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John Hornor Jacobs is the author of SOUTHERN GODS, short-listed for the BRAM STOKER AWARD FOR BEST FIRST NOVEL, THIS DARK EARTH, from Simon & Schuster, and The Twelve-Fingered Boy series of young adult novels from Carolrhoda Labs. He lives with his family in the South of America, where he is also a musician and graphic artist.
In the contested and unexplored territories at the edge of the Empire, a boat is making its laborious way up stream. Riding along the banks are the mercenaries hired to protect it - from raiders, bandits and, most of all, the stretchers, elf-like natives who kill any intruders into their territory. The mercenaries know this is dangerous, deadly work. But it is what they do. In the boat the drunk governor of the territories and his sons and daughters make merry. They believe that their status makes them untouchable. They are wrong. And with them is a mysterious, beautiful young woman, who is the key to peace between warring nations and survival for the Empire. When a callow mercenary saves the life of the Governor on an ill-fated hunting party, the two groups are thrown together. For Fisk and Shoe - two tough, honourable mercenaries surrounded by corruption, who know they can always and only rely on each other - their young companion appears to be playing with fire. The nobles have the power, and crossing them is always risky. And although love is a wonderful thing, sometimes the best decision is to walk away. Because no matter how untouchable or deadly you may be, the stretchers have other plans.
Murder Ballads and Other Horrific Tales by John Hornor Jacobs
The world is burning. Rume is under attck. The Autumn Lords, rulers of the Tchinee empire, have had their true nature revealed. The Emperor descends into madness. And Fisk and Shoe - unlikely heroes, very likely mercenaries - must find their way to Fisk's wife and child, who he has never seen. There might be quite a lot in their way. A war, for one thing. But Livia is as determined as Fisk to be reunited. And Shoe may have a plan...
The world is on the brink of war. Fisk and Shoe - mercenaries, very much not wanting to get caught in the middle of a political whirlwind - must deliver a very important message, and find a very dangerous man. They have caught the eye of the powerful men of the world, and now the stakes are higher than they like. And the Emperor has decreed that Livia Cornelius, pregnant with Fisk's child, must travel to the far lands of the Autumn Lords on a diplomatic mission. It will mean crossing half the world, and facing new dangers. And in the end, she will uncover the shocking truth at the heart of the Autumn Lords' Empire. A truth which will make the petty politics of war and peace unimportant, and will change the world.
A MEMPHIS DJ HIRES RECENT WORLD WAR II VETERAN Bull Ingram to find Ramblin John Hastur, a mysterious bluesman whose dark, driving music broadcast at ever-shifting frequencies by a phantom radio station is said to make living men insane and dead men rise. A bootlegged snippet of Hasturs strange, brooding tune fills Bull with an inexplicably murderous rage. Driven to find the songs mysterious singer, Bull hears rumors that the bluesman sold his soul to the Devil. But as Bull follows Hasturs trail into the eerie backwoods of Arkansas, hell learn there are forces much more malevolent than the Devil and reckonings more painful than Hell . . . Great Yuggoth, what a great debut novel! John Hornor Jacobs establishes himself as an author to heed. W. H. Pugmire, author of The Tangled Muse
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