A beautifully written, fever dream of a novel. Pheby’s world building is stunning, and it’s an adventure in itself to discover all the parts of it, as he introduces us to the gothic world of Mordew. Fans of Peake’s Gormenghast will love this first novel of a new series. It has living mud running through its streets, which creatures occasionally crawl out of, dead gods, talking dogs, secret libraries, and dark magic. Excellent addition to the Grimdark genre. — Becky Doherty
Alex Pheby's Mordew launches an astonishingly inventive epic fantasy trilogy.
God is dead, his corpse hidden in the catacombs beneath Mordew.
In the slums of the sea-battered city, a young boy called Nathan Treeves lives with his parents, eking out a meagre existence by picking treasures from the Living Mud and the half-formed, short-lived creatures it spawns. Until one day his desperate mother sells him to the mysterious Master of Mordew.
The Master derives his magical power from feeding on the corpse of God. But Nathan, despite his fear and lowly station, has his own strength—and it is greater than the Master has ever known. Great enough to destroy everything the Master has built. If only Nathan can discover how to use it.
So it is that the Master begins to scheme against him—and Nathan has to fight his way through the betrayals, secrets, and vendettas of the city where God was murdered, and darkness reigns.
Propulsive, compulsively readable, full of unforgettable characters and a talking dog who wants to be a philosopher, Mordew is an epic fantasy strange, new, and terrifyingly alive.
“A treat. ... The world of Alex Pheby’s fourth novel is dizzying... a beguiling splicing of Dickensian social satire and rackety steampunk fantasy. Written with combustible verve.” —The Spectator
“Beautifully rendered...Immersive, tense, full of action.” —Irish Times
“Weird and wonderful, bleak and beautiful...[Mordew] is an extraordinarily vivid piece of world-building.” —Sunday Express
“Think Great Expectations meets Gormenghast, with a cliffhanger ending that hints at a dynamic sequel.” —Literary Review