You’ve heard the story before: an orphaned boy, raised by a wise old man, comes to a fuller knowledge of his magic and uses it to fight the great evil threatening his world.
But what if that hero were destined to become the new dark lord?
The Academy of Chaenbalu has stood against magic for centuries. Hidden from the world, acting from the shadows, it trains its students to detect and retrieve magic artifacts, which it jealously guards from the misuse of others. Because magic is dangerous: something that heals can also harm, and a power that aids one person may destroy another.
Of the academy’s many students, only the most skilled can become avatars—warrior thieves, capable of infiltrating the most heavily guarded vaults—and only the most determined can be trusted to resist the lure of magic. More than anything, Annev de Breth wants to become one of them.
But Annev carries a secret. Unlike his classmates who were stolen as infants from the capital city, Annev was born in the village of Chaenbalu, was believed to be executed, and then unknowingly raised by his parents’ killers. Seventeen years later, he struggles with the burdens of a forbidden magic, a forgotten heritage, and a secret deformity. When Annev is subsequently caught between the warring ideologies of his priestly mentor and the Academy’s masters, he must finally decide whether to accept the truth of who he really is … or embrace the darker truth of what he may one day become.
“A classic coming-of-age tale meets a hero-to-be adventure with spiraling depth…Call writes a world of deep and profound mythology.” —Ed McDonald, author of Blackwing
“Artifacts, ancient secrets, and an aching desire to prove himself force neophyte Annev de Breth to contend with magical forces in Master of Sorrows, the first book in The Silent Gods series from Justin Travis Call…Master of Sorrows is a rousing and imaginative high fantasy novel—a promising beginning to a new series.” —Foreword Reviews
“In Master of Sorrows, the first of a new series, Justin Travis Call asks a question that has been largely missing from high fantasy: What if the orphaned hero and the threat to the world were one and the same? Annev de Breth, a warrior-thief with a past shrouded in mystery, must face this very notion in a novel that turns one of the core fantasy plots on its head. Brutal and intense, this is a book no one will be able to put down.” —Seattle Book Review
“In a world where difference means death, can a boy with a secret find his own path?…Debut novelist Call plunges the reader directly into the action and never lets the pace flag. Even as we learn about the ancient battles, dark prophecies, and mystical assassins that are about to change the course of Annev’s life, the stakes remain appealingly human: Can Annev achieve his goals without betraying his moral code? Will the people he cares about accept him for who he is? A fast-paced, action-packed epic fantasy to sink your teeth into.” —Kirkus Reviews
“A modern take on the classic coming-of-age fantasies that embraces its roots amongst the likes of Eddings, Sanderson, Canavan, and Weeks, and dares to reach for the stars and carve out its own destiny.” —The Fantasy Hive
Justin Travis Call is a graduate of Harvard University and the author of Master of Sorrows, Book 1 of the Silent Gods series. In addition to being a novice screenwriter and voice actor, Justin is also the CEO of Broomstick Monkey Games and codesigner of Imperial Harvest and Royal Strawberries. When he isn’t reading or writing books, Justin likes boxing, designing tabletop games, and playing League of Legends. He currently lives in Park City, Utah, with his wife, his two sons, his Great Dane (Pippa) and his Saint Bernard-mastiff (Herbie).
Peter Kenny, an AudioFile Earphones Award–winning narrator, is a talented and experienced actor, voice-over artist, singer, musician, and designer, with over twenty-five years of experience working in theater, film, television, and audio. He has achieved great critical acclaim for multicharacter recordings of audiobooks by authors such as Iain Banks, Christopher Priest, and Edmund St Aubyn.