Vicious, ruthless criminals are made, not born. Child of the Night Guild—an insight into
the transformation from innocent child to thief and killer.
Title: Child of the Night Guild (Queen of Thieves Book 1)
Author: Andy Peloquin
Publication Date: Jan 17, 2017
Digital Price: 2.99
Book Launch Event:
Join my Thunderclap: http://thndr.me/fdeiQu
Child of the Night Guild (Queen of Thieves Book 1)
“They killed my parents. They took my name. They imprisoned me in darkness. I would not be broken.”
Viola, a child sold to pay her father’s debts, has lost everything: her mother, her home, and her identity. Thrown into a life among criminals, she has no time for grief as she endures the brutal training of an apprentice thief. The Night Guild molds an innocent waif into a cunning, agile outlaw skilled in the thieves’ trade. She has only one choice: steal enough to pay her debts.
The cutthroat streets of Praamis will test her mettle, and she must learn to dodge the City Guards or swing from a hangman’s rope. But a more dangerous foe lurks within the guild walls. A sadistic rival apprentice, threatened by her strength, is out for blood.
What hope does one girl have in a world of ruthless men?
Fans of Sarah J. Maas, Scott Lynch, and Brent Weeks will love Queen of Thieves…
I’ve read and reviewed a couple of Andy’s books (here and here), and when he offered to do a guest post for the launch of this latest, even more grim tale, I got the chance to ask him to elaborate on the attraction of writing what is known these days, as ‘grimdark’ tales. And here is his well presented answer:
Why I Choose Dark Fantasy
The day I first discovered fantasy, it was through the cheerful, wondrous pages of The Chronicles of Narnia. So much epic heroism, nobility, courage, bravery, and happiness. The younger, childish me discovered dozens of bright, shining worlds through the pages of epic and heroic fantasy.
But years have passed. I’ve lived a life with all its ups and downs, twists and turns, setbacks and challenges. I’ve grown out of my belief that the shining knights and brave kings are the ones to be emulated.
Instead, I believe that the true “heroes” are the ones who defeat their own personal nature. Ernest Hemingway said, “There is nothing noble in being superior to your fellow man; true nobility is being superior to your former self.” The ones who shine brightest do so amidst the darkness of life—not life as we wish it would be, but life as it really is.
In my own writing, I’ve always gravitated toward the darker themes. Dark fantasy is a combination of horror and fantasy, and grimdark fantasy is a grim, gritty form of speculative fiction where everything is “shades of grey”. I believe that’s the most realistic, true-to-life form of fantasy around.
Life is “all peaches and cream” for a very select few people. The vast majority of the world has to work hard, put up with a lot of problems, and do whatever they can to survive. So why should I, as an author, paint a false picture of a fantasy world where things are better than they really are? For every good king, there were twenty rotten ones. For every land of plenty, there were forty kingdoms where people were working daily just to make ends meet.
But I choose dark fantasy not ONLY out of a grim outlook on reality. I choose dark fantasy because I love contrast. In a world where darkness rules supreme, even the smallest bright spot shines so much brighter.
For example, in Child of the Night Guild, the main character “Seven” is put through all manner of torments. She is worked to exhaustion, starved, pushed around, and has everything she loves taken away. So when one of her companions does something as small as sharing a crust of bread with her, that bit of light stands out in the darkness.
I believe that “heroism” boils down to one or two small acts taken at the precise moment when they mean most. A hero isn’t always a knight who slays demons and defends the kingdom from villains. He can be a thief with a kind smile or an assassin who protects the innocent. In the darkness of grimdark or dark fantasy, the small acts of goodness bring a sense of relief that despite all the bad, there is still a bit of good in all of us. THAT is why I choose the darker themes in fantasy.
About the author
Andy Peloquin: Lover of All Things Dark and Mysterious
I am, first and foremost, a storyteller and an artist–words are my palette. Fantasy is my genre of choice, and I love to explore the darker side of human nature through the filter of fantasy heroes, villains, and everything in between. I’m also a freelance writer, a book lover, and a guy who just loves to meet new people and spend hours talking about my fascination for the worlds I encounter in the pages of fantasy novels. Fantasy provides us with an escape, a way to forget about our mundane problems and step into worlds where anything is possible. It transcends age, gender, religion, race, or lifestyle–it is our way of believing what cannot be, delving into the unknowable, and discovering hidden truths about ourselves and our world in a brand new way. Fiction at its very best!
