The REIGN of the DEPARTED

A young man looking for death finds purpose in a world beyond our own in this sweeping fantasy from Greg Keyes (The Briar King, Newton’s Cannon).

Errol Greyson hadn’t intended to commit suicide. Or so he told himself. But waking up after his “cry for help” in the body of a wood-and-metal construct magically animated by Aster—the strange girl from school—was not a result he could have imagined.

 

Aster’s wild explanations of a quest to find the water of health that would cure her father seemed as unreal as her description of Errol’s own half-dead existence, his consciousness stuck in an enchanted automaton while his real body was in a coma from which it might never wake. And of course, they would need to recruit a girl—a virgin, no less—who had been dead for thirty years, to lead them through something called the Pale, beyond which a bunch of magical kingdoms existed. Plus, the threat that Aster could turn him off like a light switch, sending him into a hellish oblivion, was a convincing incentive to cooperate.

 

It all seemed quite mad: either Aster was nuts or Errol was hallucinating. But if it meant a new chance at life, he reckoned it was worth playing along.

 
 

KINGDOMS of the CURSED

Three young friends must navigate dangerous magical worlds—and their own inner selves—in this sweeping fantasy from Greg Keyes, the sequel to The Reign of the Departed.

Errol Greyson is awake and back in his own body, thanks to his friends Aster the witch and Veronica the half-dead girl. Unfortunately, due to the attempted suicide that led to his months-long coma and temporary reincarnation in Aster’s wooden automaton in the first place, he’s also in a mental hospital.

But when the last person Errol expects breaks him out and forces him back to the magical Kingdoms, he has no other option but to attempt to undo a deadly curse threatening reality itself, in hopes of returning the realm to equilibrium. It’s dangerous business, especially in Errol’s merely-human form, weakened from months in bed.

Fearing for their friend’s life, Aster and Veronica follow, but are quickly separated. Aster is captured by an ancient evil—the source of the curse—while Veronica confronts a mysterious admirer, her own evolving nature, and the dark spirit that murdered her years earlier.

As vast armies collide and dragons take wing, the friends must find each other—and themselves—again.

 
© J. Gregory Keyes