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Tainted Garden

by Jeff Stanley


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Del Rey Books is proud to be publishing Tainted Garden. This powerful first novel from an exciting new writer was selected by online readers as the winner of the Del Rey Online Writing Workshop First Novel Contest in the science fiction category.

Living in a world of deadly wonders and beautiful terrors, the Bhajong and the Gagash are mortal enemies willing to acknowledge no common ground but hatred. The Bhajong live within ools, gargantuan flying creatures with whom they have entered into a parasitic symbiosis that ensures survival at an unspeakable cost. The Gagash dwell deep below the landskin, where they conduct desperate experiments upon their grotesquely misshapen bodies, seeking a way to reverse the mutations that are slowly killing them.

For ages, the Gagash and Bhajong have fought each other to the death at every turn, their animosity unquestioned, unreasoning, unblemished by mercy or curiosity. But that is about to change.

From a dying ool, two strange new forms are birthed into the world: the fruit of a mad god's twisted dream. The first of these creatures, a male, is found by Rian, a hardened Gagash warrior, who brings the stranger back to his home. There, the vengeful interest of a second god, as old and mad as the first, is awakened. Meanwhile, the Lady Dersi, a young Bhajong scheduled to enter symbiosis with her ool, panics and runs, sparking a rebellion that will uncover an ancient secret with the power to challenge even the plans of gods.

Now, as the seeds of an undying enmity reach their final flowering, Rian and Dersi will find themselves pushed into a climactic confrontation with a long-forgotten past--a past whose shocking truths are about to explode into an unimaginable future. . . .

Publication Details

Random House Publishing Group
Ballantine Books
Publication Date:


Jeff Stanley (Author)

Born in 1966 and an avid fantasy and science fiction reader since early childhood, Jeff Stanley is a graduate of the University of South Carolina, where he majored in English Literature. He works and writes in Columbia, South Carolina, where he re...

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Tainted Garden
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