Happy Release Day to The Last Seven – book 7 in The Ninth Century series

I can’t quite believe it’s been a year since the release of The Last Shield, but it has, and finally, I’m excited to share The Last Seven with my readers. I confess, the title started as a bit of a joke, but it was just too good not to use:)

Here’s the blurb:

He sent twenty men to infiltrate three hundred. It had to be enough.

While Archbishop Wulfhere of York begs for assistance against Jarl Halfdan, now living in Northumbria, Bishop Smithwulf of London is eager for Coelwulf to forge an alliance with King Alfred of Wessex. And the three Viking raider jarls continue to hold Grantabridge. Yet, Coelwulf has so far managed to dismiss all of these concerns, consumed with worry for his missing warrior, Pybba.

But while searching for Pybba, events overtake Coelwulf, his men are murdered, and his aunt taken, but by which of his enemies?

If Coelwulf fails to rescue his aunt alive, what hope does he have for keeping his kingdom secure?

The year is AD875, and the men of Mercia must once more ride into the fray. The future of Mercia depends on them. 

For the first time, I’m releasing the original version, and the Cleaner Version of The Last Seven on the same day. (For those who haven’t encountered the different versions before, the major difference is the absence of a certain word in the Cleaner Versions – I think we probably all know what that word is.)

The paperback and hardback will also be available for the original version. The book will also be available to read with Kindle Unlimited.

I really, really, really, hope you enjoy being back with Coelwulf and his men as much as I loved writing the book. But, a warning, I want you to read the book and enjoy it, but my plan is that book 8 will not be available until this time next year. So, take your time, if you can. And, if you can’t, then don’t forget there’s also a short story collection, Coelwulf’s Company, Tales from before The Last King, and of course, Icel’s story is the basis for The Eagle of Mercia Chronicles. Hopefully, there will be enough for you to read, until the release of the next book.

And, I’ve written a new short story for The Last Seven. If you sign up to my newsletter, I will be sharing the short story with my subscribers first. (I send a monthly email on the 1st of each month.)

Thank you to everyone who has preordered the new book. I hope you all love it, and appreciate the new map I’ve had made for the book.

Check out previous release day posts.

The Last King

The Last Warrior (apart from The Last Warrior, which doesn’t seem to have one!)

The Last Horse

The Last Enemy

The Last Sword

The Last Shield

Pagan Warrior

Today, I’m excited to share the new cover for Pagan Warrior, the first book in a trilogy about the mighty King Panda of Mercia in seventh-century Britain. (Pagan Warrior was first released as Hædfeld in 2015). I’ve also given the book the once-over and edited and tidied it a little as I’ve gone. It’s reminded me of just how much I love the characters, the time-period and the story.

Designed by Shaun at Flintlock Covers

I’m also taking Pagan Warrior, and the trilogy, onto other ebook platforms – so, readers on Apple, Nook, Kobo, and other retailers, as well as Amazon, can now enjoy Pagan Warrior as well. The audiobook is also under production, and will be ready in the coming months. And the paperback is now available from retailers other than Amazon, and the hardback is available on Amazon:)

If you’ve not read Pagan Warrior yet, here’s the blurb:

Britain. AD632.

Penda, a warrior of immense renown, has much to prove if he’s to rule the Mercian kingdom of his dead father and prevent the neighbouring king of Northumbria from claiming it.

Unexpectedly allying with the British kings, Penda races to battle the alliance of the Northumbrian king, unsure if his brother stands with him, or against him as they seek battle glory for themselves, and the right to rule gained through bloody conquest.

There will be a victor and a bloody loser and a king will rise from the ashes of the great and terrible battle of Hædfeld.

Find your ebook or paperback on your preferred retailers site here.

Holy Sister by Mark Lawrence – Book Review – released today in the UK 4th April 2019

Here’s the blurb;

“Nona Grey’s story reaches its shattering conclusion in the third instalment of Book of the Ancestor.

THEY CAME AGAINST HER AS A CHILD. NOW THEY FACE THE WOMAN.

The ice is advancing, the Corridor narrowing, and the empire is under siege from the Scithrowl in the east and the Durns in the west. Everywhere, the emperor’s armies are in retreat.

Nona faces the final challenges that must be overcome if she is to become a full sister in the order of her choice. But it seems unlikely that Nona and her friends will have time to earn a nun’s habit before war is on their doorstep.

Even a warrior like Nona cannot hope to turn the tide of war.
The shiphearts offer strength that she might use to protect those she loves, but it’s a power that corrupts. A final battle is coming in which she will be torn between friends, unable to save them all. A battle in which her own demons will try to unmake her.

A battle in which hearts will be broken, lovers lost, thrones burned.

HOLY SISTER completes the Book of the Ancestor trilogy that began with RED SISTER and GREY SISTER. A ground-breaking series, it has established Mark Lawrence as one of the most exciting new voices in modern speculative fiction.”

 

Holy Sister is a satisfying conclusion to the Book of the Ancestor Trilogy. For other authors, I would have found that acceptable, but for Mark Lawrence, I confess, I was a bit disappointed.
As with the ending of the previous two trilogies, especially Jalan’s, I’m left wishing there had just been ‘more’.
The concurrent storylines are not without excitement, indeed from about 50-80% the storyline is extremely exciting, but to get there I had to wade through the first 35% and I didn’t enjoy it as much as I’d hoped I would. Yes, a year has passed since I read the previous book, and I had forgotten much, but even so, and especially considering the ‘summation’ at the beginning, I feel I should have been able to grab the characters and events far more quickly. For readers who can just plough on through all 3 books one after another, I’m sure this won’t be a problem but I’m far too impatient to have actually waited for the end of the trilogy.
And the eventual ending, well. It was somewhat anti-climatic.
If this was merely a coming of age story, then I would say the job had been accomplished very well, but it was always more than that, and sadly, Book 3 doesn’t quite do justice to the characters.
I appreciate that there are many who love this book – I’ve been seeing 5-star reviews flying around for Holy Sister for about 6 months. It might just be that, for me, the book suffers from too much hype, and so I would like to apologise to the author if my comments seem too harsh. It’s truly not the author’s fault when something gets blown out of all proportion.
The majority of people will love this book – and I’m excited for Mark Lawrence because that means he’ll get to write more and more books, and share his wonderful ideas with a wider and wider audience.
I think we will get to return to the world of the Book of the Ancestor, and I look forward to that. Perhaps then all my unanswered questions will find answers. Although I doubt it. Mark Lawrence is a sly old fox for a good reason!
Thank you to the publisher for sending me an E-Arc. I confess, there may have been a squeal of delight.

Holy Sister is released in the UK today in hardback, ebook and audiobook and you can purchase it here (other retailers are also available). I give it a 4/5;