Let the darkness consume you...
Let the darkness enlighten you...

Horn & Dagger Paperback Edition is Now Available on Amazon!


    
"There is solar. There is lunar. There is lie. There is truth. But the shadow can only exist in the presence of light and one can only know the gift of light after having been plunged into darkness. It is opposites that make life, contradictions that expose purpose."    

                                                     ​- Horn & Dagger
  

Updated 4/4/2018

Books

The Strands
by Brian White

Horn & Dagger
by Brian White

In the Shadow of the Witch
by Brian White

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Horn & Dagger by Brian White

An ancient darkness rises over the island of Erebos, threatening the destruction of the wonder and magic that lives there. Erebos is like no other place in the world, yet its creation, enlightenment, and destruction is intimately tied to the fate of Earth.

A prodigal son returns to his homeland, called by the magical Lady of Erebos, a unicorn whose existence goes back to the earliest history of the island. She begs His return, for He is the first and only Shadow Monk of the Order of Kur, which places Him in possession of the power to stop the spread of the darkness and arrest extinction. Until now, the Lady has used her own power to keep the energies in balance, but as the darkness grows stronger, her energy weakens.


To heal Erebos, the Monk must face the Engineer, whose alchemical manipulation of ancient technology has thrown the energies of Erebos out of balance. One strives for power, the other for balance, and the third for peace; however, the dark power of the Norja, the sacred mushroom, may have its own designs.


A being only known as the fox of extinction has arrived on Erebos, telling the Monk of the pattern of extinction, for he has seen the end of many worlds. There are always three players, he says, the unholy trinity, all of whom believe they are the savior. Among this trio is the Lone Deranger, who seeds the plant of destruction and cultivates it with absolute conviction. It is this belief in absolutes that brings about the end, before which time the Deranger must die.


Who is the Deranger in this version of the extinction event? The unicorn, struggling to maintain the illusion of peace; the Engineer, leading Erebos to a new age of commercial prosperity; or the Shadow Monk, with his desire to understand the mysteries of the universe, complete the Great Work, and heal the world? Only death will reveal the true identity of the Deranger and bring about the end.


Horn and Dagger is a tale of endings and new beginnings, of magic, and the search for meaning. A cautionary anecdote, it also warns against the darkening influence of passive consumerism and philosophical and religious absolutism.
    
  
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The Strands by Brian White

 
"LET ME SEE THAT OTHER WORLD AND KNOW THAT IT IS REAL."

Blake William knows that worlds exist beyond what he can see and touch. Years of studying the occult have brought him tantalizingly close to what he seeks—close enough to draw the attention of the Strand Society, malevolent conspirators who jealously guard their knowledge of the Strands that make up all existence.

Macaria Tully is the last in a long line of assassins serving the Society. What she lacks in magical abilities, she makes up for with constant training, determined to become the embodiment of death. To her, there is no greater glory than the transcendent beauty of annihilation.

Alex Tannersley, a mage of tremendous power, defected from the Society and is determined to take them down. Blake, skilled but untrained, seems like the perfect recruit to his scheme. But the Society has sent Macaria to follow Blake—and he will lead her straight to Alex.

Synesthetic musician Alma Vida has traveled the world in search of mind-altering rhythms and melodies. When she goes with Blake to visit Alex, she has no idea that Macaria is right on their heels—or that Alex will save them by pulling them through a portal into a surreal dimension outside of time and space, the Primordial Strand, home to the machinery that runs the universe.

Alex seeks the Society's destruction. Blake yearns for holy truth. Alma pursues the song of creation. Macaria wants them all dead. And the Strands have their own ideas...
  

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Reviews
A debut sci-fi novel focuses on a powerful corporation and its dark quest for control.

Judging by his serious demeanor and his ability to wash Tylenol down with whiskey, Jonathan Romero might seem like any stressed businessman. The company he works for, however, is far from ordinary. With origins that date back to Colonial times and resources that include an immense collection of “occult and philosophical treasures,” the Strand Corporation of Philadelphia engages in activities that even the most morally bankrupt executive might find shocking. Working to steal ideas, patent them, and sell the rights, the company has come a long way from its founding principles. As Romero reflects, rather sourly (particularly as he is suffering from a brain tumor), “The founding fathers of The Strand Society would turn over in their graves if they were to observe the travesty built upon their ideals.” Utilizing people called “Conductors” for “hacking dreams” and a beautiful, H.R. Giger–loving assassin named Macaria to eliminate any threats, Strand has quite the method to its madness. Meanwhile, a writer named Blake William garners the attention of the company, particularly after a former Strand employee named Alex Tannersly (an ex-Conductor whom the corporation has been “hunting” ever since he left) attempts to contact him. William commands success as a writer but he fears he might be losing his mind. What does someone like Alex want with William? Dense with explanation, there is a lot for the reader to absorb. No sooner is Romero finishing his Tylenol than Conductors and a Watcher are being discussed and Macaria’s origins explained. Once things get going, though, the plot is rife with spookiness and “dark atmospheric doom metal.” Incorporating the gothic and the William Gibson–esque, the story reveals that many complex things are possible in this world of dream hacking and murder for hire. While lacking the intricate, futuristic pizazz of Gibson’s Neuromancer, this novel features its share of adventures as well as escalating oddities. A sense of suspense is maintained, allowing readers intrigued by an unlikely hero like William to be decidedly curious as to how this caper will end.


While thick at times, this tale about a sinister company eventually delivers plenty of atmosphere and action.

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In the Shadow of the Witch by Brian White

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Your life will never be the same once the Coma Witch enters it. This is a fact, Trevor, an innocent blacksmith must face once forced to make a deal in order to save his son’s life. When the witch demands payment, Trevor is unable to deliver starting a vicious cycle of revenge and retribution.​​

Driven to free himself from the witch’s shadow, Trevor seeks the aid of a fellow victim of the witch, a shaman, who trains him to manipulate the forces of darkness and light, turning him into a force of magical destruction capable of battling the witch.


This story of destruction and vengeance set in a dystopian post-modern West follows the trail of devastation and despair through this dark world where good deeds are twisted to evil ends and where Trevor ultimately finds the answer to this question: Is he a mystic in search of a dark revelation or is he the questing knight in search of justice?  

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Reviews
White (Strands, 2016) examines the narrow difference between justice and revenge in this paranormal thriller.

This novel’s reluctant antihero is Trevor, a blacksmith and family man living in a dystopian Western land. Trevor’s happy life is upended when his young son, Jake, contracts a terminal illness. Traditional medicine fails Jake, so desperate Trevor resorts to consulting with the mysterious Coma Witch. She heals Jake, but her price is that Trevor must kill another young boy, Kyle. When Trevor can’t bring himself to do that, the witch murders his family in the most gruesome way possible. This sets the ill-equipped Trevor on a path to retribution: “The souls of his family could not rest until he took vengeance upon the witch, and he could not contemplate how to accomplish that while haunted by their ghostly presence.” The witch taunts Trevor as she draws him across a spectral landscape littered with technologies past. During his pursuit, he meets a shaman, Rakesh, another victim of the witch, who trains him in the use of dark and light forces. His only requirement: “You never give up. You kill her or she kills you. Those are the only two outcomes.” Imbued with the darkta power, Trevor fights the witch’s many surrogates before confronting her in a final battle in her home territory. White admirably chronicles Trevor’s journey from innocent to someone possibly as ruthless as his quarry. As the witch explains, all is not as it seems: “The truth and power of the darkta? There is nothing to fear in it. Its chaos is that which allows light to shine and it is powerful at stripping away facades and illusions.” White’s strength lies in his descriptions of the scarred landscape that Trevor must cross in his quest (“At the road’s terminus stood a white church, black shutters hanging askew like broken teeth in a crooked grin”). But the drawback here involves the book’s grim plot, starting with familicide, then never getting any lighter, and ultimately conveying the message that revenge remains a double-edged sword. In addition, the story lacks a satisfying conclusion, after pages of doom and gloom.

A cautionary dystopian tale about the redemptive qualities of retribution.
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- Kirkus Reviews