The Ruin of Kings fantasy series acquisition

A great new adventure is coming your way in 2018.

It’s highly unusual (though not unheard of…) for me to read a 223 thousand word manuscript in a matter of days – but then it’s not every day that I receive something this special. Within pages, I knew I’d found an amazing new voice in Jenn Lyons – someone who could confidently deliver just the sort of immersive adventure I love to read. 

There was so much of that fast-paced, colourful adventure too . . . dragons, princes, heroes, demons, magic and cursed jewels, lost gods and swords barely scratches the surface of what a lucky reader has in store! Jenn must have worked some magic of her own too, to make the pages turn so quickly.

My in-house readers were completely wowed by it too, so we were as delighted as I was to welcome Jenn to the list. Below, you can find some of the enthusiastic comments I received. And I include our official press release below that. A great new adventure is coming your way in 2018.

In-house praise

‘I thoroughly enjoyed the set-up, the premise and the tone of the book – humorous and wry without actually being in any way comedic. The way I feel about this is the way I felt when I discovered Brent Weeks and Peter V Brett - so excited but in safe hands!’

'I really like it! It is very Robin Hobb-esque ­– which is a major compliment from me. There's enough intrigue to keep you reading without being too vague and the magic is both familiar and unusual. I love Jenn’s writing style too. The biggest compliment from me is that I want to read more!'

'It's a great story with some really exciting, immersive worldbuilding, fascinating characters and confident writing. I like the way the split past/present narrative gradually unfolds Khirin's life story.'

‘This feels like an epic dose of storytelling. I liked the voice and felt immediately immersed in Rook's (Kihrin's) tale. From the opening pages, Quur is a richly painted world populated by a cast of curious and imaginative characters.'

‘The main character is great. Just enough of a mix of competency and vulnerability to really appeal. The book also has a joyous, creative feel . . . just pitch perfect.’

Official press release

Pan Macmillan is thrilled to announce the acquisition of Jenn Lyons’ five-book Godslayer Cycle. Editorial Director Bella Pagan acquired UK and Commonwealth Rights, excluding Canada. This was from Rachel Clements at Abner Stein, on behalf of Kirsten Neuhaus and Sam Morgan at Foundry Literary + Media. The series starts with The Ruin of Kings, a powerful coming-of-age tale and a rousing epic featuring prophesy, magic, intrigue and chained souls.

We follow Kihrin, a bastard orphan who grew up on tales of long-lost princes and grand quests. Then a horrifying confrontation with a demon leads to him being identified as the lost scion of a royal house. But far from living the dream, Kihrin finds himself practically a prisoner, at the mercy of his new family's power plays and ambitions. Kihrin attempts to escape, but finds himself in far deeper waters. His dangerous journey will take him from the slave pits of Kishna-Farriga to the island home of an assassin cult. Kihrin also discovers those old tales lied about many things: dragons, demons, gods and the fact the hero always wins. And what if Kihrin isn’t fated to save the empire. . . What if he’s destined to destroy it?

Jenn Lyons had this to say on the deal:  ‘Tor has always had a special place in my heart as my favourite publisher, so I can hardly begin to describe my elation at this news. This is a dream come true for me. Bella Pagan's enthusiasm for my work is both humbling and gratifying; I know I'm in good hands.’

Bella Pagan commented: ‘I was utterly captivated by The Ruin of Kings’ bold plotting and fantastic pace as Jenn cast her own particular magic. I really felt I'd been on an exhilarating, no-holds-barred adventure (or a whole series of adventures...) by the breath-taking finale.’

Jenn Lyons is the director of an indie video game company, Pixel Constructor, and she lives in Atlanta. She previously worked on The Saboteur and Lord of the Rings: Conquest at major gaming company EA. Pan Macmillan has provisionally scheduled The Ruin of Kings for autumn 2018, to be published on their Tor imprint. They will match dates with Tor in the United States.