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‘Brilliantly told and immediately engrossing, filled with magic, mistakes, and their merciless consequences’

Andrea Stewart, author of The Bone Shard Daughter

‘A captivating epic of conflicted loyalties and dangerous ambition’ Anthony Ryan, New York Times bestselling author

‘This is one of the best debuts I’ve ever read’ Novel Notions

‘Exquisitie . . . Greathouse’s characterisation, his prose, and worldbuilding are an absolute triumph’ The Fantasy Hive

My name is Wen Alder. My name is Foolish Cur.

All my life, I have been torn between two legacies: that of my father, whose roots trace back to the right hand of the Emperor. That of my mother’s family, who reject the oppressive Empire and embrace the resistance.

I can choose between them – between protecting my family, or protecting my people – or I can search out a better path . . . a magical path, filled with secrets, unbound by empire or resistance, which could shake my world to its very foundation.

But my search for freedom will entangle me in a war between the gods themselves . . .

The first book in the Pact and Pattern series. Fans of Robin Hobb, Brandon Sanderson’s Mistborn and R.F. Kuang’s The Poppy War will love the magic running through every page.


An original fantasy filled with magic and culture, the story of a character torn between two names, two loyalties, and two definitions of good and evil
Kevin J. Anderson, New York Times bestselling author of Spine of the Dragon
A great coming of age story about a foolish boy who seeks to unravel the secrets of magic and maybe do something good in the process. I absolutely loved it
Nick Martell, author of Kingdom of Liars
Set in a fantastical world of magic with a rich history, this novel fits beautifully into its genre while also addressing some failings of the genre by turning them on their head
Dawn Vogel, History That Never Was
J.T. Greathouse's debut is going to make waves . . . without a doubt one of the best books I've read in a long time
Jon Ficke
Wen Alder's pursuit for forbidden knowledge, while having to choose a future that will either make his parents proud or honor his legacy makes for an addicting journey full of magic
Clay Harmon
A spellbinding debut with terrific characterisations, immersive world-building, and prose that swept me away . . . hands down the best debut of the year. Scratch that; this is one of the best debuts I've ever read
Novel Notions
An excellent debut
Aspects of Me
An excellent mix of classic and modern fantasy with a grimdark undertone of despair
Grimdark Magazine
Sublime prose and pin-sharp characterisation combine to produce a captivating epic of conflicted loyalties and dangerous ambition
Anthony Ryan, New York Times bestselling author
Well written, thought provoking and enjoyable, The Hand of the Sun King is an impressive debut novel that left me eager for more
Lisbeth Campbell, author of The Vanished Queen
A sublime debut fantasy novel set in a unique world that, through the eyes of Wen Alder, shares the delightful intricacies of world-building
Eternal Bookcase
[The Hand of the Sun King] creates a rich and intricate world with magic, politics, ambition and resistance
Maria Haskins
Exquisite . . . Greathouse's characterisation, his prose, and worldbuilding are an absolute triumph
The Fantasy Hive
The Hand of the Sun King is not the gentle story of a boy's rise to power; instead, it digs its fingernails into the layers of an empire that would consume and erase half that boy's identity. Brilliantly told and immediately engrossing, filled with magic, mistakes, and their merciless consequences
Andrea Stewart, author of The Bone Shard Daughter
Sometimes a book comes along that is truly special. J.T. Greathouse is about to take Patrick Rothfuss's crown with The Hand of the Sun King. It's a beautiful tale about someone trying to discover the magic within themselves, in a world where they'll never truly fit in. Be prepared to be swept along on a unique journey where the consequences of choice echo through an empire
Mike Shackle, author of We Are The Dead
A coming-of-age narrative with the energy of a modern fantasy and the gravity of a classic, sure to hit with readers who like their prose vivid and their world-building lovingly textured
M.L. Wang, author of The Sword of Kaigen
Loyalties relentlessly tested, weighty consequences, a cast of meaningful, well-developed characters, and a lush world that carefully considers its lore, economic struggles, and religious history, it's easy for me to call The Hand of the Sun King one of my top reads of 2021
Fantasy Book Review
A well-realised philosophical meditation sprinkled with fun and delightfully clever moments with a strong fantasy atmosphere
A Quill to Live
A staggering fantasy debut with poetic prose and near-flawless characterisation
Entertaining, richly imagined and full of conflict
Anna Stephens
Greathouse casts an engrossing spell, establishing himself as an exciting new voice in epic fantasy
Well written, well-paced, and thoroughly enjoyable to read. I loved it. Fantastic writing, and it's a 10/10 from me
Al-Alhambra Book Reviews
I cannot praise this book highly enough, it's just brilliant and shows me why I love this genre so much
Fantasy Book Nerd
This is the closest I've ever come to finding something comparable to The Name of the Wind . . . This is undoubtedly my book of the year and could even be one of my favourite books of all time
The Chronicler
This is an elegantly written, dramatic story of the terrible cost of unexamined ambition and the impossibility of opting out from a conflict you've been born into.
Morning Star