The Obsidian Tower


By Melissa Caruso

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"A classic, breathtaking adventure brimful of dangerous magic and clever politics. A book that will thrill and delight any fantasy fan."―Tasha Suri, author of The Jasmine Throne

In this fresh epic fantasy bursting with intrigue and ambition, questioned loyalties, and broken magic, one woman will either save an entire continent or bring about its downfall. 

"Guard the tower, ward the stone. Find your answers writ in bone. Keep your trust through wits or war–nothing must unseal the door."

Deep within Gloamingard Castle lies a black tower. Sealed by magic, it guards a dangerous secret that has been contained for thousands of years.

As Warden, Ryxander knows the warning passed down through generations: nothing must unseal the Door. But one impetuous decision will leave her with blood on her hands–and unleash a threat that could doom the world to fall to darkness.

Praise for The Obsidian Tower:

"Block out time to binge this can't-stop story filled with danger and unexpected disaster. From the fresh take on time-honored tropes to a crunchy, intrigue-filled story, The Obsidian Tower is a must-read for lovers of high fantasy."―C. L. Polk, World Fantasy award-winning author of The Midnight Bargain

"Deftly balances two of my favorite things: razor-sharp politics and characters investigating weird, dark magic. A must-read."―Emily A. Duncan, author of New York Times bestseller Wicked Saints

Rooks and Ruin
The Obsidian Tower
The Quicksilver Court
The Ivory Tomb

For more from Melissa Caruso, check out:

Swords and Fire
The Tethered Mage
The Defiant Heir
The Unbound Empire



There are two kinds of magic.

There is the kind that lifts you up and fills you with wonder, saving you when all is lost or opening doors to new worlds of possibility. And there is the kind that wrecks you, that shatters you, bitter in your mouth and jagged in your hand, breaking everything you touch.

Mine was the second kind.

My father’s magic could revive blighted fields, turning them lush and green again, and coax apples from barren boughs in the dead of winter. Grass withered beneath my footsteps. My cousins kept the flocks in their villages healthy and strong, and turned the wolves away to hunt elsewhere; I couldn’t enter the stables of my own castle without bringing mortal danger to the horses.

I should have been like the others. Ours was a line of royal vivomancers; life magic flowed in our veins, ancient as the rain that washed down from the hills and nurtured the green valleys of Morgrain. My grandmother was the immortal Witch Lord of Morgrain, the Lady of Owls herself, whose magic coursed so deep through her domain that she could feel the step of every rabbit and the fall of every leaf. And I was Exalted Ryxander, a royal atheling, inheritor of an echo of my grandmother’s profound connection to the land and her magical power. Except that I was also Ryx, the family embarrassment, with magic so twisted it was unusably dangerous.

The rest of my family had their place in the cycle, weavers of a great pattern. I’d been born to snarl things up—or more like it, to break the loom and set the tapestry on fire, given my luck.

So I’d made my own place.

At the moment, that place was on the castle roof. One gloved hand clamped onto the delicate bone-carved railing of a nearby balcony for balance, to keep my boots from skidding on the sharply angled shale; the other held the wind-whipped tendrils of dark hair that had escaped my braid back from my face.

“This is a disaster,” I muttered.

“I don’t see any reason it needs to be, Exalted Warden.” Odan, the castle steward—a compact and muscular old man with an extravagant mustache—stood with unruffled dignity on the balcony beside me. I’d clambered over its railing to make room for him, since I couldn’t safely share a space that small. “We still have time to prepare guest quarters and make room in the stables.”

“That’s not the problem. No so-called diplomat arrives a full day early without warning unless they’re up to trouble.” I glared down at the puffs of dust rising from the northern trade road. Distance obscured the details, but I made out at least thirty riders accompanying the Alevaran envoy’s carriage. “And that’s too large an escort. They said they were bringing a dozen.”

Odan’s bristly gray brows descended the broad dome of his forehead. “It’s true that I wouldn’t expect an ambassador to take so much trouble to be rude.”

