Pausing in my not-panicking to recommend two delicious fantasy novels that will totally make you a better, happier person. Possibly. Here they are:
1) The Copper Promise by Jen Williams – I bought this after I saw the author in a panel at FantasyCon (she was magnificent) and then bought it extra hard when I saw the front cover, for it was beautiful and there was a dragon and the words ‘let sleeping gods lie’.
If that sounds like the sort of book that you would like then I am willing bet Internet pennies that you won’t be disappointed by the words inside. It’s all the joy of traditional fantasy with the adventuring and the teamness and the taverns and the adventures and amazing places and impossible odds and the banter and the sword-fighting and a dragon, and none of the rubbish stuff like sexist bullshit, wondering where all the women went, or thinking “well, I’m sure that was an interesting D&D campaign while you were playing it…”
Some bits are extra spectacular: the whole opening sequence in the Citadel was creepy good, and there is a delightful lady called Holly who makes magic glass things and she was my favourite.
And it is a complete story with an ending at the end not a cliffhanger, hurrah! But also the sequel is out very soon, hurrah!
2) Guns of the Dawn by Adrian Tchaikovsky – Obviously it’s only February so possibly I’m jumping the gun (haha! …shusht) but if you read only one fantasy book this year, you should read this one. Why? Because if it sells lots, there will be sequels! And then I will have more of the flintlock fantasy of my heart. And I will have whole hours of happiness and you wouldn’t want to take that away from me, would you?
Have you ever read Pride and Prejudice and thought, yes, this is excellent, but I wonder what it would be like if the Napoleonic Wars were still going on and Britain was losing so badly that it was force to begin conscripting women and Lizzy had to go off to war?
(Or, as Adrian puts it a smidgen more succinctly, Jane Austen meets Bernard Cornwell).
If you have thought of that, hurrah! Then this ithe book for you, and I’m well impressed at your imagination. If not, then it’s a brilliant idea and that is basically what happens in Guns of the Dawn (but not too much, it’s secondary world and Emily, the hero, is definitely not Lizzy) and it happens beautifully. I love the characters and I love the story and I love the romance (too much…I suspect it may actually have my favourite fantasy romance of all) and the swamps and the awareness of class and the magic and the not!Netherfield ball and I’m giving this book to people for their birthdays, because this is what people I love deserve.
And Guns of the Dawn is having a signing at London’s Forbidden Planet Megastore that is this Thursday and thus timed HORRENDOUSLY, since I’ll be in London on Thursday, though somewhere over the Atlantic when signing actually occurs, ALAS. But you don’t have to miss out! You should go, both for the book and the author, who is smashing and has relatively sensible opinions about Doctor Who.