All is lost. The Gods decided to reward Wortimer and punish Ash, and the future of Britannia hangs in the balance.
In the darkness of a prison cell, through pain of torture, Ash tries to remember how everything has gone so terribly wrong. Wortimer defeated his father and conquered Londin. He took Rhedwyn into his chamber, and threw Ash into the deepest dungeon. His armies are rampaging throughout the province, killing Iutes and Saxons wherever they can find them. It seems nothing and nobody can stop the new Dux of Britons from fulfiling his mission to destroying the Iutes and cast all barbarians out of the island forever.
The Saxon Might is the concluding volume of the Song of Ash, a fast-paced, gripping historical fiction trilogy, perfect for fans of Bernard Cornwell’s “The Last Kingdom” series, Simon Scarrow, Matthew Harffy and Conn Iggulden.
The Finnis Britanniae saga will continue in the next trilogy, the Song of Octa.
Yes, it’s finally here! After four long years, the story of one memorable year in Japan’s fictionalized history – and in a certain Welsh boy’s life – at last comes to an end in The Last Dragon King, Book 8 of The Year of the Dragon series. The Amazon preorder launches today – the full release on all platforms is scheduled for December 27th.
It all started in the summer of 2012 – though preceded by two years of writing and editing – with the simultaneous release of The Shadow of Black Wings and The Warrior’s Soul. Four years later I have eight finished books, over 700k words published (a lot more written!), nearly 30,000 copies sold, and, most importantly, an invaluable experience in writing and publishing that will hopefully make my next projects go a lot more smoothly! AND I’ve managed to tie up all the plot threads and lose points by the end – I bet you didn’t expect that! 🙂
Reminder: this is the end of the countdown – and end of all the deals: from tomorrow, the Smashwords coupons expire, and the Year of the Dragon Bundle returns to its usual price of $9.99, (the Paperback Giveaway has already ended) so it’s your LAST CHANCE to snatch those bargains!
All the countdown posts so far:
And finally, here are some stats on all the eight volumes of the series, for all you stats lovers out there:
Released: June 2012. Word count (final edition): 70k. Sold: 2300*
Released: June 2012. Word count: 70k. Sold: 2100
Released: October 2012. Word count: 80k. Sold: 1600
Released: April 2013. Word count: 85k. Sold: 850
Released: May 2014. Word count: 90k. Sold: 1050
Released: June 2015. Word count: 85k. Sold: 600
Released: May 2016. Word count: 85k. Sold: 300
Released: December 2016. Word count: 150k. Sold: ?
Released: April 2013. Word count: 310k. Sold: 15000
The Year of the Dragon Bundle, 5-8
Released: January 2017. Word count: 410k. Sold: ? (that one’s up to you!)
*) The Shadow of the Black Wings has been a free download for the last couple of years, totaling about 70k downloads.
**) all sales Amazon only. Ca. 4300 copies sold on all other platforms altogether.
It’s day 6 of the countdown – the pre-order launches tomorrow! Today, the final treat, is a sneak peak on the final cover of the series.
I know, you’ve seen the cover to The Last Dragon King already – but there’s still one more book left to release: the second of the two four-volume bundles, containing Books 5-8, with working title “The Serpent’s Head”.
As before, the cover will be produced by Collette J. Ellis of Flying Viper Illustrations. The release is still some time away – I have it scheduled for January, both in e-book and paperback, so what we have for you today is just a sneak peak of a preliminary sketch – but you can already see it’s going to be the most powerful of my covers to date!
Don’t forget – tomorrow is the launch of the pre-order, and the last of these countdown posts!
It’s day 5 of the countdown – only 3 days left until pre-order launch, and for today I reveal the final map in the series!
As you may know, I like to have a new map in each volume of the Year of the Dragon, and this time it’s no different. The map in The Last Dragon King is in a new style: a late-19th century tactical map. It shows the Dan-no-Ura Straits and surrounding area, in the day before the launch of the decisive Battle of Kokura – one of TWO major battles in the book! (did I mention this volume is more action packed than any before? 🙂
Visit tomorrow for the final reveal in the countdown, before the pre-order is launched on Wednesday!
It’s day 4 of the Preorder Countdown – we’re half-way there!
Today’s treat is the exclusive, never before seen, unedited sample of the Last Dragon King’s manuscript! A sample of Chapter 5, starring Captain Fabius of the Soembing.
SPOILERS ABOUND! PROCEED AT YOUR OWN RISK!
The ship’s boards creaked again. Captain Fabius winced at the sound. One hadn’t plied these waters for twenty years without recognizing when a vessel was close to shattering.
His first officer shared in his concern. With his head tilted towards the creaking, he notched a quick note in his journal.
“Are you sure we’re in the right place?” Fabius asked, for the fourth time.
“Either that, or our navigator’s lost her mind,” the first officer replied, for the fourth time.
Another wave, crested with thick white foam, struck against the ship’s bow with an unearthly wail. Hemmed in between the walls of the grey and black clouds, surrounded by whirlpools, water devils and water spouts, the Soembing stood reluctant against the dark wall of the Sea Maze stretching before it. Its engines purred quietly, just enough to maintain the course – whatever the course was in this forsaken place. Fabius insisted on them running all the time, even if the ship hadn’t changed position for three days, as they waited either for the navigator to correct her mistake, or, by some miracle, the wall of black clouds to open and allow them inside, as it always had, for the past two decades.
“With all due respect, Captain,” the First said, looking at his notes, “I think it’s fair to say they don’t want us back.”
“If we turn to Huating, we won’t get any pay for our trouble.”
“If we move forward, we won’t get any pay ever again,” replied the First, his face soured.
“Let’s stay a while more. I have a good feeling about today.”
“Really?” The First raised his eyebrow, then glanced at the Sea Maze. “I’m surprised you’re able to have any good feelings around this place.”
Fabius nodded in agreement and forced a smile. He knew what the First meant. For twenty years he’d sailed the Ship – in its various incarnations – across the “Divine Winds”, as the locals called them, and he’d never got used to it. The magic of the East always unnerved him with its alien ways, but this was something else altogether. On his first journey, he had been naturally wary of the random storms, the unpredictable currents, the insanity of the compass readings and star charts – all the things the more experienced sailors had warned him about before setting off. But he’d soon learned all of that was just a minor nuisance compared to the real terror of the Maze: the wailing.
The clouds wailed and howled all through the night. Not the usual howl of a winter wind in the ropes – but a sound that could only be produced by a horde of tormented souls: a piercing cry of anguish, wordless but full of meaning, coming from a thousand suffering throats hidden somewhere in the black clouds. There was no hiding from it: it penetrated into the deepest cabin, into the cargo hold and engine room, through cotton wool and hands covering one’s ears, almost as if it wasn’t coming through the ear canals but entered straight through the brain.
What nameless Spirits had been tortured to create this monstrosity, Fabius dared not imagine. But it suited what he’d suspected about the Yamato magic in general: abuse of souls, forbidding them from passing beyond the veil of the mortal world to do the bidding of the priests and the shamans. They thought they managed to keep this a secret from the Westerners, but Fabius had heard enough rumours and gossip over the years to piece together the truth.
He stared at the cloud wall. What’s going on beyond it? The control of the Maze belonged to the government at Edo. Every year, the Dejima Oppertovenaar received an envelope from Edo with coordinates of the secret path leading towards the Kiyō Bay, sealed with the Taikun’s crest. The path was different each year – but it should have stayed unchanged until the next summer. Of course, that was before the civil war erupted in Chinzei, before the Gorllewin landed in Shimoda, before the Soembing was sent out to buy Dracalish weapons for a Yamato warlord… Had the rebels won without them, but didn’t know how to control the Divine Winds? Or was Edo in such chaos that nobody bothered to pay attention to keeping the path open?
First was right to be concerned. But Fabius couldn’t help feeling the wind would soon change. Maybe it was something in the wailing coming from the wall of clouds – a quality he sensed, rather than heard. Or maybe he was just being stubbornly optimistic for no reason at all.
“You’re right, it’s hopeless,” he said. “Tell Verle to plan a course for Temasek.”
He heard his men cry out in distress. He turned just in time to see a giant black wave break over the deck.
The coupons expire on December 7th, when BOOK 8 is released, so this is your best chance to catch up to the series so far!
Here are the coupon codes, feel free to share these among your friends, the number is unlimited as long as you use them before expiry date – and only when buying the books from Smashwords:
1-4 BUNDLE IN ONE VOLUME: WV89Q
VOL. 5 CHRYSANTHEMUM SEAL: VF76M
VOL. 6 THE WITHERING FLAME: GS48Q
VOL 7. THE SHATTERING WAVES: AC37M
It’s day two of the Amazon Pre-Order Countdown – and today’s treat is the best yet: I’m giving away a FREE copy of the Year of the Dragon bundle IN PAPERBACK – worth $20!
Just click here to enter the Amazon Giveaway. You must be located in the US, I’m afraid – I don’t set the rules… This is a proper, thick book – 830 pages, with the beautiful cover by Collette J. Ellis of Flying Viper Illustrations, who also drew the cover for the upcoming Volume 8, so it will look great on any bookshelf!
The giveaway lasts for this whole week – make sure to notify your friends about the chance to win this beautiful FREE book!
See you tomorrow for another announcement.
THE COUNTDOWN IS ON.
In seven days, the eighth and final installment of the Year of the Dragon saga will be available for preorder, exclusively on Amazon! The story is about to reach its conclusion – and you might be among the first to find out how!
To celebrate, every day for a week I’ll have a little treat for you, so keep coming to see what’s going on – better yet, subscribe to this blog or add me on twitter for updates. Today it’s simple: The Year of the Dragon Books 1-4 bundle is for $0.99 on Amazon.com only for the whole week – probably for the last time ever! This might be your LAST CHANCE to get it for this super-low price!
See you tomorrow for another announcement.
If you bought the Amazon pre-order, you’ll be getting “The Withering Flame” sent to your Kindle right about now. But also, you can now buy the book on Nook, Kobo and get it from Smashwords. In a few days it should appear on iTunes, too. Get the download links below. Exciting times!
Book 6: The Withering Flame
For centuries, the world outside Yamato turned, while in the island nation, little changed. But the barbarians have finally broken through the gates, and the rebels have risen openly.
Bran reunites with his father on Dejima, just as the Bataavians and the local daimyo prepare to join the rebellion against the Taikun. Nagomi follows her visions across the Dan-no-Ura Straits, only to discover there is more to the Prophecy than she ever imagined. Sato and the Kiheitai, on secret orders from Lord Mori, rush to reach the Imperial Capital of Heian before the full might of Taikun’s army – and the Black Dragons he’s allied with.
The time for whispers and secrets is over. The dark clouds burst – and the bloody civil war is finally upon Yamato.