Blaylock’s THE ELFIN SHIP is the first in the author’s Balumnia series, sometimes referred to as the Cheeser series. Here’s the synopsis…
James P Blaylock’s 1982 début novel The Elfin Ship has become a classic of whimsical fantasy. With echoes of Kenneth Graham and Mark Twain, it’s a gentle, eccentric and hilarious novel that will delight readers of all ages.
Trading with the elves used to be so simple. Every year Master Cheeser Jonathan Bing would send his very best cheeses downriver to traders who would eventually return with Elfin wonders for the people of Twombly Town.
But no more…
First, the trading post at Willowood Station was mysteriously destroyed. Then a magical elfin airship began making forays overhead: Jonathan knew something was definitely amiss.
So he set off downriver to deliver the cheeses himself, accompanied by the amazing Professor Wurzle, the irrepressible Dooly, and his faithful dog Ahab. It would have been such a pleasant trip, if not for the weeping skeleton, mad goblins, magic coins, an evil dwarf, a cloak of invisibility – and a watch that stopped time.
Of course, the return trip was not so simple.
‘A magical world, magically presented… having journeyed there, you will not wish to leave, nor ever to forget.’ — Philip K. Dick
SHADOWKINGS is the first novel in Michael Cobley’s series of the same name. Here’s the synopsis…
For one thousand bright and fortunate years the Khatrimantine Empire had guaranteed peace and benevolence. Then came the vast hordes of the Mogaun, driven by an evil deity, the Lord of Twilight, corrupter and devourer.
The unprepared Khatrimantine armies could not stand against the brutal might of the invaders, not even with the help of the Empire’s spirit/magical guardians. Yet at the very pinnacle of his triumph, the Lord of Twilight made a fatal mistake, shattering his essence into five parts: five lost souls destined to become the Shadowkings.
Now, sixteen years after the invasion, Mogaun warlords and petty despots squabble amid the ruins. Yet ancient powers are stirring and the Empire’s last valiant defenders are gathering their strength, hoping that one decisive strike can reverse their long, bleak decline. But the forces of Night know well the dance of might, and match them step for step.
‘There is plenty here to keep any fans of high fantasy happy. The familiar elements are here, but don’t worry about them feeling borrowed or contrived. Cobley has presented his own fantasy world and characters, well rounded, fully explored and absorbing.’ — Eternal Night
‘… unconventional high fantasy trilogy… [Cobley] has taken traditional sword and sorcery to some new and perhaps uncomfortable places… an unusually dark and claustrophobic piece of work…’ — Infinity Plus
Michael’s latest novel is ANCESTRAL MACHINES, a fourth (stand-alone) novel set in his Humanity’s Fire universe. It is published by Orbit Books.