Tag Archives: Orbit Books

War of Shadows Is Now In Stores!

Blaine McFadden is back, and the bad guys are badder than ever! Broken magic. Power-hungry vampires. Evil mages. Battling warlords. War of Shadows is now in stores and online in trade paper and ebook—my darkest and grittiest adventure ever!

War of Shadows

War of Shadows

War of Shadows is Book 3 in Blaine McFadden’s Ascendant Kingdom’s Saga. Here’s the recap: Blaine “Mick” McFaden has scored a victory and restored the magic, but new threats rise from the wreckage of the kingdom of Donderath. While the magic remains brittle and undependable, warlords both mortal and undead vie for power, fighting for control of the ruined Continent. McFadden and his unlikely band of convict heroes must choose their allies wisely as renegade talishte take long- awaited vengeance and powerful mages seek to control Donderath’s next king. Blaine McFadden must protect those loyal to him against the coming storm, and find a way to bind magic to the will of mortals before it destroys him, because time is running out …

And since a picture says a thousand words, this is the book video

There are a few days left on the Goodreads giveaway

You can find an excerpt plus links to Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Books a Million, Chapter/Indigo, Waterstones and Kobo here: https://www.ascendantkingdoms.com/books/the-ascendant-kingdoms-saga/war-of-shadows/

What Reviewers are saying about War of Shadows

If you are an epic fantasy lover, then this is a series you should try!—Exploding Spaceship Reviews

Packed with action, politics, magic, and monsters, this is epic fantasy writ large—Barnes & Noble

“War of Shadows is a rousing adventure full of action, intrigue, danger, and suspense. It’s epic fantasy at its best, filled with vivid magic but grounded by real human emotion.”
—Aaron Rosenberg, author of the bestselling Adventures of DuckBob Spinowitz series

“This book kept me reading long past my bed time. As always, Gail Z. Martin delivers Epic Fantasy as it was meant to be read: gripping, action packed, and larger than life. A delight for any fan of the genre!”—Rachel Aaron, author of The Spirit Thief

“A vivid, engrossing tapestry woven from epic heroism, post apocalypse struggles, perilous magic and darkest fantasy. A distinct and distinctive achievement”.
–Juliet McKenna, author of The Tales of Einarinn

“Which of these things are on your epic fantasy checklist: Intense action in the first few pages which then carries right through to the last? Vivid battle scenes? Characters that combine the best of classic archetypes with fresh new twists? Snappy dialogue? Exciting world building? If you’ve checked even half of these items, then you owe it to yourself to check out Gail Z. Martin’s War of Shadows. It’s heroic adventure at it’s rollicking finest.”
–Charles E. Gannon, author of Fire With Fire

“With a large cast of satisfying characters, Gail Z. Martin masterfully presents an epic struggle between the forces of life and the forces of death in a world of broken magic.”
—James Maxey, author of Greatshadow on War of Shadows

“High mage magic, thrilling battles and heart-thudding adventure – yet another superb fantasy tale from Gail Z. Martin!”
– Andy Remic, author of The Iron Wolves on War of Shadows

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Q&A with Fantasy Author Gail Z. Martin

Q: What is your newest book and what inspired you to write it?

A: Ice Forged is my most recently published book, which launched in January 2013.  It’s a medieval post-apocalyptic story, when war not only destroys a kingdom but also causes the magic to fail.  Losing magic for the people of Donderath is a lot like it would be for us if the power grid went down permanently.  Sure, there are ways to do things without magic (just like there are ways to survive without electricity), but those methods are more difficult and it’s been so long, people don’t quite remember how they worked.  The only man who might be able to restore the magic is a convicted murder and disgraced lord exiled to a prison colony in the arctic.  Reign of Ash is the sequel, and it will come out in April, 2014.

My inspiration was thinking about “what if a culture depended on magic the way we rely on electricity, and the magic failed?”  The more I thought about it, the more ideas came to mind for where the story could go.  And I liked the idea of doing a post-apocalyptic story in a medieval setting because there are so many end-of-the-world stories set in modern times.  I wanted to do something different.

Q:  Why a post-apocalyptic medieval setting?

A:  Why not?  After all, the real Middle Ages were no stranger to devastating natural disasters like famine, plague, and even volcanic eruptions and severe climate swings.  For the people who lived through those hard times, I’m sure it felt like the end of the world.  I’ve always been fascinated with those periods in history, so I decided to create my own!

