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Philip Caveney
Prince of Swashbuckling

UK Bookselling Series

by Claire Main

#122, 2 June 2008

Hi, everyone! I trust you have over-wintered well. Over here in England the winter has been long and cold, but now the days are lengthening and spring has sprung. Authors everywhere are coming out of hibernation, rubbing their eyes at the strong light and sniffing the sweetly scented spring air. They are foregoing their snug little nests equipped with plasma TVs, microwaves and broadband connections, and sharpening their pencils, ready for the sap to rise in their veins, precipitating new ideas for new books.

For romantic fiction writers it is, of course, the mating season. They are to be seen in cafes everywhere staring mysteriously over endless cappuccinos, walking on deserted beaches, scanning the horizon for rugged heroes galloping towards them on white stallions, or frequenting railway stations in the rush hour, strategically dropping their shopping and waiting for the chance meeting of eyes as a well-mannered handsome stranger swoops it up.

One author who never has time to hibernate is the prolific Philip Caveney, creator of the Sebastian Darke series of fantasy fiction books. Last year in the UK his first children's book Sebastian Darke: The Prince of Fools was published by Random House. It has proved to be an incredibly popular title and has been likened to Shrek and The Princess Bride.

Due to the first book's success, the author has since penned a second installment titled Sebastian Darke 2: Prince of Pirates. Also, The Prince of Fools has just been released in the US, establishing its worldwide appeal. In fact, after reading both books, I can honestly say the series has huge potential and can't wait for the next one.

About Sebastian Darke 1: Prince of Fools

Sebastian Darke has the world on his narrow shoulders. The son of a human father and an elvish mother, he is desperately trying to become the family breadwinner and has taken on his late father's job - celebrated jester, Prince of Fools. Trouble is, Sebastian can't tell a joke to save his life. Dressed in his father's clothes and accompanied by his talking (and endlessly complaining) buffalo, Max, he sets off for the fabled city of Keladon, where he hopes to be appointed court jester to King Septimus. On the way he encounters a tiny but powerful warrior called Cornelius, the beautiful Princess Kerin, blood-thirsty Brigands and enough perils to make him wonder why he ever decided to leave home. This is a hilarious and swashbuckling adventure!

UK Product details

o Hardcover: 384 pages
o Publisher: Bodley Head Children's Books (4 Jan 2007)
o Language English
o ISBN-10: 0370329155
o ISBN-13: 978-0370329154
o Product Dimensions: 19.8 x 16.2 x 4 cm

US Product Details

o Reading level: Young Adult
o Hardcover: 352 pages
o Publisher: Delacorte Books for Young Readers (April 8, 2008)
o Language: English
o ISBN-10: 0385734670
o ISBN-13: 978-0385734677
o Product Dimensions: 8.2 x 5.6 x 1.3 inches

About Sebastian Darke 2: Prince of Pirates

Sebastian, Max and Cornelius are ready for another adventure and heading to the bustling port of Ramalat. Once there, they intend to embark on a perilous sea journey in search of the fabled lost treasure of the pirate King, Captain Calinestra. But first, they must make it through the dark and mysterious forest of Geltane and survive an encounter with Leonora, a powerful enchantress with a terrifying secret and a magical hold over Sebastian's senses.

And as if that wasn't bad enough, when they finally reach Ramalat, a feisty female sea captain, an infamous young pirate, ravenous sea creatures, giant lizards, furious sea battles and breathtaking action await them. Will they discover the lost treasure? Will Sebastian live to tell the tale? Will Cornelius be beaten in armed combat? And will Max ever stop moaning?

UK Product details

o Hardcover: 400 pages
o Publisher: Bodley Head Children's Books (7 Feb 2008)
o Language English
o ISBN-10: 0370329171
o ISBN-13: 978-0370329178
o Product Dimensions: 19.8 x 15.8 x 3.8 cm

Collectors Notes

o Printing numbers generally run 5% over to under projections. The approximate number of first editions printed in the UK was 9,000.

o The approximate number of first editions printed in the US was 5,500 books, of which 2,000 are library editions.

Current prices for first printings in fine condition of Sebastian Darke 1 are as follows. If you act quickly ,the initial US first print run can still be purchased on Amazon for $11.99. The UK edition unsigned can be purchased from 20. The UK Sebastian Darke 2 can also be purchased for 5.99 on Amazon. There are also rarer signed copies and a very limited amount of doodled copies on the collectors market on, for example, Abebooks.

News is traveling fast about Sebastian Darke and its creator Philip Caveney. Will the film rights sell? I certainly hope so; it's a fantastic series.

For more information about Philip Caveney visit his official web site.

Questions or comments?
Contact the editor, Craig Stark

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