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Jade Man's Skin - the book!!

Dragon in Chains


Need I say more...?

Oh, all right, then. It's out, it's published, it is The Little Book That Is. Jade Man's Skin may now be found in bookstores, ordered from the internets, sought out in high places and in low. Yay.

For encouragement, I offer this, a four-star review from Romantic Times:

"This is both a stand-alone story and an excellent continuation of Fox's
previous novel. Set in a richly detailed, feudal, Asian-style empire, the
plot revolves around rebellion, betrayal and bonds. At times some characters
seem to be two-dimensional, but this occasional thinness is easily
overlooked in the midst of the dense, multilevel plot. All told, it is a
tale that's hard to put down until the last line."

Oh, and should I mention that I'm touring California next month? Yes, probably I should. Reading and signing in San Francisco and San Diego, if you can get there. Details on my website, along with further opportunities to buy the book...

Jade Man's Skin - review!

Dragon in Chains
Early, yes - but it's never too soon to spread the word. Allow me to draw your attention to this review by m'friend Jules Jones, who very firmly refuses to allow friendship to get in the way of a damn' good notice. Money shot: "this series is breathtaking, in concepts, in story and in prose."

Also, for the curious: here's a first glimpse of what appears to be the cover for the German translation of Dragon in Chains. "Forged in Fires and Magic", I think that means. Uh-huh. At least it's got a dragon on the cover...

Early notice - Library Journal

Dragon in Chains
I am given to understand that in the States, the Library Journal is a big thing: the Organ of the Trade, as it were. Every librarian reads it, and we like librarians.

Right now, we like the Library Journal. It says:

Fox, Daniel. Jade Man's Skin. Del Rey: Ballantine. (Moshui, the Books of
Stone and Water, Bk. 2). Feb. 2010. c.432p. ISBN 978-0-345-50304-6. pap.
$15. FANTASY

The dragon once chained in the straits of Taishu now flies free, seeking
revenge yet still controlled by a slave boy's mind. As civil war rages, a
deposed emperor and his allies attempt to thwart the plans of an ambitious
general. A wide variety of characters, from a ruthless pirate captain to a
beautiful and politically savvy imperial concubine, provide multiple
viewpoints to this depiction of a land in turmoil and the people who try to
restore it to harmony. VERDICT Fox's love of all things Chinese shines
through this sequel to Dragon in Chains, which should appeal to fans of
Asian-themed fantasy such as Lian Hearne's Across the Nightingale Floor and
Barry Hughart's Bridge of Birds.

[I don't b'lieve Lian Hearn has an "e" at the end of her name, which the Library Journal really ought to know, but hey...]

[Edited for gender: whoops, I really ought to have known that...]

Cover art - how it happens

Dragon in Chains
If you go here, you can read (and look at!) an essay by Robert Hunt, on how he created the cover art for Jade Man's Skin. The process is fascinating, for those of us who cannot draw. Also, there are tigers.

We built this city on...

Dragon in Chains
Words, words, words.

Oddly close to the target number of words, too. There's a thing to worry about; the previous two ran far, far over and had to be hacked back to here and then hacked back again. Perhaps this one is just light of content...?

Well, we'll see. For now it can just sit and fester for a while. That process of remembering all those things that should have gone into it and haven't, that process has already begun; unfortunately it began in the middle of the night, and by this morning I have of course forgotten again.

 

156132 / 156132 words. 100.0% done!

City limits

Dragon in Chains
We're getting there.

What's more, I may have found an ending. Of a sort. It's always been the problem with this book, that it could seem inconsequential; no spoilers, but it's kind of an aftermath-novel, a "now how do we live with the results of vol two?" more than a grim march into inevitability.

But! It has perhaps had a plot after all, or at least a crypto-plot, sneaking through in the undergrowth. And I hope the resolution will be unexpected. I live to make people say, "Oh. Really? That?" Which is a noble ambition, and none should begrudge it me.

 

152760 / 155000 words. 98.6% done!

Breaking the city's bounds

Dragon in Chains
I am just beginning to wonder whether ironic detachment is quite the right position from which to be watching the denouement of what ought to be a gripping & involving fantasy trilogy...

Still. Too late now. On, on.

Also, the sharp-eyed among you will notice that the goalposts have been shifted. I expect them to shift again before we're done here. Not far, though, not unreasonably far.

Also, landmark! (Which is of course the occasion of the shifting.)

 

150057 / 155000 words. 96.8% done!

The smile on the face of the tiger

Dragon in Chains
So. Even the tiger is a traitor - but to whom?

M'very good friend desperance has been heard to say - more than once, because he does love to quote himself - that in the last analysis all fiction is about betrayal. I say that you need a looser definition than most people work with, but that's Chaz: go off to the loo and he's never quite sure you're planning to come back. And he's probably concocting a story about it.

Meanwhile, I nearly think this city pretends it's almost done:

 

142777 / 150000 words. 95.2% done!

I am not a number

Dragon in Chains
I have entirely lost count of my days. Can't lose sight of the target, though: the end of the book is not equivocable.

Well, there will be people who say "That is not an ending!" but I can't help that. Or them.

The city looms on the horizon. It seems to have sprouted a tallboy, since last I looked.

 

135558 / 150000 words. 90.4% done!

Tiger, tiger

Dragon in Chains
Everything fell all apart for a while there. Slowly, slowly we are putting stuff back together. Here, for example, is a kitty-cat, to make everything better:




And meanwhile, no city is ever abandoned; life inheres.

 

127225 / 150000 words. 84.8% done!