Chapter 1 | Chapter 2 | Chapter 3 | Chapter 4 | Chapter 5 | Chapter 6
She was there with him in the hazing flames. He watched her through blurred eyes, twirling in the smoke and colour, smiling through the glare. They reminded him of her. Not in the poetic fashion so alien to his heart, but in the heavy tug of sense memory. How often had they looked into fires together? They had faced down destruction and ruin. They had felt the heat and smelt the char, carried the burden of their own proficiency in death. It had hurt, it had weighed heavy, but they had borne it without fear because each had carried the weight of the other.
“It turns out, I’m really not that strong when I’m not standing on your shoulders.”
He drank again. He shook the ale down his shirt and coughed it in a mist on to the flames. He wondered how it would come for him this time. What would be first? The gavel of the favoured? The spitting torches of the mob? The tossing of what little he had from the only small corner of the world that was left to him? Yes, that seemed most likely. Homelessness would do for him first and the rest would come later, when he was forced to do what he must to survive. If you were here, it wouldn’t matter. We would laugh as we left and build again elsewhere, where we thought they couldn’t reach us. But they can reach us everywhere, sweetheart. And I’m tired of building.
Oh yes, you’ve all heard of Gandalf, and I’m sure all of you fantasy writers dream of someone of his magical prowess in your own books (be warned, such ambiguous wizardry is a difficult beast to tame), but what is it about him that captivates readers of the Lord of the Rings? His seemingly boundless powers? His vociferous nature? His exquisite fireworks? Or is it something altogether more subtle? J. R. R. Tolkien’s spontaneously regenerating, sardonically witty wizard is worth a wonder over.
If fools really do rush in where angels fear to tread, then Prince Jalan Kendeth is the least foolhardy man you’re ever likely to meet. If he’s rushing anywhere, then it’s out: out of money, out of luck, out of the way of those angry men wielding swords.
Prince of Fools is the first book of Mark Lawrence’s The Red Queen’s War trilogy, set in the same world, and at the same time, as The Broken Empire series, which we reviewed not too long ago. But it is glimpses of familiarity we get, rather than a re-treading of old stories and characters.
Ah apostrophes. The bane of sign-makers and internet pedants everywhere. It seems so simple; they’re just commas in the sky, but dig a little further and they will trip you up with their many howevers and buts. So let’s dive right in and answer: How do you use apostrophes?
We’ll start this writing guide with the basics. Apostrophes have two functions; they indicate possession and the omission of letters. Let’s start with possession.
It has come. The final novel of the Shattered Sea trilogy is here. A tale of oaths, lies, war and love has reached its explosive end. We have been through Yarvi’s toils in Half a King, seen war brew and love blossom with Thorn and Brand in Half the World, and now we see Half a War through the eyes of a young, anxious, but fiery queen; a truculent warmonger whose starting to feel the weight of his regrets; and an aspiring minister with a torturous dilemma. But how did they do narrating the end of the Shattered Sea trilogy?
Welcome to another round of the dreaded Fifteen Minute Fiction Challenge. One random genre, one random title and fifteen minutes on the clock to plan, write and edit a piece of flash fiction. How did we do? Let us know… Had a go yourself? Tell us how you got on.
Random Genre: Superhero
Random Title: Ending the Immortals
Ending the Immortals, by Chris Wright
Tucked away in the dust and cobwebs of a forgotten old basement, breathing low, perfectly still like a startled spider, it did not feel like a great plot. It did not feel like the beginning of something new. He shook his head and put such thoughts from his mind, focusing again on the street above him and the faraway sound that would signal his cue. Forever he waited, his huge hand pressed ready against the jagged rock of the basement wall. It was an unassuming thing – white paint on brick, but beyond it stood a cliff – one of the eternal cliffs, upon which sat a temple of the Immortals.
Chapter 1 | Chapter 2 | Chapter 3 | Chapter 4 | Chapter 5 | Chapter 6 | Chapter 7
The gaming room glowed with a golden hue that sang of wealth and dishonest virtue. It was a modern Eden of earthly sin, and it called to Joe like a snake in the grass. He shook his head to clear the dazzle; he was mixing metaphors and planning bets his grandkids would be paying off. Men were made and broken as he watched, built up and torn down by a magnificent, remorseless beast. Heavenly angels made of temptation circled the floor with free booze that cost the world, and winks and smiles that redeemed it. Cards were dealt and wheels were spun. Men prayed in their Sunday best and thanked the Lord for the bounty he had bestowed, while beneath their tables, shattered things wept and scrambled for chips.
Also known as the serial comma, the Oxford comma can be a tricky subject, as well as a disputed one. It is commonly known as the Oxford comma because its use is advocated by the Oxford University Press (and the Harvard University Press too). Essentially, it is a comma that is placed before the ‘and’ that comes before the last element in a list.
Here is an example of such a list where the Oxford comma is absent:
Talking in the group was John, Martin’s father and a trained helicopter pilot.
Without the Oxford comma, it’s hard to tell exactly what’s going on. Are there three people – John and Martin’s father and a trained helicopter pilot? Or two – John (Martin’s father) and a helicopter pilot? Or is just a very busy John, who is Martin’s father and a helicopter pilot?
Those paying close enough attention may have noticed a theme permeating many of our articles: We are all big fans of fantasy.
Whenever the small voice at the back of my mind tells me that I should read more classics novels, it is quickly silenced by the roar of dragons or the clash of swords. So I thought I would explore why this is.
Probably the greatest and most obvious point is the number of possibilities available to fantasy books. Most fiction involves ordinary people who are exposed to extraordinary circumstances. It is, for the most part, escapism. I consider fantasy to be the ultimate escapism because these circumstances are no longer limited to the realm of the possible. The scope broadens.
This article will briefly introduce five of the must read fantasy novels out this year that we at Sentient Ink are particularly excited about. The five we have chosen are not in any particular order, and this isn’t an exhaustive list, but we think you’ll agree they’re all going to be awesome.
The Shepherd’s Crown, by Terry Pratchett (Out August 27, 2015 in the UK, September 1 in the USA)
So far we have reviewed the Colour of Magic, Terry Pratchett’s first novel in the Discworld series, and Night Watch, the first in The City Watch sequence. With Terry Pratchett’s sad passing, The Shepherd’s Crown will bring an end to the epic, thirty two year old fantasy series.
The Shepherd’s Crown is the fifth Discworld novel to follow Tiffany Aching, a young witch in training who has grown up throughout the four novels in which she has starred, being just nine years old in The Wee Free Men, up to almost nineteen in I Shall Wear Midnight. Not much has been revealed about The Shepherd’s Crown, but with Tiffany’s fiery character and Pratchett’s famous literary bombardment of adventure, magic and humour, it is sure to be a wonderful, and very emotional, farewell to the Discworld and its creator.