King of the Crags (April 2010 UK, 2011 US, Fr, 2012 Ger)

“…rapid battle scenes which stand out as some of the best dragon fights I’ve ever witnessed.” SFbook

King of the Crags picks up right where The Adamantine Palace left off. There are a couple of major characters who now appear and one or two of the minor figures from TAP get a bigger role. The pace is maybe a little more measured than TAP. OK, a maybe *tiny* bit more measured. There are deaths, oh yes. And burning. Much, much burning. There are a couple of characters who might be mistaken for the ‘good’ guys, although I’m not saying how long they last before they get eaten. And a few secrets of both the dragons and the alchemists are beginning to leak out.

Ideas from early drafts for a lengthy chapter on dragon anatomy and a cameo appearance by a flight of were-ducks have been ditched; however they may reappear… elsewhere.

For the truly dedicated, there is a map here and the ALL-NEW alternate prologue here

UK Cover with dragons by Domonic Harman:

Shiny shiny, shiny books of dragons...
Shiny shiny, shiny books of dragons…

US cover art by Stephen Youll:

Oh look! Snow!
Oh look! Snow!

French cover by Alain Brion

Le_Roi_des_cimes cover


“As sharp as anything by George RR Martin or Joe Abercrombie . . . the new fantasy has another new star.”SFX

Look, they said the ‘M’ word. THE ‘M’ WORD! Frankly who needs more?

“A fiery, eventful read” .. “refreshingly fast paced”SciFi Now

“Beautifully written, excellently plotted and above all a descriptiveness for the world that is almost photographic.” Falcatta Times.

“I can only hope Deas returns to his world, not with rosy visions of restoration, but to give his humans some reason not to pack it all in…” Locus

“Fans of grim epic fantasy will find these intrigues engrossing.” Publisher weekly

“…characters like Jehal and Kemir shine, the world feels more solid and interesting, the battles are well-described and the various plots twists are more ruthless and startling than anything else this side of Paul Kearney and George RR Martin…” The Wertzone

“Stephen Deas has combined all that’s good in fantasy and spun it around in a thriller-paced tale that will leave you breathless.” The Ranting Dragon.

“Prince Jehal … is brilliant. One of the most complex, twisted and ultimately human characters I’ve read … When I think back over what I’ve read this year … I’m hard pressed to find one I enjoyed more than this one.” SF Crowsnest

“Overall, a very strong sequel and one of the best second entries in a trilogy I’ve had the chance to read. In the final paragraph of my Adamantine Palace review I said that The Adamantine Palace was not top notch…well…forget that. It might have been on its own but with The King of the Crags as its sequel it now certainly falls into that category.” LEC Book Reviews (see that bit about The Adamantine Palace – a series should be more than the sum of its parts).

“This is, quite simply, some of the best fantasy writing I’ve read in quite some time. This series is highly recommended.” CA Reviews.

“Stephen Deas successfully delivers another wonderful and exciting fantasy novel, just as enjoyable as his previous one” SFF Chat

Another review of TAP/KOTC

“The first book was a marvellous debut.  The second book trumped it hands down.  The excitement, thrills and spills anticipated in the final book promise to be an incomparable fantasy ride.” M/C reviews

“…filled to the brim with murder, revenge, double-dealings, politics and power grabs…” Monsters and Critics

The writing is still sharp, right to the point, without being excessively extravagant and just harsh and biting enough to give it some edge. … Bring on The Order of the Scales, I’m hungry for dragons eating useful food! A Fantasy Reader

The Booksmugglers seem to be converted. “Questions aside, I finished reading The Adamantine Palace only just about interested about reading this sequel. I closed The King of the Crags knowing for a fact that I will be picking up the final instalment in the trilogy come rain or come shine.”

Not the only one: “And I won’t be waiting to read volume 3 when it eventually arrives.” Lowly’s Book Blog (and that’s meant in a good way).

“…a wonderful follow-up to The Adamantine Palace and I enjoyed reading it even more than I did the first book.” Night Owl SF

So Crags is better than The Adamantine Palace? Not every one seems to think so.

“I also sincerely dislike the fact that I now have to wait for the next instalment to find out what happens next. *Pokes Stephen with a pointy metal stick* Write faster!!”

“. . . the tension that made The Adamantine Palace so addictive runs throughout this sequel . . . The Dragon War that rages throughout the final stages of the book is simply superb. . . An impressive sequel that boasts the same flare and excitement of its predecessor.” Total SciFi.

