The Black Fire Concerto

By Mike Allen

The Red Empress is the only home Erzelle has known since the day her family was lured aboard and murdered, victims of a grisly ritual meant to make the elite immortal. Erzelle plays her harp for the diners inside this ghoul-infested riverboat, knowing her own death looms, escaping through the music that’s all she has left of her parents.

Her nightmare’s upended in the space of a day by the arrival of Olyssa, a fellow musician, but so much more.

Erzelle is swept up in Olyssa’s quest to find her ensorcelled sister Lilla, a journey across a mutated landscape that leads them to an enemy responsible for the deaths of millions. To stop the slaughter of countless more, the pair has no choice but to draw on the deadly magics that reshaped the world ... a power that’s as dangerous to its wielders as it is to its foes, that’s killing Erzelle even as she fights to control it.

Available on:

Publication Date:
Jul 15 2013
0615838200 / 9780615838205
Page Count:
Binding Type:
US Trade Paper
Trim Size:
6" x 9"
Black and White
Related Categories:
Fiction / Fantasy / Epic

The Black Fire Concerto
The Black Fire Concerto front coverThe Black Fire Concerto back cover

“A true departure from Mike Allen–Two unusual female heroes, a deceptively musical quest, and some very black magic indeed, should make this a prize for the multitude of fans who relish strong Grand Guignol with their sword and sorcery.”

—Tanith Lee

“What a lovely darkness Mike Allen has wrought for us to enjoy. THE BLACK FIRE CONCERTO is Horror. It’s Magic. It’s a post-apocalyptic melody played on strings of Terror and Sorcery. A dark fantasy with poetic ambition, it is also a journey into a haunted wonderland alive with secrets and strangeness.”

—John R. Fultz

“In this delicious debut, Mike Allen offers readers a gift of the most delicately layered  dark fantasy presented carefully on a post-apocalyptic platter. Be forewarned, though. The nightmares contained within the luscious prose wrappings are sharp!”

—Tiffany Trent

“Mike Allen’s THE BLACK FIRE CONCERTO is a dark, luscious feast of a book. Allen is that rare and wondrous scribe that is both poet and storyteller and excels at both.

“Allen has created a fantastic world of fantasy and horror like a Bosch painting, like a Shostakovitch symphony–something out of a beautiful nightmare; full of horned demigods and trickster fox-men, dark forests, riverboat abattoirs, beasts of straw and monsters made of dust, civilized cannibals and murderous chefs, glowing rune-magic rifles and immortal ghouls.

“He’s given us a duo of kickass heroines to lead us through his rich and dangerous world and I hope this is only the beginning of their adventures.

“Like a powerful musical performance, THE BLACK FIRE CONCERTO reaches into places in you and stirs feelings, summons visions and leaves you looking forward to the next performance.”

—R.S. Belcher