The Order of the Scales (May 2011 UK, 2012 US, Fr, Ger)

Imagine you’re a dragon. Monstrous, tireless, ageless. You have seen the world broken into pieces and assembled back together again. You have travelled the lands of the living and the dead. You know what lurks in both and you have no fear of anything that you have seen, because you are a dragon and nothing is your equal.

Imagine there are men. Little scurrying things that run on two legs instead of four. They are unremarkable prey – small and slow – save for one thing. They think. They understand what you are when you come for them. They feel fear, hope, dread, despair and you have come to savour the taste of those things. They are delicious little treats, rewarding, even if they are hard to winkle out of their holes.

Now imagine that something has changed. Imagine the men have learned a trick. Imagine they have found a way to make you stupid. They no long scurry and hide and fear you, no – now you are their pet. They feed you and nurse you and ride you. They wear your skin for their armour and make bows from your bones. They make you dull, like a dog, with their alchemy. They strip you of your power and and your glory and your rage. For hundreds of years, they grow rich and fat on the back of you. They make you forget what you are and then they forget themselves, and the fear and the dread are all gone and everything is made drab and meaningless.

Imagine you wake up. Imagine you remember. All of it. Imagine the fury.

Now imagine there are thousands of you.


A long time ago, I made some comment about this trilogy coming in layers. The Adamantine Palace shows the surface of what’s going on, glittering and shiny but superficial. The King of the Crags peers beneath, and the Order of the Scales takes you to the heart. That’s the way it was supposed to be, at any rate. I think it has more depth than King of the Crags and I think it flies at a pace to put The Adamantine Palace to shame. I think this is the best of the trilogy by far. If you found the other two fun, I’m quietly hoping this book will blow your mind.

I may, of course, be entirely deluded.

The Order of the Scales comes out in the UK on 19th May. The dragons are by Domonic Harman again. You can read the first chapter here.


“But it’s not the battles or the monsters that captivate, it’s the characters” SFX

“…a fast-paced and violent conclusion to an interesting series, epic in scope but low in bloat, marked out by memorably vicious characters (scaled and unscaled).” The Wertzone

“Great Stuff” Falcatta Times

“enthusiastic … brilliantly executed … heart-thumping dragon action” LEC Book reviews

“The final chapters however are bliss.”  “I’m glad to have picked it up and I think you should give it a try. A Fantasy Reader

“This is how epic fantasy should be: horrifying dragons, political intrigue, mystery, epic world building, neck-breaking pace, interesting magic and breathtaking battle sequences. There is no wrong or right, there are no heroes; there is only blind ambition, blind devotion, and a struggle to survive. With all its layers and subplots, and a different agenda for pretty much every character, The Order of the Scales proves to be a complex story that will never grow dull.” The Ranting Dragon.

“This is a book that bears some thinking about.” Lowly’s Book Blog

SfSite have a review of the trilogy as a whole: “If you don’t want to get bogged down … and like your fantasy on the dark side you’re going to really enjoy Stephen Deas.

a strong bloody finish to the Memory of Flames fantasy trilogy according to Alternative Worlds

“unremitting violence at a blistering pace” from Kirkus reviews, but beware, for “also almost everything … is mystifying if you haven’t read the previous books” Yeah. Book three of three thing going on and I didn’t do a recap. Because recaps are BORING.

“The dragons are brilliant…” (Pauline’s Fantasy Reviews, who would definitely like some of the characters to live longer. And possibly be nicer too).

Media Culture have a fairly comprehensive review up

“Pacing aside, it’s very difficult to resist getting caught up in the cold, calculating behavior of Stephen Deas’ majestic and determined dragons.” Citybookreviews stand out from the crowd by finding the story moves too slowly.

A riveting, relentless and violent war of wings, Deas’ dragons are the scariest thing in fantasy today … to be savoured again and again. Fantasy Book Review.

Blood and fire. A must for dragon lovers everywhere. Antipodean SF

US Cover (artwork by Stephen Youll):

Order+of+the+Scales+USA Cover art

French cover (Alain Brion)

Order of the scales french cover

26 Responses to “The Order of the Scales (May 2011 UK, 2012 US, Fr, Ger)”

  1. Van says:

    I have to wait until next year!!?? Living in the states I had to special order The King of the Crags because it hasn’t been officially released here. I suspect I will have to do the same with The Order of the Scales…deep sigh…

  2. Cherry Mischievous says:

    I really really didn’t like it that ***** got eaten :(

  3. Stephen says:

    Edited to remove spoiler! Cherry, I must warn you there’s more of that sort of thing in Order of the Scales.