Twelve hurried toward the table, his face burning, a storm brewing behind his eyes. His path led him straight at Seven.
She hustled out of the bigger boy’s way. Better avoid him when he’s like this. No telling what he’ll do.
Two, however, ignored Twelve. He remained seated, content to munch at the food spread out before him.
Twelve snarled. “Move.”
A memory flitted through Seven’s head: a man sat at a table, growling at her to work. She couldn’t remember the face, but would never forget the anger.
Two didn’t move. He reached for an apple, turned to face Twelve, and took a noisy bite from the fruit. He leaned back against the table, arms folded across his chest.
Twelve’s face burned and his fists clenched at his side. “Get out of my way, Two!”
“No.” Two returned the angry glare. “You’re just another one of us. You don’t give commands here.”
Twelve swung, a blow aimed at Two’s jaw. The taller boy blocked the punch and slammed the apple into Twelve’s mouth. Blood mixed with crushed apple pulp and Twelve fell back.
“Go away, Twelve.” Two crossed his arms again. “Leave us—”
With a roar, Twelve launched himself at Two’s midsection. The taller boy twisted aside, but Twelve’s heavy arms wrapped around his waist. Snarling, Twelve heaved Two from his feet and slammed him onto the table.
The impact knocked the breath from Two’s lungs and his head struck a cup. He lay there, dazed, as Twelve leapt onto the table. The big boy’s boot slammed into Two’s ribs. Seven winced at the crack.
Twelve dropped atop Two, his elbow plowing into the boy’s face. Blood spurted from Two’s nose and lip. He tried to protect his face as Twelve rained down blow after blow. The heavier boy’s face twisted into a mask of insane rage, his lips curled back, and spittle flew from his mouth.
“Enough!” Master Velvet seized Twelve by the scruff of his collar and yanked the boy off Two. He threw the heavy tyro to the floor, knelt on his chest, and slapped him hard. “I told you I would not abide any sort of fighting.”
Twelve had lost his mind. His eyes were glazed, unfocused, his face red, his fists striking at Master Velvet.
Master Velvet slapped Twelve hard again, twice, three times. The blows cracked across his cheek and rocked the big boy’s head. “Lie still, boy, or by the Watcher, I’ll beat you so bad the Long Keeper himself won’t be able to tell you from a pile of shite!”
Master Velvet’s words penetrated the boy’s anger-fueled daze. Twelve’s fists stopped pumping in the air and his arms dropped. He lay on his back, gasping for air, his teeth still bared in a snarl.
Master Velvet looked over at Two. “You’ll live?”
Two wheezed, coughed blood, and mumbled something incoherent.
“Good. Three, Four, Eleven. Get him back to his bunk. I’ll be in shortly with something for the injuries.”
The three named tyros hurried to help the taller boy and, together, they stumbled from the room.
“Now what to do with you, Twelve?” Master Velvet looked down at the boy beneath him.
He yanked Twelve to his feet and dragged him toward the weapons table.
“It seems my first lesson didn’t penetrate your thick skull. Perhaps this will help you to remember!” Seizing the cosh, he laid into the boy, striking the tyro’s arms, shoulders, chest, abdomen, legs, and head. Twelve cried out and tried to protect himself. “You’re a vicious cunt, lad, but there’s a time and place for that!”
Master Velvet slammed his fist into the boy’s gut, doubling him over. He kicked the back of Twelve’s knees. Twelve fell to the floor, weeping and curling into a ball.
He knelt beside the boy, bent low, and whispered something into his ear.
“Yes, Master Velvet,” Twelve sobbed.
“I won’t be repeating myself, tyro. Unless you want to find out what happens to those who disobey, this is the end of it.”
Master Velvet stood, and Seven averted her eyes. She pushed away her bowl of gruel; her appetite had fled.
“Look at him, tyros. Look at him well.”
Seven obeyed, her stomach in knots.
Master Velvet stabbed a warning finger at the sobbing figure huddled on the floor. “Let this be a lesson. No fighting amongst each other. If I am forced to say it again, I will not stop at just a beating. Do you understand?”
“Yes, Master Velvet!”
“Good. Now off with you.” A look in Master Velvet’s eye promised Twelve’s suffering had just begun.
Seven hurried from the Menagerie, the other tyros close on her heels. She cast a glance over her shoulder and caught a glint of steel in Master Velvet’s hand. Rushing into the room, she climbed onto her bunk and buried her head in her pillow. The thick wool failed to block out Twelve’s screams.