Crowning Moment of Awesome

Dennis says hello to Ullsaard's legions.

After a long wait, finally I can hold a printed version of The Crown of the Blood in my sweaty hands. On general release in the next week or so, TCOTB has been in the works for almost two-and-a-half years, since first inception to today.

To say I am delighted to have my first non-Black Library novel published would be an understatement. I take nothing away from my BL work or tie-in fiction in general, but it’s a whole new experience having something that is uniquely mine published.

As with everything about going freelance full-time, the experience has been an up-a-down mixture of terror and excitement. While I would never rest on my laurels with regard to the dedicated Warhammer and Warhammer 40,000 fans who have read my previous works, TCOTB is a leap into the unknown, with not only characters and story created by me, but also the world in which it is set. The freedom that comes with that is tempered by the apprehension of the scrutiny that will inevitably follow and the comparisons surely to be made with my BL writing.

My nervousness has not been helped by the mountains of praise that have been heaped on the previous Angry Robot releases – I really feel part of something great with the AR chaps and the other authors, and would not like to let the team down. So far, things are looking good. I also feel the need to fly the flag for tie-in writers working on all sorts of universes and hope that this book shows some of the doubters they are wrong if they think authors only write shared world fiction because they wouldn’t get published any other way!

The early reviews have been very positive, which is just as well considering I’ve just completed the first draft of book 2 – The Crown of the Conqueror.

First up, the dinosaur-punchingly great review from Pornokitsch.

The Crown of the Blood is a testosterone-fueled, dinosaur-punching of a book. It is a collection of violent conquests and vicious battles, from the fields of war to the equally-bloody arena of politics. It all culminates in a very surprising twist ending – the sort that neatly wraps up the book whilst getting readers excited for the sequels. Not I, Claudius, but definitely “Rome”, this book is hairy, gory, sweaty, shameless… and perhaps even a little bit thoughtful.”

I am particularly proud of the last part of this paragraph; the ‘elevator pitch’* to Angry Robot was ‘A fantasy version of HBO’s Rome‘.

Next up we have James Atlantic giving the book a 4 out of 5.

“This is one of Thorpe’s best novels.  The setting and story are well thought out and are remarkably logical for a fantasy novel.  If you enjoy military or historical fiction, you will enjoy The Crown of the Blood.  Action, intrigue, conquest, and charismatic generals are waiting for you here!”

Perhaps not quite so quotable but a fair review nonetheless can also be found at Falcata Times. Check their back issues for an interview I did a few months ago.

“All in it is a good solid opening to a new series.”

As you might expect, there will be a flurry of blog posts, interviews and other release-related excitement in the coming weeks, so stay tuned to Mechamster or follow me on Twitter and Facebook to keep in the loop.

I would like to end by saying thanks to Marco and Lee at Angry Robot for having faith in me being able to deliver this ‘ambitious’ novel, and to everyone else who has shown their support over the last couple of years.

*Elevator pitch: the summary of a film, TV series or novel that can be pitched to an editor or producer whilst you have them trapped in an elevator for a few floors.

Addendum: How much manliness can one box contain?

So manly they tried to punch their way out of the box...

Published in: on August 24, 2010 at 4:39 pm  Comments (12)  

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12 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. Congrats Gav! I cannot wait to read this, I hope it does wonders for you man!


  2. Many congratultions to you, my copy is already ordered.

    ..I await all manner of cheesy tie ins — the films, the RPgs, the musical..err.. anyway…

    Hope it all goes well.


  3. I am also looking forward to this release, congrats on your first independent novel!


  4. Congratulations Gav!

    Best of luck with the new release!


  5. Very much look forward to it. Also–my TVtropes sense is tingling with this entry’s title…


  6. Cool. This is going on the wishlist for the next batch of books.


  7. Many congratulations. You celebrating?

    I can’t wait to get my hands on this beast. Awesome!


  8. Congratulations Gav!

    I ordered my copy in April 2010 …..


  9. Big congrats Gav, I’ll be grabbing a copy ASAP.


  10. Ah, a fellow TVTroper huh, Mr. Thorpe?



  11. I just started CofB last night and I have to say this may be your best work yet!


  12. I just finished CoB and whilst I wouldn’t say it was your best work yet (and wasn’t overly inamoured with the start so I’d have not given such a positive early doors response as Nick). It did pick up and I do now yearn for the next two.


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