I added the title and the location of the Sir Makin short story to the short story page. It will appear in the Legends II Anthology by Newcon Press which you can pre-order HERE. The cover art was created by Dominic Harman.
I added the links to the last few Mark Lawrence interviews to this list HERE. All of them are very insightful and worth checking out.
I copied over last year’s Prince of Fools Flash Fiction entries from the Bloody Cake News website, so that we have copies of them here, too. It will be nice to see them all together when it comes to The Wheel of Osheim contest next year, for which I already managed to recruit the brilliant Conn Iggulden as the second judge.
I also updated the books section (not very mobile-friendly, sorry!) with titles and temporary cover designs. The Wheel of Osheim, the third book of the Red Queen’s War is scheduled to come out next June. Pen Astridge designed an awesome temporary cover art for me to feature here until the official cover by Jason Chan is ready. In case you missed it, I interviewed her recently, asking a few questions about herself and her increasingly popular Nendo-Cover-Art book covers. You can read the interview HERE and find all her Mark Lawrence designs featured in the Fan art / Characters section.
“Numbers didn’t seem to matter. Snorri went through them like a scythe. It reminded me of my glorious victory over the bucket-boys back at the opera house. Snorri waded through the dead like a prince of Red March wades through terrified street urchins. The axe is truly the weapon for such work. A sword is a tongue, it speaks and gives eloquent voice to violence, seeking out a foe’s vitals and ending him. An axe only roars. The wounds it gives are ruinous and in Snorri’s hands nearly every blow seemed to take a head or limb.”
Red Sister is the working title of Mark Lawrence’s latest book he’s currently writing, the first installment of a new trilogy, and as can be guessed from the title will feature a female protagonist. Artist Tomasz Jedruszek allowed me to use one of his earlier works as a temporary cover design in the book section. Please note that both of these cover arts are just temporary designs I’m featuring here and will not be used as official cover arts when the books are out!
Mark posted a snippet from the Red Sister’s prologue on Facebook, which reads:
Here’s a moment.
All the world and more has rushed eternity’s length to reach this beat of your heart … screaming down the years. And if you let it, the universe, without drawing breath, will press itself through this fractured second and race to the next, on into a new eternity. Everything that is, the echoes of everything that ever was, the roots of all that will ever be, must pass through this moment that you own. Your only task is to give it pause – to make it notice.
Thorn stood without motion, for only when you are truly still can you be the centre. She stood without sound, for only silent can you listen. She stood without fear, for only the fearless can understand their peril.
Hers the stillness of the forest, rooted restlessness, oak slow, pine quick, a seething patience. Hers the stillness of ice walls that face the sea, clear and deep, blue secrets held cold against the truth of the world, a patience of eons stacked against a sudden fall. Hers the stillness of a sorrow-born babe unmoving in its crib. And of the mother, frozen in her discovery, fleeting and forever.
Thorn held a silence that had grown old before first she saw the world’s light. A quietude passed down generations, the peace that bids us watch the dawn, an unspoken alliance with wave and flame that lets both take all speech from tongues and sets us standing before the water’s surge and swell, or to witness the fire’s consuming dance of joy. Hers the silence of rejection, of a child’s hurt, mute, unknowing, a scar upon the years to come. Hers the unvoiced everything of first love, tongue-tied, ineloquent, the refusal to sully so sharp and golden a feeling with anything so blunt as words.
Voices reached her, the Pelarthi calling out to each other as they lost sight of their numbers in the broken spaces of the plateau. Cries rang across the plateau, echoing from the pillars, a multitude of footfalls, growing closer. Thorn rolled her shoulders beneath black-skin armour, she tightened the fingers of each hand about the sharp weight of a throwing star, her breathing calm, heart racing.
“In this place the dead watch me,” she breathed. A shout broke out close at hand, figures glimpsed between two pillars, flitting across the gap. Many figures. “I am a weapon in service to the Ark. Those who come against me will know despair.” Her voice rose along with the tension that always presaged a fight, a buzzing tingle along her cheekbones, tightness in her throat, a sense of being both deep within her own body, and above and around it at the same time.
The first of the Plearthi jogged into view, and seeing her, stumbled to a halt. A young man, beardless though hard-eyed beneath the iron of his helm. More crowded in behind him, spilling out into the killing ground.
The Red Sister tilted her head to acknowledge them.
Then it began.”