RINGLANDER: THE PATH AND THE WAY by Michael S. Jackson (COVER REVEAL & EXCERPT)
Holes between worlds are tearing through Rengas.
Firestorms are raging as multiple realities battle for control of the elements.
Even the Way, the turbulent channel that separates the continents of Nord and Kemen, the lifeblood of the city of Tyr, has turned.
Kyira’s search for her missing brother draws her away from the familiar frozen lines of Nord and south into the chaotic streets of Tyr, where games are played and battles fought. As reality tears, Kyira must choose between her family or her path before the worlds catch up with her.
Hello, I’m Mike (or Michael if we’re doing the whole author name thing) and I’ve spent the last seven years writing my first book RINGLANDER: THE PATH AND THE WAY.
It had to be a fantasy, because that’s what I love, but rather than follow the typical high fantasy genre I decided to create something new, and simmering from a love of Jordan, Abercrombie, Sanderson, Wells and Caruso came what I hope is something that you’ve not come across before. Fantasy meets science meets rich characters spun together in a plot that drives forward with unceasing pace.
Big thanks to FH for the cover reveal, you guys are the best.
I approached John Anthony De Giovanni on a whim and a prayer, because I loved his work so much. I’m a huge fan of his impressionistic style, form and colour blurring the line of detail and highlighting dynamic light, angles and poses. It was perfect for my main protagonist KYIRA, a Sami traveller who minds the paths of the frozen country of Nord. It wasn’t until we’d begun communicating that I realised John also illustrated Joe Abercrombie’s special edition (Subterranean Press) versions of A Little Hatred and I did a little squee.
The following scene extract was used to design the front cover and follows Kyira as she leads the rebel army the Tsiorc down the treacherous Way channel to sneak into the Bohr-run city of Tyr.
The wheel spun hard, and the sails billowed as the face of the wind took them. Kyira peered over the edge to see the hull carving its way through the currents, and a thousand paces behind the closest ship had followed suit, trailing in their wake. Her stomach lurched as the ship swung left, throwing her and everything not bolted down to the deck. There was the sound of splintering wood and the Celsathar jerked upwards out of the water like a jumping fish. Kyira slid along the slick deck, and slammed into the far side of the bow. Without hesitation she jumped up as high as she could, flattening her body out like a table-top, and a barrel and an unfortunate soldier flew beneath her, bursting through the railing and vanishing over the edge.
Kyira landed heavily on her stomach with a slap. She grabbed hold of an unbroken section of railing reaching pointlessly at the air, but there was no sign of man nor barrel, just mist.
Her whole body tensed, as the Celsathar entered the har. The cliff tops high above were fading but their shadow loomed over them. Closing her eyes, the image of the map synchronised with the cliff tops in her mind. The burst of speed from the sails had brought them in neat. They needed to change their angles, or they would miss the horseshoe bay and smash into the cliffs before it.
She turned to Tristan and whistled in Silbo. “Too much! Too much!” Mist rolled in over the deck, and Tristan’s confused expression faded, then disappeared from view.
Thuds assaulted every side of the Celsathar’s hull, drawing panicked screams from around her. The shadow of the cliffs were growing darker every second as the Celsathar drove towards them.
Whatever line Tristan had given them was the line they had to hang their hopes on. With the har thick around them, there was nothing to see, or to gauge their position against. There was nothing to do but wait, and live, or die, while the Celsathar sped forwards, an unstoppable force. The cliffs would come, but even with all the people on this boat — the Makriliaens, Kai’s sailors, the Tsiorc — it would be Kyira, daughter of Iqaluk and Thea, sister to Hasaan, navigator to the rebel army, standing upon the bow of the mother ship, who would die first.
Thanks for reading!
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You can also join my mailing list at https://mjackson.co.uk/signup – Everyone who signs up will get access to discounted material as well as other stories set in the Rengas universe. I will also be asking newsletter signups if they’d like to be beta readers for book 2.