Philosofiction

Steve Bein, writer & philosopher

Find all of the Fated Blades novels at Powell's, Barnes & Noble, Amazon, and Audible, or from your favorite neighborhood bookstore.

The newest addition to the saga of the Fated Blades is the novella Streaming Dawn, an e-book exclusive available for any platform.

 

There is no place the Wind cannot reach.

The latest addition to the Fated Blades series revisits familiar characters in ancient Japan. Streaming Dawn is available as a downloadable e-book for only $2.99 at your favorite online bookseller.

Visit Powell’sBarnes & NobleAmazon, and Audible to order the Fated Blades trilogy in paperback, e-book, or audiobook. 

Disciple of the Wind

When Tokyo falls victim to a deadly terrorist attack, Detective Sergeant Mariko Oshiro knows who is responsible, even if she doesn’t have proof. She urges her commanding officers to arrest the perpetrator—an insane zealot who was just released from police custody. When her pleas fall on deaf ears, she loses her temper and then her badge, as well as her best chance of fighting back. 

Left on her own, and armed with only her cunning and her famed Inazuma blade, Mariko must work outside the system to stop a terrorist mastermind. But going rogue draws the attention of an underground syndicate known as the Wind. For centuries, they have controlled Japanese politics from the shadows, using mystical relics to achieve their nefarious ends—relics like Mariko’s own sword and the iron demon mask whose evil curse is bound to the blade. Now the Wind is set on acquiring Mariko.

Mariko is left with a perilous choice: join an illicit insurgency to thwart a deadly villain, or remain true to the law. Either way, she cannot escape her sword’s curse. As sure as the blade will bring her to victory, it also promises to destroy her.


Year of the Demon

Detective Sergeant Mariko Oshiro has been promoted to Japan’s elite Narcotics unit—and with this promotion comes a new partner, a new case, and new danger. The underboss of a powerful yakuza crime syndicate has put a price on her head, and he’ll lift the bounty only if she retrieves an ancient iron demon mask that was stolen from him in a daring raid. However, Mariko has no idea of the tumultuous past carried within the mask—or of its deadly link with the famed Inazuma blade she wields.

The secret of this mask originated hundreds of years before Mariko was born, and over time the mask’s power has evolved to bend its owner toward destruction, stopping at nothing to obtain Inazuma steel. Mariko’s fallen sensei knew much of the mask’s hypnotic power and of its mysterious link to a murderous cult. Now Mariko must use his notes to find the mask before the cult can bring Tokyo to its knees—and before the underboss decides her time is up.

Vibrant and unforgettable characters combine with Japanese history and fast-paced action to create an urban fantasy for fans of Asian culture.
— Library Journal (starred review)
Bein combines the best parts of police procedurals, buddy-cop films, historical fantasy, and intrigue-laden adventure, enhancing them with painstaking research and attention to atmosphere.
— Publishers Weekly
I am utterly addicted to this series! Steve Bein avoids sophomore slump with brilliant ease in this sequel to Daughter of the Sword, and continues to surprise and captivate with exquisite tension and terrific characters in an amazingly well-crafted mystery. I can’t wait for the next one!
— Diana Rowland, author of Touch of the Demon
Steve Bein gives out a strong sophomore effort that proves he’s not a one-book wonder. Year of The Demon is… a good follow-up to one of my favorite debuts of all time.
— Fantasy Book Critic
Bein excels beyond any history lover’s wildest imagination with exceptionally researched, vivid descriptions of ancient Japan.
— RT Book Reviews
There’s no doubting the authenticity of Bein’s creation..
— Kirkus Review
This is very much not your typical urban fantasy…. In a field that lends itself so often to copycat rehash novels of whatever trope is currently popular, it is fantastic to find a novel that doesn’t use any of them. Part thriller, part police procedural, part historical and part urban fantasy, Year of the Demon is simply a book for people who like to read.
— All Things Urban Fantasy

Daughter of the Sword

Read the first two chapters of Daughter of the Sword for free!

THE STARRED REVIEW FROM PUBLISHERS WEEKLY,August 27, 2012:

Bein's gripping debut is a meticulously researched, highly detailed blend of urban and historical fantasy set in modern Tokyo. Detective Sergeant Mariko Oshiro is fighting an uphill battle against sexism and tradition in the narcotics division of the Tokyo police. Her antagonistic boss assigns her to a mundane case involving the attempted theft of a sword, but it gets a lot less boring when Mariko winds up on the trail of a ruthless killer.

As she learns the hidden history behind a trio of ancient magical swords, Mariko discovers that she may be destined to wield one of them. Alternating segments switch between Mariko's present-day adventures and other owners of the swords throughout history. Bein's scrupulous attention to verisimilitude helps bring all the settings to life, respectfully showcasing Japan's distinctive cultures and attitudes.

Daughter of the Sword really captured my imagination. The interweaving of historical Japanese adventure and modern police procedural, Tokyo-style, caught me from two unexpected directions. A tight read, lots of great tension, and epic stakes.
— Jay Lake, author of Endurance
A strikingly original saga blending contemporary thriller and historical fantasy. Enthralling ... A noir modern Tokyo overwhelmed by the shadows of Japanese history. The research is convincing, the touch light. A compelling multifaceted vision of a remarkable culture, and a great page-turner.
— Stephen Baxter, author of Stone Spring
It knocked my socks off. I couldn’t put it down ... Daughter of the Sword is an urban fantasy novel that is absolutely different than any other urban fantasy novel I’ve read before, written with an infectious passion, a soft touch, and an understanding that transcended its pages. This is a series to watch out for.
— Bookworm Blues
Daughter of the Sword reads like James Clavell’s Shogun would have if it had been crossed with high fantasy by way of a police procedural.
— Otherwhere Gazette
An authentic and riveting thrill ride through both ancient and modern Japan. Definitely a winner.
— Kylie Chan, author of Heaven to Wudang
One of the best debuts I have ever read…an epic tale that heralds the emergence of a major talent.
— Fantasy Book Critic
A sharp and superb urban fantasy, Daughter of the Sword is the perfect melding of skillful prose, fascinating characters, and compelling story. Steve Bein effortlessly combines history and legend with a modern procedural in a book that will have you staying up late to finish it.
— Diana Rowland, author of Sins of the Demon
[An] impressive debut…Bein’s breadth of knowledge about Japanese culture and history makes this story believable and will satisfy anyone looking for a fast-paced mystery with a fantasy edge.
— RT Book Reviews
Beautiful writing, a smart and resilient protagonist who meets her match in a coldly demented villain.
— All Things Urban Fantasy
A great police procedural urban fantasy that deftly rotates between Mariko in present day Japan and other warriors in past eras.
— Genre Go Round Reviews

Only a Shadow

An eBook companion to the Fated Blades series. Available on Kindle and Nook. 

The Tiger on the Mountain is a legendary blade, crafted by Japan’s greatest sword smith and reputed to possess magical powers. In 1442 Japan, the sword dwells inside the impregnable fortress of Hirata Nobushige, sworn enemy of the Iga clan.

Venerable shinobi Iga Jujiro has recruited a brave young ninja named Tada to steal the sword and restore power to the Iga clan. If Tada is successful, he’ll go from being the clan’s orphaned ward to a legend for the ages—and he’ll win the right to ask for Old Jujiro’s granddaughter’s hand in marriage. If he fails, the clan faces annihilation.

Getting inside the castle is next to impossible. Getting out is inconceivable. But as Tada prepares himself for one of the boldest thefts in history, the greatest obstacle he faces may just prove to be himself…