On March 5, IMMACULATE SCOUNDRELS arrives in both Paperback and Kindle.
You can pre-order the Kindle version right now, but not the paperback. (Don't ask me why you can't pre-order paperbacks on Amazon--I have no idea.) SCOUNDRELS is the first book in the Scaleborn Series, and it's the culmination of a fantastical dream born some four years ago.
Back in 2020, while the world was sheltering in place during Covid quarantine, I locked myself in my apartment and wrote this novel. To tell you the truth, it kinda saved my life. During the writing process I built the world of Yhorom, an ancient empire built on steel and sorcery. A year later I wrote the second book of the Scaleborn Series, TIMES NEVER CHANGE. Writing the second novel raised the stakes and fleshed out the Yhorom universe even further, to the point where I can easily see several more volumes coming.
IMMACULATE SCOUNDRELS blends epic fantasy with sword-and-sorcery. Much has been written about how S&S works best in short form, i.e. short stories and novellas. I've never fully agreed with this contention--just look at Moorcock's ELRIC novels, or REH's HOUR OF THE DRAGON Conan novel, to name only two of many examples. There is nothing about sword-and-sorcery that cannot work in a longform context, and the Scaleborn Series will prove that is true.
SCOUNDRELS begins in the City of Masters, where sorcerers can live up to a thousand years. The lives of commoners and lesser folks pass swiftly, while the Masters of Yhorom persist century after century. Their matchless sorcery is the secret of their longevity, and it is the tool they have used to build and maintain their empire for more than 5,000 years.
The back cover copy provides more details:
Thold breaks out of prison to pursue a mystical vision. But is he really a favored son of the Moon Goddess? Or simply a faithless ex-monk turned bandit and completely out of his mind?
Yuhai searches the Outer Provinces for scaleborn wizards and witches. Is she out to destroy them all, or does this magical harvesting serve some greater purpose?
Together they assemble a crew of outlaws brave or foolish enough to cross the haunted desert, searching for a treasure lost to the ages. Is this a righteous quest blessed by divine forces, or a clever trap set by the ruthless Masters of Yhorom? Either way, their expedition will unearth the forgotten horrors of history and unleash a power beyond mortal comprehension.
Readers won't have to wait long for the second Scaleborn book, TIMES NEVER CHANGE. It will follow in May--about two months after the first book. Although these books can be read in any order, reading them in order of publication will give you a glimpse of the bigger picture. But they can also be read in any order, with each volume serving as its own entry point to the series.
The cover art is by Brian LeBlanc, who did such a bang-up job on my WORLDS BEYOND WORLDS collection that I just had to bring him back for a novel. The intent is to keep Brian engaged as the "series artist," to ensure consistency between covers. Brian did a superb job of evoking the book's five main characters on this cover. Big thanks to Dan Sauer for doing the logo and cover design--he helped turn my vision of this book into reality.
IMMACULATE SCOUNDRELS is the debut publication from Flying Wizard Press, which has an exclusive claim to all of my future novels.
The adventure of a lifetime begins on March 5. Let's ride!