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The Deer Kings Paperback – August 27, 2021

4.5 out of 5 stars 15 ratings

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Editorial Reviews


"Deer saints, darkness and the strangeness of family ties; Wagner effortlessly mixes football and folk horror in this terrifying new novel." -Angela Slatter, award-winning author of The Bitterwood Bible and Other Recountings

"In Wendy Wagner's masterful The Deer Kings, past and present are interwoven in a dark tapestry of occult mystery, small-town secrets, and mounting dread. This is a compulsively readable novel with strong characters that live and breathe on the page and a richly detailed and evocative Pacific Northwest setting. This story will sink its claws in you from the first word and won't release you until the last, and it will haunt your imagination long after you finish reading. One of the best books I've read in a long time, highly recommended!" -Bram Stoker Award(R)-winning author Tim Waggoner

"What Stephen King has done for New England, Wendy Wagner does for the Pacific Northwest. In The Deer Kings, Wagner captures the hidden magic and terror of coming of age in in her own specific, unerringly authentic voice. Exploring the unique horror of how the special and supernatural can be corrupted into the crass and everyday, The Deer Kings is a grand, gorgeous, and-at times-gory wonder." -Gordon B. White, author of As Summer's Mask Slips and Other Disruptions and Rookfield

"A novel of fog-shrouded towns and dark secrets, of corrupted youth and shadowy barns, and of insidious cults and rituals taking place beneath the veneer of a seemingly ordinary Oregon town, The Deer Kings is a novel by an author at the top of her game. With an evocative sense of place, flesh-and-blood characters anchored by long shadows to the sinister events of the past, and a narrative punctuated by jolts of startling horror, this compulsively readable novel has solidified Wendy Wagner's place as one of the most exciting writers in the genre." -Kealan Patrick Burke, Bram Stoker Award(R)-winning author of Kin and Sour Candy

"Not just a novel of cult fanaticism and sinister fears, but an enduring search for redemption: Wendy N. Wagner's The Deer Kings is a beautiful coming-of-age tale of friendship, sacrifice, and horror, when the monsters created from our youth prove not to vanish in older years." -Eric J. Guignard, award-winning author and editor, including That Which Grows Wild and Doorways to the Deadeye

Product details

  • Publisher ‏ : ‎ JournalStone (August 27, 2021)
  • Language ‏ : ‎ English
  • Paperback ‏ : ‎ 318 pages
  • ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 195030597X
  • ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-1950305971
  • Item Weight ‏ : ‎ 1.03 pounds
  • Dimensions ‏ : ‎ 6 x 0.71 x 9 inches
  • Customer Reviews:
    4.5 out of 5 stars 15 ratings

About the author

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Wendy N. Wagner is the editor-in-chief of NIGHTMARE MAGAZINE and the managing/senior editor of LIGHTSPEED. Her short stories, essays, and poems run the gamut from horror to environmental literature. Her longer work includes the novella THE SECRET SKIN, the horror novel THE DEER KINGS, the Locus bestselling SF eco-thriller AN OATH OF DOGS, and two novels for the Pathfinder role-playing game. She lives in Oregon with her very understanding family, two large cats, and a Muppet disguised as a dog.

Customer reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
4.5 out of 5
15 global ratings
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Top reviews from the United States

Reviewed in the United States 🇺🇸 on September 20, 2022
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Reviewed in the United States 🇺🇸 on September 10, 2021
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5.0 out of 5 stars If you like Stephen King, you'll love THE DEER KINGS
Reviewed in the United States 🇺🇸 on September 10, 2021
THE DEER KINGS reminds me of many Stephen King books: a coming of age with a strong character driven narrative; a small town with old, dark secrets and details that make you feel like you've lived there all your life; and folklore that grows more interesting the further you read. All of this and more keeps your head buried within its pages until the very end.

I hope Wagner returns to THE DEER KINGS world in the future.
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Reviewed in the United States 🇺🇸 on July 31, 2022

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Charles Prepolec
4.0 out of 5 stars Stephen King-style coming of age, folk horor and cultish practices in an Oregon football town.
Reviewed in Canada 🇨🇦 on October 23, 2021