New 5-Star Review of Heir to the Sundered Crown!

A fantastic review for my book 🙂
5.0 out of 5 stars A new Tolkien?, 24 Oct. 2015
By Sue Denim
This review is from: Heir to the Sundered Crown (The Sundered Crown Saga Book 1) (Kindle Edition)
I’m an old school Tolkien, Tennyson, Coleridge, Wodehouse etc. fan and usually can’t be bothered reading anything modern. I read this from cover to cover in two days. It has all the ingredients that I enjoy, including an engaging storyline with a plethora of well thought out characters. In fact a whole world with its own history, geography, kingdoms, tribes, cultures and geopolitics. The author clearly has an understanding of people, politics, martial arts, martial strategy and many other things that constitute worlds, whether they be real or imaginary.
There is a flavour of Middle Earth, Arthurian legend, Merlin, Mabinogion, Grimoire, Bestiarum Vocabulum, creation myth, and more. I have to take issue with the reviewer who describes his experience of this work as spoiled due to cliché, grammatical and spelling errata (suggesting that others should avoid reading the book due to this). If love, war, triumph and disaster are perceived by some as cliché then they are deserving of our sympathy.
There were minor grammatical issues and Americanisms in the version I read, but were many to choose between format perfection and the rarity of a lively and engaging story, well told; the latter would triumph every time. Similarly the use of extensive vocabulary did not suggest any clumsy use of the thesaurus, just a command of an extended vocabulary. The grammar issues can easily be fixed, just take someone with grade A English from Oxford or Cambridge and set them to work. Shakespeare and Chaucer predated the grammar Czars and persist; I’d prefer a literary sirloin steak in brown paper to a literary “big-mac” dolloped on a grammatical silver platter. Creeping Americanism has existed pre-Wodehouse (they actually put their tea in a bag!). I think it’s best to accept evolution and not spill one’s Bordeaux over a pleonasm or split infinitive to immerse oneself in a well crafted fantastical world. Let’s not consign this rising author to the dustbin.
Enjoy the subterfuge, the tides of battle, envelop yourselves in the developing parallel storylines. Knights, witches, barons, kings, dragons, maidens, werewolves, banshees, castles and citadels await!. The author has created a solid foundation for all manner of future adventures, much as Tolkien did. I look forward to experiencing them and so should you.
*You can buy Heir to the Sundered Crown here

and can pre-order War for the Sundered Crown here (release date is November 20th)

Sale Success and a Huge Thank you!

Woah! My book sale has surpassed all expectations. Nearly 200 copies downloaded so far! A massive thank you to everyone whose bought a copy of Heir to the Sundered Crown.

Also, as of writing this, Heir to the Sundered Crown is now ranking number 4 in War & Military Action Fiction, and number 6 in Epic Fantasy in the UK. It’s also ranking number 272 in the overall Kindle list.

The Firebound Books Summer sale continues with Kate Cudahy’s Hannac.


An Update and some Book Promotion News

A new job and a book promotion

Hello, it’s been awhile since the last blog post I know, but I have had a very good reason. I landed a new and better job and so this past month my efforts have been concentrated on the big move from Cornwall to Bristol and settling into my new role as copywriter at PGI. So far things are going well and I’m getting into a routine which means I will be able to get back to the book writing soon.


Book sale starts Saturday

Also, from the 1st of August my publisher Firebound Books is having its first summer sale, and to kick things off is none other than Heir to the Sundered Crown. From the 1st to the 8th the book will be available to download for just 99p in the UK and will be just 99 cents in the USA.

For those of you waiting patiently for the next part in the Sundered Crown Saga, War for the Sundered Crown, fear not, I’m still hoping to get it finished by the end of this year and to my Wattpad fans, I also hope to finish off Terran Defenders Resurrection

Every week in August, get a Firebound fantasy or sci fi novel for only 99c! The fun kicks off on August 1st with M.S. Olney’s epic fantasy Heir to the Sundered Crown. And on August 8th you can grab Kate Cudahy’s Hannac, the sequel toHal.

Stay tuned for more amazing deals in the upcoming weeks!

