“Another riotous triumph.”

—Edward Cox, author of The Relic Guild series and “The Wood Bee Queen”

Hundreds of years after the events of PENNYBLADE, a noble with dreams of becoming Master of Arts-and-Revels, and the ruthless First-Queen are caught up in a plot to destroy the Main and awaken an ancient curse. This savagely funny dark fantasy is packed with unforgettable characters, sharp wits, and wild plots – ideal for fans of Joe Abercrombie, Nicholas Eames and Anna Smith Spark.

When Sir Harrance ‘Harry’ Larksdale, bastard brother of the king, falls for a mysterious lad from the mountains, he is unwillingly caught up in a chaotic world of court intrigue, murderous folk tales, and dark magic. Meanwhile Queen Carmotta Il’Lunadella, First-Queen of the Brintland needs to save her life, and her unborn child. With the Third-Queen plotting against her, and rumours of coups rocking the court, Carmotta can rely only on her devious mind and venomous wit.

And deep within the walls of Becken Keep squats the keep-within – patient, timeless, and evil. To speak of the keep-within outside the walls of Becken Keep guarantees your bizarre and agonising demise within nine days. Meanwhile in the city, people fearfully whisper the name Red Marie: a bloodied demon with rusted nails for teeth and swinging scythes who preys on the innocent.

Harry and Carmotta are clinging to their dreams, their lives, by threads. And underneath them all, the curse of the keep-within awaits.

“A cartful of courtly intrigue and a massive dose of debauchery. All tied up in JL Worrad’s effortless way of making a world feel real and lived in.”

—Rob J. Hayes, award-winning author of The Mortal Techniques and The War Eternal series

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