Birth of Assassins – Chapter One (excerpt)

Life is tough in Nordturm, but for Fedor, a street kid turned shoeshine boy, it becomes hell. Join him on a thrilling journey as he gets entangled with a gang of thieves in this prequel novel to the Dawn of Assassins series. Experience a coming-of-age high fantasy filled with assassins, thieves, and magic. Perfect for fans of Scott Lynch, Robin Hobb, and Brent Weeks. Get your copy now!

Fedor blew out the flame and dipped his brush into the melted polish. He studied the man’s shoes—simple, but well-made, soft black leather fastened with silver buckles.

He applied the polish to the right shoe, building up the first layer with gentle circles until the leather turned matte.

“You know, child. I was once where you were.”

Fedor applied the foundation layer to the left shoe.

“Though it was Hafendorf where I first plied my trade.”

Fedor gazed up at him with a raised eyebrow. “You were a polish boy?”

“No. I used to run messages on the docks.”

Fedor spat on the right shoe and brushed back and forth across the polish.

“Aren’t you going to ask me what I did?”

Fedor shrugged. “What’s the point?”

The man chuckled. “What’s the point? The point is I’m trying to teach you something. Tell me, child, how old are you?”

“I don’t know.” He brushed around the buckles and moved onto the other shoe.

“You’re not a man yet. What are you—twelve, thirteen?”

“I said, I don’t know.” He glared at the man’s questions and quickly averted his gaze—this was no way to get tips.

“I started off as a lowly messenger, dodging the curses of sailors, and I now run a merchant company with trading houses in Welttor, Nebel Hafen, Reichsherz, and I’m always looking to expand my operation.” He chuckled to himself. “And yet I still find myself dodging the curses of sailors.”


“And do you know how I did it?”

“I don’t.” Fedor pulled a leather cloth from his box and made small circles in the leather, bringing the surface to a deep shine.

The man leaned forward and tapped Fedor’s shoulder. “Do you want to know the secret?”

Fedor frowned. “To what?”

“To everything, of course.” The man looked around the market square, seemingly seeking inspiration from something or someone. Alchemical lights shone from the cave roof above, twisting his features with shadows. “The secret, my boy, is integrity.” He held Fedor’s gaze. “If you can be trustworthy, people will come back to you again and again.”

“Right.” He pulled his gaze away and wiped a mark from the left buckle.

“Believe me. It works much better than fear.”

Fedor sniffed. “You should tell that to the gangs round here.”

“Of course, you can get things done with fear and intimidation, but no one will thank you for it. As soon as your back is turned, you’re likely to find someone willing to drive a knife into your back.”

“I get it. Treat people bad and it comes back threefold. Priest talks about that all the time.”

“But it’s about more than merely avoiding pain. No, it’s about building trust over time. It’s about being reliable. It’s about integrity.”

“I don’t know what that word means.”

The man shook his head. “Simply put, integrity is about knowing the difference between right and wrong.”

“I know about sin.”

“Indeed. But there’s a difference between knowing and doing.”

Fedor raised the man’s feet to check the soles. He scraped away bits of dried dirt and salt from the grooves. He studied his work for a long moment and got to his feet on creaking knees. “All done.”

The man examined his shoes and took a piece of hack silver from his pocket. “This is for you. Thank you.”

Fedor pocketed the silver and tipped his cap. “Thanks, mister.”

“Remember what I said.” He held Fedor’s gaze. “We all have choices in this world.” He turned and walked away.

Fedor dropped his scraping tool into his box and sighed. “Whatever.” His eyes widened at the glimmer of silver resting on the seat. He snatched it up and turned it in his fingers. It showed a wyvern crest on one side and a profile of Ostreich’s last empress on the reverse—a one krone coin.

He hurriedly stuffed his cloth and brushes into his box and slammed the lid shut.

What if he kept the coin for himself?

With a sigh, he picked up his box and chased after the man.

He caught up to him at the stairs leading to the arena. “Hey, mister.”

The man spun on his heels and smiled at Fedor. “Ah, child. Is there a problem?”

Fedor handed the coin to the man. “This must have dropped from your pocket.”

The man studied the coin and tossed it back. “That coin is for you.”

“For me?” His eyes widened. “I didn’t know. You should have said.”

“If I had said, you wouldn’t have done the right thing.”

Deep lines set between Fedor’s eyebrows. “What do you mean?”

The man reached into his purse and pulled out another one-krone coin. He held it between his fingers and flicked it with his thumb, sending it turning through the air into Fedor’s hand. “And now you have two.” He tapped the side of his nose. “Remember what I said about integrity. Take care of yourself.”

“Erm, thank you.” The man strode away and Fedor shook his head. Who was he? What in the void was he trying to prove? His heart raced. Maybe it was another test. What if the priests had sent him to make sure Fedor was not pocketing the gains for himself? They would beat him again and feed him only scraps for a week. He refused to go through that again.

But if it was not a test—

A hand slapped down on his shoulder. “I don’t know what that was, but that was great. Never seen one like that before.”

Fedor vaguely recognised the lad, a few years his senior. He wore a grey shortcoat, white shirt, trousers, and boots, his sharp features shaded by a flat cap.

“I don’t think we’ve had the pleasure, mate.” He pumped Fedor’s hand. “I’m Lev.”

“I’m confused.”

“Confused? Thought your name was Fedor?”

“It is. Wait, how do you know—”

“Quick.” He tugged Fedor’s wrist and ducked into a tunnel at the edge of the market square. “This way.”

“Where are we going?”

Lev stopped. “Here’s fine.” He looked past Fedor and nodded to himself. “Never tell who’s listening, you know?”

“What do you want?” Fedor glanced back over his shoulder.

“Don’t worry, mate.” Lev held his palms open. “I got no intention of robbing you, if that’s what you’re worried about. Just want to know how you pulled it off.”

“Pulled what off?”

“You think I don’t recognise a scam when I see one? I’ve not seen that one before. How did it work? Is it just you?”

“Just me, what?”

“Mate, seriously?” Lev rolled his eyes and sighed. “I saw what happened. You can’t bullshit a bullshitter.”

“It wasn’t a scam. Honest.”

“No, mate. I saw it with my own eyes. You got Bartok Schultz to give you coin for no reason.” He fixed Fedor’s gaze. “I know a scam when I see one, trust me. How did you set it up?”

“It’s not a scam.”

“Course not.” He dropped his voice to a whisper and leaned forward. “Don’t worry. I’m not with the filth, if that’s what’s bothering you.”

“I know you’re not with the watch. I’ve seen you around. The priests say you’re no good.”

Lev spat on the floor. “The priests. The bloody priests? You’ve got to be kidding me. I’d sooner trust a wyvern than a priest.” He took a step forward and sneered. “Tell me. Priests make you grab their dicks yet or shoved things up your arse?”

