There are a lot of titles we haven’t featured yet, so the plan is to work our way through the backlist until something new comes up. This next one is going to be a series, starting with Dragon Precinct, by Keith R.A. DeCandido. Currently there are five novels and one short story collection, but more of each are planned. This has been described as “Dungeons and Dragnet” by one reviewer and “JAG meets Lord of the Rings” by another. In either case, you get the idea. These are fantasy police procedural fun.


Gan Brightblade’s last thoughts before his neck was broken were about how happy he was.

Dinner had been one of the most enjoyable experiences of recent times, even if the food itself was somewhat lacking. The Dog and Duck Inn may have suited his group’s needs in terms of accommodation during their brief layover in Cliff’s End, but its kitchen left much to be desired. The meat was bland, the drinks weak, and the vegetables limp.

But the company—ah, the company was what mattered.

For the past five weeks, he had travelled on horseback with the group of comrades-in-arms Brother Genero had gathered at the Temisan monastery in Velessa. The trip to Cliff’s End had been mostly uneventful, leavened only by brief encounters with the usual bandits and trolls, plus some young fool of a magick-user. He wasn’t even registered with the Brotherhood of Wizards, probably as much due to his lack of talent as anything. Defeating him was the work of a few minutes. Bogg had wanted to kill him, of course, and did cut off the top of the boy’s ear, but Genero insisted that he live, as he was more misguided than evil.

Typical priest, Gan had thought. Besides, the Brotherhood didn’t tolerate unregistered magick-users for very long. They would deal with the boy in short order.

Upon arrival, they stabled their horses on the outskirts of town, then proceeded into the crowded city on foot. Cliff’s End had never been Gan’s favorite place to visit, though he was always impressed with the sheer variety of people he found within its borders. Rich and poor, human and dwarf, mage and priest, elf and gnome—all you had to do was stand still on any of Cliff’s End’s numerous thoroughfares, and you’d encounter every type of person in Flingaria ere long. If for some reason, one type didn’t pass you by, all you had to do was go to the docks, and one would likely be in on the next boat.

Gan and his friends checked into this dreary inn in the center of the city-state, for expediency’s sake as much as anything. It was large enough to accommodate them, ordinary enough to minimize the fuss that would be made over them, close enough to the docks so that securing sea passage the next day would be easy, but not so close to that part of town that they risked an infectious disease or six just by walking around. (Bogg, of course, cared little for the latter, but Gan and Olthar insisted on at least a modicum of cleanliness.)

They had dinner together, ostensibly to plan strategy, but they wound up whiling away the hours regaling the other patrons with tales of their exploits. Ubàrlig spoke of liberating the human slave camps of the western elves. Bogg told cruder tales of his fights against the trolls that menaced his village in the north, and the women who vied for his affections in the aftermath of that battle. Inevitably, and even though everyone knew the story, Olthar was asked to tell of his betrayal of his aunt, the Elf Queen during the elven wars, which led to a permanent exile from his own people but victory for King Marcus and Queen Marta. Only Genero—out of typical priestly modesty—and the halfling twins—for fear of being incriminated in acts of dubious legality—kept quiet.

Gan himself told of his days as a young soldier thirty years before when he was among the forces who helped overthrow Chalmraik the Foul. What he did not say—nor did anyone else—was that Genero had gathered them all together because the priest had received a vision from Temisa that Chalmraik was about to rise again. The powerful wizard once ruled over half of Flingaria, and Genero could not let that happen again.

Unfortunately, his warnings to the Brotherhood had fallen on deaf ears. Instead, Genero brought together all his old comrades-in-arms. In the morning, Gan and Genero planned to hire a boat to take them to the island where Chalmraik was hatching his latest plan, so they could do what the Brotherhood would not.

Soon enough, the night’s revelry ended, and Gan trudged up the stairs to the decently furnished room the Dog and Duck had provided for him.

As he removed his mail, sword, and tunic and tossed them on the bed, Gan smiled. He was with good comrades who would soon join him in a noble quest to rid Flingaria of its greatest curse once and for all. In a lifetime filled with great deeds and greater triumphs, this would be the perfect capper.

One minute later, he lay dead on the floor of his room, his head at an impossible angle.

In the morning, his body was found by the Dog and Duck’s cleaning woman, who arrived early to tidy the room in the hopes of getting a glance at the great hero Gan Brightblade. It took half a minute for her to stop screaming—and by then, the Cliff’s End Castle Guard had been summoned.

Precinct Series

Keith R.A. DeCandido

Keith R.A. DeCandido is a white male in his late forties, approximately two hundred pounds. He was last seen in the wilds of the Bronx, New York City, though he is often sighted in other locales. Usually he is armed with a laptop computer, which some have classified as a deadly weapon. Through use of this laptop, he has inflicted more than fifty novels, as well as an indeterminate number of comic books, nonfiction, novellas, and works of short fiction on an unsuspecting reading public. Many of these are set in the milieus of television shows, games, movies, and comic books, among them Star Trek, Alien, Cars, Summoners War, Doctor Who, Supernatural, World of Warcraft, Marvel Comics, and many more.

We have received information confirming that more stories involving Danthres, Torin, and the city-state of Cliff’s End can be found in the novels Dragon Precinct, Unicorn Precinct, Goblin Precinct, Gryphon Precinct, and the forthcoming Phoenix Precinct and Manticore Precinct, as well as the short-story collections Tales from Dragon Precinct and the forthcoming More Tales from Dragon Precinct. His other recent crimes against humanity include A Furnace Sealed, the debut of a new urban fantasy series taking place in DeCandido’s native Bronx; the Alien novel Isolation; the Marvel’s Tales of Asgard trilogy of prose novels starring Marvel’s versions of Thor, Sif, and the Warriors Three; short stories in the anthologies Aliens: Bug Hunt, Joe Ledger: Unstoppable, The Best of Bad-Ass Faeries, The Best of Defending the Future, TV Gods: Summer Programming, X-Files: Trust No One, Nights of the Living Dead, the award-winning Planned Parenthood benefit anthology Mine!, the two Baker Street Irregulars anthologies, and Release the Virgins!; and articles about pop culture for and on his own Patreon.

If you see DeCandido, do not approach him, but call for backup immediately. He is often seen in the company of a suspicious-looking woman who goes by the street name of “Wrenn,” as well as several as-yet-unidentified cats. A full dossier can be found at


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