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Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Some More Top Expectations 2011 Books, Adrian Tchaikovsky, Robert Redick and Emily Gee (by Liviu Suciu)

In the spirit of upcoming 2011 books posts (here, here, here, here), I will present three more fantasy novels that are among the most expected books of mine from the first several months of 2011.


In February 2011, brings the 6th Kinden volume, The Sea Watch by Adrian Tchaikovsky. It's no secret that right now the Shadows of the Apt series is my #1 ongoing fantasy series and 2010's ultra-impressive duo of Salute the Dark (FBC Rv) and The Scarab Path (FBC Rv) managed the unlikely feat to topple The Folding Knife (FBc Rv) as my #1 fantasy of 2010 - ok, it's cheating since those are two books and I consider them as a combo for 'top books" purposes, but still... We have also reviews of the first three books - Empire in Black and Gold, Dragonfly Falling and Blood of the Mantis - as well as an author interview.

I discussed at length the reasons for why I think the Kinden series is the best ongoing fantasy series right now, especially if pseudo-medieval hereditary dictatorships and the ancient evil that somehow wants to topple them until the destined boy/girl restores the rightful dictator to the throne do not really appeal to you, but the combination of traditional and new, pre-industrial magic (Inapt Kinden) and early industrial tech (Apt Kinden), great characters, action, intrigue, prophecies, ingenious weapons and of course the Kinden themselves and the new kinds added in each book are some of the reasons.

****************************************************************In April 2011, Del Rey brings The River of Shadows, the 3rd installment of the wonderful Chartrand Voyages series by Robert Redick. An exuberant series that blossomed in its second installment The Rats and the Ruling Sea (FBC Rv) (The Rats got eaten by the cat in the US edition though!), this one is more-or-less in head to head competition for my second favorite ongoing fantasy series (with at least two volumes out) with the ones from Mark Newton (decadence, weirdness and unusual character leads) and Michael Sullivan (well, once in a while there is a traditional series that appeals a lot to me).

The Rats and the Ruling Sea has also been my top fantasy of 2009, again more or less one of four in that spot, but for definiteness I picked it as first of those. We have a review of The Red Wolf Conspiracy too, while I included only an Amazon link for people wanting to explore more, rather than post the full blurb for spoiler-ish reasons.

In January/February 2011, Solaris brings The Sentinel Mage from Emily Gee about which I have no clue if it is a standalone as her previous two novels or starts a series. Anyway here is the blurb:

Her magic may be the only thing that can save a prince—and the Seven Kingdoms. In a distant corner of the Seven Kingdoms, an ancient curse festers and grows, consuming everything in its path. Only one man can break it: Harkeld of Osgaard, a prince with mage’s blood in his veins. But Prince Harkeld has a bounty on his head—and assassins at his heels. Innis is a gifted shapeshifter. Now she must do the forbidden: become a man. She must stand at Prince Harkeld’s side as his armsman, protecting and deceiving him. But the deserts of Masse are more dangerous than the assassins hunting the prince. The curse has woken deadly creatures, and the magic Prince Harkeld loathes may be the only thing standing between him and death.

I utterly loved The Laurentine Spy and it still stands strong in my memory - the mixed reactions to my review made introduce a "personal favorite" nuance in some reviews - so despite the ho-hum blurb above which could be a perfect pitch for "romantic fantasy generic", the novel is one my top-top expected ones too.


Anonymous said...

hey liviu, I thought about this and just after i finished the 5th APT book that i think shadows of the apt would make for a great anime series. it has that visual imagery and great charactors and AWESOME action sequences that could easily justify it.

what do you think?

Anonymous said...


Do you know if Robert Redick has plans to finish the Chathrand series in 2011? I know he is working on The Night of the Swarm on his blog. Is that the last book in the series? Due in late 2011?



Liviu said...

Anon: Check the art page in the link i included for the official Apt page and you will see some cool drawings, so i guess you are right

Jennifer: have no idea, but I doubt it for publishing reasons, so even if the book would be in the pipeline for late 2011, it would be more likely to go in early 2012
Anyway I will ask Mr. Redick and let you know if I hear anything definite as book 4 goes

RVSR said...

Dear Jennifer and Liviu,

The answer is yes. Book IV is underway, and it will totally, definitively and calamitously finish the story. I may well write more books set in Alifros, but they will in no sense be part of this same cycle, because that cycle ends with THE NIGHT OF THE SWARM.

Previews & excerpts of Book III will be posted on my blog in the not-too-distant future, BTW. All best--Robert

shaneo52 said...

Hi Liviu, In the Shadows of the Apt, are the people part insect then? Guess I'm not quite understanding.

Liviu said...

On the author's website at there is a wealth of material with drawings, history, geopolitics, maps, stories. This is how it all started, though of course there it is explained in much more detail

"The ancient peoples that were to become the insect-kinden(2) had bartered their souls to the arthropods, but in exchange, they gained power. The link they forged to the races of the insect-kinds opened a door to a larger world in which the human and the invertebrate met. Those early tribes of humanity were able to make contact.

Contact with what? With something other, some exemplar, an Aristotelian ideal, a totem spirit, insect gods(3). From this contact sprang what became known as the Art.

The first Art, and the most necessary for survival, was that of speech. The earliest leaders, priest-kings of the ancient tribes, were able to intercede on behalf of their people, to turn aside the predators, to propose alliances. Only the Art stood between humanity’s survival (4), and utter extinction. It is a mark of how long ago all this was that, when the book actually opens, the Art of speech is almost unknown, domestication of insects is a routine affair of animal husbandry, and the threat of obliteration at the mandibles of the horde is utterly forgotten."

So basically today's kinden are humans with some insect traits, but they are the same essential species since they can interbreed; though at least so far, the half-breeds or mixed-breeds have been regarded as "second class" citizens and that topic is a part of the series btw as are the finer points of aptness vs inaptness

Of course the Kinden universe needs to have tweaks on the laws of physics eg some kinden can fly which our universe does not allow for larger animals because the square/cube law, gravity, air density numbers do not work; but after all dragons in fantasy require the same different laws of the universe, so that's neither here nor there

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