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Mazarkis Williams

Mazarkis Williams is a writer with roots in both the US and the UK, having worked in and been educated in both countries. Each year is divided between Boston and Bristol and a teleport booth is always top of the Christmas wish-list. Mazarkis has degrees in history and physics, and a diverse set of interests accumulated while mispending a hectic youth. Cooking has always been a passion, and in addition to feeding six children and a sizeable herd of cats, Mazarkis regularly caters for crowds of permanently hungry friends.

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Tower and Knife

Tower and Knife — (2011-2013) Publisher: There is a cancer at the heart of the mighty Cerani Empire: a plague that marks each victim with a fragment of a greater design. Geometric patterns spread across the skin, until the victim dies in agony or becomes a Carrier, doing the bidding of an evil intelligence. The lost prince Sarmin, the emperor’s only surviving brother, lies locked in a hidden room. As the pattern draws closer to the palace he is at last remembered: now he awaits a bride, Mesema, a Windreader from the northern plains. She is accustomed to riding free across the grasslands and finds the Imperial Court stifling, but she soon realizes the politicking is not a game. It is in deadly earnest. Eyul, the imperial assassin, is burdened by the atrocities he has committed. As commanded, he bears the emperor’s Knife to the desert in search of a cure for the pattern-markings. As long-planned conspiracies boil over into open violence, the enemy moves towards victory. Now only three people stand in his way: a lost prince, a world-weary killer, and a young girl from the steppes who saw a path in a pattern once, among the waving grasses.

fantasy and science fiction book reviewsfantasy and science fiction book reviewsThe Tower Broken

The Emperor’s Knife: Impressive debut

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The Emperor’s Knife by Mazarkis Williams

The Emperor’s Knife first came to my attention thanks to an interview I did with Night Shade author Teresa Frohock. Because of Teresa’s glowing comments about the book and Night Shade’s recent track record with debut authors, expectations were high for The Emperor’s Knife, and for the most part, Mazarkis Williams’ debut lived up to those expectations. What impressed me the most about The Emperor’s Knife were the characters, specifically the main POVs of Prince Sarmin, the assassin Eyul, the Lord High Vizier Tuvaini, and the Felt bride Mesema.

At a glance, these characters may seem stereotypical — Sarmin possesses a unique magical ability, Eyul is torn between his duty to the emperor and guilt for those he... Read More