You’re likely wondering what is happening with the release of Emerald Storm. Everything is fine, the book is merely going through some last minute polishing in order to try to make this the cleanest release so far. Additional editors were brought in on the project, and a little extra time has been taken to make a better book. Right now, the release date looks to be around the middle of April. However, for those of you who visit me at RavenCon in Richmond, VA this weekend, (April 9th-11th,)I will be selling a limited supply of advanced copies on a first-come-first-served basis.
Now for the preview…
A MESSAGE IS INTERCEPTED.
A SINISTER PLAN LAUNCHED.
TWO THIEVES STAND IN THE WAY.
Ex-mercenary Hadrian Blackwater sets course on a high seas adventure to find the lost Heir of Novron. His only hope lies in confronting the ruthless and cunning Merrick Marius. Fearing his friend is not up to the challenge, Royce Melborn joins his old partner for one last mission. Their journey finds them adrift amid treachery and betrayals forcing Hadrian to face a past he hoped never to see again.
The Emerald Storm is close to 400 pages, making it the longest book in the series to date, almost a hundred pages longer than Crown Conspiracy. The format—now firmly established—is the same as the previous books. The map has changed a bit going back to the single chart cast across two pages of Crown, only the content has shifted to avoid the spine from falling across the sections of interest. In addition, national boundaries have been added and a few mistakes corrected. This was needed because the action on Emerald Storm moves around a lot. Like always, not everything mentioned in the novel is represented on the map, so don’t kill yourself looking for the Point of Man, or Drumindor. They’re too small to appear but you should be able to guess where they are.
The cover is gold—the same color in fact as The Crown Conspiracy, although it might not look like it due to the other colors surrounding it. There is something of an Easter egg on the cover. That is to say a hidden surprise, although it is not all that surprising, and I doubt anyone will likely notice, or care, but I thought it was fun.
In this book for the first time, readers should start to see the various plot threads in the series arc coming together. Elements from previous books that you might have wondered at will begin to make more sense. Up until now, it may have been hard to estimate where the larger plot was heading, and while that will still be hazy, by the end of Storm you should have more than an inkling.
Emerald Storm has more action, more adventure, more intrigue, more characters, more settings and more romance than those that came before. The characters now firmly established, begin to grow. The world is more fully realized on a physical level, if not necessarily on a historical one. That will come later.
Yes, as you can tell from the cover, much of this book takes place at sea. For those history buffs, you may question the Age of Sail vessels depicted. Keep in mind, this is fantasy not historical fiction. I am purposely not staying true to historical facts. That said, the feel of the world should remain consistent and true.
The end of this novel, more than any previous, or those that follow, fails to tie up neatly. I still resist the label of cliffhanger as there is a climax and resolution to the tale, and the series could end here, but I grant that it would be a less than satisfying conclusion. I considered solutions to this problem, even to the point of combining this and the next novel, but that would make it huge. Furthermore, the story has a natural break here. So while I will risk the venom of those who will accuse me of leaving a cliffhanger, the book really needs to end where it does, and when Wintertide comes out I think you’ll understand why.
Early reviews have indicated that Storm isn’t quite the standalone that the others were. I don’t know anyone who has ever read it that haven’t read the previous books so I can’t say for sure. I suspect those who have read the other books will see things they know a first time reader won’t grasp. While this may diminish the impact of the story, it may not adversely affect their overall enjoyment. Nevertheless, I must admit, I am skewing the novels from this point on toward those who have read the series. That is to say, I am still working at keeping them as independent as possible, but if forced to make a choice I do not wish to sacrifice the enjoyment of those who have made the full journey in favor of those who jumped ahead.
I sincerely hope you enjoy The Emerald Storm…the best is yet to come.