Covers by Charlie Bowater
Brandon Sanderson is one of the most ambitious fantasy authors at work today. (To give you some idea what I mean, he’s already 3,424 pages into his projected 10-volume Stormlight Archive series — and that just the first three books.) He has multiple series on the go at the moment, including Skyward, projected to reach four books.
Skyward is being marketed as Young Adult (unless you’re in the UK, where it’s being marketing as adult fiction — go figure.) Deana Whitney and Darci Cole at Tor.com call it a “girl and her starship” story, and that seems to be right on the money. Here’s an excerpt from the Kirkus review of the first novel, Skyward.
Eager to prove herself, the daughter of a flier disgraced for cowardice hurls herself into fighter pilot training to join a losing war against aliens.
Plainly modeled as a cross between Katniss Everdeen and Conan the Barbarian (“I bathed in fires of destruction and reveled in the screams of the defeated. I didn’t get afraid”), Spensa “Spin” Nightshade leaves her previous occupation — spearing rats in the caverns of the colony planet Detritus for her widowed mother’s food stand — to wangle a coveted spot in the Defiant Defense Force’s flight school. Opportunities to exercise wild recklessness and growing skill begin at once, as the class is soon in the air, battling the mysterious Krell raiders who have driven people underground… Meanwhile, hints that all is not as it seems, either with the official story about her father or the whole Krell war in general, lead to startling revelations and stakes-raising implications by the end… Sanderson plainly had a ball with this nonstop, highflying opener, and readers will too.
The second volume Starlight was released today by Tor. It is 461 pages, priced at $19.99 in hardcover and $10.99 in digital formats. The cover is by Charlie Bowater. Read a huge excerpt from Skyward (the first 15 chapters) at Underlined and another one at i09.