The success of a semi-independent city-state is bound to attract attention, from those with political ambition and others with magical ambition

When a magical problem and a political challenge threaten Marek at the same time, Marcia, Heir to House Fereno, finds herself at the centre of the responses to both. Can she and her allies withstand Teren politics, while her friends withstand Teren magic?

DARTFORD, KENT – 18 December 2019 – Elsewhen Press, an independent UK publisher specialising in Speculative Fiction, is delighted to announce the publication of Shadow and Storm the much-anticipated second book in the epic Marek fantasy series from author Juliet Kemp. This latest instalment sees more political intrigue in the city-state of Marek, while a magical problem is heading their way from the Teren capital.

Aliette de Bodard, Nebula award-winning author of The Tea Master and the Detective described the first book in Juliet’s Marek series, The Deep and Shining Dark, as “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”. Shadow and Storm continues with that same mix of politics, magic and friendship that has been enthralling readers.

Artwork: Tony Allcock

Once again, Reb and Cato, the two surviving sorcerers in Marek, must work together with the city-angel to deal with a demonic threat to the city. Meanwhile Marcia, Fereno-Heir, starts to realise that the new Lord Lieutenant recently arrived from the Teren capital for the annual formal opening of the Council, has her own agenda that may be as big a threat to the prosperity and stability of Marek.

Peter Buck, Editorial Director at Elsewhen Press says, “the conjured world of Juliet’s Marek series is at once both highly believable and utterly fantastic. We can readily relate to the politics of a prosperous city-state keen to maintain its virtual independence from a distant ruling throne, while struggling to deal with internal rivalries for power and control over the lucrative trade on which its prosperity was founded. At the same time, in these days of concern for our planet and uncertainty over our own future we, perhaps longingly, perhaps with trepidation, can imagine the possibilities of a world where magic is real and is mediated by a benevolent spirit keeping malevolent demons at bay.”

As with the first book in the series, the front cover is graced by beautiful artwork from renowned artist Tony Allcock: Marcia showing the new Teren Lord Lieutenant the view from the top of Marekhill across the river to the docks, the old market and the highlands beyond, while a storm is brewing both politically and magically.

Shadow and Storm is now available to pre-order on all popular eBook platforms prior to publication on 3rd January 2020. The paperback edition will be available from 23rd March 2020.

Notes for Editors

About Juliet Kemp

Juliet Kemp lives by the river in London, with their partners, child, dog, and too many fountain pens. Having had stories published in several anthologies and online magazines, The Deep and Shining Dark was Juliet’s first novel and Shadow and Storm is the sequel. 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.

Visit bit.ly/ShadowAndStorm

About the book

Title: Shadow and Storm

Never trust a demon … or a Teren politician

Although the city-state of Marek is part of Teren, the Thirteen Houses and Guilds have long been protective of their de facto independence. So Marcia, Heir to House Fereno, expects the annual visit for the Council opening by the Teren Throne’s representative to be nothing more than the usual symbolic gesture. But this year the Lord Lieutenant has been unexpectedly replaced. As Marcia is showing the new Lieutenant, Selene, the view from the top of Marekhill, she suspects that Selene has her own agenda. After all, Teren has politics too, just like Marek.

In Marek, magic is mediated by the cityangel. But elsewhere in Teren, magic is enabled by bloodletting. A Teren magician will invoke a demon to do their bidding and bind them with blood. But demons are devious and will take advantage of any flaw or loophole to avoid being bound. An unleashed demon is dangerous and sure to create havoc, and the Teren way to stop them involves the letting of more of the magician’s blood – often terminally. But if a young magician is being sought by an unleashed demon, their only hope may be to escape to Marek where the cityangel can keep the demon at bay. Probably.

Once again Reb, Cato and Jonas must work with Beckett to deal with a magical problem, while Marcia must tackle a serious political challenge to Marek’s future. But of course magic and politics never seem to remain separate for long, especially when Teren politics are involved.

