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Wednesday, November 30, 2022

COVER REVEAL: The Phoenix King by Aparna Verma

 



Today we are beyond humbled & excited to present the spectacular cover for Aparna Verma's traditionally published epic fantasy debut via Orbit Books. My thanks to both Aparna & Ellen Wright for giving FBC the opportunity to participate in this cover reveal.

 Firstly some background about this book, it was previously self-published under the title The Boy With Fire and was acquired by Orbit Books earlier this year

The cover has been revealed officially over at the Orbit Books Blog & thanks to the author, we can share a fascinating insight about the cover, the book & significance of Hindu mythos within:

"One of the central symbols of The Phoenix King is the Phoenix (what a shocker), but the mythos behind the Phoenix comes from an unlikely source: Maa Kali. Maa Kali is a dark-skinned goddess from Hindu mythology. With wide white eyes, a red rolling tongue, and a necklace of skulls, she seems more like a demon than a goddess. She's even been described as the bringer of death and destruction. So how can she be related to the Phoenix? The Phoenix is a bird of fire who dies by its own inferno and is reborn from its own ashes. It is said to rise when it is most needed and to return to ash when its task is completed."

"Maa Kali's purpose is also similar: she rises from darkness (hence the name Kali, meaning black or dark) when the world is in dire need. Once, when the ancient world was threatened by a fierce demon named Mahishasura, Kali rose and fought the demon, cutting off his head and drinking his blood so that he would not regenerate. She, like the Phoenix, destroys in order to create. When the great evil is vanquished, Maa Kali returns to the dark as the Phoenix returns to ash. Both are guardians; both are creatures of death, whether by inferno or the sword, but also of rebirth. For after Maa Kali killed Mahishasura, the world flourished."

"When it came to writing the mythos of the Phoenix in The Phoenix King, I drew from the duality of Maa Kali as her role of creator and destroyer."


"For some characters, The Phoenix of Ravence is a cruel, vindicative god. Her fire seeks only to destroy. These characters fail to understand (to their own detriment) that though fire can ravage a forest, it also clears a path for new life to bloom. On the other hand, some characters view the Phoenix of Ravence as a protector, a bringer of justice who will rebalance the world into equilibrium. And yet, even guardians can be so consumed by power that they risk destroying the ones they love, as Maa Kali with her consort Shiva."

"I hope that when reading The Phoenix King, readers understand that gods are not easily manipulated. Some refuse our typical labels of "bad" and "good," like Maa Kali. Instead, they transcend. There are so many other Easter eggs and comparisons between the Phoenix of Ravence and Maa Kali that I can get into, but I'll leave the rest for the reader to find!"


So here's the amazing cover that has been designed by Lisa Marie Pompilio:


PRE-ORDER THE PHOENIX KING OVER HERE

OFFICIAL SYNOPSIS: The first in a sensational, action-packed debut epic fantasy trilogy in which an assassin and a princess navigate a world teetering on the edge of war and contend with an ancient prophecy that could remake the world. 


Yassen Knight was the Arohassin’s most notorious assassin until a horrible accident. Now, he’s hunted by the authorities and his former employer, both of whom want him dead. But when he seeks refuge with an old friend, he’s offered an irresistible deal: defend the heir of Ravence from the Arohassin, and earn his freedom once and for all.

Elena Ravence is preparing to ascend the throne. Trained since birth in statecraft, warfare, and the desert ways, Elena knows she is ready. She only lacks one thing: the ability to hold Fire, the magic that is meant to run in her family's blood. And with her coronation only weeks away, she must learn quickly or lose her kingdom.

Leo Ravence is not ready to give up the crown. There’s still too much work to be done, too many battles to be won. But when an ancient prophecy threatens to undo his lifetime of work, Leo wages war on the heavens themselves to protect his legacy.

 

Tuesday, November 29, 2022

Book review: Through Dreams So Dark (Rai Ascendant #1) by Angela Boord

 


Book links: Amazon, Goodreads

AUTHOR INFO: Angela Boord writes giant fantasy books that like to blend genres--from romance and historical to espionage and epic and beyond—and explore character in all its messy glory. Her debut book FORTUNE'S FOOL, a twisty, Renaissance-inspired historical fantasy, placed second in Mark Lawrence’s Self-Published Fantasy Blogoff (SPFBO5) and was nominated for a Stabby in 2019. Angela lives in northern Mississippi with her husband and children, where she writes most of her books at the kitchen table surrounded by Nerf guns and Legos.

