Interviews And Reviews

I’m currently neck-deep in the second draft of The Scar-Crow Men, where I expect to be for a while, so it will be a little quiet around here.

But just to keep things ticking over, here’s a new interview about The Sword of Albion, by Sandy Auden at SF Site.

And here’s an appreciation of The Dark Age books by Rick Kleffel at The Agony Column, which also includes a look at Mark Charan Newton’s excellent Nights of Villjamur.

The Queen Of Sinister US Cover

I’m currently head down and writing the final part of the next book so it’s necessarily been a bit quiet round here. The Swords of Albion series is a departure on many levels from what I’ve done before, particularly the degree of necessary research ( and if you’ve read any of my books you know I do a lot of research). But it seems to be coming together pretty well, I think.

In advance of normal service being resumed, here’s a quick catch-up:

Firstly, take a look at the new cover for the Pyr edition of The Queen of Sinister, Book Two of The Dark Age. Once again it’s by the astonishing John Picacio.

DARKAGE2lowres405cover

Secondly, the first US review of The Devil in Green, Book One of The Dark Age, is in, and it’s from Rob Will Review. To be honest, I don’t read most reviews, even if they’re brought to my attention. I do what I do, and it’s up to readers to take it or leave it. But there are a handful of reviewers I respect, and I listen very closely to their criticism and try to improve my work accordingly. Rob is one of those. You’re probably already aware of the others. In fact, here’s another…

…from Graeme’s Fantasy Book Review. It’s the first UK review of The Sword of Albion, out in May from Bantam. Not only did Graeme like it, he made some good comments which I am now addressing in the next book.

SF Site’s Best Books of 2009

I’m very gratified to see Destroyer of Worlds, Kingdom of the Serpent Book 3, sitting at number three in SF Site’s 13th annual Editors’ Choice Best Books of the Year.

It’s a prestigious list that gets a fair bit of attention. And frankly, the company is great: Daryl Gregory’s The Devil’s Alphabet at five, Julian Comstock: a Story of 22nd Century America by Robert Charles Wilson at four, The City and the City by China Mieville at two, and the hugely deserved Dust of Dreams by Steven Erikson in the top slot.

Here’s the SF Site review of the book and here’s a new review at the excellent NextRead site.

And as if by magic, the mass-market paperback of that book has just been published in the UK.

The Sword Of Albion Catch-Up

Lou Anders, my editor at Pyr Books in the US, has done a brief round-up of some of the amazing reviews I’ve been getting in the US for The Silver Skull – out in the UK under the title The Sword of Albion, from Bantam, in May. To say, I’ve been bowled over by the US reception would be under-stating.

Lou has been working up the catalogue copy for the follow-up book, which will be announced in the US soon. In fact, it looks like there’ll be news of the sequel before the book is even out in the UK.

There’s also a new review of the The Silver Skull out today here. Enough blowing of trumpets.

And Another Swords Of Albion Review

Also one of the funniest: “THE SILVER SKULL, by Mark Chadbourn, is one of the funnest books we have read. Period.”

So that would be The Silver Skull in the US, or The Sword of Albion in the UK – same book, different title – just to avoid confusion.

Also, I’ve just seen the cover for the US follow-up to this book, and it is truly remarkable. By Christian McGrath once again.

The Sword Of Albion – Review

Another perceptive review of the first book in the Swords of Albion series:

“Faeries. British Folklore. Alternate Elizabethan History. Magic. Spies. Political Intrigue. Christopher Marlowe. If these fantastic components weren’t enough to get me excited about reading The Silver Skull, the first novel in the new Swords of Albion trilogy, the fact that Mark Chadbourn is the author sealed the deal.”

The Silver Skull is out now in the US. The UK version – re-titled The Sword of Albion – is out in May.

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 fantasyliterature.com’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…