Historical Fantasy by Kim Wilkins
“clever, sexy, witty, and very, very creepy” – Good Reading
“a new novel by Kim Wilkins is always a cause for celebration” – Specusphere
“an Australian writer with the power to turn those who don’t like fantasy on to the genre with her gripping storytelling” – Australian Women’s Weekly
Sisters of the Fire
An action-packed, compelling historical fantasy, from the pen of an award-winning author
“…superb world building… intriguing, genuine, rich.”– Kirkus Review
The battle-scarred warrior princess Bluebell, heir to her father’s throne, is rumoured to be unkillable. So when she learns of a sword wrought specifically to slay her by the fearsome raven king, Hakon, she sets out on a journey to find it before it finds her. The sword is rumoured to be in the possession of one of her four younger sisters. But which one? Scattered as they are across the kingdoms, she sets out on a journey to find them.
Her four sisters all have their own paths to tread, the gifted magician Ash is on a journey to find a dragon that could determine her destiny. The beautiful, unhappy Rose has left her undermagician Aunt and is speeding to the aid of her daughter, Rowan, who has been lost to her. Ivy, sold into marriage for the sake of an alliance, is now set to become the ruling Duchess of Seacaster with the imminent death of her much older and sick husband, and the power-hungry Willow is raising her infant child as a potential trimartyr king and training to be a warrior for the fanatical religious order Maava.
From wild rocky coastline to granite-topped tors, from bustling harbours to echoing ghost towns, from halls of kings to ancient primal woodlands, this story follows five sisters upon whose actions kingdoms will rise and fall.
Daughters of the Storm
The first passionate, fiery book in a compelling new series from award-winning author Kim Wilkins
Lying in a magic-induced coma, the King of Thyrsland is on the brink of death: if his enemies knew, chaos would reign. In fear for his life and his kingdom, his five daughters set out on a perilous journey to try and save him, their only hope an aunt they have yet to meet, a shadowy practitioner of undermagic who lives on the wild northern borders.
No-one can stand before the fierce tattooed soldier and eldest daughter Bluebell, an army commander who is rumoured to be unkillable, but her sisters, the loyal and mystical Ash, beautiful but unhappily married Rose, pious Willow and uncertain Ivy all have their own secrets to keep from her — the kind of secrets that if revealed could bring disaster down upon not only them, but the entire kingdom.
Waiting in the wings is stepbrother Wylm whose dealings with Bluebell’s greatest enemy, Hakon the Raven King, would end Bluebell’s dreams of revenge on his mother and propel his own desperate grasp for power.
Daughters of the Storm is a richly drawn historical fantasy full of passion, magic and fire, an intimate epic that traces the lives of five complex women as they pursue a quest upon which the fate of a kingdom — as well as their own destinies — rests.
“There’s a richness of invention here, with the feel that Wilkins knows far more about this world than she reveals… Oh, and it also has the delightful warrior princess Bluebell. You’re going to want to meet her.” – Black Static
The Year of Ancient Ghosts
The Year of Ancient Ghosts features five novellas of the fantastic, all centred around medieval myth and history. A mother and her daughter come to the remote Orkneys to grieve, and find themselves instead dealing with a ghostly Viking legend. A dark-ages king doesn’t realise his wife carries another man’s child and she is desperate for him not to find out. A young woman, who has spent her whole life hiding her supernatural strength, discovers on the eve of her wedding that she is Odin’s daughter. Sir Percival’s sister finds herself trapped in a castle of bloodletting sorcerers with only her sexuality as a weapon. In the wake of the Norman conquest, the daughter of an abusive man falls in love with a Norman priest whose abilities blur the line between religion and magic
“one of the most gifted and versatile writers Australia has ever produced” (Kate Forsyth)
“in this strong collection. Wilkins adds fantastic elements to her depiction of ages past and present, but rather than relying on standard fantasy tropes, her stories are informed by detailed research into the periods in question” – Publishers Weekly
“Wilkins combines great craft with solid knowledge and understanding of the core material… [her] skill is demonstrated in not being overt about it but letting her historical knowledge sit under the motivations and actions of the characters.” – Thirteen O’Clock
“This is a story rich in atmosphere, the windswept shores of Orkney and the pagan traditions woven into everyday life coming alive on the page, with a monster that is made credible thanks to Wilkins’ storytelling prowess” – Black Static #39
Rosa and the Veil of Gold
Published in the US as The Veil of Gold. See Kim talking about The Veil of Gold here.
