Publishers:
Jo Fletcher Books
Category:
Epic Fantasy
Age range:
Adult
David Hair

Unholy War

Moontide Quartet

The Moontide has arrived, the Leviathan Bridge has risen from the waves and the armies of the Third Crusade are battling to conquer the continent of Antiopia once and for all. But things are not going entirely as planned for the mighty magi of the West. Shaliyah, birthplace of the Prophet, now has a new name: Mother of Victories. Suddenly the East is rising, and Emperor Constant’s Crusade is teetering on the edge of disaster, as the unprecedented success of the Shihad becomes the catalyst for resistance across Antiopia. To Elena Anborn and Kazim Makhani, Shaliyah is a call to arms against the renegade spymaster Gurvon Gyle and his mercenary cabal. For Queen Cera Nesti of Javon, it is a beacon as she seeks new ways to overthrow her husband, the usurper king, and reclaim Javon for her brother. And Ramon Sensini, trapped behind enemy lines with the shattered remnant of the Southern Army, sees it as one more obstacle in his desperate attempt to get his men safely home. But concealed amidst the storm and fire of war, emperors, Inquisitors, Souldrinkers and assassins alike are engaged in a desperate, deadly and secret struggle to find the Scytale of Cornineus, the key to ultimate power. Its unlikely guardians are the failed mage Alaron Mercer and market girl Ramita Ankesharan - pregnant widow of the world’s greatest mage - and what they choose to do with the Scytale could change the world forever.

'An ambitious novel sure to thrill readers of character driven fantasy.  There’s a little something for everyone here - conspiracies, political backstabbing, high magic, swordplay, a smattering of romance, and more…Recommended for fans of George R.R. Martin, Brandon Sanderson, and Patrick Rothfuss.'

Monster Librarian

EXTRACT

Vann Mercer was startled awake as his horses snorted and danced sideways.  He hauled on the reins to pull them back into line, then cast about for what had startled them.  He didn’t have to look far: a despatch rider was alongside his wagon, peering at him intently.  ‘Vannaton Mercer?” the man asked.  His accent was  clearly of Noros.
The man’s voice invoked home: snow-capped peaks, verdant forests and sudden storms, lush grass and tumbling rivers.  It was so far from Vann’s present reality that for a moment his guts ached.  The horizons were straight, the land here flat and brown.  At least the temperature was bearable - Decore in the East was the onset of what passed for winter here; cold by local standards but akin to early spring in Noros.
“Who’s asking?”
“My name’s Relik Folsteyn, of Knebb.  You won’t remember me, sir, but I was on the mountain, back in nine-ten.  Part of Langstrit’s legion.”
Vann smiled sadly. The brotherhood of veterans.  “ Good to meet you, Flosteyn.”
“Honoured, Cap.” Holstein glanced at the wagon.  “Fuckin’ hot place t’be sellin’ wool bales, sir.”
“It’s all I’ve got - but you’d be surprised, the weavers here snap them up.”  Vann took the proffered envelope.  It looked official: the seal of the Norostein Watch was scuffed but unbroken.  He recognised Jeris Muhren’s writing.  It didn’t feel like good news.
“Might I beg some water, Cap?” Folstyn asked. “It’s been a thirsty ride.”
Vann indicated the water tank on the side of his wagon.  “Help yourself - I’ve plenty”
“Thank’ee,’ the rider said.  He looked at Vann worriedly.  ’After you read that, we’ll be needing to talk.”
Vann was travelling with two dozen other traders; they’d all crossed the Bridge together once the military traffic had lessened.  There was still trade to be had, mostly here in eastern Dhassa, away from the path of the Crusade.  Vann’s family’s future was depending upon his success here, and his thoughts turned often to his wife Telsa and his son Alaron, waiting patiently at home in Norostein,  He and Tesla had been estranged, but recent events had thrown then together again; despite everything, he still loved her.  He still clung to the memory of the person she’d been.  And his mage-son Alaron, naive and impetuous but honest at heart, was the centre of his life.
He pulled his wagon to the side of the road, shouting to his fellow traders not to worry, that he’d catch them up.  Then he looked down at the letter, filled with foreboding.
Perhaps if I never open it, nothing will have happened….
He cursed the foolish notion and broke the seal….