The Heroes of Spira

Updated: March 17, 2021

The e-book and print versions of The Infinite Tower are now live on the Amazon store!

If it’s been a while since you read the first three books in the Heroes of Spira, I have some good news for you. I’ve included recaps of The Ventifact Colossus, The Crosser’s Maze, and The Greatwood Portal at the start of The Infinite Tower. In just about seven quick pages, you can be fully caught up on the important characters and plot events of the earlier volumes. (Note that these are quite terse and not very interesting to someone new to the series. They’re memory-joggers, and aren’t meant to replace the experience of actually reading the books!)

Updated: February 21, 2021

Exciting news for Heroes of Spira readers! The Infinite Tower, the fourth book in the series, is nearly ready for publication. (In fact, you can pre-order the e-book from Amazon right now!) If things go well (knock on wood!) you should be able to buy the book in both photonic and tree-pulp formats sometime in March.

Author Dyrk Ashton had this to say about The Infinite Tower:

“One of the most original epic fantasy journeys I have ever read…surreal and wonderful.”

In the meantime, enjoy the latest gorgeous cover, painted and designed by Gareth Hinds.

Ventifact Colossus paint4h
Crosser's Maze cover final 300dpi.jpg
The Greatwood Portal True 300dpi cover image

What readers are saying about THE HEROES OF SPIRA

“This is the sort of book that reminds me why fantasy is my favorite genre. Come for the adventure, stay for the amazing characters. I highly recommend this one.”Witty and Sarcastic Bookclub

“A delightful read…a great fun adventure. Highly recommended for lovers of traditional epic fantasy.” — Dyrk Ashton, author of Paternus, on The Ventifact Colossus

“One of the most original epic fantasy journeys I have ever read…surreal and wonderful.” — Dyrk Ashton, author of Paternus, on The Infinite Tower

“…a joy to read…interesting, well-developed characters; wildly inventive fantasy; lots of humour; and excellent writing.” – Catherine Griffin, book blogger at

“Great world-building and characters” – Kopratic at The Fantasy Inn

“…great pacing, plot, character development, comedy, resolution, and setting…hours of enjoyment. Highly recommended!” – Book Blogger RustyReads

“A great book…I’ll definitely continue on with the series”Weatherwax Report

“It reminds me a lot of Michael J. Sullivan’s Riyria books, which is high praise.”TBRindr Reviewer happypolychaetes

“Imaginative and unique”Book Blogger Pure Jonel:

“The adventure is compelling, the action gripping, the humor delightful”  – Edward Aubry, author of the Mayhem Wave series: 

“The narrative is flawless… “  Readers’ Favorite

Updated: May 30, 2020

Just a few days ago I sent off a solid draft of book 4, The Infinite Towerto my beta readers. I feel like I’m on track to release the book in early 2021.

While I usually take some time off between books, I’ve already begun work on the initial draft of the fifth and final book in the series. I’m toying with a few possible titles, but the leading candidate is still A Splinter in the Heart of the World.

I hope you’re all staying safe, healthy, and at least six feet away from everyone not in your isolation group!

Update: July 24, 2019

I’m excited to announce the impending Kindle launch tomorrow of The Greatwood Portal, book 3 of The Heroes of Spira!  I’ll update this paragraph to reflect its availability as soon as I see it go live on Amazon.

Also, to celebrate the launch, I’ll be offering the first two books in the series — The Ventifact Colossus and The Crosser’s Maze — for only 99 cents each during the week of July 26 – August 2.

I expect the print version of the book will be available sometime in mid to late August; I’ll be sure to make an announcement once I have a clear idea of the specific day.

Update: December 4, 2018

Greetings, readers!

As the winter holidays rush towards us, I am in the process of receiving reader feedback on the current draft of The Greatwood Portalbook 3 of The Heroes of Spira.  Yes, that means the initial draft and first stage revisions are finished! I am optimistic that I will publish that next volume in the spring of 2019, though I would be foolish to promise a date before my editor gets her blood-drenched claws on it.

Update: November 2, 2017


You can purchase it here.

Many thanks to all of my readers and proofers (and of course my editor, Abigail Mieko Vargus) for their invaluable help.

Crosser's Maze paint3 CMYK 2.jpg

Update: September 21, 2017

Ventifact Colossus paint4h
Crosser's Maze cover final 300dpi.jpg

I’ve decided to run a GIVEAWAY event for my upcoming book, The Crosser’s Maze*, as a thank you to readers and also as a sneaky way to expand my mailing list. Here’s how it’s going to work:

When the book comes out, I will assign one “ticket” to everyone on my e-mail list at that time. So, if you’re already on the list, or if you sign up between now and then, you’re automatically entered to win.

If you personally recruit someone new to sign up (ideally someone who loves fantasy novels), and their ticket is drawn, you BOTH get a free copy of the book! (Remember to have them mention who you are when they sign up!)  That means if you’re on the list yourself, AND you recruit a friend to sign up, you’re twice as likely to win. (And the effect stacks – recruit ten people, and if any of them win, so do you.)

