the Author

Cast in Oblivion: Publication Day & Map

Posted in Cast, Essalieyan, Mira, Publication.

It’s pub day for Cast in Oblivion. Print books are in stores in North America – and prob­ably in specialty SF/F stores in the UK and Australia.

The audio­books appear to be avail­able everywhere.

The ebooks appear to be avail­able every­where but Australia/NZ. Anything that can be done from here is being done — I’m really, really sorry because I honestly love my Australian fans T_T.

To cele­brate this, I have commis­sioned a map. If you look at the menu bar, there’s a new tab, MAPS, and the drop down has the map for the City of Elantra, done by Mati Demers.

(Where by cele­brate, I mean that I real­ized I actu­ally needed a bit of a visual guide after all this time, because I am terrible at mapping, and at reading maps. I am one of those adults who, if they must make sense of a map, must orient it so that the street that I’m standing on is also in the direc­tion I’m facing, which frequently means the map is upside down to other people. This causes some confu­sion. My orien­ta­tion, in the world, is Right-Left. I know most people prefer actual compass direc­tions, but… they don’t trans­late well for me. Sadly. All of my maps of Elantra have been word maps – indi­cating where places are in rela­tion to other places. In a wiki.)

ETA: Mati Demers has offered to sell print maps to people who are interested. 

40 Responses to Cast in Oblivion: Publication Day & Map

  1. Ralph Walker says:

    I just received my Kindle down­load of the book. I was only billed $1.99, it was esti­mated to cost $8.99.

    What gives? Are you being 🔪 in the back?

  2. michelle says:

    @Ralph: I think there was a pre-order special of 1.99 at some point (it wasn’t perma­nent), but my *guess* would be that anyone who pre-ordered before the 1.99 special were prob­ably billed at 1.99, which would not punish people who ordered early (or not force them to cancel their order and re-order at the lower price).

    I’m not Amazon, though — so this is just a guess.

  3. Donna says:

    I cahtted with the Amazon​.com​.au people and they said they would work on getting the book on kindle. They said it wasn’t up on the US site yet either. This is what they sadi: “Please let the author know that add the book on Amazon​.com and I will be happy to help you in getting the book on your account.”

  4. Joey says:

    Donna: They really said, “Please let the author know …” rather than “Please let the book publisher know …”?

    Michelle: Is it really up to the author? (Also: Happy 2019!)

  5. AmelieS says:

    The map is beau­tiful! I didn’t realise that the fiefs were so big compared to the rest of the city.

  6. Brent says:

    Love your work. Happy 2019.
    Rather annoying that it’s not avail­able in Australia yet (ebook)
    I usually order the paper­back & read it within the first day or two when it arrives. However changed roles at work so I can’t get away with reading a phys­ical book anymore.
    Hope it’s resolved soon. 

    Can’t wait for the next one. (And the dozens 🤞 after it)

  7. Emile De Antonio says:

    Happy publi­ca­tion day! Now I just have to wait until Amazon drags its lazy ass to the post office. [Grumble.]
    A very nice map, but it’s diffi­cult to assim­i­late the fact that Ravellon is in the center of town (partic­u­larly in light of Kaylin’s return journey in “Decep­tion”). Ah well, reori­enting my brain will give me some­thing to do while I wait for the postperson.

  8. SueM says:

    I’m very happy to hear Obli­vian has been published! Congratulations!

    Hope­fully we in Australia (and NZ) won’t have to wait too long. With luck, it will be same as usual, being about a week later. (Donna, if you find out anything more, please update??)

  9. The Other Michelle says:

    Mine is deliv­ered today! *happyS­noopy­dance* January 2019 has NOT started off well, so this is a bright spot I’ve been looking forward to.

  10. Tyronne Hodgins says:

    Picked mine up on the way to work this morning — YIPPEEEEEE!

  11. Barbara Joy Ford says:

    Super excited to get mine today — really wishing my mail came in the morning instead of late after­noon! The map is defi­nitely useful — VERY different than what I’d pictured. :-)

  12. Cathy Palmer-Lister says:

    I love the map – it’s really beau­tiful. I’m guessing that it only shows the very most impor­tant streets and build­ings? Other­wise, there are not many people living in the fiefs.I had imag­ined them as being almost small self-contained towns.

  13. michelle says:

    @Donna & Joey: Amazon seems to be a bit confused, yes. 

