The Jack of Souls (The Unseen Moon Book 1)

Written by Stephen Merlino
Category: · Sci-Fi & Fantasy

“Stephen Merlino is a complete storyteller–a writer with wonderful ideas, surprising twists, a complex and enviable style, all of which culminates with a powerful emotional climax. It really doesn’t get better!”

—David Farland, New York Times Bestselling fantasy author

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A Rogue & Knight Adventure

Harric, an outcast rogue, must break a curse on his fate or die by his nineteenth birthday. As the day approaches, nightmares from the spirit world stalk him and tear at his sanity. To survive, he’ll need more than his usual tricks. He’ll need help—and a lot of it—but on the kingdom’s lawless frontier, his only allies are other outcasts.

One of these is Caris, a mysterious, horse-whispering runaway, intent upon becoming one of the Queen’s first female knights. The other is Sir Willard—ex-immortal, ex-champion, now addicted to pain-killing herbs and banished from the court.

With their help, Harric might keep his curse at bay. But for how long?

And both companions bring perils and secrets of their own: Caris bears the scars of a troubled past; Willard is at war with the Old Ones, an order of insane immortal knights who once enslaved the kingdom. The Old Ones have returned to murder Willard and seize the throne from his queen. Willard is on the run and on one final, desperate quest for his queen.

Together, Harric and his companions must overcome fanatical armies, murderous sorcerers, and powerful supernatural foes.

Alone, Harric must face the temptation of a forbidden magic that could break his curse, but cost him the only woman he’s ever loved.

* * * A tale of magic, mischief, and the triumph of tricksters. * * *


“The first volume in Stephen Merlino’s ‘The Unseen Moon’ series, The Jack of Souls is a terrific read from beginning to end and clearly establishes Merlino as a master of the fantasy action/adventure genre. Highly recommended for community library Science Fiction & Fantasy collections…”


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“An epic ride, a magical world, and fantastic characters that grab your imagination and won’t let go… The Jack of Souls has it all.”

—Corinne O’Flynn, USA Today Bestselling author of The Expatriates series.

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“This is a book where characters are on a clock and the stakes are high. Comparisons could easily be drawn with the works of Tolkien or Martin… Merlino weaves a tale of swords and sorcery that somehow finds new ways to take readers down the well-worn path of fantasy literature. Tolkien’s influence can be found in the beautifully described environments of the story and the depth of the cast of well-developed characters. The comparison to Martin is mostly drawn because the Tale of Fire and Ice series is often acclaimed for its interpretation of real-world, human stories through the lens of fantasy.”

Awesome Indies 5-star Review

“Of all the books I’ve read in the past couple of years, The Jack of Souls is by far my favorite. Merlino’s remarkable imagination and storytelling skills had me on the edge of my seat the whole way through!”

—Karen Duvall, author of Darkest Knight, and Demon Fare.

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“A rich and rewarding new fantasy mythos!” —Rob May, author of Dragon Killer and Roll the Bones.

Multiple Award-Winning Fantasy Novel

Winner of the 2016 Independent Publishers (IPPY) Silver award for Fantasy.

First Place Winner of the 2014 Pacific Northwest Writers Association award for fantasy.

First Place Winner of the 2014 Southwest Writers award for fantasy.

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