Publisher: Impossible Books (October 27, 2022) Page Count (Kindle edition): 1323 pages Cover: Brad Bergman Formats: ebook (Amazon exclusive)

Sunday, November 27, 2022

The Book Of Zog & The Umbral Storm Video Interview with Alec Hutson (interviewed by Mihir Wanchoo)

 

Official Author Website
Order The Book Of Zog over HERE
Read Fantasy Book Critic's review of The Crimson Queen
Read Fantasy Book Critic’s review of The Umbral Storm
Read Fantasy Book Critic’s review  of The Book Of Zog
Read Fantasy Book Critic's interview with Alec Hutson
Read TUS Cover Reveal Q&A with Alec Hutson
Watch ATFB Interview with Alec Hutson
 
I hope you enjoy our interview with Alec Hutson. This interview was recorded in the early part of October and Alec was happy to chat about his most recent release The Book Of Zog.  We talked about:
- How the story developed in his mind,
- How he defines space fantasy & how TBOZ & TSOD fit into this sub-genre,

In the second half of the interview, we talked about The Umbral Storm (his SPFBO entry), what his main enthusiasm for crafting the world, his main plans for the POV characters and what might happen next in the Sharded Few Series.



Friday, November 25, 2022

Book Review - Fall of Babel by Josiah Bancroft (reviewed by David C. Stewart)

Book links: Amazon
Order The Fall Of Babel over HERE
Read Fantasy Book Critic's review of Senlin Ascends
Read Fantasy Book Critic’s review of Arm Of The Sphinx
Read Fantasy Book Critic’s review of The Hod King 
Tuesday, November 22, 2022

Book review: The Thicket by Joe R. Lansdale

 





AUTHOR INFO: Joe R. Lansdale is the author of over thirty novels and numerous short stories. His work has appeared in national anthologies, magazines, and collections, as well as numerous foreign publications. He has written for comics, television, film, newspapers, and Internet sites. His work has been collected in eighteen short-story collections, and he has edited or co-edited over a dozen anthologies.

Lansdale has received the Edgar Award, eight Bram Stoker Awards, the Horror Writers Association Lifetime Achievement Award, the British Fantasy Award, the Grinzani Cavour Prize for Literature, the Herodotus Historical Fiction Award, the Inkpot Award for Contributions to Science Fiction and Fantasy, and many others.

Publisher: Mulholland Books (September 10, 2013) Print length: 353 Formats: ebook, paperback, hardback, audiobook

Monday, November 21, 2022

The Thirteenth Hour by Trudie Skies (reviewed by Matthew Higgins)

 


Official Author Website
Order The Thirteenth Hour over HERE
 
Thursday, November 17, 2022

A Deadly Education by Naomi Novik - Review

OFFICIAL AUTHOR WEBSITE
Buy A Deadly Education HERE

Wednesday, November 16, 2022

The Stars Undying by Emery Robin (reviewed by Caitlin G. & Shazzie)

 

Official Author Website
Buy the book here - U.S. U.K.
 

Book review: Pulling The Wings Off Angels by K.J. Parker





AUTHOR INFO: Having worked in journalism, numismatics and the law, K. J. Parker now writes for a precarious living. He is the author of Devices and Desires, Evil for Evil, The Devil You Know, and other novels, and has won the World Fantasy Award twice. Parker also writes under the name Tom Holt.

Publisher: Tordotcom (November 15, 2022) Page Count: 144 p
Tuesday, November 15, 2022

SPFBO Finalist review: The Thirteenth Hour by Trudie Skies (reviewed by Jennifer, Jonathan, Lukasz, Michael & Mihir)



Book links: AmazonGoodreads

AUTHOR INFO: Trudie Skies has been living inside fantasy worlds ever since she discovered that reality doesn’t quite live up to the hype. Through the magic of books, she wishes to share these worlds of hope and heroes with other weary souls. Living in North East England, Trudie spends most of her free time daydreaming about clouds, devouring whatever fantasy books or video games she can get her hands on, and chasing after her troublesome dogs, who would like to reassure you they are very good boys.

You can chat with Trudie on Twitter @TrudieSkies

Publication Date: October 13, 2021 Publisher: Trudie Skies Page Count: 535 Formats: audiobook, ebook, paperback

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