Fantasy Faction

Fantasy Faction => Fantasy Book & Author Discussion => Topic started by: Rostum on June 16, 2017, 01:32:16 AM

Title: Godblind by Anna Stephens (full trilogy)
Post by: Rostum on June 16, 2017, 01:32:16 AM
Godblind is the first of a grimdark trilogy by Anna Stephens, Fantasy forum member, cool dude(tte) and as of the Waterstones Birmingham launch tonight published author.

The Blurb on Amazon reads.

Fantasy’s most anticipated debut of the year.

"There was a time when the Red Gods ruled the land. The Dark Lady and her horde dealt in death and blood and fire.
That time has long since passed and the neighbouring kingdoms of Mireces and Rilpor hold an uneasy truce. The only blood spilled is confined to the border where vigilantes known as Wolves protect their kin and territory at any cost.
But after the death of his wife, King Rastoth is plagued by grief, leaving the kingdom of Rilpor vulnerable.
Vulnerable to the blood-thirsty greed of the Warrior-King Liris and the Mireces army waiting in the mountains…"

GODBLIND is an incredible debut from a dazzling new voice of the genre.

The Launch:- I arrived in Birmingham in time for a coffee in their cafe and found the 2nd floor blockaded by Waterstones staff as they put out chairs for the event. I am sure they put Fantasy authors in the cookery and crafts section as they know they will never get the audience out if they put them downstairs with the SFF and comics. A lot of chairs and a lot of bums on seats, as many as Jen, Den and Peter managed. Anna was a star despite claiming to be a bundle of nerves she gave astute answers, offered the audience the chance to leave and told us which characters to hate in the book. There were a couple of monosyllabic answers but one of the questions deserved it. Godblind has existed in one form or another since 2004 and has been re-written15 times between then and publication. This is a study in perseverance, take note potential authors.

The Book Itself:- Having attacked Godblind on the journey home I can vouch that it is compelling.
In the 60 odd pages I have read I have found it difficult to put down and nearly didn't get off the train at Gloucester. I believe I said I thought it would be the breakthrough fantasy book of 2017 and stand by that statement, but now is where I kick your baby Anna so perhaps you may want to look away.

She fires arrows and will consign herself to that special plane of hell for people who do so.

I am really sorry but this one (as a few of you may have noticed) really makes my teeth grind. That aside the chapters so far are bite sized and from multiple viewpoints. There is good world building and story generation and I have a desire to get back to my beautifully signed copy to find out what happens next.


Title: Re: Godblind by Anna Stephens
Post by: AnnaStephens on June 19, 2017, 07:52:38 AM
ARGHHHH did one slip through? I am CERTAIN that they are correctly loosed in almost all instances as I know very well that that is correct terminology. 

DAMNIT.

 :-[

But, thanks for the write up, also!
Title: Re: Godblind by Anna Stephens
Post by: Rostum on June 20, 2017, 04:12:24 PM
It's a personal hatred from 30+ years as a toxophilite and you are far from alone in using fired in your writing.
My OCD on the subject hardly makes it's usage wrong but it is a recurring debate on this site.

I am now at about the 200 page mark and curious to know where you researched you spear training?
What I have read so far is spot on if limited.
Title: Re: Godblind by Anna Stephens
Post by: AnnaStephens on June 21, 2017, 07:27:49 AM
Thanks! It's limited because there was no research involved. That's me translating my years of martial arts experience into writing. We didn't specifically train against spears, but there was defence against staff and bo, some practical, most from practising kata, and that is similar (but without the pointy end). Longer stance, stable through the hips etc is from karate. Glad to hear I got it right!

I'm probably going to join a HEMA club and I think they train pollax so hopefully my knowledge of that weapon will deepen and inform the sequels.
Title: Re: Godblind by Anna Stephens
Post by: Rostum on June 21, 2017, 01:26:47 PM
ahh ninja training!

