With a number of people finishing Diamantine, there’s been a lot of talk about the books on Discord and Reddit.

You can find the discussions on Discord here and on Reddit here. You’ll need accounts for Discord and Reddit if you want to post on these sites.

If you want to post anything that involves the events of Diamantine, please make sure to mark your spoilers first. If you’re posting a new topic on the Reddit page, for example, put [Spoilers] in the topic heading and make sure to name the topic something innocuous that doesn’t include details about what happens in the book. Something like [Spoilers] – Diamantine’s Ending Discussion or [Spoilers] The Other Wielders would be good examples.

Diamantine, the second book in my Weapons and Wielders series, is available now on the US Kindle store!

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To celebrate, the first book in the series – Six Sacred Swords – is on sale for on the US Kindle store and UK Kindle store. (Unfortunately, those are the only regions covered by Kindle Countdown Deals. If you’re somewhere else, sorry. ;_;)

Six Sacred Swords follows Keras Selyrian, a talented swordsman who begins a journey to seek out the titular Six Sacred Swords. It’s a lighthearted adventure story, with a lot of nods to various classic games from the NES, SNES, and Playstation eras, especially The Legend of Zelda, Dragon Quest, Ys, and Final Fantasy. You might enjoy it if you’re in the mood for talking swords, bibliophile dragons, and a lot of accidentally breaking traps and puzzles. The audio book version can be found here, narrated by the fantastic Nick Podehl!

This series takes place in the same universe as my War of Broken Mirrors and Arcane Ascension books.

Chronologically, the books follow this order:

Notably, the frame story for this book (meaning the Prologue, Interlude, and Epilogue) takes place much later than the main story, and after the second book of Arcane Ascension. Reading those other books isn’t required to understand this one, but it may be beneficial to get everything possible out of the story.

Next, I’d like to mention something important about the style of this particular book.

Diamantine is designed to set the foundation for plot and character arcs and for several books to come, and this means that by necessity, there will be a number of elements introduced in this book that aren’t resolved by the end. This is intentional, but it may not work for all readers. If you prefer stories that feel self-contained, you may be best waiting for at least one more book to come out to read them back to back.

Thanks, everyone, and I hope you love the books!

Best,

-Andrew

Preorders are available for the Kindle edition of Diamantine! You can find it here.

The release date is set for January 18th. I’ll look forward to seeing what people think of the book!

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Just finished reading The Sword of Kaigen by M.L. Wang.

The Sword of Kaigen

This was an excellent book, and I’d generally recommend it very strongly, although with a caveat: it gets very dark. Much, much darker than my books. The warfare in the story has some very grim consequences, and you should be aware that grief, trauma, and abuse are significant themes in the story.

That said, I absolutely loved the character work in this story, and the world building was also excellent. The magic system is very reminiscent of something like Avatar: The Last Airbender, with region-specific magic types, but with some exploration of the darker sides of systems like that existing (e.g. specific cultures having a strong focus on “bloodline purity”).

There are some genuinely heroic characters, but far more shades of grey. The people in the story felt very real, often in sad and brutal ways.

Overall, I really enjoyed the book, but I’d urge readers to make sure they’re up for handling heavy subject matters like war, grief, and abuse before picking it up.

I added a couple new sections to the site – Novels by Andrew Rowe and FAQs. As time goes on, I’ll plan to add to those.

Perhaps more importantly, I have a cover to reveal!

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Thanks to Daniel Kamarudin for his amazing art, as always, and Shawn T. King for the fantastic graphic design.

…I literally just noticed that “New York Times Bestselling Author” part. Thanks for sneaking that in there, Shawn.

Anyway, I love the new art, and I hope you all do, too!

As for who the mysterious figures are on that cover – we’ll get to that soon. I’m almost done with Diamantine, and I’m hoping to launch it within the next few weeks.

Happy New Year, everyone, and stay tuned! I’ll have more news soon.

 

Just a quick few updates.

The audio book for Defying Destiny is taking longer than I’d hoped. Currently, there is still no specific release date, but it’s looking like it may be a March or April launch.

My revisions to Diamantine are almost done. While I’m sorely tempted to just toss the book on Kindle before the end of the year, I think it’s worth taking a few more weeks to polish the book further. I expect to launch the book before the end of January.

