Update: Lore’s Reading Order

As promised, with the LORE short stories all live, here’s an updated reading order. This slots the short stories into the correct places in order to read sequentially, but the shorts can be read separately after finishing the entire series 🙂

  1. The Infinity Mantle (Arcana)
  2. The Kinfire Tree (Arcana)
  3. The Drowned Throne (Arcana)
  4. The Dragon Circle (Arcana)
  5. The Rainbows of Pilan (short)
  6. The Life-Wheels of Pendulim (short)
  7. The History of Ardosia (short)
  8. The Wolves of Valaris (short)
  9. The Kallanon Scales (Reaume)
  10. The Tower of Stairs (short)
  11. The Glittering Darkness (short)
  12. The Nemisin Star (Reaume)
  13. The Sleeper Sword (Reaume)
  14. The Beyond for Vannis (short)
  15. The Dreamer Stones (Reaume)
  16. The Nemesis Blade (Sanctum)
  17. The Echolone Mine (Sanctum)
  18. The Nowhere Sphere (Sanctum)
  19. The Master Mechanism (Sanctum)

(All links in the dedicated pages)

Coming soon: EURUE (World Series)

Currently in progress: FAROCHIN (World Series)

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Time to listen to INFINITY!

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It’s here! It’s live!!! YAY!

Hello, everyone, Infinity’s audio book is now live! I just know you will love Thomas Bestwick’s voice and will really get into the story 🙂

For those of you new to Audible, use these links to download a copy:

Audible US

Audible UK

Audible France

Audible Germany

 

If you already have an Audible subscription, click here: Audible UK

 

Or listen via Amazon: (listen to a sample!)

Amazon US

 

 

Mother Universe

Each and every tale, new and old, forgotten and hazily remembered, begins and ends with something greater than the tale itself. Every tale, for words cannot stand alone for long …

This little epic, my friends, is no different.

To begin something as encompassing as The Valla’s tales may turn out to be, one needs to begin with the spectacular concept in which all life resides.

The Universe.

Lifegiver and Life-bearer, one may only equate such vastness to a woman. She is already eternally ancient, older than all time, yet she is younger than a babe in the womb. She is moody, volatile, quiet and serene; she nurtures and succours, and is also truly unpredictable and extremely dangerous.

Lo, she destroys as easily as she creates … however, let it be known, this is neither an evil nor a good deed. This is fact and she simply is. There is within her no frenzy or action that is willfully conceived, nor is there whim, punishment or fantasy; she has no personal agenda.

Parts of her are known to many, other areas will become known  in the fullness of time, while the enormous majority of her intricate spaces may never be discovered … much less understood. Hidden behind the veils of impassibility, those infinite regions will only ever be guessed at, speculated upon, perhaps scientifically calculated … and will there be a certainty in existence to prove the validity of the science?

The Universe is mother, sister, daughter, lover and friend. She is a Goddess. The Mother Goddess who features so prominently in so many and such varied tales. The all-seeing and vulnerable Mother, for she is all-powerful … and utterly helpless.

Moving inexorably on, across and beyond all boundaries, she is simultaneously in control of and at the mercy of those lesser than her.

Here one must name those mysterious entities … for they are the subjects of this tale.

Sentient creatures, my friends, sentient beings. The concept ‘sentience’.

Moody and volatile, quiet and serene, nurturing and succouring, sentient beings are the faces of the Mother Goddess, her engendered likeness, but, lo, there is frenzy, there is action willfully conceived, there is whim and fantasy, as there is punishment, and each individual agenda is personal … for such is the nature of sentience.

In this lies the danger to the Goddess, for destruction is as easily conceived of as are creative energies, with due forethought, with terrible consequence, with blind stupidity … or utter uncaring.

They are good or evil or a strangely contradictory amalgam of the two.

Therein lays the meaning of these words.

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The History of Ardosia

This short story was a ‘part’ in Lore of Arcana, which was completely removed, and yet it explains quite a bit about Millanu’s reason for returning to Valaris …

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Blurb

After ages of war, a Rift is opened between realms. The Valleur choose exile and peace over war and death. Choosing to rebuild and renew, they start over.

But, after millennia, the Rift opens and ancient loyalties are again put to the test.

This is what happened between their then and their now.

The History of Ardosia

Ugarth and the Medaillon

I regarded the excerpt below as too much backstory, and removed most of it from The Infinity Mantle, but if you’re interested in finding out more about the mighty Maghdim Medaillon, and how the Mantle came into being, read on!

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Three thousand years before the present time the human population of Valaris was essentially decimated.

First there was Drasso’s extermination, which was wholesale slaughter, and their numbers were further depleted when the Immortals descended to do battle. Using human tactics to fight a war required men, many men. That part of the war lasted three years, and at the end of it, large tracts of land were wasteland … and thus more succumbed, for the aftermath was as hard as the wars fought.

Only the Great Forest remained unscathed, but it became a physical and emotional divide between north and south.

The Guardians saw this, but were powerless to change it. Not only could neither side see beyond the wastelands in the aftermath, but also they no longer trusted their saviours. Deified they were, but the terrible power of the Immortals left the humans as fearful of them as they were of Drasso, Infinity and their kind. The Guardians chose to leave the humans to rebuild alone.

They left an inheritance for each region divided by trees and superstitions.