    When self-publishing an ebook, the work is done on Amazon​.com, and avail­ability in other coun­tries is as simple as ticking a few boxes.

    I’ve been lead to believe that it’s not quite the same for publishers — but I have no idea — at all — of what the differ­ence is. 

    HOWEVER, as I under­stand it, HLQ in each of the various coun­tries are some­what inde­pen­dent; they make their own choices about what is, and is not, published within that terri­tory. Because they have that inde­pen­dence – and I honestly think it’s a good idea – they have their own publishing para­digm internal to that country. I think the excep­tion to this is Canada/US — it’s all North America.

    So, UK, Australia, Italy, etc, etc. 

    It’s not as simple as telling the publisher in North America – and believe that I have done that T_T. My poor editor.

  14. michelle says:

    @AmelieS: The fiefs are larger for purposes of impres­sion, I think. It’s not tech­ni­cally a street map; I chose someone who has done both large land mass maps and more “look-and-feel” maps, but wanted some­thing that was in between the two.

    @Brent & @Sue: The minute I have news, I will post here. I love my editor, but may have been a touch unhappy at her. And really, it’s not as simple as a single phone call for her, either (time differ­ences, among other things). 

    @Emile: the fiefs have always been surrounded by city — that and the river are the two things I have a blobby outline of. But even those details were… para­graphs or sentences =/. So: it’s on me that this was not clear, and I apol­o­gize for that.

    I can see fantasy maps and think they are lovely — but I can’t look at a map and get any sense of its rela­tion to me and where I’m standing in it, if that makes sense? 

    So — I think there were 18 iter­a­tions, one of which was me drawing on the rough outline of an early map. For some reason, he professes to have enjoyed creating this.

  15. michelle says:

    And I might as well confess that my right-left orien­ta­tion has some diffi­cul­ties. So initially I asked Mati to put the Map name in the upper right corner. While *meaning* the upper left corner >..

  16. michelle says:

    @Cathy: it is a “high­light” map, more than a street map, yes. So the building-per-person ratio is … not accu­rate to scale.

  17. Elizabeth Lickliter says:

    Amazon just told me my book is on the way! I’m so excited!!

  18. Debbie Matsuura says:

    Yay for Book Day!!! Ebook was deliv­ered at 9:01pm, so got to start reading then. Continued with the audio­book during the morning commute. More Yay!!!

  19. Peter Moore says:

    First of all congrat­u­la­tions on the book release. Secondly Maps!!! Yea and hooray. As a trained civil engi­neer and forester, I love maps. I’m lucky enough that I can read them any which way but when I’m going from point a to point b I still do as you do and orient the map so the top of the map is the direc­tion I’m facing, it just makes sense. I was surprised to find that Helen was so close to the High Halls, and also that so much of Elantra was across the river from the High Halls and the Impe­rial palace. Somehow I was under the impres­sion that the only thing across the river was the fiefs and Ravellon. I’m also wondering what the “L” shaped building is that is between the Impe­rial Palace and the bridge to Night­shade or is it just decorative?

  20. Emile De Antonio says:

    I was just being too rigid in my precon­cep­tions. As they were approaching Ravellon from another dimen­sion — or what­ever — there was no reason that they should not arrive at its outskirts within the circle of the outer fiefs. But some­time over the last 14 years I had mapped the fiefs as being surrounded by the city on 3 sides and fading off into a nebu­lous waste­land on the 4th. Thus my surprise.
    And I need to look at my hands before iden­ti­fying right and left.

  21. michelle says:

    @Emile: I lift my writing hand to deter­mine which is which, but… some­times I am certain I’m using the correct one. Wrongly T_T

  22. Wendy says:

    Just got my hard copy of the book today. Hooray!

  23. Tchula says:

    Yay, my hard copy arrived today! I always get the Kindle version, too, but I prefer to read the actual phys­ical book the first time through, in case there’s some­thing wonky with the Kindle formatting.

    I LOVE the map! I admit, I have a hard time figuring out the rela­tions between areas, and this really helps. I wish I had a color printer, because I would totally print this out and keep it with my books. I didn’t really under­stand that Helen was in between the Impe­rial Palace and the High Halls, so it’s great to have the visuals.

  24. Anna Wick says:

    Thank you so much for the map. Alright color printed, will go in the sleeve of my kindle to help orient me when I’m in the story.

