Derek Prior

Biography

"Derek Prior always produces masterpieces of storytelling, with great characters full of life, relentless plots, and gripping and intense fight scenes." Mitchell Hogan

"Like Bernard Cornwell on 'shrooms!" Dinorah Wilson

Internationally bestselling and award winning author Derek Prior excels in fast-paced, high stakes epic fantasy adventure stories in which good ultimately triumphs, but always at a cost.

Taking familiar fantasy tropes as a point of departure, Prior expands upon them to explore friendship, betrayal, loyalty and heroism in worlds where evil is an ever-present reality, magic is both a curse and a blessing, and characters are tempered in battle.

Winner of best fantasy novel 2012 (The Nameless Dwarf: The Complete Chronicles)

Fantasy Faction semifinalist for the SPFBO 2018 (Ravine of Blood and Shadow)

Website: www.dpprior.com

Twitter: @NamelessDwarf

Facebook: www.facebook.com/dpprior

Where to find Derek Prior online

Where to buy in print

Series

Annals of the Nameless Dwarf
The age of glory is on the horizon and Carnac Thayn must make a difficult choice — one that will either save his people or condemn them. Who can be trusted in a land of magic and deceit? “Prior weaves a fully realized world in this rich fantasy.” (Kirkus Reviews) "A beautifully written and engrossing masterwork!" (Mitchell Hogan)
Mountain of Madness
Price: $4.99 USD.
Curse of the Black Axe
Price: $4.99 USD.
Land of Nightmare
Price: $4.99 USD.
Skull of the Lich Lord
Price: $4.99 USD.
Fate of the Dwarf Lords
Price: $4.99 USD.
Sorcerers' Isle
War is coming. A war the clans can never win. And the fate of Branikdür lies in the hands of a deranged girl who grows more deadly by the day
The Codex of Her Scars
Price: $4.99 USD.
Shader Origins
The origins of the Templum knight Deacon Shader
Ward of the Philosopher
Price: $2.99 USD.
The Seventh Horse
Price: $2.99 USD.
Shader
"An epic fantasy across three books that is wild, fast-paced, has fantastic characters, spreads across countries as well as worlds and religions, and is absolutely one of the best fantasy trilogies in existence." -- Melinda LeBaron
Sword of the Archon
Price: $3.99 USD.
Best Laid Plans
Price: $3.99 USD.
The Unweaving
Price: $3.99 USD.
The Archon's Assassin
Price: $3.99 USD.