 I think @CameronJohnston  is a member of Hema. You also have the Stafford's on your doorstep who are a old mean, crusty and mostly broken bunch of Wars of the Roses re-enactors with probably the hardest hitting bill block I ever encountered in 25 years of international playing at hitting people with lumps of steel. Never got on with polaxes myself you need at least half harness to play reasonably safely with these things and I much preferred an open fight to having to stand and take it. By coincidence I found 2 heavy spears i forgot I had in the garage while moving motorbikes around. I much preferred those to a bill or glaive as you are much faster.

You may find this of interest. George silver raging against the adoption of the rapier over the longsword.

http://www.pbm.com/~lindahl/paradoxes.html (http://www.pbm.com/~lindahl/paradoxes.html)

Title: Re: Godblind by Anna Stephens
Post by: ScarletBea on June 21, 2017, 02:43:08 PM
And check out @AnnaStephens's interview on the main site :D

http://fantasy-faction.com/2017/anna-stephens-interview (http://fantasy-faction.com/2017/anna-stephens-interview)
Title: Re: Godblind by Anna Stephens
Post by: The Gem Cutter on June 21, 2017, 06:33:12 PM
Cannot wait for it to be available here in the US next month!
Title: Re: Godblind by Anna Stephens
Post by: CameronJohnston on June 21, 2017, 09:23:39 PM
*Appears in a puff of smoke*

Aha, I hear my name intoned in an eldritch manner!
Yes, I've done HEMA though I am somewhat lapsed. Need to get back into it later this year. Ed McDonald would be a better source of info to be honest.

Oh goodness, spears eh? I have little experience there, but I have done quarterstaff (much heavier strike than a Bo) which bears some similarities. The problem here is that it is pretty much impossible to properly spar with these kind of weapons. There are rubber spear tips and pole arm heads and such to simulate the use of such weapons but the weapons are just so damn devastating that it's impossible to defend against every use. One of the biggest and best attacks is the strike to the knee and no matter how much armour you wear a human knee is just not designed to bend that way. Snap. 

One thing Robert Jordan got right in the Wheel of Time is his legendary swordsman Jearom being beaten by a farmer using a quarterstaff. Honestly, it's no contest. Quarterstaff every time. Easily. I've gone broadsword vs quarterstaff and it was not pretty, nor close.

Now I'm curious as to which HEMA club this is :)
Title: Re: Godblind by Anna Stephens
Post by: Nora on June 21, 2017, 10:21:57 PM
Just coming out of a Harper Collins book bonenza after work. They advertised Godblind in the video we had to watch in exchange for the permission to raid a ton of free books.
It was funny seeing this. Small world!
Title: Re: Godblind by Anna Stephens
Post by: AnnaStephens on June 22, 2017, 07:38:32 AM
And check out @AnnaStephens's interview on the main site :D

http://fantasy-faction.com/2017/anna-stephens-interview (http://fantasy-faction.com/2017/anna-stephens-interview)

Hee hee, I'm everywhere!
Title: Re: Godblind by Anna Stephens
Post by: AnnaStephens on June 22, 2017, 07:44:04 AM
@The Gem Cutter thanks, I hope you grab a copy and enjoy it!

@Rostum that's awesome. I should point out that most of our karate bo training was deflecting the attack rather than accepting it - I never fancied blocking an overhead strike with my unprotected forearm.  But they're so fast...

@CameronJohnston there's a club opened up in Birmingham - Birmingham HEMA - which I haven't joined yet but am going to. All previous experience was from karate practice, not HEMA. And I totally agree about knees. We did a lot of stamping in karate - without full follow through, of course - and just the touch of a foot on the outside of the knee was enough to make people cringe. But I'm really looking forward to giving HEMA a go and I'm very happy to get harnessed up and give people a good clang! I mean, who wouldn't find that the most fun ever?
Title: Re: Godblind by Anna Stephens
Post by: The Gem Cutter on June 22, 2017, 04:46:43 PM
Anna in your interview on the main site, when you were asked something about when it became real for you, I thought of your video on Facebook where you received the first hard copy in a package. That was a great moment, both for you and any aspiring writer - when an actual, tangible book arrives after all that time and trouble and doubt. So happy for you!

