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Gail Z. Martin

Gail Z Martin (1962- )
Besides the fantasies listed below, Gail Z. Martin also writes the Thrifty Author’s Guide series on book promotion for authors. She also writes The 30 Day Results Guide series on Internet marketing. She is the host of the Ghost in the Machine Fantasy Podcast and the Disquieting Visions blog on paranormal fiction. Read excerpts of Gail Z Martin’s fantasy novels at The Chronicles of the Necromancer website. View a video advertisement for the epic here.


The Chronicles of the Necromancer

The Chronicles of the Necromancer — (2007-2010) Publisher: The comfortable world of Martris Drayke, second son of King Bricen of Margolan, is shattered when his older half-brother, Jared, and Jared’s dark mage, Foor Arontala, kill the king and seize the throne. Tris is the only surviving member of the royal family aside from Jared the traitor. Tris flees with three friends: Soterius, captain of the guard; Carroway, the court’s master bard; and Harrtuck, a member of the royal guard. Tris harbors a deep secret. In a land where spirits walk openly and influence the affairs of the living, he suspects he may be the mage heir to the power of his grandmother, Bava K’aa, once the greatest sorceress of her age. Such magic would make Tris a Summoner, the rarest of magic gifts, capable of arbitrating between the living and the dead.

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The Fallen Kings Cycle — (2011-2012) Set in the world of The Chronicles of the Necromancer. Publisher: Summoner-King Martris Drayke must attempt to meet this great threat, gathering an army from a country ravaged by civil war. Tris seeks new allies from among the living — and the dead — as an untested generation of rulers face their first battle. Meanwhile, the legendary Dread are stirring in their burrows after millennia of silence and no one knows what hand wakes them and whom they will serve when they rise. Now, Drayke turns to the Sworn, a nomadic clan of warriors bound to protect the Dread. But even the mighty Sworn do not know what will happen when the Dread awake. All are certain, though, that war is coming to the Winter Kingdoms. THE SWORN is the beginning of a new adventure set in the world of The Chronicles of the Necromancer.

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The Summoner: Happily impressed

The Summoner by Gail Z. Martin

The Summoner is the first book that I have read by Gail Martin, but I was happily impressed with this first installment of The Chronicles of the Necromancer. I didn’t love it, and there seemed to be some rough patches throughout the book, but on the whole it was interesting.

Central to this story is a lust for power and what happens as a result. The main character, Martris “Tris” Drayke, is not very unique, but he’s interesting and is well developed enough to be worth following. I also liked the fact that Martin was not afraid to let him deal with consequences of trying to be a hero. Too often I have found authors who allow their characters to simply skate through mistake after mistake without any lasting harm.

The Summoner deals with a princ... Read More

The Blood King: Characters are over-the-top

The Blood King by Gail Z. Martin

The Blood King is the second book in The Chronicles of the Necromancer.

Gail Z. Martin has a decent writing voice, but the book as a whole really left me wanting. Perhaps it was the combination of good characters who were too good and bad characters who were too bad that I just didn’t quite feel comfortable with.

The first book, The Summoner, took us through the overthrow of the Kingdom of Margolan by the eldest son who is evil and selfish and cruel and lecherous and impatient… see where I am going with this? No redeeming qualities whatsoever, and his magical ally makes him seem nice by comparison. So, the bad guys are really out and out bad. The hero and his friends are willing to die for their friends and sacrifice themselves for the kingdom and to risk every... Read More

Ascendant Kingdoms Saga

Ascendant Kingdoms Saga — (2013-2016) Publisher: Condemned as a murderer for killing the man who dishonored his sister, Blaine “Mick” McFadden has spent the last six years in Velant, a penal colony in the frigid northern wastelands. Harsh military discipline and the oppressive magic keep a fragile peace as colonists struggle against a hostile environment. But the supply ships from Dondareth have stopped coming, boding ill for the kingdom that banished the colonists. Now, as the world’s magic runs wild, McFadden and the people of Velant must fight to survive and decide their fate… From Gail Z. Martin, author of the beloved series THE CHRONICLES OF THE NECROMANCER and THE FALLEN KINGS CYCLE, comes a new fantasy adventure for the ages. Welcome to the end of the world. Welcome to the beginning of THE ASCENDANT KINGDOMS SAGA.

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Ice Forged: Promising beginning to a new series

Ice Forged by Gail Z. Martin

There are some crimes that are so heinous that a person’s reaction to them is almost chemical, not logical. When Blaine McFadden is confronted by the sight of his beloved younger sister after she has been sexually assaulted, he loses control and in short order kills the man responsible. In that act, no matter how justified, Blaine seals his fate and is exiled to a distant, frozen penal colony to pay for having taken another man’s life.

Ice Forged is Gail Z. Martin’s initial entry in a new series called THE ASCENDANT KINGDOMS SAGA. In a world that contains both magic and technology, Blaine becomes a leader. He’s the kind of guy who sees what needs to be done and is willing to just step and do it.

The penal colony of Velant tests and stresses the people who are sent there. The weather is horrible, the living conditions are rough and the guards and administrator of t... Read More

Trifles and Folly: A Deadly Curiosities Collection

Trifles and Folly: A Deadly Curiosities Collection by Gail Z. Martin

I haven’t read any of Gail Z. Martin’s DEADLY CURIOSITIES novels, but Tantor Audio sent me Trifles and Folly: A Deadly Curiosities Collection (2016) and I thought it’d be a good introduction to the series.

The premise reminds me of Juliet Blackwell’s WITCHCRAFT MYSTERIES, which stars a young woman, Lily Ivory, who gets vibes from used garments. She has a vintage clothing store in San Francisco and, because of her knack, gets pulled into all sorts of mysteries which she then solves. The San Francisco setting features prominently in the tales, as do a few people in Lily’s orbit, such as the friends who help her run the shop. Read More

Magazine Monday: Bull Spec #5

Bull Spec is a print and electronic science fiction and fantasy glossy magazine named for its home of Durham, North Carolina. The word “Bull” seems to have become associated with Durham because of a tobacco factory in the city, which itself took the name from the picture of a bull that appeared on the label of a mustard that the tobacco factory owner believed was manufactured in Durham, England; it’s all very complicated, but at least we know that the magazine’s name is based on where it is published. The publisher, Samuel Montgomery-Blinn, seems a bit surprised that the name of the magazine is mysterious to many outside of North Carolina, but he likes it. As well he should, because Bull Spec is a fine addition to the ranks of science fiction, fantasy and horror magazines.

“Mortal Passage” by Roger Williams is the best s... Read More

Magic: An Anthology of the Esoteric and Arcane: Like a box of chocolates

Magic: An Anthology of the Esoteric and Arcane edited by Jonathan Oliver

Magic is, almost by definition, esoteric and arcane; something known only to a few, kept secret from the masses, practiced only by initiates. Still, the grandiose title of this themed anthology of original stories may oversell it slightly, since many of the tales here are quite conventional. Jonathan Oliver gathered a shining collection of talent, though, and with fifteen stories spanning fantasy, dark fantasy, urban fantasy and horror, most readers will find something to enjoy.

The book has a lovely cover by Nicolas Delort. It’s a simulated woodcut. A Victorian-era woman holds an infant with horns, while a hooded demonic figure stands guard, and the cover is replete with lilies, skulls and ravens. Editor Jonathan Oliver opens the book with an introduction that talks a little bit about each story. I wish he had w... Read More