Names (26/10/09)

Posted in News

Right, so I’m off to Germany, King of the Crags is with Gollancz and the great re-write-athon is briefly paused before I launch back into The Thief-Taker’s Apprentice for one last[1] time. Who knows, I might even manage to write something new for a few days. In the meantime, though, I have a little competition to keep the three of you who read this amused.

See, I’ve noticed several authors of fantasy offering up bit parts in their novels. I think there was a competition to get a name into the last Wheel of Time novel. One of the prizes at the David Gemmel Legend Awards was choosing a character name for a cameo appearance in a forthcoming Stan Nicholls story. Most recently, Pat Rothfuss is auctioning off an appearance in A Wise Man’s Fear for charity. Maybe it’s the next big thing in getting close to our readers?

Or maybe not. As Pat amusingly observes, there are… issues. So here’s the deal. I want to see your worst-nightmare names for a cameo appearance in any fantasy book. Not ones that infringe copyright or ones that look more like a password, but recognisable original names that would make someone like me tear out what little hair I have left if faced with trying to crowbar them into an existing story. Something to really make me cringe. The one that makes me laugh the most gets a randomly selected prize. The more I laugh, the bigger the prize.

The benchmark to beat is Spartacus Beefcake (Studd’s big brother), but I’m sure y’all can do better. Cringe-worthy RPG character names are welcome.

[1] Last except for the editorial re-write. And the copy-edit rewrite, the ‘oh, I’ve just had another good idea’ rewrite and the ‘oh, that wasn’t such a great idea after all’ rewrite. And the proof-read (but that doesn’t really count).

Almost There (20/10/09)

Posted in News

It’s very nearly done. The last re-write ever of King of the Crags is heading slowly and surely towards completion. By the end of the week, it’ll be safely in my editor’s hands. It’ll be free. As good as I can make it, however good that turns out to be. All that’s left is the proof-reading (which doesn’t really count – making editorial changes at that point is a severe wrist-slapping offence) and to fret about the reviews.

In other words, it’ll be done. Really done. Possibly even over-done, but certainly no-turning-back done. Too late to regret having introduced characters called Tallulah Spandex, Edwina Gristle and Spartacus Beefcake as a result of too many attempts to attract Twitter followers with put-your-RPG-character-into-my-novel competitions. Too late to go back and put the were-ducks back in after all. Too late to change the twenty-page chapter on exactly how dragons stay up in the air[1] that all made perfect sense at the time but hindsight will show to have a killer flaw [2]. Too late to change the inadvertent shifting of geography between books one and two [3]. Too late to regret the addition of all those lurid semi-porn sex-scenes that I added in the hope of shifting more copies. Too late for anything except waving goodbye and moving on.

Ah well. Fare well, little manuscript. We had some fun.

[1] A mixture of hydrogen bladders, low gravity, dense air, cows, invisible strings that suspend them from UFOs in geo-stationary orbit and, for some reason, cloves.

[2] Cloves? So obviously should have been cumin seeds. Duh!

[3] In which what was open plains becomes a mountain range in order to cast a rain-shadow in order to make sense of a desert that was put there in book one for no better reason than deserts are bleak and gritty. Thus spawning a desperate sub-plot involving earth-elementals that exists purely to ‘explain’ the mistake and has nothing whatsoever to do with the main plot in book three.

New Best Friends (14/10/09)

Posted in News

My new best friends are… Stephen Youll, ROC publishing and Brent Weeks

Because look at  the US cover for The Adamantine Palace. Look! LOOOOOK! Is it not a thing of beauty? Is it not perhaps the best classic high fantasy cover art of ALL TIME?

Fantasy dragons the way fantasy dragons should be!

Fantasy dragons the way fantasy dragons should be!

Alright, I’m biased. But it’s definitely unquestionably the best classic high fantasy cover art with my name on it. The French were good, but this, this is awesome.

Stuff like this makes the endless re-write-athon seem just a little brighter (Gazetteer now sent for proof-reading. Next task: Last edit for King of the Crags and then that is done).

Rats and the Ruling Sea (13/10/09)

Posted in News

Much to shared delight in this house, our copy of Rats and the Ruling Sea arrived this morning (not in the shops yet – that’s one of the few privileges of an author). For anyone who doesn’t already know, this is the sequel to The Red Wolf Conspiracy by Robert Redick. The Red Wolf Conspiracy is the most imaginative fantasy I’ve read in a long time and I thoroughly recommend it. For anyone interested in their own advance copy of Rats and the Ruling Sea, Robert will be in Forbidden Planet, London on Friday 16th from 6-7pm, and so will I, begging like everyone else for an autograph.

