Thralls of the Fairie – Baldairn Motte

A new anthology from Craig Comer – ebook available for pre-order. Eleven tales of Sword & Sorcery, low fantasy, and high adventure.

I’m excited to say that Thralls is now also available in print – Get yours here!

Broken into three sections, I’m sharing more about each in turn:

TALES OF BALDAIRN MOTTE – Far away in Baldairn, the king is dead. As armies march and lords grasp for an empty throne, the villagers of Burn Gate find themselves caught between protecting their families and defending their lands. For the crofter, Trask, the decision is simple, but the cost will shape the fortunes of those he loves.

Baldairn Motte started as a question posed by author Ahimsa Kerp, who wondered how the men who fought for Sauron in Lord of the Rings were tricked into believing they were in the right. That idea melded with one of my own, where I pondered over the impact a large medieval battle would have on the local populace—the farmers and villagers who had to deal with trampled fields, slain livestock, and a sea of rotting corpses. Not to mention the loss of life and the struggle they faced between honoring their duties to their lords and protecting their families.

Along with author Garrett Calcaterra, we set out to explore these topics in a slightly different manner—we would each create our own story based around a common set of “factual” events. In this way, each of us would tell a different point of view of the same conflict. The original result was the three novellas of The Roads to Baldairn Motte, with my tale called Thralls of the Fairie. To that mosaic novel, we added a few interstitial documents—made-up chronicles and letters—to help flavor the wider world and help setup the core conflict of our tales.

When our first publisher, L&L Dreamspell, closed its doors we had the opportunity to republish Baldairn with Reputation Books. Our editor there asked for more short pieces to color our world and characters. “An Ambush at Plum Grove” was one of these tales, and serves as a prologue to the expanded edition. “A Morning Storm” was a cut bit from an initial draft of Thralls, when there were several additional point-of-view characters. It serves now as a resolution to the ill-fated Orren of Burn Gate.

Now with Knight Owl Publishing, Baldairn has grown and morphed throughout the years. But at its heart it remains a collection of tales, not of destined heroes or mighty lords, but of simple folk trying to survive and find happiness.

Pre-order the ebook now on Amazon!

Thralls of the Fairie – Kuthahaar

A new anthology from Craig Comer ebook available for pre-order. Eleven tales of Sword & Sorcery, low fantasy, and high adventure.

I’m excited to say that Thralls is now also available in print – Get yours here!

Broken into three sections, I’m sharing more about each in turn:

TALES OF KUTHAHAAR – In Kuthahaar, the Sultan lords over imprisoned oracles, wraith-like assassins, and underground rivers filled with the dead. For Saja and Akil, uncovering these mysteries will seal their fates, whether they wish it or not. For Rajheb, it is enough to wander the city, and remember what was.

“The Kultar’s Lost Hand” was the city of Kuthahaar’s first appearance. The story came of wondering what happens to young heroes when their bodies age and exploits are forgotten. But the city, with its Sultan and boatmen, shaded palaces and cults of mystics, spawned so many other thoughts that soon I had a whole series of tales that further flushed out the mightiest city in the world. The fabled capital of a largely desert empire, Kuthahaar is not quite Arabian, but certainly not stock European. The city lives somewhere in-between, in a time not yet faded into myth.

In “The Dream Thief of Kuthahaar” and “The Augurwraith” questions of fate and agency carry forward Kultar’s themes. If magic exists, will it help or hinder the lowborn? Will it be an equalizer or another tool for oppression? “The Blood of Khalid Al’Tahir” is a more straight-forward tale, but still with its own twist of fate. This play between heroes and rogues, fate and agency, is one I find fascinating, and I hope you, the reader, will as well.

Pre-order the ebook now on Amazon!

Thralls of the Fairie – Lost Lands

A new anthology from Craig Comer available for pre-order. Eleven tales of Sword & Sorcery, low fantasy, and high adventure.

I had fun time working on these tales, dusting off the old and polishing up the new, never before released. Herein lies a span of almost twenty years of writing, and whereas I hadn’t remembered every twist and turn of each of them, I had a clearly etched memory of when I’d written them. Each is dear to me, and I hope will be an enjoyable read for you!

Broken into three sections, I thought I’d share more about each in turn:

TALES OF LOST LANDS – To reclaim the heart of her god, Mior bargains with mages and delves deep into the temple of a cult. Caita Halftallow finds strength amongst the herd, the better to crush her enemies, while Jaelyn’s song lends her the strength to slay fiends.

