Books by Melissa Caruso

The Swords and Fire trilogy includes The Tethered Mage, The Defiant Heir, and The Unbound Empire.


Book One of Swords & Fire


In the Raverran Empire, magic is scarce and those born with power are strictly controlled—taken as children and conscripted into the Falcon army. Zaira has lived her life on the streets to avoid this fate, hiding her mage-mark and thieving to survive. But hers is a rare and dangerous magic, one that threatens the entire empire.

Lady Amalia Cornaro was never meant to be a Falconer. Heiress and scholar, she was born into a treacherous world of political machinations. But fate has bound the heir and the mage.

And as war looms on the horizon, a single spark could turn their city into a pyre.

Shortlisted for the Gemmell Morningstar Award

“I loved it from start to finish!”

Sarah Beth Durst, author of The Queen of Blood

“One of the best new books I’ve read in years.”

Vivian Shaw, author of Strange Practice


Book Two of Swords and Fire


Across the border, the Witch Lords of Vaskandar are preparing for war. But before an invasion can begin, they must call a rare gathering of all seventeen lords to decide a course of action.

Lady Amalia Cornaro knows that this Conclave might be her only chance to smother the growing flames of war, and she is ready to make any sacrifice if it means saving Raverra from destruction.

Amalia and Zaira must go behind enemy lines, using every ounce of wit and cunning they have, to sway Vaskandar from war. Or else it will all come down to swords and fire.

“An entirely new level of awesome…. Absolutely addictive.”

Powder and Page

“Takes the series to the next level in every way…. I absolutely loved The Defiant Heir.”

Fantasy Book Cafe


Book Three of Swords and Fire


While winter snows keep the Witch Lord Ruven’s invading armies at bay, Lady Amalia Cornaro and the fire warlock Zaira attempt to change the fate of mages in the Raverran Empire forever, earning the enmity of those in power who will do anything to keep all magic under tight imperial control.

But in the season of the Serene City’s great masquerade, Ruven executes a devastating surprise strike at the heart of the Empire—and at everything Amalia holds most dear.

To stand a chance of defeating Ruven, Amalia and Zaira must face their worst nightmares, expose their deepest secrets, and unleash Zaira’s most devastating fire.

“A complex, compelling, stunningly satisfying conclusion to an excellent trilogy. I loved it.”

Liz Bourke,

“Thrilling while remaining both emotionally and logically true.”

Kirkus, Starred Review

The Rooks and Ruin trilogy includes The Obsidian Tower, The Quicksilver Court, and The Ivory Tomb (coming in December 2022)


Book One of Rooks and Ruin

One woman will either save an entire continent or completely destroy it in a captivating epic fantasy bursting with intrigue and ambition, questioned loyalties, and broken magic.

“Guard the tower, ward the stone. Find your answers writ in bone. Keep your trust through wits or war—nothing must unseal the Door.”

Deep within Gloamingard Castle lies a black tower. Sealed by magic, it guards a dangerous secret that has been contained for thousands of years.

As Warden, Ryxander knows the warning passed down through generations: nothing must unreal the Door. But one impetuous decision will leave her with blood on her hands—and unleash a threat that could doom the world to fall to darkness.

“Mysterious and wonderful.”

BookPage (starred review)

“Block out time to binge this can’t-stop story…A must-read for lovers of high fantasy.”

C. L. Polk, award-winning author of Witchmark and The Midnight Bargain


Book Two of Rooks & Ruin

Ryxander, the Warden of Gloamingard, has failed. Unsealed by her blood, the Door hidden within the black tower has opened. Now, for the first time since the age of the Graces, demons walk the world.

As tensions grow between nations, all eyes—and daggers—are set on Morgrain, which has fallen under the Demon of Discord’s control. When an artifact with the power to wipe out all life in a domain is stolen, Ryx will do whatever it takes to save her home from destruction. But success may demand a larger sacrifice from Ryx than she could have imagined.

“A classic, breathtaking adventure… Will thrill and delight any fantasy fan.”

Tasha Suri, author of The Jasmine Throne, on The Obsidian Tower

“This was a book that I could not stop reading.”

Forever Lost in Literature


The Rooks and Ruin series concludes with this epic fantasy bursting with intrigue and ambition, questioned loyalties, and broken magic as Ryx fights to defeat the demons and save everything she loves.

The Dark Days have returned. The Demon of Carnage mercilessly cuts through villagers and armies. The Demon of Corruption rots the land. The Serene Empire and the Witch Lords race towards war. And in the middle of it all stands Rxyander, the Warden of Gloamingard. 

Burdened by conflicting loyalties and guilt, Ryx searches desperately for a way to defeat the demons before the world she loves is completely destroyed. To find answers, she’ll have to return to where it all started…the black tower at the heart of Gloamingard. 

By blood the Door was opened and only by blood will the Dark Days end. 

“Truly excellent fantasy.”

Locus, on The Obsidian Tower

“A tried-and-true but not at all trite triumph.”

Publisher’s Weekly