I’d also like to mention for any Reddit users that the voting for the yearly Stabby Awards has started! There are some amazing books (and authors, and sites, etc.) in the running this year. If you’re a Redditor and want to check it out, the voting instructions can be found here: https://www.reddit.com/r/Fantasy/comments/egy76w/2019_stabby_voting_thread/?sort=top

Hello everyone,

It’s about time for some status updates on my books, so let’s get to it.

Diamantine, the second Weapons and Wielders book, remains my next planned book release. My plan was to try to get it out by the end of the year, but this is looking less and less likely for a number of reasons.

The first reason is purely mundane; I pulled my neck badly a few weeks ago, and the pain has made working more difficult. I’m recovering, but that injury slowed my progress for some time.

The second reason is the scope of some of the changes needed to finish the project. Most of my beta readers were generally very positive about the book, but one reader in particular had some significant criticisms that I feel were valid. The summary is that I introduced a ton of new characters in this book, as well as reintroduced some old ones – and the sheer number of them means that each individual character has less impact and screen time.

In part, this was deliberate, because I was setting up these characters for being relevant in the third book (or later books) – but doing that with several different characters in the same book makes it hard to invest in these new characters, and to some degree that does them a disservice.

In order to fix this, I may be deleting some characters from this book entirely, as well as adding some additional scenes to make some of the characters that should feel important be more relevant. This should, I hope, help make the book feel better as a stand alone work rather than just building into the third book.

Regardless of how much time I spend on adding content, this book is still designed to be part 1 of the tournament arc of the story, and I know not everyone will enjoy that style. This is something I’m going to highlight as clearly as possible in the book itself, but I know that some readers prefer books that wrap everything up neatly. That isn’t my style, and never has been. I think execution is important here. Much like Sufficiently Advanced Magic didn’t cover an entire school year, I don’t think covering the entirety of the tournament in one book is necessary as long as the ending itself feels satisfying – and I think this one does. I know not all readers will agree with me, though.

(I have, of course, seen the reactions to Cradle’s latest book. My hope is that being transparent about this – and having a different style of ending – will make this book a little bit less divisive, but we’ll see.)

Once I make these large-scale changes, the book still needs another editing pass. That generally takes about a month, plus time for me to review the changes. I might be able to get this done faster, but I’m not certain.

Finally, the cover art isn’t quite done yet. The current draft of it is looking beautiful, but I’ve asked my artist for a few adjustments to one of the characters, and I’m not sure how long it’ll be before those changes are completed. Without finished cover art, I can’t get the graphic design/typography for the book started, and without a finished cover I can’t ship a book.

So, what’s all this mean?

A December release for Diamantine is no longer likely to happen. I won’t rule it out entirely – I’m pushing hard to get my edits done as quickly as possible – but even if I get my own changes and the final editing pass done in time (unlikely), there’s a moderate chance the cover art won’t be ready.

I am revising my estimates to a mid-January release. I’ve also considered delaying it longer deliberately so I can release it closer to back-to-back with Weapons and Wielders book 3, but I don’t think I’m going to wait that long. I’d rather focus on Arcane Ascension 3 rather than trying to race to get Weapons and Wielders 3 done, since I know that the vast majority of my fans are waiting eagerly for AA3.

Speaking of the other books, I’ve made progress on them as well, but it’s been slow due to my focus on editing Diamantine (and my injury).

Arcane Ascension 3 is roughly 17% written at this point. I expect that once Diamantine is out, I’ll start making progress on this much more quickly. My current aim is for a mid-2020 release.

Weapons and Wielders 3 is about the same, although a good part of that is content that was removed from Diamantine. I do not intend to finish this until after Arcane Ascension 3, although I’ll probably bounce back and forth between them, since that helps me stay productive. Having multiple books to work on is a good way to keep myself from getting blocked on writing for any significant period of time. My current goal is a late 2020 release on this one.

I have some other side projects, like Carefully Worded Wishes (a more Cultiviation-style novel set on the continent of Artinia), but they’re largely on hold for the time being.

That’s my update for now. Thanks for your patience, everyone!

Hey all,

Six Sacred Swords is currently the Audible Daily Deal, meaning it’s discounted to $3.99 on the US Audible store. This sale may not be reflected in all regions, unfortunately.

If you’re not already familiar with Six Sacred Swords, this book takes place just after the War of Broken Mirrors. It also includes a frame story that takes place after On the Shoulders of Titans, so it’s a great book to jump into while you’re waiting for the third Arcane Ascension book.

