Books
Gemma Files

A Rope of Thorns

The second book in the “top-notch horror-fantasy saga,” following A Book of Tongues, is “a spectacular blend of Aztec religion and Western gunslinging (Publishers Weekly).
Welcome to Hex City. Population: magicians. Thanks to hexslinger “Reverend” Asher Rook, sorcerers now have a sanctuary where they can live and work in peace. But a storm is coming—a tempest known as Chess Pargeter.
Infuriated by his former lover Rook’s betrayal and sacrificed in the name of the Mayan goddess who is Rook’s current consort, Chess leaves a trail of death and destruction in his wake. Caught up in Chess’s crusade is Pinkerton-agent-turned-outlaw Ed Morrow and a young woman spiritualist. But there are more than Chess’s own demons to be reckoned with, including a resurrected lawman with a bone to pick—and a final judgment to deliver . . .
“Paints a stark, vivid, and gory picture of the ‘wild west’ in the years following the Civil War . . . Files’s latest is not for the squeamish but should delight fans of gothic Western fantasy and Central American myths.” —Library Journal
“Files’ prose remains a delight to read, the cadence of her sentences captures the wild west setting perfectly, and the images she paints are a fascinating mix of frontier practicality and magic bred surrealism.” —The Turned Brain
Praise for A Book of Tongues
“Boundary-busting horror–fantasy . . . This promising debut fully delivers both sizzling passions and dark chills.” —Publishers Weekly
“Ridiculously vivid . . . A magic-riddled, horror-strewn West with hexes running around wrecking reality and a spectrum of queer characters.” —Tor.com
“Truly one-of-a-kind: violent, carnal and creepy.” —Fangoria
399 printed pages
Original publication
2020

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