  25. MaryW says:

    My e‑book was avail­able about 12:30 am. The paper copy was here around noon. Amazon did charge $1.99 for the e‑book and it was ordered as soon as there was a release date. I am enjoying the read but I think it is time for a series re-read. My memory needs a refresh.

  26. Anna says:

    Such a cool map! Cant wait to read the book :D

  27. Joyce Ronquillo says:

    I looked at the posts and answers that appear here but may have missed some from previous days so I apol­o­gize in advance if I missed something. 

    Okay, so I finished re-reading Decep­tion and looking at the map I find myself totally confused. How did they get to the Ravellon border of Tiamaris without crossing into Candallar or Night­shade? I assumed the fires are on the Ravellon border? I accept that the city and river were not on the same level as they were (since you refer to the paths as having levels) but all of the towers were in their view.

    The first time I read it I was curious but just let it be in wibbly-wobbly hand-wavy terri­tory; but, now there is a map and I am confused. If there is an expla­na­tion then I want it, please? However, I will accept it if you just tell me to stop looking behind the curtain because I still love the books and won’t object.

  28. michelle says:

    They got through to Tiamaris from the outlands; it’s a different plane of exis­tence in which the city itself doesn’t intrude. The city is irrel­e­vant to the only struc­ture they can see from where they are — Ravellon.

    It would be a struc­ture seen in any plane.

    So: the portal paths, the outlands, are a different layer of exis­tence through which they can travel, but not safely. They could only find Tiamaris from within the outlands because of the border fires, which are magical fires devel­oped by the Norannir to serve as alarms against Shadow approach. The Towers exist, but the Towers them­selves would deny them entry into the domains over which they stand guard, because the path they’re using is not trav­eled by people. For the most part. Terrano doesn’t count. 

    But while the Towers are there, the Towers are multi-planar — or they wouldn’t be able to do what they were created to do. The rest of the city and its inhab­i­tants are not, with one or two excep­tions multi-planar in the same way. Neither is the water.

    So: Shadows that approach the city from different planes of exis­tence are stopped by the Towers. Bellusdeo feels they can safely approach Tiamaris because of Tara and Tara’s rela­tion­ship with Kaylin. Tara will know who Kaylin is.

  29. Hilary says:

    Last week Amazon uk emailed me to say my preorder would not be avail­able until late February. Anyway contrary to what they said it dropped through my letterbox yesterday and as we have had thick snow here and I couldn’t go out l had the time to read it from begin­ning to end and loved it. I had spent the rest of January re reading the previous books. It’s such a complex enjoy­able series I can’t wait for the next book. Thank you Michelle

  30. AmelieS says:

    I don’t see the Arcanum or the Merchant’s Guild on the map. Have you decided on a loca­tion for them?

    I finished Cast in Oblivion yesterday and it was great! I love all the Barrani politics.

  31. laura says:

    love the map! thank you! i too was surprised to realize helen was so close to the high halls and impe­rial palace.

  32. Julianne Single says:

    Enjoyed oblivion immensely took off work publi­ca­tion day so I could stay up most of the night reading and wasn’t disap­pointed. This book made me feel that Kaylin is sort of being forced to grow up more than previous novels which made me me a little sad. I do love young irre­press­ible Kaylin but on the other hand we must all grow up some­time. I did love that despite being forced to think about her actions and deci­sions though she still came through as Kaylin in little moments like when she chose to wear her boots with the dress the consort sent or how she enjoyed annoying ynpharion among other things. Also enjoyed the map I have long wanted to see what Elantra looked like and it almost seems smaller than I imag­ined also never real­ized where exactly Helen was in rela­tion exactly to the other places in Kaylin’s life. Also surprised how close the farms are to the city since it seems Kaylin has never been there (now that would be fun, Kaylin on a farm haha) I guess I was thinking more of Elantra as a large urban area like a big city with appro­priate suburban sprawl before you get to forest or farms. I’m assuming then from Kaylin’s trip to the west March that the area outside of the city is more or less unin­hab­it­able causing people then to compress together? As there is a tab that says “maps” plural does that mean there might possibly be more maps in the future of other areas or more detailed ones?

  33. David Youngs says:

    I was happily reading when there was a discon­ti­nuity. 32 pages following page 224 are missing and the following 32 duplicated.
    And the only other copy at the store has the same problem.
    They’ve taken it back with a promise to get more in, hoping they’re from else­where in the produc­tion run.