“…even more brutal that the first one, darker and more cynical with no-nonsense and sentimentality…” Fantasy Book Critic

“A fairly successful stab at viciously political fantasy.” Kirkus Reviews (who assert they are the world’s toughest book critics; although I take that with a pinch of salt, I’ll take the review too).

“the second best opening I’ve ever encountered after ‘Tigana’” (Pauline’s Fantasy Reviews, who would like some nicer characters I think)

Still not bad then. But then they did rather like the first one. However, for some, the slight change in style seems to have come as a real disappointment. I guess you can’t please everyone.

“In The Adamantine Palace Deas went all out and told an amazing story at a break-neck pace and that was lacking in The King of the Crags. While I still plan to continue reading the series I hope that Deas returns to a faster plot for the third book.”

Some reviews are simply… curious…

“Readers will appreciate soaring through the skies of the Realms” OK, but… “…this is no cozy.” Eh?

However, the most heartfelt reviews of all are those written by readers who are simply that and nothing more:

“You built an amazing world, populated it with a rich range of believable characters and peppered everything with minor NPCs and backstory galore — speaking as a roleplayer, I would love to be in any game you GMed.”

It’s not a wish I can fulfil, but it’s one I wish I could.

If there’s a plan for book three, it’s to rattle along like book one but with the depth of book 2. Best of both? Falling between two stools? Read it and see…

40 Responses to “King of the Crags (April 2010 UK, 2011 US, Fr, 2012 Ger)”

  1. irina lakicevic says:

    well, i have to say that the book is marveillous, i’m of course talking about “The Amandine Palace”. I haven’t been so intrigued since Zimmermans “The Mists of Avalon”.I read the book in two days!I can not describe how much i enticipate the realese of the next book in line. A year feels like forever.
    The only thing i have a thiny comment on, is that i want more; more about characters, their way of thinking, ploting, and even an deeper insight in their (ruthless) feelings.

  2. irina lakicevic says:

    with best compliments,

  3. irina lakicevic says:

    ’sorry for writing wrong name of the book…oh i meant ofcourse “The Adamantine palace”…the kees on the board can be rather evil…

  4. Stephen Deas says:

    Irina – if that’s what you want then I think you will be happy. King of the Crags will focus on a smaller number of characters, some new, some old.

  5. Jaquie says:

    Hi Stephen!

    I absolutely loved TAP! The world, many of the characters and especially the dragons are utterly compelling. Snow is a delightful creation.

    My reading is of a voracious nature and includes various genres. This year among my top 5 books so far are three fantasy titles:
    TAP, Nights of Villjamur and Dragonkeeper.

    April 2010 is a very long time to wait :(

    I am hoping for more info on dragons, in-depth exploration of the reasons why Snow and Kemir work together and how they come to understand each other’s motivations.

    Will you slowly reveal more about the past? How the dragons were subjugated?

    Needless to say I am extremely curious about the silver riders…

    One request: PLEASE, please, please include a map with the next book!

    Were-ducks?! Sound intruiging, too bad they had to be ditched.

    Nice cover design, by the way. Snow looks great.

    Happy & plentiful writing!


  6. Stephen says:

    The schedule, I’m afraid, is out of my hands. However as to the rest… There will be more of all of those things, and there will be all sorts of tit-bits sneaking out in the Gazetteer once it goes online. The silver riders, well they’re one mystery I’ll hang on to for a while longer though.

    As for a map… That’s out of my hands too, but I’ve done one anyway and it’s online here. I shall endeavour to make it more prominent!

  7. Jaquie says:


    So, somebody clocked you round the head for not including a map Stephen?

    Expect no sympathy from me, I fully agree. Besides, it did “encourage” you to put up the lovely map that I just printed out & stuck in the book. It’s great, no need for a more professional one. You are just being modest ;)

    The Gazetteer sounds promising, holding back on the silver riders less so. Bet they have something to do with the mysterious traders.

    Hasn’t it occurred to Jehal that there might be a master dragon to observe him & his two little spies? Guess that’s something you won’t answer…

    Now that you have kindly provided a map online, I shall have to nag Mark Charan Newton (again) to do the same for Nights of Villjamur and cite your good example…

    Hope King of Crags will hit the shelves soon. 2010 is a long time to wait :(


  8. Stephen Deas says:

    Can’t give everything away in book 2, now can I…

  9. Lexx says:

    Hi Stephen

    I am a dragon fanatic, and i must just say that TAP is one of the best dragon books i have read. You hit the nail on the head with their personalities. I actually find myself rooting for them to burn all the humans :) I would however like to have more chapters from the dragons perspective, but maybe in book 3 hey? I bought the book 2 days ago without ever having heard of it (i liked the cover so i bought it) and couldn’t put it down. 2 days later and i am wondering how i am going t wait until 2010. very good work!

