Remington Blakes, a magus from a 21st century where magic powers the world, has a big problem.
His former mentor, William Ford, stranded him in ancient Rome without a memory as to how or why. Well a guy has to eat, so he’s forced to eke out a living as a magus-for-hire among Rome’s plebeians. He calls himself “Natta Magus” since his real name sounds too Germanic to the discriminating Romans.
So when Natta learns that Ford has conjured daemons to kidnap a senator’s young daughter, he jumps at the chance to track Ford down. Natta chases him to Rome’s Germanic frontier to not only rescue the child, but learn the terrible secret behind why he left Natta in Rome.
Natta Magus is getting used to life in Augustan Rome. While it doesn’t have twenty-first century perks like baseball or coffee, at least his unique magical skills can help his Aventine Hill friends.
But the Roman government has noticed his talents, and they call on him when a religious artifact from Rome’s ancient past is stolen. Natta discovers the thief is a magus as powerful as him, which should be impossible in this era. Unlike him, the magus wants Rome to die screaming.
SHADOW MAGUS is the sequel to CITIZEN MAGUS, and book two in the Journals of Natta Magus series, by the author of the Roman sci-fi/alt-history Codex Antonius saga.
Reason and science gave the Recindian Compact wondrous technology like steam engines, telegraphs, and gunpowder. The world had order. It made sense.
Until one night two multi-colored bands of light appeared in the sky, spanning the horizons like rings around the planet. Soon after, unnatural storms assaulted Compact cities. Whispers spread of ghoulish creatures haunting Compact forests. And then a message from a legendary race called the Mystics – ally with us to fight the growing evil or we all perish.
Desperate, the Compact’s leaders turn to disgraced history professor Taran Abraeu. Taran once tried to save his dying daughter in a failed search for the mythic healing magic of the Mystics. His family and colleagues mocked him. Now his research may save them.
When Compact leaders ask Taran to accompany a secret delegation to the Mystic homeland, Taran is swept up in an adventure that forces him to fight a horrifying enemy that only he among all his people can comprehend.
The Andean Commonwealth is a land where humans use their Faith to magically shape the world around them. Warrior-priests called dahkshari keep order by serving as judge, jury, and executioner. And “heretics” strike out into the unknown frontier along Andea’s borders to escape the overcrowded Great Cities and the strict Faith dogmas of the cleric lords.
Raven Byrne is a novice dahkshari about to complete his training. He discovers that a popular Andean war hero named Thallan Brael wants to use an ancient magic called the Reaping Keys to avenge the deaths of his family, who were killed during Andea’s recent war with neighboring Loquath. If Brael finds all three Reaping Keys, he could “reap” the souls of every Loquathi man, woman, and child. The guilty and the innocent would pay for the lives of Brael’s dead family.
With the help of Brael’s niece, Seala Mesalek, Raven embarks on a journey across Andea’s dangerous frontier to stop Brael from using the Reaping Keys to commit genocide. Can Raven learn to put aside his prejudice against heretics, and his doubts in himself, to become the honorable dahkshari Andea needs?
From The New Podler Review of Books: The Last Key is a great fantasy story. Steiner has crafted a world where politics muddy the boundary between good and evil and forces the characters to find a clear path to solve a world-shattering crisis. His characters rise above stereotypes and engage each other with realistic dialogue that comes naturally to them. And they evolve. Although it is only his first novel, The Last Key clearly exemplifies Steiner’s mastery of writing high fantasy. He is one to watch.
A Goblin Seeks a Career Change
What’s a poor goblin to do when a life of pillaging, barn burning, and general mayhem has lost its luster? Find out in this short story about Gorko, a goblin who wants to learn what life is like outside his Cave and Kin.
About Those Probes…
Harry Hindman has been repeatedly abducted by aliens since he was sixteen. Now, with the end of the world approaching, he finds out just what was up with those probes…
A short story with a humorous and somewhat insensitive take on alien abductions.