Game Designer Creates 'Rip-Roaring' YA Adventure Novels

Jun 14, 2017

Ruby is a thief-in-training and a keeper of secrets—ones she doesn't even know herself. A Riddle in Ruby is the first book in a witty and fast-paced fantasy-adventure trilogy for fans of Jonathan Stroud, Septimus Heap, and The Very Nearly Honorable League of Pirates.

Ruby Teach, daughter of a smuggler and pirate, has been learning how to swindle and steal and pick the most complex locks for as long as she can remember. But a collision with aristocratic young lord Athen sends her spinning into chaos. Little did she know that her whole life has been spent in hiding from nefarious secret societies and the Royal Navy . . . who are both now on her trail.

In this debut middle grade adventure, Kent Davis weaves a rip-roaring tale through an alternate colonial Philadelphia. A world where alchemy—that peculiar mix of magic and science—has fueled the industrial revolution. With this highly original setting, a cast of fully rounded characters and rapid-fire, funny dialog, A Riddle in Ruby will call to mind fantasy greats like Diana Wynne Jones and Terry Pratchett.

In the second volume, A Riddle in Ruby: The Changer's Key, Ruby Teach has become the enemy’s prisoner. She bargained with her freedom to protect her friends—but her friends aren’t about to abandon her, either. That’s not what friends do. Ruby’s blood holds a secret, one that could turn the tides of the looming war for whomever unlocks it first. Ruby’s father, former pirate Captain Teach, and her friends—a motley crew made up of a young aristocrat, a servant, and an apprentice alchemist—must race against time to locate the hidden fortress where she’s being held. But the one person who could help them is Ruby’s mysterious and powerful mother, and no one has seen her since Ruby’s birth.

Kent Davis sweeps our heroes through cities and the deepest wilderness with imagination, humor, and magic. 

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Here's what Kent Davis wants you to know about him:

Kent Davis
Credit Jessie Moore Photography

I’m a writer, game designer, actor, and pratfall practitioner.

My game design partner, Chris Organ, and I are the two geekomatics behind the award-nominated Epic RPG tabletop roleplaying game. Theater, film, and television credits as a short, bald man include an array of concerned friends, overbearing flunkies, and odd-yet-amusing next door neighbors. When I’m not writing or gaming, I teach in the Honors College at Montana State University. I’m a member of SFWA and SCBWI. Snake Oil Workshop is the place where I teach improvisation to business folks and academics.

I live in a little gray house in the wilds of Montana with my brilliant, ridiculous wife and a bold, yet wily dog-ninja. I love good food, good games, and good stories. Especially if the stories have dragons. Or wendigo. Or elusive, brain-devouring fauna.

(Broadcasts: January 12 and June 15, 2017)