swan_tower: (Default)

medium-sized version of the cover for WITHIN THE SANCTUARY OF WINGS

At long last, the series is complete.

This story has been living in my head for . . . about a decade, I think. I know I wrote the first third of A Natural History of Dragons in 2007 or thereabouts, before stalling out on the plot and setting it aside. I came back to it in late 2010, sold it in 2011, the first book came out in 2013, and now, my friends, the end of the story is in your hands. (Or will be, as soon as you run out and buy it.)

I’m going to be launching a new blog series, along the lines of John Scalzi’s THE BIG IDEA or Mary Robinette Kowal’s MY FAVORITE BIT, called SPARK OF LIFE: a place for authors to talk about those moments where the story seems to take on a life of its own, with a character doing something unexpected or the world unfolding a bit of depth you didn’t plan for. For me that mostly tends to happen in the depths of the tale, when I’ve built up enough momentum and detail for such things to spring forth. But in the case of this series, it happened less than a page in, because the spark of life?

That was Isabella.

Countless reviews have talked about how the narrator is one of the strongest features of the story. I’m here to tell you that, like Athena from the head of Zeus, she sprang out more or less fully-formed. The foreword got added a bit later, so it was in those opening paragraphs of Chapter One, where Isabella talks about finding a sparkling in the garden and it falling to dust in her hands, that she came to instant and vivid life. Part of the reason that initial crack stalled out in 2007 — or rather, the reason it got so far before stalling — was because I was having so much fun just following along in her wake, exploring her world and listening to her talk. The narrative voice has consistently been one of the greatest joys of writing this series. I have an upcoming article where I talk about how sad it is for me to be done with the story, because it feels like a good friend has moved away and I won’t get to see her regularly anymore. That’s how much she’s lived in my head, these past years.

Stay tuned on future Tuesdays for a glimpse at how other authors’ stories came to life. And stay tuned in upcoming days for some more behind-the-scenes stuff about my own characters!


In the meanwhile, the book is out, and so are the reviews. Here’s a spoiler-free one from BiblioSanctum, and two reviews on one page at Fantasy Literature; here is a SPOILER-TASTIC one at Tor.com. (Do NOT click unless you’ve read the book or are fine with having the big discovery of the entire series laid out in full. I’m serious.) (And while I’m at it, the same goes for that Gizmodo article that shows all the interior art for the book, because spoilers can come in visual form, too. Love ya, Gizmodo, but oof. Tor.com warned; you didn’t.)

Back in the land of no spoilers, you can read about my absolute favorite bit of Within the Sanctuary of Wings on Mary Robinette Kowal’s blog. It’s . . . a wee bit topical, these days. And I’m on the Functional Nerds podcast, talking about all kinds of things that aren’t this book, because they like to give authors a chance to branch out and natter on about roleplaying games and things like that.

And finally, I’m currently running a giveaway on Twitter. Name your favorite female scientist in any field (there, or in comments here), and get a chance to win a signed book of your choice from my stash of author copies. It’s already a stiff competition; we’ve had dozens of women named. (If you were wondering why my Twitter stream has turned into a sea of retweeted names, that’s why.) You have until tomorrow!

Originally published at Swan Tower. You can comment here or there.

swan_tower: (*writing)

If you’ve ever wished you could have a matched set of all four Onyx Court novels, now you can!


Midnight Never Come, In Ashes Lie, A Star Shall Fall, and With Fate Conspire are all out now in the UK, in a lovely set of matching trade paperbacks. They’ve also had a few errors cleaned up, the dates reformatted to British style, and the spelling Anglicized, so on the whole, I feel comfortable in calling this the author’s preferred edition. 🙂 Get ’em now, while the getting is good!

UK covers of all four Onyx Court novels

Originally published at Swan Tower. You can comment here or there.

swan_tower: (*writing)

Chains and Memory cover

At long last!

Chains and Memory is on sale today, at a variety of reputable outlets. This is the fruit of my very first Kickstarter, which was a resounding success; backers have had copies of this book for a little while, but now I can share it with you all. Go forth! Buy! Enjoy!

