Hidden Gems Issue #7

Hi folks! It’s been a while since I last published a Hidden Gems feature. I’m back with 6 more books you might want to check out that perhaps haven’t crossed your paths before…


The Look of a King

Tom Dumbrell

Two young men.
One with a dark past, the other with a bright future.

Cyrus is a storyteller frustrated by the mundane trappings of village life, while Prince Augustus struggles to meet high expectations after an upbringing of royal privilege in the bustling capital. As both try to forge their own paths, a royal assassination unexpectedly closes the gap between them. The nation of Easthaven is thrown into war with their oppressive neighbours, and so begins a conflict from which neither can walk away.

Will a young prince finally measure up to his destiny? Will a storyteller create a legend of his own?

Cyrus and Augustus’s lives may seem worlds apart, but perhaps they aren’t so different after all…


The Skin

J E Hannaford

‘You cannot fix this world alone, selkie.’
‘I know. But, when we die, all that is left are shadows of our lives preserved in the memories of those who remain. I plan on leaving an exceptionally long shadow, filled with ripples of moonlight for those I helped, and darker than the worst of nightmares for those who wronged us.’

How far would you go to save your skin?

I’m a selkie, trapped above the waves until I can recover my skin. Humans used to call us seal-wives many years ago – before they broke the planet. I thought that after the warming, less humans would mean less danger. My kind believed our world was finally recovering.
We were wrong.
Up here, the magic is fading and Old Ones like me are being traded as trophies for rich and powerful humans to display in collections.
Without the Old Ones, the magic fades, without magic, the planet dies.
Humankind has gone too far and someone has to put a stop to it, I just wasn’t expecting it to be me.


As the selkie begins her hunt, far to the south on his enormous pleasure ship, Barge, Lord Sal hunts for missing Old Ones with a grand plan to leave his own mark on the world. Icidro and Prince Ulises are searching for them too, and this is a world where money talks louder than morals.


The Thirteenth Hour

Trudie Skies

When the saints fail, the sinners step up.

Cruel gods rule the steam-powered city of Chime, demanding worship and tribute from their mortal subjects. Kayl lost her faith in them long ago, and now seeks to protect vulnerable and downtrodden mortals from their gods’ whims. But when Kayl discovers powers that she didn’t know she had—and destroys a mortal’s soul by accident—she becomes Chime’s most wanted.

Quen’s job was to pursue sinners, until the visions started. Haunted by foreboding images of his beloved city’s destruction, Quen hunts soul-sucking creatures made of aether who prey on its citizens—and Kayl is his number one target.

To ensure Chime’s future, Kayl and Quen must discover the truth of Kayl’s divine abilities before the gods take matters into their own hands.

For a city that bows to cruel gods, it’ll take godless heathens to save it.


The Song of the Sycamore

Edward Cox

On the broken world of Urdezha, Wendal Finn died on the hostile plains of the wasteland, one more casualty in the endless war between the city-dwellers and the clansfolk. But now Wendal has returned to his home city of Old Castle, possessed by something he brought back from the wasteland, something old and best left forgotten. The spirits are calling it Sycamore, an ancient entity out to avenge all victims of murder. And in a city like Old Castle, no one is innocent.

With his mind trapped inside a dead body, Wendal can do nothing but watch as Sycamore turns him into a serial killer. Until the magicians take an interest in him. Preserving Wendal’s body and trapping Sycamore inside it, the magicians now have the perfect assassin at their disposal. Whenever they need an enemy removed, they can set the killer loose on Old Castle. Between these moments of horror, Wendal struggles to piece together the remnants of his former life. He wants to know why his wife died while he was fighting in the war, but no one will tell him, no one wants him to know. Left to his own devices, Wendal picks at the scabs that cover the dark secrets of the magicians and reveals a threat to every city on Urdezha.

The clans are massing. A supernatural storm is raging across the wasteland. It has already destroyed one city, and now it is heading for Old Castle. And the only one who might prevent oblivion is the murderous entity who the spirits are calling Sycamore.


Fid’s Crusade

David H. Reiss

Rage, grief and guilt have fueled Doctor Fid’s endless quest to punish the unworthy and he has left a long trail of blood and misery in his wake. For more than two decades, the sight of the villain’s powered armor has struck fear into the hearts of hero and civilian alike! But when a personal tragedy motivates Doctor Fid to investigate a crime, he uncovers a plot so heinous that even he is taken aback.

Haunted by painful memories and profound guilt, the veteran supervillain must race against time if he is to have any hope of confronting the approaching threat. Every battle takes its toll…but the stakes are too high for retreat to be an option.

In the end, it may take a villain to save the world from those entrusted with the world’s protection.


A Bitter Drink

Azalea Forrest


As the center of trade for the four major races, Bisia is the perfect city for a Dahlseid—a young race of plant folk—like Rowan to experience whatever his heart desires, and his position as ambassador for the Dahlsia makes affording those desires easy. But when he overhears a plot of treason against his people, all of that could end.

But will it?

My people can take care of themselves, Rowan thinks. The humans will give up once they realize the Dahlsia have nothing of value. Because all humans want is gold, right?

They’ll be just fine.

Full of magic and misadventure, A Bitter Drink tangles Rowan in the vines as he’s forced to team up with a pacifist human vagabond, a deadly serious elven spy, and a cheerful dwarf with a strangely calming presence. Together, they’re determined to put a stop to the twisting heinous plot that threatens to destroy everything they love. But Rowan’s heart isn’t in it: he’s a coward and he knows it. Joining them would mean risking his life, and to challenge one’s true colors is a bitter drink indeed.


I hope you found something here you like the look of! Let me know if you’ve added any to your TBR!


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