What should show up at my front door today, but this box of lovely books! Yes, these are the new trade paperback editions of Song of the Beast, winner of the 2004 Colorado Book Award.
I wasn't too sure of the new cover when I got a jpg of it a couple of months ago. Thought it was too dark. But, wow, I think it came out really nice! I've gotta say, thought, Aidan probably wasn't looking quite this...robust...after seventeen years in prison. But I'm ok with it!
So what's new? And where does this story fit in my brood of thirteen?
Cover, format, print size, and the Introduction by the Author are new. The actual text is the same as its initial release.
Song of the Beast is actually the earliest written of all my published books - though it was released after the three Books of the Rai-kirah, Transformation, Revelation, and Restoration. I tell a bit about how the story came to be in the new introduction. It was my break-through book in many ways. I think it suffered a bit from being released after the Rai-kirah books, as it is a much simpler story. It is a story that poured out of me when I was making a big step forward in my writing, and so is not quite as polished or nuanced as my later work. But I think in some ways it is a microcosm of what I have been trying to do. Good stories with complicated characters and a plot that isn't always as expected, told in vivid language.
So why did my publisher choose to do this? It was time for another print run. All of my books have stayed in print so far, but every time the supply dwindles, the publisher has to choose whether to reprint or not. I like to think it is a measure of faith in both story and author that Roc chose to reinvest in the artwork and larger size. (And maybe if it does well, they'll do the same for other books and get rid of those green wings!)
If you've not read it, I hope you enjoy it. And if you have, I hope this reissue reintroduces some good friends and some pleasurable hours.