Seriously, I’m really excited about this. Remember, I ran the Kickstarter because I’d been wanting to write this book for a solid decade and more; to see it out in the world is incredibly satisfying.

And for those who are wondering . . . no, this is not the end of the story. There will be one more volume. When that happens will depend on the schedule of my contracted work in the immediate future, but stay tuned.

Originally published at Swan Tower. You can comment here or there.

swan_tower: (*writing)

The illustrated Lies and Prophecy is now on sale!

“What’s that?” I hear you say. “Illustrated? When did that happen?”

Well, today. (Obviously.) But, to back up a little, it happened during the Kickstarter for Chains and Memory — one of my stretch goals was illustrations for Lies and Prophecy. The Memoirs of Lady Trent have spoiled me, you see; now I feel like all my books ought to have pictures. :-P Ergo, the first book of the Wilders series now has six images, drawn by the talented Avery Liell-Kok. Here’s one, to whet your appetite:


You can get this edition now, from a whole swath of retailers: Book View Cafe, Kobo, Google Play, iTunes, Amazon, and Amazon UK. (Also other Amazon outlets, but if I list every country individually we’ll be here all day.) Barnes and Noble will be up and running in short order.

And for those who have been wondering, Chains and Memory will be out on January 5th. You can preorder that one from many outlets right now!

Originally published at Swan Tower. You can comment here or there.

swan_tower: (*writing)

I’m delighted to announce that Titan Books, publishers of the Memoirs of Lady Trent in the UK, will also be bringing the Onyx Court to its homeland!

Long-time readers may recall that the first two books of the series were published there by Orbit UK back in the day, but the mid-series publisher shift meant the latter two never saw UK shelves. Titan have picked up the entire series and, as you can see from the above, are reissuing them with splendid new covers — not to mention UK spelling and date formatting, like God and the Queen intended. ;-) My understanding is that they’ll be coming out in rapid succession, on a three-month cycle, so by early 2017 you’ll have the whole set. I don’t know about you, but I can’t wait to hold ’em in my hands!

Originally published at Swan Tower. You can comment here or there.

swan_tower: cover detail from Voyage of the Basilisk (Voyage of the Basilisk)

Aaaaaand it’s official: Voyage of the Basiisk is on sale now in the U.S.!

Voyage of the Basilisk cover

Tell one, tell all, buy early, buy often. :-) And, as a bonus, here’s the “title” music from the soundtrack I made for the novel. Ironically, the song is called “Desert,” but it’s from Cirque du Soleil’s water-themed show O:

Consider this the discussion thread for Voyage (and previous books in the series). Feel free to ask questions or post reactions in the comments — spoilers are welcome!

Originally published at Swan Tower. You can comment here or there.

swan_tower: cover detail from Voyage of the Basilisk (Voyage of the Basilisk)

So these showed up at my house last night . . .

finished copies of Voyage of the Basilisk

The production folks at Tor continue to knock it out of the park: deckled edges, three-piece case (in this instance, lavender and deep violet), even dark blue ink for the text. I think my other novels are starting to get an inferiority complex, sitting on the shelf next to these beauties. :-D

One week to street date — I can’t wait!

Originally published at Swan Tower. You can comment here or there.


Feb. 13th, 2015 04:37 pm
swan_tower: (*writing)

Ladies, gentlemen, and those who for reasons of gender or misbehavior count themselves as neither, I am exceedingly pleased to announce that I have a finished draft of the fourth Memoir of Lady Trent, at 88,748 words.

(What’s the title? You’ll have to wait to find that out until after Voyage of the Basilisk has been released. Because I’m mean that way.)

Originally published at Swan Tower. You can comment here or there.

swan_tower: from the cover art for my novel The Tropic of Serpents (Tropic of Serpents)

Just a quick heads-up: I’ve gotten several Tweets in the last day telling me that Amazon UK has canceled pre-orders of Voyage of the Basilisk on the grounds that “the book will not be published.” This is, to put it bluntly, not true. I have no idea what’s going on, but if you got that message, a) don’t believe it and b) please do re-order from a retailer that has not gotten its wires so badly crossed.

