One for 2014? 'The Boy with the Porcelain Blade' (Den Patrick)
I reckon this could well be the last ‘One for…’ post of 2013 (given that Royal Mail are currently experiencing their annual ‘Christmas Meltdown’, I really feel for them) as I’m only covering stuff that comes through the door and catches my eye. Books like ‘The Boy with the Porcelain Blade’ for example. Having read a couple of Den’s short stories, this is a title that I’ve been keeping an eye open for and (small daughters and Christmas permitting) will more than likely dive straight into after I finish ‘The Desert of Souls’. That’s an awesome book by the way but more on that when I finally finish it.
But yeah, ‘The Boy with the Porcelain Blade’. Have some blurb…
An ornate yet dark fantasy, with echoes of Mervyn Peake, Robin Hobb and Jon Courtenay Grimwood. An original and beautifully imagined world, populated by unforgettable characters. Lucien de Fontein has grown up different. One of the mysterious and misshapen Orfano who appear around the Kingdom of Landfall, he is a talented fighter yet constantly lonely, tormented by his deformity, and well aware that he is a mere pawn in a political game. Ruled by an insane King and the venomous Majordomo, it is a world where corruption and decay are deeply rooted - but to a degree Lucien never dreams possible when he first discovers the plight of the 'insane' women kept in the haunting Sanatoria.
I’m not going to lie here, I’m hoping for more Peake and Grimwood than Hobb (never got the fuss there…) but it all looks quite promising from where I’m sat with what looks like a good mix of politics and swordplay. Reminds me of some family Christmas’ from when I was a kid… Anyway, ‘The Boy with the Porcelain Blade’ will be published by Gollancz in March next year but I’ll let you know what I think sooner than that. Is it one that you’ll check out?