A Curious Premise
I wonder… if intelligent life does exist somewhere out in space and time, would they make better choices than we have?
Or would they end up wrecking their own paradise?
Would they be at peace or would they face suffering? How would they live life and then tackle the question of death?
Would an alien species have the same trouble we humans have in navigating right and wrong, love and hate, hope and despair?
Maybe looking in upon strangers afar, we might recognize something about ourselves.
Book 1: Curious Origins of a Restless World
Curious Origins of a Restless World imagines such a world.
A planet circling a double star.
A home to winged people.
But as grand as it might be to have wings or two suns or three moons, choices still have to be made.
This science fantasy novel begins at the moment when a singular man first chooses to disregard ‘the rules’ – a variation on Earth’s Adam and the forbidden fruit. Ayro, the man in the opening story, soon discovers that decisions have consequences, good or bad or both, for him, his family, and his home.
From this curious day onward, when eternity unravels into time, Ayro’s world unfolds across interwoven stories about his descendants and the multitude choices they make.
The remaining four stories of the novel investigate the origins of three ancient civilizations and a hint of hope for a tarnished world.
•In “Siege’s Spoil,” the captured Princess Hothana is looking for opportunities to prove her heroics. A choice confronts her between killing her conqueror or his savage cousin. Her only weapon is a stylus.
•“Deliverer” begins at the dawn following a wedding night. Sevalork, a clan chief, wakes up in horror at the woman in his bed. He immediately sets out to punish whoever tricked him. He comes to the brink of war and discovers a surprising revelation.
•“A Farther Heritage” is the tale of Ommee and Roohauma, a farmer and his wife, separated by an ambush on their home. During their individual struggles to survive – his as a gladiator and hers as a temple prostitute – they make seemingly minor choices that contribute to the downfall of two warring cities. But through their trials, will they rediscover each other?
•The boy in “Blood Cover” resents his demeaning role as family cook and flocksman. His name even means ‘runt.’ What he really desires is to prove himself a man. But when his homeland is invaded, he comes to a new understanding of value.
Book 2: Reluctant Heroes for a Restless World
This next book tells of a race enslaved by barbaric marauders and how liberation came about through one unlikely man named Lamber.
•“Dream Speaker” is from the view of Lamber’s mother, the slave woman Odinoa. The story touches on four days during her pregnancy: conception, quickening, grounding, and delivery. Polemmo, the woman’s master swears he has visions. She doesn’t know whether he is correct or crazy. Whichever, he leads her on a seemingly aimless trek that changes her life, shapes her child’s future, and activates her people’s destiny.
•“The Blame Bearer” is a chronicle of three events that circle about the Odinoa’s son Lamber. Lamber’s birth, his wedding, and a murder expose the political intrigues and animosities in a royal court at its zenith. Curiously, the mere presence of this son of slaves becomes a catalyst for revealing the motives and secrets of both his foes and his allies.
•“The Apprenticeship of Heroes” traces the trials and adventures of Lamber, the son of a slave, and Tryvenlork, the son of a prince. The friends become separated by injustice and war. Continuing resolute through the many years of hatred and cruelty against them, the men are in the end reunited by their enemies’ revenge gone awry.
•“Beautiful Desolation” opens on Lamber’s son Aiesstaun in his solitude. Raised in the wilderness and isolated for years, he begins a quest for an active part in his own story. He soon realizes the price that part requires.
•“Death Wind” starts at the moment the war-prince Thoomo sacrifices his own son on the altar before his idols. The prince is hunting for relief from a chain of frustrating curses, but to no avail. He ends up finding help and even meaning from a most unwelcome source: his prisoner Aiesstaun.
Book 3: Winged Mortals on a Restless World
The three stories of the third book of this series are from the view of four people: A scheming ambassador, a reluctant prophetess, a conceited princess, and a humble fisherman.
•“Broken Harbors” gives a picture of these four individuals on the eve of war. The plans, the warnings, the threats, and the first conflict signal choices and changes in each life and the lives around them.
•“The Tempest Sets Sail” continues the stories through the havoc of the collapse of nations. The fisherman tries to convince his folk of their impending doom; the ambassador directs the capture of a king; the princess grudgingly flees to the mountains; and the prophetess, after enduring a personal disillusionment, takes up the mantle of her father and begins her proclamations.
•In “Havens” the four characters seek places of safety at the turn of an era. They have choices to make and losses to accept. The results force them to confront the truth about themselves, their beliefs, and their futures.
Further Glimpses into a Restless World
Between each story is an interlogue, that is, a fragment of indigenous literature to give depth to the world’s culture.
Appendices and maps follow the stories for any reader further interested in delving deeper into the ancient cultures of this imagined planet. The first three appendices discuss the origins of the various tribes and summarize the cradles of civilization. Other appendices explain the mythology, astrology, calendar, and scriptures of the age. The last appendices are a description of the ancient wonders, a brief chronology of the era, a punctuation key, and an extensive glossary.
These extras are not essential for the stories but give a dimension that any fantasy geek would appreciate.