“A dark, luscious feast of a book... Allen has created a fantastic world of fantasy and horror like a Bosch painting, like a Shostakovitch symphony—something out of a beautiful nightmare.”
“Exploding with magic, music, and violence, this short novel has the magical feel of an old school suspenseful fantasy adventure as filtered through the eyes of H.R. Giger.”
—Little Red Reviewer
The Red Empress is the only home Erzelle has known since the day her family was lured aboard and murdered, victims of a grisly ritual meant to make the elite immortal. Erzelle plays her harp for the diners inside this ghoul-infested riverboat, knowing her own death looms, escaping through the music that’s all she has left of her parents.
Her nightmare’s upended in the space of a day by the arrival of Olyssa, a fellow musician, but so much more.
Erzelle is swept up in Olyssa’s quest to find her ensorcelled sister Lilla, a journey across a mutated landscape that leads them to an enemy responsible for the deaths of millions. To stop the slaughter of countless more, the pair has no choice but to draw on the deadly magics that reshaped the world ... a power that’s as dangerous to its wielders as it is to its foes, one that’s killing Erzelle even as she fights to control it.
Cover art by Lauren K. Cannon, http://navate.com/
Mike Allen edits the critically-acclaimed anthology series Clockwork Phoenix and the long-running magazine Mythic Delirium. His books include post-apocalyptic dark fantasy novel The Black Fire Concerto and career-spanning poetry collection Hungry Constellations. To learn about upcoming book releases and projects, sign up for his newsletter at http://tinyurl.com/abattoir-memos.
Publishers Weekly and Library Journal gave starred reviews to his first collection of short fiction, Unseaming. Laird Barron wrote in the book's introduction that the stories in Unseaming "rival anything committed to paper by the likes of contemporary masters such as Clive Barker, Ramsey Campbell, or Caitlín Kiernan." Helen Marshall called Mike's second collection, The Spider Tapestries, "a must-read for fans of weird fiction and dark fantasy."
More of Mike's stories have popped up in places like Weird Tales, Beneath Ceaseless Skies, and the anthologies Cthulhu's Reign, Solaris Rising 2, A Darke Phantastique and Tomorrow's Cthulhu. His poetry has won the Rhysling Award three times, and his fiction has been nominated for the Nebula Award and the Shirley Jackson Award.
By day he works as the arts and culture columnist for the daily newspaper in Roanoke, Va., where he lives with his wife Anita, a goofy dog, and two cats with varying degrees of psychosis. You can follow Mike's exploits as a writer at descentintolight.com, as an editor at mythicdelirium.com, and all at once on Twitter at @mythicdelirium.
Only a mysterious offer from Blake Leaf, the Rubicon and a dragon predestined for evil, reveals there may be a light at the end of Elena’s dark tunnel.
With the life she thought she knew crashing down around her, Elena will have to face a monumental decision about the fate of Paegeia. She can either make peace with Blake’s demands or try once again to unravel the Queen’s secrets that lie deep within her dragon, Tanya La Frey’s, heart.
The third heart pounding novel in The Dragonian Series by Adrienne Woods.