Gollancz delights in the rich visuals of a stunning space opera debut

20140618_210059_resizedGollancz, an imprint of the Orion Publishing Group, is delighted to announce the acquisition of UK and Commonwealth rights to a wholly originally series by an extraordinarily talented 27 year old first-time writer with a degree in fine art, Thomas N. Toner.

THE PROMISE OF THE CHILD is a stunning feat of imagination – set against the epic scope of that backdrop ranging from 14th-century Prague, to a lonely cove near the Mediterranean Sea, to the 147th-century Amaranthine Firmament, Toner crafts an intelligent space opera filled with gripping action and an emotional scale that is wonderfully intimate.

The novel follows Lycaste, a lovesick recluse living in a forgotten Mediterranean cove who is renowned throughout the distorted people of the Old World for his beauty, and Sotiris Gianakos, a 12,000-year-old Cypriote grieving the loss of his sister, a principled man who will change Lycaste’s life forever. Their stories, and others, become darkly entwined when Aaron the Longlife – the Usurper, a man who is not quite a man – makes a claim to the Amaranthine throne that threatens to throw the delicate political balance of the known galaxy into ruin.

THE PROMISE OF THE CHILD is a space opera epic in the grandest tradition of Iain M. Banks’ Culture series or Asimov’s Foundation novels, written in a vivid prose reminiscent of David Mitchell.

Gollancz Associate Publisher, Simon Spanton, pre-empted the rights for three books of Thomas N. Toner’s Amaranthine series from Caspian Dennis at Abner Stein on behalf of Andy Kifer at the Gernert Company.

Thomas N.Toner said: “I’m over the moon to be signing with Gollancz for THE PROMISE OF THE CHILD and its two even stranger sequels. My novel could not be in finer or more enthusiastic hands, so here’s to a wonderful partnership with fantastic people!”

Gollancz Associate Publisher, Simon Spanton said: “The first pages of Tom’s book made me sit up. The third chapter was a revelation. By fifty pages I was sunk, lost. When I came out the other side of this gorgeous labyrinthine book I knew that Tom was a unique talent and that if Gollancz were able to acquire it we’d have a book quite unlike any other SF novel that I’ve read. I’m utterly delighted that we were able to buy it and that we could welcome Tom to the Gollancz list.”

Gollancz will publish THE PROMISE OF THE CHILD on the 17th September 2015 in trade paperback and e-book.


Thomas N. Toner was born in the English countryside to two parents employed by the BBC (his mother was a set designer for Doctor Who). He studied fine art and painting in Loughborough before moving to Australia to write. He collects giant fossilized shark teeth, and recently returned to London, where he lives with his girlfriend.