Now if you’ll pardon me, I need to go investigate this issue.

Originally published at Swan Tower. You can comment here or there.

swan_tower: (Default)

Some years ago, my brain got stuck in a certain gear and cranked out seven rather dark fairy-tale retellings. In this brave new world of ebooks, it is quite easy for me to put them together for your Halloween delectation:


It may be purchased from one (or more!) of the following fine retailers:

(I do hope to get it up in iTunes before long, but the roadblocks they put in the way make that difficult.)

Edited to add: Sorry, this was meant to go up at 1 p.m. rather than 1 a.m., which would have given Barnes and Noble time to fix whatever is currently borked about their system — they’re not listing Monstrous Beauty for sale yet, and their back end is down so I can’t attempt to figure out why (which possibly is why). The Amazon links were broken just because of a c&p error; sorry about that. They should be okay now.

Originally published at Swan Tower. You can comment here or there.

swan_tower: (natural history)


Those arrived last night, but I didn’t get a chance to share until today. I know these are printed from the text we had after copy-edits before page proofs, so it’s irrelevant that I just sent the proofs back to my editor a few days ago . . . but it feels like magic. Last pass through the text, and poof! Look! It’s a book! :-D

Stay tuned for me to come up with a clever idea how you can enter to win a copy . . . .

Originally published at Swan Tower. You can comment here or there.

swan_tower: from the cover art for my novel The Tropic of Serpents (Tropic of Serpents)

However long y’all have been waiting for this book, I think it was even longer for me. :-P But at last all our impatience is rewarded, for The Tropic of Serpents is out today!

It’s ended up on several “anticipated books coming out soon” lists, which I have to admit makes me exceedingly pleased: Ranting Dragon, BuzzFeed, Kirkus, and at least one other I’ve misplaced. If you are looking to obtain your very own copy, I’ve got a list of places you may buy it without leaving your chair (though this note about buying from a store does still apply).

And now if you’ll excuse me, I have to go treat myself to a nice lunch . . . and maybe also a visit to the local B&N, to make sure it’s on the shelf/pester them to put it there if it’s not. ;-)

Originally published at Swan Tower. You can comment here or there.

swan_tower: from the cover art for my novel The Tropic of Serpents (Tropic of Serpents)
Look what showed up on my doorstep today!

As you can see, this ARC is decidedly more ARC-y looking, which is to say, more like a promotional thing than a copy of the book that just happens to be more cheaply printed. That wall o' text on the cover is pull-quotes from a bunch of reviews for the first book, with the actual cover art squeezed into the corner there. But the text is the real deal (minus a few tweaks made during page proofs), and the interior art is in place, though the maps aren't. So: on its way to being a Real Book!

I realized, dreadfully late, that I never did announce the results from the icon contest I did ages ago. [personal profile] obaona, as you may have seen from the icon on this post: you're the winner! You can have a signed copy of either A Natural History of Dragons, or one of these pretty, pretty ARCs. Just e-mail me (marie {dot} brennan {at} gmail {dot} com) and let me know where to send it.

I will, of course, be looking for excuses to send more of these things to good homes. That will have to wait until after my trip, though. In the meanwhile, you'll have to content yourself with the picture. ^_^
swan_tower: (natural history)
Grrrrrrrrrreetings and salutations, O Internets. Today is a frabjous day for me, as it is the day that A Natural History of Dragons goes on sale in reputable bookshops everywhere!

(The ones who started selling it early are also probably reputable. They just jumped the gun a bit, is all.)

Don't forget that I will be participating in the Month of Letters Challenge; check that link for details on how to get your own hand-written letter from Lady Trent. You have all month!


