- High/Dark Fantasy Fiction by Barb Hendee and J.C. Hendee

Official site for the high/dark fantasy books of authors Barb Hendee and J. C. Hendee, including the Noble Dead Saga (a.k.a. The Noble Dead series), the Mist-Torn Witches series, the Vampire Memories series, and TNDS: Tales from the world of the Noble Dead Saga.

T·N·D·S: Tales from the world of the Noble Dead Saga

No knowledge of the Noble Dead Saga or related works is necessary to read and enjoy these stories. Readers new to this world can step into it through any of these short works. When one or more link together, subsequent stories mention “sequel to…” on their covers to guide you. Even so, each is self-contained enough to be your first adventure into this world.

Select from the submenu bar to view “tales” by collection, series, and other groupings and then select a cover or other links that appear.

Links for Purchase

All such lead to the ebook edition page on the book vendor's site; most are only available as ebooks. If you have difficulty with any link herein, please report the specific problem through our “Contact” section.


Nearly all linked vendor pages have text previews available from the ebook edition. Selecting the vendor of your choice will present you preview options. Some of the more current releases were produced with assistance through N.D. Author Services (NDAS).

“Bones of the Earth”





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Homeward 1:

The Game Piece

Barb Hendee

Short story, 14k+ words
ISBN-13: 9780985561604
ISBN-10: 0985561602
BNID: 2940014558389
English Only; purchase outside the USA available at most vendors directly or through their regional subsites.

In his youth, Loni never felt that he fit in anywhere, even among his family or his people — the Lhoin’na or the elves of the central continent. As he dwells on tales told to him by a doting grandmother, he begins to believe he might have been born in the wrong time.

One scant tale of a past age hints that the legendary Sorhkafâré led some of Loni’s people to the east at the end of the great mythical war. Loni dreams of those forgotten Departed ones, wondering if their descendants still exist. The answer may be more and less than he hoped in his quest to find where he belongs.

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Homeward 2:

The Feral Path

Barb Hendee

Short Story, ~12k Words
ISBN-13: 9780985561628
ISBN-10: 0985561629
BNID: 2940014740081
English Only; purchase outside the USA available at most vendors directly or through their regional subsites.

Rashed, one of the Noble Dead and a vampire, has killed his maker and master, Lord Corische. Fleeing his master’s keep in Stravina, he takes with him Teesha, Ratboy, and his brother, Parko. At first, all four relish freedom in their separate ways, but they soon learn that freedom has its dangers for their kind.

Without a master, Parko quickly loses himself to the Feral Path, that seductive sensuality of being unrestrained in the hunt and the kill. Ratboy feels this call as well but is caught between this desire and his need for companionship and safety. Teesha, reeling much more than she expected at being “homeless,” wants only a new place in the world of their own making.

Rashed is tangled in all of this by his sense of responsibility for his companions. Most of all, he’s determined that Teesha never feel lost again. He’ll do anything to create a home for heranything.

Ratboy continues to struggle against his longing to be free of self-restraint, to hunt and kill at will. Sometimes he succeeds against his baser instincts, and sometimes he doesn’t. Then one night, when he loses the battle, his actions threaten everything that Rashed has managed to achieve… including Teesha’s safety.

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Homeward 3:

The Sapphire

Barb Hendee

Short story, 12k+ words
ISBN-13: 9780985561635
ISBN-10: 0985561637
BNID: 2940014740081
English Only; purchase outside the USA available at most vendors directly or through their regional subsites.

What is the price for eternal love?

What is the cost to keep it forever?

After fleeing from the small port town of Miiskaand the threat of a vampire hunter’s bladeRatboy finds himself alone in the king’s city of Bela, having left his two companions, Rashed and Teesha behind. Lost and lonely at first, he soon realizes that he has a chance to reinvent himself, to take on a new name and a new identity. Then… he sees a young woman with bright blue eyes, and he falls in love for the first time.

Unfortunately, he can’t quite see that she’s a gold-digging prostitute. But love is blind. He’s determined to make her his own, make her immortal, give her anything she wants, and make her happy. However, keeping her happy soon proves a daunting task, one that will require desperate measures and all his cunning.

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Homeward 4:

The Keepers

Barb Hendee

Short story, 12k+ words
ISBN-13: 9780985561642
ISBN-10: 0985561645
BNID: 2940014827027
English Only; purchase outside the USA available at most vendors directly or through their regional subsites.

Young Jan is stunned when his father, Cadell, the “zupan” and leader of the region’s villages, is offered the vassal lordship of the local keep. His father is about as far from nobility as anyone could be. For some reason, the nobles of the house of Äntes, the rulers of Jan’s province, have been unable to keep a vassal there for twenty yearsas those appointed have fled the place in the nightand the Äntes may have grown desperate enough to throw the position at Jan’s father.

