Novelist Kareem Mahfouz is the latest client of the John Jarrold Literary Agency.

Kareem’s debut fantasy novel, first in a series titled Bonds of Blood, is Death’s Wake. What would you do if you burned alive and were reborn immune to fire’s touch? Or drowned and reawakened able to breathe under water? In Colnarmak death is not always the end, but that power comes at a price. Since the Wars of Balance, the Orphans have sent Guardians to hunt these godless men and women—these ‘Survivors’—with one purpose in mind: to deliver instant and irreversible death. As a small boy, Cole was forced to watch his mother’s brutal murder at the hands of a Survivor; after becoming a Guardian he committed his life to killing his way through his grief. For years he thought his pain was just that, pain. But there are worse things in the world than Survivors . . .

Death’s Wake is a story of revenge and redemption featuring multiple points of view. The novel explores themes of self-destructive human coping mechanisms, which can have dire and adverse effects on those closest to you.

This series sits somewhere between John Gwynne’s The Faithful and the Fallen series and Joe Abercrombie’s The First Law trilogy. Epic in scope, it is very much character driven, has strong grimdark elements, and plenty of dark humour. Recent comparison could be made with Godblind by Anna Stephens.

Kareem said: “Much to my regret I came to reading novels late in life (I believe I was twenty-five) but after picking up a fourth edition omnibus of The Lord of the Rings I have not been without a book since. The more I read the more I wondered if I could write an exciting book. I had an idea for a short story and after writing it decided there was a much bigger tale to tell. Four years later Death’s Wake, a marriage of my comic book/graphic novel love, and epic fantasy was written.  I fell in love with writing, with the craft as much as the story telling. As a result I enrolled in a Literature and Creative Writing degree with the Open University. I’m delighted to say I recently achieved a first class distinction for my second year CW module, and have been encouraged to submit two pieces I scored particularly high in. One, a historical fiction piece that takes place in Dark Age Britain, is called Faith and Sacrifice. The other is a horror/fantasy called To Grow a Monster that I hope to publish in the near future.”

John Jarrold said: “I see around thirty-five agency submissions every week and maybe four times a year something really leaps out at me.  The depth of characterisation and wonderful invention in Kareem’s novel gripped me and had me emotionally invested throughout.  It’s dark – and humorous – and quite fascinating. He’s special.”


Kareem is the Health and Fitness manager at a health centre in Lincolnshire. He is also the administrator of the Fantasy Writers Bar group on Facebook and a member of The Fantasy Hive team (http://fantasy-hive.co.uk/) . He is on Twitter at: @OfWolfandMouse



• July 30th, 2018 • Posted in News