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Friday, April 5, 2013

On The Highly Expected Series Debuts of 2013, Django Wexler, Brian McClellan, Anthony Ryan, Paul Witcover and David Walton (with comments by Liviu Suciu)

As noted a few times across the years, I am a strong believer in "feedback" on my posts and the claims contained in such so for example I have just recently updated the earlier post about Aethernet Magazine with an actual quick review of its contents. So on looking back at my Highly Awaited Books of 2013 post, I realized that while I have already read only about 1/3 of the books in the main part - all excellent except for the disappointing River of  Stars - I actually have read 4 of the 5 series debuts mentioned in the second part of the post and the 5th, Antoine Rouaud's The Book and the Sword volume 1 Path of Anger seems to have been considerably delayed afaik. 

So time to talk a little about the 4 books mentioned there, though I would also add that there is one more debut in 2013 - at least as major publishing goes - namely Anthony Ryan's awesome Blood Song, but that for me is a 2012 novel in its original independent publishing and I covered it quite a lot so far as a top 5 sff of 2012 etc.

I reviewed Quintessence by David Walton not long ago and while it did not quite make my top 25 as it did not quite transcend its cliched characters and the general "adventure sff" feel, I still highly recommended it for its extreme inventiveness.

Paul Witcover's The Emperor of All Things was pretty disappointing as the swashbuckler part lacks panache and the "London with supernatural" part is overall boring for someone who is not a fan of such; Lavie Tidhar's The Bookman series covers similar background in way better fashion.

Promise of Blood, Brian McClellan's gunpowder magic debut was awesome - and the chorus of agreement on that seems to be increasing as more people are reading it with the publication date coming up soon. I hope to have a full review in 10 days or so, but my Goodreads thoughts explain why it is a top 25 novel of the year for me.

To my considerable surprise, the one novel on the list I was least sure about, The Thousand Names by Django Wexler turned out to be the best of the four despite its more conventional "military epic fantasy with some magic" blurb. A July release so definitely quite a while until the release to the world at large, but mark your calendar as you would want to try this one since it is a very impressive and very polished series debut that covers everything one wants in an epic fantasy, while I expect the series to go far.


Sean said...

I finished with Quintessence a few days ago, and I'm afraid I agree with you. While there are many intriguing points about the island at the edge of the world and its inhabitants; the plot as a whole and the characters don't carry it through.

Looking forward to your two recommendations and thank you for the heads-up.


John said...

Liviu,what about Herald of the Storm (Steelhaven #1)by Richard Ford (Pub date April 25) ?

Liviu said...

@Sean - one reason Quintessence works better as sf since there "sense of wonder: many times trumps the rest

@John - heard of it but my experience with the author previous novel Kultus makes it unlikely I will be interested; definitely will give it a look whenever the sample from say kindle will be available

- also the blurb doesn't really excite me that much

John said...


Just saw the new Gollancz Fall/Winter catalog and The Path of Anger (The Book and the Sword #1) by ANTOINE ROUAUD will be pub. in October 2013.

The Fell Sword by MILES CAMERON in November 2013.

The Great King by CHRISTIAN CAMERON (November 2013)

2 books in November by Miles/Christian Cameron!

Very excited!

Liviu said...

I knew about Path of Anger being moved to October and that was disappointing as I was really expecting it first in February and then in May...

C. Cameron will have quite a few books out - Destroyer of cities (Tyrant 5 - bought it and will read soon), Tom Swan 4/5/6 starting Thursday (April 11 and will buy and read #4 that day), the one we host the giveaway (sadly UK only) with the 100 years war, ill made knight or so in August and then the 3rd Killer of men mentioned.

Also there is a Pevel series debut that seems interesting - did not really care about his 3 musketeers with dragons series but this one (also fall UK) is something will take a look at for sure

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