book cover of The Unspoken Name
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The Unspoken Name

(2020)
(The first book in the Serpent Gates series)
A novel by

 
 
A. K. Larkwood's The Unspoken Name is a stunning debut fantasy about a young priestess sentenced to die, who at the last minute escapes her fate; only to become an assassin for the wizard who saved her.

What if you knew how and when you will die?

Csorwe does—she will climb the mountain, enter the Shrine of the Unspoken, and gain the most honored title: sacrifice.

But on the day of her foretold death, a powerful mage offers her a new fate. Leave with him, and live. Turn away from her destiny and her god to become a thief, a spy, an assassin—the wizard's loyal sword. Topple an empire, and help him reclaim his seat of power.

But Csorwe will soon learn—gods remember, and if you live long enough, all debts come due.

“In the vein of Le Guin's magnificent Tombs of Atuan—if Arha the Eaten One got to grow up to be a swordswoman mercenary in thrall to her dubious wizard mentor. I love this book so much."—Arkady Martine, author of A Memory Called Empire

"
I cannot recommend it enough." -- Tamsyn Muir, author of Gideon the Ninth



At the Publisher's request, this title is being sold without Digital Rights Management Software (DRM) applied.




Genre: Fantasy

Praise for this book

"A truly wonderful book . . . grabbed my attention on the first page and wouldn’t let go. Fresh, exciting and new, with fascinating characters, shifting alliances, impossible odds, breathtaking settings, and shocking twists." - Dyrk Ashton

"A fun, fresh new take on the traditional fantasy quest and an adventure I couldn't put down!" - S A Chakraborty

"An astounding debut, written with skill and stunning assurance . . . From its flawless first page to its bittersweet last, The Unspoken Name is unlike anything I’ve read before." - Nicholas Eames

"Takes all the tropes of fantasy – orcs and epic quests, dead gods and undead souls, daring rescues and last-second escapes – and spins them into something wild and new. A dizzy, delicious debut." - Alix E Harrow

"What a glorious book! Richly detailed, enthralling, and extraordinary, with brilliant nods to such luminaries as Ursula K. Le Guin and Diana Wynne Jones . . . Fabulous, in every meaning of the word." - Jenn Lyons

"A.K. Larkwood’s The Unspoken Name is an epic fantasy in the vein of Le Guin’s magnificent Tombs of Atuan – if Arha the Eaten One got to grow up to be a swordswoman mercenary . . . The action is fast-paced and emotionally compelling; the magic is dangerous, beautiful, and utterly compromising. I love this book so much." - Arkady Martine

"An unexpected and new take on classic orcs 'n' swords fantasy. Stylish, classy, and timeless - but with racing stripes and an inbuilt camera. I cannot recommend it enough." - Tamsyn Muir

"Larkwood's debut is a fresh, fun take on the genre, packed with smart prose, badass characters, and fantastic worldbuilding. A necessary addition for any fantasy lover's collection." - Tara Sim

"The Unspoken Name has everything – spine-tingling prose, gorgeous worldbuilding, powerful older women, found family (but it's terrible), giant snakes, ancient tombs, dead gods, and true love. It's fantastic. I read it in one sitting." - Emily Tesh

"The Unspoken Name is the best kind of modern fantasy – it feels totally fresh, it's full of satisfyingly weird gods and frightening magic; plus it's stuffed with the sort of characters you'll either want to be friends with or run screaming from. I loved this book!" - Jen Williams


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