Hello Sasquan!

Greetings Sasquan Attendees and other assorted passersby!

Its been an honor attending Worldcon this year and meeting so many of this community. I have a few postcards and bookmarks in the Worldcon freebie area there so I thought I’d introduce myself and my work to anyone who graciously followed those links or found their way here through other means.

I’m Thomas Alexander, a fantasy author with one book under my belt, Mistress of the Dancing Bones. The sequel, Mistress of the Midnight Sky, is coming out soon. These are the first two novels in the Sang Noir series set in the world of Avenesse. I have plans for another Sang Noir book and if all goes well, other series and standalone novels that expand the Avenesse setting and characters in bold new directions!

I wrote a pitch for Dancing Bones just for Sasquan that I’d like to share with you here:

Mistress of the Dancing Bones is the story of Ashia, a young woman with necromantic powers in an empire ruled by vampires. That empire borders the Deathlands, ruled by even worse undead that don’t just want to drink mortals’ blood, but to exterminate them. Ashia’s father is the vampire lord who protects the Empire and its mortals from the Deathlords. With the help of a gunslinging witch hunter, his mischievous changeling familiar and a laconic demon horse, Ashia must uncover the secrets of a deadly conspiracy that threatens the fragile peace between mortal and vampire. In this land, blood is currency, and Ashia’s is more valuable and dangerous than any.

You can read an excerpt here.

I’ve been fortunate enough to get some positive reviews, most notably from Black Gate’s Donald Crankshaw.

Readers have been very generous with their praise, which I appreciate, scan the amazon reviews.

I did some pinterest boards with images and brickabrack that reminds me of my books and characters.

As for me I’m a lifelong geek. I served as a Nuke in the Navy, I started game mastering DnD at 7 years old, mostly because my older brother forced me. I play video games, I write stories, I go to conventions, and I get to be unironically enthustiastic about stuff. Please take a moment to poke around this blog and check out some of the stuff and stories I love. With any luck, you’ll find something to love here too. Enjoy.


Black Gate review of Dancing Bones

Mr. Donald Crankshaw of Blackgate.com has given Mistress of the Dancing Bones its first professional review:

I am generally not a fan of vampire novels. I prefer my vampires as antagonists rather than as love interests. And for the love of God, sunlight better burn, or at least weaken, them, not cause them to sparkle. So I was taking a chance on this novel, but I’m glad I did.

It would be a mistake to consider the vampires the good guys. Mr. Alexander has created a dark world, where humanity’s only defense against annihilation by the Deathlords is submission to the nephilim. Admittedly, you can take a positive view of the Code Sanguine, and Marcel Boucher is something of an idealist when it comes to vampire-human relations. But the fact remains that humans are subservient in this world, their blood is demanded by their betters, and their only chance of rising is to be embraced by the nephilim themselves. As Ashia soon discovers when she travels out into the world, many of the nephilim are less concerned with their duties under the Code Sanguine than their privileges, and they are more than willing to take advantage of their position. Of course, this sort of thing is common in fiction that attempts to deal with class distinctions, though usually the upper class living off of the blood of the lower class is a little less literal.

In this world, even the best of people are morally ambiguous. Marcel Boucher may believe that the nephilim have a duty to protect the mortals, but he still takes advantage of them. And even Ashia believes that’s the way it’s supposed to be. Dusang is so focused on his mission that he ignores other injustices. And Tama can be cruel and indifferent to mortal morality. What is right and wrong in such a world isn’t always clear, and Ashia’s struggles to do what is right by her family and their subjects is part of what makes this story interesting. I appreciate that Mr. Alexander made the questions difficult, and that while Ashia tries to do the right thing, she often lacks the wisdom to make a real difference. It gives her character a chance to grow through failure, which helps bring her to life.

Read the whole thing.