"A deliciously wry and dark love letter to high fantasy."
―Anna Smith Spark

The King-Killing Queen

In this first book of a new trilogy author Anna Smith Spark calls “a dark love letter to high fantasy,” a woman discovers her unknown past carries with it a terrible future.

When Alafair Goode lay wounded during his quest to destroy Mordreadth the Great Darkness, a witch magicked and saved the future High King’s life to fulfill his destiny. Thereafter, all born to his line also cannot die, to be only undone by natural death.

Decades later, Sylvie Raventress is the devoted apprentice to Master Historian Kell, stepbrother to the High King. It is a life of scholarly pursuit and privilege where one day she will take her instructor’s place and write her own histories.

But beside Alafair’s deathbed, Sylvie and his scions learn a surprising truth—she is no orphan but is his named heir. Worse, when he dies, the witch’s curse is no more, leaving all of them suddenly mortal and vulnerable.

With her siblings loathing Sylvie’s selection and vying for her throne, she must rely on a Fae guide, a disgraced former First Knight, and a cantankerous light-weaver to restore the fracturing kingdom and become High Queen. And yet the thing none of them know is destiny has its own part to play too.

For the witch saved Alafair Goode for her own reasons…

KICKSTARTER: MARCH 2023

PUBLISHING: OCTOBER 2023

The Tempered Steel of Antiquity Grey on:

Prepare for Antiquity Grey's story by reading a new prequel novella!

In this novella prequel to The Tempered Steel of Antiquity Grey, a young man searches for his place in a world far more dangerous than he knows.

Jak Dreadth lives a life of privilege and comfort in a far-future city of Erth, the son of a powerful house vying for political leverage and a stronger future against ruling House Angelus.

But when a conquering force from the stars returns to subjugate the planet’s people, Jak is thrust into the pilot box of Viridian—a massive battle mech built to keep the peace. Unknown to him though, machinations within House Dreadth sabotage his efforts as war scorches the sky, leaving him for dead in a desert wilderness rife with hardship.

There, Jak meets Agnez al-Kol, a goatherd who could be a Will Master of an ancient religion or just an eccentric old woman. Together, they travel the sands of the Splinter and, as they navigate the harshest of elements, they will discover their lives are intertwined in ways neither could have imagined—for the past is rarely contained in the past, and the future is dependent upon courage discovered in the present.

Grappling with family intrigue, bounty hunters, and dragons, Jak will learn that living a life of consequence is the only life worth living.

Or he will die trying.

READ NOW FROM:

A short biography of

Shawn Speakman

Author. Publisher. Webmaster. Purveyor of Lies.

Shawn Speakman is the award-winning editor of Unfettered and the author of The Dark Thorn, an urban fantasy novel Terry Brooks called “a fine tale by a talented writer.” The Undone Life of Jak Dreadth is a prequel novella to his new novel, The Tempered Steel of Antiquity Grey. An avid fan of SF&F, he owns The Signed Page and Grim Oak Press. He currently lives in Seattle, WA with his wife and two sons. Read a longer bio HERE!

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Events & Appearances

14 OCT

2022

Powells: Cedar Hills Crossing

Beaverton, OR
With: Terry Brooks

14 NOV

2022

Dragonsteel Mini-Con

Salt Lake City, UT
Celebrating: Unbound II & Other Fun Things

15 NOV

2022

Dragonsteel Mini-Con

Salt Lake City, UT
Celebrating: Unbound II & Other Fun Things

6 DEC

2022

University Book Store

Seattle, WA
Book Launch: Unbound II

3 MAR

2023

Emerald City Comic Con

Seattle, WA
Launching the Kickstarter for The King-Killing Queen

4 MAR

2023

Emerald City Comic Con

Seattle, WA
Launching the Kickstarter for The King-Killing Queen

5 MAR

2023

Emerald City Comic Con

Seattle, WA
Launching the Kickstarter for The King-Killing Queen