The year is 1666. The King and Parliament vie for power, fighting one another with politics and armies alike. Below, the faerie court has enemies of its own. The old ways are breaking down, and no one knows what will rise in their place.
But now, a greater threat has come, one that could destroy everything. In the house of a sleeping baker, a spark leaps free of the oven -- and ignites a blaze that will burn London to the ground. While the humans struggle to halt the conflagration that is devouring the city street by street, the fae pit themselves against a less tangible foe: the spirit of the fire itself, powerful enough to annihilate everything in its path.
Mortal and fae will have to lay aside the differences that divide them, and fight together for the survival of London itself . . .
In general, it is much more beneficial to the author to buy from a bricks-and-mortar store (see this note for why), though a sale of any kind is always good.
"In Ashes Lie may not seem much like traditional High Fantasy, but it does not neglect the Fae, giving a remarkably lucid view of their complexities of zone, kind, philosophy and personality right up to a conclusion that's suitably dark yet not hopeless for the survivors in either the overt or the hidden version of London..." -- Faren Miller, Locus
"Brennan has created a fascinating hidden underworld beneath London, and it's enhanced by prose that has an elegance perfect for historical fantasy. The worldbuilding is beautifully executed and rife with atmosphere." -- Romantic Times
I always put my research bibliography on my website, both to help any reader who wants to know more, and to acknowledge the scholars without whom I could never write these books. Where the latter is concerned, I must single out the late C. V. Wedgwood, who did more than any other historian I read to bring this period to life. Any historian will mention, for example, the attempted arrest of the Five Members, perhaps quoting one or two of the famous lines from the incident; Wedgwood goes on to say that Charles was accompanied by his nephew, and the Earl of Roxburgh was propping the door open, and some of the courtiers in the lobby mimed firing at the men in the Commons. Such details are more valuable than gold to a writer of historical fiction. All of the "real event" scenes in the first half of this book owe their truthfulness to Wedgwood; for the second half of the book and the Great Fire, I refer you to my website, and all the other scholars listed there.
I also owe an enormous debt of gratitude to those who aided me directly. Aside from all the wonderful LiveJournal folk who recommended references, I must thank Meriel Jeter and John Schofield at the Museum of London; Susanne Groom of Historic Royal Palaces; and Gwen Thomas, Robin Pyke, and Kate Robinson of the National Trust at Ham House. Ellen Rawson and Ian Walden rescued me from being at the mercy of the Sunday bus schedule in rural Oxfordshire; John Pritchard supplied me with valuable information about the history of the Vale; Allen Chilver answered questions about Parliamentary procedure; and Lothair Biedermann lent me a spot of help in placing labels on the map that will be at the front of the book.
I don't have names for all the individuals at the Guildhall Library and London Metropolitan Archives who aided me in my documentary research while I was in London, but all hail the honorable order of librarians, without whom I would have been lost.
And particular thanks to Kate Walton and Alyc Helms, for more late-night (and sometimes afternoon) conversations about the book. Their comments kept me on course when I was lost in the wilds of seventeenth-century history -- and one well-timed question from Kate regarding the Cailleach Bheur saved my sanity when I needed it most. The Kate in this novel is not named for her, but she feeds my general conviction that anyone with that name must be an excellent person indeed.