I can’t keep up on a fraction of the new fantasy published every year. But fortunately, I’m not the only one who lives in my house. My children — whom not so very long ago didn’t absorb any fantasy unless it was read to them while curled in my lap — buy and read their own books these days. And occasionally they excitedly talk my ear off about about how much they loved some new discovery. That happened with my eldest boy Tim, a 20-year old physics student, who picked up a copy of Alex Marshall’s debut novel A Crown For Cold Silver last week, and who refused to be parted with it for the next three days. He read a great deal of epic fantasy last year, but I can’t recall any book getting him as excited as this one.
Calling A Crown For Cold Silver a ‘debut novel’ isn’t precisely accurate. There aren’t any other books by Alex Marshall on the shelves. But according to industry scuttlebutt, Marhall is a pseudonym for an established author who’s decided to strike off in new direction — as Megan Lindholm successfully did as Robin Hobb, and Tom Holt as K.J. Parker. A Crown For Cold Silver forms the first part of The Crimson Empire; the second volume, A Blade of Black Steel, is scheduled to arrive on May 26.
Here’s the description for the first volume.
Twenty years ago, feared general Cobalt Zosia led her five villainous captains and mercenary army into battle, wrestling monsters and toppling an empire. When there were no more titles to win and no more worlds to conquer, she retired and gave up her legend to history.
Now the peace she carved for herself has been shattered by the unprovoked slaughter of her village. Seeking bloody vengeance, Zosia heads for battle once more, but to find justice she must confront grudge-bearing enemies, once-loyal allies, and an unknown army that marches under a familiar banner.
A Crown For Cold Silver was published in hardcover on April 14, 2015, and in trade paperback on September 15, 2015, both by Orbit Books. It is 688 pages, priced at $15.99 in trade paperback and $9.99 for the digital edition.
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