Brian Ruckley's News & Views

Thursday, May 29, 2008

A Review, A Title and An Extract

There's a review of Bloodheir up at the Grasping for The Wind blog that's nice in all kinds of ways. I mention it here, though, mainly because I think it's the first time I've seen anyone specifically praise the way I write about love. I'm a big softie, really. It's a relief when something you've tried quite hard to get right has precisely the desired effect on the reader, even if it's only one reader.

(I'm similarly relieved, incidentally, whenever someone describes my battle scenes as 'cinematic' - which one or two folk have done - because believe me, pretty much from draft 1, page 1 of Winterbirth, whenever I'm writing violence I've been sitting there hunched over the keyboard all but muttering 'make it cinematic, make it cinematic', like some drooling, lunatic hermit who used to be a failed screenwriter and has gone downhill from there.)

In case anyone likes to know these things, the title for book three was agreed a little while ago, and it is: Fall of Thanes. No, it's not quite finished yet; Yes, it will be finished before too long. And yes, one or more Thanes may indeed fall, but Who? How far? And will they bounce?

And a Bloodheir Extract. Here.

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Blogger John (Grasping for the Wind) said...

You do write love very well. You scenes made me look over at my wife (who often reads beside me) and remember all the reasons I married her. Well done!

3:13 PM  
Blogger Brian Ruckley said...

Thanks, John. Perhaps if this writing thing doesn't work out, I have a future as a relationship counsellor.

4:30 PM  
Blogger Mister Roy said...

Saw a copy in Waterstones yesterday (1 June) - looked good, a better DJ than for first hardback IMHO. I didn't buy it (despite £2 off sticker) as I'm holding out for one from Transreal. Will be on holiday in Scotland for next 2 weeks after this one (probably get to the shop w/c 16th) so plan is to buy & read in appropriate surroundings...

7:53 AM  
Anonymous Moira from Seattle said...

Enjoyed Winterbirth immensely, so I pre-ordered Bloodheir (Amazon) and finished it this past weekend; tremendous! Now, could you provide a little more detail on when we can expect Fall of Thanes?

7:08 PM  
Blogger Brian Ruckley said...

Moira: thanks - glad we've got a satisfied paying customer round here. As for more detail on FoT dates ... I'd just be picking them out of the air if I got too specific to be honest. I'll be handing it over to the publishers this summer. Hopefully it'll be in bookstores around a year after I deliver the manuscript, but these things are never certain until they're certain, if you know what I mean.

8:47 PM  
Blogger Brian Ruckley said...

Oh, and mister roy: on current form, you've got about a 50/50 chance of glorious or awful weather for your Scotland visit. Probably both, randomly distributed throughout each and every hour of the day. Hope you enjoy, whatever the climate.

8:48 PM  
Blogger Mister Roy said...

Thanks for the weather predictions Brian! I went to Maine once, and Stephen King didn't trouble himself to advise me on meteorological matters - you're setting a new benchmark in authorial customer care!

I'll be sure to put a waterproof cover on Bloodheir - perhaps something in GoreTex. acydkve

7:49 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


I just completed Bloodheir and I thank you for a good read. I have a question regarding technology. With the technology necessary for the types of cities and especially the tall ships used by the merchants, it would seem that seige engines, e.g. catapults, trebuchets, ballistas, would have been a bigger part of each army's arsenal. I remember the Black Road using catapults in "Winterbirth", Why the absence in "Bloodheir"?

This isn't a question born of criticism, just curiosity. I appreciate how your battle narratives capture the brutality (both physical and emotional) of combat.

Steve from Seattle

2:18 PM  
Blogger Brian Ruckley said...

Steve: my theory on siege engines in this story (how lucky is that, that someone asks me a question I do actually have a theory about! Doesn't guarantee it's a good theory, of course) is that the Black Road basically couldn't bring any with it when it invaded because of the difficult terrain they were traversing (the Vale of Stones and/or Anlane). So when they needed them at Anduran they built them. At the siege of Tanwrye - which gets covered a bit in Bloodheir - they don't make such extensive use of them because (a) there's much less tree cover there, and you need good, long timber to make a decent catapult and (b) Tanwrye's fortifications are in any case so strong that anything they could build (or dismantle at Anduran and re-assemble at Tanwrye) would have a fairly limited effect anyway. So unless you're in a crazy hurry, it's easier and more reliable to starve people out.

And (yes, there's more!) when the Haig army comes north, they're in a similar position: bad roads and the wrong time of year/weather to be moving big, heavy siege engines over long distance if you can help it. So while they no doubt have a few packed away in disassembled form somewhere in their supply train, they're looking to fight battles rather than start sieges if at all possible.

Will there be any siege engines in Fall of Thanes? Couldn't say. Well, obviously I could, but I'm not going to ...

3:18 PM  

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