Acclaimed author Sam Sykes returns with a brilliant new epic fantasy that introduces to an unforgettable outcast magician caught between two warring empires.
‘Seven Blades in Black offers villains that are as memorable and unique as the heroes. Action, magic, romance and humor mingle well in this mammoth tale. It’s an immersive read in a well realized world’ Robin Hobb
Set in the Scar, where the magical, decadent Imperium battles the upstart, technologically-savvy Revolution, SEVEN BLADES IN BLACK follows the exploits of Sal the Cacophony, the most famous and dangerous of all the rogue mages.
Among humans, none have power like mages. And among mages, none have will like Sal the Cacophony. Once revered, now vagrant, she walks a wasteland scarred by generations of magical warfare.
The Scar, a land torn between powerful empires, is where rogue mages go to disappear, disgraced soldiers go to die and Sal went with a blade, a gun and a list of names she intended to use both on.
But vengeance is a flame swift extinguished. Betrayed by those she trusted most, her magic torn from her and awaiting execution, Sal the Cacophony has one last tale to tell before they take her head.
All she has left is her name, her story and the weapon she used to carved both.
Vengeance is its own reward. PRAISE FOR SEVEN BLADES IN BLACK
‘Sykes is a master at taking familiar elements of fantasy and stirring them to a wicked, wholly original churn. In Sal the Cacophony, Sykes has crafted a protagonist for the ages. Ludicrous, wicked, delightful’ Pierce Brown, author of Red Rising
‘Exciting and inventive. I never realized how much I needed wizard-hunting gunslingers in my life. Buy Sam’s book’ Peter V. Brett, author of The Painted Man
‘Seven Blades in Black is terrific. The tale of Sal the Cacophony is delightfully sarcastic and deeply sorrowful. If you’ve ever wanted to read Final Fantasy: The Book, this is it’ Nicholas Eames, author of Kings of the Wyld
‘By the end of the first page, you’ll know Sam is in love with his characters. By the end of the second, you’ll know you are too’ Myke Cole, author of The Armored Saint
‘Gunslingers and mad mages and monsters, oh my. Sykes’ latest is a brutal and vulgar epic yet still fun enough that – and I say this as the highest of compliments – makes me wish like hell it ends up with an adaptation into a role-playing game’ Chuck Wendig
It's a big story, grand on scale and packed with themes that range from the rich/poor divide to racial intolerance and simple greed. It's also a rollicking read, a ripping yarn spent in the company of desperate, damaged, yet ultimately sympathetic individuals. Sykes's love of his characters shines through in his writing, making The City Stained Red his finest book yet.
With playful language, distinctly drawn characters, and a cavalcade of action in service to a coherent plot, this book is a winner. I'll be reading the other books about Lenk and the gang while awaiting the next volume in the Bring Down Heaven trilogy
Sam Sykes has crafted a splendid adventure story here, and I really had times where I could not put the book down and forced myself with eyes so tired to read one more chapter, and then another.
There's plenty of slapstick humour despite the darkness and that familiar sense of wondrous adventure that lurks just around the corner is still here. Still, "The City Stained Red" somehow fells like a better and more streamlined version of its predecessors....Sykes tells just enough to make you eager for more. Well, consider the job done - I'm ready for the sequel.
Upcoming 4 Me
With skillful worldbuilding, unexpected humor, and characters real enough to touch, this is easily Sykes's best book to date
Publishers Weekly, starred review
Seven Blades in Black offers villains that are as memorable and unique as the heroes . . . It's an immersive read in a well realised world
Robin Hobb, New York Times bestselling author of Fool’s Assassin
Exciting and inventive. I never realised how much I needed wizard-hunting gunslingers in my life
Peter V. Brett, New York Times bestselling author of The Painted Man
Seven Blades in Black is terrific. The tale of Sal the Cacophony is delightfully sarcastic and deeply sorrowful
Nicholas Eames, author of Kings of the Wyld
Sykes is a master at taking familiar elements of fantasy and stirring them to a wicked, wholly original churn . . . Ludicrous, wicked, delightful
Pierce Brown, New York Times bestselling author of Red Rising
By the end of the first page, you'll know Sam is in love with his characters. By the end of the second, you'll know you are too
Myke Cole, author of The Armoured State
An irresistible mix of passion and wit
Sykes' writing is full of heart, hilarity, and the frank understanding that as humans we are all disasters. Come for the adventures, stay for the weirdos
R.F. Kuang, author of The Poppy War
Compulsive from start to finish
Kirkus (starred review)
Gunslingers and mad mages and monsters, oh my
Chuck Wendig, New York Times bestselling author