Son of the Black Sword eARC available now

The early advanced reader copy of my new fantasy novel Son of the Black Sword is out now from Baen

eARCs are the early,not fully proof read, advance copy that goes out to reviewers, but Baen puts them out there for anybody who can’t wait to get their fix. The book isn’t out until October, so this one is out even earlier than usual.

cover by Larry Elmore
cover by Larry Elmore

I’m really excited to see what everyone thinks of this one. I’m really proud of it, and I’ve got a pretty nifty trilogy planned.

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84 thoughts on “Son of the Black Sword eARC available now”

  1. WELL now. Normally, I wait for the finished copy, because I’m an editor and reading an unproofed copy makes me feel like I’m working. I don’t get the eARCs because I feel like I have to take notes for the author.

    But . . . I’m really curious about this one . . . so . . . *warring indecision*

    1. I’ve never really encountered any noticeable errors in the Baen E-Arcs, and I’ve bought quite a few. I just finished Dragon in Exile and noticed 1 typo, which isn’t much different than I would expect in any 1st edition book.

      1. I’ve read through a few chapters, and noticed numerous errors, and extremely shaky dialog and narration that I’m not used to with Larry. I hope those get fixed, particularly the first chapter.

        I happened to be in a group chat with a writers’ club (regular Sunday thing) while reading through it, and I was talking about how I’d fix things if I were Larry’s editor. They said Larry would probably like feedback, but I pointed out that I’m not Toni nor any other Baen editor. Yes, I did some work with Ringo, but that was blink-and-miss-it. Larry just knows me as a guy from Facebook.

        As for eARCs in general . . . before I got my current full-time gig, I was very tempted to “audition” for Baen by cleaning up their eARCs. 🙂 But that’s not how it works, and I’d already talked to them about a job. Plus, I didn’t have the time to spend on freebies like that.

        Don’t get me wrong. The book shapes up. It’s just the first chapter that really needs work, and then some typo stuff and misplaced commas and at least one semicolon in the rest.

  2. Hum. Since I’m going out of the country in 9 days, and I’m not sure what kind of internet connection I’ll have, this will tide me over.

    1. If it’s gonna take ya nine days to read this, you’re going to be very busy, _and_ you’re a slow reader!

      1. With Larry’s book, it usually takes about 3 hours in one sitting. I also re-read books. So I’m bringing my actual kindle paper white on top of my tablet and phone.

        Too bad the other book on my queue isn’t publish until I comes back in the country.

  3. Looks cool, but I’ll wait for the official version to release. If Baen included a copy of the finished product you could download when it was released, I’d buy a ton of eARCs. But having to buy the book 3 times (because I’m probably going to get the audiobook, too) is a bit much.

    1. Didn’t they used to do that? I thought that was how the first couple I bought worked and then I noticed that, no, the eARCs don’t have the final version added when it comes out and then I thought that probably I was just insane.

  4. I have the same problem as the
    Luke before me. Though I’m pretty
    eager to read this because the write
    up sound really interesting.

  5. Cover art by Larry Elmore!?

    I’ve been reading your work since you first self-published ‘MHI’ and the only advertising for it was on THR, I’ve been following your blog almost as long. Thus, I know it irks you when reviewers dismiss your dozen-plus best selling novels and fat royalty checks as still not making you a “real author.”

    But, Larry Elmore! As a D&D nerd from waaaay back this is it. This is how you know you’ve made it. Larry Elmore is doing the cover art for your book. Natural Twenty. Touchdown. Bull’s Eye. Achievement Unlocked. You win, sir. Good day, sir.

    1. I like Elmore’s work (the guy is an amazing artist, and I’ve been enjoying his stuff for decades). But something seems off about this particular cover. Not sure what it is, unfortunately.

      1. Not having the book title up top makes the cover painting look unbalanced. It looks better if you pull the image down so you can’t see the sky.

        If you embiggen it, there are a lot of scars and scratches on the people and their armor, which you can’t see in the tiny version. Nice touch!

