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Mark Charan Newton

Mark Charan Newton(1981- )
Mark Charan Newton was born and lives in Nottingham. He holds a degree in Environmental Science. After working in bookselling, he moved into editorial positions at imprints covering science fiction and fantasy. He has written for a variety of non-fiction publications including The Ecologist and The Huffington Post, as well as science fiction for BBC Radio 4. Find him at his website.

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Nights of Villjamur: I liked what Newton was going for

Nights of Villjamur by Mark Charan Newton

Nights of Villjamur by Mark Newton is the first in a series entitled Legends of the Red Sun. The setting is the Boreal Archipelago, though the vast majority of the action takes place in the capital of the Jamur Empire — the eponymous city of Villjamur. The empire is built on its military and the remnants of ancient technology scavenged, studied, and used or modified (not always as the original technology was intended) by a group of Cultists (who are subdivided into sects). The city’s inhabitants are made up of humans, rumel, one member (Jurra) of an Ancient race who has seemingly lived for a thousand years but has no memory, banshees — women whose visions of about-to-happen deaths allows them to arrive immediately afterward to keen the announcement, and Garudas — half bird/half man soldiers/guards.
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City of Ruin: Newton has hit his literary stride

City of Ruin by Mark Charan Newton

I loved Nights of Villjamur. It’s one of the rare books I actually allotted five out of five stars, so City of Ruin was both highly anticipated and had quite a few expectations to live up to. It’s always hard for me to read a book I anticipate as much as I anticipated this one because the fear that it will fail miserably to live up to the hype seems to be doubled.

Nights of Villjamur was dark, sprawling, intense and ambiguous — all wrapped in a well measured, deftly written prose. It was an ambitious first novel. The real question(s) in my mind was: could Newton do it again? Could he manage another book without making everything I loved from Nights of Villjamur suffer in an effort to prove himself against heightened expectations?

City of Ruin is... Read More

Drakenfeld: “Crime fantasy”

Drakenfeld by Mark Charan Newton

Lucan Drakenfeld is a member of the Sun Chamber, the CSI unit of the Royal Vispasian Union. Drakenfeld is given a letter that tells him of the death of his father, and he must return to his home after ten years abroad. He and his partner, Leana, are soon tasked to investigate the murder of the sister of King Licintius of Tryum in what would prove to be the biggest case of Drakenfeld’s career, and he soon finds himself fighting off thugs and other unpleasant characters as the conspiracy unravels.

Mark Charan Newton’s world is inspired by ancient Rome, with baths, cohorts, and one especially brutal horse-race that seems to be a combination of a gladiatorial match and a chariot race. While the world is Romanesque, it has its own distinct feel because of the presence of magic and the fear of that the average citizen has in a society where magic is dark and practiced by the daring or insane, and oft... Read More