The Coronation by Justin Newland
Publication Date: November 5, 2019
Paperback & eBook; 299 pages
Genre: Historical Fantasy
It is 1761. Prussia is at war with Russia and Austria. As the Russian army occupies East Prussia, King Frederick the Great and his men fight hard to win back their homeland.
In Ludwigshain, a Junker estate in East Prussia, Countess Marion von Adler celebrates an exceptional harvest. But this is soon requisitioned by Russian troops. When Marion tries to stop them, a Russian Captain strikes her. His Lieutenant, Ian Fermor, defends Marion’s honour, but is stabbed for his insubordination. Abandoned by the Russians, Fermor becomes a divisive figure on the estate.
Close to death, Fermor dreams of the Adler, a numinous eagle entity, whose territory extends across the lands of Northern Europe and which is mysteriously connected to the Enlightenment. What happens next will change the course of human history…
“The author is an excellent storyteller.” – British Fantasy Society
This extract is from Chapter 51. It’s from the point of view of Marion, Countess von Adler. With Christoph, her assistant, and Kadow, the coachman, they are searching for Marion’s daughter, Sisi. Manfred is a skinner, and someone who they think knows where Sisi is hiding.
Christoph wore a look of utter bewilderment. His hunchback seemed more accentuated than ever. He asked, “What is this place?”
She read the sign on the lintel above the white door:
“The Chambers for the Furious.
Abandon All Hope Ye Who Enter Here.”
“I’d no idea they were like this,” Christoph said.
“They’re possessed by evil spirits,” Kadow murmured. “I don’t know if I can face these demons.”
“Listen, you must; if Sisi is in there, we must get her out. If not, then Manfred must tell us what he knows.” She was not going to turn back.
Neither Christoph nor Kadow made a move.
“Then I’ll go in there,” she snapped.
The white door creaked as she opened it. She ducked under the lintel. As she stepped into the Löbenicht Lunatic Asylum, she was struck by a blinding light. She pulled the muslin scarf further down over her eyes. No difference! All she could see were black spots, pulsing in and out, like she had accidentally looked directly into the sun and been blinded by its piercing incandescence.
“Help me,” she mumbled. “I can’t see.” She felt vulnerable and just when Sisi needed her most.
“Your Excellency, let’s go back to the main hospital,” Christoph suggested.
“No, we carry on,” she insisted. “We find Sisi. We must. Christoph, take my hand, yes, that’s it. Tell me everything you see.”
“Yes, Your Excellency,” he said. “We’re standing in the middle of a long, curved corridor, which gives way to about twenty cells on each side. Thank the Lord, the cell doors are locked.”
“Can we see inside the cells?” she asked.
“We can, they have viewing slits,” Christoph told her.
“Good,” she said. “Check every one.”
She heard a slit pulled across. She assumed Christoph was looking inside a cell.
“Was she in there?” she asked.
“No, she wasn’t in that one.” His voice was tremulous.
What a relief. Or was it? “Are there no staff?” she asked.
“I’ll see if I can find one,” Kadow said.
“And look for Manfred at the same time,” she called after him.
“I will do that, Your Excellency,” Kadow replied and she heard the sound of his footsteps recede into the distance.
This temporary blindness was hugely frustrating. “Christoph, you are my eyes, speak to me.”
“The corridor is dark, gloomy. My, this is a godforsaken place.” His voice was shot with trepidation.
“Manfred may not be here, but we are,” she said. “I am going to find my daughter.”
About the Author
Justin Newland was born in Essex, England, three days before the end of 1953.
His love of literature began with swashbuckling sea stories, pirates and tales of adventure. Undeterred by the award of a Doctorate in Mathematics from Imperial College, London, he worked in I.T. and later ran a hotel.
His taste in literature is eclectic: from literary fiction and fantasy, to science fiction, with a special mention for the magical realists and the existentialists. Along the way, he was wooed by the muses of history, both ancient and modern, and then got happily lost in the labyrinths of mythology, religion and philosophy. Justin writes secret histories in which real events and historical personages are guided and motivated by numinous and supernatural forces.
His debut novel, The Genes of Isis, is a tale of love, destruction, and ephemeral power set under the skies of Ancient Egypt, and which tells the secret history of the human race, Homo Sapiens Sapiens.
His second is The Old Dragon’s Head, a historical fantasy and supernatural thriller set during the Ming Dynasty and played out in the shadows the Great Wall of China. It explores the secret history of the influences that shaped the beginnings of modern times.
Set during the Enlightenment, his third novel, The Coronation reveals the secret history of perhaps the single most important event of the modern world – The Industrial Revolution.
He lives with his partner in plain sight of the Mendip Hills in Somerset, England.
Blog Tour Schedule
Monday, April 26
Guest Post at Novels Alive
Tuesday, April 27
Review at Vincent Triola
Thursday, April 29
Interview at Jathan & Heather
Friday, April 30
Excerpt at CelticLady’s Reviews
Monday, May 3
Review at Passages to the Past
Wednesday, May 5
Excerpt at Books, Ramblings, and Tea
Friday, May 7
Review at Bookworlder
Tuesday, May 11
Excerpt at Coffee and Ink
Friday, May 14
Review at Nurse Bookie
Monday, May 17
Review at Libri Draconis
Friday, May 21
Guest Post Historical Fiction Reviews
Tuesday, May 25
Interview at Passages to the Past
Monday, May 31
Review at The Enchanted Shelf
Enter to win a paperback copy of The Coronation! Two paperbacks are up for grabs.
The giveaway is open to the US only and ends on May 31st. You must be 18 or older to enter.