W E L C O M E
The Vault of Heaven is the title for my epic fantasy series. Since I have the most material in relation to it, here's where you'll find more information on the books and world.
I hate synopses. They're reductive to the point of losing the point. They're tantamount to—when you tell someone of a new band you've heard—that someone asking, "Who do they sound like?" (The right answer, by the way, is, "They sound like themselves." But book synopses are a necessary evil. So, in the spirit of evil, here are two takes at a synopsis of THE UNREMEMBERED. One is currently on the dust jacket flap; the second was something I wrote because I had a few moments to kill.
One take at a synopsis:
The gods, makers of worlds, seek to create balance — between matter and energy; and between mortals who strive toward the transcendent, and the natural perils they must tame or overcome. But one of the gods fashions a world filled with hellish creatures far too powerful to allow balance; he is condemned to live for eternity with his most hateful creations in that world's distant Bourne, restrained by a magical veil kept vital by the power of song.
Millennia pass, awareness of the hidden danger fades to legend, and both song and veil weaken. And the most remote cities are laid waste by fell, nightmarish troops escaped from the Bourne. Some people dismiss the attacks as mere rumor. Instead of standing against the real threat, they persecute those with the knowledge, magic and power to fight these abominations, denying the inevitability of war and annihilation. And the evil from the Bourne swells…
The troubles of the world seem far from the Hollows where Tahn Junell struggles to remember his lost childhood and to understand words he feels compelled to utter each time he draws his bow. Trouble arrives when two strangers — an enigmatic man wearing the sigil of the feared Order of Sheason and a beautiful woman of the legendary Far — come, to take Tahn, his sister and his two best friends on a dangerous, secret journey. Tahn knows neither why nor where they will go. He knows only that terrible forces have been unleashed upon mankind and he has been called to stand up and face that which most daunts him — his own forgotten secrets and the darkness that would destroy him and his world.
Another take at a synopsis:
Rumors have beset the eastlands of Aeshau Vaal. Some people flee toward the cities for refuge. One regent, to answer these unseen threats, is set to recall the Convocation of Seats—something that hasn't been done for ages. But one man doesn't believe, and would use the fear of nations to advance the power of his dangerous League of Civility.
For Braethen, an author's son, it will mean the sudden chance to turn his lifelong desire of entering the Sodality into a reality. But being a Sodalist is not the romantic dream he's read about in his long years of study. As a sworn protector to the feared Order of Sheason, he must be prepared to give more than his life, and to take up a mythical weapon before his hands are even accustomed to steel.
For Wendra, raped and now heavy with child, it will mean learning the reality of a trade that travels the highways across the nations of man, even a trade in human lives. She'll take responsibility for a pageant-wagon boy, whose street-theater is considered seditious; and find through protecting him that her ability to make song with her voice carries a great power, but one that may flow darkly.
For Tahn, it will mean finding answers to a lost childhood. Words he feels compelled to speak every time he draws his bow may finally be understood, but the revelation it will bring he may wish to have left unremembered. And though it will also introduce him to a beautiful woman of the legendary Far, the nature of their separate and very different lives will force dreadful choices upon them.
These three, and others, attended by a hard man, an exile, whose sentence is to care for orphans and foundlings in the middle of a wasteland, and by a Sheason whose uncompromising, yet best intentions are destroying his own order, will fight the past even as they face a dark future.
Because the threats are more than rumor . . .
There's no sense in denying that I was once an avid role-playing gamer. It is quite possibly from there that my appetite for fantasy germinates. However, I can likewise point to the first few books by Terry Brooks, which I read with wonder during intermediate school. Having read and enjoyed the field ever since, I finally put my pen to paper to create a world uniquely my own. THE UNREMEMBERED (Book one of THE VAULT OF HEAVEN) is currently slated for publication in April 2011.
THE UNREMEMBERED takes as its central premise: agency or choice (though, I should say that this grew out of the writing organically—I didn't set out with any premise/theme in mind). But I've always been fascinated with the debate of determinism vs. freewill. Depending on who's giving the definition, I sometimes agree with orators on both sides of argument aisle. For instance, there was a time when for me Heisenberg's Uncertainty Principle ended the debate in favor of free will. But it is not simply the motivating factor fueling a choice that interests me, but the consequence of choosing one path over another, or not choosing at all, and the ways in which our choices either prove or condemn us. In THE UNREMEMBERED, I use a fantasy world to explore these themes and ultimately what happens when one's choices are restored to him. That said, there's also a lot of wickedly nasty creatures and races with the expressed purpose of harrowing the lives of men. Along the road, confrontation comes often. In fact, many of my readers thus far have said it's a helluv an adventure. Sweet.
Some of the conventions of the journey structure are evident in THE UNREMEMBERED. The central protagonist, Tahn Junell, will leave The Hollows to learn something about his world, and ultimately about himself. But the trappings are different, the cosmology distinct and new. I think readers of epic fantasy are going to have some fun in this world.