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William Ray is the author of Gedlund, named to Kirkus Reviews' Best Books of 2016, as well as The Great Restoration, Shadow Debt, and other forthcoming tales within the Verin Empire setting.


Originally from North Carolina, he lives in Reston, VA with his wife, son and two dogs.

A graduate of Ithaca College, and Wake Forest's School of Law, he has worked in television, retail, patent prosecution, trademark law and other irrelevant nonsense. To paraphrase Lloyd Alexander, however, if being a life-long lover of fantasy literature qualifies one to write it, then he is well qualified indeed.

His works can be found on, including via Amazon Unlimited!

You can also keep up with him on Facebook and Twitter.

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Tales of the Verin Empire




"This bracing, complex tale pits a fantasy-world version of the Victorian British Empire against a sorcerer-dictator out of The Lord of the Rings." - Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

  Thanks to rifle and iron rail, humanity now flourishes after centuries of submission. With the oppressive power of the Elves ended at last, human nations have grown mighty, and the Verin Empire’s colonies spread civilization to the farthest corners of the world. But civilization has not taken root everywhere…

  To the north sits Thyesten, the ancient Lich King of Gedlund. He banished death, and for countless centuries he has ruled a land where ghosts, vampires, and other wicked undead keep mortal men in feudal servitude. Now, without the Elves to keep that monstrous realm in check, the Verin Empire must pit men and cannons against Gedlund’s legions of the dead, its ruthless Everlords, and terrifying ancient magics.

  Tammen Gilmot, a young soldier defending the Empire’s colonial frontier, finds himself swept into this reckless new campaign. Disowned by his family, yet ill-fitted among his new comrades, to survive the coming war, he must learn to lead.

Named to Kirkus Reviews' Best Books of 2016, Gedlund is the story of a young man's rise to responsibility amid battles between humanity and mythic terrors. Drawing inspiration from Lord of the Rings, Catch-22 and our own late 19th century, William Ray’s debut novel features a complex new world of memorable characters and unique perspectives in this bold reinvention of classic fantasy.


Available on Kindle & Paperback!

Tales of the Verin Empire



  The Wardens have returned.

  Traitors to humanity, the Wardens were an ancient order of men and women seeking to once more enslave their own people to the Elves. With the rise of rifle and iron rail, Elves were finally driven from the world, but in secret enclaves, the Wardens speak of the Great Restoration, which will bring their masters back into power…

  Nearly a decade after fighting the war in Gedlund, Gus Baston has found work as a private investigator in the Verin Empire’s crime-infested capitol. He makes his living at the edges of society, friend to neither police nor criminal classes, and when the Wardens suddenly emerge from obscurity to kidnap a prominent engineer, Gus must rescue him or risk being blamed for the crime himself.

  But why would Elves want an engineer? And why have the Wardens suddenly shown themselves after forty years in hiding?

This second Tale of the Verin Empire returns us to the world of Gedlund, which was named to Kirkus Reviews' Best Books of 2016. The second Tale explores a world of crime and intrigue in both the capital, and on the Aelfuan frontier.


Drawing inspiration from Lord of the Rings, Sherlock Holmes and our own late 19th century, The Great Restoration continues William Ray’s bold, critically acclaimed reinvention of classic fantasy in a world of memorable characters and unique perspectives.

Available on Kindle & Paperback!



 Glynn Sorley is sheriff of Keat’s Field, a tiny settlement in an otherwise lawless frontier. With the discovery of diamonds, her town is flooded with fortune-hunters looking to strike it rich. It’s also a target for competing colonial powers, savage goblin tribes, and outlaws.

 A rustler on the run from the law stumbles across his father’s mysterious legacy – a weapon of immense magical power. He uses it to ravage across the territory as the notorious outlaw Gentleman Jim.

 But the weapon’s power comes at a terrible cost, and Keat’s Field may just have to pay the price…

This third Tale of the Verin Empire returns us to the world of Gedlund and The Great Restoration. It explores a frontier trapped between competing nations, where goblins reign and a lone sheriff fights to keep the peace.

Drawing inspiration from L’Amour, Tolkien, and our own late 19th century, Shadow Debt continues William Ray’s bold, critically acclaimed reinvention of classic fantasy in a world of memorable characters and unique perspectives, and features sketches from acclaimed illustrator Tom Parker.

Available on Kindle & Paperback!

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