The Sunless Countries
Coming August 4th, Book 4 of Virga
I'm excited to announce that my next book is ready and will be published this summer. The Sunless Countries is the fourth book in the Virga trilogy (let me explain). It continues and expands upon the story begun in Sun of Suns, but is sufficiently stand-alone that you can still view the first three books as a single unit. --That is, there's an arc and a set of characters that begins and completes in books one to three; Sunless Countries branches off from there, but contains some familiar faces, for instance Hayden Griffin.
There's a couple of reasons why I'm doing the series this way. Firstly, I hate having to buy every book in a series in order to keep up with the whole storyline. That makes it all one big book, so why not just publish it in one volume? Missing a book in such series is rather like missing an episode of Lost.
So The Sunless Countries is its own thing. Doing things this way lets me approach each book afresh, and I think you'll find it shows. Start with Sunless countries if you want; it's just as good an introduction to Virga as the previous novels.
The other main factor in my deciding to do it this way is that... well, this world is just so damn rich! When I wrote Sun of Suns I discovered that there was much more to this setting than I could possibly encompass with a single novel, or even a single plotline. One element that I hadn't fleshed out to my satisfaction was the nature of the world outside Virga. With The Sunless Countries, we're finally doing that.
Finally, I'm continuing my ongoing experiment of telling a slightly different kind of story with each of these books. The Sunless Countries focuses on Leal Hieronyma Maspeth, a history tutor in the sunless nation of Abyss. When the famous sunlighter--Hayden Griffin--comes to town, she's both attracted to him as a real hero, and repelled by his association with the local, corrupt government.
Yet at the same time that Griffin arrives, so does something else--a great voice issuing from the darkness, crying words that no one in Abyss, or Virga, wants to hear...