  10. Lucas Guertin says:

    i loved the adamantine Palace and looking forward to the king of the crags and i hope that it comes out in america sometime soon i was just lucky eneough to travel to denmark and buy this because it looked like a good book and i was not wrong

  11. Scott Buchanan says:

    I just finished reading TAP after getting it as a birthday present and wanted to say that I enjoyed reading it and am looking forward to the sequels. Having read some monster size books of late (inc. other fantasy novels) it was a pleasure reading a fantasy novel that didn’t needlessly occupy 800 pages when 370 would do the job. For a change I didn’t skim through entiure chapters!

    Am I right in assuming that there will be 2 follow-up novels?

  12. Stephen Deas says:

    Lexx, there will be more from the dragons in King of the Crags.

    Scott, yes, two more books in this series.

  13. Jacob says:

    Hi Stephen,
    I just finished reading TAP, could not put it down. A fine read which i thoroughly enjoyed.
    I enjoy reading fantasy novels (you may gather this by my email address)and this was a breath of fresh air, and i have not been this excited since the Redwall series. I followed the link above to view the map which you created, however it only took me to a page of writing about the map. Was wondering if you could send it again please.
    I have read a number of dragon-themed fantasy novels and this is one of the best, thank you.
    Cannot wait for the second book of the trilogy.

  14. Stephen says:

    There is a link to a hand-drawn map buried in the post, but there’s now a swanky map drawn by a trained professional available from my home page.

  15. Naomi says:

    Thankyou, I enjoyed TAP. I thought the idea of the alchemists and their medicinal enslavement of the dragons a brilliant idea. I enjoyed all your characters and I liked that Jaslyn was represented as plain. I found it intriguing because all too often lead women characters are incredibly beautiful. (some novels are so full of amazingly beautiful female characters its rediculous, unless you live in hollywood one area doesn’t have that many beauties.)
    I’m interested in Kemir and where his decision to support Snow will take him. I look forward to KoTC.
    Thankyou for a fast paced,enjoyable read.

  16. stylor says:

    I’ve bought and half finished 5 books in the last month and had thought I’d lost my passion for sci-fantasy. Now I realise I’ve just been picking shitty books to read. Until now that is. I bought and finished The Adamantine Palace today and absolutely loved it. Thanks for giving me what I thought was lost Stephen!

    Can’t wait to read more!


  17. Stephen says:

    Naomi, I am writing how it pans out between Snow and Kemir at the moment in Order of the Scales.

    Stylor (and everyone else), it’s comments like these that make me not mind that I’m spending my evenings on re-writes instead of Dragon Age: Origins

  18. Dan says:

    Hey Stephen
    TAP is probably the most awesome book I have ever, possibly will ever read, although maybe I should reserve that judgement until the King of the Crags is released, also i see you’re a Dragon Age fan now theres a game that could have an awesome companion novel(hint, hint) :P or at least someone who is able to create such amazing dragon characters should get in touch with them and lend them some ideas, although saying that TAP would make a pretty good RPG lol
    anyway thanks for the great read, hurry up april 2010

  19. Benny says:

    Hi Stephen,
    Thought i would add my ‘thumbs up’ to TAP. An excellent read and (your) dragons are now added to dire wolves (GRRMs) as must have mythical pets. The characters of Jehal and Zafir are wonderfully rotten and incredibly likable. I especially like the understanding starting to come out between Snow and Kemir. I have just pre-ordered the second book and can’t wait for some burning!! Great work.

  20. Stephen Deas says:

    Dan, Benny, you are clearly people of taste!

  21. Camique says:

    I went into Barnes Noble the other day to pick up the second book the King of Crags, only to find out that it won’t be out untill 2011. Is your website incorrect or are the people at BN dumb?? If so where else can I purchase it?

  22. Stephen Deas says:

    Camique, the US edition is out in 2011, but you can get the UK & Commonwealth edition as an import via Amazon. Will update the site to make this clearer.

  23. Deirdre Mundy says:

    I picked up “PALACE” b/c I saw you on Scalzi’s blog… What a fun read! I think you topped Martin, actually. :)

  24. Hannah says:

    I love your books so much. I really don’t want the stories to end.I love the character Jehal, because of the way he is so devious.