If you’re interested, you can find it here:

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Hey all,

A quick update and a book recommendation.

As many of you know, I spent much of my career as a game developer, and I published my first book while I was working at Obsidian Entertainment.

One of my fellow Obsidian designers just launched her own book, House of Ash & Brimstone, and I wanted to mention how much I’ve been enjoying reading it.

House of Ash & Brimstone

House of Ash & Brimstone is an urban fantasy novel following Gisele Walker, a half-demon, in a society demons and humans coexist on Earth. I’m not generally a huge urban fantasy reader, but I loved this right from the start – most likely because it opened straight into an arena fight with a minotaur.

I think most people are going to compare this to Buffy, and I wouldn’t say that’s wrong – there are some similarities in terms of the setting vibe, the dialogue style, and the relationship with a love interest. This isn’t a high school series, though, and to me, it’s probably a little closer to what the Dresden Files might have looked like if Harry had been a little less experienced in the first book.

Even more than that, though, the focus on demons gives me a pretty strong Devil May Cry vibe. It’s a little more grounded, with the combat not feeling as anime-like, but I think fans of Devil May Cry’s style of setting would enjoy this.

I just picked up the book yesterday, and I haven’t finished it yet, so I can’t give any detailed analysis of the magic system yet. There is magic, though, and it definitely does have limitations, one of which was mentioned as soon as it was introduced. I’m looking forward to seeing more of that.

I’d recommend the book, and it can be found here.

In terms of my own book status, I’ve sent Diamantine off to beta readers, and I’m working on continuing to edit it,  as well as prep for the third Arcane Ascension and Weapons and Wielders books. AA3 is planned to be my next release.

My first draft of Diamantine, the second book in Weapons and Wielders, is finished.

This was one of the easiest and most fun books to write I’ve had a chance to work on in ages. It was definitely a refreshing change of pace after the struggles I dealt with on Defying Destiny, and I think it’ll show in the writing that I just wanted to have fun with this one.

Now, as I mentioned previously, I’d been debating cutting the arc of the book in half – and I did do that. That’s how it’s “finished” this soon. Thus, this book does not contain the entire tournament – it contains the first half.

There are several reasons why I went this route:

  • The first draft is about 144,000 words. That’s already significantly longer than Six Sacred Swords (113,000) and roughly comparable to Defying Destiny. If I’d done the whole tournament in one book, this would have been extremely long, which is not the style I’m going for with Weapons and Wielders. Arcane Ascension is my giant tome series – I don’t want this to go that direction.
  • It has a really solid emotional climax, and I don’t think it would have the same impact if I continued the story right after that point. If you read it, you’ll see what I mean.
  • There are a lot of mysteries in this book that I think fans will enjoy speculating about between books. Who is that mysterious masked hero of justice?
  • This lets me get back to work on Arcane Ascension 3 much sooner. I’ll probably be editing this for about another 3-4 months before it’s actually ready to launch, but I can start working on Arcane Ascension 3 slowly almost immediately. I won’t be able to ramp that project up until this ships, but this will get AA3 out many, many months sooner. If I tried to do the whole tournament in one book, that might have meant missing next year on AA3, and I don’t want to that.

Ultimately, I felt that this was the right way to go for all the reasons above, and I think the series as a whole will be stronger for the decision.

There’s a chance my beta readers will disagree. If they disagree strongly, I may have to readjust. We’ll see soonish.

So, what’s the time table for Diamantine look like?

The next step for me is self-editing, which I’m expecting to take about two weeks to a month.

Let’s assume a month.

That puts me at mid-October for sending out beta copies.

Assuming that, we’ll probably have about a month and a half for beta (since they always slip past the one month window I’m shooting for).

From there, we’re at early December.

Then it’s the professional editing stage. That usually takes about a month.

If everything goes smoothly, I might make a holiday release. I’d like to do that, since I’d love to be able to say I launched three books in a year, but I won’t compromise the quality to accomplish that.

If not, we’re likely looking at an early January release, maybe February at latest.

After that, I should be working full-time on Arcane Ascension 3. It’s too soon to give any good estimates on when that might be done – those books are very long, and much more complex than Weapons and Wielders. My goal is still to get it done before the end of 2020.

And beyond that? I have a lot of other books planned. Weapons and Wielders 3, Arcane Ascension 4, and a whole host of other stuff. Stay tuned.