Look Out For … The Deer Kings by Wendy N. Wagner

The Deer Kings by Wendy N. Wagner - cover“With her latest novel, Wagner presents a man returning home, forced to unearth painful memories of his past to save his family from the horrors he left behind.”

In the late 80’s, Gary and his friends create their own saint.

Twenty-nine years later, they discover their saint has become a god.

Years after leaving Kingston, Oregon behind in his rearview mirror, Gary returns when his wife lands her dream job as principal of the Kingston high school. When he was a teen, his time in Kingston was tragic. One summer, terrorized by a crazed drug dealer, Gary and his friends turned to the supernatural for protection.

Reconnecting with old friends and watching his son dominate on the football team, the past is but a memory. Soon strange encounters and mutilated animals found in the woods indicate the Deer Saint is still roaming the land. Now Gary has to turn to his past for answers.

Who is making sacrifices to the Deer Saint?

Why we’re excited about this book:

Well established in the speculative fiction world, Wendy N. Wagner works comfortably on either side of the page, both editing and writing. The author of An Oath of Dogs, and the Jendara novels (Starspawn, and Skinwalkers), Wagner’s short fiction has graced the pages of such anthologies as Autumn Cthulhu, Genius Loci: Tales of the Spirit of Place, She Walks in Shadows, and Places We Fear to Tread, and she is the Senior Editor of Lightspeed Magazine and Editor-in-Chief of Nightmare Magazine. With her latest novel, Wagner presents a man returning home, forced to unearth painful memories of his past to save his family from the horrors he left behind. Gordon B. White (As Summer’s Mask Slips and Other Disruptions) says: “What Stephen King has done for New England, Wendy Wagner does for the Pacific Northwest. In The Deer Kings, Wagner captures the hidden magic and terror of coming of age in her own specific, unerringly authentic voice. Exploring the unique horror of how the special and supernatural can be corrupted into the crass and everyday, The Deer Kings is a grand, gorgeous, and-at times-gory wonder.”, and Eric J. Guignard (That Which Grows Wild, Doorways to the Deadeye) says: “Not just a novel of cult fanaticism and sinister fears, but an enduring search for redemption: Wendy N. Wagner’s The Deer Kings is a beautiful coming-of-age tale of friendship, sacrifice, and horror, when the monsters created from our youth prove not to vanish in older years.”

Why Wendy’s excited about this book:

“I love books about friendship, particularly about the way we form powerful friendships when we’re young, but struggle to make those relationships work when we’re adults. The Deer Kings is the story of friends who came together to fight for survival as kids but found that life pulled them apart in high school—and how they get a chance to fight together again as adults. It’s also a book about underdogs, kids who didn’t have anything else but each other. Their relationships are so powerful and vivid, I can’t wait to share them with the world! Plus, the book is packed with horrible car accidents, manipulative football coaches, vicious drug dealers, creepy wildlife, and lots and lots of donuts. It’s a wild ride!”

Forthcoming from JournalStone 27 August 2021, The Deer Kings by Wendy N. Wagner is available for pre-order now.

BOB PASTORELLA

 


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