Books

Last of the Exalted
Series: Annals of the Nameless Dwarf. Price: $5.99 USD. Words: 146,220. Language: English. Published: May 23, 2020. Categories: Fiction » Fantasy » Epic, Fiction » Fantasy » Historical
(5.00 from 1 review)
As rival armies converge on the city of Jeridium, the Senate are reduced to clutching at straws. In a desperate last gambit, they send the assassin Shadrak the Unseen past enemy lines and into the mountains, where he must find a grief-stricken warrior and his mythical axe.
The Exalted Trilogy
Price: $13.99 USD. Words: 272,150. Language: English. Published: December 15, 2019. Categories: Fiction » Fantasy » Epic, Fiction » Fantasy » Dark
A sprawling epic of redemption, heroism, and friendship in the face of insurmountable evil and an inexorable fate. "A beautifully written and engrossing masterwork!" (Mitchell Hogan) Fantasy Faction semifinalist for the SPFBO 2018 Contains Annals of the Nameless Dwarf Books 4-6
The Dark Trilogy
Price: $13.99 USD. Words: 221,860. Language: English. Published: December 15, 2019. Categories: Fiction » Fantasy » Epic, Fiction » Fantasy » Dark
A sprawling epic of redemption, heroism, and friendship in the face of insurmountable evil and an inexorable fate. "A beautifully written and engrossing masterwork!" (Mitchell Hogan) Fantasy Faction semifinalist for the SPFBO 2018 Contains Annals of the Nameless Dwarf Books 1-3
Fate of the Dwarf Lords
Series: Annals of the Nameless Dwarf. Price: $4.99 USD. Words: 106,660. Language: English. Published: June 13, 2019. Categories: Fiction » Fantasy » Epic, Fiction » Young adult or teen » Fantasy
The one slender hope remaining to the dwarves lies in their distant past: the dwarf lords. But for centuries, they have been in exile on Thanatos, a death world likely to change even the greatest of heroes. With time running out for Arnoch, the Nameless Dwarf must find the dwarf lords and persuade them to come home. But before that, he first has to survive them.
Skull of the Lich Lord
Series: Annals of the Nameless Dwarf. Price: $4.99 USD. Words: 103,170. Language: English. Published: May 3, 2019. Categories: Fiction » Fantasy » Epic, Fiction » Young adult or teen » Fantasy
As an ancient trap closes in on the companions, the last of the dwarves are threatened with extinction at the hands of ravenous beasts that live only to feed. And in the background, orchestrating it all, an implacable horror Nameless thought had been destroyed: A skull with crimson eyes that feast on living souls. All that remains of Otto Blightey, the Lich Lord of Verusia.
Land of Nightmare
Series: Annals of the Nameless Dwarf. Price: $4.99 USD. Words: 63,560. Language: English. Published: March 26, 2019. Categories: Fiction » Fantasy » Epic, Fiction » Young adult or teen » Fantasy
With threats from within and horror on every side, Nameless knows that time is running out for his people. The only surprise is that they have lasted so long. But new hope awaits him in a city beneath the waves—if he can first survive the unstoppable evil that destroyed the dwarf lords of old.
Curse of the Black Axe
Series: Annals of the Nameless Dwarf. Price: $4.99 USD. Words: 79,160. Language: English. Published: March 12, 2019. Categories: Fiction » Fantasy » Epic, Fiction » Young adult or teen » Fantasy
With the aid of new companions and an old friend, the assassin Shadrak the Unseen, Nameless must retrieve three artifacts that, combined, will bring an end to his suffering. But things are never that simple. Each of the companions has their own reasons for joining the quests, even Shadrak, who has been bound by an irrevocable contract— To kill the Nameless Dwarf.
Mountain of Madness
Series: Annals of the Nameless Dwarf. Price: $4.99 USD. Words: 68,220. Language: English. Published: February 2, 2019. Categories: Fiction » Fantasy » Epic, Fiction » Young adult or teen » Fantasy
Awakened from an induced year-long slumber, the Nameless Dwarf is tortured with memories of slaughter. Yet fate decrees he must still do all he can to avert the coming cataclysm.
Ravine of Blood and Shadow
Series: Annals of the Nameless Dwarf. Price: $4.99 USD. Words: 76,400. Language: English. Published: January 15, 2019. Categories: Fiction » Fantasy » Epic, Fiction » Young adult or teen » Adventure
(5.00 from 1 review)
The age of glory is on the horizon and Carnac Thayn must make a difficult choice — one that will either save his people or condemn them. Who can be trusted in a land of magic and deceit? “Prior weaves a fully realized world in this rich fantasy” (Kirkus Reviews). "A beautifully written and engrossing masterwork!" -- Mitchell Hogan Fantasy Faction semifinalist for the SPFBO 2018
The Codex of Her Scars
Series: Sorcerers' Isle. Price: $4.99 USD. Words: 124,520. Language: English. Published: April 11, 2018. Categories: Fiction » Fantasy » Epic, Fiction » Fantasy » Dark
(5.00 from 3 reviews)
War is coming. A war the clans can never win. And the fate of Branikdür lies in the hands of a warrior turned wizard and a deranged girl who grows more deadly by the day. 
 Sorcerers' Isle is a shocking tale of dark fantasy from international bestselling author Derek Prior.
Dead or Alive
Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 44,070. Language: English. Published: February 21, 2017. Categories: Fiction » Fantasy » Epic, Fiction » Young adult or teen » Fantasy
The assassin Shadrak the Unseen is down on his luck. He’d have to be to take a job from a wizard. To make matters worse, the ring he’s commissioned to procure is stolen by an invisible thief, whose footprints lead to the city of New Londdyr—where Shadrak is still wanted for an ages-old crime.
Ward of the Philosopher
Series: Shader Origins. Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 15,600. Language: American English. Published: April 17, 2016. Categories: Fiction » Fantasy » Epic, Fiction » Fantasy » Short stories
Deacon Shader is a child out of time, removed as a baby from his Ancient world parents and raised on the Isle of Maranore. On his seventh birthday, the philosopher Aristodeus arrives to commence the boy’s training with sword and mind. Nothing short of excellence will suffice, if Deacon is to fulfill his destiny and avert the Unweaving of all things.
The Attic
Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 7,000. Language: English. Published: March 8, 2016. Categories: Fiction » Horror » Undead, Fiction » Young adult or teen » Horror
(5.00 from 1 review)
It was the place they stored the junk no one wanted anymore: discarded toys, baby clothes, and ancient secrets from forgotten generations. But when contagion turns Wesley Harding’s world insane, and horror enters his home, the attic is the last place left to hide.
The Seventh Horse
Series: Shader Origins. Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 14,410. Language: English. Published: February 7, 2016. Categories: Fiction » Fantasy » Epic, Fiction » Young adult or teen » Fantasy
For centuries, no one had heard a peep out of Verusia, the dark stain at the heart of the Templum’s empire.
The Archon's Assassin
Series: Shader, Book 4. Price: $3.99 USD. Words: 154,620. Language: English. Published: March 30, 2015. Categories: Fiction » Fantasy » Epic, Fiction » Fantasy » Dark
One by one, the guilds of New Jerusalem fall to Shadrak the Unseen and his accomplice, the poisoner Albert. But as the battle for supremacy comes to a head, Shadrak is given a new order by the mysterious Archon: kill his closest living friend, the Nameless Dwarf.
Husk
Price: $5.99 USD. Words: 70,480. Language: English. Published: December 19, 2014. Categories: Fiction » Fantasy » Epic, Fiction » Fantasy » Dark
A powerful husk crosses the mountains, leaving a trail of the dead in its wake. When efforts to track the killer end in disaster, the task falls to a man not expected to succeed: Jebediah Skayne, Lothario, hustler, hunter of demons.
Against the Unweaving
Price: $9.99 USD. Words: 359,030. Language: English. Published: March 20, 2014. Categories: Fiction » Fantasy » Epic
When a powerful artifact is stolen from the Abbey of Pardes, the holy knight Deacon Shader is sent to retrieve it.
The Unweaving
Series: Shader, Book 3. Price: $3.99 USD. Words: 135,930. Language: English. Published: March 19, 2014. Categories: Fiction » Fantasy » Epic
Shader has failed and Sektis Gandaw now holds all the pieces of the Statue of Eingana. Despair hangs like a pall over the battered armies of Sahul and Aeterna. It’s now just a matter of time … A sliver of hope comes in the form of Shadrak the Unseen, who has the means to travel to the source of the coming cataclysm, the black mountain at the heart of the Dead Lands on Aethir.
Sword of the Archon
Series: Shader, Book 1. Price: $3.99 USD. Words: 104,950. Language: American English. Published: November 17, 2013. Categories: Fiction » Fantasy » Epic, Fiction » Fantasy » Dark
(5.00 from 2 reviews)
When a powerful artifact is stolen from the Abbey of Pardes, the holy knight Deacon Shader is sent to retrieve it. “Shader is a triumph of fantasy!” (Journal of Always)
Best Laid Plans
Series: Shader, Book 2. Price: $3.99 USD. Words: 118,850. Language: English. Published: October 21, 2011. Categories: Fiction » Fantasy » Epic
"Shader is an absolute triumph of fantasy." (Journal of Always) The reavers are swarming and this time their prey is the supreme ruler of the Templum, the Ipsissimus himself. With Shader dead and his piece of the Statue of Eingana in the hands of Shadrak the Unseen, the threat of the Unweaving of all Creation is one step nearer.
Thanatos Rising
Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 26,170. Language: English. Published: August 13, 2010. Categories: Fiction » Fantasy » Urban, Fiction » Fantasy » Paranormal
(4.50 from 2 reviews)
When students go missing in the university town of Aberystwyth, Harry Chesterton's investigation leads him to an ancient monastery on the hill.

