The Broken God


By Gareth Hanrahan

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Dark gods and dangerous magic clash in this third book of Gareth Hanrahan's acclaimed epic fantasy series, The Black Iron Legacy. "This is genre-defying fantasy at its very best . . . Insanely inventive and deeply twisted" (Michael R. Fletcher).

Enter a city of dragons and darkness . . .

The Godswar has come to Guerdon, dividing the city between three occupying powers. A fragile armistice holds back the gods, but other dangerous forces seek to exert their influence. Spar Idgeson, once heir to the brotherhood of thieves has been transformed into the living stone of the new city. But his powers are failing and the criminal dragons of the Ghierdana are circling.

Meanwhile, far across the sea, Carillon Thay—once a thief, a saint, a god killer; now alone and powerless—seeks the mysterious land of Khebesh, desperate to find a cure for Spar. But what hope does she have when even the gods seek vengeance against her?

"A groundbreaking and extraordinary novel . . . Hanrahan has an astonishing imagination" (Peter McLean).

Also by Gareth Hanrahan:

The Black Iron Legacy
The Gutter Prayer
The Shadow Saint
The Broken God



Some days, Cari has to remind herself that it wasn’t all a dream.

The rolling of the ship is so familiar to her. The smell of sea air, the stink of the bilges. The creaks of rope and timber, the slap of water on wood, the shouts of sailors, all this was her life before, is now her life again. The wide world, sea under sky. She leans on the railing by the prow of the ship, watching the horizon. The empty expanse makes her feel deliciously anonymous. The open ocean accepts no name that mortals or gods might try to put on it. It admits no history, existing in one present and eternal moment. On the ocean, it feels like she could be born anew with each swelling wave.

On the ocean, her life ashore feels like a dream.

But it wasn’t a dream, was it, she thinks to herself, her fingers closing around the black amulet that once more adorns her neck. She’s not expecting an answer here – Spar is half the world away. And even if Cari was back in the New City, standing in the heart of the great metropolis that she inadvertently conjured from his corpse nearly two years ago, she doesn’t know if he’d be able to answer her.

Still, she prays for an answer. Strains whatever the psychic equivalent of an ear is.


Just the jagged whirling of her own thoughts.

She can’t help but be amused by the irony. She ran away from home long ago because she was haunted by the fear of unseen powers that called to her, and she found solace in the anonymity of the ocean. Distance muted the voices. Every mile she sailed away from Guerdon was a balm to her scarred soul.

Now, she’s terrified by the absence of one particular voice, and every day she sails is time she can’t afford to spend. If she could have teleported across the world, instead of spending months travelling around the Godswar, she’d have done that, and damn the cost.

Nothing’s ever simple with you, is it, she thinks to herself. Again, there’s no answer. Just a memory of her cousin Eladora, lying bleeding in an alleyway off Desiderata Street, whispering to her: You ruin everything.

Not this time.

“Ilbarin!” comes the shout from the crow’s nest. “Mark, the Rock of Ilbarin.”

Cari stares at the horizon, looking for the distant hump of the mountain, but she can’t see it from down here yet. She suppresses the urge to climb up into the rigging and get a proper view. She spent half her old life aloft, and the swaying of the mast holds no fear for her. But she can’t abandon her prize. She pats the heavy oilskin bundle that hasn’t left her sight in six months, feels the comforting weight of the book inside.

Comforting weight? More like fucking inconvenient weight. The book’s absurdly huge, and the cover is shod in metal, with a hefty lock built into it. Probably magic wards, too. The thing could stop a bullet, and not a small one either. If Cari’s ever caught in an artillery bombardment (again, she adds), she’s hiding under that fucking book.

The Grimoire of Doctor Ramegos, to give the book something like its proper title. From what Eladora explained, it’s some sort of magical diary. Cari wishes she knew which pages were actually important. If she knew what was valuable, she could just steal that, cut the pages out and wrap them up in a nice neat bundle. But no – it’s all incomprehensible arcane runes in there. She can’t distinguish between the world-shattering secrets and the magic equivalent of “day eight of gastric distress. Today’s bowel movements were mostly greenish and inoffensive” so she has to carry it all. She’s dragged this fucking book from Guerdon to Haith, across the sea to Varinth, down south to Paravos, across to the Caliphates into the Firesea, and now nearly to Khebesh.