Why to buy Heir to the Sundered Crown – 5 Star Reviews

5.0 out of 5 stars A must read for fantasy fiction lovers., August 7, 2014
This review is from: Heir to the Sundered Crown (The Sundered Crown Saga Book 1) (Kindle Edition)
Just finished reading this book and what a joy it was to read. It had my full attention from start to finish. This book is one of the best fantasy fiction books I’ve ever read, and believe me, I’ve read a lot of fantasy fiction. What makes this even more incredible is that this book appears to have been written by a new author on the scene. I look forward to many more books from this author and any sequels to this book. But it now, you won’t regret it.
on April 10, 2015
Format: PaperbackVerified Purchase
Dorasai here. Read this book on wattpad, and had to buy it. I have to say that this is probably one of my favorite fantasy books of the year. Read the first 300 pages without getting out of my recliner, and only then because it was 9;00 and I had work at 4 in the morning. Definitely something worth checking out, a unique story line that’ll keep your eyes glued to the book with characters that you can’t help but love. All in all 10 out of 10.

5.0 out of 5 starsAwesome book! Can’t wait for the next one! Buy it!

on March 9, 2015
Format: Kindle Edition
This is one of the best books I’ve read in a long while; it’s exciting, fast paced and extremely addictive. The characters are really cleverly designed and the storyline was gripping from start to finish. Overall, an excellent read and highly recommended, plus it’s cheap which makes it great value for money. 🙂

5.0 out of 5 stars Good Characters, Good Writing

Format: Kindle EditionVerified Purchase

This is a good little fantasy romp that reminded me of Raymond E. Feist’s “Riftwar Saga” with a dash of Jon Sprunk’s “Shadow’s Lure.” I liked the early scenes involving a young magician named Luxon with powers beyond his control. This character might be called something of a bumbler, but there is a nobility and sincerity to him that makes him instantly appealing (he reminded me of Pug from “Riftwar”).In addition to magicians there are also knights in this fantasy world. We first meet Kaiden when he is chained to a wall in a dungeon, but soon enough he’s out and about brandishing his sword and pursuing his “knightly duties.” It’s rare to have a fantasy novel feature a kind of Arthurian knight these days, so Kaiden was a refreshing character.

Overall the writing is very solid in this book. I got a strong sense of the joy of creation from the author, which sometimes leads to problems being solved on the fly. For example when Kaiden is released from prison, he reveals that he had stashed his weapons and gold in anticipation of capture. This is plausible enough, although it did kind of stand out to me as maybe a little too easy. Then again, that moment didn’t disrupt the flow of the novel for me, so I don’t consider it an issue. The point is that Matthew Olney has his eye on a story he wants to tell, and he attacks it without deviation.

This book is a rich texture of old school fantasy storytelling with some modern mythos. A good find!

5.0 out of 5 starsGreat read.

on October 17, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition
A really enjoyable read, great character development and fantastic twists and turns in the story. Well worth the buy.

5.0 out of 5 starsStrong character development and excellent dialogue give the reader a sense of being in …

on March 27, 2015
Format: Kindle Edi tionVerified Purchase
Heir to the Sundered Crown is an enjoyable fantasy read. Strong character development and excellent dialogue give the reader a sense of being in the story. Author Matthew Olney has given us a fantasy story that plays on familiar themes, but gives us the feeling that there is something new happening here. Mr. Olney has set us up nicely for the rest of the series, and I look forward to it. Well done.

5.0 out of 5 starsI will give this five stars

on August 17, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition
Awesome started reading thus book at 9 and it was so good I finish at 540am read action packed wonderful just like a movie.

5.0 out of 5 starsFantastic Story Highly Recommend.

on August 4, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition
Wow! I was made aware of this book from a friend and it didnt disappoint. A fantastic read from a great upcoming author. Highly Recommend and I look forward to future books from the author.

5.0 out of 5 starsHeir to the Sundered Crown

on August 8, 2014
Format: Kindle EditionVerified Purchase
I have always like stories with dragons and really good bad guys. This one does it In spades. What a fun ride. Better editing is need in structure and flow.

