Character-driven epic fantasy: complex women, complex worlds.
My novels feature women caught between the demands of status, family, and inner wholeness, with plenty of horses, swords, a dragon or two, spirituality, even a little magic. Human characters, epic trouble, inside and outside.
For the latest news, and writing tips satirical and sincere, follow me on Twitter @JoelJAdamson or like my Facebook page. Please feel free to contact me about local collaborations, artwork, publishing short stories, or if you’re in desperate need of a very literate banjo picker.
The Queen’s Night: Mortal Temples, Book I
A princess uses newfound psychic power to heal a plague and control her destiny in a world ruled by a patriarchal sky-cult.
Do you own your body?
The Queen’s Night, the first of a duology, is the story of a young woman who struggles with her political marriage, her inability to save her friends and her people, and her emerging psychic powers. Though her husband is king, he takes his orders from the Starseers, who spell out fate with cold astrological prophecies. The last thing Edyth wants is to become a mother, but as queen consort, she’s expected to produce an heir and stop the war the nobles, the people, and the stars beg for.
A routine ceremony takes an unexpected turn and leaves Edyth with the terrifying ability to uncover and heal guilt, but unable to save those closest to her. She wants to control her own destiny but the stars, the powerful men and women in the kingdom, and her own uncontrollable desires betray her. Full of subtle spirituality, The Queen’s Night is a dark, disturbing look into the complex heart of a woman whose own body does not belong to her, in a world ruled by fate and those who speak it.
A young sorceress struggles for her unborn child’s future while she and her husband plot against the king.
What would you sacrifice to see your children have the life you never had?
The Dréa are the last of the mages who once ruled a vast empire headquartered in the kingdom of Dwyn. As the semi-autonomous rulers of The Valley of Mists, they carry on life with the rituals that have been passed down a thousand years after the fall of their great empire, with the blessing of the local warlord king. Elspyth Stonehouse has risen from a life of poverty and homelessness to become a powerful Dréagh, a noblewoman by her recent marriage, and expects her first child by the year’s end. The family she never had is just within reach, but the tragic death of a colleague has left her with rivals and resentment among the academy’s teachers.
A simmering divide over the nature of teaching pits Elspyth and her husband against Ómeros, their sect’s closest advisor to the king, and his pupil, Bálarmos. Elspyth looks forward to the home she never knew, despite the risk that pregnancy and birth will rob her of Dréadic powers. An oracle sends her on a quest for the enigmatic firesage, and she reluctantly leaves her husband, unaware of the treachery putting their lives at risk.
Firesage is my attempt to write a much more magically-oriented novel, with wizards and magical diversity, but I have so far failed to make it like anything you’d read in the eighties.
More About Me
I was born in 1979 in Kansas and grew up in Boulder, Colorado. I have lived in Boston, Massachussetts and Durham, North Carolina, and have now settled in Fairlee, Vermont, in the Upper Valley region of New Hampshire and Vermont. I am the head of the local library board of trustees and take care of three boys, a dog, and some birds. My wife is a family doctor in Lebanon, NH.
Science was my primary interest for a long time. I graduated from the University of Colorado in 2002 with degrees in population biology and mathematics. I did field research on birds in Colorado, Delaware, and Maryland, and was a professional statistician in psychiatric epidemiology at Massachussetts General Hospital for about three years. I pursued a Ph.D. in mathematical evolutionary theory but after a while I decided that science was not for me, and graduated with a master’s degree in biology from UNC Chapel Hill. I have published numerous scientific papers in two disciplines and devoted years of research and coursework to becoming a better instructor.
I play 5-string banjo and guitar, enjoy baking bread, hiking, and drinking tea. I am especially interested in political and cultural history of medieval Britain, the Anglo-Saxon period, Vikings, and the Norman invasion.
- Gene Wolfe
- Stephen R. Donaldson
- Stephen King
- Jacqueline Carey
- Robert Jordan
- John Gardner
- Leigh Brackett
- Robert E. Howard