Picture of the novel Covenant of Blood, grimdark novel by H.R. van Adel

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On Thayria, the brutal Sarasinian League dominates. Yet beneath its arrogant façade, decades of corruption, neglect and incompetence have left it weakened and vulnerable. Even as its subject peoples yearn for freedom, the League, preoccupied with violent expansion, shows astonishing complacency in the face of impending revolt.

Against a backdrop of relentless bloody battles, a provincial governor chooses a path that could change the course of history. A group of military cadets faces an increasingly dire future. And a jaded research assistant sets out to recover an object of immense power and dreadful consequence.

In the centre of this gathering storm stands an improbably long-lived and immensely powerful figure whose hatred of the League knows no bounds…

A tale of diverse peoples and places, Covenant of Blood is set in a world where innocence is dead, mercy is non-existent, and authority is wielded with an iron fist.


Covenant of Blood is my attempt to make the kind of fantasy I’ve always wanted to read but haven’t always been able to find – something a little different from the usual offerings. Morally grey, dark and relentlessly violent, this work straddles the genres of fantasy and science-fiction, but also spans a number of fantasy sub-genres. Above all, it’s a character and dialogue-driven low fantasy grimdark epic that strives to be gritty and realistic. I take pride in writing vivid and accurate depictions of weapons, armour and combat. If you’ve ever wanted to feel like you’re in the middle of a battlefield, this book is for you.

This story is unapologetically masculine, angry and pulls no punches in its depictions of humanity at its worst. If it’s bland, timid, good-guys-always-win bullshit you’re looking for, keep looking. You won’t find it here. That being said, my stuff is sprinkled liberally with dark humour. While I do try to hit you in the feels, I would hate to make you cry without at least giving you a chuckle first.