  4. Andreas says:

    I’m living in Sweden and I just ordered ADAMANTINE PALACE, KING OF THE CRAGS and THE THIEF-TAKER’S APPRENTICE. I’m really looking forward to have a new author to read.
    By the way, does a dragon go “nom nom nom” when they eat people? ;)

  5. Stephen says:

    @Andreas – hope you enjoy it all. I reckon dragons don’t chew much.

  6. Taryn says:

    Really looking forward to this :) Do you know the release date for Australia?

  7. Stephen says:

    @Taryn – not at exact date, but it’s usually 6 weeks after UK release, so around the end of June.

  8. Josh says:

    Love the Adamantine Palace series! Is “The Order of the Scales” the end of the series or will there be more to come? Congratulations on a wonderfully imagined and well written cycle.

  9. Stephen says:

    There are more books on their way set in the dragon-realms in the aftermath of the Memory of Flames. I won’t say too much for fear of spoliers, but there will be characters from the first series still present and we’ll be seeing a LOT more of the Taiytakei.

  10. josh says:

    i just finished the king of the crags and im reading the adamantine palace again i just cant seam to put these books down and i was wudering if any one knows how to specialy oder books from the uk because i cant wait a year to read the oder of the scales

  11. James says:

    Hi. I JUST got into these books over here in the USA. When will the 3rd one come out? Hopefully not next year? Cuz it says March 2011 which is ending soon!

    Anyways I LOVE your books. Ever since Anne McCaffrey let her son totally butcher the Dragons of Pern universe I’ve been at a loss as to finding truly deep and meaningful dragon fantasy novel series.

    I really hope you keep up the good work. However I ask that you give the dragons more parts in the novel. More dialog. And please expand on the relationships. So far everything seems so detached and cold. Its hard to really care about any sect of people. Even the “bad guys” seem a little bland…

  12. Stephen Deas says:

    @James – Where does it say that? I’ll have to try and get that changed because Order of the Scales comes out in May 2011 in the UK and February 2012 in the US. I can tell you that you get a lot more dragon in book three; and possibly some humans who do deserve some sympathy…

  13. Emma says:

    Stephen, if that name that you blanked out up there is Jehal, I am going to be very, VERY angry with you.

    That is all.

  14. Elaine says:

    I loved the first 2. Can’t wait for the 3rd!! Can you tell me how I can get before Feb. 2012? Can’t wait that long to read it!!And please don’t ever stop writing about the dragons.These are the best books I’ve read in a long time. Thank you!

  15. Stephen says:

    @Emma – can’t possibly comment one way or the other…
    @Elaine – Kindle? It’s (just about) out in the UK, so you can probably get it as an import.

  16. Michelle says:

    @Taryn- I work at an Australian bookstore and according to Alliance Distribution “Order of the Scales” is due for release on the 14th of June. They better send me my copy by then or else… :P

  17. Ryan says:

    Stephen, thank you for your work on this series, it has been a delight and privilege to read. As a fellow author I know exactly the struggles it takes to get a book written much less published…well maybe not exactly.
    I disagree with any comments saying your characters are bland, especially the antagonists. The characters are amazing and you have made a world where not everyone is a hero (hard to find in the fantasy genre) the suprises in your books don’t let up and I hope you keep writing for a very long time. Best of luck and may your fire never go out.

  18. Quoth says:

    I just picked this up. The cover grabed my attention and the first chapter nailed it in place! Then I found out it was the third book in a trilogie I havent started yet, gutted!

    Oh well, The Adamantine Palace here I come!

  19. Stephen says:

    @Ryan: They were supposed to evolve over the course of the series. With a bit of luck they managed to do that.

  20. cyrus says:

    Why are the covers in the UK so artistic and the covers here in the US so darn literal? I want to order UK versions instead.

    I read on my nook and wish I could order the new one. But limits us, I would have to buy a pdf version.

    I hate publishers right now because I am stuck waiting for book three of three different trilogies, and two of them are already released overseas. If they want to help their profits, start selling books!

  21. Stephen says:

    @cyrus The US covers sell better though. I kind of like both.

  22. Kim says:

    I was wondering if anyone knew when in Februaury 2012 the 3rd book is coming out I hear February, but no solid date…

  23. Daniel Hanscome, Cr.Photog. says:

    The Adamantine Palace has been my introduction to your world. It is supreme writing, which supplies the utmost entertainment!

  24. Diviani says:

    This is the end? :( I hope it isn’t! I want to know what happens to the survivors!

  25. Stephen Deas says:

    And so Diviani, shall your wish be fulfilled in The Black Mausoleum, later this year, and in Dragon Queen in 2013 :-)

  26. Thomas says:


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