MAGIC IS RISEN

When magic returned to the world, it could have saved humanity. But greed and thirst for power instead caused mankind’s downfall. Now, once-human monsters called Howls prowl abandoned streets, their hunger guided by corrupt necromancers and the all-powerful Kin. Only Hunters have the power to fight back in the unending war, using the same magic that ended civilization in the first place.

They are losing.

Tenn is a Hunter, resigned to fight even though hope is nearly lost. When he is singled out by a seductive Kin named Tomás and the enigmatic Hunter Jarrett, Tenn realizes he’s become a pawn in a bigger game. One that could turn the tides of war. But if his mutinous magic and wayward heart get in the way, his power might not be used in favor of mankind.

If Tenn fails to play his part, it could cost him his friends, his life…and the entire world.

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[BARNES AND NOBLE]

The Spheres of Magic

The Spheres of Magic are energy centers resting within the body, along the spinal column. When attuned to a Sphere, the mage can manipulate its corresponding element in the outer world. Most mages are only attuned to one or two Spheres in their lifetime.
But the powers of the Spheres are not omnipotent: prolonged use can drain and weaken the user. Or, if tapped by a necromancer, can turn the host into something entirely inhuman.

 

The Sphere of Maya

Resting at the crown of the head, the Sphere of Maya is the most elusive of all Spheres. Also known as the GodSphere, Maya can manipulate time and space…but at a terrible cost. Unlike the other four Spheres, one cannot be attuned to Maya. It may only be sought through meditation, practice…and, in some pantheons, through the Sphere seeking the mage.

 

 

 

The Sphere of Air

Resting in the throat, Air is linked to clear thought and communication. Due to its subtle nature, Air is almost limitless in its energy, and takes quite long to be drained. Which is lucky for the mage that uses it–Air can create the strongest gales and even allow for flight, but overuse can leave its user addled…and breathless.

 

 

 

The Sphere of Fire

Burning brightly in the chest, Fire is linked to the harsher emotions of the heart. Fire mages are impulsive, rash, and quick to anger. Because the Sphere can be fueled by rage, its magic is favored by necromancers. Its power is as fierce as its repercussions, and Fire mages experience an almost godlike euphoria in the height of their power…until the magic burns them alive.

 

 

 

The Sphere of Water

Glowing darkly in the stomach, Water’s link to emotions–often negative–means it is a dangerous Sphere to wield. Tempestuous, mutable, and highly unstable, Water can dredge up long-forgotten memories and pain. Able to manipulate the deepest oceans, the Sphere can give its mage unimaginable strength…or it can drown them in anguish.

 

 

 

The Sphere of Earth

Resting in the pelvis, Earth is the densest and thus quickest to drain of all Spheres–thus why it’s often tapped by necromancers to create hasty kravens. Despite this, Earth is a Sphere of healing. Strong, steady, and resilient, Earth mages are able to weather the darkest of storms. But overuse can leave them brittle and broken…or like the monsters they’ve sworn to destroy.

The Hunters

Tenn

Tenn never wanted a life of bloodshed. He craved only a home, and a partner to share it with. The world instead gave him a terrible destiny. He’s attuned to Water and Earth, though lately, Water seems to be fighting back. As though it has a mind of its own, and he but a puppet. And with the servants of the Dark Lady at his throat, the last thing he needs is mutinous magic. His future may be unknown, but one thing is clear: he is more than meets the eye…for better, or for worse.

 

 

 

 

Dreya

Dreya is an enigma at best. Quiet yet well-spoken and powerful beyond measure, her past is as clouded as the storms she summons. Attuned to Air, Fire, and Water–though preferring Air–she wields no weapon save her magic in battle. This should be to her detriment, but in battle she is the deadliest of fighters.

 

 

 

 

Devon

Like his twin sister, Devon is attuned to three Spheres: Fire, Air, and Water. His terrifying proficiency with Fire should make him a rash, unpredictable ally. But his near-silence and consistent meditation seem to keep his burning rage in check. For some reason, he is never seen without his crimson scarf, some relic from a life long past.

 

 

 

 

Jarrett

A charismatic commander from Outer Chicago, Jarrett seems calm and collected. In battle, his use of Air is as sharp and swift as his sword, making him a terrifying adversary. But his stoic demeanor hides a softer side, and a history that is more than bloodshed.