        1. Dents and the like are typical with Elmore. He’s a very good artist.

          It’s not the sky that throws it off for me. It’s something about the characters themselves, though I can’t put my finger on what exactly it is.

    2. What reviewer does this? When I try to google for it, all my hits are Larry saying people say this, and his fans saying people say this, but I haven’t seen any reviewers saying this for real. Who are they quoting?

      1. Not a *real* writer was more common a couple of years ago when I first started disagreeing with people, and the narrative they went with was how I was a talentless hack who churned out pulp, therefore all my opinions on every topic could be dismissed.

        Once I started mocking it they moved on to new stuff. 2014 was the year of homophobia. I’m excited to see what 2015 brings!

        Except for Clamps/Alauda/creepy stalker of Asian women Andrew Marston of Marshfield MA. Me not being a *real* writer was so common with him and his 50 aliases that it became a running joke. Because that jackass has my name on Google alerts or something so whenever I get mentioned anywhere, he inevitably shows up to talk about how I’m a shitty writer. 🙂

        I still get it on FB and Twitter, when arguing with some doofus and they find out I’m a writer, so my opinion doesn’t count because I’m not JK Rowling successful. This is the same way Adam Baldwin or Nick Searcy aren’t *real* actors. 🙂

        1. They’ll come up with something, I’m sure. Maybe this is the year they compare you to ISIS.

        2. Maybe Cat was limiting that to “real” reviewers as opposed to “them what review books”.

          Sort of the same way that “real” writers are something different than “them what writes books”.

          Or something.

    1. Brandon Sanderson’s got a new book coming out around then. It’s the sequel to Alloy of Law. And the sequel to the sequel – that he wrote before he finished the sequel – comes out three months later.

  6. Are you pulling a Stephen King with that cover? That IS The International Lord of Hate in the background, isn’t it?

  7. Downloaded it last night,

    Liking it so far, particularly liked the fact that two of the protagonists of the Story (one in the past, one in the present) have been mentioned in the short Story published in Shattered Shields.

    Considering who they are in the Scheme of things of Son, the Name and function of one of them really came as a surprise… 🙂

  8. Purchased! As far as the not-proof-read issue goes, I don’t think it is a problem for Larry. I’ve read most of his books in eArc form, and very rarely do I see a typo or other editing issue.

  9. Please take my money. I would like to second the notion above about being able to download the full version after. I get bummed out when there is artwork noted but absent in the eARC that I don’t get to see. I get why, and again, I will still by the eARC, but my nerdish roots are in comic books so not seeing the artwork stinks.

    Also having Larry Elmore do the cover art is a feather in your cap for sure!

  10. I had to stay up and read it until I finished. The new universe is fantastic, well-built, and compelling. Objectives met, Mr. Correia.

      1. So is this the trilogy whereby you see the fallacy of the Chosen One’s lone descendant. If there is a Chosen One, he will have legion of descendant, all things being equal.

        1. All things being equal? You mean, the Chosen One being able to perform in a family way, the family not killing each other off or being assassinated or suffering from genetic diseases, or the family not constantly exposed to every disease because they live at court in the capital and there’s lots of international trade, the gods or evil sorcerers not cursing you and yours, etc.

          Being royal also isn’t great for longevity.

      2. In my opinion, it is the best thing you’ve put out thus far. As a huge Weber fan, the way the universe is constructed (not any of the particulars, but the amount of depth and potential) feels comfortingly familiar, like the author has a bunch of really great surprises hidden over the horizon that, once revealed, make total sense in context of the world that’s being built.

        Your work is usually well-written and fun. SoBS is a level above, less “action movie” and more “fantasy epic”. I love the action movies, but they don’t make me say, “Wow” like SoBS does.

        This book bites its thumb at anyone who claims that you can’t create literature.

  11. I’m just barely past the sample chapters. Well worth the cost at twice the price. It also puts Keeper of Names into a different light now that some of the names are familiar.

    Any idea who the narrator will be for the audiobook?

    1. Finished. Need #2 now.

      It’s good to see a protagonist of a lawful variety without descending into lawful stupid tropes or hypocrisy. Much needed in these jaundiced days.

