The Winter Road


By Adrian Selby

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The brutally powerful story of a daring warrior traveling a path that might bring salvation to her people. . .or lead her to ruin. For fans of Mark Lawrence, Andrzej Sapkowski, and Joe Abercrombie.

The Circle — a thousand miles of perilous forests and warring clans. No one has ever tamed such treacherous territory before, but ex-soldier Teyr Amondsen, veteran of a hundred battles, is determined to try.

With a merchant caravan protected by a crew of skilled mercenaries, Teyr embarks on a dangerous mission to forge a road across the untamed wilderness that was once her home. But a warlord has risen in the wilds of the Circle, uniting its clans and terrorizing its people. Teyr’s battles are far from over . . .


Part One

Chapter 1

You will fail, Teyr Amondsen.

My eyes open. The truth wakes me.

You will fail.

I had slept against a tree to keep the weight off my arm, off my face. My tongue runs over the abscesses in my mouth, the many holes there. My left eye is swollen shut, my cheek broken again, three days ago, falling from a narrow trail after a deer I’d stuck with my only spear.

I close my eyes and listen, desperate to confirm my solitude. A river, quick and throaty over rocks and stones. A grebe’s whinnying screech.

I take off one of the boots I’d stolen, see again the face of the man who’d worn them as I strangled him. I feel my toes, my soles, assess the damage. Numb, blisters weeping. My toes are swelling like my fingers, burning like my face. I need a fire, cicely root, fireweed. I have to be grateful my nose was broken clean. A smashed-up nose is a death sentence in the hinterlands. If you can’t sniff for plant you’re a bag of fresh walking meat. You need plant to heal, plant to kill.

If I keep on after this river I can maybe steal a knife, some plant and warmer clothes. These are Carlessen clan lands, the coast is beyond them. I’m going to live there, get Aude’s screaming out of my head, the horns of the whiteboys, the whisperings of the Oskoro who would not, despite a thousand fuck offs and thrown stones in the black forests and blue frozen mountains, let be their debt to me.

The grebe screeches again. Eggs!

I pull on the boot with my right arm, my left strapped against me and healing, itself broken again in my fall.

I pick up my spade and the small sack that I’d put Mosa’s shirt in, the spade something of a walking stick to help me along the mossy banks and wretched tracks. Snow was making a last stand among the roots of birch trees, a few weeks yet from thawing out. A few handfuls ease my gums.

The sky is violet and pink ahead of the sun, the woods and banks blue black, snow and earth. I stumble towards the river, a chance to wash my wounds once I’ve found some nests and broken a few branches for a fire.

The grebes screech at me as I crack their eggs and drink the yolks. I find five in all and they ease my hunger. If a grebe gets close enough I’ll eat well. The sun edges over the hills to the east and I am glad to see better, through my one good eye. The river is strong up here, my ears will miss much.

I drop the deerskins I use for a cloak and unbutton my shirt. I didn’t have to kill the man I stole that from. I loosen the threads to the discreet pockets that are sewn shut and take a pinch of snuff from one. It’s good plant, good for sniffing out what I need. Feels like I’ve jammed two shards of ice into my nose and I gasp like I’m drowning, cry a bit and then press another pinch to my tongue, pulling the thread on the pocket tight after. Now the scents and smells of the world are as clear to me as my seeing it. For a short while I can sniff plant like a wolf smells prey.

I forget my pains. Now I’m back in woodland I have to find some cicely. The sharp aniseed smell leads me to it, as I’d hoped. I dig some up, chopping around the roots with the spade to protect them. Around me a leaden, tarry smell of birch trees, moss warming on stones, but also wild onion, birch belets. Food for another day or so.

I wash the cicely roots and I’m packing my mouth with them when I hear bells and the throaty grunts of reindeer. Herders. The river had obscured the sounds, and on the bank I have no cover to hide myself in. I cuss and fight to keep some control of myself. No good comes of people out here.

The reindeer come out through the trees and towards the river. Four men, walking. Nokes—by which I mean their skin is clear and free of the colours that mark out soldiers who use the gifts of plant heavily, the strong and dangerous fightbrews. Three have spears, whips for the deer, one bowman. There’s a dog led by one of them, gets a nose of me and starts barking to be let free. Man holding him’s smoking a pipe, and a golden beard thick and long as a scarf can’t hide a smirk as he measures me up. The herd start fanning out on the bank. Forty feet. Thirty feet.

