Alex Marshall
A Blade of Black Steel (Book 2: Crimson Empire Trilogy)

Book Cover

The sequel to Alex Marshall's A Crown for Cold Silver, an outstanding, game-changing epic adventure featuring an unforgettable warrior.

Five villains. One legendary general. A battle for survival.

After five hundred years, the Sunken Kingdom has returned, and brought with it a monstrous secret that threatens to destroy every country on the Star.

As an inhuman army gathers on its shores, poised to invade the Immaculate Isles, the members of the Cobalt Company face an ugly choice: abandon their dreams of glory and vengeance to combat a menace from another realm, or pursue their ambitions and hope the Star is still there when the smoke clears.

Praise for A Blade of Black Steel:

“This is a fitting follow-up to the first Crimson Empire book; full of bloody battles and strong females . . . The writing and setting are rich . . . Purna is a strong character who adds an interesting dynamic to the twisted and surprising story.” —RT Book Reviews

Praise for A Crown for Cold Silver:

"[E]xceptional writing, a middle-aged warrior heroine, and organically infused gender nonconformity make this fantasy epic a first-rate trailblazer . . . the splendid storytelling, wry humor, and unresolved intrigue will leave readers hungry for the sequels." —Publishers Weekly, starred review

"This brawny revenge fantasy feels like a Tarantino movie: a hugely entertaining mix of adventure and comedy, punctuated by moments of darkness, with clever dialogue and explosive set-pieces . . . a wonderfully rich world, detailed enough to make us feel as though we’re visiting a real place . . . the characters are so splendidly designed that the book is a pure joy to read . . . Marshall has crafted a story that feels fresh and exciting." —Booklist, starred review

“[S]parkles with details that make a fantasy world come alive: echoes of cultures jumbled together in new ways, drug addicts who allow poisonous insects to sting them for a high, and unusual gender roles and depictions.” —Library Journal, starred review

“It's a vibrant book, and a generously lush one. . . . Marshall is simultaneously tender and reverent. It's a virtuoso move, one that shows just how much heart and thought lurk beneath the book's savagery and bleakness. A Crown for Cold Silver drags epic fantasy through the mud — but it does so with wit, wonder and wisdom.” —NPR

“This lusty debut will have you gasping in one breath and laughing in the next with its cast of multicultural characters, gender-bending soldiers, same-sex coupled kings and warrior women of all ages who throw themselves into the fray. By the latter half of the novel, you realize Marshall is playing a long, glorious game.” —Washington Post

“We’ve got epic sagas coming out of our elven ears. But sometimes, a different kind of story appears, plowing through the genre’s tried-and-true tropes to blaze its own path. A Crown for Cold Silver is one such story. . . . a fresh fantasy concoction that goes down easy, and leaves a pleasant burn on the way.” —Barnes & Noble

“Brimming with imagination and invention . . . Fabulous!”
—John Gwynne, author of The Faithful and the Fallen series

“This is my favorite kind of fantasy—alternately irreverent and brutal, with a cast of wonderfully scarred and nasty people. Any fans of Steven Erikson, Mark Lawrence, or Joe Abercrombie will love A Crown for Cold Silver; I’ve just finished it, and I’m already eager for more.”
—Django Wexler, author of The Thousand Names

Length: 544 pages (hc)
Genre: Epic Fantasy
Publication Date: May 2016


World English rights, Orbit
World Dutch rights, Uitgeverij Luitingh-Sijthoff
World German rights, Piper
World Russian rights, Azbooka-Atticus

For all other rights contact The Cooke Agency.

ALEX MARSHALL is a pseudonym for Jesse Bullington, acclaimed author of several novels in different genres including The Sad Tale of the Brothers Grossbart and The Enterprise of Death. He lives in Seattle.