Christopher Nuttall's The Promised Lie was published by Elsewhen Press in a digital edition in February 2018 and will be published in paperback in May 2018.
Information about Christopher Nuttall:
Christopher Nuttall has been planning sci-fi books since he learnt to read. Born and raised in Edinburgh, Chris created an alternate history website and eventually graduated to writing full-sized novels. Studying history independently allowed him to develop worlds that hung together and provided a base for storytelling. After graduating from university, Chris started writing full-time. As an indie author, he has self-published a number of novels. The Royal Sorceress was the first of his novels to be published by Elsewhen Press. Chris is currently living in Edinburgh with his wife, muse, and critic Aisha and their two sons.
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Information about The Promised Lie:
The Golden City has fallen, the Empire is no more, ancient magic threatens the land
In The Unwritten Words, Christopher Nuttall’s story-telling mastery weaves a new epic which follows on from his bestselling Bookworm series and is set in that same world. In The Promised Lie, the first book of the new series, five years have passed since the earth-shattering events of Bookworm IV.
The Golden City has fallen. The Grand Sorcerer and Court Wizards are dead. The Empire they ruled is nothing more than a memory, a golden age lost in the civil wars as kings and princes battle for supremacy. And only a handful of trained magicians remain alive.
Isabella Majuro, Lady Sorceress, is little more than a mercenary, fighting for money in a desperate bid to escape her past. But when Prince Reginald of Andalusia plots the invasion of the Summer Isle, Isabella finds herself dragged into a war against strange magics from before recorded history...
...And an ancient mystery that may spell the end of the human race.
The Promised Lie is the first book in The Unwritten Words series.
A REVIEW OF CHRISTOPHER NUTTALL'S THE PROMISED LIE
Christopher Nuttall's The Promised Lie is a fascinating epic fantasy novel, which marks the beginning of a new series set in the same world as the author's Bookworm series. It's a welcome sequel to the Bookworm novels, because there's a lot to explore in the world.
I consider Christopher Nuttall to be one of the best authors of entertaining epic fantasy for adult readers, because he consistently writes entertaining fiction that is easy to like and easy to follow. He's an author who has found his own voice and knows how to entertain his readers with good and exciting stories. I'm personally amazed at his ability to come up with stories that are immersive escapism. This novel is a good example of his writing skills.
Just like the Bookworm novels, The Promised Lie is excellent escapism from start to finish. It's enjoyable entertainment with traditional fantasy elements coupled with dark fantasy elements. It's a novel that can easily be picked up and read as pure escapism, because the story is good and the happenings are exciting. Reading this kind of fiction is wonderful pastime.
Here's a bit of information about the story:
- The events take place five years after the stunning events of the Bookworm series. Much has changed, because the Golden City has fallen and the great Empire is nothing but a memory.
- In the prologue, Lord Havant of Hereford participates in a rite in an ancient temple and witnesses something strange and shocking...
- Isabella, who left the Golden City seven years ago, works now as a mercenary. Nobody knows or suspects anything about her past. She is investigating a village and is baffled by the lack of villagers, because she can't sense anything, but has a feeling that something is wrong. Soon she notices strange things happening around her and sees that something has moved into the village and killed everyone there. Her magic doesn't seem to work against it. She doesn't know what the creature is, but she has heard whispers of certain things... Crown Prince Reginald of Andalusia talks with his father, King Romulus, about the death of King Edwin and their right to his kingdom, because the dead king had promised them his kingdom. They agree on using mercenaries along with the regiments to achieve what must be done... Isabella gets a visitor and hears about what has happened back home and learns that she and her brother, Alden, are the last of House Majuro. Her visitor tells her stories of impossible magics happenings, strange creatures and weird encounters. She agrees to investigate what is happening...
This is the beginning of an enjoyable fantasy story that takes readers on an adventure to the Summer Isle where ancient and strange magic awaits the characters.
The characterisation is good and believable. It's great that this novel has a female protagonist, because the author writes well about female characters and the problems they have to face.
Here are a few words about some of the characters:
- Isabella Majuro is an interesting protagonist, because she has been disowned and banished from her home. She has become an independent woman who works as a mercenary. She's a powerful sorceress who finds out that there are things in the world she doesn't know anything about.
- Crown Prince Reginald of Andalusia is a young man who wants to invade and conquer the Summer Isle. He is determined to bring order to the island. He is energetic and eager to do what he wants to do.
- King Rufus Hereford and those close to him have a lot on their minds, because the Cold King (the ruler of the Northern Realm) is planning something and Prince Reginald is serious about invading the island. They've been playing a long game of power and have come closer than ever to absolute power.
- Emetine, who has been a pawn in her family's power play for a long time, is an interesting character, because she appears to be powerless, but is not as helpless or innocent as one might think.
The interaction between the characters is well-structured and fueled by contrast and tensions. It was enjoyable to read about how the characters interacted with each other and what they felt about each other. I'm not going to reveal anything about the happenings, but I can mention that the conversation between Isabella and Mother Lembu is one of the highlights of this novel, because it reveals quite a lot of information about certain things.
The worldbuilding is excellent and works well, because the author effortlessly introduces the various places to readers during the story. As the story begins to unfold, readers are introduced to new landscapes and places. Andalusia and the Summer Isle are quite magnificent places to behold, because the author's descriptions of both areas are evocative, but not too overwhelming.
The author writes excellently about what has happened in the world after the collapse of the Empire, because things have changed radically. Now that the Golden City has been fallen and only a handful of trained magicians remain alive, civil wars rage and chaos can be found everywhere. The once great Empire doesn't exist anymore and the survivors have been left to cope as well as they can with the burden of the knowledge that nothing is the same anymore. There are forces that are creeping back to the world, because they were kept at bay by the Empire.
The ancient and powerful magic is one of the main reasons why this novel is good. It's fascinating to read about what kind of magic is out there in the world and how different it is from normal magic. The author writes well about magic and what can be achieved by using it. He also writes well about religion and worshipping gods. I'm sure that the Red Monks and their powers will fascinate everybody who enjoys reading dark fantasy, because what the monks are capable of doing differs greatly from normal kind of magic that was taught to the magicians. The author's depictions of their powers are thrilling. There's something about the ancient magic and forces that is almost Lovecraftian in nature.
The political elements are handled well. I like the author's effortless way of writing about politics and what is involved in invading and conquering an unknown land. The author explores the risks and benefits of the characters' actions in an interesting way. In this novel, the political elements don't weigh down the story, but support it, because Reginald's dealings with the royal people of the Summer Isle are genuinely interesting.
I give this novel strong 4.5 stars on the scale from 1 to 5 stars for its thrilling story and entertainment values. I enjoyed it a lot, because it's excellent entertainment for adults.
My final words are:
Christopher Nuttall's The Promised Lie is well written escapism with plenty of magic. If you're in need of something exciting and new to read, you shouldn't look further, because this novel has plenty of entertainment values. This novel is the author's strongest fantasy novel to date and should not be missed by his readers.