“Hail!” I shout, spitting out my cicely roots to do it. My broken cheek and swelling make it hard for me to form the greeting. I try to stand a bit more upright, to not look like I need the spade to support my weight.

“Hail. Ir vuttu nask mae?” Carlessen lingo. I don’t know it.

I shake my head, speaking Abra lingo. “Auksen clan. Have you got woollens to spare? I’m frostbitten.” I hold up my good hand, my fingertips silver grey.

He speaks to the others. There’s some laughter. I recognise a word amid their own tongue, they’re talking about my colour, for I was a soldier once, my skin coloured to an iron rust and grey veins from years of fightbrews. One of them isn’t so sure, knowing I must know how to fight, but I reckon the rest of me isn’t exactly putting them off thoughts of some games. Colour alone isn’t going to settle it. Shit. I reach inside my shirt for some of the small white amony flowers I’d picked in the passes above us to the north.

“No no no. Drop.” He gestures for me to drop the spade and the amony. He lets a little of the dog’s lead go as well. The bowman unshoulders his bow.

At least the stakes are clear, and I feel calmer for it. He has to be fucked if he thinks I’m going to do a word he says, let alone think his dog could hurt me.

He has nothing that can hurt me, only kill me.

“No, no, no,” I says, mimicking him before swallowing a mouthful of the amony and lifting the spade up from the ground to get a grip closer to its middle. I edge back to the river, feeling best I can for some solid flat earth among the pebbles and reeds.

He smiles and nods to the bowman, like this is the way he was hoping it would go, but that isn’t true. The bowman looses an arrow. Fool could’ve stepped forward twenty feet and made sure of me but I throw myself forward. Not quick enough, the amony hadn’t got going. Arrow hits my left shoulder. It stops me a moment, the shock of it. He’s readying another arrow, so I scream and run at the reindeer that strayed near me, the one with the bell, the one they all follow. It startles and leaps away, heading downstream, the herd give chase.

Time and again I made ready to die these last nine months. I’m ready now, and glad to take some rapists with me. I run forward while they’re distracted by how much harder their day is now going to be chasing down the herd. The one with the pipe swears and lets his dog go at me while one of the spears fumbles in his pockets for a whistle to call the herd, running off after them.

Dogs are predictable. It runs up, makes ready to leap and I catch it hard with the spade. It falls, howling, and I get the edge of the spade deep into its neck. I look at the three men left before me.

“Reindeer! You’ll lose them, you sad fuckers!” They’ll understand “reindeer” at least.

The pipe smoker draws a sword, just as my amony beats its drum. I don’t know how much I took but it hits me like a horse just then. I shudder, lose control of myself, my piss running down my legs as my teeth start grinding. I gasp for air, the sun peeling open my eyes, rays bleaching my bones. My new strength is giddying, the amony fills me with fire.

He moves in and swings. He’s not very good at this. The flat of my spade sends his thrust past me and I flip it to a reverse grip and drive it hard into his head, opening his mouth both sides back to his ears. I kick him out of my way and run at the bowman behind him. He looses an arrow, and it shears the skin from my skull as it flies past, almost pulling my good eyeball out with it, the blood blinding me instantly. He doesn’t know how to fight close, but I’m blind in both eyes now and I’m relying on the sense the amony gives me, half my training done blind all my life for moments like this. I kick him in the gut, drop the spade and put my fist into his head, my hearing, smell exquisite in detail. He falls and I get down on his chest and my good hand seeks his face, shoving it into the earth to stop its writhing, drive my one good thumb through an eye far as it’ll go. A shout behind me, I twist to jump clear but the spear goes through me. Out my front it comes, clean out of my guts. I hold the shaft at my belly and spin about, ripping the spear out of his hands, his grip no doubt weakened a moment with the flush of his success. I hear him backing away, jabbering in his lingo “Ildesmur! Ildesmur!” I know this name well enough, he speaks of the ghostly mothers of vengeance, the tale of the War Crows. I scream, a high, foul scritching that sends him running into the trees.

