A few more reviews of Drakenfeld have been floating around the blogosphere. First up, the Book Girl of Mur-y-Castell really enjoyed it after not liking one of my previous books:
I must begin by saying that I did try to read another fantasy series by him and did not like that one at all. But I still gave this one a go and I am glad I did. It was different and really good.
It’s always nice to be given another chance. Secondly UK blogger Wertzone mostly enjoyed it:
… a compelling murder mystery novel with some great atmosphere and writing
Though he wasn’t a fan of the up-scaled ending. Also, somehow he concludes the continent of Vispasia is a little bigger than Italy, which is strange – for anyone who’s interested, I’d say it’s as broad as the whole of Europe. Right at the start, Drakenfeld takes a ship to travel many days from one part to another.
Finally, Sporadic Reads really enjoyed the book as well:
Aside from the world building, I also enjoyed the characters. Lucan Drakenfeld has an analytic mind , emphatic heart and a wicked sense of humor. He is one of the few in his profession who abhors violence and regrets using it even if its necessary. He isn’t perfect though as he has his flaws, he isn’t the best of fighters, though he is capable enough, hates travelling by sea and has a health condition he hides from others.
I’m also knee-deep in edits, hence the minimal blog activity of the past few days…
An update on the Drakenfeld series, if you’re into that sort of thing.
I’m currently working through the edits for the second novel, and it’s going pretty well. The second book is another self-contained story set within a different nation of the Royal Vispasian Union (the continent in which the action happens). There’s a rolling history, much like in real life. I’m hoping to create a few of these novels that can be enjoyed in isolation, but which that have detailed rewards for those who follow the marco story. The aesthetics, the type of crime, and the mood are all different. It’s a lot darker, though Drakenfeld will always remain the optimistic beacon of civilisation – of the system – throughout it all.
The book is scheduled for an October release this year, with the paperback of Drakenfeld coming in July. Hopefully I’ll have more news on a Drakenfeld short story, too…
Drakenfeld has been getting about a bit recently. A few meaty reviews have come in, which is great to see. The first is by Andrew Liptak over at the mighty io9.com:
Drakenfeld is a contagiously optimistic novel, from its politics to its characters. Newton’s ancient-styled world also belies the real nature of his novel: this is a cutting-edge political thriller that for the most part, wouldn’t be out of place in a major city like London or New York or modern day Rome.
The second is from Ana over at the Book Smugglers:
But the thing is: [Drakenfeld's] choices? Are choices that also come from privilege – they are choices that he can do because he has never really suffered it directly. So, it is easy for him to make them. One great moment in the book is how he questions Leana for how she easily she seems to fight and kill: she directly calls him on that because she didn’t have that choice when her entire village and everyone she ever knew were destroyed in a violent attack.
The third is by Patrick Doherty over at Fantasy Literature:
Not every story has to have its own completely unique and original world. Sometimes taking inspiration from a past era works out better than creating a new world, and Mark Charan Newton proves that he can do both
Which is a pretty good week’s work as far as I’m concerned.
Hot off the press:
Jon Mitchell, Senior Rights Manager at Macmillan, has sold Italian rights to DRAKENFELD, the opening novel in a new fantasy crime/thriller series by Mark Charan Newton, to Fanucci.
World rights in the first two titles in this series were acquired by Julie Crisp at Tor UK from agent John Jarrold. DRAKENFELD has just been published in the UK, and the sequel has been delivered.
SFX said of DRAKENFELD:
“This is a grounded and realistic example of secondary world-building that works well as an intelligent locked-room mystery and also gives us a cerebral, multi-layered protagonist. Game of Thrones fans will find plenty to enjoy in the story’s sharply-played political skulduggery…”
Tor.com’s review said:
“The several evenings I spent reading it were so perfectly pleasant that I struggle to recall the last fantasy novel I felt such unabashed fondness for.”
Contact Jon Mitchell or John Jarrold for further information:
Jon Mitchell – e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org phone 020 7014 6151
John Jarrold – e-mail: email@example.com phone: 01522 510544.
21st October 2013
For those of you after a signed copy of Drakenfeld, there’s a big pile of them now available at London bookseller Goldsboro Books.
Also, I realised I hadn’t updated the site with an extract for the book, so you can now find one here.
A couple of Drakenfeld reviews have rolled in, both of them rather lovely. The first is over at the mighty Tor.com, probably the largest and thorough (and occasionally cutting) genre review site going these days:
The several evenings I spent reading it were so perfectly pleasant that I struggle to recall the last fantasy novel I felt such unabashed fondness for.
That pretty detailed review actually really captures most of what I was going for with the novel – and certainly the spirit of what I was after – so I’m delighted with it.
With its perfect blend of fantasy and mystery and an excellent cast of characters, Drakenfeld gave me one of the more unique reading experiences I’ve had this year, and I think those who enjoy both those genres will really like this one. At the risk of sounding like a broken record, definitely check this one out. (5/5)
… this is a grounded and realistic example of secondary world-building that works well as an intelligent locked-room mystery and also gives us a cerebral, multi-layered protagonist… a world that’s challenging and provocative without falling into grimdark cliches.
4 stars in SFX. I’ll take that from the UK’s biggest genre magazine.
Given I’ve a book out, I am in your internets. Firstly, I’m at the Book Smugglers, talking about the need to move on from violence and gritty fantasy, which was part of the reason I wrote Drakenfeld in the first place.
Secondly, I wrote a guest post at Tor UK, talking about great books on the classical age that fantasy fans should read.
What Newton has come up with will go down well with those who appreciate politics in their fantasy.
I thoroughly enjoyed reading Drakenfeld. It’s a cleverly crafted mystery told in a beautiful way. However, what really stood out for me is that beneath this mystery there runs a strong current of engaging human relationships. From Lucan’s relationships with his dead father or with Leana, right up to the King and the people around him, it’s a story very much driven by the emotional ties between its characters. This, in addition to its readability, makes it almost certainly the best book I’ve read this year, and I am looking forward to the next instalment. Highly recommended.
This rather lovely present was a publication day gift from Pan Macmillan (though publication is tomorrow – the 10th – I’m still opening this now). Good, innit? There might be a few things going on over the next few days, in which I whore myself or cause a stir. There are also things like reviews, such as this one:
I expect that Newton’s new series will be an immediate success, thanks partly to its depth of worldbuilding, managing to create a secondary classical world that is familiar enough to be so, yet still completely his own. Lucan Drakenfeld is a complex character with a good core—and this is just the kind of character I feel has been largely missing from certain veins of fantasy. There’s been too much darkness. It was about time that something lighter, yet still no more stereotyped or clichéd, should break through that darker branch of the genre.
And interviews such as this one.
Oh, and Drakenfeld is currently less than a tenner on Amazon. Just sayin’.