The Promise of the Child

Volume One of The Amaranthine Spectrum

LIST PRICE $26.99

About The Book

“To call The Promise of the Child one of the most accomplished debuts of 2015 so far is to understate its weight—instead, let me moot that it is among the most significant works of science fiction released in recent years.”
—Tor.com


It is the 147th century.

In the radically advanced post-human worlds of the Amaranthine Firmament, there is a contender to the Immortal throne: Aaron the Long-Life, the Pretender, a man who is not quite a man.

In the barbarous hominid kingdoms of the Prism Investiture, where life is short, cheap, and dangerous, an invention is born that will become the Firmament’s most closely kept secret.

Lycaste, a lovesick recluse outcast for an unspeakable crime, must journey through the Provinces, braving the grotesques of an ancient, decadent world to find his salvation.

Sotiris, grieving the loss of his sister and awaiting the madness of old age, must relive his twelve thousand years of life to stop the man determined to become Emperor.

Ghaldezuel, knight of the stars, must plunder the rarest treasure in the Firmament—the object the Pretender will stop at nothing to obtain.

From medieval Prague to a lonely Mediterranean cove, and eventually far into the strange vastness of distant worlds, The Promise of the Child is a debut novel of gripping action and astounding ambition unfolding over hundreds of thousands of years, marking the arrival of a brilliant new talent in science fiction.

Skyhorse Publishing, under our Night Shade and Talos imprints, is proud to publish a broad range of titles for readers interested in science fiction (space opera, time travel, hard SF, alien invasion, near-future dystopia), fantasy (grimdark, sword and sorcery, contemporary urban fantasy, steampunk, alternative history), and horror (zombies, vampires, and the occult and supernatural), and much more. While not every title we publish becomes a New York Times bestseller, a national bestseller, or a Hugo or Nebula award-winner, we are committed to publishing quality books from a diverse group of authors.

Product Details

  • Publisher: Night Shade (September 22, 2015)
  • Length: 460 pages
  • ISBN13: 9781597808453

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Raves and Reviews

Praise for The Promise of the Child:

“To call The Promise of the Child one of the most accomplished debuts of 2015 so far is to understate its weight—instead, let me moot that is among the most significant works of science fiction released in recent years.
Tor.com

One of the most ambitious and epic-scale pieces of worldbuilding I’ve read. Reading The Promise of the Child, you feel you’re in the presence of an author at the height of his powers. If this is what Toner is like when he’s just getting started, I think we can expect great things from him. Utterly absorbing; a tremendous adventure.
—Karl Schroeder, author of Lockstep and Sun of Suns

Bold and intense from start to finish, The Promise of the Child is a master-class in innovative, evocative world-building. The entire book buzzes with imagination.”
—Michael J. Martinez, author of The Daedalus Incident

“An amazing debut—a colorful space opera in the post-human tradition of Iain M. Banks, combined with the razor-sharp plotting of Alastair Reynolds. It left me feverish with delight.”
—Loren Rhoads, author of The Dangerous Type

Humming with energy, this is space opera like you've never seen it before. Absolutely brilliant.”
—Adam Roberts, author of Salt and Jack Glass

A dizzying mash-up of science fiction and fantasy themes that are both mystifying and entertaining. . .will appeal to readers who enjoy the offbeat end of far-future sf. This is the kind of novel that could develop a cult following.
Booklist Reviews

Ambitious. . .The several 147th-century cultures on display are fascinating. . .The pace picks up as the tale moves toward its end, but this is the kind of book that will most appeal to cerebral readers who can appreciate its characters’ many verbal interactions.”
Publisher's Weekly

“This is the purest example of space opera we’ve seen in some time. . . .The book is challenging, ambitious, and rewarding, and it’s impossible not to admire Toner’s wild imagination and carefully constructed world. This thing is bonkers, no question. It’s also one helluva debut.”
Barnes & Noble, Sci-Fi & Fantasy Blog

Marvelous. . .a space opera of surpassing gracefulness, depth, complexity, and well, all-round weirdness.
—Paul Di Filippo, Locus

First rate. . .a clever and interesting world, with something new always coming across the horizon, more wonders as yet unreached. I ate it up with a spoon.
—Paul Weimer, SFSignal

Praise for The Weight of the World:

