stories in and

Shadow Debt by William Ray

Glynn Sorley is sheriff of Keat’s Field, a tiny settlement in an otherwise lawless frontier. With the discovery of diamonds, her town is flooded with fortune-hunters looking to strike it rich. It’s also a target for competing colonial powers, savage goblin tribes, and outlaws. A rustler on the run from the law stumbles across his father’s mysterious legacy – a weapon of immense magical power. He uses it to ravage across the territory as the notorious outlaw Gentleman Jim. But the weapon’s power comes at a terrible cost, and Keat’s Field may just have to pay the price… This third Tale of the Verin Empire returns us to the world of Gedlund and The Great Restoration. It explores a frontier trapped between competing nations, where goblins reign and a lone sheriff fights to keep the peace. Drawing inspiration from L’Amour’s Comstock Lode, Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings, and our own late 19th century, Shadow Debt continues William Ray’s bold, critically acclaimed reinvention of classic fantasy in a world of memorable characters and unique perspectives, and features sketches from acclaimed illustrator Tom Parker.


the Great Restoration by William Ray

The Wardens have returned. Traitors to humanity, the Wardens were an ancient order of men and women seeking to once more enslave their own people to the Elves. With the rise of rifle and iron rail, Elves were finally driven from the world, but in secret enclaves, the Wardens speak of the Great Restoration, which will bring their masters back into power… Nearly a decade after fighting the war in Gedlund, Gus Baston has found work as a private investigator in the Verin Empire’s crime-infested capitol. He makes his living at the edges of society, friend to neither police nor criminal classes, and when the Wardens suddenly emerge from obscurity to kidnap a prominent engineer, Gus must rescue him or risk being blamed for the crime himself. But why would Elves want an engineer? And why have the Wardens suddenly shown themselves after forty years in hiding? Drawing inspiration from Lord of the Rings, Sherlock Holmes and our own late 19th century, The Great Restoration continues William Ray’s bold, critically acclaimed reinvention of classic fantasy in a world of memorable characters and unique perspectives.


Gedlund by William Ray

To the north sits Thyesten, the ancient Lich King of Gedlund. He has banished death, and for countless centuries ruled a land where ghosts, vampires, and other wicked undead keep men in feudal servitude. Elsewhere in the world, human civilization has flourished, and with rifle and iron rail, the power of the Elves has been banished at last. Foremost among the great modern nations is the Verin Empire, and with their prosperity threatened by forces the Elves once kept in check, they find themselves rushing headlong into war with Thyesten’s Kingdom of the Dead. Tammen Gilmot is a young soldier sent to defend the Verin Empire’s colonial frontier who finds himself swept up into this reckless new campaign, pitting rifle and cannon against Gedlund’s ruthless Everlords and their legions of the dead. In the goblin-infested southern frontier, the sprawling metropolis of Gemmen, and the haunted northern kingdom of Gedlund, the modern world wars against the past as Tammen tries to find his place in the forming of history. Gedlund is the story of a young man's rise to responsibility amid battles between humanity and the terrors of the distant past. Drawing inspiration from Lord of the Rings, Catch-22 and our own late 19th century, William Ray’s debut novel features a complex and nuanced world of memorable characters and unique perspectives on life in worlds of classic fantasy.


Run Like Clockwork: The Ruby Rings by E. C. Hibbs

Powered by clockwork and alchemy, populated by humans and shapeshifters, the City of Forest is not what it seems. Behind its majestic structures of stone and steel, the undesirable are stripped bare, and not even a blade of grass can grow. One winter’s night, young Charlotte Bellamy is left as the only survivor of a brutal massacre. She carves out a new life for herself as a watch mechanic, but even as time passes, Charlotte cannot escape the attention of a dangerous society within the government. A society which will do anything to protect the status quo. An immortal feline with a sharp tongue, a conflicted police officer running from his past, an assassin as vulnerable as she is formidable — all have a part to play in the web of secrets which slowly begins to unravel. United by Charlotte, their stories come together like cogs in a machine. And from above, an all-knowing eye looks on, counting down the seconds in a way no human can...


Wanted (All That Glitters #1) by Shalaena Medford

Tsingsei "Song" Gould has always led a privileged life, never wanting for anything. When Song is told she must choose a suitor, she flees with a street urchin who claims to know the location of a legendary lost treasure. Armed with a map, a stolen skyship, and no real plan, they set off on the adventure of a lifetime. Now, away from the comforts of her home, she must learn to exist in a dangerous world of magic and pirates. Wanted is the republication of two novellas, now combined into one novel! Content Warning: Contains graphic depictions of violence and situations which some may find triggering.


Fogbound: Empire in Flames by Gareth Clegg

London 1899, a ruined city under martial law. It was just another bounty job for Simmons - recover a killer escaping beyond the massive walled city, while avoiding the toxic red fog and the tainted creatures who make their home Fogside since the failed Martian Invasion of '94. When he stumbles across a dastardly plot to overthrow Empress Victoria, the hunter becomes the hunted. With the brutal military police on his trail, he needs to gather others to his cause, learn who is responsible for this treason and keep the Empire he loves from plunging into eternal darkness. But in the darkest and most fogbound areas of the flooded London streets, a sinister intelligence watches, biding its time until the hour of reckoning is at hand…


Rise of the Sky Pirate by S.W. Raine

Before becoming the infamous sky pirate from The Techno Mage, Benedict Keenan was a disorderly drunkard from London Below—and in this spin-off series, his story is finally being told. Straying from his dream of living like the nobles in the Upper Lands for far too long, Benedict takes on an easy mercenary job with a band of rogues to quickly get back on his feet. But when a surgeon from the Upper Lands—the sole survivor of a sky pirate attack aboard an airship returning from an important science convention—is found in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean, Benedict is suddenly thrust into a dangerous high-stakes race against a poisonous alchemical infusion set to be released into the Great Lakes. What’s worse is that a man from Benedict's past is at the center of it all. Can he stop the sky pirate before the world becomes mind-controlled? Rise of the Sky Pirate is an action-packed steampunk adventure that reaches for the stars while saving the world along the way.


