Darkborn cover

In the city of Minhorne, Darkborn and Lightborn live side by side, never meeting, divided by a powerful mages’ curse that makes daylight lethal to the Darkborn and darkness lethal to the Lightborn. They are divided, too, by their acceptance of magic and technology, their politics, their religion, and their views of the proper conduct of men and women.

An act of necessary succor brings Darkborn physician Balthasar Hearne to the deadly attention of agents of a new and unrecognized enemy of both Darkborn and Lightborn. His aristocratic wife, Telmaine, is forced to use magical abilities she has all her life concealed, to protect her husband and her children. And Ishmael di Studier, mage and outcast, who has spent his life defending his borders home from the marauding Shadowborn, now finds himself engaged against an even more dangerous enemy.


ROC, Penguin, May 5, 2009. Trade paperback. ISBN10: 045146270X, ISBN13: 978-0451462701. Cover by Mélanie Delon.
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ROC, Penguin, May 4, 2010. Mass market paperback. ISBN10: 0451463005, ISBN13: 978-0451463005. Cover by Mélanie Delon.
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“I had this idea, you see …”

I had never envisioned writing fantasy, much as I enjoy reading fantasy, since my educational background is not in arts, but in science. I was reading a fantasy novel in which the whole light-dark motif was rather too front and centre, and in a fit of irritation began to pick at the edges, out of which came the idea of taking the light/dark thing absolutely literally and the image of a city divided by a sunrise and sunset – and a house with a paper wall through which a man and woman pursue a long and intense friendship. But why the division – oh, a curse. That was easy! Brief sweet sense of liberation from the laws of physics – I can do anything! – followed by the swift and chastening recognition of the iron-clad laws of dramatic and magical logic. Even more than in SF, I find myself living with the consequences of my own bright ideas.