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City of Ruin

Bringing back the weird… Art by Benjamin Carre.

That’s Brynd, for any of you wondering. There’s a little more work to be done to the face apparently, but this is pretty much it. City of Ruin, the second book in the Legends of the Red Sun series.

My draft attempt at a blurb:

Villiren: a city of sin that is being torn apart from the inside. Its underworld is violent and surreal. Hybrid creatures shamble through shadows and there is a trade in bizarre goods. The city’s inquisition is rife with corruption. Barely human gangs fight turf wars and interfere in political upheavals. The most influential of the gang leaders, Malum, has nefarious networks spreading to the city’s rulers, and as his personal life falls down around him, he begins to embrace the darkness within.

Amidst all this, Commander Brynd Lathraea, commander of the Night Guard, must plan the defence of Villiren. A race that has broken through from some other realm and already slaughtered hundreds of thousands of the Empire’s people. As the enemy gather on the next island, Brynd must muster the populace – including the gangs. Importing soldiers and displacing civilians, this is a colossal military operation, and the stress begins to take its toll.

After a Night Guard soldier is reported missing, it is discovered that many citizens have also been vanishing from the streets of Villiren. They’re not fleeing the city, they’re not hiding from the terrors in the north – they’re being murdered. A serial killer of the most horrific kind is on the loose, taking hundreds of people from their own homes. A killer that cannot possibly be human.

It is whispered that the city of Villiren is about to fall – but how can anyone save a city that is already a ruin?

By Mark Newton

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

23 replies on “City of Ruin”

Did anyone guess the title? It seems like a good fit and the cover fits nicely with the previous one. There’s a petronas tower vibe going on in the background, is that going to be in the book or is it just artistic license?

I like the sound of Malum already and think it could be very interesting to see whether Mark has us debating whether the city is even worth saving in the first place.

Hagelrat: me too!

Neil: Nope, no one guessed. Ah, I see what you mean – and I think with all city depictions there’ll be some artistic license.

Malum is by far and away my favourite character – the most complex one I’ve written. I hope he’s received well, because he’s not that likeable… 🙂

I would prefer name of author and title in the same style and colors as on Nights of Villjamur cover.

Good characters must not be likeable.

The readers of your blog know one more detail about the serial killer.

I like this cover. Brynd is exactly as I imagined him.

However, I’ve got a question Mark. I seem to recall reading somewhere that each book about the empire would be a standalone story. Has this changed, or am I imagining that?

Hey Don. Well, hmm. Tough one. Yes they’re each (I hope) able to stand on their own without any knowledge of the others. But in my head they link together so you can see the final, big picture.

I think comparing them to Erikson’s strategy isn’t too far off. In the rewrites of this one, I’m trying to give it more of a series feel though.

Then again what I think and what readers think tend to be very different!

So glad you think this looks like Brynd. His role is pretty dominant in City of Ruin.

Marvellous, looking forward to getting stuck into book 2!

I like the artwork – seems half drawn, half photomanipulation. Reminds me a little of the work of Carl Beu ( / whose art I’d love on my own covers if I ever get that far!

The muted shades set a nice grim tone (paradox unintended; you know what I mean) for what looks to be a much darker followup to Villjamur.

You got me with the blurb even though its a draft. There is something about logistics that is so very appealing…

Also the hair reminds me of Sephiroth for anyone who ever played FF7.

Props Mark, can’t wait.

Alec: That’s who he reminds me of! I thought there was an anime look about him but couldn’t place it. Luckily it isn’t Cloud with his gravity defying hair gel.

Thanks, Alec. You know, the whole anime angle really grows on me. I think it’s interesting to see this on a book cover. I like such comparisons.

Next book I’ll make sure that we get a dude(ette) with gravity defying hair gel on the cover. I’ll write one in especially.

An added touch for the dude(ette) would be to have him look like a girl but with a masculine voice or vice versa. A gunblade is a must also, unless they have them trademarked. Bladegun maybe?

Hey Mark, the blurb sounds amazing! I’m now seriously itching to read this! I have to say that the cover took me by surprise – I honestly thought it was a fan-cover and didn’t pay attention that much, and I’m a bit ambivalent about it, but I’m sure it’ll grow on me. 🙂

I can already tell, though, that City of Ruin is going to be much more intense than Villjamur! Can’t wait!

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