Odder Still by D.N. Bryn

Rubem of No-Man’s Land was content keeping to his wine, his pets, and his extensive collection of fishnets. But since a sentient, fuel-producing parasite bonded to his brainstem, every morally-depraved scientist and hardcore rebel for a hundred miles wants to ruthlessly dissect him. The parasite itself is no better, influencing his emotions and sassing him with his own memories as it slowly takes over his body. The only person offering Rubem help is Tavish K. Findlay, a dashing and manipulative philanthropist whose mother’s fuel company monopolizes their corrupt underwater city with an iron claw. She desperately wants to tear Rubem apart for the parasite before those who oppose her can do the same. Her son is irresistibly charismatic though, and after a lifetime of being kicked out and disavowed, Rubem is desperate to believe in the friendship Tavish offers. With revolutionary plots and political schemes tangling his every choice, Rubem must soon decide whether or not to trust Tavish in his fight against the parasite’s growing control.


The Ancestor by L.J. Suarez

For centuries, humankind has been extinct...until now. Six awoke from a dream, only to find himself in a nightmare. He is the last living human – lost and alone in a city of unrecognizable wonders. A new empire reigns over the Earth, a race of genetically engineered humans so evolved they bear little resemblance to their ancient predecessors. Before Six can get his bearings in this strange new world, he is framed for a heinous crime and exiled into the deadly wasteland beyond the city walls. As he struggles to survive in this hostile environment, and memories of his past slowly resurface, Six discovers that he has been marked for death. The empire has a secret, one so devastating its own people would be executed if they knew. Can Six decipher the hidden world of new Earth before they wipe out what is left of humanity? Grab The Ancestor today and let the adventure begin!


The Diamond Device by M. H. Thaung

After diamond power promises to replace steam, an unemployed labourer and a thieving noble unite to foil an international plot and avert a war. Alf Wilson resents the new technology that cost him his factory job, especially as his clockwork leg bars him from army enrolment. He daren’t confess his unemployment to his overbearing mother. Desperate over the rent, he ends up in a detention cell with a hangover. Impoverished Lord Richard Hayes maintains his expensive parliamentary seat by a mixture of charm and burglary. During a poorly planned break-in, he inadvertently witnesses a kidnapping. To cap it all, the police arrest him for the crime. At least he's using a fake identity. The real criminals make off with not just the professor who discovered diamond power, but her plans for a diamond-fuelled bomb. When Rich encounters Alf in the neighbouring cell, he sees an opportunity to keep his noble reputation intact. He persuades Alf he's a secret agent who needs an assistant. This chance association will take them to the oddest locations. But law-abiding Alf’s first assignment? Break Rich out of jail.


A Summer in Amber by C. Litka

The past is the future. A young physicist, Sandy Say, is dispatched to a Scottish highland estate to secretly decipher a decrepit manuscript that may hold the key to reinventing the 21st century, devastated by a series of solar storms. There he finds whispers of a reincarnated wizard, a hidden laboratory that is said to be the gate to the Otherworld, and a girl. A Summer in Amber is set in Scotland and England in the not too distant future, after a series of extremely powerful solar storms has laid to waste the modern world of cell phones, computers satellites, and even the power grids. Britain exists as an eclectic mix of the 21st and 19th century, with both steam engines, and pocket computers. A Summer in Amber is a quiet, enchanting novel of adventure and romance, with a unique steampunk air. C. Litka writes old-fashioned novels with modern sensibilities, humor, and romance. His lighthearted novels of adventure, mystery, and travel are set in richly imagined worlds and feature a colorful cast of well drawn characters. If you seek to escape, for a few hours, your everyday life, you will not find better company, nor more wonderful worlds to travel and explore, than in the novels of C. Litka.


Coyle and Fang: Curse of Shadows by robert adauto III

The year is 1892. A mythical book has been stolen, and the fate of mankind rests in the hands of two exceptional women: a brilliant detective and a deadly vampire. But they discover things are never that simple as they face a world much more dangerous than either could have imagined. Between enemies within and enemies without, can Coyle and Fang stop a madman before it kills hundreds of thousands?


The Lady of the Mark by Alex Hanson

Shaila will soon become the first woman to join a deeply guarded guild of warriors, The Men of the Mark. Together, they fight to end the civil war that’s left half their country to die of starvation and disease. But Shaila’s presence in the guild stirs a long-hidden corruption within their ranks, and she soon finds herself fighting for her life on two fronts. She’s determined to smite both evils but must do so while guarding a deep and dangerous secret: her love for her Master and mentor, Drauses. Master Drauses is one of the most notorious Men of the Mark in history. His comrades wish him to lead someday, but he doubts himself, especially after he violates the guild’s strict moral codes by falling in love with his new ward. When their enemies move to strike them down at their weakest moment, Drauses must choose to step up or step aside as he struggles to balance honor and heart in a world that lacks both.


