Across the vast expanse of the Great Deep float billions of shattered universes known as the Shards. Populated with vengeful demons and tormented humans, the Shards need Earth just as plants need water to survive. Earth itself is held together by 36 righteous people, 36 hidden saints known as the Lamed Vav. Kill but a few Lamed Vav and the Earth will shatter, and all the Shards that rely upon it will die in a horrible cataclysm.
Daniel Fisher is abducted on his wedding day by the demon king, Ashmedai, and he learns he is a Lamed Vavnik, one of these hidden righteous persons upholding the world. The demon Mashit has usurped the throne of demonkind from Ashmedai and has been murdering the Lamed Vav in order to collapse the Earth and bring its great power raining down on all the demon-populated Shards. On a desert-covered Shard teeming with monstrous creatures, pursued by a fearsome demon army, Daniel and Ashmedai, saint and demon, must team up to defeat Mashit before she destroys all of existence with her insane plan. In order to survive, Daniel must ally with evil Ashmedai. Yet who but a saint—a Lamed Vavnik—can save the world?
"A surreal and exotic adventure in a unique mythological setting. Scary, exhilarating fun!" - N.K. Jemisin, Hugo award-winning author of The Fifth Season.
"A fantastic twist on Jewish mythology...a radical reinvention of Jewish faith and folklore, not to mention the portal fantasy..."One city's rubble is the next city's foundation," Kressel writes. Not only does that simple, profound idea underpin King of Shards' plot, it's the method to the book's majestic, resonant, reality-twisting madness." -- NPR Books
"King of Shards is an imaginative, intelligent, and soaring debut that mixes Jewish folklore/mysticism and modern-day social politics. The result is a unique spin on epic fantasy that is both timeless and timely, and a hell of lot of fun. You'll want to follow Daniel and Rana through the Shards. Trust me." --Paul Tremblay, author of A Head Full of Ghosts and Disappearance at Devil's Rock.
"Kressel draws heavily on Hebrew legend and biblical lore to build a robustly imagined fantasy world…Kressel advances his plot briskly through a series of alliances, betrayals, separations, and reunions, and the veiled motives of several of his characters keep his story pleasingly unpredictable. His skill at extrapolating traditional religious lore into the stuff of fantasy bodes well for future books in the series." -- Publishers Weekly
"With surprising twists and a deep and detailed universe, King of Shards, the first in a trilogy, is likely to be remembered for more than its Jewish roots." - Barnes & Noble Sci-Fi and Fantasy Blog