  34. Bee says:

    Just finished my copy — forced myself to take a few days to read it so I’d actu­ally absorb more of what happened. Loved loved loved it. I’m always pleas­antly surprised by how well your books move along, even with large amounts of dialog happening in a short period of time. Not many authors can make dialog and debate feel like action as opposed to filler in a lazy attempt to world build without actual effort. 

    I really enjoyed the return of Night­shade, and look forward to hope­fully more of him in the future. I also laughed at the rather amusing INCIDENT with Ynpharion. I’m hoping for some addi­tional response from Night­shade in regards to that. I’ll leave out details so I don’t spoil anything for anyone who has not completed the books. 

    I will say I’m enjoying the growing up Kaylin is doing. This book felt less like someone drag­ging her by her ear toward being an adult, and more like her actu­ally grudg­ingly acknowl­edging that maybe it was time to make some efforts in that direction.

    I’m looking forward (some­what) patiently to the future of this series. I’m going to have to go back to book one and read my way through again (again) while I wait for next year. :)

  35. Mk says:

    It was an awesome awesome book, thank you!!!! I just love how Kaylin’s story in each book is big and small at the same time, if that makes sense. And now I have Feb 19 to look forward to as well! Just one ques­tion — do you as an author have a choice about which book excerpt is included at the back? They picked a fairly incen­diary book and I was wondering how you felt about it.

  36. Carol Duffy says:

    Loved Cast in Oblivion; thank you! Read it straight through. It has been a plea­sure seeing how story arcs begun in the first book are playing out across the series, and how Kaylin has grown with them. Plus I, too, really enjoy Barrani poli­tics in general and Night­shade in partic­ular. Nice to see him back. Should you so desire, and the story you want to tell takes us in that direc­tion, I at least would enjoy a return to his castle and, perhaps, a hint as to who the light haired Barrani in the pictures on his walls might have been. In all events, thank you so much for the wonderful stories! I have so enjoyed them all and look forward to what­ever comes next.

  37. michelle says:


    Just one ques­tion — do you as an author have a choice about which book excerpt is included at the back? They picked a fairly incen­diary book and I was wondering how you felt about it.

    I was working at the store today, and this one requires a bit of care, so I am answering it now, at home, after dinner.

    Did I choose the excerpt? No. 

    Was I given a choice about whether or not it would be included? Yes.

    I was asked about my feel­ings on the matter, and my editor said that if I felt strongly that it would cause diffi­culty for me, she would go to bat to have it completely removed.

    I am not on the Internet often, and most of my inter­ac­tions involve talking to my readers. So I did not see most of the incen­diary involved with the book when it was unfolding.

    I asked her to give me a day or two to consider things — because, again, I had heard very little about the book itself. And then I … went to the Internet and google.

    I saw the essays and blog posts that occurred around — and after — and as I have not read the book I could not judge the book itself. But the gist — again, this is my take — of the angriest of crit­i­cisms were: main char­acter was racist. But it did not seem to me — from reviews and essays — that this was ever portrayed as good or desirable.

    Second: there was some anger at the story — yet another priv­i­leged person gets ‘woke’. Raised with certain views, the main char­acter goes to the secondary fantasy world equiv­a­lent of univer­sity, and begins to realize that her beliefs — unques­tioned until now — are… wrong.

    Kaylin came from worse than slums. But… she had an extreme prej­u­dice against the Tha’alani, for two and a half books. It’s not subtle. She hates them. She fears them. And in Cast in Secret, she learns things that absolutely change that fear and hatred. 

    Which means… I’ve told that kind of story myself. Part of Secret is about someone who has deeply held prej­u­dices who … learns that she is not seeing the whole picture. It changes the way she feels. 

    I can’t in good conscience judge someone else for doing some­thing I’ve done. 

    Which is why, in the end, I accepted it.

  38. Jennifer says:

    I’m in the middle of this book and its great. I was wondering if you have a list of the char­ac­ters some­where? I’ve forgotten who Ypharion is exactly. To many books floating around in my head.

  39. michelle says:

    Ynpharion is one of the Barrani Kaylin encoun­tered in PERIL. She forcibly took his name, or knowl­edge of his name, from him in order not to die, and he’s been a constant, crit­ical pres­ence since then.

  40. michelle says:

    Ummm, and no, there’s no list >.>

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