In this intricate debut fantasy introducing a queernormative Persian-inspired world, a nonbinary refugee practitioner of blood magic discovers a strange disease that causes 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. 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.
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 both their blood and found family.
Fajer Al-Kaisi is an actor for the stage and screen as well as an accomplished voice-over artist and narrator with over a hundred audiobook credits.
Fajer is currently the voice of Shazzan on Jellystone (HBO Max) as well as cohost of the podcast BardQuest Empire. His TV appearances include Law & Order, Future Man, The Code, 30 Rock, Nurse Jackie, The Blacklist, The Onion News Network, Person of Interest, Delocated, Search Party, Madam Secretary, and Deadbeat. His film credits include "Karim" in I'll Come Running, "Ali Soufan" in The Report, and as "the interpreter" in Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk.
His theatrical credits include: Tareq in the Guthrie's production of Nora, Tybalt in Romeo and Juliet, Aeneas in Troilus and Cressida at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival, Grahm/2 in the world premiere of Informed Consent at Cleveland Playhouse, and Shahid the translator in the NYTW world premiere of Aftermath and the subsequent Arktype World tour. His additional regional credits include: The Humans, Disgraced, and The Invisible Hand.
Fajer has been nominated for a Drama Leagues Award (Aftermath, Best Ensemble 2011) as well as a finalist for best male performance at the Audies (Fives and Twenty-Fives, 2015). He has also received several AudioFile Earphones Awards.