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Help out Likhain

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So, the lovely Likhain (who’s up for a Best Fan Artist Hugo, and whose art you’ve seen me publicise before), has had unexpected vet bills on top of a costly move, and could really use some help (in the “need money for groceries” context of help). I know she’s given an amazing amount for the community (if you want a few of the specifics I’m familiar with, she ran a lot of the fundraiser we did for Rochita Loenen-Ruiz a year ago, in spite of being tired and drained most of the time).

The best help would of course be to contribute to her patreon or commission her for work, but this is medium to long-term stuff, and we’re talking pretty short term here? If you happen to want to help, you can paypal her here.

And should you donate above 7$/£5/€9, forward me the receipt using the form below, and I’ll send you an ecopy of Ships in Exile, which gathers three hard-to-find Xuya stories.

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Proof of donation (photo or screen capture of receipt required, GIF, PDF, JPG or PNG, 2MB maximum)

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Reminder: House of Binding Thorns promo tour (sort of)

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Quick reminder of a few events:

  • I’ll be at Waterstones Piccadily in London on Wednesday 12th April 19:30 (so tomorrow!), in conversation with Zen Cho and Vic James. You can get tickets here (or just show up at the event and get them).
  • And I’ll be attending Eastercon in Birmingham: my schedule is here

I’ve also been around the blogosphere:

  • My Favorite Bit at Mary Robinette Kowal’s Blog: destroying Paris and terrible bilingual puns
  • In Defence of Uncanny Punctuation at Chuck Wendig’s blog: in which I defend the King of Fruit and the King of Punctuation
  • My Favourite Dragons and how I designed mine at The Book Smugglers
  • Unfamiliar rooms: magic and dread in Kari Sperring’s The Grass King’s Concubine, at Tor.com
  • At my blog: why likeable characters are overrated and how to design your very own character we love to hate,
  • The Fallacy of Agency at Uncanny Magazine, with awesome Likhain art (aka Madeleine from The House of Binding Thorns, with silver and gold foil and all the usual Likhain prettiness, which you can see a snippet of above. Seriously. Go check the post out just for the art because it’s stunning. Likhain is a current Hugo finalist for Best Artist and deservedly so!)
  • Author takeover: War of the Houses at Mugglenet (which makes me absurdly happy because Harry Potter was such a big part of my London years)

Release Day for House of Binding Thorns! (UK)

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And today is release date for the UK edition of The House of Binding Thorns! Ruined and decadent turn-of-the-century Paris, dragons, Fallen angels, intrigue, revolutions, betrayals! (and it’s standalone: you can read it without having read the first one and it works just fine).

I hate to say this, but given that this is the way things work–the likelihood of me getting to write more novels in this universe (or indeed, more novels, full stop) is entirely dependent on sales, so if you fancy picking up a copy (whichever format) I’d be very grateful. And if you like it, dropping a good word about it on social media or reviewing at goodreads/amazon (doesn’t have to be long reviews–I’ll take inarticulate squeeing too *grin*) or recommending to a friend would help immensely.

Here are a few blog posts I did for the release:
“Unfamiliar Rooms: Magic and Dread in Kari Sperring’s The Grass King’s Concubine” at Tor.com
Geography of alternate destroyed Paris and terrible bilingual puns at Mary Robinette Kowal’s My Favourite Bit
“In Defence of Uncanny Punctuation” at Chuck Wendig’s blog: a blog post with semicolons and durians, all the best things in life ^-^

And here are a few reviews:

A successful continuation of a truly grand story, brimming with action, heart, representation, and magic.

Martin Cahill, Barnes and Noble blog

A striking example of a story that both stands alone and expands (…) truly beautifully balanced: between new and old, birth and death, beauty and ugliness, inside and outside, beginning and, yes, ending. It walks the line, and walks it fine.

Niall Alexander, Tor.com

Buy now
Read Chapter One Online!

 

Release day: House of Binding Thorns!

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Yesterday was the US release date for The House of Binding Thorns (well, in the US anyway: the UK edition drops in two days’ time, on Thursday). If you’re in the mood for a dark fantasy set in a ruined and decadent Paris, magic creepy spells, Vietnamese dragons in human shape, and intrigue and backstabbing, I’ve got you covered! (and it’s standalone: you can read it without having read the first one and it works just fine).

I hate to say this, but given that this is the way things work–the likelihood of me getting to write more novels in this universe (or indeed, more novels, full stop) is entirely dependent on sales, so if you fancy picking up a copy (whichever format) I’d be very grateful. And if you like it, dropping a good word about it on social media or reviewing at goodreads/amazon (doesn’t have to be long reviews–I’ll take inarticulate squeeing too *grin*) or recommending to a friend would help immensely.

And here’s a little bit of a cheat: you can still get the exclusive-to-preorders ebook, Children of Thorns, Children of Water, if you buy the book today or tomorrow. Dragons in human shape infiltrating a grand, decaying mansion, magical shenanigans, and éclairs! (ignore the “UK only” in the graphic, this is valid whatever the edition you order–just send your proof of purchase through the form).

