“Blending magic and history, strong characters and gripping action,
E. C. Ambrose brings a startlingly unique voice to our genre.”
– D. B. Jackson, author of Thieftaker
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|Can’t wait? Download the first three chapters of Elisha Mancer.
Autumn, 1347. . .terror stalks Europe as necromancers conspire to topple kings, corrupt an empire and undermine the Holy Church itself.
Armed with a healer’s skill and a witch’s art, Elisha hurries to the Continent to warn the Holy Roman Emperor and discover how to stop the mancers’ plans. But his enemies lurk in markets and churches, abducting innocents to torture and kill, using these slayings to open a passage through the Valley of the Shadow of Death. If he fights for a single life, Elisha may well become the next victim. With his affinity for both life and death, Elisha is by turns claimed for a savior, or for one of the very enemy he faces.
When he uncovers a scheme to lure thousands of pilgrims to Rome, Elisha’s hunt takes him from the opulent empire to the ruined Eternal City: abandoned by the Pope, shattered by baronial squabbles, and now ruled by a madman. At least, on the surface above. In the catacombs lurks an entirely different sort of leader, a master of death more powerful than Elisha himself.
A one-eyed priest, a seductive traitor, a stern rabbi, a merchant of bones—how can he tell friend from foe when he no longer recognizes himself? Every blow Elisha strikes draws him toward the wrong side of the battle. When the enemy retaliates in blood, he fights to keep his humanity lest he be consumed by the spreading darkness and become…Elisha Mancer.
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|Elisha was once a lowly barber-surgeon, cutting hair and stitching wounds for poor peasants like himself in 14th century London. But that was before: before he was falsely accused of murder, and sent to die in an unjust war. Before he discovered his potential for a singularly deadly magic. Before he was forced to embrace his gifts and end the war…by using his newfound abilities to kill the tyrannical king.
So who is Elisha now? The beautiful witch Brigit, his former mentor, claims him for the magi, all those who have grasped the secrets of affinity and knowledge to manipulate mind and matter, and who are persecuted for it. Duke Randall, the man who first rose against the mad King Hugh, has accepted him as a comrade and ally in the perilous schemes of the nobility. Somehow, he has even become a friend to Thomas, both the rightful king and, something finer, a good man.
But there is another force at work in the world, a shadowy cabal beyond the might of kings and nobles, that sees its opportunity in the chaos of war and political turmoil—and sees its mirror in Elisha’s indivisible connection with Death. For these necromancers, Elisha is the ultimate prize, and the perfect tool.
When the necromancers’ secret plans begin to bear black fruit and King Thomas goes missing, England teeters on the brink of a hellish anarchy that could make the previous war look like a pleasant memory. Elisha may be the only man who can stop it. But if he steps forward and takes on the authority he is offered to save his nation, is he playing right into the mancers’ hands?
Why does it seem like his enemies are the ones most keen to call him Elisha Rex?
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|Download the first three chapters of Elisha Magus.
In Elisha Magus, the barber-surgeon, feared and hunted for his spectacular regicide, finds himself under the protection of a duke, and offered the duke’s daughter, Rosalynn, in marriage. When Elisha escorts Rosalynn to a retreat in the New Forest, he hopes to recover the dread talisman stolen by his lover and teacher, Brigit, after the battle. Elisha learns more about the shadowy nature of witches and the truth of his own power: that he has become so close to Death that he is indivisible from it—a power that Brigit is desperate to learn. Does his knowledge make him a necromancer, feeding on the fear and pain of others?
When he befriends the discredited Prince Thomas, Elisha has the chance to forge a more just nation, but his enemies grow stronger and more vicious, wielding the power of death to craft a reign of horrors that will blacken the future of England—and maybe the world.
“”ELISHA BARBER is an edgy, vivid story with engaging characters
and a well-drawn setting that’s almost, but not quite, our own
hsitory. I was drawn right in, quick as a slash of a barber’s razor.”
– Kevin J. Anderson, New York Times bestselling author
of CLOCKWORK ANGELS
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|Download the first three chapters of Elisha Barber.
Begin the adventure and order your copy of Elisha Barber, first in The Dark Apostle series, from DAW Books.
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The middle ages had its princes, to be sure, but let’s not forget that it was Machiavelli who pegged their character. Nobility, knights, oaths and swords mean glory to the modern reader…but to the common man of the medieval era, they meant fear, pain, treachery. Magic is not a means to greater glory—unless you crave the glory of the flame.
This is not your father’s fantasy world.
From the dirty streets of fourteenth century London, a hero walks. He does not stride. He does not mount his destrier and ride fiercely off to embrace his destiny. Beneath the burden of tragedy, Elisha walks. He is no king. He is no fool. He is, in fact, a barber. And a haunted man.
There will be sorcery, swordfights, and secrets. There will be honor, glory, and sacrifice. Oh, yes, there will be sacrifice.
England in the fourteenth century: a land of poverty and opulence, prayer and plague, witchcraft and necromancy. Where the medieval barber-surgeon Elisha seeks redemption as a medic on the front lines of an unjust war, and is drawn into the perilous world of sorcery by a beautiful young witch. In the crucible of combat, utterly at the mercy of his capricious superiors, Elisha must attempt to unravel conspiracies both magical and mundane, as well as come to terms with his own disturbing new abilities. But the only things more dangerous than the questions he’s asking are the answers he may reveal…