Q:  You write epic fantasy.  What got you interested in sword-and-sorcery stuff?

A:  As a kid, I loved anything about King Arthur, and I read every book I could find about Arthur, Merlin, Morgan LeFey, and the Round Table.  I know all the words to every song from Camelot! That got me interested in real history, and I read a lot about kings, castles, wars and then of course, magic.  Then I got into reading mythology and folklore, and when you put it all together, I started thinking up stories of my own!

Q:  You’re very active on social media.  Why?

A:  My books are available internationally, and in several languages.  Yet I can’t possibly be in everyone’s local bookstore.  From the very first book, The Summoner, I knew I wanted to reach out to readers and make a personal connection.  Social media makes that very easy.  So I’m very active on Twitter and Facebook, and I love to answer questions, talk about TV shows, movies and books, and generally hang out with people who enjoy fantasy and fandom.  I have a lot of fun sharing photos on Facebook and Pinterest of books I’ve read, genre conventions I’ve attended, and cool things that catch my attention.  It makes writing a lot more personal when I can connect with readers, and I don’t want anyone to feel left out just because I live too far away to meet up for coffee!

Q: What’s next after Reign of Ash?

A:  I’ve just signed a contract with Orbit Books for two more novels in the Ascendant Kingdoms series, and I’m hard at work on book three.  After that, I’ve got some more ideas and some different directions I’d like to explore!  I’ve also started writing a new short story every month for ebook in two different series.  My Jonmarc Vahanian Adventures explore the back story of one of the most popular characters from my Chronicles of the Necromancer books.  The Deadly Curiosities Adventures were a world I originally created for anthologies, but I started having so much fun with the characters, I wanted to write more stories.  It’s essentially an urban fantasy that spans 500 years.  My short stories are available on Kindle, Kobo and Nook, and they’re priced at the equivalent of 99 cents USD.  They’re a cheap thrill!

The Hawthorn Moon Sneak Peek Event includes book giveaways, free excerpts and readings, all-new guest blog posts and author Q&A on 21 awesome partner sites around the globe.  For a full list of where to go to get the goodies, visit www.AscendantKingdoms.com.

Gail Z. Martin is the author of Ice Forged in her new The Ascendant Kingdoms Saga (Orbit Books), plus The Chronicles of The Necromancer series (The Summoner, The Blood King, Dark Haven & Dark Lady’s Chosen ) and The Fallen Kings Cycle (The Sworn  and The Dread).  She is also the author of two series on ebook short stories: The Jonmarc Vahanian Adventures and the Deadly Curiosities Series.  Her books are available in bookstores worldwide and on Kindle, Kobo and Nook. Find her online at www.AscendantKingdoms.com.


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Breaking In A New Pair of Boots—Or a New Fictional World, As The Case May Be

by Gail Z. Martin

Ever buy a pair of boots—or shoes or jeans—and while they fit, they don’t really “fit.” Not yet. They haven’t molded to your contours. You haven’t broken them in.

As a writer, there’s a “breaking in” period when you leave one fictional world that you’ve painstakingly developed and nurtured to begin a new fictional world. And I know that, as a reader, there’s a little bit of adjustment that also goes along with following a favorite author from one series into another, new set of books. It takes some getting used to.

I spent many years and six books developing my Chronicles Of The Necromancer/Fallen Kings Cycle world of the Winter Kingdoms, and writing in that world was as comfortable as slipping into a favorite pair of jeans or a well-worn pair of boots. I knew the neighborhood. I understood the culture like a native. I knew the characters well enough that I would sometimes dream in their voices. It was home.

Then those stories came to a natural resting point and I decided to create a new series in a totally new world with very different characters, which begins with Ice Forged. And the process of breaking in the new boots began again.

This time around, however, I knew what to expect. I knew it would take a while to hit my stride, to feel at home. I gave myself time to get to know the characters and their world. I sat with the story, explored the culture, and questioned the characters in my mind, and they became real to me. It’s a gradual process, like learning to feel at home in a new city. For a while after you move, everything seems strange. Then one day, like magic, you know where you’re going without thinking about it. And you realize that you’re home.