The last place Jan wants to live is a decrepit, dark little fortress above a village of superstitious peasants. But when his father accepts the position, Jan finds himself swept off to the abandoned keep above the village of Chemestúk. The situation there is darker and more serious than he, his mother, or his father bargained for.

The local peasants won’t go near the keep; something terrible happened up there twenty years ago. Soon enough, Jan and his mother begin to learn why no vassal has ever remained in that place for more than a moon. And the darkness upon the keep is greater than mere superstition.

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Homeward 5:

The Reluctant Guardian

Barb Hendee

Short story, 12k+ words
ISBN-13: 9780985561659
ISBN-10: 0985561653
ASIN: B0095Y50L6
BNID: 2940015128253
English Only; purchase outside the USA available at most vendors directly or through their regional subsites.

After Bieja flees her home in the village of Chemestúk, burned to the ground in a civil war, she soon realizes she has only one place left to go. Her niece, Magiere, owns a little tavern in the port town of Miiskawhich is unfortunately a long journey away on the west coast. Bieja has never traveled more than a few leagues from her hut in all of her life.

Undaunted all the same, she sets off through her war-torn homeland with what she could scavenge from the blackened remains of her village. All too soon, she finds herself on unfamiliar paths and facing the risk of both deserters and conscripted soldiers who are as desperate as she is. She has always been independent, but she might not survive this journey alone… until happenstance trips her up with a most unusual guardian.

The problem is, this guardian might be as dangerous as anything else Bieja will have to face.

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Homeward 6:


Sequel to The Keepers

Barb Hendee

Short story, 12k+ words
ISBN-13: 9780985561680
ISBN-10: 0985561688
ASIN: B00C8W215K
BNID: 2940016516387
English Only; purchase outside the USA available at most vendors directly or through their regional subsites.

Jan, son of Nadia and Cadell, is conscripted along with every able male in Chemestúk by one faction in a rising civil war. Soon after, another faction burns the village to the ground, leaving Jan’s parents and other survivors to seek refuge in an aging keep.

Inside the worn and crumbling stronghold, young and long-ago orphaned Julianna hides away with the survivors and Jan’s parents. Left to wonder if he or any others of their men will survive to return home, all she can do is help those around her.

When armed deserters come to raid the keep, Julianna is lost in how to best help Nadia and Cadell, the village elders, keep everyone alive. Soon, she faces choices and actions she never would have even considered in better days.

Meanwhile, Jan has only his wit and trickery, his charming appeal to women and his violin, all of which he has leaned upon too often in a lazy life. To his shock, he realizes these limited skills are not enough to save him as he is pressed into a forced march toward the front line of a battle.

Neither Jan nor Julianna had ever given serious thought to their feelings for each other. Now separated, they both realize they’ve lost someone important. How far are they willing to go and what can they live with, to stay alive and find each other again?

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Homeward 7:


Sequel to Captives

Barb Hendee

Short story, 19k+ words
ISBN-13: 9780985561697
ISBN-10: 0985561696
BNID: 2940016707815
English Only; purchase outside the USA available at most vendors directly or through their regional subsites.

Would you leave behind all that you know to help the one you love find himself?

Each autumn, Jan awaits his aunt and uncle’s arrival to enjoy a season on the open road with them in earning his keep with his violin. Julianna isn’t looking forward to his absence, and then Jan’s mother asks her to accompany Jan in traveling with their family of the Móndyalítko, the “world’s little children.”

Julianna has never set foot outside her home village, but she is eager if a little wary to see more of the world among this strange traveling people. Jan finds a new joy in showing her that world as his buried feelings for her begin to resurface. But when the family reaches their first stop to perform, a bizarre series of attacks suddenly plagues the townspeople.

Jan’s ever-traveling family of outsiders is instantly suspected. He and Julianna throw themselves into growing danger as they strive in their separate ways to find the true culprit. Julianna soon discovers the source of these horrors might be too close to the suspicions of the townspeople… close enough that it may be too late to save herself or Jan.

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Homeward 8:

The Sleeping Curse

Sequel to Claws

Barb Hendee

Short story, 16k+ words
eISBN: 1230000148920
BNID: 2940148310310
English Only; purchase outside the USA available at most vendors directly or through their regional subsites.

The cost of a cure can be worse than the curse.

Julianna, along with Jan’s entire Móndyalítko family, arrives at the capitol city of Kéonsk for the grand autumn fair. Having grown up in a small village, she’s never seen anything like this vast array of stalls, wagons, and people gathered for a yearly festival market. Almost immediately, the family launches into a series of well planned shows to entertain visitors from near and farand to earn money.

