When I first saw Edward Lazellari’s Awakenings back in 2011, I was struck by Chris McGrath’s cover. I’d never seen anything quite like it. Featuring a creepy-eyed dude in a hoodie and a square-jawed street cop, it looked like a cross between dark fantasy and a modern police procedural. Maybe? It sure made me pick up a copy, anyway, and the name Edward Lazellari stuck in my mind.
That doesn’t mean I’m top of things, of course. When I received a review copy of Blood of Ten Chiefs from Tor last week, it took a few days for me to realize it was part of the same series. In fact, I didn’t even knew it was a series. Probably because I missed the second book, The Lost Prince, released in 2013.
All three are part of what’s now being called the Guardians of Aandor. Without getting into specifics (because I’m too lazy to read all three book blurbs), a cop and a photographer who don’t know each other get stalked by interdimensional beings, find out they’re from an alternate reality with castles and knights and stuff, who came across to our world to hide an infant royal, but ended up with lost memories and no knowledge of the current whereabouts of the young prince. The first novel earned praise from fantasy master Glen Cook (“Read Awakenings and get in on the ground floor with a great new writer,”) and Library Journal (“Urban fantasy reminiscent of Jim Butcher in a hard knocks action tale,”) but I dunno, I think they had me with McGrath’s cover. I dug Awakenings out of limbo in the basement, and hope to settle down with it this weekend.
Here’s the back covers of the first two books, because they’ll do a better job explaining all this than I’m doing right now.
[Click the images for inter dimensional villain-sized versions.]
All three books were published by Tor. Here’s the details.
Awakenings (352 pages, $24.99 hardcover/$19.99 trade paperback/$7.99 digital, August 30, 2011) — cover by Chris McGrath
The Lost Prince (527 pages, $27.99 hardcover/$7.99 digital, August 20, 2013) — cover by Chris McGrath
Blood of Ten Kings (496 pages, $29.99 hardcover/ $16.99 digital, December 4, 2018)
See all of our recent Series Fantasy coverage here.