01 October 2013
By Louise Buckley
Next week we publish Drakenfeld, the first book in Mark Charan Newton's brand new historical fantasy series, and we are delighted to be seeing some really great reviews for it! So great, I thought I'd share some of them on here, and there's also an extract from the book. Scroll down to read more about this very exciting novel.
The monarchies of the Royal Vispasian Union have been bound together for two hundred years by laws maintained and enforced by the powerful Sun Chamber. As a result, nations have flourished but corruption, deprivation and murder will always find a way to thrive . . .
Receiving news of his father’s death Sun Chamber Officer Lucan Drakenfeld is recalled home to the ancient city of Tryum and rapidly embroiled in a mystifying case. The King’s sister has been found brutally murdered – her beaten and bloody body discovered in a locked temple. With rumours of dark spirits and political assassination, Drakenfeld has his work cut out for him trying to separate superstition from certainty. His determination to find the killer quickly makes him a target as the underworld gangs of Tryum focus on this new threat to their power.
Embarking on the biggest and most complex investigation of his career, Drakenfeld soon realises the evidence is leading him towards a motive that could ultimately bring darkness to the whole continent. The fate of the nations is in his hands.
Here's what has been said about it so far:
‘A richly written and always engaging work’ SciFiNow
‘This is a solid, enjoyable page-turner with a wide appeal that I would personally like to read more of.’ SFFWorld.com
‘Drakenfield the novel is an interesting one to categorise. On the surface, it is clearly a fine and detailed fantasy story with rich characters and nicely drawn societies. It is equally a well-researched historical novel . . . It is also worth a read if you are looking to broaden your scope into unfamiliar genres. Newton has excellent SF writing credentials, to which he can add fantasy, historical and crime writing skills, an impressive skill-set indeed.’ SFCrowsnest
‘Drakenfeld is a more than decent start of a new series in a well-developed world with some very interesting characters. Definitely worth your reading time.’ Fantastical Imaginations blog
‘Newton crafts a vivid, living world that mixes modern thought with ancient aesthetics and tastes, whilst expertly mixing together crime and historical fiction with a hint of fantasy. For those new to Newton's writing, this book is a perfect starting point’ Forged Forest blog
And if those quotes have tickled your book-buds, check out this extract:
'For some time we walked through the throng – a good few hundred, all in all, each in their most opulent clothing. Platters of food were discarded on side tables, having been pillaged long ago. A low-level muttering had replaced lively chatter; more than once we stepped through deep silences as conversations suddenly paused at our approach. Along the walls, bright banners of Detrata, each one bearing either the image of the double-headed falcon or the cross of the founding gods, hung down from an impressive height.
Towards the end stood two copper-coated statues of Trymus in different dynamic poses, and we passed between them and into a small corridor with rooms branching off either side. The aesthetics remained the same: continuing the bright and bold displays of wealth, the marble, the gold leaf, and the over-the-top artistic statements.
Then before us stood a structure set within a large hall. It was marked by a much larger set of doors, above which stood a stone carving of the god Trymus – wild eyes and big beard. A solid wall extended for some way on either side, and there were no paintings on this – merely the pure unadorned limestone. Soldiers and a few high-ranking officials were loitering here – the crowds had been kept well away.
‘This is a private temple of Trymus,’ Veron informed me.
‘Maxant’s ceremony was to be held here, they were due to enter the temple at midnight, but the temple had been locked. The door had to be broken down by Maxant’s soldiers so that they could get in. And when they did . . .’
I frowned. ‘Did they not have a key?’
‘They didn’t expect it to be locked. They tried to fetch someone to get another one, but they were running out of time. It was General Maxant’s privilege to open the door at midnight – as part of his triumph, so that he could receive the blessings of Trymus and wear Trymus’ mask for the evening – and his men urged him to get in there before the midnight deadline passed and the stars moved out of alignment. The ceremony loses its essence and Trymus may not have been able to receive contact. Besides, the sooner he did, the sooner we could all get drunk. A few of Maxant’s soldiers then tried to knock the door down. It took four of them a good while to prise it open. And when they did . . .’
Veron nodded to the brutish-looking guard who cautiously pushed the door open for us. The senator led the way; Leana and I followed him inside.
In the centre of the temple, laid on the floor, was a woman’s body covered in blood.
‘This is Lacanta,’ Veron whispered. ‘The king’s only sister, second in line to the throne – and now dead, Trymus help us all.’'
For more about Mark Charan Newton, check out these other posts.