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Seven Deaths of an Empire

Published by Solaris
Distributed by Simon & Schuster

Seven lives and seven deaths to seal the fate of an Empire...

A new grimdark fantasy for fans of Anna Smith-Spark, GRR Martin and Mark Lawrence.

The Emperor is dead. Long live the Empire.

General Bordan has a lifetime of duty and sacrifice behind him in the service of the Empire. But with rebellion brewing in the countryside, and assassins, thieves and politicians vying for power in the city, it is all Bordan can do to protect the heir to the throne.

Apprentice Magician Kyron is assigned to the late Emperor’s honour guard escorting his body on the long road back to the capital. Mistrusted and feared by his own people, even a magician’s power may fail when enemies emerge from the forests, for whoever is in control of the Emperor’s body, controls the succession.

Seven lives and seven deaths to seal the fate of the Empire.

G. R. Matthews began reading in the cot. His mother, at her wits end with the constant noise and unceasing activity, would plop him down on the soft mattress with an encyclopaedia full of pictures then quietly slip from the room. Growing up, he spent Sunday afternoons on the sofa watching westerns and Bond movies after suffering the dual horror of the sounds of ABBA and the hoover (Vacuum cleaner) drifting up the stairs to wake him in the morning. When not watching the six-gun heroes or spies being out-acted by their own eyebrows he devoured books like a hungry wolf in the dead of winter. Beginning with Patrick Moore and Arthur C Clarke he soon moved on to Isaac Asimov. However, one wet afternoon in a book shop in his hometown, not far from the standing stones of Avebury, he picked up the Pawn of Prophecy and started to read – and soon Sci-Fi gave way to Fantasy. You can follow him on twitter @G_R_Matthews or visit his website at

“The plot’s surprising twists and turns will wow fantasy fans.” -- Publishers Weekly

– Publishers Weekly

"Matthews delivers visceral descriptions of battle, the cut and thrust of gladius and pila, the shouldering of shields, the smell of blood and fear – and weaving through this, the delicate nets of magical constructs that can still snap, inflame or explode." -- The Fantasy Hive

– The Fantasy Hive

"This is fantasy at its finest." -- Grimdark Magazine

– Grimdark Magazine

“Refreshingly original” -- SFX Magazine


“Both bloody, and bloody well written.” -- Fantasy-Faction

– Fantasy-Faction

“Full of tension, intrigue, and action” -- Fantasy Book Nerd

– Fantasy Book Nerd

"Matthews delivers on the bigger picture stakes"

– British Fantasy Society

"It's exciting at every turn with a wonderfully spun plot that keeps you guessing the entire time."

– Fanfiaddict

"A cracking read that will burn the candle in the night."

– Aurealis

"Older teens and adults will enjoy the novel’s political intrigue and struggle to survive, which are reminiscent of George R. R. Martin’s “Game of Thrones” or a slightly less fantastical version of Jim Butcher’s “Codex Alera” series."

– The Library Journal