the Author

Publication day: WAR

Posted in DAW.

War thumb-nail

ETA: It’s come to my atten­tion else­where on-line that some readers think WAR is the final book in the Essalieyan universe. They are… not happy with it because of all the things the book isn’t. I forget, because I live too much inside my own head, that what I’ve known for years – and talked about for the same years – simply isn’t known by everyone who is… not me.

War is the final book in the House War series arc. It’s the final book in the arc that belongs to Jewel Markess ATer­afin. WAR is not the final Essalieyan book. I’ve sold the first four books of what will be the final arc in this universe: The Burning Crown.

It’s June 18th in North America, which means — as of midnight last night — today is War’s book day.

War is the final book in the House War series, the culmi­na­tion of the Aver­alaan arc. The time between it and the penul­ti­mate volume has only been four months, so I’m not nervous about the timing or the long wait between books (which char­ac­ter­ized my nerves about First­born). No, I’m just nervous because it’s the final volume. You know how you can bounce of ceil­ings because you are excited and nervous and you can’t sit still and your grasp of actual sentences is trun­cated because you can’t finish one? Like that. I’m excited. And nervous. There are prob­ably going to be skull marks in the ceiling by the end of the day.

Amazon and B&N have both added WAR to the list of notable SF&F books being published in June.

DAW’s hard­cover is avail­able in North America, and in any Amazon that imports books from North Amer­ican publishers; the ebooks are avail­able on Amazon, Kobo and iTunes in the wider world.

If you want  signed copies of the hard­cover, they will be avail­able from the book­store at which I still work part-time – but it’s in Canada, and the ship­ping costs aren’t subsi­dized in any way, so, no media mail, etc. Sorry >.<.

50 Responses to Publication day: WAR

  1. michelle says:

    @Taen: While I was fret­ting about blog posts, I got a noti­fi­ca­tion that you had commented on the prior State of the Author post. Thank you for that post — it was very encouraging.

  2. Andrew Natenshon says:

    Congrats on the publi­ca­tion. I was so happy to see it down­load this morning and am very excited to read it. Best of luck with the launch. Drew

  3. Z Hunt says:

    I’m always sad book release days are Tuesday due to work, but based on what I’ve read so far…I cannot wait for the day to end so I can finish the book!

    Thank you so much for all the writing you do. I’m eager to find out how this all ends, though at the same time the concept of an ending for this series is a bit depressing. But then I can read the series again and again so there is that!

  4. michelle says:

    @Zia: Well, there’s The Burning Crown, which is the final arc in the entire universe — and that’s in progress, but nowhere near finished yet :)

  5. Sue Ivey says:

    I am enjoying it greatly. But, work is inter­fering. Wish I had already retired, LOL

  6. Linda says:

    I really enjoy listening to your books. Why isn’t WAR an Audible book this time? Thanks.

  7. michelle says:

    @Linda: It is avail­able in Audio — or at least it is on audible​.com. Are you outside of North America?

  8. Peter Moore says:

    Yea and Hooray! Started last night and stopped when I discov­ered my chin on my chest and the clock reading 01:45. I took that as a hint and went to bed. Got up this morning and the onliest thing that came before resuming reading was coffee. I don’t func­tion well without my morning drug fix. Looking forward to finishing some­time within the next few days (I’m not a partic­ular slow reader but I make sure to take my time with your work) Looking forward to the ending only because that means that there will be noting in the way of me looking forward to the Burning Crown arc. And of course more stuff in the Chron­i­cles of Elantris universe. Also will there be anything more in the Augus­tine universe? I know you have one short novel finished but unpub­lished and the two short stories that are out there, but it would be fun if there was more…When I comes to your writing I’m like Oliver in the Bdwy musical…“Please m’am, I want some more!” (not that I’m comparing your writing to gruel, just Oliv­er’s desire)

  9. michelle says:

    @Peter: Tanya Huff wrote the intro­duc­tion to that anthology, and because she’s Tanya, she read each and every story first. When she finished Colors of Augus­tine, she picked up the phone, called me, and said, “Stop what­ever you’re doing right now and write more of this!”