A Journey of Black and Red by Alex Gilbert

A conversation with a handsome stranger leaves Ariane chained in a cellar with a strange affliction. She soon discovers that the darkness of the nineteenth century’s Deep South hides many dangers. Mages, wolf shifters and the humans who hunt them play a risky game where to stumble is to die, all under the amused gaze of the apex predators of the supernatural world: vampires. It is never healthy to attract the gaze of the aristocracy of the night, but for Ariane, it is too late. It takes much to survive in this merciless world, but she will not let that deter her. The southern belle has a bite, and she is willing to learn and to grow in this hostile new world. She will use whatever means necessary to reclaim her freedom, be it guile, charm, or those intriguing new instincts that make blood so delectable.


Sweetness and Blessings by Charlotte Kersten

Saved from ruin after fleeing from a terrible mistake, Iraluri is grateful for her husband, and that gratitude is equaled only by her dread of disappointing him with more mistakes. Together they fumble through magic once practiced by her fallen people in the hopes of finding the forgotten offerings that will make them rich. As this search continues, a kind stranger on the street and a solitary ghost challenge Iraluri to begin thinking beyond the fear and careful rules that she has lived by for so long. It becomes more and more impossible for Iraluri to ignore wrongs in her world and her life, but what use is this knowledge when acting upon it is so dangerous?


Penny for Your Soul by K.A. Ashcomb

The dead don’t wait. But they do work in the factories, decide over policies, and hate to stay buried six feet under. Petula Upwood is about to find what the undead genuinely want. She follows strangers into the night to awaken a man who many would prefer to stay under. She will soon realize that being a necromancer is more about politics than perfecting the art of waking the dead. And she hates it. Herbert Ringworm, a sculptor and a werewolf-wrestler, is willing to kill to serve his justice. Not that easy when he is forced to pair with a genteel ghoul. The only thing he wants is Ona to be alive again. Morris Reinhardt, a banker, needs to get tonight right to save his late father’s bank from the ruins by starting a conspiracy. He just isn’t sure about his accomplices and should have known better than put Petula’s life in danger. Everything is going haywire. If they want to survive tonight, they need to cooperate. Penny for Your Soul is an economic and political satire with humans, ghouls, and undead willing to do anything to have a win. It is full of personal stories and a few jokes about metaphysics and humanity.


Delphinium, or A Necromancer's Home by V. M. Jaskiernia

The Larkspur Quartet vol. I Book Two in The Courting of Life and Death Lady Elizabeth Anne does not know about the dark magic her beloved practices, and he has no intent to tell her. As they travel to his childhood home for the summer, Pierre Salvador attempts to balance his newfound love with his murderous cræft. After they arrive, the future Duc de Piques finds there is much to be done, and duties cannot be put off any longer. A fatal illness is spreading throughout his land, he is being claimed by those of Faery, and someone has already tried to take his life. But it will take much more to kill a lord of death.


Way of Thieves by Craig A. Price Jr.

A magical scepter can destroy the world … … a band of thieves plan to steal it. Siblings, Brendan and Kiera are in for the assignment of their lives. As descendants of dragons, magic is in their blood, and such a skill is almost as valuable as gold to their guild of thieves. Without any memory of life before becoming orphans, the two are tasked with stealing the revered Revarium Scepter from the Sorcerer's Guild. It’s time to grab their dragon powder, prepare for dangerous quests, and discover the truth of their heritage before the entire world is destroyed. Ocean’s Eleven meets Game of Thrones in this gritty epic fantasy that you’ll love, because everyone loves a magical heist.


Draconis by David Oliver

Magic is real. You just need the right crew to find it.

Over a decade ago Jlayn Syr, cartographer, embarked on a mission to map the world on behalf of the Ursal Federation. He returned with most of his crew dead and two strange rune stones. Stones that changed everything. Within an eternal storm, Jlayn had found a gateway to another world. A world populated with horrifying monsters and broken tombs.
A world of magic. Now he is the leader of the Wayfarers. A mercenary troop dedicated to entering the portal and returning with new rune stones. The Ursal Federation used the impossible magic of the rune stones to cement themselves as the foremost world power and the location of the rift is a closely guarded secret…one that many would kill for. With forces gathering to take control of the rift, Jlayn and his adopted daughter Sesha must embark on the newly built Draconis to explore this new world once again…but with a large target on their heads the days of the Wayfarers may be numbered.


From David Oliver, author of The Great Hearts series, comes a portal fantasy like no other. If you like your novels to have runic-enhanced cannons, devilish traps, high fantasy and an arms-race to produce flying galleons, this one is for you.
Oh and monsters.
Lots of monsters.


Servant of the Lesser Good by Shaun Paul Stevens

A Cursed Symphony and Magic which tells Stories in your Mind High Mistress Talia is a hell-raising socialite with a murky past. But she has a bright future. Beautiful, rich, and a virtuoso harpist, she’s betrothed to the Count of Brecht. In short, she has it all. Or so it would seem. Marla Holst is the new lady’s maid, but never has the ‘help’ been so unhelpful. Marla, real name Mist, has only one mission: to stop the high mistress’s marriage. By any means necessary. But complications abound. Talia’s disturbed daughter, a girl who can see into the future, is cursed with the stigma of a devil-worshipping father. The count’s father, the Duke of Rizak, is a recluse, too afraid of assassins to show his face. And all the nobility want to do is duel. Meanwhile, the highlight of the season—a recital of the famous ‘Cursed Symphony,’ draws ever closer. 
Epic Fantasy for fans of Robin Hobb, Patrick Rothfuss, Brandon Sanderson, Neil Gaiman, V.E. Schwab.
Please note: This book contains mature themes.


