Thursday, January 15, 2015

"The Providence of Fire"

Brian Staveley is the author of The Emperor’s Blades, first book of the epic fantasy trilogy, Chronicle of the Unhewn Throne.

Staveley has taught literature, religion, history, and philosophy, all subjects that influence his novels, and holds an MA in Creative Writing from Boston University. He works as an editor for Antilever Press, and has published poetry and essays, both in print and on-line. He lives in Vermont with his wife and young son, and divides his time between running trails, splitting wood, writing, and baby-wrangling.

He applied the Page 69 Test to The Providence of Fire, volume 2 in the Chronicle of the Unhewn Throne trilogy, and reported the following:
From page 69:
Laith raised an eyebrow, then jerked a thumb at Tan. “This guy says the city’s older than dirt and you want to set up camp in a crumbling cliff? What about something less likely to fall on our heads?”

“I want the high ground,” Valyn replied.

“For what? Hunting rats?”

Valyn bit back a sharp retort. “Yes, for hunting rats. It’s a cliff, Laith. Cliffs don’t just fall over.”

The flier just gestured to the scree scattered across the valley floor, some boulders the size of small houses.

“The cliff is sound,” Tan said. “And the kenta is inside.” As if that settled the whole matter.

“That’s what we came for,” Valyn added. “Now move. Light’s wasting and we’re standing out here like geese.”
So what the hell have we got here?

An ancient city built into a crumbling cliff.

Anxiety about pretty much everything: the cliff crumbling, night falling, snipers lurking…

Growing discord between the various characters.

And maybe, just maybe, the first glimpse of one of the kenta, the mysterious Csestriim gates.

I’d say these elements do a surprisingly good job hinting at what readers can expect from The Providence of Fire: more exploration, more danger, more discord, and more of the Csestriim, a race that may not be quite as dead as we had hoped. The one crucial thing missing from this excerpt is Adare, the daughter of the murdered emperor, who plays a much larger and more crucial role in this volume than in the first. Prepare yourselves, folks: this book is bigger than The Emperor’s Blades by about 25%. It’s also faster, bolder, more brutal, and, if the early reviews are to be believed, far, far more unexpected. Fire, after all, is a fickle, dangerous mistress.
Visit Brian Staveley's website.

--Marshal Zeringue