news & reviews


Review of The Broken Isles

There’s a lovely review of The Broken Isles over at Fantasy Faction:

As always in a Mark Newton book, there are many underlying issues that get the reader thinking as they read along. The differences in culture and racial discrimination inherent in people is prominent in the dealings with the newly arrived peoples fighting alongside the Empire, and the Malum-led rebellion at these newcomers being allowed to settle…

The Broken Isles is the best conclusion to a series I have read in a good while, and it is all down to Mark’s fantastic characters, intriguing story-weaving and deft hand at handling important issues inherent in his work.

Read the rest. It’s always nice when readers spot the key thrust of the novel – in this, bringing two cultures together, the prejudices that invokes in people etc – but I’m also glad that the ending was deemed satisfying. Bringing everything together was probably the hardest bit of the job for me.


The Broken Isles – Extract, Interview

The Broken Isles is now out – well, earlier in the week if you’re on Amazon. There are extracts of The Broken Isles and The Book of Transformations over at the Tor UK blog. The direct link to the new extract is here. And here’s the blurb from the back of the book:

War spills into the Boreal Archipelago, as two rival cultures bring their eternal battle into this adjacent realm.

Fresh from a military victory, Commander Brynd Lathraea plans to rebuild the city of Villiren, where he is confronted with a dilemma. There are friendly forces who have no other choice but to live alongside his own people, and their numbers will be required to fight in the looming conflict. The commander turns politician as he seeks to build bridges and embrace mysterious new technologies to further his ambitions. However, many in Villiren are sceptical of aliens coming to their city, tensions run high, and even the dream of a peaceful future brings with it inevitable clashes of beliefs.

Meanwhile, Villjamur has been destroyed. A vast swathe of refugees from the legendary city are now on the run from an immense alien presence in the sky. Villages are being cleared and people are dying en masse. And Inquisitor Fulcrom finds himself at the helm of an operation to aid the refugee exodus to the coast, but it’s a race against time before this threatened genocide is complete. Ancient civilisations line up on the field of battle. Exotic creatures and a possible god walk alongside citizens of the Empire. As the Legends of the Red Sun series draws to a close, there will be one final and immense conflict to decide the fate of multiple cultures forever.

There’s also a brief, but open interview with me over at Civilian Reader:

Writing a coherent fantasy series with a satisfying ending is an immense challenge. I had to cross-reference things I was thinking or doing four years ago, which is not easy. Also, I didn’t want to drag it out – I wanted it to end cleanly. So it was a logical challenge that I’m not used to – the previous books had a greater degree of creative freedom, whereas this was somewhat restrained by what I’d done before. I like to think it was rewarding, too.


Book Giveaway: The Book of Transformations

Okay, so I have TEN signed copies of The Book of Transformation to give away. All you have to do is just say, in no more than a sentence in the comments section, why I ought to send a book to you. Then I’ll email the ten best/most amusing/appalling entries purely on a whim; we can then sort out where you want the book sent, and I’ll bung a signed copy in the post to you. Just like that.

I’ll run this until Sunday night.


EDIT: Turns out that, due to the fact that my publishers accidentally sent me more author samples, I can give away a few more. We’ll say 15 copies for now!


The Broken Isles & The Book of Transformations

Well, final copies are here – and they look lovely. The artwork is so much stronger and vibrant on the final copies. I really like this new look for the series. The rest of the books will be repackaged for around October time (I think) – you can see what they’ll look like here.

Also, the repackaged edition of Nights of Villjamur will contain around 200 minor changes. Luckily I got the chance to iron out many of the flaws – a few first-time novelist issues, the rest being some of the more exotic words and phrases that put some readers off. All in all, it should prove to be a much smoother read.

I’ve got loads of copies of The Book of Transformations, so I’ll likely do a signed-copy giveaway later in the week. Stay tuned…


Italian Job

Jon Mitchell, Senior rights Manager at Macmillan, has sold Italian rights to NIGHTS OF VILLJAMUR by Mark Charan Newton to Gargoyle, who recently acquired rights to publish Joe Abercrombie and others.

NIGHTS OF VILLJAMUR was first published by Macmillan/Tor UK in 2009 and has been followed by three other successful books in the Legends of the Red Sun series. The first of a new series, ‘the Lucan Drakenfeld mysteries’, will debut in 2013.

Contact John Jarrold or Jon Mitchell for further details.

John Jarrold – e-mail: phone: 01522 510 544
Jon Mitchell – e-mail: phone 020 7014 6151


Tor UK goes DRM-free for ebooks

As announced by my overlords:

Tor UK, Pan Macmillan’s science fiction and fantasy imprint, announces today that it will make its ebooks DRM-free over the next three months.

“We know that this is what many Tor authors passionately want. We also understand that readers in this community feel strongly about this,” says Jeremy Trevathan, Pan Macmillan’s Fiction Publisher.

Which is excellent news for ebook readers. It basically means you can read any Tor UK ebooks (like mine) across a range of devices without it being restrictive and annoying as hell. If you want to know more about DRM and ebooks, go here.

I’ve opted in right away!


Weekender write-up & East Midlands Book Award longlist

Over on the Tor UK blog, I’ve written a ‘What I did on my holidays’ report of the SFX Weekender:

For the third year of the event, the Weekender had moved on from Camber Sands (which had, someone claimed, closed down for health and safety reasons a mere two weeks after we’d been there). It moved to Prestatyn, in North Wales, where the Pontins was described by E46_Fanatic in their Trip Advisor review like this: “The room was disgusting, blood on the bedding of both beds, stains left in the toilet, a sofa which smelt like BO and a TV I am sure is older than me! There was grime around the kitchen and the windows were so covered in bird poo I don’t think they had been cleaned for years”.

And in other news, The Book of Transformations has been longlisted for the East Midlands Book Award 2011. They spelled the title ‘The Book of Transformers’ so, IP-related legal action aside, I’m choosing to view that as a good omen. There’s a cash prize, too, which is the kind of award writers prefer, if you’re asking.