There And Draft Again

A Fellowship of Fantasy Writers

Most Anticipated Fantasy Books of 2014 December 29, 2013

Hi everyone !

This is our last post for this year and today I’ve decided to look forward and see which 2014 Fantasy books are the most anticipated… In order to compile the following list, I’ve used several Goodreads lists as well as forums such as this one.

Adult Books:

Bastards and the Knives

The Bastards and the Knives (Gentleman Bastard #0) by Scott Lynch (Expected publication: March 3rd 2014 by Gollancz)

Prince of Fools

Prince of Fools (The Red Queen’s War #1) by Mark Lawrence (Expected publication: June 3rd 2014 by Ace)

The Magician's Land

The Magician’s Land (The Magicians #3) by Lev Grossman (Expected publication: August 5th 2014 by Viking)

The Broken Eye

The Broken Eye (Lightbringer, #3) by Brent Weeks (Expected publication: August 26th 2014 by Orbit)

[NO COVER ART YET]

Shadows of Self (Mistborn #5) by Brandon Sanderson (Expected publication: 2014 by Tor Books)

Young Adult Books

Defy

Defy (Defy #1) by Sara B. Larson (Expected publication: January 7th 2014 by Scholastic Press)

Stolen Songbird

Stolen Songbird (The Malediction Trilogy #1) by Danielle L. Jensen (Expected publication: April 1st 2014 by Strange Chemistry)

Dreams of Gods and Monsters

Dreams of Gods & Monsters (Daughter of Smoke & Bone #3) by Laini Taylor (Expected publication: April 8th 2014 by Little, Brown & Company)

A shard of ice

A Shard of Ice (The Black Symphony Saga #1) by Alivia Anders (Expected publication: April 14th 2014 by Red Alice Press)

Ruin and Rising

Ruin and Rising (The Grisha #3) by Leigh Bardugo (Expected publication: June 3rd 2014 by Henry Holt and Co.)

What was your favorite Fantasy book in 2013? Which 2014 Fantasy book are you most anticipating? Make sure to leave us your answers below!

EM Castellan

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What’s in Your Wallet . . . um . . . on Your TBR List August 31, 2013

Filed under: Reading — thereanddraftagain @ 5:40 am
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I’ve been a reading machine of late. It helps when I’m noodling plot problems, or am eyeball deep in edits. My brain gets to relax and wander in someone elses world for a change. Some of the reading I’ve been doing has been of the Beta/Critiquing kind. I always feel honored when another writer puts that kind of trust in me. And it’s fun to get a glimpse at what the rest of the world is going to have to wait a while to see. Neener, neener.

*ahem*

So, ah, anyway, I thought I’d share a few of the books I’ve gobbled down to give you all something for your own reading lists. I’ll stick to those in the fantasy genre as that’s what we’re all here for. I won’t review them here. Some I have reviewed on my blog, Amazon, GoodReads, etc. And some I still owe reviews for. Suffice it to say, if they’re on this list, I loved and highly recommend them.  Unless I note otherwise.

First, I have to say, for some reason I’ve jumped into a lot of series lately. I have a love-hate relationship with series. I love them because if I like the characters and the world I don’t ever want their tales to end. I hate them because there is usually a wait until the next book comes out. An agonizingly long wait which I find myself on both sides of. So though I understand it completely, I’m terribly impatient.

I’ve also found myself leaning toward the grimdark fantasies. They have a tendency to put you smack-dab in a character’s skin to the point of sometimes being uncomfortable, which is why they get a bad rap from some reviewers. I’ve always figured, if you don’t like it, don’t read it. No harm, no foul. Every book is definitely not for every reader.

Okay, onward. Here we go:

Coldness of Marek by Rachel O’Laughlin

The Crown Tower by Michael J. Sullivan — Actually, the whole Ryria Series. This one and The Rose and Thorn (Release date in Sept) are prequels. Three other books are already written and can be read first without ruining anything. In fact, it made The Crown Tower even more enjoyable.

Among Thieves by Douglas Hulick

Broken Aro and Broken Prince by Jen Wylie

The Blade Itself, Before They Are Hanged, and Last Argument of Kings by Joe Abercrombie

The Last Swordmage by Martin F. Hengst

So, there you have it. The one thing all these tales have in common, besides being well-written and engaging, are strong characters and excellent world building. Many of the characters are flawed seemingly beyond hope which only fuels my page-turning addiction. Quite a few of the authors incorporate a dry sense of humor which I am partial to as it pretty much echoes my own. Have you read any of the books on my list? Have some that I may have missed by similar authors? I’m always open to something new . . .

~ Kathi

 

 

Book Review: The False Prince August 28, 2013

Hello There and Draft Again Readers!

Today I’m bringing you my personal review of The False Prince by Jennifer Nielsen. (SPOILER ALERT: I LOVED it).

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Without giving too much away, the plot centers around a boy by the name of Sage. He has lived in and out of orphanages for the past four years, until he is picked off the streets by a noble man named of Connor. Sage, along with three other boys, must compete with one another to become lords and viable options for the now vacant throne of their kingdom.