Fedor started at the curses. “No.”

“Maybe it’s just the girls they do that to. Dirty bastards, either way.”

“They wouldn’t do—”

“I bet they hit you, don’t they? Give you a good smack for no reason.”

“Only sometimes.” He shuffled on his feet. “Only when we’ve sinned.”

“Yeah, I bet. Perverts, the lot of them.” He jabbed Fedor’s chest. “You need to get out of there, mate, before they start trying to bum you.”

“Bum me?” He pressed his back against the wall, his eyes growing wide. He had never heard anyone speak like this about the priests before.

“Good-looking lad like you.” He shrugged. “Surprised they haven’t already. Bloody pervs.”

“How would you know?”

“Everyone knows, mate.” He let out a sigh. “That’s how they do it.”

“Do what?”

Lev inclined his head. “You’re not the smartest kid around here, are you?”

Fedor stared at him, his mouth unable to form words.

“Think about it. Where’s the best place to find kids who won’t grass to their parents?”

“I don’t know.” He shrugged one shoulder. “An orphanage?”

“See, you’re not a complete thicksicle.” He rubbed his hands together. “When you think about it, it all makes perfect sense.” He spat on the floor again. “Dirty bastards. You need to get out of there, get as far away from those nonces as you can.”

“I’ve got nowhere else to go.”

“Those coins you scammed are a good start, mate. You got two, didn’t you?”

Fedor nodded.

“So, out with it then. How did it work?”

“I swear it wasn’t a scam.”

Lev eyed him up and down and nodded to himself. “You’re either a good liar, or you’re telling the truth.” He folded his arms. “Tell me what happened.”

“I was shining his shoes and he was talking about doing good, and how he’d been a messenger.”

“Go on.” He tapped his foot.

“When I finished, he left a coin on the chair, and I went after him to give it back.”

Lev sniffed. “I would have kept it.”

“But he said the coin was for me and gave me another.”

“And that’s it?”

“Pretty much.”

“So, it was like a reward. You returned his coin and he gave you two? That’s genius, that is, mate.” Lev pushed out his bottom lip. “Great angle. Do-gooders like to do that. What you going to do with it?”

“I don’t know.”

“You don’t know much, do you, mate? You should get us a good meal and place for the night. Get away from that orphanage.”

“I don’t know.” He fingered the coins in his pocket. “I think it might be a test.”

Lev studied him for several seconds. “What kind of test?”

“Doesn’t seem real, does it? I think the priests might be behind it.”

Lev rubbed his chin. “Make sense. Seems a bit far-fetched, though, doesn’t it?”

“But what if it is?”

“Nah, mate. You’re wrong.” He shook his head. “What difference does it make to the priests?”

“It’s not my money to keep.”

“He gave it to you, didn’t he?”

“Yes. But anything I earn goes to the priests.”

“Really?” He cocked an eyebrow and snorted. “And I thought they abolished slavery.”

“It’s not slavery. They feed me. They give me a roof, a bed.”

“Honestly, mate. They used to give slaves places to eat and sleep. That’s your money, that is. I’d be in half a mind to tell one of the watch, though we don’t exactly see eye to eye, if you get my meaning.”

“I suppose.”

“You get money for shining shoes, right?”


“He paid for that as well, didn’t he? Bit of hack for your efforts, like the rest?”

Fedor narrowed his eyes. “How long have you been watching me?”

“I watch everyone, mate. It’s what I do. You’d be surprised what you see when you take time to watch. That’s what I do. I pay attention. I see things.”

“What kinds of things?”

“Lots of things. Pay attention and the truth reveals itself, isn’t that what they say?”

Fedor shrugged a shoulder. “I don’t know.”

“Trust me. People don’t pay attention to things. I do. I might even tell you what some of those things are if we work together.”

“Work together?”

“Sure. Why not? I can take you under my wing, show you what’s what. You seem like a smart enough kid. Bit wet behind the ears, like, but I’m sure we can sort you out.”

“I’m not sure.”

“Here’s an idea. Keep that hack aside for the priests and I can show you a good way to spend that coin.”

Fedor rubbed the back of his neck and lowered his voice. “But what if it’s a test?”

“What if it is? You’ve got to live in the moment. Take whatever they give you and move on. At least you’ll have a good night to show for it.”

Fedor licked his lips. “What you got in mind?”

“Meal. Nice room. Some good ale. Or, you could go down into the stinking foundries, spend another night with a priest who wants to bum you.”

“They don’t bum me.”

“Yet.” Lev raised a finger and grinned. “But there’s always time, mate.”

“But it’s a sin.”

“Depends who you ask.”

Fedor shook his head. “They wouldn’t do that.”

“You keep thinking that, mate.” He gestured back towards the market. “You get to the pubs much?”

Fedor shook his head. “No. We’re not allowed.”

“Well, in that case, we definitely need to do it. What you got to lose?”

“I don’t know.” Fedor shrugged. “Nothing, I guess.”

You can read the complete novel of Birth of Assassins when you claim your free Ravenglass Universe starter library and join the VIP newsletter.

Wizard of the Wasteland – chapter one (excerpt)

Experience the gripping post-apocalyptic world of Jon Cronshaw’s “Wizard of the Wasteland” in the first chapter reveal. Join Abel as he fights for survival, battles addiction, and encounters enslaved children. Discover a world of hope and despair in this thrilling sci-fi novel.

Wizard of the Wasteland by Jon Cronshaw

The stranger rolled into town at dawn, his cart rumbling through the gap in Trinity’s towering fence.

Abel squinted at the sun’s orange glare as it rose over the rooftops. “Come on, Pip.” He patted his thigh as a brindle-furred dog looked up at him and ran in a tight circle, her tail wagging. He passed huddled shacks as people gravitated towards the arrival.

Abel followed the gently sloping dirt track towards the entrance as Pip trotted at his side. Trinity wasn’t his home, but they always gave him a bed and meal when he came to trade.

Chickens darted in haphazard zigzags, confined by a line of wire mesh to his right, shedding feathers as they avoided the dog. The looming crucifix beyond the fence spread shadows across the rooftops. Children ducked past him, laughing as they chased each other.

A brown and grey mule lumbered forward, its head bowed as its rider brought the cart to a halt. The cart rocked on four rubber tyres. Garish daubs of blue and gold paint stretched along its sides.

Engulfed by dusty blue robes, the man dropped from the cart, reached behind his seat, and pulled on a pointy blue hat. He turned to the residents. “Ladies and gentlemen. I am the Great Alfonso, Wizard of the Wasteland.”

Abel joined the edge of the crowd as Pip sniffed around behind him, unconcerned by the wizard. Pip had been with him since he got off plez. She was the best reason he had to stay clean.

People stepped aside for Trinity’s priestess, Sal, as she moved through the crowd to speak to the wizard, her dreadlocks hanging loose from her hooded robe.