Thinking about it, six months with this book can be counted among her longest relationships, and she can’t even read the thing.

She listens again. Spar was always amused when she got ranty. She’s still curating her own thoughts, storing away things that he might enjoy. But he’s an absence in her soul, an unseen wound. A phantom limb that other people don’t have. She’s left only with her own thoughts, and Cari’s always been poor company for herself.

Some of the crew of this ship might understand. Some of them, too, have walked in the shadow of divinity. It’s not a Guerdon ship; she boarded this ship in… one of the occupied Caliphate ports? Taervosa, maybe, or some other stop on her long, meandering journey. Not a Guerdon ship means not a Guerdon crew – there are god-touched on board. They’ve got a weatherworker, Eld, a minor saint of Cloud Mother. Waddling around, complaining about his swollen ankles and swollen belly, occasionally called on to birth sylph-spirits to fill the sails and speed the ship along. Another sailor has a Tomb Child from Ul-Taen riding on his shoulders, the shade of a child sacrifice. Cari can see the Child, sometimes, if the sun catches it at the right angle. And there’s one mercenary who has the Lion Queen’s sigil tattooed on his chest.

She’s stayed away from him, this whole journey.

She’s made enough enemies for one lifetime.

The Rock of Ilbarin grows as the ship struggles to make headway through a sea of debris. Floating wreckage bumps against the hull. The crew rush to the rail to take soundings, check the depth beneath the keel. They have charts, of course, but charts are useless these days. The gods can tear up the foundations of the ocean to throw at each other.

It’s been five years since she last saw the Rock, but she still remembers Ilbarin City. Other travellers might speak of Ilbarin’s glittering fountains amid the lush green gardens, or the golden-roofed temples, but Cari chiefly remembers the crowded quays and the alleyways between the warehouses, the dockside inns and chandleries. She spent her formative years there, and on the Rose. She’ll be able to find her way on from there.

The ship’s course shifts. The distant Rock of Ilbarin vanishes behind the bowsprit, reappears a moment later on the other side. They’re no longer heading for Ilbarin City, but instead making for the north end of the island.

Cari stuffs Ramegos’ grimoire into her pack and swings it on to her back. The weight of the loaded satchel makes her feel lopsided, and the waters are choppy here. She finds Captain Dosca nearby, standing at the rail, spyglass raised. Something’s coming.

“Hey,” she calls. He ignores her, so she puts her palm across the end of his telescope, blocking his view. That gets his attention.

“I paid for passage all the way to Ilbarin City. I paid you extra to go straight there.” In fact, it was the first time in her life she’d ever had the money to pay passage instead of working it, and she’s damned if she’s not getting her money’s worth.

Dosca sucks his stained teeth. “We must change course,” he says slowly. “Ilbarin City is no longer safe. There has been, ah, flooding.”

“You said you’d take me to Ilbarin City.”

“We cannot land there.”

“I’ve got friends in the port.” Using the present tense is a risky assumption on her part; she had friends there, long ago. Family, sort of. She spent five years aboard the Rose. Hawse or Adro will help her. She’ll even go to Dol Martaine in a pinch – she’s got money to pay her way, now. Captain Hawse came from Ilbarin, and always said he’d retire there. She’ll take any ship that’ll bring her to the forbidden land of Khebesh, but secretly she’s harboured the fanciful notion that it’ll be the Rose that carries her there. “I need to go to Ilbarin City.”

Dosca pauses for a long moment, then says, “We’re going to Ushket instead.”

“Ushket… Ushket’s halfway up the fucking mountain!” How bad was the flooding? Shit, how out of date is her information? Sailing from Guerdon to Ilbarin usually takes four or five weeks, but Cari did it all arseways, took the long way around. She had to – there was no way she dared get anywhere close to the gods of Ishmere, not after what she did to their war goddess. She’s been travelling for months, with little news of the south until she reached the Caliphates. And she was so eager to find passage onwards to Ilbarin that she didn’t take any precautions.

