Tag Archives: The Legends of the Red Sun

Nights of Villjamur Interview Part Two: Investigator Rumex Jeryd

Hey Guys and Girls, I’m back with Investigator Rumex Jeryd! πŸ™‚ He was good enough to give up some of his time to answer the questions I had, and here’s the result:


Dave: Thanks for agreeing to this interview, Inspector Jeryd, I appreciate you giving up your time during this important investigation. First off, what brought you to the Inquisition? And why in Villjamur? Surely there are quieter spots throughout the Empire?

Jeryd: Well it wasn’t the paperwork, that’s for sure. It’s been so long since I’ve joined – decades and decades – that I can’t really remember why. A calling. A safe job. The need to do some good in this city. I was born and raised in Villjamur, but I don’t fancy making my way out in the sticks. It’s not as violent as some cities. And sure it’s quieter out in the country, but there’s no protection, no guarantee of food, risk of attacks from tribal uprisings and the likes. Plus now the ice is kicking in, I’m glad I’m behind these city walls.

Dave: When you’re not persuing a suspect, when you feel the need to relax for a time, where do you go? What do you do?

Jeryd: Time to relax? Very little of that these days. Back in the day, me and my wife, Marysa, we’d take in some of the underground theatre shows – she loves a golem show. Maybe dinner out, read a book. My breaks are when I get to a bistro, and I watch the world go by. There are a lot of characters in Villjamur. There’s a lot going on beneath the surface – but you need to look hard to see what’s really going on.

Dave: Coming to your wife; How does she handle your work? Has it put a strain on your marriage or does she handle it well?

Jeryd: Hey, I’m hardly the guy to answer that one well am I? I mean, I guess you have to work at relationships, right? But with Inquisition work, well, it just takes over your life. I’m hardly there to see to her needs and when I am everything seems trivial to murders or whatever. No, I’m not so good when it comes to these things. I’d like to think I can turn things around though.

Dave: Well, the city does have a way of bringing out the best or worst in a person. Coming back to the Inquisition, can you give us a short history of the Inquisition? Do you know anything of how it was formed and how long its been in charge of justice in Villjamur?

Jeryd: As to how it was formed in the first stage, no one really knows. Most of the stories suggest it started with Jamur Joll, the Emperor who five thousand years ago re-named the settlement as Villjamur, and had the walls built. He established some kind of order (though you might think that order never really came), and the Inquisition was to enforce civil obedience. The Inquisition really took hold within the last couple of thousand years – in its current capacity. There was a great deal of combat between human and rumel, and the upshot of these tensions were that the rumel would be allowed to form the main rank of Investigators. It was a peace offering of sorts, to force two races to live side-by-side in peace. And we’re a relatively liberal city compared to others, so I’ve heard, so I guess the policy worked.

Dave: Granted, it does seem to have worked. Looking back over your years in Villjamur, is there a memory that stands out more than most? Something good or bad that you’ll never forget.

Jeryd: Memory is a strange thing. My species can live for a good couple of hundred years, so I tend not to rely on what happened all that long ago. We can distort things in our minds even after a few hours – think what that’s like for a few decades! Nah, whatever I’m thinking about probably isn’t how it was.

Dave: That seems a sad way to live, but understandable from a rumel’s point of view. Is there then something you’re looking forward to? A dream that you’ve been nurturing?

Jeryd: I’m realistic! You’ve got to think practically to be in the Inquisition. None of this emotions nonsense. I look forward to building a better marriage, but as for things to look forward to? Well, believe it or not, I’m a big fan of the theatre. I’d love more free time to take my wife to see a lot of the shows. Villjamur has great underground shows, and even in an ice age there’s a lot going on. I’m trying not to think too far ahead – what with the ice, nothing is certain.

* * *

The next Villjamur interview that’ll I’ll post will be with Commander Brynd Lathraea! πŸ™‚

Order your copy of Nights of Villjamur here for US, here for UK and here for those in SA, and check out Mark’s site here.


