The Hand of the Sun King

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What to expect

‘A captivating epic of conflicted loyalties and dangerous ambition’ Anthony Ryan, New York Times bestselling author

‘Brilliantly told and immediately engrossing, filled with magic, mistakes, and their merciless consequences’ Andrea Stewart, author of The Bone Shard Daughter

An exciting new voice in epic fantasy’ SFX

‘This is one of the best debuts I’ve ever read’ Novel Notions


My name is Wen Alder. My name is Foolish Cur.

All my life, I have been torn between two legacies: that of my father, whose roots trace back to the right hand of the Emperor. That of my mother’s family, who reject the oppressive Empire and embrace the resistance.

I can choose between them – between protecting my family, or protecting my people – or I can search out a better path . . . a magical path, filled with secrets, unbound by empire or resistance, which could shake my world to its very foundation.

But my search for freedom will entangle me in a war between the gods themselves . . .

The first book in the Pact and Pattern series. Fans of Robin Hobb, Brandon Sanderson’s Mistborn and R.F. Kuang’s The Poppy War will love the magic running through every page.

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‘J.T. Greathouse is about to take Patrick Rothfuss’s crown’ Mike Shackle

‘A coming-of-age narrative with the energy of a modern fantasy and the gravity of a classic’ M.L. Wang

‘Entertaining, richly imaginative and full of conflict’ Anna Stephens

‘An absolute triumph’ The Fantasy Hive

‘A staggering fantasy debut’ FanFiAddict

Critics Review

  • Sublime prose and pin-sharp characterisation combine to produce a captivating epic of conflicted loyalties and dangerous ambition

    Anthony Ryan, New York Times bestselling author
  • A spellbinding debut with terrific characterisations, immersive world-building, and prose that swept me away . . . hands down the best debut of the year. Scratch that; this is one of the best debuts I’ve ever read

    Novel Notions
  • The Hand of the Sun King is not the gentle story of a boy’s rise to power; instead, it digs its fingernails into the layers of an empire that would consume and erase half that boy’s identity. Brilliantly told and immediately engrossing, filled with magic, mistakes, and their merciless consequences

    Andrea Stewart, author of The Bone Shard Daughter
  • A great coming of age story about a foolish boy who seeks to unravel the secrets of magic and maybe do something good in the process. I absolutely loved it

    Nick Martell, author of Kingdom of Liars
  • Well written, thought provoking and enjoyable, The Hand of the Sun King is an impressive debut novel that left me eager for more

    Lisbeth Campbell, author of The Vanished Queen
  • An original fantasy filled with magic and culture, the story of a character torn between two names, two loyalties, and two definitions of good and evil

    Kevin J. Anderson, New York Times bestselling author of Spine of the Dragon

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