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The Queen of All Crows by Rod Duncan – Cover Reveal and Giveaway

I know Halloween is over, but I bet all you Factioners out there would still love to see another sweet, sweet Angry Robot cover. And I’m positive you would also like an extra special treat afterwards! Well today is your lucky day, because not only do I get to introduce you to some awesome cover art, but also the start of a brand new series by author Rod Duncan!

You may know Duncan from his first series, Fall of the Gas-Lit Empire, which began with The Bullet-Catcher’s Daughter. His new series, The Map of Unknown Things, follows protagonist Elizabeth Barnabus on her next adventure. And while the series will be a great addition to her story, it will also stand on its own making it a good place to start for new readers.

But, but the original series sounds awesome. I need to read it first!” you say. Well I have good news! You can enter to win copies of the entire Fall of the Gas-Lit Empire series at the end of this post! But I’m getting ahead of myself again. Let’s go back and learn a bit about the author himself.

Rod Duncan is the author of four crime novels, including the Riot Trilogy: Backlash (which earned him a nomination for the John Creasey Dagger Award), Breakbeat, and Burnout. His romantic comedy screenplay How to Make a Movie for 43 Pounds was made in 2014, and a second, narrated by Warwick Davis, is currently in post-production.

His steampunk book, The Bullet-Catcher’s Daughter, first in the Gas-Lit Empire series, was nominated for the Philip K Dick Award and also includes Unseemly Science and The Custodian of Marvels. The series is set in the Gas-Lit Empire, a Victorianesque version of Leicester and Lincolnshire, in the aftermath of a Luddite revolution that has reined back technology, returning society to a world powered by steam.

The Bullet-Catcher’s Daughter (series banner)

Sound cool? You bet it does! But what of The Map of Unknown Things and its first book The Queen of All Crows? What does it have in store for Elizabeth Barnabus? Here is the official blurb to give us a peak at what lies ahead:

The year is 2012 but it might as well be the Victorian age. The nations of the world are overseen by the International Patent Office, and its ruthless stranglehold on technology. When airships start disappearing in the middle of the Atlantic, the Patent Office is desperate to discover what has happened. Forbidden to operate beyond the territorial waters of member nations, they send spies to investigate in secret.

One of those spies is Elizabeth Barnabus. She must overcome her dislike of the machinations of her employers, disguise herself as a man, and take to the sea in search of the floating nation of pirates who threaten the world order.

Right, I think that’s enough teasing. Let’s see the cover!

The Queen of All Crows (cover)

I love how much atmosphere cover artist, Will Staehle, was able to convey. Steamships on icy waters, boxed in by threatening clouds. The ships themselves are cold and hard, not softened by the sea and air surrounding them. Something ominous is lurking here, a feeling brought to life by the skull-shaped smoke clouds and the red and black birds haphazardly flying through its eyes. Are they fleeing from the dark vessels? Do they know of a danger the captain standing grimly on the bow of the second ship does not? Or does the captain know and sail on anyway? Either way this book, and its series, promise to be amazing!

The Queen of All Crows is due out January 5th, 2018, which gives everyone a chance to read the first series, before its release! And if you’d like a chance to snag a copy of the full first series (The Bullet-Catcher’s Daughter, Unseemly Science, and The Custodian of Marvels), please let us know in the comments why you think this series sounds awesome! The contest will run through November 9th at 12pm EST. Good luck and thanks again to Angry Robot for giving us all such great stories to share!



  1. Avatar ScarletBea says:

    I love steampunk books, and this series sounds great (I’m not sure why it’s passed me by…).
    A setting in England is always a plus, especially close to where I live! And a female MC? Icing on the cake 🙂

    I don’t just books by their covers… well, maybe a bit: those are amazing (and I love how the new one shows that it’s a new series at the same time as keeping the design of the previous one).

  2. Avatar Tiffany H says:

    I don’t know how I missed this series, so thanks for the heads up so I can start reading! I love steampunk books especially with a female lead.

  3. Avatar Adam Selby-Martin says:

    Steampunk investigations with airships? An evil patent office? How could that not be awesome?!?

  4. Avatar Jude Hope says:

    Steampunk goodness – check!

    Female protagonist bucking the system, taking agency over her won life and (I hope) beating the blokes at their own game – check!

    Mega Awesome cover – check!

    I’ve just gotta have this!

  5. Avatar Marcus says:

    Love the story concept!
    Writing a steampunk inspired novel myself and would love to read some more authors within the similar vein and genre! ??

    And check out that cover art!!! ?

  6. Avatar Robin says:

    This is a fantastic trilogy of books, saw one in my recommend items in my amazon feed & bought I purely on the cover art alone. Would encourage anyone to take the plunge. You wont be disappointed ?

  7. Avatar Maurice R says:

    I’m more familiar with steampunk anime. However, the Gas-Lit Empire series is a captivating set of hardcovers. I especially like the title Unseemly Science, it’s well placed in the trio. Collectively, The series’ blurbs have a Holmesian quality which seems to naturally complement steampunk — an entire series in which to explore Duncan’s aesthetic elixirs sounds awesome to me.

  8. Avatar Al says:

    I haven’t read much steampunk, but I’ve enjoyed some. I’d like to read a really excellent series.

  9. Avatar Jason Baldwin says:

    I’ll be honest, here. This trilogy has been on my Goodreads Want to Read list ever since I saw The Bullet-Catcher’s Daughter a handful of years ago. Why? Angry Robot. Talk about a pedigree.

    Couple that with a fantastic core concept (not to mention Elizabeth herself) and you have my attention.

    So why haven’t I picked it up yet? Any Constant Reader can tell you priorities pop up and push everything around in your list. And now that it’s in a convenient boxed set, it’s going to wind up on my shelf in all it’s box-y glory. Best of all? I have the chance to WIN it and then remind everyone that I won it. 😉

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