The Court of Broken Knives has been shortlisted for the David Gemmell Morningstar Award for best debut novel of 2017. I am honoured and delighted by this. And I would very, very much like to win! You can vote here:
Perfect for fans of Mark Lawrence and R Scott Bakker, The Court of Broken Knives is the explosive debut by one of grimdark fantasy’s most exciting new voices.
They’ve finally looked at the graveyard of our Empire with open eyes. They’re fools and madmen and like the art of war. And their children go hungry while we piss gold and jewels into the dust.
In the richest empire the world has ever known, the city of Sorlost has always stood, eternal and unconquered. But in a city of dreams governed by an imposturous Emperor, decadence has become the true ruler, and has blinded its inhabitants to their vulnerability. The empire is on the verge of invasion – and only one man can see it.
Haunted by dreams of the empire’s demise, Orhan Emmereth has decided to act. On his orders, a company of soldiers cross the desert to reach the city. Once they enter the Palace, they have one mission: kill the Emperor, then all those who remain. Only from ashes can a new empire be built.
The company is a group of good, ordinary soldiers, for whom this is a mission like any other. But the strange boy Marith who walks among them is no ordinary soldier. Marching on Sorlost, Marith thinks he is running away from the past which haunts him. But in the Golden City, his destiny awaits him – beautiful, bloody, and more terrible than anyone could have foreseen.
‘Anna Smith-Spark writes in a unique voice with such pace and veracity your imagination has to struggle to keep up with your eyes’.
Adrian Collins (Grimdark Magazine).
‘Fierce, gripping fantasy, exquisitely written; bitter, funny and heart-rending by turns’.
Adrian Tchaikovsky (Arthur C Clarke Award winner for Children of Time, The Tiger and the Wolf, Shadows of the Apt).
Marc Turner (Chronicles of the Exile series).