A World of Pirates and Victorian Detectives: The Map of Unknown Things Trilogy by Rod Duncan

A World of Pirates and Victorian Detectives: The Map of Unknown Things Trilogy by Rod Duncan

The-Queen-of-All-Crows-smaller The-Outlaw-and-the-Upstart-King-smaller The Fugitive and the Vanishing Man-smaller

Covers by Will Staehle, Amazing15, and Kieryn Tyler

Rod Duncan’s debut was the supernatural mystery trilogy The Fall of the Gas-Lit Empire, a series I found fascinating in part due to the main character, Elizabeth Barnabus, a woman who lives a double life as herself and as her brother, a private detective.

His next project, The Map of Unknown Things, is set in the same world. It opened with Queen of all Crows (2018), in which Elizabeth investigates the disappearance of an airship that went down in the Atlantic. Sydney Shields at The British Fantasy Society said “Duncan’s Gas-lit Empire reads and feels like the world of a Victorian detective adventure (think Sherlock Holmes, the Blake & Avery Mysteries, Charles Dickens) but the twist is that the year is actually 2012… Definitely recommend.” The Outlaw and the Upstart King was published last year, and the third volume, The Fugitive & the Vanishing Man, arrived in January of this year. Here’s an excerpt from the PW review:

Illusionist spy Elizabeth Barnabus has barely returned from her pirate voyage in The Outlaw and the Upstart King when she is forced to venture back to the fringes of the Gas-Lit Empire in the exhilarating third installment of Duncan’s The Map of Unknown Things series. Upon returning to London, Elizabeth must recount her adventures to the hostile Patent Office, a clever bit of exposition that will ease new readers into the steam punk world of this alternate history. When the Patent Office brands Elizabeth a traitor, she flees to America and the untamed wilds of the Oregon territory to track down her long-lost twin, Edwin, and prove her patriotism… But trouble’s brewing in Oregon, and Elizabeth is torn between loyalty to her twin or her beloved Empire. The charismatic duo at the heart of this adventure are sure to please.

The Fugitive & the Vanishing Man was published by Angry Robot on January 14, 2020. It is 401 pages, priced at $14.99 in trade paperback and $6.99 in digital formats. The cover is by Kieryn Tyler. Read the first three chapters at Issuu.com.

See all our recent coverage of the best new series fantasy here.

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