The final book in Juliet Kemp’s acclaimed epic series is lauded both by other fantasy authors and fans
DARTFORD, KENT – 24 February 2023 – Elsewhen Press is a publishing house specialising in high quality, entertaining and thoughtful speculative fiction, often addressing current, real-world issues through a fictional prism. Author Juliet Kemp, activist and campaigner, has long been fascinated by politics and how the various elements of society interact, negotiate and compromise. For the Marek series, Juliet has built a fascinating and believable world juxtaposing political in-fighting, social inequity, familial conflicts, territorial and trade disputes, against a backdrop of an innovative magic system. That this world, and Juliet’s writing and story-telling, has proved engaging to readers is amply demonstrated by the award-winning authors who have been expressing their admiration of the books in the series.
Multiple Nebula-award winning author Aliette de Bodard wrote, of The Deep and Shining Dark (book 1 in the series), “A rich and memorable tale of political ambition, family and magic, set in an imagined city that feels as vibrant as the characters inhabiting it.”
Book 2 in the series was Shadow and Storm, about which Lamda Literary Award winner, Rivers Solomon, wrote “Shadow and Storm is an absolute delight to read, the literary equivalent of sinking into the embrace of a dear friend. Warm and cosy but never short on adventure and intrigue, Kemp’s second entry into this series won’t disappoint. The characters are real, full of depth, and richly drawn, and you’ll wish you had even more time with them by book’s end. A fantastic read!”
Author, sociologist and humanitarian aid worker, Malka Older, had this to say about The Rising Flood, the third book in the series, “Fantasy politics with real nuance and believable uncertainty, characters whose richness and depth has developed over three books, and a growing threat that starts pulling together threads across the series make The Rising Flood a fantastic read, while Marek is a textured place that is a joy to return to.”
The final book in the series is The City Revealed. Una McCormack, New York Times bestselling science fiction author, wrote “The City Revealed is an absorbing fantasy set in a richly imagined world. A lovingly drawn and diverse set of characters struggle both personally and politically with the consequences of their own and others’ actions, and strive for cooperation without sacrificing principles. A thoroughly satisfying read.”
Another accomplished fantasy author, Juliet E. McKenna, wrote of The City Revealed, “Eminently satisfying epic fantasy where the personal, the political and the magical are multilayered and interlocked.”
About building the world for Marek, Juliet Kemp has said, “In creating Marek, I wanted an independent city-state (I’d been reading about mediaeval Venice and the other Italian city-states, and why they fell); and I wanted it to be in relationship with another country, to generate plot-tension. Marek is a port, because ports are great (I’m biased; I live right by the river in what was once the Pool of London). Specifically, I decided it would be the port for the landlocked country of Teren, upriver; and put swamp between Teren and Marek to make contact harder. That also gave me a founding story, and one that I could tie in to the beginning and foundation of Marek’s very particular form of magic, mediated by the cityangel, who made a deal with the people who founded Marek. But despite being a port, Marek doesn’t carry its own goods; the Oval Sea is monopolised by a sailing nation who do all the carting around of things – a source of tension in the first book, and a window into the wider world that we don’t see directly. Marek is primarily a trading city, so the ruling merchant families of Marek are rich. Being physically cut off, Marek’s become more independent over time, including financially; and Teren wants to claw back some of those riches. That became a major series plot arc. Meanwhile… who within the city has, and doesn’t have, power? The trading families have power, but they rely on the Guilds for much of what Marek trades (added value); and the Guilds are getting stronger and more arsey. And then there’s the lower city… Some of my characters at times make some quite stupid political decisions, given the underlying drivers. I’ve watched real life people make some quite stupid political decisions, in recent years, so, well. Fiction needn’t be more sensible than reality. It’s been a lot of fun to write in the world; maybe I will be back to it some day!”
The City Revealed is now available in eBook format on most platforms and in paperback from Amazon and good booksellers.
Notes for Editors
About The City Revealed
Independence brings self-determination, but also threats from without and within
The city of Marek rests on newly-independent laurels. Their ties to Teren, the land-locked nation for which they served as sole trade link to the world, are cut; Teren’s Lieutenant, Selene, has been expelled, and her seat rests empty in the Marekhill Council chambers.
But Selene, fresh from her political defeat, threatened to return – next time, not with honeyed words or veiled threats, but with armed soldiers and war sorcerers. Last year, the sorcerers of Marek narrowly defeated a single Teren-summoned demon; how might they fare against a dozen or more?
Twisting the already fraying cord of a city under siege, the common people of Marek grow increasingly fervent in their own demands for representation – for a say in how the city is run, and for whom it is run.
Marcia, Fereno-Heir, agrees with the Lower City; they deserve a better say. But much of the Council won’t hear of it – and, of course, there’s Selene’s threat of an army of sorcerers at the city’s magical border. Sorcerers that half the Marekhill Council wouldn’t even accept as real.
She must work with the sorcerer Reb, her lover, to force the Council to recognise the truth of magic, whilst her sorcerer brother, Cato, rushes to build some sort of defence.
Because if Teren’s demons can pass the Cityangel’s wards, it’ll be the end of them all.
ISBN: 9781915304216 (paperback, 344pp) / 9781915304315 (eBook)
The Marek series
Book 1: The Deep and Shining Dark
Book 2: Shadow and Storm
Book 3: The Rising Flood
Book 4: The City Revealed
About Juliet Kemp
Juliet Kemp lives by the river in London, with their partners, child, dog, and too many fountain pens. They have had stories published in several anthologies and online magazines. Their employment history variously includes working as a cycle instructor, sysadmin, life model, researcher, permaculture designer, and journalist. When not writing or parenting, Juliet goes climbing, knits, reads way too much, and drinks a lot of tea.