The wizard offered her a grin. “My good lady, am I correct in assuming that you are the Sal these good people have been talking about?”

“That’s right.” She folded her arms. “And you are…?”

The wizard removed his hat with a flourish and bowed his head. His skin was darker than Sal’s, his hair an explosion of twisted curls, streaked in black and grey. He raised his yellow-tinged eyes to meet Sal’s gaze. “Madam, if you please, I am sure my reputation precedes me. I am the Wizard of the Wasteland.” He lifted his chin, offering her a toothy smile as he spread his arms wide. “I am the magnificent, the splendiferous, the incomparable, Great Alfonso.”

Sal shook her head, letting the silence hang in the air for a long, awkward moment. “Sorry, I’ve never heard of you.” She examined his cart, running a finger along the whorls of paint. “Are you a trader?”

“Yes, yes.” The wizard raised his voice and a finger. “But more.” He smiled again and swept his gaze across the gathered faces. “What I offer is the wonder of the Great Alfonso’s magical extravaganza.” He threw out his arms.

Abel smirked as a few titters spread behind him. What was this guy trying to pull? He’d seen his fair share of chancers and conmen, but this was something else.

“Magical what?” Sal tilted her head.

“What I have for you today, ladies and gentlemen, is the culmination of many years of tireless research into the arcane arts of magic and alchemy, a glimpse into our once great past, now long lost to dust.” The wizard grabbed a handful of soil and let it fall between his fingers.

“I still don’t understand.”

“My good lady, you strike me as an intelligent woman, which is why I will ask you to be my first volunteer.”

She looked around and shrugged. “Okay.”

The wizard shuffled around the side of his cart, unbolting a series of locks. An oak panel swung down on a pair of hinges, bouncing for a moment against its supporting ropes.

The onlookers moved in closer as the wizard arranged apparent junk along a series of shelves—an ancient television set with a curved grey screen and wood panel casing, a fish tank, and a hand generator in black and brass.

Abel raised his eyebrows at the objects, wondering where the wizard acquired them. The electrical items would be useless, but some of those things were worth a lot in trade.

The wizard lifted a toy car from the shelf, its red paint faded to a cloudy pink along its edges. He retrieved a key and made a show of pushing it into the car’s rear. “With this ancient and magical key, I can bring power to this otherwise inanimate object.” He placed the car flat on the panel and turned the key, the mechanism clicking and crunching. The wizard muttered an incantation, closed his eyes, and wriggled his fingers over the toy. He let go. The car shot forward and hurtled over the edge, landing in a clump of soft grass.

A few people applauded.

“Thank you, thank you. You are all most gracious.” He lowered his head and returned the car to its shelf. “What you’ve seen here is just a mere hint, a mere glimmer of the extent of my magical powers.”

He took something else down, turned to the crowd, and raised a pair of binoculars above his head. “Behold! These magical eye lenses allow their user to see objects that are far away as though they are right in front of their very eyes.” He handed the binoculars to Sal and showed her how to look through them, gesturing for her to point them towards the spherical form at the top of the water tower.

A hush dropped over the crowd as she looked through the lenses. “These are wonderful. Where did you find them?”

“That, madam, is a secret.” The wizard tapped his nose with a forefinger. “Please, pass those round. Let the other members of your wonderful community experience this glimpse into the possibilities of alchemy and magic. But, please, do be careful.”

People took turns looking through the lenses. Abel smiled at the gasps of awe and the occasional burst of laughter. When they reached him, he focused on the wizard rifling around one of the shelves. He looked down at a tug to his elbow.

A kid jumped up and down with eager excitement, clapping his hands and staring at the binoculars. He handed them to the boy, took a moment to show him how to use them, and turned his attention back to the wizard.

The wizard held up a light bulb. “As you will observe, this is a simple globe of glass. I would offer to hand this round so you can witness for yourself my ingenious design. But, because the magic is so powerful and so very dangerous, I will instead ask that you all take a few paces back to give me room to perform this most incredible and delicate of feats.”

He placed the light bulb on the panel and checked the wires were connected to the hand generator. He stepped over to the dynamo and muttered an incantation with a raised chin and half-closed eyes.

Smiling to the crowd, he wound the handle.

A low hum and sharp crackle of electricity emanated from the generator as he turned the handle.

A scattering of gasps spread around the wizard as the light bulb glowed a brownish-yellow.

“As you can see, with this ancient magic, I have created fire within this glass. I’m sure you will agree that this might be the most marvellous, magnificent, magical accomplishment you have ever had the good fortune to witness.”

He stopped abruptly, sweeping his gaze across the crowd, now rapt. He raised his right forefinger with a sudden jerk. “Oh, but there is more.” He made a dramatic turn, his robes billowing in an expanse of dusty blue.

The crowd moved forward with hesitant steps as they strained to get a closer look.

The wizard disconnected the wires from the light bulb, placed it in a pot filled with cloths on the middle shelf, and connected the wires to the television. He turned back to the crowd, spreading his arms wide. “I must ask again that you take a few steps back. This is very ancient and powerful magic. What I am about to show you is the most amazing sight. Where are the magical lenses?” He waited a few moments for the binoculars to return to him. He looked through them, smiled again, and placed them on a shelf. “With those lenses, you were able to make objects far away seem as though they were close enough to touch. Using the same principles, I have devised and constructed a magical box that allows you to see over great distances to lands to the west, beyond the lawless zone.”

He reached for the hand generator and cranked the handle again.

The belt hummed, crackling and sparking as the smell of burning rubber filled the air.

He leaned over to the television set, muttered a spell, pushed a button, and kept turning the handle.

White noise hissed from the television’s speaker as the screen came to life in a random array of white, black, and grey—a dead signal. “As you could see, ladies and gentlemen, what we are witnessing is a window into another land, another land shrouded in—what is it?” He tilted his head and rubbed his chin. “A dust storm, perhaps?” He dropped the handle and turned to the audience with a dramatic shrug.

The white noise fell to silence, the screen fading to black. The gathered crowd applauded as the wizard made a deep bow. “Thank you, thank you. You are all too kind.”

“What I am about to show you now may be my greatest miracle, the pinnacle of my magical achievements.” His expression turned grim. “I warn you all that this is ancient and powerful magic and urge you again to stand back.” He reached up to the fish tank on the top shelf and took it down, placing it carefully on the flat panel.

He pulled out a green frog, holding it up by one leg for the audience to see, its body squirming as its free leg flailed wildly.

Stepping over to Sal, he dangled the frog before her. “Madam, please do me the honour of telling the members of your wonderful community what you see before you.”

She glanced over her shoulder and shrugged. “It’s just a frog.”

“It’s just a frog! Never has a truer phrase been uttered. So you will agree that this is a living, breathing frog? You agree there is no trickery, no shenanigans? It is, as you say, ‘just a frog’?”