Fiction / Fantasy / Epic; Fiction / Fantasy / Paranormal; Fiction / LGBT

Print edition: ISBN 978-1-911409-49-6, 336pp, Demy; RRP £9.99 / €11.99 / US$17.99 (23 Mar 2020)

Electronic edition: ISBN 978-1-911409-59-5, EPUB / Kindle; RRP £2.99 / €3.49 / US$3.99 (03 Jan 2020)

About the cover

The cover artwork for Shadow and Storm was produced by Tony Allcock, the same artist who produced the much-lauded cover for Book 1 of Juliet’s Marek series, The Deep and Shining Dark. Tony lives in Hertfordshire and has been both a Research Scientist and a Fine Artist for 40 years. He has exhibited watercolour and oil paintings in galleries and exhibitions in the UK, France and Italy. More recently he has also been painting digitally, illustrating music CD covers and book covers.

 

“simply brilliant in its inventiveness and originality” – review of Good Intentions on Risingshadow

Cover artwork by Hugh Spencer

On Risingshadow.net, Seregil of Rhiminee has reviewed Good Intentions by Ira Nayman. This is the first novel in The Multiverse Refugees Trilogy, but also the sixth novel of the Transdimensional Authority series. Seregil starts by saying that he’s “amazed at how fresh and original, not to mention amusing, this novel is” and that, despite being the sixth Multiverse novel, Ira “manages to come up with new novels that are just as good and entertaining as the previous ones”.

Seregil’s review is well worth reading in its entirety, so I will only pick out a couple more quotes from it, and encourage you to read the full review yourself. He describes the book as an “excellent humorous science fiction novel that is filled with quirkiness, inventiveness and hilarious wittiness”, “one of the most amusing and most satirical science fiction novels I’ve ever had the pleasure of reading”, “sharp yet entertaining satire and parody about humans, humanity and the state of the world”. I think that gives a reasonable picture of how much Seregil liked the book. He concludes by saying it is “one of the best novels available for readers who love humorous speculative fiction.”

Read Seregil’s review on Risingshadow.net here.

 

“a rich and rewarding reading experience” – Review of Thorns of a Black Rose on Risingshadow

On Risingshadow.net, Seregil of Rhiminee has just reviewed Thorns of a Black Rose by David Craig, which he describes as “a fully satisfying tale of thievery, assassinations, survival and vengeance”.

Cover design by PR Pope

Seregil found Thorns of a Black Rose to be “a compelling and immersive novel that instantly caught my interest” telling an “entertaining story that will keep readers turning pages”. He praises David’s “fluent prose and well written dialogues” and “splendid and surprisingly vivid” characterisation, as well as the “rich and immersive” worldbuilding. He adds, “The author’s vision of the world is immensely vibrant, because the world is influenced by ancient Egypt, Morocco, Turkey and Middle Eastern countries. It feels as if he has taken many well known elements that are related to these countries, their myths and their cultures and has poured magic and action all over the blend to create something original and thrilling.”

Seregil enjoyed reading about the city of Mask and the bloodthirsty Cult of Hrek which he describes as “a fascinating part of the story arc, because it brings plenty of darkness to it”. But he says he was “wholly mesmerised” by David’s way of writing about The Black Rose, “an important and captivating part of the story”. The magic system is intriguing, and the politics of the magic users adds depth to the story.

Seregil awards a full five stars because it’s “wonderful entertainment from start to finish” and hopes that there will be more stories set in this world. He concludes by saying that “Thorns of a Black Rose is a slice of fantasy excellence in a single volume” which he can highly recommend “because the unfolding story is a rich and rewarding reading experience”.

You can read Seregil’s full review on Risingshadow here.

“provocative, conspiracy-laden, entertaining, and delightfully crafted” – Review of Million Eyes: Extra Time on All Things Jill-Elizabeth

Cover: PR Pope

On her blog, Jill-Elizabeth has written a review of Million Eyes: Extra Time by C.R. Berry. The book is a freely downloadable collection of twelve time-twisting short stories that manage to demonstrate how almost every conspiracy theory you’ve ever heard of has been perpetrated by a specific group of time travellers. Of course, this is an introduction to the world of Million Eyes, to whet readers’ appetites in advance of the publication of the first in the Million Eyes series in January. Jill-Elizabeth writes that it is the most excellent world-introduction she’s seen in a long time.

