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Fade to Black
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FROM THE DEPTHS OF A VALLEY RISES THE CITY OF MAHALAIt's a city built upwards - where streets are built upon streets, buildings upon buildings. A city that the Ministry rules from the sunlit summit, and where the forsaken lurk in the darkness of Under.Rojan Dizon doesn't mind staying in the shadows, because he's got things to hide. Things like being a pain-mage, with the forbidden power to draw magic from pain. But when the fate of Mahala depends on him using his magic, he can't hide for ever.THE FIRST ADVENTURE OF ROJAN DIZONA debut fantasy tale of corruption and dark magic set in a world that's both vertigo-inducing and awe-inspiring.
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* Review copies mailed to the genre, national and blogging press* Featured on www.orbitbooks.net* Author website at www.francisknightbooks.co.uk

About the Author

Francis Knight was born and lives in Sussex, UK. She has held a variety of jobs from being a groom in the Balearics, where she punched a policeman and got away with it, to an IT administrator. When not living in her own head, she enjoys SFF geekery, WWE geekery, teaching her children Monty Python quotes and boldly going and seeking out new civilisations.

Reviews

A thoroughly enjoyable read with plenty of twists and turns, and darkness enough to make the title perfectly apt. Highly recommended * TheBookBag.co.uk * Top notch prose alongside a cast that really adds flavour all round makes this a cracking debut * Falcata Times * Full of witty quips, strong emotion, broken yet charming characters, and jam packed with astonishing revelations and fantastic ideas, Fade to Black is a must-read for 2013 * WILDER'S BOOK REVIEW * Knight's debut recalls the vibrant, urban-based fantasies ofChina Mieville * Library Journal * A great fantasy debut . . . The beginning of something really quite brilliant . . . very highly recommended * CIVILIAN READER * A very strong debut from a novelist of vision who has built an intriguing sandbox to play in, with plenty of twists, turns and surprising moments * FANTASY FACTION * The world building is crazy interesting, the characters are very noir, and the plot was enough to keep me on my toes . . . I'm very excited to read the second in the series! * Felicia Day * Full of fierce energy, fast-paced and inventive * Adrian Tchaikovsky, author of the Shadows of the Apt series * Brilliantly explored and a great metaphor for urban corruption * DAILY MAIL * A savage stab at organised religion and social control . . . emotionally powerful * SUN *

An itchy feeling of deja vu accompanies the reading of this series launch featuring Rojan Dizon, a pain mage and detective in the futuristic city of Mahala. Rojan, a wisecracking bounty hunter in a flapping trench coat, joins forces with Pasha, a quirky man clearly destined to be a sidekick, and Jake, an outrageously gorgeous, leather-clad, emotionally reserved woman with brightly dyed red hair and a proficiency with swords. They take on evil in the always dark, wet, and glistening underbelly of a dystopian fantasy city powered by the agony of tortured children. While the central premise of magical powers accessed through pain may be disagreeably distinctive, the paint-by-numbers approach to character and setting overwhelms the engaging and carefully constructed narrative of Rojan, Jake, and Pasha's invasion of the city's fortress-like core. (Mar.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

The city of Mahala rises upward, rather than out, with the rulers of the Ministry controlling the rarified upper city, the only place actually touched by the sun, and the less fortunate and often dangerous members of the population confined to the darkened, lower regions. Finding the shadows of the lower city a convenient place to hide his more esoteric practices as a pain mage, Rojan Dizon hires himself out to locate missing people and objects. When he responds to an unusual request involving a discontented and, probably, abused daughter from a wealthy family, Rojan finds himself risking everything that he has fought so hard to hold onto. VERDICT Knight's debut recalls the vibrant, urban-based fantasies of China Mieville, Jay Lake, and Glen Cook. Combining traces of steampunk with urban noir fantasy, this story should appeal to fans of most fantasy variants. (c) Copyright 2013. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

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