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The Unspoken Name

#1 Serpent Gates

A. K. Larkwood



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St Martins/Tor
25 May 2021
The Unspoken Name by A. K. Larkwood is the incredible first epic fantasy in the Serpent Gates duology.

'An astounding debut . . . unlike anything I've read before' - Nicholas Eames, author of Kings of the Wyld

Does she owe her life to those planning her death . . .

Csorwe was raised by a death cult steeped in old magic. And on her fourteenth birthday, she'll be sacrificed to their god. But as she waits for the end, she's offered a chance to escape her fate. A sorcerer wants her as his assistant, sword-hand and assassin. As this involves her not dying that day, she accepts.

Csorwe spends years living on a knife-edge, helping her master hunt an artefact which could change many worlds. Then comes the day she's been dreading. They encounter Csorwe's old cult - seeking the same magical object - and Csorwe is forced to reckon with her past. She also meets Shuthmili, the war-mage who'll change her future.

If she's to survive, Csorwe must evade her enemies, claim the artefact and stop the death cult once and for all. As she plunges from one danger to the next, the hunt is on . . .
Imprint:   St Martins/Tor
Country of Publication:   United Kingdom
Dimensions:   Height: 196mm,  Width: 130mm,  Spine: 37mm
Weight:   388g
ISBN:   9781529032765
ISBN 10:   1529032768
Series:   The Serpent Gates
Pages:   576
Publication Date:  
Recommended Age:   From 18 years
Audience:   General/trade ,  ELT Advanced
Format:   Paperback
Publisher's Status:   Active
Author Website:

A. K. Larkwood studied English at St John's College, Cambridge. Since then, she has worked in higher education & media relations, and is now studying law. She lives in Oxford with her wife and a cat. The Unspoken Name is her first novel.

Reviews for The Unspoken Name (#1 Serpent Gates)

A fun, fresh new take on the traditional fantasy quest and an adventure I couldn't put down! -- S. A. Chakraborty An astounding debut, written with skill and stunning assurance . . . From its flawless first page to its bittersweet last, The Unspoken Name is unlike anything I've read before -- Nicholas Eames The Unspoken Name is the best kind of modern fantasy - it feels totally fresh, it's full of satisfyingly weird gods and frightening magic . . . I loved this book! -- Jen Williams What a glorious book! Richly detailed, enthralling, and extraordinary, with brilliant nods to such luminaries as Ursula K. Le Guin and Diana Wynne Jones . . . Fabulous, in every meaning of the word -- Jenn Lyons The action is fast-paced and emotionally compelling; the magic is dangerous, beautiful, and utterly compromising. I love this book so much -- Arkady Martine An unexpected and new take on classic orcs 'n' swords fantasy. Stylish, classy, and timeless - but with racing stripes and an inbuilt camera. I cannot recommend it enough -- Tamsyn Muir A perfect fantasy debut -- <i>Daily Mail</i> Best SFF of 2020 Takes all the tropes of fantasy - orcs and epic quests, dead gods and undead souls, daring rescues and last-second escapes - and spins them into something wild and new. A dizzy, delicious debut -- Alix E. Harrow A truly wonderful book . . . grabbed my attention on the first page and wouldn't let go. Fresh, exciting and new, with fascinating characters, shifting alliances, impossible odds, breathtaking settings, and shocking twists -- Dyrk Ashton The Unspoken Name has everything - spine-tingling prose, gorgeous worldbuilding, powerful older women, found family (but it's terrible), giant snakes, ancient tombs, dead gods, and true love. It's fantastic. I read it in one sitting -- Emily Tesh Larkwood's debut is a fresh, fun take on the genre, packed with smart prose, badass characters, and fantastic worldbuilding. A necessary addition for any fantasy lover's collection -- Tara Sim A breathtaking journey. It's epic fantasy with both creeping, omnipresent horrors and yet a tenacious, delicate warmth -- K. A. Doore I really enjoyed this - crisp, witty and entertaining. Such fun and it distracted me from my work far too well! I'd love to read more from the author -- Genevieve Cogman An age-old feud between wizards and gods plays out with steel-crunching, bloody-tusk action. Loved every page -- Brian Naslund Expansive, immersive, and just plain fun, each page unfolds another facet of Larkwood's brilliant maze of a world. Populated by incredible characters and their eldritch deities, this has everything I love in fantasy taken to the next level -- Emily Duncan An imaginative story of love, sacrifice, and betrayal that traverses worlds in this phenomenal debut . . . . Lyrical, immersive prose masterfully conveys complex worldbuilding. Epic fantasy fans are sure to be impressed by this expertly crafted adventure -- <i>Publishers Weekly </i>starred review

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