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Alchemy Wars 2: The Rising

December 1, 2015 at 10:15 pm

Here's something that I will never, ever get tired of saying: I have a new book out todayThe Rising, second volume of the Alchemy Wars trilogy, hits shelves and e-readers this morning.

The Mechanical introduced a world where, for hundreds of years, the most advanced technology on earth has been the marriage of clockworks and alchemy as embodied in the Clakker: a virtually indestructible clockwork servant endowed with superhuman speed and strength but bereft of Free Will.  On the backs of legions of Clakkers (including household servitors, deadly soldiers, and even more exotic designs), the Dutch Empire has become the sole uncontested superpower on earth since the days of Christiaan Huygens.  Only the French Catholics, holed up in their New World citadels for the past 200 years, have offered any resistance to the predations of the Brasswork Throne, owing to their mastery of applied chemistry.

In The Mechanical we met Jax, a lowly and soulful servitor yearning for freedom; Berenice, the rash and ruthless spymaster to the King of New France; Visser, a secret Catholic spy in the heart of the Dutch Empire; and Hugo Longchamp, a grizzled sergeant in Marseilles-in-the-West.  Together, their braided fates lit a long fuse…

…which reaches its explosive payload in The Rising.

Jax, now a rogue Clakker, has been reborn in flames.  But now he must find a place where he can stop running and begin life anew as a free Clakker.  But liberation, he soon discovers, is its own burden.

Berenice Charlotte de Mornay-Périgord, formerly the legendary spymaster of New France, mastermind behind her nation's most audacious attempts to undermine the Dutch Hegemony, has been banished from her homeland and captured by the Verderers: the Clockmakers' draconian secret police force.

Hugo Longchamp—now Captain of the Guard of Marseilles-in-the-West—is tasked with rallying the beleaguered and untested defenders of New France for the inevitable onslaught from the Brasswork Throne and its army of mechanical soldiers.

Meanwhile, Luuk Visser, former spy and Catholic priest turned assassin against his own people, is poised to strike again.

The Rising is one of Amazon's Best Books of December, and it continues to build on the slew great reviews garnered by The Mechanical:

"The chases, the battles, the brutal violence, and the scheming are nonstop. As always, Tregillis offers richly textured and genuinely likable personalities with shades-of-gray morality…Middle volumes are always tricky; they can often read as an obstacle to overcome on the way to the forgone conclusion of the third installment. Tregillis commendably avoids this trap, deepening his story and keeping it moving along toward an unknown horizon.

Part 3 can't come too soon."

Kirkus (starred review)

"Tregillis’s splendid sequel to The Mechanical is a vivid alternate history tale filled with action sequences, fascinating characters, and great worldbuilding."
Publisher's Weekly

The Rising is now available in ebook and paperback editions from your favorite stores including Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Powells, and Indiebound.


Martin December 7, 2015 at 3:51 am

Just finished it. Even better, I think, than the Mechanical! The clockpunk universe you created begs for greater expansion. May you return to this universe ever and anon once the trilogy is complete.  

Ian December 7, 2015 at 7:44 am

Thanks so much!  It's a relief to hear readers say they've enjoyed The Rising.  The Mechanical was the most difficult (uncooperative) book I'd written... until I started working on The Rising, which was even harder.  The Rising is actually the only book where I had to ask my editors for a deadline extension.  8 months ahead of the delivery date, I knew I was going to need more time.  It was a very uncooperative book from beginning to end -- and that despite the fact that I knew the plot structure in pretty deep detail before I began.  Ugh.

Thank you for putting my mind at ease!

It's a very "spiky" universe, in that there is plenty of room for side stories.  There's definitely a good story about "young" Mab in there somewhere...

Dan Lovejoy December 20, 2015 at 1:05 pm

I just finished it and loved it. It is not at all apparent that the book gave you any trouble. I can't wait for the third!

Ian December 20, 2015 at 1:30 pm
That's quite kind-- thank you very much.  I'm glad you enjoyed it, and that my hair-pulling tooth-gnashing struggles weren't overtly in your face the entire time :-)
Den Wesolowski December 28, 2015 at 9:01 am
Excellent! Looking forward to it, Ian. (My copy should be arriving in a few days...)

Ian December 28, 2015 at 10:53 am
Thanks, Denne.  Hope you enjoy it.
Brian December 28, 2015 at 3:07 pm

I really enjoyed The Rising.  (In fact, I've really enjoyed everyone one of your novels.)  I look forward to seeing where you take the story in book 3.  (I suppose, at this point, you may still be wondering exactly where you'll take the story too :)

Ian December 28, 2015 at 9:19 pm
Thank you, Brian -- much appreciated.  And thanks for sticking with me through so many novels :)

Actually, I do have a sense of where the story is going in book 3, because I finished the first draft about a month ago.  In fact it was due on the day The Rising was published!  On this series I've taken about a year to draft each book, and that's very roughly the same amount of time that they spend in editorial revisions/copyedits/proofreading etc.  So by the time The Mechanical came out, I'd already drafted The Rising, and now that The Rising is out, I've already drafted the final book of the trilogy.

That's a very longwinded way of saying that the story is going exactly where it appears to be going: ALIEN INVASION.
Den Wesolowski December 29, 2015 at 12:16 pm


Mike victor January 8, 2016 at 6:52 pm

I love your ideas on AI in this series, the books are like a thought experiment.

Ian January 8, 2016 at 10:51 pm
That's really cool to hear!  I appreciate it.  Really, the behind-the-scenes reality is that it's less of a careful thought experiment than a frantic running around trying to hide all the seams and sweep all the ugly leaves under the rug...
Matt Holmes January 12, 2016 at 6:48 pm

Just finished both books this month. Unfortunate I'll have to wait a year for number three, but it's well worth it for a good conclusion. I hope to see more of the inner workings of the verderers office and that of the Dutch  political system since the last 2 faired so heavily on French side. Also hats off for making Queen Mab such a disturbing character, excited to see how her story unfolds adding some depth to her already impressive visage. All in all can't wait to see how the struggle for power between the 4 sides turns out.

Ian January 13, 2016 at 9:25 am

Thanks for reading my new series, Matt -- glad to hear you're enjoying the ride!  Mab is fun.  As with pretty much everybody in that world, she has... issues.

Marc February 2, 2016 at 5:34 pm

Hi Ian,

I just read both the Mechanical and the Rising. Both were great reads! Do you have any idea when the title will be released for book 3 so I can keep an eye out for it on Goodreads. Again, I really enjoyed these books and look forward to trying the Milkweed Triptych now.


Ian February 3, 2016 at 7:32 am

Thank you, Marc!  I'm glad you enjoyed the books.  The probable title for the third Alchemy Wars novel is THE LIBERATION.  I don't know a date for it yet, other than this year (2016); my editor is in the process of giving me notes on the first draft right now, in fact.  So it does exist.

I hope you enjoy the Milkweed books.  Despite their warts, I am very proud of them.  I still miss some of those characters.

I also have a standalone novel, SOMETHING MORE THAN NIGHT, of which I am extremely fond. 

Thanks again for picking up the Clakkers books. 

Nick March 17, 2016 at 7:16 am

Alright I just finished marathoning Part 1 and 2 of The Alchemy wars and I've decided two things: (i) I am hungry for part 3 and (ii) I prefer this version of global history.

Good stuff, Ian. Great stuff, even. 

Ian March 17, 2016 at 8:30 am
Glad you enjoyed them, Nick.  Thanks for picking up my books, and for the encouraging words.

I'm elbow deep in a second draft of the final book, so it's finished, but not yet as pretty as I'd like.  (Then again, nothing I write ever is.)
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