I need your help! I have a choice of three covers for my new fantasy short story, No Escape. Please help me choose the best one. Which one is your immediate favorite? Any comments are really welcome.
The Golden Rule novels and associated short story, The Parting Gift, are now available on Smashwords, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, iBooks, and other stores. The Parting Gift, which is a standalone set in the same world, will be free until further notice, so this is your chance to dip your toe in the water so to speak if you haven’t done so already.
A Bright Power Rising:
The Unconquered Sun:
The Parting Gift:
Ariane Emory runs Reseune, the only cloning lab on Cyteen, with an iron fist. Her directorship makes her one of the most powerful people on the planet. When Jordan Warrick falls foul of her, his son Justin and his azi ‘brother’ Grant become pawns in her efforts to control him.
This book took me four years to read. Obviously, I didn’t actually spend four full years reading it. I started it, put it down several months, picked it up again, read some more, ignored it for another couple of months and so on. The politics at the very start is bewildering and I just couldn’t connect emotionally with Justin and Grant’s plight. The writing was very good but I found the conversations very repetitive. After I noticed a pattern to many of them, I couldn’t unsee it.
The book really only gathered momentum for me when the second Ari entered the story. Her manipulation by her uncles, her gradual realization of who she was, and her struggle for identity engaged me. In fact, this might be terribly blasphemous, but I think if the story had started with her, I would have enjoyed it much more.
I’ve written a post on Melanie Ansley’s website about five things that fatherhood has taught me about writing. You can check it out here.
Dr. Herbert Marriott has a problem that only murder can solve. Luckily for him, the perfect weapon is locked away in his rundown museum, one too incredible for any court to accept. The cursed chair kills all who rest upon it. But will Herbert’s victim be so easily drawn to her fate?
To celebrate, A Bright Power Rising is also available on Amazon for a limited time at 99 cents.
In many ways, the Lyonesse Trilogy consists of three threads which connect sometimes very tangentially. There is the competition between the various kingdoms, the conflict between the mages, and the quests into ‘fairyland’. Each of these stories is dispersed through the novels in varying doses.
In the final volume, it felt at times like Vance had left himself with too much to do. Every now and then, he hit the fast forward button and events whiz by almost in summary. At other times, tangential and inconsequential matters were lingered over. A great deal of writing was spent establishing characters only to rid them from the book in a sentence.
Maduoc eclipses to a greater or lesser extent the main characters from the previous novels. I felt Glyneth in particular got short shrift. Where, for instance, were these swords she brought back from Tanjecterly? The concentration on Maduoc compresses the ultimate conclusion of the struggle between Aillas and Casimir, making it feel a little rushed.
And yet, the novel makes up for these dashed expectations. Shimrod’s adventures in the previous novels, at times made disjointed and abrupt by the opaque central mystery now click into place. More importantly, Maduoc is an engaging character and her adventures kept my interest throughout. I was particularly moved by the ultimate fate of one of the minor characters. It was very well done.
Though this book is called The Green Pearl, the pearl itself bookends the story, the vast bulk of which is devoted to Aillas’s efforts to defeat the Ska and Casimir’s political machinations. Aillas proves to be every bit as crafty as his enemies though his subjects appear remarkably calm when their king disappears without warning. Shimrod also pops up here and there to fathom the mysterious Melancthe.
The book is filled with adventure, colourful characters, and clever scenes. Dhrun fades into the background, taking a backseat to Aillas and Glyneth. The trip to the delightfully named Tanjecterly was particularly entertaining if nearly a separate story.
The fact that it’s a sequel works very much to its favor in that we’re clear from the start which characters we’re supposed to root for. The only fly in the ointment was Father Umphred. His interminable campaign to build a cathedral really got on my nerves. I suppose he isn’t meant to be a sympathetic character, but I could have done with less of him. All in all, it is a very satisfying read and a worthy successor to Suldrun’s Garden.