“fluently written fantasy … shamelessly entertaining” – review of Necropolis on Risingshadow

On Risingshadow.net Seregil of Rhiminee has reviewed Necropolis by Christopher Nuttall, the third book in The Royal Sorceress series. Seregil says it’s “an enjoyable fantasy novel” that “won’t disappoint fans of the Royal Sorceress series.” In fact he suggests that Necropolis is even better than The Royal Sorceress and The Great Game.

Necropolis cover imageHe re-iterates his opinion that Gwen is “one of the most intriguing female protagonists ever to appear in alternate history novels” and adds that “Olivia is also an interesting character”. He describes the story as fascinating and Christopher’s writing as fluent, relationships being handled well. He enjoyed the different perspective Gwen has of her own society, while she is disguised as a maid, as well as the new setting, as much of the story takes place in Russia. This also leads to darker elements, as he says: “What the Russians did to examine magic was both intriguing and horrifying, because their approach to unlocking the secrets of magic was quite brutal and brilliantly disturbing. I’m sure that these experiments will be of interest to everybody who enjoyes reading dark fantasy. These experiments are described in a vivid, shocking and delightfully explicit way.” At the same time, he also enjoyed the “sharp and sarcastic humour” that Christopher manages to inject into the story.

Seregil admits that he doesn’t normally enjoy reading alternate history as many authors focus far too much on the politics at the expense of a good story. But he says that Christopher’s vision of an alternate Victorian world is very interesting, and that the Royal Sorceress series demonstrates that “alternate history can be entertaining escapism when the author focuses on magic, power play, relationships and social elements, and blends these elements with intriguing political elements.” He adds that he is impressed by Christopher’s ability to write about the alternate Victorian world as he “has managed to create a believable vision of a world that’s close to our world, but differs greatly from it, because certain people are capable of using magic.” He is also glad that Necropolis “continues to explore woman’s place in a male-dominated society” which he sees as one of the strengths of the series.

He concludes that all Christopher Nuttall’s fans will enjoy this book, and it is likely to attract new fans “because the story is shamelessly entertaining”. He sums up by saying that “Necropolis is good fantasy entertainment and excellent escapism for adult readers!”

You can read Seregil’s full review here.

 

Out now: bestselling author Christopher Nuttall’s latest title in alternative history/fantasy series

Third book in the Royal Sorceress series set in an alternative 1830s where scientists have discovered magic and Lady Gwendolyn Crichton must protect the British Empire

DARTFORD, KENT – 8 August 2014 – Elsewhen Press, an independent UK publisher specialising in Speculative Fiction, is delighted to announce that the next book in the Royal Sorceress series is available from today as an eBook. Necropolis is the third book in this fantasy series, hugely popular with readers of alternative history and steampunk as well as fantasy, from author Christopher Nuttall who is ranked by Amazon as one of the bestselling authors of Science Fiction and Fantasy.

Artwork by Alison Buck
Artwork by Alison Buck

The British Empire is teetering on the brink of war with France. A war that may, for the first time, see magicians in the ranks on both sides. The Royal Sorceress, Lady Gwendolyn Crichton, will be responsible for the Empire’s magical resources when the time comes. Still struggling to overcome prejudice within the Royal College of Sorcerers, she has at least earnt the gratitude of much of the aristocracy, if not their respect. Just when Gwen needs to be firmly focussed on training new sorcerers, her adopted daughter Olivia, the only known living necromancer, is kidnapped. Her abduction could signal a terrible new direction in the impending war. But Intelligence soon establishes that it was Russian agents who took Olivia, so an incognito Gwen joins a British diplomatic mission to Russia, an uncertain element in the coming conflict. Once she has arrived in St Petersburg, she discovers that the Tsar is deranged and with the help of a mad monk has a plan that threatens the entire world.

Immediately following on from The Great Game, Necropolis sees Gwen thrust into the wider international arena as political unrest spreads throughout Europe and beyond, threatening to hasten an almighty conflict. “Once again Christopher Nuttall combines exciting fantasy with believable alternate history that is almost close enough for us to touch.”

The Royal Sorceress series has been widely praised, with Risingshadow describing the first book as “one of the most interesting and entertaining alternate history books ever written” and the character of Lady Gwen as “one of the most intriguing heroines in modern fantasy”.

Available on popular eBook platforms, Necropolis will be published in November in a paperback edition.

About Christopher Nuttall

Christopher NuttallChristopher Nuttall has been planning sci-fi books since he learned to read. Born and raised in Edinburgh, Chris created an alternate history website and eventually graduated to writing full-sized novels. Studying history independently allowed him to develop worlds that hung together and provided a base for storytelling. After graduating from university, Chris started writing full-time. As an indie author he has self-published a number of novels, but this is his sixth fantasy to be published by Elsewhen Press, and the third in the Royal Sorceress series about Lady Gwendolyn Crichton. The first was The Royal Sorceress, followed by The Great Game. Necropolis continues Gwen’s story. Chris is currently living in Borneo with his wife, muse, and critic Aisha.