My blood rolls down my belly into my leggings. There’s too much of it. Killed by a bunch of fucking nokes. No more than I deserve. I fall to my knees as I realise, fully, that it’s over. The river sounds close, an arm’s length away maybe. I fall forward, put my arm out, but it gives and I push both the spearhead and the end of the arrow that’s in my shoulder back through me a bit. A freezing spike of pain. My senses lighten to wisps, I fall away from the ground, my chest fit to burst, my blood warming my belly and the dirt under me. Why am I angry that it’s all over? The sun keeps climbing, the pebbles rattle and hum as the song of the earth runs through me—beating hooves, distant cries, roots of trees stretching and drinking. I hum to quieten the pain. It’s my part in the song but I was always part of the song, I just haven’t been listening. The birch trees shush me. Snowy peaks crack like thunder in the distance. The sky is blue like his eyes, fathomless.

“I’m coming,” I says. He knows I’m coming. I just have to hold out my hand.

Chapter 2

A Year Before

“You will fail, Teyr Amondsen.”

“I will not. I cannot.”

I was standing before the chief of Citadel Hillfast, Chief Othbutter. We was in his chamber of justice. He has a simple wooden chair up on a modest dais he believes gives his people the right impression of his priorities. His gut and the jewels braided into his beard speak otherwise. The jug of wine, red as his fat spud of a nose, also speaks otherwise.

Stood next to him his high cleark, Tobber, a beech-coloured broom brought to life, long narrow face and smooth bald head. Tobber has told me I will fail. He stood as a master of an academy would stand before his class, for he had an audience, mostly the merchants that make up my competition along with representatives of Othbutter’s favoured clans. A king and courtiers in all but name, crowding the room so it was hot and thick with the smoke of pipes and whispers.

“I think she’s far more prepared than you think, Tob,” said Othbutter. “She takes my captain, an escort of my best men, she has employed an excellent drudha to mix her plant and your most capable cleark, she takes my brother here as well, to do my justice. Our clans in the Circle need our support from the bandits that terrorise them. Master Amondsen presents us with an interesting solution.” Othbutter had a table to his left, on which stood his jug and a plate, from which he picked and folded two big slices of beef into his mouth.

“She has not the trust of any of the clans who live in the Circle,” said the high cleark to the room. Othbutter’s brother Crogan muttered a “Hear, hear.”

“One of Khiedsen’s sons, Samma Khiese, now terrorises the Sedgeway and the Gospeaks and claims himself lord of the Circle and all its clans, including her clan, the one she abandoned. Steel, not tribute or errant daughters, is what they require.”

Chief Othbutter looked at me, expecting me to continue the rebuttal, defend my honour.

“We will clear out whatever bandits we find,” I said. “I’ve done it all my life as a soldier. But this expedition isn’t just signing some contracts and trading plant, it’s about spending profit, my profit, towards strengthening our rule of law. It’s about reconnecting the Circle to all of us, so that my clan and all the clans there have good reason to bury those enmities that lead them now to blood. The routes through to Elder Hill, before even we reach the Sedgeway and the Circle beyond, are difficult if not impossible half the year for want of work to drain land or build cord roads and rip raps and keep them. I aim to forge a proper road beyond Elder Hill, right across the Circle as far as Stockson and the busy markets your fathers will no doubt have fondly remembered to you. Citadel Hillfast might then rekindle the good relations with Citadel Forontir that we once enjoyed.”

Tob paused for effect as my words were met with murmurings of disbelief. “Yes, Amondsen, I hear that you will build forts from your own chests of gold, drive out bandits, keep hundreds of miles of road maintained from here to Stockson and yet charge nothing for it. You would do what our chief it seems cannot, with but a handful of men and a few wagons. Maybe somebody here not already hired by you or sleeping with you would offer a wager as to your success?”

Before a silence could burnish his point I spoke. “The chief has many more responsibilities than I, problems up north with the Larchlands and Kreigh Moors biggest among them. I’ll set an example to all the merchants.” I cursed myself the moment I spoke these words, for they did me no favours with those assembled, for all that I spoke true. “The merchants of Hillfast have responsibilities other than filling our purses and lining our cloaks with fur and silk. These forts, this road that my people are building, will further my own prosperity, you can bet on that, but they will help the people of the Circle, grow the common purse through taxes and in so doing raise us all up.”

A peal of laughter then that Tobber allowed before saying, “I look forward to seeing all our beggars and slaves bedecked in the silk and ermine that will fall behind your bountiful wagons!” This made the nokes laugh harder and even Othbutter smiled, though in looking on me his eyes pleaded innocence.

