The King-Killing Queen


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  • Book I of III: Old World Tales
  • Hardcover: 296 pages
  • Publisher: Grim Oak Press
  • Forthcoming: (November 7, 2023)
  • Excerpt: Read an excerpt now!

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 and bring unity to a splintered kingdom, 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…


“A realm caught in deadly change, a queen fighting for the right to rule―edge-of-your-seat storytelling!” ―Tamora Pierce

“Settling into the pages of The King-Killing Queen feels like a fantasy lover’s homecoming!” ―Jacqueline Carey

“The story moves swiftly and strongly with a heroine who does not flinch and a plot that doesn’t let up.” ―Robin Hobb

“A fine addition to the Speakman trove of good fantasy.  Readers will rejoice.” ―Terry Brooks

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

The King-Killing Queen is a breathless thrill ride helmed by an unrelenting heroine… classic high fantasy at its best.” ―Wesley Chu

“An enjoyable, thoroughly magical tale that blends a splash of Arthurian myth… with remarkable and powerful women.” ―Janny Wurts


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