A City Stained Red by Sam Sykes
Sam Sykes is a man with a unique sense of humor and personality. Anyone who follows the author on twitter knows this first hand, whether it’s through his pictures of capybaras, his pugs, or his interactions with other authors. But don’t let this fool you, Sam Sykes is an extraordinary author whose prose ranks high in the fantasy genre, especially amongst the sword and sorcery subgenres. His Aeon’s Gate Trilogy – Tome of the Undergates, Black Halo, Skybound Sea – is well-thought out and thrilling story that is honestly just a fun read.
But Sykes is not a man to sit idly by on one successful trilogy. No. He’s been hard at work on a new trilogy, Bring Down Heaven. He’s kept most of the details rather scant for the new series, that is until the cover reveal of the first book The City Stained Red, which debuted on the Gollancz blog this past September.
The City Stained Red is the first chapter in my new trilogy, Bring Down Heaven. Set against the city of Cier’Djaal, economic powerhouse of the world whose horse-sized spiders produce the silk that every nation craves, it is a tale of collapse.
It is the story of how the morals of a society collapse before pragmatism, revolutionary cultists crowing the name of their god in hell as they throw themselves at the organized dynasty of assassins and thieves that have run the city since it began.
It is the story of how the ideas of harmony collapse before ideas of independence, with several races, human and monstrous, set upon a tiny spit of land and given just so many resources to share it and seeing how long it takes for one of them to pick up a knife.
It is the story of how gods collapse before mortals, when god cannot save a man languishing in the shadow of his wealthy neighbors and he finds himself putting aside prayer and picking up a blade.
It is the story of how things change between six people when they find themselves standing at the center of a field full of corpses and wondering just how the hell it happened that they can’t let go of the sword in their hands.
Maybe that explains it.
But that isn’t all. If you head over to the Gollancz page that debuted the cover you can treat yourselves to 3 pages of beautiful comic book artwork that may help you understand the series a little better. If not, you can at least enjoy the ninjas, apemen, and whatever that demon thing is on page 3.