Search results for “M.C. Burnell”:

The Three Faces of Dissatisfaction by M.C. Burnell

He thought this mission was a joke at his expense, and now he’s got the fate of the region in his hands. Liath-Tamren is the largest urban center in a land around an inner sea that was all once claimed by an empire. The Cities reflect the diversity and trade that flow across the Halu, enriched by numerous immigrant enclaves and temples to foreign gods. Not all of its citizens find that pleasing, and there’s no people more misunderstood than the Malisaat, with their secretive faith, their envy-inspiring wealth, and their freaky black-eyed sorcerers, who scare them too. As one of said freaky sorcerers, otherwise known as the Azkhan Soubir, Japhet’s used to being in on the secrets. But when the head of his cabal sends him to the Cities, his orders are basically: go there for reasons. Not the usual mission. And why here? Liath-Tamren is a tame, bourgeois place (which he hates). There’s crime, but it’s ordinary shit. The Cities’ problems are the sort one expects in an urban center run by a string of incompetent do-nothing kings who still consider their subjects foreigners a thousand years after conquering them. Sorcerers are tax-paying citizens organized into guilds who sell their services to shopkeepers. So color him confused by what he finds when he arrives. It doesn’t help that his fellow Azkhan Soubir are acting hinky. Japhet’s cabal works alone and keeps their mysteries close, but the people he used to trust he doesn’t anymore. He’s going to have to rely on the help of normal folks accustomed to having normal, boring, workaday problems, who don’t yet know they have something to contribute. Top of the agenda: figure out why the Cities are being targeted by a comical profusion of metaphysical players who never took an interest heretofore. An urban center so real it must be. A labyrinthine plot centuries in the making. Laugh-out-loud dark comedy. Fall in love with Liath-Tamren! (Just don’t call it ‘a city.’ Really.)

The Nicodemus Path by M.C. Burnell

In the elven world, it's not unheard of that the Chosen One may also be the villain. Vykollo men yedeva, they call it: Nemesis. It's been two hundred years since humans got tired of sharing the world with their elven neighbors, beings longer-lived and magical in ways they weren't. They waged war - and lost - and now live in nameless towns built up around the walls of the great elven cities. Within the walls, traumatized elves who lived through the war go about their lives with what serenity they can cling to. Trying very hard to pretend the humans who are now their subjects don't exist. Isador is a member of an order of sin-eating priests; it's his job to share the will of their god with his people, with advice or with his sword as necessary. What is very much not one of his duties is to challenge the god by standing in the path of someone's destiny. Two elves were born, though, eighty years ago, bearing the mark of the god's chosen instrument. He finds this worrying: there has never been more than one before. His concern mounts as they grow up and he sees the people they're becoming. When one of them falls in love with a human, it's not clear that this romance will steady him or prove his trigger. And their people are especially vulnerable. Mysterious creatures from Elsewhere are testing their borders, beings that do not bleed when cut or decompose when killed. They have not so far been willing to explain themselves. Determined to save these sullen young Chosen Ones from a fate he deems unfair, Isador squares off against his god. There has to be a better way, and all he wants to do is persuade the god to look for it. Take him instead, for example. He's forgotten something he ought to know about his patron: the god is tricksy and loves to lay traps.

We Gather by M.C. Burnell

WE GATHER Civilization may go up in flames if a group of people who hate each other can’t learn to be friends. The 3,000 year old Barrachite Empire is in decline. A vestigial aristocracy hides in mildewing palaces worrying about debt while the emperor bends the knee to trade cartels. Modern Barracheh is still the mightiest civilization in the area, but they no longer birth conquerors or visionaries. No one is building monuments anymore like the massive pyramids near every older city. Sathriel has traveled Barracheh from the jungle that birthed his people to the snowy north; he's walked the plains and coast and desert in his mission to bring back the sorcery that forged the empire. It's a tricky task since its disappearance is a mystery. It doesn't help that assassins and spies belonging to the emperor have dogged his steps since he ran away from home 9 years ago. They're twins, and no one knows the truth about what spawned their feud. No sooner does he find a sorcerer than the witch Ha’ere finds him. Bringing back the sorcery that vanished a thousand years ago will have consequences, positive but also negative. She wants to introduce him to the band of allies handpicked by her gods to help him. The catch? They're either foreigners from countries he's never even heard of or his enemies. We is a fantasy epic by every measurement, from pathos to scale. Get in on all the epic battles, thrilling swordfights, and staggering magic: buy a copy now!

