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Into the Mire by Casey Lucas aka Canticle

“They call it meldwood because it’ll meld with anything it touches. Other trees. Animals. Men.” 

In the first years following a brutal war, residents of the Deel Valley struggle to recover. They rebuild their homes, replant their crops, and attempt to reconcile the past they long for with the reality they’re stuck in.

Most of them seek, above all, a return to some semblance of “normal.”

Others seek profit and adventure.

Mercenary boss Riss Chou finds herself in prime position for both, summoned by the local Baron to work a job so dangerous his own men—including his heir—vanished at the scene.

Calay Maunet ran the streets of Vasile once, a charismatic lord of the slums—until he was betrayed, humiliated, and outed as a blood sorcerer. With his loyal bruiser Gaz, he flees Vasile and signs on as a medic with Riss’s team. The goal is to keep a low profile til the heat dies down. He can manage that, right?

Together with an ensemble cast, they are given one task: venture into a cursed swamp to find a missing heir. But the trees in this swamp aren’t sedate foliage—they are mobile, predatory, and consume everything they touch.

The marsh is dark and poorly mapped. The terrain swallows horses, so the journey must be made on foot. Deep in the muck, Riss and her company must brave a place where the rules of nature no longer apply.

Note: Into the Mire contains some graphic violence and harsh language.


A serialized novel, updating weekly

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Listed: Jul 5, 2018

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Steadily Solid Serial, But Slow

By Rhodeworks, author of Not All Heroes

Sep 25, 2018: [Review up to Chapter 27]

Overall, Into The Mire is a solid serial, free of many of the little bugbears that dog online works, although, perhaps, a touch slow. However, there’s something about Into The Mire that works against it, although I can’t quite put my finger on what the problem is specifically.

From the very first chapter, it’s quite clear that Canticle knows her stuff. The quality of the prose makes [more . . .]

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Mysterious characters, solid adventure, gives me the creepy crawlies

By WolvesOfCalla, member

Sep 30, 2018: This story lulls you into a false sense of security in the beginning, starting out like a typical – but well written – fantasy adventure. However once the party journeys into the swamp, things get weird in a hurry and the sense of creeping dread and uneasiness is up there with some horror movies.

The characters verge from hilarious to mysterious, a good mix of personalities that are all well developed. I’ll echo what other reviews are saying about Gaz and [more . . .]

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Fantasy/Horror with a Slow Build-up — Promising But Difficult To Review Till More Done

By ArtNJ, member

Jul 18, 2018: Seventeen chapters are posted, and they are mostly very well done, but the build-up is slow enough that things are really just starting to get going. A mercenary captain of a 3 person squad agrees to head into "the Marsh" to look for a Baron’s lost logging team that vanished in mysterious circumstances. She takes on 2 new recruits, and is provided with 2 others by the Baron. The marsh is "corrupted" manifesting in ways unknown, plus creeping cannibalistic trees. There is some effort to revealing the character and to [more . . .]

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