The Spear Cuts Through Water, by Simon Jimenez, is a masterclass in heroic fantasy and mythological storytelling. Told in First, Second, and Third Person, the story follows two young warriors who have five days to transport a goddess through the territory of a brutal empire, while pursued by the monstrous sons of the emperor who had imprisoned her. Jimenez uses the thoughts and feelings of everyone the warriors meet like an Ancient Greek chorus, painting a tapestry of emotion set against the backdrop of a country at war. And while this is a story of tragedy, it is ultimately a love story as well, the author deftly bringing two wounded souls together in what is easily one of the best works in the genre in years.
Two warriors shepherd an ancient god across a broken land to end the tyrannical reign of a royal family in this epic fantasy from the author of The Vanished Birds.
“A beguiling fantasy not to be missed.”—Evelyn Skye, New York Times bestselling author of The Crown’s Game
WINNER OF THE IAFA CRAWFORD AWARD • WINNER OF THE BRITISH FANTASY AWARD • SHORTLISTED FOR THE URSULA K. LE GUIN AWARD • SHORTLISTED FOR THE IGNYTE AWARD
ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR: Oprah Daily, Vulture, Polygon, She Reads, Gizmodo, Kirkus Reviews, The Quill to Live
The people suffer under the centuries-long rule of the Moon Throne. The royal family—the despotic emperor and his monstrous sons, the Three Terrors—hold the countryside in their choking grip. They bleed the land and oppress the citizens with the frightful powers they inherited from the god locked under their palace.
But that god cannot be contained forever.
With the aid of Jun, a guard broken by his guilt-stricken past, and Keema, an outcast fighting for his future, the god escapes from her royal captivity and flees from her own children, the triplet Terrors who would drag her back to her unholy prison. And so it is that she embarks with her young companions on a five-day pilgrimage in search of freedom—and a way to end the Moon Throne forever. The journey ahead will be more dangerous than any of them could have imagined.
Both a sweeping adventure story and an intimate exploration of identity, legacy, and belonging, The Spear Cuts Through Water is an ambitious and profound saga that will transport and transform you—and is like nothing you’ve ever read before.
About the Author
Simon Jimenez is the author of The Vanished Birds. This is his second book.
“The Spear Cuts Through Water is many, many things. It’s a spellbinding tribute to oral storytelling and folklore. It’s a thoughtful exploration of identity and family. But more than anything, The Spear Cuts Through Water is a love story, and one unlike anything you’ve read before.”—Polygon “Best Science Fiction and Fantasy Books of 2022”
“[The Spear Cuts Through Water] is a marvel. Jimenez’s command of prose and playfulness of thought is used to incredible effect to show how oral traditions can transform a tale. This book must be read to be believed.”—Vulture
“The Spear Cuts Through Water is remarkably rich. . . . This novel is an astonishing feat, one that lovers of sophisticated story won’t want to miss.”—Chicago Review of Books
“The Spear Cuts Through Water is beautifully, lovingly crafted.”—BookPage
“A rich and sophisticated voice emerging to transform the genre . . . Jimenez has herewith delivered something utterly individual. . . . A wild chase and odyssey (compressed into five days) which you must read to believe.”—Locus
“Gorgeously written, The Spear Cuts Through Water is unlike anything I’ve ever read before. It is a fable, a dream world, a love story, and a meditation on the nature of humanity all wrapped into one. Simon Jimenez has written the rare kind of book that changes the way you see the world, that makes you pause and appreciate the beauty in every small moment of life and, even, death.”—Evelyn Skye, New York Times bestselling author of The Crown’s Game
“Readers looking for self-aware fantasy with folkloric overtones and the sensibilities of an epic poem—look no further. Jimenez’s novel is an intricate, multilayered story speaking in multiple tongues at once. Fans of diverse, nuanced epics like Black Sun and the Broken Earth series will find this worth their while.”—Suyi Davies Okungbowa, author of Son of the Storm
“Jimenez has raised the bar for every fantasy writer working; wholly unique, dreamy yet grounded, triumphant and bittersweet, The Spear Cuts Through Water is a tremendous achievement from beginning to end.”—Martin Cahill, writer on Batman: The Blind Cut
“Reading Simon Jimenez’s The Spear Cuts Through Water feels like dreaming an impossibly epic movie, cinematic yet fluidly surreal, a mythic tale of clashing gods that never loses its human heart.”—Indra Das, Lambda Literary Award–winning author of The Devourers
“Lyrical, evocative, part poem, part prose—not to be missed by anyone, especially fans of historical fantasy and folktale. It’s both like nothing and everything you’ve ever read: a tale made from the threads that weave the world, and all of us, together.”—Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
“Beautiful prose and inventive worldbuilding.”—Publishers Weekly