King of the Crags (April 2010 UK, 2011 US, Fr, 2012 Ger)

“…rapid battle scenes which stand out as some of the best dragon fights I’ve ever witnessed.” SFbook

King of the Crags picks up right where The Adamantine Palace left off. There are a couple of major characters who now appear and one or two of the minor figures from TAP get a bigger role. The pace is maybe a little more measured than TAP. OK, a maybe *tiny* bit more measured. There are deaths, oh yes. And burning. Much, much burning. There are a couple of characters who might be mistaken for the ‘good’ guys, although I’m not saying how long they last before they get eaten. And a few secrets of both the dragons and the alchemists are beginning to leak out.

Ideas from early drafts for a lengthy chapter on dragon anatomy and a cameo appearance by a flight of were-ducks have been ditched; however they may reappear… elsewhere.

For the truly dedicated, there is a map here and the ALL-NEW alternate prologue here

UK Cover with dragons by Domonic Harman:

Shiny shiny, shiny books of dragons...
Shiny shiny, shiny books of dragons…

US cover art by Stephen Youll:

Oh look! Snow!
Oh look! Snow!

French cover by Alain Brion

Le_Roi_des_cimes cover


“As sharp as anything by George RR Martin or Joe Abercrombie . . . the new fantasy has another new star.”SFX

Look, they said the ‘M’ word. THE ‘M’ WORD! Frankly who needs more?

“A fiery, eventful read” .. “refreshingly fast paced”SciFi Now

“Beautifully written, excellently plotted and above all a descriptiveness for the world that is almost photographic.” Falcatta Times.

“I can only hope Deas returns to his world, not with rosy visions of restoration, but to give his humans some reason not to pack it all in…” Locus

“Fans of grim epic fantasy will find these intrigues engrossing.” Publisher weekly

“…characters like Jehal and Kemir shine, the world feels more solid and interesting, the battles are well-described and the various plots twists are more ruthless and startling than anything else this side of Paul Kearney and George RR Martin…” The Wertzone

“Stephen Deas has combined all that’s good in fantasy and spun it around in a thriller-paced tale that will leave you breathless.” The Ranting Dragon.

“Prince Jehal … is brilliant. One of the most complex, twisted and ultimately human characters I’ve read … When I think back over what I’ve read this year … I’m hard pressed to find one I enjoyed more than this one.” SF Crowsnest

“Overall, a very strong sequel and one of the best second entries in a trilogy I’ve had the chance to read. In the final paragraph of my Adamantine Palace review I said that The Adamantine Palace was not top notch…well…forget that. It might have been on its own but with The King of the Crags as its sequel it now certainly falls into that category.” LEC Book Reviews (see that bit about The Adamantine Palace – a series should be more than the sum of its parts).

“This is, quite simply, some of the best fantasy writing I’ve read in quite some time. This series is highly recommended.” CA Reviews.

“Stephen Deas successfully delivers another wonderful and exciting fantasy novel, just as enjoyable as his previous one” SFF Chat

Another review of TAP/KOTC

“The first book was a marvellous debut.  The second book trumped it hands down.  The excitement, thrills and spills anticipated in the final book promise to be an incomparable fantasy ride.” M/C reviews

“…filled to the brim with murder, revenge, double-dealings, politics and power grabs…” Monsters and Critics

The writing is still sharp, right to the point, without being excessively extravagant and just harsh and biting enough to give it some edge. … Bring on The Order of the Scales, I’m hungry for dragons eating useful food! A Fantasy Reader

The Booksmugglers seem to be converted. “Questions aside, I finished reading The Adamantine Palace only just about interested about reading this sequel. I closed The King of the Crags knowing for a fact that I will be picking up the final instalment in the trilogy come rain or come shine.”

Not the only one: “And I won’t be waiting to read volume 3 when it eventually arrives.” Lowly’s Book Blog (and that’s meant in a good way).

“…a wonderful follow-up to The Adamantine Palace and I enjoyed reading it even more than I did the first book.” Night Owl SF

So Crags is better than The Adamantine Palace? Not every one seems to think so.

“I also sincerely dislike the fact that I now have to wait for the next instalment to find out what happens next. *Pokes Stephen with a pointy metal stick* Write faster!!”

“. . . the tension that made The Adamantine Palace so addictive runs throughout this sequel . . . The Dragon War that rages throughout the final stages of the book is simply superb. . . An impressive sequel that boasts the same flare and excitement of its predecessor.” Total SciFi.

