Angry Robot Books will publish The Coward, an new epic fantasy novel by Stephen Aryan, in mid-2021. World English rights were acquired from Juliet Mushens at Caskie Mushens in a two-book deal.
The Coward tells the story of 17-year-old Kell Kressia, who sets off on "an epic quest with a band of heroes to slay the Ice Lich, returns victorious as the only survivor, and becomes a legend". A decade later, when a new threat from the north looms, and Kell is once again called on to pick up his sword, he must reckon with the terrible secret he’s kept all those years: he is a coward.
Angry Robot editor Eleanor Teasdale said The Coward was "beautifully written, grapples with big ideas, and, most importantly, is unstoppably good fun to read".
Aryan added: “I'm delighted to be starting the next chapter of my writing career with Angry Robot Books. I've always thought of them as an innovative publisher, with some of the biggest names in science fiction and fantasy, and I'm very happy to be joining their ranks.”
Aryan’s previous Age of Darkness and Age of Dread trilogies were published by Orbit books. His first novel, Battlemage, was a finalist for the David Gemmell Morningstar Award for best debut fantasy novel.