Sunday, March 24, 2013

The Shadow of Black Wings Book Promo & Soundtrack


Title: The Shadow of Black Wings

Series: The Year of the Dragon #1

Author: James Calbraith

Genre: Fantasy, Historical Fantasy, Epic Fantasy, Alternate History,

Publisher: Flying Squid

Format: Ebook and Paperback

Length: 70000 words


Purchase: Amazon |


Book Description:


"Fast paced and full of energy"

--Adrian Tchaikovsky, author of the Shadows of the Apt


"This manuscript is full of highly crafted detail that will make readers shiver at times with fear and delight ... a familiar yet highly original fantasy that is a worthwhile read."

-- Publishers Weekly


"The real-world cultures are incredibly well-researched and truthful, and yet well-balanced with the fantasy elements. An intriguing and impressive series."

-- Ben Galley, author of the Emaneska Series


It is the Sixteenth Year of Queen Victoria. In the powerful empire of Dracaland, Bran, a young dragon rider, joins his father on a military expedition to the mysterious lands of the Orient. In the reclusive Yamato, Sato, a tomboy samurai girl, strives to prove her right to inherit her father's school of western magic. Nagomi, a timid shrine apprentice, is haunted by the visions of dark future she must keep secret even from her best friend.


They don't know it yet, but their paths will cross... And when they do, nothing will ever be the same again.


Welcome to The Shadow of Black Wings, a steam-powered romp across the land of dragons, wizards and samurai. It's big, it's fast, it's been compared to Tolkien in terms of world-building, it has strong female characters and lots of carefully researched detail. You will meet the Royal Marines sailing mighty ironclads and Chinese walking machines; mysterious warlords and crazy inventors; you will discover dark prophecies, family secrets and blood-thirsty demons. And all that in just the first volume!

"The Shadow of Black Wings" Official Soundtrack, by Various Artists. (opens Spotify Playlist link) All songs can be found on Spotify (except when restricted regionally). Where available, I linked to YouTube. PROLOGUE:1. Overture: The Empire and the Mechanician (And I Will Kiss, Underworld) 17:15 CHAPTER ONE:2. Bran's Aerobatics Exam (Test Drive, John Powell) 2:363. Men of Llambed, The Academy's Anthem (Men of Harlech)2:54 CHAPTER TWO:4. The Bard in the Tavern (Three Welsh Airs, Susan Scott) 4:595. They're playing Farmer's Fancy! (Ffansi Ffarmwr, Dy Werin) 3:306. Dylan ab Ifor's Theme: The Royal Marine (Soldier'an Sailor Too, Massed Bands of HM Royal Marines) 3:04 CHAPTER THREE:7. A Gwynedd Summer (Helfa'r Marchogion, Crasdant) 4:20 CHAPTER FOUR:8. The Memory of Temasek: Ifor's Diary (Singapore, Hans Zimmer) 3:419. The Ocean's Call (Theme de David, Vladimir Cosma) 2:25 CHAPTER FIVE:10. The Ironclads and Factory Smoke (Industrial Revolution, Jean Michel-Jarre) 4:3911. Soldiers and Sailors Too: Brigstow Harbour (Smith of Bristol, The Dubliners) 2:3012. Farewell to Langyfelach: Song of the departing dragoons (Ffarwel i Langyfelach Lon, Meredydd Evans) 2:02 CHAPTER SIX:13. The Greatest Ship Ever Built (A Life on the Ocean Wave, The Band of HM Royal Marines) 1:0514. Tinubu's Tricks; Egungun Dancer (Nigeria Tribal Rhythms and Percussion, Djembe and Dungu Folk) 3:4215. Bran's Birthday Jig (Two Hornpipes � Tortuga, Hans Zimmer) 1:14 CHAPTER SEVEN:16. Fragrant Harbour (Fragrant Harbour, The Band of Royal Hong Kong Police) 2:2017. Fan Yu, the Great Harbour! (Fishermen on the East China Sea, Zhu Xiaomeng) 5:0818. The Songs of the Boat People (Fishing Junks at Sunset, Jean-Michel Jarre) 6:02 CHAPTER EIGHT:19. Battle in the Sky: What Are Your Orders, Arian? (Wheel of Fortune, Hans Zimmer) 6:46 CHAPTER NINE:20. Act II: Another Land (Entrance Music for Traditional Rakugo Entertainer) 0:5321. Nansei Summer; Accursed Weather (Asadoya Yunta of Okinawa, Group from Okinawa) 2:0722. Overwizard-dono! "The Advantages of Floating in the Middle of the Sea" (from Pacific Overtures) 5:51 CHAPTER TEN:23. Sato's Theme: the Samurai's Daughter (Shinsengumi Main Theme, Kyoto Piano Ensemble) 3:4224. Suwa Shrine; Lady Kazuko�(Heron's Dance, Male Shinto Choir) 1:5725. Nagomi's Trance (Shrine Maiden's Dance, Shinto Instrument Ensemble) 3:1526. Ei!Ei!Ie - Toh! (Kendo Drumming) 0:2127. The Bathhouse (The song of Bathing in the Hot Spring, Group from Iwai) 3:29 CHAPTER ELEVEN:28. Snow in Kiyo (Merry Christmas, Mr. Lawrence, Ryuichi Sakamoto) 4:4529. It fell from Heavens! (Blade Runner End Titles, Vangelis) 4:39 CHAPTER FOURTEEN:30. Night Escapade; Streets of Kiyo (Yojimbo Title, Masaru Satoh) 3:01 CHAPTER FIFTEEN:31. The Dark Clouds Gather: The boy is a castaway (Seven Samurai Theme, Fumio Hayasaka) 1:24 CHAPTER SIXTEEN:32. Shuhan's Lullaby (Edo Komoriuta, Takashi Yujiro) 1:1333. Master Tanaka's Machines (Gohatto, Ryuichi Sakamoto) 2:0234. The Best Castella in the City (Bastiana, Coral Dinamene) 1:3735. The Crimson Robe Theme: Demon (Demon God II, Joe Hisaishi) 0:5736. Dark Energies; Take me to Suwa! (Battles, Clannad) 1:01 CHAPTER SEVENTEEN:37. Epilogue - the Scent of Wisteria (Kagemusha, Shinichiro Ikebe) 4:04 BONUS TRACKS:BOOK 2: THE WARRIOR'S SOUL (Suo Gan, John Williams)BOOK 3: THE ISLANDS IN THE MIST (Ar Lan Y Mor)BOOK 4: THE RISING TIDE (Furusato)

