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Emperors and kings thought it had been buried long ago: the Order of the Candlestone was defeated, the grim deeds of its assassins forgotten and its dangerous alchemy shunned. But Arasemis, an eccentric warrior-scholar, is determined to revive the Order and return the continent to its primitive origins, if he can control his apprentices.
Arthan Valient is a young nobleman from a respected family who wrestles with providing honorable service to a weak king. Thrust into a powerful position before he is ready, Arthan must navigate the political intrigue of a court in slow collapse, while avoiding Arasemis’s new assassins.
Milisend is the weak king’s daughter, a princess who secretly shuns the life of royalty and hides her passion for thievery and a certain thief. But as the machinations of Arasemis and Arthan intensify, these mere distractions become live-saving in ways she never expected. And from within her emerges something she never knew she had.
Arasemis, Arthan, Milisend, and their companions learn that help can be found in the most unlikely of places, even as the shadow of war looms across the continent. But trust is always elusive.
Lords of Deception is the best place to start your dive into the Earthpillar world. Each chapter reads from the perspective of one of many characters across multiple kingdoms and groups, from emperors to assassins.
I'm working on a direct sequel. Until then, you can choose to read the double prequel, The Depths of Redemption and A Light in the Depths, or try one of the Half-Tales.
Scroll down for reviews.
"One of the best fantasy debuts I've read in a while. The writing style takes a little to get used to as it is more old fashioned and closer to Dumas… However, the depth of the universe, the very interesting characters (heroes, villains, major and minor), the action that keeps one guessing (and the quite high body count of characters for that matter) and more generally the narrative force of this novel is such that once one starts understanding what it is all about and gets a feel for the setting, it is really hard to put it down… Overall highly recommended and a top 5 novel of the year for me."
— Liviu Suciul, formerly of Fantasy Book Critic, for Lords of Deception
“This debut novel sees a fragile peace imperiled by a cult of assassins… Fuchs’ epic fantasy is a marathon of political maneuvers packed with assassins, deadly concoctions, and saber-rattling nation states… Readers, even fans of Game of Thrones, might gape at the volume of characters and territories in rotation. The focus inevitably falls on a handful of players, and the narrative thrill comes from the carefully plotted metamorphosis… By the end of this series opener, the principal cast has undergone dramatic changes in anticipation of wider adventures.”
— Kirkus Reviews for Lords of Deception
"You can get bad books, average books, good books and then there are books you wish you could wipe from your memory so that you can relive the experience of reading it for the first time again. This is one of those books!… The plot is unique and moves at a great pace… the characters themselves are fascinating and relatable. It is refreshing to get a book in which you have a warrior scholar in the one vessel as I'm used to so many books having either one or the other. I can’t wait till the next installment, and this series is my new obsession... write faster!"
— Zoe Pollock, Book Blogger, NetGalley 5-Star Review for Lords of Deception
"This book (I had an ARC) was really well written - I enjoyed it a lot. It describes a crumbling kingdom on the brink of war with its neighbours, as the nobles beneath the king jockey for position and shadowy powers scheme to bring everything crashing down. The narration rotates through the characters with each chapter (a bit like the style of Game of Thrones) and cleverly reveals the plot as this characters experience it. The story is pacy and I found it hard to put down. Can’t wait for book two."
—Jonty S., NetGalley 5-Star Review for Lords of Deception
"Lords of Deception is an exceptional epic fantasy novel. The author has created an entire world and history that explores the complexities of power, honor, sacrifice and morality. The story begins with palace political intrigue that builds to rapid-fire action and a handful of key characters that the reader is compelled to cheer for or hope for demise. This was a book I couldn’t put down, and I’m looking forward to returning to this fascinating new world."
— Anonymous, 5-Star Amazon Review for Lords of Deception
"What a feat your fantasy novel is...It must be hard for you to live in this world when your imagination is so much more captivating! Great job! This is a book I'll be recommending to my book-loving friends and colleagues. Thank YOU!"
— IBPA Benjamin Franklin Award Judge 2019
"The author creates a world with myriad cultures, rich descriptions, and depth of backstory...This well-written novel is recommended for readers of epic fantasy and medieval-like fantasy."
— IBPA Benjamin Franklin Award Judge 2019, 9/10 score for SFF category
"This tale was quite intriguing... I loved that it jumped from one character to another. I prefer to be able to capture the story from multiple perspectives, so I love being able to follow different characters!"
— Angelique Giraud, NetGalley 5-Star Review for Lords of Deception
"Nice maps! It's clear that the author has given a lot of thought to world-building."
— IBPA Benjamin Franklin Award Judge 2019, 9/10 score for Best New Voice: Fiction
"I really enjoyed the book and am looking forward to the sequel. Characters are well developed and plot moves quickly. The plot was unique."
— Anthony Philosophos, NetGalley 5-Star Review for Lords of Deception
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