Black Bottle by Anthony Huso

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"Anthony Huso pushes the conventions of epic fantasy to their limits in this tale that that is not quite horror, not quite fantasy, and much more than both. Reminiscent of the novels of China Mieville and Glen Cook, this should appeal to fans of steampunk and epic fantasy."--Library Journal on Black Bottle

Tabloids sold in the Duchy of Stonehold claim that the High King, Caliph Howl, has been raised from the dead. His consort, Sena Iilool, both blamed and celebrated for this act, finds that a macabre cult has sprung up around her.

As this news spreads, Stonehold--long considered unimportant--comes to the attention of the emperors in the southern countries. They have learned that the seed of Sena's immense power lies in an occult book, and they are eager to claim it for their own.

Desperate to protect his people from the southern threat, Caliph is drawn into a summit of the world's leaders despite the knowledge that it is a trap. As Sena's bizarre actions threaten to unravel the summit, Caliph watches her slip through his fingers into madness.

But is it really madness? Sena is playing a dangerous game of strategy and deceit as she attempts to outwit a force that has spent millennia preparing for this day. Caliph is the only connection left to her former life, but it's his blood that Sena needs to see her plans through to their explosive finish.


About Anthony Huso

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ANTHONY HUSO currently lives and works in Austin, Texas, with his wife and daughters. His blog can be read at
Published August 21, 2012 by Tor Books. 446 pages
Genres: Science Fiction & Fantasy, Literature & Fiction, Action & Adventure. Fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for Black Bottle

Kirkus Reviews

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Previously, we learned that Caliph Howl, thanks to his holomorphic magic (reality-altering applied mathematics powered by blood), and his lover, Sena Iilool, adept of the Shradnæ witchocracy, defeated the rebels to gain control of Stonehold.

Jul 22 2012 | Read Full Review of Black Bottle

Publishers Weekly

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The setting is a fascinating, if sometimes unwieldy and jarring, combination of classical fantasy tropes and advanced technology The novel is at times reminiscent of Gene Wolfe’s Book of the New Sun and will appeal most to readers who like to think hard about their fantasy.

Jun 25 2012 | Read Full Review of Black Bottle

Strange Horizons

These early intimations of some resonant political project, however, come to little: on the very next page the quality of Taelin's breasts is twice emphasized by Huso, and on the one after that he is already indulging in the kind of sub-Miévillian wordplay that will come to mar his prose ("a stre...

Oct 26 2012 | Read Full Review of Black Bottle

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