“We will put you ashore at Ushket. There is nothing else to be done.” He raises the spyglass again.

“What is it?” Cari asks. She can see some other vessel approaching, a smudge of dark smoke above it. Alchemy-powered, probably a gunboat from the size. Ilbarin military, maybe? She reaches for Dosca’s spyglass, but he folds it up and tucks it away before she can take it.

“An escort.” He glances down at Cari. “It would be best for you to stay hidden. I will tell them I have no passengers.”

“Are they Ilbariners?”

Dosca shakes his head. “No. They are Ghierdana.”

Ghierdana. Fucking dragon pirates.

Run. Hide. Cari sprints below deck, leaping down the narrow ladder, ignoring the curses of Eld as she shoves past him. His big, wind-pregnant belly nearly takes up the entire gangway. She races to the corner she’s been sleeping in and gathers her other few possessions. The hold stinks of rotten eggs, and the smell is bearable only if they leave the hatches half open most of the time. From down here, she can look up and see a bright blue sliver of sky, hear movement on the deck above.

Acrid smoke crosses the sliver of blue, and she catches the whiff of engine fumes. The gunboat’s alongside. She hears shouts, thumping against the hull as people climb on board. Cari discovers a hiding place under a bunk, pressing herself into the shadowy corner, a child hiding from monsters. Knife clutched in her hand, ready to strike. Her heart pounding so hard it feels like it’s going to break her ribs.

All her instincts are off. Back in Guerdon, she was fucking unstoppable. She was the Saint of Knives. With Spar’s miracles backing her up, she was invincible. Spar shielded her, took on any wounds that might hurt her. With his help she’d single-handedly stabbed the fuck out of the Ghierdana crime syndicate. Kicked them out of Guerdon without taking a scratch. Only a few months ago, she wouldn’t have had to hide. She’d have known where every Ghierdana bastard was, felt their footsteps on the stone floor. The walls would open for her, the New City reshaping itself according to her desires. She’d have shrugged off gunfire with marble-hard skin, defeated a dozen men with a saint’s cruel grace.

Made them beg her for mercy.

Pray to her for mercy.

Sometimes, she’d given it. Sometimes, she hadn’t.

Do you think they know who I am, she thinks to Spar, wildly. Hell, maybe they won’t. Maybe she’s overreacting. The Ghierdana are a big outfit, a syndicate of criminal families, each headed by a fucking no-shit fire-breathing dragon – there’s no guarantee that any of the ones here in Ilbarin know anything about what happened back home. Three times so far – twice in Varinth, and once on Paravos – she thought she’d spotted someone was following her, but she lost her pursuers each time. She doesn’t even know if they were Ghierdana or not – she’s made a lot of enemies.

Maybe she can bluff her way out. Stick the knife in a pocket and stroll up on deck all casual. Who, me? I’m just another deckhand.

But they might find the fucking book.

So she stays hidden and waits. Her shoulder muscles and her legs ache from being crammed into the tight space under the bunk. The metal edge of the book digs into the small of her back. Roaches crawl over her hands, her collarbone. She doesn’t move. She cowers like a frightened child.

Two men open the hatch and climb down into the hold. Both are wearing military garb, but it’s a mismatch of bits and pieces from different uniforms, all stripped of markings. They’re both armed. All she has is her little knife clutched in her hand. Two’s more than she can handle – two, when once she’d have laughed at a dozen of the bastards. They sweep through the hold, kick open the door to the bosun’s locker, give the place a cursory search, and leave. The creaking of the stairs under their boots signals they’ve gone above.

She exhales. Amateurs, right? Not even worth my time. Spar might chuckle at that.

Cari relaxes a little, but she can still hear the grumbling of the gunboat’s engines nearby.

The sliver of blue light turns golden as the sun begins to set. From above, she can hear Dosca shouting orders. Sounds of sails being furled, the rattling of chains and the distinctive jerk as something starts tugging the ship forward. They’re being towed into port, presumably by the Ghierdana gunboat. Presumably into Ushket. The gunboat’s engine downshifts and strains, and the ship rocks.