The Binding Tempest by Steven Rudy

A fallen empire, a failed republic, and a frontier of alchemy, magic, and machines... They thought the war was over. That they had given enough, but when an oppressive empire falls, what comes from the ashes, is turmoil and treachery. Ellaria Moonstone, an alchemist, and a hero of the Great War, has spent the last forty years trying to rebuild. As an emissary for the Scholar’s Guild, her life’s work is establishing universities throughout the world. But as a former general that led the resistance in overthrowing the Sagean Empire, she has watched as all she fought for has slowly eroded away and with it, her faith in the republic. Now in her mid-fifties her singular focus has been to protect all knowledge for future generations. When the Peace King of the Free Cities goes missing Ellaria uncovers a plot to overthrow the tenuous republic. Convinced that the entity manipulating the fragile government is a Luminary with the powers to control energy, called a Sagean Lord. Ellaria sends for help from old allies and expatriates scattered across the chaotic frontier. Three former war heroes, long past their prime and haunted by their pasts, are all that stand against a dark entity threatening the future. But once reunited, the aging veterans realize trust between old friends is not what it once was. With the currency of souls is in the balance they find that their destinies are entwined with a band of young rogues willing to stand and fight with the heroes they grew up reading about. Together they must stop the return of a dark empire, but the key to protecting the future resides in the mysteries of the past, the lost tomb of the emperor’s and a relic from the time of the unknown ancients, called the Tempest Stone.


The Wastes of Keldora by Alex Raizman

After one too many failed inventions, Julian has hit rock bottom. Summoned to another world where gods and monsters roam, Julian continues his streak of bad luck. Rather than touching the Godcore directly, he let his smartphone absorb it. Now, he's got to figure out how to make the Godcore and his phone work together to help the people who summoned him survive their upcoming annihilation by the mad God of Chains. He's going to have to innovate his way out of his bad luck. Good thing Julian has a plan - he's going to build a factory in a medieval world.


The Alchemyst's Mirror by Liz Delton

A missing brother. A secret society. And a mysterious artifact that’s worth more than gold.Petra and Maisie Everturn just want to run their family’s tea shop, but when their explorer brother Jiordan goes missing while looking for an alchemycal artifact, none of them are safe.The sisters must enlist the help of another explorer in order to find Jiordan or the artifact—before the mysterious alchemyst society finds them first.However, when one of the sisters stumbles into the clutches of the most dangerous alchemyst in the city, the race to unravel the clues becomes desperate. And when they discover the truth about the artifact, their quest to infiltrate the alchemyst’s secret society becomes a matter of life and death.


Burning Bright by Melissa McShane

In 1812, Elinor Pembroke wakes to find her bedchamber in flames—and extinguishes them with a thought. At 21, she is old to manifest magical talent, but the evidence is unmistakable: she not only has the ability to start fires, but the far more powerful ability to control and extinguish them. She is an Extraordinary, and the only one in England capable of wielding fire in over one hundred years. As an Extraordinary, she is respected and feared, but to her father, she represents power and prestige for himself. Mr. Pembroke, having spent his life studying magic, is determined to control Elinor and her talent by forcing her to marry where he chooses, a marriage that will produce even more powerful offspring. Trapped between the choices of a loveless marriage or living penniless and dependent on her parents, Elinor takes a third path: she defies tradition and society to join the Royal Navy. Assigned to serve under Captain Miles Ramsay aboard the frigate Athena, she turns her fiery talent on England’s enemies, French privateers and vicious pirates preying on English ships in the Caribbean. At first feared by her shipmates, a growing number of victories make her truly part of Athena’s crew and bring her joy in her fire. But as her power grows and changes in unexpected ways, Elinor’s ability to control it is challenged. She may have the power to destroy her enemies utterly—but could it be at the cost of her own life?


No Land For Heroes by Cal Black

Mildred Berry is down to her last four bullets… In a wild west where the only things more dangerous than outlaws are dragons, Deputy Berry is struggling to protect her town and keep her family fed. As a last resort, she robs a train for ammunition only to find that the cargo she needs so badly was owned by war hero Frederic Rousseau. The same Frederic Rousseau whom she served during the Amelior Civil War. The same Frederic Rousseau she’s been hiding from for the last five years. Millie knows a secret that could ruin Rousseau’s life, and he’ll stop at nothing to keep her from telling the truth. With her violent past bearing down on the life she’s built for herself, Millie has to decide how far she’ll be willing to go to keep her town safe.


Broken Sky (Skies of Cyrna Book 1) by Morgan K Bell

Dorian Valmont is the sorriest excuse for an aeronaut the crew of skyship Phoenix has ever seen. Forced to flee his home to protect his magical inheritance from the machinations of his ambitious stepfather, awkward misfit Dorian finds himself poorly suited to the rigors of life in the sky. But when an exiled dragon finds him, injured and desperate for help, Dorian learns it’s not enough merely to run away. Dorian must learn to fight back. Caught between forces that seek to use or destroy him, Dorian must train and adapt if he wants to survive. But if he can, he might just hold the key to restoring the world’s faltering magic — or destroying it once and for all.


