Forgive me for stating the obvious, but in some cases, it's got to be better to be clear than to worry about repeating myself. With that caveat, then, let it be said: I really, really like Paul Kearney.
That mightn't be entirely surprising to you, given the content of the blog this week, but I wasn't exactly expecting it. I mean, I enjoyed The Monarchies of God a great deal, yet in 2010, when Solaris reissued the series in two almighty omnibus editions, I gobbled both books up and got on with my life. I didn't feel the need then to make a song and dance about it. Evidently, I did - and I have done - as regards The Macht Saga.
That's because Kearney, in my admittedly limited experience, is getting better and better. Going from strength to strength, as they say. And I wish more people were reading his work to realise it. If you ask me, the best of his fiction stands shoulder to shoulder - in its own way - with a who's who of my favourite fantasists; with the likes of Steven Erikson, George R. R. Martin, Guy Gavriel Kay and, at a stretch, R. Scott Bakker.
But I don't think he sells as well as any of them, and therein's the thing. I have no actual information here - this is just speculation, loosely informed by a smattering of press releases and the buzz around his books versus the buzz around new releases by the other authors above - but the received wisdom seems to be that he's little league, as opposed to being one of the big hitters. And that's a damned travesty.
So fingers firmly crossed that I've managed to turn a couple of you on to a series you mightn't otherwise have considered. Here's hoping that perhaps a few of my fellow bloggers will now consider reading and reviewing The Ten Thousand or Corvus or Kings of Morning -- or all three!
That sort of groundswell, or show of support, can make or break a book, a series... even an author. And Kearney's hardly had an easy time of it to date; indeed, I believe bloggers have played a crucial role in his writing career. Now The Speculative Scotsman is hardly a Hotlist equivalent, but it's been a modest success nonetheless, and because of that, I have a bit of a platform here. A platform which, in cases like this, you can be damn sure I'll make use of.
If you have something similar, I hope you'd do so too -- for the right reasons, that is. With any amount of power comes some measure of responsibility, but this pretense of objectivity we all wear as if it meant anything at all... well the hell with it. I heart the Macht. If my recommendations have led you to a few good books before, I would urge you to please, give this series a go. And if you enjoy it: spread the word, as I've tried to. Find a good spot - or not - and shout about it!