More details about my upcoming fantasy series

Some of you have read the short story Keeper of Names available in the Shattered Shields anthology already (and if you have read it, leave a review! Seriously, Bryan and Jennifer did an amazing job putting this together so they deserve some credit, and reviews are always a great boost.)
Keeper of Names is about the origin of one of the pivotal characters in my upcoming fantasy series. I’ve not been able to say what any of this stuff was called yet because I was still working out the details with my publisher.
I’m happy to announce that the first novel in the Forgotten Warrior saga is called Sons of the Black Sword and it will be out Fall 2015.

Forgotten

After the War of the Gods, the demons were cast out and fell to the world. Mankind was nearly eradicated by the seemingly unstoppable beasts until the gods sent the great hero, Ramrowan, to save them. He united the tribes, gave them magic, and drove the demons into the sea. Ever since the land has belonged to man and the oceans have remained an uncrossable hell, leaving the continent of Lok isolated.  It was prophesized that someday the demons would return, and only the descendants of Ramrowan would be able to defeat them. They became the first kings, and all men served those who were their only hope for survival. 

Fallen

As centuries passed the descendants of the great hero grew in number and power. They became tyrannical and cruel, and their religion nothing but an excuse for greed. Gods and demons became myth and legend, and the people no longer believed. The castes created to serve the Sons of Ramrowan rose up and destroyed their rulers. All religion was banned and replaced by a code of unflinching law. The surviving royalty and their priests were made casteless, condemned to live as untouchables, and the Age of Law began.

Fearless

Ashoc Vadal has been chosen by a powerful ancient weapon to be its bearer. He is a Protector, the elite militant order of roving law enforcers. No one is more merciless in rooting out those who secretly practice the old ways. Everything is black or white, good or evil, until he discovers his entire life is a fraud. Ashoc isn’t who he thinks he is, and when he finds himself on the wrong side of the law, the consequences lead to rebellion, war, and destruction.

There are three novels planned so far:
Sons of the Black Sword
House of Assassins 
Destroyer of Worlds
I had a lot of fun with this book. I got to tell the origin story of someone who becomes a cross between George Washington and the Punisher. This is a man without fear, utterly devoted to the Law. The people call him the Black Heart for a reason.
This was my first foray into traditional fantasy, so I got to build a society, so obviously I went with brutal caste systems, a massive bloated corrupt secular bureaucracy, and oceans teeming with killer monsters.
I turned the manuscript in to Toni last week. Special thanks to Reader Force Alpha for providing lots of useful help and criticism. It brought joy to my heart when Steve Diamond–the guy who runs Elitist Book Reviews and has read more fantasy novels than anybody else I can think of–finished a fight scene and emailed me “That was probably one of the most violent fight scenes I’ve read in years, so it was awesome.”
Randy Asplund has done the maps, which look fantastic. He managed to make my terrible collection of lines, dots, and squiggles, and make them excellent. I grew up on piles of fantasy novels so I’ve always wanted a book with a map!
And I probably can’t say yet who has been hired to do the cover, but the man is a legend. He is one of the most famous fantasy artists there has ever been. Hell, when I was young I had his posters on my wall. So yeah, I totally geeked out.

55 Responses

  1. Great to see public details.

  2. Thank you, even if I’m gonna have to double my budget for bibs.

  3. “Black Heart”? Raaaaaacissst!

    I can’t wait. 🙂

      • Yeah, it couldn’t be that light vs. dark is an evocative stand in for good vs. evil, which dates back to the very earliest stories told by mankind, across every culture, since we invented fire to keep away the nocturnal predators that would eat us. 🙂

        Naw… Racism. Because a tiny bit of melanin difference is obviously what thousands and thousands of writers and artists have meant when using that imagery.

        It must be really hard going through life in search of perpetual victimhood.

      • Oh yeah, light vs. dark isn’t just a western colonial thing, since it is also used in African myth (Bantu Sunbirds, Malaika Spirits of Light, Fighting Angels), Asian myth (Amatarasu, Lady Sun vs. Lord Moon), light vs. dark is used all the time in Christian, Islamic, and Talmudic writing, and hell, Star Wars had the dark side of the force.

        Sheesh. There are lots of reasons to complain about Destiny’s bad writing, but racism isn’t one of them.

      • I know. The idea people in Africa aren’t afraid of the dark and have no stories around the most common fear myth in the world is too stupid to express. Only Europeans are afraid of the dark because they are racists. It’s just mind-boggling to read this stuff. Why are we as adults even having to address such idiocy?

        She’s maintaining the only people who ever developed a light/dark myth were Europeans like, in Finland what, even 40,000 years ago, who someone got wind there was such a thing as a sub-Saharan African and immediately responded like a gum-chewing Jim Crow sheriff with symbolic black fear myths? I dunno… I really just dunno about these people. It is so disheartening to see adults talk like this I just dunno. And SJWs look to this woman like Solomon.

      • Once again proving she is a racist twit w/ a persecution complex.

      • “WHY IS ANGEL FOOD CAKE WHITE…AND DEVIL’S FOOD CAKE BLACK?!”

      • Andy, are you referencing the famous Dallas city council “black hole” debate (youtube) where one of two black city councilmen who objected to the use of the term stood outside the courthouse and said that exact thing about cake?

      • From Wikipedia:

        “Qamatha is the most prominent god in the Xhosa people of south-eastern Africa. Qamatha is the child of the sun god, Thixo, and the earth goddess, Jobela.

        When Qamatha wanted to create dry land, the sea dragon Nkanyamba interfered. Qamatha’s mother, Jobela, created four giants to help him in work and battle Nkanyamba.

        When Qamatha’s task was completed and enough dry land had been recovered, the giants were turned to stone so they could continue to keep watch over the land.

        The southernmost of them, Umlindi Wemingizimu (“Watcher of the South”) became Table Mountain near Cape Town, South Africa”

        Mandela was Xhosa from the Thembu tribe. So, yeah, the battle between good and evil comes from a long way back and cares little for skin color. Most creation myths–across this little globe of ours–contain such stories of light versus darkness. Good vs evil. Assholes vs heroes. Assholes vs lesser assholes, etc.

        Having said this, by Odin’s magnificent beard! I want to read The Forgotten Warrior Saga! The fact that it will be brutal and violent only further cements this want. I can’t wait. Seriously, and now I’m curious about the cover artist.

      • The ancient Iranians were Zoroastrians, who believed in competing forces of Light and Dark. I’m pretty sure Iranians aren’t pasty pale.

      • Of course, the easiest explanation for “dark = bad” derives from the fact that early humans feared the dangers of the night. And that was a universal fear back then.

      • Sane humans still fear the dark, or at least the monsters that hide in it. Hence our invention of flashlights, streetlights, guns, tasers, Mace, etc.

        Darkness makes evil easier to hide.

      • And I repeated alot of what Larry said without realizing it.

        Sigh. I need more sleep.

      • Is she whinging about this game:

        because that is a seriously funny video, where the girl is just as ballsy and brassy as her male companions.

      • Does she stay awake at night thinking up moronic things to say?

      • Outrage is the opiate of the Marxist. Gotta have something to pretend to be outraged about or what would they do with themselves? They might have to get *lives*!

      • Traditional good vs evil gets pretty boring as I get older. I prefer books where everyone is a scumbag. Scumbags are more interesting. Most good vs evil stuff gets heneric. I cheer for the bad guys. You said once you were reading joe abercrombie. He makes scumbags interesting.

        I am really hope your lead character turns out to be a scumbag. If he ends up a good guy at the end it will be dissappointing. You are setting him up as a badass.

      • There are very few foods which are truly black. Olives, for example, or various kinds of seaweed. Even licorice isn’t really black (it’s dark green). Devil’s food cake is definitely brown, unless you’re putting olives in there and I don’t want to know about it.

      • I’m sure that’s because of White Privilege.

      • Yes, honey: the Earth rotates because of racism.

  4. Zombie Frank Frazetta is doing the cover? Man, I can’t wait to see that!

    Just kidding! I’m stoked to read this. I read more fantasy than SF as a kid so it’ll be nice to have another fantasy work to read amongst my current crop of SF, physics, and fitness books.

    BTW, I already can’t wait for the next Monster Hunter book. It’s evil that you make them so good.

