cover image Infernal


Mark De Jager. Solaris, $11.99 trade paper (384p) ISBN 978-1-78108-817-3

De Jager’s dark, suspenseful debut fantasy gets his Chronicles of Stratus series off to an impressive start. Sorcerer Stratus wakes up in a meadow having lost his memory, but aware of a “beastly thing” inside his head that makes him worry he might be a demon. His search for identity brings him to Krandin, a kingdom in the midst of war with the Penullin Empire. There he meets the kingdom’s champion, Tatyana Henkman, and together they unearth secrets about the nature of Stratus’s demon from a crypt beneath the city. Meanwhile, the wizards of the Penullin Empire, led by Navar Louw, the Worm Lord, devise a sinister plot to infiltrate Krandin. Stratus must fight the battle within his mind and the one against the agents of Penullin—who just might possess the answers he seeks. De Jager takes his time with the mystery of Stratus’s identity, punctuating the internal conflict with adrenaline-fueled action sequences that notch up the tension and suspense. This promising series launch brings the goods. Agent: Harry Illingworth, D H H Literary. (Nov.)