    I said, “Fine, I’ll just call our mutual editor and tell her I’m not going to meet my dead­line because Huff’s insisting I work on an entirely different book.” This did not happen :)

  10. Aelynn says:

    Many congrat­u­la­tions~!
    (Also, I always feel a bit giddy when I read about how you and Tanya Huff can just call each other. It’s like two myth­ical figures from different multi­verses just happen to be hanging out and it blows my mind.)

  11. michelle says:

    @Aelynn: We worked together — in a retail envi­ron­ment — full-time for six years, and… there’s nothing myth­ical about retail :)

  12. Linda says:

    Thank you! I was watching for it last night and it wasn’t listed on Audible. I checked because i wanted to get it as soon as it was out. Strangely it is there now. 

    Thank you again for such a great series. Sad to see it end but I’m looking for to next next Elantra book!

  13. Carol Duffy says:

    Hooray! So excited and can’t wait to head home from work and read more (believe it or not subways can be good for reading).

  14. Darbie says:

    Sooo excited tried to see if it down­loaded at mid nite but noooo:( so will try again today after work can’t wait this date has been on my calendar for months:)

  15. Stephen says:

    I love your writing. You are the absolute best author alive. Your universe is high art, if compared to cathe­drals, you writing is equal to my favorite. I. E. Gothic that is myth­ical. Myth tran­scends time with its teaching about things that really matter, and you are at the front of that line. Oh, did I mention that I love your House War universe?
    I will pick up a Hard­back on my way to work today. Yea, hurrah. Thank you, thank you, thank you. :)

  16. Elizabeth Fiorentini says:

    I am so glad to see my Nook copy has arrived, but because I just began rereading THE BROKEN CROWN again it will have to wait a few days. Now that all of the char­ac­ters are more familiar and they have played their roles almost to the climax, I am discov­ering histo­ries that mean so much more to me
    Your talent is astounding. You have my deepest thanks for trans­porting me to such an intri­cate and varied world with these wonderful char­ac­ters. It is a plea­sure to spend time here.
    I also want to say that your short story about the Makers and their talents really helped my under­standing of many things. It may be that one of your other series will be the next addi­tion to my library. Be blessed.

  17. So excited and very much looking forward to read the conclusion. 

    I feel to do the arc justice, I am going to have to go back to the begin­ning and reread all the books, including the swords. Now I just have to go figure out the book order, again.

  18. Julianne Single says:

    I’m excited and I didn’t even have to wait that long for the last book because I just started reading the whole arc including the sun sword this past year. Yes, there’s always at least one in every crowd that shows up late.

  19. Emile De Antonio says:

    All of these comments make me foam at the mouth with jeal­ousy! I still have to wait for Amazon to stir their stumps and send it to me by Pony Express while all your readers are beaming with satisfaction!
    But still… huzza! And thank you.

  20. michelle says:

    @Emile: I admit that I still read print books too. I read ebooks — but for review, etc. – but some part of my hind­brain considers reading those to be Work.

    @Julianne: I, too have done this :D. I did this with Megan Whalen Turn­er’s books. But… then I had to wait. T_T

    @Elizabeth: I, too, had to reread the earlier series. It was only when I started that I real­ized it’s been almost a quarter of a century between that early concep­tion and now. But — Dominion and Breo­danir are impor­tant for the last series arc, The Burning Crown.

  21. michelle says:

    @Linda: No problem at all — I was exhausted yesterday, so I didn’t write the blog post last night, but rather, this morning – and you prob­ably checked Audible last night. I have been checking; I knew it was done, but there was no link. This morning, there was, but I don’t know when it was added.

    @Stephen: Thank you :). I have the book­ends you made on my mantle in the living room. Admit­tedly, my house looks like a total disaster zone at the moment, so, ummm, no pictures have been taken because, well. Disaster 

    @Carol: I always read on subways :D. Buses, not so much — for some reason, I get motion sick on buses, but not subways or trains, go figure.

  22. David Youngs says:

    This was mist­imed. I was in Bakka last Tuesday.

    And I have bought books from both you and Tanya, and prob­ably from a few other authors there as well.
    Now, can I fiddle some­thing out of this month’s budget?

