Tower of Mud and StrawYaroslav Barsukov
fantasy > high fantasy
THE QUEEN RUINED HIS LIFE. HE WOULD DO ANYTHING TO RECLAIM IT... OR SO HE THOUGHT.
Minister Shea Ashcroft refuses the queen's order to gas a crowd of protesters. After riots cripple the capital, he's banished to the border to oversee the construction of the biggest anti-airship tower in history. The use of otherworldly technology makes the tower volatile and dangerous; Shea has to fight the local hierarchy to ensure the construction succeeds — and to reclaim his own life.
He must survive an assassination attempt, find love, confront the place in his memory he'd rather erase, encounter an ancient legend, travel to the origin of a species — and through it all, stay true to his own principles.
Climbing back to the top is a slippery slope, and somewhere along the way, one is bound to fall.
"Poetry in prose... I love a story that is huge, but also incredibly intimate, and this novella managed to encompass both of these things." — Miltos Yerolemou (Syrio Forel in Game of Thrones)
"Tower of Mud and Straw" is a Tower of Babel story with a hero haunted by his fate. Shea Ashcroft is an Aeneas in an airship set in a world that gives homage to Dune. Once immersed it is hard to stop reading: like a play or a good painting, you won't be able to look away until you've discovered everything." — Rebecca DeVendra, writer, artist, former reviewer at Tangent Online
After leaving his ball and chain at the workplace, Yaroslav Barsukov goes on to write stories that deal with things he himself, thankfully, doesn’t have to deal with. He’s a software engineer and a connoisseur of strong alcoholic beverages - but also, surprisingly, a member of SFWA and Codex (how did that happen?). At some point in his life, he’s left one former empire only to settle in another.
An interview with Yaroslav Barsukov by Seregil of Rhiminee