About the Author:


James Calbraith is a 34 year old Poland-born writer, foodie and traveller, currently residing in South London.


Growing up in communist Poland on a diet of powdered milk, Lord of the Rings and soviet science-fiction, he had his first story published at the ripe age of eight. After years of bouncing around university faculties, he moved to London in 2007, found a decent IT job and started writing in English. His debut historical fantasy novel, ""The Shadow of Black Wings"", has reached ABNA semi-finals. It was published in July 2012 and hit the Historical Fantasy and Alternate History bestseller lists on Amazon US & UK.




A single gear whirred and clicked into place. A valve opened, letting out a thin plume of grey steam with a quiet hiss. A gold-plated dial moved by a notch. A tiny mallet sprang from its compartment, striking the brass gong - one, two, three, four, five, six times.

       Master Tanaka looked up in surprise - an hour of the Hare already? He turned towards the window and the pink light of dawn illuminated his face. The temple bell only now started to ring out the time. He sighed then yawned, rubbing tired eyes. Another night had passed without him noticing.

       The elementals inside the clock awoke with a soft purr and the automatic brush began to move swiftly inside the glass cloche. A slot opened in the mahogany pedestal and spat out a piece of paper upon which was written the day’s divination. Hisashige reached for it absentmindedly, his attention focused on the piece of complex clockwork on which he had been working. He glanced briefly at the calligraphy - Oku, ‘a gift’. He smiled to himself and nodded knowingly.


A higher-pitched chime rang eight times – counting out the hours of the Western reckoning. The door slid open and a small boy entered the workshop. With his long and angular face, puffed lips and wide straight nose, he bore no resemblance to Master Tanaka.

       ‘It came from Kiyō this morning, Father,’ the boy said, presenting Hisashige with a large, ornately packed wooden box.

       ‘Excellent!’ the old master exclaimed.

       He put the box on the workbench beside the clockwork and began to unwrap it eagerly.

       ‘Shūhan-sama was supposed to send me some Walcheren glass.’

       He stopped abruptly and his shoulders sank when he saw the crest on the box, in golden leaf – three lines in a circle. He lifted the lid without enthusiasm. Inside was what seemed like a small human head, completely bald.

       ‘Some gift.’ Hisashige looked at the clock with reproach. ‘It’s just another of Zōzan’s broken dolls.’


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