Danger lurking under cities, who doesn’t love that sort of thrill?
I’ve personally always known there was more to the story of the underground world right beneath our feet; it’s why I’ve developed a survival ability to avoid subway grates and glance narrow-eyed at gutters when I pass them by. That’s just the smart thing to do.
Phil Williams’ first in a series, Under Ordshaw, confirmed all my suspicions. It’s a story of underground secrets and magic, the best possible combination for a mystery.
Today’s Storyteller’s on Tour blog tour celebrates the release of Under Ordshaw’s audiobook, so keep scrolling for a sample! It’ll soon be available on Audible.
But first, check out the tour’s schedule here, to visit all of the other hosts’ amazing contributions.
Welcome to Ordshaw.
Don’t look down.
Pax is one rent cheque away from the unforgiving streets of Ordshaw. After her stash is stolen, her hunt forthe thief unearths a book of nightmares and a string of killers, and she stands to lose much more than her home.
There’s something lurking under her city.
Knowing it’s there could get you killed.
This blend of urban fantasy and contemporary thriller takes you on a journey into the heart of Ordshaw, in the company of such richly imagined characters that you won’t want to leave.
Get it now.
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Author: Phil Williams
Audio book published soon on Audible
Narrated by: Fran Burgoyne
Series: Ordshaw #1
Genres: Urban Fantasy Thriller, Contemporary Fantasy, British Contemporary, Horror subgenres
Pax had not slept. Years of enduring poker games that stretched into oblivion had taught her you could always ﬁnd a second wind if you waited long enough. Or a third, or fourth. Rather than struggle to rest, she studied Rufaizu’s book while she waited for the Ministry oﬃces to open. After reading about glogockles and surveying tunnel layouts, she decoded notes on other unnatural creatures, taking satisfaction in solving the puzzles. She decoded the headings for The Drummer Horse, Invisible Proclaimers, and Tuckles before focusing on the entry for the Sickle in detail. Its image was a thing of nightmares, a humanoid torso atop four canine legs, with long, curved claws instead of hands. Its face had no eyes, just a jagged-toothed jawline that ran from top to bottom rather than left to right. The short misspelt paragraph curating it gave her the idea that Apothel was not exactly a scholar.
Sickles patrol on set lines. Strongest sense is touch; they look for vibrashans from movement. No eyes, no nose, no ears. Stay still and quiet, they mite not know your there. If cornered by a sickle, get the back legs, they lose balance easy. Sickles are very fast. Teef and claws rip ﬂesh. Avoid – do not ﬁte.
In the margin she found a clue to another person’s involvement in this strange enterprise. A triumphant addendum read: Tell that to Citizen Barton!
Pax leafed through the book, looking for other names. She reached a long section with no images and a single solitary note in the margin: Probably inaccurate. She translated the title, Layer Fae. One to come back to. Following that was a list, with pictures of different containers: jars, cylinders and an elaborate ﬂagon that gave Pax a yearning for a medieval banquet. Nothing like the object she’d taken from Rufaizu’s place, though.
Continuing, she found a couple of pages stuck together and peeled them apart. She hadn’t seen this one before, when she’d been looking for clues to the cypher. The image made Pax pause.
A full-page sketch depicted the insignia from Casaria’s business card. There were symbols around it, passionately thick and underlined. It seemed Rufaizu, if the annotations were really his, wanted whoever found this book to know what this page had to say, because he’d already translated each block of text in small lettering:
Do not trust the Ministry of Environmental Energy.
“Jesus Christ,” Pax said. She turned the page, but there was no more information. The book devolved into the half-dozen pages of short riddles, then, with their scattered words around them. Apparently Rufaizu had been trying to solve them.
And there ended the book.
Pax sat back and stared at the leather-bound tome. It was pure fantasy, except that it had thrown doubt on her plan of getting in touch with the Ministry.
Under Ordshaw is available at
Phil Williams was born in the commuter-belt of Hertfordshire, where he learnt to escape a comfortable life through sinister fantasy fiction. His erratic career has variously involved the study of language and relationships – and took him to such locations as Prague, Moscow and Abu Dhabi. He finally settled on the quiet Sussex seaside, where he lives in Worthing with his wife and his fluffy dog, Herbert. He divides his time between writing educational books that help people better understand English and fantasy books that help people better escape reality.
So he tells himself.
Phil’s novel series include: Ordshaw: a collection of urban fantasy thrillers set in and around the UK city of Ordshaw – a place where dark secrets threaten the modern world. The Sunken City trilogy follows card sharp Pax Kuranes’ introduction to a labyrinthine conspiracy, starting with Under Ordshaw. Expect monsters, diminutive fairies and a mystery that’ll take a lot of late nights to unravel.
Estalia: starting with Phil’s debut novel, Wixon’s Day, in 2012, this post-apocalyptic series explores a dystopia powered by steam. With reconstructed steampunk machines and an anarchist government, Estaliais a deadly place that gets more tense and chaotic with each instalment in the series.
His work also includes stories set in the post-World War 3 dystopia of Faergrowe (including A Most Apocalyptic Christmas and an upcoming five-book action-thriller arc starting with The Worst Survive), as well as various standalone stories and screenplays.
CD mockup by DribbleGraphics