So after lying incessantly about book 4’s release date (OK, not lying, just really bad at estimating time), the eagle has landed, the shoe has dropped, the lady with the horned helmet has sung, or whatever metaphor you want to use. Book 4, “Secrets of the Land” is finally out. It’s a giant relief. And while I won’t compare it to giving birth because (I assume) nothing compares to that, it does feel like a giant weight has left my body. I hope you like the cover, shown above, which is the product of an amazingly talented artist named Anders from Sweden.

I’ve had many people over the last year asking me when it’s coming out, and my apologies for repeatedly underestimating dates—things invariably take longer than I think. But those requests kept my sails full, and kept me working on the project. Because writing a series can feel lonely and pointless at times, as it’s just you against a self-imposed deadline. You decline plans with friends or family because you only have 1 afternoon a week to write, and that afternoon becomes precious. But declining social activities too much isn’t great for mental health, so you constantly teeter between aching to write and aching to do something else. That is the lot of the writer. But what I’m trying to say here is that the people who’ve pushed me to finish and asked me when the next one’s coming out are the ones who keep me centered and focused on writing for all those days when I think I should be doing something else. This is a long-winded way of saying thanks to my readers, and anyone else who urged me to keep going.

While at one time I thought Book 4 would end the Spellgiver series, I came to realize that I could not fit everything that needs to happen into one book. Thus, “Secrets of the Land” is the penultimate novel in the series, with book 5 “Mage and Prophet” the final installment. All good things must come to an end, and book 5 will definitely be the final.

I am not doing any advertising until the series is done, so all the dribs and drabs book sales I’ve gotten over the past year or two are wholly organic. I don’t know how people find out about the Spellgiver series in the absence of advertising (word of mouth?), but I’m grateful for that too.

As we left off in book 3, “To Flee a King”, Larin, Sirte, and Rhelas had successfully escaped Vandir’s clutches on their way to find the last Carver on earth. They stumbled through the jungles of the Sudmen to the Southern Coast, where they met Trana, who was waiting there for them. Book 4, “Secrets of the Land” starts with Larin, Rhelas, Sirte, and Trana entering the freewheeling port of Freetown, a den of brigands, murderers, and thieves. Their goal is to find passage across the Southern Ocean to seek out the last Carver on earth. There they’ll try to convince it to release an ancient race once known as “demons”—because the demons’ release will finally banish the Old Gods from the plane of mankind. But long before they can even think about such a feat, they first have to find a Captain willing to brave the dangers of the Southern Deeps. It is a journey that will take them past enormous and savage indigen creatures, mysterious cities built on old carver ruins, and luscious tropical isles with statues to an extinct monstrous race.  Yet the biggest danger of all may be the ship of strangely powerful pirates they find themselves on, a group of sailors who’ve purchased bodily enhancements from the Celghuffer priests of Tenictlan. The only thing that can keep Trana, Sirte, and Rhelas alive is Larin and his alter-ego Emderian, who must navigate treachery, guile, and violence to reach the far shore…

And also in book 4, when a meeting between two kings doesn’t go as planned, a Young Scout named Tirla must buck orders from her sovereign to do what she knows is right. But twists and turns in her fate take her to a wholly different place. Can she pivot far enough and fast enough to save her empire?

You can purchase book 4 here:

Secrets of the Land on Amazon

I am already working on Book 5, and about 20,000 words in. It’s coming! I hope to finish in 2023, but since my estimates have been violently wrong so far, I’m using 2024 as my final goal. I will talk about what happens in book 5 in a later post.

Thanks for reading!