A few helpers to aid in your quest with the Ringlander Series
What is the best order of reading for Ringlander?
There are two books currently out (as of 2022).
- The Path and the Way (Book 1 in series)
- The Battle that was Lost (Novella)
The best order to read them is Book 1 and then the novella. The reason for this being that some of the characters who feature in the first book THE PATH AND THE WAY also feature in the novella. It should be said that of course you can read the novella first, however, you’ll enjoy it more if you know the characters from Book 1.
What’s your writing style?
I’m not a huge fan of info dumps, I prefer the details of the world are released through the character’s closed 3rd person perspective. Usually, if the character doesn’t know about something neither does the reader, but that doesn’t mean I haven’t left clues for you to work it out. I find it very satisfying when the reader has worked out something the character hasn’t.
I also prefer to release information about the character when it’s topical. People don’t sum themselves up at random times for some omniscient narrator god standing above (do we?) so neither do characters. But, in certain circumstances the character will reveal who they are, and how they came to be like they are. This creates a shifting spectrum where the reader learns more of the character as the character evolves. It’s a more long form, but that’s why we read fantasy isn’t it?
I find this style lends itself especially well to fantasy, especially Grimdark and probably comes from a love of Joe Abercrombie’s work, who is a master at capturing the close character.
What genre is Ringlander?
Ringlander fits neatly between Dark Fantasy and Epic Fantasy. The size, scale and detail of the world of Rengas mean the camera is often jumping between continents to followsthe action as armies prepare to do battle. The stakes are very literally getting even higher as Book 2 progresses (Draft 1 is finished now!) as the Gods themselves get involved.
I love travelogues too, so if you’re a lover of quests, RPGs, and dynamic stories that zoom in and out of the action across many characters then Ringlander is definitely for you.
Who did the artwork for the covers?
John Anthony Di Giovanni. You can see his work here. The typography and layout was designed by me. (I’m a UX Designer by day with Graphic and Web Design in my background.)
Where would you prefer I buy Ringlander?
Ah. The best question. And it depends.
I make the most from my books through sales on this website mjackson.co.uk/shop However, I also sell through most online retailers just search for “Ringlander” at Waterstones or Book Depository). Everything is available on Amazon too.
My favourite shop though has to be Broken Binding, who have an incredible selection of indie and traditional fantasy. Their special editions are stunning. They made a special one-off sprayed-edge Ringlander which sold out very quickly.
Broken Binding quick links below:
Where should I review your books?
Reviews are so important to writers like me. They help us reach more people and provide social proof that what we’re doing isn’t rubbish. If you read and enjoyed my books please consider leaving a review via these links: (copy/pasting all places is totally fine) The Reviews page on this website also shows some kind things people have said.
Indie Ink Awards 2022 – FINALIST (not announced yet)
Ringlander: The Path and the Way is a Finalist for 7 awards [JUDGED] (Indie Ink link)
- Writing the Future We Need: Lesbian Representation
- Writing the Future We Need: LGBTQ+ Representation
- Writing the Future We Need: Gay Representation
- Prettiest Book Interior
- Wiliest Character
- This Book Made Me Hungry/Thirsty
- Best Setting
And Nominated for [PUBLIC]:
- Best Friendship
- Best Debut
- Side Character MVP
- Prettiest Prose
- Most Optimistic
- Shadiest Character
- Best Villain
- Best Morally Gray Character
- Best Use of Tropes
- Best Mentor Character
- Wittiest Character
- Best Light Read
- Best Book Cover & Cover Artist
Reddit Stabby Awards – RUNNER UP
Best Artwork of 2021 – NOMINEE (Reddit link)
SPFBO 2021 – SEMI FINALIST
Fantasy Inn review by Kopratic: (source)
Okay so this is it. No, really, this is the one. This is my semifinalist for my batch of SPFBO 7 reads. Overall, this was a tough decision. In my batch, I read three very different, yet great books. I would still encourage you to check out Finnian’s Fiddle and Bloodlines—[Note: links are to the respective GoodReads pages]. Now, onto the one I chose as my semi. This will probably be relatively short, but we’ll see!
Ringlander: The Path and the Way by Michael S. Jackson hooked me from the start. It was such an immersive read, and I absolutely love that in a book. What made it work for me was that it felt as though we entered into the story just a little bit after it started. In media res if you’re fancy, I guess. This style of starting will probably be hit or miss for readers. We follow a wide cast of characters, so there’s always something going on.
The book is told in a very fast-paced, blink-and-you-miss-it style. By this I mean that many things aren’t dwelt upon; instead, they’re given a quick line or two, and then the reader is expected to remember that throughout the novel. There is a glossary at the end, which helps for some stuff. However, some of the more minor aspects of the plot, characters, setting, etc. aren’t given lengthy passages either, so there can be a sense of, “Wait what?” This never bothered me, but it’s definitely something I could see other readers not liking.
The blurb mentions the holes between worlds, but really the second paragraph of the blurb is the most prominent throughout the book. What I really liked was how the plot with the holes crept in throughout the novel—starting off pretty minor but then slowly becoming the major focus. Before that, we’re following Kyira as she searches for her brother and see her relationship with her father, the major mistakes she makes, and how she handles it. We follow her brother who has ended up in the enemy’s army. We follow a spy as she navigates the perils of this war and her relationships.
I don’t have many specifics to talk about because this is a book that I think just needs to be read. It’s fast-paced enough that many things feel like spoilers. I will say that I think this book will be hit or miss for some. I loved it, but other readers might find it frustrating. There’s a section where the holes are just…explained…and it feels off base because everything else is gathered mainly through context clues. I wasn’t too bothered by this, but it is something to be aware of.
Overall, I was a big fan of this book. I thought it had great characters and an interesting plot and world; and I was a fan of the structure of the novel as a whole.