Pale Lights

Vesper is a world built on the ruins of older ones: in the dark of that colossal cavern no one has ever known the edges of, empires rise and fall like flickering candles.

Civilization huddles around pits of the light that falls through the cracks in firmament, known by men as the Glare. It is the unblinking stare of the never-setting sun that destroyed the Old World, the cruel mortar that allows survival far below. Few venture beyond its cast, for in the monstrous and primordial darkness of the Gloam old gods and devils prowl as men made into darklings worship hateful powers. So it has been for millennia, from the fabled reign of the Antediluvians to these modern nights of blackpowder and sail. And now the times are changing again.

The fragile peace that emerged after the last of the Succession Wars is falling apart, the great powers squabbling over trade and colonies. Conspiracies bloom behind every throne, gods of the Old Night offer wicked pacts to those who would tear down the order things and of all Vesper only the Watch has seen the signs of the madness to come. God-killers whose duty is to enforce the peace between men and monsters, the Watch would hunt the shadows. Yet its captain-generals know the strength of their companies has waned, and to meet the coming doom measures will have to be taken.

It will begin with Scholomance, the ancient school of the order opened again for the first time in over a century, and the students who will walk its halls.

Book I: Lost Things

Tristan Abrascal is a thief, one of many making their living under the perpetual twilight of the greatest city in all of Vesper: Sacromonte. Quick wit and a contract with a capricious goddess have always kept him one step ahead, until one night he crosses a line by accident that burns all the bridges he had left. But not all is lost, for his mentor offers a way out of peril that turns out to be more than a simple escape.

It is also an opportunity to get even with the infanzones, the nobles he’s lived under all his life, and it so happens that Tristan has a full ledger’s worth of scores to settle with them.

Lady Angharad Tredegar has fled halfway across the world, leaving behind a ruin of a life: her family butchered by a ruthless enemy, their estate torched and their nobility revoked. Yet no matter how far she flees the blades of assassins follow, and she finds herself growing desperate for any protection. She has one relative left to call on, her estranged uncle in Sacromonte, but she finds that the safety he offers comes at a cost.

Angharad has sworn revenge, however, and her honour will allow for no compromise. She will do what she must to survive so that one day bloody vengeance can be visited upon her enemies.

The paths of the two take them to the doorstep of the Watch, but for desperate souls like them enrolment is a lost cause. They will have to do it the hard way instead, by surviving the trials on the isle known as the Dominion of Lost Things.

Where every year many go, and few return.