A Shimmering World: Book One of The Shimmering Saga by AC Lowry

Decades ago, the elvish Maqqelli people were nearly wiped from the face of the planet. Those that were left were brutally oppressed -- their culture, their land, their very lives, all ground into dust beneath the boot of the monarchy. Now, one of those very oppressors, Prince Herlen, is trying to make things right. Alongside Em, his newly-promoted Maqqelli guardian, and his soon-to-be-retired bodyguard Bourabon Van Verot, he sets out on a dangerous, and mysterious quest -- finally putting to motion a decades-long plan to reverse the harm he's done.


Whispers of Stone by Allegra Pescatore

A God is Dead. A Queen is Missing. Secrets are Unraveling. On trial for the murder of the King, Elenor and Gabriel must become allies if they want to survive. His magic is spiraling out of control, awakening a mystery hidden in the very walls of the palace. She has one month to pass her Water Rite and find a way out of the marriage her parents set up. But things are about to get much more complicated. Between sadistic family members intent on taking Elenor’s throne, Tirit Mindel breathing down Gabriel’s neck, and a Golden Dragon appearing in the sky above the Mondaer Desert with an ominous warning, more than the Kingdom of Lirin is at stake. If that weren’t bad enough, time is ticking down for Fedrik and Fay as well. With the desert turning against them and Daemon as a questionable new ally, figuring out how to control Fedrik’s Gift has become a matter of life and death. Picking up in the fallout of Where Shadows Lie, In Silence Abiding is the long-awaited and non-stop second installment of The Last Gift. Dive back into the world of Dracona and hold onto your hats. Things are about to get… salty.


The Thirteenth Hour by Trudie Skies

When the saints fail, the sinners step up. Cruel gods rule the steam-powered city of Chime, demanding worship and tribute from their mortal subjects. Kayl lost her faith in them long ago, and now seeks to protect vulnerable and downtrodden mortals from their gods’ whims. But when Kayl discovers powers that she didn’t know she had—and destroys a mortal’s soul by accident—she becomes Chime’s most wanted. Quen’s job was to pursue sinners, until the visions started. Haunted by foreboding images of his beloved city’s destruction, Quen hunts soul-sucking creatures made of aether who prey on its citizens—and Kayl is his number one target. To ensure Chime’s future, Kayl and Quen must discover the truth of Kayl’s divine abilities before the gods take matters into their own hands. For a city that bows to cruel gods, it’ll take godless heathens to save it. The Thirteenth Hour is the first book in The Cruel Gods series—a gaslamp fantasy featuring magical portals, gothic cosmic deities, quaint Britishisms, and steampunk vibes. This is an adult book containing strong language and mature themes that some readers may find disturbing. For a full list of content warnings, visit Trudie Skies's website.


The City of Locked Doors by Tristen and Keegan Kozinski

Four hundred years ago a plague befell the world. It warped the bodies of all organic things and drove both man and beast rabid during the night. Law and order vanished in a matter of days, along with most of the human race. Years passed and from this madness rose the Tyrants, a brutal god-like sect of individuals who could enforce their will on the surviving dregs of humanity. With their tyranny, they brought order back into the world and established settlements. A convoluted semblance of civilization began aided by the magic of Necromancy, to raise those butchered in the night, and Hemomancy, to heal their injuries. In Umbras, domain of the Tyrant Lock-And-Key, all humans are imprisoned at night where they cannot harm others or the city. Beyond that however, Lock-And-Key does little to interfere with the lives of her subjects. They live and bide with a tentative happiness in the enforced peace her presence brings, until, in the dark of one night, a stranger comes to Umbras.


A Time of Ashes by Ru Pringle

IN THE YEARS BEFORE THE CORRUPTION CAME, Murrin Kentle lived in a world where the largest island could be walked across in a day, and humans traded and fished in bladeships made from the bones of the gigantic and bizarre sea monsters patrolling its stormy, bottomless oceans. As a truthkeep of the Brotherhood of the First Mind, it’s been his duty to fight the decay of knowledge with religious fervour. A fervour he has increasingly struggled to maintain. Before the Corruption came, Sheehan hahe Seeheeli was a carefree countess of the Shi’iin. Amphibious and fiercely matriarchal, her people have maintained an uneasy coexistence with the human scholars dominating the islands. Then an emissary of the gods brings news of an impending catastrophe. Now, she and Murrin must embark on a desperate voyage in the hope of salvation, although both the subject of their search and the path they must take remain stubbornly obscure. Before the Corruption came, a wild young man named Coll grew up in a desert town, consumed by rage over what was done to his mother. His thirst for retribution will set in motion a train of events not even the gods could fully have foretold. NOW THE CORRUPTION IS HERE, and nothing in Murrin's world, nor any of the worlds of the Sundered Realm, will ever be the same. By turns touching, humorous, tense and horrific, A Time of Ashes is a thrilling and wildly imaginative tale of existential discovery: the first part of Fate and the Wheel, a beautifully written epic tale of friendship, loss, revenge, war, and survival against crushing odds.


Subversive (Clandestine Magic #1) by Colleen Cowley

A wizard. An unwilling assistant. An explosive secret. In an America controlled by wizards and 100 years behind on women's rights, Beatrix Harper counts herself among the resistance—the Women's League for the Prohibition of Magic. Then Peter Blackwell, the only wizard her town has ever produced, unexpectedly returns home and presses her into service as his assistant. Beatrix fears he wants to undermine the League. His real purpose is far more dangerous for them both. Subversive is the first novel in the completed Clandestine Magic trilogy, set in a warped 21st century that will appeal to fans of gaslamp fantasy, strong female characters, slow-burn romance and intrigue.


