Evening's Empire

AFTER FIFTY YEARS OF PEACE between the Five Polities of Axios, a beloved king is assassinated, throwing the world into chaos. Suspicion falls on a notorious assassin, but darker forces could be at play. Now the actions of seven individuals will determine the fate of the people who call Axios home.

Hello! You may be familiar with me from my mystery series, The Thomas Austin Crime Thrillers. But for nearly five years I've also been working on a special project close to my heart—an epic fantasy world named "Evening's Empire.”
For my readers who aren't typically drawn to epic fantasy, let me share a bit about what compelled me to create this world.
The end of kings by d d black.

My interest in fantasy is fueled by a desire to understand as much of the world and the human experience as possible. The canvas on which epic fantasy allows me to paint is broader than any other genre. In this series, I delve into history, warfare, political intrigue, love, friendship, and—of course—all sorts of interpersonal drama. But like my Thomas Austin series, these books still feature mysteries at their core. They’re fast-paced, gripping, and packed with compelling characters, action, and intrigue. They also fall into a subgenre I call “Realist Fantasy.” That means that—even though the setting is fictional, even though there are mythical creatures and moments of magic—the world feels close to our own and, I hope, speaks to our own.

So even if you haven't yet developed a taste for epic fantasy, I hope this series might expand your literary palate.

And for you die hard fans of Austin’s pet corgi, Run. Don’t fret, there is a Run-like character in these books as well. I have chosen to give her the name of our own corgi, Pearl.

These days, most of my time is dedicated to my mystery series, but I’m excited to launch the first books in this new epic fantasy world soon. For now, you can explore some of the information and artwork below to get a glimpse of what’s in store.

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A map of a fantasy world.

I’ve always loved fantasy maps of all kinds, which is why all of my Thomas Austin Crime Thrillers start with maps. So when I began working on this project, one of the first things I did was create a map. For the first couple years of the writing process I worked from sketches. Starting in 2021, I had the great pleasure of working with artist, illustrator, and fantasy map expert Virginia Allyn on the official map of The Five Polities of Axios. I was blown away with her final version, and, in time, I hope this world becomes as real to you as the ones I write about in my existing books.

The series will consist of five novels and at least seven novellas. Although I haven’t yet decided how and when these books will be released, I do have some covers I can share.

Prequel novels in the new fantasy world evening's empire.
A black background with white letters from a fantasy alphabet.

One of the storylines in The End of Kings revolves around a lost ancient language. In the world of The Five Polities, the language cannot be deciphered. Some think it was left by the Gods, others that it was etched into stone by people who inhabited the world long ago.

To create the glyphs, I worked with Claire Ng and linguist David Peterson, who did the languages for Dune, Game of Thrones, Thor: The Dark World, and many other projects. They did a great job capturing the feeling I wanted to come across in the glyphs.

The end of kings book one in the new fantasy world.
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