“They wouldn’t. Not if they were planning to negotiate in good faith.” And that was what made this a far more serious issue than the mere inconvenience of an early guest. “The Shrike Lord of Alevar is playing games.”

Odan blew a breath through his mustache. “Reckless of him, given the fleet of imperial warships sitting off his coast.”

“Rather.” I hunkered down close to the slate to get under the chill edge that had come into the wind in the past few days, heralding the end of summer. “I worked hard to set up these talks between Alevar and the Serene Empire. What in the Nine Hells is he trying to accomplish?”

The line of riders drew closer along the gray strip of road that wound between bright green farms and swaths of dark forest, approaching the grassy sun-mottled hill that lifted Gloamingard Castle toward a banner-blue sky. The sun winked off the silver-tipped antlers of six proud stags drawing the carriage, a clear announcement that the coach’s occupant could bend wildlife to their will—displaying magic in the same way a dignitary of the Serene Empire of Raverra to the south might display wealth, as a sign of status and power.

Another gleam caught my eye, however: the metallic flash of sabers and muskets.

“Pox,” I swore. “Those are all soldiers.”

Odan scowled down at them. “I’m no diplomat like you, Warden, but it does seem odd to bring an armed platoon to sign a peace treaty.”

I almost retorted that I wasn’t a diplomat, either. But it was as good a word as any for the role I’d carved out for myself.

Diplomacy wasn’t part of a Warden’s job. Wardens were mages; it was their duty to use their magic to nurture and sustain life in the area they protected. But my broken magic couldn’t nurture. It only destroyed. When my grandmother followed family tradition and named me the Warden of Gloamingard Castle—her own seat of power—on my sixteenth birthday, it had seemed like a cruel joke.

I’d found other ways. If I couldn’t increase the bounty of the crops or the health of the flocks with life magic, I could use my Raverran mother’s connections to the Serene Empire to enrich our domain with favorable trade agreements. If I couldn’t protect Morgrain by rousing the land against bandits or invaders, I could cultivate good relations with Raverra, securing my domain a powerful ally. I’d spent the past five years building that relationship, despite muttering from traditionalists in the family about being too friendly with a nation we’d warred with countless times in centuries past.

I’d done such a good job, in fact, that the Serene Empire had agreed to accept our mediation of an incident with Alevar that threatened to escalate into war.

“I can’t let them sabotage these negotiations before they’ve even started.” It wasn’t simply a matter of pride; Morgrain lay directly between Alevar and the Serene Empire. If the Shrike Lord wanted to attack the Empire, he’d have to go through us.

The disapproving gaze Odan dropped downhill at the Alevarans could have frozen a lake. “How should we greet them, Warden?”

My gloved fingers dug against the unyielding slate beneath me. “Form an honor guard from some of our nastiest-looking battle chimeras to welcome them. If they’re going to make a show of force, we have to answer it.” That was Vaskandran politics, all display and spectacle—a stark contrast to the subtle, hidden machinations of Raverrans.

Odan nodded. “Very good, Warden. Anything else?”

The Raverran envoy would arrive tomorrow with a double handful of clerks and advisers, prepared to sit down at a table and speak in a genteel fashion about peace, to find my castle already overrun with a bristling military presence of Alevaran soldiers. That would create a terrible first impression—especially since Alevar and Morgrain were both domains of the great nation of Vaskandar, the Empire’s historical enemy. I bit my lip a moment, thinking.

“Quarter no more than a dozen of their escort in the castle,” I said at last. “Put the rest in outbuildings or in the town. If the envoy raises a fuss, tell them it’s because they arrived so early and increased their party size without warning.”

A smile twitched the corners of Odan’s mustache. “I like it. And what will you do, Exalted Warden?”

I rose, dusting roof grit from my fine embroidered vestcoat, and tugged my thin leather gloves into place. “I’ll prepare to meet this envoy. I want to see if they’re deliberately making trouble, or if they’re just bad at their job.”

