jen_qoe: (akima_san Croft)
And our final Ancient Wonders interview is the one, the only, Kari Sperring!

Tell us a little about yourself, and what you like to write?

I'm a mediaeval historian (specialising in Celts) by training and a writer by instinct – I started writing aged seven and I haven't stopped since. I love swashbucklers, ancient mysteries, things and people who are not what they seem, complex worlds and intrigue, which get into everything I write. As does water; I can't account for that, but most of what I write ends up with water as a key element.

If the TARDIS could drop you off to any one site in its heyday, where would you go?

Oh, goodness, that's hard ... I don't know. Maybe the court of Louis XIII or Louis XIV: I'd love to meet the real d'Artagnan, Athos, Porthos and Aramis.

What appeals to you most about ancient sites/landscapes?

That sense that the past is still there, immanent in every stone and that we are all part of the flow of history.

What do you have coming out next?

I have a sequel to The Grass King's Concubine due from DAW, probably next year. It has no final title as yet, but the working title is Death and the Madwoman

[Kari Sperring grew up dreaming of joining the musketeers and saving France, only to find they’d been disbanded in 1776. Disappointed, she became a historian and as Kari Maund published six books and many articles on Celtic and Viking history, plus one on the background to favourite novel, The Three Musketeers (with Phil Nanson). She started writing fantasy in her teens, inspired by Tolkien, Dumas and Mallory. She is the author of two novels, Living with Ghosts (DAW 2009), which won the 2010 Sydney J Bounds Award, was shortlisted for the William L Crawford Award and made the Tiptree Award Honours’ List; and The Grass King’s Concubine (DAW 2012).]

The Alchemy Book of Ancient Wonders is available in paperback and ebook formats from multiple retailers - see the anthology page here for linky links!   

Book Love

Aug. 3rd, 2012 06:59 am
jen_qoe: (Default)
Yesterday saw all sorts of lovely book type things happen -
The fabulous Lou Morgan launched her book Blood and Feathers...

... which I've read and it's awesome so you should probably go pick yourself up a copy. 

That there Tom Pollock also launched his new book The City's Son....

... which I've only read extracts of so far... oh, and heard him read a bit at Eastercon (which he was quite ridiculously good at.) ... but all signs indicate that this is awesome as well!

But best of all - look what arrived in the post - as modelled by Indie cat, who is quite frustratingly covering up the author's name - Princess Nest of Wales by Kari Maund (aka the fantastic Kari Sperring)... 

... also pictured, the bonus promo pen for Kari's brand new book The Grass Kings's Concubine...

 ...which according to online sources is due out on the 7th-ish and is definitely a must-buy!
jen_qoe: (Default)
Had another book binge, brain full of awesomeness, so here's some short and sweet reviews... (definitely want to do fuller reviews, but for those, later...)

First, and definitely foremost, would be Dragon in Chains by the ever lovely Daniel Fox. The cover is gorgeous, and despite stopping every so often to try and remember how young the protags were supposed to be, this is a story that totally swallows you up. So much so, that I was immediately champing for the next one not one minute after finishing it.

And the jade. Of course. How could it not have that effect. It all makes perfect sense.

And the dragon. Ah yes, the dragon. A presence that stays on the edge of things, yet is also central to it all. Existing in different forms until her inevitable crowning moment right at the end. And when's the next one out? Hurry hurry hurry...
Definitely going to need to read this one again.

Hunter’s MoonDavid Devereux

Now this is a tricky one. Am as yet undecided on it.
Jack is a bastard. We know this because it says so. Jack is also a mission impossible style magician who gets sent in to fix magic based problems on behalf of a top secret doesn’t really exist branch of the government. So far, so James Bond with magic.

The problem comes with the levels of misogyny in it, which makes for uncomfortable reading at times. But this is complicated by the fact that Jack is, unreservedly, a bastard, and the story is told through his eyes and mind. So where you get a section which leaves you with an ‘I can’t believe I just read that,’ there’s a follow up of, ‘but it does make sense in the context of the story,’ which then gets quickly followed by, 'OMGWTFBBQ!' So on that front, while the viewpoint character is most definitely not the most pleasant of chaps to be seeing the story from, the tone remains completely consistent with Jack being a bastard.

And then there’s the bad guys. Gals. Primarily a coven of witches who are specialising in sex magic, who are also working with a group comprised of non magic terrorists, but that’s not too important. It’s all about the crazy sex magic hijinx.
Perhaps another reason why it’s uncomfortable reading. But they’re the villains who have evil plots so we’re not supposed to like them.
Except the other female characters, what few there are, don’t come off too well either. Mind you, neither do most of the men, there’s just more of them… :->
This one's going to need a re-read too, I think, just to pin things down.

Kari SperringLiving with Ghosts

Wow. Wow wow wow. Utterly utterly awesome. It's beautiful and gloriously written. I can't even begin to go into how much this one blew me away. (I'll save that for a fuller review later). Until then, buy a copy and read it, cos, just, wow!

Mike Carey - Thicker Than Water

Ok, how did I miss this series? Why did I miss this series? What a fool! This rocks! It's a fun thrill ridden urban magic thingy and despite it being book four, not having read the previous three is sooo not a disadvantage. There are some inevitable comparisons with John Constantine, but, actually, I think I prefer Felix Castor as a protag.

Kristin Cashore - Graceling

Ooh, this was cool. And the story wrapped up neatly in the one book too. So we've got a kick ass heroine who's plenty screwed up, we've got power mad kings, we've got a whole array of nifty background characters interacting in awesome ways, and peeps squeezing the most of their special abilities. And the promise of said kick ass heroine being proactive about other things in the black space after the book has ended. Yep yep, definitely like it! Apparently there's a prequel coming out later this year, so that should be fun!


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