Set in a world of dark myth and dangerous prophecy, this thrilling fantasy launches an epic tale of daring warriors, living weapons, and bloodthirsty vengeance.
"The Sword Defiant is a treat for all fantasy fans . . . . It’s an absolute blast.” ― Justin Lee Anderson, author of The Lost War
Many years ago, Sir Aelfric and his nine companions saved the world, seizing the Dark Lord's cursed weapons, along with his dread city of Necrad. That was the easy part.
Now, when Aelfric - keeper of the cursed sword Spellbreaker - learns of a new and terrifying threat, he seeks the nine heroes once again. But they are wandering adventurers no longer. Yesterday's eager heroes are today's weary leaders - and some have turned to the darkness, becoming monsters themselves.
If there's one thing Aelfric knows, it's slaying monsters. Even if they used to be his friends.
"In the tradition of Tolkien and Eddings, with a richly detailed narrative, well-drawn characters, epic battles, and political and religious intrigues, Hanrahan's outstanding first outing in the Lands of the Firstborn series will thrill fantasy readers—who will anxiously await the next book." ― Booklist (starred review)
"This novel has the potential to become a fan-favorite among those who appreciate vast and eloquent epic fantasy. Readers will enjoy the unique twists, absorbing intrigue, and endearing characters." ― Library Journal
"I will buy any novel that Gareth Hanrahan ever writes." ― The Fantasy Inn
For more from Gareth Hanrahan, check out:
The Black Iron Legacy
The Gutter Prayer
The Shadow Saint
The Broken God
Gareth Hanrahan's three-month break from computer programming to concentrate on writing has now lasted fifteen years and counting. He's written more gaming books than he can readily recall, by virtue of the alchemical transmutation of tea and guilt into words. He lives in Ireland with his wife and three children. Follow him on Twitter at @mytholder.
"The front runner for my book of the year . . . The Sword Defiant is a love letter to roleplaying games, to Tolkien, to what epic fantasy has been about for me through my whole life. I adored this book from the first page to the last. Hanrahan has taken the best of the old, the best of the last two decades, and then brought it screaming into the modern era. Fans of Gemmell and Abercrombie need this on their shelves."
—Ed McDonald on The Sword Defiant
"In the tradition of Tolkien and Eddings, with a richly detailed narrative, well-drawn characters, epic battles, and political and religious intrigues, Hanrahan's outstanding first outing in the Lands of the Firstborn series will thrill fantasy readers—who will anxiously await the next book."—Booklist (Starred Review) on The Sword Defiant
"Gritty and rousing ... [Hanrahan] creates a wonderful sense of tension that is also tinged with sadness ... [and] fully realized environments with rich histories."—BookPage (Starred Review) on The Sword Defiant
"Rich worldbuilding ... This novel has the potential to become a fan-favorite among those who appreciate vast and eloquent epic fantasy. Readers will enjoy the unique twists, absorbing intrigue, and endearing characters."—Library Journal on The Sword Defiant
“Hanrahan’s RPG roots are clear, but it’s the incredible depth of his imagination that make his world and story unique. He takes traditional characters and settings, throws in his own unique and monstrous creations and builds something completely fresh. Simultaneously familiar and completely original, The Sword Defiant is a treat for all fantasy fans, and especially for RPG players. It’s an absolute blast.”—Justin Lee Anderson, author of The Lost War
"Employing an enviable skill with both plotting and prose, Gareth Hanrahan has in The Gutter Prayer woven an intricate and finely crafted web of compelling characters navigating a city rich in dark and original wonders. I await the sequel with the keenest anticipation."—Anthony Ryan on The Gutter Prayer
"A gripping tale that meshes beautifully with its fascinating, darkly inventive setting."—James Islington on The Gutter Prayer
"The Gutter Prayer is captivating and complex. Guerdon is a city that seethes with history, horror, and hidden secrets, and Hanrahan's assured style is reminiscent of China Mievelle in the best way possible."—Nicholas Eames on The Gutter Prayer
"A groundbreaking and extraordinary novel . . . Hanrahan has an astonishing imagination."—Peter McLean on The Gutter Prayer
"Readers who enjoy the intricate worldbuilding of Patrick Rothfuss, Mark Lawrence, Max Gladstone, and Steven Erikson should start with the first volume before tackling this satisfying sequel."—Library Journal on The Shadow Saint
"Beautifully written. Gripping. Guerdon is the city of my dreams."—Anna Smith Spark on The Gutter Prayer
"This is genre-defying fantasy at its very best. An absolutely stunning debut. Insanely inventive and deeply twisted. I loved it! Highly recommended."—Michael R. Fletcher on The Gutter Prayer
"With living candles, ancient ghouls, broken gods, and more, The Gutter Prayer brims with cool and often twisted ideas."—Peter Newman on The Gutter Prayer
"Laced with the blackest of humor and packed with magic and mayhem, this is fantasy turned up to 11."—Anna Stephens on The Gutter Prayer
"Hanrahan brings the sights, sounds, and smells of Guerdon to life with crisp, lyrical prose that moves swiftly between thrilling action sequences and imaginative worldbuilding."—Publishers Weekly on The Gutter Prayer
"I will buy any novel that Gareth Hanrahan ever writes. ... The Shadow Saint is a brilliant book."—Fantasy Inn on The Shadow Saint