Empire of Exiles (#1)

Next: Relics of Ruin (#2)

Magic, mystery, and revolution collide in this fantasy epic where an unlikely team of mages, scribes, and archivists must band together to unearth a conspiracy that might topple their empire.

Twenty-seven years ago, a Duke with a grudge led a ruthless coup against the empire of Semilla, killing thousands. He failed. The Duke was executed, a terrifyingly powerful sorcerer was imprisoned, and an unwilling princess disappeared. 

The empire moved on. 

Now, when Quill, an apprentice scribe, arrives in the capital city, he believes he’s on a simple errand for another pompous noble: fetch ancient artifacts from the magical Imperial Archives. He’s always found his apprenticeship to a lawman to be dull work. But these aren’t just any artifacts — these are the instruments of revolution, the banners under which the Duke lead his coup. 

Just as the artifacts are unearthed, the city is shaken by a brutal murder that seems to have been caused by a weapon not seen since the days of rebellion. With Quill being the main witness to the murder, and no one in power believing his story, he must join the Archivists — a young mage, a seasoned archivist, and a disillusioned detective — to solve the truth of the attack. And what they uncover will be the key to saving the empire – or destroying it again.


"[R]eaders will be drawn in by the memorable cast, vibrantly drawn fantasy cultures, and vivid prose. Epic fantasy fans will be eager to see where the series goes."

Publishers Weekly

"From the rich world building as these remnants of humanity hide from changelings behind a Salt Wall, to the interesting culture, a unique magic system, and a variety of humanoids, readers will be delighted that nothing is predictable in this intriguing story."


"An excellent new fantasy series by Evans (The Devil You Know), perfect for fans of Katherine Addison or those who enjoy slow-burning and complex court intrigue."

Library Journal

"Each character is well-fleshed out, different, and realistic, especially with regard to their internal conflicts and motives."

Grimdark Magazine

"Don't be intimidated by the character list and maps, this is a magnificent book that will have you caught up in its intrigue and mystery from the first page to the last."

Out of This World SFF

"I cannot recommend this book enough if you enjoy high fantasy, mystery, political intrigue, or any combination of the three. It was an exciting ride in a brilliant world, and it left me urgently needing the sequel."

Biblio Nerd Reflections

"Empire of Exiles by Erin M. Evans is a triumph of fantasy, murder mystery, and political thriller that handles grief, PTSD, panic, and anxiety disorder with tact.... I cannot wait to read what Evans has cooking up for the follow-up."

Geekly Inc

"This was such a unique and exciting new fantasy story and it really took me back to those cozy, excited feelings I used to have reading a new fantasy while growing up, like you’re stumbling onto something new and special and can’t believe your luck."

Forever Lost in Literature

"Empire of Exiles is a captivating murder mystery set in a fascinating epic fantasy world, one that will have you flying through the pages to find out everyone’s secrets and motivations."

Fantasy Book Critic

"Erin M. Evans created a wonderful world in Empire of Exiles. This small – by epic fantasy standards – book is epic in scope. It contains all that I love about good fantasy: politics, magic, and fascinating characters. Quill, Yinii, and Amadea are characters worth following. Empire of Exiles answers some questions from the past but poses more about the future of the Empire. Highly recommended.


"Intrigue, mystery and danger surround the archives at the heart of an Empire [...] Empire of Exiles is a complex, complicated and meaty secondary world fantasy that is ALSO a murder mystery."

Nerds of a Feather

"Empire of Exiles is spectacular, a feast for those who crave complex characters and sinister plots."

Witty and Sarcastic Book Club

"Empire of Exiles is a great book and I really enjoyed unraveling the mysteries within it."

The Cosmic Circus

"The rich and detailed world with a melting pot of fantasy themed cultures, interesting magic systems, and complex characters that feel like real people are some of the best I’ve ever read about. [...] If you’re looking for an exciting murder mystery in a fantasy setting, then this is the book for you!"

Tea Rex Reads

“Erin Evans is a wonderful writer because she can make the reader care deeply about her characters, offering details and anecdotes, quirks and simple gestures to make those characters so very real. That character-building is on in full in 'Empire of Exiles,' but what makes this book special even by Erin’s lofty goalposts is the world she weaves around these characters. Detailed and mysterious, a place to explore and relish. 'Empire of Exiles' is highly recommended!”

R.A. Salvatore, author or “The Legend of Drizzt” and the DemonWars novels

“The beginning of a truly epic tale. Deft worldbuilding and wonderful verbal fencing that is a delight to read. In these pages, you are in the hands of a master.”

Ed Greenwood, creator of the Forgotten Realms and internationally bestselling author

“Empire of Exiles has it all: characters I love, intertwined compelling mysteries in the past and present, plot twists that keep coming, and a unique and fascinating world and magic system! One of my favorite books of the year!"

Melissa Caruso, author of the Swords and Fire Trilogy

“Beautifully wrought and equally ensnaring, this book lived up to and then surpassed all my expectations.”

Cat Rambo, author of You Sexy Thing

“Splendid world building, compelling mysteries and characters, and a fascinating magic system. Erin Evans delivers the goods.”

Howard Jones, author of For the Killing of Kings

“With unrivaled worldbuilding, a compelling mystery to unravel and a found family that stole my heart a dozen times over, Empire of Exiles is one of those stories you can truly sink your teeth into. There are so many layers to the world and characters Evans has created. It’s a deeply satisfying read, and I know it will stay with me for a long time to come. I can’t wait for the next book!”

H. M. Long, author of Hall of Smoke