“one of the most intriguing heroines in modern fantasy” – Review of The Great Game on Risingshadow

The Great Game cover imageOn the Risingshadow website, Seregil of Rhiminee has just reviewed The Great Game by Christopher Nuttall, the second book in the Royal Sorceress series. Seregil liked The Royal Sorceress (the first book in the series), so it perhaps unsurprising that The Great Game gets a five-star review! I’ll pick out a handful of Seregil’s comments, but you really should read the whole review yourself.

Seregil begins by saying “I have to mention that I like Christopher Nuttall’s writing style. He has his own writing style and he pays a lot of attention to the atmosphere and keeps things interesting for the reader. His descriptions of the places, magic, characters and happenings are compelling.” A good start!

This is followed by “In my opinion he concentrates perfectly on delivering an entertaining story that contains both fantasy and detective fiction elements. There are quite a lot of fantasy books with detective elements in them, but there’s something in Christopher Nuttall’s enthusiastic writing style that separates him from other authors and makes this book fresh.”

Later “The author continues to deepen Gwen’s character in this book and that’s a good thing, because she’s one of the most intriguing heroines in modern fantasy series. Gwen is a delightfully intelligent, powerful and stubborn young woman who refuses to be treated badly by men. She doesn’t want to submit to the common rules and norms of the male dominated society that allow very little freedom to women.”

Seregil goes on to talk about Christopher’s obvious talent for writing about magic, “He’s one of the few authors who clearly seem to love writing about magic and all things related to it.” Not forgetting the humour, “One of the best things about this book and other fantasy books by Christopher Nuttall is that he adds humour to the story. This is great, because there are several authors who don’t know how to add humour to the story. The author’s humour is charming and his observations about certain things are funny (and at times even sharp).”

Seregil’s conclusion? “I can recommend The Great Game to all readers who enjoy reading entertaining fantasy books, because it’s pure entertainment from start to finish. If you’ve already read Christopher Nuttall’s other books and enjoy his writing style, you should put this book to your reading list as soon as possible, because it’s a good and thought-provoking fantasy book. This book offers wonderful escapism for everybody who appreciates entertaining fantasy.” Finishing up by saying “Enjoyable fantasy entertainment!”

You can (and should) read the whole review (yes, there’s more!) here.

 

Christopher Nuttall interviewed by Jennifer Loiske

Christopher NuttallChristopher Nuttall, author of The Royal Sorceress, Bookworm, and most recently A Life Less Ordinary was interviewed by Finnish author Jennifer Loiske in Seven Minutes with Jennifer on her blog, which you can read here.

“one of the most interesting and entertaining alternate history books ever written” – review of The Royal Sorceress on Risingshadow

The Royal Sorceress cover imageOver on Risingshadow.net, Seregil of Rhiminee has just reviewed The Royal Sorceress by Christopher Nuttall.  In an enthusiastic review, he praises the characters, the vivid portrayal of society, “perfectly” written action scenes and the fact that magic isn’t used as a deus ex machina to make the heroes invincible.  At the start of his review, he warns that he is “hard to please when it comes to alternate history, because I’ve seldom been impressed by books and stories that can be categorized as alternate history”.  But he goes on to say that he was “positively surprised” by The Royal Sorceress “because it turned out to be an entertaining and well written book”.  Why are you surprised, Seregil?  We could have told you that!

He concludes by saying “If you’re interested in fantasy, alternate history and magic, you should read this book”.

Read the full review here.

“an excellent tale” – review of The Royal Sorceress on Changing The Times

The Royal Sorceress cover imageIn his review of The Royal Sorceress by Christopher Nuttall on the Changing The Times ezine website, John Trofimuk says one of the reasons he enjoyed it is because it “is as much an alternate history novel as it is a magical adventure.” Declaring himself not to be a particular fan of fantasy, John goes on to say that the setting was important for him as it “isn’t a fantasy land with places I’ve never heard of with arcane monarchies or evil kingdoms, it’s just a different version of our world which is far easier to understand and connect with.”

John also praises the “wonderful description of places and people” and believable characters. He finishes by saying “I recommend The Royal Sorceress if you are a fan of alternate history and magic. Even for those [for whom] fantasy isn’t a real interest, the story delivers because the magic is secondary to the social conflict going on.”

You can read the full review here

The Royal Sorceress by Christopher Nuttall published today

The Royal Sorceress by Christopher Nuttall is available from today as an eBook in all 32 Apple iTunes stores, on Kobobooks and all 6 Amazon Kindle stores (UK, US, DE, ES, FR, IT).

