New Treasures: Seven Deaths of an Empire by G R Matthews

New Treasures: Seven Deaths of an Empire by G R Matthews


Seven Deaths of an Empire (Solaris, June 2021). Cover artist uncredited

I’m late to the party with this one. Solaris published G R Matthews’s mainstream debut Seven Deaths of an Empire in June of last year, and it received plenty of good notice. Library Journal called it “reminiscent of Game of Thrones,” SFX Magazine labeled it “Refreshingly original,” and Grimdark Magazine proclaimed it “fantasy at its finest.” Why do I always miss the good ones?

At this point I figure I’d wait for the paperback, and that’s finally arriving at the end of this month. About time — I’m impatient to learn what all the fuss is about.

As usual, Publishers Weekly has the best single-paragraph summary:

Matthews (Silent City) launches his Six Kingdoms series with a page-turning dark fantasy that kicks off with the sudden death of the Emperor of Sudrim while he’s away on a mission. From within the imperial palace, General Bordan, the leader of the Empire’s army, oversees the operation to return the Emperor’s body to his family, and with it the amulet “which contains his soul and wisdom” to be passed down to Sudrim’s next ruler. Meanwhile, apprentice magician Kyron co-leads the convoy escorting the Emperor’s remains. But enemies from within and without stand in the way, among them assassins who aim to dispatch the royal family and tribesmen whose lands the convoy must cross… the plot’s surprising twists and turns will wow fantasy fans. This is an impressive series opener.

Seven Deaths of an Empire was published in hardcover by Solaris on June 22, 2021. It is 550 pages, priced at $27.99 or $8.99 in digital formats; a paperback (priced at $16.99) arrives on March 29. I can’t find any info on the cover artist; let me know if anyone out there has a clue. Read a brief excerpt here.

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

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Keith West

I read this one recently and really enjoyed it. I’ve been meaning to post a review but dayjobbery and other commitments have been getting in the way. Good to see it’s getting some positive press. I’m hoping there will be more in this world.

R.K. Robinson

I like my fantasy straight, not Dark. Unfortunately, an awful lot of SFF (and Mystery) fiction is grim, gritty, dark these days. You’d think, with so much turmoil in the world, readers would like something more “feel good” but I guess not, though I’m reading the new Scalzi and it’s fun.

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