Saturday, 4 July 2020

Jon Sprunk

Author Website | Reviews | Bibliography & Rights Information

The Shadow Saga | Biblio. & Rights Info
Shadow’s Son
Shadow’s Lure
Shadow’s Master

Book of the Black Earth |Biblio. & Rights Info
Blood and Iron
Storm and Steel
Blade and Bone
Sun and Serpent





“The intrigue, action scenes, and ever-more-revealing character insights are masterfully woven together in a book the reader won’t want to put down… A first-rate sword-and-sorcery tale, with intriguing characters, that moves at a quick pace.”


“Sprunk is able to write a full and satisfying story.The narrative speeds like a well-thrown knife and the writing is sharp and pointed. The characters are a nice mix of good and bad…a cracking good read. This is the first book in a series and a mighty debut novel. If the pace continues through the next novels in the series, Sprunk will have laid the foundations to a soaring career.”


“[SHADOW’S SON] is filled with lots of action and suspense… I highly look forward to the sequel and give this novel 5 stars as it deserves keeper status.”

Night Owl Reviews
Top pick!!

“Sprunk hits on all four cylinders and convincingly draws the reader into his fantasy world … delivers impeccably … I will eagerly obtain Shadow’s Lure to read more about Caim and his world.”

SF Signal

“The action scenes are solid and the story is fast-paced with no moments threatening to slow things down … The core of SHADOW’S SON feels solid, with characters who come into their stride, uncover past misdeeds and suprise themselves with what they’re able to accomplish.”

“The pace is great, the story fun and engaging, and the characters are interesting. This is a solid fantasy debut that grabs you from page one and refuses to let you go … Highly recommended.”

—Civilian Reader (UK)

“A fast, entertaining page-turner of a novel… Ultimately, SHADOW’S SON is a surprisingly well-crafted piece of fiction for a debut novel, indicating Jon Sprunk is an author to watch in the future.”

—Fantasy Literature

“[A] hell of a damn good read… I would recommend this to anyone who likes David Gemmell’s work and is looking for a really fun reading experience.”

Fantasy Book Review

“Jon Sprunk shows that not all fantasy novels need to be doorstoppers to be good. SHADOW’S SON is easily one of my favorite books of 2010.”

Fantasy Book Critic (Cindy Hannikman)

“I read it non-stop in one sitting… SHADOW’S SON is written so well that nothing else really mattered for me.”

Fantasy Book Critic (Liviu Suciu)

“A well-written tale, which masterfully interweaves intrigue, action, magic, and interesting characters as it propels itself forward through a fully realized sword-and-sorcery world at a breakneck pace…[If] you’re looking for a fun read, then you should definitely pick up Shadow’s Son… I personally found Shadow’s Son difficult to put down, devouring it as quickly as I could find time to read it, and I’d encourage others to pick this one up and try it as well. I really think you will be happy that you did.”


“SHADOW’S SON is a pleasure… Fans of Brent Weeks and Brandon Sanderson will certainly find plenty to like here.”

—Mad Hatter

“One heck of a ride… SHADOW’S SON is a well-written book with some great characters and set in medieval territory with dark magic. What’s not to love?”

Only the Best Science Fiction & Fantasy (UK)

“Caim and his partners are the best.  It’s a dark fantasy with a great story, and it’s full of action. The twists and the action will keep you glued to the story, and you will become invested with this rich group of characters.”

—The Ranting Dragon

“The closest thing fantasy gets to the perfect beach book — a fun, fast read in the fashion of dark fantasy that’s so popular these days.”

Neth Space

“Brisk pacing combines with liberal swordplay, politics, dark plots and mischievous spirits to make for an entertaining tale that promises good things to come.”

—Monsters and Critics

“When Sprunk gets going, he writes with an energy that has to be experienced to be believed… SHADOW’S SON is a thoroughly entertaining read.”

Graeme’s Fantasy Book Review

“You can just curl up with SHADOW’S SON and be entertained. Nothing showy, nothing flashy, just good, solid storytelling… I loved it, and am eagerly anticipating the sequel.”

—Grasping for the Wind

“A great story of love, death, and magic… Jon Sprunk is now on my must-read list. Great debut novel.”

—Speculative Book Review

“SHADOW’S SON makes for the perfect read when you’re in search of a quick burst of fun-filled action.”

LEC Book Reviews

‘The greatest asset of SHADOW’S SON is the sheer pace at which the story unfolds… the plot is crafted well and enough hints are dropped throughout to keep the reader guessing.”

—Speculative Horizons (UK)

“We have heard a few people compare this to the Brent Weeks novels. We are here to say, with emphasis, we strongly prefer this. SHADOW’S SON is what we are looking for when we read about assassins… We’ll read his stuff readily, every time. So should you.”

