The Book and The Sword fantasy trilogy by debut author Antoine Rouaud was acquired in a pre-emptive deal by Gollancz at the Frankfurt Bookfair this year. Editorial Director Gillian Redfearn took World English Language rights off the table within hours of hearing the pitch, to the delight of Antoine’s publisher and agent Stephane Marsan of Bragelonne. The Book and The Sword went on to be the fantasy series of the fair, with a pre-emptive deal made in Germany, by Sascha Manczak of Heyne, and offers made for both Dutch and Spanish rights. There are even rumours of a movie deal already in the works.
‘This is the best French fantasy novel I’ve read in ten years. Right from the first page I was struck by how easy it is to read and how commercial. It’s a cross between The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss and The Way of Shadows by Brent Weeks. Antoine Rouaud is a very talented natural born storyteller. I’m thrilled to see he’s going to be published internationally.’
Dun-Cadal has been drinking his life away for years. Betrayed by his friends – who turned their back on their ideals in favour of a new republic – and grief stricken at the loss of his apprentice, who saved his life on the battlefield and whom he trained as a knight in exchange, he’s done with politics, with adventure, and with people. But people aren’t finished with him – not yet. Viola is a young historian looking for the last Emperor’s sword, and her search not only brings her to Dun-Cadal, it’s also going to embroil them both in a series of assassinations. Because Dun-Cadal’s turncoat friends are being murdered, one by one . . . by someone who kills in the unmistakable style of an Imperial assassin . . .
Gillian Redfearn said: ‘Some books have a magical tingle about them, they’re so clearly something very special, and Antoine Rouaud’s debut novel is one of them. The narrative is beautifully built up in layers of flashback and present-day event, and it’s packed with masterful twists and revelations which hinge around a perfectly gnarly, well-developed character. It’s an amazing story which feels epic from the first word, and I’m absolutely thrilled that Gollancz will be publishing it.’
Antoine Rouaud’s debut novel, the first of The Book and The Swordtrilogy, will be published by Bragelonne (France), Gollancz (World English rights) and Heyne (Germany) in Spring 2013.