“…even more brutal that the first one, darker and more cynical with no-nonsense and sentimentality…” Fantasy Book Critic

“A fairly successful stab at viciously political fantasy.” Kirkus Reviews (who assert they are the world’s toughest book critics; although I take that with a pinch of salt, I’ll take the review too).

“the second best opening I’ve ever encountered after ‘Tigana’” (Pauline’s Fantasy Reviews, who would like some nicer characters I think)

Still not bad then. But then they did rather like the first one. However, for some, the slight change in style seems to have come as a real disappointment. I guess you can’t please everyone.

“In The Adamantine Palace Deas went all out and told an amazing story at a break-neck pace and that was lacking in The King of the Crags. While I still plan to continue reading the series I hope that Deas returns to a faster plot for the third book.”

Some reviews are simply… curious…

“Readers will appreciate soaring through the skies of the Realms” OK, but… “…this is no cozy.” Eh?

However, the most heartfelt reviews of all are those written by readers who are simply that and nothing more:

“You built an amazing world, populated it with a rich range of believable characters and peppered everything with minor NPCs and backstory galore — speaking as a roleplayer, I would love to be in any game you GMed.”

It’s not a wish I can fulfil, but it’s one I wish I could.

If there’s a plan for book three, it’s to rattle along like book one but with the depth of book 2. Best of both? Falling between two stools? Read it and see…

Save the World, Buy a Book (7/10/09)

Posted in Critical Failures

For some reason it’s been a long strange week full of stuff that has made me reel in more bemusement than usual; certainly enough material for several entries to Critical Failures. However, time is pressing so I shall be brief. Besides, I have a Ramen pot-noodle thing awaiting my attention, I’ve done the pour-in-boiling-water thing and have already moved on to stir-with-care and ensuing allow-to-stew stages.

Today is kind of special because my first ever royalties arrived today. At least, the first ever royalties based on the the actual selling of some actual physical books as opposed to the idea of maybe writing a book. So that was nice and we’ll be buying a bottle of something to celebrate and life goes on. Day job, you may sleep easy, content in the knowledge that we’ll not be going our separate ways for some time to come. One or two comments I’ve seen recently, however, lead me to understand that others might have a vastly, well, shall we say uniformed view of life.

On a similar monetary vein, if a slightly different scale, it’s impossible to listen to the news without someone bleating on about government borrowing and national debt. Even those who think authors get paid in bars of hidden nazi gold must surely suffer some occasional breakthrough of interference from the real world? And am I the only one to whom it all makes absolutely no sense at all? It’s as though the whole thing is managed by some cabal of Illuminati who rule the monetary world simply by talking in every increasing spirals of gibberish whose the sole purpose is to ensure that absolutely no one truly fully understand exactly how everything works; presumably if they did, they’d be the accountancy equivalent of the antichrist and trigger some sort of global financial meltdown.

Oh. Wait. Oh well, whoever it was has doubtless since been neutralised by a special-tactics branch of the FSA by now.

Or maybe it’s not that. Maybe it’s all quantum now. Isn’t that the whole point of credit? Hey, you’ll never know whether I’ve got a pound in my pocket or not until we look, but if we don’t look then I we can just assume that I have and then I can lend it to you at a small percentage and you can lend it on and so on and so on until it eventually makes its way back with a load of interest and, for some reason, a stale saveloy. But this only works if I don’t look in my pocket. So maybe our current difficulties were caused by some banker actually sticking his hand in his pocket to see what was in there for once and being sorely disappointed. Erwin Schroedinger, hang your head in shame. Look what you did.

In order to prevent future crises, all bankers are forthwith denied pockets. End of problem. Surely a simpler solution than bankrupting the entire world.

Just one little puzzlement, though, if every single developed country in the world is borrowing massive amounts of money (an allegedly conservative off-the-cuff estimate for global state borrowing for next year is, in royalty terms, about ten trillion copies of The Adamantine Palace[1]). From whom? If the entire world has a huge overdraft[2], from whom exactly are we borrowing this? The wizards or Middle Earth? The Gnomes of Zurich? The Royal Bank of Satan and His Little Minions?

No. It’s aliens. Aliens are lending us money. It’s the only explanation left. When the skies fill up with flying saucers, it won’t be an invasion, they’ll be here to foreclose. See. It’s all Science Fiction (or possibly Fantasy) really, just dressed up in different acronyms and words that no one understands. Which could all be fixed by re-aligning the phase-correlators on the FTL hub.

