Skip to Main Content

A Sword of Bronze and Ashes

Published by Flame Tree Press
Distributed by Simon & Schuster

About The Book

Readers of Shauna Lawless and Thilde Kold Holdt will love this Celtic-inflected adventure by critically acclaimed, grimdark epic fantasy novelist, Anna Smith Spark.

A Sword of Bronze and Ashes combines the fierce beauty of Celtic myth with grimdark battle violence. It's a lyrical, folk horror high fantasy.

Kanda has a good life until shadows from her past return threatening everything she loves. And Kanda, like any parent, has things in her past she does not want her children to know. Red war is coming: pursued by an ancient evil, Kanda must call upon all her strength to protect her family. But how can she keep her children safe, if they want to stand as warriors beside her when the light fades and darkness rises?

FLAME TREE PRESS is the imprint of long-standing independent Flame Tree Publishing, dedicated to full-length original fiction in the horror and suspense, science fiction & fantasy, and crime / mystery / thriller categories. The list brings together fantastic new authors and the more established; the award winners, and exciting, original voices. Learn more about Flame Tree Press at and connect on social media @FlameTreePress

About The Author

Anna Smith Spark is a critically acclaimed, multi-award short-listed grimdark epic fantasy novelist. She writes lyrical prose-poetry about war, love, landscapes, and war. Her writing has been described as ‘a masterwork’ by Nightmarish Conjurings, ‘an experience like no other series in fantasy’ by Grimdark Magazine, ‘literary Game of Thrones’ by the Sunday Times, and ‘howls like early Moorcock, converses like the best of Le Guin’ by the Daily Mail.

Product Details

  • Publisher: Flame Tree Press (September 12, 2023)
  • Length: 336 pages
  • ISBN13: 9781787588417

Browse Related Books

Raves and Reviews

Reviews of Anna Smith Spark's novels.

‘Fierce, gripping fantasy, exquisitely written; bitter, funny and heart-rending by turns’ Adrian Tchaikovsky

‘A dynamic new voice’ Scott Lynch ‘Stunning’ Publishers Weekly

‘Compelling’ Fantasy Faction

‘Weaves a spell that will consume you’ Barnes and Noble

‘A must read’ Three Crows Magazine

‘A masterwork of dark fantasy’ Nightmarish Conjurings

‘An experience like no other series in fantasy’ Grimdark Magazine

‘Literary Game of Thrones’ Sunday Times

‘Howls like early Moorcock, converses like the best of Le Guin’ Daily Mail

'It is a mind-blowing book. I don't think I've ever read anything quite like it. it's a story about the ragged, tearing wound you get when high myth gets stitched to the grind of mundane life. It's incredible.' Adrian Tchaikovsky

'Spark blends Celtic mythology and grimdark fantasy into an enthralling tale of female power. [Her] poetic prose gives the adventure a mythic feel that enhances its folkloric and folk horror elements. Balancing the violence of war with emotional depth and thematic explorations of motherhood and legacy, this gripping outing is a testament to Spark’s power as a storyteller.' Publishers Weekly

'A high fantasy fever dream... the author has once again – with her unique poetic literary fantasy – delivered an absolute experience.' Grimdark Magazine

'Anna Smith Spark has done it yet again with this cracking read, and I hope there are many more stories to come in this multi-layered and captivating world.' Out of This World SFF

'An absolutely stunning masterclass in writing fantastic fiction.' S Naomi Scott

'A peculiar yet captivating piece of literature, crafted with eloquent and artistic language [and] a poignant exploration of a mother’s unwavering dedication to safeguarding her children. I wholeheartedly recommend this novel to readers seeking a departure from conventional grimdark narratives.' Read By Bee

'Dark fantasy at its best.' Phil Parker's Speculative Faction

'A Sword of Bronze and Ashes is an epic masterpiece. Tolkienesque in its worldbuilding and literary in its voice, it is completely fresh.' Fan Fi Addict

'In true Spark (The Court of Broken Knives, 2017) fashion, the story she paints is engrossingly human, strikingly vivid, and painfully grim.' Booklist

'A peculiar, ambitious novel [...] A Sword of Bronze and Ashes blends the register of myth with the bruisingly quotidian. Fascinatingly difficult to categorise.' Locus Magazine

'A wonderful blend of fantasy and horror, Anna Smith Spark never seems to disappoint when it comes to her luscious prose and her wholly engaging storytelling. This one captivated me right from the very beginning and takes you on a dark fairy tale journey like no other. At times heartbreaking, at others hopeful. There's a disturbing underlying mystery that will blow your mind when all is said and done. Along the way Anna Smith Spark makes us sweat as she strengthens our connection to the main characters through deeply personal dialogue. This book will challenge many preconceptions with regard to what a hero should look and behave like, and that is a very very good thing. I hope to read many more stories set in this multi-layered and captivating world.' Out of this World SFF

'A Sword of Bronze and Ashes is a highly emotional story, using the epicness of grimdark to tell the story of a woman, a mother. Another excellent book by the Queen of Grimdark.' JamReads

'The most refreshingly unique voice that I can recall reading for a long time.' Lynn's Book Blog

'A Sword of Bronze and Ashes is a novel written by a writer who is at the top of their game, who has their own unique voice, and take on the grimdark, high fantasy, and horror genres. I fully expect her to go from strength to strength and dominate these genres for the next few years. Recommended.' Concatenation

'5 stars! Anna Smith Spark’s prose is remarkable. Her novels possess a distinctive, lyrical timbre, and that’s especially apparent in this first in a new series, which reads like the translation of some soaring medieval allegory. [A Sword of Bronze and Ashes] is eerie and violent, a woman-centred epic with few characters and locations, nonetheless filled with wonder and humanity.' SFX Magazine (SFX Loves, November 2023)

Resources and Downloads

High Resolution Images