Plan: wait till they’re tied up at the quay. Wait till it’s dark out. Slip ashore; head south around the rock to Ilbarin City and the last leg of the journey to Khebesh. Even without Spar’s miraculous guidance, even with the weight of the fucking book, she’s still sneaky enough to get ashore without being seen. And if she is spotted, well, she’s had a lot of practice knifing the Ghierdana. But you’re not invulnerable any more, so don’t get hit, she tells herself in Spar’s voice.

The golden sliver of light turns orange, then grey. Sunset’s quicker this far south.

Outside, the noise of engines ceases, gives way to the creak of ropes, the muffled thump of the ship coming to rest against some jetty. Shouts of dockworkers. The journey’s end. Captain Hawse taught Cari always to thank the local sea-gods after a safe voyage, but she dares not even whisper.

Not long to wait now.

Then the stairs creak again, groaning under a heavy weight. There’s a hiss of a breathing apparatus. The daylight’s mostly gone, so Cari can only see a silhouette. A metal helmet. A rubbery suit, covered with tubes and metal plates that glimmer with arcane sigils. The armoured figure clomps into the middle of the hold and stops, scanning the room. Cari presses herself back into her hiding place again, heart pounding again, mouth dry.

She’s seen things like the armoured figure before. Suits like that were originally intended to protect wearers against alchemical fallout, plagues and toxins and knife-smoke and shit, but she’s also seen them adapted as containment suits for the incurably contaminated. Back in Guerdon, there’s a dealer in second-hand alchemical stuff called Dredger who uses one. Then there was the Fever Knight, the enforcer who worked for Guerdon’s old criminal boss, Heinreil.

Spar killed the Fever Knight, but he nearly died in the process, and he had the strength of a Stone Man then. Cari broke Heinreil with a thought, but that was when she could work miracles. Here, she’s got nothing but this knife, no miracles or unnatural strength to back it up.

The Fever Knight’s armour was a boiler with legs, the ironclad of the alleyways, all rivets and armour plating. This suit is delicate, ornate – more fragile, maybe? The helm is made to resemble a boar, and the mouth of the beast gapes wide to reveal a dispassionate metal face. A woman’s face, cold and cruel. Green lenses for eye sockets.

Go for the breathing tube, go for the joints, she thinks, you won’t pierce the armour. The knife handle’s slippery in her grasp. She wipes her palm on her shirt, grips the weapon again. Go for the tube.

The armoured figure raises a hand, gurgles something – and the hold’s suddenly flooded with light. A dozen little floating globules of liquid illumination dance through the air. Sorcerous werelights – the armoured bastard’s a sorcerer. Shit. Cari’s fear is now titrated with a cold flood of uncertainty, which she really hates. Sorcerers are hard to judge, hard to fight. You can’t tell how good they are until they start throwing spells. Can’t tell how strong they are, because that really depends on how desperate they are. Magic burns them up from the inside.

A memory, the same memory she always sees when she closes her eyes: Spar falling, tumbling over and over as he plummets from the ceiling of the great Seamarket to break on the floor far below. His terrified face, eyes pleading with her as he falls, while she’s held paralysed and frozen by a spell.

Hell, what can she do against a sorcerer? If she was still a saint, she’d have a measure of divine protection. Saints and sorcery both exist in the aether. Saints can brute-force their way through spells, smashing enchantments and breaking wards like they were physical barriers. If Cari were still in Spar’s grace, still the Saint of Knives, maybe she could charge through the sorcerer’s spells like a brick thrown through a spider’s web.

Now, she’s powerless. Harmless as a fucking fly.

The lenses whir and click as the helm slowly rotates, scanning the room. Cari tenses, ready to scramble out of her hiding place and attack if she’s spotted.

Sorcery takes time. If she’s quick enough, maybe she can get out from under the bunk and get to the sorcerer before her foe gets a spell off. Maybe.

The werelights follow the sorcerer’s gaze, sweeping towards her.

