MAGIC WILL SAVE US
The Relic Guild Trilogy has been described in varying ways since its release, and positively so, I’m pleased to say. Mythic fantasy, was one description; traditional fantasy with a difference, was another.
Gaslight fantasy, not quite grimdark, epic fantasy with an original twist, fantasy with shades of horror and sci-fi. It’s quite a long and happy list, and I’m proud that my story should be a source of debate among readers and reviewers.
What begins with The Relic Guild and continues through The Cathedral of Known Things concludes in The Watcher of Dead Time. This is the story of a secret and dysfunctional band of magickers protecting a million humans in a city hidden at the centre of a giant labyrinth; a city that barely manages to survive, trapped behind walls a hundred feet high, abandoned by the rest of the universe. It is a tale split into two time periods, separated by forty years. The past is set during a great war before the people of the Labyrinth were abandoned; the present is set in the aftermath and the realisation that even after forty years the war has not ended.
The Relic Guild Trilogy is a fantasy, a mystery, an adventure with magic, monsters and mayhem, where nothing is as it seems and relics are as complicated as they are dangerous. It is a single story chopped up into three books, which means books one and two end on something of a cliffhanger. The higher percentage of readers accepted the format and enjoyed the suspense. Others stuck with me, even though they weren’t fans of cliffhangers, which is fair enough, and I’m ever grateful to all my readers. A few have been angered by the cliffhangers, feeling somehow cheated by them, and I’ve been accused of lazy storytelling to endorse a cheap marketing ploy to sell the next book.
Although I’m quite good at being lazy in life, I work very hard at writing. If the The Relic Guild, The Cathedral of Known Things, and The Watcher of Dead Time formed a single book, the physical copy would be a tome, half a million words and fourteen hundred pages long. There aren’t many publishers who would release a novel of that size, and even fewer authors who could generate the sales for something so expensive. I am not one of those authors. Thus The Relic Guild is a single story thrice chopped.
Actually, that’s not entirely true.
There are two additional parts which add to the singular narrative, two short stories that fit snugly into the tale. Think of them as DVD extras. Both were written as promotional pieces and recorded by the ever wonderful Imogen Church as audiobooks. The best part of these audiobooks is, after they were recorded, generous Gollancz gave them away for free. FREE! Such glorious madness! And the audios are still available to download.
The first short is Hemlock. It’s set during the hours before chapter one of The Relic Guild – a prelude, if you will. It’s a behind the scenes look at the opening gambit that kick starts the entire story and features a bit-part character who is responsible for causing a lot of trouble, the titular Charlie Hemlock. The second short is Champion of Dead Time which is set between books one and two. In The Cathedral of Known Things readers are introduced to a particularly nasty demon called the Woodsman and this is the story of its origins and why it came into existence.
So, The Relic Guild is technically a trilogy chopped up into five parts. Or is that too Douglas Adams? Either way, the entire story is far too big to be gathered into a single, good old-fashioned paper and ink novel. However, the brilliant and crafty gang at Gollancz have decided to do it for you digitally.
For the first time ever, the complete tale of The Relic Guild is collected into a single eBook. That’s three novels and two short stories: Hemlock, The Relic Guild, Champion of Dead Time, The Cathedral of Known Things, and The Watcher of Dead Time in one volume for only £10.99. £10.99 – that’s cheaper than a trip to the movies! Plus, it lasts so much longer! And I promise, hand on heart, there will be no cliffhangers here, not one. All things end.