There are going to be a lot of sightings of me around the Internet for the next month and more, as I undertake a blog tour for this book. Rather than spamming you with links every time an interview or guest post goes live, I'm going to collate them into round-ups. As of today, we have the following:

A giveaway at Jim Hines' blog. He provided an excellent blurb for A Natural History of Dragons, so Tor sent him four finished copies of the book, of which he is giving away three. But wait, there's more! He has signed the back of the book, under his blurb, and I am sending him stickers so they can be autographed by me, too. In fact, it's possible that Daniel Fox (the blurber beneath him in that photo) will also be contributing. If you can snag one of these, and then track down Melanie Rawn and Todd Lockwood, you'll have the most thoroughly signed copy of this novel in existence! To get a copy, head on over to Jim's blog and write your own blurb for the fake book Mary's Angels (previously featured in his Aicardi Foundation fundraiser).

"Why Do Dragons Look Like That?" A PW Tip Sheet, wherein you can see some of the interior sketches from the book, and read my thoughts on why I chose those parts of the story to be illustrated.

"An Interview with Lady Trent, Dragon Naturalist" From the Tor/Forge newsletter, an in-character interview of Lady Trent, by a muckraking journalist of her own world. :-)

"The Pop Quiz at the End of the Universe" An entirely silly interview with me, featuring seventeenth-century profanity!

Blog Critics interview -- and finally, a more serious and thorough interview, where I talk about academia and female protagonists.


Finally, a quick reminder that tomorrow I embark on my book tour. If you're in Seattle, Portland, San Diego, or San Francisco, please do stop by and say hi!
swan_tower: (Lies and Prophecy)
[livejournal.com profile] alessandriana, you managed what I couldn't; you got the Tower card to be big enough to make out, while still getting the title in the image. Thank you! Just let me know whether you want an eventual print copy of the novel, or tuckerization in the sequel I hope to write. And my thanks to everyone who submitted an icon: you're all far better at this than I am.

Apropos of Lies and Prophecy making money, you can now buy it at Barnes and Noble, and Kobo, and Apple, along with Amazon and the actual publisher, Book View Cafe. If you have a preferred e-book vendor that isn't selling it directly, please do let me know; I can't promise I'll be able to get it there, but I can look into it. (BVC sells both epub and mobi formats, though, which should work on pretty much any device.)

I will have an open book thread for Lies and Prophecy soon, but I'm waiting for a specific date. (You'll understand why when we get there.) In the meantime, enjoy!
swan_tower: (A Star Shall Fall)
A Star Shall Fall is out today in mass-market paperback. Apart from being, y'know, smaller, with a slightly different cover, it should also have various errata corrected (like the bad arithmetic when Irrith goes to get bread). I say "should" because I don't yet have my hands on a copy to check, but I did have the opportunity to send in corrections, and I think I caught all the places where they were needed. Famous last words . . . .

BTW, since the past couple of days have been crazy, I haven't yet chosen an icon. I'm extending the deadline until tonight, just in case somebody else wants to hop in.
swan_tower: (*writing)
There are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies, and prophecy.

Kim thought majoring in divination would prepare her for the future. But even with her foresight warning her of trouble, she's taken by surprise when an unknown force attacks Julian, her enigmatic classmate and friend. Her gifts can't protect him against further attacks and an inexplicable string of disappearances . . . and if she's reading the omens right, Julian isn't the only one in danger.

Kim knows she isn't ready for this. But if she wants to save Julian -- and herself -- she'll have to prove her own prophecies wrong.

Ladies and gentlemen, may I present my Book View Cafe debut?

Lies and Prophecy is, as anyone who has been reading the "Welcome to Welton" scenes will know, an urban fantasy set in a version of our world where about half the adult population has active psychic gifts. (At least, "urban fantasy" is the short description for it. I have sometimes been known to refer to this book as "near future alternate history mildly post-apocalyptic semi-YA urban fantasy with some mystery and romance in and maybe a smidge of science fiction if you squint right." But they don't really have a category for that.)

It is also available for purchase! You can buy directly from BVC, in both epub and mobi formats, suitable for iPads and Nooks and Kindles and so on, or whatever your e-book reading device of choice may be. BVC is the best route to go, in terms of benefit to me-the-writer, but if you prefer to order from some other venue, you can get it through Amazon right now, and other e-book retailers in the near future. If you prefer a dead tree edition, there will be one of those, too, but that (alas) is going to take a little while longer to happen. I'll definitely announce it here when that becomes available, though, probably with pictures of me hugging it and squeezing it and generally acting like Gollum.

