Nothing quite surprises like a truly magnificent epic fantasy debut. Think about it—the genre’s best-loved books in recent years (George R.R. Martin notwithstanding) were series-starting first novels. Think of The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss, The Lies of Locke Lamora by Scott Lynch, The Way of Shadows by Brent Weeks, and The Warded Man by Peter V. Brett: debut novels all.
Next year, you’ll be able to add another name and title to the list: The Ruin of Kings by Jenn Lyons, coming in February from Tor Books, a debut that has received advance buzz from within the publishing world the likes of which a new author dreams of (a few of those names above—Weeks and Brett in particular—may have been tossed out as comps).
Don’t believe us? Tor Publisher Devi Pillai had this to say:
“Shall I tell you why I think The Ruin of Kings is so cool?
a) If you are a fantasy reader like me and love books by Martin, Sanderson, Weeks, Brett, Ryan, Lawrence, or Abercrombie, then I think this is totally for you.
b) The “chosen one” in this book is going to do everything in his power to save his world, of course. But isn’t it sad his destiny is to destroy it?
c) It’s unbelievably rare for me to lose all perspective over a debut novel. This is one of those times.
This is the book I have been waiting to publish.”
Considering this was her first acquisition for Tor after moving houses from Orbit, where she nurtured the careers of the likes of N.K. Jemisin and Ann Leckie, that’s saying something. (Similar praise has rolled in from UK publisher Pan Macmillan.)
Today, we’re showing off the cover for Lyons’ debut, with art by Lars Grant-West. You can find the full-size version below the official summary. Then, click over to Tor.com to read an excerpt from the book, which hits shelves on February 5, 2019.
There are the old stories. And then there’s what actually happens.
Kihrin is a bastard orphan who grew upon storybook tales of long-lost princes and grand quests. When he is claimed against his will as the long-lost son of a treasonous prince, Kihrin finds that being a long-lost prince isn’t what the storybooks promised.
Far from living the dream, Kihrin finds himself practically a prisoner, at the mercy of his new family’s power plays and ambitions. He also discovers that the storybooks have lied about a lot of other things things, too: dragons, demons, gods, prophecies, true love, and how the hero always wins.
Then again, maybe he’s not the hero, for Kihrin isn’t destined to save the empire.
He’s destined to destroy it . . .