  23. michelle says:

    @David: sorry =/

  24. Kerry aka Trouble says:

    I just do hard­copy, but I did get an email today that it shipped. I should have it by Friday.Just in time to spoil myself for my birthday weekend.

  25. michelle says:

    @Kerry: I do both ebooks and hard­copy, but for different reasons. I prefer the print versions because on a visceral level that’s what *I* read, forever. HOWEVER, if I am fanatic about a series, I *also* buy ebooks so I can carry them around with me every­where, Just In Case I Need Them.

  26. Erin says:

    Michelle…I just finished War. It was more than I could have possibly imag­ined and at the same time completely met all of my yearn­ings. And to have it at Solstice…an incred­ible gift. I have read the series a number of times. And may soon start at the begin­ning again. For some reason, I always feel like I’ve found home when I’m in the midst of this story. Thank you.

  27. Estara Swanberg says:

    Book, oh Book, oh Book — Same month book­drop for Sher­wood Smith with a new Sarto­rias-deles book, Sword of Truth, and now War — Praise be to DAW and Sheila Gilbert and Betsy Wollheim.
    I am so happy but brain­less (it’s been a tough 2019 and it’ll only calm down in late July, unless parental illness gets worse). Book. Many more books to come, wohoo ^^

  28. michelle says:

    @Erin: Thank you. I feel that way some­times when writing. Hmmm, home isn’t quite the right word – maybe heart? 

    When I started Hunter’s Death, I had very distinct plot threads whose endings I could clearly see. Not so much end of book(s), but ends of arcs. Jewel’s was the only one that was unclear by the end of Hunter’s Death — because Jewel’s was not one of those strands. I knew, by the end of HD, that she could make one of two choices. I didn’t know which choice. 

    I started writing the first novel in what will be THE BURNING CROWN. I think I started it a number of times – not uncommon for a West novel. And then I real­ized that the answer to the ques­tion of what Jewel would do was increas­ingly neces­sary. I could arbi­trarily make the choice off the page for her — but I would be stuck with that choice, and no way to write to it. And… I still didn’t know.

    And many books later, I now do. And from the vantage of WAR, I under­stand all of the reasons for that choice (in a struc­tural sense) going forward with THE BURNING CROWN (formerly referred to as End of Days arc), and I see the ways in which it’s necessary.

    So… from the begin­ning days of Hunter’s Death, Jewel’s is the first of the many arcs that is finished. The others — Kallan­dras, Stephen (son of Cynthia), Kiriel, Auralis, etc., — are obvi­ously not done yet. Oh, Evayne too. 

    These stories were at the heart of the Sun Sword — which, in my head, I think of as the first half of Kiriel’s arc — and they drive the final arc. They have been with me for a long time.

  29. Tarun Elankath says:

    I loved War. Thank you for writing it. It was a bitter-sweet ending, but there was no other way for it to end well. I read the last chap­ters once again to wring every single drop of satiation.

    I know this is the ending of Jewel’s exclu­sive arc, but I really hope we can get to see her again in some small signif­i­cant form in the story that you tell next about Essalieyan. It would be saddening not to read about her again and how she and her compan­ions are managing. 

    Also, doesn’t the Lord of the Hells threaten the whole world ? I would guess Essalieyan, the free cities and the Dominion are just one corner of the mortal world — they all seem to be in one conti­nent. Some hints on what the other nations are doing would be great too.

  30. Cherie Gardner says:

    Loved it so much! Sad about the fact of Jewels future but lovely, lovely book. Thank you for working so hard on it.

  31. Cara says:


    I have never been brave enough to comment on your posts before (I just read them) but I just finished reading War, and I feel I have to express my thanks. 

    The world you have created is beau­tiful. Thank you for sharing it with us through your words, and many books. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.

  32. michelle says:

    @Tarun: for the hope to see them again in some fashion, I can *almost* guar­antee that you will. 

    For the rest of the world: I did consider that early on; I have certain areas of the map that are unwritten but extant — but adding another country, adding another set of people with their own poli­tics and conflicts, and also *finishing* a series … I don’t write short to begin with =/. And it’s highly likely that Arrend will also feature in the End of Days.