Sounds like your basic rags to riches story, right? It was the main reason I didn’t pick it up at first. I passed by it at least ten times in the store, reading the back and putting it back down because I thought it was basically The Hunger Games with less kids and no killing. Boy, was I wrong. I eventually broke down and bought it and I’m really glad I did. The story has a really tight narrative and although it doesn’t have the heart-pound tension of The Hunger Games, there is something about it that makes it nearly impossible to put down. Almost a nagging sort of mystery where you just have to find out what happens next. Sage is a unique character, constantly fighting back against Connor’s plan while seeming oddly in front of  him at every turn. A plot point in the novel I thought was just the author letting herself soak into the character. I was wrong about that as well. There is a very real reason behind why Sage knows so much and it was a twist I didn’t see coming at all.

moriarty___surprise_face___gif_by_talichibi-d4rwq08I will forewarn all who like romance in their stories that this one has nearly none. There is a potential relationship set up for the second or third book in the series, but nothing happens other than a couple conversation with zero romantic overtones. I will also forewarn you that there is a break in the first person narrative where the story goes into third person. I don’t feel that particular chapter had to be done in third person, I believe it could’ve kept with the first person narrative and still been successful in its goal of informing the reader. That particular chapter is the reason I am not giving the book a perfect five out of five stars. It really threw me out of the reading groove I had going on, and you never ruin a readers groove.

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Overall I give this novel a 4.5/5.0!

Goodreads gives it a 4.2/5.0

I deem it a great example of a epic fantasy without wars or magic. If that’s the kind of book you are thinking about writing or have written, read this one! It could prove to be a great comp title for you.

Happy Reading Everyone!

Jessica

 

And drumroll…GIVEAWAY TIME!!! August 1, 2013

Filed under: Industry News — thereanddraftagain @ 1:49 am
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HI EVERYONE!!!

I’m a little squeamish about hijacking There and Draft Again to make flowery mention of my new little book, but since my fellow bloggers have said it’s okay, and seeing as it is coming out in 5 days (!!!), I thought I’d pop in, drop a teaser, and do a giveaway. Yup, giveaway time again!

AGAIN?!

I’m giving away an eBook of COLDNESS OF MAREK to two lucky winners!

Annnnnnnd I have a [previously unreleased] short little teaser…

Trzl turned her eyes on Marek in question. “Not rich enough to afford a war?”

“I’m still unclear as to why you think I’d have any interest in a war,” he said. “One war was enough.”

She shrugged. “I can’t imagine you turning around and selling those gate sequences once you had them. The temptation to use them would be too strong. Bloody man such as yourself.”

All you have to do to enter is leave a comment below, including your email address so we can contact you if you win. Giveaway is open to international entrants.Followers of There and Draft Again get an extra entry! Winners will be drawn on release day, August 6. Thank you for entering and good luck! I can’t wait to send two of you an eBook!

— Rachel O’Laughlin

COLDNESS OF MAREKReleases August 6, 2013
The First in the Serengard Series
Release Date: August 6, 2013

Serengard has been under Orion rule for centuries—centuries of insufferable adherence to laws and traditions that its people no longer believe in. Raised by her scholarly grandfather in the fiery southern city of Neroi, Trzl is dedicated to turning the monarchy into a free society where knowledge is king and no one has to be subject to the whims of an Orion.

As the rebellion escalates, her choices have an eerie impact on the revolution at large, elevating her to a position of influence she has only dreamed of attaining. But there are downsides to her new power that entangle her in a dangerous web of emotions, appearances and alliances. Even as she plays to the attractions of Hodran, a rich nobleman who wants to aid her cause, she is drawn to Mikel, a loyalist farmer who hates the rebellion but just might be winning her heart.

By the time Trzl realizes she is in too deep, she has an infant son and a dark mess of betrayal and lies. She runs to the furthest corner of the kingdom in hopes that she will be left alone with her child, but she has created too many demons. A figure she once trusted will take her captive in the chilling Cliffs of Marek, throw her back into the political upheaval she helped create, and leave her at the mercy of a man she never wanted for an enemy.

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Is your Fantasy Novel gender-biased? April 3, 2013

I am a Fantasy writer. I am a reader. And I am a (young) woman. Because of who I am and the way I was brought up, I am always asking myself how women are represented in fiction, especially Fantasy. And since I write Fantasy books myself, I am always careful to avoid the usual pitfalls of gender-biased novels.

But how, you ask, do I know I am writing a novel that represents women in a way that is both realistic and unbiased?

First, you need to ask yourself if there are women in your story. As incredible as it may sounds, too many Fantasy novels published nowadays STILL don’t have a female main character. We can forgive Tolkien because he wrote his books in the 1940s. But in 2013, if a book doesn’t have a female main character, I’m sorry to say I’m likely to leave it on the shelf, or to read it and hate it. And it’s not because I’m a feminist. It’s because I’m a reader who lives in the 21st Century.

But let’s say your novel has a female character, whose part is somewhat important to your plot and story. To check if your book is gender-biased, you can use the Bechdel Test.

The Bechdel test was introduced by Alison Bechdel in 1985. She credited the idea for the test to a friend, Liz Wallace.

The test is as follows:

1. The piece of fiction in question must have at least two (named) female characters.

2. They must speak to each other.

3. They must converse about something other than a man.

Anything with a score lower than 3 fails.

The test moved into mainstream criticism in the 2010s and shows that a great proportion of contemporary works fail to pass this threshold. The test was originally conceived for evaluating films, but has since been applied to other media.

Most recently, it was applied to the new Doctor Who series.

Doctor Who

Here are the results:

Total percent of failed episodes: 35.2%

Total percent of episodes in which there were two named female characters, but they didn’t speak to one another: 14.8%

Total percent of episodes without two named female characters: 8%

That’s one example among many.

So would your novel pass the Bechdel Test? If not, will you revise it? I’d love to read your comments below!

EM