Latest fantasy novel explores cultural differences and the unscrupulous leaders who exploit them

Anarya is an investigator. Yisyena is her business partner and lover. A new contract embroils them in state secrets and the personal vendettas of a murdered champion, a cabal, a puppet king, and a false god looking for one who has defied him.

DARTFORD, KENT – 28 August 2019 – Elsewhen Press, an independent UK publisher specialising in Speculative Fiction, is delighted to announce the publication of Quaestor the latest epic fantasy from author David M Allan. His new novel explores cultural differences and the effects they can have on individuals, while at the same time intertwining the protagonists’ stories in an adventure that ultimately encompasses love, justice, revenge, freedom and magic.
 

Cover artwork: Alison Buck

Magical skills have been a time-honoured component of many fantasy stories, from traditional fairy-tales to modern classics, with the ability to use them often being the result of training, heredity, or theft. In Quaestor, David M Allan envisions a world where two separate nations both have a small proportion of their population who are endowed with magical abilities, but with very different views on the source and purpose of those talents. In Carrhen, magical ability is seen as a gift from the gods, to be used for the benefit of all; while in Sitrelk it is considered to be an inherited talent to be surrendered to their living god in a self-sacrifice.

It is not just magic that is viewed differently in the two countries. Sitrelker women may not own property or a business, and indeed can’t run anything apart from their own household; while in Carrhen as many women as men run their own business and are responsible for their own livelihood and wellbeing. In Sitrelk, same sex relationships must be conducted in secret to avoid bringing shame on a family; but in Carrhen any consensual relationship is accepted without question or even a second glance.

However, even in Carrhen, authority and its concomitant power has a tendency to corrupt, with unscrupulous rulers finding ways to force those with magical talents to do their bidding and advance their ambition.
Peter Buck, Editorial Director at Elsewhen Press says, “In Quaestor, David M Allan achieves the goal of the very best speculative fiction, namely telling a compelling story that keeps you turning the page to find out what happens next while at the same time shining a light on issues of our own world and times. We may not have magical talents, but we do have unscrupulous leaders who use others’ skills to further their own aims at the expense of the general population and even the state itself, who defy justice, who promote inequity, bigotry and hatred, and even see themselves as unimpeachable gods.”

Quaestor will be available to buy on all popular eBook platforms from 30th August 2019 and is already available to pre-order. The paperback edition will be available on 21st October 2019.

About David M Allan

David M Allan got hooked on reading at a young age by borrowing to the max – 3 books, twice a week – from the public library. He was caught up and transported to fabulous other worlds by the likes of Wells, Verne and Burroughs (and later by Asimov, Bradbury, Clarke, Heinlein, Le Guin, Wyndham…). Alas, the journeys were temporary and he had to return to Earth.

His love affair with science fiction and fantasy had him thinking vaguely about writing but he didn’t follow through until after retirement and his relocation, with wife and cat, to a houseboat on the Thames. It was reading one book which he didn’t think was very good that led him to say “I could do better than that” and then setting out to prove it. David has since had a number of short stories published in online magazines, and his debut novel The Empty Throne published by Elsewhen Press. Quaestor is his second novel.

Visit bit.ly/Quaestor-Allan

About the book

Title: Quaestor

When you’re searching, you don’t always find what you expect

In Carrhen some people have a magic power – they may be telekinetic, clairvoyant, stealthy, or able to manipulate the elements. Anarya is a Sponger, she can absorb and use anyone else’s magic without them even being aware, but she has to keep it a secret as it provokes jealousy and hostility especially among those with no magic powers at all.

When Anarya sees Yisyena, a Sitrelker refugee, being assaulted by three drunken men, she helps her to escape. Anarya is trying to establish herself as an investigator, a quaestor, in the city of Carregis. Yisyena is a clairvoyant, a skill that would be a useful asset for a quaestor, so Anarya offers her a place to stay and suggests they become business partners. Before long they are also lovers.

But business is still hard to find, so when an opportunity arises to work for Count Graumedel who rules over the city, they can’t afford to turn it down, even though the outcome may not be to their liking. Soon they are embroiled in state secrets and the personal vendettas of a murdered champion, a cabal, a puppet king, and a false god looking for one who has defied him.

Fiction / Fantasy / Action & Adventure; Fiction / Fantasy / Epic
Print edition: ISBN 978-1-911409-47-2, 304pp, Demy;
RRP £9.99 / €11.99 / US$17.99 (21 Oct 2019)
Electronic edition: ISBN 978-1-911409-57-1, EPUB / Kindle;
RRP £2.99 / €3.49 / US$3.99 (30 Aug 2019)

About the cover

The cover artwork for Quaestor was produced by Alison Buck, illustrating their auras as Anarya borrows Yisyena’s clairvoyant skill.

“intriguing fantasy” – review of The Empty Throne on Risingshadow

On RisingShadow.net, Seregil of Rhiminee has reviewed The Empty Throne by David M. Allan. He starts by describing it as an “intriguing debut” because it’s “a high fantasy novel that contains elements of epic fantasy, adventure fantasy and portal fantasy” and is ideal for readers who like “fantastical and light escapism”.

Artwork: Tony Allcock

Seregil says David’s story “moves swiftly forward and the author keeps up a steady pace”. He adds that it “has a classic and traditional feel” which is rare nowadays, and admits to having a soft spot for this kind of fantasy and loves traditional fantasy fiction.

He says the world is described well, and much of the “fascination of this novel” comes from the author’s way of writing about how the characters protect the world. He says he was “surprised to find a coming of age tale in this novel, because I didn’t expect it” and was also intrigued to find out that romance is part of the storyline, which he enjoyed and which “lightened the story in a good way”.

