In my last post on Author and Book Recommendations, I suggested you pick up a free copy of one of indie author Lindsay Buroker’s first-in-series fantasy novels, The Emperor’s Edge (series of the same name) or Balanced on the Blade’s Edge (Dragonblood series). I began with Buroker because she is one of my favorite indie authors. Every time I see she has a new book out, I buy it and I read it. Period. Today I want to share another author about whom I feel the same way.
Edward. W. Robertson is the USA Today bestselling author of a fabulous ongoing fantasy (grimdark fantasy? perhaps) series that begins with a trilogy, The Cycle of Arawn. That’s how I found him, anyway. I was fortunate to bumble across his first-in-series while he was running a free promotion, and after devouring it I happily picked up a boxed set of the trilogy. I’ve been faithfully purchasing his new fantasy releases ever since.
If Buroker’s primary strength is creating characters you will care about, perhaps Robertson’s is creating a world you will want to lose yourself in. Don’t get me wrong; his characters evolve into people you care about, too–over time. But the first thing that struck me while reading Arawn was his unmistakable talent for world-building. If I’m being completely honest, the pacing of the first-in-series (The White Tree) takes a few chapters to feel natural. But that is quickly forgiven as you begin to realize just how large and truly fascinating the universe of the novel is. Soon enough things are rolling along, and one loses oneself in a delightful story set in an immersive place. And it doesn’t stop there. Robertson takes you to entirely new places, with diverse cultures, customs, faiths, and plenty of grimdark-inspired political intrigue and non-preachy observation on the darker side of human nature–from novel to novel in the series. With each book, the world grows organically, believably, and entirely enjoyably.
Then here’s something fun: there are entirely other universes to explore with Robertson. I devoured his scifi series, Rebel Stars (write more, Ed–please!). I mean, those books are addictive. The pace is perfect. The characters are deliciously flawed, but never to the point where you can’t empathize. And again the author’s strength for world-building shines, in a future where humanity has survived a deadly space invasion and gone on to colonize the solar system, but has yet to reach beyond the Kuiper Belt.
Apparently Robertson’s most popular novels comprise his post-apocalyptic series Breakers, which also serve as a distant-past (still near future for us) prequel to Rebel Stars. I confess I’ve yet to read them. But as of the moment of this posting, a boxed-set of the first three is free on Amazon. I’ve got my copy, and I know they’ll be a great read!