  33. michelle says:

    @Cherie: Me too — but, well. I hated writing the end of Stephen of Elseth, too =/

    @Cara: thank you :). I don’t gener­ally bite, but — I do under­stand. There were a lot of authors I read but almost none I tried to actu­ally commu­ni­cate with, and this only changed when I was published and I fully real­ized that … comments like yours are good and also helpful.

  34. Paula Lieberman says:

    The local B&N doesn’t have War, or didn’t earlier this week. So, I have the ebook instead. I posted a few things on Face­butt, including some­thing like “There are enti­ties the kitties ‑won’t- eat!” and Joyce Scrivener, who was most of the way through the book, responded with a few comments including that she was 3/4s through the book.

    I’m still wondering about the parentage of the heir of Maubreche’s hunt sibling is, been wondering about that for years. 

    I’m wondering about what will happen if/when Calliastra and her sister Kiriel meet. 

    I’ve wondered for a long time what is across the sea from the Essaylien Empire and what the trade goods are… there was some infor­ma­tion about trade between the Empire and the Dominion and the Empire and the west and north… there’s a seaport, but ??? 


    Spoiler Inside SelectShow


  35. michelle says:

    @Paula: I’ve edited to add spoiler-hiding. I will, in a couple of days, put up a sepa­rate thread for spoilers — promise! — but I’d appre­ciate it if you waited for that — I think most people haven’t finished yet =/

  36. Thank you @Michelle!

    While I love this thread, the spoilers have been hurting my eyes.

  37. David Youngs says:

    our local Chaotigo doesn’t have it in yet — infact the nearest ones are over an hour away.

  38. Z Hunt says:

    So I finished War on Tuesday and loved it. A lot. But there was defi­nitely several tugs at my emotions. I read it again, and then a third time and I might actu­ally be able to form thoughts now. Maybe. 

    While I am looking forward to the final arc in this universe, the series revolving around Jewel has always been my favorite of them-though of all the books the Cast novels still take the prize- so having that series come to an end is sad. Though, again, still prac­ti­cally bouncing off the walls for the next series. We’ve estab­lished I’m a bit odd. 

    Thank you again for taking the time to write this novel and the series. War</em was fantastic and I may have to read it a fourth time before Monday arrives.

  39. DeDe says:

    Michelle — Thank You! Loved the book. Seri­ously, an awesome closure for that arc. I hope you enjoyed writing it as much as I enjoyed reading it!

  40. ome says:

    I read the book in a single sitting. I couldn’t put it down. End result — I went to bed at 6:45am. Worth it absolutely. I CANNOT wait for the next arc to begin. 

    Thank you Michelle for a fantastic read.

  41. Tchula says:

    Finally finished War tonight after working Wed-Saturday. (Annoying how much work gets in the way of my hobbies!)

    Michelle, this book was every­thing I wanted it to be and more! The pacing was perfect and I loved the compar­isons and reminders of the last time war came to Aver­alaan. Jester was a wonderful POV char­acter; these last couple of books I finally feel like I have a good under­standing of each of the members of Jewel’s Den.

    I feel the need to do a reread of the House War books, but I kinda also want to start waaaay back with the Hunter Duology, too. These novels are like revis­iting old friends, with all the emotions that come with that. You have defi­nitely deliv­ered with War. Congrat­u­la­tions, and I look forward to the next arc! :-D

  42. Mary B says:

    I just finished it. And.… Just.…wow.

    After all the words and all the years since The Hunter Duology there’s to be yet more?!?! I am.….. I don’t know what I am. I look forward to these books and this world and its people because of the depth of its char­ac­ters, its strong women, and the fully real­ized world that they inhabit.

    I thought that it was all over. I’m delighted and appalled at the same time because it’s not. Delighted because I’ll get to bury myself in the words again and appalled at the sheer task of creating another series as long and as detailed as The Sun Sword.

    As to this book, the ending was all it ever could be, but it left me bereft in many ways. I will be content to wait patiently for the rest to unfold in all of its rich­ness. I really want to know how it all ends, when­ever it does. In the mean­time, every­thing else that I read will pale in comparison.

