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Sunday, February 15, 2009

Fantasy Book Critic’s 2008 Review/2009 Preview — Drew C. Bowling


The two best novels I read this past year (neither published in 2008), were “The Shadow of the Wind” by
Carlos Ruiz Zafón and “Brideshead Revisited” by Evelyn Waugh.

I'll also go ahead and trumpet a few more books that deserve much wider attention (although these have been favorites of mine for quite some time). Fans of short and powerful fantasy novels should read, in no particular order, “The Innkeeper's Song” by
Peter S. Beagle, “All Hallows' Eve” by Charles Williams, and “The Mark of Ran” and “This Forsaken Earth”, the first two books in Paul Kearney's new nautical dark fantasy series, The Sea Beggars (there will be two more, and contrary to rumors you might have heard, they will be published). Great fiction, I promise.


For last year's feature, I mentioned two novels I blurbed: “Thunderer” by
Felix Gilman and “Havemercy” by Jaida Jones and Danielle Bennett. This year I've been busy writing “The Sea of Dreams”, the sequel to my first novel, “The Tower of Shadows”, so I didn't think I was going to be able to contribute (although a blurb of mine did appear on Iron Angel, Alan Campbell's sequel to his debut novel, Scar Night). Over the past few weeks, however, while scanning the SFF blogosphere, I came to realize that two upcoming titles, both of which I am looking forward to very much, could use another mention. So, in the spirit of plugging:

The City & the City” by
China Miéville. UK Release Date: May 15, 2009. Published by Pan Macmillan. US Release Date: May 26, 2009. Published by Del Rey.

When the body of a murdered woman is found in the extraordinary, decaying city of Beszel, somewhere at the edge of Europe, it looks like a routine case for Inspector Tyador Borlú of the Extreme Crime Squad. But as he probes, the evidence begins to point to conspiracies far stranger, and more deadly, than anything he could have imagined. Soon his work puts him and those he cares for in danger.

Borlú must travel to the only metropolis on Earth as strange as his own, across a border like no other. It is a journey as psychic as it is physical, a shift in perception, a seeing of the unseen, a journey to Beszel's equal, rival, and intimate neighbor, the rich and vibrant city of Ul Qoma.

With shades of Kafka and Philip K. Dick, Raymond Chandler and 1984, “The City & The City” is a murder mystery taken to dazzling metaphysical and artistic heights...

The Patriot Witch” by
C.C. Finlay. Release Date: April 28, 2009. Published by Del Rey.

The year is 1775. On the surface, Proctor Brown appears to be an ordinary young man working the family farm in New England. He is a minuteman, a member of the local militia, determined to defend the rights of the colonies. Yet Proctor is so much more. Magic is in his blood, a dark secret passed down from generation to generation. But Proctor's mother has taught him to hide his talents, lest he be labeled a witch and find himself dangling at the end of a rope.

A chance encounter with an arrogant British officer bearing magic of his own catapults Proctor out of his comfortable existence and into the adventure of a lifetime, as resistance sparks rebellion and rebellion becomes revolution. Now, even as he fights alongside his fellow patriots from Lexington to Bunker Hill, Proctor finds himself enmeshed in a war of a different sort—a secret war of magic against magic, witch against witch, with the stakes not only the independence of a young nation but the future of humanity itself...

NOTE: In a gusty move,
C.C. Finlay has made “The Patriot Witch” available as a FREE PDF. You can download it HERE. "The Patriot Witch" is the first book in the Traitor to the Crown series which will be followed by "A Spell for the Revolution" in May 2009 and "The Demon Redcoat" in June 2009.


Drew C. Bowling is a young fantasy author who started writing his debut novel “The Tower of Shadows” while in high school. Drew is currently enrolled in college and finishing up “The Sea of Dreams”, the second volume in his Tides of Fate trilogy. For more information, please visit the author’s
Official Website and Official Myspace.

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


Anonymous said...

its somewhat depressing when the published authors you see, you probably would chase off your lawn WHILE complaining about the government the entire time...

no insult to him, there are just times you swore the thoughts you hated hearing when you you were younger actually ambush you in you in old age.

ediFanoB said...

I liked the preview by Drew C. Bowling.

Especially I'm interested in "The Patriot Witch". But I'll buy the real book.

Chris, The Book Swede said...

Glad to find another Waugh fan :) First time I've commented in ages -- hope you're well! Chris

Robert said...

Hey Chris! Yeah, it's been a while, but then again, I haven't commented on your blog in ages either ;) Hope things are well for you :D


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