In this dark fantasy, two women enact a scheme to overthrow a tyrant chief by first kidnapping his wife.
The Realms have split apart, the Stones of Elation have been hidden, and warnings of dokojin drift among the tribes. The land and its people are corrupted.
The Sachem, chief of the Unified Tribes, is to blame.
It is this conviction that drives Annilasia and Delilee to risk their lives. Afraid of the aether magic he wields, they enact a subtler scheme: kidnap his wife. In her place, Delilee will pretend to be the chieftess and spy on the Sachem.
Unaware of this plot against her husband, Jalice is whisked away by Annilasia. Pleading with her captor proves futile, and she rejects Annilasia’s delusional accusations against the chief. After all, the Sachem has brought peace to the land.
Yet a dangerous truth hides in Jalice’s past. As she and Annilasia flee through a forest of insidious threats, they must confront the evil plaguing the tribes and the events that unleashed it.
The BookViral Review: Genre – Dark Fantasy Fiction
With slick original plotting and high octane action, there’s much to keep the most ardent of fantasy fans on tenterhooks with Bailey’s The Jealousy Of Jalice.
Imaginative world building is the backbone of great fantasy and here he proves himself quite adept at delivering the goods. Slipping between realms with an amorphous logic, where things that are both familiar and strange, connect the physical and intangible realms. It’s an inventive approach as the age-old conflict between the forces of light and dark come in to focus and Bailey does well to avoid the cumbersome descriptions that have become all too common in fantasy fiction.
He certainly has an impressive eye for detail, but he never shares information with the reader without purpose – instead, he gives us just enough of his settings to reassure us that he has considered every facet of them. And it’s the same with his characters. Jalice, Annilasia and Delilee are particularly well rendered with compelling backstories whilst Hydrim and the demonic Dokojins, Dardajah and Inzerious are up there with the darkest of fantasy characters.
With hawkish prose, there isn’t a page that doesn’t enthrall whilst a shocking twist in the final chapters will leave readers eager for the next release in Bailey’s series. Highly recommended to discerning fans of fantasy fiction with a darker edge, The Jealousy Of Jalice proves a genuine page-turner and must-read.
"A slick, modern sword-and-sorcery tale!" - Christopher Ruocchio, Author of The Sun Eater series
"Bailey’s debut dark-fantasy novel offers a tale of old grudges, forbidden magic, and gruesome monsters.
As the story opens, the Unified Tribes that rule the lands are fractured, and the many different magical Realms of existence, including the Ethereal Realm and the Soul Realm, are no longer accessible to the denizens of the Terrestrial Realm. A tyrannical chief known as the Sachem has enslaved and slaughtered many innocent people in a reign of terror, with a supposed aim of keeping the peace, while his wife, Jalice, lives in cloistered indulgence in his fortress. Some whisper that the chief has been possessed by a dokojin, an otherworldly demon that feeds off pain. Jalice’s royal decoy, Delilee, and the assassin Annilasia have hatched a plot to kidnap Jalice and use magic to install Delilee in her place as part of a plan to uncover the truth behind the Sachem’s rise to power. But Annilasia gets more than she bargained for as she and Jalice are beset by hitmen, bloodthirsty abominations, and hungry dokojin, while also dealing with their bitter distrust of each other. Is Jalice truly the Sachem’s accomplice, and if so, why are there gaps in her memory? And what awaits them in the Black House, where an infernal bargain was struck many years ago? Overall, Bailey’s story, set in a distinctly non-Western fantasy world with an engaging mix of magic, spiritualism, and post-apocalyptic lore, is a tightly paced and exciting adventure. It occasionally succumbs to common pitfalls of high concept fantasy—namely, an overabundance of in-universe terminology and long-winded prose. However, the author manages to organically reveal important details of the world and its inhabitants along the way, while constantly heightening the stakes for his central characters. The book’s scenes of action and eldritch horror are especially well handled, but its greatest strength is Bailey’s commitment to developing the nuanced cast.
A suspenseful, intriguing, and highly original fantasy tale from a promising new author."
- Kirkus Reviews
"A riveting and brilliantly penned novel. This female-led fantasy adventure features visceral descriptive language, an endlessly creative new world, uniquely relatable characters, and a fine balance of emotional intrigue and enrapturing action. The subtle weaving of magic and fantastic cultures through these pages create a rich and immersive world, and the pitfalls and enemies the pair encounter are each more mind-bending than the last. This is an electric debut, and newborn fans of Jesse Nolan Bailey will eagerly await the sequel, as The Jealousy of Jalice is an imaginative and impressive start to a new fantasy series." Self-Publishing Review, ★★★★½