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King of Shards

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When Daniel Fisher learns he’s one of the Lamed Vav, the hidden Thirty Six who have the power to sustain the world, the demon King Ashmedai yanks him down into the hell world of Gehinnom. Ashmedai tells Daniel that Queen Mashit has usurped the throne from him and wants to use Daniel for her own ends — she wishes to bring abundance to the barren hell-scapes of the Shards. Daniel meets Rana, a mason girl who enchants with song, and Marul Menacha, a powerful old witch with a dark past. With King Ashmedai’s help, the three join forces with a warring desert tribe to fight off hordes of demonic monsters and make their way back to Earth before demons can destroy it. But allying with King Ashmedai has its consequences. Daniel fights to save the Earth, but at what cost?  

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“A surreal and exotic adventure in a unique mythological setting. Scary, exhilarating fun!” – N.K. Jemisin, Hugo award-winning author of The Fifth Season

“A fantastic twist on Jewish mythology…a radical reinvention of Jewish faith and folklore, not to mention the portal fantasy…”One city’s rubble is the next city’s foundation,” Kressel writes. Not only does that simple, profound idea underpin King of Shards’ plot, it’s the method to the book’s majestic, resonant, reality-twisting madness.” — NPR Books

“King of Shards is an imaginative, intelligent, and soaring debut that mixes Jewish folklore/mysticism and modern-day social politics. The result is a unique spin on epic fantasy that is both timeless and timely, and a hell of lot of fun. You’ll want to follow Daniel and Rana through the Shards. Trust me.” —Paul Tremblay, author of A Head Full of Ghosts and Disappearance at Devil’s Rock.

“Kressel draws heavily on Hebrew legend and biblical lore to build a robustly imagined fantasy world…Kressel advances his plot briskly through a series of alliances, betrayals, separations, and reunions, and the veiled motives of several of his characters keep his story pleasingly unpredictable. His skill at extrapolating traditional religious lore into the stuff of fantasy bodes well for future books in the series.” — Publishers Weekly

“With surprising twists and a deep and detailed universe, King of Shards, the first in a trilogy, is likely to be remembered for more than its Jewish roots.” – Barnes & Noble Sci-Fi and Fantasy Blog

“One of the most ambitious fantasy novels out there.” — Chris Willrich, author of The Scroll of Years