The Border Keeper

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Tom Doherty Associates, Jul 16, 2019 - Fiction - 176 pages

"Beautifully and vividly imagined. Eerie, lovely, and surreal."—Ann Leckie

In The Border Keeper, debut author Kerstin Hall unfolds a lyrical underworld narrative about loss and renewal.

She lived where the railway tracks met the saltpan, on the Ahri side of the shadowline. In the old days, when people still talked about her, she was known as the end-of-the-line woman.

Vasethe, a man with a troubled past, comes to seek a favor from a woman who is not what she seems, and must enter the nine hundred and ninety-nine realms of Mkalis, the world of spirits, where gods and demons wage endless war.

The Border Keeper spins wonders both epic—the Byzantine bureaucracy of hundreds of demon realms, impossible oceans, hidden fortresses—and devastatingly personal—a spear flung straight, the profound terror and power of motherhood. What Vasethe discovers in Mkalis threatens to bring his own secrets into light and throw both worlds into chaos.

Praise for The Border Keeper

“A labyrinth of demons, dead gods, cranky psychopomps, and broken all-too-human lives. Hall is by turns wry and lush, genuine and venomous. So can I have the next one already?”—Max Gladstone

"Lush prose weaves around a dark heart in this twisty debut from Kerstin Hall. A fantastical wonder on every page, but one coated in blood, death and suffering.”—JY Yang

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The Border Keeper

User Review  - www.publishersweekly.com

This quiet but intricate novella, shored up by rich prose, takes readers through the eerie, fantastical terrain of the afterlife. A man named Vasethe comes to the guardian of the boundary between the ... Read full review

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About the author (2019)

KERSTIN HALL is a writer and editor based in Cape Town, South Africa. She completed her undergraduate studies in journalism at Rhodes University and, as a Mandela Rhodes Scholar, continued with a Masters degree at the University of Cape Town. Her short fiction has appeared in Strange Horizons, and she is a first reader for Beneath Ceaseless Skies. She also enjoys photography and is inspired by the landscapes of South Africa and Namibia.

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