Title: The Notorious Sorcerer's Penultimate Work
Word count: 125,000
Genre: Adult fantasy
Since the Burnished City was shaken half into the sea by a magical earthquake, the Inquisitors have policed alchemy with brutal efficiency. Siyon Velo doesn’t let that bother him too much; he won immunity from their laws by stealing the Prefect’s son back from the infernal plane. But safety, security, and even infamy can grow tedious. So when Izmirlian Hisarani - rich, indolent, and just a little fascinating - casually asks to be evicted from reality, Siyon’s in.
To get away with it, he’ll need to avoid the attention of the Inquisitors as he solicits help from jinn, angels, demons and his mundane friends. But his old ally Anahid, an aristocratic housewife turned burgeoning criminal baron, is sleeping with the Inquisitor who once burned Siyon’s house down. Her younger sister Zagiri has connections Siyon needs, but she's trading harmless rooftop sabre duels for elegant ballgowns and explosive revolution.
Tangled up in their troubles, Siyon’s promise to help Izmirlian may see them both burn for black alchemy, and just when he’s fallen in love too. But he did promise, and that sorcerous vow is wound around his soul like barbed wire, twisting tighter every day...
First 250 words:
In the Burnished City there was a fine and wavering line between the legal uses of chemistry and the more potent alchemies often called sorcery. Most practitioners who stepped over that line were discreet about it.
Most practitioners were not Siyon Velo.
Siyon didn’t dress to avoid attention when he was called to the Palace of Justice. He couldn’t blend in anyway: he stood half a foot taller than the average member of the azatani administrators. His skin was a few shades paler and spattered with freckles, and his hair betrayed a golden-red sheen to its brown even when cropped ruthlessly short.
Everyone knew him. Everyone knew why he was there. Everyone had an opinion and most of them were negative.
The Prefect’s personal secretary led the way along the marble-lined corridors with a quick and fussy step. He didn’t bother hiding the sneer on his face when he turned back to ensure Siyon’s more languid stroll hadn’t left him too far behind. Earlier in his career in the City, Siyon might have made an issue of it. Called the secretary out on the tiles. Made a display of it, if the man had dared to show up. He’d once cut the clothes from a challenger, left him shivering in his underthings while his tribemates hooted in audience.
He’d been younger, then. He’d thought sneers and cheers mattered.