Daniel M. Ford’s new novel The Warden (Tor, 2023) follows Aelis de Lenti, a young necromancer in her first year as the Warden of Lone Pine—a small frontier village surrounded by sheep and little else. The story follows Aelis as she works to win over locals who are distrustful of magic generally, and necromancy particularly, and as she unravels a series of mysteries plaguing the town. All the while reconciling with the fact that she has graduated top of her class only to leave the charms and joys of urban life to live in the freezing middle of nowhere, in a tiny town plagued by goats.
Ford discusses the various influences on the novel—from RPGs to detective fiction—the ways his novel draws on and subverts tropes, and the differences between a good novel and a good Dungeons & Dragons session.
A. E. Lanier is a writer and teacher living in Central Texas. Most of her writing work is in short fiction, generally second world fantasy with some meandering towards horror.