The month we publish the jewel of a book that is Alan Campbell's The Art of Hunting in hardback. Given the critical acclaim for book one, it had a *lot* to live up to, but it's certainly done that and more. It's action-packed, lyrical and will stay in the memory long after reading, and I really recommend that you give this a go.
Scott Lynch has praised Campbell's work, saying he 'mingles action and atmosphere with the grace of a seasoned pro. Trudi Canavan has also called Campbell's work 'visually rich' and the Daily Telegraph compared him to China Miéville. If that weren't enough (!), The Guardian has said 'Campbell owes heavy debts to Mervyn Peake and John Milton' and Publishers Weekly has rightly acknowledged 'Campbell has Neil Gaimen’s gift for lushly dark stories and compelling antiheroes',
So . . . welcome to The Art of Hunting! Here is a free extract from Sea of Ghosts (book one) and here is a further free extract from The Art of Hunting (book two). And you can find more on the plot and praise for book one below ...
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With the Haurstaf decimated, the the palace at Awl has been seized by the Unmer. Their prince, Paulus Marquetta, discovers an ally in the blind girl Ianthe - but it would be hard to form a more dangerous alliance. She has the power to destroy his mind with a single thought.
But Ianthe's friendship with Paulus, and his people, has given her powerful enemies. Argusto Conquillas, exiled Unmer lord, is determined to challenge the prince and his followers. And he's prepared to kill anyone who gets in his way. To win through the darkness ahead, she'll need all her allies. Such as her father, disgraced Gravedigger soldier Granger, who is prepared to use every scrap of his cunning to protect her. It may not be enough, as the Unmer, in their quest to unlock the secrets of the universe, have made a bargain with a god. A deal that threatens to destroy the world.
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PRAISE FOR BOOK ONE: SEA OF GHOSTS
‘His invented world is one of the most bizarre, fascinating and dangerous it has been my pleasure to encounter . . . the story grips like a vice, filled with mystery and action, and there is a rich vein of black humour running through the strangeness’
‘Endlessly imaginative and impressively ambitious, but it's also a hugely fun adventure story that keeps up a relentless pace, leaving you with a cliff-hanger ending that will have you gasping for the next book in double-quick time’
‘Sea of Ghosts is wonderful meaty stuff from Mr Campbell again – he’s a true original . . . engages you from page one and never lets go’
‘Rampant imagination is allied with unusually rich writing'
‘Sea of Ghosts is a highly entertaining novel highlighted by cinematic pacing, exhilarating action sequences, and unexpected moments of dark violence’
Fantasy Book Critic blog
‘A fantasy that in both its conception and execution is vivid, bloody, enthralling and utterly atmospheric, the first of what should be a fantastic new series. Bravo’
‘Book one of The Gravedigger Chronicles should mark a watershed moment in Alan Campbell's career. Sea of Ghosts is a stonking good time, rip-roaring and boundlessly ambitious’
The Speculative Scotsman blog