  5. “And I probably can’t say yet who has been hired to do the cover, but the man is a legend. He is one of the most famous fantasy artists there has ever been. Hell, when I was young I had his posters on my wall.”

    LARRY ELMORE!!! (just a guess…)

  6. My guess is Alan Lee. Those Tolkien paintings are the most famous fantasy artwork I can think of.

    Do you know who will narrate the audiobooks yet?

    I was already excited about this series, and this just makes me more excited. 😀

    • Yeah, do you have audiobook deal and will them get out at the same time as written novels? I buy your audiobooks in English but I am buying translated novels in Czech.
      And tbh – your narrators are so awesome that I just don’t get why someone wouldn’t buy your audiobooks.

    • Just googled Alan Lee. His stuff is beautiful but too ethereal for this kind of work. Ditto Luis Royo. I’m voting for a Czech artist cover.

      • Alan Lee did some David Gemmell covers back in the ’90s, and those weren’t particularily ethereal, IMO.

      • Probably, but you never know. (Also I don’t really know of any other fantasy artists to guess. Am not geek enough on that topic.)

      • I like Royo’s work, but has he ever actually drawn any male characters? My recollection is it’s something like 99.99% women.

      • @Achillea – A quick look at his gallery:

        http://www.luisroyo.com/en/gallery/

        shows at least two guy pics there, so yes, he draws male characters. I know he has a few more in his WILD sketchbooks and there are others featured in his full color artbooks. Just not very frequently. They’ll be more likely if it’s a book cover, but he prefers to draw women because ‘in our society the meaning of an unreachable dream in stronger when talking about femininity.’ (Conceptions III). A quick flick through the WILD sketches volume 3 shows a number of males drawn in pencil, pen and greyscale watercolors in the first 50 pages alone. He draws a number more bodytypes with men that I’ve seen; though just as idealized as his women for ‘hero’ type characters.

      • Christopher M. Chupik, I found Lee’s covers for McKiernan’s Iron Tower Trilogy and to me they are still not right. They’re too gray.
        http://www.amazon.com/Shadows-Doom-Iron-Tower-Trilogy/dp/0451138155
        The style may fit the story but it’s not somethiing I’d grab from the shelf. Just taking a quick look at modern covers and there’s not much I like about any of them. They’re all gray, grey and boring. Baen’s the only one with colorful, interesting covers. Compare Shattered Shields to the McKiernan cover.

  7. Quick question. How do contributing authors get paid for anthologies like this? Is it a set amount for the story, or do all the authors split the royalties in some fashion, or some other method?

  8. One vote for Boris Vallejo…

  9. Oh please tell me you got Boris Vallejo. I’ve loved his work since I was a kid.

  10. “a massive bloated corrupt secular bureaucracy”

    I wonder where you could have ever gotten that inspiration! 😉

  11. EARC! EARC! EARC!

  12. Sounds, well…FANTASTIC

  13. …I hope you will be announcing preorder status because I will so be after that in a flash.

  14. I’m sure whoever it is will be awesome.

    OTOH, I would find it pretty interesting to see a smooth, creamy style like Vallejo’s or poor Victoria’s (you know, the lady who was really big in the 80’s, until Saddam started buying up everything she’d every drawn) being used on a Larry Correia book.

    There is probably a technical term to use for all that flesh and light and tones thing, but “smooth and creamy” is all that occurs to me. I must be hungry.

    • I recall Saddam being into Rowena. That the one you mean?

      I’d have to vote against Vallejo, though. Legend or not, his people tend to look like jaundice victims who stumbled into vats of Crisco.

  15. I just put my money where my mouth is. Haven’t even read it yet, but count me as another well satisfied customer of the International Lord of Hate. SUCK that Trollheim dwellers!

    BTW, the whole light and dark thingy? The answer is if someone is always looking for racism/misogyny/ gender what-ever-it-is-this-week they will inevitably find it anywhere. Just today I saw on the Communist News Network “What does gay marriage have to do with gun control”. Perfect example. (The short answer is NOTHING)

  16. I can’t wait for this. I also can’t wait to see the reaction of the SJWs who keep insisting we need more non-Western fantasy settings when they see what Larry’s new book is about. 🙂

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