Go for the breathing tube, she thinks, and get lucky.

“Witch?” calls one of the Ghierdana from above. “Need you up here.”

The armoured sorcerer snaps a hand shut. The werelights go out. Again, the mercifully, blessed, best sound in the world – footsteps creaking on the ladder.

Cari slithers out of her hiding place, dragging the heavy pack behind her. From above, the sounds of an argument – the Ghierdana want Eld, the saint of Cloud Mother to go with them, and he’s not budging. From what Cari can tell from the noises, Eld’s trying to squeeze out a sylph-spirit on the spot to fight the Ghierdana.

Terrible combat tactic for him. Brilliant distraction for her, especially when Eld starts bellowing in pain.

She creeps through the hold to the aft hatch. She scales a stack of crates, hooks her pack on a convenient nail, then pulls herself up through the half-open hatch on to the deck. She glances towards the prow. Eld’s writhing around on the deck. She can see the phantasmal shape of a wind-spirit halfway out of a fresh cut on Eld’s stomach, but the armoured sorcerer’s standing over him. One armoured gauntlet extended, glimmering with power. The sorcerer’s pinning the spirit in place with magical force, half in and half out. Gusts of wind hiss from Eld’s distended belly, from the edges of his caesarian cut. Most of the Ghierdana have gathered around the contortions, other than a pair of gunmen who are watching Captain Dosca and the rest of the crew.

No one’s looking her way.

Cari reaches back into the hatch and unhooks her pack. The weight of it nearly pulls her back into the hold, but she drags it out, secures it on her back. There’s a boarding plank, but Eld’s thrashing about next to that, so she sneaks to one of the ship’s toilets – a precarious little platform that hangs out over the side, near the stern.

From there, she climbs down on to the quayside.

The quay’s newly built, the concrete smooth and unweathered. There’s something deeply strange about her surroundings – it’s like they’ve docked in the middle of a market square. She finds a hiding place amid stacked boxes near a chain fence. It’s deathly quiet, and the streets beyond the fence are deserted. It’s hard to be sure in the dim light, but it looks like they’ve carved this harbour out of a flooded part of Ushket. She can see a narrow channel that must have once been a street – the gunboat must have towed Dosca’s ship along that route. It’s the only path that leads back to sea. The ruins on either side of that channel are scorched and blasted. Dragon-fire maybe. Or a miracle.

There are four other ships tied up at the dock, like prisoners in a chain gang. That’s what this is, Cari realises – a prison for ships. Only way in or out is by tug, and with a pilot who knows the waters. She can imagine all sorts of obstacles and dangers in those waters, ruined buildings like reefs that’d tear a hull open. A prison for ships – and she can guess who the fucking gaolers are. The Ghierdana.

She scurries, shoulders bowed under the weight of her back, running along the edge of the quay, staying in the shadows. As the last rays of the sun vanish, Carillon vanishes into the night.

The streets are unfamiliar, the buildings strange: the ones nearby are closely packed along steep lanes, but she can hear birdsong, smell greenery not too far away, so there must be gardens here, too. It’s a moonless night, and the twilight’s going fast. She splashes through puddles, skirts around the silt and debris that’s everywhere. It reminds her of parts of Guerdon after the Kraken-fleet of Ishmere attacked. That must be what happened here, too – the gods seized the sea and wielded it as a weapon, dropped an ocean on this place.

She needs to get off the streets before she’s spotted. The lower floors of the buildings look flooded out and abandoned. She spots an open door – broken, one half off its hinges, leaning against its mate like a drunk looking for support. Cari slips through the gap into a once-grand hallway. Paint peeling from rotten timbers stains her hands. Stairs in front of her lead up, but she hears the sound of distant snoring and guesses the upper floors must still be inhabited. This ground floor is caked in drifts of mud and flotsam, but there are no fresh prints past the stairwell. She forces a door into a derelict apartment, long since looted of anything valuable.

That’s fine. All she needs is a place to hide for the night. In the morning, she’ll get her bearings, get out of town, walk around the mountain to Ilbarin City and find a ship going south. She sits down in a dry corner, aching and exhausted.

