Monday, 25 May 2015

All The Liar's Key reviews I know about so far

As is traditional I'm keeping a list of early reviews for my newest book:

In chronological order:

RT Magazine - Top Pick!

"The dialogue is a humorous, frightening lullaby that flawlessly depicts this dark, disturbing universe and its meticulously constructed characters, both friends and fiends."

Parmenion Books

"For those who have not read it, the Broken Empire series is an excellent fantasy series, one that take the reader right to the edge, page after page…. and yet I have found myself enjoying the Red Queen's War much more."

Pat's Fantasy Hotlist

"The Liar's Key is Mark Lawrence's most solid effort thus far!"

The Great Self-Published Fantasy Blog-Off -- The Halfway Point


On June 1st we will be half-way through the first stage of The Self-Published Fantasy Blog-Off. Which feels like a good point for a state-of-the-nation catch-up.

By September 1st each of the ten bloggers/blog-sites will have chosen (and reviewed) their champion from the slush-pile of ~26 novels given to them. In phase 2 each blogger/site will read (and review if they like) the nine other champions and give each a mark out of 10. The book with the highest score will be our champion of champions from the whole selection of 267 novels. All ten bloggers will review the overall winner.

So far we've had:

Upward of 30 reviews, ranging from mini to fulsome.
At least 4 rapturous reviews.
Only 2 unfortunate author melt-downs.
36 blog posts from our bloggers and a good number of blog posts from observers and authors.
7 general blog pieces arising from the exercise.
9606 hits on the main blog page.
A bazillion tweets sporting the #SPFBO tag.
& 0 deaths!

So, how are they doing?

Officially 94 of the 267 novels have been cut (many with high praise). 18 more have been selected for full reads &/or promoted to local finals. Leaving 155 to be considered.

Unofficially the effort is closer to completion than these figures indicate.

Individual status reports:

1. Sarah Chorn of Bookworm Blues

Has considered 10 of 27 novels. A miracle considering her trials of pregnancy and ill-health. Help is available should the load prove too great.

2. Steve Diamond &co at the twice Hugo nominated Elitist Book Reviews

3 books left to consider. 

3. Mark Aplin &co of the award winning Fantasy-Faction

Has yet to start but feels confident that the sizeable team at Fantasy-Faction can meet the deadline.

4. Mihir Wanchoo of Fantasy Book Critic

Is down to six books to consider in more detail.

5. Lynn Williams of Lynn's Books

Is halfway through at the halfway point!

Has finished his degree work and will make the project his #1 priority over the summer. Shouldn't have a problem getting everything done before the deadline.

7. Bob Milne of Beauty in Ruins

Has considered 10 out of 26 and is confident of completing within the 6 months.

8. Ria of Bibliotropic

Is down to 6 books that need reading. Expects to make a big dent in this during June.

9. Tyson Mauermann of The Speculative Book Review

Has 8 titles left to decide on. Foresees no problem in completing before the deadline.

10. The guys at Fantasy Book Review

Are considering their last 6 titles.

Thursday, 21 May 2015

Red Sister is Ace!

I got this bit of news back on April the 1st. I had to check with my agent that he wasn't indulging in a spot of agently humour. I think I also said that if he was he was fired.

But no, less than a year after receiving and wielding the Gemmell Legend Award for Emperor of Thorns on my behalf, presumably against someone who didn't review me enough...

...the illustrious Ian Drury of Sheil Land had secured a US deal for the Red Sister trilogy, allowing me to continue my happy partnership with Ace Books, which began way way back in .... oh wait, 2011. It just seems like forever ago because so much has happened since!

So I can (and probably should already have) announce that Red Sister will be appearing in both the US and UK.

No coercion whatsoever was required to extract this freely given praise from supremo Diana Gill, who shook virtual hands on the deal on the first anniversary of taking the iron throne at Ace.

“I am so very excited to be publishing Mark Lawrence’s RED SISTER trilogy. I’ve loved his work from Prince of Thorns, but with warrior nuns and a truly spectacular prologue (and I am not usually a fan of prologues)—RED SISTER is a bold, big step up for this truly talented author.

Everyone here at Ace and Berkley are huge fans of Mark’s lyrical writing and we are absolutely thrilled both to continue working with him and to introduce readers to this epic new world, its remarkable women characters and riveting story, and an unforgettable heroine.”