“A man as travelled as yourself, Cleark Tobber,” I continued, the irony of that sending further ripples of laughter through the crowd, “would have seen Farlsgrad’s Post Houses for himself and seen what service they do for the people, easily triple the distance walked or ridden in a day.” Fuck him, he’d get seasick crossing a stream and he knew it. “And tell me, Tobber, what else should I do with my coin if not empower Hillfast in its trade? Do you know any good whores I should go piss it all on?”

That got a lot more laughs, and it infuriated that sad old prick for we all knew enough what his pleasure was with girls. I could never weave words as well as others though, that’s as good as it got from me. I’m more used to giving orders than winning people over.

I looked behind me to Aude. He smiled and winked. He was still worried there might be some move to stop this dream of mine at the final hour, but the chief had signed and sealed commendations and proposals for the clan chiefs, giving my caravan his authority.

Then Tobber started up again. “Did you know, Chief Othbutter, that she means to take this caravan to the Almet, the dark forest at the heart of the Circle? She means to get the monsters living there, the Oskoro, to swear fealty to your staff. Is that right, Amondsen? But will you recognise them amid the other trees? Will you get within a mile of them before their spores put you to sleep and they feast on your flesh?”

“It’s pig shit, Chief. All my years there we never had anything bad from these people. Tributes have always been paid to them and they’ve saved lives in return, my own for one. Until we forge a friendship, the Almet won’t be the common ground it used to be, a neutral place where we can meet the clans, a place of peace and not blood, made so by the Oskoro and respected by all who live in those lands.”

“Well well, Amondsen, if you could harness their drudhaic power, I’m sure our troubles in the Circle would soon be over. I won’t fault her for trying, Tobber,” said Othbutter.

The Oskoro would not be used, but they would be in my debt from the gift I had for them, though what that could mean for us was as hard to fathom as they were.

“Cleark Tobber,” said Othbutter, “you have spoken well in favour of your chief’s interests, as always. However, I will not leave these merchants to fend for themselves in the Circle when they are doing much to fill our coffers, not least by giving your clearks an ease of passage. We are done, masters. Amondsen, I wish your path swift and dry.” He stood to signal the gathering was ended. The high cleark bowed and walked past me without a nod or a word. We locked arms for a farewell, me and the chief, and I took Aude’s arm and led him out of the chamber into the main avenue that runs parallel to the dockside the far side of Othbutter’s court.

“That might have gone better,” I said. “They think it’s a ruse, a way of getting one over on them and nothing more.”

“You upset the merchants gathered there to be sure, but there’s none there that don’t already despise your success. Too proud to be part of it and all.”

“I saw pity for an amusing child.”

“Who, except Chalky Knossen, who’s coming with you, has even a slip of your ambition? You show them their sorry limits.” He leaned in to kiss my head as we walked.

“Aye, perhaps. Can we walk back to the house? Might be the last bit of time we get to ourselves for a while.”

We wound our way up through the carts and children, plant-addicted droopers and hawkers of the streets of Hillfast, edging the slums and the merchant’s store sheds. Those guarding them I knew well enough to ask after, teasing word of their masters out of habit, for I would not be back in Hillfast for a year. Then it was up through the steep cobbled lanes of the farmers’ huts onto the Crackmore path, a hill that led up to our house amid the cliffs.

“How are you?” he said once we’d crested the hill and turned to look back over Hillfast, as we always did on this climb. I guessed he was meaning how I was since we’d argued the previous day. Knowing we might meet resistance on the road, I had tried a day brew, a dayer as we called it, something a bit less than the fightbrews I took to enhance my skills as a mercenary all those years ago. I lost control of the dayer, it being the first time since then I was putting my body back through it. My cleark Thornsen had taken our son Mosa out for the day while I tried it, but it didn’t go so well for Aude, who had stayed with me, and I had hurt him during the rise, when my body was fighting with the hard, violent thrill the dayer caused.

“I’m excited to be getting going at last. I’ve gone over our tactics with Othbutter’s captain, Eirin, Thad as well, but I have a duty for you too, and Mosa won’t be back for a while.” I give him a wink but he didn’t return it and it stung.

He was a slender, beautiful man, ropes of black hair swept to one side which I kept wanting to tuck behind his ear framing the sharp ridge of his cheek. Today the cheek was bruised.

