Blog Tour (Excerpt): Sidewinders by Robert V.S. Redick

Publisher ‏ : ‎Talos (July 6, 2021)
Publication date ‏ : ‎ July 6, 2021
Language ‏ : ‎ English



“Master Assassins was one of the top 2 or 3 books I’ve read in the past decade, so [Sidewinders] had a LOT to live up to. And it did a fantastic job—I pity the next book I read having to struggle out of the shadow of this tome… Redick has built something magnificent here.” —Mark Lawrence

“Sidewinders is a triumph in every single way to its predecessor and one of the richest worlds you can find in the fantasy genre today… Revisiting the desert lands of Urrath is the equivalent of rediscovering a long-lost passion.” —Under The Radar SFF Books


“This book has everything I love: Clean, crisp worldbuilding. Characters that live and breathe. A story that teases and surprises me. I like Master Assassins so much I wish I’d written it, but deep down, I know I couldn’t have written it this well.”—#1 New York Times bestselling author Patrick Rothfuss

“The prose is spectacularly good. Your adrenaline will flow. Your emotions will be toyed with. You will find yourself drawn in, turning the pages and worrying that fewer and fewer remain. I read a lot of good books. Quite a few very good books. This is one of the rare 6-star series openers I’ve encountered.” —Mark Lawrence, author of Prince of Thorns and Red Sister

“Robert Redick really nailed this one. What a great story! Fascinating plot and characters, and all of the author’s formidable skills at play. I cannot wait to read the next one.” —New York Times bestselling author Terry Brooks

“Redick’s powers of invention in this book are superb. He manages to reinvigorate his chosen mode of heroic fantasy by sheer force of description, his language always muscular, vibrant and well-calculated. The cast of characters is vast and believable . . . A hell of a ride.” —Paul di Filippo, Asimov’s

“An exquisitely written mix of heart-stopping action, masterful storytelling, and enchantment. Redick is a gifted wordsmith with a ferocious imagination. Master Assassins will produce many sleepless nights. I guarantee it.” —New York Times bestselling author Mira Bartók

“A blazingly smart thrill-ride of an adventure. The world of Master Assassins is deep, mysterious, terrifying, and utterly real, and I’ll follow Redick’s heroes, the mismatched brothers Kandri and Mektu, wherever they go in it. I can’t recommend this book highly enough.” —Daryl Gregory, author of Spoonbenders

“Redick’s long-awaited return to fantasy is the start of a truly satisfying epic.” —B&N Sci-Fi and Fantasy Blog, “The Best Science Fiction & Fantasy Books of 2018 So Far”

“Subtle and layered, evocative and true.” —Michelle West, Fantasy & Science Fiction magazine

“With spare, sharp-edged prose, Redick balances his rollicking adventure story against a tale of love and uneasy brotherhood, offering a thrilling glimpse into a world both haunting and haunted. His finest work to date.” —Jedediah Berry, author of The Manual of Detection

“An at once engrossing, entertaining and superlative read. The world building is epic and the characters developed well within the movement. I look forward to this series and the continuation of the Brothers Hinjuman quest.” —Koeur’s Book Reviews

“[A] taut, deftly-plotted story. . . carries the drama and suspense without collapsing the weight of building a world and setting up a few more books’ worth of storyline.” —B&N Sci-Fi & Fantasy Blog

“Though it is only April 6th, and there are many books left to read this year, Master Assassins has cemented itself in AT LEAST my top 3 books of the year, maybe even #1. It is that good. . . . I recommend Master Assassins to everyone. Period.” —FanFiAddict, 5/5 Stars

Two brothers flee an army of fanatics across a vast and magical desert in this white-knuckle sequel to Master Assassins from Robert V.S. Redick, author of The Red Wolf Conspiracy.

The worst of rivals, the closest of friends, the two most wanted men in a war-torn world: Kandri and MektuHinjuman have cheated death so often it’s begun to feel like a way of life. But nothing has prepared them for the danger and enchantment of the Ravenous Lands. This sprawling, lethal desert is the brothers’ last hope, for they have killed the favorite son of Her Radiance the Prophet, and her death-priests and magical servants are hunting them day and night.

