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Kerstin Hall Books In Order

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Publication Order of Mkalis Cycle Books

The Border Keeper (2019)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Second Spear (2021)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle

Publication Order of Standalone Novels

Star Eater (2021)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle

Kerstin Hall
Kerstin Hall is an editor and writer that is based in Cape Town, South Africa. She finished her undergraduate studies in journalism at Rhodes University, and, while she was a Mandela Rhodes Scholar, continued on with a Masters degree at the University of Cape Town.

Kerstin’s short fiction has appeared in Strange Horizons, Fireside, and an anthology called Terra Incognita, and she is a first reader for Beneath Ceaseless Skies.

She also enjoys photography and gets inspired by the landscapes of Namibia and South Africa.

The first piece she remembers writing was during the second grade, and her teacher told the class to write an original short story. But Kerstin only wanted to play outside, and ended up plagiarizing Swan Lake, but just ended it with everybody dying at the end of act one. Her teacher noticed this and asked whether that was truly how the story ends.

The original version of “Star Eater” was just a thirty day writing sprint and a novella, which was technically the expansion of a short story she had for a now-defunct publication. The story just kept growing and getting bigger. Every time she would finish a draft, the story just felt incomplete. So she’d go back to the beginning and rewrite the entire thing.

When she was planning the novel originally, she was pondering power and its costs a lot, and wanted to extend that consideration to her magic system. Such as what would be the worst possible way to acquire power, and then how would using such a power be justified. That is how she ended up landing on “eating members of your family in order to prevent your society’s obliteration”.

Kerstin felt that returning to the “Mkalis” universe to be a lot like coming home. Mkalis is a very expanisve sandbox to play in, and she was much too happy to dive into some old conflicts and new realms.

One thing that frustrates her about writing, is that she is not a fast writer anymore, although she used to be. It frustrates her. She wishes she was still able to throw a finished draft every six months, however it’s just not happening now, unfortunately.

Kerstin does enjoy the other aspects about writing. From character development to world building to prettying her prose up. She also enjoys using nice stationary, and is an absolute sucker for a fancy pen.

“The Border Keeper” was a Book Bub Best SFF Books of the Summer Selection and a 2020 Nommo Award Finalist.

Kerstin’s debut novel, called “The Border Keeper”, was released in the year 2019. Her work is from the science fiction and fantasy genres.

“The Border Keeper” is the first novel in the “Mkalis Cycle” series and was released in the year 2019. She lived where the railway tracks met the saltpan, right on the Ahri side of the shadowline. During the old days, when people would still talk about her, she was known as the end-of-the-line woman.

A man with a troubled past, named Vasethe, comes to get a favor from a woman that is not what she appears, and has to enter the nine hundred and ninety-nine realms of Mkalis, the world of spirits, where demons and gods wage a ceaseless war.

This novel spins wonders both devastatingly personal: a spear flung straight, the profound power and terror of motherhood. And epic: impossible oceans, the Byzantine bureaucracy of hundreds of demon realms, and hidden fortresses. What Vasethe learns in Mkalis threatens to bring his own secrets into the light and throw both worlds into chaos.

This vividly and beautifully imagined and is a novel that is surreal, lovely, and eerie. Kerstin delivers a novel that is a labyrinth of dead gods, demons, broken all-too-human lives, and cranky psychopomps. She is by turns lush, venomous, wry, and genuine. This twisty example of the new weird genre examines loyalty, loss, and love, packing in some skillful world building, and a powerful emotional punch into just over two hundred pages.

“Second Spear” is the second novel in the “Mkalis Cycle” series and was released in the year 2021. The warrior Tyn, after she survived the schemes of the vengeful goddess and learned some of the stunning truths about her own former life, feels estranged from her role guarding her ruler. Wrestling with the knowledge of her true identity, she lashes out on all of the wrong people.

When an old foe comes back wielding a realm-crushing and unstoppable weapon and Tyn gets swept up in the path of the destruction, she has to make a decision about who she actually is and just who she truly wants to be.

“Star Eater” is the first stand alone novel and was released in the year 2021. All martyrdoms are difficult. Elfreda Raughn is going to avoid pregnancy even if it kills her. And one way or another, it’s going to. Even though she is able to stomach her brutal daily duties, the reality of actually preserving the Sisterhood of Aytrium’s magical bloodline is horrifying to her. She wants out, no matter the price.

So when some shadowy faction approaches her with an offer of escape, she leaps at the chance. Being their spy, she gains access to some of the highest reaches of this Sisterhood, and enters a glittering world filled with subtle deceptions, opulent parties, and unexpected bloodshed.

The novel, which is a phantasmagorical indictment of hereditary power, takes the reader deep into an uncanny and perilous world. A world where even the most powerful of women must choose what sacrifices they have to make, so that they may have any decision at all.

This is a masterwork of worldbuilding where every layer of secrets uncovered by an exceptionally rendered character named Elfreda merges the systemic benign with the horrific. It is written in beautifully agile prose, and is an incisive and layered examination of power, with Elfreda Raughn its own beating heart. Her voice is sure to grab you right from the very first page and it will never let go. Kerstin is able to paint a haunting and lush world with a horrifying type of magic which forms the very foundation of its society. Absorbing and gripping, this one is sure to leave its readers lingering over its themes of power and heritage.

Book Series In Order » Authors » Kerstin Hall

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