New other book announced – Ignite
December 14th 2011
While I’m on…
Also mentioned in the December Orbit newsletter was the little matter of me writing a fantasy. While this is entirely true, it is not completely true. Ignite (for that is what the book is called) is not just a fantasy, it is more than a fantasy: have some blurb from the synopsis…
Rome was the centre of the largest, most powerful empire the world had ever seen, but that didn’t stop it falling to Alaric the Goth, his horde of skilled barbarian tribesmen and their wild spell-casting shamans. Having split the walls with their sorcery and slaughtered the inhabitants with their axes, the victors carved up the empire into a series of bickering states which were never more than an insult away from war.
A thousand years later, and Europe has become an almost civilised place. The rulers of the old Roman palatinates confine their warfare to the short summer months, trade flourishes along the rivers and roads, aided by merchants using magic-powered barges and self-propelling wagons, and farming has – at least for the lucky few – become less back-breaking with millstones that turn themselves and ploughs that pull their own way through the soil.
Even the barbarians’ pantheon of gods has been tamed: where once human sacrifices poured their blood onto the ground, there are parties and picnics, drinking and singing, fit for decent people and their children.
But it looks like the gods are going to have the last laugh before they slip quietly into ill-remembered obscurity…
Of all the old palatinates, alpine Carinthia is the most at ease: the richest, poised between north and south, east and west; the most peaceful, having not fought a single battle for over a century; the most magical, being the home of the highest, purest expression of European sorcery – the Order of the White Robe and the feared hexmasters, whose legendary powers brought down Rome and stopped the Genghis Khan’s Golden Horde in their tracks by turning the field of battle into a glittering lake of lava.
The Prince of Carinthia shelters the Order, and gives them half the palatinate’s revenue. In return, the hexmasters guarantee that any aggressor, no matter how large their army or how many magicians they bring, end up as no more than a memory for the next generation to ponder. It’s been a very long time since someone tried.
Magic is Carinthia’s wealth, its protection and its way of life. So what does a magic kingdom do when it runs out of magic?
What indeed. And in case you think I’ve gone all hey-nonny-nonny and foresooth on you, I managed to revolt myself with something I wrote towards the end of the the first section. It’s also destined to be a bit of a beast: I’m over 90,000 words in, and I feel like I’ve barely scratched the surface. I’ve no doubt that some of those words will fall out in the editing, but currently I’m looking at somewhere close to 200,000 words, if not more. Gadzooks, as they say (actually, they don’t. These people are descended from Goths, and they tend to call it as they see it).
I’m hoping to get parts I and II out of the way by sometime in January, and see how the land lies after that. This and subsequent posts will be tagged with Ignite to keep you up to date with everything.