The Traitor Baru Cormorant read-along: Chapter 1!

Now that the book’s out in the wild, I want to talk about how very clever and stupid I am.

Join me in dissecting The Traitor Baru Cormorant, chapter by chapter! I’ll talk about my prose decisions, characterization, and behind-the-scenes secrets, like which chapters I wrote in a drunken panic and who I want you to write fanfiction about.

Spoilers for the WHOLE BOOK abound!

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The Baru Cormorant word cloud

I’ve got a big batch of fiction coming out with Destiny: The Taken King, Bungie’s next release. I had the good fortune to work on a lot of the Grimoire, Destiny’s fiction companion! I hope everyone enjoys it.

I have a column out on today, ‘How Baru Cormorant would Overthrow Emperor Palpatine, Kill Voldemort, and Stop Sauron.’ (They didn’t go with the original title, ‘Your Heroes Are Morons.’) Baru is full of good and not-so-good advice for your favorite heroes.

And reviews for my debut novel are filing in! I’m very excited to share them, but let’s wait until we’re closer to the book. In another milestone, The Traitor Baru Cormorant has popped up on Google Books, which means we can look at the book’s word cloud!

Here are the machine’s favorite words from the novel.

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The Preview Baru Cormorant

“Viciously original, beautifully written, and just heart-rending over and over again.”

There’s a monster coming. An empire with the answers to everything. It wants to conquer your home, your parents, and you.

You are seven years old. You are armed with your wits. No other weapon can be trusted.

Here is your solution: conquer the empire from the inside. Rule the world. Fix the course of history.

Begin. has posted Chapter 1 and Chapter 2 of The Traitor Baru Cormorant.

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Let’s Hurt Sentences!

I’m doing page proofs on THE TRAITOR BARU CORMORANT, my September debut. It’s a novel about sex, money, imperial power, colonial resistance, accounting, logistics, psychology, and the price of civilization. It’s a story about a young woman fighting to save her home and change the world. It’s made out of sentences.

I like quite a bit of it. Like any writer, I hate some of it. We can talk about the good stuff when the book comes out! Let’s talk about the sentences I’ve discovered I hate, the specific kind of sentence I loathe the most. Let’s figure out why they’re broken.

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I am very lucky.

I’m overjoyed to report that Tor Books will publish my first three novels. Look for my debut, The Traitor Baru Cormorant, in Fall 2015.

I’m enormously grateful to my agent, Jennifer Jackson; to Marco Palmieri at Tor; to Sarah Brand, who was sitting in the room at Alpha 2011 when Baru came into my head and who I’m convinced talked me into writing it; to Rachel Sobel and all my other wonderful first readers; and to Jenny and Stefan, for helping get me out of one place and into this one.

One old project, one very new

I’ll have some big news on The Traitor Baru Cormorant in the next couple weeks – not the last hurdle, but certainly not the smallest.

On the full-time front, I’ve accepted an offer from Bungie Studios in Seattle to work as a writer. I’ve been a fan of Bungie’s storytelling since I discovered Marathon Infinity, and I’m really excited to tackle this new challenge.