The Royal Sorceress cover imageIt’s 1830, in an alternate Britain where the ‘scientific’ principles of magic were discovered sixty years previously, allowing the British to win the American War of Independence. Although Britain is now supreme among the Great Powers, the gulf between rich and poor in the Empire has widened and unrest is growing every day. Master Thomas, the King’s Royal Sorcerer, is ageing and must find a successor to lead the Royal Sorcerers Corps. Most magicians can possess only one of the panoply of known magical powers, but Thomas needs to find a new Master of all the powers. There is only one candidate, one person who has displayed such a talent from an early age, but has been neither trained nor officially acknowledged. A perfect candidate to be Master Thomas’ apprentice in all ways but one: the Royal College of Sorcerers has never admitted a girl before.

But even before Lady Gwendolyn Crichton can begin her training, London is plunged into chaos by a campaign of terrorist attacks co-ordinated by Jack, a powerful and rebellious magician.

The Royal Sorceress will certainly appeal to all fans of steampunk, alternate history, and fantasy. As well as the fun of the ‘what-ifs’ delivered by the rewriting of our past, it delights with an Empire empowered by magic – all the better for being one we can recognise. The scheming and intrigue of Jack and his rebels, the roof-top chases and the thrilling battles of magic are played out against the dark and unforgiving backdrop of life in the sordid slums and dangerous factories of London. Many of the rebels are drawn from a seedy and grimy underworld, while their Establishment targets prey on the weak and defenceless. The price for destroying the social imbalance and sexual inequality that underpin society may be more than anyone can imagine.


Christopher Nuttall has been planning sci-fi books since he learned to read. Born and raised in Edinburgh, Chris created an alternate history website and eventually graduated to writing full-sized novels. Studying history independently allowed him to develop worlds that hung together and provided a base for storytelling. After graduating from university, Chris started writing full-time. As an indie author, he has published six novels (so far) through Amazon Kindle Direct Publishing. The Royal Sorceress is his first novel to be professionally published. Chris is currently living in Borneo with his wife, muse, and critic Aisha.

UPDATED: to add Kindle store links.

Letters from America (Part 2)

I will not bore you with a transcript of what had to be the strangest council of war in the history of the British Empire.  Did Drake know that the world had turned upside down when he prepared to face the Spanish?  Did Wolfe know that he had an encounter with destiny when he scaled the heights of Quebec?  The great men of England were shaken by what they saw and heard.  Magic, real magic…had our King made a deal with the devil, or was there godliness in their bearing?

Colonel Cavendish, the stranger from London, explained that his older brother had worked with the magicians, developing their powers.  It has been his idea to use them in war, we were told; the magicians could give us an advantage that the rebels, or the damned French, would never be able to beat.  He spun us a pretty picture of magicians convoying messages through the air faster than any mounted rider, or watching from afar as the rebels prepared their stand against us.  I dare say that the Brothers Howe were convinced and in their conviction they dragged the rest of the council in their wake. Continue reading “Letters from America (Part 2)”

Letters from America

New York, 1776

Dear William

It has been not too long since I last wrote you, but so much has happened in the last six weeks that I feel that I must put ink to paper to tell you of our war.  My last letter told you how we tried to unseat the American Rebels at Bunker Hill…and of how we lost, the blood of so many fine soldiers staining American soil as they died.  By now, you may have heard that General Howe chose to evacuate Boston before the Rebels attacked us, even though we would have made a good account of ourselves if the Colonials attacked our fortifications.  It is to our great shame that so many loyalists were left behind…

Ah, but it is said that Howe is soft on the Americans.  How can we blame him when we must come to some peace that does not bring the Empire down in flames?  How can we hold them down and keep holding them down – must we make of America a second Ireland?  Howe wishes to teach the Rebels that they cannot win and then be merciful – who am I to question his decision?  I am, but his lowly aide. Continue reading “Letters from America”

Elsewhen Press signs Scottish indie author for first in a new series of steampunk fantasy novels

We are excited to announce that Christopher Nuttall, indie author of acclaimed alternate history and science fiction novels has signed a publishing deal for an undisclosed sum for his latest novel The Royal Sorceress.  The story is set in 1830 in an alternate Britain where the ‘scientific’ principles of magic were discovered sixty years previously, allowing the British to win the American War of Independence.  Although Britain is now supreme among the Great Powers, the gulf between rich and poor in the Empire has widened and unrest is growing every day.  Master Thomas, the King’s Royal Sorcerer, is ageing and must find a successor to lead the Royal Sorcerers Corps; most magicians can possess only one of the panoply of known magical powers, but Thomas needs to find a new Master of all the powers.  There is only one candidate, one person who has displayed a talent for all the powers since an early age, but has been neither trained nor officially acknowledged.  A perfect candidate to be Master Thomas’ apprentice in all ways but one: The Royal College of Sorcerers has never admitted a girl before.  But even before Lady Gwendolyn Chrichton can begin her training, London is plunged into chaos by a campaign of terrorist attacks co-ordinated by Jack, a powerful and rebellious magician. Continue reading “Elsewhen Press signs Scottish indie author for first in a new series of steampunk fantasy novels”