Coming August 2022: Naseem Jamnia’s eagerly anticipated debut fantasy novel THE BRUISING OF QILWA

Cover for THE BRUISING OF QILWA by Naseem Jamnia
Cover by Elizabeth Story


by Naseem Jamnia

ISBN: Print: 9781616963781; Digital: 9781616963798

Published: August 2022

Available Format(s): Trade Paperback and Digital


In this intricately layered debut fantasy, a nonbinary refugee practitioner of blood magic discovers a strange disease causing political rifts in their new homeland. Persian-American author Naseem Jamnia has crafted a gripping narrative with a moving, nuanced exploration of immigration, gender, healing, and family.

Firuz-e Jafari is fortunate enough to have immigrated to the Free Democratic City-State of Qilwa, fleeing the slaughter of other traditional Sassanian blood magic practitioners in their homeland. Despite the status of refugees in their new home, Firuz has a good job at a free healing clinic in Qilwa, working with Kofi, a kindly new employer, and mentoring Afsoneh, a troubled orphan refugee with powerful magic.

But Firuz and Kofi have discovered a terrible new disease which leaves mysterious bruises on its victims. The illness is spreading quickly through Qilwa, and there are dangerous accusations of ineptly performed blood magic. In order to survive, Firuz must break a deadly cycle of prejudice, untangle sociopolitical constraints, and find a fresh start for their both their blood and found family.

Powerful and fascinating, The Bruising of Qilwa is the newest arrival in the era of fantasy classics such as the Broken Earth Trilogy, THE FOUR PROFOUND WEAVES, and Who Fears Death.

Naseem Jamnia is a former neuroscientist and recent MFA graduate from the University of Nevada, Reno. Their work has appeared in the Washington PostCosmopolitanThe RumpusThe Writer’s Chronicle, and other venues.

Jamnia is a 2018 Bitch Media Fellow in Technology, a 2019 Lambda Literary Fellow in Young Adult Fiction, and they recently received the 2021 inaugural Samuel R. Delany Fellowship.

In addition to cowriting the academic text Positive Interactions with At-Risk Children (Routledge, 2019), Jamnia’s work has been included in the Lambda Literary EMERGE anthology (2020) and We Made Uranium! And Other True Stories from the University of Chicago’s Extraordinary Scavenger Hunt (University of Chicago, 2019).

Jamnia is the managing editor at Sword & Kettle Press, an independent publishing house of inclusive feminist speculative fiction. They are also the former managing editor at Sidequest.Zone, an independent gaming criticism website.

A Persian-Chicagoan and child to Iranian immigrants, Jamnia now lives in Reno with their husband, dog, and two cats. Find out at more at or on Twitter and Instagram @jamsternazzy.