Best Fantasy Novel Of The Year? Yes, I Think It Is.

It’s Thanksgiving in the US and the start of a retail frenzy that will continue right through the Yuletide season. It’s a brutal time for authors. More books are sold than at any other time of the year. The stakes are high, everyone’s competing for attention so their book doesn’t get lost in the snowstorm. It’s going to be a backstreet knife fight from here on out. Not pretty.

And here’s where I jump into the fray. Look away now if you can’t bear brutal displays of marketing and attention-seeking in a bid to get everyone to notice the first Swords of Albion book, The Silver Skull, which is out NOW in the US. You know the one – Elizabethan spies versus Faerie on the eve of the invasion of England by the Spanish Armada.

And look – new reviews are in. Prestigious site Monster and Critics says “In a year of outstanding fantasies, The Silver Skull may just be one of the best.” Which comes on the back of’s reviewer claiming it’s their favourite book of the year. That sounds like a trend.

That provides a slight silver lining to the book not coming out in the UK until April. UK reviewers can now make it the best book of two years. Go on – you know you want to.

And look – here’s another review, this time from also-prestigious magazine Realms of Fantasy: “Chadbourn’s plot moves swiftly, from London to Scotland to Spain, with surprises galore along the way, and with memorable heroes and villains, especially the Faerie prince Cavillex, who is a worthy adversary for Swyfte, and a promising young playwright and sometime secret agent by the name of Christopher Marlowe. Smart, fun, at times surprisingly moving, and occasionally downright shocking, The Silver Skull is impossible to put down.”

Then there’s the recent review in the – yes – prestigious magazine Locus: “The Silver Skull has such an array of complex characters, deeply involved in their interesting times and guarding so many painful memories and secrets, there’s something here for anyone who wants more than a bunch of cardboard figures going through the motions while the body count keeps rising.”

Sick of all this pimping yet? Get used to it – there’ll be more. Much more…