Into the Darkbower by M.C. Burnell

The Special Office of Uncanny Inquiry exists to protect its congregation from the Beyond, inasmuch as that’s possible. Esmerelda Mendos has worked her way up through the SOUI’s ranks, all the way to Chief Inquirer; it’s her job to dictate policy and quarrel with the Pope. On the eve of her retirement, she stays up late to review her first case, which remains unsolved. It was an all-star squad; she had to bribe her way on. Under the leadership of the bureau’s most celebrated Inquirer: a Wizard First Class, a decorated Secular Liaison, a band of Hellraisers. The cause for all this fuss, a man who claims to be under the protection of the Elder Ones. Koren is remarkably composed for someone who’s been arrested. Keen to tell exactly how he came to be friends with a High Court faerie prince. When he escapes, the squad pursues. They can claim it was their duty, and that’s true. But then again. By the time they understand they’re never going to learn whether Bashureth is real or whether Koren is the ordinary man he appeared, they’ve fallen off the edge of the world. The only thing that matters is getting home. As one of the lucky ones, Esmerelda has been haunted ever since by the sense that she was permitted to live. Even that can’t hold a match to the suspicion that, thirty years later, if she looked into a forest and saw Koren looking back, she would go to him. Aware of the risks. Fully understanding that she wasn’t coming back, and what she would be sacrificing. Just to finally know what really happened. This dark fantasy/ horror is a must-read for anyone who loves an unsolved mystery and unreliable narrators. You know from word go you can’t take Koren at his word. In the end, do you take Esmerelda at hers?

The Spider's Friend by M.C. Burnell


Last week, he didn’t know he had a family. Now he’s trying to save the world from them. Wrapped around an inland sea, Dhashere is a broad land of fecund coastal woodlands, rocky heights, and arid grasslands called home by more than humans; there are sapient species styled elemental peoples inhabiting its seas, its skies, even underneath its streets. Peacefully, it used to be. Now, the Premier is failing, and that shouldn’t be a problem. Rulership is shared with four senates, and he has children to succeed him. But there may be too many. Maru was raised in isolation in a monastery, convinced he was a foundling. Then a glamorous foreign magician appears. He claims to be an emissary of Maru’s father, none other than the Premier, who has sent this trusted intimate to fetch his secret son home to the capital. A more cynical person might wonder if there’s a catch, and a more cynical person would be correct: Jaalen was hired by a shadowy contingent keen to pit their own candidate against his father’s legitimate children. It's not as simple as deciding whether he’s willing to vie for the throne. An army of bovine zealots gathers at the border, ready to invade, and someone is murdering elemental shamans by means as malignant as they are mysterious. There’s no question it’s one of Maru’s siblings, but he doesn’t know which and now he’s in their custody. Did anyone mention there are ten of them? The only person he trusts is the lying magician who tricked him into getting involved. And if he wants the help of Dhashere’s most infamous witch-for-hire, he’ll need to start by saving him. The Spider’s Friend is a thrilling, twist-filled adventure, a palace intrigue with less palace and more battling-giant-jellyfish. A must-read for anyone interested in novel second worlds, it has mole-people and a city made of waterfalls; one of the narrative characters is an ambulatory plant. Ready to separate the liars from true friends? Plunge into the decaying chaos of the Dhashereen Dominion!

Are we missing your favorite indie story? Submit it!

© 2023 Hakea Media | Terms | Privacy