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THE SKULL THRONE, by Peter V. Brett, is out today. As I type this, the book is ranked #54 out of all books on Amazon Kindle.
Not #54 out of Dark Fantasy, or Science Fiction and Fantasy, or even Fantasy. #54 in BOOKS.
All books. This includes the Harry Potter novels, and 50 Shades of Gray, and the Bible.
Suffice to say that the book has received a warm reception, and I couldn’t be happier if I’d written it myself. I’m one of the lucky few who got to beta-read the book. Pete and I have been encouraging one another to write, and pushing one another to be better at writing, for somewhere in the neighborhood of 15 years. He has pulled my fat out of the fire personally and professionally, propping me up during a crisis of faith, convicting me when I try to take the kind of shortcuts that prioritize done-fast over done-right. It is no exaggeration to say that, without him, I wouldn’t be a writer.
But I tell you this only in the interest of full disclosure.
Because the truth is this: Even if Pete and I had never met, I would be praising this book to the skies. THE SKULL THRONE takes Brett’s DEMON CYCLE to the next level. It’s an amazing addition to an amazing series. It models everything I love in prose, every mule hauling wood, every single word advancing either plot or character. Pete’s prose-style defines “page turner,” and I have striven to emulate it since we first began trading manuscripts in college.
Pete also writes with an empathy I have only ever seen in writers like George R. R. Martin. He is a master at placing himself in the shoes of people who are nothing like them, in first accepting and then understanding their experience in all its knots and divots. He writes with a sympathy and realism that is absolutely transporting. He doesn’t hide from how awful even the best of us can be, but he also doesn’t demonize us when we live down to that expectation. Pete is a guy who loves other people, and it shows in the way he brings his characters to life.
Pete has said before that there’s a lot of me in his books, and a lot of him in mine. Reading THE SKULL THRONE, I felt incredibly lucky at the thought. I’ve learned so much from watching his work at every stage of the process, and am over the moon to the see his latest taking the doors off as it heads out into the world.
Most of you who read this blog are already die-hard Brett fans, and probably already have your copy of THE SKULL THRONE. Heck, you’re probably ignoring this blog to curl up with it now.
But if you’re one of the those who hasn’t gotten it yet, go fix that.
And whether you’ve already got it, or I’ve convinced you to get it, I’ll say this:
You’re in for a treat.