  25. Fantasy says:

    Cool one =)) =^_^=

  26. Tony says:

    I must say, I enjoyed King of the Crags, it’s a very entertaining book, a real treat for anyone, but I expected “King V..” to play a bigger role.
    In all, the journey this far has been a very delightful experience, can hardly wait for the third book.

  27. FFFan says:

    Well thanks for nothing Stephen, its 4.30 am!
    I just finished TAP after buying it yesterday afternoon, ive got work in 3 hours! WARNING this book is dangerous to your continued employment. Brilliant read and if i make it through the day i shall drag myself to the book shop and blow off my weekend to follow Jehal

  28. Stephen Deas says:

    Tony: There was a plot and then there was a title, and then the plot sort of changed somewhat. That’s the way it goes sometimes.

    FFFan: :-)

  29. CassieMiles says:

    Thanks for the great read… well written, kept me reading… now that I’m done I want more. Thanks for continuing to write. What other books of yours would you suggest that would be comparable to ‘The Adamantine Palace’?

  30. PY says:

    I just read the firs 160 pages of the Palace on a plane from florida to san fran….LOVED IT!!!!!!!! But I just looked on AMAZON and they said I can only pre order kings of crag for 2011, I need that book, man…how can I get it??!!

  31. PY says:

    just got it off ebay…………..sweet

  32. PY says:

    I see two different covers for the king of the crags. Is there any difference as far as the contents of the book?

  33. Stephen Deas says:

    The one with the Brent Weeks quote is the US cover and it won’t be out until next year. No difference in content apart from spellings, and the US edition may or may not have a map.

  34. Anna Wildheit says:

    See, this is what you get for asking. It might be some unknown god’s vengeance, or justice, or sheer luck: King of Crags just arrived from my favourite online shop when I noticed your recruiting poster. And while I have no special weakness for men with moustaches, I do love men with swanky hats. How was I to refuse?

    I didn’t come across any accidental revenants or sex changes which is not to say they don’t exist, only that if they do they’re well camouflaged and of no consequence to the story. But I did find ty- *cough* opportunities. Far far far less than I’m used to stumble across, which is probably one of the reasons why I Question mark?
    P167 (bottom): Another pieRced Vengeance’s wing, more struck…
    P257 (bottom): She had said ‘we’ again. > Looks to me like incongruent (or incongruous? damned monkey language) use of italics, or otherwise the tense is wrong.

    P92 (middle): I do not seek a war with Shezira’s daughters, but nor can I marry them.
    > You’re not really trusting a non-native to know it all, do you? But in my mind “but nor” just sounds butt-ugly.
    P171 (middle): Dragon, do you even know where are you going?
    > Which is perfectly how I would speak when my brain is winking out and my tongue and cheeks are numbed by the freezing cold of Worldspine. So, yeah…

    And, since I’m not eligible for a prize I claim the right to slip in a more anal-retentive op- No, sorry, can’t get that combination over my virtual lips. But in the middle of page 210 you mention ’sporadic showers’ and it rubbed me the wrong way, ’sporadic’ didn’t seem to fit the sense of space-time of that scene.

    Now, back to writing, little one, ’cause I’m hungry and the Thief-Taker is still a long way off.

  35. Stephen Deas says:

    OK, that’s three hits.

    Missing ‘r’ in pierced, and yes, the italicisation isn’t quite right there.
    Technically, ‘do you even know where are you going?’ was probably unintentional. You’ve convinced me to like it, but strictly it’s wrong.

    Three hits wins a prize even if you’re German. We shall talk.

    ‘erratic’ showers, maybe? And you can live with ‘but nor’ – Perfectly good monkey-speak that. :-p

  36. Jamari says:

    I like the books cover and style also I like the way you write when I read this I was feeling I’m the characters and taking part of the action , is like your transpose your readers in the world you write about ! Hope you write many great books !

  37. Alexi Carleton says:

    The first two books of this series have been a very pleasant distraction from my ongoing wait to the conclusion of the George R. R. Martin series: A Song of Ice and Fire. I look forward to reading more.

  38. Cecilia Sutton says:

    From Lowly Bookworm:
    Of course I meant it in a good way. I was horrified to find volume 2 in my ‘read later’ pile of books, and I will be making sure that volume 3 gets into the very short ‘read now’ pile.

  39. Stephen says:

    Cecilia: I thought so, but I wasn’t entirely sure. Have ammended the text above.

  40. Sago says:

    A pleasant surprise, it occurs seldom, but the following we can speak of a real bonus value towards person who reads.

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