In a wild land at the edge of an unexplored ocean...
MONSTROUS HEART is a nautical gothic fantasy, a cold-climate mystery set amidst decaying lighthouses, sea-monsters and mystical islands to where cursed lovers have fled....
If you pierce a man’s skin the great portside city of Clay-Lyonne, all they’ll do is bleed. But the blood of an ignis sanguinem can maintain fire—a necessary talent for those signallers and light-keepers in a seafarer’s realm measured by unforgiving ocean and hard tide.
However, Arden Beacon—a disgraced, dim-blooded daughter of a fading Ignis family—came into her talent late, and weak. Her last chance at redeeming her genetic misfortunes will only come with duty: tending a remote lighthouse in the wild south country of Fiction.
Her uncle’s old post is one of the last surviving sanguis lanterns in the region, and a season as light keeper could bring not only her honour, but the love of a man who abandoned her years before.
But this is also a world where men can call up storms and monsters just by opening a vein, and her only neighbour upon her lonely promontory is the reviled Jonah Riven, who can do just that. To make matters worse he is the subject of a shocking open secret among the locals of the coast. Riven is a murderer, and not least among his victims was his troubled wife, Bellis.
Arden has been sent to live on the same promontory as a killer, and it appears, not by accident.
To win back her family’s fortunes and earn a legitimate future for herself, Arden must survive a season on the edge of the world, in the company of a man she feels dangerously, passionately drawn to, and upon an ocean where the blood of an ignis sanguinem is both currency and curse.