He concludes by saying that The Empty Throne is “intriguing fantasy entertainment, because it combines action, adventure, magic and politics”.

His final verdict: It’s good and fun escapism for those who want to take a break from reality.

Read Seregil’s review on RisingShadow here.
 

Great summer reading for fantasy fans

The weather is still glorious here at Elsewhen Press HQ and our neighbours are all busy keeping the kids entertained during the school holidays. But what about you? The best way to enjoy the weather is with a long cool drink and and a long cool book. Our two latest fantasy releases this summer should fit the bill perfectly.
 

Artwork: Tony Allcock

Last month saw the release of Juliet Kemp’s debut novel The Deep and Shining Dark, the first in a new series that Juliet is writing about the city-state of Marek. Magic is facilitated by an angel that made an agreement with the founding fathers of the city 300 years ago, but it has just stopped working. Reb, a sorcerer, and Marcia, an elite, discover that someone has deposed the city-angel and soon realise that there is a plot afoot to take control of the city. But the city Council connive and conspire, manipulated in a political game. So Reb and Marcia must take action themselves. Exciting stuff! With a gorgeous cover, a detailed map of Marek, and a gripping tale.
 

Artwork: Tony Allcock

Today sees the release of David M Allan’s debut novel The Empty Throne. Four hundred years ago three magicians created a gateway to another world but hostile incorporeal creatures came through;they just managed to defeat that first incursion but failed to close the gateway. Now it is guarded by knights who defend their world from the unpredictable incursions that have been happening ever since. The latest incursion has just started and a kulun has escaped into the world – capable of possessing and controlling humans, it is intent on causing havoc. Provincial rulers are too busy with family feuds, border disputes, deep-rooted rivalries and bigotry to pay attention to the incursions, providing a perfect environment for the kulun. With an arresting cover, and also including a map of the lands, this action adventure across two worlds is riveting.

Both of these fantastic books are available on all the best eBook platforms now. You could be reading them within seconds, for a mere £2.99 each! Find them on your favourite retailer:
The Deep and Shining Dark – eBook retailers
The Empty Throne – eBook retailers

Enjoy!

Politicians feud, oblivious to the evil force possessing and controlling them to gain ultimate power

David M Allan’s new novel combines elements of both fantasy and science fiction to examine the glamour of power and the danger of invisible forces that can manipulate and control even the most formidable leaders.

DARTFORD, KENT – 08 June 2018 – Elsewhen Press, an independent UK publisher specialising in Speculative Fiction, is delighted to announce that they have signed with author David M Allan to publish his novel The Empty Throne. Combining swords, magic, other-worldly creatures and ambitious politicians, with a gateway to another world, The Empty Throne is an unexpected mix of traditional fantasy and science fiction, likely to appeal to readers who enjoy the work of David Eddings, Robin Hobb and Juliet McKenna.

Artwork: Tony Allcock

In the world of The Empty Throne, there is a Citadel. In it stand three thrones, one of metal, one of wood and one of stone. Between them shimmers a gateway to a new world, created four hundred years ago by the three magicians who made the thrones. When hostile incorporeal creatures came through the gateway, the magicians attempted to close it but failed. Since that time the creatures have tried to come through the gateway at irregular intervals, but the throne room is guarded by the Company of Tectors, established to defend against them. To try to stop the creatures, expeditions have been sent through the gateway, but none has ever returned.

On each throne appears an image of one of the Custoda, heroes who have led the expeditions through the gateway. While the Custoda occupy the thrones the gateway remains quiet and there are no incursions. Today, Dhanay, the newest knight admitted to the Company, is guarding the throne room. Like all the Tectors, Dhanay looks to the images of the Custoda for guidance.

But the Throne of Stone is empty. The latest incursion has started; a creature escaping into the world, a kulun capable of possessing and controlling humans.

The provincial rulers, the oldest and most powerful families, ignore the gateway and the Tectors, concentrating on playing politics and pursuing their own petty aims. Some even question the need for the Company, as incursions have been successfully contained within the Citadel for years. Family feuds, border disputes, deep-rooted rivalries and bigotry make for a potentially unstable world, and are a perfect environment for a kulun looking to create havoc…

The arresting cover is by renowned artist Tony Allcock, encapsulating the atmosphere of the throne room and Dhanay’s shock when he realises the throne is empty. The author immediately liked the cover art for the “air of mystery and feeling of menace”.

The Empty Throne will be available on all popular eBook platforms from 3rd August 2018. It will be available in paperback on 22nd October 2018.

Notes for Editors

About David M Allan

David M Allan got hooked on reading at a young age by borrowing to the max – 3 books, twice a week – from the public library. He was caught up and transported to fabulous other worlds by the likes of Wells, Verne and Burroughs (and later by Asimov, Bradbury, Clarke, Heinlein, Le Guin, Wyndham…). Alas, the journeys were temporary and he had to return to Earth.

His love affair with science fiction and fantasy had him thinking vaguely about writing but he didn’t follow through until after retirement and his relocation, with wife and cat, to a houseboat on the Thames. It was reading one book which he didn’t think was very good that led him to say “I could do better than that” and then setting out to prove it. David has since had a number of short stories published in online magazines, but The Empty Throne will be his first published novel.

About Tony Allcock

Tony Allcock 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. Under the internet name of 888toto he has been developing digital painting brushes and techniques that have been downloaded by many hundreds of artists around the world. This is the third book cover Tony has produced for Elsewhen Press.

Visit https://bit.ly/TheEmptyThrone