REVIEW SUMMARY: Epic Sword & Sorcery.
BRIEF SYNOPSIS: Freshly blooded from the defense of Lissen Carrak, the Red Knight and his company venture to Morea where they find themselves in the midst of a civil war. Elsewhere in the realm factions move one step closer toward total warfare. Alliances are made and schemes are fulfilled.
PROS: Larger-than-life characters; authentic descriptions; densely woven plot; bold scope; high stakes; complex and mysterious magic; enthralling action.
CONS: The large cast of the first book is expanded even further, and while the characters are well developed, it results in a slowed pace.
BOTTOM LINE: The sequel to one of my favorite novels of 2013 continues to deliver on the promise of the first book. This series is bound to please fans of Epic Fantasy, Sword & Sorcery, and likely even Historical Fiction.
Miles Cameron is the author of The Traitor Son Cycle, which merges epic fantasy with intricate plotting and scathing action. The first book was The Red Knight. The second book, published this week by Orbit Books is The Fell Sword.
Writing Fantasy-Battles, War, and Violence
By Miles Cameron
In the Traitor Son series, there are a great many battles. But battles, IMHO, are like murders in a good mystery novel. Each of them needs to take place in a context and the results have to have consequences. You can’t just have a battle to see how the magic sword works. Or the hero, for that matter.
And I have to admit that my writing of violence in a Fantasy setting is enormously complicated by having actually seen a war or two.
Miles Cameron is the author of The Red Knight, out now in the US. Published by Orbit Books, it is the first novel of The Traitor Son Cycle, merging epic fantasy with intricate plotting and scathing action. Nick Sharps was fortunate enough to discuss The Red Knight with Cameron. The following is an interview involving influences, POV’s, authenticity, film adaptations, and more.
Nick Sharps: Sell me The Red Knight in as few words as possible.
Miles Cameron: Excalibur vs. Alien.
[Do you have an idea for a future Mind Meld? Let us know!]
As a critic, aspiring author, and a fan of fiction I always keep an eye out for what could be the next big thing. This could range anywhere from authors to series, from genres to themes. But who better to provide an opinion on the matter of The Next Big Thing than authors themselves?
We asked this week’s panelists…
Q: What do you think will be the next Big Thing in SF/F? What authors do you see leading the way? What genres or trends?
Here’s what they said…
Bonnie Jo Stufflebeam
Bonnie Jo Stufflebeam
writes speculative short stories. Her first professional publication, “The Wanderers” came out in this February’s Clarkesworld. Her second will be published in Strange Horizons this April. She reviews short fiction on her blog, Short Story Review
I’ve always been bad at predicting the future, despite my claims as a kid that my dreams were prophetic; I tend to worry over the worst possible scenarios. But in terms of the future trends in speculative fiction, I’m optimistic. I’ve been noticing a strong focus on diversity in speculative short fiction. I mainly read short stories, so I will speak in terms of the next big thing in short story writers. As a bisexual woman, I was thrilled last month to read “Inventory” by Carmen Maria Machado in Strange Horizons, in which the main character’s relationships with women and men are depicted as equally important to her. I think in the future we will certainly see more of an emphasis on diversity in sexual orientations and gender identifications.
Some other writers I think we’ll be seeing a lot more of in the future: I keep running into Damien Walters Grintalis’ work. Brooke Wonders’ “Everything Must Go” in Clarkesworld 74 blew me away, and I think Wonders will be a force to be reckoned with in the near future. Helena Bell’s work has been popping up a lot lately; her Clarkesworld stories “Variations on Bluebeard and Dalton’s Law Along the Event Horizon” and “Robot” are worth checking out. I’ll be keeping an eye on Brooke Bolander as well. It’s great to see so many up-and-coming female short story writers in the speculative fiction field, and I think that this trend will continue as well.
REVIEW SUMMARY: A new tale of knights and daring deeds worthy of a place amongst some of our most cherished chivalric legends.
BRIEF SYNOPSIS: The Red Knight and his merry band of mercenaries take a commission to rid an Abbey of a monster problem. It turns out that the monster problem is more complex than any could have imagined and the whole kingdom of Alba is in danger of being overrun.
PROS: Highly descriptive, furious combat, huge array of colorful characters, intricate plotting, great pacing, pervading sense of chivalry.
CONS: Minor clarity issues with the magic system, so many characters that some of them are left underdeveloped, over-extended falling action.
BOTTOM LINE: I feel greatly honored to have read an ARC of The Red Knight. This is more than a genre novel, it’s a contemporary myth. I can’t wait for the next entry in The Traitor Son Cycle.
When I returned to reading fantasy after years of focusing on science fiction, there was an emphasis on dark and gritty that I found immediately appealing. There was one thing I found lacking, and I didn’t even realize it until recently; a sense of chivalry. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve read about great heroes in the past few years, but they rarely display the knightliness (for lack of a better word), of stories from my childhood. Of course I didn’t even notice this deficiency until I read Miles Cameron’s The Red Knight.