Orbit Books announced today that it has acquired Devin Madson’s self-published epic fantasy novel We Ride the Storm, and will re-release it in June as a trade paperback with a new cover. Those readers who can’t wait? Orbit is releasing the eBook edition today.
Madson originally self-published the novel in 2018, and it gained considerable attention when it was part of Mark Lawrence’s Self-Published Fantasy Blog-Off in 2018.
Lawrence began the contest in 2015 as a way for the SF/F blogging world to bring more attention to self-published authors. Ten blogs read through hundreds of submissions, and selected their favorites. Following that round, the group would review all of the finalists, and pick their favorite.
Madson’s novel was one of the finalists in the 2018 contest, coming in behind J. Zachary Pike’s Orconomics: A Satire, and Barbara Kloss’s The Gods of Men. The 2016 winner of the contest, Jonathan French’s The Grey Bastards, was later acquired by Crown in 2018.
According to Madson, Orbit picked up the book as part of a seven book deal. Last year, she indicated on Twitter that she was delaying the second installment of the series, We Lie With Death, because it had been picked up by a traditional publisher.
A whole year since this process began, I am FINALLY able to announce that The Reborn Empire series (beginning with WE RIDE THE STORM) has been acquired by Orbit US/UK as part of a 7 book deal! 🥳🥳🥳🥳🥳
— Devin Madson (@DevinMadson) January 28, 2020
Here’s how Orbit describes the novel:
War built the Kisian Empire. War will tear it down.
Seventeen years after rebels stormed the streets, factions divide Kisia. Only the firm hand of the god-emperor holds the empire together. But when a shocking betrayal destroys a tense alliance with neighboring Chiltae, all that has been won comes crashing down.
In Kisia, Princess Miko Ts’ai is a prisoner in her own castle. She dreams of claiming her empire, but the path to power could rip it, and her family, asunder.
In Chiltae, assassin Cassandra Marius is plagued by the voices of the dead. Desperate, she accepts a contract that promises to reward her with a cure if she helps an empire fall.
And on the border between nations, Captain Rah e’Torin and his warriors are exiles forced to fight in a foreign war or die.
As an empire dies, three warriors will rise. They will ride the storm or drown in its blood.