Sent from my SAMSUNG-SM-N900A using Tapatalk

Title: Re: Godblind by Anna Stephens
Post by: AnnaStephens on June 23, 2017, 07:14:20 AM
Oh, yes, that was such a special moment. Honestly, I think my best advice is this; when it happens for you, make the most of every single one of those 'firsts' - first agent conversation, first offer from publisher, first publisher announcement, first edit, first proofread, first convention, first ARC, first copy, first autograph, first launch.

None of them will ever be the same as the first one. Cherish them all. I'm keeping a notebook where I write down how all of those things felt so I can always go back to it, with pictures from the internet where people have spoken about/shared photos of their copies. Sounds really narcissistic, but memories fade and I want to remember the experience. It's truly magical.
Title: Re: Godblind by Anna Stephens
Post by: S. K. Inkslinger on July 03, 2017, 07:57:10 AM
I've just ordered a hardcover version of Godblind from an online Kinokuniya bookstore. I can't wait for it to arrive!  :D
Title: Re: Godblind by Anna Stephens
Post by: AnnaStephens on July 04, 2017, 07:23:42 AM
I've just ordered a hardcover version of Godblind from an online Kinokuniya bookstore. I can't wait for it to arrive!  :D

Thank you! I love hearing how people around the world can get hold of copies - makes it even more astounding that it's actually happening. I'm used to the fact people in the UK can buy it, but to hear people on the other side of the world can get hold of it is still really ... odd. But amazing!

I hope you enjoy it!
Title: Re: Godblind by Anna Stephens
Post by: xiagan on September 12, 2018, 02:58:06 PM
Congrats for conquering the German Market, @AnnaStephens!

(https://i.imgur.com/XPSamw8.jpg)

Title: "Guardians and Wolves"

Subtitle: The End of Peace
Title: Re: Godblind by Anna Stephens
Post by: AnnaStephens on September 13, 2018, 09:42:44 AM
Danke!!

It's a gorgeous cover too.
Title: Re: Godblind by Anna Stephens + Darksoul
Post by: ScarletBea on May 16, 2019, 08:12:34 AM
I decided to do my comments in this thread, make it about the trilogy :)

I finished Darksoul last night, and it was a really good book :D

Next time someone wants grimdark, or says that Mark Lawrence is very grimdark, please correct them, say "Noooo!" and point to Anna's books.
It's strange, because it really grew on me! At first I kept thinking it was just one bad thing after another, far too grimdark really, but after a lovely chapter and a really shocking one soon after, things kinda clicked and everything made sense.

I found it very different from Godblind. Yes, it's still got amazing characters, if anything even better, developed deeper., and yes, the battles are still superbly written (Anna, are you sure you never fought?), but by setting the scene in basically one place, one location, it feels everything is running along very smoothly. The story continues on relentlessly, aiming very rapidly to the end game, which is something you normally don't get in a multiple POV book.
And because of this, being so involved in the story, I almost resented Rillirin's few chapters which removed me from the action for a while. I understand the need, as it feels that book 3 will focus much more on her and link it to the action of this one.

So here's what I say: if you loved Godblind, read Darksoul (you probably already have, hehe, I was a bit late to the game). And if you liked book 1 with some reservations, please give book 2 a try, I promise you won't be disappointed :)
Title: Re: Godblind by Anna Stephens + Darksoul
Post by: Peat on May 16, 2019, 09:35:18 AM

(Anna, are you sure you never fought?)

She does a lot of martial arts.

I know this because when I ask authors which other authors they want on their side in a cage match/fight to the death, her name comes up reasonably regularly.

That and she says so on the first page of this thread :P
Title: Re: Godblind by Anna Stephens + Darksoul
Post by: ScarletBea on May 16, 2019, 10:22:13 AM
I didn't mean martial arts!
At least personally I don't see any connection between what I imagine martial art fighting is, and the sword/dagger/trebuchet/catapult fighting+strategy in defending a city+military strategy in general that the book has :P
Title: Re: Godblind by Anna Stephens + Darksoul
Post by: CameronJohnston on May 16, 2019, 12:30:02 PM
She actually does do sword, dagger, associated medievally weapon practice :) Maybe not trebuchets though...maybe...for now...
Title: Re: Godblind by Anna Stephens + Darksoul
Post by: Peat on May 16, 2019, 01:04:52 PM
Operation "Build Me A Trebuchet" is now go!