So there you have it! Hooray!

Tuesday, 19 May 2015

Some Thorns/Fools art!

These are the three winners of the art contest over on

Check out all the other entries!

                                               Snorri with Einmyria by Pen Astridge

                                            Gorgoth with baby by Joyce van Paassen

Snorri and the Graveyard Unborn by John Stewart

Sunday, 17 May 2015

My alphabet of SFF goodness.

My current work in progress has hit a sticky patch, so naturally I'm wasting time on the internet.

Here's the challenge - do it and I'll link yours at the end of this blog.

For each letter of the alphabet choose your favourite fantasy/sci-fi book that you have on your shelves by an author whose surname starts with that letter. Put them in order. Show us!

Here's my alphabet of SFF goodness:

I would have gone with Adam's Hitch-hiker's Guide to the Galaxy but couldn't find it on the shelf, just Restaurant at the End of the Universe, and Asimov beats that out.

I absolutely couldn't find an 'E'. We had Ende's Never Ending Story until recently but must have given it to the charity shop. I have Erikson's Gardens of the Moon but haven't read it. Just in shot is Edding's Belgariath the Sorcerer. I haven't read it, but I have read Edding's Belgariath and I enjoyed it when I was 15.

Feist & Wurts Mistress of the Empire was an easy choice, Gemmell (no dust jacket, so photo added) beat out Alan Garner's Moon of Gomrath. Hobb was easy. Had no 'I' so there's John Irving - A Prayer for Owen Meany. It does have a single 'fantasy' element in it. Had no 'J' but I'm saying Wynne is Diana Wynne Jones' middle name! Would have used John Hornor Jacobs' The Incorruptibles but I gave the ARC to a blogger last year.

Stephen King's Wizard and Glass proved tricky to photograph... Lots of good K's but had to go with King. Lots of good Kings but had to go with this, book 4 in the Dark Tower series.

Easy choice for L and M. N was easy as I have few of those. Peake edged Pratchett. Rothfuss pushed out Ryan, Scalzi edged Schafer.
 Lord of the Rings had no dust jacket so there's a photo overlaid. I only had one 'V', no 'Y' or 'U', and only one 'Z', but it's a goodie.

Monday, 11 May 2015

Charity Raffle / Auction!

Winners = Janice Schubert (auction)
Tom Lewis (raffle)

When they come in I feel a pang of guilt that these generous people have given up this money and may not even get anything for it.... then I remember how that money is spent and wonder how better could any money be spent - when we look after the most broken in society we are at our most whole. You can't spend money better than on these children from whom so much has been taken. Thank you.

It's been a while since I raised any money for the Children's Hospice Charity that gives respite to so many families, my own included.

My daughter Celyn giving over cheques from previous endeavours, including sales of her own book

So what we have here is raffle / auction.

The prizes are

i) a rare signed, stamped Advance Review Copy of The Liar's Key
ii) a signed stamped first edition hardback of The Liar's Key and a Prince of Fools mug

To enter just donate $3 or £2 (or more) to the Hospice Charity and let me know you've done it. Then you're in the draw! You can forward the 'thanks for your donation' email to me at

The person who donates the largest amount wins the auction and gets to choose prize (i) or (ii). The person who wins the draw gets the other prize.

It's a great cause making a real difference to short and difficult lives. Jump in - you'll feel good about it.

The auction is currently being won with a donation of:

£300 / $474
everyone who donates is in the draw for the other prize

Total raised so far:

£1211 / $1914

Huge thanks to:

Trevor Studt
Chris Meadows
Tom Clews
T.O Munro (author)
Agnes Meszaros
Hilary Treat
Sylvia Lucas
Adrian Collins
Janis Schubert
Mia C.
Tom Lewis
Andy Mammel
Joe Dorrian
Charlie Hopkins
Sue Armitage
Nicholas Talty
Beatriz Ogeia
Dean Clark
Tracey Cairns
Louise Warren
Stacey Newman
Pen Astridge
Jude Hunter
Kareem Mahfouz
Jonathan Ashman

Sunday, 10 May 2015

Signed and numbered edition of The Liar's Key

The Quill & Claw are doing a limited run of 100 signed and numbered (& stamped with an embosser) first editions of The Liar's Key.

They went on sale last night. Reserve yours HERE.

Currently 25 of 100 remain - so get them while they're hot!