Tiger, tiger burning bright . . .
As some of you know, I have written a fantasy novel called Gates of Stone, below, which comes out in February next year (2019). It is already available to pre-order on Amazon, should you feel so inclined.
This is the first book in my proposed Lord of the Islands series. I say “proposed” because my US publisher is being rather cautious and has only bought one book in the series so far, and while, obviously, I would prefer that they paid me millions for a twelve-book mega-saga, I can see their point. It’s an unusual kind of book and they want to see if it sells before they buy any more from me.
I don’t think anyone has done this sort of novel before – at least, I can’t think of anyone, but do let me know if I’m wrong – it’s a fantasy story set in an imaginary South-East Asia, with 18th-century technology plus magic, written by a British historical writer, and aimed at a mass US/UK audience.
The elevator pitch if it were a movie would be: “Game of Thrones in Asia”.
There are three main storylines in Gates of Stone:
- Princess Katerina is a sixteen-year-old beauty and only child of the dying Emperor of Khev, who is stripped of her inheritance solely because she was born female. She might be only sixteen but she’s already hard as hobnailed boots. She murders, manipulates and manoeuvres to get herself a fleet of ships and then sets off with a small army for the Laut Besar, a warm ocean dotted with tropical islands, which is the source of the powerful opium-like drug obat. She is determined to do anything to gain the wealth and power she needs to reclaim the Throne of the Ice-Bear.
- On a small, remote island in the Laut Besar, Prince Arjun (Jun to his friends) finds his lazy, luxurious life blown apart when an evil sorcerer Hiero Mangku attacks his Water Palace, slaughters his father and his people and steals a magical sword passed down by his ancestors. Jun, aided by a mysterious, dwarfish, old family retainer called Semar, and a young angry fisher-girl called Ketut, reluctantly sets off in pursuit of the sorcerer, right across the Laut Besar, having vowed to bring back the Kris (sword) of his people and avenge his father.
- Farhan Madani is chronic gambler, independent trader and spy for the Indujah Federation, one of the two Great Powers vying for control the extremely lucrative obat trade in the Laut Besar. He is tasked with starting a war in the region which will pit the Celestial Republic (the other Great Power) against the Lord of the Islands (a pirate chieftain who currently controls the Laut Besar). Farhan fights bloody sea battles, sacks the forts of his enemies and finds himself the terrified captive of jungle-dwelling cannibals, before throwing everything away for love . . .
Actually, that doesn’t begin to describe what happens in this hefty, 500-page book. There’s loads of white-knuckle action, lashings of sex and drugs, savage tigers who help out the good guys, cool sailing ships battling it out with cannon, horrible blood sacrifice, a dash of noble self-sacrifice . . . what more can I say: I think it’s the best thing I’ve ever written, to be honest, but as I say it is a little unusual.
So . . . I have a request to make. Help me to get my publisher to commission another book in the series by pre-ordering Gates of Stone. If there are enough orders, then I get to carry on with the story and, well, pay my mortgage, feed the kids, and so on. So do me a favour and pre-order a copy of the book now from here, and if this link doesn’t work, just go on to Amazon and type in Gates of Stone . . .
Thanks very much!