Reviews & Stuff & Nonsense

Publishers Weekly has reviewed City of Ruin and liked it:

The ambitious second installment in Newton’s Legends of the Red Sun dark epic fantasy series (after 2010’s Nights in Villjamur) contains some deeply weird moments. The corrupt city of Villiren is now home to a number of refugees from the capital, including Investigator Rumex Jeryd and Cmdr. Brynd Lathraea of the elite Night Guard. The residents are more focused on internal affairs, like the rash of mysterious disappearances, than on the encroaching alien army allied with the exiled former empress. Labor issues, mad scientists and their creations, racial and religious intolerance, and extradimensional travelers all contribute to the elaborate canvas of the story. Great balanced battle scenes, offering both individual perspectives and sweeping overviews, leave a sense of lingering horror. While the novel’s reach may exceed its grasp, the expanded world and its inhabitants are consistently compelling.

Didn’t get the star that Nights of Villjamur did, despite me thinking City much better in quality and scope than Nights, but I can’t complain really.

I mentioned a couple of posts ago about how Cheryl Morgan helped me with writing a particular character, and Cheryl has talked about this some more on her own blog.

What is important, however, is that Mark has chosen to put a trans woman in his book, not because she is trans, but because she happens to be one of the heroes of the story. And he has done his best to try to treat that character respectfully. Furthermore, his editor at Tor UK didn’t insist that he drop her for the sake of sales. This is all very positive, and I’m proud to have played a small part in making it happen.

(And once again, I’m hugely appreciative to Cheryl for all her help.)

For those of you who are begging for more garden updates (I’m sure someone is) here is a picture of a bee enjoying itself in the garden with the beans. We’ve had stacks of the little things, which – given the yearly reports of bee population decline – is nice to see. (I’m convinced there was a hornet in the garden, too, but I can’t be sure it wasn’t a particularly devilish bee.)

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About Mark Newton

Born in 1981, live in the UK. I write about strange things.