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‘I loved these characters, even though I knew it was going to hurt. Heart-wrenching. Poignant. Lovely’ – Brandon Sanderson

Is any price too high for freedom?

A generation has passed since the Norlanders’ great ships bore down on Shadar, and the Dead Ones slashed and burned the city into submission, enslaving the Shadari people.

Now the Norlander governor is dying and, as his three alienated children struggle against the crushing isolation of their lives, the Shadari rebels spot their opening and summon the Mongrel, a mysterious mercenary warrior who has never yet lost a battle. But her terms are unsettling: she will name her price only after the Norlanders have been defeated.

A single question is left for the Shadari: is there any price too high for freedom?

‘Hang on for a wild ride!’ – Gail Z. Martin, author of Chronicles of the Necromancer


I loved these characters, even though I knew it was going to hurt. Heart-wrenching. Poignant. Lovely
Brandon Sanderson
Manieri's debut, the first of a projected epic fantasy series, presents a striking world . . . Her characters are passionate and memorable, lending a personal touch to a complex tale of clashing cultures and philosophies
Library Journal (starred review)
Her ability to insert beautiful descriptions into an action-packed scene is certainly the mark of a talented writer and the series only looks set to become more exciting as the story progresses from this strong beginning
British Fantasy Society
We were hooked right from the prologue ... Manieri clearly has a talent for intricate plots
Starburst Magazine
Intrigue, betrayal and old rivalries play out against the fires of revolution. Hang on for a wild ride!
Gail Z. Martin, author of Chronicles of the Necomancer
Highly imaginative
Picture the fluent prose and flawless world-building of an author such as Trudi Canavan combined with the epic plot and character lists of an author like Martin and you won't be far off . . . Her ability to contrast beauty with brutality, hope with despair and love with hate will secure this novel as one of the year's finest debuts
Fantasy-Faction on The Shattered Kingdoms
Engaging, and addictive . . . Manieri is a strong new voice in fantasy, and definitely one to watch in the future. Recommended for all fans of epic fantasy
Civilian Reader
A truly original work . . . A dashing first novel, highlighted by an intricate plot well-served by complex and unpredictable characters, and an overall theatrical quality that sets the book apart
Fantasy Book Critic
A truly exciting debut that suggests this is just the tip of a potential 'fantasy classic' iceberg
Fantasy Book Review
It is a wonderful epic fantasy tale, with a close personal feel
A Fantastic Librarian
Delightfully dark and delicious ... one of my tips to watch this year in the Fantasy debuts categories
Falcata Times
Manieri has created an interesting world, peopled with strange but relatable groups, and is addressing some important issues around colonisation and the way that people are controlled through her storylines
Adventures with Words
One of the most exciting and original pieces of fantasy I've ever read
Book Monkey
Plot twists, romantic entanglements, and political rivalries make for lots of drama in this dense, complicated series setup
Publisher’s Weekly