Paul Kearney

Paul Kearney portrait image to appear alongside the Paul Kearney biography.

Paul Kearney was born in Ballymena, Northern Ireland, in 1967. He went to a local grammar school, and then to Lincoln College, Oxford, where he read Anglo-Saxon, Old Norse, and Middle English and was a keen member of the Mountaineering Society and the Officer Training Corps. He was also an enthusiastic and very bad rower.

Shortly after leaving Oxford, he went on a solitary climbing trip to the Isle of Skye, and it was after tumbling off a mountain there that the character of Michael Riven first came to him. The first half of The Way to Babylon was composed shortly after, and taken up by the literary agents Campbell, Thomson & McLaughlin. Richard Evans at Victor Gollancz bought the book, and Gollancz then published Kearney's next seven books, including the Monarchies of God series.

In the eight years subsequent to the publication of The Way to Babylon, Kearney lived in Copenhagen, New Jersey, and Cambridgeshire, but at present he makes his home a stone's throw from the sea in County Down, with his wife, two dogs, a beat-up old boat, and far too many books.

Paul Kearney books reviewed


The Way to Babylon (1992)
A Different Kingdom (1993)
Riding the Unicorn (1994)
Primeval: The Lost Island (2008)

The Monarchies of God

  • Hawkwood's Voyage (1995)
    The Western World is in flames, the cities and cathedrals of the Faith set to the torch by the invading Merduks. For buccaneer Richard Hawkwood escape seems the only answer, and an ancient logbook, found in a deserted ship a century before, tells of a free land across the Western ocean.
  • The Heretic Kings (1996)
    The twin horrors of invasion and inquisition have the Western Kingdoms of Normannia in their grip. As Normannia burns and Richard Hawkswood and his explorers face unknown perils, a lowly monk stumbles on an ancient manuscript whose implications could either save or destroy the world.
  • The Iron Wars (1999)
  • The Second Empire (2000)
  • Ships from the West (2002)

The Sea Beggers

  • The Mark of Ran (2004)
  • This Forsaken Earth (2006)
  • Storm of the Dead (2012)

The Macht

  • The Ten Thousand (2008)
    On the world of Kuf, the Macht are a mystery, a seldom-seen people of extraordinary ferocity and discipline whose prowess on the battlefield is the stuff of legend. For centuries they have remained within the remote fastnesses of the Harukush Mountains. In the world beyond, the teeming races and peoples of Kuf have been united within the bounds of the Asurian Empire, which rules the known world, and is invincible. The Great King of Asuria can call up whole nations to the battlefield. His word is law. But now the Great King’s brother means to take the throne by force, and in order to do so he has sought out the legend. He hires ten thousand mercenary warriors of theMacht, and leads them into the heart of the Empire.
  • Corvus (2010)
    It is twenty-three years since a Macht army fought its way home from the heart of the Asurian Empire. The man who came to lead that army, Rictus, is now a hard-bitten mercenary captain, middle-aged and tired. He wants nothing more than to lay down his spear and become the farmer that his father was. But fate has different ideas. A young war-leader has risen to challenge the order of things in the very heartlands of the Macht. A solider of genius, he takes city after city, and reigns over them as king. What is more, he has heard of the legendary leader of The Ten Thousand. His name is Corvus, and the rumours say that he is not even fully human. He means to make himself absolute ruler of all the Macht. And he wants Rictus to help him.
  • Kings of Morning (2011)
    For the first time in recorded history, the ferocious city-states of the Macht now acknowledge a single man as their overlord. Corvus, the strange and brilliant boy-general, is now High King, having united his people in a fearsome, bloody series of battles and sieges. He is not yet thirty years old. A generation ago, ten thousand of the Macht marched into the heart of the ancient Asurian Empire, and fought their way back out again, passing into legend. Corvus's father was one of those who undertook that march, and his most trusted general, Rictus, was leader of those ten thousand. But he intends to do more. The preparations will take years, but when they are complete, Corvus will lead an invasion the like of which the world of Kuf has never seen. Under him, the Macht will undertake nothing less than the overthrow of the entire Asurian Empire.