Kingdom of Rust

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What is Kingdom of Rust?

With a med student’s workload, a breakup he’s not over, and a clinical rotation full of increasingly bizarre and horrific ailments, Wes Andrada is on the verge of burnout. And then he finds his weed dealer bleeding out in a storm drain and everything somehow gets worse.

Pidge is determined to repay Wes for saving his life by ‘fixing’ Wes’s, be it by cleaning spaghetti off his carpets, hiding Wes’s molly, or complaining incessantly about how much his futon sucks. But that’s just annoying. What’s dangerous is that Pidge knows what’s really happening to Wes’s patients – club kids with thorns in their throats and feet danced to the bone – but isn’t willing to tell.

Wes can barely remember to feed himself, can’t function without nicotine, and med school hasn’t equipped him to stop a terrifying new drug and its horrible side effects or the ruthless gang who are dealing it. He really isn’t equipped for a would-be hitman to turn into a coyote in his kitchen, or for Pidge to explode the guy’s head with a fertilizer spell and the basil from his windowsill planter.

Plus, it turns out Pidge’s deadly, powerful sister has been commuting from the Bright Country to set all this in motion with a coterie of elves in bikers’ leathers and unseelie silver. His other sister. Not the one whose gruesome death he’ll only talk about in the grips of his nightmares. Not the one who left him with nothing but a handful of seeds and a highly unusual sword.

Now Wes has to save his grungy town from a very lethal, very literal form of gentrification and he’s only got half an MD, a law student ex-girlfriend, and a dropout, drug-dealing prince of Faerie to do it with.

If he can trust Pidge.

(That’s probably the kind of thing he should’ve established before sleeping with the guy.)

The Cast

Art by the incomparable Gamma

Wes Andrada is a lanky nerd, drowning in student debt and regular debt to all the people who he keeps buying drugs off to forget about all the debt he’s in. Or how sad he still is over his breakup, and how horrible all the recent cases at the hospital have been, and how hungry he is because he can’t afford to buy dinner because he spent all his money on food for stray cats. And drugs. His other weaknesses include Doing the Right Thing and Saving People.

Pidge is, depending on who you ask, the purveyor of the best weed in Worcester, an exiled lordling of Faerie, or a scapegrace middle child whose family was just comfortable, okay, you don’t gotta turn everything into hyperbole.

Jessica Lewis-Weitzman is a third of a lawyer and, as such, not a woman to be trifled with. She and Wes used to be together. They aren’t anymore, but when she’s forced to team up with him to foil the machinations of Pidge’s murderous sister, she might just continue to remain on friendly terms with him, while maintaining a healthy amount of emotional distance.

Sparrow is also known as Sparrowhawk of Thornhedge, heir to the Eyrie, Butcherbird’s Get, Knight of the Hunt, potential queen of Worcester, MA, and Pidge’s big sister. She’s significantly cooler than him and, it must be said, significantly more dangerous.

What are people saying about Kingdom of Rust?

“It’s like if Artemis Fowl was made by HBO.”

“D. Stannard brings us characters w[ith] grit and spirit. They immediately pique my interest, surprise me with their gifts, and make me wince at their fallibility. Written with wit, and vivid imagery, I join The Fairy Dealer’s journey finding it poignant, and compelling. Maybe it’s the magic, but I am immediately drawn into this parallel world where, navigating between faerie and human, I am met by the balancing act we all walk between light and dark.”

“The book’s wonderful. It was everything I hoped for and more. I’ll be awaiting the sequel(s) eagerly! I like how [Stannard] made the fae as unnerving and dangerous as they are in the traditional sense, while also using cultural context to make their actions make sense in a very human way. They’re not weird or malicious “just because.” Their indifference and cruelty to humans is so firmly reminiscent of how humans have treated each other throughout history. Very compelling.”

“I’m absolutely buzzing with excitement over the way bits of folklore about the Good Folk found their way into the story or how [Stannard has] spun old tropes to fit the narrative. This is exactly the kind of urban fantasy I want to read, so thank you for that!”

“I don’t know how to accurately convey my love and appreciation for a character such as Wes into words but take it from me:  it’s a lot. … It was great to read about a character (especially a male main character) who’s so unflinchingly kind and open.”

“Pidge’s POV is hands down the best thing that’s happened to me this year: his tone of voice and way of describing the world around him had me in metaphorical stitches throughout.”

The Fairy Dealer, the first book in the Kingdom of Rust trilogy, is on submission to publishers. The manuscript for The Fairy Doctor, its sequel, is currently with beta readers.

Read more in the Kingdom of Rust short fiction tag