      1. Ashok may well be my new favorite not-a-good-guy-to-know character finding redemption the hard way – seriously, a Javert, turned up to 12, rediscovering what ‘paladin’ is supposed to mean from the inside? I don’t think there’s any buttons left to push for primary protagonists that’ll make me happy to be reading them.

  12. Reading the sample chapters, and DAMN. 🙂

    This is my most-anticipated book of 2015, tied with the next Destroyermen.

        1. I read lots of authors who I disagree with politically, and most of the stuff I read I have zero clue what the author thinks, believes, looks like, or chooses to have sex with. You are mistaking me for the Tempest. 🙂

        2. The point is it actually is politics and not some feral hatred for Jews, Arabs, women, whites, heterosexuals and gays. I could care less about a writers politics. I draw the line at the SJWs who try and pass off their ideology based on biological hatred as “politics.” The fact many of them may actually believe intersectionalism is political moves me not in the slightest way. There’s just no place in my life for KKK fiction.

  13. Dammit, Correia, why’d you have to put that out at such an inconvenient time for me?

    And why was it so SHORT? What am I supposed to read now?

    1. The fourth book for John C. Wright’s Count to Eschaton series, The Architect of Aeons comes out on April 21. You can read the first 3 volumes, Count to A Trillion, The Hermetic Millennia, The Judge of Ages between now and April 21. Just be thankful that you didn’t have to wait a year between book 2 and 3, which has the mother of all cliffhanger. In all seriousness book 2 and 3 reads like one book cut in half for length purpose.

  14. Thought I’d just read the free sample and wait for October. Failed!
    I managed to stop reading long enough to sleep but its all gone now.
    Feeling sorry for those above who read the words and not the story and so find erroneous comma and other issues.
    My only gripe was all the elephants!

  15. I’ll look forward to buying the finished version when it comes out (and/or maybe the audiobook, depending on who narrates). I’m afraid I’ve gotten too many free ARCs to be into the idea of paying $15 for one that’s not even a physical collectible.

  16. Some feedback I stumbled across:

    A friend of mine picked it up yesterday and read it in a single sitting. He said it was very good, and he would also be picking up the hard copies.

  17. Larry Elmore! But Larry! Don’t you know Elmore’s art is ‘troubling’ due to how he portrays women in sexy outfits instead of covering up any signs of their shameful femininity with shapeless unisex clothing like a good feminist?

    On a more serious note, good on ya. Mr. Elmore is basically the (artistic) face of 2e AD&D for me and I’ve long been a fan of his work.

    1. Serious reply to humorous comment:

      Thank you, Taarkoth. I now realize why the war on femininity: it’s too get women ready for when the Radical Islamic Fundamentalists take over, and burqas become mandatory.

      1. Complaining about women constantly being portrayed as sex objects is not a “war on femininity”. There is a happy medium where women are portrayed femininely yet modestly/appropriately/realistically. (You know, the way most women in real life choose to dress themselves.) This cover is a fine example of that.

    2. Went over to the website and looked at the cover art. Honestly, I am slightly impressed. For most of those covers, any carping whatsoever could be drop-kicked with: They’re wearing armor. Deal with it.

    3. Just think how many heads would have exploded had the cover art been done by Boris Vallejo. Talk about depicting females in chain mail bikinis and partial nudity, he is very much the king. But damn the guy can do it well.

  18. A highly enjoyable read, Larry! I love the fact that it has a different tone and feel than MHI and Grimnoir. Interesting themes throughout. I’m looking forward to the next in the series-that’s done, right? :). One question-the High Inquisitor seems to be a bit of a badass-do you have plans to delve more into his backstory and motivations?

  19. Between this and John Ringo snippetting a monster hunter story on Facebook, it’s been a really good week for readers…

  20. Larry et al,

    I’ve been poking at this review of your writing and your place in the internet for a couple months (it’s SUPER long and probably pretentious and annoying in more than a few places) and was moved to complete it after reading your latest.

    I’d imagine time it sparse with a new book on the way, so I’ll lift the relevant passage here.

