John writes traditional fantasy literature with dragons, magic, fairies, and quests, in addition to his modern fairy tales and his Wolf Dasher books. Despite its grounding in classic epic-fantasy trappings, though, John’s fantasy books have a modern sensibility, often dealing with topical issues. From same-sex marriage to faith versus science, John’s fantasy fiction features timely and sensitive looks at social issues . . . while still offering plenty of adventure. Thoughtful and entertaining, John writes fantasy literature for a contemporary age.
The Sword and the Sorcerer (The Usurpers Saga, Volume I)
Gothemus Draco – world’s most powerful sorcerer – is dead. Locked away in his tower are the tools for total domination of every city-state in the Known World. The person who possesses them can become a king, and everyone, it seems, has a claim – his warlord brother, the fairy from whom he stole a powerful artifact, even the sorceress who murdered him.
But the man who shaped the balance of power through wizardry isn’t done playing games with world politics. Just because Gothemus is dead doesn’t mean he doesn’t still have plans. Against all understanding, his magic lives on after his demise, preventing anyone from breaking into the tower.
Meanwhile, he’s left a gift for his son Calibot – Wyrmblade. The legendary dragon sword makes its wielder nearly invincible, and Gothemus has enchanted it with all sorts of new abilities.
But Calibot wants nothing to do with Wyrmblade or his father. He’s a poet with a powerful patron, and he’s been estranged from his father for years. All he desires is a peaceful life of composing verse and to one day marry the man he loves – a former soldier and advisor to the duke.
He may have no choice, though. Gothemus decreed Calibot should retrieve his body and lay him to rest. All signs point to a mysterious destiny Gothemus designed that Calibot cannot avoid.
With only the aid of his true love and his father’s inept apprentice, Calibot must leave the safety of his life at court and venture to the stronghold of those who murdered Gothemus, retrieve the body, and return it to his tower. Everyone with a stake in the future of the Known World will try to stop him, and Calibot must take care he doesn’t lose his life . . . or his soul!
The Sword and the Sorcerer is a full-length fantasy novel by the author of the Wolf Dasher series. Set against a backdrop of magic and dragons, of betrayal and greed, it is a story of one man’s journey to lay his father – and his inner demons – to rest.
A Contest of Succession (The Usurpers Saga, Volume II)
The Duke of Twin Falls has died with no heir. Before expiring, he organized an outlandish plan for succession – to assume the throne, the next duke must fulfill a strange quest to unlock an incomprehensible riddle. Anyone may enter, but only a clever and brave contestant will triumph.
A sanctimonious sorcerer, a hard-headed general, and a conniving criminal all aim to wear the crown. But a disgraced elder from a foreign city may know something none of them does that will tip the contest in her favor. And a humble soldier who’s never been to Twin Falls before may be a wildcard that changes everything.
As the contenders close in on the mysterious Blessing of the Fey, a goblin invasion, a dark god, and an enigmatic puppet master pulling strings from afar all stand in the way of ascending the throne and fulfilling destiny.
An epic fantasy that continues the saga begun in The Sword and the Sorcerer!
Magic & Monsters
A man’s wife returns from the dead to take revenge on him for betraying her.
A princess makes a disturbing decision when she turns her suitor into a frog and then can’t undo it.
A witch fights oppression from a bigoted king.
Her grandmother’s heirloom may prove the perfect solution to a distraught wife with a cheating husband.
A kung fu warrior faces the vile princess who stole her love.
Five short tales of betrayal, revenge, and sorcery fill this collection. Each features magic and a monster whose identity isn’t always clear at the beginning of the story. Each poses questions about what is right and what is justified.
Fantasy and horror merge in this cross-genre collection that explores the monsters walking among us and the magic we use to confront them.
Includes the Origins Award-nominated story, “Xing Qing Pao’s Lament.”
Juliette’s way of life is in danger. Make that her very existence.
She’s a witch. She heals the sick. She makes crops grow. She helps people fall in love.
But not if Charles III can help it. The prince is about to ascend the throne of Cotreur, and he’s pledged his first act will be to outlaw magic. After all, it’s only practicable by women, and it sets one before the gods. It must come from The Dark One. Some witches are even said to be able to steal a man’s will during sex.
Juliette isn’t about to let a mad zealot of a king hurt her. She’s not going to give up her art to satisfy the twisted ideas of a religious extremist.
She’ll need an ally, though. Bishop Gerard has a much more reasonable view of things. He may be a church official, but he has a much more progressive view of women and magic than Charles. And Gerard doesn’t mind throwing off his vow of celibacy when the mood strikes him. Especially with Juliette. Perhaps she can use him to alter the prince’s plans.
Charming the bishop is no trouble. But if his pleas fall on deaf ears, if Charles won’t listen to reason, then Juliette will just have to try something a little more desperate, something a little more extreme.
Juliette will use every magic available to her – including sex – to preserve her position. If Charles insists on enacting his misogynistic laws, then he is going to fall victim to her passion play.
Originally released as “The Coronation of King Charles III,” “Passion Play” is a short story that examines the collision of religion and politics, of fundamentalism and feminism. Exciting, sexy, and tense, it follows one woman’s desperate pursuit of freedom from persecution. Author John R. Phythyon, Jr. offers another taut thriller packed with page-turning adventure and thoughtful commentary on modern society. How far would you go to protect your beliefs?
“This quick short story has intrigue, sex, politics, and action. I have to say, it’s one of the best short stories I’ve read and well worth the price.”
–D. Fidler, Amazon.com reviewer