Cari opens her pack and checks, for the thousandth time, that the grimoire is still there. It’s the only thing she has to trade to the sorcerers of Khebesh.

Eladora’s words replay in her mind: “Bring them this. Trade it for what you need. I don’t know if they can help Mr Idgeson, but I hope it’s possible.”

Not long now, Spar, she tells herself. Maybe, somehow, she tells him, too.

The lapping of the water in the street outside lulls Carillon to sleep.


The dragon Taras circles over Guerdon.

Great-Uncle’s massive frame soars through the sky, gliding on leathery wings so wide they cast a shadow over the world. Titanic muscles move beneath his ancient hide, marked with thousands of scars. Some are centuries old, made by arrows and crossbow bolts, by the javelins and lances of saints. Others are fresh: bullet wounds, acid burns, the bloody patina of knife-smoke or the marks left by the tendrils and claws of divine monsters. The Godswar has wounded everyone, thinks Rasce, even Great-Uncle Taras.

But the dragon is invincible.

He circles lower. Rasce’s mask was damaged by a stray shot during the bombing raid, leaving a spiderweb of cracks across his field of vision. He has to tilt his head this way and that to see different parts of Guerdon as it spreads out below him. From here, Great-Uncle seems to fill the world – no matter where Rasce looks, there’s always some part of the dragon, a wingtip or claw or tail.

“Is it not a pretty thing?” rumbles Great-Uncle. Rasce feels the words rather than hears them, the vibrations running through his thighs, his spine, echoing around inside his helmet.

He would never disagree with Great-Uncle, but the city below strikes him as singularly ugly. From this altitude, it feels as though he could reach out and pick up the whole city with one hand. The factories of the alchemists resemble intricate machines, stained with oily clouds of smoke, embedded in a fruiting mass of streets and tenements that sprawls inwards along the track of a mostly buried river. As Great-Uncle circles down, the light of the waning sun reflects off some canal or an exposed stretch of water, making the city flash like a signal-glass. In other places, the city’s scarred by recent wars. The fortress of Queen’s Point lies in ruins; out in the bay, nothing remains of the old prison at Hark except blasted, fire-blackened stone.

There are jewels here, too. Cathedrals and palaces up on Holyhill. The sullen lump of the Parliament atop Castle Hill – ugly to look at, but valuable. And directly below, their destination – the great shining pearl of the New City. An unlikely beauty, a district of marble domes and spires, of boulevards that shimmer in the sun and alleyways like frost on the veins of a leaf.

Conjured, the Dentist told him, through some alchemical accident, a whole city springing up overnight.

Nearby, is another district, equally unnatural these days. The roofs of Ishmerian temples rise like shark’s fins through the purple gloom that hangs over what some call the Temple district, but in the staccato language of the Armistice is officially the Ishmeric Occupation Zone. Just like the New City is termed the Lyrixian Occupation Zone, and a swathe of the city from the edge of Holyhill to the north-eastern suburbs is the Haithi Occupation Zone. IOZ, LOZ, HOZ.

Abbreviations serve to sweep away the strangeness and the shame, neat boxes to categorise the unthinkable. The city escaped destruction and conquest only by inviting all its prospective conquerors in to share the prize. Like a woman, offering herself to the victors – take my body, do what you wish with me, only spare my children.

Or, in Guerdon’s case, spare my vital alchemical factories, spare my mansions and palaces. Spare my markets and my unfettered access to the arms trade, spare my wealth. The city’s found safety by balancing itself on a knife edge.

Is the city a pretty thing? Rasce considers the question. He’s seen many cities from the air, and many of them were glorious. He’s seen temples like blossoming flowers of crystal, stepped ziggurats of obsidian, golden-roofed longhouses where heroes feasted. He’s seen prettier places – but when the dragon was done with them, they were all ash. Guerdon’s an ugly place from the air. A great misshapen stone beast, rent by many wounds, that has crawled down to the shore to die – but even from this height he can see the thronged streets, the busy docks.

He can smell the money. Sense the power.

It is not a pretty thing, but that is not why the dragon desires it.