Julianna joins them in playing the tambourine as Jan plays his violin, and even Jan is surprised by how much she enjoys this. Unfortunately, any joy in this new life is soon cut short for both of them when a curse is set upon one family member by a power-hungry witch.

To break the curse, Jan is told that he must complete a task. Though he intends to do so alone, Julianna has other ideas. As the pair rush headlong into saving a family member, neither realize the remedy may be more dangerous than the curse itself.

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Homeward 8:

The Sleeping Curse

Sequel to The Sleeping Curse

Barb Hendee

Short story, 13k words
eISBN: 1230000159559
BNID: 2940148707714
English Only; purchase outside the USA available at most vendors directly or through their regional subsites.

Can one past act silence hope for their future?

Jan and Julianna, along with all of Jan’s Móndyalítko family, return to Chemestúk keep to prepare for a joyous daytheir wedding. Julianna could not be happier, for Jan has altered completely; no longer the shallow “breaker of hearts,” he now belongs solely to her. Yet even as flowers are arranged and the wedding feast is prepared, Jan’s past catches up to him.

The night before the wedding, another woman unexpectedly arrives at the keep and brings devastating repercussions that rapidly spin out of control. To Julianna’s shock, she is soon fighting not only for Jan’s life but her certainty that she can trust him with her heart. Is he really the man she believed him to be?

Not only does his life hang in the balance but their future life together as well.



[SC1: Puppy Love]
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Sagecraft 1:

Puppy Love

J.C. Hendee

Novella, 50k+ words
BNID: 2940148823476
ISBN: 1230000190140
English Only; purchase outside the USA available at most vendors directly or through their regional subsites.

What would you do for love?

What will it cost those nearest to you?

Kyne Erhtenwal is a gifted but troubled child initiate in the Guild of Sagecraft. Clearly a budding scholar, she has too much awe for her outcast idol, Journeyor Wynn Hygeorht, but even moreso for Wynn’s tall, wolf-like companion, Shade. Kyne believes Shade is a sacred majay-hìone of the “hounds of the Fay” or fairy-hounds.

When one of her guild instructors, Emelia Ginjeriè, makes her promise to stop talking about the majay-hì and Shade, Kyne thinks it is the worst thing that could happen to her. That promise becomes like the cage of a prisoner she stumbles upon one night near the city’s great port.

Unable to say anything to anyone about the prisoner, Kyne looks for help from her two closest friends among the initiatesMarten and Grim. Her promise forces her to lie to them for an ill-conceived plan, which may end with all three of them being thrown out of the guild. And that is the least of the possible dangers.

“Tales of Misbelief”


[MB1: The Forgotten Lord] [MB2: The Forgotten Mistress] [MB3: The Forgotten Village]
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Tales of Misbelief 1:

The Forgotten Lord

Barb Hendee

Short story, 15k+ words
ISBN-13: 9780985561673
ISBN-10: 098556167X
BNID: 2940016395159
ISBN: 9780985561673
English Only; purchase outside the USA available at most vendors directly or through their regional subsites.

Sometimes our own beliefs are what imprison us.

Lord Stefan Korbori is trapped inside his own manor, kept there by the curse of an undead sorcerer. In endlessly wandering the same rooms and passages for several years, he has begun sinking into madness. Although abandoned or forgotten by other nobles of his class, he still has the love of his young mistress to anchor him against the darkness.

Elena would do anything to help her lord. When three sages from the Bela Annex of the Guild of Sagecraft pass through her village of Pudúrlatsat, she sees a glint of hope. As scholars, they might have knowledge of sorcery — or rather how to counter it. A plan begins to form out of the past and how her lord first became imprisoned by the curse.

Elena sees one chance for Stefan that even he would never allow — that might not work — if he learned of it.

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Tales of Misbelief 2:

The Forgotten Mistress

Barb Hendee

Short story, 19k words
ISBN: 1230000184885
BNID: 2940148404064
English Only; purchase outside the USA available at most vendors directly or through their regional subsites.

Losing your way might be your only way to find your true place in the world.

Young Elena has lifted a curse from her widower lord, Stefan Korbori, and is basking in his new happiness and gratitude. She is now mistress to both him and his great manor in all ways but name. Her world seems perfect, until one night he informs her that he will take a new wife… for her money.

Stunned and powerless, Elena has no choice but to accept her change of status. She refuses to become an object of pity and maintains her position as housekeeper. But soon after the new wife arrives, Stefan begins to slip into madness again, echoing the nightmare of his past curse.

Elena suspects the new bride is not what the woman appears to be, as darkness has once again descended upon the manor. It must be fought, but who will believe the warnings of a forgotten mistress?

