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Malessar's Curse: The High King's Vengeance - ready for release! High King’s Vengeance Releases 23rd September

Kristell Ink Books is proud to present the sequel to last year’s British Fantasy Award-nominated epic fantasy, Heir To The North, which got 8/10 from AFE Smith here on Fantasy Faction. Taking up the story immediately after the events of that book, The High King’s Vengeance brings Cassia’s adventures to a stunning conclusion.

   “I am the Heir to the North.”
   Malessar's Curse is broken, the wards around Caenthell destroyed. The Warlock himself lies, exhausted and gravely wounded, in the rubble of his own house. And while the dire spirits trapped behind the wards for centuries are unleashed into the world once more, Cassia is confined to a cell deep in Galliarca's grand palace.
   Yet Caenthell calls to her, and Cassia must answer. As Heir to the North, the throne and the power behind it belong to her. But the twisted hunger of Caenthell's spirits appals her and Cassia vows to do everything she can to defeat them.
   Now, Cassia must convince both Galliarca and Hellea that they have to stand against the resurrected High King of Caenthell. She must raise an army from nothing, make uncertain alliances with princes and dragons, and fight her way into the heart of the North. And, if she is lucky, someone may live to tell her tale.
   “Fear Me.”

http://bit.ly/HTTN2uk - Amazon UK
http://bit.ly/HTTN2us - Amazon US

  • Worldwide release on 23rd September 2016.
    Paperback, hardback, and ebook formats available.
    Launch event at Fantasycon in Scarborough, September 23rd, alongside The Summer Goddess (Joanne Hall) and The Book of Angels (AJ Dalton).
    Review e-ARCs available on request from Grimbold Books and the author.

About Steven Poore
Steven Poore lives in Sheffield with a crafty partner, a three-legged cat, and a critical mass of books and vinyl records. BFS Award-winning publisher Fox Spirit Books has published several of his short stories in their Fox Pockets range of collections. Steven is also one of the organisers of the SFSF Social, highlighting regional genre meetings and readings.
Twitter: @stevenjpoore    Facebook: /thestevenpoore

About Grimbold Books:
Grimbold Books is home to some of the very best science fiction, fantasy and dark fiction around. Our imprints are Kristell Ink (science fiction and fantasy) and Tenebris Books (dark fiction and fairy tales). We also publish an annual charity anthology from the Oslo Writers’ League under Grimbold Books to which we provide all our services for free in order to support a worthy cause. Our books are released as e-books across all platforms, as well as in print via all major online distributors, and on consignment with smaller retailers and independent retailers.

September 09, 2016, 09:27:37 PM
Re: Do we recommend enough female authors when asked for recommendations
If people recommend few female authors, then fewer female authors have big hits, so publishers get a little warier on female authors because they don't sell fantastically, so fewer female authors are published, so fewer up-and-coming female authors see themselves represented in the genre, so fewer women submit their novels (or they go off to write romance), so fewer are published, so there are fewer to recommend, so...

What I find particularly interesting about this:

...is the almost exact same numbers reversed for SFF and YA. And I wonder if that's because fantasy featuring a female coming-of-age is likely to be sold as YA, whereas a similar male coming-of-age is likely to be straight SFF. For instance, Blake Charlton's Spellwright and Paul Hoffman's The Left Hand of God were both basically YA, but not published as such. Whereas, say, Miriam Forster's City of a Thousand Dolls was published as YA, but has precisely the same crossover audience big fantasy appeal. Never mind the Belgariad, or Magician, or all the other classics. A young man's journey to manhood is traditional fantasy territory. A young woman's is YA. (And I wonder if that, in turn, might be because women of all ages will read YA, but men mostly won't. I don't know, I'm just speculating.)

First, a Reddit list of favorite books/series written by female authors. It doesn't say the sub-genres, but probably more complete or better recommended. Since a lot of people directly search for this, here it goes:
Fantasy Reddit Top Female Authored Series Books - Results

That's a fantastic list. Regarding sub-genres, 50% of the top twenty are epic fantasy, and at first glance I'd say the rest of list is at least the same percentage, and a substantial portion of the rest of it is historical fantasy, urban fantasy mostly of the no-sex-please-we're-british variety (surprised to see Anne Rice on there, I would've called her horror), and other speculative miscellany.

Should we make efforts in recommending more men in the fields that see few of them?

Yes. If you read romance and make romance recommendations, it would be absolutely fantastic to see more attention being paid to male authors in the genre. Maybe if we can get a little gender parity in that genre, the severity and frequency of people talking down to it and its readers will reduce.

But the question here is: do we consider female authors enough when making recommendations in spec fic?

And yes, I care. Then again, I'm biased: I'm a female wannabe author. I hope that if I write a good book, I will have an equal chance of getting word-of-mouth sales traffic, and not just from the forums where I'm a member.

I still honestly don't see what's so onerous about taking a moment, when making recommendations, to consider whether there are also/more ladies whose works might be appropriate for the list. If that leads to you considering or even reading more female-written fantasy, that's a bonus! But seriously, read whatever you like. No one's saying otherwise.

Though if people do want to extend their reading, we could offer recommendations for female authors based on other favourites?
Yes, all of that. Said better than I can. & said better than I have. :)

I absolutely agree with earlier posters who said that thinking about female authors when making recommendations shouldn't be an issue, and that it should be a level playing field. But the operative term here is should. Because it is still an issue. If it wasn't then the first five names that come to mind when folk make their recommendations wouldn't be the same five names all of the time.

Thank you all for opening up the discussion on here. :)

November 27, 2016, 02:42:39 PM
Re: Do we recommend enough female authors when asked for recommendations

Finally - No one is seeking to call anyone a bigot. No one is seeking to make anyone feel bad. The idea is to call out a pattern that deprives us of knowing the best in the genre because there's not a fair playing field. What people do with that information is up to them.

Yep, that. & I should probably qualify the "first five names" comment by saying that it's more often the F-F Facebook discussion group than this forum that I'm thinking of. Even then, looking through the most recent threads now, the recommendations are actually more varied than they've been in the past.

I'm certainly not calling anyone a bigot or calling their intelligence into question. (If you read the post that way then I apologise unreservedly.) And while I understand that bestselling authors will be shouted up far more than the midlist and beyond, I'm really just looking for a bit more breadth in what is after all a really broad genre.

November 27, 2016, 11:59:43 PM
Re: Do we recommend enough female authors when asked for recommendations it *ought* to be irrelevant, i agree. But I find that if there's a list of say, ten best fantasy books of 2016 and you ask the author of that list why it's ten male authors on the list, he'll say "I don't think about gender". Which is why we still need to talk about gender. :)
November 30, 2016, 12:38:19 PM
Re: Special venting thread for people who hate their day job i didn't realise this thread was here. the only good thing about my day job is that if i have enough shopfloor staff i can retreat into the office and open up OneDrive for half an hour to get some words laid down....
November 30, 2016, 12:45:18 PM