Gloamingard was really several castles caught in the act of devouring each other. Build the castle high and strong, the Gloaming Lore said, and each successive ruler had taken that as license to impose their own architectural fancies upon the place. The Black Tower reared up stark and ominous at the center, more ancient than the country of Vaskandar itself; an old stone keep surrounded it, buried in fantastical additions woven of living trees and vines. The stark curving ribs of the Bone Palace clawed at the sky on one side, and the perpetual scent of woodsmoke bathed the sharp-peaked roofs of the Great Lodge on the other; my grandmother’s predecessor had attempted to build a comfortable wood-paneled manor house smack in the front and center. Each new Witch Lord had run roughshod over the building plans of those who came before them, and the whole place was a glorious mess of hidden doors and dead-end staircases and windows opening onto blank walls.

This made the castle a confusing maze for visitors, but for me, it was perfect. I could navigate through the odd, leftover spaces and closed-off areas, keeping away from the main halls with their deadly risk of bumping into a sprinting page or distracted servant. I haunted my own castle like a ghost.

As I headed toward the Birch Gate to meet the Alevaran envoy, I opened a door in the back of a storage cabinet beneath a little-used stairway, hurried through a dim and dusty space between walls, and came out in a forgotten gallery under a latticework of artistically woven tree roots and stained glass. At the far end, a string of grinning animal faces adorned an arch of twisted wood; an unrolling scroll carved beneath them warned me to Give No Cunning Voices Heed. It was a bit of the Gloaming Lore, the old family wisdom passed down through the centuries in verse. Generations of mages had scribed pieces of it into every odd corner of Gloamingard.

I climbed through a window into the dusty old stone keep, which was half fallen to ruin. My grandmother had sealed the main door with thick thorny vines when she became the Witch Lord a hundred and forty years ago; sunbeams fell through holes in the roof onto damp, mossy walls. It still made for a good alternate route across the castle. I hurried down a dim, dust-choked hallway, taking advantage of the lack of people to move a little faster than I normally dared.

Yet I couldn’t help slowing almost to a stop when I came to the Door.

It loomed all the way to the ceiling of its deep-set alcove, a flat shining rectangle of polished obsidian. Carved deep into its surface in smooth, precise lines was a circular seal, complex with runes and geometric patterns.

The air around it hung thick with power. The pressure of it made my pulse sound in my ears, a surging dull roar. A thrill of dread trickled down my spine, never mind that I’d passed it countless times.

It was the monster of my childhood stories, the haunt of my nightmares, the ominous crux of all the Gloaming Lore. Carved through the castle again and again, above windows and under crests, set into floors and wound about pillars, the same words appeared over and over. It was the chorus of the rhyme we learned in the cradle, recited at our adulthood ceremonies, and whispered on our deathbeds: Nothing must unseal the Door.

No one knew what lay in the Black Tower, but this was its sole entrance. And every time I walked past it, despite the unsettling aura of power that hung about it like a long bass note too low to hear, despite the warnings drilled into me since birth and scribed all over Gloamingard, curiosity prickled awake in my mind.

I wanted to open it—anyone would. But I wasn’t stupid. I kept going, a shiver skimming across my shoulders.

I climbed through another window and came out in the Hall of Chimes, a long corridor hung with swaying strands of white-bleached bones that clattered hollowly in a breeze channeled through cleverly placed windows. The Mantis Lord—my grandmother’s grandmother’s grandfather—had built the Bone Palace, and he’d apparently had rather morbid taste.

This wasn’t some forgotten space entombed by newer construction; I might encounter other people here. I dropped my pace to a brisk walk and kept to the right. On the opposite side of the hall, a slim tendril of leafy vine ran along the floor, dotted irregularly with tiny pale purple flowers. It was a reminder to everyone besides me who lived or worked in the castle to stay to that side, the safe side—life to life. I strained my atheling’s sense to its limit, aware of every spider nestled in a dusty corner, ready to slow down the second I detected anyone approaching. Bones clacked overhead as I strode through the hall; I wanted to get to the Birch Gate in time to make certain everything was in place to both welcome and warn the envoy.

