Stella Gemmell, widow of fantasy giant David Gemmell, has written her first solo novel.
Transworld editorial director Simon Taylor bought UK and Commonwealth rights to The City, described as "a fantasy on an epic scale", plus a sequel, from Howard Morhaim of the Howard Morhaim Literary Agency. The City will be published in spring 2013.
Gemmell died six years ago, leaving his widow to complete the unfinished novel in his Troy trilogy, Troy: Fall of Kings, published in 2007.
Taylor said that Morhaim had always answered subsequent queries as to whether Stella Gemmell might be tempted to write another work with a diplomatic "Who knows?" but that when he revealed a novel had been written, and Taylor read the manuscript, "the hairs on the back of my neck started to prickle."
Taylor continued: "Stella has written a breathtaking epic fantasy that is not only going to get David’s fans reaching for their superlatives but also win her a legion of new readers in her own right. The City – with its epic vision, remarkable, evocative world-building, narrative arc, fabulous writing, dramatic storytelling (and heart-in-mouth battle scenes!) and, importantly, characters who live on the page and in whose lives the reader cannot help but become wholly involved – totally knocked my socks off."
Transworld m.d. Finlay added that it was "so exciting to be publishing the Gemmell name once more."