Beyond this world, behind the veil of history, lies the kingdom of the Rus…
When an ancient golden bear is found walled up in a dilapidated St Petersburg bathhouse, researcher Daniel St Clare and his frosty colleague Em Hayward set out for Arkhangelsk to verify its age. But in the deep of night they are mysteriously set adrift. Lost and exhausted, they turn north, sinking ever deeper into the secrets and terrors of the Russian landscape.
Daniel’s lost love, the wild and beautiful Rosa Kovalenka, knows the only way to save him is to outwit the haunted Chenchikov family. But their home, deep in unknowable, impenetrable forests, is a shadowy tangle of grief, desire and treachery.
Only Papa Grigory, full of tales and riddles of times past, seems to have the knowledge they need… But will he destroy them all in order for his world to survive?
“With the ease of a master storyteller, Wilkins blends fairy tale, history, romance, and adventure in an intricate novel. The settings bleed off the page, and the characters, flawed yet heroic, are equally rich.” – Booklist
“superlative world building… intriguing, genuine, rich” – Kirkus Reviews
“adult fairy tales don’t come any better than this” – Publishers Weekly
“rich with the dense texture of authoritative research” – The Age
“This is fantasy with ice-cold fangs… the whole book sings with an Eastern European exoticism” – DeathRay
“like a set of Russian dolls, the book contains layers of secrets” – The Courier Mail
“an unfaltering pace… Wilkins is one of Australia’s most assured and interesting storytellers” – Aurealis
“a book that fuses Russian myth, a thriller-quest adventure, magic, and a few echoes of Angela Carter” – Jeff VanderMeer
“The twists and turns are brilliantly handled, building up pace to the final startling conclusion” – Australian Bookseller and Publisher
Giants of the Frost
For the very brave, read a scholarly article about genre and Giants of the Frost here.
Victoria Scott, scientist and hardened sceptic, accepts a job at an isolated weather station in the Norwegian Sea. But there are shadows outside her cabin window, rumours about a hag that visits in nightmares, and a disturbing sense of familiarity in the deep, haunted forest: almost as if she has a connection with the island and its past.
In Asgard, the world of the old gods, Odin’s son Vidar has exiled himself from his cruel family to await the reincarnation of his beloved; the woman that his father mercilessly slew a thousand years past. After centuries of waiting, the seeing-waters tell him that she has returned, and her name is Victoria.
Deep in the black twisted roots of the World Tree, the three Norns spin and weave the fates of everyone. Vidar knows he must escape his destiny, but can only do so at enormous cost. Will he discover that fulfilling the heart’s desire is a tragedy worse than death?
“the pacing of the drama, the love scenes, the supernatural elements are all beautifully controlled… The mythology is well-researched and brilliantly interpreted and portrayed.” – Specusphere
“an engaging new telling of love found and lost, knightly quests and petty rivalries every bit as inventive as the original epic tales” – Monsters and Critics
“a powerful fantasy, great romance and gripping mystery” – Australian Women’s Weekly
“her research is impeccable, her vast cast of characters believable and well-drawn, a perfect blend of mythology and the real world.” – Fresh Fiction
“a page-turning supernatural romance… very readable” – The Age
The Autumn Castle
Read some notes about Kim’s composition of The Autumn Castle here.
Berlin in autumn: Christine Starlight is living in an artist’s colony in the crumbling urban shadows of the old east. Her lover Jude is a painter whose patience and beauty have eased her long battle with chronic pain, but Christine begins to be haunted by recollections of her childhood, of a little girl’s disappearance and the flapping of a blackbird’s wings.
Then her life is rocked by the return of her childhood friend—a crimson-haired beauty who presides over a land where a witch lives in a well, a wolf is the queen’s counsellor, and fate turns on the fall of an autumn leaf. As Christine grows addicted to Mayfridh’s faery world, where mortals feel no pain, so Mayfridh grows addicted to Christine’s, and falls deeply and dangerously in love with Jude.