Three winners (or pairs of winners) will be chosen by random drawing.

(Note: I send out e-mails to my readers on average only once every several months. I only send mail that is relevant to my books. You won’t get spammed, I don’t share your e-mail address with anyone, and you can opt out any time you want.)

Sign up here to be added to the list:

Thanks, and good luck!

*Winners can choose instead to get a copy of The Ventifact Colossus if they wish.

Update: September 20, 2017

Cover reveal! Here’s the gorgeous cover for The Crosser’s Maze, by the amazing Gareth Hinds.  The Crosser’s Maze should be available this fall on Amazon.

Want informative and infrequent updates about the books? Sign up here!

Crosser's Maze cover final 300dpi.jpg

Update: August 27, 2017

The Crosser’s Maze is entering its final week of proofreading! As the project nears its conclusion, its publication timeline comes more into focus.  By the first week of September, the prose should be in its final, as-close-to-typo-free-as-is-possible form. I will be submitting it to a formatter on September 15th, and by the first of October I should have final files ready to be uploaded to Amazon.  (This may be delayed slightly if my cover art is still in progress.  My wonderful illustrator, Gareth Hinds, is embroiled in the final stages of his latest personal project, and so his schedule is somewhat fluid.)

I’d like to release the e-book and print book at the same time, and that means waiting for Amazon to send me a proof copy of the paper version, which I will examine in close details looking for any errors that may have emerged.  If I find none, I will then hit the “launch” button and you will be able to purchase the book in…mid to late October? Probably?

In the meantime, Gareth has drawn me some absolutely gorgeous maps of Charagan (where The Ventifact Colossus takes place) and Kivia (where [SPOILER REDACTED]). And while the maps will be in black-and-white in the published book, he drew them in color just because he’s wonderful.  Gaze upon their beauty, and while you’re at it you can get a better sense of where things are relative to each other.

(Click to enlarge!)
(Click to enlarge!)

Update: May 14, 2017

The Crosser’s Maze (Book Two of the Heroes of Spira) is currently in the capable hands of my editor, and she estimates that in less than a month I will have a marked-up version of the manuscript in my hands. The gap between that hand-off and eventual publication will depend on how severe a thrashing she has given the latest draft, but my middle-of-the-bell-curve estimate now is a publishing date in August.

In the meantime I have begun work on the initial draft off Book Three, “The Portal in the Woods,” though that is a working title only, and I suspect a better one will tap me on the shoulder with an embarrassed cough sometime before it’s finished.

In related news, The Ventifact Colossus made it into Mark Lawrence’s latest Self-Published Fantasy Blog-Off (better known as the 2017 #SPFBO).  This is not to say it was chosen for its quality; the contest simply accepted the first 300 books submitted, and I happened to notice it was happening in the four day window between its announcement and its reaching 300 entries. But it’s still cool and scary to be a part of. How it works is, ten volunteer book bloggers each get assigned a random selection of 30 books, and pick ONE of those 30 to make it to a final round.  As such, my chances are quite slim even of advancing past the stage where my particular blogger reads the first 50 pages of each entry and decides which ones to summarily toss. There are a lot of high-quality self-published fantasy books out there!

You can read more about the contest here:  2017 SPFBO

Update: October 10, 2016

I have finished the first draft of Book Two, whose working title is “The Crosser’s Maze.”

It is now in the hands of my team of Beta Readers, whose job it is to read with a critical eye and tell me everything they don’t like about it.  I will digest their collective feedback, make a giant pile of cuts, additions and revisions, and then submit the updated manuscript to my editor. She will then tell me everything she doesn’t like, in loving and exhaustive detail, leaving me to sob for a few days about how I’m a worthless husk of an author, but afterward I will follow her advice and the book will become about 740% better. (I also anticipate some spirited debate about the proper use of commas, which will be fought to a draw.)

After that will come the proofreading, formatting, last-minute hand-wringing about that one scene in Chapter Seventeen, uploading, various technical tug-of-wars with Amazon, and finally publishing. Whew. I will keep the top of this page updated as I work my way through this process.

Thanks for your patience, readers! I sincerely hope you find The Crosser’s Maze a worthy sequel to The Ventifact Colossus.


VC Black Circle 75dpi

Praise for The Ventifact Colossus…

“The narrative is flawless… the plot has some great twists…  this is a great start for The Heroes of Spira and I look forward to Book Two.”  – Readers’ Favorite

“…this book is a joy to read. It’s got interesting, well-developed characters; a soundly constructed plot; inventive fantasy; lots of humour; and excellent writing.” – Catherine Griffin, book blogger at

“The adventure is compelling, the action gripping, the humor delightful while not undermining the seriousness of the story. In short, this book is great fun, and I offer my strongest recommendation on its behalf to anyone looking for a new series!”  – Edward Aubry, author of Unhappenings and Static Mayhem.

“…The Ventifact Colossus stands heads above its competition. It is literate, the characters are well developed and engaging, there is humor and clever plotting.”

