The Hand of the Sun King (#1)

Next: The Garden of Empire (#2)

Wen Alder was born into two worlds.

On his father’s side, a legacy of proud loyalty and service to the god-like Sienese Emperor spanning generations. And it is expected that Alder, too, will follow this tradition by passing the Imperial exams, learning the accepted ways of magic and, if he serves with honor, enhancing his family’s prominence by rising to take a most powerful position in Sien―the Hand of the Emperor.

But from his mother he has inherited defiance from the Empire, a history of wild gods and magic unlike anything the Imperial sorcerers could yet control. It began when his spirited, rebellious grandmother took Alder into the woods and introduced him to her ways―ways he has never been able to forget.

Now, on the verge of taking the steps that will forge the path of his life, Alder discovers that the conflict between the Empire and the resistance is only the beginning of a war that will engulf both heaven and earth, gods and man―and he may be the key to final victory for whichever side can claim him as their own…


"An excellent mix of classic and modern fantasy with a grimdark undertone of despair."

Grimdark Magazine

"THE HAND OF THE SUN KING deserves a mark of excellence. It is a spellbinding debut with terrific characterizations, immersive world-building, and prose that swept me away. The Hand of the Sun King is hands down the best debut of the year."

Novel Notions

"THE HAND OF THE SUN KING fundamentally explores the right to make our own choices in life, to make sacrifices to serve the greater good and to use power to uplift the oppressed. Greathouse delivers a debut full of complexities, passion and grace, and I’m already longing for more."

Fantasy Hive

"This is an elegantly written, dramatic story of the terrible cost of unexamined ambition and the impossibility of opting out from a conflict you’ve been born into."

Morning Star Online

"I cannot praise this book highly enough, it’s just brilliant.”

Fantasy Book Nerd

"JT Greathouse shows no first-time jitters wit his impressive and compelling debut novel...Greathouse casts an engrossing spell, establishing himself as an exciting new voice in epic fantasy."

SFX Magazine Review

"Epic, dramatic, beautifully written with stellar worldbuilding and characters."

The Chronicler

"Add in a very cool magic system with weighty consequences, a cast of meaningful, well-developed characters, and a lush world that carefully considers its lore, economic struggles, and religious history, it’s easy for me to call THE HAND OF THE SUN KING one of my top reads of 2021."

Fantasy Book Review, 10/10!

"With an Asian-inspired story and some of the most beautiful, creative, and fluid prose I have ever read, THE HAND OF THE SUN KING is sure to inspire future authors for years to come."

Under the Radar SFF Books

"Filled with hardship, friendship, loss, and love."

Biblio Nerd Reflections

"This is one of the most beautifully written fantasies I’ve read in a long time! Greathouse has a wonderful way with words and I found myself quickly absorbed in the poetically descriptive writing [...] it’s one of those fantasies that beg you to linger with the words, characters and their experiences, and trust me, you will want to!"

Dini Panda Reads

"The Hand of the Sun King is a masterpiece. Alder Wen's growth as a character is supremely satisfying, his navigation of societal pressures and warring factions of an imperialist campaign captivating. JT's writing is as smooth as silk; this is world-class modern fantasy with delightful undertones of the classic fantasy epics."

Scott Drakeford, author of RISE OF THE MAGES

“HAND OF THE SUN KING is an exotic, original fantasy filled with magic and culture, the story of a character torn between two names, two loyalties, and two definitions of good and evil.”

Kevin J. Anderson, New York Times bestselling author of Spine of the Dragon

"THE HAND OF THE SUN KING is not the gentle story of a boy’s rise to power; instead, it digs its fingernails into the layers of an empire that would consume and erase half that boy’s identity. Brilliantly told and immediately engrossing, filled with magic, mistakes and their merciless consequences."

Andrea Stewart, author of The Bone Shard Daughter

"A captivating look at growing up an outsider in a sprawling empire and finding your place between rebellion and duty, love and passion, dreams and fate. The Hand of the Sun King satisfies every level of my fantasy loving heart."

Tim Akers, author of Knight Watch

"THE HAND OF THE SUN KING is an outstanding debut novel with very well-conceived world building and an excellent, original magic system, and twists that will keep you reading late into the night and guessing until the very end. The thing that really makes it shine is the main character--I really loved his development throughout the story. Alder is a character I look forward to following for multiple books to come."

Michael Mammay, author of the Planetside series

"Sometimes a book comes along that is truly special. J.T. Greathouse is about to take Patrick Rothfuss's crown with THE HAND OF THE SUN KNG. It's a beautiful tale about someone trying to discover the magic within themselves, in a world where they'll never truly fit in. Be prepared to be swept along on a unique journey where the consequences of choice echo through an empire."

Mike Shackle, author of We Are the Dead

"[THE HAND OF THE SUN KING] creates a rich and intricate world with magic, politics, ambition and resistance."

Maria Haskins

"Well written, thought provoking and enjoyable, The Hand of the Sun King is an impressive debut novel that left me eager for more."

Lisbeth Campbell, author of The Vanished Queen

"A great coming of age story about a foolish boy who seeks to unravel the secrets of magic and maybe do something good in the process. I absolutely loved it."

Nick Martell, author of The Two-Faced Queen

"The Hand of the Sun King is a beautifully crafted debut fantasy filled with magic, mystery, and characters as rich as the world around them. This is just the beginning for J.T. Greathouse."

Zac Topping, author of WAKE OF WAR

"Sublime prose and pin-sharp characterisation combine to produce a captivating epic of conflicted loyalties and dangerous ambition."

Anthony Ryan, author of the Raven's Shadow Novels

"A debut of incredible quality"

Richard Swan, Sunday Times bestselling author