Francesca Tristan Barbini, owner and publisher of Luna Press Publishing, acquired WEL rights from Ian Drury at Sheil Land Associated Agency.
A Woman of the Sword is an epic fantasy seen through the eyes of an ordinary woman. Lidae is a daughter, a wife, a mother — and a great warrior born to fight. Her sword is hungry for killing, her right hand is red with blood. War is very much a woman’s business. But war is not kind to women. And war is not kind to mothers and their sons.
Francesca T Barbini says,
‘Talking to Anna about A Woman of the Sword we fell in love with her bold approach to explore womanhood in such an unusual territory. Anna’s storytelling transports you along through the ebbs and flows of war and life, seamlessly weaving a gritty, compelling world that will remain with you long after you finish the book.’
Anna Smith Spark comments:
“War is man’s work, women suffer it, endure it, end up dead. Yet women must also have been able to find opportunities in war. Your city lies in ruins, the government is overthrown, mere anarchy is loosed upon the world, the men of your household are dead—for many women, yes, there is only more suffering, enslavement, sexual violence, flight from the dreary oppression of their home life to the agony of the refugee camp. But for some women, surely, there’s the chance to escape? We know that recent wars offered women opportunities for independence; it seemed unlikely that pre-modern wars would have been any different. We have always fought, as we say, and I am sure we always have and always will. And yet, and yet, the questions remains, more haunting still now, more terrible: how would I as a woman feel about the opportunities war offers?
War is man’s work … I like to hold on to that lie. That women … aren’t part of those things. But if we’ve always fought … we always were part of those things?
So, then: all these opportunities, this new status, this freedom for even a lowly woman to be as a god or a king. And then peace comes, order is re-established, those possibilities … end. The King Returns. The patriarchal class system returns with him. What happens then, when the chaos and the killing and the freedom ends?
A Woman of the Sword is about a woman living through that. Trying to answer those questions. What would I be? What would I feel? What would I do? How would I live?”
About the Author
Anna Smith Spark is the author of the critically acclaimed, Gemmell and British Fantasy Awards shortlisted Empires of Dust grimdark epic fantasy series The Court of Broken Knives, The Tower of Living and Dying and The House of Sacrifice, as well as short stories set in and around the series’ world. Her books have been described as ‘a masterwork’ by Nightmarish Conjurings, ‘an experience like no other series in fantasy’ by Grimdark Magazine, ‘literary Game of Thrones’ by the Sunday Times, and ‘howls like early Moorcock, converses like the best of Le Guin’ by the Daily Mail. Her favourite authors are Mary Renault, W.G. Sebald, R Scott Bakker and M. John Harrison. Previous jobs include English teacher, petty bureaucrat and fetish model. You may know her by the heels of her shoes.
About Luna Press Publishing
Luna Press Publishing is an award-winning press, based in Edinburgh. Established in 2015, Luna is a member of Publishing Scotland, specialising in Speculative Fiction.
A Woman of the Sword is planned to be released in April 2023.