Win ‘Blood’s Pride’ by Evie Manieri

Free books are back! I took a break last week for reasons explained here, but thankfully things have settled down to a still-intense-but-manageable pace and I can return to giving away great reads:

untitledA generation has passed since the Norlanders’ great ships bore down on Shadar, and the Dead Ones slashed and burned the city into submission, enslaving the
Shadari people.

Now the Norlander governor is dying and, as his three alienated children struggle against the crushing isolation of their lives, the Shadari rebels spot their opening and summon the Mongrel, a mysterious mercenary warrior who has never yet lost a battle. But her terms are unsettling: she will name her price
only after the Norlanders have been defeated.

A single question is left for the Shadari: is there any price too high for freedom?

I confess I haven’t yet read Blood’s Pride, but one of the aspects of it I think must be fascinating is how the Norlanders do – or do not – communicate; they are called the Dead Ones because they are gaunt, pale, lack facial expressions or body language, and are almost entirely without speech. They communicate by telepathy and a sort of empathic transmission. Evie Manieri talks about the challenge of writing dialogue for characters who don’t speak here, and it made me think about what it would be like to communicate in such a profoundly different way. So my question this week is: Would you give up speech for telepathy? Why, or why not?

Post your answer in comments, or tweet it to me @scriptopus (or both!). You have until midnight on Sunday to get it in, then I’ll pick a winner. The competition is open to you wherever you are in the world, as long as your answer is in English. Prizes will be dispatched from Jo Fletcher Books HQ in London, and remember, we’ll need your address if you win.



  1. Telepathy is definitely interesting possibility but if I should give up speech? No, I think not. Why? Because I like to sing under shower. 😀

  2. There are times when telepathy would be really useful – book readings, for a start! If I could just think my reading into people’s minds I wouldn’t have to stand up in front of everyone and actually talk 😉 I would give up speech, but only if everyone around me was telepathic as well, so I could still tell them I loved them.

  3. I would not give up speech for telepathy.

    *Possibly Spoiler*

    Jachad (SP?), from the book talks about how if you’re not careful while interacting through their telepathic language you can divulge intimate things you might not have wanted to willingly share. That type of continual mental awareness and alarm could be daunting to maintain. I can always mumble under my breath, but I’m not so sure I can keep my thoughts to myself.

    Secondly, would I be giving up talking or the ability to make sound? Even if I was willing to part with talking, I’d not be able to give up with spoken words through song. There’s something truly comfortable about hearing a voice resonate through a medley that I wouldn’t part with willingly.

    Lastly, I will send you a digital hug should you select me as the winner as I am in love with the UK cover art for this book. I have read the story, but through the Kindle, which is nowhere near as nice as holding a real book. (I’ll also send Evie a digital hug for writing this gem).

    Roger Bellini @Master_pastry

  4. I would not give up speech at all. Why? Because there is something… peaceful about being able to talk, to hear your own voice. I’m pretty sure that I would go crazy if I could not talk verbally at all. I want to hear myself, hear myself cheer *whoa awesome!!* or talk smack *well that was complete crap, what a waste of time and money!** or something like that.

  5. I’ve read many times that 95% of communication is nonverbal. This is so in my life. And at least for me, thankfully so, as my mouth is not wired to my brain very well ! Coming from a more visceral honest place, nonverbal communication is cleaner, faster, more grounded, direct, and above all else more deeply authentic than verbal communication. A great deal of life is already telepathically communicating. My own life is filled with it. Consciously contemplating telepathy as a primary mode of communication is only scary because we are unpracticed. No one thinks twice about monitoring their spoken words and physical actions because we’ve been trained from the beginning to do so, and anyone who doesn’t is considered socially maladjusted by even the most altruistic persons. Unfettered telepathic communication, as a base form of communication, would be the same. We would all learn to control our thoughts and hide that which we deemed private. Which in the end then, alas, might prove to be no more honest then the spoken word is now. However, I’ll take speed, directness, and clarity. These things come from my mind, not my mouth. I’m voting for telepathy!

  6. I wouldn’t give up speech, because I’m used to it. Maybe I’d think differently if I was born without a voice. I think it’s hard to give up something you’re so used to as speaking.
    Telepathy would be great if I couldn’t speak, but I wouldn’t want to be alone. I don’t think I’d want everyone to use telepathy because then there’s nothing special about it anymore. Let’s make it a mix of people who can speak and people who can use telepathy, now that would be something!
    I guess the best possible way I could answer your question is by thinking what I would chose (if I had the ability to chose) at birth, in the situation I described above. I think I’d chose speech because I think there can be beauty in the way a mouth moves while speaking and the facial expressions we make when laughing, screaming in horror,… I don’t think telepathy can be as expressive as speach and sounds that we produce and the way our face moves when making those sounds.

    Great question!

  7. @ akaellisfisher

    You bring up a good point about the fact that telepathic communication being something we’d grow up with would become as talking is to us now. However in this quote, “We would all learn to control our thoughts and hide that which we deemed private,” you acknowledge that there would be a learning curve. Now I’m hardly an old dog, but I do believe that type of learning curve would not be an easy one to master as telepathic communication is so far out of my realm of comfort. As they say, why mess with an already good thing?

    Also, if we’re giving up the spoken language for telepathic communication, where in context would written works be? The idea of reading a book might prove obsolete and when an idea or a story could be understood nearly instantaneously by the author allowing it to be seen from within them. Would that not then take away the readers ability to shape and create a visual interpretation of a story all of their own?

    I digress, and I suspect I’ve over analyzed this question…

  8. Romeo Kennedy

     /  March 15, 2013

    I really don’t think I could give up speech for telepathy. Let me tell you why with my mind……….. Did you get that?… Hellooo… Mmm seems I have gremlins in the system. I jest of course, the reason I wouldn’t give up speech for telepathy is because the power to converse with ones speech is a powerful thing indeed. For example I can tell my wife I love her through telepathy but it seems to me totally without conviction and could probably be done whilst making a cuppa tea, whereas by looking into my wifes eyes and using the power of speech I can truly emotionally use my voice to telly my wife she is my one and only and mean it with every inflection of my words. Having both would somewhat be useful but our speech is the purest poetry in itself (there are obviously exceptions to this, I’m looking at you Chris Brown)

  9. Preserving speech so that one can sing in the shower was a close runner-up, but for a well-constructed argument in favour of telepathy, the winner is – akaellisfisher! Congratulations – let me have your mailing address (and name) via the contact link above (or DM me @scriptopus), and I’ll get Jo Fletcher Books to send Blood’s Pride out to you.

    Many thanks to everyone else for participating, and stay tuned – this Thursday I’ll be giving away Ian McDonald’s fabulous Planesrunner!

  10. Wow! Thanks! You can count on me to be contrarian! 🙂

  • I love stories.
    My new novel, Sacred, is all about them. Publication info will be posted as soon as I have it.

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