Markham has returned to Seattle, searching for Katarina, the girl who, a decade ago, touched his soul, literally tearing it from his body. But what he discovers upon arriving is dark magick . . . of a most ancient and destructive kind.
An encounter with a desperate spirit, leaping destructively from host to host, sets Markham on the trail of secretive cabal of magicians seeking to punch a hole through heaven, extinguishing forever the divine spark. Armed with the Chorus, a phantasmal chain of human souls he wields as a weapon of will, Markham must engage in a magickal battle with earth-shattering stakes.
Markham must delve deep into his past, calling on every aspect of his occult training for there to be any hope of a future. But delve he must, for Markham is a veneficus, a spirit thief, the Lightbreaker.
From newcomer Mark Teppo comes Lightbreaker, an explosive, action-packed occult thriller combining Western magick, Hermetic traditions, and shamanism.
Mass Market Paperback ISBN: 978-1-59780-138-6
Published by Night Shade Books
Accolades: * - Locus Magazine: Recommended Reading for 2009 (in the category of First Novel) [link]
“With Lightbreaker, Mark Teppo has built something out of shadow and starlight that grabs the reader and simply won’t let go. The story is dark and dense and beautifully written. It is also eerie and morally complex and yet ultimately hopeful. Perhaps more to the point, it’s simply a damn good read and I’m very much looking forward to seeing what Teppo does next.”
—Kelly McCullough, author of WebMage and Cybermancy
“Grim and refined, Teppo’s aggressive near-noir is rich and strange—heavily and deftly textured. It’s got a punch that’ll leave you rattled, intrigued, and tasting blood.”
—Cherie Priest, author of Fathom and Boneshaker
“Lightbreaker is a damn good book. It throws some new curves into the Urban Fantasy ride. I think you’ve got a big, fat hit in your hands.”
—Kat Richardson, author of the Greywalker series, including Underground and Vanished
Peter Whitfield @ Strange Horizons: “Teppo’s choice to place the events of Lightbreaker in an alternate modern society is possibly the book’s greatest strength, allowing it to draw on an inexhaustible well of occultist mythology as well as the raw inspiration of Paradise Lost. . .Teppo not only bases his masquerade in a host of theological concepts, he also actively combines them to form a singular and fully fleshed worldview. Hermeticism, alchemy, theism, and epistemology are all poured into the same melting pot, creating a solid, diverse, and original discourse.” [full review - 04.09.10]
Slamel @ Elitist Book Reviews: “Lightbreaker is a very smart book that stands out in a genre saturated with mediocrity. It has a very slow start, but is an exciting book to read once it gets going. There are too many unique ideas present in the novel to pass it up, if you are a fan of the genre. Like I said earlier, with the correct expectations for the book it will not only entertain but make you actually use that mind of yours.” [full review - 01.18.10]
Lupa @ Pagan Book Reviews: “To be sure, there’s a lot of the fantasy element to [Lightbreaker]—souls shoving each other out of bodies with visible results, qlipothic spirits zapping rival mages—but the author knows his stuff as far as basic western magical theory goes . . . Overall, I would most definitely recommend this author to my readers, and he’s going on my short list of Authors Whose New Books Get Preordered.” [full review - 09.23.09]
Tim Pratt @ Locus Magazine: “The plot is nothing short of captivating, with a twisty cast of villains, surprising reversals, and an escalating sense of danger. . . Teppo’s preoccupation with profound questions of human purpose and potential make this deeper and more thought-provoking than your average urban fantasy.” [issue 584, p. 27. 09.01.09]
The Mad Hatter’s Bookshelf: “Lightbreaker is a fine entry into Urban Fantasy that is sure to standout from the pack. . . Fans of strong male protagonist Urban Fantasy are sure to have an immediate connection to Markham and the world Teppo has concocted.” [full review - 08.24.09]
Sandy @ Monsters and Critics: “Brisk pacing, a suitably complex storyline and strong character building help keep this from diverting far off course when the author gets into examining the merits of different approaches to attaining godhood.” [full review - 08.17.09]
Pete @ Monsters of Filmland: “Lightbreaker is the best book about magic that I have read since Peter Straub’s Shadowland. This book is simply amazing. It is a richly layered journey into the occult. It is complex, dark, and a hell of a ride.” [full review - 08.07.09]
Rick Kleffel @ Agony Column: “[Lightbreaker] is steeped in a dense mythology the author uses to transform and subvert the mystery genre into something both tougher and more fun. Markham’s a great guide to Teppo’s universe, which feels appropriately Hermetic, self-sealed and internally consistent. Teppo has clearly done his research, but more importantly, he enjoyed it, and readers will get that sense of joy and exploration.” [full review - 06.01.09]
Blue Tyson @ Not Free SF Reader: “An urban fantasy novel that is a lot more Hellblazer, Mage, and Highlander than it is high heels, hot pants and horizontal vampire mambo. ” [full review - 05.08.09]