A Dream of Shadows
Author: Peter Eliott
Publisher: Further Press
Release Date: November 1, 2022
Series: Book One of The Shadow Bidders Series
Genre: Dark Fantasy, Dark Thriller
“It’s strange the things you remember. When I call up my story, it always drags with itself a smell, a distinct smell, one that intermittently haunts my memories and dreams with the ghostly provocation of a dead lover’s perfume. Ironically, it is the smell of rain.
The thing is, it wasn’t raining that twilit evening when I walked away from my moored skiff, crossed the sodden ground of the riverbank, and entered an old, decrepit boathouse that would become the very place where my fortunes changed forever. In fact, the pervasive smell at that time was the usual sulfuric reek of the river Grells, admixed most disagreeably with the stench of urine from the boathouse. The threat of rain wasn’t even present on the night of our first meeting. As I said, it’s strange the things you remember.
However, I remember other less ironic details. I remember everything, in fact—the sound of the incoming tide lapping like tiny skiff paddles against the outgoing current, ribbons of mist washing all color from the world, black moss, which grew like a sickly beard across the doorframe of the boathouse, making my transition from autumn dusk to candle glow all the gloomier and more oppressive. Indeed, this was a solemn passage if ever there was one. It is not often that a man steps through a doorway knowing that he has just made the best and worst decision of his entire life.
This, I’m afraid, is going to take a few moments to explain.
I will not, at this time, overwhelm you with an extensive recounting of my past; however, some details are necessary to help you understand why I was setting foot inside a piss-stinking boathouse in the autumn of year 213, on the verge of unleashing a cataclysm for which I am still atoning to this day. For starters, my given name is Vazeer, though in the fallen city of Sullward where I have lived my entire life, I am known by a different alias. Vazeer the Lash they call me, and if you think this title hints at sinister things, you are right.
I am, for one thing, an established villain. In an urban landscape nicknamed Hell’s Labyrinth for its criminal intricacy—a once magnificent capital city, now teeming with smugglers and brigands, hired killers, and a nefarious cadre of rulers called the Underlords—I had developed a wicked reputation that eventually came to have a life of its own. Men like me must work hard to earn such stature, and believe me, I had. Though at some point I must have lost control of the damned thing, for where mere notoriety would have been sufficient, true infamy was where I landed. Such is life, I suppose. I have only myself to blame.”
About the Book:
“Blending beautiful prose…and gritty suspense, this novel keeps the reader on edge with every passing page…Part fantasy, part mystery, this suspenseful tale is completely unforgettable.” ~ Kirkus Reviews
Vazeer, intelligent and poised, longs to leave the life of smuggling that betrays his cultured personality. His chance comes when he is commissioned to overthrow The Raving Blade, one of the most notorious and cruel power brokers in Hell’s Labyrinth. Vazeer joins a rogue’s gallery of accomplished Shadow Bidders, each a master of distinct and nefarious skills. Among them are an ex-pirate, whose enormous size and skill with weapons make him a veritable one-man army, a brilliant actress who finds herself playing a key role in a criminal world where she doesn’t belong, and a calm, mysterious assassin, who draws events ever forward towards a series of increasingly dire consequences.
Vazeer has 48 hours of mortal danger and sadistic enemies standing between him and freedom… but good and evil are not as straightforward as they seem.
About the Author:
Peter Eliott is a lyrically-gifted author and 1st Place, Gold Medallist in the Feathered Quill Book Awards for Fantasy. He combines his passion for poignant literature, grim humor, and suspenseful adventure in the critically acclaimed Shadow Bidder series. He currently lives with his wife in New York, where he swallows literary fiction books whole to grow his ever-expanding arsenal of creative ideas.
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THE SHADOW BIDDER DARK FANTASY SERIES:
– A Dream of Shadows (The Shadow Bidder Series, Book 1)
– A Bargain with Darkness (The Shadow Bidder Series, Book 2)