She nodded. “As I say, it’s just a frog.”

Without ceremony, the wizard swung the frog against the panel. He waited with his back to the crowd for several seconds and raised the lifeless body for all to see. “As you will observe, the life of this frog has been taken.”

He turned his attention back to Sal. “Madam, would you like to take a moment to examine this frog, to assure the ladies and gentlemen gathered that this is the same frog?”

“You killed one of God’s creatures. I wouldn’t call that magic.”

“And you would be correct in that most astute of observations.” He offered her a slight bow. “There is no magic in killing a frog, but as much as it pains me to do it, as much as it pains me to take the life of an innocent creature, it was unfortunately a necessary component of the Great Alfonso’s most important magical discovery.”

The crowd looked on in silence as the wizard laid the frog flat. He took the wires from the television, attached the crocodile clips to the frog’s torso, and muttered the words of a magic spell, making complex shapes and symbols in the air with his fingers.

He turned to the crowd, made a solemn expression, removed his hat, and bowed. “Observe.” His voice dropped to little more than a whisper.

He stepped over to the generator and turned the handle, building up a rhythm until the belt hummed again.

The frog’s right leg twitched. The wizard wound the handle faster, smiling when the frog convulsed, its arms and legs quivering spasmodically.

Dropping the handle, he placed his hat back on his head and turned to the audience. “As you have seen, ladies and gentlemen, the Great Alfonso has brought this frog back from the dead.”

He turned back to the frog, now limp, and dropped it into the fish tank. He faced the crowd, taking in the applause. “Thank you.”

A few men shook their heads and walked away.

Children ran over to the wizard, jumping up and down as they asked him questions.

The wizard closed his cart.

Abel smiled at the wizard and weaved through the crowd, making his way over to Sal. “What did you make of that?”

She sniffed. “He’s clearly a charlatan.”

“Yep. But he certainly knows how to put on a show.”

“It’s just technology from before the end times. There’s no magic to it.” Her eyes grew narrow as a few residents led the wizard’s mule away to be fed and watered.

“I know.” Abel rubbed his beard, trying to understand her hostility. “But you have to admit, it’s pretty fascinating stuff.”

A frown spread across her face. “You’re not seduced by this fraudster, are you?”

“No.” His protest came out more defensive than he would have liked. “I’m intrigued. It’s been a long time since I’ve seen anything with real electricity.”

Sal nodded. “Perhaps.”

A tall man with pale skin and dark hair wandered over.

Abel forced a smile. “Jacob.”

“You look healthy. I take it you’re still keeping clean?”

“Yep.” He bristled at the implication in Jacob’s tone. He’d been clean for over a year, but it was the same question every time he returned to Trinity. They were good people, and the settlement was the best place to trade this side of the Grid. “I’m just going about my business as usual. No plez for me.” He knelt next to Pip and rubbed the fur behind her neck. At least she never judged him.

“Good to hear. God willing, let’s hope you can stay that way.” One corner of his mouth twitched as he turned to Sal. “What’s the plan with our wizard friend?”

Sal shook her head and sighed. “I don’t know. The residents are clearly taken with him. Might cause friction if we ask him to leave.”

Jacob cast a cursory glance towards the wizard. “What do you say? We treat him like any other trader and hope he goes by the morning.”

“I don’t trust him.”

“Come on, Sal.” Abel gestured towards the fence. “It’s hard out there. He’s surviving. It’s different, I’ll grant you, but he’s not raiding, or dealing. He looks like he’s probably clean.”

She raised her hands. “You could be right. But, I still don’t like it. This promotion of magic and mysticism doesn’t sit well with me.”

Abel smirked. “Just a different kind of magic to what you’re used to. You’ve got God, this guy’s got…” His voice trailed off at Sal’s glare.

She turned to Jacob. “He can stay for breakfast, but then I want him gone.”

Cover reveal: The Fall of Wolfsbane – Ravenglass Legends book one

Discover the epic tale of Ragnar and Maja in “The Fall of Wolfsbane,” a prequel set in the intricate world of the Ravenglass Chronicles. Immerse yourself in a rich fantasy realm!

If you’ve been following my Author Diary podcast, you’ll be aware that I’ve added a second point-of-view character to The Fall of Wolfsbane, and the story is so much stronger because of it.

Now, you can expect a full-length epic fantasy novel (it’s the longest novel I’ve written to date) that tells the story of Ragnar and his sister Maja as they are taken as hostages by the Ostreich Empire.

Ragnar is forced to live in Welttor under the mentorship of Prince Gregor, while Maja is sent to the Imperial Palace in Reichsherz to become a pet project of Princess Saranka.

It’s set several hundred years before The Ravenglass Chronicles at the time when the Empire first invades Wiete.

There will be some familiar places and even a familiar character!

As with Dawn of Assassins, you don’t need to have read The Ravenglass Chronicles to enjoy the story, but as I write more stories in this world, hopefully you’ll enjoy the little Easter eggs and how the world is different at various points in the timeline.

If you’ve not read the prequel Blades of Wolfsbane yet, you can get it for free as part of the Ravenglass Universe starter library.

If you’re a member of the Ravenglass Universe Facebook group, you’ll have already seen the cover for The Fall of Wolfsbane.

I love what Christian has done with this. It fits in nicely next to my Dawn of Assassins and Ravenglass Chronicles series.

As an author, getting a new cover is as close to the feeling I used to have opening presents on Christmas morning.

The designer gets the brief, you wait…and wait. And then something magical happens and the vague notes you made about the concept and colours come to life in front of you.

Of course, I still need to finish writing my redrafts, but having a cover definitely energises me to a book finished.

Here it is…

Reading Order for The Ravenglass Chronicles: Embark on an Epic Fantasy Adventure

Embark on an epic fantasy adventure with the Ravenglass Chronicles. Discover the definitive reading order for this immersive series inspired by the tarot’s major arcana. Magic, intrigue, and unforgettable characters await.

For fans of epic fantasy, the Ravenglass Chronicles, with its intricate storylines and unforgettable characters, offers a deeply immersive experience.

Each book in the series is inspired by the tarot’s major arcana, weaving a rich tapestry of magic, intrigue, and adventure.

To help you navigate this enchanting world, here is the definitive reading order for the Ravenglass Chronicles.

Book 0 (prequel) – The Fool

Book 1 – The Magician

Book 2 – The High Priestess

Book 3 – The Empress

Book 4 – The Emperor

Book 5 – The Hierophant

Book 6 – The Lovers

Book 7 – The Chariot

Book 8 – Strength

Book 9 – The Hermit

Book 10 – Wheel of Fortune

Book 11 – Justice

Book 12 – The Hanged Man

Book 13 – Death

Book 14 – Temperance

Book 15 – The Devil

Book 16 – The Tower

Book 17 – The Star

Book 18 – The Moon

Book 19 – The Sun

Book 20 – Judgement

Book 21 – The World

You can read The Fool for free as part of your Ravenglass Universe starter library.

