SPFBO 6: Finalist Review Black Stone Heart

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Details on Kameron Hurley’s next book…

Kameron HurleyIf you keep up-to-date with the various awards and discussion that revolve around the forefront of fantasy and science-fiction literature, it would be hard for you not to have at very least heard of ‘Kameron Hurley’.

In a genre where ‘strong women’ have – in the past at least – been rarely more than the genre trope of ‘warrior women’, Kameron created a truly ruthless female character who is willing to do whatever needs to be done in order to survive the grim and desperate world she lives. In addition, the Bel Dame Apocrypha books were morally and intellectually challenging in a way that the SFF genres are often criticized for not being. The result was that fans of the genre rewarded her handsomely: in addition to being showered with – much deserved – praise, she scooped up numerous awards including the Sydney J. Bounds (British Fantasy Society Newcomers) award, Kitschies newcomer award and nominations/shortlistings for various Arthur C. Clarke , BSFA, Nebula and Locus Awards.

As you’d imagine, fans of Kameron have been interested to see where the author is heading next. Will she stick with a similar formula or will she try something new? Well, we’re not going to have much of a wait to find out… Kameron has already set a date for the release of her next series ‘The World Breaker Saga’ and the publishers have been quick to release a cover and the blurb:

mirror-empireFrom the award-winning author of God’s War comes a stunning new series…

On the eve of a recurring catastrophic event known to extinguish nations and reshape continents, a troubled orphan evades death and slavery to uncover her own bloody past… while a world goes to war with itself.

In the frozen kingdom of Saiduan, invaders from another realm are decimating whole cities, leaving behind nothing but ash and ruin. As the dark star of the cataclysm rises, an illegitimate ruler is tasked with holding together a country fractured by civil war, a precocious young fighter is asked to betray his family and a half-Dhai general must choose between the eradication of her father’s people or loyalty to her alien Empress.

Through tense alliances and devastating betrayal, the Dhai and their allies attempt to hold against a seemingly unstoppable force as enemy nations prepare for a coming together of worlds as old as the universe itself.
In the end, one world will rise – and many will perish.

I have to say that the first thing that strikes me is the incredible cover art. I love the abstract nature of it and the hint of sorrow and epicness that slots it right in with the current trend of fantasy covers. It actually reminds me a fair bit of the original Ketty Jay covers (that I truly loved). As for the story, the novel sounds like it will be more epic in scope that Bel Dame, but with a world just as dark and just as dangerous. I wouldn’t go quite as far to suggest Game of Thrones, but perhaps something like Mark Lawrence’s titles is on the cards?

Kameron’s publishers, Angry Robot, have promised ‘at least two books in the Worldbreaker Saga’ with book 1 to be published worldwide in September this year and the sequel to follow in 2015.

Fantasy-Faction can’t wait to pick this one up!


One Comment

  1. […] just taken by the sight of a Knight on a Dinosaur’s back. I’ve spoken before, when Kameron Hurley’s latest novel was announced, about how much I like this grey abstract style that Tor Books seem keen on lately. […]

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