Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Book Received: Courtney Schafer's The Labyrinth of Flame

The Labyrinth of Flame IIII wrote about my work on The Labyrinth of Flame -- Book III in the Shattered Sigil Trilogy by Courtney Schafer -- in my November 10, 2015, blog post.

The Labyrinth of Flame is the product of a fully funded Kickstarter (284% funded, actually) -- and when I wrote that blog post in November, Kickstarter contributors had already received their maps and ebook edition of the novel. In fact, the ebook edition is available for purchase at this time.

And now, as I write this, all Kickstarter contributors have received their signed trade paperback print edition of the novel as well. (And I've received my signed copy of the book, too!)

Ms. Schafer is currently working on a distribution agreement with Thomson-Shore, and once that is finalized, readers will hopefully be able to order the print edition. As soon as the book becomes available, I'll post an update on More Red Ink -- but in the meantime, whatever process you use to make notes to yourself: Evernote, OneNote, Keep, Pocket, or even the old-fashioned handwritten Post-It note, make a note to read The Labyrinth of Flame. Correction: make a note to read the entire Shattered Sigil Trilogy!

As you may, or may not, know, the first two volumes of the trilogy -- The Whitefire Crossing and The Tainted City -- were originally published by Night Shade Books. Upon the publisher's demise, and sale, Courtney Schafer decided to self-publish volume three via Kickstarter. Fortunately, the author knows her readers, her audience, and how finicky we book collectors can be. (To paraphrase Ross E. Lockhart from his Facebook post:) Production-wise, Ms. Schafer did the literary equivalent of getting the old band back together: cover artist David Palumbo, cover designer Martha Wade, and Ross E. Lockhart on interior design. So even though the book was self-published, book three perfectly matches the previous two volumes in the series. Readers and fans of Courtney Schafer will not be disappointed in the quality -- both in design and content editing -- of this final volume in the series.

Bibliotropic has a lengthy review of The Labyrinth of Flame, and here's the conclusion to that review (but please do read the review in its entirety):
...the ending of The Labyrinth of Flame is quite possibly the most satisfying ending to a series I've ever read. It ties up everything wonderfully, leaves room for the future, and left me with flailing around like an idiot over what happens to the people I ship. Seriously, I don’t think there's any possible better way for this book and this series to have ended. It closed on a high note, filled with hope and optimism even for difficult tasks ahead, and I'm going to be honest with you all — I actually just went and reread the last chapter again while writing this, because I love the ending that much. It left me with the first book hangover I've ever experienced, and despite having just reread the first two books in the series in preparation for reading this one, all I wanted to do when it was over was pick up The Whitefire Crossing and start over, so that I didn't have to leave the world and characters behind.

Fantasy just doesn't get much better than this!
~Ria, Bibliotropic

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