The Ravenglass Chronicles audio edition is now available!

Embark on an epic audio adventure with The Ravenglass Chronicles audiobook series. Immerse yourself in a world of magic, intrigue, and hidden secrets.

🎧 Experience the Epic Audio Adventure: The Ravenglass Chronicles 🎧

Embark on a magical journey like no other with the audiobook release of The Ravenglass Chronicles epic fantasy series, now available on Audible!

Get lost in over forty hours of immersive audio storytelling for just one Audible credit. Not an Audible member yet? No problem!

Start your 30-day free trial and dive into this unforgettable adventure for FREE.

🎭 Meet Kat, the Reluctant Heir…

Kat is destined to rule a brutal empire, but her heart yearns for a different path. Torn between royal duties and her magical destiny, she must navigate a world of wyverns, messenger boys, and mysterious Guardians to uncover the truth behind her powers and her family’s hidden past.

🔮 Unravel the Secrets of the Tarot…

Inspired by the enigmatic world of tarot, Jon Cronshaw weaves a rich medieval tapestry filled with magic, intrigue, and adventure. The Ravenglass Chronicles omnibus collection includes all twenty-two novellas of this best-selling series, perfect for fans of epic fantasy who crave hidden magicfound families, and reluctant heroes.

🎇 Will Kat Choose Love or War?

As Kat faces the choice between true love and an arranged marriage, she must confront the secrets of her father’s death and the tangled web of deception that surrounds her. With only a wyvern and a messenger boy as allies, can she unlock her powers and bring peace to her kingdom?

💥 Don’t Miss Out on this Audio Epic!

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Crucible of Shadows – chapter one (excerpt)

Experience the thrilling world of assassins and dark fantasy in Jon Cronshaw’s “Crucible of Shadows.” Fast-paced action, witty banter, and a dangerous gang await in this gripping installment of the “Dawn of Assassins” series. Perfect for fans of roguish fantasy.

Greasy sweat coated Fedor’s back and neck as he stared half-focused at the Rusty Sail’s back room wall. Peeling gloss revealed bare pine beneath, the wood’s knots and whorls shifting and expanding in time with his heartbeat.

His eyelids drooped again and the top of his head pressed against the wall behind him as a wave of pleasure washed up from the base of his spine, triggering sparks inside his skull, bliss mushrooming in his mind.

He breathed in another mouthful of smoke, its metallic tang setting his teeth on edge and unmooring his thoughts.

His muscles softened.

Burning flooded his lungs, the heat melting him to wax.

The pipe slipped from his fingers and his head flopped down onto the cushion, his eyes flickering shut, his breaths shuddering.

Something like liquid hands enclosed him, soft and warm and comforting and endless. The edges of memory caressed him—his mother holding him close to her chest, her cheek resting on the top of his head as she rocked him to sleep.

He floated in a pool of yellow light for a long time as colours danced around him, splashing him with love and beauty, every wish fulfilled, every problem, every worry, every anxiety no more than a distant contained dot, no more than an ant trapped under a jar.

The images subsided, melting into yellow warmth, dislocated from time…from everything.

His limbs disappeared, allowing him to drift—a formless self in the endless yellow nothing.

He became aware of another sensation, a sensation beyond his body, beyond the yellow.

A hand, a real hand, two hands. It gripped his shoulder, both shoulders, and shook him away from that place.

His eyes snapped open.

He focused on a familiar face for a second, tried to form a curse, and closed his eyes again.

Words struck his ears as if heard through deep water.

A slap to the face shifted his awareness.

Pain. Stinging. Heat.

He opened his eyes slowly, his hand drifting up to his throbbing cheek, and he met Lev’s glare with one of his own.

“Mate, what the fuck? How many times?” Lev’s features came in and out of focus. “Get up.”

Fedor’s head wobbled to the side and he mumbled something half-formed in his mouth. He just wanted to drift, to return to that place of bliss. If he closed his eyes for long enough, it would all go away—the memories, the pain—all of it would seep into nothing, become one with the endless yellow.

The shakes came again, this time harder.

He looked around the room at the other men and women staring at him and he met Lev’s gaze.

Lev reached down and hoisted him to his feet.

For a moment, he feared he might continue up through the ceiling, and float off through the lower city and into the clouds, joining the balloons and wyverns and seagulls as they glided on the breeze.

“Mate. Look at me. Mate.”

His attention latched onto Lev.

“No. Keep bloody focused on me.”

Fedor closed his eyes and sank back to the cushion.

Another slap came to his face.

He found himself standing again and tried to wriggle out of Lev’s tight grip. But his arms did not move in the way he wanted. “Leave me alone,” he slurred. “Leave me here.”

“No. You’re coming with me.” Lev cupped Fedor’s face in his hands and held his gaze steady, those dark pupils burrowing into him. “You can’t stay here.”

Fedor stared at nothing.

The slap came again and his focus shifted back to Lev and his breath, tinged with whisky.

“Look at me, you fucking dickhead.”


“I said, look at me. You need to focus.” Lev gestured to the door, his words slow and clear. “I am taking you home. Do you understand?”

Fedor gazed longingly at the cushion, his focus catching the play of light down the length of the pipe.

Lev jerked him in a twist and marched him from the back room and into the main bar.

A thin man in a robe blocked Lev’s path and offered him a chequerboard smile. “Brother, your friend shouldn’t be taken like this.”

Lev drew his club and held it out with one hand, his hold on Fedor remaining firm. “You going to fucking stop me, mate? You want me to knock a few more of those teeth out for you?”

The man stepped forward, reaching for Fedor.

Lev shoved him back against the bar.

“Thirty-three, mate. This is a fucking thirty-three.”


“I’m taking you home.”

Unable to protest, Fedor gave a weak nod, and allowed Lev to lead him away.

Available from February 1 on Kindle and paperback.

Click HERE to order your copy now.

Out now: Crucible of Shadows (Dawn of Assassins, book 3)

Dive into ‘Crucible of Shadows’, the thrilling third instalment in Jon Cronshaw’s Dawn of Assassins series. A compelling blend of roguish fantasy and relentless action.

Prepare to be plunged into a world of shadow, intrigue and relentless action with the release of ‘Crucible of Shadows’, the thrilling third instalment in Jon Cronshaw’s Dawn of Assassins series!

Our unlikely hero, Fedor, is an assassin with a code – he won’t kill. Yet when his integrity puts him at odds with Nordturm’s deadliest gang, Fedor and his crew find themselves in a race against time to fulfil a perilous assignment, repay a significant debt, and stay alive.

As the pressures mount, Fedor battles not just external foes, but an internal demon, his drug addiction. As his ties to his crew stretch to breaking point, every decision could spell doom or deliverance.

