The Blackbird and the Ghost


Book One of The Boiling Seas series
The Boiling Seas are the mariner’s bane – and the adventurer’s delight. The waters may be hot enough to warp wood and boil a hapless swimmer, but their scalding expanse is full of wonders. Strange islands lurk in the steamy mists, and stranger ruins hold ancient secrets, remnants of forgotten empires waiting for the bold… or lying in wait for the unwary.

On the Corpus Isles, gateway to the Boiling Seas, Tal Wenlock, the Blackbird, seeks a fortune of his own. The treasure he pursues could change the world – but he just wants to change a single life, and it’s not his own. To reach it, he’ll descend into the bowels of the earth and take ship on burning waters, brave dark streets and steal forbidden knowledge. He’ll lie, cheat, steal and fight – but he won’t get far alone. The ghosts of Tal’s past dog his every step – and one in particular keeps his knives sharp.

The Blackbird will need help to reach his goal… and he’ll need all his luck to get back home alive.

Hûw Steer is an author and historian from London. You may have read one of his various short stories, his theses on ancient Roman science-fiction, or even seen him onstage. You probably haven’t, but at least you’re reading this.

The Blackbird and the Ghost was a semi-finalist in the fifth Self-Published Fantasy Blog-Off. Hûw’s latest book, The Fire Within, is his first stab at writing for children. His short stories can be found in Grimdark Magazine, Shoreline of Infinity, and The Future Fire, as well as on his website.

You can reach him at, and read more of his work at