An absorbing and original epic fantasy with rich world-building and a wry take on genre conventions from a Betty Trask Award-winning author.
Inar is Master Builder for the Kingdom of Mishig-Tenh. Life is hard after the Kingdom lost the war against the League of Free Cities. Doubly so since his father betrayed the King and paid the ultimate price. And now the King’s terrifying chancellor and torturer in chief has arrived and instructed Inar to go and work for the League. And to spy for him. And any builder knows you don’t put yourself between a rock and a hard place. Far away Anton, Blade Priest for Craithe, the God Mountain, is about to be caught up in a vicious internal war that will tear his religion apart. Chosen from infancy to conduct human sacrifice, he is secretly relieved that the practice has been abruptly stopped. But an ancient enemy has returned, an occult conspiracy is unfolding, and he will struggle to keep his hands clean in a world engulfed by bloodshed. In a series of constantly surprising twists and turns that take the reader through a vividly imagined and original world full of familiar tensions and surprising perspectives on old tropes, Inar and Anton find that others in their story may have more influence on their lives, on the future of the League and on their whole world than they, or the reader imagined.
THE LAST BLADE PRIEST won The Red Tentacle Kitschie Award in 2023.
“This gripping novel demonstrates the value of thoughtful, well-planned worldbuilding.”
- Publishers Weekly
"Will Wiles embraces and transforms the archetypes of epic fantasy with impressive ingenuity. Vivid, vital, humane and deftly told, THE LAST BLADE PRIEST’s all-too-human characters and its world of dying gods, berserker cults and devastating superhuman powers will haunt your imagination long after you’ve turned the last page." - Paul McAuley
"A novel of marvellous scope and inventiveness: Fantasy is rarely as smart, immersive or scintillant as this." - Adam Roberts
"...a fascinatingly-constructed tale from an author who plainly knows what he’s doing....a deft and intelligent, immaculately constructed epic fantasy with characters as human as the Mountain is cold. Absolutely recommended." - British Fantasy Society
"Wiles has built an immersive world with nuanced inter-group dynamics and humane characters." - Literary Review
"...well paced and fun, so you will not want it to end." - SFX Magazine
"...cleverly structured and stylish..." - Locus Magazine