Next SFF Author: Ben Aaronovitch

Author: Rob Rhodes


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Guy Gavriel Kay talks about music, poetry, literature, and scotch

In case you haven’t noticed, we’re fans of Guy Gavriel Kay, and Rob and Stefan recently reported that Mr. Kay’s newest novel, Under Heaven, which releases today, is definitely up to par. (Comment below for your chance to win a copy.) While striving to suppress his enthusiasm about speaking with his favorite fantasy author, Rob was recently able to chat coherently with GGK about his newest work

Robert Rhodes: As with your previous books, I greatly enjoyed and admired Under Heaven.


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20 Heroes: Emilian IV

Eighth in our Heroes series, by our own Robert Rhodes. Art is courtesy of Leonid Kozienko. Commenters are entered to win Changes by Jim Butcher.

The high grasses of the prairie thinned after he passed the final milestone. They grew shorter, sparser, before fading into cracked soil and dust. The desert began where the eroded stones of the road ended, and with them, the Empire that had been his.

Forty-five days ago, before dawn, he slipped through a false panel in his private library.


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Under Heaven: Beautiful, epic, vintage GGK

Under Heaven by Guy Gavriel Kay

 Under Heaven is the long-awaited new novel by master fantasist Guy Gavriel Kay — and let’s get the most important news out of the way: it was 100% worth the wait.

Fans of Guy Gavriel Kay know that his novels often take place in what appear to be fantasy versions of real countries: A Song for Arbonne is set in 13th century France, The Lions of Al-Rassan in Spain during the Moorish occupation,


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20 Heroes: Tasha

Seventh in our Heroes series, by our own Robert Rhodes. Art is courtesy of Barbara Brashier.

“You’re late, milady,” Aramis says even as she parts the silver curtain. He snaps shut his pocket watch and tucks it into his checkered vest, his white-tipped ginger tail swishing.

She shrugs and sits on the closest bench in the Armory. “My geology midterm’s tomorrow,” she says, unlacing her sneakers. (Did I forget to take them off? she wonders.) “It’s going to be hard. And besides,”


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20 Heroes: Tanion

Sixth in our Heroes series, by our own Robert Rhodes. Art is courtesy of Leela Wagner.

“You’re a trueborn child of Goldspire,” his mother once said while stroking his hair. He’d fought an older boy behind the Butchers’ Market that afternoon and lost. “Quick. Tough. Clever. You’ll be a lord someday, Tan, if you use your head before your hands and heart.”

Later — seven years ago, now — he found her in a snowdrift near their home, her throat cut from ear to ear.


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20 Heroes: Andreas val Dhari

This the fifth installment in our Heroes series, written by our own Robert Rhodes. The art is courtesy of Ida Mary Walker Larsen.

He is free.

He simply stands as the wide gates of the mining barracks thud shut and a wave of cold air hits his nape. He lingers under the gatehouse arch, his boots uneasy on the icy muck, and lifts his eyes. Before the jagged white mountains, under the leaden sky, it remains.

The Spire.

He wishes,


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Burn Me Deadly: If you don’t listen to audiobooks, it’s time to start

Burn Me Deadly by Alex Bledsoe

Note: This rating reflects my happiness with the audio version of Burn Me Deadly. Four stars for the print version. Listen to a sample of this audiobook here.

Ah, the combination of Alex Bledsoe (the author), Eddie LaCrosse (the hero) and Stefan Rudnicki (the reader) — it doesn’t get much better than that!

Burn Me Deadly is the sequel to The Sword-Edged Blonde,


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20 Heroes: Mad Batson

This the fourth installment in our Heroes series, written by our own Robert Rhodes. The art is courtesy of Allen Douglas.

On a brisk autumn day, Mad Batson went a-wandering.

He closed behind him the door of the forgotten shrine that was his home in Fair Forest and, clicking his tongue, finger-painted the lintel with a rune of sulfur and bean curd. Satisfied that any intruder would be whisked onto the pleasure barge of the Archduchess of Milph and bloated with nose-wrinkling gases, he brushed off his hands and departed.


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The Sword: Quintessential B-grade sword-n-sorcery

The Sword by Deborah Chester

The Sword is the first of a high-fantasy trilogy and is little more than a prologue for whatever follows. What I mean by that is this: in terms of actual plot development, very little happens here. Each paperback in this trilogy is about 400 pages long (1200 total), so this could easily have been a 2-book saga with little to no impact on its quality.

As for the story itself… There are some books you can read when you’re tired, some you can’t,


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Wind from a Foreign Sky: Decent ideas, poor execution

Wind from a Foreign Sky by Katya Reimann

Gaultry is a young, beautiful, spirited huntress, who has been raised by her great-aunt, a hedge-witch, on the border of Tielmaran. One day, the outer world cruelly ends her idyllic life, as a squadron of soldiers seeks to abduct her, and she finds herself a key figure in a prophecy that will bless or curse the entire realm.

Katya Reimann creates, for the most part, a well-imagined world with some fresh touches. However, the kindest thing I can say about her telling of the story is that,


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Next SFF Author: Ben Aaronovitch

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