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Red Tide by Marc Turner Blog Tour (Guest Post).


Today on TheTattooedBookGeek I’m very honoured to welcome Marc Turner for a guest post and to be part of the blog tour for his new book, Red Tide, which coincidentally is released today!

Marc is one of my favourite authors and his The Chronicles of the Exile series is one of the best current fantasy series out there. Red Tide is the third book in the series following on from his superb debut When the Heavens Fall and the most excellent Dragon Hunters.


Now for me, this has to be the highlight of blogging so far, getting one of my favourite authors to grace my blog. Many thanks to both Lydia at Titan for arranging this and Marc for agreeing to it, it’s appreciated.

Enough of my rambling, onwards to the guest post!

Spoiling for a Fight – Writing a Good Fight Scene

When was the last time you read a fantasy book that didn’t include an element of armed conflict? Fantasy epics typically deal with high stakes and momentous events, and these conflicts aren’t the sort that can be resolved over a drink and a handshake. Take GRRM’s A Game of Thrones, for example. It’s possible that the warring factions may ultimately sit around a table and agree on a timeshare for the Iron Throne. But it’s far more likely that they will look to settle their differences with bits of pointy metal and the odd blast of dragon fire.

Over the years, I have seen a lot of articles giving advice on writing fight scenes, and I’m not going to try to paraphrase them here. Instead I would like to concentrate on what I consider to be the two most important elements.

Each fight must feel unique

“He aimed a cut at her head with his sword, and she blocked with her shield. She countered with a thrust, and he blocked.”

If a few rounds of this don’t send you to sleep, you may need to invest in some sleeping pills. Turning a fight into a blow-by-blow description of every hack and clash is the surest way to lose your readers’ interest. When I plan a battle, I look for the one thing that will distinguish it from all the others. It might be the weapons that the combatants use, or it might be the individual skill sets of the fighters. For example, in Dragon Hunters, one of my point-of-view characters, Senar, faces opponents varying from a sea dragon to a giant clad in armour consisting of metal threads sewn into his skin.

You can also make the action feel fresh by introducing new settings. I’m not just talking about background scenery here. There has to be something in the characters’ surroundings that has a material bearing on the battle. Put them on a ship where each pitch of the deck might induce a misstep. Or put them in a titan fortress where the magic deadens their natural abilities, forcing them to come up with new methods of fighting. A short story I wrote recently takes place in the upper room of a derelict house where the floorboards have been ripped up to expose the crossbeams. The combatants must duel on the timbers, struggling to keep their balance even as they struggle to defeat their opponent.

Don’t forget the characters

In the heat of the battle, it is possible to forget what matters most in an action scene: the characters. How do the characters perceive the action? Is this their first taste of combat? What does the fight mean to them? The most interesting fights I read are between combatants with history. That history allows one or both sides to play on the emotions of the other to gain an advantage, usually through dialogue. I always look to include conversation in a fight. That allows me to break up the action such that no single sequence becomes overlong or monotonous. It also allows me to escalate the stakes.

It seems silly to talk about raising the stakes in a battle. If the characters are fighting for their lives, how much higher could the stakes get?


For example, what if one of the characters was fighting an estranged friend? Or what if they were frantic to dispatch an opponent so they can go to the help of a companion? My first book, When the Heavens Fall, features a character called Parolla whose parentage has left her with tainted blood. Sometimes the power she carries slips her leash. Every battle therefore constitutes a danger. If she unleashes the darkness inside her, she risks it consuming her and the friends around her. But what if she were put in a position where she had no choice but to fight?

Curious to know what happens next? I guess you’ll just have to read the book to find out!


Red Tide (The Chronicles of the Exile Book 3) Book Blurb:

“The Augerans are coming. And their ships are sailing in on a red tide.

The Rubyholt Isles are a shattered nation of pirate-infested islands and treacherous waterways shielding the seaboards of Erin Elal and the Sabian League, a region even dragons fear to trespass.

The Augerans beseech the Warlord of the Isles, seeking passage for their invasion fleet through Rubyholt territory. But they are sailing into troubled waters. Their enemies have sent agents to sabotage the negotiations, and to destroy the Augeran fleet by any means necessary.

The emperor of Erin Elal seeks to forge an alliance with the Storm Lords, hoping to repulse the Augerans with a united front. But the battle lines are not as clearly drawn as it first appears, for the emira of the Storm Isles mistrusts the Erin Elalese as much as she does their common enemy. And the Augerans might just be planning a little sabotage of their own.

But nothing in the realm of mortals escapes the notice of their meddling gods; every step they take is shadowed; and every choice they make is ensnared in a web so subtle and vast, its true shape may be fathomed only when it is far, far too late.”