The Mist Keeper's Apprentice by E.S. Barrison

Storytelling was outlawed. Magic had all but vanished. That all changed when the woman in black came to town. Branded with the black stamp at a young age, Brent thought he would end up a vagrant like his father. His craft was telling stories, but the Order had long forbidden any weaving of tales. When Brent sees the woman in black, she leads him into a menagerie of tunnels beneath the earth where his life falls into the nauseating, but beautiful, mist of the dead. He finds friendship in Rho, a young woman who hides her face with a tree branch while roots and vines bow to her every whim. Together, they embark on a journey to explore the world, escape the watchful eyes of the Order, and discover the woman in black's secrets. For thousands of years, the mist and the tunnels were under the sole guardianship of the Council of Mist Keepers. But as new monsters enter the mist, and magic is forced out of the shadows, the Council searches for young blood to join their ranks and Brent's next in line. Content Warning: This book approaches issues of sexism, prejudice, and mental illness, and includes mentions of death, violence/sexual assault, adult language, alcohol use, and psychological abuse/trauma.


Old Bolts by Edward Nile

A Memory of Iron... The Arkenian Civil War is over. Diesel-fueled Warsuits and the Kaizer Engines that power them have been outlawed. Machines which once won freedom for a new nation now lie in pieces, demolished and left to rust. One man can't let go. For over a year, Viktor and his team of mechanics have survived, cold and hungry in the frigid mountains of Northern Arkenia. In exile, cut off from the world, they hold vigil over a last remaining vestige of the nation’s history. A Kaizer Warsuit they name Old Bolts. But when a little boy wanders close to their strange dwelling, Viktor learns that the mountains have become home to a new mining settlement. Where the residents are not allowed to leave. Now Viktor must decide. Decide whether to help the miners of Talbrigdon and risk exposing not only his men, but Old Bolts. Or whether to hold firm to his duty and protect this symbol of liberty from destruction. As things become more dire for both his people and the miners, a deeper secret haunts Viktor. One that could tear Old Bolts and her crew apart.


Winds of Strife by U. G. Gutman

“They burned me and mine. I'm not done until I burn them and theirs in return.” Witch-hunts have plagued the kingdom of Olyanath for decades. Thousands were slain due to the king’s paranoia of women who practice Senspiritic magic. No more. Nye and his companions have seen enough of murder and misogyny. Fifteen years have passed since he joined the witch-hunters, and now, at long last, an opportunity to destroy them from the inside reveals itself. An opportunity to overthrow the king and end his reign of cruelty. But fifteen years of pretense have taken a toll. The strive for vengeance has steered Nye toward a path of violence and villainy. His hands are stained by the blood of countless innocents, his heart is scorched by grief, and his sanity hangs by a thread. Even if he can kill the king and see this revolution through, it may not suffice to purge the voices from his head.


Blood Bounty by Liza Street

Gracie Boswell's got a charmed bullet, a brand new posse, and a pack of outlaw vampires to kill. The tiny town of Penance has a big vampire problem—and charmslinger Gracie Boswell aims to be the solution. A whole nest of vampires makes for a mighty fine bounty, though, and Gracie is far from the only charmslinger angling for the job. When a charming local layabout and an old competitor elbow their way into Gracie's posse, she's forced to at least pretend to play nice...but trust is scarce in the west, and smart bounty hunters always sleep with one eye open. But Gracie doesn't have much time to watch her fellow bounty hunters—Penance's vampire nest is bigger and more organized than anyone suspected, and there's at least one traitor in the town's midst. Soon, Gracie finds herself in the unenviable position of leaning on her posse...and at least one of them isn't what he claims to be.


We Men of Ash and Shadow by HL Tinsley

‘We Men of Ash and Shadow’ is the first book in the Vanguard Series and follows the journey of protagonist, John Vanguard, through the dark and corrupt city of D’Orsee. A Grimdark gas lamp novel, ‘We Men of Ash and Shadow’ explores themes of redemption, loyalty, and betrayal against the backdrop of a world where survival often means compromising your values. Amidst the gas lamp shadows former soldier-turned-mercenary John Vanguard hunts criminals at the behest of his corrupt employer, Captain Felix Sanquain. Shamed by his deserter past and seeking to make amends for his many misdeeds, a chance encounter with Tarryn Leersac – a skilled young would-be-assassin fallen from the graces of high society – leads Vanguard to become an unlikely mentor. Charged with hunting down the killer of two guards left washed up on the banks of the canal, the further Vanguard delves into the underbelly of the city the more he finds himself entangled in a web of secrets and lies. A prominent aristocrat is missing. Crime lords, con men and harlots run amok and the city teeters on the brink of another revolution. With his already precarious reputation hanging by a thread, Vanguard must piece together how and why the last war came to pass, find a way to earn redemption for his mistakes and come to terms with the past in a city where few survive, and even fewer can be trusted.