To the north went ten volumes, containing within the pages of antiquity universal truths. Warded within those pages were sufficient charms to promote the spirit of adventure, the need to restore the past, and a wish to cross the wastelands in search of other survivors.

The charms needed to be read aloud, which they never were, for the dead language was also an unpronounceable one. Fear of magic had stilled most tongues.

The ten volumes were and are collectively known as the Ancient Oracles.

To the south went the Maghdim Medaillon. In the Ancient Tongue it translated as ‘Supreme Wisdom’. It had the power to summon the clans of old, particularly those of the north with numbers to call to, but like to the Oracles, it was not used. Fear of magic stilled it also.

The remaining sorcerers in the south guarded the Maghdim Medaillon. Their numbers were small, fifteen having survived Drasso. From them, the continuance to the present-day Society.

The golden medal lay in its velvet casket for two centuries, the sorcerers too afraid to discover what it could do. Sorcery was outlawed before Drasso; after him, it was worse.

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There came a day a young apprentice magician, Ugarth by name, stole the velvet casket and carried it secretly to his quarters within the Society, there to study it.

In those early days of the Society, magic was more than theory, and Ugarth’s touch was the first the device received in two centuries. It burned him fiercely on first contact. His hand hurt and he was afraid, but was more fearful of discovery. Warding himself against burning, which the Medaillon unaccountably permitted, he retrieved it from the floor.

Imagine his surprise when on second contact images flooded his mind of northern lands fertile and populated, of stars near and far, of other inhabited worlds, of enchantments and wardings he never dreamed of. He was entranced and transfixed, but soon shook out of it, knowing instinctively his life would be in danger if he broadcast this newfound knowledge, not only from the outside world, but also from those within his own ranks.

The fear of the supernatural continued with manic intensity and the Society lost ground to the world, and went into hiding to protect themselves and their arts, but also there were factions within, some political, some greedy, and some arrogant. Jealousy could lead to death, and it was known certain sorcerers were secretly revealed to the authorities … thereby removing rivals. Ugarth was in love with his skin, and knew how to keep a secret.

Ugarth shaped a detailed and true replica, and replaced that in the casket, which he then returned to its usual place. The real Medaillon he wore about his neck out of sight.

As Ugarth became more proficient, he cast an intricate spell. He limited the device to one master or mistress at a time, it to be gifted secretly from generation to generation, the gifting enchantment learned only once in the receiving. Any who casually handled it would thus be burned. Ugarth did not realize that the medal itself enabled this enchantment from him. The burning was the true test in validating the Medaillon.

Ugarth cast a failsafe, perhaps recognizing a future task during his sessions with it. The failsafe was that one other was to command it, someone other than its master or mistress. That person could only be the most powerful sorcerer of the time, and only that individual would have the power to call the clans, although Ugarth regarded the latter factor as irrelevant. The device demanded this, and the legend passed down into the future would be why McSee was shocked and Aven fatalistic;

Rayne would prove true power on Valaris the instant he held it unharmed. Ugarth often wondered over the course of his life how much had been him and how much upon the Medaillon’s insistence.

Time went on. As the Society became less, the real Medaillon returned to its casket, its existence known to few. A new master or mistress was chosen by consensus, passing from old to young every generation. It remained a secret to those outside and gradually it was barred from those inside, until a sect formed to protect it, actively training sorcerers of all ranks, ever mindful of the legendary failsafe.

That sect was and is the Mantle.

The Life-Wheels of Pendulim

The second LORE short!

This one did form part of the original version of The Dragon Circle, but I removed it after beta readers told me it detracts from the main tale. Some of this, in a truly shortened format, does appear, but what happens in the book is now different from what happens here, particularly regarding Augin, the Palace Guard who accompanies Torrullin to Pendulim. Augin’s fate in this short is very different!

Read, therefore as an aside 🙂

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Blurb

To ward Valarian souls against soul-snatching, Torrullin Valla, along with Augin, Palace Guard, journey to Pendulim. They need a flame-wright able to fashion a Life-Wheel, a device able to protect the innocent and their souls.

But there is more to the mission. A Champion from Pendulim is being prepared to invade the Dome of the Guardians, wearing a Wheel able to confer immortality. The Dome will not survive. The Champion must be stopped.

Together, Torrullin and Augin negotiate the dangers in the forests of Pendulim.

The Life-Wheels of Pendulim

The Worlds of Lore and the Author

A few words from the author today!

The Lore Series has been the ultimate mission, and to that end the main story is now complete. 3 separate series, yes, but all part of the whole, ending with the 12th volume, The Master Mechanism.

And yet, there is more to say.

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Firstly, much was taken out of the grander tale in the interest of a smooth reading experience, and those inserts served as a greater backstory to enrich the telling. I knew, and could therefore draw on them to flesh out the story. These inserts are now being collated as short stories, and will be published one by one. They are not integral to LORE, but you may find the extras intriguing.

The LORE Short Story Series! 

4 shorts stories are ready, the first of which has just been published (see next post!)

So far:

The Rainbows of Pilan

The Life-Wheels of Pendulim

The History of Ardosia

The Wolves of Valaris

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Secondly, having completed the series, I realised certain characters have their own tale, and the moment I thought that … an added new series was born 🙂

LORE Worlds Series!

One full volume is finished and the second is underway. As soon as the cover art is complete, I will tell you more.

So far:

EURUE – The Forgotten World

FAROCHIN – The Terraformed World

Here’s hoping you will come with me on these journeys also!

ejd