“Well, some instruction on getting our son to eat fish would be welcome. He tried bilt too, rabbit and reindeer. It didn’t go well, seems he can only eat their meat fresh,” he said.

“I’m sure he’ll take to bilt with no other choice.” I took his hand in mine for the rest of the walk and let the breeze and the gulls fill our silence as we approached our house because I didn’t know how better to fill it.

Near the gate was our two wagons and the packhorses. We’d got some boys from the shed up to help us. Thad, my drudha, was there too, overseeing the plant we were looking to trade or gift.

“Teyr! Did you get Othbutter’s scribble on our scrolls?” he asked.

“I did. We ride out tomorrow.”

“Purses for our mercs?”

“Yes, those and all. Sanger, Yalle and her crew, all paid retainers.” He nodded and turned back to the chests that he’d packed the jars and bottles of prepped plant in.

“I’m going to cook us all some eggs and pitties,” said Aude. He put his hands on my shoulders then.

“I’m sorry, bluebell,” I said, wanting to reach out and touch his cheek but not daring to try.

“No, Teyr, you told me how it would be, that you might lose yourself. I didn’t think … well, I don’t know.”

“I would say there’s no excuse, but it took hold of me, I couldn’t stone it. I …”

He kissed me, the gentle crackle of his whiskers compressed to the softness of his lips. He always closed his eyes. I mostly closed mine, except that day, and when I saw his eyes open, I felt the hint of a smile in his mouth that cradled all else we felt.

“We’ve a lot to do if we’re going to prove that dusty cinch Tobber wrong.” With that remark he gated off what we could not speak of to protect what his kiss reaffirmed. I watched as he walked away against the sun, his familiar off-kilter stride, shoulder slightly higher on the right, back straight up as a plank of wood, all from a twist in his left foot from his being born that would never right.

I had a well of confidence when I first courted him. My asking around after him got back to Tarrigsen, who he worked for. Tarry was a merchant, had been like a father to me when I’d returned from soldiering with a fortune for savage work done for the armies of Jua and Marola. Aude had started with Tarrigsen a while after I served an apprenticeship there. Wine and fucking had lost their appeal quite quickly after I’d landed in Hillfast. I was a curiosity, a bet even, a barren woman with the strength of two men cold—by cold I mean without a brew—but a little too old, so I began to hear. I had thought, for all the years I was taking purses, that I just needed enough to pay out and sit on my arse getting soaked on good wine, stilling out on kannab and eating fine beef twice a day. And while I was doing that I knew I was only trying to chase out what was gnawing at my guts, that I couldn’t settle with the idea that all I did with my life was kill people for coin and then drink myself to death. So I had begun to use my knowledge of the world and give it the weight of my coin. I became a merchant and was developing a “concern,” as the other merchants would say, and they might have meant both senses of the word in saying it. Tarrigsen the merchant had also travelled far and wide, and when, one day, he took a seat at my side in the Mash Fist tavern down on the south quay he explained to me exactly what I was feeling, finding the heart of my thoughts so quickly I almost choked on my rum.

“There’s the look of a seaman, Teyr, staring at a horizon while sat in a tavern. You in’t the first soldier to nurse her cup and wonder if she could go about the world killing and getting rich and be happy coming back home. But you also in’t the first to realise, now all the killing’s done, that a life smithing at the same forge for twenty year or keeping tally of an old ass’s coin don’t make a man poor in his spit and spirit.”

“Well said, Master Tarrigsen. And you mentioning the work of a cleark is a bit of what brings you in your finery here among the deckhands, carters and soaks, I imagine.”

He laughed, clacked my cup with his and drained it, putting it down heavy on the table to get old Geary to hear it and splash us out a couple more from a bottle kept put away for me.

“He’s my best cleark is Aude, and you in’t the only merchant’s got his scent in their nose. Much as I love you, I won’t be fucked with by any merchant of Hillfast, whether she paid the colour or not.”

“Well, it’s not really his letters or his tallying I’ve discovered an interest in, Tarry.”

He raised an eyebrow. “Good, well, along with the merchants I’m having to slap away, there’s also one or two women that have an eye for him as you do. I recall now I sent him over to get your scribble on the Shares. Had his boy with him I believe, Mosa.”

