The Sword in the Street
by C. M. Caplan
Series: The Ink and the Steel (#1)
Expected Publication: March 3, 2021
Genre: Dickensian Fantasy
Age Group: Adult
Cover Illustration: Felix Ortiz
Cover Design: Ken Dawson
Trial by battle is a holy rite on Hillside. Hired blades bleed their foes in savage duels, settling everything from petty grievances to the corporate laws that keep their citizens in line. Embroiled in these cutthroat political games is John Chronicle, an impoverished swordsman with no better prospects, seeking the duel that will free him from the Dregs.
Meanwhile, John’s boyfriend Edwin, an autistic university student, befriends a fellow scholar who claims to study the arcane art of thaumaturgy. When she offers to teach Edwin this subtle magic, he hopes that he can use it to bolster John’s skill with a blade. But thaumaturgy is a dangerous magic, and the forces that drive it have other plans.
The couple soon find themselves entangled in the web of intrigue surrounding the swordsmen and their sponsors, and they’re forced to question how bloody they’re willing to get to escape poverty — and they don’t come away with the same answer.
“A remarkably human and complex fantasy novel, The Sword in the Street draws you in with its evocative atmosphere and keeps you reading with its superb storytelling and characters you come to genuinely care about.”—Jonathan Oliver, British Fantasy Award winning editor and author of The Language of Beasts
”Gritty and sweet… as much about the relationships as it is about the action. It’s a sword-filled story of desperation and hope, and a man fighting for his passion – and his love.” —Kate Coe (Writing&Coe)
C.M. CAPLAN IS the author of The Sword in the Street. He’s a quadruplet (yes, really), mentally disabled, and he spent two years as the Senior Fiction Editor on a national magazine – while he was still an undergrad in college.
He has a degree in creative writing from Salem State University and was the recipient of the university’s highest honor in the arts. His short fiction also won an Honorable Mention in the 2019 Writers of the Future Contest.
Caplan’s introduction to fantasy came through J. R. R. Tolkien and George R. R. Martin. He has a tattoo that roughly translates to Valar Morghulis, as written in Tolkien’s Elvish script, in an acknowledgment of that fact. Other influences include Robin Hobb, Ellen Kushner, N.K. Jemisin, Katherine Addison, John Irving, K.S. Villoso, and Neil Gaiman.
He currently lives in New England, where he works remotely for a social justice theater company.
If you enjoy his novel, you can rate it on Goodreads, or Amazon.