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Thank you to everyone who has supported the release of Vampire Down. The Blog Tour is still going on, so if you haven’t already be sure to pop on by any of the many wonderful sites, check out some guest posts and interviews, and enter to win a free copy of a Blood Skies paperback of your choice!

Now that the Blood Skies series is all wrapped up (and it feels really weird to say that after working on it for three freakin’ years…I can only imagine what it feels like for more established authors who spend a decade or more on a series…), I can get back to work on wrapping up another series: The Skullborn Trilogy.


Now, in fairness, wrapping up the Trilogy won’t really be an end. As I’ve described before, the tales of Malzaria are going to stretch over the course of a total of 9 books, broken into three trilogies. The Skullborn Trilogy (City of Scars, Path of Bones, The Black Tower) tells the story of Chul Gaerog, while the Veilfire Trilogy (Black Fire, Iron & Thorns, Dawnslayer) and The Red Goddess Trilogy (The Fallen, Bastion of Shadows, Claws of War) will tell of the battle for the fate of Malzaria and the return of its long lost deities. But I’m getting ahead of myself.

I’m currently in the early editing stages of The Black Tower. My hectic work schedule hasn’t afforded me much time to work on writing as of late, but after severely kicking myself in the rump this past weekend (and it hurt, trust me), I’ve refocused on making sure I get something done every day on the writing & editing and/or blogging front. That being said, a late November release date seems likely, but don’t be surprised if I have to push things back to December if revisions don’t go smoothly.

So what can you expect from The Black Tower? I was initially worried the volume would be too thin, but the rough draft has turned out to be nearly as long as Path of Bones (about 450 pages), and while I know for certain I’ll shave off a few pages it looks like the finale to the trilogy will at least end up being longer than City of Scars (which came out to be 320 pages even). If you’ve read the story to this point, you know I left things at a fairly serious cliffhanger in Path of Bones, and The Black Tower picks up right where we left off.

Path of Bones by Steven Montano

Things you’ll see in The Black Tower:
— War. Lots of it. While mass combat had its place in the first two books (the underground battle in City of Scars and the guerilla-style skirmishes in Path of Bones), The Black Tower essentially revolves around a series of battles for control of the ruins of Corinth, including an epic conflict in the desert outside the city. Should be fun.
— Showdowns. Dane, Ijanna, Slayne, Argus, Kruje, the Iron Count and a new character called Calladar all figure into some intense one-on-one battles. Hopefully they’ll be as enjoyable to read as they were for me to write.
— Argus and his team. More of a background presence in Path of Bones, the young Veilwarden and his strange band of hunters play a prominent role in The Black Tower. Ditto goes for Vellexa, Blackhall and Gess, all of who had little more than guest appearances in Book 2.
— The origins of the Veil, and the truth behind the Janus Tree. Revelations, secrets and such.
— Bad guys getting their comeuppance. If you aren’t thoroughly sick of the likes of the Iron Count, Chairos and Slayne then I’m not doing my job right, though I won’t reveal which of these characters (if any) meet their just rewards before the end of The Black Tower.
— New monsters, such as the shadowy dra’aalthakmar, and new characters, particularly some heroes of Den’nar.
— A game-changing ending (involving an amulet, some lost Gods and a military-minded giant) that sets the stage for The Veilfire Trilogy, which I hope to start publishing in late 2015.

That’s all for now. Enjoy Vampire Down, and for my U.S. Peeps, have a terrific 4th of July holiday! (Peeps outside the U.S.: just have an awesome Friday!)


  1. Danielle @ Consuming Worlds

    Oh now you are just teasing! That last tease there… you know the one about the bomb dropping ending. You are killing me. I can’t wait for this release. Are you sure we can’t have this book now? Just kidding… maybe. Okay a little.

    But seriously I can’t wait for this one. I especially want to see who get’s their comeuppance as you put it.

    • Steven

      Thanks Danielle! Don’t worry, you’ll be beta-reading soon…ish. As soon as I can get through the first revision, which hopefully will be in another few weeks. =D


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