Tag: Mark Charan Newton

31Jul

The Times Reviews “Nights of Villjamur”

Yeah, that book I wrote, lots of reviews, you thought I’d stopped talking about it by now, right? Wrong!

The Times reviews Nights of Villjamur:

Set in a far distant future where several different intelligent species co-exist and remnants of long-lost technologies provide the “magic powers” by which cult leaders impress the masses, this is epic fantasy strongly tinged with science fiction. At its best, I was reminded of Jack Vance or Gene Wolfe… this is a promising start to a series worth pursuing.

The book reminding anyone, let alone Lisa Tuttle in a national newspaper, of Vance and Wolfe is perhaps the Coolest Thing Ever.

29Jun

Updates

Hey, kids. I’m back online with full support from Apple after my recent debacle with the Chardonnay. I really didn’t think I could become more of an Apple fanboy, but I am… Did anyone break the interwebs while I was away having cream teas in the country? Were there any of those pesky flame wars and existential crises?

Anyway, Julie from Pan Mac emailed me earlier today to say that Nights of Villjamur was going to have to be reprinted, which was rather lovely to hear. I mean, it’s not the bestseller lists by any means – it’s my hardcover debut, after all! – but it’s certainly better than having the novel stink out the shelves.

11Jun

Two Reviews of “Nights of Villjamur”

Dark Wolf Fantasy Reviews has a very thorough review of Nights of Villjamur:

I was caught in the spell of “Nights of Villjamur” but the end of the novel didn’t bring my release and I was left wondering about the outcome of its story. Mark Charan Newton shows in his novel a great potential, for him as a writer and for his fantasy series, “Legends of the Red Sun”, and I believe that he can sit without question in the hall of the new names of epic fantasy writers and bring his contribution to a great new generation of such authors.

I do so hate not bringing about his release – I never like to leave people in such a state, I feel like such a floozy.

Meanwhile, Liz at My Favourite Books also reviews Nights of Villjamur.

Nights is an epic fantasy chock full of fresh, off the wall ideas, yet Mark manages to keep the heady cocktail of cultists, flying soldiers, zombies, diabolical politicians, albinos and genocide under tight control, nimbly weaving the various storylines together into a satisfying whole.

Read the rest. Thanks, Liz!

6Jun

The Guardian Reviews “Nights of Villjamur”

Nights of Villjamur was reviewed in today’s Guardian, and this is the full review:

Villjamur is under siege from the encroaching ice age. Refugees threaten to overwhelm the city and stability is undermined from within by scheming chancellors. After the suicide of the emperor, Captain Brynd Lathraea is charged with bringing back the emperor’s daughter from self-imposed exile, to be installed as a puppet empress. Meanwhile Randur Estevu, a country lad with vaunting ambitions, comes to Villjamur seeking immortality. The first instalment in The Legends of the Red Sun series is a dark epic which shows its debt to Gormenghast: death stalks the shadows and scheming, idiosyncratic characters have their own agendas. This is fantasy with vast scope and ambition, and while the prose would have benefited from judicious compression and excision, the novel is a complex, eldritch vision with great potential.

1Jun

Next Read Reviews “Nights of Villjamur”

Another review, this time by Gav at Next Read:

…how does Mark Charan Newton taste?

Bet you’re interested now!

Nights is a mix of fantasy, science fiction, dying earth, mystery, crime, politics, coming of age, and genocide to name a few things he’s brought together in a book that’s under 500 pages…

He’s only two novels into his career (this is his debut with a mainstream publisher) and you can tell that Newton is going to stand out. He’s mindful that he needs to create texture and colour to his characters and give them a reason for moving on the page. He’s also put thought into the environment they inhabit…

A wonderfully thoughtful read from a strong writer who has the potential to become an even stronger voice in the future.

We never find out quite how I taste, but there will be an interview coming from Gav in the next week or so, and perhaps we’ll find out then.

29May

SFF World Reviews “Nights of Villjamur”

I’m very, very chuffed with this review of Nights of Villjamur over at SFF World, one of the largest Science Fiction and Fantasy review sites on the internet. Here are a few snippets:

Imagine a book that reads like Joe Abercrombie, set in a Jack Vance-like Dying Earth and written with characters the equal of Moorcock and Mieville. Too good to be true? This book might just meet your expectations…

In fact, NoV is a great book, which takes old tropes and re-imagines them into something new and memorable. It is an assured tale written with style, intelligence and skill, written inside a fantastically set premise and brilliantly focused novel that shows all the strengths of the genre and relatively few of the weaknesses…

In summary, though, very highly recommended. Definitely my favourite fantasy of the year so far, in what is a very good year for the genre. This will be a ‘best of the year’ novel, unless I’m much mistaken.

