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Friday, December 12, 2008

Fantasy Book Critic’s 2008 Review/2009 Preview — David Farland


I have to admit that I’ve done far less reading than normal this past year and much more writing. But here are a few things that I read:

1)Hallowmere: In the Serpent’s Coils” by
Tiffany Trent. This is an impressive debut novel, a southern/gothic/horror with a wonderful sense of setting by an author who obviously has a love affair with words. Tiffany is definitely a writer to watch.

2)Children of a Dark God” by
John Brown. The first novel in a trilogy, this won’t be out until next September, and will be coming out in hardback from Tor. Despite the frightening title I found it to be a touching story about a young man and woman who are struggling to find out not just who they are, but what they are. It’s a medieval fantasy, but aside from that I can’t think of anything to compare it with. I’m definitely eager to see what John comes up with next!

3) The Mistborn Series by
Brandon Sanderson. I admit it: I bought each of the books in hardback initially and began to read them, but as I got into it I decided to keep the books as collector’s editions. That means that I had to wait for the series to come out in paperback so that I could buy those—and finally finish reading it! I won’t be able to finish the series until I get it the last book in paperback, but I’m patient. I can wait. Sort of.

4)Maximum Ride” by
James Patterson. Okay, so I’ve read his adult thrillers, and I was a little skeptical about a young adult SF book, but Patterson did some wonderful things in this tale, and though I found some minor faults. (I can’t imagine that a person with a fourteen-foot wingspan who is flying through the air wouldn’t be spotted by people in the area.) But the many strengths of this book easily made up for a couple of minor lapses.

5)Ender’s Shadow” by
Orson Scott Card. I love Orson Scott Card’s work. I think that he’s perhaps the finest storyteller of our generation, and yet I’m a bit behind on some of his latest books. For those of you who liked “Ender’s Game”, I think you’ll find this to be a delight.

There are others, but I’ll stop my list there.


I have a couple of books that I was asked to supply blurbs for, but found that I just didn’t have time to get to them. They came right during a crush period when I was trying to get books written. So the only one that I’ve blurbed for next year so far is
John Brown’sServant of a Dark God” (See Above).


As far as what is on the horizon for me in 2009—I have a couple of books coming out. In September I will have a comic fantasy for young readers called “Freaky Fly Day”, a story where a giant fly is born in a dump in Los Angeles and takes over the world—demanding tributes of garbage from mankind. But of course California’s proactive and heroic governor (an ex-actor who is eerily like Arnold Schwarzenegger) tries to save the day, with the help of two magical mice, Ben and Amber. This is the third book in my very popular
Ravenspell series.

In October,
Tor will be releasing “Berserker”, the eighth novel in the Runelords series. This tale tells the story of Sir Borenson during the binding of the worlds. I am of course approaching the end of the series, and expect that book nine or ten will finish it up.

Beyond that, I may have a couple of other novels out. Most certainly my historical novel “In the Company of Angels” will be released sometime in the spring, but I don’t have a date yet. It tells the story of some poor Mormon pioneers who tried to cross the plains in 1856 while pulling everything that they owned in the handcarts. They encountered persecution, Indian attacks, a buffalo stampedes, starvation—and the onset of the fiercest winter in U.S. history to that point. Think of it as being something like the Titanic, except on land.

Last of all, I’m going to be offering more writing workshops this year. For those who don’t know, I’ve worked as a contest judge, fiction editor, and as a creative writing instructor for the world’s largest private university. I’ve been giving out daily writing tips for the past year now (go to to get details on how to sign up for writing tips), and beginning in April I’ll be teaching a number of workshops around the country. I enjoy meeting and helping new writers, so I look forward to that.


David Farland is a pseudonym for Dave Wolverton and is the author of several series including The Runelords epic fantasy saga, the Mummy Chronicles, The Golden Queen, Star Wars tie-in novels, and the Benjamin Raven children’s series. Dave has been nominated for both Hugo and Nebula Awards and is a judge for the L. Ron Hubbard
Writers of the Future contest. For more information, please visit the author’s Official Website.

NOTE: For more author responses, please visit Fantasy Book Critic's 2008 Review/2009 Preview index


Anonymous said...

Please note that John Brown's novel is SERVANT OF A DARK GOD, not CHILDREN OF A DARK GOD. Sorry about that, John! (David Farland)

Robert said...

Thanks for the heads up Dave! I've edited the information...


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