I rounded a corner too fast and found myself staring into a pair of widening brown eyes. A dark-haired young woman hurried toward me with a tray of meat buns, nearly in arm’s reach, on the wrong side of the corridor.

My side. Death’s side.

Too close to stop before I ran into her.

I desperately flung myself away from the woman, obscenities spilling from my mouth in pure terror. Every piece of me was a deadly weapon I had to redirect: knees and feet and the arms that instinctively windmilled for balance. No, too near her face, NO—

My outflung hand hit her earthenware tray, knocking it from her grasp; it was the final push I needed to throw myself aside to the hard floor. The woman yelped, pottery crashed, and meat pies rained down all around me.

I hadn’t touched her. She was alive.

Except that I couldn’t sense her. I should have felt her heartbeat. This close, her life should have been a warm light in my mind. There was nothing.

“Oh! I’m so sorry! Let me help you—” She reached toward me, brows furrowing in concern.

I scrambled away on the floor, crabwise, my heart still thundering in my chest. “Don’t!” I cried. “Stay back!”

She stood, hand still half-extended, meat pies scattered amid shards of pottery at her feet. “Are you all right?”

I lurched upright, stepping away to open more distance between us. A stray chunk of earthenware crunched under my heel. All I could think of was how close I’d come to killing her.

“Didn’t anyone warn you? Why were you on the wrong side?” Her brow creased; I wasn’t making any sense, every nerve still jangling. The fear that should have harrowed her face was missing. How could she not know about me?

Unless…“You’re not from Morgrain.”

That was why I hadn’t sensed her before I saw her. My inherited link to the land let me feel the presence of Morgrain-born lives close by, but I had no magical connection to outsiders. And while she looked Vaskandran, the wide bands of colorfully embroidered trim on her crimson vestcoat, along with her golden-brown skin and thick black hair, suggested the lowland domains rather than the gray, pale hill folk of Morgrain.

I’d relied too much on my magical perceptions, allowed myself to get distracted and lazy, and almost killed someone. Again.

My legs trembled beneath me, threatening to dump me on the floor.

The woman smoothed the confusion from her face and dipped a quick bow. “Yes. I’m Kessa, with the troupe of traveling players who arrived this morning. The Foxglove Theater Company; finest in Vaskandar, if I do say so myself. I was trying to bring these from the kitchens for the other players”—she made a grand, tragic gesture toward the fallen meat pies—“and, well, it’s easy to get lost in this place.”

“I’m so sorry I almost ran into you,” I said, which seemed like an appalling understatement given what had nearly happened. “You should stick close to the vines with the purple flowers when you’re walking around Gloamingard.”

“Yes, someone mentioned that. They were terribly dramatic about it, in fact, but I thought—” Her bright brown eyes came into sharper focus on mine then, and she broke off. I knew what she was seeing: lightning-blue rings around my pupils. Realization broke over her face like a cold wave. Who knew what rumors she’d heard—and if she miraculously hadn’t heard any, the staff would have been eager to warn her the moment she crossed the threshold.

Whatever you do, don’t go near the Warden. If you touch her, you’ll die.

She killed a man when she was four years old. They say she’s cursed.

Just last summer a stable boy bumped into her, and his heart stopped for half a minute. He didn’t wake up for days, and he may never be the same.

“Oh!” Kessa’s eyes widened. I braced myself for the inevitable flick of fingers out from her chest in the warding sign.

But it didn’t come. Instead, she dropped to her knees in one fluid movement, head bowed. “Forgive me, Exalted Atheling. I didn’t notice your mage mark.”

My fingertips flew up self-consciously toward my eyes. “You don’t need to kneel. We don’t do that here.”

