Wednesday, September 26, 2012

You Know How It Ends…Now See How It Began

“I once heard a rumor about thieves who stole treasure from the Crown Tower of Ervanon and replaced it the very next night,” Emily explained.

“Why would anyone do such a thing?” Alenda asked.

The viscount chuckled softly. “I’m sure that’s merely a legend. No sensible thief would behave in such a way.”

I wrote that back in the fall of 2004, almost exactly eight years ago near the start of the novel The Crown Conspiracy. I was living in Raleigh, North Carolina back then, and I never had any thought of publishing stories about the two thieves I’d just started writing about. At that time this passage was just color, a way of adding depth and setting up the following explanation of how thieves worked in the world of Elan. Still, even when I wrote it, I knew Albert Winslow was lying. He was well aware that Royce and Hadrian had done that job. I just never devoted any time to discovering exactly what had happened.

Until now.

Since June 6th I’ve had a survey running on my blog asking readers their opinion on what they would like to read about if I did more books from the universe of Elan. I made no promises. I didn’t want to keep writing if only a few people cared. My plan was one of wait and see how the world received the Riyria books. Well, the series has only been out for eight months, so it’s still a little early, but I think the boys have made a pretty good impression—good enough to take a serious look at bringing them back for more adventures.

Overwhelming requests indicated you wanted the origin story—the birth of Riyria. You wanted to see how Royce and Hadrian first met and the first job they did together. Well, today I am officially announcing—you’re getting your wish.

The Crown Tower—the next full-length Royce and Hadrian novel—and the first of The Riyria Chronicles, is scheduled for release by Orbit in August 2013 in trade paperback, electronic book, and audio formats. 

You’re probably wondering what The Riyria Chronicles are. Right now it’s not much more than an idea I have. The Riyria Chronicles, as I envision them, are stories that fill in the history of the twelve years of Royce and Hadrian’s life as Riyria. They will be generally standalone novels that I imagine will center on significant events in their career together, told mostly in order, and I was thinking one book for everyone of one their twelve years. That’s not to say I will write twelve books.  This isn’t that kind of series. It’s not an ongoing tale or interconnected in the sense that Revelations was, or Song of Ice and Fire is. It really can’t be since if you’ve read The Riyria Revelations, you already know how everything turns out. So this won’t be a single story told in parts, but rather much more episodic like The Adventure of Sherlock Holmes or maybe the Dresden Files—only with medieval thieves instead of nineteenth century detectives or modern day wizards.

Chronicles will likely hit on topics hinted at in The Riyria Revelations that readers have asked about like the original Drumindor job, the disaster that was Blythe Castle, the Crown Tower heist as well as others never previously touched on. While I have several additional projects under production, The Riyria Chronicles allows me a framework to put out a new Royce and Hadrian story every so often, just for the fun of it without hampering me from stretching my authorial limits by discovering new characters and worlds to explore. 

You may be wondering why I didn’t just do a sequel.

If you read Revelations, you know how the story ends. Some have actually called it perfect, and I worked hard ensuring those dominos fell exactly right. I like the place that everyone was left in, and am perfectly content to have them get a rest after all the trials and tribulations I’ve put them through. That’s not to say I won’t consider something in the same world, generations in the future, but Royce and Hadrian wouldn’t star in such a story. Chronicles is a way I can provide more of what most of my readers have told me they want—more time with two guys who should never have been friends, risking their lives for each other.

So what’s The Crown Tower about? Here’s the teaser:

 * *

Two men who hate each other.
One impossible mission.
A legend in the making.

A warrior with nothing to fight for is paired with a thieving assassin with nothing to lose. Together they must steal a treasure that no one can reach. The Crown Tower is the impregnable remains of the grandest fortress ever built and home to the realm’s most valuable possessions. But it isn’t gold or jewels the old wizard is after, and this prize can only be obtained by the combined talents of two remarkable men. Now if Arcadias can just keep Hadrian and Royce from killing each other, they just might succeed.

For me the challenge, and fun of this book, was in recognizing that when they first met, Royce and Hadrian wouldn’t have liked each other much. So could I construct a tale that would realistically portray those first tenuous steps toward such a legendary friendship? I think I have, and I’m very excited to share it with you.

So at last, I can finally make official a project I’ve been keeping under wraps for some time. Technically the deal I made with Orbit is for two Royce and Hadrian novels…and I’ll be back in the not too distant future to tell you more about the second book in The Riyria Chronicles, but that’s a topic for another day. Today is all about The Crown Tower, and the fact that the boys are coming back. I hope you’ll give them a warm welcome when they arrive next August.


  1. Congrats on the sale Michael. Nice to know that your career is just getting started, eh?

  2. Great news for you as well as fans of your books like myself.

  3. Now that's the best piece of news I've heard all day! I'm looking forward to reading it! =)

  4. You know I can't wait, right! Hmmm, I think Balticon will be before this release. I'm going to have to torment you about it. ;P ha ha.

    Congrats and so glad to hear many are seeing the light and wanting to read about this duo. :)

  5. Congratulations!

    Excellent news for you AND for your fans.

  6. I'm excited to see how this interesting partnership starts out. I'm also hoping for more about Arcadia and maybe Gwen too.

  7. School has kept me from finding this until now, but that's okay because YAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAY.

    Ohgod, August is so far away! Can't wait until the release. <3

  8. Happy to hear this! Just finished my second time through the Revelations. Blew me away how well tied in everything was.

  9. OMG OMG OMG August is TOO FAR AWAY!!!!!!!
    (you are awesome)

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