A rumble of disquiet runs through Great-Uncle’s titanic form as they pass the Temple district, and the clouds writhe in response. Cloud Mother’s monstrous offspring hide there. Rasce feels the dragon’s displeasure in his bones.

“We should fly over the HOZ,” says Rasce, “and dismay them.” A tube carries the sound of his voice to Great-Uncle’s earpiece. Otherwise, he’d have to shout at the top of his lungs to be heard from the dragon’s back.

“Not today,” rumbles Great-Uncle. “No provocations. We’ve had enough war. Now for business.”


  • "Hanrahan ramps up the eldritch pyrotechnics in his gritty third Black Iron Legacy epic. Hanrahan’s prose and imagery harken back to the best of classic sword and sorcery fantasy with humans struggling to survive as deities battle. This will please series fans."—Publishers Weekly on The Broken God
  • "Mixes diplomacy, espionage, and religion to excellent effect ... Series fans and new readers alike will delight entering this strange, immersive universe."—Publishers Weekly on The Shadow Saint
  • "Readers who enjoy the intricate worldbuilding of Patrick Rothfuss, Mark Lawrence, Max Gladstone, and Steven Erikson should start with the first volume before tackling this satisfying sequel."—Library Journal on The Shadow Saint
  • "I will buy any novel that Gareth Hanrahan ever writes. ... The Shadow Saint is a brilliant book."—Fantasy Inn on The Shadow Saint
  • "The Gutter Prayer is captivating and complex. Guerdon is a city that seethes with history, horror, and hidden secrets, and Hanrahan's assured style is reminiscent of China Mievelle in the best way possible."—Nicholas Eames on The Gutter Prayer
  • "A gripping tale that meshes beautifully with its fascinating, darkly inventive setting."—James Islington on The Gutter Prayer
  • "Employing an enviable skill with both plotting and prose, Gareth Hanrahan has in The Gutter Prayer woven an intricate and finely crafted web of compelling characters navigating a city rich in dark and original wonders. I await the sequel with the keenest anticipation."—Anthony Ryan on The Gutter Prayer
  • "A groundbreaking and extraordinary novel . . . Hanrahan has an astonishing imagination."—Peter McLean on The Gutter Prayer
  • "Beautifully written. Gripping. Guerdon is the city of my dreams."—Anna Smith Spark on The Gutter Prayer
  • "Laced with the blackest of humor and packed with magic and mayhem, this is fantasy turned up to 11."—Anna Stephens on The Gutter Prayer
  • "This is genre-defying fantasy at its very best. An absolutely stunning debut. Insanely inventive and deeply twisted. I loved it! Highly recommended."—Michael R. Fletcher on The Gutter Prayer
  • "With living candles, ancient ghouls, broken gods, and more, The Gutter Prayer brims with cool and often twisted ideas."—Peter Newman on The Gutter Prayer
  • "Hanrahan brings the sights, sounds, and smells of Guerdon to life with crisp, lyrical prose that moves swiftly between thrilling action sequences and imaginative worldbuilding."—Publishers Weekly on The Gutter Prayer
  • "A wonderfully bizarre vision, The Gutter Prayer reads like a collaboration between Hunter S. Thompson and H.P. Lovecraft."—The Guardian on The Gutter Prayer
  • "Hanrahan brings his city to life in lyrical prose, even as the plot leaps from action sequence to breathless chase and back again."—B&N Sci-Fi & Fantasy Blog on The Gutter Prayer
  • "Fans of dark fantasies like Brandon Sanderson's Elantris and Robert Jackson Bennett's City of Stairs will feel right at home in Guerdon's twisting cityscape. An inventive debut."—Booklist on The Gutter Prayer

On Sale
May 18, 2021
Page Count
624 pages

Gareth Hanrahan

About the Author

Gareth Hanrahan’s three-month break from computer programming to concentrate on writing has now lasted fifteen years and counting. He’s written more gaming books than he can readily recall, by virtue of the alchemical transmutation of tea and guilt into words. He lives in Ireland with his wife and three children. Follow him on Twitter at @mytholder.

Learn more about this author