Kessa rose, dusting her skirts off, and flashed me a smile. “Better safe than sorry, Exalted. We travel all over Vaskandar, and every domain is different. We just came from Alevar, and if I didn’t kneel to a marked mage there, they might have decorated a tree with my head.”

“This isn’t Alevar.” Now that I knew she was safe, I was eager for her to get out of my path so I could head to the Birch Gate. “Please be careful. I don’t know what you’ve heard, but my magic is flawed. If I touch you, you’ll die.”

Her eyebrows flew up. “I heard that, but I thought they were exaggerating,” she admitted. “That’s got to be awkward. And the gloves don’t help?” She nodded toward my hands.

Sympathetic curiosity wasn’t the response I was used to. The only other people outside my family who’d reacted to my power without fear or aversion were a Raverran boy I knew and Rillim, the girl I’d once had mad dreams of courting. A flush crept up my cheeks, and I found myself inexplicably staring at the way dark strands of Kessa’s hair lay against her neck as she tilted her head, waiting.

I couldn’t get distracted; I had too much to do.

“Through the gloves, a quick touch might not kill you outright,” I said. “Skin to skin, it’s instant. Now, if you’ll excuse me… Wait a minute.” A few things fitted belatedly together in my mind, and I frowned. “We’re not anywhere near the kitchens or the Old Great Hall where the players are rehearsing. You’re more than a little lost.”

She let out a rich, warm laugh, but something flickered in her eyes. “More lost than I thought, apparently, and I ruined the meat pies. My friends will never let me hear the end of it.”

“There’s nothing in this part of Gloamingard but the old stone keep.” And the Door, with all its compelling mystery and power. “You said you came from Alevar. Did you have any dealings with the Shrike Lord, perchance?”

“No, Exalted.” She gave a convincing little shudder. “I’ve heard he doesn’t have much of a sense of humor—a rather grave character failing, and one often coupled with a lack of appreciation for theater.”

I couldn’t help the smile that tugged at my mouth. I wanted to like her—she had lovely sparkling eyes to match her wit, and an easy grin that welcomed me in on the joke. But she’d been too quick with her explanation for being here, as if she’d prepared it in advance. Not to mention that much as I appreciated her relaxed and friendly manner, it didn’t fit for a commoner used to domains where you had to kneel to avoid a mage’s ire.

If she’d been poking around near the Black Tower, it didn’t matter whether I liked her. The Gloaming Lore was quite clear on our duty: Guard the tower, ward the stone. The magical protections on the Door were powerful, but that only made tampering with it all the more dangerous.

“Did you see anything interesting, while you were wandering lost?” I asked, deliberately casual.

Kessa hesitated only a fraction of a second. “With respect, Exalted, every inch of this place ranges from interesting to outright bizarre.”

A new voice spoke, low and rough as the rumble of an approaching avalanche:

“She’s asking because she thinks you’re a spy.”

My grandmother rounded the corner, her power gathered palpably around her like a cloak of thunder.

It was always her eyes that caught me first. Blazing orange rings circled each pupil, her mage mark standing out fierce and wild from her dark irises. Everything else fell into place around them: her white crest of hair, her strong jaw and hollow cheeks, the dagger-thin length of her body honed sharp as a weapon. A pale mantle of rust-barred owl feathers cascaded in layers from her shoulders, coming to a point at the small of her back like folded wings. She was ageless and ancient, a hundred and seventy years not so much weighing on her lightly as burned to fuel some secret inner fire. The sheer force of her power made the air around her tremble.

Kessa paled and stepped back, nearly slipping on a meat pie.

“Ryx,” my grandmother greeted me, “I must commend you. Your instinct for finding trouble remains flawless.”

“Better to find it by spotting it than by stepping in it.” I didn’t add For a change, but it hung unspoken between us nonetheless. “Grandmother, this is Kessa. She claims she’s one of the traveling players visiting the castle.”