From the best-selling author of The Ravenglass Chronicles, ‘Crucible of Shadows’ is an intoxicating blend of roguish fantasy, adrenaline-fuelled action, and razor-sharp wit. Fans of Michael J. Sullivan, Scott Lynch, and Brent Weeks will find this tale an irresistible page-turner.

Begin Fedor’s newest adventure today and delve into a story so captivating, you won’t be able to put it down. ‘Crucible of Shadows’ awaits you, available now on Kindle and in paperback.

Seize your copy today, step into the shadows, and join Fedor in a fight where every choice could be his last.

Out now: Trial of Thieves (Dawn of Assassins, book 2)

Dive into ‘Trial of Thieves’, the riveting second book in Jon Cronshaw’s ‘Dawn of Assassins’ series. A tale of choices, loyalty, and survival in a dark fantasy world.

Step back into the captivating world of Jon Cronshaw’s ‘Dawn of Assassins’ series with the release of the riveting second book, ‘Trial of Thieves’.

Our protagonist, Fedor, is a thief, a killer, and now finds himself on the brink of a new life as an assassin. When Soren enters the picture, Fedor’s world is turned upside down.

With a magical blade at his side, he is thrust into his first deadly contract: to eliminate the most formidable man in Nordturm. Does he have the resolve to kill once again?

Faced with a critical decision, will Fedor remain in the shadows as a thief, or step into the ruthless world of assassins? And what becomes of his trusted gang amidst these trials?

‘Trial of Thieves’ is a pulse-pounding follow-up to ‘Dawn of Assassins’, weaving together themes of friendship, loyalty, and survival in a dark fantasy setting that will leave you on the edge of your seat.

The shadows beckon you. Will you step into the thrilling world of Fedor once more? Grab your copy of ‘Trial of Thieves’ today, and join this relentless journey of survival and self-discovery. Act now. Embrace the thrill.

Trial of Thieves – Chapter One (excerpt)

Dive into ‘Trial of Thieves’, the riveting second book in Jon Cronshaw’s ‘Dawn of Assassins’ series. A tale of choices, loyalty, and survival in a dark fantasy world.

Fedor pressed into the shadows and checked his ravenglass dagger again, its handle icy against his palm. Light played around its edges, the midnight black seeming to bend the world around its form.

Fallen leaves, turned to mulch by weeks of rain, squelched under his boots. The smells of damp and rot tickled his nostrils as rainwater dripped a rhythm from rooftops, joining the clatter of cartwheels on cobblestones.

Fedor gestured to a three-storey house across the street, just visible through the mist. “That’s the place.”

“You sure?”

Fedor slid his dagger back into its sheath. “Definitely.”

“Definitely, definitely?”


“Hmm. Let’s see.” Lev pulled a ragged scrap of paper from an inside coat pocket, checked the address again, and stared at the house. “Alright. You’d think a bloke like that would have a bigger place.” He nodded to himself and stuffed the note back into his coat. “So, how we doing this?”

Fedor sighed. “We’ve already been through this.”

“And you’ve been off your game lately. I need to be—”

“Fine. I still think we’re going about this all wrong. We should go to the Dvoraks. Get cash for the lead.”

“Nah, mate. We’ve gone through this.” Lev removed his cap, shook away the collected raindrops from its peak, and flipped it back onto his head. “How many bloody times?”

“I just think we’re opening ourselves to more risk this way.”

“What’s it I keep telling you about risk?”

“Risk nothing, you risk it all…I know. It’s just—”

“I’ve told you.” Lev raised a forefinger. “There’s more cash in keeping a secret than blabbing about one. This is basic, basic stuff.”

Fedor rolled his eyes. “And how would you know?”

“Trust me, mate. I know.” Lev turned his attention back to the house. “So, what’s it to be?”

“We knock on the front door, he lets us in, and we tell him we know, and that if he doesn’t pay up, we’ll tell the Dvoraks, or Magistrates, or whoever will listen.”

“Nah, mate. We’ll do it my way.”

Fedor growled out a sigh. “So, why ask?”

“Just checking we’re on the same boat.” He tapped the side of his head. “You see, I know what we’re doing here. We need to make a proper impression.”

“I still don’t get why we need to break in.”

Lev shrugged. “Why not? We sneak up on him, scare him a bit, and scarper with a shit-load of cash. Simple.”

Fedor signalled along the street to a pair of patrolling constables, their forms soft and shadowy through the fog.

Lev gave a dismissive wave. “We’ll be fine.”

“Don’t you think it looks a bit dodgy?”

“It’s all dodgy, mate. Trust me, this is how we need to play it. We’ll go round the back and I’ll use my magic to get us inside.”

“What magic?”

“You might have your blade, but I’m a wizard when it comes to locks.”

“I wouldn’t call that magic.”

“Depends who you ask, mate.”

“Right. Then what?”

“We find him, tell him what’s what, and get him to pay up.” He studied Fedor for a moment. “Maybe leave the talking to me. You just keep your hood up and try to look menacing.”

Fedor smirked. “Menacing?”

“Sure. Why not? Just look all mysterious and brooding.”

“You really think I can pull off menacing?” He shook his head. “And I don’t even know what brooding means.”

“Just think of Soren.”

Fedor held his eyes shut at the thought of the master assassin who he had killed a week earlier. The image of Soren’s flesh and muscle burning away, leaving his bones a cage of black, haunted his dreams. He shuddered. “I’d rather not think of him if I can help it.”

“I’m with you, mate.” Lev met his gaze and offered him a half-smile. “Well, just flash that dagger of yours if he gets lippy, and we’ll be good.”

“Fine.” The blade’s whispers danced around Fedor’s mind, sending shivers along his arms and back. Since he’d killed Soren, the dagger whispered at the edges of his thoughts, tempting him to kill again. But was it something in the blade’s magic, or a voice in his own mind? Perhaps a darker self had awakened.

The constables moved on, disappearing into the ghostly haze.

Fedor took in a breath. The scent of damp cobbles mingled with the rotten leaves. “Shit.”

“What is it now?”

Fedor wiped his clammy palms down his legs. “I hate doing jobs like this without a lookout.”

Lev checked the street and nodded. “We’ll be fine, mate.”

“I just hope Onwyth comes around.”

The corners of Lev’s mouth twitched. “Me too.” He rested a hand on Fedor’s shoulder. “But how long’s that going to be?”

Fedor sighed. “We should say yes to Dienerin.”

“Screw that scaly bitch.”

“Why not? She’s on our side.”

Lev sniffed. “Mate, she’s on your side. How many times does she have to go on about you being the master? The rest of us don’t mean shit to her.”

“We took an oath in blood, remember? We’ve got each other’s backs. We need to trust each other.”

“It’s not you I don’t trust. She blanks me and Lita if we ask her to do anything.”

