What Moves the Dead (Sworn Soldier #1) (Paperback)

What Moves the Dead (Sworn Soldier #1) By T. Kingfisher Cover Image
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This is book number 1 in the Sworn Soldier series.

July 2022 Indie Next List

“Rarely do I come across horror novels with such witty and delightful characters. The dialogue made me want to sit down to tea with each person, but the creepy gothic atmosphere made me want to forgo the tea and run away screaming instead.”
— Anna Hersh, Wild Rumpus, Minneapolis, MN


An Instant USA Today & Indie Bestseller
A Barnes & Noble Book of the Year Finalist
A Goodreads Best Horror Choice Award Nominee

A gripping and atmospheric reimagining of Edgar Allan Poe’s “The Fall of the House of Usher” from Hugo, Locus, & Nebula award-winning author T. Kingfisher

When Alex Easton, a retired soldier, receives word that their childhood friend Madeline Usher is dying, they race to the ancestral home of the Ushers in the remote countryside of Ruritania.

What they find there is a nightmare of fungal growths and possessed wildlife, surrounding a dark, pulsing lake. Madeline sleepwalks and speaks in strange voices at night, and her brother Roderick is consumed with a mysterious malady of the nerves.

Aided by a redoubtable British mycologist and a baffled American doctor, Alex must unravel the secret of the House of Usher before it consumes them all.

About the Author

T. KINGFISHER (she/her) writes fantasy, horror, and occasional oddities, including Nettle & Bone, What Moves the Dead, and A House with Good Bones. Under a pen name, she also writes bestselling children's books. She lives in North Carolina with her husband, dogs, and chickens who may or may not be possessed.

Praise For…

A grotesque romp! It takes up residence beneath your skin and refuses to leave."—Caitlin Starling, USA Today bestselling author of The Death of Jane Lawrence

Creepy, claustrophobic, and completely entertaining, What Moves the Dead left me delightfully repulsed. I adored this book!”—Erin A. Craig, New York Times bestselling author of House of Salt and Sorrows

“This gothic retelling is a hair-raising, enthralling read.”—Buzzfeed

"The distilled terror of T. Kingfisher's What Moves the Dead insinuates itself into the reader's nervous system from the very first sentence and quickly overtakes their sense of self control. I was powerless against this novella's pestilential pull and had to finish it in one sitting . . . or maybe it finished me."—Clay McLeod Chapman, author of Ghost Eaters

"Thoroughly creepy and utterly enjoyable."—Publishers Weekly

“T. Kingfisher spins biting wit, charm and terror into a tale that will make your skin crawl. Poe would be proud!”—Brom, author of Slewfoot

Dissects the heart of Poe’s most famous tale and finds a wholly new mythology beating inside it . . . Pure fun.”—Andy Davidson, author of The Boatman's Daughter

"An infectious new spin on classic Gothic horror.”—Booklist

What Moves the Dead is a must-read, period.”—Jordan Shiveley, author of Hot Singles In Your Area

A gothic delight!"—Lucy A. Snyder, author of Sister, Maiden, Monster

“A fluid technicolor reimagining of Poe's "House of Usher" that takes no prisoners . . . Not to be missed."—Brian Evenson, author of Last Days

"Perfectly hair-raising in all the right ways."—Premee Mohamed, author of Beneath the Rising

"Readers will be rapt as the tension builds to near bursting levels and the true meaning of the title comes into full, skin-crawling view.”—Library Journal

Product Details
ISBN: 9781250830814
ISBN-10: 1250830818
Publisher: Tor Nightfire
Publication Date: December 26th, 2023
Pages: 176
Language: English
Series: Sworn Soldier