Stephen Deas

Stephen Deas portrait image to appear alongside the Stephen Deas biography.

Stephen Deas was born 1968 in England. He is best known for his Memories of Flames series, which is set in a land inhabited by dragons.

After receiving a bachelor degree in theoretical physics from Cambridge University he worked at BAE Systems as an electrical engineer.

When asked, in an interview, what he would you say to a reader who is hesitant to pick up the book about dragons:

"Depends why they're hesitant. These are old-school pre-Pern monsters. If you're hesitant because you don't like the way dragons have become flying ponies or have developed characters that are hard to distinguish from the humans around them, well then you might want to give my dragons a try. If you simply don't like dragons, try thinking of them as a metaphor for nuclear weapons or religious extremism or whatever else keeps you up at night worrying that the world is teetering on the brink of destruction and then read the answer a couple of questions above. If you still don't like dragons then, well, maybe you're right to hesitate. It's got some sex in it... does that help?"

Stephen Deas books reviewed

Bibliography

Memories of Flames

  • The Adamantine Palace (2009)
    The Adamantine Palace lies at the centre of an empire that grew out of ashes. Once dragons ruled the world and man was little more than prey. Then a way of subduing the dragons alchemicly was discovered and now the dragons are bred to be little more than mounts for knights and highly valued tokens in the diplomatic power-players that underpin the rule of the competing aristocratic houses. The Empire has grown fat. And now one man wants it for himself. A man prepared to poison the king just as he has poisoned his own father. A man prepared to murder his lover and bed her daughter. A man fit to be king? But uknown to him there are flames on the way. A single dragon has gone missing. And even one dragon on the loose, unsubdued, returned to its full intelligence, its full fury, could spell disaster for the Empire. But because of the actions of one unscrupulous mercenary the rivals for the throne could soon be facing hundreds of dragons...
  • The King of the Crags (2010)
    Prince Jehal has murdered, poisioned and betrayed his way to the top. There is a new speaker for the realms, his opposition has been crushed, now he just has to enjoy the fruits of power. And yet... He feels more for the wife he married for power than perhaps he should and his lover knows it. And out in the realms those loyal to the old regime are still plotting. and there are rumours that the Red Riders, heralds of revolution and doom are on the ride. And still no-one has found the famous white dragon. The dragon that, if it lived, will have long since recovered from the effects of the alchemical liquid fed to the the dragons of the realms to keep them docile, to block their memories of a time when they ruled and the world burned...
  • The Order of the Scales (2011)
    As the various factions fight for control of the Adamantine Palace mankind’s nemesis approaches. The realms’ dragons are awakening from their alchemical sedation and returning to their native fury. They can remember why they were created and they now know what mankind has done to them. And their revenge will be brutal.
  • The Black Mausoleum (2012)
    Skorl is an Ember, a soldier trained from birth to fight dragons. He is a living weapon, one-shot only, saturated with enough dragon-poison to bring down a monster all on his own. Misanthrope, violent and a drunk, to fulfil his purpose and slay a dragon, means to be eaten. Now Skorl has a choice: he can hang for his crimes, or he can go with the last of the Adamantine Men, fighting against an enemy he was born to face. Rat is an Outsider. He's on the run and he's stumbled onto something that's going to make him rich beyond all his dreams. It's just a shame that the end of the world has started without him. Kataros is an alchemist, one of the order responsible for keeping the dragons in check. One of the order that has just failed, and disastrously so. Two men, one woman. One chance to save the world from a storm of dragons...
  • Dragon Queen (2013)
    In the years before the Dragons laid waste to man’s empire, the fearsome monsters were used for war and as gifts of surpassing wealth to buy favour in the constant political battles that tore at the kingdoms. Notorious in these battles was the Dragon Queen. And now she is a prisoner. But no-one is more dangerous than when caged…

The Thief-Taker’s Apprentice

  • The Thief-Taker’s Apprentice (2010)
    A teenage thief becomes a teenage assassin and must live with the consequences. Berren has lived in the city all his life. He has made his way as a thief, paying a little of what he earns to the Fagin like master of their band. But there is a twist to this tale of a thief. One day Berren goes to watch an execution of three thieves. He watches as the thief-taker takes his reward and decides to try and steal the prize. He fails. The young thief is taken. But the thief-taker spots something in Berren. And the boy reminds him of someone as well. Berren becomes his apprentice. And is introduced to a world of shadows, deceit and corruption behind the streets he thought he knew.
  • The Warlock’s Shadow (2011)
    Berren is not enjoying himself. Trapped in a temple, forced to learn how to read, how to write and how to recall the histories of the Saints, all he wants is to be given a sword. As a thief-taker's apprentice he imagined a world of daring night-time chases, glorious victories and a life of excitement. His dreams aren't quite coming true. So when a prince - the first and last prince he'll ever see - hires the thief-taker as a bodyguard, Berren is thrilled. When he hears that a troupe of Dragon Monks - exotic warriors and the best swordsmen in the world - are visiting, he sees an opportunity to learn how to fight. When one of the Monks turns out to be a girl of the same age, his future suddenly seems a lot brighter. But when a shadowy figure launches an attack on the life of Prince Sharda, Berren finds himself plunged into a world of danger, intrigue and terror. He may discover that being trained with a sword isn't enough - sometimes, you have to know who to fight.
  • The King’s Assassin (2012)
    Berren has left his past as an apprentice thief-taker behind him, in a mist of blood and screams and death. Press-ganged as a sailor, his old life is now just a distant memory. Until the day he spots someone who might well be his old master, Syannis, the man who killed Berren's first love. Syannis was thought dead, but he is a hard man to kill. As Berren chases down the man he believes to be an enemy, he finds himself caught up in a web of political machination and danger unlike anything he has encountered. For Syannis is a deposed prince, and he is willing to go to any lengths - including dealing with the black-hearted sorcerer Saffran Kuy - to regain his throne. As Berren struggles to understand his feelings towards Syannis and his mad quest, he slowly comes to realize that the world is going to war - and Berren is caught in the middle. Can he navigate a path through the dangers which surround him? Will he find a way to extricate himself from the sorcery and intrigue that follow him at every step?

Critical acclaim

"At first glance, a cast of scheming princes and queens, over the hill kings, and money-hungry sell-swords may seem overly familiar, but Stephen does a great job of constantly surprising the reader. It's a fun and entertaining debut that will appeal to fans of both classic and contemporary fantasy. In short, Gollancz has discovered another winner." Fantasy Book Critic