Elitist Book Reviews

“Well, at first I thought I was in for a fairly typical thief/assassin tale, but with Kit’s accompanying sarcasm, Caim’s struggles to control his demonic powers, and suitably sinister over-arching political plots, this book really built into something which I found myself finding time to get back to listening to…Thumbs up. ”

Audible SF/F

“Non-stop action … of the type that makes you devour every page until you reach the inevitable convergence. [… An] engaging and light read, and one that leaves you wanting more.”

—Roland’s Codex

“Though we often seem trained to expect a book that is physically light to be similarly lightweight in content, SHADOW’S SON manages to be simultaneously spry, dark, and complex… There aren’t many authors being published today who can do so much with such a small amount of paper and ink.”

—Rob Will Review

The quality of the narrative’s execution turns SHADOW’S SON into a very entertaining read… if you are looking for an action packed and entertaining fantasy read, then this just might be what the doctor ordered.”

Pat’s Fantasy Hotlist

“Sprunk has written a charming and engaging first novel that leaves plenty to look forward to.”

Total Sci Fi Online

“The conspiracy is gripping… Caim is an engaging chap… and he’s what keeps you reading.”


“Reminded me of the golden age of pulp fantasy. Of a return to the simpler style of fantasy. Brilliant stuff.”

—Lateral Books

“If you’re looking for a fast, frenetic fantasy with compelling characters and plenty of action, look no further.  SHADOW’S SON hits the spot.”

Sci-Fi London

“Brilliant stuff — Now gimme the sequel!”

Latent Books

” SHADOW’S SON is an excellent debut novel that avoids many of the debut pitfalls…providing a great base for Sprunk to grow.”

Staffer’s Book Review

“An exciting, interesting read and a good story that’s hard to put down.”

M/C Reviews

“With its vivid action and deft characterization SHADOW’S SON is novel I highly recommend to anyone lucking for quick and entertaining read.”

King of the Nerds

“Sprunk’s book could be read by young adults but is entertaining for older adults… This is a short but fast-moving novel with heartbreak and redemption both.”

—Charlaine Harris,
NYT bestselling author

“Jon Sprunk mixes the rich details of his fantasy world with compelling characters and a fast-paced plot — a masterful and addicting debut novel.”

—Maria V. Snyder,
NYT bestselling author

“Fans of Joe Abercrombie, Scott Lynch, and Paul Kemp will definitely want to read this new dark fantasy adventure.”

—Elaine Cunningham,
NYT bestselling author


“Brings together the dark plots and underpinnings of Sprunk’s fantasy world and expands on the nature of Caim’s ghostly companion, Kit … both action and magic as well as a tale of unrequited love and unlikely heroes.”

Library Journal

“Sprunk is a master storyteller. He wraps us in the folds of his tale. His prose sets the pages on fire, and it’s as if he’s unstoppable… Those who like a dark fantasy will be surprised by his imagination and depth. The reader will be awake at night, reading this one to the very end!”

—The Specusphere (Australia)

“Cleverly written, the characters pop from the page and above all else it’s the sense of fun and pace that really makes this a story worth the time of any fantasy reader.”

Falcata Times

“There’s a showdown a-brewing and I’m rubbing my hands in glee for it.”

Night Owl Reviews

“A lot of fun.”

—Critical Mass

“Sprunk’s clearly thought long and hard about the world setting for the novels, and brings plenty that’s fresh and new to the story.  His secondary characters are well handled and he spares no-one from peril… SHADOW’S LURE is a dark fantasy tale that quickly draws the reader into its web, and definitely leaves me eagerly awaiting the next in the saga.”

—SciFi Pulse

“Heart-pounding throttle-to-the-maximum action and adventure … if you have any interest in sword and sorcery, you owe it to yourself to check out Sprunk’s work.”

SF Signal

“Sprunk’s books will appeal to the sword and sorcery fans — assassins, magic, and action litter the novel, leaving very little room for the doldrums to creep in.”


“Terrific.  If you like assassin themed novels, if you like assassin themed video games, you should be reading Jon Sprunk.  Fun, fast, action-packed, left me eager to read the follow-up.

—Elitist Book Reviews

SHADOW’S LURE is sword and sorcery at its best. Fast-paced, filled with action and realistic characters, and of course… assassins! If you like Brent Weeks or Paul Kearney, you’ll really enjoy this series.”

Only the Best SF&F
Top 5 of 2011!

“Escapist fantasy adventure at its finest.”



“Sprunk continues to improve … series fans will dive right in.”


“Old fashioned sword and sorcery in a noir fantasy that should appeal to fans of Michael Moorcock and Thieve’s World.”

