Glen Cook is the master, the legend, the man. He's the author of the amazing Chronicles of the Black Company and one of the modern masters of Fantasy as we know it today.
He's a big deal. And he's read my book. Yes, Glen motherf@£$ing Cook read my book. It may sound weird but that alone blows my mind.
Even better — he liked it. In fact, he loved it. This is what he said:
I see why you're excited about this project. Likely the next Game of Thrones. Best book I've read in several years. Erikson, Martin, and Rothfuss are going to have to shove over and make room at the bar. A gem. Not one likable character in the swamp but I still became totally emotionally engaged. I can't think how to tone down my enthusiasm so I don't sound completely over-the-top.
I have a hard time believing this is not someone who has been polishing his craft for a dozen years under a more familiar name. And, despite (to me) the random oddly spelled word, the story had more of an American than British feel.
You have my permission to even put words in my mouth to promote this project, if you want. It's so damned GOOD! Get yourself a sharp stick and start poking this guy to get on with the further volumes."
I mean Wow! It doesn't get much better than that.
Glen Cook loved my book. Excuse me now, I have to go sit down.
WE ARE THE DEAD is out with authors and bloggers at the moment to help get the word out there.
Gavin Smith, author of the Bastard Legion, wrote a rave review: "Hooked from page one, We Are the Dead rattles along with the pace of a runaway bullet train. Original, engaging, flawed but very-human characters draw us into a world rent by war, a world of brutal occupation, tarnished honour and devastating magics. This is a powerful debut and Shackle is an author to watch.'
Obviously, this blew me away. I thought it couldn't get any better than that. However, Peter McLean author of Priest of Bones, posted this review on Goodreads:
"We are the dead.
One invasion. Six months of brutal occupation. Eight days of blood.
In a world reminiscent of Warring States period Japan crossed with WWII Occupied France, the revolution is coming.
This book has everything you could want from that premise: The Resistance. A Samurai general's disgraced daughter forced to face up to her responsibilities and become a hero. Faceless enemy stormtroopers and sadistic magic SS officers. A single mother forced into the Resistance against her will. Nightmarish genetically-engineered monsters. A teenage terrorist leading a cadre of suicide bombers. The choice between duty and starvation in a civilian reality where the Resistance are every bit as dangerous as the enemy.
Hell, this thing could have been written just for me. It's like Tarantino's Inglorious Basterds crossed with David Gemmell in a quasi-Asian fantasy setting, and it is absolutely splendid. Shackle has come up with something really special here, and I enjoyed it enormously.
We are the Shulka and we are the dead.'
Wow. It doesn't get much better than that, does it? I especially loved the 'Tarantino crossed with Gemmell line.
Finally, today Kate, from the Bibliophile Book Club, posted this:
'It was just stunning. Dark, violent but with ultimately human issues at its core. Survival, family and loyalty woven beautifully through the narrative. Highly recommended for sure!'
I'm a very happy author right now.
I came across a review of WE ARE THE DEAD on www.thebookbag.co.uk today and I was thrilled to say the least. "This is a brilliant and unusual book in which a cast of characters, wholly unconnected to each other, work together to take back their land, their rights and their freedom. This is a book about bravery, about fellowship and about not being a hero."
It was just what I needed to pick me up. Thank you Ruth!