The first two books of the Godblind trilogy – the eponymous book 1 and the sequel Darksoul, are now available to buy or borrow in English.
Godblind, which was shortlisted for the Booknest Debut Novel Award 2017 and longlisted for both the Gemmells best debut and British Fantasy Awards best debut, is also out in translation in France, Germany (under the title Wachter und Wolfe), and the Netherlands (De Ziener) with publications in Poland and the Czech Republic to follow.
You can buy it in all good bookstores and online at the usual suspects.
Book 2, Darksoul, was longlisted for the Not the Booker prize 2018 and published on 23 August 2018 in the UK and Commonwealth excluding Canada. Publication dates are:
France, October 2018
North America, January 2019
Germany, February 2019
Netherlands, April 2019.
OK, but why should I buy your books?
The Godblind trilogy is gritty, epic and dark, but never loses sight of the human relationships at the heart of the chaos. Gods and people do battle for the soul of Rilpor and its inhabitants while Dom Templeson, warrior and prophet, faces a much larger challenge – he is the key to Rilpor’s downfall or survival, and in him, the gods take a particular – and messy – interest.
Surrounding Dom are warriors, escaped slaves, priests and soldiers, who all must come together to stand against the Mireces and their allies. Each has a role to play, some more vital than others – Crys, a soldier and an officer and a man who isn’t all he seems; Mace, a general who may have to take up the mantle of king; Tara, a professional soldier making her way in a traditionally male world; and Rillirin, a woman who, upon finding herself, becomes key to it all.
As for the Mireces, led by King Corvus and the Blessed One, Lanta, they’re doing the glorious and bloody will of their gods, and will not be stopped. Epic battles and quiet assassinations, human sacrifice and unholy communion, political manoeuvring and religious extremism – whatever cost victory demands, they’re willing to pay the price.
And they don’t just want Rilpor; they want the souls of its inhabitants, dedicated to Blood, their feet upon the Path. And once Rilpor falls, so too will its neighbours, Listre and Krike. What the Mireces want – what their gods demand – is nothing less than total subjugation.
Godblind was Goldsboro Books’s June Book of the Month (2017), meaning they did a sprayed edges limited, signed first edition of 750 copies and it got its own window display!
Darksoul also has a limited edition run, which is available to buy now (September 2018).
Some authors have also been kind enough to read and comment on Godblind:
“A brilliantly brutal debut from an exciting new voice in dark fantasy. Highly recommended!”—Michael R. Fletcher, author of Swarm and Steel and Beyond Redemption
“Intriguing, fast-paced, and grimly fiendish. . . . Godblind sweeps you up and doesn’t let you go.”—Edward Cox, author of The Relic Guild trilogy
“A fierce, bold, and epic novel, Stephens’s debut will leave blood on your hands, dirt beneath your nails, and the stench of battle clinging to your sweaty flesh. For fans of dark fantasy, this one comes highly recommended!”—Ronald Malfi, author of The Night Parade
While reviews have also come in from publishers and publications:
“Has all the signs of being a sensational series”—5/5, SFX magazine
“If you’re a fan of the likes of Joe Abercrombie or George R.R. Martin, then you’ll be pleased to learn that Anna Stephens has joined this august pantheon of lovingly horrible and deliciously dark writers”—10/10, Starburst magazine
“Nobody does swordfights quite like Anna Stephens. We salute her with a bloody gauntlet”—The Mail
Finally, if you have a copy of Godblind and/or Darksoul and would like a signed/dedicated book plate to stick inside, please send me your address via my Get in Touch page, and I’ll send you one out for free.
HarperVoyager press release:
HarperVoyager has pre-empted rights to Godblind, a debut trilogy featuring strong female characters and black comedy in an intricate world.
Natasha Bardon, deputy publishing director at HarperVoyager, pre-empted UK and Commonwealth rights excluding Canada for the Godblind trilogy by debut author Anna Stephens in a six-figure deal with Harry Illingworth at D H H Literary Agency.
Godblind is the first in a grimdark series reminiscent of Scott Lynch, Joe Abercrombie and Mark Lawrence, according to HarperVoyager.
The publisher said the book is “set in a vast and intricate world, filled with strong female characters, black comedy and themes including religious fanaticism and political machinations.”
Bardon said: “I am absolutely thrilled that Anna is joining the Harper Voyager family. I’ve been looking in this area for a while and knew as soon as I started reading that this was exactly what I had been after – I had to have it. Anna is a superb talent, this book is fantastic and I couldn’t be happier to be publishing her.”
Stephens added: “It’s great to be surrounded with people who are as enthusiastic about Godblind as I am, and I’m particularly grateful to my agent Harry and to Natasha for taking a chance on a debut author.”
Illingworth said that Stephens had a “huge career” ahead of her. “It’s an ambitious story with powerful themes and Anna weaves multiple perspectives so expertly it’s hard to recognise this as a debut,” he added.