5.0 out of 5 starsAttention Please

on July 10, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition
I was given this book as a present and did not know what to expect. But once I started this book I could not put it down.
The opening pages grabbed my attention and kept it a good story with great imagination. I was sorry to put it down and
looking forward to any sequel.
  5.0 out of 5 stars Best book ever!!!!!!! 9 May 2015
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I can’t think of a book I’ve been more engrossed in. An absolute masterpiece!!! I felt I was there with them. Kindle couldn’t work out my reading speed the last few chapters because I savoured it so much as I didn’t want it to end. We need more Mr Olney!!!!!
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars

on 24 August 2015
Fantasy at its best

Creating Worlds – The World of Esperia & the Kingdom of Delfinnia Part 2

Creating Worlds – The World of Esperia & the Kingdom of Delfinnia Part 2

Previously, I wrote about the fun of world building, of how real life events and history has inspired me. In this post, I will be going into a bit more depth about how to introduce the little things that can make a fantasy world more believable.


No good fantasy story should be devoid of political intrigue and the world I created for the Sundered Crown Saga is full of it. Scheming barons, stupid lords and wicked villains all compete against one another for the lands greatest prize, the Sundered Crown.

In Heir, the main political narrative focuses on the aftermath of a king’s assassination and the power struggle that follows it.

For inspiration on the dirty dealings of power mad folks, simply watch the tv. With the UK general election coming up we will see perfect examples of dirty dealing, mudslinging and political wrangling, (hopefully, it will not end up with the leaders all fighting each other in mortal combat…hmm actually that sounds appealing and would make things a lot more interesting).

History in particular, is a great place to look for inspiration. Kings and Emperors were often overthrown by others greedy for the top job. George RR Martins Game of Thrones is the perfect example of a fantasy writer being influenced by real events. In GOT’s case the English War of the Roses.

Daily Life

How do the people live in your fantasy world? Is there a feudal system in place, which sees peasents being the slaves of the richer classes, or is people more equal? In my books, the realm of Delfinnia is more like the latter. People are not restrained by their birth and if they are talented enough, they can rise to the top.

To make a world more believable you should show how folks go about their daily lives. What jobs do they do? Where do they go for entertainment? Little things like make a world feel alive and a lot more believable to a reader.


The best part about writing fantasy (in my opinion) is that you can let your imagination go wild when it comes to the creatures that inhabit it. The best example in the Sundered Crown Saga of that are the Fell Beasts of the Void. These monsters enter into the mortal world through breeches in the fabric of reality (magic, nuff said).

I based a few of the creatures on monsters from real life fairy tales and legends. Banshees, Goblins and Pucks are the most common but for book two there are a few that, I created from my own imagination. Keep an eye out for the Nightstalkers and Gargantuans!

Do you have any tips or advice for world building? Let me know in the comments or leave me a message on Facebook or Twitter.



War for the Sundered Crown & Cover Reveal

Righto, a quick update. I have now decided to call Book 2 in the Sundered Crown Saga  the War for the Sundered Crown. The previous title, Asphodel wasn’t too popular and I have to agree that War sounds a lot better and keeps the branding somewhat. As a treat here is the finished book cover for WFTSC!

Here’s the synopsis for the novel- (subject to change)

Five years has passed since the Battle of Eclin and the crowning of King Alderlade but the Kingdom of Delfinnia remains divided and dark forces are circling waiting for their chance to strike. Only one thing can save the realm, the legendary sword Asphodel.

Luxon Edioz is now a wizard, the first of his kind in over a century and his powers grow by the day. Unfortunately for him and his mage friends hatred against magic wielders is reaching breaking point. Lynchings, executions and persecution have become common place as the scared people turn on those magically gifted. The mages are blamed for all of the Kingdom’s ills and the machinations of the scheming Baron of Champia have made matters worse.

With enemies closing in from all sides Luxon and his allies are sent on a secret mission to the city of Stormglade located far to the southwest. What they find in the city will plunge the realm into war and send Luxon on a quest to find Asphodel, before all is lost.

Copyright © Matthew Olney

Work on the novel is going well, I’d say I was about half way through at the moment. Plenty of excitement to come. Also, keep your eyes peeled for a new blog post about world building over the coming days.


World Book Day

As Thursday is World Book Day Heir to the Sundered will be available as a free download!

World Book Day  is a registered charity whose aim is to promote reading among the UK’s kids and the wider public. It’s a great cause as I am sure you all agree.