Christopher Kellen has been working on weaving words for as long as he can remember. While in school he dreamed of being a published author, and spent lots of time reading and re-reading publisher submission guides, just wishing that he could finish something, certain that it would be better than most of the other stuff that was out there.
Of course, at the time, he had no idea just how difficult it actually is to get published by the big guys - and not only that, he'd never finished anything!
Fast-forward to today, when he can now finish work and it's good, but the publishing industry is no longer the way to connect with fans. Chris is a storyteller at heart, someone who wants to share his stories, not sit behind the wall of a massive publisher and be told what he can and cannot say.
Having decided to go independent with his first completed, revised and edited work, Chris is now pursuing his writing as an indie author... and he couldn't be more excited!
His current project is the sequel to his newly-released dark swords & sorcery novel, Elegy. For more information, visit his blog (below!)
Where to find Christopher Kellen online
by Christopher Kellen
When the dangerous and powerful sorcerer, Edar Moncrief, trips over a body and discovers a priceless artifact, he thinks that he's stumbled on the opportunity of a lifetime. Instead, it will bring him face-to-face with dark horrors and one of the most feared men in the world: an Arbiter.
From the author of Elegy comes this brand new novelette set in the dark fantasy world of Eisengoth!
The Corpse King
by Christopher Kellen
(4.50 from 4 reviews)
Published: September 9, 2011
Sixty years before the events of ELEGY: Book One of the Arbiter Codex, a young Arbiter named D'Arden Tal and his mentor, Havox Khaine, venture into a strange kingdom on the edge of nowhere. Within the borders of this nameless land lie horrors beyond imagining, and a monarch named THE CORPSE KING.
For fans of Robert E. Howard, Karl Edward Wagner and Andrzej Sapkowski.
Elegy: Book 1 of the Arbiter Codex
by Christopher Kellen
(4.17 from 6 reviews)
Published: July 27, 2011
When Arbiter D’Arden Tal is assigned to investigate the city of Calessa, he finds that it has been nearly overrun by the horrors of corrupted life-energy. Wielding his crystalline sword, D’Arden must find the root of the city’s deadly spiritual disease before it consumes more innocent life.
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Symphony of Blood, A Hank Mondale Supernatural Case
on Aug. 24, 2011
Symphony of Blood is, without a doubt, a hard-boiled detective novel of a very high caliber. Hank Mondale is a private-eye with major issues that are actually consistent throughout the entire novel – props to Pepper on that. It’s easy to let those problems slide out of the way as the plot picks up, but they haunt Hank thoroughly and completely.
The plot picks up steam rapidly after a short introduction into Hank’s life that feels neither forced nor awkward. Something very weird is going on, and it quickly spirals out of his control. The first section of this book was like riding a freight train on a one-way trip to hell, and it was awesome. My favorite hard-boiled detective is actually Harry Dresden, so I’m totally down with the whole supernatural-unknown-forces-and-a-detective novel thing.
Hank Mondale is a great character and his voice is very strong. He’s got problems but he’s not sleazy, and he definitely fulfills the hard-boiled “never give up” mentality. The prose is spare but powerful; it packs a real punch when things get messy.
Just as Hank’s story builds to a stunning climax, everything comes to a screeching halt as we’re suddenly transferred to a different point of view (and just whose point of view that is, I’ll leave out so as to avoid spoilers). This is perhaps my one quibble with the structure; I might have alternated the points of view earlier, although it would have spoiled some of the surprise. I understand why Pepper chose to do it this way, but it was a quick turnaround from exciting plot to build-up again, and it took me a few pages to readjust.
When we again return to Hank’s POV for the conclusion, it picks up right where we left off, and drives us home to an ultimately satisfying but still-mysterious conclusion. In an attempt to not give anything away, I will say that the center of the supernatural mystery in this case is exceptional for its originality and stark creepiness.
Toward the end of the novel I did encounter a few minor typos/conversion errors that got missed, but they were not pervasive by any means. Overall, the copy editing was very good.
If you’re a fan of the hard-boiled detective, or of original supernatural fiction that doesn’t involve no stinkin’ vampires or werewolves or other standard tropes, I definitely recommend checking out Symphony of Blood.
Overall Score: 4 out of 5 stars. Recommended.
Dance of the Goblins
on Oct. 17, 2012
Dance of the Goblins is a delightful, charming story set in a world which is simultaneously familiar and alien. It is an exploration of the society of the goblins, who live beneath the surface of the world in harmony, while humans live above. The core of the story is about Anton, a human; Haghuf, a goblin elder; and Talla, a young goblin woman who ends up trapped in the world above when the humans unwittingly discover an entrance to the goblins’ realm.
This story is not adventure fantasy. It reads more like a fairy tale, a light-hearted and optimistic fantasy tale showing us what life would be like if we lived alongside a race of creatures like the goblins. The world-building is wonderful, the prose fulfills its purpose with style and grace, and though the actual plot is a little slower than I usually like, the fairy-tale feeling makes that seem unimportant.
Overall, it was a very pleasant and satisfying read, with a few genuine surprises of world-building and character. Definitely recommended if you love fairy-tale fantasy.