Posted by on September 23, 2009 in Interviews


Tags: , , , ,

Night of Villjamur Interview Part One: Randur Estevu


I’m sure at least a couple of you have been wondering what happened to interviews on the blog? πŸ™‚

Well, this is what I (and Mark, of course) have had in the works – instead of a full interview focusing on the process and info behind the book, and we took this tack. Hopefully, the Q & A’s that you’ll see on the blog will not only bring the characters even more to life but also serve as a tantalizing hint of what those who haven’t yet read Nights of Villjamur can expect – thereby sucking in even more readers. πŸ™‚ And I would have to be completely honest and say that Gav over at Nextread beat me to it by doing this great interview with Mark – an interview that I would have loved to do! πŸ™‚ So, here’s my effort! And thanks once again to Mark for playing along. πŸ™‚ Don’t forget, the sequel to Nights of Villjamur, City of Ruin, has a blurb and a cover (that might just be growing on me, not sure yet)! πŸ™‚

Dave: Coming from a small island and now being in the greatest city of the Empire, is it a bit overwhelming or more of the same just on a bigger scale?

Randur: Well, there are plenty more women here, that’s for sure…

But, I can honestly say that no matter where you go, people are still after the same kind of things. People need to put food in their mouths, need to get by, need the attentions of a lover. (That’s where I come in.) I’ve noticed a lot of lonely people getting tempted by shiny trinkets. Life isn’t as wholesome in Villjamur as much as the countryside – and in this city, the problems are swept into the caves, away from public view. People are obsessed with drinking and generally doing what they can to escape the world. And who can blame them, with the ice coming in?

Dave: Ah, yes, the ice! Tell me, was the coming of the ice discussed in Folke, openly, or was it something relegated to gossips? I guess what I’m asking is, coming from such a small corner of the Empire, surely there are those who still don’t believe in what’s coming?

Randur: You can never really trust what the old women gossip about on Folke. Chances are only half of what they say is even close to true, and even then aimed at bringing down someone in the community. And the men are worse – sitting in silence for much of the day and when they do speak all they do is mutter about bad omens.

To be honest, some people need to make a living, and just get on no matter what the elements bring. But bugger was I going to stay there, given half a chance of some sanctuary. In terms of belief? Well when you’d experienced the recent weather before I left, you don’t need much convincing.

Dave: You seem like a pragmatist, one who doesn’t readily believe rumours – bot from the woman-folk of Folke at least! How would you describe yourself? What terrifies you and exhilirates you?

Randur: In my dance, I am an artist. Actually, same in the bedroom too, given half a chance… Other than that? I’m someone who takes a risk now and then. You might say I’ve blagged my way through life so far, and that’d be fair. You have to – you’ve only go so long and you’ve got to make the most of it. What terrifies me? Not a lot if I’m honest. I tend not to think all that hard about the fears and the likes. I get my kicks out of living close to the edge: getting caught in the act by someone’s husband gets the ol’ heart beating.

Most of all, I enjoy the art of dancing. On my island, it’s a masculine activity. In this damn city, everyone things I’m a bit of a dandy for doing it – but it’s my life, my calling. I lose my sense of self when I’m doing it (which possibly explains why I’m so full of myself when I’m not).

Dave: Should I be glad that I don’t have a wife? Don’t answer that. Although, I might just take up some dancing… πŸ™‚ So, I what are your thoughts on influx of refugees? Do you think the Emperor is in a position to handle the situation?

Randur: I’m sure I would treat her with great respect.

As for the refugees? Not much anyone can do about it in this world. It’s a symptom of things – that money gets sucked into Villjamur from islands like mine. We’re poor people, out on Folke, but we had a lot of resources – ores and agriculture. Doesn’t add up, does it? Exactly. So when you take away everything from them, what else are they going to do but come banging on the only door in this world that has a hope in hell of offering… anything. So of course, the institutions in Villjamur are in a position to do many things. They merely choose not to.

