Book details


Author: Kerstin Hall




About This Book

"There is no doubt in my mind that Kerstin Hall is one of the great imaginative minds writing fantasy today."—Isabel Cañas, USA Today Bestselling author of...

Page Count
On Sale

Book Details

"There is no doubt in my mind that Kerstin Hall is one of the great imaginative minds writing fantasy today."—Isabel Cañas, USA Today Bestselling author of Vampires of El Norte

Sabriel meets Witch King in Nommo Award finalist Kerstin Hall's beguiling new standalone novel. A LitHub most anticipated book of 2024.

We choose our own gods here.

Karys Eska is a deathspeaker, locked into an irrevocable compact with Sabaster, a terrifying eldritch being—three-faced, hundred-winged, unforgiving—who has granted her the ability to communicate with the newly departed. She pays the rent by using her abilities to investigate suspicious deaths around the troubled city she calls home. When a job goes sideways and connects her to a dying stranger with some very dangerous secrets, her entire world is upended.

Ferain is willing to pay a ludicrous sum of money for her help. To save him, Karys inadvertently binds him to her shadow, an act that may doom them both. If they want to survive, they will need to learn to trust one another. Together, they must journey to the heart of a faded empire, all the while haunted by arcane horrors, and the unquiet ghosts of their pasts.

And all too soon, Karys knows her debts will come due.

Imprint Publisher




In The News

A LitHub most anticipated book of 2024

"There is no doubt in my mind that Kerstin Hall is one of the great imaginative minds writing fantasy todayAsunder is a masterful novel, one that is both intimately character-focused and layered with intrigue, eldritch horrors, and high-octane action. It is immersive, inventive, and intensely unputdownable. I was spellbound from the first pages."—Isabel Cañas, USA Today Bestselling author of Vampires of El Norte

"Immensely enjoyable. Kerstin Hall's writing is simply awesome."—Ann Leckie

"Kerstin Hall delivers both demonic horrors and magical wonder with effortless, incredible imagination. Like its maybe-more-than-a-companion and vivid band of adventurers, Asunder will attach to your soul, ease open your tired heart, and take you across the world. This is fantasy like I've never quite read."—Wen-yi Lee, author of The Dark We Know

"Karys Eska keeps making desperate pacts just to stay alive, and every single one of them goes wrong. Asunder is a fast-paced dark fantasy, beautifully, bloodily eldritch, but also a political crime thriller in a setting where even divinity is violently contested. Karys finds all her debts—her gods, her families, and her clients—coming due at once, and the hardest people to trust are the ones closest to her."—Vajra Chandrasekera, author of The Saint of Bright Doors

"Once again, Hall proves herself a worldbuilder of rare talent—Asunder will pull readers into a richly detailed narrative from which it is nearly impossible to surface."—Premee Mohamed, Nebula Award-winning author of Beneath the Rising

"Hall (Second Spear) weaves a fascinating tapestry of mythology and divine politics that she underscores with deep, complicated relationships. . . . This compelling mix of horror, found family, and intricate mythology will appeal to those who loved Winter Tide by Ruthanna Emrys and The City We Became by N.K. Jemisin."—Library Journal, starred review

"Dazzling and eclectic. . .With elements of gut-turning horror, adventure, and romance, this is a powerhouse."—Publishers Weekly, starred review

Praise for Kerstin Hall

“This twisty example of the new weird genre examines love, loss and loyalty, packing skillful world-building and a powerful emotional punch.”—The Guardian on The Border Keeper

“Eerie, suspenseful. . . Cinematically visceral, with pages soaked in sensory detail, atmosphere, and the tense promise of danger.” —Booklist, starred review on Second Spear

“Systemic power structures built on the back of a dead god, ritualistic cannibalism, and magical disease are balanced with emotional themes of love and regret. . . . Hall's solid worldbuilding and strong prose create an utterly gripping novel that blends the boundaries of horror and fantasy.”—Library Journal, starred review on Star Eater

“Written in beautifully agile prose, Star Eater is a layered and incisive examination of power, and Elfreda Raughn its beating heart. Her voice grabbed me from the first page and never let go.”—Rory Power, New York Times bestselling author of Wilder Girls on Star Eater

“Hall paints a lush and haunting world with a terrifying magic that forms the very foundation of society. Gripping and absorbing, Star Eater will leave readers lingering over its themes of heritage and power.”—Andrea Stewart, author of The Bone Shard Daughter on Star Eater

“Gut-churning, wonderful, and strange—a fantasy that knows where the bodies are buried.”—Max Gladstone, coauthor of This Is How You Lose the Time War on Star Eater

“Hall is by turns wry and lush, genuine and venomous.”—Max Gladstone, co-author of This is How You Lose the Time War on The Border Keeper

“The intricate, bloody mechanics of Hall's worldbuilding come together with her perfectly assured prose to make an utterly compelling fantasy, both haunted and haunting.”—A. K. Larkwood, author of The Unspoken Name on Star Eater

"A fantasy forged in the belly of dreams. . . . A singular debut."—Indrapramit Das on The Border Keeper

"Lush prose weaves around a dark heart in this twisty debut from Kerstin Hall. A fantastical wonder on every page, but one coated in blood, death and suffering.”—Neon Yang on The Border Keeper

"Beautifully and vividly imagined. Eerie, lovely, and surreal."—Ann Leckie on The Border Keeper

"Quite but intricate, shored up by rich prose. . . . Tender and profound."—Publishers Weekly on The Border Keeper

"Rich and strange, populated with children transformed into translucent crabs . . . and glittering parties where the wrong word can kill."—Kirkus Reviews on The Border Keeper

“Exciting horror-fantasy about power, violence, and control, and El’s complicated quest to be free of the violent magic system at the sisterhood’s core will keep readers compelled from the first page.”—Booklist on Star Eater

"The mysterious, dark, and often violent worlds envelop readers in a cacophony of mystery and fantasy."—Library Journal on The Border Keeper

“With parallels to a range of mythologies, Hall’s elegant descriptive language evokes a vivid world of lost souls and revenge in this fast-paced fantasy debut.”—Booklist on The Border Keeper

About the Creators