"This extensive story of the 147th century is filled with spectacular ideas and adventure across the solar system and beyond. . . . a tour de force of universe building and characterization . . . splendid, outrageous and brilliant speculations . . . affording careful readers a complex tale of a possible far future."—Shelf Awareness, reviewed by Rob LeFebvre

"Deeply imagined, deliberately paced, and brain-breakingly opaque (in the best way) . . . while much remains a mystery, Toner's confident style—and the forceful impact on the reader when pieces do fall into place—give the sequel a heft and power that goes beyond the plot twists."—B&N Sci-Fi & Fantasy Blog, "B&N Bookseller's Picks: The Best Science Fiction and Fantasy Books of January 2017"

“I was hooked from the very beginning . . . Tom Toner paints his characters and worlds beautifully, even when they’re at their ugliest. This is a clever, ambitious, inventive, wondrous series, brilliantly executed, that leaves me wanting more and soon. It might be only February but this is the science fiction novel to beat this year and it most certainly won’t be easy.”—For Winter Nights

Praise for The Promise of the Child:

“To call The Promise of the Child one of the most accomplished debuts of 2015 so far is to understate its weight—instead, let me moot that is among the most significant works of science fiction released in recent years.
Tor.com

One of the most ambitious and epic-scale pieces of worldbuilding I’ve read. Reading The Promise of the Child, you feel you’re in the presence of an author at the height of his powers. If this is what Toner is like when he’s just getting started, I think we can expect great things from him. Utterly absorbing; a tremendous adventure.
—Karl Schroeder, author of Lockstep and Sun of Suns

Bold and intense from start to finish, The Promise of the Child is a master-class in innovative, evocative world-building. The entire book buzzes with imagination.”
—Michael J. Martinez, author of The Daedalus Incident

“An amazing debut—a colorful space opera in the post-human tradition of Iain M. Banks, combined with the razor-sharp plotting of Alastair Reynolds. It left me feverish with delight.”
—Loren Rhoads, author of The Dangerous Type

Humming with energy, this is space opera like you've never seen it before. Absolutely brilliant.”
—Adam Roberts, author of Salt and Jack Glass

A dizzying mash-up of science fiction and fantasy themes that are both mystifying and entertaining. . .will appeal to readers who enjoy the offbeat end of far-future sf. This is the kind of novel that could develop a cult following.
Booklist Reviews

Ambitious. . .The several 147th-century cultures on display are fascinating. . .The pace picks up as the tale moves toward its end, but this is the kind of book that will most appeal to cerebral readers who can appreciate its characters’ many verbal interactions.”
Publisher's Weekly

“This is the purest example of space opera we’ve seen in some time. . . .The book is challenging, ambitious, and rewarding, and it’s impossible not to admire Toner’s wild imagination and carefully constructed world. This thing is bonkers, no question. It’s also one helluva debut.”
Barnes & Noble, Sci-Fi & Fantasy Blog

Marvelous. . .a space opera of surpassing gracefulness, depth, complexity, and well, all-round weirdness.
—Paul Di Filippo, Locus

First rate. . .a clever and interesting world, with something new always coming across the horizon, more wonders as yet unreached. I ate it up with a spoon.
—Paul Weimer, SFSignal

Praise for The Weight of the World:

"This extensive story of the 147th century is filled with spectacular ideas and adventure across the solar system and beyond. . . . a tour de force of universe building and characterization . . . splendid, outrageous and brilliant speculations . . . affording careful readers a complex tale of a possible far future."—Shelf Awareness, reviewed by Rob LeFebvre

"Deeply imagined, deliberately paced, and brain-breakingly opaque (in the best way) . . . while much remains a mystery, Toner's confident style—and the forceful impact on the reader when pieces do fall into place—give the sequel a heft and power that goes beyond the plot twists."—B&N Sci-Fi & Fantasy Blog, "B&N Bookseller's Picks: The Best Science Fiction and Fantasy Books of January 2017"

“I was hooked from the very beginning . . . Tom Toner paints his characters and worlds beautifully, even when they’re at their ugliest. This is a clever, ambitious, inventive, wondrous series, brilliantly executed, that leaves me wanting more and soon. It might be only February but this is the science fiction novel to beat this year and it most certainly won’t be easy.”—For Winter Nights

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More books from this author: Tom Toner

More books in this series: Amaranthine Spectrum