Derek Prior's tag cloud

alternate worlds    apocacylptic post apocacylptic    assassin    assassin guild    bard    battle    bestsellling author    blood prophecy    cat horror    cataclysm    catholic    cavalry charge    child as the narrator    city in exile    classic fantasy    coming of age    cursed heroes    cyclops    dark dwarves    dark fantasy    dark magic    dark science    dark sorcery    demon monsters    demons    demons sorcery    destiny vs choice    doomsday    dragon    dragon attack    dungeons and dragons fantasy    dwarf city    dwarf fortress    dwarf king    dwarf stories    dwarf woman    dwarves    elves dwarves    epic adventure fantasy series    epic fantasy    fantasy    fantasy action adventure fiction novel epic romance magic dragons war fantasy action adventure fiction novel epic saga    fantasy adventure    fantasy adventure swords and sorcery    fantasy and sci fi    fate and chance    fate and destiny romance    fateful day    female assasin    female hero    female heroes    female lead    goblins    golem sorcery    gothic horror    guns and sex    guns and sherrifs    guns and sorcery    guns and warriors    heroic fantasy    heroic fantasy books    horrific ordeal    horror    horror action zombie    horror gore zombies terror    horror short story    horses as heroes    horses cowboy rescue    isolation horror    knight templar holy warrior    knights and fantasy    legendary hero    lich    lich king    lich lords    lost civi    magic    magic academy    magic action wizards mages demons evil soldiers action swords guns dragons halfbloods warriors victorian magic wizards spells period fantasy empire fantasy action adventure    magic artifact    magic battles    magic fantasy    magic lessons    memoirs    monsters    myth and legand    nameless dwarf    necromancers liches ghosts reincarnation    pirates ships    portal fantasy    post apocacalyptic    quest fantasy    religious fantasy    revenge fantasy    science and creation    science and fantasy    science fiction    shape shifter    sorcerers apprentice    sorcery    sorcery books    sorcery wizard    succubus    sword and scorcery    sword and sorcery    sword sorcery    sword sorcery adventure    talking weapon    templar knight    templar knight templars knights templar sword swords assassin assassins mystic mystics    the underworld    undead    undead army    undead horror    undead lich zombie skeleton army    undead magic    undead stories    war against undead army    warrior clans    warriors    weird western    witch queen    wizard magic    wizards fairy tales magic sorcerer romantic epic monster creature    zombie apocalypse survival    zombies   

