The Secret of the Scroll

Tyrant Book 1

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Pub Date 25 Nov 2021 | Archive Date 22 Aug 2022

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A mysterious device with unknown powers

A man desperate to impress a tyrant King

A city plunged into deadly turmoil

Never trust a demon. Or fall in love with a witch.

Remarkable, addictive and lots of fun

Stephen Leather

Wonderful characters, awesome story, written from the heart

Jackie Stewart

Addictive, watch out!

Laurence O'Bryan

A witch summons supernatural assistance in her attempt to overthrow a tyrant king but discovers the key to the king’s downfall lies instead in the hands of a boy.

In a world where the King has supreme power which he uses to oppress and terrorise, a fifteen-year old’s attempt to impress has catastrophic results. His only hope of saving his friends lies in an uneasy alliance with his father’s arch-enemy in a desperate quest to discover the source of the power he has unleashed. Pursued by the wrath of the King and denizens of the underworld, they make a dash for safety in the company of a sorceress who retains a steely ambition to usurp the King.

Two young girls, caught up in the mayhem, become separated from their parents and are forced to flee the city in the company of an itinerant ruffian who wants nothing more than a quiet life without responsibility. His worst fears are realised as he fights to keep the girls safe against overwhelming odds.

A mysterious device with unknown powers

A man desperate to impress a tyrant King

A city plunged into deadly turmoil

Never trust a demon. Or fall in love with a witch.

Remarkable, addictive and...

Advance Praise

"Jeanette Greaves

5.0 out of 5 stars Swords, sorcery and a very reluctant hero.

Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 2 December 2021

Tyrant just wants to be left alone, thank you very much. Unfortunately for him, he is dragged into the lives of people ... and demons ... with much more complicated lives.

This is a fast paced adventure with a wide cast of characters who are mostly dealing with the consequences of other people's actions. It's wise and witty and amusing and I loved it.


5.0 out of 5 stars Get ready to curl up in your reading chair and get immersed in this great book!

Reviewed in the United States on 7 February 2022

Verified Purchase

Engaging fantasy story that you won’t be able to put down. A must read in its genre.

Glen Davis

5.0 out of 5 stars Demons with personality, now that's a bit different

Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 25 January 2022

Verified Purchase

At the start there's reference to this misogynistic world that had me thinking this was heading into Woke world. Then came the stroppy, clueless teenager who with his friends seemed to talk and act a lot younger than I'd expect from a 15 year old.

Fortunately there's more to it and the coming of age element didn't spoil this fantastic story.

There is a dark humour to it that I enjoyed and it sort of poses the question can you use evil to fight evil?

Things don't go quite to plan which leads to an ever more complicated and dangerous set of misadventures.

There's plenty of great characters and that most definitely includes the demons central to this highly entertaining story.

I'm really looking forward to the next book"

"Jeanette Greaves

5.0 out of 5 stars Swords, sorcery and a very reluctant hero.

Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 2 December 2021

Tyrant just wants to be left alone, thank you very much. Unfortunately...

Available Editions

ISBN 9781909607132
PRICE $2.99 (USD)

Average rating from 16 members

Featured Reviews

When I started to read this book it was not quite what I expected and I started to think this is not the genre for me. Many hours later after reading straight though (except stopping for drinks and food). I thought maybe it was !
Definitely buying the next in the series to see where the story goes from here.

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This was an easily readable tale and captivating enough that I completed the book in one sitting. Being the first time I have read anything by this author, I look forward to reading some more.

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I really loved this bookfrom startto finish.i knew from when I read the blurb that I would enjoy it. Never a dull moment. Thanks so much for the opportunity

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Thanks, Netgalley and Publisher for the opportunity to read and review!
A very intriguing read with very captivating characters. It's always nice to read a story that balances its narrative and development between the heroes and the villains. It starts a little bit slow but the narrative gets you engrossed and the plot blooms with every next page. I will definitely read more from the author.

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DJ Harrison does a wonderful Job of creating a story, that in my opinion, is a very different fantasy!
Filled with Demons, magic, steel and swords....YES!

But the first novels twist is that there is no clear, main character. All of them are so real, that the closest you get are Anti-heros. The human flaws that flesh them out and make them real, mean that they don't stand out in the traditional sense.

Is it Tyrant, who is an unwitting participant in every aspect of the story, but simultaneously so vital. ( the series is clearly named.for him),

Ant, who by his fathers meddling in magic, draws him into a need to find his friends, kill the king, and become what is he is destined for.
...which is not revealed.

Malachi, clearly a wizard, with gift for manipulation, but also a gift for failure when he should so surely succeed...good, bad, his intentions murky at best...

Or Lone, such a powerful woman, but still so clearly tethered by her Gender in a male dominant world..

The story cleverly takes a non-linear path and even though it doesn't arrive at a concrete conclusion in one book, it deftly leaves you wanting more with such unique occurrences and world bulding...

Fans of Abercrombie will love it!

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A funny, magical quest story of a boy drawn into demon conjuring, a sorceror who may or not be evil depending on your point of view a king who holds on to his throne through fear, a reluctant demon disguised as a silly looking horse, 2 girls looking for their parents and the protectors and enemies they encounter.
I really enjoyed this, it has a flavour of Pratchett with a undercurrent of menace and danger. I am really looking forward to the next installment.

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Tyrant loves to do his own thing, and just wants to be left alone. Lone the witch has other plans, can Tyrant finally escape her clutches? and if he does will he survive?

Ant trying to impress his friends, creates some kind of portal they get sucked into, with his town in chaos and the king turning on his own people, Ant is sentenced to be hung. When he survives, he finds himself on an epic journey with witches and demons, but will his thirst for revenge be his downfall?

Malachi determined to win his kings ear finds himself instead trying to escape the kings wrath. Now with his wife's arrival, can their plan be salvaged?

Patch, unfortunately too curious for his own good, finds himself in a position he finds demeaning. Is he more than he seems, and will he get what he wants?

This was an enjoyable first in series read and I look forward to reading more.
Thank you to Open Circle Publishing for the ARC on NetGalley.
#DJHarrison #TheSecretoftheScroll #NetGalley

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I received a copy of this book from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

This book got off to a little bit of a slow start but by a quarter of the way in I was hooked. This is a book about people messing with magic they don't understand and living in the context of an authoritarian regime. Great worldbuilding, although at first the book began in a way that felt it over explained rather than showing the world building, this issue resolved as the book progressed. The book ends with a lot left unresolved and is clearly setting the stage for the next book (which I am eager to read).
There are some feminist themes of the book that are not fully explored but hints that more might be coming in future books.

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