The Runes of Engagement

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Pub Date 18 Jun 2024 | Archive Date Not set

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Description

Fun, action-packed, occasionally gritty, and full of jokes for geeks and Marines alike.”
 —Jim C. Hines, author of
Terminal Alliance

The Lord of the Rings meets Call of Duty in this delirious mashup pitting confused soldiers against legendary monsters. This riotous campaign of a novel could only have sprung from the nerdy minds of a science fiction award-winner and an extreme amateur landscaper.

No one could have been prepared for the day when orcs, trolls, and dragons fell from portals in the sky. But now a very tough but not-quite-prepared platoon of Marines is trapped on the wrong side. The enchanting world looks like Middle Earth, but to the dismay of even the geekiest soldiers, is nothing like it.

While the Marines fend off dangerous, improbable, and very rude assailants, their mission is to escort a Very Important Princess who could broker a crucial strategic alliance between worlds. What could possibly go wrong?

Fun, action-packed, occasionally gritty, and full of jokes for geeks and Marines alike.”
 —Jim C. Hines, author of
Terminal Alliance

The Lord of the Rings meets Call of Duty in this delirious mashup...


A Note From the Publisher

Tobias S. Buckell is a New York Times bestselling writer and World Fantasy Award winner. He was born in the Caribbean, grew up in Grenada, and has lived in the British and U.S. Virgin Islands. He is the author of the popular Xenowealth series (Crystal Rain), along with other standalone novels and almost one hundred stories. His latest novel is A Stranger in the Citadel. Buckell lives in Bluffton, Ohio.

Dave Klecha was born in Detroit and studied Russian and history in college. He then joined the U.S. Marine Corps Reserves. In addition to writing, Klecha engages in a number of other creative pursuits, including acting, set-building, scriptwriting, and extreme amateur landscaping. His fiction has appeared in the Subterranean Press Magazine, Clarkesworld, and various anthologies. Klecha lives in Rochester, Michigan.

Tobias S. Buckell is a New York Times bestselling writer and World Fantasy Award winner. He was born in the Caribbean, grew up in Grenada, and has lived in the British and U.S. Virgin Islands. He is...


Advance Praise

“Tobias S. Buckell and Dave Klecha have crafted a portal fantasy that gleefully asks, ‘What if we sent in the Marines?’ Equal parts grounded and tongue-in-cheek, this swiftly moving military adventure will fit in perfectly before your next D&D campaign.”
—Samantha Mills, author of The Wings Upon Her Back

“What would your Dungeons and Dragons campaign look like if the DM let you choose a squad of U.S. Marines for your characters? Most DMs know better, but Klecha and Buckell have shown us how that adventure might go. Spoiler alert: It will be fun, action-packed, occasionally gritty, and full of jokes for geeks and Marines alike.”
 —Jim C. Hines, author of Terminal Alliance

“Readers will delight in the nerd-culture references in this military-fantasy romp as the squad discusses Stark Ridge, FOB Vimes, and other landmarks named by the visiting humans.”
Booklist

“A story stitched from the greatest late-night dorm room debates. Who would win: Black Hawks versus dragons? Marines versus trolls? All the magic of Tolkien arrayed against the 21st-century American war machine?”
—Brian Staveley, author of The Empire’s Ruin

“As a lifelong fan of both nerdy pursuits and action movies,The Runes of Engagement is exactly what I didn't know I needed! The Marines are a fun mix of jarhead and scholar (sometimes both in one), and the various characters they encounter—an artsy troll, a mysterious ranger, a suspiciously helpful child who attracts danger—are absolutely the kind of characters I hope to encounter every time I play D&D!”
—Rachel Copeland, Boswell Book Company

“The Runes of Engagement is a fun read. Picture Call of Duty meets World of Warcraft with just a touch of comparative mythology for seasoning.”
—Michael Mammay, author of the Planetside series

“Bestseller Buckell (A Stranger in the Citadel) and debut author Klecha, a former Marine, pair their talents and experiences in an impressive military fantasy adventure that combines Middle Earth lore with U.S. marine mystique. When an interworld portal allows elves, orcs, trolls, and other storybook monsters to wreak havoc on Earth’s cities, a squad of Marines under the command of Staff Sergeant Ray Cale is dispatched across the portal with human coalition forces allied to the wood elves. The task: to escort the elven Lady Wíela to safety from the Corrupted One (“a force of evil and mayhem, ancient and brooding, that had been spreading across the world like a virus”), so she can negotiate an alliance between their worlds. Buckell and Klecha provide thrills a minute as Cale, who faced painful choices in Afghanistan and has only a rudimentary knowledge of Middle Earth, overcomes unearthly challenges with street smart know-how. The authors convincingly develop the personalities of both Cale’s squad and the nonhuman characters while offering genre fans an up-close look at Marine training. It’s an unlikely mash-up, but it works.”
Publishers Weekly

“Buckell and Klecha tell their story with so much humour and gusto and so much nerd JOY. I had a blast reading this book, and would not mind reading a sequel.”
  —Maria Haskings, author of Wolves and Girls

“Tobias S. Buckell and Dave Klecha have crafted a portal fantasy that gleefully asks, ‘What if we sent in the Marines?’ Equal parts grounded and tongue-in-cheek, this swiftly moving military...


Marketing Plan

  • National marketing plan to include prepublication endorsements including targeting reviews and interviews to include NPR, the New York Times, Washington Post, New York Review of Science Fiction, Chicago Tribune and the San Francisco Chronicle
  • Author tour with regional and national author appearances and readings at trade shows and genre conventions to include the World Science Fiction Convention, Comic-Con, and Dragon-Con
  • Online features to include cover reveal, Instagram/Storygram tour, blog tour, and author and publisher social media campaign
  • Print and digital ARC distribution via Goodreads, NetGalley, and Edelweiss+
  • Planned book giveaways on Goodreads, SF Signal, and other online outlets
  • National marketing plan to include prepublication endorsements including targeting reviews and interviews to include NPR, the New York Times, Washington Post, New York Review of Science Fiction, ...

Available Editions

EDITION Paperback
ISBN 9781616964160
PRICE $17.95 (USD)
PAGES 288

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Average rating from 10 members


Featured Reviews

A fun spin on a classic troupe, modern weapons systems vs. swords and sorcery, a Marine version of the Blade of Tyshalle.

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A fun read. What is not to love. A opening between two different worlds’ creatures from fairy tales the scary kindnnA fairy princess and a Marine platoon to guard her. A set up for danger and a different look at characters from stores and games. Great world building. Would love more but may be stand alone’.

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this was so much fun to read, it had everything that I was hoping for from the description. I enjoyed the elements of monsters and humans in a battle. It had that fantasy element perfectly and I enjoyed getting to read this. I enjoyed the action elements and glad it had all the elements blend well together. Tobias Buckell and Dave Klecha write a great story and left me wanting to read more.

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I had so much fun reading this book where portals to a fantasy/LOTR-like world have opened up from our world and now, soldiers and marines from all over the world are fighting orcs, trolls, elves, and more to protect Earth. We follow one group of marines as they tangle with a D&D campaign turned real and Buckell and Klecha tell their story with so much humour and gusto and so much nerd JOY. It has that Aliens vibe, but with a LOTR twist. The whole idea "what happens if marines/soldiers end up fighting fantasy monsters" is handled so well here. I had a blast reading this book, and would not mind reading a sequel.

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