    Larry is a science-fiction and fantasy writer. He writes what I can only describe as “fun Fun Books.” Meaning fun books which are also in some kind of Fun subgenre that hasn’t yet been fully explored or defined. Every word Larry Correia puts down is done in service of a mission, executed with military precision, to give his readers as much fun as humanly possible. Every writer has a primary gift and Correia’s is to make you feel what it was like to be an invincible teenager again.

    Right out of the gate, if you pick up a Larry Correia novel it’s like someone unscrewed the top of your skull and dunked your brain in Joy Juice. He takes everything from 80’s Horror Movies to Noir Detective Novels and supercharges them with excitement, youth and vitality. His novels in the The Monster Hunter and Grimnoir universes read like ace novelizations of big budget Hollywood Summer Blockbusters you saw when you were young and the world was new and shiny. The stories set entertainment as the highest value and deliver it consistently.

    Larry has a new fantasy book out in e-ARC that’s sort of Middle-East/Asian/Indian setting with a story that feels like 70’s and 80’s sword and sorcery. I read it within two days of its release and enjoyed it immensely. As it’s an ARC it’s probably not the best place for a new reader to start, but it’s Correia having fun in a whole new genre. I look forward to its continuation.

    Why does the hero have to fight a creature that gets more skilled every time he beats it? Because it’s awesome. Why is the magical heart that endows everyone with super powers running out of magic? Because it gives the hero something to think about. That’s all the explanation that’s needed or asked for. Larry reveals exactly as much as he needs to and no more. The consistency of tone, the movement of focus as well as the button-tight plotting transforms these unexplained events into virtues for Correia rather than leaving them as lazy omissions. A writer comes into their own when the things they’re not doing work for them as well as the things they are doing and Correia has had that from page one.

    Correia is a modern Robert E Howard, churning out pulp at a prolific rate with skill and care and concerned chiefly, in all ways, and I can’t stress this enough, with the enjoyment of his readers. Correia does this with a masterful skill and ingenuity. If you’re looking for a page-turner, you’d be well-served by starting with Hard Magic: The Grimnoir Chronicles.

    The rest is at the link (again super long and probably pretentious):

    1. I thought that was a very fair review.

      Just keep in mind. I’m not just a lone contrarian. About half the country agrees with me. The fact that I’m one of a handful of novelists that risks being outspoken says a whole lot more about my ideological opponents in this business than it says about me. 🙂

      1. Thank you for reading it. I worried I was being back-handed in a couple places without meaning to and I do sincerely have quite a lot of respect for you. Figured the right course of action was to give you the opportunity to read it and look like an asshole if I was being an asshole.

        Completely fair point on me making you sound like a lone contrarian. I tried to hit a bit on you being the only person who was “open” but it deserved more than sentence and more emphasis. As much as I tried to dodge through the museum lasers I admit that one singed me. My apologies for that.

        1. A good read. But really consider workshopping it a wee bit and tighten it up. I know it ‘s just a blog post/review/rant, but sometimes you can get more done with less words. 🙂

          1. Fair enough and thanks. I admit it was difficult to juggle everything and not have the word count. But thanks for reading it, anyhow. Much appreciated.

        2. Given the incredible amount of lying about anyone who pushes back against intersectionalist loony feminists, just forget that guff about sexual harassment at conventions. A guy named Joe Murphy just won a libel lawsuit against a couple of those harridans.

  21. Just finished this Larry and it was amazing. The best fantasy book I’ve read in quite awhile.

    Quick question: What is the release schedule for these, anyway? I want to know how long I have to wait for the next one because I’m twitching like a meth addict waiting for their fix.

    1. This book is out in October. Do not know about the next one yet because I’m working on the last D6 and then the next MH.

  22. OK, just finished it….

    Larry, frankly, you are getting SERIOUSLY annoying…

    Once upon a time, I discovered MHI and then had to wait for the next book in the series, drooling and moaning the whole time….
    Then, I discovered the Grimnoir and well… yadda, yadda drooling and moaning…
    Then there was Dead Six… the moaning was slowly morphing to a keening…

    And you do it again, another series where I can only bark at the moon in my impatience of seeing the next volume…

    So well, thanks for each and everyone of your books.