“Is she, now.” My grandmother paced toward Kessa with the deadly prowl of a predator, the sheer force of her presence oppressive in the narrow corridor. “You were clever, slipping into my castle while I was distracted by another visitor. But nothing escapes an owl’s notice.”

She swept past me like a cold winter wind. Kessa held her ground, still and silent—though by the strain in her eyes and the trembling in the hands she laced together behind her back, she knew very well the danger she was in.

My grandmother stopped in front of her, her voice nonetheless powerful as she dropped it to a whisper. “Nothing. Not even a rook.”

The full implication of what she’d said sank in. “You’re not spying for Alevar,” I breathed. “You’re spying for the Rookery.”

I didn’t know much about the Rookery, only a tangle of stories and rumors probably no more accurate than the ones about me. A mysterious group with the backing of both Vaskandar and the Serene Empire, they dealt with strange and dangerous magic when it became a problem others couldn’t handle. Which was all well and good, but our strange and dangerous magic was private.

Kessa rallied enough for a you-caught-me grimace and a graceful bow. “I’m sorry for the deception.” The regret in her voice seemed genuine, her brown eyes shadowed as they met mine. She turned to my grandmother. “We weren’t certain you’d receive us if we announced ourselves properly, Most Exalted.”

“For good reason,” my grandmother growled. “I keep my secrets close, rook. I don’t allow others to come poking around in them.”

“It is our job to investigate and deal with magical threats.” Kessa ducked her head in respect, her tone calm, reasonable, soothing. “We have a responsibility to the Conclave of Witch Lords to look into rumors of dangerous artifacts, and we heard that you might have one here in Gloamingard. All we wanted to do was determine whether it poses any kind of—”

“It does not,” my grandmother cut her off, sharp as a knife slash. “Your investigation is over. You and your friends may go. Pack up your things and leave Gloamingard at once.”

“Most Exalted—”

You may go, little rook. Do not tempt me to rescind that permission.”

My grandmother’s words cracked like a whip. She wasn’t angry—I’d never seen her truly angry, and I never wanted to. I didn’t have nearly such good control, myself; my hands still trembled from my near miss, and it felt like a personal betrayal that the one stranger who’d been warm and friendly to me despite knowing who I was turned out to be a spy.

Kessa was apparently smart enough not to want to see my grandmother angry, either. She bowed again, so deeply the tips of her shining black hair swept the ground. “Yes, Most Exalted.”

She didn’t wait to be dismissed again, but she managed to not quite flee, either. She cast me one last glance, a sort of shrug and grimace mixed with a roguish smile—the kind of look that might mean Sorry, we’ll have to finish our talk later.

I doubted I’d have much more to say to a spy. I caught half a smile on my face and twisted it into a frown at once.

My grandmother turned to me, the lines of her face softening, the aura of power around her dampening.

“Ryx,” she said, her voice rich and deep, full of layered meaning as if she could comprise everything I was in that one syllable. “I actually came here to find you. Something’s come up.”

My stomach tightened instinctively, bracing for a blow. Enough had gone wrong with these negotiations already, and the envoy hadn’t even arrived. “What is it?”

She raked a hand through the bristling white crest of her hair in a rare frustrated gesture. “A rogue chimera has crossed into Morgrain from the Alevaran border, too powerful for the local Warden to deal with. He can barely keep it at bay. I’ll need to dispose of it personally.”

“From Alevar? Hells, I thought the Shrike Lord would at least wait until his envoy arrived to start a war.”

“I’ve received a message claiming the chimera isn’t his and he has no control over it.” Enough irony edged my grandmother’s voice to forge a sword. “I’m afraid it gets worse. Care to venture a guess as to who his envoy is?”

At this point, I had to assume it would be the absolute worst possible person—and there was no doubt who that would be. “Please don’t say Exalted Lamiel.”

My grandmother’s chuckle held no more humor than teeth grinding on bone. “He is, apparently, exactly that audacious.”

