Josh Lanyon Main Title

The Darkling Thrush


Fed up with his desk duty in the Imperial Arcane Library, book hunter Colin Bliss accepts a private commission to find The Sword's Shadow, a legendary and dangerous witches' grimoire. But to find the book, Colin must travel to the remote Western Isles and solve a centuries' old murder.

It should be nothing more than an academic exercise, so why is dour -- and unreasonably sexy -- Magister Septimus Marx doing his best to keep Colin from accepting this mission -- even going so far as to seduce Colin on their train journey north?

Septimus is not the only problem. Who is the strange fairy woman that keeps appearing at inconvenient times? And who is working behind the scenes with the sinister adventuress Irania Briggs? And why do Colin's employers at the Museum of the Literary Occult keep accusing Colin of betraying them?

As Colin digs deeper and deeper into the Long Island's mysterious past, he begins to understand why Septimus is willing to stop him at any price -- but by then, it's too late to turn back.

Read the excerpt


"Take a journey unlike any you've ever before experienced with The Darkling Thrush. Josh Lanyon sweeps readers away to a world of fantasy and magick, where ancient legends lead to adventure and love brings together two perfectly-matched heroes. The Darkling Thrush is refreshingly different from anything I've read in a very long time. It's also unlike any novel of Mr. Lanyon's I've read so far, save for the facts that it's elegantly written, beautifully constructed, and a delight to read from beginning to end. Colin is the hero who is readers' guide through the story. The eager young librivenator is an intelligent, curious, and immensely likeable hero and I couldn't help but get caught up in his quest for the Faileas a' Chlaidheimh. Septimus, who is, understandably, the more mysterious one of the pair, captivated me from the start. He's not a light character, but without giving anything away I'll say that I found him entrancing. The path to happily ever after for Septimus and Colin is filled with twists and turns, roadblocks and seemingly insurmountable obstacles. Yet the romantic journey, woven in with Colin's quest, was eminently satisfying. In fact, there wasn't a moment of The Darkling Thrush that didn' entertain. The Darkling Thrush is an original, bewitching read that is sure to charm anyone who reads it!
Shayna for Joyfully Reviewed
The Darkling Thrush is intriguing and enchanting and reminds me of an adult version of Harry Potter with more danger and some sex. It's very entertaining. Every detail is penned with great imagination, so It would be easy for one to lose track of what's going on if one were not paying close attention. The relationship between Septimus and Colin is rife with challenges, not the least of which is the animosity between them. They take an interesting and rather lovely turn, though.
Nikki for Rainbow Reviews
Josh Lanyon has infused our world--or our world as it was some decades ago--with alternate history, fey creatures, old magick, paranormal abilities and dangerous legends. It's an enticing world that's easy to fall into, especially as revealed to us by Colin Bliss, the irrepressible narrator. I love Colin: he's engaging, proactive, intelligent and childish all at once. I was rooting for him and cringing for him at the same time.
Rosemary for Blue Rat Book Reviews
Josh Lanyon has penned another wonderful novel that completely engrossed me in from the first page. Fabulous world building coupled with deep, rich history and a great lead character had me glued to my eReader for much of our very rainy Easter Sunday. Lanyon is such a skilled writer, so talented that I wonder if there isn't a genre where he wouldn't excel. There is such detail, so much vivid description and history and mystery that I felt as if I was there with Colin on his adventure. Though the plot is complex, I found I was able to keep up and soak it in without a problem.
Aunt Lynn for Reviews by Jessewave
So I love anything Josh Lanyon writes. I'm trying to read everything because it's just that good. Occasionally, I have trouble putting my finger on why I like it so much, but this time it was easy: I was there. The setting of this story and all the descriptions had me right there with Colin the whole time. Not only did I fall for the mysterious Septimus, but I searched wild places and old libraries for that grimoire despite the terrible things I might soon learn when I find it.
I'm Just Thorny Blog
The Darkling Thrush is entirely riveting... as is the norm for Josh Lanyon's writing. He has a way of bringing so much life to his characters and to the situations in which they find themselves, even if they are of the more fantastic variety. And even though this is a departure from Mr. Lanyon's other books that I've read, it's still written with wit and detail; you may just have to stretch your mind to believe the unbelievable. But it's a heck of a journey!
Kathy K for Reviews at Ebook Addict
The Darkling Thrush is an excellent example of mystery, fantasy and magic interwoven in a gripping plot that holds you captive from the opening to the very end. The well written plot builds by unveiling clues in each chapter. The true intention of each detailed character is shrouded in secrecy. A faery woman, a sinister adventuress and other creatures all play a key role in the storyline's design. The amazing Josh Lanyon is a master of intrigue with a dash of romance. I thoroughly enjoyed this exhilarating suspense and hope to read more of these fascinating characters in the future.
Chocolate Nymph for Literary Nymphs
The Darkling Thrush was beautifully written. From the tense action to the romantic love scenes, it will capture your heart and your imagination.
Elise Lyn for


The Darkling Thrush
March 2012
JustJoshin Publishing Inc.
Barnes & Noble
Trade paperback
April 2012
JustJoshin Publishing Inc.
Audio book
October 2012
JustJoshin Publishing Inc.
Narrated by Max Miller
Listen to sample
Foreign editions
Tordo a sera
(Italian edition)
November 2015
Babelcube Inc.
Translated by Sofia D'Isidoro

El Mirlo en la Oscuridad
(Spanish edition)
Spring 2015
JustJoshin Publishing Inc.

L'ombre de l'épée
(French edition)
November 2013, MxM Bookmark
Other editions
Trade paperback
April 2010, Loose id
Out of print

Copyright 2000-18, Josh Lanyon.
All rights reserved.