"Two unusual female heroes, a deceptively musical quest, and some very black magic indeed ... a prize for the multitude of fans who relish strong Grand Guignol with their sword and sorcery."
—Tanith Lee, winner of the Word Fantasy Award for Life Achievement
"A dark, luscious feast of a book... Allen has created a fantastic world of fantasy and horror like a Bosch painting, like a Shostakovitch symphony—something out of a beautiful nightmare."
—R.S. Belcher, author of The Six-Gun Tarot and The Shotgun Arcana
"Exploding with magic, music, and violence, this short novel has the magical feel of an old school suspenseful fantasy adventure as filtered through the eyes of H.R. Giger."
—Little Red Reviewer
The Red Empress is the only home Erzelle has known since the day her family was lured aboard and murdered, victims of a grisly ritual meant to make the elite immortal. Erzelle plays her harp for the diners inside this ghoul-infested riverboat, knowing her own death looms, escaping through the music that's all she has left of her parents.
Her nightmare's upended in the space of a day by the arrival of Olyssa, a fellow musician, but so much more.
Erzelle is swept up in Olyssa's quest to find her ensorcelled sister Lilla, a journey across a mutated landscape that leads them to an enemy responsible for the deaths of millions. To stop the slaughter of countless more, the pair has no choice but to draw on the deadly magics that reshaped the world ... a power that's as dangerous to its wielders as it is to its foes, that's killing Erzelle even as she fights to control it.
Cover art by Lauren K. Cannon