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Only a forgotten prince and a girl from the grasslands can stop the Patttern Master in this ‘compelling and wholly convincing fantasy’ (Ben Aaronovitch, author of The Rivers of London). Written under a pseudonym by a Sunday Times bestselling author and a critically acclaimed writer, this riveting and intense novel’ (Publishers Weekly) is perfect for fans of Mark Lawrence and Brandon Sanderson.

There is a cancer at the heart of the mighty Cerani empire: a plague that first marks its victims, then covers their skin in geometric patterns until they die in agony – or are subsumed, their bodies now in thrall to the Pattern Master. Emperor Beyon’s law is that any hint of the pattern means death, before they become another puppet for the sorcerer to use for his evil ends – to see the Cerani Empire reduced to dust and whispers.

No one but his mother knows the emperor himself is infected, and so she looks to her only other living son, Prince Sarmin, locked in a tower since Beyon ascended the throne. A bride is chosen, a girl from the grasslands quite unused to the politics and intrigue of the imperial court – but she is strong-willed and determined, and she once saw a path in a pattern in the waving grasses: a path that might just save them all.


'The Emperor's Knife is a well-crafted narrative … The story flows well and the writing strikes a great balance between description and action' British Fantasy Journal.
British Fantasy Journal
'The Emperor's Knife is a tale of fear and fluidity, of evolution and ego, and is one that is dictated in a style so visual and penetrating that it will have the Pattern invading your dreams long after the final pages have turned' Fantasy Book Review.
Fantasy Book Review
'A riveting and intense debut ... compelling characterizations will keep fans of grim fantasy entirely enthralled' Publisher's Weekly.
Publisher's Weekly
'sophisticated and thoughtful' SF signal.
SF signal
'It makes for a rich and entertaining storytelling environment, and Williams creates a twisty and enjoyable tale ... this is strongly recommended' SFX.
A must read - it's fresh, it's exciting and [...] looks set to get even better!' Fantasy Faction.
Fantasy Fiction
'This amazing tale of magic and political scheming is a work of high fantasy in every way ... A grown-up and utterly brilliantly well-wrought epic fantasy' Ranting Dragon.
Ranting Dragon
'A fascinating, original and enthralling début that will leave the reader eagerly awaiting the next instalment' The Founding Fields.
Founding Fields
''This novel puts great writing to the service of vivid characters, a compelling plot and a wholly convincing fantasy world' Ben Aaronovitch.
Ben Aaronovitch
A debut with great potential' Stefan Fergus, Civilian Reader.
Civilian Reader
'An ambitious debut novel ... demonstrates great deal of promise in its author' Justin Landon, Staffer's Musings.
Staffer's Musings
'A strong fantasy novel with a fresh setting, rich characters and an enjoyable storyline' Adam Whitehead, The Wertzone.
''Fans of fantasy intrigue will want to try this new author' Library Journal.
Library Journal
'Replete with political intrigue and mystery, The Emperor's Knife is a story I will remember' Tim's Book Reviews.
Tim's Book Reviews
An ambitious, sophisticated and thoughtful debut novel' SF Signal.
SF Signal
'It's a highly complex novel, filled with devious sub-plots, and enough twists to satisfy even the most demanding reader' Popcorn Reads.
Popcorn Reads
'Some wonderfully imaginative ideas that will [...] keep you reading' Book Monkey.
Book Monkey
''Mazarkis Williams ... immediately ranks among the year's most exciting new fantasy authors' Fantasy Book Critic.
Fantasy Book Critic

Tower and Knife Trilogy