Release Week for Of Daggers and Deception

I’m thrilled to announce that the second book in my Duchy of Athens series, Of Daggers and Deception, is now available.

Here’s what the book is about:

After years as a soldier and mercenary, Rasheed has retired from battle to run the bathhouse in Thebes with his friends Gillen and Eudocia. The simple life suits them, so when Venetian strangers come to town looking to hire the renowned crew, their answer is no. But when one of his friends is abducted, Rasheed is left with no choice but to take up his weapons and join forces with the Venetians, including the beautiful and clever Cecilia, whose betrothed has also been seized by the unknown foe.

As the reluctant allies face ambushes and the looming threat of capture, Rasheed and Cecilia forge a surprising connection. But as the party races to rescue their friends, Rasheed discovers that nothing is as it seems. As his trust in Cecilia begins to waver, he realizes that in the end, they will both be forced to make a choice between love and duty.

Of Daggers and Deception is available in print, ebook, and audio. Sometimes there’s a delay with the audio versions—thank you for being patient if that’s your preferred format. Shipping has been a little unpredictable this last year, so I recommend giving your local book store a call to see if they have it in stock. You can also get it online at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Deseret Book, and Seagull Book.

Here’s what others are saying about the book:

Of Daggers and Deception by A. L. Sowards is a tale of survival, deception, battles, scheming, love, faith, sacrifice, and betrayal. It had a very realistic plot and beautiful character development. Rasheed was the perfect main protagonist, and I loved his many facets. He was strong yet vulnerable . . . imperfect and relatable. . . Sowards wrote a gripping historical novel, infusing it with much-needed humor. . . . Of Daggers and Deception would do well on the big screen.”

—Readers’ Favorite


“This journey to forever is a wild ride that satisfies nicely as that last page turns!”

—InD’Tale Magazine


“A. L. Sowards weaves a historically rich novel with fantastic pacing and not a detail overlooked. Her ability to bring history to life and to create characters that feel so real they may truly have existed is singular. Fans of historical fiction will devour this unique and captivating story—it is not to be missed!”

Karen Thornell, author of To Marry an Earl (2021)


Of Daggers and Deception is a marvelous novel packed with swashbuckling adventure and romance. Rasheed is the reluctant hero, who goes on a quest to save his best friend’s wife. Along the way he meets the feisty Cecilia. Despite her trying his patience, he finds himself attracted to her. Together they make the perfect team to fight against the Turkish pirates. This page-turner should definitely be on your reading list.”

Kathi Oram Peterson, author of Treacherous Legacy (2021) and Danger Unknown (2022)


“This story is filled with intrigue and sheer knuckle-biting suspense. For me, an added bonus was the author’s attention to detail and medieval settings. . . If you enjoy medieval stories filled with grit, loyalty, and intrigue with an added dash of romance, then this one is for you. The plot for Of Daggers and Deception is filled with unique twists and turns—a real page-turner.”

Paige Edwards, author of Danger on the Loch (2021) and Facing the Enemy (2022)

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