Go buy these books

I first became aware of Graydon Saunders many years ago, through the intercession of (or perhaps collaboration with) Welsh-Canadian fantasy writer Jo Walton. While it was as a poet that I knew him, he apparently works in IT (specifically document-processing technologies) and over the past few years he has been writing some extraordinarily good novels in an interesting fantasy setting. It’s got collective farms, the French republican calendar, and implausibly capable magic for a world which actually seems to have real science (they know about rare-earth metals and evolution) and technology: engineered magical artifacts power most of the economy, from boat motors to metalwork to the military. He doesn’t have a traditional publisher (not clear why) so it’s all self-published, DRM-free, multi-platform ebooks. (I guess working on document-processing technology makes that easier than for some authors!) The third book, Safely You Deliver was published last spring (I’m just now getting around to reading it), with the tag line “Egalitarian heroic fantasy. Family, social awkwardness, and a unicorn.”

In any event, run, do not walk, to your favorite ebook platform and buy copies of the first three books. Links at his blog. (Oh, by the way, it’s an open-ended series, so expect to be left wanting more. The first novel, The March North reads well as a stand-alone book; there are no infodumps or “As you know, Bob” passages and most of the backstory is left as an exercise for the reader — some of it becomes clearer in subsequent books. Book 2, A Succession of Bad Days, goes into how sorcerers are trained, and how Parliament keeps tabs on them.)

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