Paul Kearney

elvet

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Having enjoyed his recent book, The Ten Thousand, I had notice that Monarchies of the God is going to be rereleased in omnibus form. Any comments on what they are like?
 

Connavar

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You wonder what kind of fantasy the series is ?

I have read the first book in the series and are waiting the omnibuses to read the rest.
 

GOLLUM

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Having enjoyed his recent book, The Ten Thousand, I had notice that Monarchies of the God is going to be rereleased in omnibus form. Any comments on what they are like?
Not as "polished" as the Monarchies of God series or even The Ten Thousand but still full of the gritty realism often synonymous with military fiction and peppered with plenty of quite well described battle scenes. Certainly a better than average read.

In some ways perhaps even darker than his current Monarchies series.
 

Connavar

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Great cover for Corvus and its the book i wait most avidly for this year. Kearney is a quality fantasy writer and because he doesnt have many other things out there left for me to read so i cant wait to read this book.

 

Werthead

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The final cover for Hawkwood and the Kings, complete with a solid recommendation from Steven Erikson on the cover.

There's an art blog here which also reveals the new maps for the books and why they chose to redraw them, and what elements went into the new cover art.

Not as "polished" as the Monarchies of God series or even The Ten Thousand but still full of the gritty realism often synonymous with military fiction and peppered with plenty of quite well described battle scenes. Certainly a better than average read.

In some ways perhaps even darker than his current Monarchies series.
I'm confused by this. Should the first reference actually be The Sea-Beggars series and the second actually be the Macht series (or whatever you want to call the loosely-connected series comprising The Ten Thousand, Corvus and Kings of Morning)?

My stab at describing it:

The Monarchies of God is a Renaissance-level epic fantasy, featuring armies bristling with guns and cannon. The opening sequence, the fall of the holy city of Aekir, was inspired by the Fall on Constantinople in 1453, with the invading Merduk armies being reminiscent of the Turks invading Europe and crashing against the hastily-arranged defences of Eastern Christendom.

The story features three central characters: Corfe, a soldier who escapes the Fall of Aekir and rises rapidly through the ranks of the Torunnan army which is desperately holding the fallback fortress of Ormann's Dyke against constant enemy attack, eventually becoming embroiled in the politics of the kingdom. The second character is Abeleyn, King of Hebrion, a Spanish-style kingdom in the far west which is being ravaged by the Inquisition, who are putting to death thousands of citizens for not being 'true' followers of the Ramusian faith. Abeleyn is eventually pushed too far and rebels against the Holy Church, marking the beginning of a huge schism and civil war within the Monarchies of God at the same time that the Merduks are in danger of overunning the whole eastern half of the continent. The final protagonist is Richard Hawkwood, a ship captain who is convinced to sale into the west in search of a mysterious land, and takes advantage of this commission to rescue some of the people being persecuted by the Church in Hebrion.

In qualititive terms, it's A Song of Ice and Fire with guns, or like a David Gemmell book if he wrote long continuing, serialised series.
 

Clansman

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Nice cover. I look forward to receiving both the re-issued books and Macht books. Kearney is a fantastic writer, with a very engaging style, and impeccable research backing his work.

Any word on his re-acquiring his rights to the Sea Beggars series? It would be nice for him, and us, to have his books all in print, under the same publisher.
 

Werthead

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Any word on his re-acquiring his rights to the Sea Beggars series? It would be nice for him, and us, to have his books all in print, under the same publisher.
This process is ongoing, I believe. Bantam UK are apparently unwilling to give up the rights, so Paul has to wait out the end of his contract, which has still got another year or two to run. As soon as the rights are back with him, he can resell to Solaris and get the omnibus of the full trilogy out there.
 

Connavar

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Sea Beggars was such a quality series, it deserves better fate. The hero,the dark world,the magical action was awesome.

I cant wait for Corvus i like when he is writing heroic,military fantasy and not traditional epic fantasy like in The Monarchies of God series. He is better with more down to earth fantasy ei when he is being a David Gemmell and not GRRM/Erikson.Not that i didnt enjoy first book of The Monarchies of God series despite it was a young not as polished Kearney prose,character,action wise.

You can see how high i rate him when i think in me eyes only Robert E Howard,David Gemmell before him in S&S/Heroic fantasy. I think of him as a prose stylist version of Gemmell :)
 

Werthead

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I also recommend his early, stand-alone books. A Different Kingdom and Riding the Unicorn (note: no unicorns in the book) are both superb novels. A Different Kingdom in particular is a departure from his other books, being a more rural fantasy akin to Robert Holdstock, although still with that harder-edged attitude. I haven't read The Way to Babylon yet.
 

Culhwch

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(note: no unicorns in the book)
An importent note.