The winner of the Artist’s Challenge Anthology contest, “The Song of Jaelyn” first saw print in 2008. The contest rules were simple: submit a story inspired by the anthology’s cover. With a ship besieged by a storm, and a begowned woman staring longingly at the sea, the story formed quickly and almost wrote itself. Its theme of a wronged, and seemingly desperate, victim turning the tables on their assailants continued in other tales. In “Tazirum’s Dagger,” my second published story, it’s a group of young would-be adventurers who get in over their heads. “The Tomb of Jorem’bel” and “The Lure of Caita Halftallow” feature heroes fighting against the odds to save their family’s legacies.

These are tales inspired by Robert Louis Stevenson’s BLACK ARROW and Sir Walter Scott’s IVANHOE, not to mention the adventures of more brawny rogues like Conan and David Eddings’ Sparhawk. They are gritty and set in lands both familiar and strange, where magic exists but is clouded in mystery and not readily visible. And if the gods play a hand in the fate of our heroes, it is only for their own ends.

Pre-order the eBook now on Amazon!

Kindle Deals & Red Herrings

Amazon has selected THE LAIRD OF DUNCAIRN to be a featured Kindle Deal for the month of November. All month, the book will be $1.99. It’s not too early to buy some virtual stocking stuffers!

The rough draft of the first Harvest Falls mystery is almost complete! Only a few chapters to go–you know, the ones where our intrepid detective, Charlie Henry, unravels the last clue and the killer is, at last, revealed. Next, I’ll be using some elbow grease to polish up the draft, rip out some bits that didn’t quite work, and salt in some flavor in a few sections that need it!

I’m also working on the Jack Canonbie novella, spinning some things around in the plot, and putting some pretty big obstacles in Jack’s path–not that he isn’t good at creating those on his own! This version of young Jack finds him trying to bully his way through life only to find that might doesn’t always make right.

Thank you! Now, what’s Next?

Thank you to everyone who helped welcome BARROW WITCH into the world! I hope you enjoyed the book. Please let me know your thoughts by posting a comment or by leaving a review on Amazon.

So, what’s next you ask? Some exciting stuff!

I’m working on a novella featuring a young Jack Canonbie. Jack was such a favorite of mine to write, I’d love to give him more room to knock some heads!

And that’s not all. I’m also working on a new mystery series that will be a departure from the gaslamp world of A Fey Matter. The series is dubbed Harvest Falls for now, and will have murder and secrets and tangled webs aplenty, all set in the Pacific Northwest. I’m about halfway through an initial draft of the first book. The killer is lurking, but salty and sweet Charlie Henry is hot on their tail!

More to come on both!

BARROW WITCH Now Available!

It’s out! Book 3 of A Fey Matter released today; you can find it on Amazon and everywhere you get your reads!

#fey #gaslamp #fantasy – Buy on Amazon!

“In BARROW WITCH, the stakes are steeper, the danger more dreadful, and Effie is more exciting than ever. Comer concludes his trilogy with flourishing aplomb… It’s quite the accomplishment for each book in a series to improve, but with BARROW WITCH we reach the ultimate high of fey steampunk fantasy that the series has always delivered.”
Ahimsa Kerp, author of Empire of the Undead

Praise for THE LAIRD OF DUNCAIRN:

“Effie is an amazing character. I loved following her journey and seeing her change and grow.”
I Heart Reading

“The book was a one sit read for me. I loved it and would recommend it to everyone. The characters were well developed and deep with an original story.”
Read Day and Night Blog

“Well-developed characters and plot make this historical fantasy a true pleasure to read and become lost in… A very unique and fascinating story.”
Cecily Wolfe, author of Throne of Grace

Find the series on Amazon; Download it from Kindle Unlimited!

BARROW WITCH Inspiration #4 – Scottish Highlands

BARROW WITCH, book 3 of my Gaslamp Fantasy series, A Fey Matter, is available for pre-order! As part of the release, I’m sharing some of the inspiration for the book’s events and places.

Hear anyone say, “Scotland,” and almost instantly images of the Highlands come to mind. And for good reason. They are spectacular in ways that my photography skills cannot nearly do justice.

Here are a few images of the places that inspired my imagination, including some of Effie’s Glen Coe!