And people wonder why Science Fiction gets no literary respect.

Still on the stir-with-care stage on my noodles here. I really feel I’ve been caring quite a lot for some time now and that the instruction stir-with-fork might have been more appropriate.

Or maybe now, since apparently you can get buy a training machine and get some one-on-one recorded tuition from Master Yoda and learn the secrets of Jedi Mind Powers. I’d marvel at the audacity of selling such a product rather than just making it up for a joke, but since it’s going to cost me more than half as much merely to get the family to the cinema to see Up next weekend, I’m not so sure (what are they doing? Have they raised old Walt from the dead to serve popcorn in the foyer? At the very least I expect the seven dwarves to serve me ice cream). You have to wonder what part of the brain, exactly, is being activated here. I suppose if nothing else it’ll grow us up a whole new generation of wannabe-Jedis like me, except these ones will be really good at frowning.

Anyway, long story short since noodles are calling. Buy a book, save the world: Here’s the math:

  • 1 alien financed global budget deficit equals
  • 100,000 Virgin Galactic customers trying to spot them through the windows (just thought I’d throw that in) equals
  • 100,000,000 Jedi training kits so that the next generation can telekinetically haul their green asses out of the sky and kick them back to the Funny-Potato-Shaped Nebula from which they came equals
  • A mere 10,000,000,000 more copies of The Adamantine Palace that need to be bought before I can buy your collective debt off our sinister alien overlords.

For those people who think all authors are immediately made of gold, shit precious gemstones and have wanton nublies fawning at their feet, hopefully this will provide some perspective. I solemnly promise to donate half the royalties after the first trillion sales to bailing out a bank of your choice, so best get cracking, right.

Oh and there’s some real news. About books and shit.

[1] Sourced from a really reliable internet source(TM).

[2] The logical error is about here, right? So come on then accountancy types, explain it in words that make sense and can be understood. You can’t, can you.

Map (7/10/09)

Posted in News

The map of the dragon-realms, here at last in all its glory!

Map of the Realms.

All its sideways glory.


Doubtless some way to remedy this will be found shortly and certainly by the time the rest of the gazetteer is ready. News on that is it’s going through proof-reading. Don’t know when it’ll be finished but it should easily be online by the end of the year. Those following my posts via RSS be warned, there are 161 entries to the gazetteer and they’re all going up as blog posts so that people can comment on them and laugh publicly at the typos and the names they don’t like. I’ll issue another warning when I’m about to do it  and then I’ll turn the RSS feed off. Probably.

Oh and yes, I know the cross-posting to Livejournal has stopped working and no, I don’t know why.

The Adamantine Palace (19th March 2009 UK, 2010 US, Fr, Ger)

Adamantine Palace (draft) cover art

View the trailer, read an excerpt or see the map

So how did this come about? You can thank/blame Simon Spanton at Gollancz, and my agent John Jarrold for sending him my way. I’d spend the last couple of years writing books far faster than anyone was reading them, I had a backlog of several years of submissions queuing to be looked at and I was looking for something else to do. I’d probably been annoying the hell out of John bugging him every few weeks about what was going to get sent out to whom and when. Patience, is one of those virtues where someone else got most of mine. Simon, meanwhile, was on the hunt for someone who’d write something sexy, snide and action-packed with dragons in it. No busty bimbo riders either (I think that’s a quote, but I could be wrong).

It just so hit the spot. It took me and my muse a weekend to sketch out the skeleton of a trilogy and everything to fit together perfectly almost first time (this happens more often than you might think). I think it took about a week to send a first pitch back to Gollancz. Five chapters, one trailer and one synopsis later and we had a deal. The day after that, the Germans bought it too. After two decades of getting absolutely nowhere, that big blue hand that works for the Lottery was finally pointing at me. Or that’s how it felt. Mostly still does.

TAP is finished now. Whether it’s sexy, snide and action-packed you can judge for yourselves, but the dragons kick ass. I think that’s one thing all the reviewers agree on.  They aren’t reasonable, rational, thinking creatures, they don’t speak in a clipped English accent, they aren’t cute and cuddly, you can’t bargain with them and they don’t have a convenient weak spot just under their left armpit. They were (and still are) a lot of fun to write.

