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The Coward

by: Stephen Aryan


Who will take up the mantle and slay the evil in the Frozen North, saving all from death and destruction? Not Kell Kressia, he’s done his part…

“Stephen Aryan puts the epic into Epic Fantasy.”
Den Patrick, author of The Boy with the Porcelain Blade

Book I of the Quest for Heroes

File Under: Fantasy [ Holding Out for a Hero | When the Going Gets Tough… | Band Together | Till Death ]


Kell Kressia is a legend, a celebrity, a hero. Aged just seventeen, he set out on an epic quest with a band of wizened fighters to slay the Ice Lich and save the world. He returned victorious, but alone. Ten years have passed and Kell lives a quiet life, while stories of his heroism are told in taverns all across the land. But now a new terror has arisen in the north – something has taken up residence in the Lich’s abandoned castle beyond the Frozen Circle, and the ice is beginning to creep south once more. For the second time, Kell is called upon to take up his famous sword, Slayer, and battle the forces of darkness. But he has a terrible secret. Kell was never a hero – he was just lucky. Everyone puts their faith in Kell the Legend, but he’s just a coward who has no intention of risking his life for anyone…
Release Date



Quest for Heroes

The Coward

Paperback, Ebook

Paperback ISBN




Stephen Aryan is the author of The Coward and The Warrior (the Quest for Heroes Duology), as well as the Age of Darkness and Age of Dread trilogies. His first novel, Battlemage, was a finalist for the David Gemmell Morningstar Award for best debut fantasy novel. It also won the inaugural Hellfest Inferno Award in France. He has previously written a comic book column and reviews for In addition, he has self-published and kickstarted his own comics. You can find out more about Stephen and his books on his website:

“Packing in an epic’s worth of action and feeling, this thought-provoking fantasy argues that even the most vicious monster battles are less harrowing than the struggles within men’s souls. This is a knockout.”
Publishers Weekly, Starred Review

“Magnificent…Exactly the sort of breathless adventure we need after a lockdown year”
SFX Magazine

“Aryan’s newest series is sure to please fantasy readers; he wraps everything up masterfully while leaving just enough unresolved questions for the sequel”
– Booklist

“Aryan’s battle scenes are visceral masterpieces that transport the reader deep into the melee.”
Taran Matharu,author of the Summoner series

“A tremendous sword & sorcery romp with a lot of heart and plenty to say. I really enjoyed this book.”
Peter McLean, author of Priest of Bones
“Stephen Aryan puts the epic into Epic Fantasy.”
Den Patrick, author of The Boy with the Porcelain Blade
“Sparkling action sequences punctuate keen dialogue and a journey full of colour and interest… Compelling, consuming and a novel in which no character can be considered supporting cast… Bring on the sequel.”
James Barclay, author of The Chronicles of the Raven
“Fast-paced and action-packed, steeped in plots and schemes – a great fantasy tale.”
Ed Cox, author ofThe Relic Guild Trilogy