the crimes? What did Andy do ten years ago that created the situation? As he tries to cope with a childless marriage and his ageing parents, what he called up begins to invade every aspect of his life. By the end he will have to confront not just the consequences of his actions but the uncertainty of reality itself, and how much that he loves will be destroyed?
And here's the review:
A REVIEW OF RAMSEY CAMPBELL'S THE SEVEN DAYS OF CAIN
Rowena Cory Daniells (aka Cory Daniells) is an Australian fantasy author, who has been involved in speculative fiction since 1976. Her latest fantasy trilogy, The Chronicles of King Rolen's Kin, was published by Solaris. The King's Bastard is the first book of this trilogy (the other books are The Uncrowned King and The Usurper).
Click here to visit Rowena Cory Daniells' website.
Here's a description of The King's Bastard from the publisher's website:
By royal decree, all those afflicted with Affinity must serve the Abbey or face death. Sent to the Abbey because of his innate Affinity, the King's youngest son, Fyn, trains to become a warrior monk. Unfortunately, he’s a gentle dreamer and the other acolytes bully him. The only way he can escape them is to serve the Abbey Mystic, but his Affinity is weak.
Fiercely loyal, thirteen year-old Piro is horrified to discover she is also cursed with unwanted Affinity. It broke their mother’s heart to send Fyn away, so she hides her affliction. But, when Fyn confesses his troubles, Piro risks exposure to help him.
Even though Byren Kingson is only seven minutes younger than his twin, Lence, who is the king's heir, Byren has never hungered for the Rolencian throne. When a Seer predicts that he will kill Lence, he laughs. But Lence Kingsheir sees Byren’s growing popularity and resents it. Enduring loyalty could be Byren’s greatest failing.
Cloaked in silent winter snow the Kingdom of Rolencia sleeps as rumours spread of new Affinity Seeps, places where untamed power wells up. Meanwhile, King Rolen plans his jubilee unaware of the growing threat to those he loves. And here's the review:
Cloaked in silent winter snow the Kingdom of Rolencia sleeps as rumours spread of new Affinity Seeps, places where untamed power wells up. Meanwhile, King Rolen plans his jubilee unaware of the growing threat to those he loves.
And here's the review:
A REVIEW OF ROWENA CORY DANIELLS' THE KING'S BASTARD
Gary Fry's The House of Canted Steps was published in September 2010 by PS Publishing.
Gary Fry is the author of four short story collections and a novella. The House of Canted Steps is Gary Fry's debut novel.
Gary Fry's official website can be found here.
A REVIEW OF GARY FRY'S THE HOUSE OF CANTED STEPS
Blind Swimmer is an anthology, which was published by Eibonvale Press in August 2010.
Here's the description of Blind Swimmer from the publisher's website:
Eibonvale Press came into being in the winter of 2005 in a tiny Slovenian mountain town at the hands of David Rix, who sat down one day and decided “Today I am going to make a book.” The fact that he knew a lot about books but nothing at all about the book world somehow failed to make that dream flicker away like most dreams and the slow crescendo of Eibonvale Press continued from there and is still continuing. That quiet and lonely winter in the Slovenian mountains still doesn’t seem so far away as the press continues its search for the bizarre, the unclassifiable and the strange in new writing, in the process working with some of the best writers in the UK and elsewhere.
Now, this new book provides a chance to look back a bit and define Eibonvale Press as an entity. Blind Swimmer collects together 11 stories, most never before published, by all the writers who have made up or will soon make up the Eibonvale Press family. The result is a book that is as varied as the press itself. Creativity in Isolation was the theme we set, and the results are as varied as the writers themselves. Different takes on what creativity is, what isolation is and whom we are talking to as we tell our tales in the wilderness. The stories stretch from classically tinged horror to urban strangeness to experimental fiction and surrealism. From short stories to full length novellas. From the wilderness of Britain and Sweden to the equal wilderness of the American urban landscape. Blind Swimmer is a unique and spectacular journey through the flip-side of contemporary writing.
With a foreword by Joel Lane and an introductory essay by David Rix.
Contributors: Nina Allan, Gerard Houarner, Rhys Hughes, Brendan Connell, David Rix, Allen Ashley, Jet McDonald, Douglas Thompson, Terry Grimwood, Alexander Zelenyj, Andrew Coulthard.
Here's the review:
A REVIEW OF BLIND SWIMMER