See, this is the first novel I ever finished. It's been through more revisions than I can count, over a period of (yikes) thirteen years, but it is still my first, and that means it is very near and dear to my heart. These are the characters that never quite left my head, the story I kept revisiting and refining. And now it is, at last, out there for other people to read. I am more happy than I can say, and I'd like to take a moment to thank the BVC crew in general, and those who produced this book in particular: my cover designer Amy Sterling Casil, my formatter Chris Dolley, my copy-editor David Levine, and most especially Sherwood Smith, who has been my BVC mentor since I first approached her at a con and said "I think I'd like to join your group."

I'll have more to say in upcoming days, but for now, I hope you enjoy the book. :-)
swan_tower: (greenie)
Eeeeee! Much earlier than I expected, a packet of advance reader copies for A Natural History of Dragons has shown up on my doorstep.

. . . wow, y'all. This thing looks tiny next to With Fate Conspire. Which it is; that monstrosity was nearly 157,000 words in the end, and this one is a svelte 93,000. But it's a little startling.

I should think up a contest to give some of these away, but first I need to spend a little while beaming at them and gloating. ^_^ (I promise only to pet the one I'm keeping for myself, though. Otherwise it might get a little weird.)

swan_tower: (With Fate Conspire)
Thaaaaaaat's right, folks . . . it's the street date for With Fate Conspire.

I don't mind admitting that I'm a little nervous about this one. I have a lot of reasons to be: it's the end of the series (at least for now), which always raises the questions of "did I stick the landing?" Also, it's my first hardcover release, which brings extra hopes and expectations. Also also, well, let's face it: this is a rough time for the publishing industry, what with Borders going belly-up. Nobody really knows what that's going to do to sales figures, but it's going to be rocky, that's for sure.

Which is by way of introducing a small plea: if you intend to buy this book, then sooner is better than later and in a store is better than online (unless you're buying the ebook, of course). And if you like the series, tell people about it. (Heck, tell people about it even if you don't like it! My ego will survive.)

Onward to the reviews!

Liz Bourke at Tor.com approves of the working-class and Irish bent of the book.

Cat Barson at Steampunk Chronicle reviews the book for fans of steampunk, and mostly likes it.

Sarah at Bookworm Blues hasn't read the previous books in the series, and also isn't a fan of faerie fantasy, but still enjoyed this one.

Also, I have the Big Idea slot today at John Scalzi's blog Whatever (which previously hosted a Big Idea for Midnight Never Come). And finally, SF Signal has included With Fate Conspire as one of the three contenders in their most recent Book Cover Smackdown.

Now I need to decide whether my professional duty to go see my book in the store is strong enough to overcome the incredible soreness of my quads . . . ah, the downsides of biking for such errands.
swan_tower: (With Fate Conspire)
Here's a stage I've never had before, in the book-publication process: I just received a stack of covers for With Fate Conspire. Like, the paper wrap for the hardcover. It's like a real book, just without the book! And that will be coming soon. (I am so excited, y'all.)

And speaking of excited, here's what Publishers Weekly had to say:
Gifted storyteller and world-builder Brennan returns to the Onyx Court, a faery city that coexists with London, in her fourth historical fantasy (after 2010's A Star Shall Fall). As the Onyx Court is threatened by 19th-century advances in technology, the faeries and humans increasingly come into conflict. Eliza O'Malley is caught between the two worlds, both of which are often cruel and indifferent to her desperate search for her childhood friend, Owen, who was captured by the faeries seven years before. Unless Eliza can find Dead Rick, the dog-man who betrayed them, Owen will be lost to the faery kingdom forever. Series readers and fans of the Tam Lin myth will be captivated by this complex and vibrant depiction of a magical Victorian era.

The funny thing is, I honestly didn't think of the Tam Lin overtones until I read this, though obviously they're there.

Onward to the shelves . . . .


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