The Whitefire Crossing

Publication date: August 1, 2011 (Night Shade Books)

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The Whitefire CrossingDev is a smuggler with the perfect cover. He's in high demand as a guide for the caravans that carry legitimate goods from the city of Ninavel into the country of Alathia. The route through the Whitefire Mountains is treacherous, and Dev is one of the few climbers who knows how to cross them safely. With his skill and connections, it's easy enough to slip contraband charms from Ninavel - where any magic is fair game, no matter how dark - into Alathia, where most magic is outlawed.

But smuggling a few charms is one thing; smuggling a person through the warded Alathian border is near suicidal. Having made a promise to a dying friend, Dev is forced to take on a singularly dangerous cargo: Kiran. A young apprentice on the run from one of the most powerful mages in Ninavel, Kiran is desperate enough to pay a fortune to sneak into a country where discovery means certain execution - and he'll do whatever it takes to prevent Dev from finding out the terrible truth behind his getaway.

Yet Kiran isn't the only one harboring a deadly secret. Caught up in a web of subterfuge and dark magic, Dev and Kiran must find a way to trust each other - or face not only their own destruction, but that of the entire city of Ninavel.


"It's not very often that I get to say this, but Courtney Schafer's The Whitefire Crossing is the complete package. Fully developed characters. Across the board world-building. Intriguing magic. Accomplished writing. Engaging storytelling. Thrilling adventure... Add it all up and there's no doubt in my mind that The Whitefire Crossing is not only one of the best fantasy debuts of 2011, but it's also one of the year's best fantasy novels period..." (Read the full review)
-Robert Thompson of Fantasy Book Critic

"Schafer's fantasy first novel is a welcome variation on the apprentice mage and thief fantasy adventure...grabs you from the start, with a couple of characters struggling to overcome horrible pasts, and proving surprisingly likeable despite their flaws."
-Locus Magazine

"The Whitefire Crossing is a wonderful and enjoyable fantasy debut from a new and talented author. If you're looking for a new and entertaining fantasy adventure, you must read this book. It's an adventure of the highest order and it's one of the best and finest fantasy books of 2011. Highly recommended!" (Read the full review)
-Seregil of Rising Shadow

"Whitefire is one of the best novels I've read in 2011...What starts off as an adventure novel of rock climbing and trekking quickly turns into a full blown fantasy romp full of magic, ne'er-do-wells, and flawed heroes. I'm always nervous when I recommend a book this highly, especially when it doesn't do something that's going to change the genre. But what can I say? Schafer's debut novel totally charmed me and I can't wait to read her sequel..." (Read the full review)
-Justin Landon of Staffer's Musings

"This book is in the running for favorite book of the year I've read...Top-rope yourself up into Schafer's world of mountains and magic." (Read the full review)
-Paul Weimer of SF Signal

"What do you get when you mix blood magic, smuggling, and a wild chase across a treacherous mountain range? If you guess The Whitefire Crossing, then you probably read the title of this review post. What you also get is a marvelous fantasy debut by Courtney Schafer, and the first in a series of books in a world where the simple act of casting a spell can be a death sentence...either for the caster or those around him." (Read the full review)
-J.R. Vogt of Examiner.com

"Smuggling, magic, secret identities, a dark mage coming after the heroes, a grand adventure and trek over dangerous mountains...Schafer's world-building is exquisite...I can't recommend this book enough." (Read the full review)

"Wow. Simply Wow...The fact that this is Courtney's debut novel leaves me in absolute awe...The Whitefire Crossing is a suspenseful romp through a well-built world of intrigue and dark magic." (Read the full review)
-Think Banned Thoughts

"The Whitefire Crossing, the debut novel of Courtney Schafer, is an exciting adventure fantasy in a unique world...Schafer does an phenomenal job of making you care about these characters." (Read the full review)
-King of the Nerds

"You read fantasy and you wish you could become a wizard detective, a clever thief, Superman...but, a rock-climber? That's precisely what I wished to become after I was done with Courtney Schafer's debut novel, The Whitefire Crossing...a very promising debut which I highly recommend." (Read the full review)
-Bastard Books (posted on Only the Best SciFi

"When I finished The Whitefire Crossing, not only did I want to be able to wield sweet magical powers and amulets and charms, but I really wanted to go mountain climbing...I really enjoyed myself with this one." (Read the full review)
-Seak of Only the Best SciFi (posted on Bastard Books)

"There's a magical city in the desert, near impassable mountain range, backstabbing, mages battling for survival, desperate survivors on the run, rock climbing, and even a hint of romance. So whether you choose to call The Whitefire Crossing epic fantasy, heroic fantasy, adventure fantasy or speculative fiction, it is the debut of a new author talent and new fantasy trilogy that I look forward to seeing more of." (Read the full review)