We are back with the latest in the AUTHORS REVIEWING THEIR OWN BOOKS series. Today, Steven Poore pops in to review…wait…no. Like many authors he has foisted the duty on another. This time he sent the book cover in to review if for him.
Well, let’s see what the cover has to say!
THE HEIR TO THE NORTH
Pheh. Some folks, you just can’t help. But you, you look reasonable. You look intelligent. You can see there’s more to me than meets the eye, right? Or, like in the front credits of Quincy, will this be an autopsy without an audience?
I know what you want. Grim reapers, bloody swords, hooded men, mountains of corpses. Maybe even a fella with four hands and a stetson, yeah? I see you, with your bloodstained maps, your Viking raiders, and your Anasurimbor Kellhus runes. And who let that damned goat in here? Shoo, get away, gimme some space… sorry about that. Where was I? Yeah, runes. Got none of those here, sorry. Just an alpha male prince with a very big sword, and a young lass. All in bright colours, just like those books you used to read before you grew up and thought that Garion was a bit wet, actually.
Look at those muscles. All that beef. Here’s a guy who lifts. He’s a proper hero. None of those hoods or half-profile silhouettes here. Just a bloody great sword. This chap’s name is Meredith, and he owns it. The book’s called The Heir to the North, and that’s him, that is. He shot a man in CostCo, just to watch him die (OK, so that bit’s a lie, but I’m being creative here, roll with it). He goes through his forms bare-chested, but you can tell that already. It’s making you totes jeal. It certainly makes Cassia’s knees tremble, I tell thee.
Cassia? Yeah, she’s the support act, right? Look how Meredith protects her, holds her back against danger, how good they look together, how bright and innocent… oi, you at the back, I’ll have none of that muck in this column. Go wash yer mouth out. Anyway, just look at them. It’s like a first-level D&D group, before the slaughter begins – it’s so 1987 it hurts. That sound, that’s you walking away that is, gone to find something grimmer, something darker, with more pillage and less hope, more cynicism, and less bright-eyed naivete, because this is the modern world and hey now, hey now now, sing something doomy to me.
Can’t say I blame you. Just go, walk out the door, don’t turn around now – actually, wait, see, there’s a secret. I’m not what I seem. A picture tells a thousand words, yeah sure, but what if those words ain’t the truth? What if – bear with me here – what if the picture you’re seeing is a fantasy? What if it lives only in Cassia’s head?
That’s not so 1987, is it? That’s practically post-modern. See me strut. I ain’t grim, but I’m sure twisted. I’m like a tribute to all the best fantasy novels of the late 80s and early 90s, an echo of the excitement and wonder, let’s do the quest right here! I’m a cover that dares you to see beyond it.
You want me to talk about the book itself? Hey, I’m just a picture. I just represent. But I say look at the author. He’s all bright-eyed and naive too, starting out on his own quest. He might get a couple of things wrong, play a few bum notes, forget to put any real female characters except Cassia in there at all, y’know, minor stuff. But you know what comes after the bright fairy-tale beginnings, right?
Yeah, that’s right…
The Heir to the North – cover copy
“Caenthell will stay buried, and the North will not rise again until I freely offer my sword to a true descendant of the High Kings—or until one takes it from my dying hands!”
With this curse, the Warlock Malessar destroyed Caenthell. The bloodline of the High Kings disappeared and the kingdom faded into dark legend until even stories of the deed lost their power. But now there is an Heir to the North.
Cassia hopes to make her reputation as a storyteller by witnessing a hardened soldier and a heroic princeling defeat Malessar and his foul curse. But neither of her companions are exactly as they appear, and the truth lies deep within stories that have been buried for centuries.
As Cassia learns secrets both soldier and warlock have kept hidden since the fall of Caenthell, she discovers she can no longer merely bear witness. Cassia must become part of the story; she must choose a side and join the battle.
The North will rise again.
Epic Fantasist — SFSF Socialist
@stevenjpoore — @SFSFSocial