I think this is a pretty comprehensive list of reviews as of June 2009, by the way, at which point I pretty much gave up keeping track. So sorry if you got missed out:

…the combination of the fantastic with keen observation and sheer impudence reads something like Anne McCaffery as filtered through the mind of Oscar Wilde.” Locus (and yes, I liked that one so much that I transcribed it)

“A fast, sharp, ruthless read.” Joe Abercrombie

“These are the predators; the ones that floss with velociraptors. … One of the best fantasy books of the year.” Blood of the Muse

“…will appeal to fans of both classic and contemporary fantasy. In short, Gollancz has discovered another winner” Fantasy Book Critic (who later list King of the Crags as one of their top ten anticpated novel of 2010)

“With a marvellous sweeping prose, a twisting plot and a lead character that is both venomous and awesome, this novel screams out for attention it rightly deserves.” SF Crows Nest

The book is an entertaining mix of Pern and Westeros, with the knowing characterisation of Abercrombie and the endearment of Novik.SFFworld.

“This is a terrifying appetiser from what will surely be seen as a landmark in dragon-orientated fantasy.” dwscifi

“…full of everything that I like about fantasy right now; strong characters, a complex plot and loads of dragons.” Graeme’s Fantasy Book Review.

Roll over McCaffrey, there’s a new Dragon Lord in town.” (Gareth Wilson FALCATTA TIMES )

“The characterisizations and pace of the book are excellent. The dragons, especially, make for an interesting story all on their own. Bookgeeks

“…what I like most about The Adamantine Palace was the level of excitement that accompanies each moment of the book. This excitement grows with each page causing the reader to literally sit at the edge of their seat waiting for the exciting conclusion.” Whatchamacallit Reviews

“…an absorbing, satisfying read with plenty left in the locker for the future instalments … Dragons are back at the top of the food chain, in all their fire-breathing primal glory.” Speculative Horizons

A review of TAP and KOTC together: “The first book was a marvellous debut.  The second book trumped it hands down.  The excitement, thrills and spills anticipated in the final book promise to be an incomparable fantasy ride.” M/C reviews

Mike at King of the Nerds sums up what I was trying to achieve with the dragons perfectly: “Yes and while you might let out a cheer when you first meet [the dragon] it dies in your throat pretty quickly leaving you with an uneasy sinking sensation in the pit of your stomach and the sudden need to back away very very slowly.  I loved that.” Others may feel differently, but that’s exactly the reaction I wanted.

Or try this from SF Crows Nest:

“With a marvellous sweeping prose, a twisting plot and a lead character that is both venomous and awesome, this novel screams out for attention it rightly deserves. It’s a novel that clearly acknowledges its debt to the dragon sub-genre but is so strongly plotted through its characterisation that it pushes itself up into the realms of high political fantasy to threaten the likes of George R.R. Martin and Robert Jordan.”

“Deas has a deft hand with worldbuilding and history. I absolutely loved all the strange and sinister little touches, like the Scales, that he put into his world. I could have gobbled up twice what he put in without blinking.” Smouldering Ink

“I highly recommend The Admantine Palace to all readers of fantasy. Even if it has been years since you last read a book about dragons, don’t hesitate to give this one a try. You will not be disappointed.” SFF Chat

“The blend of action and politics was a good one, just enough on both sides to make you anxious to get back to each piece as the point of view changed from chapter to chapter.” Tea and Tomes

“A word of warning: If you like this book by page 50, be sure that you have the next volumes at hand. You will want to continue reading after you finish this book.” Weirdmage Reviews

“It’s not a deep work, but I found The Adamantine Palace refreshing, unique, and engaging.” It Didn’t Happen

Now some people have read The Adamantine Palace and hated it, I guess. Maybe for exactly the reasons this reviewer loved it so much. But it’s still a real kick to read a review like this and know that there’s someone else who read my words and got out of it what I was trying to put into it.

It’s not all roses though. The other half of the world apparently would have liked another 100 pages to flesh out the world and the characters (The Ranting Dragon sort of sums up the dilemma: “Though you will immediately notice the depth of this world, it has not been given the attentions it deserves yet. However, that is what gives The Adamantine Palace its tempo, and I’m unsure if that’s such a bad thing.” Yes, the exploration of the world in TAP is skeletal. A deliberate choice that came with running the story on rocket fuel – interesting that there’s almost exactly a 50/50 split in opinion as to whether it was a good one or not. If you want to explore the world without the story, go help yourself to the free gazetteer and map). Generally they still generally say rather nice things. So I guess it’s a matter of what presses your buttons.

