This week sees the paperback publication of one of last year's hottest Tor debut titles - John Gwynne's Malice. And we're not the only ones excited by this awesome, epic, coming-of-age fantasy. Conn Iggulden also loved the book and gave it a brilliant  review - and John, literally, couldn't believe that it was from him when he saw it!

John happened to spot this corker of a quote on his Amazon page:

'5.0 out of 5 stars

Influenced by Gemmell's Rigante and GRR Martin's Game of Thrones - two good strands of DNA. Great characters and plot - it gets faster and more fascinating by the page. All I want now is for the author to put everything else aside, including his health - and write two or three more as fast as humanly possible. Hell of a debut: Highly recommended.' Conn Iggulden

John just assumed it was another Conn Iggulden, or a reviewer pseudonym. He couldn't quite believe that one of his favourite authors may have read his book, let alone enjoy it. However, he rather tentatively emailed Conn via his author page and asked whether it was indeed him.  He got a lovely email back saying it was definitely the real Conn Iggulden and yes, he thought the book was awesome!  John was absolutely over the moon - as were we. I think that says something about how good Malice is!

So, if you haven't checked out this novel, then you really should - Conn Iggulden says so! Scroll down to read more and have a read of this extract from MALICE

johngwynneThe Banished Lands has a violent past where armies of men and giants clashed in battle, the earth running dark with their heartsblood. Although the giant-clans were broken in ages past, their ruined fortresses still scar the land. But now giants stir anew, the very stones weep blood and there are sightings of giant wyrms. Those who can still read the signs see a threat far greater than the ancient wars. Sorrow will darken the world, as angels and demons make it their battlefield. Then there will be a war to end all wars.

Young Corban watches enviously as boys become warriors, learning the art of war. He yearns to wield his sword and spear to protect his king’s realm. But that day will come all too soon. Only when he loses those he loves will he learn the true price of courage.

High King Aquilus summons his fellow kings to council, seeking an alliance in this time of need. Prophesy indicates darkness and light will demand two champions, the Black Sun and the Bright Star. They would be wise to seek out both, for if the Black Sun gains ascendancy, mankind’s hopes and dreams will fall to dust.     

More praise for Malice

'A strong contender for the “if you like Game of Thrones, why not try this?” award’ Independent

'John Gwynne hits all the right spots in his epic tale of good vs evil, the first in the Faithful & The Fallen series . . . there’s a lot of pleasure to be had in this debut novel; Gwynne is definitely one to watch’ SFX

'If you like a good old-fashioned tale of good vs. evil, where the good guys wear white and the bad guys are really, really bad then Malice is perfect. So sit back, slip on those slippers and enjoy’ Fantasy Faction blog