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Tales of Misbelief 3:

The Forgotten Village

Barb Hendee

Short story, 20k words
ISBN: 2940149215980
BNID: 2940149215980
English Only; purchase outside the USA available at most vendors directly or through their regional subsites.

Losing your way might be your only way to find your true place in the world.

Elena, now married to Cooper the barge master, has left her old life to start a new one. This seemed a wonderful change, but they both soon realize they barely know each. There are rougher waters ahead for them than those the barge will have to navigate.

When they arrive at their second-to-last stop downriver, the village there has mysteriously lost all but one of its young men. Cooper doesn't believe the survivor's wild tale of strange beings beyond a waterfall “veil.” Without any truth, as he sees it, he won't risk trying to help them.

Elena has seen more than a few strange things in her life and forms a plan recover the young men before the village's harvest is lost. Unfortunately, carrying out this wild scheme may risk her new marriage as well as her freedom or her life.

T·N·D·S Anthologies


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Trade Paperback Available Through Amazon Link


Barb Hendee

Trade PB and eBook
ISBN-10: 0615981305
ISBN-13: 9780615981307
BNID: 2940149566907
ISBN: 1230000224869
English Only; purchase outside the USA available at most vendors directly or through their regional subsites.

Homeward contains six connected stories set in the world of the Noble Dead Saga as taken from the “Homeward” collection in T·N·D·S: Tales from the world of the Noble Dead Saga. Follow the adventures and budding romance of Jan, a half-gypsy peasant turned vassal, and Julianna, the strong-willed young woman taken in by Jan’s family.

In “The Keepers,” Jan and his parents arrive at the keep above the village of Chemestúk, where Jan’s father must become the vassal lord of the fiefdom. Determined to prevail, despite the place’s dark reputation, they find the ugly rumors concerning the keep are all too true.

“The Reluctant Guardian” and “Captives” follow the terrors of civil war as Jan, Julianna, and those they love are faced with everything from military conscriptions to roaming gangs of violent deserters.

“Claws,” “The Sleeping Curse,” and “Silent Bells” take Jan and Julianna out on the open road with Jan’s extended family of traveling gypsies. Amid encounters with shape-shifters, magic, curses, and intrigue, their feelings for each other deepen but grow more confusing. Will either one of them ever confess such feelings to the other?

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J.C. Hendee

3 Novellas, 100k+ words
BNID: 2940149867868
ISBN: 1230000298247
English Only; purchase outside the USA available at most vendors directly or through their regional subsites.

Nameless includes the previously released (and discontinued) novellas Karras the Kitten and Karras the Cat plus the new Karras the Nameless.

Karras the Kitten

Karras as a dwarf has taken on too many human ways in serving his family of seatraders. No wonder that in “barter” for marriage with the fiery and dour Skirra of the fallen family of Yêarclág, that he has bungled the deal for years. Dismissed again by her, his heart's wounds get salted with the unwanted assistance of a blustery clan-kinFiáh’our, the great “Hammer-Stag.”

The old warrior has a notion of what Karras needs, for to Fiáh’our, honorable barter for love and marriage is akin to one battle after another. Only the way of their people’s warriors can see Karras to victoryover himself, first of all.

May their people’s eternal ancestors, the Bäynæ, watch over themespecially to keep them from each other’s throats.

Karras the Cat

Fiáh’our is honorbound to take Karras as an apprentice and force his young clan-kin to learn the ways of their warriors. Poor Fiáh’our has no idea what he is in for.

Karras has no intention of doing more than is necessary to fulfill his unwilling apprenticeship. Worse, he is pitifully unsuited to his new calling and still suffers unrequited love for Skirra.

Fiáh’our has an inkling about why Skirra rejected Karras and believes he can make his new apprentice worthy of her. On the northern frontier, where he goes each summer for good service, a threat to the villagers has returned. The longer he delays in training with Karras, the greater his guilt for not defending those in need. And failure in one or both might be paid in lives.

Karras the Nameless

A year has passed, and a harsh winter encroaches. Fiáh’our, Karras, Gän’gehtin, and a few allies defend a small village from the growing goblin menace. Losses mount on both sides and neither victory nor retreat seem possible; this is the worst horror of a champion. Fiáh’our has even more worries.

He once lost another apprenctice long ago. Karras has served well but has yet to understand the truth of “stone” that most dwarves never know. If he does, it will come in the worst way. Faced with an unwinnable war, must Fiáh’our choose between ending it and guarding his new apprentice?

Karras still mourns failure with Skirra. Though his need of her has changed, has he changed enough? Even so, not all dangers come from an enemy, and some are much closer. If he survives, will he sacrifice what is necessary to be with Skirra? Even so, it may not be enough.