I'm pleased to announce the start of a very promising new fantasy trilogy, A Crucible of Souls, by Mitchell Hogan. For a debut novel this is more than a little impressive. Mitchell has redrafted multiple times and the effort really shows. Characters are vividly drawn, multi-layered, and in one or two cases, compelling.
Crucible is recognizably epic fantasy, with an orphaned protagonist who is apprenticed and discovers exceptional skills whilst also uncovering an intriguing family history that may have serious implications for his future. But in additional to the standard epic tropes, Hogan joins with the new wave of fantasy authors in his use of morally ambivalent characters, distinct and tight points of view, believable world building, an intelligible magic system, and some edgy, gritty content.
Mitchell engaged fantasy legend John Jarrold for the first round of story editing and after that passed the book to me for copy editing, plus some additional content notes. After some judicious cutting and sharpening of the prose, he let me have it back for proofreading.
It's been a great project to work on for me, particularly given the author's work ethic and willingness to do whatever it takes to make the book as good as possible.
A Crucible of Souls should be available as an ebook within the next few weeks, and will be released as a paperback shortly afterwards.
If any of you reviewers out there would like an ARC, please send me an email and I'll forward it to the author.