Writers love the new shiny – the new project that fires the imagination and crackles with the excitement of creative discovery. It’s not that we don’t also enjoy revisiting worlds and characters and narratives that have grown familiar and comfortable. There’s a reason why those of us who create fantasy worlds for a living write multi-volume series. But when we dive into the new shiny we spend our writing days treading constantly on the cusp of revelation.
That’s where I am now. My new series, The Islevale Cycle, debuts this fall with the release of Time’s Children from Angry Robot. This is an epic fantasy time travel story, filled with intrigue, action, magic, and a bit of romance, and peopled with time walkers, assassins, and demons. My protagonist, Tobias, is a fifteen year-old Walker who is sent to serve in the royal court of Daerjen. The sovereign there has embarked on an ill-advised war, and needs Tobias to go back in time with a message to his younger self: do not engage this enemy.
But there is a catch. Tobias “spends” every moment that he Walks. If he travels back in time a day, he arrives in the past one day older than he was. If he then returns to his own time, he will be another day older. And the sovereign wants him to Walk back in time fourteen years. Though reluctant to give up so much of his life, Tobias sees great peril in allowing Daerjen to fall.
Within a day of Tobias’s arrival in the past, the young sovereign is assassinated, along with his wife and heir. Tobias barely escapes with his life, and manages to spirit away the sovereign’s infant daughter, Sofya, the sole surviving member of the royal family. Now, trapped in the past and in the body of a grown man, pursued by the sovereign’s killers, aided by demons he doesn’t quite trust, and joined by Mara, a friend and love from his lost future who has talents and secrets of her own, Tobias fights to keep himself and the princess alive.
Time’s Children. My new shiny. I hope you enjoy reading it as much as I have enjoyed writing it. And if you do the sequel, Time’s Demon, will be out May 2019.
Cover art by Jan Weßbecher.