The Thunder Heist (Twisted Seas # 1) by Jed Herne

A relentless thief. A magical device. And a heist to change everything. Kef Cutmark is the greatest pirate in the Twisted Seas. Just ask her – she’s more than happy to talk about her exploits. She’s a woman of sharp wit and an even sharper sword. She’s killed sea monsters, toppled kings, stolen priceless artifacts, and made a hefty sum of gold along the way. But her charming, roguish exterior hides a dark past. As a child, she was a slave in Zorith – a tangled jungle of a thousand boats, all lashed together to make a floating city-ship. After a life spent running from her past, she’s had enough. Now, it’s time for revenge. Zorith is powered by a magical device that draws energy from lightning. Mysterious, unique, and locked in an unbreachable tower, it’s the envy of Zorith’s rivals. And Kef? She’s here to steal it. To do that, she’ll need a water-breathing mutant, a grumpy architect, and a deaf alchemist. If Kef can take the device, it will cripple Zorith, and serve out justice for what the city did to her. But with all the odds stacked against Kef, failure looks more likely. And if she fails, she’ll never find peace again. The Thunder Heist is a fast-paced fantasy tale of deception, thievery, and revenge. If you enjoyed The Lies of Locke Lamora, The Gutter Prayer, or Mistborn: The Final Empire, you'll love The Thunder Heist.


A Game for Gods by Keith Deininger

A war is brewing, the Godgame has begun... "An epic fantasy tale set in a wondrous world of corruption and war and hope and longing and dreams. No review you will read will ever do this story justice. Just buy it, read it and thank me later." ~ Nev Murray, Confessions of a Reviewer Some say the world of Meridian is in its last age of existence. The Flood is coming, an event that will wipe the planet clean of corruption. But for humanity, there are more immediate troubles. A war is brewing between the decadent and industrial City of Talos and the rural territory of Nova. When twelve-year-old Ash Alexander is recruited by the Novan militia, his life—and the life of each member of his family—is thrown into chaos, into a war far deadlier than anyone could have predicted. While Ash’s sanity is tested against the horrors of war; a woman seeks to uncover the mysteries of the School of the Unseen in her lifelong quest to travel the world; a man will do anything to cure his wife of a horrible sickness; and the chief adviser to the ruler of Talos will align himself with grotesque and otherworldly beings in order to achieve his ambitions. The Godgame has begun.


Shimmerdark by Sarah Mensinga

The Great Drae selected a new apprentice. Xylia’s lost her position. Determined to reclaim it, Xylia volunteers to become an Authenticator. She travels from town to town searching for children who share her unique gift, and in her free time she practices energy summoning, hoping to master a Shimmerlight skill that will impress the Great Drae. But there’s a grim side to Authenticating children. When Xylia asks too many questions, she’s cast out of a village during the Dark Month, a time when monsters roam her world. It should be a death sentence, but Xylia’s talents are changing… Shimmerlight is an exciting YA steampunk fantasy adventure with dashes of social justice, humor, and romance. Perfect for fans of Cinder and Howl’s Moving Castle.


Bitter Sky by Tim Stretton

War is in the air. In every sense, as the aeronauts of Lauchenland prepare to take their airships aloft against the mighty Beruzil Empire. It’s the chance for Heino Voss to fulfil his life’s ambition and fly an airship into battle. At his side is his aloof navigator, Saskia von Eck. Soon they realise that war is not a game, and that unquestioning loyalty can take them to some dark places. Saskia’s brother Erich finds himself fighting for the other side. As the bloodshed and horror mount, he learns there is no place for honour on the battlefield. As the conflict draws to its grim conclusion, all three realise that the price of victory could be higher than they’re willing to pay. And that, even in wartime, there are fates worse than death… The start of a breathtaking new series, Bitter Sky explores the cost of dreams and the terrible toll war takes on even the most idealistic.


As Fierce as Steel by Christopher P. Walsh

The nation of Illiastra sits in the clutches of the Elite Merchant Party, a group who uses its lands and its peoples to enrich themselves and further their own goals. Openly standing against them is a woman known only as Lady Orangecloak and her faction, the Thieves. With their very lives at stake, the Thieves and their fearless leader fight to end a hundred-year reign of oppression. Inspired by Lady Orangecloak's actions and seeking her own emancipation, Lady Marigold Tullivan, daughter of a ruling lord, steps forward with designs on tearing down the Elite Merchants from within. Will Illiastra survive what is to come? As Fierce as Steel is the inaugural entry in the seven-part Gold & Steel Saga, an industrial-era fantasy epic by Christopher Walsh. The series blends traditional fantasy elements with modern sensibilities, inviting seasoned fans of the genre and contemporary readers alike. The conflicts and struggles of Lady Orangecloak, Marigold Tullivan, mercenary Tryst Reine, Ellarie Dollen of the Thieves and others weave a grand epic adventure of growth and personal discovery that is sure to captivate readers of all preferences.


Gunmetal Gods by Zamil Akhtar

Game of Thrones meets Arabian Nights in this blood-soaked fantasy epic inspired by the crusades, featuring Lovecraftian gods, mischievous djinns, and astral magic! They took his daughter, so Micah comes to take their kingdom. Fifty thousand gun-toting paladins march behind him, all baptized in angel blood, thirsty to burn unbelievers. Only the janissaries can stand against them. Their living legend, Kevah, once beheaded a magus amid a hail of ice daggers. But ever since his wife disappeared, he spends his days in a haze of hashish and poetry. To save the kingdom, Kevah must conquer his grief and become the legend he once was. But Micah writes his own legend in blood, and his righteous conquest will stop at nothing. When the gods choose sides, a legend will be etched upon the stars.


