A Taste of Vengeance
Ten years ago, two children witnessed a murder that still haunts them as adults.
Tali, a slave girl in subterranean Cython, saw a mysterious object ripped from her dead mother. Rix, boy heir to the biggest fortune in Hightspall, watched in horror as two shrouded but troublingly familiar figures committed the murder.
Tali has sworn to bring her mother's killers to justice, but now she’s hunted by a sorcerer who can only be beaten by magic – Tali's magic that she does not understand.
That’s how my new epic fantasy novel, Vengeance, Book 1 of The Tainted Realm, begins.
Loyal readers may ask why I’m writing a brand new epic fantasy series when they’re constantly asking for the next episode in the Three Worlds saga. Here’s why.
At the end of each big fantasy series I write something completely different, to freshen and rejuvenate my work. The problem with writing such vast sagas (the Three Worlds sequence runs to 2.3 million words thus far), is that I’ve used up an enormous number of different characters, settings and plots, and I don’t want to repeat myself. Not that this is necessarily a problem – a number of writers have made a lucrative career out of writing the same book over and over, lol. But I want each book to be different. And better.
By the end of The Destiny of the Dead, in 2008, I was exhausted and desperately needed a rest from the Three Worlds. Having spent two-thirds of my writing time since 1987 on that vast saga, I wasn’t ready to go back to it. I didn’t want to grind out the next book or trilogy to meet a deadline and let readers down with a story that wasn’t good enough. I wanted to be overflowing with white-hot enthusiasm for the next episode – the one that finally tells what fate befell Karan, Llian and the children after the end of The Way Between the Worlds.
For a complete change, I wrote Grim and Grimmer, a humorous fantasy quartet for younger readers, and these wild and wacky books were the most fun I’ve ever had writing.
Also, being small, they could be written and edited in intense bursts.
Then I turned to The Tainted Realm, a new epic fantasy series set in an entirely new fantasy world. Or at least, a small part of a new world. Most of it is covered in ice and the ice sheets are steadily closing around the last place where people still survive, the land of Hightspall which is ice free because it’s so incredibly volcanic. Though the eruptions are getting worse …
Hightspall was stolen from the Cythians 2,000 years ago, but now the nation is struggling under one natural disaster after another, and both Hightspall’s power and magery are failing. The very land seems to be rising up to defeat them, as if Hightspall is cursed – a tainted realm. Then the last of the Solaces appears in the underground realm of Cython, the iron book called The Consolation of Vengeance, and the Cythians know that it is time to take back their land.
What about Tali the slave girl and Rix the nobleman?
Tali’s escape from Cython results in war, and Tali and Rix flee through a land in turmoil, hunted by enemies and allies alike. Before they can solve the crime, and save the realm, Tali and Rix must learn to trust each other. But when Rix uncovers the shattering truth about the murder, he’s tormented by sickening premonitions that he’s destined to repeat the killing – on Tali herself.
Soon, Hightspall is close to defeat. The only way to save the realm is to unmask and defeat the mastermind behind the murder. But how can Tali avenge herself on a sorcerer who died two thousand years ago?
The Fate of the Children
That’s all very well, I hear readers say, but what about the Three Worlds? What about the story you’ve been promising to write for more than a decade, the follow-on from The View from the Mirror to be called The Fate of the Children?
It’s next, I promise you. Honest! I’ll finish The Tainted Realm around the end of 2012, and begin The Fate of the Children straight after that. At this stage I don’t know whether it’ll be a single book, a pair, a trilogy, or longer. That will depend on what comes up when I reread The View from the Mirror, which I haven’t opened since the series was finished back in 1999. I’m looking forward to seeing how it reads after so long.
Book 1, Vengeance, has just been published in Australia, and will be published in the US and UK early next year.
If you are interested in finding out more, then head over to Ian's website here