Announcing a stunning new epic fantasy series from Gollancz

Gollancz is delighted to announce the acquisition of The Ember Blade, and two further titles in an epic fantasy trilogy, by award-winning author Chris Wooding.

A land under occupation. A legendary sword. A young man’s journey to find his destiny.

Aren has lived by the rules all his life. He’s never questioned it; that’s just the way things are. But then his father is executed for treason, and he and his best friend Cade are thrown into a prison mine, doomed to work until they drop. Unless they can somehow break free . . .

But what lies beyond the prison walls is more terrifying still. Rescued by a man who hates him yet is oath-bound to protect him, pursued by inhuman forces, Aren slowly accepts that everything he knew about his world was a lie. The rules are not there to protect him, or his people, but to enslave them. A revolution is brewing, and Aren is being drawn into it, whether he likes it or not.

The key to the revolution is the Ember Blade. The sword of kings, the Excalibur of his people. Only with the Ember Blade in hand can their people be inspired to rise up . . . but it’s locked in an impenetrable vault in the most heavily guarded fortress in the land. All they have to do now is steal it. . .

Designed to return to classic fantasy adventures and values, from a modern perspective, this is a fast-moving coming-of-age trilogy featuring a strong cast of diverse characters, brilliant set-pieces and a powerful character and plot driven story.

Chris Wooding said: ‘With The Ember Blade I wanted to recapture the sense of wonder I felt on first discovering fantasy, but to marry it with modern storytelling sensibilities. I didn’t want the black-and-white morality of 20th century epic fantasy, but I did want its warmth and magic. I didn’t want the bleak nihilism that has prevailed in the genre of late, but I did want its nuanced characters and its willingness to plunge into darkness. Fans of “classic” fantasy, YA adventure and GrimDark will find something to love here.’

Gillian Redfearn said: ‘Chris Wooding has always been amazing to work with, but his new concept for an epic fantasy trilogy was a dream. A series told in a modern way, which draws on all the appeal of classic quests like David Eddings’ novels, character-driven stories like Robin Hobb’s, and British mythology from Arthur to Robin Hood. This is a series full of heart, determination and grit, and readers will adore it.’


The Ember Blade will be available in hardback, ebook and audio download on the 15th February 2018.