A three-masted sailing ship is nearing a mountainous bay. The sun is rising or setting over a mountain-top palace. Above the gold-lettered title "The Empress of Timbra"m we see a pale young face with blue eyes staring at the reader.

The Empress of Timbra

Award-winning author Karen Healey and co-writer Robyn Fleming have created thrilling high fantasy adventure in an intricate world of magic and intrigue.

My father’s eyes were steady on my face as I blew out the last bubbles of my breath. I pressed my knife into his hand but he could not make his fingers close around the hilt. I screamed for help with my first lungful of air, and dove again with my second.

I was too late.

Fourteen-year-old Taver didn’t know he was a nobleman’s bastard until his real father died. Eleven-year-old Elaku has always known she was the bastard daughter of the same nobleman. When the two siblings meet in the Empress of Timbra’s palace, they become fast friends.

Around them, intrigue and rumour swirl.

Not everybody is happy with the rule of the Empress of Timbra. Some have plans for Taver and Elaku. And when treachery and war threaten their home, Taver and Elaku must rely on their magic, their wits, and each other to have any chance of preventing disaster.

"An unexpected delight"

“[A]n unexpected delight… a very full book – and a fast one, for all its varied pieces, with interesting world building and cool cultural asides.”

– Liz Bourke, Locus

"Looking forward to more"

“I was reminded by turns of Diana Wynne Jones and, strongly, of Sherwood Smith. […] I hope that the book is a signpost to future developments in the genre. Either way, I’m looking forward to more.”

– Electra Pritchett, Strange Horizons

"A joy."

“The tension from classified magic, embellished history, and the terrible truth of what really happened, makes the story difficult to put down and a joy to pick up. […] The Empress of Timbra is a masterpiece of escapism.”

– Alisha Tyson, The Sapling

Clever, captivating, heartfelt

“Reminiscent of the best of Robin Hobb, Tamora Pierce and Trudi Canavan, The Empress of Timbra is a clever, captivating and heartfelt read accessible to fantasy lovers of any age.”

– Foz Meadows, A Strange and Stubborn Endurance.


“[The Empress of Timbra] gives me the same feels as the Patricia McKillip/Tamora Pierce fantasy adventures I read as a teen. Just wonderful!”

– Stephanie Burgis, The Dragon with a Chocolate Heart, Snowspelled.

"Heady pleasure"

“This book made me remember the heady pleasure of being a kid consumed by reading.”

– Marianne Kirby, Dust Bath Revival

Karen Healey

Karen Healey is the award-winning author of thoughtful fantasy, science fiction, and magical romance for adults and young adults.