We’re thrilled to share the cover for Kerstin Hall’s Second Spear, a haunted, unique secondary world fantasy set in the vivid demon realms of Mkalis—arriving November 30th from Tordotcom Publishing.
While this follows up on the events of Hall’s Nommo Award finalist, The Border Keeper, it follows a new protagonist and is a potential entry point for the series.
After surviving the schemes of a vengeful goddess and learning some shattering truths about her former life, the warrior Tyn feels estranged from her role guarding her ruler. Grappling with knowledge of her identity, she unleashes her frustration on all the wrong people.
When an old enemy returns wielding an unstoppable, realm-crushing weapon and Tyn is swept up in the path of destruction, she must make a choice about who she is and who she wants to be.
Praise for The Border Keeper
“A phantasmagorical picaresque through a lushly realised underworld, populated by a grotesque bestiary of fantastical creatures. . . . This twisty example of the new weird genre examines love, loss and loyalty, packing skilful world-building and a powerful emotional punch into a little over 200 pages.”—The Guardian
“Beautifully and vividly imagined. Eerie, lovely, and surreal.”—Ann Leckie
“A labyrinth of demons, dead gods, cranky psychopomps, and broken all-too-human lives. Hall is by turns wry and lush, genuine and venomous.”—Max Gladstone
“A fantasy forged in the belly of dreams. . . . A singular debut with no easy answers and beauty to spare.”—Indrapramit Das
“Quite but intricate, shored up by rich prose. . . . The tangle of love, loss, grief, and regret that is gradually exposed as the book’s emotional core feels tender and profound.”—Publishers Weekly
“The underworld created here is rich and strange, populated with children transformed into translucent crabs, armored, cloven-hooved bird-faced creatures carrying masked riders, and glittering parties where the wrong word can kill.”—Kirkus Reviews
“Lush prose weaves around a dark heart in this twisty debut from Kerstin Hall. A fantastical wonder on every page.”—Neon Yang
“Dreamlike in the way of the most powerful dreams—vividly bright and crystal clear.”—Emily Tesh
“The mysterious, dark, and often violent worlds envelop readers in a cacophony of mystery and fantasy.”—Library Journal
“With parallels to a range of mythologies, Hall’s elegant descriptive language evokes a vivid world of lost souls and revenge in this fast-paced fantasy debut.”—Booklist
“The Border Keeper is Hall’s debut into novella-length works, following on from her successful short story releases. Her poetic and crisp prose take the reader on a brisk-paced journey through a chilling landscape.”—Aurealis
Hall’s first full-length novel, Star Eater, a standalone epic fantasy, is also forthcoming from Tordotcom on June 22, 2021.