A God In Hiding
Matthew Hughes, author
In a far-future world of wizards and walled cities, Lieve Reder has risen from being a small chandler’s daughter to become the captain of a riverboat owned by House Bernaglio in the oligarch-run city of Exley. She has ambitions to rise higher and when her employer, the widow Philaria Bernaglio, asks her to travel to the remote desert town of Ur Nazim to retrieve a mysterious item her dead husband, Nulf Bernaglio ordered, she signs on to the quest. Accompanied by Dai, an artificial human created by one of the mad thaumaturges of Olliphract to be part of the wizards’ deadly war games, she sets out on the perilous journey. But the object she is sent to collect turns out to be one of the abandoned, semi-sentient tools the demiurge used to create the cosmos in which she lives. It’s the kind of entity that can become a god. And other forces seek to possess it for their own purposes. One challenge leads to another, leading Reder to embark on an even more dangerous quest, to the far northern rim of the world where she must awaken a powerful godlet that just wants to be left to dream in peace. Along the way, she must contend with the assassins’ guild, secret agents of the Duke of Vanderoy, corruptible officials, a pair of quarreling, elderly wizard brothers, an ensorcelled flying reptile, ogres, cannibal weremen, and a surprise visitor who has the power to upend all of Phenomenality. Through it all, Reder keeps her eyes on the prize: to move up in the world and make her own destiny.