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The Blackened Yonder

The Blackened Yonder (Planar Lost: Book One)

"A work that is rich in worldbuilding, presenting a vivid and immersive fantasy setting filled with religion, magic, and political intrigue."


A Literary Titan Gold Book Award Winner!


In this introspective dark fantasy novel from author J. Gibson, rebellious Athenne, a young woman, hesitantly joins an underground resistance group called the Saints of Aetheria. Told through multiple perspectives, The Blackened Yonder is perfect for fans of gritty, thoughtful series like A Song of Ice and Fire and The Poppy War.


In her home nation of Reneris, Athenne befriends Uldyr, a member of the Saints. Traveling together to the Sacred Empire, he mentors her in their dangerous mission to overthrow restrictions on magic imposed by the authoritarian Matrian Church. As part of their ambition to free the use of magic, the Saints plan a dramatic attack to destroy one of the Church's most sacred sites, the Iron Court.


At the same time, Father Garron, a village priest, survives a horrific attack by undead creatures that massacre his parish. Left traumatized, Garron travels to the Imperial capital to warn the Church's leaders about this supernatural plague. But as he recovers under the Church’s suspect protection, Garron begins questioning their severe methods, and his faith itself.


When her group is ambushed by the Knights of Faith, a cult that worships one of the heathen gods, Athenne is shown apocalyptic visions that make her question the future of the Saints' quest, and her own role in it. Yet machinations are underway as both the rebel mages and the Matrian Church vie for control over the fate of magic and the Empire.

A Literary Titan Gold Book Award Winner!

"J. Gibson has crafted a work that is rich in worldbuilding, presenting a vivid and immersive fantasy setting filled with religion, magic, and political intrigue. Readers will be drawn into the well-paced mystery plot and the subtly-laid clues surrounding the undeath plague while also appreciating the complexity of the characters and their interwoven storylines."

—K.C. Finn, Readers' Favorite

"A striking beginning to what promises to be a captivating series. Its intricate character development and immersive storytelling make it a noteworthy addition to the dark fantasy genre and leaves the reader eagerly awaiting the next installment."

Literary Titan

"An epic fantasy that will take you on an amazing journey, The Blackened Yonder is an incredible novel. It has the perfect mixture of religion, horror, faith, action, thrills, mystery, and magic in a tale of two incredible characters."

—Rabia Tanveer, Readers' Favorite

"The world Gibson builds is rich, complete with its own political structure, religious beliefs, and societal customs. The characters grapple with complex themes of power, faith, and morality."

—Asher Syed, Readers' Favorite

"The story is fast-paced, with extensive work done on the characters' backgrounds and story construction and description, allowing me to create vivid images of the scenes and characters. Gibson does an excellent job enabling me to familiarize myself with and better understand the characters, their stories, and what reasons and beliefs drove them when certain paths and situations arose."

—Ana-Maria Leasa, Readers' Favorite

"I love books with strong female characters, and The Blackened Yonder by J. Gibson did not disappoint. Gibson also used suspense to great effect, which made me look forward to subsequent chapters as the complex storylines unfolded."

—Frank Mutuma, Readers' Favorite

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