The Hiding (The Seer of York #1), by Alethea Lyons

The Book

The Hiding
Series: The Seer of York
Pages: 347
Age Group: Adult
Published on 3/5/2024
Publisher: Brigid Gates Press
Urban Fantasy
Available on:


Arcane archivist Harper has always been plagued by dreams of grotesque creatures and bloody deaths. When she bumps into a ghostwalker in the Shambles and has a visceral experience of his execution, she knows it’s a foretelling. Yet fear of the Queen’s Guard stops her speaking out. When her vision indeed comes true, the unusual markings on the ghostwalker’s corpse, combined with his neatly excised vocal cords, send a ripple of terror through York.

The witch hunt is on. As the body count rises, Harper knows her magic is the only way to find the killer – if she can avoid being hanged as a witch. To protect both human and supernatural, Harper walks the thin line between their worlds. She and her demonhunter foster-sister form a multi-faith team with a forensic scientist, a spirit Harper accidentally summoned, and a techno-witch, to catch the killer before more people die.

My Review

The Hiding is the first book in the gothic urban fantasy series The Seer of York, which represents the debut of Alethea Lyons, and which has been published by Brigid Gates Press. In an alternative York where the mist makes the veil between worlds thin, the archivist Harper de Santo has a vision of how a ghostwalker is brutally killed; a foretold that becomes true, in a way that terrorizes the whole of York.

Harper knows she can find the killer, but that will require her to use her powers, which she has kept hidden due to her fear of being discovered as a witch (especially by the secular Queen's Guard) and hanged. As the body count starts rising, she will have to work together with her foster sister, the demonhunter Grace, and together with a forensic scientist, to stop the creature that is terrorising York.

A story that is also woven together with the past of Harper, a lack of memories that are hiding her from her true nature, and which might be useful to discover the truth behind the visions Harper is experiencing; while I feel this point is not developed enough, lacking some potential, it adds a layer of complexity to the story, which is useful also at propelling the plot at points when it might start stalling.

The most enjoyable aspect of this book is how particularly accurate the setting based on York is; you can actually walk the same streets and visit some of the places our characters go, something that allows you to greatly immerse into the story, while still keeping those eerie/magical elements that make the story a fantastical one.
Pacing is a bit irregular, especially in some parts where the story might have needed to be a bit faster, but it can be understandable as a consequence of some character development that is added.

The Hiding is a great urban fantasy novel, a solid debut by Alethea Lyons, who has totally nailed the York setting; I'm particularly curious to see how the next instalments in the series will go, especially if they continue going deeper into Harper's past.

The Author/s

Alethea Lyons

Alethea Lyons

Alethea (she/ze) writes various forms of SFF, with a particular love for science-fantasy, dark fantasy, dystopias, and folklore. Many of her works take place at the intersection between technology and magic. She enjoys writing stories with subtle political and philosophical messages, but primarily wants her stories to be great tales with characters readers will love. She also has soft spots for found family, hopeless romances, and non- human characters. Her short stories can be found in a variety of publications and links for these are on her website.

Alethea lives in Manchester, UK with her husband, little Sprite, a cacophony of stringed instruments, and more tea than she can drink in a lifetime.