This is book two in the Liveship Traders fantasy series. You can read my review of book one here.
I hope to one day write like Robin Hobb.
The world-building is mind-blowing.
Set in this world is a rich set of characters, each with their unique voice and arc. From Althea to Wintrow to Malta to Vivacia, this author has masterfully crafted an imaginative and emotionally satisfying story.
Middle books in a trilogy sometimes suffer from a meandering plot. Not the case in this book.
What am I looking forward to in book 3? Malta’s arc: That child is full of surprises; Althea and Brashen: Is there a happy ending here? Wintrow: I want the boy to have peace. Is that too much to ask? Vivacia: Will I see the ship fly?
Prince in Shadow introduces the readers to the Land of Magadha. This novella is available to my Newsletter subscribers for free.
A prequel novella to Heir to Malla, this tale opens a window into the Malla dynasty. Royal siblings, Princess Meera and Prince Jay had led a sheltered life. That was about to change. Grab a hot chai and plunge into a tale of royal intrigue laced with love.
I typically send a monthly newsletter about my upcoming book, new releases, cover reveal, and sales. On rare occasions, you might get two emails from me in a month. So there is no worry about me flooding your inbox.
This past week, I celebrated a book birthday. I published my debut novel Heir to Malla a year ago. Just two months into the pandemic and new life of masks and lockdowns, I shared the story I had been working on for over five years.
A year later, I have realized how many mistakes I made. I had no marketing plan, no newsletter, and no beta readers. I launched the book into the wild with no clue. Since then, I have joined writing groups on Facebook and learned many things from experienced authors.
I have found a beta reader or two among my avid readers. I will be releasing Prince in Shadow, an Heir to Malla prequel novella, exclusively to my Newsletter subscribers.
For my second book, War of the Three Kings, I have a simple marketing plan, mainly focused on building my newsletter subscription, sales promo for Heir to Malla, and one or two third-party newsletter promotions. I will share more details after the launch.
This journey is a marathon, and I am grateful to my readers for letting me share the stories in my head.
Readers want original content. They want something new, unique, and never before told story.
As writers, one might feel like there is nothing new under the sun. Fantasy and Science Fiction genres offer some room for novel ideas. A story set in a galaxy far, far away captures our imagination. Or a complex magical system piques our senses.
What shall a historical fiction author do? Conflict of the heart is what I like to explore. In this society, plenty of ways to put my characters in situations where they have to choose between love and duty, the eternal conflict.
I use distinct metaphors to set the stage for the period (a pumpkin flower that wilted on its stalk). My female characters dress in vivid color saris (ripe mango).
Like your favorite bowl of comfort food, familiarity is also soothing. A romance reader craves a happily ever after ending. My books offer hope amidst the chaos.
A good book touches the human heart, and if mine stirred yours, I have achieved my goal.
I recently finished my first set of revisions and sent the book to my editor. I hope to publish this book this summer and share the story that has been with me for years.
This tale flowed more easily from my head to my hand. Meera is back as one of our two protagonists. She is a decade older and finding her heart tugged in two different directions. Our other protagonist, who will remain nameless, finds his whole identity called into question.
Flavors, colors, and smells of medieval India seep through the pages.
Writing from the perspective of two characters allowed me to depict battles, dances, voyages, and more.
The women in those times resembled the moon. They had no power of their own and derived their authority from the men around them. How they wield this influence is a theme I explore.
For the men of my tale, danger lurks in every corner. From the kiss of a sword to the kiss of a lady, their heart is in peril.
I will be sharing the first chapter with my Newsletter subscribers soon. Please sign up here.
I normally love to read Inspector Ian Rutledge mysteries. This book did not engage my heart as others have in the past.
The ingredients were all present: familiar PTSD, thrown into work, drive to solve the puzzle, and a good murder mystery. But the end result did not taste the same as the other Inspector Ian Rutledge mysteries.
This story felt like a memory rather than the real thing. The mystery is still good and keeps you engaged. But the man, Ian Rutledge, lacks his usual presence. He is a mere shadow in the tale.
I want to see him change and experience life, but he is a mere observer in this book. That left me frustrated as a reader.
If you like mysteries, I highly recommend the series. This book, though, is not on par with the others.
I finished reading King’s cage, book three in the Red Queen series. Check out my reviews for books 1 and 2.
Reading fantasy is like reading three romance or mystery novels. At over 500 pages, this took me a couple of weeks to read.
We have new POVs in this book, and it made this the best book so far in this series. Mare Barrow is a self-centered teen, and being in her head all through the book can be tiring.
Cal’s arc in this book was good. I cannot wait to find out what our prince will do next. Maven continues to be the most engaging character, and I cannot wait to find what mad schemes he concocts in the finale.
Magic is well thought out, and the author walks a fine line between waving a wand to save our heroes to keeping it real.
The author pulled back the curtain to reveal the command and other players in this universe. What will our red and silver puppets do in the finale under these puppeteer’s strings? Is there a happy ending for any of them? I cannot wait to find out. I recommend this book for YA fantasy readers.
I recently read Ship of Magic by Robin Hobb. This is book one in the fantasy series Liveship Traders.
I have read Robin’s Farseer trilogy before and loved it. You can read my review here.
This story is set in the same world as the Farseer Trilogy, but the magic is very different. Inate objects exhibit these astonishing magical powers, and there are unusual magical beasts.
The characters are rich and varied and written so well. This is Robin’s specialty. She narrates these intricate tales with many characters, each with well-defined traits and motives. I also love how she gives each character the room to breathe in their own bubble. The reader has time to get to know them, and understand them, and fall in love. As a writer, there are many things for me to learn from her.
I was able to easily keep track of each individual tale, and this novel did a fantastic job of keeping me hooked till the end.
Althea has a stunning arc in this book, and so do Kennit and Wintrow. Vivacia is going to be a handful in the next book, and so is Malta. Brashen, Etta, and Kyle, Ronica, and Keffria add depth to the layered book.
I cannot wait to find out more about the Rain Wild Traders, the serpents, Paragon, and the other who showed up in chapter one. There are some nice easter eggs for folks who have read the Farseer Trilogy.
Robin Hobb crafts these complex worlds with astounding characters that tug the reader’s heart. I highly recommend this book to my fellow fantasy lovers.