—Library Journal

“Sprunk finishes his series in strong fashion…more interesting worldbuilding; further emergence of characters.”

SF Signal

“The short version? Go buy Sprunk’s novels. They are great pieces of assassin-themed fantasy that everyone should be reading.”

—Elitist Book Reviews

“For those who’ve been awaiting this final installment I can confidently say it’s a fitting end to Caim, Josey, and Kit’s stories. The novel is also a bit of a return capturing the kinetic violence and unrelenting pace of the first volume.”

—Staffer’s Musings

“Sprunk delivers a powerful finale to the assassin-turned-freedom fighter Caim’s story… throughout, Sprunk weaves a superb story, switching between storylines with aplomb.”

SciFi Pulse

“This one is darker, bloodier, and better than its predecessors… Fans of action oriented sword and sorcery will find plenty to cheer about here.”

—Adventures Fantastic

A good deal of action – and Sprunk does this part very well indeed.  This is more sword and sorcery that most current fantasy fiction, not quite Fafhrd & the Gray Mouser but as good as we’re likely to get until the next Fritz Leiber shows up.”

—Critical Mass

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“Sheer fun, with engaging, pulse-quickening action, sympathetic characters and intricate intrigue…definitely a series to follow.”


An interesting magic system, complicated political scene, and loads of action make this Spartacus-with-magic a fun first volume in a new epic fantasy series.”

—Library Journal

“Sprunk’s world is fascinating and original, reminiscent of ancient Sumeria and Babylon.”

Publishers Weekly

“Sprunk’s sword-and-sorcery storytelling is compelling and populated with interesting characters.”

“Best Bets for Speculative Fiction Books—March 2014”

“Full of treachery, rebellion and a pinch of sexual tension, Sprunk has written a work which is one part Shogun and four parts amazing.”


“BLOOD AND IRON is a gritty fantasy novel that doesn’t pull any punches…[the] adventure is fast paced and will hook readers from the beginning. Highly recommended for fans of fantasy who enjoy a fair share of political intrigue.”

Portland Book Review

“BLOOD AND IRON is an engrossing novel of swords and sorcery. It’s tightly focused and complete, without a sprawling cast and endless appendix of subplots. That’s not to say Jon Sprunk tells a simple tale, he’s just managed to avoid the sinkhole of over-telling that sucks so much epic fantasy into the abyss.”


“Excellent world building, vivid description and an alluring magic system form the strong tripod that supports BLOOD AND IRON…the novel is entertaining, exciting, action-packed and allows the author to show off more of his world with more expanded worldbuilding.”

SF Signal

“A Sword and Sandal epic that reads like Spartacus set in a richly imagined fantasy world…Well-trodden story line allows the author to immerse himself in the minutiae of a world that is imagined with completeness.”

Swide Magazine

The action scenes in BLOOD AND IRON are written to perfection…[Sprunk] crafts a wonderful story that doesn’t give you all the answers but leads you on to see what will happen…I’m not sure how long this new series will go on, but you can bet that I’ll be reading them.”

Seattle Geekly

“[BLOOD AND IRON] has interesting moments and some great demons and monsters. The magical system is interesting. Lovers of Conan-style fantasy will enjoy this opening.”

—Fantasy Literature

“What I truly enjoyed about this book was how incredibly detailed Sprunk was with his world building… Sprunk adds in a complex culture and isn’t afraid to show it’s good and bad points, religious strife, political issues, characters and throws it all into a vivid landscape that seems so absolutely real I can almost see, feel, and smell it all…He’s started one hell of an epic series, the kind of epic that could rival any other epic out there in scope, magnitude, and complexity.”

Bookworm Blues

“Jon Sprunk’s book takes the prize for strange worldbuilding…[BLOOD AND IRON is] a strong book, full of powerful imagery and a vivid sense of place, with intriguing historical what-ifs and a sense of moral urgency to match its sense of moral complexity.”

Black Gate

“Jon has produced a story with a strong epic fantasy feel. The story moves along with major event after another with great descriptions of the town, buildings, rooms, and people as we go….t’s part of what draws the epic fantasy picture. The world building of the culture Horace comes into and the magic that is cherished here is powerful.”

My World….In Words and Pages

“BLOOD AND IRON is the perfect fantasy beach book. The setting goes great with water and sand. It’s entertaining, and fast-paced with great characters and fascinating magical system. It is well suited for a reader who wants to have a quick, enjoyable read.”

The Qwillery

“Recommended for fans of sword and sorcery, grimdark, and anyone who enjoys jumping into a unique fantasy world. “

Grimdark Reader

“Jon Sprunk showed us with his Shadow Saga what a brilliant storyteller he is and with BLOOD AND IRON it isn’t any different. A fresh new continent, great characters and a superb story are what you get when reading this book. BLOOD AND IRON is an amazing, interesting, very good and entertaining first book in what could very well become one of the best fantasy series of the next decade.”

