Kakistocracy (#2)

Previous: The Middling Affliction (#1)

If you do it well, lying is every bit as effective as magic.

Conrad Brent has no innate magic, so he bluffs a lot and uses a myriad of magical items to protect Brooklyn from monsters and arcane threats. As a member of the Watch, the group that protects the mundane humans from such dangers, he risks his life on a regular basis. Sometimes twice before lunch. Sometimes during lunch, when he dares order his food from a street cart.

After regaining his position in the Watch which he’d temporarily lost due to the machinations of a variety of evil-doers, Conrad doesn’t want to take any risks he doesn’t have to. But now his boss is missing, there’s a totalitarian new regime in City Hall oppressing all magic users, and the mayor has aligned himself with a diabolical villain.

In order to save the day, Conrad must team up with a recovering necromancer to mediate a dispute between two ancient enemy factions, solve a mystery of a warded house adjacent to a cemetery, and stand with his friends against tyranny.

That is, if the interdimensional fae assassins don’t get him first.


"Kakistocracy balances hard choices with humor, deadly threats with wit, and grief with optimism... [A]n easy read that provokes laughter throughout, but surprises with its serious themes and meaningful contemplations of friendship, loyalty, and bravery"

NY Journal of Books

"Kakistocracy is one hell of a ride through both this realm and the next, with an engrossing plot and an all-too-real (and hysterically funny) protagonist as your narrator."

Nerds of a Feather

"[A]nother fun, fast-paced adventure in an alternate New York City. Conrad Brent has grown but is still the irreverent contrarian that we loved from the first book. Kakistocracy deepens Conrad’s world and gives readers the feeling that Shvartsman’s story is just starting to hit its stride. Highly Recommended."


"A fantasy world so close you can touch it."

Jane Epenson, Hugo Award winner and writer on Buffy the Vampire Slayer series

"Magical mayhem, sinister plots, and mysterious new forces collide in this fantastic work of fantasy. I loved every minute of it!"

Jonathan Pongratz, author of the Reaper Series