How many of you would read this?

I just realized I haven’t plugged my book in my own blog so I will remedy this now: My debut novel is going to be published by Realmwalker Publishing Group.

Here is the info from the official press release:

The Coin of Liberius, is a dark epic fantasy in the tradition of George R R Martin and R. Scott Bakker, dealing with the collapse of the fictional Lagharian Empire and the consequences of power, corruption, and betrayal, as well as the nature of salvation. Unlike the majority of epic fantasy, the novels are set within a Near-Eastern culture, rooted in the political and cultural elements of the medieval Byzantine, Seljuk and Persian Empires, Turkic-Mongolian shamanism, and the folklore of the Near East. This gives it a unique perspective very different from the more Western European cultural perspective of most epic fantasy, while providing an interesting new twist to the highly popular tropes of political intrigue and conflict central found within epic fantasy.

I wrote a blog post and gave a glimpse of the research I have been doing for this book, you can see it here.

I have been doing world building and research for this series for years and showing only a fraction of this in the first book. But both my editor and my beta readers loved the original world. It’s quite alien but also a lot like our own world in some ways and the people who have studied Near Eastern history will recognize some elements.

It’s a gritty setting, it doesn’t start out that grim but becomes grittier and creepier as you go. It’s a multiple point of view story with a number of main characters as point of view, similar to Asoiaf in that regard.

Magic exists as a part of the reality, just like the weather phenomena such as the thunderstorms and the rainbows -and the northern lights for the occasional bang. It’s there but not all over the place. There is no set magic system, it’s different from what you read in most fantasy out there but quite similar to the real world magic, as in shamanic practices and the eastern occult.

My magic is not that of a D&D player and fantasy reader, but rather the magic of an occult practitioner in the eastern tradition. I have been an occult practitioner for a number of years, mainly the Golden Dawn and the Rosicrucian traditions, though I prefer the way of the shamans, without all the elaborate tools, implements and formality.

I have original non-human races and one human race with a twist (in addition to the humans.) There’s no good versus evil, no big bad villain. I have a bunch of antiheroes with ambiguous morals who grow and change for the better or the worse. I have a genuine good guy who is mysterious and intriguing (according to my beta readers, most of whom are total strangers.)
No chosen ones, no big prophecies, no poor orphans saving the world, no damsels in distress. There’s the journey, though. Some characters go on journeys and face strange things along the way.

There’s a bit of philosophy in the story. There’s also plenty of Greek tragedy without butchering my characters en masse. Not saying I am not killing anyone, but I kill sparingly.
I also have no romance in book 1 unless you count bromance.

This is the long and short of it. Now, would you read that kind of book?

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28 thoughts on “How many of you would read this?

    • In that case you are welcome to read the free YA story I post on Wattpad. It’s not dark but a bit sad. I’m so busy getting this book ready to deliver to my publisher I wasn’t able to update it, but once I get the things under control I will post new parts!

      Liked by 1 person

  1. Congrats! I love dark fantasy. I never made it through asoiaf. I’m not crazy into world building or political intrigue. I’d say I read for characters, so I’d probably give it a try because it’s dark fantasy and because it has “bromance” and a wealth of characters to chose from.

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    • And I’m not killing them by the dozen! I’d say the political intrigue is less than Asoiaf, there’s more mysticism and the characters weaving stories. My first beta reader had a man crush on one of my major characters and got all jealous & pissy when I had him talk to women. ‘That stupid girl is below him! How dare you!’ We even had a fight. What a trip!

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    • Hahhaaa… I’d definitely pick it up. I don’t mind killing off of characters. I, for some weird reason, just couldn’t get into Martin’s books. Looking forward to yours 🙂

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  2. Intriguing…I’d give it a try. I like how you say you kill characters sparingly. The characters, their journey, and the world building are generally my favorite parts of fantasy, so it sounds good to me.

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  3. Leona, I don’t usually read fantasy (I’m into sci fi) but I have George R. R. Martin on my to-read list, so comparing your book to his kind of fantasy has me intrigued. Thanks for posting! Cinda

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    • I think you might like Mark Lawrence, he beautifully marries medieval fantasy with futuristic scifi. His work is superb! If you like GRRm you might like mine since it’s the same sub-genre, sans the character butchering and an exotic eastern setting 🙂

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  4. Reblogged this on flaggfan and commented:
    Leona Henry is at the top of my Authors To Watch list. Check out this fascinating post regarding her upcoming The Coin of Liberius trilogy, and insight into her research, which is crazy ambition and awe-inspiring!

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  5. It sounds really interesting and something I might just give a go at. I’ve looked a little into the history of the region thanks to playing Crusader Kings II and one of these days I’d like to research it a bit more.

    I’m a fan of getting away from the typical western Europe psuedo-medieval fantasy that seems so prevalent. I know with some of the scribblings I have planned,I’ve been reading up some of the old classics from the days of the Roman Republic (such as the Jugurthine Wars and the Conspiracy of Catiline by Sallust), the Peloponnesian Wars by Thucydides, the collapse of the Western Roman Empire and the interesting period of history in Nubia in the 600s were the little known kingdom of Makuria held off the Muslim advance and the resulting 700 year treaty known as the Baqt. All is fuel to ferment ideas for stories and histories that one day I hope to write.

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