But while jealousies, betrayals and secrets begin to unpick the threads of their lives, they are unaware of the ghastly threat which stalks them: the cruel and brilliant billionaire Immanuel Z, who is hunting faery bones for a grand sculpture…
“tantalising… a fascinating adventure” – Publishers Weekly
“be seduced by this fantasy” – Sydney Morning Herald
“an enthralling read that left me wanting to immediately track down anything else I could find by her” – Charles de Lint
“an intense, disturbing saga of betrayal, revenge and sacrifice… four stars” – Romantic Times
“Infused with the grotesquery of the Brothers Grimm, her novel… does a mean line in yarn spinning and some pretty spectacular bodice ripping as well” – The Age
Angel of Ruin
Published in the UK as Fallen Angel.
Did Milton have a fallen angel in his attic?
Sophie needs to pay the rent and a story on the occult would sell near Halloween. The Lodge of the Seven Stars is good for research but Sophie’s a sceptic and doesn’t believe in any of the rituals.
Until she meets The Wanderer who has a story to tell her. A story of three sisters in seventeenth-century London, their love for each other torn apart by an angel. Neither plague, nor Paradise Lost, nor the Great Fire of London prevents the youngest from trying to save her sisters as they sink deeper and deeper into the angel’s seductions.
And Sophie passes the point of no return.
“tantalising… oozes atmosphere and menace…” – Sunday Age
“what makes Wilkins such an outstanding fantasy writer is her ability to take a perfectly ordinary scenario… and twist it into a genuinely horrifying tale” – NW
“Without doubt the most exciting writer of supernatural fiction working today… Wilkins has left her peers standing in the dust” – Horror World UK
“a novel with well-drawn characters, a convincing background and above all a compelling narrative drive” – Infinity Plus
Read the book club questions for The Resurrectionists here.
On the wild Yorkshire coast, Maisie hopes to uncover the secret of the long-running feud between her mother and her recently deceased grandmother, Sybill. But the locals in the tiny village of Solgreve are hardly welcoming. It seems the only person interested in talking to her is the dark-eyed gypsy, Sacha.
In one of Sybill’s old trunks Maisie finds a diary written by a young woman in the eighteenth century. Georgette eloped with her poet lover from London to Solgreve—and entered a gothic world of grave robbing and diabolical science.
Then Maisie starts seeing a dark, unearthly figure outside her tiny cottage. Gradually she uncovers the terrifying dark secrets of Solgreve, secrets that contain an evil that threatens to claim her…
“an author who grows in stature with every new novel” – The Alien Online
“juicily spooky… historically fascinating” – The Advertiser
“a page-turner… loads of chilling atmosphere” – The West Australian
“immensely satisfying from beginning to end” – Locus
“absorbing and intriguing, well paced… and a nice, spooky evil at the heart of it all” – Infinity Plus
Author’s note: The two books I published prior to 2000, listed below, have the status of baby photos for me. They make me feel slightly embarrassed and juvenile. Read them if you must, but don’t say I didn’t warn you.
For centuries magicians have compiled grimoires to call up demons.
In Victorian London, and ambitious warlock called Peter Owling designs a book to summon the Lord of Demons himself and thereby achieve eternal life. But not even his beautiful young acolyte Christian grasps the full extent of his master’s plans…
In twentieth-century Melbourne, a group meets in secret at Humberstone College, dedicated to reassembling Owling’s book. But there are others meeting at Humberstone, too: three students drawn to the College’s mysterious past, its gloomy underground labyrinth, and what they come to suspect are its current secrets. A beautiful man appears to one of them in a mirror. He says he carries a warning… but can his dreadful story be true?
“Wilkins authoritatively recreates grimy nineteenth-century London, and easefully introduces a wealth of fascinating detail… lush and descriptive” – Imago
“a leave-the-lights-on novel” – The Age
Lisa Sheehan is a struggling musician working among the smoky pits and hollows of the underground music scene. But the prospect of her band’s success is soured when their fans start turning up dead in a forest outside town. At the same time, Lisa’s sleep becomes haunted by disturbing dreams and memories that aren’t her own.
Can the murders in Lisa’s twentieth-century life be linked to events in the seventeenth century? To a web of sorcery and betrayal spanning nearly four hundred years? A web of erotic obsession, and an unholy pact with dark forces beyond imagining…
As a terrifying legacy is played out, Lisa must confront her greatest enemy—and her greatest love.
“A richly bloody fantasy” – Sydney Morning Herald
“one of the most auspicious Australian genre debuts of the past decade” – The Weekend Australian
“… a literary feast for anyone starved for imaginative, chilling, engrossing reads about the Craft” – Witchcraft Magazine