Dave: Well I’m sure that Chancellor Urtika has a plan in motion that will see the refugees taken care of. Moving onto your impressions of the city, what do you think about Villjamur? I’m not talking about sights and sounds, mind you, but your impressions – when you look at the city, when you breathe it in, how does this city of cities make you feel?

Randur: It makes you feel very humble. There are what, eleven thousand years of history on this site. It’s vast. It’s architecture is a mishmash of designs. It imposes itself on you. It makes you feel very insignificant. You can loose yourself in the mass of people – which is strangely liberating, being a nobody.

Dave: Last question for you: Considering the palpable building of tension in Villjamur, and the kind of people who are in charge, who have known only this city and this life, is there a place for you in Villjamur? And if not, what would it take you make you choose to stay? Hypothetical of course.

Randur: For me to stay, I’d need an endless supply of women to charm and teach to dance… hypothetically, of course. All I have are my sword skills and dance skills – which aren’t that dissimilar; you can use them anywhere, so my home is also anywhere. But I don’t think I’d like to stay in Villjamur too long though – the corruption, the violence, the sin… I don’t know how people could want to make their lives with all of this crap around them. And besides, people have such bad manners in the city.

Well, there you have it! πŸ™‚ Mark and I are busy working on the next character interview – Investigator Rumex Jeryd – and that’ll be up next week some time, so keep an eye out! πŸ™‚

If this interview has wet your appetite, order your copy of Nights of Villjamur here for US, here for UK and here for those in SA, and check out Mark’s site here. πŸ™‚


1 Comment

Posted by on September 11, 2009 in Interviews


Tags: , , , , ,

Review: Nights of Villjamur – The Legends of the Red Sun Book 1 by Mark Charan Newton

This review has taken me a while, but I really wanted to stew over the book for a couple of days before getting this posted. Why? Well, let’s hope I can explain. πŸ™‚

I’ve been excited about this book for a while now, to say the least. Ever since Jon Jarrold contacted me and I saw this title, and through meeting (and then re-meeting πŸ˜‰ ) Mark on Wonderlands, this book has been on my read-before-anything-list. So, when I got it and still had a couple of months to kill before reaching the right time, date-wise, to post the review, I got caught up on a few other books on the pile.

Getting started on Nights of Villjamur was awesome. I had already read the first chapter a while back (thanks again, Mark) and the prologue, combined with the first chapter, knocked me upside the head and made sure I knew I was getting into something new and exciting! What caught my attention first was the imagery that Mark’s words conjured – not to say that nothing else worked (please don’t misunderstand me), but Mark’s words are incredible and creating vistas and characters in your mind. You see the scenery, almost as an afterimage, while reading, see the colours, feel the sea spray dusting your face. It’s like as soon as you sit down and start reading a trapdoor opens beneath you and you tumble into the world.

The res of the book, from Chapter 2 onwards, reinforced and built upon this as we got to meet the characters who would be taking us through the tale and, of course, the city in which much of the tale would take place. Now, I’m not going to give you a blurb of the book here – one can readily be found on many sites – but I am going to say that Villjamur, the city itself, is an incredible location! I don’t know if Mark has architectural plans and maps of the city – methinks he must have – but it actually seems as if the city exists, somewhere under a red sun, and that he’s traveled through some strange doorway to walk its streets and alleyways. Much SFF these days focuses on characters, events, and the history behind these aspects of storytelling, but what Mark has done has used these to awesome effect in creating a city that lives and breathes, too. You may feel a bit like an out-of-depth tourist, trying not to gawk and explore every street and alleyway, and you may just find yourself thinking, as I did (and I know it’s not possible, but we have a wonderful thing called imagination) that Mark was there, feel in love with Villjamur’s darkness, and returned to tell us about it. πŸ™‚ Does the city overwhelm the characters? I mean, does it seem as if Mark concentrated more on making Villjamur the city it is instead of characters? Nope. The balance between the two seems perfect, but in my opinion, this is only because Mark is such a good writer and storyteller – kudos to John Jarrold for bring this man into our world! Prepare to have Mark around for a long, long time, folks! πŸ™‚

