Malvazan had selected his outfit with care the previous night; scurrying around in the dawn gloom to find appropriate attire might suit Dravadan but such haphazardness was not the way to success. He performed a brisk ablution in the ewer by his bed—fortunately he needed to shave only a couple of times a week—and ten minutes later made his way down the stairs into the dining room where the table was laid for an early breakfast.To his surprise and contempt, his parents and brother were already at the table.“Ah, the sluggard!” cried Dravadan, his dark fringe hanging into his eyes. “The boy who lies abed till noon!” He spread some honey on a slice of bread and conveyed it to his mouth with more enthusiasm than delicacy. “You would think—”“Dravadan!” said his mother Flinteska sharply. “If you must bait your brother, at least do not speak with your mouth full.”Dravadan rammed the rest of the slice into his mouth and, for the moment at least, devoted his full attention to subduing it.Malvazan’s father Crostadan, head of House Umbinzia, raised his hands in a mollificatory gesture. “Can we not have peace at the breakfast table on a day like today?” he asked. “Malvazan, there is some minor amusement in such a habitually early riser being last among us. It would do you no harm to display a little levity.”Malvazan sat heavily as far from the rest of the family as the table allowed and reached for a slice of bread. “I am glad to be such a source of amusement,” he said. “It is good to know that a second son has some purpose.”Dravadan let out a belch which escaped explicit reproof, accompanied by a smirk towards Malvazan.Flinteska slapped her napkin down on the table. “Enough, both of you. Dravadan, as the eldest son you should show greater decorum; Malvazan, your invincible surliness oppresses us all. Today we meet the King and Queen of Gammerling: a pleasant demeanour is required.”
Thursday, 3 March 2011
Out today! "The Last Free City" on the Kindle!
Forgive the lazy cross-posting from my own blog, but publication day--even for an e-edition--is always worth trumpeting!
I'm delighted to announce that, after a series of delays and setbacks which would make a novel in themselves, The Last Free City is published today. At the moment we have only the Kindle edition; the paperback will be along in a few weeks' time; its production is subject to considerably more bureaucracy.
Click here to buy from Amazon.co.uk -- and don't forget that both The Dog of the North and Dragonchaser are also available for the Kindle. One of the impressive features of the Kindle is the facility to download the first chapter as a free sample, and in a like spirit of generosity here is another sample - our introduction to the contentious teenager Malvazan, who will accompany the reader through much of the novel: