Acquisition Announcement: THE STONE KEEP by S.K. Marlay

Heroic Books have acquired Stella K. Marlay’s fast-paced story of love and sacrifice that is also a timely exploration of power and exploitation, due to be released in November 2021.



Eadha learns early the cruel nature of the world from Lord Huath, a brutal Channeller. The Channellers rule Domhain, sapping magic from others so that the crops might grow, the cities might prosper, and the dragons might be held at bay.


But there is another, more ancient power blossoming in the young Eadha, one that does not consume the life force of others. And as the world and its cruelties rush toward Eadha and Ionain, the boy she has always loved, she faces a terrible choice: make a lie of Ionain’s life or watch him lose everything.

Stella K. Marlay said: ‘The Stone Keep is set in a fantastical version of Ireland. The land is ruled by the Channellers, who draw power for their magic from the people around them, the Fodder. It is a story about how love can become twisted into control; and whether power must always be something taken from another.


To have someone read your story and connect with it is a dream. To have several someones connect and then say we’re now going to put our money, faith and time behind it; and with our amazing team of editors, designers and developers turn it into a proper, honest-to-god beautiful book — that really is the fantasy. So, a huge thank you to all the fantastic team at Heroic — turns out you guys don’t just love fantasy, you live it.’

S.K. Marlay is an Irish fantasy author. She’s been a fruit picker, a maths teacher, a factory worker, a touring singer and a boat hand, not to mention a bunch of other jobs not worth mentioning. Before writing her first novel she was a songwriter. She thinks the discipline of having to distil a song’s story down to sixty words or less really stands to you when writing a book, though she does miss being able to just repeat the chorus when stuck. She still doesn’t quite believe writers are real people; this is likely to trigger something of an existential crisis when her own first book is published.

The Stone Keep will be published by Heroic Books in November 2021.

To learn more about S. K. Marlay, visit her website or follow her on Twitter.

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