Fantastical Imaginations

“BLOOD AND IRON is a great start to what could shape up to be tremendous series. It is hard to imagine that Jon Sprunk has outdone his Shadow Saga with BLOOD AND IRON, but he has. Highly recommended.”

Speculative Book Review

“The action was epic. Jon Sprunk knows what this reader likes…BLOOD AND IRON wasn’t good. It was great. Jon Sprunk writes in such a way that little is held back, and in the end, everything is left on the page…It was almost as realistic and gritty as a historical take on this type of era, with a great plot-line and cast of characters strewn in. I would definitely recommend this read to anyone who enjoys fantasy, or is looking for a little magic in their life.”

Fiction Foresight

“The clear writing and fast pace makes Jon Sprunk’s BLOOD & IRON a fun adventure of magic, political intrigue, and good old-fashioned heroes.”

Michael Sullivan,
author of Theft of Swords


“The vivid world of Erugash and its element-wielding magicians is further explored in this sequel to Blood and Iron… [STORM AND STEEL] builds on a strong foundation.”

—Library Journal

“A strong second entry and still a series to follow.”


“Sprunk reveals his plot in a pleasing linear fashion that constantly entices forward motion – not so you can figure out what the heck is going on, but so you can find out what’s going to happen next!…It is an immensely satisfying read.”


“[Blood and Iron] never failed to entertain, flashing glimmers of potential greatness. And in Storm and Steel, Jon Sprunk goes a long way in fulfilling that promise…STORM AND STEEL is a great chance to experience a good, old-fashioned, sword and sorcery tour de force; one that perfectly mixes a sweeping fantasy world with non-stop action.”


“STORM AND STEEL is a lot of fun, and might not be a bad choice for someone looking for a high fantasy with intrigue and moral complexity. This book might be a good read for a fan of Roger Zelazny, George R.R. Martin, or anyone who likes the mystery of magic mixed with intrigue.”


“It will be a hard-hearted reader indeed who reaches the end of Storm and Steel and isn’t eager to read the next book in the series as soon as it appears. All Gormenghast and no play make Jack and Jill pretty dull genre fans, after all.”

Open Letters Monthly

“The action is thick and frequent and convincingly written, the magical elements demonstrate some systematic thought about how that would work, the characters vary in depth but the main ones are well drawn, and the setting is realistically drawn.”

Don D’Ammassa


“Recommended for fans of sword and sorcery in a unique setting with a truly diverse cast.”


“an exhilarating extravaganza that is totally engrossing . . . BLADE AND BONE is a damn fine fantasy tale filled with terrifying events, a bit of gore, loads of action (both sword and sorcery), and characters which really hit their stride. And the ending…well, I’ll just say I can’t wait to see what Sprunk has in store for the next book.”

Book Wraiths


Reviews forthcoming

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  1. SHADOW’S SON (June 2010, Pyr)
  2. SHADOW’S LURE (June 2011, Pyr)
  3. SHADOW’S MASTER (March 2012, Pyr)
  • Book #1 – a finalist for the Compton Crook Award!
  • Book #1 – Fantasy Book Critic’s #2 Debut Fantasy for 2010
  • Book #1 in 2nd tp printing
  • Book #1 named one of the “Year’s Best of 2010” by Fantastical Imaginations
  • Book #2 was one of Only the Best SF&F‘s top 5 of 2011
  • Book #2 named one of the “Year’s Best of 2011″ by Fantastical Imaginations
  • Book #3 named a “Top 10 Release of 2012” by Only the Best Science Fiction & Fantasy
  • Book #3 named one of the “Year’s Best of 2012″ by Fantastical Imaginations
  • UK rights (entire trilogy) to Gollancz
  • Czech rights (trilogy) to Fantom Print
  • French rights (trilogy) to Bragelonne
  • German rights (trilogy) to Heyne — agency record deal!***
  • Hungarian rights (trilogy) to Fumax Kiado
  • Polish rights (trilogy) to Papierowy Ksiezyc
  • Russian rights (#1) to AST***
  • Spanish rights (#1) to Alianza***
  • Dramatic abridged audio (#1-3) to Graphic Audio


  1. BLOOD AND IRON (March 2014, Pyr)
  2. STORM AND STEEL (June 2015, Pyr)
  3. BLADE AND BONE (February 2018, Pyr)
  4. SUN AND SERPENT (December 2019, Pyr)

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***Three asterisks (***) placed after the record of a foreign territory sale indicate that those rights have expired and are available for purchase in that market for that title(s).***