The call to arms has been sounded. Blades have been sharpened, bows strung. Armour readied and shields polished. Wizards have consulted their spell books and canted their cantrips, sorcerors have consulted their demons and renewed their bargains. Heroes from all corners of the realms have gathered to this one battlefield to prove their measure. And none shall be found wanting…
It’s that time of year again – the David Gemmell Legend Awards have arrived!
Both the short and long lists included authors from across the globe, with a mix of indie publishers and major houses. The nominees are separated into three categories: Legend (best novel), Morningstar (best debut), and Ravenheart (best cover art).
With the voting on the long lists already complete, and short list voting underway, I thought it about time to throw in my lot and take a look at the contestants, specifically the nominees for the Morningstar Award. To me, the Morningstar award represents the fresh and upcoming talent in the genre, essentially the ‘one to watch’. Whether these be the prodigal sons and daughters destined for print, or hard fought rookies with something to prove, the Morningstar nominees bring raw talent and energy to their debuts, making for some eye-catching reads. This year the nominees couldn’t be any more different, which has made for some pretty interesting additions to my bookshelf. So without further ado, let me introduce the contestants for the David Gemmell Morningstar Award 2014!
In order of appearance on the official DGLA website:
In the red corner…of a circular coliseum…we have the wonder from down under Mark T Barnes with his high fantasy debut ‘The Garden of Stones’ published by Amazon’s 47North. Armed with sorcery and swordsmanship, and armoured in a blend of Oriental and Mediterranean layers, Barnes leads a host of war-chanters, witches, warriors and warlocks into the fray.
Led in chains into the arena is David Guymer, spitting and snarling, clawing at his jailers, squeaking and chittering a single word over and over – Headtaker published by Black Library. Hailing from the infamous Warhammer universe, Guymer brandishes a horde of mutant-rat Skaven, a host of greenskin Orcs and Goblins, and a phalanx of dwarves.
Riding in from the wild wild west of his very own fantasy realm (and not forgetting Cleveland, Ohio), Brian McClellan holds aloft his debut Promise of Blood published by Orion. Fresh from a successful coup, having overthrown and ended the age of kings, McClellan steers a regiment of professional soldiers armed to the teeth with firearms and bayonets, and the deadly dead-eye Powder Mages.
Cool, calm, collected, Antoine Rouaud steps onto the sands shrouded in a drawn hood and full length cloak, one hand curled about a dagger dripping with blood, the other clutching to The Path of Anger, published by Gollancz. In his footsteps follow both knights and assassins, deadly with both blade and magic, and who will let none stand in their way.
Last but certainly not least, especially if he has anything to say about it, is Luke Scull, heralded into the arena by chants of ‘Skull, skull skull!’ as if the baying crowd has already sensed the pull-no-punches savage grit of his debut The Grim Company published by Head of Zeus. The tyro-titan boats his very own grim company of heroes and heroines, barbarians and bastards, dead gods and diehard rebels, spoiling for a fight from the moment he sets foot on the sands.
And that, ladies and gentleman is that! Head on over to the DGLA Official site to show your support for your favourite authors. I'll be reviewing each of the nominations and inviting the authors for both an interview and guest post, for you to learn a little more about them.
There’s only one last thing to say…
GLADIATORS…ARE YOU READY?!?
Voting closes 31st May.