The Hunted

The servants of the Dark Lady fall into two categories. Necromancers are human mages who serve the Goddess of Death. Howls are the nightmare creatures necromancers create by draining magic from a human host. Not quite dead, not quite human, the Howls and their hungers are as unique as the Sphere that was drained to create them. They burn with only one desire: to feed.

In the end, it’s hard to decide what is worst…becoming a Howl, or becoming their food.

Incubus / Succubus

Birthed from the Sphere of Fire, Incubi and their female counterparts, Succubi, crave human heat. And, given that Fire is linked to hatred and sexuality, they prefer to draw heat from their victims using more…lascivious…means. Their fierce beauty and charisma can arouse desire from anyone, leaving their prey senseless and ensnared.
And, once the incubus has had their way, their victim is left frozen in the throes of their final embrace.

 

 

 

 

Kraven

Fierce and brainless, a kraven is a beast born from the Sphere of Earth. While most Howls are humanoid in appearance, Earth viciously destroys the host’s body in the transformation process. Bones snap and reform, talons jut, and jaws elongate to allow for quicker consumption. They are quick and feral, eternally hungering for flesh–dead, or alive. Only fear of the necromancers can keep their attentions trained on anything beyond feeding.
Given the speed with which the Sphere of Earth drains, kravens are the backbones of the Dark Lady’s army. One is dangerous to a trained Hunter. But a throng spells death.

 

 

 

Bloodlings

Born from the Sphere of Water, these humanoid Howls are acutely attuned to the Sphere’s darker desires. Although their sustenance comes from blood, these creatures are nothing like the vampires of modern myth. Beautiful, yes. Deadly, of course. But Water gifts these Howls a sadistic temperament–to a bloodling, the emotional and physical agony they inflict on their victims is nearly as fulfilling as the bloody payoff. They are the masters of torture, and many fearsome stories abound of humans held in pain for years as their captor slowly bleeds them dry. And these stories–like the creatures that spawned them–don’t fade in daylight.

 

Breathless

As the name implies, the Breathless Ones are created by draining the Sphere of Air, a process which takes ages to complete. Because of this, they are rare indeed. Which is good, because the Breathless are perhaps the most dangerous of the Howls. They can go for months without feeding and are devilishly coercive, and thus pass as human, infiltrating the most well-guarded Hunter compounds. To them, secrets are a type of currency. And once they have what they need, a single inhalation can drain the breath from every human in sight.

 

Wraith

Wraiths are born from the Sphere of Maya. At least, they are in theory–none have been successfully created, and for that we should count ourselves blessed. A wraith would be immune to all magic and feed off the souls and energy of humans. A monster that terrible would surely spell the end of mankind.

TENN: A RUNEBINDER Prequel.
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Illustrated by Beatrice Schares

Praise + Preview

“Wall-to-wall elemental magic and mayhem. A.R. Kahler knows how to rock some socks.”
Kendare Blake, NYT Bestselling author of THREE DARK CROWNS

A roller coaster ride through a world of chaos and blood.”
– Carrie Ryan, NYT Bestselling author of THE FOREST OF HANDS AND TEETH

Smart and original, this devastating fantasy has irresistible characters and startling twists around every corner. And can I just say: Sexy. As. Hell.
– Andrea Cremer, NYT bestselling author of the NIGHTSHADE series

“If The Walking Dead and Constantine had a baby and that baby was unabashedly queer as hell, it would be RUNEBINDER. Visceral and haunting, Kahler has crafted a post-apocalyptic horror that will live in your bones long after the final page.”
– Tristina Wright, author of 27 HOURS

“RUNEBINDER is what the dark side of magic looks like. Bloody and brilliant.”
– Erica Cameron, author of Island of Exiles

“The deliciously dark love child of an epic fantasy and a stark dystopian that will keep readers up all night.
– Delilah S. Dawson, author of the BLLUD series, and Star Wars: The Perfect Weapon.

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The Author

Alex (A.R.) Kahler is the author of quite a few books and series, including the IMMORTAL CIRCUS and PALE QUEEN trilogies.

His full site can be found here