I didn't mean martial arts!
At least personally I don't see any connection between what I imagine martial art fighting is, and the sword/dagger/trebuchet/catapult fighting+strategy in defending a city+military strategy in general that the book has :P

HEMA and other European Historical Recreationist fighting styles are martial arts though - all the sword and dagger stuff - just western ones. I thought that's what you were referring to
Title: Re: Godblind by Anna Stephens + Darksoul
Post by: ScarletBea on May 16, 2019, 02:17:30 PM
*learning/discovering new stuff*
!
Title: Re: Godblind by Anna Stephens + Darksoul
Post by: AnnaStephens on May 24, 2019, 04:24:08 PM
She actually does do sword, dagger, associated medievally weapon practice :) Maybe not trebuchets though...maybe...for now...

I've never been able to figure out how to attach pictures to these posts, so let me just say I do have a treb. A scaled-down version, it's true, but it's good for scaring off the neighbour's cat when it tries to poop in my flower beds. 
I also currently have four bruises on my left arm from sword-fighting. I'm nowhere near as good at it as my characters.
Title: Re: Godblind by Anna Stephens + Darksoul
Post by: AnnaStephens on May 24, 2019, 04:25:01 PM
I decided to do my comments in this thread, make it about the trilogy :)

I finished Darksoul last night, and it was a really good book :D

Next time someone wants grimdark, or says that Mark Lawrence is very grimdark, please correct them, say "Noooo!" and point to Anna's books.
It's strange, because it really grew on me! At first I kept thinking it was just one bad thing after another, far too grimdark really, but after a lovely chapter and a really shocking one soon after, things kinda clicked and everything made sense.

I found it very different from Godblind. Yes, it's still got amazing characters, if anything even better, developed deeper., and yes, the battles are still superbly written (Anna, are you sure you never fought?), but by setting the scene in basically one place, one location, it feels everything is running along very smoothly. The story continues on relentlessly, aiming very rapidly to the end game, which is something you normally don't get in a multiple POV book.
And because of this, being so involved in the story, I almost resented Rillirin's few chapters which removed me from the action for a while. I understand the need, as it feels that book 3 will focus much more on her and link it to the action of this one.

So here's what I say: if you loved Godblind, read Darksoul (you probably already have, hehe, I was a bit late to the game). And if you liked book 1 with some reservations, please give book 2 a try, I promise you won't be disappointed :)

Thank you so much, Bea! I'm really glad you enjoyed it. x
Title: Re: Godblind by Anna Stephens + Darksoul
Post by: ScarletBea on May 24, 2019, 04:25:53 PM
it's good for scaring off the neighbour's cat when it tries to poop in my flower beds. 
ohmygawd, I so NEED this!!!!
I have to make do with lemon juice :'(
Title: Re: Godblind by Anna Stephens (full trilogy)
Post by: ScarletBea on October 16, 2019, 09:11:10 AM
I'm reading the last one, Bloodchild.
(just like the others, it's SO good!)

I haven't finished yet, but I had to comment on this: in the middle of all the gore and anguish and fights, there are such beautiful tender moments, I love it!

Last night I read about the implementation of a law to allow same-sex marriages, and the subsequent first gay wedding in that world :-*
I then decided to stop reading and turn off the lights, to keep a nice image in my brain before sleep - especially given what had been happening with a major character just before that  :'( ::)
Title: Re: Godblind by Anna Stephens (full trilogy)
Post by: isos81 on October 16, 2019, 09:28:28 AM
I wonder if there is any plans for Turkish market?  :)
Title: Re: Godblind by Anna Stephens (full trilogy)
Post by: ScarletBea on October 16, 2019, 09:42:54 AM
Calling @AnnaStephens to reply :)
Title: Re: Godblind by Anna Stephens (full trilogy)
Post by: ScarletBea on October 19, 2019, 08:22:14 AM
It's over, and ohmygawd! What an amazing ending and amazing book, I think this was my favourite of the 3!

