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Seven Deaths of an Empire by G. R. Matthews – Cover Reveal + Excerpt

Seven Deaths of an Empire, from Solaris, is one of the hotly anticipated debut fantasy novels for 2021. A mix of historical fantasy and politics, with characters you want to succeed and a nasty way of turning everything around just when you think it’s going to go right; a perfect grimdark for when you just need your faith in everything shattered.

And I am delighted to reveal the stunning cover below. – Kate Coe, Editor.


The Emperor is dead. Long live the Empire.

General Bordan has a lifetime of duty and sacrifice behind him in the service of the Empire. But with rebellion brewing in the countryside, and assassins, thieves and politicians vying for power in the city, it is all Bordan can do to protect the heir to the throne.

Apprentice Magician Kyron is assigned to the late Emperor’s honour guard escorting his body on the long road back to the capital. Mistrusted and feared by his own people, even a magician’s power may fail when enemies emerge from the forests, for whoever is in control of the Emperor’s body, controls the succession.

Seven lives and seven deaths to seal the fate of the Empire.


Seven Deaths of an Empire (cover)

This is a cover that screams grimdark. The looming castle pounded by the waves at its feet. The way the edges of the of the images seem to be disintegrating into ethereal smoke. And of course the determined figure staring up at what must seem like an impenetrable fortress.

Their fiery orange and yellow trimmed cloak is the only color in the image that isn’t blue or gray. It brings the character to the forefront and even gives us a peek into their thoughts. They seem to be gathering their energy before the final push to their goal, even though it is not at all certain they will succeed.

The sun is setting, the sky is darkening, the ocean is beating frigid waters against them. But it doesn’t matter. They will either finish their quest, or else their quest will finish them.


And if that’s not enough to whet your appetite, here’s a short exclusive excerpt!


“Yes, Kyron.”

“What will happen now?”

“I don’t know,” Padarn answered in a voice as heavy as Kyron’s heart. “I’m sure it will be fine.”

From the other side of the small fire Elouera snorted.

“You foresee problems, Elouera?” Kyron’s master asked.

“Last succession happened in the city,” she answered, kicking the pole which supported her apprentice’s tent. “One before that was when I was but a child. As I recall, there was a lot of trouble in the city and countryside.”

“Trouble?” Kyron asked, confused. “Doesn’t the eldest son become Emperor?”

“It’s not always that easy,” she replied, stretching her back and groaning in pain. “Don’t give me that look, young man. When you get to my age, you’ll groan too. What was I saying? Oh yes, well, not everyone is happy that an accident of birth makes a man an Emperor. Some feel that just having a few more coins than the soul next to them is enough of a reason to make them Emperor. A few drops of poison, a knife in the dark, or a riot or two… it all whittles the field down.”

“Is that what happened when you were a child?”

“I remember hiding with my mother, Flame keep her, in the cellar while the riots went on,” Elouera said. “In the end, it was the army who made sure the Emperor’s son came to the throne. Don’t you go forgetting that, young Kyron. Control the army and you can impose your will on a country or an empire.”

– – –

Seven Deaths of an Empire by G. R. Matthews will be out in hardback, eBook, and audiobook June 2021. And you can preorder the ebook now! You can learn more about this series and his other works on his website and follow him on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.

For review and press enquiries please contact Hanna Waigh, Fiction – PR & Marketing Manager: hanna.waigh@rebellion.co.uk.

Seven Deaths of an Empire (lg banner)

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