Red Tide is available to purchase:

Amazon UK  /  Amazon US  /  The Book Depository 

About the Author:


Marc Turner was born in Toronto, Canada, but grew up in England. He graduated from Lincoln College, Oxford University, in 1996 with a BA (Hons) in law, and subsequently joined a top ten law firm in the City of London. After realising that working there did not mix well with simple pleasures such as having a life, he fled north first to Leeds and then to Durham in search of a better work-life balance. Unfortunately it proved elusive, and so in 2007, rather than take the next step and move to Scotland, he began working part time so he could devote more time to his writing. Following the sale of his debut epic fantasy novel, When the Heavens Fall, he started writing full time.

Why writing? Because it is the only work he knows where daydreaming isn’t frowned upon, and because he has learned from bitter experience that he cannot not write.

The authors whose work has most influenced him are Steven Erikson and Joe Abercrombie. Consequently he writes fast-paced, multi-threaded novels with a liberal sprinkling of humour; novels written on a panoramic scale, peopled by characters that stay in the memory. Or at least that’s the theory . . .

He lives in Durham, England, with his wife and son.

Marc canbe found:

Website  /  Twitter  /  Goodreads

Marc’s previous books:


My Review  /  Amazon UK  /  Amazon US  /  The Book Depository


My Review  /  Amazon UK  /  Amazon US  /  The Book Depository

24 thoughts on “Red Tide by Marc Turner Blog Tour (Guest Post).

      1. yeah I was checking out the book on Amazon and came to know that it was the 3rd installment , I was actually going to look at your blog for the review of the first 2 , Guess this comment saved me the time 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  1. This is an awesome post! I loved reading about fight scenes. And I’m so excited that Marc Turner wrote this for you. That’s just so cool. 🙂 When I read his example of how a fight scene would put you to sleep, I couldn’t help but think about the fight sequences in Divergent. I know it’s a baby book (shudders), but that book has the worst fight scenes I’ve ever read. And they were supposed to be in combat training, which made it even more sad for me to read as a lover of boxing and MMA. I actually marked When the Heavens Fall as to read on Goodreads a few weeks ago. It sounds really good. And now I want to read it even more. Wow, his background is so impressive. As a law major, that was interesting to read. John Grisham was a lawyer before he became a published author. I think that sort of helps in some ways. Cool post! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I haven’t read or watched the Divergent film but know it’s a baby book! 😂

      When The Heavens Fall is good, Dragon Hunters is the better of the two with different characters and sea dragons! 🐉🐲 But both are very good reads.

      I know, it’s so cool having one of my favourite authors on my humble little blog! 😀

      Liked by 1 person

      1. You’re not missing anything. I wrote a rant about the Divergent series. I went into detail about how bad the fight scenes were in that book. I’ll have to decide on one of those books and see how I like it. I liked the sound of the magic that’s why I marked it on Goodreads. Yeah, that’s so amazing. Congrats, darling! 😘

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Love this post!!! Epic fight and battle scenes are what breathe the very life into some of my favorites. They have to be done right. I love a good fight where my fists clench up as I read. I am guilty of yelling at my book at times as well 😉

    I have sadly not read any work by Marc Turner. Clearly I need to!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. He’s definitely a good author, especially if you like fantasy. Ha, I don’t yell at my books when fighting is going on, I’m more likely to be found yelling at my book when some annoying twerp is annoying me, think Joffrey in Game of Thrones! 😂

      Liked by 1 person

  3. A great post – it’s always fascinating to read what a master has to say about his particular superpower and listening to Turner talk – fight scenes are clearly his ‘thing’.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Now there’s a guest post to be proud of! 😀 (not saying that other guest posts aren’t, but you know, if you’re a big fan of someone’s work and all!). Haha! The GoT factions sitting around a table talking over timeshares. I can just see it happening :’). Maybe that’s what would happen if women ruled the world, though. Just sayin’ ;). No fighting, except for the occasional hair pull. Lovely post, fight scenes are a vital part in fantasy books for sure!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Marc Turner is a very cool guy, and he was even nice enough to allow me to be a beta reader for this book. And I have to say it did not disappoint in the least. Truly, amazing story which makes this series even more epic. I encourage everyone to try THE CHRONICLE OF THE EXILE. I don’t think you will be sorry you did. 😉

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Really like the tips here. Reminds me of a podcast episode I listened to on Writing Excuses. For me, I love reading fight scenes that reveal something new about a character or where a particular trait of the character gets in the way of the fighting. Like how Fitz fights in the Farseer books. To me he has to use the axe because he becomes more like the wolf then, or is just more wild then, berserk.

    Liked by 1 person

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