“A blisteringly well-written tale … an inspiring debut.” Sci-Fi Now

“First-time novelist Stephen Deas has certainly passed the Novik test.” SFX

“The story runs like a whippet.” Deathray

“a quick, fun political thriller on the same level as a Hollywood blockbuster or modern video game that uses dragons cleverly enough to feel somewhat original.” from Neth Space

“Short chapters, with alternating points of view, set a cracking pace from the outset. The language is vibrant with dialogue that moves the story briskly along, yet revealing the levels of political machinations throughout.” Temple Library Reviews

“If Christopher Paolini decided to go on a meth-fueled writing bender he probably still wouldn’t come close to writing his dragons so devilishly.” Oh, wait, not that bit… this bit “…short, tight chapters that push the story along in a Thriller type fashion. However, the pushing is at a sacrifice to the characters and the world-building.” from the Mad Hatter

“A promising start to a new series from an author worth watching.” Waterstones.

“The Adamantine Palace is a fast, furious and entertaining book that grabs hold of the reader and whisks them off like a rollercoaster. The dragons, as promised, indeed kick ass.” The Wertzone.

Mr Deas has, in my opinion, created the most terrifyingly natural and malign dragons to have ever graced the page.” AntiSF

“…fast, furious and action packed…” Vilutheril reviews

“In summary though this is an entertaining and enjoyable book that definitely left me wanting to know what happens next…” The Bookling

“a whole heap of rip-roaring fun and no mistake.” (Pauline’s Fantasy Reviews.)

In short: dragons, intrigue, poison, mercenaries and a Big Dark History. If you like that sort of thing then this is definitely worth a look. Sandstorm Reviews.

“It finally begins to come to life on page 135, when we get up close and personal with a wonderfully unusual dragon … If Deas can improve his world-building skills … [spoiler deleted] … future books in this series will certainly be worth reading.” Lisa Tuttle, the Times online.

“Deas’ novel reminds me of nothing less than the much-praised Song of Ice and Fire series… with dragons!” Libris Leonis, although finding the twists and turns of the last few chapters too much.

“The dragons are frighteningly compelling and the desire to see how all the political machinations play out make Deas’s debut a page-turner.” The San Francisco Book Review

“On the whole though, if you’re a fan of George R. R. Martin’s brand of intrigue-heavy plotting, or Joe Abercrombie’s style of heavy realism, or even if you just like dragons, you may well find this a worthwhile addition to your reading list.” The Specusphere

“…a fast, fun escape into a world with just enough political intrigue and some pretty nasty dragons.” Nethspace, who also is astute enough to observe that the enslavement of the dragons “has subtle parallels to aspects of our own world culture and leads to some interesting and troubling questions.” Yes. Indeed.

…a great book and well worth the read. Ty’s Book Review, but

“It can be difficulty to distinguish one villain from another as they all seem bent on outdoing one another.” Fresh Fiction Reviews

The book smuggler pretty much sums it up with “I swear that to read this book, is probably the closest you will ever get to being inside say, the Borgia’s inner circle.” and “…the plot in this book is utterly fascinating…” but “I am, essentially a character-driven reader who missed someone to connect with and to truly root for (or even against).” It’s true that most of the characters are selfish bastards. It’s pretty clear that for some people, this works, and for others, it really doesn’t. Alternatively: “If you are looking for a fast paced story, this novel will deliver. But if you also want characters you care about (either love or hate), or a new world with a deep history, like me, you might be disappointed.” Alright already. We have a sizeable body of opinion now. A character to root for. A bit more depth. Can it be done without losing the pacing? Only the reviews of King of the Crags will reveal the answer.

Some people just seem a bit bemused.

“[Dragons] … restored to all their scaly fire-breathing glory.” The Daily Telegraph

One person gets it but loathes it. There’s always one.

“It is all glitter.” Strange Horizons

True, perhaps, but very, very shiny…

OK, now it’s two (somehow I missed this one back in 2009. Probably as well):

“Stephen Deas’ commitment to telling a good story is laudable – it is hard not to appreciate the many individual twists and turns, even if they seem to be for naught. Similarly praiseworthy is the aggressive abandonment of traditional world-building, whether I’m comfortable with it or not.” But “Without understanding (or caring) more about the characters, it is impossible to understand how the pieces fit together – or what value they have.” – Pornokitsch

Shame, because I think he might have appreciated where the second and particularly the third book better, and a trilogy, done well, should always be more than the sum of its parts. But you have to judge each book alone as you see it too. Ah well.

Other covers: France



Fantasy dragons the way fantasy dragons should be!

Fantasy dragons the way fantasy dragons should be!

Americ Poland

polish cover