Nights of Villjamur

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I’ve had quite a few questions about this, so in case anyone’s wondering what the book is about, here’s a summary (and to be read in a deep Hollywood voice, please):


An ice age comes to a chain of islands.

Villjamur: a city of ancient spires and bridges, where banshees declare the dead. You can see dodgy magic from hidden alleyways where cultists use ancient technology for their own spurious gain. Refugees seeking sanctuary from the weather find the gates closed, and the city’s councilors are the last people you should listen too about the matter. Sometimes you might hear a little jazz from certain quarters. A little further out, the dead are seen shambling across the tundra. Into the city comes a young woman to claim the throne of the Jamur Empire after her father commits suicide. Around her, politicians hover. There are garudas. There are hominid species, the rumel, a tough-skin cousin of man that can live for hundreds of years.

Meanwhile an officer in the city inquisition must solve a high-profile and savage murder of a city politician, whilst battling within his own private and work life. A cocky womanizer cheats his way into the Imperial Residence with a hidden agenda. A once-immortal man, preoccupied with the notion of death, sets a chain of events to unsettle the fabric of this world.

A group of elite soldiers are sent to investigate a bizarre genocide on the northern fringe of the Empire. And in this land under a red sun, it seems the bad weather and ice sheets are bringing more than just snow…

Everyone’s stories are linked, and they all have secrets.

Trust no one in Villjamur.


Teasers one, two and three.

Extract at Pat’s Fantasy Hotlist.

Reviews @: Speculative Horizons, The Wertzone, A Dribble Of Ink, Fantasy Book Critic, SFF World and more.

Oh, and important to credit the artist: Benjamin Carre.


It’s a a dying earth fantasy, which is an excellent vehicle to play with the concepts of death and decay, something which fascinates me. Maybe even a noir fantasy, deeply in the sense of crime noir and film noir, not merely ‘dark’, which I think can be a misleading use of the word in fiction. Although it is certainly dark. I wanted to bend genres around each other, fantasy, crime, horror, even tools and elements of mainstream fiction. Noir in the sense of the dense characters, the subtleness, the erotic, and the strange. There’s someone who’s paranoid about death; a major character is a gay man in a world that forbids homosexual acts; people who are fuck-ups.

There are references to Gene Wolfe, Jack Vance, M John Harrison to name a few; let me know if you can spot them.

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About Mark Newton

Born in 1981, live in the UK. I write about strange things.


  1. I’ve just finished reading ‘The Reef’ and am now really looking forward to ‘Nights of Villjamur’!

  2. Sounds exactly my cup of tea! Looking forward to reading it

  3. Congratulations on your book! It looks right up my street and will soon be added to my birthday present list.

    I find your comment about which genre it’s shelved into very interesting (and I agree – this pidgeon-holing thing really bothers me) – did the publisher decide that, or did you pitch it to them as fantasy? Or is it a bookstore decision?

  4. Hi Emma,


    I don’t think the pigeon-holing bothers me – I’m proud to write fantasy. I just meant that it contains a lot of the aesthetics of other genres too. I pitched it as a fantasy – I think it helps, when you submit, to compare it to other kinds of fantasies on the shelf. (Hopefully comparing it to ones that are currently selling!) Everyone needs the categories because it helps sell books, at the end of the day.

  5. I loved the book, my brother gave it me and I dont think he actually read it himself. One of those impulse buys for him but he knows my love of books so I ended up with it. It took me a bit to get into it, as at first glance it doesnt seem anything special. Even the inside cover description only slightly caught my attention. It also didnt help that my Little one was causing chaos at the time I discovered it buried in my bookshelf and tried to get into it 😀

    Once reading it and finally able to immerse myself in the City, I found it VERY hard to put down. Now I’ve just finished it and I am looking for the next. I am hoping to find the next one as I am now hooked. 

    I am now going to look through the website to see what other purchases I will be making. I havent found a decent new author in a while so I hope you have plenty of more books on sale.

    Teasers one, two and three (Links Dont Work)

  6. Just a side note to my other comment about First glance doesnt seem anything special. I’ve just looked at the covers of your books and the Hardback edition I have is not like those. Mine is just a picture of a Dark, Dismal City Covered in Snow. Although now reading the book, It’s a very fitting Cover

  7. Hi Sarah,

    Thanks very much for your comments and I’m really happy you enjoyed the read. There are a couple more in the series out at the moment (with the final book scheduled for next year).

    PS – thanks re: the teasers. Will investigate! 

    — Mark 

  8. Re: Teasers – They work now 😀

    Found book 2 and 3 – Off to buy them in the Week. Spotted The Reef but that is not in stock where I normally get my books from 😀

    May have to go searching. Looking forward to reading them.


  9. Great, hope you enjoy them! The Reef is a very limited edition book released a few years ago, but hopefully will make a return as an ebook at some point.