Trial by battle is a holy rite on Hillside.
Hired blades bleed their foes in savage duels, settling everything from petty grievances to the corporate laws that keep their citizens in line. Embroiled in these cutthroat political games is John Chronicle, an impoverished swordsman with no better prospects, seeking the duel that will free him from the Dregs.
Meanwhile, John's boyfriend Edwin, an autistic university student, befriends a fellow scholar who claims to study the arcane art of thaumaturgy. When she offers to teach Edwin this subtle magic, he hopes that he can use it to bolster John's skill with a blade. But thaumaturgy is a dangerous magic, and the forces that drive it have other plans.
The couple soon find themselves entangled in the web of intrigue surrounding the swordsmen and their sponsors, and they're forced to question how bloody they're willing to get to escape poverty - and they don't come away with the same answer.
"A remarkably human and complex fantasy novel, The Sword in the Street draws you in with its evocative atmosphere and keeps you reading with its superb storytelling and characters you come to genuinely care about."
-Jonathan Oliver, British Fantasy Award winner
"Gritty and sweet... as much about the relationships as it is about the action. It's a sword-filled story of desperation and hope, and a man fighting for his passion - and his love."
-Kate Coe, Writing&Coe