Smashwords book reviews by Derek Prior

  • The First Dragoneer (2016 Modernized Format Edition) on Nov. 16, 2010

    The First Dragoneer is a brief induction into the world M.R. Mathias has created for his epic novels. The reader is immediately dropped into the midst of a hunting trip – the last such to be enjoyed by childhood friends, Brendley and March. It’s an easy task for the reader: the dialogue is so natural and genuine, the descriptions succinct and yet hitting the mark with exactly the right amount of imagery that it almost reads itself. I started to enjoy the tale from the outset because of this deceptively simple writing style and because so much information (back-story, mise en scene, motivation) was established contextually and without lengthy exposition. The narration blends seamlessly with the characters’ thoughts and feelings, which are never obtrusive. Mathias makes good use of his writer’s palette, taking from his toolbox just what he needs and no more. There is a degree of head hopping but it’s well-controlled and there are only two main POVs so it never gets confusing. Sometimes, early on, I got a little confused with the characters. It was a little hard to tell them apart, but this ultimately emerged as a strength: Bren and March are joined at the hip and this is the story of their parting. Editing is fair. There were one or two malapropisms, some missed apostrophes and some redundant adjectives that weakened otherwise strong lines, but these are few and far between. There were also some minor problems with word repetition which didn’t exactly leap off the page but would add polish if modified. Generally Mathias writes fluid prose that the eye just skips over with ease. He has a knack for finding just the right word for the character and context and is never pretentious. He allows the reader’s imagination to form the images with just the right stimulus (“fist-sized spiders scurried from the noisy brightness...”). Rarely does Mathias overcook his adjectives. He also understands the importance of vernacular and specificity: “and who is gonna race me to the short dock when the krill begin to spawn?” Mathias writes about what he knows: the hunting scenes are easy and lucid, full of appropriate and uncontrived spiel. He’s also good at the small details the evoke all the senses - - the fiery brandy, the crisp air, the food: “March handed Bren a pan full of scrambled grouse eggs he had collected and cooked earlier.” Little things, little details that convey real people, people we can identify with. Lots of outdoor craft – torch making, fire building, construction of a litter (maybe “travois-like device” was a bit too specific but that’s a minor gripe). Ordinary, believable people moving into uncharted waters. Chesterton would have loved this. There’s also a nice use of mythology with the introduction of the white stag and the near “Rhyme of the Ancient Mariner” albatross moment. To his credit, Mathias doesn’t waste this either. He introduces these elements with purpose: the decision over killing or sparing the stag is a critical moment determining the outcome of the story and the vector of the novels that follow. The action sequences in The First Dragoneer were a delight, full of human idiosyncrasies and those odd little accidents that real people are prone to under situations of duress. It’s not just action and characterisation that Mathias is good at wither. There are some stunning descriptions of the landscape that pulled me right into his world: "The rich, dark shades of the green tree tops flowed down the mountainside on their way out into the lower slopes of the valley. The trees thinned into large clumps, only to disappear completely in the valley floor. There, squares and long rectangles of brown, gold and russet took over. Some of the greener fields were speckled with the black and brown dots that were livestock, but most were empty of life save for the rows and rows of crops. The silvery-blue thread of the Prominence River wound its way through the pastures and crop-fields, splitting the valley into two misshape[n] halves." The sense of place is further enhanced by the characters interacting with their environment – the hunting, the descent to the cavern, the practical solutions they need to come up with for their survival. I thought the ending was a little hurried. There was a great description of the dragon’s approach but then all its knowledge is conveyed to March instantaneously, thus short-changing the reader. There’s also a very sharp change of gear at this stage – and perhaps there needs to be. We are about to be jolted from one world to the next. The familiar hunting grounds of Bren and March are about to give way to the world of the Dragoneers and their war against the coming Confliction. The First Dragoneers is by no means perfect, but it’s a very strong introduction to the author’s oeuvre and a thoroughly enjoyable read. A bit of spit and polish and it’s as good as they get. As to the little matter of rating, I don’t think a book has to be perfect to earn 5 stars (if that was the case I’d never dish any out). What it does have to do is engage me and make me want to read more. Mathias does this and does it well.