The Clarity of Cold Steel by Kevin Wright

The kid disappeared two days ago. Missing. Abducted. Murdered. What have you... Just another in an endless line of indigent kids wrung from the dregs of the Machine City. And it’s my job to find him. Me. Avinash Shakteel, detective extraordinaire. Probably you ain’t heard of me. Not if you run the straight and narrow and ply the right side of the tracks. Cause me? I ply the other. Two days missing… Two long days in the Machine City, last bastion of mankind in all its fallen glory. Where the sum total of life’s cheaper than in part. I hope I find the kid. By God, I do. But if I can’t find all of him, I pray I find none. Join Detective Shakteel in this gritty steampunk thriller sure to set your blood to boil.


A Bad Rune at Angels Deep by Anthony Lowe

"I'm not a god. I'm just mean like one." Runes: a form of deployable magick that caused untold devastation during the war. With the stroke of a pen, entire cities were demolished, entire armies decimated—and now one such rune may have come south to Ariasun County. Acting on scant clues left behind by the vicious lynching of a smuggler, Evaline Cartwright and Trivan Esterhazy head north to track the rune’s passage through the county. All in the hope of destroying the rune—or its possessor—before it can be used for catastrophic ends. A Bad Rune at Angels Deep is the next entry in The Shattered Frontier series, which features a Tolkien-esque fantasy world that has advanced into an age of steam, gunslingers and gold rushes. Follow Evaline and Trivan in their adventures across one of the most hostile counties in the land, replete with scoundrels of all shapes, sizes, and magickal ability.


Legacy of the Brightwash by Krystle Matar

Follow the law and you’ll stay safe. But what if the law is wrong? Tashué’s faith in the law is beginning to crack. Three years ago, he stood by when the Authority condemned Jason to the brutality of the Rift for non-compliance. When Tashué’s son refused to register as tainted, the laws had to be upheld. He’d never doubted his job as a Regulation Officer before, but three years of watching your son wither away can break down even the strongest convictions. Then a dead girl washed up on the bank of the Brightwash, tattooed and mutilated. Where had she come from? Who would tattoo a child? Was it the same person who killed her? Why was he the only one who cared? Will Tashué be able to stand against everything he thought he believed in to get the answers he’s looking for?


Our Bloody Pearl by D.N. Bryn

The ocean is uncontrollable and dangerous. But to the sirens who swim the warm island waters, it’s a home more than worth protecting from the humans and their steam-propelled ships. Between their hypnotic voices and the strength of their powerful tails, sirens have little to fear. That is, until the ruthless pirate captain, Kian, creates a device to cancel out their songs. Perle was the first siren captured, and while all since have either been sold or killed, Kian still keeps them prisoner. Though their song is muted and their tail paralyzed, Perle’s hope for escape rekindles as another pirating vessel seizes Kian’s ship. This new captain seems different, with his brilliant smile and his promises that Kian will never again be Perle’s master. But he’s still a human, and a captor in his own way. The compassion he and his rag-tag human family show can’t be sincere… or can it? Soon it becomes clear that Kian will hunt Perle relentlessly, taking down any siren in her path. As the tides turn, Perle must decide whether to run from Kian forever, or ride the forming wave into battle, hoping their newfound human companions will fight with them. This adult fantasy novel featuring an nonbinary disabled protagonist is a voyage of laughter and danger where friendships and love abound and sirens are sure to steal—or eat—your heart.


Fractured Magic by Em Rowene

When the King of Alfheim disappears, his nephew Leandros gathers a team of elites to find him. But Leandros soon discovers that there’s more at play than a simple kidnapping: divine creatures play puppeteers, monsters roam the continent, and his ex-friend Egil stands at the center of it all, fighting the dark magic that threatens to consume him, rot him from the inside out. Leandros finds himself torn. If he fails to rescue the King, his own family, it could mean war. If he fails to help Egil, it could end the world as he knows it. To make his choice even harder, he’s still in love with Egil.


Spark City (Spark City Cycle #1) by Robert J. Power

Erroh has a plan. A simple plan. It’ll never work. Young warrior, Erroh, is destined for a life of duty and tradition. By birth-right, the mysterious trials of The Cull await him. A chance to win the greatest prize Spark City can offer. However, he’d rather spend his days drinking, gambling and travelling the roads as a free man. But war is on the horizon and although he doesn’t know it yet, Erroh is standing in the way of the first wave. Across great distances and against many brutal obstacles, he will be forced to call upon the warrior within to hunt down those who disturb the peace of a world he once rejected. And he won’t be alone. Spark City’s slow burn love story, epic sword fights and dark humour have won a devoted readership and earned comparisons to fantasy masters Joe Abercrombie, David Gemmell and Anthony Ryan.


Kalanon's Rising (Agents of Kalanon #1) by Darian Smith

Solve the murder. Stop the war. Save the world. Sir Brannon Kesh spent years building a new life as a physician, leaving the name Bloodhawk and the war that spawned it behind. But when the King's cousin is murdered, duty calls him back. The crime scene suggests dark magic and the evidence points to the ambassador of Nilar, an alluring woman with secrets of her own, who sees Bloodhawk as little more than a war criminal. As bodies pile up and political ramifications escalate, Brannon must join forces with a vain mage, a socially awkward priest, and a corpse animating shaman to solve the murders and prevent another war. But who can he trust when the phases of a bigger plan take shape? The Risen are the greatest danger Brannon has ever faced. If he and his team cannot stop the killer then all of Kalanon - and the world - will descend into darkness. SPFBO 5 FINALIST - Winner of the SpecFicNZ Novel Competition - Sir Julius Award Winning Author


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