Read her review on All Things Jill-Elizabeth here.

 

“All of the conspiracy theories are true!” – Review of Million Eyes: Extra Time on SFCrowsnest

Cover: PR Pope

On the SFCrowsnest website, Eamonn Murphy has written a review of Million Eyes: Extra Time by C.R. Berry, the prequel to the Million Eyes trilogy which launches in January 2020.

Featuring a dozen time-twisting short stories set in the Million Eyes universe, which Eamonn describes as “very like our own universe but with time travel and conspiracy theories added for fun”. And then he adds “All of the conspiracy theories are true! It was the time travellers what did it.

Some of the stories have been previously published elsewhere. Having read, and praised, one of the stories when it first appeared, encouraged Eamonn to review this book. He avoids giving away any of the plots but says “if you can think of a conspiracy theory, chances are that C.R. Berry has it here”, adding that he “covers all the bases of urban legend”. He compliments Berry’s “very readable style” and the clever plots, and says it is an enjoyable read. He concludes by noting that the book is available for free download from the Elsewhen Press website, adding “Obviously, that’s a cunning ploy to get you to buy ‘Million Eyes’ the novel when it comes out but I think the ploy might work.”

You can read Eamonn’s full review on SFCrowsnest here.

 

“I adore how this book was written” – Review of Million Eyes : Extra Time on Storgy

Cover: PR Pope

On the Storgy Magazine website, Sandra Hould has posted a review of Million Eyes: Extra Time by C.R. Berry, which is available for free download here, as a pre-cursor to the Million Eyes trilogy (the first book of which will be published by Elsewhen Press in January).

Opening with “Wow, what a ride!”, Sandra clearly enjoyed the book – “It was for me like a drug” she writes – and was very taken with the whole alternative world where many of the best known urban legends and conspiracy theories are all linked to time travellers changing time to suit their own puporse. Of course we won’t know what that purpose is until Million Eyes is published – “I know I will certainly want to dive more into that world” says Sandra – but in the meantime these free short stories certainly set the scene. Describing it as “all very interesting and compelling at the same time” Sandra says she wasn’t able to put the book down and when she finally did she remembered “the conspiracies I had heard over the years and how they were so well knitted into the narrative of this book”. She said that while reading it “we forget that it is fantasy and it becomes so real”.

Her final verdict: “A true gem to read for all lovers of conspiracies that I highly recommend to all.”

You can read Sandra’s full review on the Storgy website here.

 

“the setting is vivid” – Review of Thorns of a Black Rose on Al-Alhambra

On his Al-Alhambra blog, The Wanderer (aka Mada) has reviewed Thorns of a Black Rose by David Craig.

Cover design by PR Pope

He starts by describing the book as reading “like an RPG of the Desert”. I’m guessing that’s Role-Playing Game not Rocket-Propelled Grenade 😉

He acknowledges the world’s influences from Morocco, Ancient Egypt and the Maghreb, adding that he loves “the hint of the Assassin Creed Influence”, and goes on to say that the “setting is vivid, and the description takes you back to a world where dusty deserts and camels embark on a vast sweeping epic journey. There’s bandits, assassins, empires, merchant guilds, all jostling for power”.

He writes that the characters are “finely developed” and then provides a little background to the main protagonists. He adds, “This novel has so much magic I’m flabbergasted that it is this well done”. He also liked the cover, adding in no uncertain terms “THE COVER IS THE STORY!” (his capitals), as well as the writing: “The prose is well written. The writing is on point. The dialogue is great”. His only real criticism is that it could benefit from a map – maybe in the next book (I’ll suggest it to David.)

In conclusion he gives it 5/5.

You can (should) read the full review on the Al-Alhambra site here.