“The characters are complex and interesting. I appreciate the ‘ensemble cast’ approach, as well. Loved every minute of it and hated when it ended.”

“The Ventifact Colossus boasts some of the most inspired fight and action scenes I’ve seen in a fantasy novel.”

“Definitely one of my favorite fantasy novels in years.”

“It’s definitely in my top ten best.”

“The plot is fast-paced and exciting…this series has the potential to be comparable to ‘Lord of the Rings’.”

– various Amazon reviewers who I promise are not my mom.


Welcome to the official page of the Heroes of Spira series!

If you would like to receive e-mails on the status of The Ventifact Colossus and its sequels, click here!  Your e-mail address will not be shared with anyone, and I will only use it to send you updates relevant to the books. And those will be infrequent, as I have no desire to annoy you so much that you lose interest.

The books chronicle the story of a hodgepodge team of would-be heroes, as they set about to save the world from a variety of absurdly dangerous threats. If you’re a fan of fantasy epics with flawed but likable characters, daring swordplay, high magic, terrible monsters, powerful but mysterious artifacts, intriguing mysteries that will all be explained by the end of the series, and villains with excellent mustaches, then you will surely enjoy the Heroes of Spira.

The first book in the series, The Ventifact Colossus, is available for purchase right now on Amazon in both print and Kindle formats. You could be reading it right now!

If all goes well, the second book, The Crosser’s Maze, will be published in early 2017. I’m not so foolish as to announce dates for the later books, but you can still look hungrily forward to the final three installments: The Portal in the Woods, The Infinite Tower, and A Splinter in the Heart of the World. (All working titles.)

You may be asking yourself: “Is this going to be one of those never-ending series where the author keeps tacking on more books, and doesn’t really know where the story is going? Allow me to answer that: certainly not. I already know how the whole story goes, including how it ends. Five books should do it. Maaaaaaaaybe six. But probably five.

You may also be asking yourself: “Is this a dark, grim, nasty series where every character is either unlikable or destined to die some grisly death?” Again: no. This is not grimdark fantasy. I’m not saying your favorite character will survive until the end of the series, or even until the end of the first book, and certainly there will be plenty of tension, conflict and difficulties for the heroes. But I have tried to make the stories fun and exciting, rather than bleak and depressing.  (Not that there’s anything wrong with that! I Joe Abercrombie as much as you!)

Thanks for visiting!


Ventifact Colossus paint4h

Banished to an otherworldly prison for centuries, the monstrous Emperor Naradawk is about to break free and wreak havoc upon the world of Spira. The archmage Abernathy can no longer keep Naradawk at bay, and has summoned a collection of would-be heroes to help set things right.

Surely he made a mistake. These can’t be the right people.

Dranko is a priest-turned-pickpocket, expelled from his church for his antics. Kibilhathur is a painfully shy craftsman who speaks to stones. Aravia is a wizard’s apprentice whose intellect is eclipsed only by her arrogance. Ernest is a terrified baker’s son. Morningstar is a priestess forbidden from daylight. Tor is a young nobleman with attention issues. Ysabel is an elderly farm woman. Grey Wolf is a hard-bitten mercenary.

None of them are qualified to save the world, but they’ll have to do. Even Abernathy himself seems uncertain as to why he chose them.

What starts with a simple scouting mission soon spirals into something more far-reaching and sinister. The heroes will contest with dream warriors, evil cultists, sentient gemstones, and a devious yet infuriatingly polite gentleman with a perfect mustache, on their way to a desperate encounter with the unstoppable: The Ventifact Colossus.

The Ventifact Colossus is Book One of The Heroes of Spira.




Dorian Hart graduated from Wesleyan University with a degree in creative writing. This led circuitously to a 20-year career as a video game designer, where he contributed to many award-winning titles including Thief, System Shock, System Shock 2 and BioShock. He is also the author of the interactive novella Choice of the Star Captain.

Dorian now lives in the Boston area with his fantastic wife and two clever daughters. When not serving as house chef and chauffeur, he works on the kinds of novels he’s been itching to write since he was ten years old.

10 thoughts on “The Heroes of Spira

Add yours

  1. Beautiful maps! Sagiro, two questions for you. One, have any of the place names been changed for this map from your original campaign – Steelport for example? Two, have the locations changed at all (such as Eggomoggin – I had the impression it and Hae Kalkas were on Nahalm…perhaps that is just my faulty memory).

    1. Greetings, anonymous commenter! Yes, I’ve changed several place names from their originals: Dingman’s Ferry became White Ferry, Calnis became Tal Killip, Eggemoggin became Eggoggin. There might be others. I don’t think any cities or towns changed continents, though I did get rid of some island chains I don’t see being used in the books.

  2. Thanks for the reply! Looking forward to the Crosser’s Maze novel. It was one of my favourite sections in the original Story Hour. Speaking of which, I had the impression that Hae Kalkas and Eggemoggin were on Nahalm, not Lanei.

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