Read the rest of the review.

This is a site I really respect, and means a lot. So, erm, woohoo!

23May

DeathRay Reviews “Nights of Villjamur”

Nights of Villjamur received a great review in DeathRay science fiction and fantasy magazine this month. Here are a few highlights:

The author’s style pushes this tale closer to literary work than most fantasy fare and in particular there’s a pleasing depth to the characters… It’s to Newton’s credit that there’s not a cliché among them; he paints his cast to harbour some wonderful contradictions hidden beneath their official faces… Newton’s characterisations are backed up by an obvious understanding of how the world works and this colours his writing… The plot is also multi-threaded, with story lines occasionally overlapping and characters occasionally appearing in the background of each other’s situations like an episode of Lost… Overall, this is an impressive novel from a new fantasy author.

And it turns out there wasn’t any Cobra beer at the wedding I went to at the weekend, but it was good fun nonetheless. I’d never been to a Hindu ceremony before, but it was at this fascinating Hare Krishna manor/temple, just north of London. We had to sit down on the floor, cross-legged, for some time whilst watching what was a 5,000 year old ceremony. I’ll hopefully get some photos up soon.

17Apr

Graeme Visits Villjamur / As Does King Of The Nerds

Yep, I’m being solipsistic again. Here’s another review over at Graeme’s Fantasy Book Review.

I finally got round to picking the book up last weekend and finished it last night in a fit of ‘I can’t stop reading, I really must find out how it all ends…’ It turns out that everyone was right and my anticipation of ‘Nights of Villjamur’ was well founded…

… The bottom line is that Newton writes an engaging tale full of different subplots that all come together to form a picture you’d only half guessed at while you were reading. ‘Nights of Villjamur’ has something for everyone and it’s all good. If you’re after a noir thriller then follow Inquisitor Jeryd down the mean streets as he attempts to solve a murder that has everyone baffled. If you’re after something political then Villjamur is full of competing factions that are all out for power and will stop at nothing to get it. If all you want is a bit of honest thievery and the sound of swords clashing in anger then there is plenty of that as well.

The events portrayed in ‘Nights of Villjamur’ are guaranteed page turners and the characters involved are just as engaging. Newton takes his time going into what it must be like living in a world approaching its end and how this can affect people’s decisions. Some characters stick to what they know whether that’s the upholding of the law or following their own base desires. In a dying world where change can be seen as pointless some characters do develop and these journeys are the ones that are worth following. There is enough going on in these pages to make reading the sequel pretty much essential as far as I’m concerned…

Nine and a Quarter out of Ten

I don’t know where I lost that .75 of a point. Must. Try. Harder.

And here’s another just in, from King of the Nerds (what a great blog name!):

This was by and large one of the best titles I’ve read this year. Had Tor U.K. not sent me an ARC for review I’d be converting my dollars into pounds and not regretting that fact for a single moment…

The subtle blending of fantasy, horror, noir, and fantasy results in an interesting and enthralled final product that has a lot to offer just about any reader. Marketing material and reviews mentioned Charon amongst such speculative fiction luminaries as M. John Harrison, Stephen Erikson, and even China Mieville. To an extent those comparisons are accurate but to be fair I think Newton has managed a synthesis of styles that deserves to be examined in its own right rather than solely with the context of his literary forbears. As I’m almost certain I’ve mentioned before that is courtesy I do not necessarily extend every book my way. As a debut novel (at least with a major publisher, The Reef had a small print run but I might have to track it down anyway, but even as a second novel) Nights of Villjamur is surprisingly mature bit of prose that I would hope to see on any list of modern fantasy classics and in the coming years I’m willing to be we’ll be seeing Newton’s name amongst those aforementioned luminaries (maybe on some other new author’s book). As I said before there is no official U.S. date, a shame for fantasy fans here stateside and the U.K. market has to wait to June to pick this one up. This is a book that fantasy fans are going to want read; highly recommended.

Now that’s set the weekend up very nicely indeed.