But there are dangers even within their caravan. Some of their fellow travelers worship the Prophet in secret. Others, including Mektu, have become obsessed with a bejeweled dagger that seems to afflict its owners with madness or death.

At stake is far more than the lives of two runaway soldiers. Kandri is carrying an encoded cure for the World Plague, a disease that has raged for centuries—while far from the desert, certain criminals have learned just how lucrative a plague can be. Are they using the Prophet, or being used by her? Who, in this game of shadows, can Kandritrust?

He knows one thing, however: they must reach Kasralys, great and beautiful fortress-city of the east. Only there can the precious cure be deciphered. Only there can Kandri seek word of the lover who vanished one night without a trace.

But Kasralys, never conquered in 3,000 years, is about to face its greatest siege in history.

You can purchaseSidewinders at the following Retailers:


“You are condemned,” said IfimarJód. “You killed the Prophet’s favorite son. You left a second son bleeding his life out on the ground. Her killers are close behind you—perhaps less than a day. You carry something priceless, some talisman of hope, but the Prophet cares nothing for this. She wants revenge and she will have it; she will never, ever, give up the hunt. Thereforeyou must disappear—into the desert, or into her chambers of pain and oblivion. No third way exists. Have I forgotten anything?”

It was horrible, the way the Caravan Master named these facts. Kandri had long since learned to hold them at a distance in order to breathe and eat and cling to sanity.

“This thing we’re carrying,” he said. “It’s not just priceless.”

“Not just?”

“It’s more important than riches,” said Mektu.

“Name it then.”

Mektu glanced at him sharply. Kandri swallowed. “We can’t do that, Master Ifimar,” he said.

Jód brought his fingertips together before his face as if he were praying, but it was nothing of the kind. He moved his feet slightly. His eyes were fixed on a point near Kandri’s collarbone. And suddenly Kandri knew—as surely as he knew his own name—that in a matter of seconds both he and Mektu would be dead.

Do something! Speak!

“It’s not up to me,” he blurted. “If I knew you, if I could be certain—”

“Certain of what, you wretched animal?”

“Master Ifimar, this thing is more important than our lives. And the truth is I don’t know why it’s a secret—”

“Exactly!” said Mektu. “What could be more stupid? We should tell him, tell everyone. We should share it, scream it, paint it on walls—”

“Mektu,” Kandri hissed.

His brother recoiled. “But we can’t,” he said. “Of course we can’t. Not a word.”

“Master Ifimar, the one who trusted us with this object—”

“Was born a fool.”

“—was stabbed in the chest, before he could explain. But we know he believed that everything depended on secrecy, at least for now.”

The Master studied him then. His fury had not abated, but alongside it something else appeared: a kind of burning fascination.

“You are honor bound to this dead man?”

“We don’t know that he’s dead,” said Kandri, “but yes, we are.”

“And it was his will that you carry this nameless treasure to Kasralys?”


“And surely you were trained in Chiloto battle-dance?”

“We were, Master. We’re excellent fighters, truth be told.”

“And you will swear obedience to me in all things?”

Silence. Kandri’s jaw tightened; Mektu hid his face in his arm. IfimarJód looked from brother to brother, narrowing his eyes.

Copyright © 2021 by Robert V.S. Redick


Photo Content from Robert V.S. Redick

Robert V. S. Redick is the author of the Chathrand Voyage Quartet ( The Red Wolf Conspiracy and sequels), among the most beloved and critically acclaimed epic fantasy series of recent years.

Redick is a former faculty member in the Stonecoast MFA program and an environmental justice consultant. He has lived and worked in Indonesia, Argentina, Colombia, and many other countries. Master Assassins (Talos Press, 2018), the first book in The Fire Sacraments trilogy, was a finalist for the European Booknest Award for Best Novel, and was featured on numerous Best of the Year lists.

Redick is currently a Visiting Professor with the University of Nevada, Reno’s MFA Program. He lives with his partner in Western Massachusetts.

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