Michelle Barker

Michelle Barker’s short fiction has been published in journals across Canada. She has also published non-fiction in magazines, newspapers and literary reviews, and she won a National Magazine Award in personal journalism. Her poetry has been published in literary reviews around the world, including the 2011 Best Canadian Poetry anthology. A chapbook of her poems, Old Growth, Clear Cut: Poems of Haida Gwaii, was published by Leaf Press in 2012, as well as a mini-chapbook, Glimpsing the Stars, with The Centrifugal Eye. She has worked as an editor and leads creative writing workshops.

Barker is studying for her Master’s degree in creative writing at UBC’s optional-residency program. She lives in Penticton with her husband and family. This is her first novel.




272 pages / paper

Available in the US
World Rights Available


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ISBN: 978-1-927068-37-3
List Price: $15.95

Michelle Barker

 He has no talent, they said; then how was it that he could unleash and wield such a powerful magic, and that he would be the one chosen by the Beggar King to claim the undermagic.

Beware this door! Beware your soul! May this door never be opened, or the beggar shall be king. As Jordan Elliott stood before the brass door, he knew the risks. Beware the beggar who would be king! He knew of the “undermagic”, that ancient and dark source of power that had been locked away because prophets of old deemed it too unpredictable and destructive. But he opened the door anyway, because he was the one who could. What he unleashed would take down the peaceful world in which he lived; it would imprison his family and slowly poison the girl he loved. The price was great, but what Jordan received in return, almost unlimited power, was so seductive that he could not refuse this gift from the king who ruled the darkness beyond the door.

"The Beggar King is richly imagined. The “undercats,” especially Sarmillion himself, the bridges that refuse passage more than they allow it, the lure of the brass plate that opens for young Jordan and apparently for no one else… Michelle Barker has woven these elements, and many others, together into a story that will not let you go until the end. If you love original fantasy and a great adventure story, you will enjoy The Beggar King." — Maggie de Vries

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