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February 17, 2012 / schulerbooks

Schuler Guest Author Spot: Bestselling Fantasy author Jim C. Hines

Welcome to the second installment in the Schuler Guest Author Spot!

This week we’ve invited one of our favorites, Jim C. Hines, bestselling fantasy author of The Goblin Quest trilogy; the butt-kicking Princess series, featuring his most recent novel The Snow Queen’s Shadow; and the upcoming Libriomancer, Jim’s first hardcover publication due out on August 7.  Jim will be at our Eastwood Towne Center location in Lansing for a Release Party on August 7th at 7 p.m.; and at our Alpine location in Grand Rapids at 7 p.m. on August 9th

Also, we’re giving away a copy of The Snow Queen’s Shadow; all you have to do to enter to win is either “follow” the Schuler blog or leave us a comment on any post this week! And now, on to the guest post!

Books & Authors to Watch For
by Jim C. Hines

One of the coolest things about being an author is that sometimes I get copies of books months before they’re released. Sometimes I hit my publisher or my agent up for forthcoming titles. Other times the books show up with a request for a blurb or review. Bottom line, though? Free books, which is sweet!

When Whitney kindly gave me a spot on the Schuler Books blog, I figured I’d take the time to recommend some books and writers.

Throne of the Crescent Moon by Saladin Ahmed.

Saladin is a Michigan author, and Throne, which came out on February 7, is his debut novel. Described as, “a fantasy adventure with all the magic of The Arabian Nights,” this was an impressive first book. I loved the protagonist, ghul-hunter Doctor Adoulla Makhslood. Adoulla is old, he’s burnt out, and dammitall he’s doing the best he can. He’s not invulnerable or superhuman, and he’s facing a darkness more powerful than anything he’s encountered in his long career. The worldbuilding was refreshing as well. I love that Adoulla’s magic is faith-based, and the contrast between his faith and that of his holy warrior apprentice. The city, the tribes, the history … everything feels real. The ending felt a little bumpy, but overall, I’m very much looking forward to reading more from Ahmed.

[Ed. note: Saladin will be giving an author talk and signing at our Lansing store on Tuesday, March 6 at 7 p.m.]

Range of Ghosts by Elizabeth Bear.

I spent a long time trying to figure out how to describe this book, and the best word I could come up with is “thoughtful.” Bear clearly puts a lot of thought into her writing, everything from word choice and sentence structure all the way up to the design of the world and the nature of magic. This is a tale of warring kingdoms and dark magic and gods and armies of ghosts and tiger warriors and kidnapped lovers and a journey over a fascinating world, one in which the sky itself changes to reflect the kingdoms below. I wouldn’t necessarily recommend the book to someone looking for a quick read. Thoughtful writing requires thoughtful reading, and I couldn’t zip through this one the way I do some books. But if you’re looking for more complex, non-Western epic fantasy, I’d definitely suggest checking it out when it comes out on March 27.

The Princess Curse by Merrie Haskell.

Haskell is another Michigan author, and this is her first novel, which was published in September of 2011 … a mere month after the last book in my fairy tale princess series came out. (She and I have joked about her inheriting my title as Don of the Princess Mafia.) The Princess Curse is a middle-grade novel based on The Twelve Dancing Princesses. 13-year-old Reveka is a great protagonist. She’s an apprentice herbalist (though she’s studied enough to know as much or more than her master), and she’s determined to solve the mystery of the twelve cursed princesses. I love the way Reveka applies her studies of herbs to the problems she encounters. This is one I’ll be passing along to my eleven-year-old daughter.

Shadow Ops: Control Point by Myke Cole.

There’s a lot of military SF out there, but this is the first hard-core military fantasy I’ve read in ages. Myke has experience both with fantasy (I first encountered him online when he was reading submissions for Weird Tales) and the military (three tours in Iraq). So it’s no surprise that his debut novel has a lot going for it. Oscar Britton is a lieutenant attached to the Supernatural Operations Corps, a military unit which helps to neutralize rogue magic users. But then, after a particularly intense mission, Britton manifests forbidden magic of his own. Be warned: this is not a warm and fuzzy book. It’s fast-paced, intense, and at times brutal. Britton is a flawed protagonist, and he makes his share of serious mistakes. While I occasionally wanted to yell, “Dude, WTF are you doing?” I could also understand why he made the choices he did. Control Point is ambitious, thoughtful, and at times brutal book. But the MOST IMPORTANT thing is that the book has goblins, and they’re awesome.

Libriomancer by Yours Truly.

Yeah, I’m gonna be That Guy and plug my own book. What can I say. I’m excited about this one! Libriomancer is the first book in a new series about a Yooper librarian with the ability to reach into books and pull things from their pages. He kills sparkling vampires, hangs out with a motorcycle-riding dryad, and has a pet fire-spider named Smudge. Without spoiling anything, I’ll just say that I had a lot of fun writing this story, and I’m hoping it will be fun for readers as well. At the heart of the story is the idea that books are indeed magical … something which should be self-evident to anyone who’s spent any time with a great book. Libriomancer comes out on August 7, and I’ve already got events lined up at Schuler Books in Lansing and Grand Rapids.



Leave a Comment
  1. cat_hellisen / Feb 17 2012 12:59 pm

    I adore that cover for The Princess Curse. SO many cool books to look forward to.

  2. Andrea Blythe / Feb 17 2012 1:05 pm

    Great post! The Princess Curse, looks fantastic, as do all the others.

  3. Debi Murray / Feb 17 2012 1:21 pm

    I am so looking forward to Libriomancer. Congrats on your first Hardcover, Jim!

  4. phoenixfirewolf / Feb 17 2012 2:40 pm

    Can’t wait to read Libriomancer! Thanks for the book recomendations. Put a couple of those on my list!


  5. galena / Feb 17 2012 2:46 pm

    My husband really liked Control Point (it’s on my reading list but I haven’t worked my way down to it yet!) and we’re going to be reading Throne of the Crescent Moon as soon as it comes in at the library (we read so much that we “preview” books at the library before buying so that we have enough room in our house for the books we do decide to buy). Can’t wait for Libriomancer to come out!

  6. mattw / Feb 17 2012 8:46 pm

    I keep reading good things about Control Point. I can’t wait to get to a bookstore and check it out.

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