 

“a terrifying and unexpected journey fraught with creatures from a nightmare” – Review of Resurrection Men on The Book Dragon

Cover design and artwork by Alison Buck

On her blog The Book Dragon, book reviewer Nikki has reviewed Resurrection Men by David Craig. With 4.5 stars out of 5 (because “it is good”) she has given a very definite thumbs-up to David’s book. She writes, “In this seemingly normal story about a couple of body snatchers from Glasgow, Scotland in the late 19th century, David Craig takes us on a terrifying and unexpected journey fraught with creatures from a nightmare”.

Nikki begins the review with her impressions after just having read the first chapter. She was intrigued and wanted to know what happens next. So that was a good start!

After reading the rest of the book she wrote her full review. She admits, “This is my first real historical fantasy novels that I have actually finished. I tend to become bored with historical fantasy–especially urban–preferring instead the medieval sword-fighting kind.” But she tells us that, after chapter 3 or so, she got so engrossed in the book that she read about 40% in one sitting and only stopped when she “happened to glance at the clock!” We all know that feeling, and any author is truly gratified that their writing can have that effect on their readers. Nikki adds, “It doesn’t matter whether your’re a historical fantasy reader or a fan of vampires, even if you’re not, it’s still a great book!” She loved the elements of sarcasm in the dialogue, especially between the two eponymous Resurrection Men, it was, she wrote, “the perfect balance between mystery/suspense/horror and comedy. Rather than making the story swing to the absurd, the comedy instead strengthened the other elements and added just a bit of relief for the reader to catch their breath before diving in again.”

Nikki’s description of the ending needs to be read (you can read her whole review here), so I won’t spoil it for you except to say that she finishes her review by writing that the ending was “the perfect way to wrap up the novel.”

Thanks for a great review Nikki.

 

“captivating … and … thought-provoking” – review of Genesis on Risingshadow

Cover artwork by Alison Buck; Mars image Nerthuz / shutterstock.com

On Risingshadow.net, Seregil of Rhiminee has just reviewed Geoffrey Carr’s debut novel, the technothriller Genesis, describing it as “an enjoyable combination of science fiction, technology and thriller”. Seregil “enjoyed Genesis a lot” especially as it “starts slowly and then, bit by bit, gathers momentum and ends in a satisfying climax”. He says it is a well written story, where fragments and threads are at first presented that seem unconnected but “soon everything begins to make sense and the reader notices what connects everything together”. Seregil says he likes this kind of storytelling because “it requires concentration on the reader’s part and makes the reader want to find out what is happening”.

Seregil mentions that Genesis is also an interesting read for anyone with a view on AI, whether they are keen to see progress or worry about it, because “it offers readers a cautionary tale of what may happen when a powerful AI becomes alive and self-aware, and decides that it doesn’t need its makers anymore”. Geoffrey Carr, he says, writes vividly about what happens when computer systems misbehave and enjoyably about the business and political issues involved. Seregil suggests that Carr’s experiences as Science and Technology Editor of The Economist and his wide-ranging interests and knowledge is one of the main reasons why this novel is “good and intriguing”, and has “many captivating elements and a few thought-provoking moments”. Geoffrey’s writing style is easy and fast to read, gradually revealing important details with revelations that “keeps the story moving forward in a fluent way”, with welcome touches of humour.

Seregil concludes by recommending Genesis as a well-written techno-thriller that tells an intriguing, exciting and suspenseful story.

You can read Seregil’s full review on Risingshadow.net here.

 

“fast-moving and gripping climax” – review of Genesis on SFcrowsnest

Cover artwork by Alison Buck; Mars image Nerthuz / shutterstock.com

On SFcrowsnest, David A Hardy has just reviewed Genesis by Geoffrey Carr, which he bought at Eastercon at our Genesis launch event. He starts by saying that he enjoyed the book “greatly”.

Dave describes the story as “a rollercoaster ride: it starts slowly, but builds to a fast-moving and gripping climax”. He outlines the underlying plot and the main protagonists, adding that the “manner in which all this comes together as it builds toward the climactic end of this book is masterly”.

Naturally I’ve just picked out a couple of juicy morsels from Dave’s review! But you can (and should) read his full review on SFcrowsnest here.