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A.K. Larkwood Books In Order

Publication Order of The Serpent Gates Books

The Unspoken Name (2020)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle

A. K. Larkwood
A. K. Larkwood attended at St. John’s College, Cambridge studying English. She has worked in media relations and higher education, and has studied law. Larkwood lives in Oxford, England, with a cat and her wife.

She has four younger siblings and they all loved yelling, so dead silence is now something that is quite unsettling to A. K. She gets a lot of work done while in loud coffee-shops. For any given scene in her work, the more dramatic and serious it is, the more likely it is that she wrote it while she blasted the same Charlie XCX song on repeat for hours on end.

A. K. has always been a fan of fantasy and science fiction. She used to think that someday she was going to have to grow out of books about witches and demons at some point, since her family aren’t SFF nerds like her and she didn’t even realize such books existed for adults to read. She is glad she wound up being wrong about that.

The biggest impact a series of fantasy novels had on her would probably be the “Redwall” series by Brian Jacques, which she read from eight to twelve or so.

A. K. feels like she could have read one hundred of these books, as his storytelling craft is rather tremendous. She once had recurring dreams about finding a brand new shelf just filled with new Redwall books at her library. They hit her at the precise time when she was attempting to pen stories of her own, and it made her small brain explode with the sheer possibilities. A. K. learned about things such as fleshing out the villains, multiple narrative points of view, and throwing in a giant talking snake that eats people.

The writing she did during this time were filled with plucky young goblins and demons that turn against their bosses’ dark schemes. In some ways, she finds that she is still writing that same book.

She also likes Ursula K. LeGuin. She first read “The Tombs of Atuan” when she was nine, not understanding a thing, just lying on the floor of her bedroom surrounded by her plastic farm animals, and imagining an immense dark space underground. She thought that it was all just for her.

A. K. was also influenced by space opera. Authors like Ann Leckie, Iain M. Banks, and Yoon Ha Lee. She eats up that type of stuff with a little spoon, and has since tried to bring a bit of that same flavor to her book.

She spent four years working on a novel about werewolves. This book was the support and delight through some dark times and she grew deeply attached to it. The novel was also an unpublishable disaster. The plot hinges on a ten thousand word monologue where the main character’s dad comes back from the dead to explain why he committed so many crimes.

As far as plotting goes, she always has a plan, however, she never sticks to it.

Writing is something she feels blessed and lucky that she gets to do professionally. Every time she sits down to actually write, she feels like her sentences are no good and she will never finish the book she is working on. It goes away, usually, when she gets into it.

She likes writing because she feels like she spends most of her life in the real world where things happen at random, and writing a story of your own gives you a bit of space of almost-complete control and focus. Co-writing is not something she could do, because writing turns her into a dreadful tyrant, unwilling to share any of the power. It has lead her to the assumption that this would lead any co-writer to shove her into a pit.

While writing “The Unspoken Name”, she figured out how the magic would work. She is a believer in the idea that if you give characters access to vast cosmic powers you have to find some ways to make it a huge issue for them.

After she has the initial idea, she tends to develop the setting while she goes, through the experiences of her characters. The House of Silence came to be through Csorwe’s eyes, and details she invented are things that she would care about. While in real life it is probably the case that environment shapes personality, the reverse is actually true for her. With some other protagonist, it probably would have turned out quite differently.

Larkwood’s debut novel, called “The Unspoken Name”, was released in the year 2020. Her work is from the fantasy genre.

“The Unspoken Name” is the first novel in the “Serpent Gates” series and was released in the year 2020. Does she really owe her life to the people that are planning her death?

Csorwe was raised by this death cult that was steeped in ancient magic. On her fourteenth birthday, she is going to be sacrificed to their god. While she waits for the end, she is offered the opportunity to escape her fate. A sorcerer wants her to be his assistant, assassin, and sword-hand. While this involves her not dying on that day, she accepts.

Csorwe spends the following years living on a knife-edge, helping her master hunt down an artefact that could change many worlds. Then the day comes that she has been dreading. They come across Csorwe’s former cult, which seeks the same magical object, and she is required to reckon with her past. She also meets up with Shuthmili, the war-mage that is going to change her future.

If she means to survive, Csorwe has to evade her enemies, claim the artefact, and stop that death cult for good. While she plunges through one danger to the next, the hunt is on.

This is a truly wonderful book that grabs your attention right from the very first page and refuses to let you go. Exciting, fresh, and new with some shifting alliances, fascinating characters, stunning twists, and some breathtaking settings. Readers found this one to be a fresh and unique twist on old and classic tropes of the genre.

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