Masters of Blood and Bone

Available in paperback and eBook formats from Amazon.

Available in audio formats from Amazon, Audible and iTunes.

*1st Edition Published Hardback, Signed Limited, by DarkFuse.

Back Cover Copy:

Holland's a man who's good with death. Good at death.

When his daughter goes missing, he finds himself pitted in a deadly game against the Gods themselves. Powerful enemies surround him—a changeling, a mage, and a god who wants to destroy the world.

With silver bullets in his gun and death on his mind, Holland aims to set things right...or die trying.
For the captors of Holland’s daughter, death is not only on it’s way, it’s in their very possession as Holland's daughter isn't just a fact, she's barely mortal at all...

The battleground has been set, the world’s at stake, and all Hell is about the break loose.

Masters of Blood and Bone is an epic clash between good and evil, life versus death, Gods against mortals, a timeless story of power and corruption and one man’s pursuit to protect what he loves at any cost.



I. The Man Born in a Book

'I think we ought to read only the kind of books that wound or stab us. If the book we're reading doesn't wake us up with a blow to the head, what are we reading for?'
Franz Kafka

It's impossible to fake being a wizard. You can fake many, many things: Tans, orgasms, speeding car and fart noises for small children.
            But true wizards are not prestidigitators, just as books are not lies. They are magic.


The man sitting on an uncomfortable bench between the car park and the shopping centre had a sore arse. His arse was sore because of two bowls of chilli, three enchiladas, and a black bean burrito.
            He was in a heroically bad mood.
            'Oi,' shouted someone behind him. Some people behind him. The bench and thus the man with the sore arse and a penchant for Mexican food faced the shopping precinct. The voice - now voices - came from the car park. He didn't bother to turn, but read the last line of the strange little book before him once again.
            The man nodded, though he was none the wiser, then closed the book, closed his eyes against the bright lights, and listened to the shuffling approach of three or four drunk lads.
            'Fat cunt! I'm talking to you!'
            Giggles. The fat cunt who liked Mexican food listened hard. It sounded as though there were three or four of them, but most likely four. Drunk, young, stupid. Drunk and young for sure. Hopefully not too stupid.
            'Got a sore arse,' said the man. 'I'm not turning around. If you want something, come over here. I'm not getting up. I'm fat. I'm tired. And I've got a sore arse.'
            'Fucking hell, mate, didn't ask, don't give a fuck,' said one young lad. Their charming spokesperson, the fat man figured.
            But they came toward him, like he knew they would. Youngsters, full of beer, were generally quite wordy. And stupid.
            Four, then, he thought, as they stood in front of him. Fat man wore a suit - a bit shiny, a bit crumpled. He looked a little like a tramp, except you don't see that many really fat tramps. Fat man was pretty fat.
            'I was reading,' he said. He tapped his fingernail against the book on his lap, in case this little gang were stupid as well as drunk.
            'Looks fucking gay.'
            Fat man nodded, non-committal.
            'You mind? You're in the light.'
            'Fuck you. Got cigarettes? Got money?'
            'Yes, yes, and no.'
            'No, you can't have either.'
            'I'm not asking.'
            'Yes, you were. If you want a cigarette, there's a 24-hour garage about five minutes that way,' said the fat man. 'Otherwise, I'm going to read my book, and you're going to go away. Either way, get out of the light. I'm not asking.'
            'I'm going to fucking...'
            The fat man interrupted. 'I'm bored of you, and the book is interesting. I'm going to explain something to all of you, because you're drunk and young and a little bit stupid. Maybe all the way stupid, but I'm giving you the benefit of the doubt.'
            'SHUT UP! I'M TALKING!'
            The fat man's heart didn't like shouting, but he really did want to read the book.
            The drunk people who might be some kind of threat, but probably not, shut up.
            'See that lamppost with no lights behind me? The one with the round dome? That's the CCTV for the car park. There is no CCTV for the precinct, because the car park cameras cover it just fine. My back, you'll notice, is to the camera. You four, on the other hand, are looking straight at it. That's the first thing you should note. Sobering, isn't it? The second,' he said, seeing that there might be a glimmer of intelligence in the lads after all, because they didn't interrupt. 'The second thing is this. I ate way too much Mexican food earlier today and it's kind of percolated in my fat old guts. I'm a big man, with big spicy shits. So, in closing, would you like my balls on your chin, or your nose?'
            'Simple enough,' he said, looking at the lads in turn. 'Balls. Chin. Nose.'
            Fat man sighed. 'Which way I sit when I take a shit in your mouth. Got enough to go around.'
            'Fucking psycho.'
            Fat man nodded.
            'Balls. Chin or nose? Five seconds. One...two...'
            The lads turned and walked on. Their swagger didn't return until they were a good way gone.
            The big man sighed, more from sadness than relief. He took a pack of cigarettes from his jacket pocket, beside his small pistol in a shoulder holster that nestled between his back-fat and his left man-boob. He lit the cigarette.
            The kids shouted something but the man was gone, reading his book again, this time holding it in one heavy hand. The other held a cigarette, which glowed before his lips now and then.
            Fat man's name was Matthew Doyle Holland and didn't like shooting kids. He'd kill most anything but kids. Not even the stupid ones.


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