Backlist Plug: Michael Cobley’s SHADOWKINGS trilogy…

Today, we want to draw your attention to Michael Cobley‘s debut trilogy, the Shadowkings grimdark fantasy trilogy: SHADOWKINGS, SHADOWGOD and SHADOWMASQUE.

Originally published by Simon & Schuster between 2002-2005, the series is now available in eBook format via the JABberwocky eBook Program; and as audiobooks via Audible. Here’s the synopsis for the first book…

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. 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.

The trilogy is also available in Germany, published by Heyne, as SCHATTENKÖNIGESCHATTENGÖTTER and SCHATTENKRIEGER.

Here are just a few of the reviews the Shadowkings series has received…

‘A pacey action and adventure story, packed with battles, rescues and political double-dealing… a refreshing and believable take on the Fight Against Insurmountable Evil Foes sub-genre, without dispensing with any of the familiar staples that make the genre what it is.’ Infinity Plus on SHADOWKINGS

SHADOWKINGS, was brutal, cruel and realistic in a way genre usually avoids. SHADOWGOD, his second, is not only lighter, it is better written and makes good use of the world Cobley has created… writing to rival David Gemmell.’ Guardian (Jon Courtenay-Grimwood)

‘Unconventional high fantasy trilogy… [Cobley] has taken traditional sword and sorcery to some new and perhaps uncomfortable places… Once again Mike has succeeded in producing an unusually dark and claustrophobic piece of work, though it is a lot less bleak than its predecessors. It is also a lot less convoluted with the battle lines more clearly drawn.’ Infinity Plus on SHADOWMASQUE

‘[Cobley] drew the characters with verve and style, encouraging the reader to participate in the story he was unfolding. The plot was complex but clearly spun out, providing tantalising teasers at the end of each episode, which made me want to skip ahead to the next time that particular thread was picked up and woven. In my opinion, a clear winner for Michael Cobley.’ SF Crowsnest on SHADOWMASQUE

Michael is also the best-selling author of the Humanity’s Fire sci-fi series, published in the UK and US by Orbit Books: SEEDS OF EARTH, THE ORPHANED WORLDS, THE ASCENDANT STARS, and the stand-alone ANCESTRAL MACHINES. The next novel in the series, SPLINTERED SUNS, is due out later this year. (We’ll bring you the cover and more details as we have them.) The series has also been published in Germany by Heyne.

Series Spotlight: Michael Cobley’s SHADOWKINGS

cobley-headshotMichael Cobley is perhaps best known for his expansive space opera series, Humanity’s Fire, published in both the UK and US by Orbit Books. The fourth title set in the same universe, ANCESTRAL MACHINES, is due to be published later this year, also by Orbit.

However, before his science fiction series became such a huge hit on both sides of the Atlantic, he was also a pioneer of Grimdark fantasy: his debut trilogy, Shadowkings, was first published between 2001-5, by Earthlight. Certainly, he was dabbling in the darker, grittier fantasy arena before it gained such prominence and popularity, and doing it very well, too – Jon Courtenay-Grimwood described the series, in his review for the Guardian, as ‘brutal, cruel and realistic in a way genre usually avoids.’ It was also described as unconventional high fantasy’, but this was before the rise of grimdark. Continue reading “Series Spotlight: Michael Cobley’s SHADOWKINGS”

Two More Audio Editions!


Recently, Audible have released two more titles from our clients’ backlists. This time, a collection of short stories from Justina Robson and also the final volume in Michael Cobley‘s Shadowkings fantasy trilogy. Here are the details, followed by their synopses…

Now in eBook: Michael Cobley’s SHADOWKINGS Grimdark Fantasy Series

Michael Cobley‘s early-grimdark fantasy series, Shadowkingshas recently been released as part of the JABberwocky eBook Program! Out-of-print for some time, the series – SHADOWKINGS, SHADOWGOD and SHADOWMASQUE – was well-received upon initial publication. With the continuing rise in popularity for fantasy, it’s a great time to see these books made available once again. Here are the freshly-commissioned covers, by Dirk Berger:


We will have some more news about the Shadowkings series in a few days. Watch this space!