Fedor shifted his weight, his gaze fixing on the target’s house. “Maybe I could order her to listen to you.”

“Yeah, right. She only does shit for you.”

“So? Surely, we can work with that.”

“You’d have a lookout. But no one else would.”

Fedor glanced down the street again, expecting constables to emerge from the fog to arrest them both. “It’d be better than nothing.”

“Maybe. But Lita’s been working on getting a replacement for—”

“We can’t replace him,” Fedor snapped.

“You know what I mean.” Lev raised a finger to his lips. “And if you’re not careful, everyone on this bloody street’s going to clock we’re here.”

Fedor sighed and looked at the house again. “Are we doing this, or what?”

“Yeah.” Lev stepped from the alleyway and crossed the street towards the house. Glancing over a shoulder, he gave a quick hand signal to follow and hopped over the garden wall.

Following, Fedor vaulted the wall and trudged across sodden ground, weaving past puddles as he trailed Lev to the back door.

Lev rooted inside his pocket and retrieved a pair of lock-picks. He glanced towards the street. “How we looking?”

“We’re clear.”

Crouching to one knee, Lev concentrated on the lock.

The tumbler clicked.

“We’re in.” He rose to his feet and grinned.

Fedor retrieved the oil can from his longcoat and squirted around the handle. He splashed more onto the hinges when Lev opened the door.

Fedor’s stomach rumbled at the aromas of savoury roasted pork and boiled turnips wafting from inside.

Lev yanked a black neckerchief up to cover his mouth and nose and lowered his cap’s peak before entering.

Taking a breath, Fedor stepped into the kitchen on tiptoes, his eyes adjusting to the gloom. Copper pans glinted in the low light as heat radiated from a stove.

Lev marched over to the far door and opened it to reveal a hallway with oak-panelled walls and a thick maroon carpet framed by a polished floor.

A male voice called from the front of the house.

“Remember, let me do the talking.” Lev drew a club from his belt and dragged it along the wall, its scraping interrupted by thuds as it bounced across doorframes.

“Who’s there? Elsie? Is that you?” A bloated man wearing only his nightshirt and slippers waddled into the hallway. A cup fell from his hand, shattering at his feet, steaming tea seeping into the carpet. He gaped at Lev and Fedor. “What is the meaning—”

Lev slapped his club down on his open palm. “You Jedrick?”

The man stiffened and licked his lips, his hands shaking, his eyes bulging.

Lev pulled the scrap of paper from his pocket and made a show of studying the note. “Jedrick Bollea?” He tilted his head to one side, studying the man. “Merchant? Owner of the Bollea Trading Company?”

“Yes. Yes.” Jedrick stepped back, his voice quivering. “What is this?” His gaze darted between Lev and Fedor. “Who are you?”

Lev smiled and stuffed the note back into his coat pocket. “I think we need to have a little chat, don’t you?” He pointed his club at the sitting room door. “Go and take a seat.”

Jedrick gave a quick nod and stared down at the broken cup. “May I—”

“You can bloody deal with that later.”

“But the carpet is—”

Lev struck the wall with his club, making Jedrick start. “We’re not going to have any trouble here, are we?”

“Of course not. Are you planning to”—his throat bobbed—“to hurt me?”

“I don’t fancy hurting anyone if I’m being perfectly honest, but my friend over here—” He sucked in a breath and gestured vaguely to Fedor. “Let’s just say, pissing us around won’t end well for you.”

On cue, Fedor drew his dagger and gripped its handle, allowing Jedrick to take in the play of darkness before he slipped it back into its sheath.

“And if I’m being completely honest, it won’t end well for me either, because I’m the one who has to live with what I see.” He tapped the side of his head. “Trust me, mate. You really don’t want to know what my friend likes to do with that blade of his. It’s not a pretty sight.”

Jedrick’s mouth gaped. “Who…who sent you?”

“I won’t fucking ask you again.” Lev pointed to the door. “Sit the fuck down, or my friend will slice you from arse to tit.”

Jedrick raised his hands and waddled into the sitting room with Lev jabbing the club’s tip against the small of his back.

Fedor followed and clicked the door shut behind them.

Gold and crimson drapes covered a bay window, blocking out the encroaching night. Oil paintings in gilded frames hung on the walls, all of them showing tall-masted ships out at sea. A coal fire burnt in the grate, its mantle dotted with ships in bottles.

Fedor lingered in the corner, keeping his face obscured with shadows as Jedrick sank into a plush green-leather armchair.

Lev plucked a bottle from the mantle between a thumb and forefinger, allowing it to dangle and sway in a loose grip.

“Be careful with that,” Jedrick said.

“What? This?” Lev flipped the bottle in the air and caught it. He held it up and studied the model ship for several seconds before speaking. “You know, I’ve always wondered how they get these boats inside.” He inclined his head and met Jedrick’s gaze. “You reckon they use magic?”

“Please…” Jedrick gripped the arms of the chair, his fleshy knuckles turning pale. “What do you want from me?”

Lev shook his head. “You see, I’ve never really understood the appeal of these things. I mean, you see ships all the time around the docks. Real ones, mind. Not little kids’ toys shoved in bottles.” He shook his head. “These are just shit.” The bottle slipped from his hand.

Jedrick gasped as the bottle bounced on a patterned rug and spun to a stop.

He breathed out with relief, his hand shooting to his chest.

“Seems today’s your lucky day, mate.” Lev picked up the bottle and placed it back above the fireplace.

“Please. What do you want? Who are you working for?” Jedrick narrowed his eyes. “Are you with the Dvorak Company?”

Lev cocked an eyebrow. “Dvorak, eh?”

“What of it?”

“It’s just interesting you’d mention that name.”

“Disreputable dogs, the lot of you.”

“I wouldn’t let you hear my friend mouthing off about dogs.”

Jedrick frowned, his brow wrinkling. “Excuse me?”

“Dogs.” He jerked a thumb at Fedor. “My friend here loves dogs. Not too fond of people, but when it comes to dogs, he gets very protective.” He sucked in a breath and winced. “Maybe a little too protective, if you catch my meaning.”

“What are they paying you? I can—”

“I take it you’re familiar with a bloke called Antoni Dvorak?” Lev examined his fingernails. “Or, at least, you were.” He met Jedrick’s gaze and cocked an eyebrow.

“I…I…erm…” Jedrick cleared his throat and shuffled in his seat. “I am familiar with the name.”

Lev stepped forward and pointed his club at Jedrick’s face, its tip mere inches from his nose. “We know you’re familiar with that name. Very familiar.”

“I…I don’t—”

“How much did you pay?” Lev began to pace and tapped his chin. “Oh, yeah.” He raised a forefinger and smiled. “I remember.”

“Remember, what?”

“Thirty grand, wasn’t it?”

Jedrick’s mouth dropped open. He shuddered and raised his chin. “I’m afraid I’m going to have to ask you to leave.”

