At long last, I finally have news I can share. The newsletters had tapered off for a while because most of the things I wanted to talk about were related to my next epic fantasy trilogy, which I couldn’t talk about. Until today.
My next epic fantasy trilogy from Orbit books is The Goddess War. The first book, The Ranger of Marzanna, will be published in late April. Here's the announcement:
Orbit US and UK are thrilled to announce that we’ll be publishing Jon Skovron’s new epic fantasy trilogy! Lush and epic in equal measure, THE RANGER OF MARZANNA will sweep you off your feet. Set against a wintery eastern European-inspired backdrop, it is a story about warring siblings, loyal horses, powerful magic, and daring adventures. And we’ve got a gorgeous cover to match!
It’s that nice? Mmm, yes. Magali Villeneuve did a fantastic job. Tonally very different Empire of Storms, which is appropriate, as this is a very different beast. Here is the official plot synopsis:
Sonya is training to be a Ranger of Marzanna, an ancient sect of warriors who have protected the land for generations. But the old ways are dying, and the rangers have all been forced into hiding or killed off by the invading Empire.
When her father is murdered by imperial soldiers, she decides to finally take action. Using her skills as a ranger she will travel across the bitter cold tundra and gain the allegiance of the only other force strong enough to take down the invaders.
But nothing about her quest will be easy. Her brother, Sebastian, is the most powerful sorcerer the world has ever seen. And he’s fighting for the empire.
As the announcement says, the trilogy has a strong "eastern European" flavor, particularly Poland and Russia (although whether Russia is considered a part of Europe is highly debatable). But epic fantasy, by necessity, has a lot of moving parts. And this story is significantly larger and more ambitious than Empire of Storms, spanning not just a single country or empire, but multiple nations across two continents. As the trilogy progresses, readers will get to explore a wide variety of cultures and beliefs contained in this fantasy world.
Yet in the end, for all the big set pieces, massive armies, and bombastic magic in this story, it is ultimately about a brother and sister who have grown up in an occupied territory, unsure of who they are or who they want to be, so desperate for answers they will do just about anything.
I can’t wait for you to meet Sonya, Sebastian, their family, friends, lovers, and enemies. It’s going to be a wild ride.
Oh, and since I haven’t been able to talk about so many of the things that have been running around in my mind until now, I have stored up a lot of content. So going forward, the newsletters will be fairly regular. I’m thinking twice a month? Maybe more? We’ll see. The good news is that there will be lots of new music recommendations for the people who subscribe solely for that purpose.
Speaking of which, if you’ve read this whole thing just to get a music recommendation, I thank you, and humbly submit the following track for your consideration:
Talk soon, _j