March will see the publication of the third instalment in Samantha Shannon’s Bone Season series. The books are a must-read for fans of the urban fantasy or supernatural dystopian genres.
Shannon published the first book of the series in 2013 at just 21 years old, acquiring a six-figure deal for a potential seven-book series that aspiring authors would be envious of. Since then the film rights have been picked up by Imaginarium Studios, owned by Andy Serkis and Jonathan Cavendish.
Samantha Shannon’s work is influenced somewhat by Margaret Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale as well as George Orwell’s books, and centres on Paige Mahoney, a ‘dreamwalker’ living in a high-security society called Scion, located in London in the year 2059. The first book sees her kidnapped and taken to Oxford, now turned secret prison camp for people like her who go against the system. Here she meets the Rephaim, a community of otherworldly beings and one in particular, Warden, who is placed as her keeper and soon appears to have a secret motive when it comes to Paige’s abilities. The subsequent books in the series see Paige embrace her abilities and challenge the Scion government, further exploring her relationship with the Rephaim and allowing readers to experience the world Shannon has created in more depth.
Shannon has been likened to J. K. Rowling which isn’t surprising when you look at the rich, multi-layered fantasy world she has created. Her characters feature in an alternative land as unique and three-dimensional as those created by the likes of Philip Pullman and C. S. Lewis. With its seven orders of clairvoyants, alternative slang, and an entire alternate history of wars, uprisings and factions, the Bone Season series displays an extensive amount of world-building and research that has gone into this project.
Interestingly, the idea for the novel came to the author while she was interning at David Godwin Associates literary agency, the very same agency that went on to represent her completed first novel. After promoting the novel at the London Book fair the agency sold the rights to Bloomsbury, and Shannon has made her home there ever since.
Samantha Shannon, having studied at Oxford University, has visited the city on occasion to talk about her books and carry out book signings, so here’s hoping next year will see her return after the publication of The Song Rising—watch this space!
Michelle Fisher @miche1988