“You’re afraid? You should be afraid, mate. We’re not going anywhere.” Lev lowered his voice. “We know.”

“What do you know?” Jedrick spat.

“We know you paid a certain assassin thirty grand to have him knocked off.”


“We know.” Lev tapped his temple. “We know.”

Jedrick’s gaze scoured the room. “There must be…there must be something I can…” His hand drifted towards a fire poker.

“I wouldn’t do that,” Fedor said.

“Yes. Sorry.” Jedrick’s hands snapped back to his lap. “What do you want from me?”

“The same as you, really,” Lev said. “We want this to stay a secret as much as you do. You see, it’s not good when stuff like this gets out.”

Jedrick clapped his hands together and sighed. “Thank Creation.”

“Of course. It’s going to cost you, though.”

Jedrick looked up. “Cost me? Cost me what?”

Lev pushed out his bottom lip. “Oh, I don’t know. I’d say about ten grand should cover you.”

“This is blackmail, this is—”

“You’re damn right it’s blackmail.” Lev shrugged a shoulder. “But what you going to do? Tell the Magistrates someone’s found out about you hiring an assassin?”

“I did no such thing.”

“Bull-fucking-shit,” Lev said. “We know everything, mate. We know what you did. We know who you hired. We know when you did it and how much you paid. And, what’s more, we know the contract was completed.” He stood back with his arms folded, letting the accusation hang. “Of course, we can hand that over to the Magistrates, but we don’t want that, do we?”

Jedrick slumped on his chair, his shoulders sagging. “Was it that wyvern?” He spoke through gritted teeth. “I knew not to trust a wyvern.”

“No. The simple fact is, you were careless. And, let’s be honest, we’re bloody good at what we do.”

Jedrick’s eyes narrowed. “And what do you do?”

Lev shrugged. “You tell us, mate. We’ve not really come up with a name for it yet. Let’s just say we keep the secrets of people with blood on their hands.”

Blinking at the ceiling, Jedrick shook his head. “But ten thousand krones?”

Lev nodded. “That’s the price.”

Jedrick licked his lips and turned to Lev. “And if I pay, how do I…how do I know you won’t come back?”

“You don’t, but I give you my word as—”

“As a thief?” He sat up, his eyes wild. “As a scoundrel? As a blackmailing rogue?”

Lev smirked. “Whatever works for you, mate.”

“I am not your mate, you disreputable, no good—”

“I take it you’d prefer it if we weren’t?” Lev turned to Fedor. “He doesn’t think we’re mates.”

Fedor took a half-step towards Jedrick and drew his blade. Perhaps he could pull off the brooding menace after all.

“Of course. Of course.” Jedrick raised his hands, his voice growing frantic. “We’re mates. We’re mates. Please. Just…please.”

For a moment, it seemed Jedrick might cry, but he sat up straight and inhaled. “Please. I don’t want any more trouble.”

“See, that wasn’t too hard, was it, mate?”

Jedrick studied Lev and pursed his lips. “Swear it.”

“You what?”

“Swear it in the eyes of Creation.” He pointed to the ceiling. “Swear to Creation you will keep my secret, that…that this, this extortion will be the only payment.”

Lev turned to Fedor. “See, didn’t I say he’d see sense?”

“Swear it.” Jedrick folded his arms. “Or, no deal.”

“Fine. I swear in the eyes of Creation that when you pay up the ten grand, we’ll keep your secret.”


“And, what?”

“And this will be the only payment.”

“Fine. Fine.” Lev rolled his eyes. “If you pay us the ten grand, you’ll never hear from us again. That’s a promise.”


“For fuck’s sake—we’re supposed to be the ones shaking you down.”

“I need you to swear it.”

“Fine. I swear it in the eyes of Creation that when you cough up the cash, you’ll never hear from us again.”

“And your accomplice?”

“He doesn’t speak.”

Jedrick frowned. “I heard him.”

“I speak for both of us. Now, are we doing this, or what?”

Silence hung between them for several seconds before Jedrick nodded and hauled himself to his feet. “Wait here.”

“Where do you think you’re going?”

“To get your ten thousand krones, of course. Isn’t that what you want?”


Jedrick raised a finger. “But this is the only payment I will make.”

“That’s what we agreed.” Lev sat on the nearest sofa and kicked his feet up over the arm. “We’ll just make ourselves at home.”

Jedrick narrowed his eyes and raised his chin.

“Oh, and don’t try to run away.” Lev gazed up at the ceiling. “We’ve found you once. We’ll find you again. And we’re not so friendly on a second visit.”

“I…I understand. I’ll just get your money.”

Fedor opened the door, allowing Jedrick through before shutting it behind him.

Lev jumped up from the sofa and smiled. “It bloody worked! I can’t believe it bloody worked!” He gazed up at the paintings and cracked his knuckles. “Ten grand. Who knew this blackmail gig would be so lucrative?”

The front door banged shut.

“Shit,” Fedor said. “I think he’s gone.”

“Yeah. To get our cash.”

“Maybe one of us should have gone with him.”

“Oh.” Lev’s smile dropped. “Yeah, maybe.”

Click HERE to order your copy now.

The fifth anniversary of Wizard of the Wasteland

Celebrate the 5th anniversary of Jon Cronshaw’s debut novel, ‘Wizard of the Wasteland’. Immerse in Abel’s post-apocalyptic journey in a special hardback edition.

Wizard of the Wasteland by Jon Cronshaw

Five years ago, on June 20, 2017, a spellbinding tale of resilience, survival, and redemption emerged from the ashes of a ruined world – Jon Cronshaw’s debut novel, ‘Wizard of the Wasteland’.

Today, we invite you to celebrate this extraordinary milestone by delving into the gritty world of Abel in a brand-new hardback edition. It’s a chance to feel the weight of Abel’s journey, literally in your hands, for the first time ever.

Abel, an unlikely survivor of the apocalypse, is haunted by a past that’s as relentless as the desolate wasteland he navigates. With his loyal dog by his side, he earns a living trading salvaged relics from a forgotten era. But when Abel stumbles upon a group of enslaved children, his struggle for survival evolves into a fight for redemption.

Can he conquer the beast of addiction gnawing at his soul? Amidst the relentless desolation, can he find a sanctuary, a place to call home? Is there room for hope in a seemingly hopeless world?

‘Wizard of the Wasteland’ isn’t just a story; it’s an exploration of the human spirit’s capacity to endure and find purpose in the bleakest of landscapes.

Join us in celebrating this post-apocalyptic journey’s 5th anniversary. Revisit Abel’s world or explore it for the first time in this special hardback edition.

The resilient spirit of the ‘Wizard of the Wasteland’ awaits you. Step into Abel’s shoes. Discover hope in the heart of desolation. Secure your copy of the hardback edition today and let the journey begin anew.

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