I cried. Yes, I admit it, but I dare anyone not to. It's not a spoiler to say that not everyone good (and maybe bad...) survives in the end :'(
(BAD Anna >:()

The different locations worked better in this book than the last one, in my opinion, as I felt they were more evenly balanced.
And I love this writing style: have short chapters from different characters' POV but all within the same scene (instead of using the change in character/POV to move the story to another place). Anna and John Gwynne are the ones that do this wonderfully!

I think everyone who likes their fantasy a bit more 'heavy' and grimdark should read this trilogy, and I can't wait to see what Anna writes next :D

Edit: I only read book reviews after I've finished the book (does that make me odd?), and I've just checked Fantasy Hive's review (https://fantasy-hive.co.uk/2019/08/bloodchild-by-anna-stephens-book-review/) by Mike Evans (it doesn't have spoilers for this book 3).
It starts like this and I agree 100% ;D (except the feelings, I don't really mind hehe)
Quote
The Good: Everything. Seriously. *SPOILERS*

The Bad: IT GAVE ME FEELINGS – I DO NOT LIKE FEELING FEELINGS.

The Ugly Truth: THIS. IS. HOW. YOU. END. A. SERIES. (If I could somehow capitalise a full stop I would use it in this review.) Pulse-pounding drama and action to the heart-breaking end. 11/10, A++, all of the stars.
Title: Re: Godblind by Anna Stephens (full trilogy)
Post by: L. James Rice on October 27, 2019, 07:22:13 PM
Embarrassed to say I've Godblind since it came out... and still haven't read it. I am ashamed ;)
Title: Re: Godblind by Anna Stephens (full trilogy)
Post by: ScarletBea on October 28, 2019, 12:11:14 PM
Embarrassed to say I've Godblind since it came out... and still haven't read it. I am ashamed ;)
@L. James Rice, welcome to the forum!

And you have to read it, it's really good :D
Title: Re: Godblind by Anna Stephens (full trilogy)
Post by: AnnaStephens on November 07, 2019, 03:41:44 PM
I wonder if there is any plans for Turkish market?  :)

Hello and forgive the lateness of my reply!

I'm afraid I don't have control over which countries buy rights to the trilogy - if I did, every country in the world would have bought it by now! - so all I can say about the Turkish market is that I haven't heard anything in this regard. It's a possibility for the future, but it's not something I'm aware of at the moment.

But thanks for asking!

Anna
Title: Re: Godblind by Anna Stephens (full trilogy)
Post by: AnnaStephens on November 07, 2019, 03:43:43 PM
It's over, and ohmygawd! What an amazing ending and amazing book, I think this was my favourite of the 3!

I cried. Yes, I admit it, but I dare anyone not to. It's not a spoiler to say that not everyone good (and maybe bad...) survives in the end :'(
(BAD Anna >:()

The different locations worked better in this book than the last one, in my opinion, as I felt they were more evenly balanced.
And I love this writing style: have short chapters from different characters' POV but all within the same scene (instead of using the change in character/POV to move the story to another place). Anna and John Gwynne are the ones that do this wonderfully!

I think everyone who likes their fantasy a bit more 'heavy' and grimdark should read this trilogy, and I can't wait to see what Anna writes next :D

Edit: I only read book reviews after I've finished the book (does that make me odd?), and I've just checked Fantasy Hive's review (https://fantasy-hive.co.uk/2019/08/bloodchild-by-anna-stephens-book-review/) by Mike Evans (it doesn't have spoilers for this book 3).
It starts like this and I agree 100% ;D (except the feelings, I don't really mind hehe)
Quote
The Good: Everything. Seriously. *SPOILERS*

The Bad: IT GAVE ME FEELINGS – I DO NOT LIKE FEELING FEELINGS.

The Ugly Truth: THIS. IS. HOW. YOU. END. A. SERIES. (If I could somehow capitalise a full stop I would use it in this review.) Pulse-pounding drama and action to the heart-breaking end. 11/10, A++, all of the stars.

Oh Bea, thank you so much!! I'm so happy you liked the whole trilogy and thought it ended appropriately. I will admit to being very proud of how it turned out and very pleased with the positive reviews so far, so thank you, thank you, thank you!

Anna