Just as I went through an adjustment moving from one series to another, I know readers of my first six books will also feel a little displaced. The worlds, characters, and cultures are very different, but I believe they are each intriguing in their own way. Yes, there’s a pang when you miss a favorite character, but my hope is that the concept of Ice Forged and the new series will intrigue readers enough to get past the “new kid on the block blues” and that they will move into the new neighborhood with me and share the adventure.

There are lots of stories I still hope to tell in my world of the Winter Kingdoms, but the plot line takes a natural break for a while, and as readers of my books can attest, I’ve put my characters through an awful lot—they deserve a chance to put their feet up and have a few beers. Duty will call them back to action soon enough.

In the meantime, c’mon over to my other world and explore the Ascendant Kingdoms Saga, beginning with Ice Forged. It’s full of new favorite characters you haven’t met yet, a whole new world to explore, and an impossible quest (or two). Their story begins with the end of the world. Come join the adventure!

Gail Z. Martin’s newest book, Ice Forged: Book One in the Ascendant Kingdoms Saga (Orbit Books), launched in January 2013. Gail is also the author of the Chronicles of the Necromancer series (Solaris Books) and The Fallen Kings Cycle (Orbit Books). For more about Gail’s books and short stories, visit www.AscendantKingdoms.com. Be sure to “like” Gail’s Winter Kingdoms Facebook page, follow her on Twitter @GailZMartin, and join her for frequent discussions on Goodreads.

Read an excerpt from Ice Forged here: https://a.pgtb.me/JvGzTt



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It’s the End of the World as We Know It (Again)

by Gail Z. Martin

What is it about an impending apocalypse that captures the imagination?

Having just survived the “Mayan Calendar” apocalypse, the idea is pretty fresh in everyone’s mind. Thanks to the Internet, warnings of immanent doom seem to crop up fairly often, so much so that most of us roll our eyes, mutter “another one” and go about our daily business.

Until the time it turns out to be true.

In my new book, Ice Forged, I look at an end of the world scenario in a medieval setting, through the eyes of the survivors. The magic on which they have come to depend—in much the way we are dependent on our power grid—has vanished. With it goes the monarchies it upheld, the conveniences and necessities it had provided, and the control over the natural world it imposed. Amid the chaos and anarchy, the survivors are faced with the challenge to survive long enough to see if there is truth to ancient legends about a way to restore the magic.

I set my apocalyptic story in a medieval setting for several reasons. First off, most modern-day end of the world stories don’t capture my attention. I’m jaded, and they sound too much like overhyped headlines. That wasn’t the setting in which I wanted to immerse my imagination for the better part of a year.

Secondly, I wanted to explore the magic-instead-of-technology angle, as well as the idea that when we have a simple shortcut to do vital tasks, we are at risk of forgetting how to do things the old way. If the technology (or magic) fails, how do individuals or communities survive if the low-tech ways have been lost?

And the third element that intrigued me was the idea of who a society values and who it throws away. In Ice Forged, the man who may be able to restore the magic is a disgraced lord who has been exiled to a prison colony in the arctic. When social norms and civilized culture collapse, the skills and characteristics that made a person an exile—or even a criminal—just might be what it takes to survive.

It’s especially interesting to me because Western Europe did experience an apocalyptic scenario in the Black Plague. The sheer magnitude of casualties, the swiftness of the disease’s spread and the fear that accompanied it changed the economic, cultural, political and religious fabric of a continent. Most of the time, we read the 30,000-foot overview and see the Plague years through the lens of time. But to those who endured it, I’m certain it felt like the end of the world was upon them.

Books and stories are interesting things. They germinate from the odd bits and pieces in a writer’s memory, shaped by the question, “what if?” I’m looking forward to further exploring my medieval post-apocalyptic world, and I hope you’ll join me!

Gail Z. Martin’s newest book, Ice Forged: Book One in the Ascendant Kingdoms Saga (Orbit Books), launched in January 2013. Gail is also the author of the Chronicles of the Necromancer series (Solaris Books) and The Fallen Kings Cycle (Orbit Books). For more about Gail’s books and short stories, visit www.AscendantKingdoms.com. Be sure to “like” Gail’s Winter Kingdoms Facebook page, follow her on Twitter @GailZMartin, and join her for frequent discussions on Goodreads.

Read an excerpt from Ice Forged here: https://a.pgtb.me/JvGzTt


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Freebie Friday from Gail Z. Martin

Enjoy a sneak peek of The Sworn: Book One in The Fallen Kings Cycle, available from Orbit Books in February, 2011.


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