    Very well done! And thank you.

  43. michelle says:

    @DeDe: I think I … enjoyed it less in the writing than you did in the reading — but you prob­ably weren’t cursing #pastyou while revising, or split­ting the book, or, or, or. *wry g*.

    @ome: This is why I try very hard not to start a book anywhere near bed-time. I’m a “just one more chapter” reader. Terry Pratchett books were noto­ri­ously diffi­cult for me – and it was years before I actu­ally real­ized that his Disc­world books — with the excep­tion of the YAs — had no chap­ters.

    @Tchula: Thank you. I have reread both Hunter Books recently — because the Hunters have some signif­i­cance in the End of Days arc. It’s … weird, for me — I both remember the writing of those books and fail to remember them because it was a quarter of century ago. Part of me feels, on some visceral level, that very little time has passed. 

    Part of me thinks: Wait, is *that* how I spelled that word? T_T (Also: But wasn’t that green?) The things I remember are there, but there’s a blur­ring between memory and words. 

    @Mary: I am, oddly, not appalled when I consider it. And the writing of this series made clear the answer to a nagging ques­tion about the overall End of Days that I had not fully resolved for myself; it was the dangling, but: how?

    But I have endings in mind across a number of char­acter arcs, and those endings are still vibrant, they’re still alive because they haven’t been written yet.

    I don’t know if that makes sense. Once I’ve finished a story, I forget every­thing. But if it’s unfin­ished I am not bored by it, not tired of it, not … done yet. It’s like every other part of the contin­uing story are reso­nant notes, and the sound lingers on the inside of my head.

    Clearly the lack of coffee — which is a very terrible neces­sity at the moment T_T — is affecting my ability to communicate.

    ETA: typos. Again.

  44. LaraB says:

    I finished War, and I just wanted you to know that I found it *Immensely Satis­fying*. It pulled on my heart so many times. While I certainly have more curiosity about Aver­alaan and the ways in which Jewel’s reso­lu­tion will affect the other char­ac­ters in the city, the reso­lu­tion itself both left me a little sad, and filled me with satisfaction.

    I’ll be going back through the whole series to savor the flow of it all just as soon as I catch back up on my sleep.

    Thank you for writing all of these stories. I have loved the world of Essalieyen, and the char­ac­ters in that world, from the first book. I look forward to reading the (gulp) final arc as it is written.

  45. Tchula says:

    @Michelle, Yes, the spelling of names some­times has changed between books: Ariane, Arianne, etc. I tend to spell it with the double n when I write the name, but her scenes are always so powerful regard­less, I gener­ally don’t think too much about it.

    I can imagine it must feel strange to go back and read through some­thing you wrote 25 years ago. Person­ally, some of the allu­sions to those earlier books were my favorite parts of War. I am going to find the time to go back through them, but first I want to read the new Neal Stephenson novel – although my husband says so far it’s depressing.

  46. michelle says:

    @Lara: Thank you :). I feel the same, in some ways — the West novels are the over­ar­ching writing conti­nuity of my writing brain. I kind of need to be writing them, of finishing the arcs and stories that have been with me since Hunter’s Death. 

    @Tchula: I have FALL as well :D. And I kind of enjoy reading books that were written by — and more specif­i­cally agonized over — by someone who is Not Michelle. I also have an interest in books about Hell, because hell is so individual.

  47. Toby Jacobs says:
    Spoiler Inside SelectShow
  48. Toby Jacobs says:

    Eep! Wrong thread for the above! Can’t see an edit or delete button and the spoiler tags didn’t work as expected!! Please can you move it to the spoiler thread??? Sorry to be a pain.…

  49. michelle says:

    @Toby: I’m sure we’ve all done it before :). Word­Press (on which this site is built) doesn’t have an easy “move comment” func­tion. I have an add-on that does this, but it’s cumber­some and while I did attempt to move the comment, seem to have copied it instead T_T.

    So: I did the spoiler tag for that partic­ular entire post. I’d delete this comment, but I’m half afraid that I will just … delete both somehow because of the way the comment pointers work.

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