Episode 155: Matthew Hughes – A God in Hiding & The Emir’s Falcon

A chat with award-winning author Matthew Hughes about his newest fantasy novel, A God in Hiding, and his recent young adult outdoor adventure tale, The Emir’s Falcon (Shadowpaw Press).



Amazon Links

A God in Hiding

The Emir’s Falcon

Publisher’s Book Page for The Emir’s Falcon

About the Books

A God in Hiding

In a far-future world of wizards and walled cities, Lieve Reder has risen from being a small chandler’s daughter to become the captain of a riverboat owned by House Bernaglio in the oligarch-run city of Exley. She has ambitions to rise higher and when her employer, the widow Philaria Bernaglio, asks her to travel to the remote desert town of Ur Nazim to retrieve a mysterious item her dead husband, Nulf Bernaglio ordered, she signs on to the quest.

Accompanied by Dai, an artificial human created by one of the mad thaumaturges of Olliphract to be part of the wizards’ deadly war games, she sets out on the perilous journey. But the object she is sent to collect turns out to be one of the abandoned, semi-sentient tools the demiurge used to create the cosmos in which she lives. It’s the kind of entity that can become a god. And other forces seek to possess it for their own purposes.

One challenge leads to another, leading Reder to embark on an even more dangerous quest, to the far northern rim of the world where she must awaken a powerful godlet that just wants to be left to dream in peace.

Along the way, she must contend with the assassins’ guild, secret agents of the Duke of Vanderoy, corruptible officials, a pair of quarreling, elderly wizard brothers, an ensorcelled flying reptile, ogres, cannibal weremen, and a surprise visitor who has the power to upend all of Phenomenality.

Through it all, Reder keeps her eyes on the prize: to move up in the world and make her own destiny.

The Emir’s Falcon

Named one of Spring 2023’s Best Books for Kids & Teens by the Canadian Children’s Book Centre

Finalist for Young Adult Fiction, 2023 High Plains Book Awards

Finalist for Best Crime Novella, 2023 Crime Writers of Canada Awards of Excellence

“She was raised to be free, not some rich man’s pet . . . It’s just not right!”

Bernie Cholach’s dad wants him to take over the family’s rural Alberta feedlot, but Bernie has other ideas: he wants to be a biologist, an interest sparked by his experiences as a volunteer bird handler at a Canadian Wildlife Service facility that breeds and rears peregrine falcons for release into the wild.

Sheik Nasur bin Mukhta, son of a Persian Gulf emir, studying petroleum engineering at the University of Alberta, dutifully accepts his life’s course, laid out for him by his traditionalist culture.

Rosie Leboucan, daughter of a Métis trapper, running her injured dad’s trap line in the Swan Hills, is focused on keeping a roof over their heads and food on the table.

Then the Government of Canada decides to give the emir one of the peregrines as a diplomatic gift. It’s more than Bernie can stand. Impulsively, he takes the bird he has been tending—he’s named it Skyrider—and flees to a remote cabin in the Swan Hills wilderness.

The RCMP mount a search. Nasur, sent by his father to collect the bird, insists on being on the scene—which turns out to be both Rosie’s trapping territory and the territory of a hungry and dangerous mama grizzly bear with cubs.

The paths of the young people and the bear converge—and their coming together will send each in a new direction.

Praise for The Emir’s Falcon

“The Emir’s Falcon is a rich story that soars with action, drama and detail. It raises important issues of cultural and environmental conflict and still entertains and surprises right to the last sentence.” – Arthur Slade, author of Dust, winner of the Governor General’s Award

“One peregrine falcon raised in a breeding facility, to be released into the wilds of northern Alberta. Three older teens from different cultures, their lives already mapped out by parental expectations. An impulsive action by one places that falcon at the crux of a potential international incident and brings all to the brink of catastrophe in the wilderness. A fascinating and insightful read.” – Alison Lohans, author of TimefallDon’t Think Twice, and twenty-eight other books for young people and adults.

About Matthew Hughes

Matthew Hughes
Photo by Liza Groen Trombi, Locus Publications.

Matt (Matthew) Hughes writes fantasy, space opera, and crime fiction. He has sold numerous novels to publishers large and small in the UK, US, and Canada, as well as nearly 100 works of short fiction to professional markets.

He has won the Endeavour and Arthur Ellis Awards, and has been shortlisted for the Aurora, Nebula, Philip K. Dick, Endeavour (twice), A.E. Van Vogt, Neffy, and Derringer Awards.  He has been inducted into the Canadian Science Fiction and Fantasy Association’s Hall of Fame.

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