Old friends. Older secrets. The truth is hidden under the Aspects’ gaze.
Street magician Mavrin Leed doesn’t believe in what he can’t see or prove. His performances are mere tricks; the only true magic in Aelda comes from the benevolent, god-like Aspects circling it. As long as They keep the Lifesphere intact, he stays out of Their way.
Labeled a heretic, Eyasu Temergon is convinced that Aelda’s true history was hidden, even from the Aspects. He scours forgotten shadows for proof of the Raw, creatures of energy tied to the fracturing of his world. When their sudden emergence leads to destruction and chaos, Eyasu puts aside his estrangement with his old friend, and hopes Mavrin can do the same.
Ex-soldier Deyeri Renn has a mystery of her own: why are her city’s leaders so interested in the Raw? She spent too long fighting in the Winds to let a myth harm her city, and too many years alone to accept the life-worn man who bumbles back into her home, with no right to ask for her help.
As Deyeri, Mavrin, and Eyasu unpack the secrets that once drove them apart, every seal in their relationship means one more crack that could unravel Aelda’s very existence.
Catalyst is the stunning debut by Ottawa author Brandon Crilly, a fantasy tale of magic, friendship, and holding a broken world together.
Publisher: Atthis Arts
Publication Date: October 11, 2022
“A vastly imaginative novel, filled with meticulous detail and fascinating worldbuilding.” – Nebula and Aurora winner Premee Mohamed, author of The Annual Migration of Clouds
“Pack your bags: you’re going on an adventure. Catalyst is an exciting journey into a world of marvels. This book stole my heart.” – Aurora winner Kate Heartfield, author of The Embroidered Book
“Imaginative worldbuilding at its finest. Crilly manages to not glaze over, while still infusing every character with deep humanity. Catalyst is a buffet for epic fantasy readers!” – Hugo winner Brent Lambert, author of A Necessary Chaos
“Catalyst is a breath of fresh air for the fantasy genre. Set in a creative, immersive world filled with post-apocalyptic imagery, mysterious gods, and true magic, Brandon Crilly’s debut novel subverts tropes and upends expectations while still delivering the excitement and wonder that fantasy readers demand. His heroes span different ages, genders, backgrounds, and experiences, but all feel grounded and distinct, and while they face horrific challenges, even the darkest moments are tempered by light and human empathy. This is an author truly engaging their chosen genre, thoughtfully exploring the established cannon while also forging their own unique voice.” – Dan Stout, author of The Carter Archives
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Brandon Crilly has been published by Daily Science Fiction, Apex Magazine, Fusion Fragment, PULP Literature, Flame Tree Publishing and other markets. His podcast Broadcasts from the Wasteland won the Aurora Award in 2022. He’s also a reviewer, conference organizer, and Dungeon Master for a bunch of other writers. In 2021, he co-founded Bag of Giving, a monthly Twitch series where authors play TTRPGs for charity.
Tags: Adult, Fantasy