RJ Barker is a critically acclaimed and award-winning author of fantasy fiction. He won the 2020 British Fantasy Society (BFS) Robert Holdstock award for Best Novel for his fourth novel, The Bone Ships.
His debut trilogy The Wounded Kingdom (Age of Assassins, Blood of Assassins and King of Assassins) was nominated for the David Gemmel Award, the Kitschie Golden Tentacle, The Compton Crook and the BFS Best Debut and Best Novel awards. It was called ‘Thoroughly entertaining and constantly impressive’ by the Fantasy Hive, ‘One of the best fantasy series you will ever read’ by the BFS, and ‘A singular sensational new voice in epic fantasy’ by Kings of the Wyld author Nicholas Eames.
He followed this with the award-winning Tide Child Trilogy:The Bone Ships, Call of the Bone Ships and The Bone Ships Wake. These books have been hailed as “One of the most interesting and original fantasy worlds I’ve seen in years” by Adrian Tchaikovsky, and “Brilliant” by Robin Hobb, alongside rave reviews in Starburst, SFX, and a starred review in Bookslist: ‘A unique and memorable world – harsh and brutal and full of fully realized, powerful female characters. Barker has managed to craft a story inspired by Moby Dick, Game of Thrones, and pirate lore, and readers will be drawn in and fascinated.’
RJ lives in Leeds with his wife, son and a collection of questionable taxidermy, odd art, scary music and more books than they have room for. He grew up reading whatever he could get his hands on, and has always been 'that one with the book in his pocket'. Having played in rock bands before deciding he was a rubbish musician, RJ returned to his first love, fiction.