Genre: FICTION / Fantasy / Epic
A powerful husk crosses the mountains, leaving a trail of the dead in its wake. When efforts to track the killer end in disaster, the task falls to a man not expected to succeed: Jebediah Skayne, Lothario, hustler, hunter of demons.
They call them ‘husks’, the demons that cross the Farfall Mountains, leaving a trail of blood in their wake.
No incursion goes unmet; otherwise the cancer would spread until the whole of Aethir was consumed by nightmares.
That’s why the Maresmen were formed—trackers and warriors charged with holding back the tide. Each of them is different, uniquely suited to the task in hand, but one thing they hold in common: they are half-breeds, part human, part husk; and they are bound by an inviolable rule:
Hunt the husks, or be hunted themselves.
Jebediah Skayne has been hunting husks his entire adult life, but there’s something different about the trail leading to the fishing town of Portis on the shores of the Chalice Sea: no spoor, no footprints; nothing save the unmistakable feeling of wrongness.
Finding a husk in Portis would be near impossible for someone who didn’t have the sixth sense, but the instant Jeb arrives, all trace of the creature vanishes, save for the victims it leaves behind: men mostly, half-dressed, killed in the throes of passion.
Forced to rely on more mundane methods of investigation, he starts to uncover a town rife with corruption, where a man will kill you for looking at a woman the wrong way; a town that’s seen its share of incursions from the land of nightmares before.
When he claps eyes on a local beauty, Maisie, he can think of nothing else, least of all the mission that brought him to town. Not everyone is happy about that, and soon Jeb finds himself embroiled in a cycle of jealousy-driven violence, gambling, and compulsive sex.
As events start to slip from his control, he realizes the husk he's come to kill is one step ahead of the game, and it holds a secret that will shake his world to the core.
"The world-building is impressive." - S.R. Manev
"D.P. Prior consistently writes high quality, layered, adult fantasy based in the world of Aethir. Husk is a welcome addition to his already detailed and dextrous catalog that includes richly imagined and byzantine world that is often battling between what is thought to be good versus evil, and yet the author finds the humorous side of things in the wildest places." - Melinda LeBaron
Husk is a dark fantasy mashup with overtones of the macabre and the supernatural. Prior writes with nods to Lovecraft, David Gemmell, Michael Moorcock, and Joe Abercrombie. This gritty tale of grimdark proportions cannot help but appeal to readers of Stephen King's The Dark Tower.
Husk has been published by Ragnarok Publications (2015) and by Homunculus (2016)
The chill in Davy Fana’s bones had little or nothing to do with the wind. That much he knew, and no one was gonna tell him otherwise. It was blustery, right enough, the usual night swirls coming down from the Farfall Mountains, but the sea spray had no bite to it like it did in the winter. Could’ve been hunger, he supposed, thinning his blood or whatever happened when you didn’t eat for days on end; could also have been his mind playing tricks on him again, like most everyone in town told him whenever he said a word. He knew he wasn’t right—hadn’t been since the wolf pack came more than a decade ago, maybe even before that—but all the same, it felt like something was about to happen.
Only the two smaller moons lit his way to the high street from the cove; Raphoe, the biggest of the three, had sunk back beneath the horizon, and that meant it was just a few more hours till daybreak. It couldn’t come soon enough, given the prickling ice running up his spine, the gnawing in his guts. Last time he’d eaten anything other than crabs out of the rock pools was three days ago, when Maisie had saved him some leftovers from the Crawfish’s kitchens.
The Night Crew were huddled over their brazier like they felt the cold, too. Nothing unusual about that; they’d been gathering round the flames as long as Davy could remember, back when he was a kid, when he still had his sister Ilesa and the… progenitor. It was the best word he’d come up with—well, he hadn’t come up with it, that writer-man had: Nils Fargin. Davy never forgot a name. Said he’d traveled with Ilesa for a time, and came to Portis to get his facts straight for a book he was putting together.