Trained from birth in swordplay and combat, a young knight named Siris has journeyed to the Dark Citadel with a single purpose: fight through the army of Titans to face the tyrannical God King in one-on-one combat. This was his father’s sacred mission, and his father’s before him, going back countless generations in an effort to free their people from enslavement. But when Siris somehow succeeds where all those from his bloodline previously have failed, he finds himself cast into a much larger world, filled with warriors and thieves, ancient feuds and shifting alliances, Deathless immortals and would-be kings. His quest for freedom will take him on an epic journey in search of the mythical figure known as the Worker of Secrets – the one being in the world who can unravel the secrets of the Infinity Blade.
Based on the bestselling video game from ChAIR Entertainment and Epic Games, this all-new adventure from acclaimed fantasy author Brandon Sanderson digs deeper into the fantastical world of Infinity Blade, a world of mystery and intrigue where magic and technology are indistinguishable, and even life and death are not what they seem.
Uhh… weird? Infinity Blade is and iPhone/iPad game released last year that caused a stir among fans for its impressive graphics and fun (if repetitive) gameplay. Apparently Sanderson was a fan (or ChAIR and Epic Games threw enough money at him) and was chosen/convinced to write a novella that bridges the story in the original game and the recently announced sequel, Infinity Blade 2. Sanderson talks about the novella and the process behind writing it:
I initially downplayed the INFINITY BLADE offer. However, after a little back-and-forth [Like, say, adding some zeroes to the cheque –Ed.], I realized that this project had the potential to be a whole lot of fun. They gave me complete creative freedom, yet I also had some pretty strong constraints. They had built a video game (a very fun one, by the way) that was very popular. My challenge was to take things placed into the game because of mechanics, and actually build magic systems, a world, characters, and a story to match them. The game developers had some ideas, but they told me I could do anything at all that I wanted.
I’ve often said that interesting limitations make for interesting magic systems in books. Well, I’ve also found that interesting limitations in writing can force me to grow and stretch in different ways as a writer. I took on the project partially because the guys I was working with were so much fun, but also because—as a gamer—I’ve always had a bit of an itch to be involved in video games in one way or another. (I’ve always envied Orson Scott Card, for example, who worked on the original MONKEY ISLAND, one of the great games of all time.)
This story was just plain FUN to write. I had a blast with it, and it turned out quite well. I got to play with the idea of blending entertainment media—the story is for sale in-game, and together with the game, blends storytelling with gameplay. I think our world is going to change in interesting ways as books, video games, and cinema meld together.
So, this story hit a sweet spot for me. I got creative freedom, the ability to work with fun people, a chance to work with some interesting limitations, a chance to dip my toes into video games (they also let me do a draft on the script for the second game), and a chance to play with transmedia.
ChAIR has experience working with best-selling authors. Their Xbox Live Arcade game, Shadow Complex, is set in a universe created and owned by ChAIR and licensed out to Orson Scott Card who wrote two novels in the universe, The Empire Duet. In a reversal of roles, Shadow Complex plays as a bridge story to the two novels, where Infinity Blade: Awakening bridges the two videogames. I’m not usually interested in tie-in novels (especially when they’re drawn from games I’ve not played), but Sanderson’s name is more than enough to convince me to download the sample to my Kindle. As he mentioned in his blog post, magic systems and their effect on their users is one of his hallmarks as a writer and the Infinity Blade setting and non-linear style of story-telling should give him a lot of room to wriggle around in.
You can find out all the details (and find links to purchase the novella) on Sanderson’s blog.