In Locus Magazine, Liz Bourke recently reviewed The Deep and Shining Dark by Juliet Kemp. Liz starts by describing Juliet’s book as “one part high fantasy, one part political fantasy, and one part old-fashioned sword-and-sorcery – without the swords or the lack of realistic diversity to which old-fashioned sword-and-sorcery was often prone”.
In a thorough review, Liz sets the scene, introducing the city-state of Marek and the main protagonists, and briefly outlines the start of the plot. Liz observes that, although it is a “a relatively compact novel, Kemp has succeeded in packing a significant amount in”, and goes on to say that it is a brisk and “well-paced story of politics, consequences, and self-redefinition” with “compelling and relatable” characters.
Noting that the setting is “effortlessly diverse” Liz finishes by saying “I really enjoyed this novel, and I look forward to seeing what Kemp does next”. Thanks Liz, so do we 😉
You can read Liz’s full review here on the Locus Magazine website, even if you’re not a subscriber (and if not, why not?).
On the Locus Magazine website, is a list of Recommended Reading from 2018 (here). Included in the ‘First Novel’ category is our very own Juliet Kemp’s novel The Deep and Shining Dark. You can vote for your favourites in their 2019 Poll and Survey – support Juliet and vote for The Deep and Shining Dark 😉
On Risingshadow.netSeregil of Rhiminee has just reviewed The Deep and Shining Dark by Juliet Kemp, the first book in the Marek series. Describing it as a “strong debut novel from a talented new author” Seregil compliments Juliet on having produced an entertaining and well-written fantasy with “subtle complexity, good worldbuilding and fluent characterisation”, saying that it was “one of the most positive reading experiences I’ve had this year”.
Admitting that he read it in one sitting because “The story immediately pulled me in and didn’t let go until I’d reached the end”, Seregil says that the story “flows effortlessly and becomes increasingly intriguing” as it “immerses readers into the story right alongside the protagonists and takes them on a fascinating journey” that is “filled with intrigue, politics and magic”. The characterisation is “interesting and realistic” because Juliet “pays attention to their lives, feelings, flaws and problems, making them as real as possible”. The worldbuilding is “effortless” presenting a vibrant vision of the citystate of Marek that is “believable”, paying attention to “cultural differences and … how the Houses maintain control”. The magic is “interesting”, the politics “intriguing” and “LGBTQ elements handled fluently”.
Seregil says that he is looking forward to reading the instalment in this series, because this is a “promising and strong start” that he enjoyed. He recommends The Deep and Shining Dark as “captivating and well-crafted” fantasy.
You can read Seregil’s full review on Risingshadow here.
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.
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.
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.
In book 1 of Juliet Kemp’s new fantasy series, sorcerer Reb realises something is wrong when the city-angel turns up at her door. Marcia, Heir to House Fereno stumbles on the same truth. Together they must discover who is responsible and stop them.
DARTFORD, KENT – 21 May 2018 – Elsewhen Press, an independent UK publisher specialising in Speculative Fiction, is delighted to announce that they have signed with author Juliet Kemp for the first book in a gripping new fantasy series. Juliet has had short stories published in anthologies and online magazines, and has a novella due out later this year. But The Deep and Shining Dark is Juliet’s debut novel, launching straight into the political intrigues and magical shenanigans in the city-state of Marek, for which the series is named.
There had, once, been an overland trading route between mainland Teren and neighbouring Exuria, up and through the mountain passes. Its increasing unreliability had been what drove an expedition into the swamps, just over 300 years ago, seeking a route around the mountains. What they’d found was the outlet to the Oval Sea, which was even better. They made an agreement with an angel to ensure that magic within their new city worked without the need for bloodletting, and that political stability would be protected from magical influence. Then along came the Salinas, with their ships, their extensive trading partnerships around the Oval Sea, and their very reasonable carrier prices. Fairly soon, as Marek traded and became wealthy, it grew from being merely a city and chief trading- port of Teren into a semi-independent city-state. Most sophisticates no longer even believed in magic or the city-angel.
In The Deep and Shining Dark, Reb, one of the two sorcerers who survived a recent plague that wiped out virtually all of the rest, discovers that magic has suddenly stopped working. Someone has deposed the city-angel, but has been unable to replace it. Marcia, Heir to House Fereno, and one of the few in high society who is well-aware that magic still exists, stumbles across that same truth.
Meanwhile Council members connive and conspire, unaware that they are being manipulated in a treacherous political game that threatens the peace and security of the entire Oval Sea. Reb and Marcia must discover who is behind the plot, in order to stop the impending disaster. But first they must try to decide whom they can really trust.
Complementing Juliet’s story is a beautiful cover with artwork by renowned artist, Tony Allcock, which captures the essence of Marek and the outlook across the Oval Sea while conjuring up the intrigue that underlies the city itself. On seeing the cover for the first time Juliet’s response was “That’s absolutely gorgeous!”
The Deep and Shining Dark will be available on all popular eBook platforms from 6th July 2018. It will be available in paperback on 24th September 2018.
Notes for Editors
About Juliet Kemp
Juliet Kemp lives by the river in London, with partners, child, dog, and too many fountain pens. With an employment history that variously includes working as a cycle instructor, sysadmin, life model, researcher, permaculture designer, and journalist, Juliet still finds time to write. When not writing or parenting, Juliet goes climbing, knits, reads way too much, and drinks a lot of tea. Having had stories published in several anthologies and online magazines, Juliet was delighted to sign with Elsewhen Press to publish The Deep and Shining Dark.
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.