700 pp • ISBN 978-1-61614-891-1
Action, horror, politics, and sensuality combine in this DEBUT EPIC FANTASY novel for fans of George R. R. Martin and Michael J. Sullivan, set in the world of the Eisner-nominated Artesia comic books.
To find the Sword, unearth the Barrow. To unearth the Barrow, follow the Map.
When a small crew of scoundrels, would-be heroes, deviants, and ruffians discover a map that they believe will lead them to a fabled sword buried in the barrow of a long-dead wizard, they think they've struck it rich. But their hopes are dashed when the map turns out to be cursed and then is destroyed in a magical ritual. The loss of the map leaves them dreaming of what might have been, until they rediscover the map in a most unusual and unexpected place.
Stjepan Black-Heart, suspected murderer and renegade royal cartographer; Erim, a young woman masquerading as a man; Gilgwyr, brothel owner extraordinaire; Leigh, an exiled magus under an ignominious cloud; Godewyn Red-Hand, mercenary and troublemaker; Arduin Orwain, scion of a noble family brought low by scandal; and Arduin's sister Annwyn, the beautiful cause of that scandal: together they form a cross-section of the Middle Kingdoms of the Known World, brought together by accident and dark design, on a quest that will either get them all in the history books, or get them all killed.
"Genuinely inspired, shockingly erotic, and completely fantastic, The Barrow is an immersive read that grabs you in its own strange gravity and leaves you craving more….
It is bloody beautiful."
-John R. Fultz, author of Seven Sorcerers and the Books of the Shaper trilogy
"A gritty fantasy adventure set in a vivid and complex world. Fans of Joe Abercrombie and Scott Lynch will love The Barrow."
-Mike Lee, author of Fallen Angels and The Rise of Nagash
"'Epic' doesn't even begin to describe the nuances and complexities of the plots and alliances in this fresh take on highly recommended heroic fantasy."
-Jeff VanderMeer, World Fantasy Award-winning author of Annihilation
"I love Mark Smylie's world. Fans of deep, intricate settings with complex cultures and fascinating histories are in for a treat with The Barrow. Anyone who likes Steven Erikson should check this out."
-Django Wexler, author of The Thousand Names