In a city built on magic & corruption, his only hope lies with a bloodthirsty gangster.
Disgraced Artificer Randyll Tephius just wants his life back. But his path to redemption runs through a vicious gang boss and a fanatical Alchemist bent on world domination.
Randyll Tephius should’ve known he’d get in trouble. The mystical, energetic substance Vril has ushered in an industrial age monopolized by the elite Alchemists. Ran’s University thesis on newly-discovered oil deposits threatens them enough to see the student Artificer expelled in disgrace. He survives on the streets until being rescued by an unlikely benefactor: aging mob boss Gouger Nebb.
Ran seizes the chance to rebuild his career, using mob money to fund ingenious inventions and allow Nebb to retire as a ‘legitimate businessman.’ But while struggling not to become a gangster himself, Ran’s efforts meet with sabotage, and he maneuvers among rival gangs, aristocrats and sadistic police to expose the perpetrators. The Alchemists who ruined his life emerge from the shadows, now offering wealth and redemption if he’ll switch sides and help them expand their deadly monopoly worldwide. It’s a tempting proposal that means betraying the very man who saved him.
About the Author
By day Eric Lewis is a research scientist weathering the latest rounds of mergers and layoffs and still trying to remember how to be a person again long after surviving grad school. In addition to subjecting his writing to one rejection after another, he can be found gathering to himself as many different sharp and pointies as possible and searching for the perfect hiking trail or archery range. Don’t ask where, because he’s never lived anywhere for longer than five years.
His debut novel The Heron Kings and the sequel The Heron Kings’ Flight are available now. His short fiction has been published in Nature, Cossmass Infinities, Hybrid Fiction, Electric Spec, Allegory, Bards and Sages Quarterly, the anthologies Crash Code, Into Darkness Peering, Best Indie Speculative Fiction Vol. 1, the short story collections As It Seems and Tricks of the Blade and many other venues detailed at ericlewis.ink.