Tarburton-on-the-Moor – just another sleepy Dartmoor village. Or so it seems to Joanna Gard when she comes to visit her elderly aunt here, until the fabric of the village begins, like her personal life, to unravel. The villagers become less and less substantial as she watches, the local church degenerates into a nexus of terrifying malevolence, siblings of a horrifyingly seductive family pull her inexorably towards them, elementals play with her terrors on the midnight moor ... At last Joanna is compelled to realize that a duel of wills between eternal forces is being played out – that nothing, herself included, is what it seems to be. In this uncomfortably disturbing tale of clashing realities, Hugo- and World Fantasy Award-winning author John Grant skilfully juggles a strange, fantasticated cosmology with images from the darker side of the human soul.
Bonus Novella: "The Beach of the Drowned"
He thought he was booking himself in for a day's idle sailing and lovemaking, and it would all have been fine except then a storm blew up out of nowhere, his girlfriend suffered a horrible death, and finally he himself was sucked under the waves. But death eluded him. Instead he found himself drawn to the beach where all drowned folk go, a place outside normal existence where the few people who retain their intelligence band together in the hopeless hope of finding their way back to the living world again. After all, legend says it was done once before ...
Cover by JMW Turner
"Written exceptionally well ... grip[s] from beginning to end."
– Sue Lange, infinity plus, on Qinmeartha and the Girl-Child LoChi
"Involving philosophical exploration."
– Rich Horton, Fantasy Magazine, on "The Beach of the Drowned"
"I am struck here not only by the variety of these stories, and the impressive imagination, but by the control of voice. This is a book of first-rate work, by a writer worthy of more of our attention."
–Locus on John Grant's collection Take No Prisoners
"Vivid imagination and dazzling prose."
–Peter Tennant, The Third Alternative on Take No Prisoners
"Do not open this book until you are prepared to dive in and forget the day. The worlds of John Grant are harsh, interconnected, florid, fluent, fun; and, more than all of that, they are generous. His tales are long and full. And his characters live at full stretch, because John Grant gives each of them his own contentious, passionate, loving heart. Read and weep, read and laugh; but don't begin to read until you're ready for a long joy."
–John Clute on Take No Prisoners
"John Grant is a master of transcendent literary fantasy, and one of my idols. His work is baroque, rich, often blurring the fine borders between symbol and reality, science and faith, philosophy and dogma, imagination and probability. With effortless skill he pours it all into a spicy cauldron of story, stirs it up with a biting-hot ladle of words, and the delicious result is Take No Prisoners."