Gardens of War & Wasteland

the collector’s lost things: chapter five

– 5 –

The Holanian prince stared. He regarded Rei with wary eyes, hand still tight around the hilt of his sword. Rei opened his mouth to speak again but his words were silenced by the clamour of steel. Kio had discarded the blade in a careless toss, closing the space between them in several quick steps. 

‘Rei-Hai,’ he breathed, arms clamping around the smaller man. His embrace was warm, tight, and Rei took a moment before he could respond, eventually spreading his hands across the prince’s broad back. 

‘I don’t understand,’ Kio said, withdrawing, hands clasping either side of Rei’s face. ‘I thought … I thought you were——’

‘I am well, My Prince.’ Rei’s skin was burning.

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Gardens of War & Wasteland

the collector’s lost things: chapter four

– 4 –

The path out of Cirahk was a blur of yawning market stalls and still-drunk revellers with glazed eyes and sore heads; Rei was as invisible as the morning breeze as he strolled out of the city. Women in stained aprons brushed past, eager to buy the day’s bread and milk at its freshest. Rei’s stomach turned with a hollow growl but its protests were not out of hunger.

Queen Halein was dead. Not sick and dying like her family but actually dead on the floor of her home. Rei-Hai Shaw had put her there, without purpose or reason. An accident. An unfortunate and untimely accident. The Queen had been where she should not have been, seen what she should not have seen. And Rei had only had one solution.

Blind those who see.

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Gardens of War & Wasteland

the collector’s lost things: chapter three

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– 3 –

When Rei last visited Cirahk, the thick stone ramparts of Bararn’s military capital had been intimidating. He’d been ten, maybe eleven, when King Vyton demanded both the Holanian heir Kiokharen and his closest male relative—a younger cousin, Tarken—stay in Cirahk as political hostages while Tallas was in Adria bonding with his bride-to-be; Rei had been sent along as a companion for the prince.

They had entered the fortified city by carriage with the window barred and curtained. Rei hadn’t seen the tall buildings that shadowed the cobblestoned streets, the same buildings that shadowed his movements now. Cirahk was a lively city; taverns were abuzz with soldiers and civilians alike, all drinking and feasting and trying to win favour with the pleasure girls. If it had been like this the last time he was here, he wouldn’t have known; the Holanian guests had been confined to the palace at the behest of Vyton’s second son.

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Gardens of War & Wasteland

the collector’s lost things: chapter two

– 2 –

Portals never got easier. Rei-Hai Shaw stumbled over his feet as he shot out at the base of the Yaian Ranges on the other side of the magic doorway. His insides continued a forward trajectory and his body took its time to catch up; hunched over, he rested his hands on his knees, huffing deep breaths. The icy air of the outside world was equally as shocking.

Laina Daine waltzed passed him, as straight and sure-footed as Jahaanya herself who followed thereafter. The Yaian glanced down at him, crimson eyes following the sharp line of her nose. 

‘Some creatures weather magic better than others,’ she drawled. 

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Gardens of War & Wasteland

the collector’s lost things: chapter one

– 1 –

‘There was another one last night.’

Rei-Hai Shaw stirred extra honey into his lumpy porridge as Lylen and Elles leant in to hear the morning’s gossip. Norvar set down his breakfast tray and slipped into a chair before continuing his story.

‘Thirty-seventh floor,’ the dark Qhoraakese man continued, cracking open his bread roll. ‘Right into a snow drift. Heard they had to dig him out of a fifteen foot hole.’

‘Third jumper this month,’ Elles mused. She tucked her straw-yellow hair behind her ears before poking at her breakfast with a spoon. ‘Must have got a weak batch.’

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Gardens of War & Wasteland

release information: the collector’s lost things

COMING SOON: A new Gardens of War & Wasteland story available right here for free

Rei-Hai Shaw was a collector, and he was very good.

Since joining the mysterious brethren of the Tower at the age of thirteen, Rei has risen the ranks to become the youngest recruit ever to receive a band.

Favoured by the masters and distrusted by his peers, Rei plans to make the most of his lonely existence. But when he is chosen to take a second trial and claim another band, he soon doubts the price of success when the latest mission strikes a little too close to home.

Sent back to the world of his childhood, Rei is painfully reminded of everything he left behind—and what he can’t bear to lose again.

The Collector’s Lost Things takes place before the events of Gardens of War & Wasteland: The Ruptured Sky, and will be available for free from March 2020.

A sneak peek will be available to subscribers on January 31st. Sign up now to have the first chapter delivered ahead of time, straight to your inbox!


2019: a year in review

Here we are again, end of another year (or rather, the beginning of a new one because as usual, I’m slow at getting this shit written.)

Actually, it’s the end of the decade, and what an eventual period of time the 2010s turned out to be. In summary: I graduated university, moved to Japan, moved home from Japan, got married, had a baby and turned thirty—all in that order and thankfully not at once.

But we’re here to talk about 2019 and everything that has transpired in what has been a pretty momentous year for me and not just because I turned the big three-oh.

So, let’s break it down.

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