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Peter Higgins, author of Wolfhound Century

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Alexia and Lord Maccon from Gail Carriger's Soulless

Lord Akeldama from Gail Carriger's Soulless

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A Fantasy Debut to Watch for in 2011 [Updated with final cover]


Two things brought this book to my attention. I recently received the Tor Winter 2011 catalog and the cover immediately caught my eye. I had to flip through the catalog that instant to find out what book this belonged to and didn't have to go far. Right on page 1 was The Unremembered by Peter Orullian. Tor obviously has high hopes for the series. The second connection was Brandon Sanderson mentioning the author in our interview with Orullian's book sitting on his nightstand. Tor hasn't released the final cover in color, but here is a picture of the catalog cover, which shows off this lush image.

Cover art by Kekai Kotaki
UPDATE: Art impressario of Tor Irene Gallo offered to send me the final color version, which I couldn't pass up. So feast your eyes.


Just...drool..ummm...Wow! The art is by Kekai Kotaki who is best known for his work with Gears of War, Guild Wars, Magic the Gathering, and a few books covers such as the recent Shadow Prowler. All around he is producing gorgeous work with a bright future ahead of him.  The cover for The Unremembered is breath taking in its depth and detail. Click to embiggen. It is worth it. Now on to the book itself, which doesn't sound too shabby either.

The Unremembered is Peter Orullian's debut novel although he has published a few short stories in various anthologies the last few years. The series is named The Vault of Heaven, which brings a lot of things to mind. Definitely something on an Epic scale. The Unremembered will be released in April 2011. I know that is a long time, but it certainly could be a strong Epic Fantasy debut. Next year is ramping up to be one of the most competitive years for Fantasy with new books by Abercrombie, Rothfuss, Lynch, Morgan, Abraham, and Grossman. There are also sequels to a number of my 2010 debut favorites coming out, but I always like to make time for debut authors so I'll definitely be one of the first in line to check out The Unremembered. Here is the description to taunt you with:

The gods, makers of worlds, seek to create balance—between matter and energy; and between mortals who strive toward the transcendent, and the natural perils they must tame or overcome. But one of the gods fashions a world filled with hellish creatures far too powerful to allow balance; he is condemned to live for eternity with his most hateful creations in that world’s distant Bourne, restrained by a magical veil kept vital by the power of song.

Millennia pass, awareness of the hidden danger fades to legend, and both song and veil weaken. And the most remote cities are laid waste by fell, nightmarish troops escaped from the Bourne. Some people dismiss the attacks as mere rumor. Instead of standing against the real threat, they persecute those with the knowledge, magic and power to fight these abominations, denying the inevitability of war and annihilation. And the evil from the Bourne swells….

The troubles of the world seem far from the Hollows where Tahn Junell struggles to remember his lost childhood and to understand words he feels compelled to utter each time he draws his bow. Trouble arrives when two strangers—an enigmatic man wearing the sigil of the feared Order of Sheason and a beautiful woman of the legendary Far—come, to take Tahn, his sister and his two best friends on a dangerous, secret journey. Tahn knows neither why nor where they will go. He knows only that terrible forces have been unleashed upon mankind and he has been called to stand up and face that which most daunts him—his own forgotten secrets and the darkness that would destroy him and his world.
And a bit more from the author's site:

When the First Ones framed the World, they appointed one among them to create adversity and contrariness to harrow the lives of men. But the One became scornful and dark in his work, so that the Council branded him Quietus and exiled him and the dark races he’d created. The Framers sealed them all beyond the Bourne and abandoned the young World, leaving it with but a small hope of redemption.

That hope may come through the choices of a stripling boy, Tahn Junell, in a time when the use of the Will (the energy that exists in all matter) has become a crime, and the Bourne has begun to let loose its secrets. As Quietus’ creations descend into the land with dark indignation, Tahn and his friends (thus far held safe in the Hollows—their home) are chased out.

But a Renderer of the Will and a creature of myth have come to guide them through a world now rife with political turmoil, rumors of war, an insidious human trade, and the dark creations that hunt them. Tahn and his companions race to see if the restoration to him of all his own dark secrets will end his unnatural life or prove him their one last hope.
The author also has an early book trailer up on his site, plus maps, and a few illustrations of the characters. The series is planned to be a trilogy at this point with books released a year apart.

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REVIEW | The Way of Kings by Brandon Sanderson
REVIEW | Bitter Seeds by Ian Tregillis
LOOKING FORWARD Fantasy Books to Watch for in 2010
I just love this cover...

9 comments:

Aidan Moher said...

Kekai Kotaki is awesome.

Gareth P said...

Fabulous cover. But I shuddered when I read that synopsis. Sounds like the worst kind of childish fantasy dribble - basically a YA novel with a bit more mythology and a longer page count. Here's hoping it is more substantial than that synopsis implies.

Patrick said...

Fantastic Cover... Definitely going to highlight this over on Stomping on Yeti.

Fantasy stories are so much about execution. The summary can be awesome and the story can suck or an author can make an entirely generic setup and hit it out of the park.

Peter said...

Very cool.
The cover is stunning.
Look forward to the read.

Anonymous said...

sorry. im with gareth on this one. epic cover RUINED with a crappy premise

Jeremy Shane said...

OK, this looks awesome. Adding it to my want list now.

Mad Hatter Review said...

I have to agree with Patrick on this one. An Epic Fantasy synopsis is often difficult to judge a book on. But I'll let you all know how it stands up once it is out.

Andrew Liptak said...

I really like that cover - very beautiful!

Irene said...

Won't lie, I'm a huge Kekai fan. We'll soon have a short story by Peter with Kekai art up on Tor.com.