Now, on to the characters and characterization. With one chracter in particular, Mark goes into (as far as I know) unread territory – this character is one of the important POVs in the story, and I was a bit shocked that Mark had taken this particular journey with this character. But not only does Mark make this character likable and real, not only to we sympathize and care about this character, but we also do not judge him (something that happens all too often with those who share something very important with the character). We are taken into taboo (and I say ‘taboo’ because many still see it as such) territory, a huge chance on Mark’s part, and it works, not only for the character and the story, but for all the genres making up SFF; Mark has loudly and clearly said, “You see? Stop being so afraid. We write about life and this has to stop being ignored and belittled and glossed over. Use it!” His feelings on the matter are probably different, but it’s what I would say to Mark, and I’m pretty sure he would agree. πŸ™‚ One problem I did have, character-wise, was that one of the characters slipped a bit too much into a stereotype for my liking; afterward, I really struggled to take him seriously, especially considering the position of power he is in at the story’s close.

The other characters, especially one cool non-human character, are all written well and allowed free reign – they develop as anyone probably develops in someone else’s eyes; you meet the person and form your ideas (and judgements), and subsequent meetings surprise you and interest you. πŸ™‚

On to the action (for a novel in SFF must have some action), Mark doesn’t pull any punches – it’s gory, viceral, and in your personal bubble. Wince along, readers, wince along. πŸ™‚ A Problem I did have, though, was the fact that faces seemed the obvious targets – that did get a bit repetitive after a few pages.

The world of which Villjamur is a part of is amazing, too; scenery like you can’t believe (well, you can, but its spectacular), and Mark also doesn’t overwhelm us with info and world-details – there are still many mysteries awaiting us, and I like that. I want the world to live on, much of it still undiscovered and unknown, long after I put the book down, and Mark has made me very happy on that, and many other, counts. πŸ™‚

All in all, this is a solid, imagination-holding debut. Mark has crafted a layered, memorable tale that confirms his entry into the SFF world with a bang! πŸ™‚ Other writers looking to break into the field (myself included) can do much worse than read, enjoy, and then study Mark’s work. πŸ™‚ Sure to be one of the top debuts of 2009! πŸ™‚



To check out more info about Mark, follow this link to his blog, and get your copy of Nights of Villjamur here! πŸ™‚ US will have to wait a while, though. πŸ™‚

P.S. There are many references to other worlds and stories scattered throughout Nights of Villjamur, so this is definitely a book that I will be re-reading many times. πŸ™‚ Many, many thanks to Chloe from Macmillan for sending this book to me – I will be selling plenty when it hits SA! πŸ™‚

And when, do you ask, is that? Well, it’ll be available to order in late June, early July – just give the book’s details (author, title) to the nearest Exclusive Books branch and tell them it’ll be coming from Pan Macmillan. πŸ™‚

P.P.S. Look out for an interview with Mark, soon! πŸ™‚


Posted by on June 3, 2009 in Reviews


Tags: , , ,



C.T. Phipps

Author of horror, sci-fi, and superheroes.

M.D. Thalmann

M.D. Thalmann, a novelist and freelance journalist with an affinity for satire and science fiction, lives in Phoenix, Arizona with his wife, children, and ornery cats, reads too much and sleeps too little.

Greyhart Press

Publisher of Science Fiction, Fantasy, Horror, and Thrillers

Joseph D'Lacey

My pen is my compass. It points to the page.

This Is Horror

The Voice of Horror


Book, comic and sometimes film reviews

The Talkative Writer

Musings by speculative fiction author Karen Miller

Cohesion Press

The Battle Has Just Begun

SplatterGeist Reviews

Books worth a read.

Indie Hero

Brian Marggraf, Author of Dream Brother: A Novel, Independent publishing advocate, New York City dweller

Paws in the Porridge

'She is like a muse...who kicks people in the face.'



Matthew Sylvester

father, author, martial artist

Shannon A. Thompson

Author. Speaker. Librarian.