Kearney is an author I have wanted to try for a long time now. I remember being intrigued by the Monarchies of God series around the time of it's release, but it was hard to find - bookstores only ever seemed to have it in bargain bins and then only the second or third books, never the first, and libraries didn't have any. I'm sure I have the Mark of Ran at home, picked up on the cheap from a newsagent and never read. I see The Book Depository has quite a few of his books cheap, so it might be just the time to get into him...
 

GOLLUM

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I'm confused by this. Should the first reference actually be The Sea-Beggars series and the second actually be the Macht series (or whatever you want to call the loosely-connected series comprising The Ten Thousand, Corvus and Kings of Morning)?.
OOPS...sorry Wert. You are correct. I meant to say I didn't find Monarchies of God series quite as polished as Sea-Beggars (to date) but in some ways darker.

I've got all of Keaney's books but am yet to read the full set including the Way to Babylon.

Cheers.....:)
 

Werthead

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Cover art for the two Monarchies omnibuses, due in August and September:






Cover art for The Kings of Morning, the third book in the Macht trilogy. Corvus will be released in November 2010, but pleasingly Kings of Morning will follow quite rapidly, in July 2011.


 

Connavar

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I was reacting like oh no Corvus is delayed but its only one month extra so. The third cover looks awesome :)

Only one month from God of Monarchies Omnibus atleast.
 

Clansman

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I just received the omnibus editions of The Monarchies of God. If the opening sequence involving the mysterious ship coming out of the west is not enough to grab you by the, um, well, you get my point, then I don't what will! Holy crap, that bit actually scared me! Great beginning, and I'm 200 pages in and loving it.

If one likes Erikson's stuff, they'll definitely like Kearney. I read The Ten Thousand last year, it is was really, really good. Monarchies of God is very good, very gritty, almost historical fantasy as Werthead points out about. Kind of like a Guy Gavriel Kay book, except covered in blood, mud and gunpowder, and of course without Kay's lyrical style. Kearney's style is very direct, but he knows how to use words like "chiaroscuro" in a sentence, and his writing can approach a level of beauty that few of the other, gritty fantasy writers can achieve.

I'm only 200 pages in, but I must recommend it to others.
 

Lord Soth

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You know, after reading this thread I think I'll pick up some more Kearney.

I read the Ten Thousand last year, I can't recall being too impressed but from the recommendations in this thread these omnibus editions seem to be a definite addition to the TBR pile...
 

Connavar

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I just received the omnibus editions of The Monarchies of God. If the opening sequence involving the mysterious ship coming out of the west is not enough to grab you by the, um, well, you get my point, then I don't what will! Holy crap, that bit actually scared me! Great beginning, and I'm 200 pages in and loving it.

If one likes Erikson's stuff, they'll definitely like Kearney. I read The Ten Thousand last year, it is was really, really good. Monarchies of God is very good, very gritty, almost historical fantasy as Werthead points out about. Kind of like a Guy Gavriel Kay book, except covered in blood, mud and gunpowder, and of course without Kay's lyrical style. Kearney's style is very direct, but he knows how to use words like "chiaroscuro" in a sentence, and his writing can approach a level of beauty that few of the other, gritty fantasy writers can achieve.

I'm only 200 pages in, but I must recommend it to others.
Kearney prose can be beautiful too atleast in his books after Monarchies series. He can put together some great words. He cant be lyrical and write military,historical fantasy.
 

Werthead

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The Solaris omnibus edition of Hawkwood and the Kings should now be hitting bookshelves across the UK and USA. If not, have a word with your local shop and get them to order it in :)

 

Clansman

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I am just about finished Hawkwood and the Kings, and it is simply a fabulous read. He takes a lot of historical elements from different times (multiple Papacy from 13th century, fall of Constantinople in 1453 to the Ottoman Turks, Columbus' voyage to the Caribbean in 1492, the Spanish Inquisition of the 1500s, and the excommunication of monarchs (such as Henry VIII) from the mid-1500s, and the warfare between Christianity and Islam of the 1453 to 1600 period), and has early gunpowder weapons (culverins and arquebuses). There is a really good political story of church vs. monarch, church vs. church (different orders).

The power structures of religion are once again exposed as being completely hypocritical and contrary to their founding tenets.

An altogether excellent story, but with a good dose of the fantastic in the use of dweomer and mages, but they do not overpower the story, or become deux et machina.

Highly recommended.
 

chopper

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really looking forward to re-reading these afterso long out of print, but - possible spoiler time here, so i'll revert to lemon juice....

was it just me, or did this whole series feel very inconclusive at the finish? as far as i recall, the five rather slender volumes promised a lot but there wasn't a definite ending? i know the 10k ended evry abruptly, but this seemed even more so.
 

GOLLUM

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In response to your lemon juice Chopper, the new releases apparently contain a rewrite of the final stages of the series. Like you, I have read the "original" series and have copies of the 5 seperate books.

I must say, I really like that cover for the omnibus edition.
 
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