A Whirlwind of Pirates, Treachery, & Witchcraft: The God-King Chronicles by Mike Brooks
The Black Coast and The Splinter King (Solaris, March and September 2021). Cover illustrations by Clare Stacey
It’s good to see the second book in a series get more acclaim than the first. Check out this rave for The Splinter King, second book in The God-King Chronicles from Mike Brooks.
An outstanding tale of honor, religion, politics, and crime… In East Harbour, capital of the island realm of Kiburu ce Alaba, street kid Jeya continues to help the last surviving child of the Splinter King, who has taken the name Bulang, to hide from the assassins who killed Bulang’s family — but now someone is targeting Jeya’s friends and allies… Brooks throws in pirates, treachery, witchcraft, combat, and dragons to create a whirlwind of drama and intrigue. Epic fantasy readers will find characters to cheer for and action to love in this excellent sequel.
That’s from the starred review at Publishers Weekly. Read the whole thing here.
[Click the images for God-King-sized versions.]
Back covers to The Black Coast and The Splinter King
Mike Brooks has been playing around in the Warhammer 40,000 universe for years, with novels like Rites of Passage and Brutal Kunnin’. His Dark Run space opera trilogy (which Kirkus called an “old-fashioned space Western”) was published in 2016/17.
The opening book in The God-King Chronicles, The Black Coast, was an Amazon Editors’ Pick for Best SFF last February, and Publishers Weekly gave it a starred review. But my favorite synopsis was this one from Ollie Kirrage at Infinite Speculation.
The small Naridan town of Black Keep has stood against the savage, fur-clad raiders of Tjakorsha before, but when the Brown Eagle clan arrive on their shores in overwhelming numbers, the odds seem insurmountable. Much to their surprise, however, it emerges that the clan have fled their homeland, and mean to settle peacefully. Can the two sides forgive each other and learn to work together? And have the Tjakorshi managed to outrun their destruction at the hands of a deadly new enemy?
Opening with a meeting between the current God-King of Narida and his long-suffering sister Tila, it’s immediately obvious that Brooks has a knack for writing excellent dialogue. Conversations throughout The Black Coast are consistently entertaining… Much of The Black Coast is concerned with the idea of cultures clashing as opposed to armies; there are misunderstandings, faux-pas, quarrels and compromises as the Tjakorshi attempt to make a new home for themselves among their former enemies…
Much of the actual work of forming an alliance falls on the shoulders of Saana Sattistutar – chief of the Brown Eagle clan – and Daimon Blackcreek, sar of Black Keep. The relationship between them feels believably strained, as they struggle to overcome their differences and prevent their people erupting into violence. There is a very strong sense that both of them are constantly wrestling with years of their own traditions, their laws, their cultures, even their very way of being in an attempt to broker peace…
Combining extensive, anthropologically tinged worldbuilding to rival that of Becky Chambers with explosive and dynamic action scenes, Mike Brooks has really crafted something special here. Tongues wag as heads roll, bonds are forged as bones are broken. This man approves.
Both books were published in the UK by Orbit, and in the US by Solaris. The US cover illustrations are by Clare Stacey. Here’s the details on the whole trilogy.
The Black Coast (625 pages, $14.99 trade paperback/$6.99 digital, March 16, 2021)
The Splinter King (672 pages, $14.99 trade paperback/$6.99 digital, September 7, 2021)
The Godbreaker (Summer 2022)
Brooks reports (on his website) that the third novel is on schedule for release this summer. Last October he said:
THE GODBREAKER, the final part of The God-King Chronicles, should be with you all next summer. The copy-edits for this are next on my list of things to do after I finish the current Black Library novel, and then that’s my epic fantasy trilogy done! There’s a possibility I’ll go back to the world in the future, but there are other things I’m working on in the meantime.
See all our recent coverage of the best new fantasy series here.
Thanks for the mention! Eventually I might get round to reading The Splinter King myself!
You’re most welcome Ollie — keep up to the great work at Infinite Speculation!