And here are a few reviews:

Touches the heart as often as it cuts throats.

Publisher’s Weekly (Starred Review)

THE HOUSE OF BINDING THORNS takes the gothic atmospheric politics of THE HOUSE OF SHATTERED WINGS and ramps them up to a pitch of intensity that I really wasn’t expecting. (…) Wrenchingly tense, suffused with a creeping undercurrent of atmospheric horror, of decline-and-fall, and yet vividly alive. (…) It does so much so right, and so well, that I cannot help but love it wholly and entirely. It really is an utterly magnificent achievement.

Liz Bourke

Buy now
Read Chapter One Online!

First reviews of The House of Binding Thorns

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Just thought I’d share a handful of reviews of The House of Binding Thorns–one week to go…

Liz Bourke:

The House of Binding Thorns takes the gothic atmospheric politics of The House of Shattered Wings and ramps them up to a pitch of intensity that I really wasn’t expecting.

(…) It does so much so right, and so well, that I cannot help but love it wholly and entirely.

It really is an utterly magnificent achievement.

Chris Meadows at Sci-Fi and Fantasy Reviews:

This is humanity at its worst and best, and it’s mirrored back to the reader in the faces of the supernatural creatures striding the broken streets of Paris. These aren’t saints or monsters, but complicated people, making decisions for their own reasons, worming their terrible way off the page and into your heart.

… a story which rewards close reading, and one which compelled me to keep turning pages; the climax was rewarding and impressive – and left me breathlessly hoping for more.

Stitch’s Media Fix:

…such an experience for me.

(…) I almost felt like I was in the middle of a hurricane being smacked around by all of the feelings and the incredible worldbuilding. It’s a brilliant, beautiful work of fiction and while it can hurt to read it and worry about the characters you’ve come to love over several hundred pages, there’s also hope to be had.

The House of Binding Thorns is an incredible book in a series that I can’t get enough of. If you enjoyed works like Susan Ee’s Penryn and the End of Days series or Kaori Yuki’s Angel Sanctuary, this book will be right up your alley. Trust me.

K Hart at longandfullemptywithwords:

The relationships between characters were incredible. (…) I could talk for hours, but this is supposed to be a short review. (…)

Do read.(…) absolutely this book did not disappoint!

The book is also featured on Kirkus’s “list of Science Fiction and Fantasy Everyone will be Talking about in April”

Buy now
Read Chapter One Online!

Women in Fantasy: Zen Cho, Vic James and Aliette de Bodard in conversation

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Come hang out with Zen Cho (author of Sorcerer to the Crown), Vic James (author of Gilded Cage)  in Waterstone’s Picadilly! We’ll talk women in fantasy, Regency & 19th Century, and quite possibly food!

You can get tickets here, or on the day: they’re £8 but redeemable against the purchase of one of our books–and The House of Binding Thorns will just have come out (just saying *grin*)

Last day to nominate for the Hugos!

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If you still need ideas/stuff to read at the last minute I’ve collected my recommendations here.

The short version: please consider Likhain (sample above) for your Best Fan Artist ballot, and Tade Thompson for the Campbell. And because I’ve repeatedly had the question: insofar as I can tell, the Xuya universe series is eligible in the Best Series category (meets the total wordcount and had 3 new volumes released in 2016: take your pick between “A Salvaging of Ghosts” , “A Hundred and Seventy Storms”, and “Pearl” in the excellent anthology The Starlit Wood–you can read the first two free online, or you can check out the Cheat Starter Guide to Xuya)

Dominion of the Fallen word search

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Want to play a fun game?
Leticia Lara has kindly made a Dominion of the Fallen word search puzzle–you can go look for the heads of the major Houses in the books, here. I’m offering three UK mass market paperback edition of The House of Shattered Wings if you can find them all!

(if you want to actually solve the puzzle, the one at Leticia’s blog is a widget where you can highlight text)

Read for Pixels fundraiser and Google Hangout

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I’m delighted to be taking part in this year’s Read for Pixels’ fundraiser, which aims to fight violence against women. The fundraiser just went up, and I’m offering a Parisian Bundle, which will let you curl up with The House of Shattered Wings, good food, and a print of gorgeous artwork by Likhain, featuring Françoise and Berith, two characters from The House of Binding Thorns (a Fallen and her mortal lover). You can also get a Skype call with me if you’re so inclined. And there are plenty of goodies from the likes of Laini Taylor, Mary Robinette Kowal, Michelle Sagara…

This weekend only, author Karen Rose is matching all donations up to $4000, so now’s the time for donating if you want to!

To support the fundraiser, I’ll be taking part in Read for Pixels’ Google Hangout on Sunday March 19th, 4pm Paris Time. I’ll be reading from my forthcoming The House of Binding Thorns: ruined and decadent Paris, magical intrigues, dragons in human shape, and kissing and stabbing (not necessarily in that order :p), and taking questions about my writing.

More info here, and access details to the livestream channel here.