Wednesday, 2 July 2008
"Empire in Black and Gold"
I want to give this book a plug because it was written by a friend of mine and it's published this week. And because I've read the uncorrected manuscript and even that was pretty damn good.
Adrian and I have been in the same story-writing group for a few years. (I hasten to add, I do not read my smutty stuff out on these occasions, I stick to horror and comedy - it would be fair to say that most people in the group Do Not Approve of Erotica.) Anyway, after many years battering at the gates of publisherdom, Adrian finally sold the first three volumes of what promises to be a truly epic story to Macmillan, thereby earning in one advance more than I've managed to earn in 10 years of writing erotica. Grr. But I don't resent him (much) because he's a truly talented and witty writer. And he has this great Evil Beard (but no, that's not a picture of him!). And Dark Enchantment is dedicated to his wife (who doesn't know that yet).
So - Empire in Black and Gold is the first of a fantasy series about a content-wide war. Imagine a world which looks like ancient Greece but is just launching into accelerated industrial revolution. There's a huge Empire on the march against the free city-states, and a handful of diverse characters trying to thwart it in various ways - and no sign of a convenient plot device (such as a One Ring) to solve their problem for them. Plus, giant insects! - all the different peoples have a deep connection to one insect type or another, which give them inhuman powers such as flight, group minds etc. The guy on the book cover is a Wasp Army soldier. No - don't forget the giant insects!
It's fantasy. It's steampunk. It's an enormous war epic. It features some very strong female characters. It is all action - the pace thunders along giving you nowhere to put the book down. Take my word for it: it's gripping stuff.
You can buy Empire in Black and Gold on AmazonUK. Plus, if you are in Reading (UK) this weekend you can pop into Waterstones bookshop where Adrian will be signing copies of the book.
Waterstones, United Reform Building, 89a Broad Street, Reading RG1 2AP
SATURDAY 5th JULY, 3-5pm
And his blog is here.