The Shrike Lord’s betrothed, who had set off the very incident with the Serene Empire that we were trying to mediate. Lamiel had ambitions of becoming a Witch Lord—in which her betrothed encouraged her, presumably so that she could gain the immortality he already enjoyed. But making a Witch Lord required a domain; it was from the land, and all the countless living things populating it, that Witch Lords drew their near-limitless power. This need had driven endless petty wars in Vaskandar.

Lamiel had taken the unconventional approach of attempting to covertly lay a magical claim on Windhome Island, an imperial territory off the Alevaran coast. The Serene Empire had caught her in the act and been upset enough to dispatch a fleet of warships. Only Morgrain’s intervention—my intervention—had stopped the situation from escalating into bloodshed.

This was who the Shrike Lord sent to represent him.

“She’s not even a diplomat. The only reason to send her is to give deliberate insult to the Empire.” I yanked at my braid in frustration. “Why is he sending an envoy at all if he’s bent on sabotaging the negotiations?”

“Love is making the Shrike Lord reckless.” My grandmother’s lips twisted in contempt. “He needs to accept that he’ll have to watch his loved ones age and die. The rest of us have.”


  • "Populated by a vibrant cast of characters and an intricate setting that's practically a character itself, The Obsidian Tower deftly balances two of my favorite things: razor sharp politics and characters investigating weird, dark magic. A must read for all fantasy fans."—Emily A. Duncan, author of New York Times bestseller Wicked Saints
  • "Block out time to binge this can't-stop story filled with danger and unexpected disaster. From the fresh take on time-honored tropes to a crunchy, intrigue filled story, The Obsidian Tower is a must-read for lovers of high fantasy."—C. L. Polk, World Fantasy award-winning author of Witchmark
  • "With The Obsidian Tower [Melissa Caruso] hits another level in terms of prose and tension. This is a truly excellent fantasy, and an epic beginning for a new trilogy."—Locus
  • "The Obsidian Tower caught me on page one-a gritty heroine hemmed in by sticky politics and her own disastrous magic, a mystery of ancient lore and current rumor, and the most fascinating palace I've encountered in decades."—Carol Berg, author of Dust and Light
  • "[F]ull of tension and immediately engaging. Even as the central goal of not opening the door plays out, Caruso builds a vivid universe...filling the pages with personality and depth."—BookPage (starred review)
  • "A classic, breathtaking adventure brimful of dangerous magic and clever politics. This is a book that will thrill and delight any fantasy fan."—Tasha Suri, author of Empire of Sand
  • "Full of magical and political intrigue, Caruso's latest novel will surprise and delight fans and new readers alike. With rich worldbuilding, nuanced characters, and ratcheting tension... A fulfilling read from start to finish."—Tara Sim, author of Scavenge the Stars
  • "Brimming with delights: gripping suspense, bombastic magic, political scheming, fascinating creatures, and ill-advised romance. Yet what I love most is that at its heart, it is simply the story of a young woman opening herself up to the world and embracing her own potential."—Jon Skovron, author of The Ranger of Marzanna
  • "Melissa Caruso's sparkling Obsidian Tower combines a fresh fantasy world with resonant characters and sweeps them into a plot full of political intrigue and magical chaos."—Rowenna Miller, author of Torn

On Sale
Jun 2, 2020
Page Count
528 pages

Melissa Caruso

About the Author

Melissa Caruso was born on the summer solstice and went to school in an old mansion with a secret door, but despite this auspicious beginning has yet to develop any known superpowers. Melissa has spent her whole life creating imaginary worlds and, in addition to writing, is also an avid LARPer and tabletop gamer.

She graduated with honors in creative writing from Brown University and has an MFA in fiction from the University of Massachusetts Amherst. Melissa’s first novel, The Tethered Mage, was shortlisted for a Gemmell Morningstar Award for best fantasy debut.

Learn more about this author