It had been a week before. Aude had earnest, gentle blue eyes that I very much liked looking at and he sang rhymes to the boy on his shoulders amid our pleasantries. Mosa was playing with the piece of amber his father had on a necklace. I must have apologised for my appearance, for I’d spent the morning shifting sacks in my shed, and he’d said to that only that I looked fine.

“You know his keep, Mosa’s mother, she …”

“Yes Tarry, Thornsen told me a bit about it, you know how the clearks go, tight like a virgin’s cinch with each other.”

“Ahh Thornsen, an excellent cleark, you’re lucky to have him, but yes, they spill more of our secrets than they do their own ale when they finish their day, I’ll bet,” he said. “But her dying giving birth to the lad is well known. It snuffed the drink out of him rightly. Caring for a dut’ll do that when there’s nobody else, I guess.”

“I need a reason to see him. Can you give me one?”

He laughed again at that. “How many men have you led into war, how many killed, and you’re after me cooking up some story so you can give him that look you women give us.” And he made to flick his hair about and look at me sort of side on.

“Ha! Any women you didn’t have to pay for ever look at you like that, Tarry? I bet these others after him got proper long hair though, not a head like this, no axe blades giving their lips an extra curl either.”

“There’s few got your brains and your means. We both know there’s a bit of chatter about you around the quays, more than a few merchants got their cocks in a twist because they won’t be half the trader you’ll be, and the gangers can’t put up any muscle worth a shit to take a slice of what you’ll make, you having paid the colour. You want to go courting Aude to keep you warm at night, I’ll be happy for both of you. Poach him as cleark and you won’t find a ship’ll take your interest or your cargo from Hillfast to Northspur, not while I’m breathing.”

“I’ll never do that to you, Tarry. There’s my word.”

“And I’ll take it. Now don’t wear him out.”

I’ve harpooned whales, been holed up in blizzards in the Sathanti Peaks surrounded but unseen by a hundred enemies. I’ve been a castellan, I helped the great Khasgal found his own throne, wedding the most inspirational and powerful woman I’d ever met, the only other woman he loved. You would think then that I wouldn’t be short of things to talk about when I called on Aude to go riding for an afternoon. Tarrigsen had Mosa, saying he was going to get him helping make us all some supper. Tarry loved this man and his boy, that was clear.


  • "Set in a brutal world of subtle magic, clashing empires, and commercial interests, this is an impressive fantasy debut. Selby demonstrates the command of style, character, plotting, and world building of a seasoned author."—Booklist on Snakewood
  • "Betrayal and retribution epitomize Selby's epic fantasy/thriller debut, set in an Earth-like, barbaric, drugged-up society reliant on plant-based narcotic concoctions for addictive potions and deadly poisons. His detail-heavy, conversational dialogue in memoir/journal design and his militant, Berserker-ish characters keep pages turning. Perfect for fans of Joe Abercrombie."—RT Book Reviews on Snakewood
  • "Not your typical grimdark fantasy....While it's a complex tale, this is also an immensely readable one, and should appeal to fans of the immersive world-building of Brandon Sanderson. Selby constructs his world on a personal, visceral level, making sure we feel everything that happens to the narrators."— on Snakewood
  • "Original and effective ... relish the well-choreographed action scenes."—Library Journal on Snakewood
  • "I give it nothing but the highest recommendation."—Grimdark Magazine on Snakewood
  • "Contemporary and grimdark as it comes."—British Fantasy Society on Snakewood
  • "Absolutely fascinating and incredibly original."—Sense of Wonder on Snakewood
  • "Wears its grimdark on its sleeve ... a thrilling tale of adventure, betrayal, triumph and loss."—Interzone on Snakewood
  • "Grim mercenaries and badass alchemists brought to life by a bold, assured storyteller."—Peter Newman, author of The Vagrant, on Snakewood
  • "A lot to enjoy, especially if you are a fan of dark, gritty, old-soldier stories."—Fantasy Faction on Snakewood
  • "Uniquely dark and gritty fantasy. An intriguing debut."—Bibliosanctum on Snakewood

On Sale
Nov 13, 2018
Page Count
496 pages

Adrian Selby

About the Author

Adrian Selby studied creative writing at university before embarking on a career in video game production. He worked for several big-name studios as a producer before settling down to more conventional work in IT project management. He is a Tolkien fanatic and online gaming addict, and lives with his wife and family on the south coast of England.

Learn more about this author