Macmillan’s Tor imprints in the US and UK are thrilled to announce a three-book deal with debut author A. K. Larkwood.
The series starts with The Unspoken Name, an epic coming-of-age fantasy with a modern sensibility, featuring ruthless mages, hungry gods, ancient tombs, and rival sorcerers.
What if you knew how and when you will die? Csorwe does. She will climb the mountain, enter the Shrine of the Unspoken, and die as a sacrifice to her god. But on the day of her foretold death, a powerful wizard offers her a new fate. With gorgeous writing, a dark world, and grim humor, The Unspoken Name is the captivating tale of an orc priestess who turns away from her foretold death to become a wizard’s assassin.
Lindsey Hall, the acquiring editor for Tor, said:
“When I read the very first page of The Unspoken Name I got that feeling I live for as an editor – that feeling when you just know, This Is Something Special. A. K. Larkwood’s voice grabbed me from the first line, and her characters, world, and dark sense of humor kept me up all that night reading. I can’t wait to share The Unspoken Name with you.”
Bella Pagan, Editorial Director of Tor UK, added:
“The Unspoken Name completely won me over. I fell for Larkwood’s compulsive plotting as this incredible adventure gathered speed. But her amazing characters with their complex relationships, their wit and their power-plays really kept me hooked. As Game of Thrones continues to wow audiences, it’s a great time to publish brilliant fantasy fiction.”
Devi Pillai, Publisher of Tor US, said:
“Giant snakes, death cults, wizards, assassins, and an orc priestess—this book checked all my boxes and then some. It reminded me of LeGuin’s Wizard of Earthsea combined with the grimdark of Joe Abercrombie. We are super excited to publish A. K. Larkwood on the Tor list and can’t wait to see what she does next!”
Author A. K. Larkwood said:
“The Unspoken Name grew out of my long-standing curiosity about villains’ sidekicks: what might it take to stay loyal to a boss who is clearly bad news? What do you owe to someone who saves your life, and what do they owe to you? That, and I wanted to write a sweeping adventure with all the wizard’s towers, giant snakes and awful undead things I’ve always loved. I had such a wonderful time writing The Unspoken Name – nothing to brighten up a train journey or waiting-room like exploring an ancient tomb, with the bonus that you probably won’t actually get into mortal peril – and working Tor has been an amazing experience. It’s been so valuable to have the benefit of all their insight and enthusiasm.”
A. K. Larkwood is studying to be a lawyer and lives in Oxford—and The Unspoken Name is her debut novel. It is scheduled for publication in the US and UK for February 2020. You can discover more about A. K. Larkwood and her work at aklarkwood.com,or find her on twitter as @AKLarkwood.