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The Scroll of Years

by

The Scroll of Years Cover

ISBN13: 9781616148133
ISBN10: 1616148136
All Product Details

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

It's Brent Weeks meets China Mieville in this wildly imaginative fantasy debut featuring high action, elegant writing, and sword and sorcery with a Chinese flare.

Persimmon Gaunt and Imago Bone are a romantic couple and partners in crime. Persimmon is a poet from a well-to-do family, who found herself looking for adventure, while Imago is a thief in his ninth decade who is double-cursed, and his body has not aged in nearly seventy years. Together, their services and wanderlust have taken them into places better left unseen, and against odds best not spoken about. Now, they find themselves looking to get away, to the edge of the world, with Persimmon pregnant with their child, and the most feared duo of assassins hot on their trail.

However, all is never what it seems, and a sordid adventure — complete with magic scrolls, gangs of thieves, and dragons both eastern and western — is at hand.

Review:

"At its best, Willrich's beautifully written debut paints a vivid, richly imagined world populated by delightfully memorable characters; at its worst, it serves as a disturbing case study in Orientalism. Persimmon Gaunt and Imago Bone, an adventure-seeking couple, are on the run from the Night's Auditors, assassins who leave their victims in a vegetative state, and an arkendrake, a fire-breathing Western dragon. They flee to the wuxia-inspired Qiangguo, an empire bounded by the Heavenwalls and suffocating under its strict adherence to tradition and convention. There, aided by resourceful Swan priestess Eshe, rebellious young bandit Next-One-A-Boy, and Wulin warrior and mother Lightning Bug, they encounter murderous bandits, imperial officials, transspatial dislocation scrolls, and an unexpected prophesied destiny for them and their unborn child. This fantastical quest story contains witty narration, well-drawn characters, and a fast-moving plot, but its portrayal of Qiangguo as stagnating in isolation and desperately in need of outside saviors will put off some readers, especially those familiar with Chinese history and culture. Agent: Joe Monti, Barry Goldblatt Literary Agency. (Sept.)" Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

Review:

"Reading Chris Willrich feels a bit like playing Dungeons and Dragons® with a drunken Will Shakespeare. Great fun, and beautifully written." Saladin Ahmed, Hugo award-nominated author of Throne of the Crescent Moon

Review:

"Willrich puts the mystery back in magic and the majesty back in dragons. Gaunt and Bone are the Han and Leia of heroic fantasy." Howard Tayler, creator of the Hugo award-nominated Schlock Mercenary

Review:

“Willrich’s beautifully written debut paints a vivid, richly imagined world populated by delightfully memorable characters....This fantastical quest story contains witty narration, well-drawn characters, and a fast-moving plot.” Publishers Weekly

Review:

"A literary take on classic swords and sorcery, combining the droll tone and the adventure of Fritz Leiber with the lushness and profoundness of Catherynne M. Valente. Persimmon Gaunt and Imago Bone are just as delightful when pondering poetry or philosophy as when stealing a magic sword." Scott H. Andrews, editor of the acclaimed magazine Beneath Ceaseless Skies

Review:

“I loved it. A polished blend of action, compelling characters, fantastic world building, and masterful prose.” Howard Andrew Jones, author of The Desert of Souls

About the Author

Chris Willrich (Mountain View, CA) is a science fiction and fantasy writer best known for his sword-and-sorcery tales of Persimmon Gaunt and Imago Bone. Until recently he was a children's librarian for the Santa Clara County Library System, in the San Francisco Bay Area. His work has appeared in Asimov'sBeneath Ceaseless SkiesBlack GateFantasy and Science FictionFlashing SwordsThe Mythic Circle, and Strange Horizons.

What Our Readers Are Saying

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Average customer rating based on 1 comment:

hawkinslad, October 20, 2013 (view all comments by hawkinslad)
I’ve been reading Chris Willrich’s short fiction for years, and I particularly enjoy his Gaunt and Bone stories. Their lyricism and whimsy seem to fill a void in a fantasy fiction landscape marked by dark, gritty realism. I love dark, gritty realism, but I can only take so much.

I’ve long been hoping that some gutsy publisher would buck the trend and print a compilation of Willrich’s Gaunt and Bone tales to sprinkle some dreamlike fable amidst our worldly fantasy fiction. Instead, this Gaunt and Bone novel arrives. Even better. The fantasy fiction shelves need to be stocked with more books like this one.

Willrich injects The Scroll of Years with the same gorgeous prose of his short fiction but still manages to move the story along at a steady clip. It rises to a pulse-pounding pace in delightfully entertaining moments of action and at times slows to a trickle to allow the reader to ponder a bit of philosophy. But it never stalls. The landscape--described in precise, exquisite detail--is a character in itself (literally and figuratively), and the dialogue is witty and insightful. Through all of this, Willrich weaves his signature threads of antithesis and paradox. There’s enough depth and beauty here to make subsequent readings just as entertaining as the first.

He packs this all into about 260 pages, which is impressive, but this may have detracted from the overall story a bit only because it prevents the inclusion of more background about the characters. Gaunt and Bone, and some of the secondary characters as well, have fascinating pasts that readers can only glimpse. This is at once tantalizing and frustrating. Readers well acquainted with Gaunt and Bone will not be deterred, but those meeting the characters for the first time may miss out a little on what makes them so compelling.

I do hope this absence will urge them to read the next installment, The Silk Map, to learn more. I’ve already pre-ordered my copy (and I’m still holding out hope for that Gaunt and Bone short story compilation).
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No

Product Details

ISBN:
9781616148133
Author:
Willrich, Chris
Publisher:
Pyr
Subject:
Fantasy - Epic
Subject:
Science Fiction and Fantasy-Fantasy-Epic
Copyright:
Edition Description:
Trade paper
Publication Date:
20130924
Binding:
Paperback
Language:
English
Pages:
270
Dimensions:
9 x 6 x 0.7 in 0.7 lb

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Related Subjects

Fiction and Poetry » Science Fiction and Fantasy » A to Z
Fiction and Poetry » Science Fiction and Fantasy » Fantasy » Epic

The Scroll of Years New Trade Paper
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$15.95 In Stock
Product details 270 pages Pyr - English 9781616148133 Reviews:
"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "At its best, Willrich's beautifully written debut paints a vivid, richly imagined world populated by delightfully memorable characters; at its worst, it serves as a disturbing case study in Orientalism. Persimmon Gaunt and Imago Bone, an adventure-seeking couple, are on the run from the Night's Auditors, assassins who leave their victims in a vegetative state, and an arkendrake, a fire-breathing Western dragon. They flee to the wuxia-inspired Qiangguo, an empire bounded by the Heavenwalls and suffocating under its strict adherence to tradition and convention. There, aided by resourceful Swan priestess Eshe, rebellious young bandit Next-One-A-Boy, and Wulin warrior and mother Lightning Bug, they encounter murderous bandits, imperial officials, transspatial dislocation scrolls, and an unexpected prophesied destiny for them and their unborn child. This fantastical quest story contains witty narration, well-drawn characters, and a fast-moving plot, but its portrayal of Qiangguo as stagnating in isolation and desperately in need of outside saviors will put off some readers, especially those familiar with Chinese history and culture. Agent: Joe Monti, Barry Goldblatt Literary Agency. (Sept.)" Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
"Review" by , "Reading Chris Willrich feels a bit like playing Dungeons and Dragons® with a drunken Will Shakespeare. Great fun, and beautifully written."
"Review" by , "Willrich puts the mystery back in magic and the majesty back in dragons. Gaunt and Bone are the Han and Leia of heroic fantasy."
"Review" by , “Willrich’s beautifully written debut paints a vivid, richly imagined world populated by delightfully memorable characters....This fantastical quest story contains witty narration, well-drawn characters, and a fast-moving plot.”
"Review" by , "A literary take on classic swords and sorcery, combining the droll tone and the adventure of Fritz Leiber with the lushness and profoundness of Catherynne M. Valente. Persimmon Gaunt and Imago Bone are just as delightful when pondering poetry or philosophy as when stealing a magic sword."
"Review" by , “I loved it. A polished blend of action, compelling characters, fantastic world building, and masterful prose.”
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