  23. I was HOPING to get to bed before sunrise.

    Then I idly browsed the baenebooks webpage, saw the new e-arc, thought I’d read the sample. $15 and a 2 hours later…

    I’ve got work in 9 hours, and as a librovore I’m now wide awake. Goddamnit Larry.

    1. I’m not going to read it. I’m doing 14 hour flight in a week and I got to have something to tie me over.

  24. “Do not know about the next one yet because I’m working on the last D6 and then the next MH.”

    I just finished the book, enjoyed it, and was wondering when the sequel might show up. Your comment above about book #2 was a sad find.

  25. I read the sample chapters and I really enjoyed them. I think I’ll wait for the official release to read the whole book, so I’ll see it in it’s “completed” form. Although, I didn’t really notice any typos. I might have to diff the ARC sample chapters against the release chapters to see what changes.

    I might have enjoyed this a bit more than your Monster Hunter novels. It’s a much more put together cosmology. In those, the monsters are just around and no one really asks where they came from. In “Son of the Black Sword” it seems like all the supernatural elements will fit together.

    I’ll attempt one bit of constructive criticism: I’m not sure you’ve got Ashok’s emotions quite where you want them. He seems comfortable with his friendship with Devedas and untroubled by the anger he feels chapter 11 and 12, but he’s confused by his sadness in chapter 2. I get why he’s emotionally stunted, but the degree to which he’s stunted seemed inconsistent. Maybe he felt the law was against him in chapter 2 and he can’t accept that his emotions would go against the law? Maybe I just didn’t read far enough.

    Anyway, great read! I’m looking forward to the release.

  26. Dear Larry, I bought SotBS two days ago and finished devouring it yesterday. I must say this is your best novel yet, with a level of complexity I have not seen before. Each character is mesmerizing and as usual, your action scenes are simply the best. Might I suggest two of the best tracks by Two Steps From Hell to accompany the reading:

    1. Blackheart :

    2. Black Blade :

    In my opinion these are among the best themes for Ashok and Angruvadal 🙂

    Now please get to work, I cannot wait for 2 and 3 to be released. Well, SotBS is not even officially out yet but here’s hoping …


  27. Small question:

    my eyes not being what they were…
    There is a subtitle under “Son of a Black Sword”, I am assuming it is the Name of the series.

    Care to share it with us ?

  28. Bravo Larry!

    Just finished, and hungry for the next, which should be around when? Ball park if not exact, please?

    Worth every penny, even if no art nor maps 🙁

    I have to ask, “Sikasso” …a play on words, or just a random thingy? Say it ten times fast and you will know what I mean, great villain name.

  29. Grabbed the eArc

    Just about to finish it. I love it.

    A well fleshed-out universe with a great take on India’s caste system.

    More please 🙂

  30. I am looking forward the book! But I have one thing to say…

    How dare you to write this book? The sword is obviously a phallic symbol of the patriarchy! You cismale gendernormative hatey hate McHater 🙂

  31. Just finished the earc

    Wow! I think it’s safe to say, whatever you write I’m going to enjoy!

    I loved the whole world you’ve created. The characters are wonderful and diverse. I especially liked the inner turmoil of Ashok as he tries to come to terms with his changing view of the world. Can’t wait for the rest of the series. Good work Larry!

  32. I noticed something unusual about the book and thought you might know what is going on. Your website and Amazon both show the same picture for the book. However, the Baen website has a completely different cover displayed.

    Did Baen decide to go with a different cover?

    When I first saw it, I thought it was for a book I hadn’t heard about.

  33. This is the first eARC I have ever bought. I have to say I was extremely disappointed. The damn thing ended. Now I will have to wait for who knows how long until the next one. You are definitely evil Mr. Correia. Writing such absorbing stories and then making them end.

    Seriously though, I thought it was a really great story and you really do have something there to be proud of. I cannot wait for the next installment to find out what Ashok does to compensate for his loss.

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