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Thieves of Fate

After seven years as a black-market courier, thirteen-year-old Rowena Downshire has carried danger under her tattered coat dozens of times. But when her next burden is a book that writes itself, Rowena’s filthy hands hazard more than a constable’s cuffs.

They carry the fate of humanity.

Corma is a city of iron and steam, its sooty streets a maze Rowena runs for a smuggler who pays her in beatings as often as sovereigns. For years, she’s struggled to settle the debt that condemned her mother to Oldtemple prison, praying against Reason for a bit of clink, and a lot of luck.

A different fortune finds Rowena when a harried scholar thrusts his research text into her hands, desperate to evade the killers pursuing its secrets.  This book records the lives of the Nine:  the true subjects of the Creator’s Grand Experiment, the unsuspecting souls whose actions will determine humanity’s deliverance or doom.  Access to such a valuable asset entangles Rowena in a ruthless nobleman’s scheme to derail divine judgment.  Now a witness to a dangerous conspiracy, her final wage may be the sharpened steel slipped in her back.

To survive, Rowena must find allies.  Cracking the courage to put herself in another’s hands proves harder than jimmying the locks of Oldtemple – yet suspicion is a luxury she can no longer afford.

Not when the noose readied for Rowena ties up more than loose ends.

Not when her every step toward the book is a step closer to secrets no one was meant to know.


The Nine, the first novel in the Thieves of Fate trilogy, is set in a world where

theology is a science,

three sentient species live in an uneasy truce,

and the fate of humanity rests on the shoulders

of nine unsuspecting individuals.

The Fall

Eight months ago, Rowena Downshire was a half-starved black market courier darting through the shadows of Corma’s underside. Today, she’s a (mostly) respectable clerk in the Alchemist’s infamous apothecary shop, the Stone Scales, and certainly the last girl one would think qualified to carry the weight of the world on her shoulders a second time. […]

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Praise for THE NINE

“[An] intriguing debut of nearly flawless writing. . . . A gritty series opener.” —Publishers Weekly “The Nine is a tense, fast-moving and twisty caper, with divided loyalties, creepy monsters, and grand mysteries. More please!” —Max Gladstone, author of the Hugo Award-nominated Craft Sequence series   “George R. R. Martin and China Miéville have nothing on […]

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Chapter 3.   It might have been the heat of the lecture hall or the swirling light of alchemical globes, shaded to accommodate the lamp film projector. Or it might have been the susurrus of conversation slithering among the auditorium seats. It very likely was the presenter’s Trimeeni accent, a syrupy drawl spooning out a […]

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The Nine

A book that some would kill for…

Black market courier Rowena Downshire is doing everything she can to stay off the streets and earn enough to pay her mother’s way to freedom. But an urgent and unexpected delivery leads her face to face with a creature out of nightmares.

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