First and Second Drafts of The Artificer’s Knot Finished

First and Second Drafts of The Artificer’s Knot Finished

I’ve completed a first-pass edit of my fourth novel, titled The Artificer’s Knot. I wrote this one as completely stand-alone though it takes place in the same world as my Heron Kings books, about a dozen years after The Heron Kings Rampant. I still have a lot of rewriting yet to do, but I think it’s far enough along to share some bits. I’ve posted the first three chapters on Royal Road, as well as a shorter section here.

Here’s the blurb!

Randyll Tephius was looking forward to earning his Journeyman Artificer’s rank, a respectable pillar of the new industrial age. But when his University thesis concerning newly-discovered oil deposits inadvertently challenges the energy monopoly of the elite Alchemists and their semi-magical Vril, he’s expelled in disgrace.

He’s rescued at his most desperate moment by an unlikely benefactor: aging mob boss Gouger Nebb. Ran puts his skills to work for the gang, turning machines and technology into profit. He rises in favor until learning Nebb’s true plan: to break into the fledgling oil industry using Ran’s revolutionary designs and retire a ‘legitimate businessman.’ Small crimes become larger ones as Ran falls deeper into the mob world, but he won’t abandon the work that could restore his shattered career.

Ran’s efforts are soon sabotaged by a syndicate of Alchemists, the same people who ruined his reputation. Emerging from the shadows, they now promise the prestige he craves in exchange for joining them and helping them seize total power. It’s a tempting offer that would mean betraying the very man who saved him.

Several readers enjoyed my gangster character Gouger Nebb from Rampant, and I certainly enjoyed writing him. But he’s only in two scenes, so in this book he’s a major but not main character.

I had to throw together a quick and dirty pro-tem cover to post it on RR, and I was already playing around with possible fonts, so this is what I came up with:


Also managed to get a nice shiny brass effect as well:

I added some extra lines and elements to make it look like an engineering schematic or draft, since the main character is an engineering student. For a real cover I’m excited to say that I’ve booked a spot with J Caleb Design, a professional cover artist who’s done some amazing work on books such as The Hellborn King and The Trail To Retribution. We’ve already had some initial discussions and there were a couple ideas we both felt positive about, so I’m hoping for a really kickass cover! But for now, it’s the grind of revisions…


heron kings logo The Heron Kings by Eric Lewis dark grimdark fantasy novel