The Garden of Empire (#2)

Previous: The Hand of the Sun King (#1) | Next: The Pattern of the World (#3)

J.T. Greathouse continues his Pact and Pattern fantasy series, hailed by New York Times bestselling author Anthony Ryan as “a captivating epic of conflicted loyalties and dangerous ambition.”

The boy once known as Wen Alder has become the rebel witch Foolish Cur. Schooled in both the powers that bound him to serve the emperor as well as the furious, wild magic of his mother’s ancestors, he was torn between two worlds, until he realized the brutal nature of the emperor and his rule. Joining the rebellion, he soon experienced the painful sacrifices that come with defiance.

Now the emperor―covetous of all the magic he controls―has decided to take his ruthless quest for power to the gods themselves. If he succeeds, the gods will unleash a storm of death and destruction unlike any even imagined. Only Foolish Cur has the skills and strength to stave off such a nightmare.

While Foolish Cur fights the Empire in Nayen, others wage their own rebellions. A successful tutor opens a school to preserve his own dying culture while a warrior of the plains discovers powers long thought lost. And a servant of the empire begins to question the violence that threatens to engulf them all…


"In short, The Garden of Empire is a worthy read for those who like their fantasy epic. I think it is one of the best fantasy series I have read recently, and is therefore worthy of your attention.


"Broader in scope, seeped in electrifying magic and topped with a heart stopping finale, this is a sequel not to be missed."

The Fantasy Hive

"Wild twists and shocking revelations will leave you begging for the finale."

Under the Radar SFF Books

"[A]n absolutely amazing piece of fantasy fiction that somehow manages to expand on an already richly described world with great characters and a driving plot, and I for one, cannot wait to see how this story ends. "

Fantasy Book Nerd

"If you’ve already read Hand of the Sun King this is an absolute must read and I am already looking forward to book three."

The Bibliophile Chronicles

"This book is a complete package of beautiful prose, well written characters , well explained magic with good battle scenes and immersive world-building."

Reading Notions

"A very good series overall, one of the more entertaining first series to an author I’ve read recently and one I look forward to see the end of soon. [...] I’m really excited for that after that explosive ending."

Days in Other Worlds

"J.T does a brilliant job of showcasing these characters. [...] It’s a great sequel, and I really recommend it!"


"I can’t wait to see what happens next to Wen Alder/Foolish Cur and how his decisions will continue to affect the empire and the world."

Grimdark Magazine

"J.T. Greathouse is one of the most effective prose artists that I’ve read in SFF in a long time. He threads the needle between rich, complex, and vivid prose without making the effort seem like an exercise in indulging oneself for the purpose of looking good in an MFA salon. His prose is *readable* and gorgeous all at once, and perhaps it’s the former execution of the latter that’s most impressive. Do yourself a favor and do not miss this one."

Jon Ficke Writer

"The Garden of Empire swings its scope wide, which is a great way to show off world and threat in epic fantasy."

Sifa Elizabeth Reads